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Free folk Daemon

Was Doran Martell's 'master' plan only to wed Arianne to Viserys, or am I missing something here?

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19 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

Viserys is about the same age as Arianne. He's been of age for the better part of a decade at the start of the series. Waiting counts as doing something only if you have an action planned for when the period of waiting is over. Or you are looking for an opportunity. There is nothing anywhere that indicates that Doran sought in any way to facilitate Viserys's ascension to the Iron Throne.

Right, but he knows Dorne can't win alone, he's waiting for Viserys to gain some additional kind of support.  I mean, he has a document executed and witnessed by the Sealord of Braavos, and if word of that got out, he's a dead man, so it's not as if he's done nothing. Again, it's just a really shitty plot.

 

19 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

The situation as is, means that the Iron Throne has limited means of surveilance and intervention at the time, as Varys is on hiding and the Tyrells have spread troops all over the place.

Merchants arrive in Kings Landing every day, and merchants were the traditional couriers of news and rumor in our world too.  Just because Varys doesn't have little birds in Volantis, or access to it, doesn't mean that the absence of a bunch of important Dornish nobles, JUST as Dany is gaining power, won't be noticed or commented on.  And if they go further than Volantis, well, it won't be immediate, but the Iron Throne will almost certainly hear about it before Doran gets word back.  And all it takes is one rumor.  I think you are overestimating the ease by which the flow of information can be stifled.

19 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

He certainly could have made a better effort to sned a proper mission to Dany with reasonable odds that the Iron Throne did not find out about it. He basically committed no resources of his own on the mission to Dany.

I agree, 100%.  This is my entire point!  He's SO afraid of being found out that he's taking no risk whatsoever, and as a result he's dooming all his (bad) plotting.  If he took a risk, sent a bunch of well-equipped nobles with his marriage offer, and trusted in the weakness of the Iron Throne after the WOT5K to not make too big a deal about it, he might have gotten everything he wanted, and not lost his son in the bargain.  He's a bad plotter because he won't take risks, even when they're justified - he wants his bloodless coup and doesn't know how to get it, and now his plans, just like the blood oranges, are "past ripe".

19 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

There are two options. Unless more is revealed in the books his plans cannot count as such. The proper term would be intentions wihtout any follow-up. The second option is that he never had these intentions at all. The only evidence that he aims at Targaryen restoration and vengeance against the Lannisters is his own word. Is there any particular reason to assume that he is being honest about it?

Again, the pact he signs with the Sealord.  The fact that he sends his son and supposed heir halfway across the world, into an active war zone, with said agreement, where he knows his son runs the risk of dying (and eventually does)?  Those are pretty convincing pieces of evidence.

More importantly, and this applies to a lot of people on this forum, either we trust certain things in the text or we don't.  If we get conflicting information, or a characters words/actions don't sync up with previous words/actions, we can look deeper.  But Doran has every reason to want vengeance, has every reason to want a marriage pact, and his actions have (mostly) borne this out - we have no reason to suspect he's lying to Arianne or us.  Everything makes sense.  If you want to go on the assumption that everything can be a lie, then why bother theorizing at all?  Maybe Catelyn Stark nee Tully is really Brandon Stark, who is a Faceless Man?  Do we really have any evidence she isn't?  

18 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Aegon doesn't come with dragons.

Let's say that at some pint he's informed by Oberyn about Aegon, after the news that Viserys died, combined with the news that Dany has dragons. Why wouldn't he want to leave the possibility open to marry Arianne and Quentyn both to the two last Targs? It's a total win for Doran if Quentyn had succeeded.

Daeron II was married to the sisters of the Prince of Dorne, and Daeron's sister Daenerys (the first one) was married to the Prince of Dorne (and the water gardens were built for her after all). Both marriages made sure that the IT and Dorne  a - made peace b - Dorne became part of the 7K  and c - were a united front against all those warmongers who wanted to renew a war against Dorne. 

I'm not sure what you're arguing about here.  Oberyn doesn't know about Aegon.  No one does.  That's.... kind of the whole point of fAegon being kept secret all these years.

Doran hears that Daenerys is alive, Viserys is dead, and Dany has dragons.  So he sends out Quentyn.  Almost immediately, if we can even remotely rely on reasonable travel times.  By the time anyone hears about fAegon landing in the Stormlands, Quent is not only long gone and impossible to recall, but probably dead anyway.  The whole point is that Quentyn's mission is a giant Hail Mary, a last ditch effort on Doran's part.  Barristan sums it up nicely in his POV.

So he's now doing exactly what you suggest - trying to marry Arianne to fAegon. Or... I'm sure that is his endgame.  Which is just as stupid, in the end, for the same reason it was stupid to engage Trystane and Myrcella; he wants to have his cake and eat it too.

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1 hour ago, cpg2016 said:

I'm not sure what you're arguing about here.  Oberyn doesn't know about Aegon.  No one does.  That's.... kind of the whole point of fAegon being kept secret all these years.

In the chapter in aDwD when Doran instructs the Sand Snakes on their missions and Arianne, most of them swear "for Oberyn". Tyene is Arianne's favourite sand snake. To Arianne Tyene is the sister she never had: close in age, etc. Someone will need to verify and convince Arianne that Aegon is real, and that can only be done by someone she trusts and knows by sight. She doesn't know Aegon, nor JonCon. She doesn't know Haldon or Ser Duckfield. That only leaves Septa Lemore, and Tyene's mother is a perfect fit for it. But she'd never have gone on her own. That leaves only one answer: Oberyn asked her to, using the family visit as an excuse so nobody would knotw. And of course Oberyn can't ask, unless he heard or learned something. Conveniently he spent years in Essos and started his own company there. He had people alert him.

This was something BTW that I already explained in the post that you quoted before to argue about Doran not knowing it.

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On 7/25/2017 at 4:01 PM, SummerSphinx said:

Did Doran communicate with Illyrio and Varys? Did Varys and Illyrio sniff out Doran's secret?  Is that why they arranged for Viserys to go out with the Dothraki horde? And married Dany to Khal Drogo?  Was that supposed to be a good plan? Or a way to remove Viserys and Dany so that Young Griff Aegon (true Targ, Blackfyre, or whover) could enter triumphantly?  Doran didn't seem to know about Aegon. Viserys' claim (especially if he wed Arianne and joined with Dorne) would compete with Aegon's claim.

I think Dany hatching the dragons was totally unexpected.  Her widowhood and dragons brought her back into play for both Dorne and Aegon.

What is interesting is that a green haired Tyroshi girl (daughter of Anchron) was supposed to be exchanged with Arianne so Arianne could meet Viserys in Tyrosh.  Arianne's mother objected to sending her away, though. 

The George has stated that Varys and Illyrio were not aware of the secret marriage pact. And I think you are right that Doran did not know about Aegon. 

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On 7/26/2017 at 7:36 PM, The Sleeper said:

Is it? Because as far as we can tell he has done nothing to that end. Viserys died before Arrianne even knew about it. No alliances, no raising of troops. Did he expect Viserys to just show up and Robert would give up the Throne?

And Quentyn's mission was half-assed at best. As if he couldn't have hired a ship for them under false pretenses and send some dignitaries for them.

Barristan and Daenerys both suggest that if Quentyn had arrived before Meereen, he might have been successful. The strategy was good, but the timing and execution were lacking. 

