Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Angel Eyes

The benefits of Targaryen inbreeding

Recommended Posts

So what extra abilities did the Targaryens get by inbreeding? I know inbreeding is for "keeping the bloodlines pure", to quote Robert Baratheon, at least for their looks, but what other traits are passed via this practice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may have enabled them to ensure that all (or most) of their descendant kept the ability to bond with and mount dragons throughout the centuries and millennia.

It also might have been what enabled Dany, in the end, to bring the dragons back. If her blood had been 'diluted' more she may have not only not inherited the Valyrian looks but also lacked the ability to actually work the spell that hatched the dragon eggs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose it also kept the Game of Thrones small for almost three centuries. Seriously, if the nobles of Westeros have not changed much in the nearly three centuries of the Targaryen dynasty as they are during the Baratheon dynasty, imagine the fighting that would've happened if the Targaryens married outside their family (especially when they had dragons).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

I suppose it also kept the Game of Thrones small for almost three centuries. Seriously, if the nobles of Westeros have not changed much in the nearly three centuries of the Targaryen dynasty as they are during the Baratheon dynasty, imagine the fighting that would've happened if the Targaryens married outside their family (especially when they had dragons).

That is true. The Hightower marriage(s) were a disaster, and one assumes the Arryns only never made a move to control the throne because Princess Daella gave Lord Rodrik Arryn only one child, a daughter they quickly reabsorbed back into the main line.

We see how powerful cadet branches of the royal line could become in the Velaryons. The Baratheons wouldn't have been all that far behind them, especially before the Dance.

In general, the incest would have helped them keep their special aura as well as prevent outsiders from trying to control the Crown.

But the situation in AGoT is really very bad. Robert's usurpation was a huge blow to the legitimacy and power of the monarchy, greatly contributing to the ambitions of his queen and younger brothers, and his utterly corrupt court as well as the unresolved issues from the last two wars ensured that things would eventually explode.

The game of thrones would have been seldom as lethal or large scale as it is the main series. The only other major conflict involving nearly all the (great) houses of the Realm were the Conquest and the Dance. Backstabbing and plotting would have never been completely gone but there would have been significantly less to none of that sort during the reigns of the Conqueror, the Old King, Aegon III (after the Regency), Maekar I, or Aegon V in comparison to the reigns of Aegon IV, Aerys II, or Robert I.

I think we are very much mistaken when we assume that people as poisonous as Littlefinger, Varys, Renly, Stannis, Tywin, Cersei, Pycelle, etc. had free reign under kings who did care about actually participating in their government. Robert was a very bad king. The regime under a good or even average king would have been much better. And men like Jaehaerys I/Barth, Daeron II, or Aegon V would only have given important offices only to capable men they could trust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can blame Aerys II and Rhaegar for the rebellion that got Robert on the throne. As far as the regime under a good or average king, it's been done with at the very least Aegon III (he's the one that comes to mind for me), as nothing particularly bad happened during his reign aside from the deaths of the dragons, despite the fact that he suffered from depression for almost all of his reign. Robert could have done some good if he had actually applied himself instead of throwing up his hands and giving up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So to divert into Targaryen progeny, how do the stillborn human-dragon hybrids come about? They seem to happen at random, with inbreeding (Aerys and Rhaella) and even with outbreeding (Maegor and the non-Targaryen Black Brides). 

So what causes these? Was Maegor's seed weak? Or do these things just happen?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's only about dragons. Dragons are second lifed by humans through magic means that require sacrifice (fire for blood). These second lifed dragons are then possibly hospitable towards their human kin (those with the same blood lines as the sacrifice/second lifer) to an extent that will allow them to be ridden. Inbreeding keeps future human generations as similar in blood composition to the sacrifice/second lifer as possible, which is what the bond that produces riders relies upon.

Hence why Valyrians considered themselves kin to dragons and equal with gods, they basically become gods, they cheat death and ascend, taking on a second life as a supreme powerful being.

Your stillborn dragon like births are some cross contamination occurring in the process. Also Dany's temporary fire proofing. Rhaego becomes the sacrifice while still in her womb, so she gets some cross contamination of the blood too.

Why Valyrians are able to second life dragons and no-one else is a mystery. People will have been trying (people like Euron for instance), that you can second life things is known, that's what all the sphinxes (cross contamination with different blood lines) are and word even got as far as the north, what Varamyr did was to an extent a known quantity from his own POV. But no-one managed to do it with dragons besides Valyrians, and only a handful of houses too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

So to divert into Targaryen progeny, how do the stillborn human-dragon hybrids come about? They seem to happen at random, with inbreeding (Aerys and Rhaella) and even with outbreeding (Maegor and the non-Targaryen Black Brides). 

So what causes these? Was Maegor's seed weak? Or do these things just happen?

We have never had it confirmed that Aerys' and Rhaella's stillborns were the monsterous ones like Maegor's offspring or Rhaego.

In fact, most of their children lived for a little while before they died, which suggests that they were perfectly healthy and if you believe the Maester Theory, they were actually killed and Rhaella's miscarriages were most likely because of poison given to Rhaella.

