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Aegon II and Aegon III

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Well, Yandel tells us that the Blacks also wanted to get rid of Aegon II because they were afraid of him. If that fear was big enough then they they would have just continued the war either way. Who cares what happens to the Realm thereafter? It could break apart again. And if they intended to support a figurehead/pretender Alyn Velaryon and the Targaryen girls would have worked as alternatives to Aegon II. Especially if one of the girls had married Alyn as Baela Targaryen later did.

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Because it's the First English Civil War. Stephan I defeated his cousin the Empress Mathilda (daughter and declared heir of Henry I), but agreed to be succeeded by her son Henry II.

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On 2016-04-24 at 9:13 PM, Lord Varys said:


Good, just needed to check. If Velyaron men-at-arms had remained in the city they would have faced an interesting dilemma. Either fight to retain the city for a queen who has both abandoned them and also imprisoned to execute their lord, fight alone against everyone else to free Corlys, flee the city and get back to Driftmark or join the rabble rising up. Personally I would think that the ones who might have been slow to leave the city after Corlys' arrest left in a hurry during and after the riots, provided they survived that is. The Velaryon men-at-arms may have had an ironclad loyalty, but I doubt it was to the queen who turned on their lord. But I agree that it would have been Lord Baratheon who restored order to the city.

In regards to Ser Marston Waters there are things to say, but I would like to point out that no one ever abandoned Aegon II. Neither Aemond or Daeron crowned themselves after Aegon II was lost and even after Aegon II, Aemond and Daeron were dead the Greens would not suffer Ulf the White or Hugh Hammer to become king, despite no known male Targaryen left to fight for, nor did they give any hint of conspiration to seize the throne. If they would have been self-serving oppertunists reason dictates that they would have chosen Ulf, who alone at that time would have been known as an adult dragonrider after the storming of the Dragonpit, but the Greens at Tumbleton did not. But in regards to Ser Marston. Problem is that we knew way to little of his character to say if he was driven by reward, loyalty or hate. Maybe he was promised a postion on the Kingsguard, maybe he was loyal to his king or maybe he hated some important Black leader due to some slight in the past. We don't know yet I personally think that a post in the Kingsguard was first brought into the matter after Baela Targaryen.

To start with Rhaenyra wasn't murdered, she was executed. There's a difference between these two. But I also agree that given the losses of the Kingsguard during the war there would have been places to fill. I would however like to point out that a man like Alfred Broome did not get a place on the Kingsguard when Marston Rivers did, and one can argue that without Alfred, then Aegon II might have been forced to flee Dragonstone on Sunfyre rather than captured the castle and then capture the pretender.

The part about Lord Corlys suing for peace with the Lannisters, Baratheons and Hightowers makes a strong case that he was in charge of the city but that don't mean that he was the one to kill Aegon II, and that there were scheming to free him says little in my mind that he was responsible for killing Aegon II. The point that Baela, Rhaena and Alysanne conspired is not what I read. That they convinced Cregan to give a pass to Corlys sounds like he could have been the murderer but odds are more that he could look above partisan disputes in an hour of need rather than he was some secret avenger. The Lannisters, Baratheons and Hightowers would surely not have gained peace if Corlys had been a Black revanschist, with all Green armies depleted.

Problem is again that a compromisse might have been possible but the idea of a marriage between Prince Aegon and Princess Jaehaera is less of a compromisse and more of a Green surrender in that all the spoils goes to the Blacks and they also get to tidy up their victory with marrying the toppled king's daughter to their candidate. After all the daugther's relatives like uncles, father, siblings etc. have been killed to ensure they don't cause trouble. What kind of compromisse that could have been done, but I would suggest something like this; general amnesty for all parties of the war, Prince Aegon is made Prince of Dragonstone and accepted as heir unless Aegon II can father a son within a new marriage in two or three years time. Most likely this would have opened up the war later, but that's the danger of a compromisse with armed opponents.

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We actually know that some of Corlys' men scaled the walls of the Red Keep during the uprisings in an attempt to free him. We don't know if they remained behind, left later, or happened to join King Trystane. I still find the idea very odd that both Alicent and Corlys (and other captives of Rhaenyra's like Tyland Lannister) would have remained imprisoned after a new king had been installed on the Iron Throne.

