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dantares83

Aegon II and Aegon III

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I have a question on these two.

So why didn't Aegon II tried to kill Aegon III after he eventually won the civil war. True, he made Aegon III watched his mum get eaten by a dragon but Rhaenyra basically killed Aegon II's family (and children). Given that the Targaryen are mostly mad (due to inbreeding), I am surprised Aegon II allowed his nephew to live and even allowed him to ascend the throne after him. I am pretty sure that even though he is heirless, there are other Targaryen he would prefer to put on the throne.

I mean by putting his nephew onto the throne, it effectively meant that Rhaenyra is the eventual winner. What he should have done is to name Jaehaera as heir (just as Rhaenyra was named heir) and made her Queen of Westeros. 

Anyone knows why? 

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The idea that he would spare Aegon feels like a plot hole. If he were really concerned about winning the war against Rhaenyra, he would have had both her and her son killed. But of course then the line of succession would have been much more muddled, unless Viserys could be found sooner. In which case he would have become a new Jahaerys instead of playing second fiddle to his brother and nephews.

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1 hour ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

The idea that he would spare Aegon feels like a plot hole. If he were really concerned about winning the war against Rhaenyra, he would have had both her and her son killed. But of course then the line of succession would have been much more muddled, unless Viserys could be found sooner. In which case he would have become a new Jahaerys instead of playing second fiddle to his brother and nephews.

regarding the line of succession, he still have his daughter at the end of the war so he can make her his heir. i am just so surprise he choose to marry her off to his sworn enemy's son and had the son become king and his daughter as queen consort (much like most queens have no real power).

why would he do that? if i were him, i would probably killed off all people related to my half-sister (in case of another rebellion).

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1 hour ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

I think that's mostly 'cause he died, and not that long after Rhaenyra. Being dead, his capability of influencing the succession was pretty limited.

he could have killed all of Rhaenyra's remaining children and his Jaehaera will be the only one left (much like Rhaenyra) and be considered heir even though she was woman. 

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Just now, dantares83 said:

he could have killed all of Rhaenyra's remaining children and his Daugherty will be the only one left (much like Rhaenyra) and be considered heir even though she was woman. 

Maybe he intended to, but was poisoned before he got to do it.

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Just now, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Maybe he intended to, but was poisoned before he got to do it.

he lived for about 6 months before he was poisoned. he could have easily fed the young Aegon to the dragon (like his mother) and then look for Viserys, but the fact he spared Aegon when he finally caught Rhaenyra seems stupid.

 

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Because Rhaenyra's cause hadn't died, the riverlords and some 7000+ northern army were still heading towards KL and he thought that making Aegon 3 as a prisoner could've slowed them down but apparently it didn't

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Well, the 'plot effect' comes from the way George presents this whole scenario. I remember how we discussed this thing - Aegon III witnessing his mother being devoured by Aegon II's dragon - a long time ago when this was pretty much the only piece of detailed information we had on the Dance.

And we always came up with scenarios trying to explain how this could work because we all thought 'Hey, if Aegon II is willing to feed his own sister to his dragon what the hell is stopping him from doing the same thing to his nephew?!'

I remember entertaining an idea of Rhaenyra dying during the last battle in the Dance in KL or something like that, with Aegon II's mad dragon eating her after Aegon II had himself already been killed (or would shortly thereafter been killed elsewhere on the battlefield).

And Ran imagined some sort of ambush or attack led by Aegon II on Rhaenyra's party resulting in her death being witnessed by Aegon III but allowing him to escape before Aegon II could kill him, too.

Rhaenyra's husband(s) were also completely unknown back in that time and so there was also the possibility that Aegon III's father could have stepped as regent for Aegon III to continue the war in his name. We only learned much later that Rhaenyra's second husband was her uncle Prince Daemon and that he predeceased her. I remember, that I also liked the notion of Aegon II and Rhaenyra actually being married to each other, vying for dominance and control of the Realm in their own marriage, just as many Ptolemies did.