 

Tyanna of the Tower, one of Maegor's wives, allegedly confessed to Maegor that she had poisoned his pregnant wives, which caused his children to become the way they were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Targaryens were interlopers from another culture and they had some unique factors that didn’t necessarily fit into the mainstream of the other Westerosi lords, such as their traditional incest, you know, which was part of keeping the bloodlines pure so that they could better control the dragons, brother marrying sister, and, you know, nephews and aunts, and so forth."

-George R. R. Martin: The World of Ice and Fire (27:17)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that its essentially looks, limiting number of claimants and dragon-control that was behind the incest tradition's usefulness. Now the Targaryens did marry a great deal outside of their own House and it did two major wars, Dance and the Blackfyre, were all created within the incestous Targaryen tradition so it wasn't like incest-marriages and relations were totally proof against civil war or creating rival claimants.

And further one I think that the mess that came after Robert came due to very specific circumstances that were unlike anything else in Westeros. Not to mention that previously the Targaryens had been in control of dragons, meaning that no one could challenge them in open combat, and then that the Targaryens mainly married into lesser Houses and didn't marry into Great Houses save the Martells, the weakest of all the Great Houses. The only exception to this is Aegon V's attempt to marry his children to Riverrun, Highgarden and Storm's End which failed spectacuarly but could have established rival cadet branches with ties to various Great Houses and set the stage for trouble in the future.

The main problem with the Baratheon reign was the lack of internal unity within House Baratheon and that their best shot, Renly, got killed by Stannis who then failed to fill the void. As such I don't think that Robert taking power hurt the monarchy in any great way, the lords are not more rebellious or willful under Robert than under any other king, in fact I dare say that the lords are more restrained then under many Targaryen kings. And the legitimacy of the Baratheons is neither in doubt for when Robert dies, almost the whole South divides itself between different Baratheons and no one, not even the so-loyal Darrys, goes to Essos to fetch the Targaryens back with only the Martells scheming as ineffective as always. Thus there's no reason to think that the legitimacy of the crown is changed for there are no upstart lords trying to claim the Iron Throne or establish themselves as kings as, say, during the Dance of the Dragons. All the men seeking the Iron Throne has so far done so on the basis of a Baratheon pedigree, just like right until Robert's Rebellion all pretenders to the Iron Throne had pressed a claim on a Targaryen pedigree, and even Robert throw in a weak Targaryen pedigree to make it a little smoother.

As such the main problem is that Robert simply isn't up for the demanding task of ruling an aboslute monarchy, not that the system itself has been hurt by Robert taking the throne. the royal position in Westeros means that the king needs to do all the heavy work himself in government, or let someone else do it, and it turned out that he relied too heavily on Jon Arryn who made some serious mismanagements before he died, like putting Littlefinger in place. Not to mention Robert's inability to, once again, keep his House united in purpose and the disasterous division between Robert's best friend and his in-laws created an abyss right under Robert's heir's feet. What I see is a king not up to the task, not some damage to the political system in any way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

So to divert into Targaryen progeny, how do the stillborn human-dragon hybrids come about? They seem to happen at random, with inbreeding (Aerys and Rhaella) and even with outbreeding (Maegor and the non-Targaryen Black Brides). 

So what causes these? Was Maegor's seed weak? Or do these things just happen?

We don't really know. If the strength of 'the blood of the dragon' in certain Targaryens made their progeny twisted then this did not necessarily happen when they were marrying closely related wives. Daeron II, Maekar I, and Aegon V all started branches of the family that inherited the potential for madness, too, never mind the fact that they took brides that weren't sisters or aunts. Since that is the case we can also safely say that incest isn't what causes those twisted children or greatly favors birth defects and troubles during pregnancy.

I'd say the general Targaryen procreation problems go back to the fact that they have the blood of the dragon, whatever that means. The incest might ensure that those problems never go away but it doesn't seem to make the difficulties worse.

6 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

We have never had it confirmed that Aerys' and Rhaella's stillborns were the monsterous ones like Maegor's offspring or Rhaego.

Some of those were stillborn and Rhaella also had miscarriages. It is true that we don't get descriptions but it is also not unlikely that at least some of those may have been twisted. Just as Tyrion is.

6 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

In fact, most of their children lived for a little while before they died, which suggests that they were perfectly healthy and if you believe the Maester Theory, they were actually killed and Rhaella's miscarriages were most likely because of poison given to Rhaella.

There is no reason to believe that Rhaella was poisoned or that any maester had any reason to mess with the Targaryen children. The maesters want order, and if they have issues with the Targaryen bloodline putting a Targaryen-Baratheon on the throne would change nothing. It would also greatly destabilize the Realm if the king had too few or no heirs. That's not what the Citadel wants.

6 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

Tyanna of the Tower, one of Maegor's wives, allegedly confessed to Maegor that she had poisoned his pregnant wives, which caused his children to become the way they were.

