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Lockjaw of House Boltagon

Aegon's intro

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I think most of the fandom (or at least half) agrees that Aegon was introduced too late in the game. And don't mention the so-called foreshadowing and hints (which are fairly weak, in my opinion) because I'm talking about the actual character showing up. Heck, even Jon Connington and the rest of his crew appear five books in.

Now, I know the in-story reasons for that: Aegon had to be hidden, he's the culmination of Varys' plan, etc, etc. But from a narrative perspective, I'm of the opinion that GRRM made a mistake introducing what seems to be a pivotal character so late in the game to the point that many people, me included, struggle to give a sh*t for the kid or his supporting characters. 

So, my question is, do you think GRRM could've introduced Aegon (and/or Jon Connington) better and earlier in the novels, without altering the story too much? Like, could they have popped up in someone else's POV before Tyrion meets them in Dance? That sort of thing. 

For example, I saw an interesting idea on this somewhere. Say that instead of growing up hidden in some pole boat in Essos, Aegon actually grows up in Westeros, say at the Three Sisters, under the care of House Sunderland (Blackfyre loyalists, by the way). I don't think it's that farfetched. See, while Robert has his gaze fixed on Essos, keeping tabs on Dany and Viserys, Aegon is hiding under his nose, in the last place he would suspect. The Three Sisters really are a great hiding place as it is, being a den of smugglers and thieves, and no one really gives a fuck about those forlorn rocks. So, Aegon grows up under the care of Lord Triston Sunderland (who was promised, I don't know, the lordship of the Vale for his service), and in Storm he meets maybe Bran (since his Storm storyline is kind of sparse anyway) as he takes a detour to the Sisters. Or maybe he meets Osha and Rickon on their way to Skagos, I don't know. It's just an idea. 

Another idea is to dispose of the Red Ronnet character altogether and have the Lord of Griffin's Roost be Jon Connington. Say he was pardoned by Robert but he never forgave him for murdering Rhaegar, so he hid Aegon in his castle, disguised as a servant or as a bastard son of his or whatever. There's a certain irony in Aegon being hidden in Robert's backyard, pretty much. Maybe we meet Aegon (but of course we, the readers, wouldn't know his real identity just yet) at the Tourney at Bitterbridge, squiring for Jon Connington or some such, in Cat's POV. 

Anyway, I'm just spitballing here. How about you? Can you come up with a way to bring Aegon and/or Jon Connington earlier to the story? 

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To me, Aegon exists to establish background and purpose for Varys/Illryio.  Introducing him earlier subtracts from the mysteries and subtlety.  Does it give away his possible fAegon status?  Probably.  Does it matter?  I don't think so.  I like Aegon to provide a twist in the story and add more to the dynamic duo of varys Illyrio.  How the loose ends will tie together is more concerning to me than the late reveal.

 

Edited for clarification 

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Daenerys is our first surviving Targaryen. Aegon is our second (black or red, a dragon is still a dragon). Jon will be the third. 

Quote

Three-headed Trios has the tower with the three turrets. The first head devours the dying, and the reborn emerge from the third. I don't know what the middle head's supposed to do.

The Ugly Little Girl, Dance 64

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It's not late in the series; it's barely the second act, the first three books being the first. People forget that the fifth book runs concurrently with the fourth and for editorial reasons, GRRM had to split them. If anything, AFfC and ADwD make 1.5 books. There's still so many plots unresolved, that I'm positive the series will extend beyond the 7 books estimated as of today (so the introduction of Aegon will be posited in the first half of the series then).

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5 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Daenerys is our first surviving Targaryen. Aegon is our second (black or red, a dragon is still a dragon). Jon will be the third. 

The Ugly Little Girl, Dance 64

Nice catch.

When I first read about Aegon, I thought that it came too late in the story. Now I like it because Varys/Illyrio makes more sense to me as a Blackfyres than as Targ-loyalists. Also I like Jon Connigton as a POV, he gives us another perspective of Robert's Rebellion than we had before.

But I think there could and should have been more forshadowing about Aegon in the first three books.

