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Lord Varys

FIRE AND BLOOD Volume 1

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4 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

The Golden Company having motives now doesn't mean that there will be a deep dive into the history of the Blackfyre in the main books, at least not in any way a casual reader can't follow. I can see a lot of finds being peppered about, but nothing that would lose anyone because they don't know the histories.

Once the main books come to the whole Blackfyre thing - assuming they do - there will be additional back story, of course. But that is likely going to be focusing not on the tedious (and humiliating) details of the Battle of the Wendwater Bridge or Maelys Blackfyre's exploits on the Stepstones (although Barristan is likely going to shed some light on that war further down the road) but rather on the actual secrets historians never would or can know - the plots behind the scenes, how Aegon is descended from Daemon Blackfyre through the female line of House Blackfyre, who Varys and Illyrio really are, and what their motives are, etc.

Those kind of things would never be part of a history of House Targaryen - nor would it be very difficult to write such a history without focusing much on House Blackfyre. We see how easy this was in TWoIaF. We only got four more Blackfyre names - Calla, Aenys, Daemon III, and Daemon (IV) - and we learned next to nothing about these people or their families.

There is no reason to believe the Targaryen history is so intricately linked to the Blackfyre family that the one cannot be told without the other. Far to the contrary, actually. 

I mean, this whole thing is the challenge reading those histories. They are histories, and historians cannot resolve every mystery or uncover every conspiracy or plot. A history of the type of FaB or TWoIaF written on the main series would include people like Varys, Littlefinger, and Olenna Redwyne as little more than extras. At times, one imagines, a historian can uncover some real conspiracy (especially if he has the help of Mushroom) but if there were as smart plotters as Varys or Littlefinger running around during the reign of Viserys I, the Dance, or any other period then uncovering their traces should be very hard indeed for a historian.

In that sense, part of the fun of reading FaB in its completeness might be to look at certain events and wonder whether the people the historians think were involved actually had anything to do with what happened.

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23 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

The Golden Company having motives now doesn't mean that there will be a deep dive into the history of the Blackfyre in the main books, at least not in any way a casual reader can't follow. I can see a lot of finds being peppered about, but nothing that would lose anyone because they don't know the histories.

We already know from the five novels only that there were a series of dynastic wars between the. Backfyres and Targaryens (heck we knew that as early as Storm), and we know that Varys and Illyrio have been supporting Aegon, rather than the Targlings, all along. Some do believe that Aegon is actually the 18-19 year-old son of Rhaegar Targaryen, but if he's not, he is almost surely a descendant of Daemon Blackfyre. The only thing that really needs to be revealed is the line of descent. 

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6 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Once the main books come to the whole Blackfyre thing - assuming they do - there will be additional back story, of course. But that is likely going to be focusing not on the tedious (and humiliating) details of the Battle of the Wendwater Bridge or Maelys Blackfyre's exploits on the Stepstones (although Barristan is likely going to shed some light on that war further down the road) but rather on the actual secrets historians never would or can know - the plots behind the scenes, how Aegon is descended from Daemon Blackfyre through the female line of House Blackfyre, who Varys and Illyrio really are, and what their motives are, etc.

Those kind of things would never be part of a history of House Targaryen - nor would it be very difficult to write such a history without focusing much on House Blackfyre. We see how easy this was in TWoIaF. We only got four more Blackfyre names - Calla, Aenys, Daemon III, and Daemon (IV) - and we learned next to nothing about these people or their families.

There is no reason to believe the Targaryen history is so intricately linked to the Blackfyre family that the one cannot be told without the other. Far to the contrary, actually. 

I mean, this whole thing is the challenge reading those histories. They are histories, and historians cannot resolve every mystery or uncover every conspiracy or plot. A history of the type of FaB or TWoIaF written on the main series would include people like Varys, Littlefinger, and Olenna Redwyne as little more than extras. At times, one imagines, a historian can uncover some real conspiracy (especially if he has the help of Mushroom) but if there were as smart plotters as Varys or Littlefinger running around during the reign of Viserys I, the Dance, or any other period then uncovering their traces should be very hard indeed for a historian.