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1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

In the chapter in aDwD when Doran instructs the Sand Snakes on their missions and Arianne, most of them swear "for Oberyn". Tyene is Arianne's favourite sand snake. To Arianne Tyene is the sister she never had: close in age, etc. Someone will need to verify and convince Arianne that Aegon is real, and that can only be done by someone she trusts and knows by sight. She doesn't know Aegon, nor JonCon. She doesn't know Haldon or Ser Duckfield. That only leaves Septa Lemore, and Tyene's mother is a perfect fit for it. But she'd never have gone on her own. That leaves only one answer: Oberyn asked her to, using the family visit as an excuse so nobody would knotw. And of course Oberyn can't ask, unless he heard or learned something. Conveniently he spent years in Essos and started his own company there. He had people alert him.

This was something BTW that I already explained in the post that you quoted before to argue about Doran not knowing it.

I mean, the Septa Lemore is Tyene's mother isn't the craziest theory I've ever heard, but none of this really ties back intelligently to why Doran knows who fAegon is.  After all, he's committed his daughter, his heir to marrying Viserys.  If he knows who Aegon is, then why bother with the whole farce of marrying Arianne to Viserys in the first place (or planning to)?  Or, for that matter, for sending Quentyn on a suicide mission to Meereen?

And the whole point of Aegon is that no one knows who he is.  Why, exactly, is Septa Lemore a reliable witness where Jon Connington or anyone else isn't?  All Septa Lemore knows is what she's been told... by Jon Connington, Haldon Halfmaester, Varys, etc.  So at the end of the day, she's really no assurance at all.  Or no more so than any of the other character witnesses he'll have.  He has the Targaryen look, a bunch of people saying he's a Targaryen, and he'll have conquered the Stormlands and Crownlands.  That, and Arianne's fear of being put beneath King Quentyn, is all she'll need to make the leap.

Also, Septa Lemore is brunette, as is Oberyn, and Tyene Sand is blonde.  Genetically, it isn't possible that Lemore is Tyene's mother.  Sorry to burst that bubble.

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On 7/27/2017 at 3:29 AM, The Sleeper said:

That's very vague, there is no indication that he was aware of such plans and that still leaves sixteen years of doing apparently nothing to further his stated goal. For someone who commits his daughter and heir to rebellion, he doesn't seem very invested in the venture.

 

That is an exaggeration. He could have contrived some diplomatic mission to the Free Cities or something. The Iron Throne might have suspected something was amiss, but gaining proof would be practically impossible. And frankly the Throne had bigger things to wary about. Oberyn basically pranced around threatening people. Doran could have gotten away with a better organized mission.

The way he goes about furthering his stated goals or doesn't makes me question the sincerity of his stated purpose.

I agree. 

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2 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Barristan and Daenerys both suggest that if Quentyn had arrived before Meereen, he might have been successful. The strategy was good, but the timing and execution were lacking. 

It also only went completely off the rails when Quentyn decided to tame a dragon. If he had just returned to Dorne he would have returned with information and the having initiated contact for a future alliance. A marriage in the future would still have been possible if Daenerys left Hizdar in Mereen.

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21 minutes ago, Makk said:

It also only went completely off the rails when Quentyn decided to tame a dragon. If he had just returned to Dorne he would have returned with information and the having initiated contact for a future alliance. A marriage in the future would still have been possible if Daenerys left Hizdar in Mereen.

But that wasn't his goal.  His goal is to come back with "fire and blood" and every Quentyn chapter we get makes it clear how desperate he is to impress the father he barely knows.  Doran has clearly told him the fate of Dorne rests on his mission, and he tries to tame a dragon because of it.

If he shows up two months earlier, then this is a more reasonable suggestion.  The whole point of Quent's character is that he's so desperate to do well by his duty to Doran and Dorne that he won't go home and say "sorry Dad, give it the old college try, maybe she'll want to marry me when she shows up".  Not to mention, he falls victim to the old sunk cost fallacy; he's a good kid and he doesn't want his friends' deaths to be in vain by abandoning his mission before succeeding.  It's another trope subversion by GRRM; Quent goes on the dangerous journey, but it sucks.  His friends die, he didn't want to go in the first place, and when he gets there and reveals his true noble lineage, he doesn't get to marry the princess and live happily ever - he gets eaten by a dragon.  Figuratively.

Which, by the way, ruins Doran's plans anyway, because if Dany shows up in Westeros with 3 dragons and an army, she's going to be swamped with lords looking to ally with her, preferably though marriage.  Dorne's spears are only valuable when he's out ahead of the game, since Dorne is far and away the weakest of the Seven Kingdoms.

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2 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

But that wasn't his goal.  His goal is to come back with "fire and blood" and every Quentyn chapter we get makes it clear how desperate he is to impress the father he barely knows.  Doran has clearly told him the fate of Dorne rests on his mission, and he tries to tame a dragon because of it.

Yes to the bolded bit, no to the rest. There is nothing in the text to indicate Doran conveyed this importance in the way you are making out, in fact quite the opposite.

The big issue to understand first of all is that Quentyn has an inferiority complex he is fighting against.

His father urged him to do nothing rash, the single most important thing was to not attract attention. Becoming a dragon rider or dragon food is something that would quite possibly attract attention. He does exactly the opposite of what Doran tells him to do. 

Quote

"Dorne will bleed if your purpose is discovered," his father had warned him, as they watched the children frolic in the pools and fountains of the Water Gardens. "What we do is treason, make no mistake. Trust only your companions, and do your best to avoid attracting notice."

He said Dorne will bleed if your purpose is discovered, he didn't say Dorne will bleed if you don't bring back a dragon.

His father told him to follow orders. This would have worked if the guy he was supposed to be following stayed alive, but when he died it only made things worse

Quote

"Maester Kedry will accompany you," his father said the night they parted. "Heed his counsel. He has devoted half his life to the study of the Nine Free Cities." Quentyn wondered if things might not have gone a deal easier if only he were here to guide them.

 

Quentyn knows it is a bad idea to attempt to take a dragon, but his wounded and misplaced pride make him do something stupid. We know Arianne and Doran, Lord Yronwood less so but I suspect he would be the same. Every single one of them would be aghast at him making the move he did. But he believes they will be making judgments of them that they wouldn't.

Quote

Volantis, Quentyn thought. Then Lys, then home. Back the way I came, empty-handed. Three brave men dead, for what?
It would be sweet to see the Greenblood again, to visit Sunspear and the Water Gardens and breathe the clean sweet mountain air of Yronwood in place of the hot, wet, filthy humors of Slaver's Bay. His father would speak no word of rebuke, Quentyn knew, but the disappointment would be there in his eyes. His sister would be scornful, the Sand Snakes would mock him with smiles sharp as swords, and Lord Yronwood, his second father, who had sent his own son along to keep him safe …

 

Everyone knows it is a bad idea, but he is so desperate to prove himself he disregards common sense. He makes a weak argument risking his friends lives as well by guilt tripping them into following his poorly reasoned plan

Quote

 

"I will not keep you here," Quentyn told his friends. "My father laid this task on me, not you. Go home, if that is what you want. By whatever means you like. I am staying."
The big man shrugged. "Then Drink and me are staying too."

 

 

Quote

"Fuck your lineage," said Gerris. "The dragons won't care about your blood, except maybe how it tastes. You cannot tame a dragon with a history lesson. They're monsters, not maesters. Quent, is this truly what you want to do?"
"This is what I have to do. For Dorne. For my father. For Cletus and Will and Maester Kedry."
"They're dead," said Gerris. "They won't care."
"All dead," Quentyn agreed. "For what? To bring me here, so I might wed the dragon queen. A grand adventure, Cletus called it. Demon roads and stormy seas, and at the end of it the most beautiful woman in the world. A tale to tell our grandchildren. But Cletus will never father a child, unless he left a bastard in the belly of that tavern wench he liked. Will will never have his wedding. Their deaths should have some meaning."
Gerris pointed to where a corpse slumped against a brick wall, attended by a cloud of glistening green flies. "Did his death have meaning?"