We have to wait and see whether that's the case. I don't buy that. Maegor was only able to conceive children late in life - in 44 AC -, suggesting that he may have used Tyanna's magic to overcome his infertility in the first place. But that may have had unforeseen side effects. Maegor was obsessed with the idea that he must have sons of his own since he married his first wife at the age of thirteen. He could not bear the thought that he was the problem, just as Aerys later could not. That is why both Alys and later Tyanna had to die. First Tyanna could shift the blame to Alys and others but when two of the black brides also had monstrosities there was no other scapegoat left.

7 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

It's only about dragons. Dragons are second lifed by humans through magic means that require sacrifice (fire for blood).

There is no textual evidence for this idea in the series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But the situation in AGoT is really very bad. Robert's usurpation was a huge blow to the legitimacy and power of the monarchy, greatly contributing to the ambitions of his queen and younger brothers, and his utterly corrupt court as well as the unresolved issues from the last two wars ensured that things would eventually explode.

The game of thrones would have been seldom as lethal or large scale as it is the main series. The only other major conflict involving nearly all the (great) houses of the Realm were the Conquest and the Dance. Backstabbing and plotting would have never been completely gone but there would have been significantly less to none of that sort during the reigns of the Conqueror, the Old King, Aegon III (after the Regency), Maekar I, or Aegon V in comparison to the reigns of Aegon IV, Aerys II, or Robert I.

I think we are very much mistaken when we assume that people as poisonous as Littlefinger, Varys, Renly, Stannis, Tywin, Cersei, Pycelle, etc. had free reign under kings who did care about actually participating in their government. Robert was a very bad king. The regime under a good or even average king would have been much better. And men like Jaehaerys I/Barth, Daeron II, or Aegon V would only have given important offices only to capable men they could trust.

I agree with literally all of this. If Robert had been just a decent King, it could have really changed things. Don't give Lannisters so much for example, maybe focus more high positions in your allies in the Vale, the Riverlands, the North, and the Stormlands. Hell even bringing in some Reach or Dornish blood could have curbed Lannister influence. 

9 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

You can blame Aerys II and Rhaegar for the rebellion that got Robert on the throne. As far as the regime under a good or average king, it's been done with at the very least Aegon III (he's the one that comes to mind for me), as nothing particularly bad happened during his reign aside from the deaths of the dragons, despite the fact that he suffered from depression for almost all of his reign. Robert could have done some good if he had actually applied himself instead of throwing up his hands and giving up.

Aegon III had a very good hand in Viserys, who at the very least during his reign had no aspirations at the crown and simply governed for his brother. I am not claiming Jon Arryn was a horrible Hand, just that he seems to have wielded very little control unlike Viserys, and Robert probably hurt Jon by filling the small council with snakes besides him. I am unsure of Aegon III's small council, but something tells me they followed Viserys's lead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have a theory, and it actually ties a little to how magic is only recently returning the world in the last few years covered in the books. considering how many of the deformed stillbirths have a strong resemblance to dragons, the tails, scales, wings, ect, maybe the valyrians actually did infuse dragon blood into their lines sometime in the past? i dont think we know all that much about early valyrian history, like how they gained control of dragons in the first place. could explain their mania for inbreeding, so as not lose that dragon blood by diluting it. now, i have often wondered how, if we have been seeing so many deformities in the targaryen line, even though those defects were either born dead, or died soon after birth, the valyrian freehold survived? wouldnt they have suffered from the same problems? and what about the recurring insanity that crops up in the targs? would the same thing happen in the freehold if the other dragonlord familes were practicing the same incestuous marriages? if they were suffering from the same instabilities in their bloodlines, im sure the freehold would have collapsed long before the volcanic eruptions of the doom. imagine a hundred aerys, or maegors, all at once, with dragons.

so i wondered what was different between the time of the freehold, and the recent targaryen dynasty. i came up with... "magic". the freehold had magic, we do know this, so what if they had used magic of some sort to maybe suppress those genetic instabilities? maybe shore up their bloodlines. then when magic began to fail, the spells keeping the volcanoes from erupting failed, thus the doom, and the targaryens lost maybe the mages they used to have or the spells no longer worked, or simply lost the knowledge, and while they still praticed the valyrian culture of incestuous marriages, still working to keep the dragon blood in their veins pure, but not really understanding why? it became for them more a matter of racial or family sense of superiority rather than preserving the blood line that allows the dragon bond. that daenerys had enough of the bloodline to make her bond with those hatchlings, is amazing, a real tribute to the diligence of her family to their ancestral tradition, if for the wrong reasons. tho her lack of control might insinuate that the traditions of HOW to control dragons was not passed on successfully, following the dragonbanes killing of the last dragons after the Dance. i think she is feeling her way forward there on pure luck and genetic memory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

I agree with literally all of this. If Robert had been just a decent King, it could have really changed things. Don't give Lannisters so much for example, maybe focus more high positions in your allies in the Vale, the Riverlands, the North, and the Stormlands. Hell even bringing in some Reach or Dornish blood could have curbed Lannister influence.