As things stand now, it is indeed irritating that Aegon II would take Aegon the Younger hostage rather than killing him, too. And the fact that he was just ordering to mutilate him in the very end rather than actually execute him is even more confusing. And by the way, Rhaenyra didn't kill any member of Aegon II's family aside from Ser Otto Hightower. She did not execute either Alicent or Helaena (although she could have), and she has nothing to do with the murder of Prince Jaehaerys and Prince Maelor (the former was arranged by Daemon without she commanding it, and the latter the deed of some mad mob).

However, there is no hint whatsoever that Aegon II considered Aegon the Younger his heir or successor. We know that Aegon II intended to take a new wife, marrying one of Borros Baratheon's daughters (presumably the one Prince Aemond was originally supposed to marry). There is no doubt that the man intended to father himself some new sons (assuming he was still able to have intercourse after his many injuries), and the fact remains that Princess Jaehaera was still alive and well. It seems that she reached Storm's End with her Kingsguard protector and one would assume that Lord Borros brought her with him to KL when he took the city in Aegon II's name.

We have no clue what Aegon II thought about the succession should he died without a male heir of his own body but the chances are actually pretty good that he considered his own daughter, Princess Jaehaera, as heir presumptive in such a case rather than his nephew, the son of his hated half-sister, he was using as hostage.

Aegon III only ascended the Iron Throne because the Greens lost the war in the end. Aegon II didn't die a sudden natural death he was poisoned by his own men who wanted to save themselves and (presumably) their positions at court. Aegon III was apparently proclaimed king by the murderers of Aegon II before KL was even handed to the Black Riverlords besieging the city. We know from Yandel that Cregan Stark only arrived in KL and took charge of the city and the Realm until after Aegon III had been crowned and Corlys Velaryon had already sent messages and envoys to Casterly Rock and Oldtown in an attempt to forge a peace. His conditions were apparently accepted, which made it impossible for Cregan Stark to continue the war and punish the Hightowers, Baratheons, and Lannisters the way he had intended.

In that sense it is safe to say that Aegon III was only crowned because the Greens at court defected to the Black side.

If we imagine a scenario in which Aegon II lives a little longer and only dies suddenly after the Greens had utterly crushed the Blacks (say, because Borros Baratheon won on the Kingsroad and 20,000 sellswords returning with Tyland Lannister from Essos had destroyed Cregan Stark's army) it is actually very likely that the Greens at court had crowned Princess Jaehaera rather than Prince Aegon. First because Aegon II would have made it clear that he didn't want his nephew to succeed him (and in this scenario his word would have mattered, unlike in the scenario that had occurred in which his advisers murdered him because he failed to listen to reason) but second also because a lackwit queen in her minority would have been the ideal puppet. Aegon the Younger most likely would have been put to death (assuming Aegon II would have him allowed to live this long - had he really crushed the Blacks utterly there wouldn't have been any need for him as hostage) after the king's own death, and some powerful courtier (possibly Borros Baratheon) would have ruled in her name, and married her to his own son.

The idea that the Greens at court would have been 'Green enough' to follow the rigid interpretation of the decision of the Great Council in 101 AC that no woman or a male descendant through the female line can possibly sit the Iron Throne is ridiculous. Aegon the Younger was Rhaenyra's son, and everyone Green in his right mind in this scenario would have feared that an adult King Aegon III would have remember how those Green lords and their king had treated his family and mother. Them seating Aegon III on the Iron Throne is about as likely as the Tyrells suddenly declaring for Stannis.

In that sense I think we can safely assume that Aegon III was not, in fact, Aegon II's anointed heir, nor was he even his heir presumptive. The idea of marrying Jaehaera to Aegon also makes only sense if the intention is to create a peace. Had one side decisively won over the other or the people at court seen no reason to try to make some concessions to the other side both a Queen Jaehaera I or a King Aegon III would have been married to the daughter of some powerful lord at court - just as Lord Unwin Peake later tried to marry Aegon III to his own daughter after he had Queen Jaehaera murdered.