I believe this is the passage you were talking about, basing your entire argument on.  

Quote

 

"You were told your scheme was madness, have you forgotten?" said Pretty Meris. "Do what you came to do."

The dragons, Prince Quentyn thought. Yes. We came for the dragons. He felt as though he might be sick. What am I doing here? Father, why? Four men dead in as many heartbeats, and for what? "Fire and blood," he whispered, "blood and fire." The blood was pooling at his feet, soaking into the brick floor. The fire was beyond those doors. "The chains … we have no key …"

Arch said, "I have the key." He swung his warhammer hard and fast.


 

 

All we know is that Doran said Fire and Blood. All the words mean is what Doran sees Daenerys is capable of bringing them. We don't know what importance he associated with them. All we know is that Doran was exceedingly cautious, and Quentyn has an inferiority complex and a certain pride. It is not very likely that Doran said anything that would make it imperative for him  

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11 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

I mean, the Septa Lemore is Tyene's mother isn't the craziest theory I've ever heard, but none of this really ties back intelligently to why Doran knows who fAegon is.  After all, he's committed his daughter, his heir to marrying Viserys.  If he knows who Aegon is, then why bother with the whole farce of marrying Arianne to Viserys in the first place (or planning to)?  Or, for that matter, for sending Quentyn on a suicide mission to Meereen?

And the whole point of Aegon is that no one knows who he is.  Why, exactly, is Septa Lemore a reliable witness where Jon Connington or anyone else isn't?  All Septa Lemore knows is what she's been told... by Jon Connington, Haldon Halfmaester, Varys, etc.  So at the end of the day, she's really no assurance at all.  Or no more so than any of the other character witnesses he'll have.  He has the Targaryen look, a bunch of people saying he's a Targaryen, and he'll have conquered the Stormlands and Crownlands.  That, and Arianne's fear of being put beneath King Quentyn, is all she'll need to make the leap.

Also, Septa Lemore is brunette, as is Oberyn, and Tyene Sand is blonde.  Genetically, it isn't possible that Lemore is Tyene's mother.  Sorry to burst that bubble.

1 - I said initially that Oberyn imo knows, but either Doran knows or doesn't. IMHO I don't think Doran does know. But I can't prove that, not if we include the possibility that Doran is once again not telling all to Arianne. The OP of this thread and several other posts made me consider the possibility that Doran knows too, which is possibly exactly why he sent Arianne (his heir! And the one he intended to be queen of the 7K all along). I'm just being devil's advocate to my own assumption that Doran doesn't know.

2 - He committed his daughter to marry Viserys way way back when Viserys and Dany were still in Braavos, before Oberyn could have learned about Aegon, before Tyene's mother was sent to Essos. Even with regards to Viserys, Doran was cautious. Though Dany and Viserys were turned out of Braavos, they still lived for a long long while with the Archon of Tyrosh. And both the Archon and Doran seem committed back then, because the Archon sent his daughter to be fostered in the Water Gardens and Arianne was going to be his cupbearer to meet Viserys (but her mother threatened to leave him... which she did anyway). Then at some point, Viserys and Dany are turned out by the Archon all of a sudden. And as pointed out by the OP Dorne certainly didn't do much to help them, nor did Tyrosh. All we know from Tyrosh is that the Archon's brother was at Dany's wedding to Drogo. And Doran doesn't reveal Arianne's betrothal to Viserys long after Viserys is dead already.

Does the timing of Viserys and Dany having to leave Tyrosh coincide with something else possibly? Like say, Oberyn discovering that JonCon is allegedly raising Aegon?  

3 - There is a difference between being sure that Aegon lives and manages to grow up into adulthood, and learning that JonCon is raising a boy that JonCon believes to be Aegon. Now, it's clear that Lemore believes it. But Doran and Oberyn may be more reserved about it. And we do not have any indication how frequently Lemore would have managed to report back to Oberyn.

Also, it's important to remember that  learning about the possibility of Aegon being alive when Aegon is between 5-8, living on a boat on the Rhoyne, might add extra caution and make Oberyn and/or Doran hedge their bets. At least, if Lemore is Tyene's mother and was sent as an infiltrant by Oberyn, he made sure to apparently send a good swimmer to him.

4 - You keep thinking of this as an either/or scenario, already argue as if Doran has to choose between Aegon and Dany. Well, he doesn't. It's not because you as reader expect a Dance of Dragons, expect Aegon and Dany to be at each other's throat for the throne, that Doran is. And what if he wants his cake and eat it. Is there some plot-rule I don't know of that would forbid Doran of catching both Targs in the present into a marriage to two of his children? After all, he ALSO accepted the betrothal of Myrcella to his youngest son, no? Has Doran not already proven to be betting at least on 2 horses, with the betrothal of Myrcella to Trystane and sending Quentyn to Mereen?

5 - I already gave an extra motivation why Dany is a good marriage catch, even if Doran knows about Aegon: she has dragons. Having your sole unbetrothed son marry the Mother of Dragons and bring dragons to fight against the enemies of Dorne is something I imagine Doran would always consider a good thing.

6 - Doran did not send Quentyn on a suicide mission. Quentyn was sent to Essos by the start of aFfC. Any news then of Dany was how succesfully she was conquering Slaver's Bay, months before Yunkai and Qarth seal a deal to make war on Dany. Nor did Doran tell Quentyn to steal a dragon. Just because Quentyn ended up doing something suicidal does not mean that was Doran's intent. Quentyn was to present himself as a suitor and offer Dany marriage. If Quentyn had taken Dany's and Selmy's and his friends' advice, he would be long back on his way to Westeros. 

7 - Lemore is not a reliable witness to us readers. You are confusing the reliability of a meta-witness to us readers with a reliable witness to Arianne, an in-world character. I'm not saying that WE READERS should take Lemore's word for it, anymore than Aegon's word or JonCon's. However, if Oberyn's agent and the mother of her beloved kin tells Arianne that Aegon is the real thing, even informing Arianne that she helped raise him the past decade on Oberyn's orders, then how fast do you think Arianne will send that raven back to Sunspear with the message "dragon!"? Her word would be an independent verification with Dorne's interest at heart, for Arianne, unlike JonCon. Arianne doesn't know JonCon and he's a Stormlander. Even if other people verify to Arianne that JonCon is indeed JonCon, she cannot trust them. JonCon could be lying. She would not believe Tyene's mother to knowingly lie about Aegon's idenitty to her. 

8 - Actually, tWoW's excerpt chapters

Spoiler

make clear that Arianne is being quite cautious about the claim whether Aegon is real or not. Meeting the men of the GC has not yet convinced her of anything, and that includes the meeting of Haldon. Arianne even explicitly ponders how she could ever hope to verify the truth of it, no matter how succesful Aegon is in conquering the Stormlands. Meanwhile she also thinks of Tyene several times, and whether she already managed to reach King's Landing on her mission.

In chapter 2 she begins to meet certain of Aegon's associates: first sergeants of the GC, then Lysono Moor the spymaster, and lastly Haldon Halfmaester. She is told she'll be put on board a ship to Storm's End that has fallen to Aegon at the end of it. But it's also ssaid that Mace is marching and that Aegon means to meet him in the field. In other words, Aegon and JonCon will not be present inside Storm's End in Arianne's third chapter. The only one left to welcome Arianne is Lemore. Hmmmm, now wonder why George is setting up a chapter for Arianne to meet Lemore alone, without either Aegon and JonCon present.