It is not just the Lannisters. If we imagine for a short moment that Cersei's children actually were Robert's children - as Renly believed - then they would have been still been in mortal danger from at least one of their uncles because Robert made both his brothers powerful lords in their own right rather giving them just empty honors. Stannis has no proof that Robert's children are not his and Renly simply doesn't care.

Littlefinger and Varys play their own game, and Pycelle is more loyal to Lord Tywin than his king.

Robert sucked hard as king, especially in relation to preserve the peace. He is much worse in that regard than Viserys I who only failed to understand how bad things had become in his family. Robert knows that Joffrey and Cersei would be bad for the Realm, that his brothers and most councilors are corrupt and not worth all that much but he simply didn't care.

Robert didn't have to give prominent positions to the other rebel allies. It is dangerous to give to prominent positions to the great houses because when they get a taste of power they want it all. It was a great decision to refuse to name Tywin the Hand, both when Robert became king and when Jon Arryn died. But he should have put competent men on his council and given the men he put in charge of the Realm - especially his Hands - the necessary support when they were making controversial decision. The biggest problem Ned (and most likely Jon, too) had was that he didn't know whether he actually had the support of Robert or not. That began with the whole Nymeria thing and continued with the Tourney of the Hand crap and other things.

2 hours ago, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

Aegon III had a very good hand in Viserys, who at the very least during his reign had no aspirations at the crown and simply governed for his brother. I am not claiming Jon Arryn was a horrible Hand, just that he seems to have wielded very little control unlike Viserys, and Robert probably hurt Jon by filling the small council with snakes besides him. I am unsure of Aegon III's small council, but something tells me they followed Viserys's lead.

Considering that Tywin was the youngest Hand of the Realm at the age of twenty Aegon III would have had (a) different Hand(s) for a couple of years before Viserys rose to the office (Viserys was two years younger than Aegon III so Viserys wouldn't have been Hand for at least six years after Aegon III began to rule in his own right). But I assume that Viserys joined the Small Council immediately after the end of the Regency and/or was Aegon III's closest informal adviser since the very beginning. We already know that they were very close ever since Viserys had returned from Lys.

In my opinion the best candidate for Aegon III first Hand is Alyn Velaryon. He was the man who brought Viserys back from Lys (despite the fact that this most likely pushed him back in the line of succession), and he was married to one of the king's half-sisters. Considering that he apparently made six great voyages one could assume that he later resigned and was then replaced by Viserys. We could also consider the possibility that Garmund Hightower may have served as Hand at a time. He was married to Lady Rhaena Targaryen, the last known Targaryen dragonrider, a fact that may have given him a considerable amount of authority and prestige.

4 hours ago, Shmedricko said:

"Targaryens were interlopers from another culture and they had some unique factors that didn’t necessarily fit into the mainstream of the other Westerosi lords, such as their traditional incest, you know, which was part of keeping the bloodlines pure so that they could better control the dragons, brother marrying sister, and, you know, nephews and aunts, and so forth."

-George R. R. Martin: The World of Ice and Fire (27:17)

It is always good to keep that quote in mind. People tend to forget that. That is confirmation that the incest was not done because the Targaryens and other dragonlords thought it would help with the dragons, it actually confirms that it did help with that. And that makes it crystal clear that Targaryen blood is 'special'.

3 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

Now the Targaryens did marry a great deal outside of their own House and it did two major wars, Dance and the Blackfyre, were all created within the incestous Targaryen tradition so it wasn't like incest-marriages and relations were totally proof against civil war or creating rival claimants.

It wasn't a completely effective defense against civil and succession wars but it did help greatly with that. Things only got worse when a king (Aegon I, Viserys I) had more than one wife or children from more than one woman (Aegon IV). The core family usually did not turn against each other. Rhaenyra and Aegon II weren't full siblings, and neither were Aenys and Maegor or Daeron II and Daemon, etc.

3 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

And further one I think that the mess that came after Robert came due to very specific circumstances that were unlike anything else in Westeros. Not to mention that previously the Targaryens had been in control of dragons, meaning that no one could challenge them in open combat, and then that the Targaryens mainly married into lesser Houses and didn't marry into Great Houses save the Martells, the weakest of all the Great Houses. The only exception to this is Aegon V's attempt to marry his children to Riverrun, Highgarden and Storm's End which failed spectacuarly but could have established rival cadet branches with ties to various Great Houses and set the stage for trouble in the future.

The two Hightower marriages clearly were problematic. If Maegor had married any other woman but Ceryse Hightower, the niece of the High Septon, they would have found a way to annul the marriage and give Maegor another wife without causing that big a scandal. But Ceryse's family was too powerful and too well-connected.

If Aegon V's three sons had all married the women they were supposed to marry and if they all had had sons of their own things could have become problematic in the next 1-2 generations. The Tullys and Redwynes seem to be both pretty ambitious, as are the Tyrells, and if Jaehaerys' son by Celia had married Daeron's daughter by Olenna they could have had enough of a blood claim to challenge Duncan's son children by his Baratheon wife. And giving Targaryen blood to the Tyrells through the Luthor-Shaera match could also have fueled the Tyrell ambitions to a very unhealthy level. Any children from that union would have the money and resources to push their claim very effectively.