In that sense, Corlys Velaryon could already have played an interesting role during that time which means he did not actually have to thank Aegon II for his release. And it really seems as if Trystane's gang actually (sort of) welcomed Borros Baratheon in the city considering that Ser Perkin the Flea (the maker of King Trystane) actually survived him, joined Aegon II, and was later sent to the Wall by Cregan Stark for his (alleged?) role in Aegon II's murder. It could be that Borros had more trouble with the Palehair regime or the Shepherd's followers, or whoever else was still looting parts of the city.

The point with Aegon II's Kingsguard is that we simply don't know whether Alfred Broome was also given a white cloak. Yandel could just have omitted that. After all, we have no idea who was on Aegon II's Kingsguard at this time - perhaps Willis Fell was still alive, Marston Waters had his cloak by the time of Rhaenyra's death, and Gyles Belgrave who chose death over the Wall. Broome could easily have been a member of Aegon's Kingsguard.

Your idea that Waters' saving of Baela Targaryen bought him a place in the KG is based on nothing at all, though. That doesn't even make any sense. While Aegon II did spare Aegon the Younger there is little reason to believe he had had any issue with murdering Baela considering that she crippled him again and had killed his beloved dragon. Not to mention the fact that you usually get your place in the KG for being loyal to the king instead of doing something else. The best explanation is therefore that Aegon II was very thankful to Marston Waters who stood loyally at his side in his darkest hour.

Technically it might be more correct to say that Aegon II abandoned his throne, kingdom, and family rather than the other way around. He did not take Helaena, Alicent, or Otto with him when he left, after all. But there is also no hint suggesting that anyone tried to find Aegon II after his disappearance, nor do many people seem to have cared about him. Aemond did not, Prince Daeron did not, and the survivors of the Tumbleton army didn't either. When Unwin Peake had no claimant left the army went back home. And the idea that anyone there liked Aegon II or was loyal to him, personally, cannot be deduced from the fact that they murdered the Ulf and Hugh. Not wanting to serve under a bastard and drunkard isn't the same as loyalty to somebody else.

Rhaenyra was murdered by her own brother, just as Stannis murdered Renly. Aegon II wasn't king when he killed his half-sister. He was just a guy who had captured his sister's castle. If you abandon your throne you usually lose it. By the time of Rhaenyra's death Trystane Truefyre was the King on the Iron Throne regardless what Aegon II may have later decreed.

The point with Aegon II's murder seems to be that there are a broad majority at his court who wanted to get rid of him. We don't know if all the people who were tried and found guilty by Cregan Stark were involved, but they certainly had made no attempt to avenge Aegon II, nor were they able to prevent his murder. In fact, it may very well be that Alicent Hightower was the last Green loyalist at court by the time Aegon II was killed. His court and advisers had decided that there would never be a peace with this guy in charge so he had to go.

Your strange ideas about the Black and Green factions actually living on in the last days of Aegon II and during the Regency also makes little sense. People seem to have wanted peace at this time, against the will of Aegon II and Alicent. That's why Corlys could successfully demand that Aegon the Younger would not be killed and instead betrothed to Jaehaera upon which both of them were proclaimed Aegon II's heirs. That's all part of Corlys' plan to knit the Realm back together. And this was presumably done before Borros Baratheon had lost on the Kingsroad. That means even while Aegon II was in power he didn't have all that much actual power at his own court.

During the Regency the major Green supporters were not granted places among the regents (Lannisters, Hightowers, or Baratheons) and when Peake rose to power he actually had Queen Jaehaera murdered.

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15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:


I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the attempted rescue attempt by Corlys' men during the riots, but if they did we can for certain say that House Velaryon had turned against Princess Rhaenyra. But in regards to captives I don't find it odd at all. A captive Corlys, Alicent and Tyland would have been very valuable as hostages and to, if possible, get ransoms for and given that they were prominent supporters of people who the new "king" of King's Landing could not count on as friends it makes absolute sense that they would remain under guard. Furthermore I would say that the text point of Corlys being "freed and pardoned" to sit in Aegon II's small council is a rather large indicator that it was indeed King Aegon's men who brought Corlys up from the dungeons, and as such would have Aegon to thank for his liberty and potentially even his own life.

In regards to the various pretenders in the city I support the notion that Ser Perkin likely throw in his lot with Aegon II to save his own treasonous hide and was for some reason given a pardon. The reason for the pardon, I suspect, was that Aegon II didn't want to repeat Rhaenyra's experience with a riot and so avoided to kill the old rioteers when possible, and given how high Ser Perkin and his Truefyre squire seems to have risen for a moon, odds are that they had many, potentially violent, friends in the city. This would also explain why Palehair was given such a generous treatment as well. In regards to Truefyre I think that the great reason as to why he was killed and Palehair was not was that Truefyre had sat on the Iron Throne and held court in the Red Keep, while Palehair did so in a brothel, as far as I can tell, and thus there was a great degree of difference in the audacity of both these pretenders, and I figure they were not as dangerous as the Shepherd or held the same hate towards the dragons as he did.