As for Targaryen looks: check out her reaction to Lysono. She's very wary of him, because he looks so Valyrian. Dayne's actions against Myrcella made her so. 

So, I disagree with your "Arianne will jump on it" and her not needing a confidante of House Martell within Aegon's company.

9 - The only thing that doesn't match is hair color. Oh that so must mean Lemore can't be a woman with blonde hair? Like Sansa can't possibly be Alayne Stone, right? And Young Griff has truly blue hair? The answer is hair dye.

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47 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

3 - There is a difference between being sure that Aegon lives and manages to grow up into adulthood, and learning that JonCon is raising a boy that JonCon believes to be Aegon. Now, it's clear that Lemore believes it. But Doran and Oberyn may be more reserved about it. And we do not have any indication how frequently Lemore would have managed to report back to Oberyn.

Well this is kind of my point.  The only reason Septa Lemore believes Young Griff is actually Aegon is because Jon Connington told her.  At the end of the day, Doran (and previously Oberyn) were getting their information from Septa Lemore, who gets it from Varys/Connington.  So why, exactly, is Doran not going to believe Connington, but believe Septa Lemore?  I mean, I guess there is some value in getting your info from someone you trust, but at the end of the day, the information is all coming from the same source; Septa Lemore isn't independently evaluating this or anything.

 

49 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

4 - You keep thinking of this as an either/or scenario, already argue as if Doran has to choose between Aegon and Dany. Well, he doesn't. It's not because you as reader expect a Dance of Dragons, expect Aegon and Dany to be at each other's throat for the throne, that Doran is. And what if he wants his cake and eat it. Is there some plot-rule I don't know of that would forbid Doran of catching both Targs in the present into a marriage to two of his children? After all, he ALSO accepted the betrothal of Myrcella to his youngest son, no? Has Doran not already proven to be betting at least on 2 horses, with the betrothal of Myrcella to Trystane and sending Quentyn to Mereen?

Well you've obliquely hit on my point.  While you are correct that Doran could hypothetically marry his kids to both Targaryens, from a political standpoint it is impossible for him to marry his kids to Myrcella and the Targaryens.  It ruins everything he's shooting for, because by marrying into the Baratheon dynasty, he becomes a very obvious partisan of the Baratheons, which undermines his whole schtick with the Targs.

And the problem with him marrying all his kids to Targaryens is that it leaves him without an heir, effectively.  Part of good feudal politics is putting your apples in as many baskets as possible, so to speak.  While loading up on the royal family is great, it isn't quite as nice when that royal family isn't exactly sitting on the throne at the moment.

And you are right that I'm looking at this through too-omniscient eyes, a bit.  But it's also worth pointing out that Daenerys, who has dragons, isn't the rightful heir to the throne (if Aegon is who he says he is), so expecting conflict between her and her "nephew" isn't completely absurd.  And Doran will be putting himself in the middle of that; he knows Daenerys is a conqueror, is a queen by her own hands - if he's any kind of intelligent he'll come to the same conclusion Tyrion does; that she isn't going to show up and meekly place her dragons and her army at the service of her vastly less powerful nephew.

56 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Doran did not send Quentyn on a suicide mission. Quentyn was sent to Essos by the start of aFfC. Any news then of Dany was how succesfully she was conquering Slaver's Bay, months before Yunkai and Qarth seal a deal to make war on Dany.

He sent Quentyn into the middle of an active war zone with four knights.  That's it.  That qualifies as essentially suicidal in my book.  Also, Daenerys doesn't tell him to go home - she tells him to try his hand at taking a dragon.  And Quentyn's thoughts and actions tell us that his instructions were to get dragons, not princesses.

They do not see. His friends had lost sight of his true purpose here. The road leads through her, not to her. Daenerys is the means to the prize, not the prize itself. " 'The dragon has three heads,' she said to me. 'My marriage need not be the end of all your hopes,' she said. 'I know why you are here. For fire and blood.' I have Targaryen blood in me, you know that. I can trace my lineage back—"

Not only is his object in Meereen laid bare there (and since he is sent by his father, we can safely assume his thoughts reflect his instructions), but Daenerys is shown to be angling for her own agenda.  Quentyn is sent to get dragons, and his marriage proposal is only a means to that end.  Which means Doran sends his completely unprepared son on a voyage which is very dangerous in the best of times, but now is headed into an active and vicious war zone, to go tame the most dangerous creature on the planet.  Suicidal indeed.

1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

him the past decade on Oberyn's orders, then how fast do you think Arianne will send that raven back to Sunspear with the message "dragon!"? Her word would be an independent verification with Dorne's interest at heart, for Arianne, unlike JonCon. Arianne doesn't know JonCon and he's a Stormlander. Even if other people verify to Arianne that JonCon is indeed JonCon, she cannot trust them. JonCon could be lying. She would not believe Tyene's mother to knowingly lie about Aegon's idenitty to her. 

Right, but you're missing my point on this, which I tried to explain above as well.  Where is Septa Lemore getting her information from?  JonCon.  She has literally no other source of verification.  If she saw him ride a dragon, well, that's good evidence, but that isn't possible and wouldn't have been even thought of when she was sent.  She gets to Essos, meets up with the Shy Maid group, and is told Young Griff's "true" identity.  And that's that.  Afterwards, she does her job educating him in her specialty.  You keep insisting that Septa Lemore is a source that the Martells can trust, and if you're right about her identity (which, again, interesting, but probably genetically impossible), they can trust her - but Doran and Oberyn are no one's fools, and they must realize that no matter what Lemore says, it's all still based on what JonCon and Varys say.  So... what's the point?

1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

9 - The only thing that doesn't match is hair color. Oh that so must mean Lemore can't be a woman with blonde hair? Like Sansa can't possibly be Alayne Stone, right? And Young Griff has truly blue hair? The answer is hair dye.

Tyrion repeatedly watches her bathing in the river every morning and never once comments on her dyeing her hair.  We know hair dyes in this world don't last very long; Sansa is constantly redyeing hers, JonCon's roots show through almost constantly.  Part of the reason we don't get POVs from the major plotting characters is that we can't reasonably be expected to not have them think of relevant plot details that would spoil surprises; similarly, it's sort of absurd to think that Tyrion, who stares intently at Septa Lemore every time she bathes, wouldn't comment on her dyeing her hair, the same way he does with all the other characters who obviously dye their hair on the shy Maid.  He comments on it about Griff and Young Griff, so it makes no sense that he wouldn't with Septa Lemore.

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We know that Ser Willem Darry took Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen into exile in Braavos, where they received succor from Braavos. We know that Oberyn went to Braavos in Doran's name to betroth Arianne to Viserys as witnessed by the Sealord. We know that the betrothal was kept secret, and that neither Illyrio nor Varys knew about it; neither did Viserys nor Daenerys for that matter. 

The author has Quentyn suggest to Daenerys that Doran did not offer any succor to the Targlings since we feared King Robert (with good reason), and Quentyn tells Daenerys that his "father was content to wait for the day that Prince Viserys found his army." 

For the reader, there is no evidence that Viserys ever would have found his army without the aid of Illyrio. Presumably, Doran should have been able to discern at some point that Viserys was not going to find his army. 

So the questions are: 1) How long was Doran willing to wait for Viserys to find his army? 2) Did someone (Varys perhaps) give Doran reason to hope that Viserys would find his army? 