3 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

The main problem with the Baratheon reign was the lack of internal unity within House Baratheon and that their best shot, Renly, got killed by Stannis who then failed to fill the void. As such I don't think that Robert taking power hurt the monarchy in any great way, the lords are not more rebellious or willful under Robert than under any other king, in fact I dare say that the lords are more restrained then under many Targaryen kings. And the legitimacy of the Baratheons is neither in doubt for when Robert dies, almost the whole South divides itself between different Baratheons and no one, not even the so-loyal Darrys, goes to Essos to fetch the Targaryens back with only the Martells scheming as ineffective as always. Thus there's no reason to think that the legitimacy of the crown is changed for there are no upstart lords trying to claim the Iron Throne or establish themselves as kings as, say, during the Dance of the Dragons. All the men seeking the Iron Throne has so far done so on the basis of a Baratheon pedigree, just like right until Robert's Rebellion all pretenders to the Iron Throne had pressed a claim on a Targaryen pedigree, and even Robert throw in a weak Targaryen pedigree to make it a little smoother.

The Realm explodes upon the death of Robert Baratheon. We have not only a war of succession, we also have secessionist movements, longterm revenge plots, and the threat/prospect of a Targaryen restoration. A better king could have prevented most or even all of that, or at least greatly reduced the risk that something like that would have happened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Graydon Hicks said:

i have a theory, and it actually ties a little to how magic is only recently returning the world in the last few years covered in the books. considering how many of the deformed stillbirths have a strong resemblance to dragons, the tails, scales, wings, ect, maybe the valyrians actually did infuse dragon blood into their lines sometime in the past?

There is a hint that this might indeed be the case. Not just because the Targaryens are supposed to have 'the blood of the dragon' - which literally interpreted would mean that they are, in a sense, descended from dragons - but also because there is talk in TWoIaF that the Valyrians did make dreadful magical experiments in Gogossos where they bred animals with humans to make half-human children. If that works with animals then it could also work with dragons and the first dragonlords may have somehow mated with dragons.

3 hours ago, Graydon Hicks said:

i dont think we know all that much about early valyrian history, like how they gained control of dragons in the first place. could explain their mania for inbreeding, so as not lose that dragon blood by diluting it.

See above. It is essentially confirmed that they started the incest because it helped with the dragonrider thing. Most likely they realized that their descendants had more and more trouble becoming dragonriders if they were marrying outside the family.

3 hours ago, Graydon Hicks said:

now, i have often wondered how, if we have been seeing so many deformities in the targaryen line, even though those defects were either born dead, or died soon after birth, the valyrian freehold survived? wouldnt they have suffered from the same problems? and what about the recurring insanity that crops up in the targs? would the same thing happen in the freehold if the other dragonlord familes were practicing the same incestuous marriages? if they were suffering from the same instabilities in their bloodlines, im sure the freehold would have collapsed long before the volcanic eruptions of the doom. imagine a hundred aerys, or maegors, all at once, with dragons.

We don't know how things were back in Valyria. My guess is that there is no difference between the Targaryens of Westeros and the dragonlords of old. Valyria was a much larger city and there were more dragonlord families. If they had as many or even more offspring than the Targaryens they could have survived just as the Targaryens did.

And there is the chance that they had better medicine and spells to deal with this kind of thing. It may even be that some of those dragon-human-halfbreeds who died in Westeros did live in Valyria.

Only the Targaryens wil milder deformities like Prince Jaehaerys, the son of Aegon II and Helaena, Jaehaerys II, or Tyrion (if he is Aerys' son) did survive in Westeros. The rest all died. But not all Targaryens had problems with this thing. Those who did usually had trouble producing healthy children (Aerys-Rhaella, Maegor, Naerys, Aemma Arryn, Laena Velaryon).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It wasn't a completely effective defense against civil and succession wars but it did help greatly with that. Things only got worse when a king (Aegon I, Viserys I) had more than one wife or children from more than one woman (Aegon IV). The core family usually did not turn against each other. Rhaenyra and Aegon II weren't full siblings, and neither were Aenys and Maegor or Daeron II and Daemon, etc.

To that you have a point and I would say that it seems like their relation with a common mother is the binding glue between siblings rather than the common relation to a father, which they would share with their half siblings. I think that this might show the immense influence Westeros women have on their children through the placement of the rearing of young children within the feminine sphere of activity in Westeros.

Perhaps it would be more constructive to not think of a family as a social structure which is united by kinship bounds that orginates with a father, but rather see the mother in this central role. This would kind of neatly explain why so many half-siblings are at war with each other with little concern. Because by this model these rivalries between half-siblings shouldn't be seen as a single kinship group going at each other, but rather as two kinship groups, united by a patrilineal link, are going against each other. And that within these kinship groups which have their common mother in the center there is a great deal of unity.