As a side note I'd like to say that I kind of like Palehair and its a bit sad that most likely his reforms were just ignored. All of them would probably not have been possible to implement but some might and perhaps one could nudge the Westerosi nobility into a more passionate direction, one step at a time.

A white cloak for Alfred Broome may have been omitted, but since we don't know either way I dare say until we get more information, that he didn't get a white cloak and that revenge was his reward and motivator. Thus it must have been some qualifier that seperated Marston from Alfred and I think it was chivalry which did that. Alfred committed treason for Aegon II and may always have been suspected of "once a traitor always a traitor" while Marston would have been free from that taint and given his rescuce of young Baela it makes perfect sense that Aegon II would see him as being of Kingsguard material to a much greater degree than Alfred Broome. But I also agree that the point of loyalty was most likely also a big motivator for the king to give a white cloak to Marston.

I refute the notion that Aegon abandoned anyone as well. As I recall he was greviously wouned and bedridden at the time of Rhaenyra's capture of the city and since he was spirited away I'm not sure that he held any agency at all untill it was by far to late to do something about anything. I agree that there's a lack of mentions of active searches for Aegon II, but in the absence of anyone of his relatives claiming the crown and the outrage over both Hugh's and Ulf's wishes for crowns and lands, then I dare say that they were loyal and neither declared themselves king. The plot to kill Hugh and Ulf were formulated at a point where Prince Daeron was alive and it was carried out after Prince Daeron's death.

The point with the Green Reachmen army is however grossly misunderstood. Lord Peake didn't turn back because he didn't have any claimants but because his army was breaking appart and most likely, as a noble man tutored in the arts of war, he was aware that if he brought a disintegrating army further north without dragon support all he would accomplish would have been a death for a few hundreds or thousands of his men at first contact with an enemy army. Lack of loyalty may have been a possible reason, but logistical realities are far more likely reasons.

If by your logic whoever holds the Red Keep is the king of Westeros than Rhaenyra was definietly a rebel against her king given that at the start of the Dance Aegon II held the Red Keep and the Iron Throne while Rhaenyra did not. And thus she her rising against Aegon II was of the same caliber as Daemon Blackfyre rising against Daeron II Targaryen, regardless of what the Blacks may later have decreed after they took the throne from Aegon.

Secondly I don't agree that Rhaenyra was murdered, she was most assurely executed given that she was killed by the king for being a rebel.

For the first part there's a world of difference between holding no power at your own court, and being absolute and even taking other's advice.

Secondly I will agree that mosty likely the court could face that the war was lost while Aegon wanted to see if things couldn't be turned around another time. The main issue is that for Aegon II to have been avenged, people must have known who killed Aegon and someone killed by poison and suddenly found dead, isn't all that likelty to produce instant proof of who did the deed and I doubt there was time for a lengthy investigation into the matter.

And I been thinking a bit of Cregan and Corlys and if its true that Corlys killed Aegon and Cregan knew of it, then his actions are most certainly those of a total hyprocrit. First he says he'll punish people for murdering their lawful king, lets the one he knows is guilty go, and then punished everyone else severely. Hypocrisy at its finest, or worst.

In regards to Lord Peake I agree he was an asshole and at least later a traitor. But then again all big causes attracts such men; the Greens had Lord Peake and Lord Baratheon while the Blacks had Lord Greyjoy and Lord Stark. And I agree that no major Greens supporters were given a place at the regents, although I would like to point out that Tyland remained Hand under Aegon III while there were three Greens on the council of regens from its start; Westerling, Caron and Mooton. Thus I feel that Corlys seems to have been honest in his desire to heal the wounds of the realm.

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You should reread TPatQ. The details about the Velaryon men trying to break out Corlys are given in there.

Well, there is no reason that Ser Perkin the Flea actually wanted to provoke or antagonize the Greens by seating Trystane I Truefyre on the Iron Throne. It looks an ill-advised scheme to gain power but you have to keep in mind that by this time nobody outside of Dragonstone knew that Aegon II was still alive (Larys Strong might have known that he sent him there but he most likely didn't know whether he was still alive) and aside from the recently deposed Queen Rhaenyra and her son and heir Aegon the Younger all the other legitimate male descendants of Viserys I and Aegon II were presumed dead (Jaehaerys, Maelor, Aemond, and Daeron). 