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13 hours ago, Makk said:

He said Dorne will bleed if your purpose is discovered, he didn't say Dorne will bleed if you don't bring back a dragon.

His father told him to follow orders. This would have worked if the guy he was supposed to be following stayed alive, but when he died it only made things worse

His purpose is to bring back dragons, as Quent makes clear.  Dany is just a means to that end.

13 hours ago, Makk said:

All we know is that Doran said Fire and Blood. All the words mean is what Doran sees Daenerys is capable of bringing them. We don't know what importance he associated with them. All we know is that Doran was exceedingly cautious, and Quentyn has an inferiority complex and a certain pride. It is not very likely that Doran said anything that would make it imperative for him  

Right, but fire and blood means dragons.  

His friends had lost sight of his true purpose here. The road leads through her, not to her.

His purpose isn't Daenerys.  It's to obtain dragons.  When he sets out the most expedient way to do that is by marrying Daenerys.  When that won't happen he cuts out the middleman.  Because that is his purpose there.  His father laid a task on him, and his task is dragons.  It is right there in the text, literal as can be.

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9 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Well this is kind of my point.  The only reason Septa Lemore believes Young Griff is actually Aegon is because Jon Connington told her. 

It's not a point I ever disagreed with. Nor shall I.

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At the end of the day, Doran (and previously Oberyn) were getting their information from Septa Lemore, who gets it from Varys/Connington.  So why, exactly, is Doran not going to believe Connington, but believe Septa Lemore?  I mean, I guess there is some value in getting your info from someone you trust, but at the end of the day, the information is all coming from the same source; Septa Lemore isn't independently evaluating this or anything.

[...] Right, but you're missing my point on this, which I tried to explain above as well.  Where is Septa Lemore getting her information from?  JonCon.  She has literally no other source of verification.  If she saw him ride a dragon, well, that's good evidence, but that isn't possible and wouldn't have been even thought of when she was sent.  She gets to Essos, meets up with the Shy Maid group, and is told Young Griff's "true" identity.  And that's that.  Afterwards, she does her job educating him in her specialty.  You keep insisting that Septa Lemore is a source that the Martells can trust, and if you're right about her identity (which, again, interesting, but probably genetically impossible), they can trust her - but Doran and Oberyn are no one's fools, and they must realize that no matter what Lemore says, it's all still based on what JonCon and Varys say.  So... what's the point?

No, I'm not missing your point. There's no DNA test in this world. Who people say they are depends a - on looks b - other people's testimony of it. It's something that GRRM plays with in many varied cases both in histories of Westeros as well as the series of present events: Daeron II bastard or no bastard, Viserys Plumm not actually being a Plumm but son of Aegon IV, Alayne Stone, Cersei's children, fArya, a direwolf to verify it's Rickon, Jon Snow...

Lemore can only testify that JonCon and Aegon believe they are who they say they are. But that is as much what anyone can do for someone else. And yes, as someone who I suggest joined them to investigate and safeguard the boy on Oberyn's orders, her words would carry a lot of weight. She can fully claim that neither Aegon nor JonCon are conning anyone (they believe it themselves). Now I do believe Aegon is actually Illyrio's and Serra's son, but the word of trustworthy people caring and believing for him for over a decade does carry a lot of weight in this world.

And in this particular case, Doran sent Arianne to be his eyes and ears and having the power of decision by the end of aDwD. It' s not Doran who needs to be convinced, but Arianne. Arianne would be sceptic of JonCon, but she is going to believe Septa Lemore if she is Tyene's mother.

Also, looking like a Targ goes a long way, especially since there were no dragons to ride until 2 years ago. Furthermore, Ben Plumm probably could be a dragonrider if he had cared for one of Dany's dragons, because of his ancestral blood of a century ago. And then there's Nettles who might have been a dragonseed or not, but mainly achieved in becoming a dragonrider because she fed a wild dragon sheep. Plenty of cpatains within the Golden Company are fine with JonCon's word and the looks of Aegon to believe he's Aegon Targaryen. Someone's word if coming from a trusted person the hearer knows personally goes a very long way in this world, because that is all they have, despite the fact that you are totally correct that Lemore can never actually verify whether Varys speaks the truth or not. 

So, I'm not missing your point, nor am I arguing it. I simply find it irrelevant to the process on how people are convinced of someone's parentage in Westeros.

9 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

 It ruins everything he's shooting for, because by marrying into the Baratheon dynasty, he becomes a very obvious partisan of the Baratheons, which undermines his whole schtick with the Targs.

Not really. If Myrcella is the last surviving Baratheon, then Trystane would become lord of Storm's End. After all, as far as Doran knows, Trystane is not at present the direct heir to Sunspear. Would Viserys, Dany or Aegon mind their brother-in-law becoming Lord of Storm's End (in the hypothetical case that everything had gone smoothly).

After all, Tywin married Tyrion to Sansa to make him lord of WF. Would you argue that because of this Tywin became an obvious partisan of the Starks? Of course not.

9 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

And the problem with him marrying all his kids to Targaryens is that it leaves him without an heir, effectively.  Part of good feudal politics is putting your apples in as many baskets as possible, so to speak.  While loading up on the royal family is great, it isn't quite as nice when that royal family isn't exactly sitting on the throne at the moment.

Normally it doesn't leave him without an heir. There can only be one king or queen, but the other Targaryen can be consort to the Prince or Princess of Dorne. In fact, this was exactly the situation during Daeron II's reign: Daeron II Targaryen was married to Mariah Martell, sister of the Prince of Dorne, and Daeron's only sister Daenerys Targaryen was wed to the Prince of Dorne. (something I already mentioned before.)

Agreed it isn't quite as nice if they're not on the throne, but will you now deny that Doran hasn't been trying to betroth two of his children to 2 different Targaryens in exile? If not, then your issue is not with the fact that he's trying to marry his child to a Targaryen who's in exile, but simply that he thought of marrying two of his children into House Targaryen. But as I said, given the actual marriages that created first peace between the 7K and Dorne and then Dorne joining the 7K and accepting a Targ as king, long after the dragons had already died, was such a double marriage.

Beyond that, House Martell does not appear to have married houses of Westeros outside of Dorne at all, except for Elia Martell, who was also wed to the Targaryen crown prince. Doran wed a noblewoman of Norvos, and the Princess of Dorne at the time of Aegon III was married to the uncle of Larra Rogare of Lys. It doesn't sound like House Martell ever cared much about putting apples in as many feudal Westerosi baskets as possible.

So, while your opinion on how Doran should arrange marriages for his children per the feudal world he lives in is very reasonable, I don't see evidence that House Martell or Doran shares your opinion.

In fact, it is not until the years leading up to Robert's Rebellion that marriages to other Great Houses of other "kingdoms" are common. We know of only three marriages arranged to someone of a House that is not part of the North by the Starks: Cregan Stark married Alysanne Blackwood (former Northern House ousted out of the North once in history) because the Pact of Ice and Fire fell through as there was no Targ princess to be wed to the Lord Stark. A daughter Stark was married into the stewardly House Royce once, but under heavy protest of her brothers. Willam Stark married Melantha Blackwood. None of these are Great Houses: neither warden nor LP of their region. And then Rickard Stark tries to arrange a marriage for his son Brandon to a daughter of an LP: Catelyn Tully. It's only around then it becomes the fashion in Westeros, but it was not so before that. Most Wardens and LPs married their children into houses of their bannermen inside their own region. And usually the exception to that was marriage into the royal family. So, it took for over 2 centuries until the Great Houses of the 7K got the idea to marry amongst great houses. And Dorne has only been officially part of the 7K for little over a century.  