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Well, both the Blacks and the Greens clearly didn't care much about kinslaying and killing children, and Ser Alfred Broome did press Aegon II to kill him. But Aegon III could have been useful as a hostage; maybe he could have been used to placate the Blacks.

Not to mention, Aegon III was the heir of both Rhaenyra under equal primogeniture and Aegon II's heir under Salic law, since he was Daemon's son. It's not like Aegon III had anyone else to name as his heir, since the Greens' entire claim relied on discrediting a woman's right to the throne, so Jaehaera was out of the picture. Aegon II probably planned to remarry and have children again after the Dance, but killing the only other male Targaryen who was known to be alive during the war was a risky move.

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3 minutes ago, Zara Zokan said:

Not to mention, Aegon III was the heir of both Rhaenyra under equal primogeniture and Aegon II's heir under Salic law, since he was Daemon's son. It's not like Aegon III had anyone else to name as his heir, since the Greens' entire claim relied on discrediting a woman's right to the throne, so Jaehaera was out of the picture. Aegon II probably planned to remarry and have children again after the Dance, but killing the only other male Targaryen who was known to be alive during the war was a risky move.

Actually, the Greens being in the war 'for the law' (which weren't that many, apparently) were defending the principle that a son comes before a daughter. Rhaenyra Targaryen happened to have three younger half-brothers, after all.

However, Princess Jaehaera would have been Aegon II's only child of the main royal line (daughter of Aegon II, and granddaughter of Viserys I) whereas Aegon the Younger was just the son of the hated false queen Rhaenyra and the seed of the (from the Green perspective) even more hated Prince Daemon (who himself was only a grandson of Jaehaerys I).

The idea that anyone at the Green court would have supported Aegon III had they not been forced to because they were defeated in the field is very unlikely. A daughter can inherit if she is an only child, after all, and unlike Princess Rhaenys or Rhaenyra Jaehaera was actually the only surviving child of King Aegon II.

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10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Actually, the Greens being in the war 'for the law' (which weren't that many, apparently) were defending the principle that a son comes before a daughter. Rhaenyra Targaryen happened to have three younger half-brothers, after all.

However, Princess Jaehaera would have been Aegon II's only child of the main royal line (daughter of Aegon II, and granddaughter of Viserys I) whereas Aegon the Younger was just the son of the hated false queen Rhaenyra and the seed of the (from the Green perspective) even more hated Prince Daemon (who himself was only a grandson of Jaehaerys I).

The idea that anyone at the Green court would have supported Aegon III had they not been forced to because they were defeated in the field is very unlikely. A daughter can inherit if she is an only child, after all, and unlike Princess Rhaenys or Rhaenyra Jaehaera was actually the only surviving child of King Aegon II.

Well, from a legal standpoint, the Targaryen line of succession wasn't that clear until after the Dance. The Great Council of 101 was between Laenor and Viserys, which gets confusing as the latter implies Salic law, and the former... male-preference-primogeniture? Even though Rhaenys was still alive, and not a contender, so it implies that women can't inherit, but a man can inherit through a line of a woman? My head hurts. Then Viserys decided to adopt equal primogeniture after Aemma died. So, to be honest, it just seems like the heir was whoever the monarch wanted it to be.

And I just meant that logistically, I don't think the Greens would see Jaehaera as Aegon's heir, what with being so concerned about a woman ruling, and Aegon III, a male who already had half the realm supporting him as the legitimate king. Also, I haven't read TPATQ in a while, but didn't Aegon II just get poisoned, and then everyone recognised Aegon III, rather than being defeated?

I mean, it was kind of the best of both worlds for the Blacks and the Greens in the end (apart from everyone being dead), since Aegon III was the King, as Rhaenyra's son and Aegon II's cousin, and Jaehaera was the Queen.