In that sense, part of the fun of reading FaB in its completeness might be to look at certain events and wonder whether the people the historians think were involved actually had anything to do with what happened.

I can see the bolded. More so if the Blackfyre rebellion is more connected to RR than it seems atm. I've begun to wonder that ASOIAF is actually a deconstruct, a going back in time to the beginning of the histories to some degree and we'll get the "truth" of the histories in parallels from the main books.

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2 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

I suspect there's a reason Vol. 2 won't be released before Winds. If we accept that The Blackfyre will be at the center of the second main conflict, the George might want to reveal things in Winds, and maybe even Dream. 

That has nothing to do with the history of the Targaryens up to Aegon V though. House Blackfyre's family line would have been well known during it's active era, not unlike the exiled Stuarts or the surviving Yorkists under Henry VII and VIII. Assuming we accept that Aegon VI is a Blackfyre, it's in the female line. That line only becomes important after Maelys the Monstrous's death in the Ninepeny Kings war. So no real conflict. If anything Volume 2 would be delayed due to Dunk and Egg. Vol. 2 could contain spoilers for future novellas.

Also, we really have no clue how much of Volume 2 has been worked on yet. For all we know it could be more or less done with only a few necessary additions to be be finished. Not likely but it's possible.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

But we know that neither Yandel nor Gyldayn care all that much about royal descendants through the female line - and why should they, in light of the status women have in this society? There are Targaryen-Hightowers, Targaryen-Penroses, Targaryen-Plumms, and we have no idea what happened to them.

Aegon's connection to House Blackfyre could remain as obscure as it is now even if we got a detailed history of House Blackfyre - it focus on the many male scions of House Blackfyres not the women who married obscure foreigners.

What would be ruined and spoiled by another volume of FaB covering the reigns of Aerys I to Aegon V (or Aerys II) would be Dunk & Egg stories. George could just as well not write them if he wrote a history about many events that are going to be covered in them.

Hence the idea that a second volume of FaB could not cover all the missing kings but cover events up the Great Spring Sickness, keeping Dunk & Egg stuff untouched.

Do we have any proof of a Hightower-Targaryen marriage? I thought that was still speculation at this point.

While that's a possibility, I doubt it. A break at the Great Spring sickness just doesn't seem to flow well. More likely we'd see Volume 2 pushed back until a few more Dunk & Egg novellas are finished or Volume 2 wouldn't focus on Aegon V's early years, before his accession to the throne. I think there's enough room to maneuver story-wise to allow Volume 2 to be published without revealing to much spoilers for future D & E novellas, especially if Fire & Blood focuses more at Court and on the reigns of the Kings rather than their entire lives.

1 hour ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

 

We already know from the five novels only that there were a series of dynastic wars between the. Backfyres and Targaryens (heck we knew that as early as Storm), and we know that Varys and Illyrio have been supporting Aegon, rather than the Targlings, all along. Some do believe that Aegon is actually the 18-19 year-old son of Rhaegar Targaryen, but if he's not, he is almost surely a descendant of Daemon Blackfyre. The only thing that really needs to be revealed is the line of descent. 

Well not necessarily. The Blackfyre thing could just as easily be a red herring. The only thing we know is the potential Aegon VI has the Targaryen appearance. Considering that such coloring isn't uncommon in Lys and some of the other Free Cities, he could just as easily be a commoner plucking from the streets.

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1 hour ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

 

We already know from the five novels only that there were a series of dynastic wars between the. Backfyres and Targaryens (heck we knew that as early as Storm), and we know that Varys and Illyrio have been supporting Aegon, rather than the Targlings, all along. Some do believe that Aegon is actually the 18-19 year-old son of Rhaegar Targaryen, but if he's not, he is almost surely a descendant of Daemon Blackfyre. The only thing that really needs to be revealed is the line of descent. 