Now this model is of course based on the Targaryens and I know that there are matrilineal broods which have some, or even a great deal of, problems, like Joanna Lannister's children and the Baratheon brothers, and that Jon Snow is very loyal to Catelyn's brood. So I realize that a common mother is not the only factor to decide how a kinship group would feel about each other, and I recognize that there are examples that don't follow the model perfectly. But i thought that I should throw it out there, because its an interesting observation by Lord Varys, that full blown siblings have so far never turned on each other in House Targaryen.

Quote

The two Hightower marriages clearly were problematic. If Maegor had married any other woman but Ceryse Hightower, the niece of the High Septon, they would have found a way to annul the marriage and give Maegor another wife without causing that big a scandal. But Ceryse's family was too powerful and too well-connected.

The Alicent-Viserys marriage caused all kind of troubles for the realm so no need to say more on that. I am rather perplexed that Viserys was fool enough to go through with it, but many men are fools at times and wise at other times.

The problem I see with Maegor's first match is that it was a kind of a Moment 22, I think its called. As a prince Maegor couldn't marry into anything other than a prestigeous and presumably powerful House, but since he was married into a prestigeous and powerful House, he couldn't divorce his wife without a load of troubles. I don't think there was any obvious way out of it, not the least since Aegon the Dragon himself probably thought it was a splendid match to unite his fledgling dynasty with a powerful House and give them a familial relation with the High Septon, or the High Septon's primary patron. Without hindsight I actually think that this marriage would have been very good for House Targaryen.

Quote

If Aegon V's three sons had all married the women they were supposed to marry and if they all had had sons of their own things could have become problematic in the next 1-2 generations. The Tullys and Redwynes seem to be both pretty ambitious, as are the Tyrells, and if Jaehaerys' son by Celia had married Daeron's daughter by Olenna they could have had enough of a blood claim to challenge Duncan's son children by his Baratheon wife. And giving Targaryen blood to the Tyrells through the Luthor-Shaera match could also have fueled the Tyrell ambitions to a very unhealthy level. Any children from that union would have the money and resources to push their claim very effectively.

True indeed. That would have been clusterfuck worthy of the War of Five Kings.

Quote

The Realm explodes upon the death of Robert Baratheon. We have not only a war of succession, we also have secessionist movements, longterm revenge plots, and the threat/prospect of a Targaryen restoration. A better king could have prevented most or even all of that, or at least greatly reduced the risk that something like that would have happened.

The realm didn't explode more or less than after the death of Viserys I or more than it blow up in the face of Aenys I and Daerion II. But I agree that a better king would have handled things better and prevented some of these problems by ensuring that the Baratheon heir would be in a position to take control fairly quickly and bring the realm together against what enemies remained. But what I want to say is that House Targaryen have also experienced crisis, in fact they've faced several of them, and just because we see the Baratheon reign during a time of crisis don't mean that they can't overcome it or that crisis is the normal thing for a royal House Baratheon.

And for the many problems assailing House Baratheon at the current, many of them are actually overblown. The North-Riverland separatist issue has as of now been solved by the loyalists, both Baratheon pretenders are out of the way and while things can change, the Tullys and Starks are knocked out while the crown can rest on the support of Arryn-Lannister-Reach-Stormlands-Crownlands. In the field against the crown are a guerilla movement in the Riverlands, a conflict in the North but given the coming of winter and the previous devastation I don't see an army coming down the Neck in the rest of the series, the two weakest Lords Paramount in rebellion or plotting so which has so far wasted House Martell's most capable warrior and cost Doran a son, and the Golden Company, which has been defeated every time it ever went up against the Iron Throne. And to that comes the restored Faith Militant. Now these are not insigificant problems but compared to the power that the Reach and Westerlands I don't see how the odds would be in the favor of the various rebels given how they are spread out and mostly consists of remanants and Westeros' weaker parts.

Now things may absolutely take a turn for the worse when it comes to the Iron Throne but right now I don't see things are more than serious, not grim and far from desperate. Although if Cersei manages to get back into power I do expect things to become desperate soon enough with House Tyrell added to the list of the crown's enemies. So who knows, but given the twists of Asoiaf, I don't think that we should paint the devil on the wall just yet.

Spoilers

 

I for example thought that Stannis would defeated the Boltons, but it turned out the other way as far as I can see and so potential enemies to the crown there are more likely to keep their focus on the north rather than seek glory and victory south of the Neck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

To that you have a point and I would say that it seems like their relation with a common mother is the binding glue between siblings rather than the common relation to a father, which they would share with their half siblings. I think that this might show the immense influence Westeros women have on their children through the placement of the rearing of young children within the feminine sphere of activity in Westeros.

Perhaps it would be more constructive to not think of a family as a social structure which is united by kinship bounds that orginates with a father, but rather see the mother in this central role. This would kind of neatly explain why so many half-siblings are at war with each other with little concern. Because by this model these rivalries between half-siblings shouldn't be seen as a single kinship group going at each other, but rather as two kinship groups, united by a patrilineal link, are going against each other. And that within these kinship groups which have their common mother in the center there is a great deal of unity.