In such a climate a royal bastard can actually easily be proclaimed king. It is either that or go back in the royal family tree to find some distant cousin. That doesn't work in the midst of a civil war, and considering that you have just deposed Rhaenyra you would not be looking for heirs among her immediate kin and allies.

In that sense I see no reason why the hell Perkin and Trystane would want to keep Tyland Lannister, Alicent Hightower, and Corlys Velaryon imprisoned if they could win the favor of those powerful and influential people by setting them free. Perhaps they did not allow them to leave court and effectively made them hostages for the good behavior of Driftmark, Casterly Rock, and Oldtown - but one would assume that Aegon II wouldn't have spared the life of Perkin if the guy had actually continued to mistreat his mother. Therefore I find it very hard to believe that Alicent remained imprisoned.

Yandel tells us that Corlys had been freed and pardoned but it does not specify by whom and how often he had been pardoned. We know that Ran/Linda felt they had to cut too much stuff there so it is easily possible that Corlys was at first freed and pardoned by Trystane I and then again by Aegon II.

You have also to wonder whether in a Red Keep from which the queen and her young son fled in the midst of an uprising would remain enough gaolers and guardsmen to guard and feed the imprisoned. The impression we get during Stannis' attack on KL is that in such scenarios people usually abandon their posts and think about themselves first, and caring for the people in the cells wouldn't have been anyone's priority. And if nobody gives you anything to drink in 2-3 days you are pretty much dead.

Well, I'm actually more inclined to think that Gaemon Palehair actually was one of Aegon II's illegitimate children. In his case the story about the Lysene sailor could just have been a cover story to get rid of him as a pretender. The fact that he was taken in as a ward of the Crown makes more sense this way, and Aegon II may have intended to use him as a spare heir in case Jaehaera ever died or before he had been forced to make his deal with Corlys Velaryon (or potentially as a plan for the time after Corlys - Aegon the Younger was still pretty young and could be easily be poisoned later on).

From what we know is that Borros Baratheon restored order to the city so my guess is that the Stormlanders actually dealt with all the rioters and looters and rabble supporting this or that pretender accordingly. I don't think Aegon II had to appease any of the former followers of those two pretenders after he returned to the city. But I could be wrong.

Whether Trystane Truefyre actually was the son of Viserys I is actually an interesting question. Considering that he seems to have been of roughly the same age as Prince Daeron that is difficult to say. Rhaenyra indicates that her father loved Alicent 'once', so their relationship in the later years might not have been the same as it was in the beginning, and there are rumors claiming that Viserys already had an affair with Alicent during Aemma's final pregnancy. Therefore Trystane could possibly have been conceived while Viserys was having fun elsewhere during the final months of Alicent's last pregnancy.

As to Marston Waters: I just find the idea very weird that anyone would see kindness to a clear and determined enemy of his king as reason to make him a KG. Aegon II was in the middle of a total war with his family, he could not really afford that people would have such conflicted loyalties. And there is so much more time for Aegon II and Marston Waters to bond prior to the attack on Dragonstone. We know that Aegon II was a junkie when he left KL. On Dragonstone he overcame his addiction and presumably it would have been Marston Waters who did give in to Aegon's demands to get him milk of the poppy.

Well, the irritating thing about Aegon II's escape is that nobody seemed to have thought about taking Alicent, Otto, and Helaena with them. While it seems confirmed that Larys Strong made the decisions where to send Aegon, Maelor, and Jaehaera and assigned the remaining Kingsguard to the royal children I'm not sure Aegon II had no say in the matter of his own escape. There was enough time to try to rouse the king from his slumber and while he was clearly in no shape to defend the city he may very easily have made it clear that he did not want to fall in Rhaenyra's hands.

As you say, Ulf was killed after Prince Daeron's death, so that had nothing to do with removing a rival pretender challenging the claim of Prince Daeron. It was just done because the Caltrops hated those up-jumped dragonriders. Also keep in mind that Unwin Peake tried to find a new rider for Silverwing after everything was over. He failed. Presumably he thought he could get a fraction of the army to KL if he had had another dragonrider. And if that had been some highborn guy Peake easily might have decided to put him on the Iron Throne.