I don't any problem with something like this. There's a tremendous number of secret so-and-so's, bastard conflicts real and feared, and we know the Targs were sometimes fiery to say the least without knowing the details. All from the main books. Enough set up for this scenario that yeah, only the names and a few details need to be plugged in for this to work for casual readers.

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1 hour ago, Hiigara129 said:

That has nothing to do with the history of the Targaryens up to Aegon V though. House Blackfyre's family line would have been well known during it's active era, not unlike the exiled Stuarts or the surviving Yorkists under Henry VII and VIII. Assuming we accept that Aegon VI is a Blackfyre, it's in the female line. That line only becomes important after Maelys the Monstrous's death in the Ninepeny Kings war. So no real conflict. If anything Volume 2 would be delayed due to Dunk and Egg. Vol. 2 could contain spoilers for future novellas.

Also, we really have no clue how much of Volume 2 has been worked on yet. For all we know it could be more or less done with only a few necessary additions to be be finished. Not likely but it's possible.

Do we have any proof of a Hightower-Targaryen marriage? I thought that was still speculation at this point.

While that's a possibility, I doubt it. A break at the Great Spring sickness just doesn't seem to flow well. More likely we'd see Volume 2 pushed back until a few more Dunk & Egg novellas are finished or Volume 2 wouldn't focus on Aegon V's early years, before his accession to the throne. I think there's enough room to maneuver story-wise to allow Volume 2 to be published without revealing to much spoilers for future D & E novellas, especially if Fire & Blood focuses more at Court and on the reigns of the Kings rather than their entire lives.

Well not necessarily. The Blackfyre thing could just as easily be a red herring. The only thing we know is the potential Aegon VI has the Targaryen appearance. Considering that such coloring isn't uncommon in Lys and some of the other Free Cities, he could just as easily be a commoner plucking from the streets.

Up to, or up through? 

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6 hours ago, Hiigara129 said:

Also, we really have no clue how much of Volume 2 has been worked on yet. For all we know it could be more or less done with only a few necessary additions to be be finished. Not likely but it's possible.

GRRM himself said the second part was largely unwritten.

6 hours ago, Hiigara129 said:

Do we have any proof of a Hightower-Targaryen marriage? I thought that was still speculation at this point.

The family tree in the Worldbook shows the match between Garmund Hightower and Rhaena Targaryen. They had six daughters.

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9 hours ago, Lollygag said:

I can see the bolded. More so if the Blackfyre rebellion is more connected to RR than it seems atm. I've begun to wonder that ASOIAF is actually a deconstruct, a going back in time to the beginning of the histories to some degree and we'll get the "truth" of the histories in parallels from the main books.

I think we might get some more information on the Wars of the Ninepenny Kings during the main series, simply because that's a war many living people actually still recall (and some of them, like Barristan Selmy and Brynden Tully, actually fought in). However, I'd be surprised if that particular war had a lot to do with Varys/Illyrio and Aegon - Maelys the Monstrous doesn't seem to be the kind of guy any decent person would want to avenge, and the chances are that Varys/Illyrio are much more pragmatic than the average person being in the game for vengeance or payback is - such people would have killed Viserys III and Daenerys, not used/helped them.

And the fact that they are actually willing to work with Barristan Selmy - the slayer of Maelys Blackfyre! - very much underlines this pragmatic approach.

9 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

The only thing that really needs to be revealed is the line of descent. 

Exactly. And that kind of thing would be never done in some history because no historian would ever know that - or rather: only know it after it becomes public knowledge - which may happen in TWoW or ADoS.

Any spoilers about historical Blackfyre stuff would very likely only affect Dunk & Egg, not the main series.

8 hours ago, Hiigara129 said:

Also, we really have no clue how much of Volume 2 has been worked on yet. For all we know it could be more or less done with only a few necessary additions to be be finished. Not likely but it's possible.

Nay, there hasn't been done any work on that one. If it had, George would have very likely added the entire reign of the Dragonbane to FaB I. It is very weird and actually, in my opinion, conceptually not very sound move to end the book after this Regency thing. A history on the first half of the Targaryen reign should at least go until the death of the last dragon - and since that took place only a few years before the death of the Dragonbane himself it should also include that event.