Now this model is of course based on the Targaryens and I know that there are matrilineal broods which have some, or even a great deal of, problems, like Joanna Lannister's children and the Baratheon brothers, and that Jon Snow is very loyal to Catelyn's brood. So I realize that a common mother is not the only factor to decide how a kinship group would feel about each other, and I recognize that there are examples that don't follow the model perfectly. But i thought that I should throw it out there, because its an interesting observation by Lord Varys, that full blown siblings have so far never turned on each other in House Targaryen.

I'd actually extend that whole thing to other (noble) families, too. We learn that the Freys can trust their full siblings up to a point whereas the half-siblings are more often pretty much enemies. Children from different mothers (or fathers) are very often simply not all that close because of the age gap that might be involved. 

In addition the whole kinslayer taboo is very strong in Westeros, especially among full siblings but not only there. Just look how Balon exiled Euron instead of allowing Victarion to kill him. Only verybad apples went as low as to actually kill a helpless full sibling in Westeros. This kind of thing we have only with Stannis and Euron.

I don't think Renly would have personally slain Stannis but he would have looked the other way after Stannis forced him to at Storm's End. And I don't think Tyrion or Jaime are going to kill each other. Something will stay their hands. But either of them might be driven to kill Cersei if she crosses too many lines. But it is very difficult to imagine what the final line would have to be.

6 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

The Alicent-Viserys marriage caused all kind of troubles for the realm so no need to say more on that. I am rather perplexed that Viserys was fool enough to go through with it, but many men are fools at times and wise at other times.

Well, he was still a young man, the Realm needed a queen, and he was in love with a woman from a very prestigious and rich family. It could have worked.

6 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

The problem I see with Maegor's first match is that it was a kind of a Moment 22, I think its called. As a prince Maegor couldn't marry into anything other than a prestigeous and presumably powerful House, but since he was married into a prestigeous and powerful House, he couldn't divorce his wife without a load of troubles.

As a son of the Conqueror and half-brother to the king he could have set aside any other wife but Ceryse Hightower. That is the important point here. Ceryse Hightower basically is Catherine of Aragon. This is a marriage Maegor cannot hope to annul because of who she and her family members are. That is why he takes a second wife.

If Maegor had married a Lannister, Arryn, Stark, Baratheon, Tyrell, etc. he would have gotten his annulment or the permission of the Faith and the king to set her aside and take another wife.

But treating Ceryse in this manner was not just an insult to a powerful family, it was an insult to the High Septon himself. That was too much. If the Conqueror had tried to pull something like that the reaction would have been the same. It was the humiliation of Ceryse, House Hightower, the High Septon, and the ways and scriptures of the Faith that came with the whole thing.

6 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

I don't think there was any obvious way out of it, not the least since Aegon the Dragon himself probably thought it was a splendid match to unite his fledgling dynasty with a powerful House and give them a familial relation with the High Septon, or the High Septon's primary patron. Without hindsight I actually think that this marriage would have been very good for House Targaryen.

Those are exactly Aegon's reasons as Gyldayn gives them in TSotD. And it sure as hell could have been a very successful marriage. If Ceryse had given Maegor the sons he wanted (or if he had been able to impregnate her) Maegor would not only have had the support of House Hightower but also the Faith. It is not hard to imagine who would have succeeded the Conqueror in such a scenario - Maegor, and not Aenys. The High Septon and Visenya would have declared Aenys a weakling and bastard, unfit to rule, and they would have crowned Maegor instead. Aenys' girls could have been married to Maegor's sons (or not) to heal the rift. Or they would have found other means to neutralize those problems. The sons were still very young when the Conqueror died.

6 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

The realm didn't explode more or less than after the death of Viserys I or more than it blow up in the face of Aenys I and Daerion II.

What I mean by this explosion that the Realm is literally exploding. There are different agendas in literally all of the Seven Kingdoms. The Dance and the Blackfyre Rebellions involved clear fronts. Two pretenders and their families against each other. The lords vied for influence and power behind the scenes but nobody played the secessionist card or tried to carve out his own kingdom. No Targaryen king ever faced rebellions from literally the entire royal family and most of the great houses of the Realm. Joffrey essentially just as the Lannisters and the mainland Crownlands at the beginning of his reign. Every other region is either against him (North, Riverlands, Stormlands, Reach, Iron Islands) or not for him (Vale, Dorne). And his administration doesn't even care about that difference. The Arryns and Martells are added to the list of the confirmed traitors despite the fact that they actually never rose against the Iron Throne.

6 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

And for the many problems assailing House Baratheon at the current, many of them are actually overblown. The North-Riverland separatist issue has as of now been solved by the loyalists, both Baratheon pretenders are out of the way and while things can change, the Tullys and Starks are knocked out while the crown can rest on the support of Arryn-Lannister-Reach-Stormlands-Crownlands. In the field against the crown are a guerilla movement in the Riverlands, a conflict in the North but given the coming of winter and the previous devastation I don't see an army coming down the Neck in the rest of the series, the two weakest Lords Paramount in rebellion or plotting so which has so far wasted House Martell's most capable warrior and cost Doran a son, and the Golden Company, which has been defeated every time it ever went up against the Iron Throne. And to that comes the restored Faith Militant. Now these are not insigificant problems but compared to the power that the Reach and Westerlands I don't see how the odds would be in the favor of the various rebels given how they are spread out and mostly consists of remanants and Westeros' weaker parts.