Part of the reason why this isn't the case is probably because GRRM hadn't the whole Blackfyre backstory when he wrote the first three books.

Lyin' Ned btw I had to laugh when I saw your username...

Is there a Westerosi equivalent of Trump or Cruz :blink: ? There is plenty of misogyny at least...

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Blackfyre Bastard said:

It's not late in the series; it's barely the second act, the first three books being the first. People forget that the fifth book runs concurrently with the fourth and for editorial reasons, GRRM had to split them. If anything, AFfC and ADwD make 1.5 books. There's still so many plots unresolved, that I'm positive the series will extend beyond the 7 books estimated as of today (so the introduction of Aegon will be posited in the first half of the series then).

I agree. If The George hadna split up Feast and Dance, the noble lad would have been introduced about the same time we met Arianne, Quentyn, Aeron, and Victarion. 

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If you really wanted to do this, one way to do it would be for Illyrio to give Daenerys and Viserys each a Weserosi bodyguard at Daenerys's wedding to accompany them when they leave with the Dothraki. Daenerys gets Jorah Mormont (who was in love with Lynessa Hightower), and Viserys gets Griff (who was in love with Rhaegar). Griff comes off as a flamboyant, drunk, and not very responsible, and Jorah is doughy, dull and not very much fun. One of them is pretending.

Jorah hints to the audience that he knows who Griff is, but he has sworn not to tell (the person he swore to was Varys).

Griff lets on that he has a son, and drops mysterious foreshadowing about how his son has had to live in an unfortunate place, but will get to go home soon.

We establish through Daenerys that she likes how he dyes his hair, and that if he were a little younger she might be attracted to him herself.

Griff disappears for weeks or months at a time, and Viserys gets increasingly pissed off about it. Nobody takes him seriously and thinks his own guard doesn't respect him - that he's going off to get drunk or that he can't stomach Dothraki food and is going out in the countryside to find his own meals. What he's really doing is rendezvousing with Varys's spies, delivering messages, and checking up on Young Griff.

(One cool thing you could do would be have Varys reveal to the small council that he has a spy planted with Daenerys - Jorah Mormont. He never mentions Griff. This is left as a clue to the reader to figure out that Griff is not who he seems.)

Viserys also becomes convinced Griff is coming on to him, and he takes this as an affront, but he's too embarrassed to talk about it directly - so he accuses Griff of coming on to Jorah Mormont.

Viserys then commands Griff to duel Jorah Mormont - they're both working for Varys, they know who each other are, and there's no real reason they have to obey Viserys, but Jorah doesn't like Connington for being on the other side in the war, so Jorah decides to take this as an opportunity to kill Jon Connington.

Griff is holding back early in the duel, underestimating Mormont, but when Mormont turns it on and starts overwhelming him, Griff also turns it on and managed to drive him back and then trip or distract him. He runs away, leaps on Viserys's horse, and rides off, telling everyone that he will make sure to send his son their regards and give him the fine stallion for his nameday.

Viserys screams at the Dothraki to follow him, but they all laugh at him. Viserys now has no horse, which is hugely humiliating to him in front of the Dothraki, but he doesn't really understand it.

Griff then shows up later in the story when Tyrion meets him, with his "son" Aegon / Young Griff riding the horse. We've met Griff before, we know he works for Varys, and we have expectations about what he's like that can be changed by surprise.

Or we could have a "THE GRIFFIN" POV chapter come completely out of nowhere four books later and if that was done right it would be awesome.

Another bonus in this idea is that when eventually diplomacy falls apart and Daenerys and Aegon actually go to war, Jorah can seek out Jon Connington to finish their duel, hoping if he kills him he can win back Daenerys's favor. It feeds back into the theme that today's wars are echoes or repetitions of previous wars, which in the present are huge wastes of life and could be avoided if people weren't so proud, tribal, and short-sighted about their feuds.

In the end they both end up with Greyscale and at the Wall in the Night's Watch, forced to cooperate.

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6 hours ago, Bironic said:

Lyin' Ned btw I had to laugh when I saw your username...