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49 minutes ago, Zara Zokan said:

Well, from a legal standpoint, the Targaryen line of succession wasn't that clear until after the Dance. The Great Council of 101 was between Laenor and Viserys, which gets confusing as the latter implies Salic law, and the former... male-preference-primogeniture? Even though Rhaenys was still alive, and not a contender, so it implies that women can't inherit, but a man can inherit through a line of a woman? My head hurts. Then Viserys decided to adopt equal primogeniture after Aemma died. So, to be honest, it just seems like the heir was whoever the monarch wanted it to be.

And I just meant that logistically, I don't think the Greens would see Jaehaera as Aegon's heir, what with being so concerned about a woman ruling, and Aegon III, a male who already had half the realm supporting him as the legitimate king. Also, I haven't read TPATQ in a while, but didn't Aegon II just get poisoned, and then everyone recognised Aegon III, rather than being defeated?

I mean, it was kind of the best of both worlds for the Blacks and the Greens in the end (apart from everyone being dead), since Aegon III was the King, as Rhaenyra's son and Aegon II's cousin, and Jaehaera was the Queen.

even if they are so against a woman potentially ruling (e.g. Jaehaera), it would still be stupid to make Aegon the Younger King because he had witnessed terrible things happening to his family (including witnessing his mother being eaten alive) and may not be easily controlled. Aegon the younger could have easily order all of them to death once he become an adult and obtained some power of his own (from his previous black allies). 

It would be much better to just appoint Jaehaera Queen and control her because apparently she is of very weak mind anyway.

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1 hour ago, Zara Zokan said:

But Aegon III could have been useful as a hostage; maybe he could have been used to placate the Blacks.

But if Aegon III is dead, with Viserys missing, the Blacks are done. They have no claimant, no goal, no cause to continue fighting.

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18 minutes ago, dantares83 said:

even if they are so against a woman potentially ruling (e.g. Jaehaera), it would still be stupid to make Aegon the Younger King because he had witnessed terrible things happening to his family (including witnessing his mother being eaten alive) and may not be easily controlled. Aegon the younger could have easily order all of them to death once he become an adult and obtained some power of his own (from his previous black allies). 

It would be much better to just appoint Jaehaera Queen and control her because apparently she is of very weak mind anyway.

Yeah, the war was still going on, though, everything was already super messed up after Rhaenyra's death. If the rest of the Blacks' forces had been defeated, and Aegon II remarried and had an heir, maybe Aegon III would have been executed. Who knows what Aegon II was thinking, though. Maybe he had just lost so much of his family already that he couldn't kill his child nephew.

And yeah, if Aegon III had been died, nobody could dispute that Jaehaera would be Aegon II's heir since there would be no known living male Targs left, but it would probably have been the end of the Targaryen dynasty because of jure uxoris, and Jaehaera probably had endured even more trauma than Aegon III. Plus, part of the reason the Greens formed is because they couldn't stand the horror of a woman ruling. So, yeah, it was generally a sticky situation, and I think Aegon II just kept Aegon III alive in case he would have been useful for some reason (who even knows if he knew, Aegon II wasn't known for being the sharpest tool in the box).

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10 minutes ago, Lychnidos said:

But if Aegon III is dead, with Viserys missing, the Blacks are done. They have no claimant, no goal, no cause to continue fighting.

They could have still tried to depose Aegon II a la Robert's Rebellion for murdering the rightful Queen and her heir; the Velaryons had Targaryen blood and could have claimed the throne for themselves.

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57 minutes ago, Zara Zokan said:

Well, from a legal standpoint, the Targaryen line of succession wasn't that clear until after the Dance. The Great Council of 101 was between Laenor and Viserys, which gets confusing as the latter implies Salic law, and the former... male-preference-primogeniture? Even though Rhaenys was still alive, and not a contender, so it implies that women can't inherit, but a man can inherit through a line of a woman? My head hurts. Then Viserys decided to adopt equal primogeniture after Aemma died. So, to be honest, it just seems like the heir was whoever the monarch wanted it to be.