That has nothing to do with the situation at hand at the time of Robert's death. His rule was so weak that not only his two brothers and his eldest son claimed the throne but two great lords crowned themselves, too, and another great house also seceded.

If Euron and the Targaryens weren't out there there would be a small chance that the Iron Throne could eventually restore order under this or that Baratheon. I think Tywin could have done it. But in light of the new forces and players in Westeros itself - Stannis and the Boltons, Littlefinger, the new High Septon and the Faith Militant, Euron, Tyrell ambition, and the rebels in the Riverlands - it is very unlikely that anybody ruling in the name of King Tommen could do it even if there were no outside threats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The three main benefits of Targ interbreeding were

a- they kept their gene pool 'pure'. That assuming that there's a link between taming/riding dragons and Targs genetics
b- they kept the secrets regarding taming and riding dragons under lock and key. Targs were foreign rulers in Westeros whose power over the realm relied heavily on dragons. If every large family learnt how to breed, ride and fight with dragons then that advantage would have been lost
c- they kept claims to the throne to the bare minimum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is not just the Lannisters. If we imagine for a short moment that Cersei's children actually were Robert's children - as Renly believed - then they would have been still been in mortal danger from at least one of their uncles because Robert made both his brothers powerful lords in their own right rather giving them just empty honors. Stannis has no proof that Robert's children are not his and Renly simply doesn't care.

Littlefinger and Varys play their own game, and Pycelle is more loyal to Lord Tywin than his king.

Robert sucked hard as king, especially in relation to preserve the peace. He is much worse in that regard than Viserys I who only failed to understand how bad things had become in his family. Robert knows that Joffrey and Cersei would be bad for the Realm, that his brothers and most councilors are corrupt and not worth all that much but he simply didn't care.

Robert didn't have to give prominent positions to the other rebel allies. It is dangerous to give to prominent positions to the great houses because when they get a taste of power they want it all. It was a great decision to refuse to name Tywin the Hand, both when Robert became king and when Jon Arryn died. But he should have put competent men on his council and given the men he put in charge of the Realm - especially his Hands - the necessary support when they were making controversial decision. The biggest problem Ned (and most likely Jon, too) had was that he didn't know whether he actually had the support of Robert or not. That began with the whole Nymeria thing and continued with the Tourney of the Hand crap and other things.

Considering that Tywin was the youngest Hand of the Realm at the age of twenty Aegon III would have had (a) different Hand(s) for a couple of years before Viserys rose to the office (Viserys was two years younger than Aegon III so Viserys wouldn't have been Hand for at least six years after Aegon III began to rule in his own right). But I assume that Viserys joined the Small Council immediately after the end of the Regency and/or was Aegon III's closest informal adviser since the very beginning. We already know that they were very close ever since Viserys had returned from Lys.

In my opinion the best candidate for Aegon III first Hand is Alyn Velaryon. He was the man who brought Viserys back from Lys (despite the fact that this most likely pushed him back in the line of succession), and he was married to one of the king's half-sisters. Considering that he apparently made six great voyages one could assume that he later resigned and was then replaced by Viserys. We could also consider the possibility that Garmund Hightower may have served as Hand at a time. He was married to Lady Rhaena Targaryen, the last known Targaryen dragonrider, a fact that may have given him a considerable amount of authority and prestige.

Firstly, I agree with you. The Lannisters were far from the only problem, I just see them as the biggest threat. However, your point about Renly is fair. So my question to you is this : Do you think Renly would have rebelled say if Robert had a handsome Baratheon looking heir who was most likely not a sociopath? I am just wondering. I always thought part of Renly's decision to rebel was because of Joffrey. Also, I think Stannis could have been useful if Robert had simply given him the time of day. And Varys and Petyr Bailish should have been replaced long ago. As far as giving rebel houses places on the council, that is actually not what I meant. I don't mean put a Martell or Tyrell on the council, I mean first choice would be to give council positions to Storm, Vale, River, Northern lords, as they were your main allies, but if that fails, Mace Tyrell would still be better than Jaime Lannister or some other Lannister pawn. (However I think trying to find another lord from the Reach would be better). I mean honestly, there had to be better options than Petyr, Varys, or  Pycelle for the small council, and Jaime Lannister should probably never have been given so much. I still am also one who thinks marrying Cersei Lannister was a mistake, the Lannisters were obviously not loyal and just jumped on board once the war was already won. Perhaps you disagree, but Lannister control of King's Landing even pre Robert's death was way too complete. 

For the second part, you are right, Viserys was only his hand once he came of age. I guess I just meant once he was old enough, despite being a rather apathethic King, Viserys kept the realm in order and probably had counselors that worked with him rather than against him, or scheming behind his back. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...