In a sense the Dance was the big turn in Targaryen reign, of course, but Aegon III's reign is the Epilogue to that event, not the Prologue to the new 'period'.

8 hours ago, Hiigara129 said:

While that's a possibility, I doubt it. A break at the Great Spring sickness just doesn't seem to flow well. More likely we'd see Volume 2 pushed back until a few more Dunk & Egg novellas are finished or Volume 2 wouldn't focus on Aegon V's early years, before his accession to the throne. I think there's enough room to maneuver story-wise to allow Volume 2 to be published without revealing to much spoilers for future D & E novellas, especially if Fire & Blood focuses more at Court and on the reigns of the Kings rather than their entire lives.

Well, the idea to have such a middle volume of FaB just rests on the fact that it seems to be much easier for George to write things like that than Dunk & Egg novellas, meaning there is a decent chance to get stuff like that in very little time if he actually concentrates on getting them done.

And it would also give us a lot of details on the reigns of Daeron II and Aegon IV and the First Blackfyre Rebellion which then would not need to be included or rehashed in various Dunk & Egg stories. After all, men like Bittersteel, Bloodraven, and Haegon Blackfyre all have a history and memory of the Blackfyre Rebellion and the years before that, and that is going to be a pretty big role when they finally feature more prominently in the Dunk & Egg stories.

The whole story of Aegor, Shiera, and Brynden has to be told in detail in Dunk & Egg at one point when they finally show up, or else the casual reader won't understand anything.

I agree that it would conceptually not be the best decision to make a break but neither is the Regency of Aegon III - and if the reigns of Aegon III to Daeron II could fill another book as large - or nearly as large - as FaB I I'd say it could be done rather easily.

I mean, considering the details we already know about the kings from Aegon III to Aerys II FaB II would have to be vastly bigger than FaB if it intends to do the material justice and add new material on the way. And we do know that George has sketched out a lot of events for potential Dunk & Egg stories as well as given the reign of Aegon IV much, much thought (for the planned novel on the life of Aegon the Unworthy from his POV).

Chances are that this second volume would become two second volumes aren't all that small.

And I really don't want to buy and read a book that treats the reigns of Aerys I to Aegon V the way TWoIaF did - by adding pretty much nothing of substance. I mean, sure, we got some details on Egg's family but the account on Maekar's reign is actually a joke. That's 'the man was a pretty good king' and 'nothing major happened there' and then half a page on the Great Council after the man's death.

It may be that nothing major in types of wars and conflicts happened during Maekar's reign (although there are two smaller rebellions in the Lothston and the Peake uprising) but there would have been a lot of interesting personal things happening in that era, things involving Dunk, Egg, and many other prominent things - and nothing about that made it into TWoIaF. And it is not likely that those things could be cut from a thorough history of Maekar's reign.

In fact, a thorough account of the reign of Aerys I's reign would also have explained when and how Dagon Greyjoy was dealt with. But that would have been a spoiler for a new Dunk & Egg story, etc.

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I'm really looking forward to the F&B books, hopefully we get a bundle of new theories to deal with!

It will be cool to see the reigns of some of the lesser known Targs get fleshed out - the likes of Maekar, Viserys I and Aerys I are bound to have some good stories. I'm also excited to find out about the later lives of characters like Baela Targaryen - what did she come to think of Marston Waters?

Hopefully we also get some more info on the Velaryons, maybe more details on the nine voyages of The Sea Snake? Perhaps some more details about the opinions of the remaining Valyrian families in Westeros regarding the death of dragons, Freehold and Doom?

George has said we will get lots of material regarding dragons, so we could potentially see some interesting stuff like a family tree for Balerion, Vhagar and Meraxes, or a better account of the deaths of dragons such as Balerion and Silverwing. 

One thing I'd be fascinated to see fleshed out is the great tourney of King's Landing in 98AC. All the dragons and Targaryens gathered in the one place would surely be the recipe for some interesting goings on. 