Is there a Westerosi equivalent of Trump or Cruz :blink: ? There is plenty of misogyny at least...

Trump = Euron

Cruz = Stannis

6 hours ago, GyantSpyder said:

If you really wanted to do this, one way to do it would be for Illyrio to give Daenerys and Viserys each a Weserosi bodyguard at Daenerys's wedding to accompany them when they leave with the Dothraki. Daenerys gets Jorah Mormont (who was in love with Lynessa Hightower), and Viserys gets Griff (who was in love with Rhaegar). Griff comes off as a flamboyant, drunk, and not very responsible, and Jorah is doughy, dull and not very much fun. One of them is pretending.

Jorah hints to the audience that he knows who Griff is, but he has sworn not to tell (the person he swore to was Varys).

Griff lets on that he has a son, and drops mysterious foreshadowing about how his son has had to live in an unfortunate place, but will get to go home soon.

We establish through Daenerys that she likes how he dyes his hair, and that if he were a little younger she might be attracted to him herself.

Griff disappears for weeks or months at a time, and Viserys gets increasingly pissed off about it. Nobody takes him seriously and thinks his own guard doesn't respect him - that he's going off to get drunk or that he can't stomach Dothraki food and is going out in the countryside to find his own meals. What he's really doing is rendezvousing with Varys's spies, delivering messages, and checking up on Young Griff.

(One cool thing you could do would be have Varys reveal to the small council that he has a spy planted with Daenerys - Jorah Mormont. He never mentions Griff. This is left as a clue to the reader to figure out that Griff is not who he seems.)

Viserys also becomes convinced Griff is coming on to him, and he takes this as an affront, but he's too embarrassed to talk about it directly - so he accuses Griff of coming on to Jorah Mormont.

Viserys then commands Griff to duel Jorah Mormont - they're both working for Varys, they know who each other are, and there's no real reason they have to obey Viserys, but Jorah doesn't like Connington for being on the other side in the war, so Jorah decides to take this as an opportunity to kill Jon Connington.

Griff is holding back early in the duel, underestimating Mormont, but when Mormont turns it on and starts overwhelming him, Griff also turns it on and managed to drive him back and then trip or distract him. He runs away, leaps on Viserys's horse, and rides off, telling everyone that he will make sure to send his son their regards and give him the fine stallion for his nameday.

Viserys screams at the Dothraki to follow him, but they all laugh at him. Viserys now has no horse, which is hugely humiliating to him in front of the Dothraki, but he doesn't really understand it.

Griff then shows up later in the story when Tyrion meets him, with his "son" Aegon / Young Griff riding the horse. We've met Griff before, we know he works for Varys, and we have expectations about what he's like that can be changed by surprise.

Or we could have a "THE GRIFFIN" POV chapter come completely out of nowhere four books later and if that was done right it would be awesome.

Another bonus in this idea is that when eventually diplomacy falls apart and Daenerys and Aegon actually go to war, Jorah can seek out Jon Connington to finish their duel, hoping if he kills him he can win back Daenerys's favor. It feeds back into the theme that today's wars are echoes or repetitions of previous wars, which in the present are huge wastes of life and could be avoided if people weren't so proud, tribal, and short-sighted about their feuds.

In the end they both end up with Greyscale and at the Wall in the Night's Watch, forced to cooperate.

That's a cool idea, they could've done something like this in the show, easily. 

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I'm not convinced GRRM had fAegon in mind when he first wrote GoT. Yes he was introduced late but I don't think it was a mistake. It adds another level of depth and intrigue to the story. If they had of been introduced earlier it would have been another plot line and set of characters to keep track of which is much harder to do when you are learning all the characters. Once Robb, Tywin, and Joffery were dead, it was a good point of the story to add more story arcs. I personally think it is fine the way it has turned out.

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21 hours ago, Lyin' Ned said:

Now, I know the in-story reasons for that: Aegon had to be hidden, he's the culmination of Varys' plan, etc, etc. But from a narrative perspective, I'm of the opinion that GRRM made a mistake introducing what seems to be a pivotal character so late in the game to the point that many people, me included, struggle to give a sh*t for the kid or his supporting characters. 