BTW, would you care to explain how I was "oblique"?

9 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

And you are right that I'm looking at this through too-omniscient eyes, a bit.  But it's also worth pointing out that Daenerys, who has dragons, isn't the rightful heir to the throne (if Aegon is who he says he is), so expecting conflict between her and her "nephew" isn't completely absurd.

a - this starts to sound like a straw man set up. I never said it's completely absurd for us readers to expect conflict between Dany and Aegon. It is heavily foreshadowed. What I asked you to do is not to project your reader's meta-expectations onto Doran's mind at the time of aFfC or start of aDwD when he sends Quantyn to Mereen and Arianne to JonCon respectively.

b - from Dany's perspective I would say we have evidence that Dany is not someone who would actually fight her own kin if she believed them to be real. After all, she never sought Viserys's death and regarded him as the rightful king, despite him being a horrible abusive man, despite Dany's opinion he wouldn't make a good king. Viserys got himself killed. On top of that Dany also had a vision in the HotU of Rhaegar holding Aegon and declaring him tPtwP. Aegon doesn't sound like an abusive character either, and no more arrogant than Dany can be. I only see Dany go into conflict with Aegon over the throne if she believes him to be an imposter, not if she believes him to be the son of her dealized brother Rhaegar.

c - from Doran's perspective I would say that we have evidence he heard of Viserys dying in the presence of Dany and that she did not intervene when her husband gave him a crown of molten gold. So, Doran may have reason to question Dany's desire for the throne at least some. Meanwhile he's also a ruler himself and he knows how news from ships can end up being something vastly different than the actual events. At least whatever reserves he may have had about Dany at the start, they were not large enough to stop Quentyn's journey to propose marriage to Dany, at the time. Doran and Arianne surely will come to think and expect the worst of her once they learn of Quentyn's fate, despite the fact that Dany wasn't even in Mereen when Quentyn got himself killed.  And finally, despite Quentyn already long on his way to Mereen to propose marriage, Doran still sends Arianne to meet and greet Aegon. In part to investigate, but it's quite clear that if Arianne sends a raven with the message "dragon" to her father, that House Martell will fight for Aegon. Now, why would Doran consider even fighting for Aegon while he supposes Quentyn to be married to Dany, if he expects the two dragons to fight each other? Doran imo is thinking about fighting for House Targaryen which would be any and all Targaryens, not about Blacks versus Greens.

9 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

He sent Quentyn into the middle of an active war zone with four knights.  That's it.

It only became an active war zone when Dany decided to stay in Mereen, which she only did in aDwD, by the time Quentyn was already in Volantis. Furthermore, there's always some war going on in the Disputed Lands, and Doran himself traveled to Norvos.

9 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Also, Daenerys doesn't tell him to go home - she tells him to try his hand at taking a dragon.  And Quentyn's thoughts and actions tell us that his instructions were to get dragons, not princesses.

They do not see. His friends had lost sight of his true purpose here. The road leads through her, not to her. Daenerys is the means to the prize, not the prize itself. " 'The dragon has three heads,' she said to me. 'My marriage need not be the end of all your hopes,' she said. 'I know why you are here. For fire and blood.' I have Targaryen blood in me, you know that. I can trace my lineage back—"

Not only is his object in Meereen laid bare there (and since he is sent by his father, we can safely assume his thoughts reflect his instructions), but Daenerys is shown to be angling for her own agenda.  Quentyn is sent to get dragons, and his marriage proposal is only a means to that end.  Which means Doran sends his completely unprepared son on a voyage which is very dangerous in the best of times, but now is headed into an active and vicious war zone, to go tame the most dangerous creature on the planet.  Suicidal indeed.

Well that's definitely a new spin on it.

The word "dragon" is used to refer to Targaryens themselves as well. And "fire and blood" are the words of House Targaryen. Now, while Dany having dragons surely is a motive for Doran, that's not the same as Doran insisting on Quentyn to tame a dragon.

Yes, the marriage proposal is the means to the end of having an ally with dragons. It's no different than Lysa Tully marrying Jon Arryn for Arryn's swords. Still, we cannot assume Quentyn's thoughts reflect Doran giving his son instructions to become a dragonrider, just as whatever words Hoster Tully would have used would have implied that Lysa Tully was expected to wield a sword herself.

Doran sent his son to make a marriage alliance, offering 50000 spears for Dany to help her conquer Westeros. Dany knows this is a political and strategic marriage where House Martell seeks the marriage for her dragons. Since she married another, she uses her house words and the double meaning of the word dragon to Quentyn, who by himself concludes he should tame a dragon.

9 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Tyrion repeatedly watches her bathing in the river every morning and never once comments on her dyeing her hair.  We know hair dyes in this world don't last very long; Sansa is constantly redyeing hers, JonCon's roots show through almost constantly.  Part of the reason we don't get POVs from the major plotting characters is that we can't reasonably be expected to not have them think of relevant plot details that would spoil surprises; similarly, it's sort of absurd to think that Tyrion, who stares intently at Septa Lemore every time she bathes, wouldn't comment on her dyeing her hair, the same way he does with all the other characters who obviously dye their hair on the shy Maid.  He comments on it about Griff and Young Griff, so it makes no sense that he wouldn't with Septa Lemore.

:) The most often cited arguments against the idea of Lemore dyeing her hair.

Sansa redyes the roots regularly (not constantly).

You do know why roots show the natural hair color, right? It's not because someone goes swimming. It's because hair grows, and the new hair, showing at the root hasn't had dye applied yet. How often you need to reapply hairdye to mask the roots depends on how fast hair grows, not how often you bathe daily.

Swimming doesn't do anything to dyed hair. Dye doesn't really disappear, after its first application. I've dyed may hair for a decade, reapplying it every 2 months for the roots, but hardly everr needing to reapply it to the bottom, unless I picked another shade. Guess what, I shower twice a day, soaping my hair with shampoo every 3 days. It doesn't come off and it doesn't stain my white bathrobe either. Only when I've just applied it and rinsed it freshly I must be careful with the towel I pick.  

More, the Tyroshi dyes (that includes natural colors) are used to dye clothes too. Pretty sure that Cersei would have a fit if her red clothes fade their dye with washing every time.

It's obvious that Young Griff and JonCon dye their hair, because it's BLUE. Tyrion doesn't need to see them doing it to know the hair is dyed, since noone has natural blue hair (not in our world nor in Planetos). If Lemore dyes her hair in a natural dark hair color to hide her identity from JonCon and Varys, she's not gonna dye it in sight of everyone, just like Sansa dyes her hair without any servent present. Lemore has her own room on the boat. A pail of water is all she needs.

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On 2017-08-01 at 6:56 PM, cpg2016 said:

Also, Septa Lemore is brunette, as is Oberyn, and Tyene Sand is blonde.  Genetically, it isn't possible that Lemore is Tyene's mother.  Sorry to burst that bubble.

Really? So numerous members of my family are impossible? Shame. I shall have to check on them and see if they still exist. 

Two people carrying recessive genes that are not phenotypical can have children who have a double-recessive. And that's just Mendelian genetics, which isn't even the whole story. You can even look it up. Science!!

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16 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

Really? So numerous members of my family are impossible? Shame. I shall have to check on them and see if they still exist. 

Two people carrying recessive genes that are not phenotypical can have children who have a double-recessive. And that's just Mendelian genetics, which isn't even the whole story. You can even look it up. Science!!