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Has anybody ever read any of the popular histories George mentioned in his NAB post, the books on the Plantagenet kings by Thomas B. Costain? I've read into the first one, 'The Conquering Family', and it is really remarkable how similar they are in style and tone.

And there are even plot germs in there - Costain's Empress Matilda is portrayed in an even less sympathetic light than George's Rhaenyra (but they seem to be on the same page in their degree of haughtiness) and the way he repeats the weirdo rumors (without referencing sources, of course) about King Stephen being the true father of King Henry II, gleefully talking about the possibility that no so-called Plantagenet king is actually descended from Geoffrey of Anjou, may very well be the origin of the underlying idea that King Aenys - and thus all Targaryens of Westerosi history are not, in fact, descended from Aegon the Conqueror and thus only Targaryen through the female line.

Trestle tables, religious courts judging their own in Henry II's England), etc. are also mentioned frequently in there, making it very likely that this series is not just a significant source for the FaB but actually the entire series.

7 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

It will be cool to see the reigns of some of the lesser known Targs get fleshed out - the likes of Maekar, Viserys I and Aerys I are bound to have some good stories. I'm also excited to find out about the later lives of characters like Baela Targaryen - what did she come to think of Marston Waters?

Maekar and Aerys I won't show up in this volume, of course, but we should get an even more detailed picture of Viserys I - both in the unabridged account of his reign as well as the account on the reign of Jaehaerys I - after all, Viserys I and Daemon (and their unknown brother Aegon) grew to manhood during the last decades of Jaehaerys I. Their childhoods and marriages should be touched upon, just as we should get a much more detailed picture of the Queen That Never Was...

Baela and Rhaena Targaryen should feature prominently in the account on Aegon III's regency. Baela married Alyn Velaryon, and Rhaena was first married to Corwyn Corbray, who served as one of the regents of Aegon III until his death. Those two girls grew to womanhood during those years and would have come into their own long before Aegon III. Before Prince Viserys and the Rogares came to court - and perhaps even some time thereafter - the true champions of House Targaryens (and determined defenders of their little half-brother, the king) - would have been Baela and Rhaena, presumably. There was nobody else left. Nobody to defend the boy king from the men ruling in his name.

Alyn Velaryon could likely be counted upon, too, but he apparently spent more time away from court than in KL.

7 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

Hopefully we also get some more info on the Velaryons, maybe more details on the nine voyages of The Sea Snake?

That is very likely, too. The Velaryons would have been very influential throughout the reign of Jaehaerys I, first because the Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon served as Queen Regent, and then because of the fame and wealth of the Sea Snake.

7 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

George has said we will get lots of material regarding dragons, so we could potentially see some interesting stuff like a family tree for Balerion, Vhagar and Meraxes, or a better account of the deaths of dragons such as Balerion and Silverwing.

Balerion's death should be a significant event in the section on Jaehaerys I. Silverwing's death could take place during the Regency era - or not. If she survives until after 136 AC her ultimate fate will have to wait for FaB II, or some other work of George's where some character references her death. My guess is that some dragonslayer eventually slew her. If that's true she might have been killed during the Regency since it doesn't sound very likely that a grown-up Aegon III ruling in his own right - with his brother Prince Viserys at his side - would have authorized the slaying of a dragon.

After all - wild dragon or not, even if King Aegon III was afraid of dragons after the Dance, Lady Baela or Prince Viserys could have claimed Silverwing to help restore Targaryen dragon power, or one of his sons could have made an attempt (Prince Aegon foremost among them).

7 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

One thing I'd be fascinated to see fleshed out is the great tourney of King's Landing in 98AC. All the dragons and Targaryens gathered in the one place would surely be the recipe for some interesting goings on. 

That could be an interesting event to portray in greater detail, yes. Prior to TWoIaF I wondered whether the Targaryen dragonriders entertained themselves and their subjects with 'dragon tourneys' or some kind - or at least some sort of dragon airshow. There would still be opportunity for this.