And I just meant that logistically, I don't think the Greens would see Jaehaera as Aegon's heir, what with being so concerned about a woman ruling, and Aegon III, a male who already had half the realm supporting him as the legitimate king. Also, I haven't read TPATQ in a while, but didn't Aegon II just get poisoned, and then everyone recognised Aegon III, rather than being defeated?

I mean, it was kind of the best of both worlds for the Blacks and the Greens in the end (apart from everyone being dead), since Aegon III was the King, as Rhaenyra's son and Aegon II's cousin, and Jaehaera was the Queen.

If you take your time and think about everything we know about the Targaryen succession then things really are very confusing. The bottom line is that only one principle is never in doubt - that the eldest son of the king if chosen and anointed by the king as his Heir Apparent usually succeeds to the throne.

That's it, really. The succession of anyone else is unclear, especially when there is the possibility to choose between children and grandchildren or grandchildren and great-grandchildren of a king.

Thanks to 'The Sons of the Dragon' we have a pretty good view on the succession of the Conqueror and Aenys I. We know that Prince Aenys was the unquestioned heir of his father, Aegon I, by the time of the latter's death, despite the facts that there rumors about Aenys not being Aegon's seed and despite Aenys' not being a very impressive guy.

Primogeniture usually wins the day especially if your father actually supports your claim. Aegon always took Aenys with him and when traveled the Realm, visited his lords, and so forth. Maegor remained at home.

We also know that Prince Aenys' sons Aegon, Viserys, and Jaehaerys were all considered to come before Prince Maegor in the succession, and some also thought Maegor came behind Aenys' daughters Rhaena (his eldest child) and Alysanne.

At this time daughters were considered to be able inherit the throne in the absence of a son.

After Maegor's own rise to the throne and the deaths of Prince Aegon and Prince Viserys (and the disinheritance of Prince Jaehaerys) Maegor named Princess Aerea - Prince Aegon's eldest daughter by Princess Rhaena who was now married to Maegor - his heir. That seems that Maegor - in absence of an heir of his own body - had no problem handing the Realm to his grandniece.

Nothing came of that, of course, because Jaehaerys I rose to the throne after Maegor's death.

From Yandel we learn that the legal principles that were at odds with each other on the Great Council were primogeniture (favoring Laenor Velaryon) and proximity (favoring Prince Viserys). Proximity means that Viserys was related to Jaehaerys I in a closer degree than Laenor Velaryon. Viserys was not only Jaehaerys I's grandson (while Laenor was only his great-grandson) he was also the son of two children of Jaehaerys I (Princess Alyssa & Prince Baelon while Laenor's father was Corlys Velaryon and his grandmother Jocelyn Baratheon both of whom were not so closely related to Jaehaerys I).

Jaehaerys I clearly favored proximity when Prince Aemon died and he anointed Baelon as his heir. And later on he most likely also favored his grandson Viserys - a grown-up - over his young great-grandson Laenor. Misogyny also played his part, although I'm not sure Jaehaerys I didn't pass over Rhaenys for that in 92 AC. He would have felt that a female monarch might not have been able to keep the peace after his death and feared that the dynasty would face rebellions again like it did during the reigns of his own father and Maegor.

Whether Laenor's descent through the female line was actually a main reason to dismiss his claim is unclear. I think it is more likely that Viserys was much more popular and had too many supporters like the Lannisters and, presumably, the Hightowers and the Tyrells. Those lords who felt Laenor should be king would have been still be skeptical about the idea of a long regency during Laenor's minority, therefore backing Viserys instead.

The subsequent rigid interpretation of the Great Council of it setting 'an iron precedent' for the succession in general wasn't the view at court immediately after Viserys I's ascension. The Great Council debated the succession on the basis of grandsons vs. great-grandsons, Viserys I was stuck with the choice between a reckless brother and his only living child. The idea that a king would willingly adopt the principle that only his kin through the male line could inherit is just stupid.