True.  But in universe, it seems decently well established that Mendelian genetics don't really exist.  Hence why ALL Baratheons have black hair and whatnot, all the nonsense with the ancestry MacGuffin.  Statistically that should be impossible.

But more thematically, the entire conversation we're having is the reason Septa Lemore isn't Tyene's mother.  GRRM is not in the business of basing his "twists" off of (relatively) intricate scientific twists - you shouldn't need to know who Gregor Mendel is or what his experiments showed in order to anticipate a surprise.  If it's important enough for GRRM to eventually reveal this to us, then he'll do something to tip us off.

Not every character has to have a hidden identity, and when they do, we get subtly clued in.  This one is more interesting that most of the nonsense here, but even so it's highly unlikely.  If she's been tutoring fAegon for any amount of time, which it is implied she has, then the timing doesn't work great either.  Tyene is only four years or so older than Aegon, so it's tough for her to be teaching Tyene as a child and fAegon.

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16 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

True.  But in universe, it seems decently well established that Mendelian genetics don't really exist.  Hence why ALL Baratheons have black hair and whatnot, all the nonsense with the ancestry MacGuffin.  Statistically that should be impossible.

But more thematically, the entire conversation we're having is the reason Septa Lemore isn't Tyene's mother.  GRRM is not in the business of basing his "twists" off of (relatively) intricate scientific twists - you shouldn't need to know who Gregor Mendel is or what his experiments showed in order to anticipate a surprise.  If it's important enough for GRRM to eventually reveal this to us, then he'll do something to tip us off.

Not every character has to have a hidden identity, and when they do, we get subtly clued in.  This one is more interesting that most of the nonsense here, but even so it's highly unlikely.  If she's been tutoring fAegon for any amount of time, which it is implied she has, then the timing doesn't work great either.  Tyene is only four years or so older than Aegon, so it's tough for her to be teaching Tyene as a child and fAegon.

The author does suggest that we should be questioning Lemore's identity. As a soiled septa, Tyene's mum is a leading candidate. Malora Hightower is another, and there is also the White Fawn. Ashara Dayne is another popular candidate. There are arguments for and against all of them, so take your pick. My chips are on the Mad Maid. 

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19 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

No, I'm not missing your point. There's no DNA test in this world. Who people say they are depends a - on looks b - other people's testimony of it. It's something that GRRM plays with in many varied cases both in histories of Westeros as well as the series of present events: Daeron II bastard or no bastard, Viserys Plumm not actually being a Plumm but son of Aegon IV, Alayne Stone, Cersei's children, fArya, a direwolf to verify it's Rickon, Jon Snow...

Lemore can only testify that JonCon and Aegon believe they are who they say they are. But that is as much what anyone can do for someone else. And yes, as someone who I suggest joined them to investigate and safeguard the boy on Oberyn's orders, her words would carry a lot of weight. She can fully claim that neither Aegon nor JonCon are conning anyone (they believe it themselves). Now I do believe Aegon is actually Illyrio's and Serra's son, but the word of trustworthy people caring and believing for him for over a decade does carry a lot of weight in this world.

Okay... but it still doesn't answer the question.  Under your hypothesis, Doran and Oberyn hear about little baby Aegon a decade or so ago, and take those rumors seriously enough to send an undercover agent there to do years worth of investigating?  While fooling Varys and Illyrio, of course, who certainly won't want to ruin their perfect prince by having a powerful lord influence his training.  Why hasn't Lemore reported back?  Are her instructions just to hang with the Shy Maid folks for forever, until maybe they head back to Westeros?  It doesn't make any sense.  If the septa is a spy or at least an observer, she should be reporting back.  Which we know for certain, she isn't.  Nothing here makes sense, if Septa Lemore has this hidden identity.

Quote

You do know why roots show the natural hair color, right? It's not because someone goes swimming. It's because hair grows, and the new hair, showing at the root hasn't had dye applied yet. How often you need to reapply hairdye to mask the roots depends on how fast hair grows, not how often you bathe daily.

I know.  My point was that Tyrion would have noticed Septa Lemore redyeing her hair, not it washing out.  Tyrion seems to be aboard the Shy Maid long enough that she would have had to redye her hair at some point.  It also would be suspicious to the rest of the party - Griff and Young Griff have good reasons for their hair dye, but they'd certainly be looking askance at her doing so, since she isn't actually supposed to be anyone important.

19 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

The word "dragon" is used to refer to Targaryens themselves as well. And "fire and blood" are the words of House Targaryen. Now, while Dany having dragons surely is a motive for Doran, that's not the same as Doran insisting on Quentyn to tame a dragon.

Except Quent himself thinks that Daenerys is not the prize, but the road to the prize.  He's thinking of literal dragons.

19 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Yes, the marriage proposal is the means to the end of having an ally with dragons. It's no different than Lysa Tully marrying Jon Arryn for Arryn's swords. Still, we cannot assume Quentyn's thoughts reflect Doran giving his son instructions to become a dragonrider, just as whatever words Hoster Tully would have used would have implied that Lysa Tully was expected to wield a sword herself.

I think we can.  Quentyn is very specific in what he thinks his instructions are - to bring back a literal dragon.   If his job was just to bring back Daenerys, a euphemistic dragon, then he wouldn't consider her a means to an end, but the end itself.

19 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

It only became an active war zone when Dany decided to stay in Mereen, which she only did in aDwD, by the time Quentyn was already in Volantis. Furthermore, there's always some war going on in the Disputed Lands, and Doran himself traveled to Norvos.

Um... no?  What was Dany doing before Meereen?  Sacking Astapor, marching on Yunkai, etc.  Those are violent conflicts, hence, active war zone.  It wasn't the same war, but it was a war.

19 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Someone's word if coming from a trusted person the hearer knows personally goes a very long way in this world, because that is all they have, despite the fact that you are totally correct that Lemore can never actually verify whether Varys speaks the truth or not. 

I don't disagree, but if Septa Lemore is Tyene's mother, then Doran should already know.  She's been a deep cover agent, essentially, for years.  It makes no sense that she hasn't written or whatever, especially since JonCon has already written to Doran.  You don't think she'd bring this up?  It's a nice theory, but the logic isn't there.

19 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Now, why would Doran consider even fighting for Aegon while he supposes Quentyn to be married to Dany, if he expects the two dragons to fight each other? Doran imo is thinking about fighting for House Targaryen which would be any and all Targaryens, not about Blacks versus Greens.

Because Doran is a shitty plotter.  You're presupposing that he's a smart guy and will act rationally.  As you said above that, to the best of Doran's knowledge, Dany is a violent conqueror, so he should be expecting internecine conflict when Dany and fAegon meet; she's a queen, and she'll have to give up her throne.  The throne her dragons will win.  He wants to play all sides so that he comes out on top no matter what - hence marrying Tystane to Myrcella.  But that isn't how fence sitting works; if you hedge your bets with everyone, you get nothing, no matter who wins, because everyone knows you fought for the other side, too.  Maybe you don't get punished too badly, but certainly not the massive rewards Doran is looking for.

19 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

But as I said, given the actual marriages that created first peace between the 7K and Dorne and then Dorne joining the 7K and accepting a Targ as king, long after the dragons had already died, was such a double marriage.

The problem here is with the specific Targaryens.  The original Daenerys was a dynastically unimportant daughter who got shipped off to Dorne.  Aegon is king, but our Daenerys is the draconic firepower behind the throne.  She can't just mosey off to Dorne, she's the linchpin of the new regime.