So, my question is, do you think GRRM could've introduced Aegon (and/or Jon Connington) better and earlier in the novels, without altering the story too much? Like, could they have popped up in someone else's POV before Tyrion meets them in Dance? That sort of thing. 

 

7 minutes ago, Lyin' Ned said:

 

Should've added in the OP that I didn't want to discuss Aegon's timing (as there are literally countless threads on that topic) but rather come up with ideas of how he could've appeared earlier in the story.

 

:huh:I thought that is, at least partly, what this thread was about.

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Short of actually introducing him earlier, GRRM could have created a mystery by anonymously referencing him earlier in the series. Even in Dany I AGOT she perhaps could have overheard Illyrio speak about 'the boy' when he thought she was not listening, and in the Arya chapter where she hears his meeting with Varys a few more explicit mentions may have softened the introduction.

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9 hours ago, Lyin' Ned said:

Trump = Euron

Cruz = Stannis

That's a cool idea, they could've done something like this in the show, easily. 

Come on Stannis is better than that... ;)

Since there are no direct mentions of Jon Connington prior to ASOS as far as I know, I took the liberty to create two more obvious mentions of him in ACOK and AGOT.

I think he could have mentioned Jon Connington more directly when Tyrion thinks about his predecessors as Hands of the King.

Littlefinger laughed. You’re a braver man than me, Lannister. You do know the fate of our last two Hands?”
“Two? If you mean to frighten me, why not say four?”
“Four?” Littlefinger raised an eyebrow. “Did the Hands before Lord Arryn meet some dire end in the Tower? I’m afraid I was too young to pay them much mind.”
“Aerys Targaryen’s last Hand was killed during the Sack of King’s Landing, though I doubt he’d had time to settle into the Tower. He was only Hand for a fortnight. The one before him was burned to death.

here comes my idea:

And before them came the Horn of Plenty and the Lord of Griffin's Roost who were exiled, even though Connington was amongst the crown princes best friends. The former married into an Essosi family and counted himself lucky, while the latter served in the Golden Company, before he died as landless as Bittersteel and his company of exiles and pretenders.

Instead of this:

And before them came two others who died landless and penniless in exile, and counted themselves lucky.

I believe my lord father was the last Hand to depart King’s Landing with his name, properties, and parts all intact.”

 

Or when Arya overhears Illyrio and Varys:

“If one Hand can die, why not a second?” replied the man with the accent and the forked yellow beard. “You have danced the dance before, my friend.” He was no one Arya had ever seen before, she was certain of it. Grossly fat, yet he seemed to walk lightly, carrying his weight on the balls of his feet as a water dancer might. His rings glimmered in the torchlight, red-gold and
pale silver, crusted with rubies, sapphires, slitted yellow tiger eyes. Every finger wore a ring; some had two.

 

Idea: Before is not now, and a direwolf is not a Griffin. Instead of:

“Before is not now, and this Hand is not the other,”

Although the last one gives probably to much away I suppose.

 

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There was no purpose to them moving before now and no purpose to introducing them until they moved. Aegon is a stepping stone in Dany's story. His creation story, the why of his existence is minimal in relation to the size of the series and it is Varys', and portrayed through Varys.

JC is a subservant narrative arc, designed to pull Aegon and forces into the position GRRM needs them for Dany's arc which would otherwise seem inexplicable without the motivations of JC. And he's the disposable conduit for greyscale in Westeros.

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Surely Trump is Brandon the Builder. I have somewhat more sympathy with Brandon for wanting a wall to keep out the Others than Trump with Mexicans, though.

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2 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Wouldn't that be Christie?

No. Christie would be a homage to pre-BWB Thoros. 

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2 hours ago, Horse of Kent said:

Surely Trump is Brandon the Builder. I have somewhat more sympathy with Brandon for wanting a wall to keep out the Others than Trump with Mexicans, though.

Well, legend does say that Brandon built the Wall and made the giants and the COTF pay for it. 

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