Rhaenyra's proclamation as heir was an immediate result of the Great Council which actually had brought more uncertainty for Viserys I's succession. The man was still very young but people were obsessed with the succession, and Daemon was pushing his brother to be named Prince of Dragonstone while Viserys himself was already favoring his daughter as his heir. Under normal circumstances the succession would have remained vague/unclear until such time as the king was much older. Viserys I could easily have waited whether his second wife gave him any sons or not.

When Aegon II murdered Rhaenyra the Blacks continued the fight in the name of Aegon III. Aegon the Younger was already a pretender long before Aegon II was physically restored to the Iron Throne and eventually died. And he only ended up on the throne because the Blacks won and Aegon II's was murdered and his own people (tried to) defect(ed) (back) to the Blacks.

Aegon II's plan most likely was to use Aegon the Younger (and Lady Baela Targaryen) as hostage to force the Blacks to yield. That didn't work all that well (although it may have been what brought Corlys Velaryon into the Green camp) and Aegon II was apparently on his way to make good of his threats against his nephew's life when he was poisoned. He commanded to cut of the boy's ear. If that hadn't had the desired effect - which it most likely wouldn't have - the next step would have been to kill the boy.

As to the Black collapsing after Aegon III's death:

That is not necessarily true. They could have continued the war in the name of Alyn Velaryon or Baela/Rhaena Targaryen. And we also know that the Blacks continued the fight because their feared the retaliation of Aegon II. If that was a major motivation then they most likely would even have continued the fight if they had no pretender/figurehead at all.

Ran has made some comments that the regents later discussed the succession in case Aegon III should die without issue (before the return of Prince Viserys) but we don't know what the result was. My guess is that Alyn Velaryon was recognized as Aegon III's heir presumptive due to the fact that he had been legitimized as the bastard son of Laenor Velaryon - which legally made him to a great-great-grandson of Jaehaerys I through the elder line.

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31 minutes ago, Lychnidos said:

But if Aegon III is dead, with Viserys missing, the Blacks are done. They have no claimant, no goal, no cause to continue fighting.

Despite what Viserys might have told Dany, the Robert's Rebellion did not start over Robert's alleged designs on the Iron Throne. It started because Aerys II started murdering people, important people, left and right, and the nobility felt just a little uneasy allowing such behavior go on unchecked. Which would've been just as good a rationale for the Blacks to continue the fight.

With Aegon III murdered, they'd have no claimant? Then they'd just have to make one (again, see Robert's Rebellion). Or even decide "first we kill Aegon II, and then worry about the succession crisis".

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I think Aegon III did the right thing by exterminating dragons. It was an evil thing and a cowardly way of winning battles, I think. Just raining death from above. Very effective yes, but not the way a hero should fight. Plus, knowing what happened to his mother, who can blame him? I'd do the same if I was him.-_-

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1 minute ago, Valens said:

I think Aegon III did the right thing by exterminating dragons. It was an evil thing and a cowardly way of winning battles, I think. Just raining death from above. Very effective yes, but not the way a hero should fight. Plus, knowing what happened to his mother, who can blame him? I'd do the same if I was him.-_-

Aegon III didn't kill the dragons, they just died during his reign. He was afraid of the creatures since he witnessed the death of his mother (and possibly his only flight wasn't so great an experience or either) and that caused the rumors that he was responsible.

But Yandel actually told us that Aegon III gave Viserys leave to bring the Nine Mages to Westeros to try to hatch some dragon eggs after the last dragon had died. That in itself is a clue that Aegon III had nothing to do with the death of the dragons.

It is much more likely that the Citadel was behind that - and possibly even behind the Storming of the Dragonpit. Grand Maester Munkun - the only regent to serve throughout the entire Regency of Aegon III and at one point being the sole remaining regent, the Hand, and the Grand Maester - was ideally positioned to put a plan in motion to poison the dragons.

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