19 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

BTW, would you care to explain how I was "oblique"?

Because the point you were making (about Doran betting on two competing Houses with marriage pacts) was an attempt to defend your position, but inadvertently and tangentially proved mine.  Maybe there is a scenario in which Doran doesn't have to choose between Dany and Aegon, but he absolutely has to choose between House Baratheon and House Targaryen, which he very pointedly doesn't do.  Which is yet more evidence as to why Doran is an awful plotter - he's trying to back every horse in the race so he can minimize the odds of Dorne being dragged into a bloody war, but it also means he's minimizing his potential rewards, since everyone will know what he was doing re: marrying into both sides.  And since a return to political power is his ultimate goal, he's minimizing his chances of getting that.

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3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Okay... but it still doesn't answer the question.  Under your hypothesis, Doran and Oberyn hear about little baby Aegon a decade or so ago, and take those rumors seriously enough to send an undercover agent there to do years worth of investigating?  While fooling Varys and Illyrio, of course, who certainly won't want to ruin their perfect prince by having a powerful lord influence his training.  Why hasn't Lemore reported back?  Are her instructions just to hang with the Shy Maid folks for forever, until maybe they head back to Westeros?  It doesn't make any sense.  If the septa is a spy or at least an observer, she should be reporting back.  Which we know for certain, she isn't.  Nothing here makes sense, if Septa Lemore has this hidden identity.

It is the first time you pose the question. I can't answer a question before it has been asked.

Well, It is a very good question.  Yes, if she was an agent, she would have to report back. As I said, I myself lean to the opinion that Oberyn sent her without involving Doran to begin with. Doran doesn't seem to know why Sarella is in Oldtown and what she's doing there for example. Obviously Lemore could have reported back to Oberyn without Oberyn informing Doran. The less people know, the less they can talk. And since we only met Oberyn when talking to Tyrion, we can be sure he never let anything on to Tyrion, not when "birds are listening" (aka Varys) in the Red Keep. If Doran knows, then I believe Oberyn did not reveal it until he was about to leave for King's Landing (and saying his goodbye at the Water Gardens).  

So, no, we don't know for certain that she never reported back throughout the years, if she is who I argue she is.

Meanwhile there is no particular reason to suppose that Lemore would risk writing a message to Doran or Oberyn once in Westeros. First, she may not yet be aware that Oberyn is dead since aFfC. Secondly, since JonCon himself writes a letter to announce his arrival and seek an alliance with Doran and Dorne, she would not need to take the risk to send her own report committed to paper that might be read and intercepted by others. It is only during her stay in Westeros that she may have learned of Oberyn's death and Arianne's response at seeing her, wanting to say her true name, would make her realize that at least Arianne has no idea.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

My point was that Tyrion would have noticed Septa Lemore redyeing her hair, not it washing out.  Tyrion seems to be aboard the Shy Maid long enough that she would have had to redye her hair at some point.  It also would be suspicious to the rest of the party - Griff and Young Griff have good reasons for their hair dye, but they'd certainly be looking askance at her doing so, since she isn't actually supposed to be anyone important.

And I asnwered that point already: just like Sansa, Lemore can redye her hair in her private room with a pale of water, without any witness there. No need to do it openly.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Except Quent himself thinks that Daenerys is not the prize, but the road to the prize.  He's thinking of literal dragons.

And he was still supposed to get them through marriage, not with the intruction to become a dragonrider. You make an assertion with no evidence for it. I've got no problem with presenting it as a hypothesis, one you may fully believe, but you cannot state it as fact.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Um... no?  What was Dany doing before Meereen?  Sacking Astapor, marching on Yunkai, etc.  Those are violent conflicts, hence, active war zone.  It wasn't the same war, but it was a war.

There are always violent conflicts in Essos: Disputed Lands, Stepstones, Dothraki. Initially there is no reason to believe it is different than the usual course, or that Volantis and Qarth would plunge in to join. After all, the Elephants were in political power for years and they don't advocate war at all.

4 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

I don't disagree, but if Septa Lemore is Tyene's mother, then Doran should already know.  She's been a deep cover agent, essentially, for years.  It makes no sense that she hasn't written or whatever, especially since JonCon has already written to Doran.  You don't think she'd bring this up?  It's a nice theory, but the logic isn't there.

Already answered above. I remind you again that Doran knows about Sarella being at Oldtown, but not the particulars, nor is Sarella reporting to Doran either. Whether Doran knows now or not, Lemore would be reporting back to Oberyn, not Doran directly. 

4 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

As you said above that, to the best of Doran's knowledge, Dany is a violent conqueror, so he should be expecting internecine conflict when Dany and fAegon meet; she's a queen, and she'll have to give up her throne.

I disagree that he should expect Dany to war her own kindred jsut because she wants to be queen before her male kin. In fact, I don't believe Dany as a character would do so if Viserys were alive, or if she was informed about Aegon years ago. She believes she's the only and last Targaryen. She does not even know that Ben Plumm's father was actually Aegon IV and not the Old Plumm buried six feet under. 

4 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

But that isn't how fence sitting works; if you hedge your bets with everyone, you get nothing, no matter who wins, because everyone knows you fought for the other side, too.  Maybe you don't get punished too badly, but certainly not the massive rewards Doran is looking for.

This is meta-thinking again. Your argument about how Doran's shitty plotting may end in extinction disaster of his family is only of value to assess Doran's plans, not what actual plans he made. I was considering the plans he might possibly have made, leaving out my personal opinion of it. We won't understand Doran's plans by the "he should" reasoning.

4 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

The problem here is with the specific Targaryens.  The original Daenerys was a dynastically unimportant daughter who got shipped off to Dorne.  Aegon is king, but our Daenerys is the draconic firepower behind the throne.  She can't just mosey off to Dorne, she's the linchpin of the new regime.

She was not an unimportant daughter. She was Daeron's sole sister. Her marriage to Maron Martell was what made Dorne agree to become an official part of the 7K. It was not before it. It is also because her dynastic blood that Aerys II agreed to marry Rhaegar to Elia Martell, something he could not do with House Baratheon, since Steffon only had sons, no daughters. And the Water Gardens are proof that she wasn't just "shipped off to be forgotten" in Dorne, but much cherished by her husband.

If Viserys was alive or if Aegon is king, then Dany is of course more important as an ally through marriage. It's your belief as reader imo of Dany's plot importance (that meta-thinking again) that prevents you from recognizing that there is no social-time-relevant issue with Doran thinking that Dany would make a very fine wife to Quentyn, Prince of Dorne, and Arianne as Queen of the 7K. To Doran it may seem perfectly possible and reasonable, even if you consider Dorne but some outpost to be shipped off to.

4 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Because the point you were making (about Doran betting on two competing Houses with marriage pacts) was an attempt to defend your position, but inadvertently and tangentially proved mine.

You think this was inadvertent or tangential by me?

Look, I don't disagree with most of your meta-opinions. I just consider them irrelevant to understanding Doran or Oberyn or Lemore. So, I equally agree on a meta-level but disagree onits relevance on udnerstanding a character's plots. Nothing deliberate oblique about that, nor inadvertent.

What I disagree with is this constant inserting and projecting meta-opinions onto the motives and plans of characters. For example, no amount of "should haves" alters Ned's character, motives and choices, nor saves him from hs fate. There is benefit in a discussion on reader opinions about it, but it doesn't change the story. For example, let's say we were discussing Ned Stark's expressed desire to pass a letter to someone via Varys. Our opinion on his mistakes does not help us whatsoever in solving the subject of the letter or who it was for.

 

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