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Damsel in Distress

Targaryen Madness is an Exaggeration

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On 4/4/2017 at 9:21 AM, Bowen Marsh said:

I don't think Viserys was mad.    He just had a traumatic childhood.  He lost his home, his family, and his place in the world.   He's no different from Arya in that regards.  

Agree, and frankly I think his entitled behavior is nothing short of how true Valyrian Dragonlords would have behaved.  

Don't think Maegor was all that cruel, put in context.

Don't think Aerys went mad out of nowhere.  Let's see, you have his Hand constantly making presumptuous decisions on his behalf (good or bad, Tywin was NOT the king), you have his family telling him that he'd better procreate with his sister-No, not because he's a prize, but because he needs to produce a son who will be more important than him; Then he is freaking kidnapped and abused.  Nope, that won't give a guy the PTSD.  Then his extended family falls apart and Robert, his kin, kills his son. Too bad there wasn't Westerosi psychotherapy. Oh wait, there was: wildfire.

 

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I find it difficult to frame my reply to this post. I enjoyed many of the comments made and agree to much of what has been said. To the op I agree that the reputation of the Targaryen’s has been dragged down by the exaggeration of the reported ‘mad’ traits of members of the family. I do believe that some members of the family were brought up to be nasty and have little regards for other people. However I would not say that they were necessarily ‘mad’ at least not to begin with. Personally, although the initial feelings as a reader of Aerys II Targaryen were not good, after numerous re-reads of the series and prequel D&E novels, I have come to question much of what we learn. I agree with Aetta ^ regarding Aerys - I wonder how affected he was first of all by the Summerhall tragedy, then his friend Tywin as hand and the unrest around him as time went on. Knowing how Tywin had brutally killed off the Tarbecks and Reynes, he surely would have been on guard to any and all threats to himself and his family from Tywin - he knew keeping him close as hand was better than the potential Tywin showed as a deadly rival. “If I dismiss him as Hand, he will kill me, too”. I feel he showed promise in some of his ideas as a young king for instance the idea to build an underground canal to bring water down to the deserts from the rain wood. Perhaps had some of his endeavours been encouraged by his advisors he would have been kept busy and less enclined to get bored and erratic. 

I have always wondered if Bloodraven accounted for some of the voices Aerys heard but also wonder about the dragon heads in the throne room and their ability to give council to those susceptible to hearing them (in the same vein as the heads at the Whispers and the Stark crypts). Could the dragon skulls act like a weir wood in relaying information and if so  could it have been so overwhelming to those who heard the whispers? Perhaps. I also agree re: the targ madness being exacerbated post dragons dying out. I also wonder how much part the maesters had in creating the targ madness and the decline of dragons. Knowing Maester Pycelle was always Tywins ‘creature’ could it not be possible that they were offering ‘treatments’ to the royal family that in turn caused the decline in not only the mental health of recipients and perhaps the mortality rate of the Targ babies and decline of hatching dragon eggs and dragon growth? So many questions... 

Anyway, please no abuse, I rarely ever comment on this site as I enjoy the discussions and thoughts that people bring to the board but get upset at abuse often shown when people have different ideas and views... cheers. Great thread

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On Tue Feb 20 2018 at 2:18 AM, Aetta said:

Agree, and frankly I think his entitled behavior is nothing short of how true Valyrian Dragonlords would have behaved.  

Don't think Maegor was all that cruel, put in context.

Don't think Aerys went mad out of nowhere.  Let's see, you have his Hand constantly making presumptuous decisions on his behalf (good or bad, Tywin was NOT the king), you have his family telling him that he'd better procreate with his sister-No, not because he's a prize, but because he needs to produce a son who will be more important than him; Then he is freaking kidnapped and abused.  Nope, that won't give a guy the PTSD.  Then his extended family falls apart and Robert, his kin, kills his son. Too bad there wasn't Westerosi psychotherapy. Oh wait, there was: wildfire.

 

Having reason to go mad like hard childhood doesn't makes you any less mad or a psychopath. 

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On 2/21/2018 at 3:13 AM, Duke-of-Kaisa said:

I find it difficult to frame my reply to this post. I enjoyed many of the comments made and agree to much of what has been said. To the op I agree that the reputation of the Targaryen’s has been dragged down by the exaggeration of the reported ‘mad’ traits of members of the family. I do believe that some members of the family were brought up to be nasty and have little regards for other people. However I would not say that they were necessarily ‘mad’ at least not to begin with. Personally, although the initial feelings as a reader of Aerys II Targaryen were not good, after numerous re-reads of the series and prequel D&E novels, I have come to question much of what we learn. I agree with Aetta ^ regarding Aerys - I wonder how affected he was first of all by the Summerhall tragedy, then his friend Tywin as hand and the unrest around him as time went on. Knowing how Tywin had brutally killed off the Tarbecks and Reynes, he surely would have been on guard to any and all threats to himself and his family from Tywin - he knew keeping him close as hand was better than the potential Tywin showed as a deadly rival. “If I dismiss him as Hand, he will kill me, too”. I feel he showed promise in some of his ideas as a young king for instance the idea to build an underground canal to bring water down to the deserts from the rain wood. Perhaps had some of his endeavours been encouraged by his advisors he would have been kept busy and less enclined to get bored and erratic. 

I have always wondered if Bloodraven accounted for some of the voices Aerys heard but also wonder about the dragon heads in the throne room and their ability to give council to those susceptible to hearing them (in the same vein as the heads at the Whispers and the Stark crypts). Could the dragon skulls act like a weir wood in relaying information and if so  could it have been so overwhelming to those who heard the whispers? Perhaps. I also agree re: the targ madness being exacerbated post dragons dying out. I also wonder how much part the maesters had in creating the targ madness and the decline of dragons. Knowing Maester Pycelle was always Tywins ‘creature’ could it not be possible that they were offering ‘treatments’ to the royal family that in turn caused the decline in not only the mental health of recipients and perhaps the mortality rate of the Targ babies and decline of hatching dragon eggs and dragon growth? So many questions... 

Anyway, please no abuse, I rarely ever comment on this site as I enjoy the discussions and thoughts that people bring to the board but get upset at abuse often shown when people have different ideas and views... cheers. Great thread

Are you asking if the dragon skulls in the Red Keep could possibly influence Aerys in some way similar to the weir trees and glass candles?  Possible, but we have nothing to go on that bones have the power to affect people.  I think Aerys and Aerion were just unlucky.  They were males, which as the O/P suggested, made them vulnerable to mental illness.  Those are the only two that we can say for sure went mad.  If the dragon skulls were sending out messages/visions/dreams, more would have been affected.  I am not ruling out that the dragons had an effect on someone's mental stability.  None of the dragon riders went mad.  We have no recorded examples of the ancient Valyrian dragonlords going mad.  It may be a lack of dragons that partly drove Aerion and Aerys mad. 

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