Technically pretenders are differentiated from real monarchs not by them wearing crowns and stuff but whether they are actually in charge of the kingdom. Both Aegon II and Rhaenyra had coronations and both sat the Iron Throne in KL at multiple points. The King on the Iron Throne is the King on the Iron Throne regardless who he is or how long he remains there. While he sits up there he is seen by the Realm as the monarch, regardless how much power he/she actually has. You can retroactively decree that such and such a monarch wasn't a monarch at all but just an evil pretender, and historians can reach similar conclusions but during the time in which such a person actually is in charge he/she is actually the king.

And the reign of deposed and restored kings usually actually is counted by not counting the years in which they were deposed. For instance, the years in which Edward IV ruled England prior to Henry VI's short restoration are not counted among the latter's reign. Vice versa, the time of Edward IV's deposition is also not counted among the years of the man's reign - because neither did rule during those years.

In that sense Aegon II actually only ruled from 129-130 AC (unknown month) and then again from 130 (last month - the month in which he returned to KL)-131 AC (third month, I think, if the Dance really only took nearly exactly two years). That is the way a real world historian would recount the facts. Historians usually differentiate between the pretense of power and having actual power.

Slandering Rhaenyra's name as her never having been a queen is factually wrong. She ruled KL and the Realm for about half a year as Queen Regnant. Aegon II may not have liked that and may have forbidden that people refer to her as queen later on but that doesn't change what has actually happened. That people later also concluded Aegon II was 'the rightful king' is also different from that - that's propaganda and post hoc rationalization. It doesn't change that Rhaenyra actually sat on the Iron Throne and ruled as Queen Regnant just as Aegon VI or Daenerys I won't have any chance to change the historical fact that Viserys III never actually sat on the Iron Throne but Robert Baratheon did - even if they decree all day long that Viserys III was 'the rightful king'.

There are societies in which the state/monarchy tries to change history by changing memory and trying to erase the historical knowledge about certain people from history. But that doesn't change historical facts (the Egyptians and Romans were very keen on doing that) and, in fact, in case of Akhenaten the attempts to destroy his memory actually helped preserve it (because burying stuff actually helped preserve it better for the archaeologists).

The way I interpret Yandel's casual talk about Aegon II's murder - the king was given a cup of wine on the way - suggests to me that there was a widespread conspiracy among Aegon II's courtiers - whoever those might have been. Even Larys Strong and Gyles Belgrave might have been informed - but did not lift a finger to prevent it. Perhaps they ended up choosing death over the Wall because they felt they should have stood by their king and prevent his murder rather than giving in to the inevitable. Cregan Stark easily could have shamed them into doing that - after all, his determination to punish the murderers of Aegon II established a whole new pre-Dance standard in the capital. Crimes were actually punished, and poisoning was not a legitimate way of doing politics.

But considering Corlys' reputation and influence I really don't see Aegon II being murdered at all if he didn't either approve or orchestrate the whole thing. It is Corlys who later creates the peace, and in doing that he would have needed a broad power base at KL. He could not murder the king and then spend time fighting a civil war in the castle to put the people down who did not want to murder the kings while the Riverlords were waiting outside. The plan of the opportunists at court would have been to agree with Corlys in an attempt to save themselves and their positions at court by replacing Aegon II with Aegon III. Aegon II was an obstacle both to peace and the self-preservation of those people.

I mean, we have to keep in mind that the people apparently used a poison that was very obvious. So the entire court knew Aegon II had been murdered but apparently nobody cared. That means most/all of them were either privy to the whole thing or didn't care.

It is of course possible that Corlys Velaryon wasn't the leader of the murder conspiracy but I find that very hard to believe. And right now we don't have anyone else to pin this whole thing on. The fact that Baela, Rhaena, Alysanne Blackwood, and even young Aegon III did later everything in their power to save Corlys' life makes it not very likely that he hadn't been deeply involved in the murder. And it is quite clear that Cregan Stark tried people who were privy to the plan and approved of it. The guy who actually murdered Aegon II would have been the guy who handed him the wine - but that guy most likely was some innocent servant who most likely didn't even know that the wine was poisoned.

I assume that Corlys Velaryon later set up the Regency. He was the guy in charge until he died, it seems. But the Regency government was only possible because Cregan Stark stepped down as Hand. Had he stayed in office and in charge then he most likely would have been able to rule the Realm as Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm without sharing power with anyone. The whole seven regents thing was most likely imagined as a way to knit the Realm back together. During the minority of Jaehaerys I (and later Joffrey I and Tommen I) there was only a single regent appointed.

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