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I actually think Volume 1 stopping at the end of Aegon III's regency and Volume 2 ending with the Great Spring Sickness could be thematically satisfying as well as appropriate.

The regency of Aegon III is House Targaryen's lowest point, what with the realm devastated by the Dance, a six-year winter, Ironborn reaving, and the feuding regents. Thus, the book ending with Aegon III claiming power is a nice way to end the book on a positive note that implies things will get better (for a while).

The Great Spring Sickness represents the beginning of House Targaryen's second lowest point, what with the Second Blackfyre Plot, the Third Blackfyre Rebellion, Ironborn reaving, and the drought that followed the plague. Thus, ending Volume 2 there would have the opposite effect of Volume 1 in that it would end on a negative note that leaves us worried about the realm whilst mourning what it has lost in the persons of Daeron II, Valarr, and Matarys. 

Furthermore, if Volume 1 presents the apex and nadir of House Targaryen (as well as its origins) then a great way to center Volume 2 would be to really focus it around the Iron Throne's relationship with Dorne after the death of the last dragon and how that leads to the First Blackfyre Rebellion as well as its aftermath.  

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What can we expect in the fully developed chapter on Jaehaerys the First that is confirmed to be in FAB?

  • Gains the throne in 48 AC after Maegor dies.  
  • Reconciles with Faith of the Seven.
  • ...there was apparently another Dornish War, as they were marshalling in the mountain passes when the final revolt broke out against Maegor, seizing advantage of the chaos.
  • Made a major trip to Winterfell with dragons, then the Wall.  Heavily patronized the Night's Watch with the New Gift and Deep Lake (to replace the Nightfort)
  • Viserys I, near death, told his grandchildren a tale of Jaerharys flying north to defeat a horde of wildlings, giants, and wargs at the Wall - is this actually based on anything?  Even exaggerating a ranging in force using a dragon or something?
  • Negotiated an end to the Blackwood-Bracken feud which held for 50 years, though it did not long outlive him.
  • Built all the highways including the Kingsroad, leading to the creation of the familiar Inn at the Crossroads (where he often stayed)
  • What the heck happened to Rhaena, Rhaella, and Aerea?
  • Unified the law code.  I hope we get a lot of worldbuilding details on what exactly they unified.
  • Late in his reign, things didn't go so well.  92 AC to his death in 103 AC:
  • 92 AC:  Myrish pirates seize control of the eastern half of Tarth.  Jaehaerys's eldest son Aemon dies fighting them.  Question of his new heir arises, because Aemon left behind daughter Rhaenys, but he chooses his second son Baelon.  Passing over the female heir likes this sparks the "Second Quarrel" between Jaehaerys and Alysanne, though they later reconcile.
  • ....what was the "First Quarrel"?
  • ....might we possibly get some more info on the voyages of Corlys Velaryon, the Sea Snake?  From his younger years?  He was Rhaenys's husband.
  • 99 AC - youngest daughter Gael drowns herself after being impregnated by a singer.  Consumed by grief, Alysanne follows her daughter in death a year later.  For the last years of his reign from 100 to 103, Jaehaerys is an old, frail shell of his former self (and the Hightowers start muscling in to positions.
  • The same year that Gael died, in 99 AC Septon Barth died, his Hand of the King for 40 years.
  • 101 AC - Baelon dies of a burst belly, leading to the Great Council of 101 to settle on a successor.

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3 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Viserys I, near death, told his grandchildren a tale of Jaerharys flying north to defeat a horde of wildlings, giants, and wargs at the Wall - is this actually based on anything?  Even exaggerating a ranging in force using a dragon or something?

Elio already confirmed it was just a story for the children.

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4 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

The Great Spring Sickness represents the beginning of House Targaryen's second lowest point, what with the Second Blackfyre Plot, the Third Blackfyre Rebellion, Ironborn reaving, and the drought that followed the plague. Thus, ending Volume 2 there would have the opposite effect of Volume 1 in that it would end on a negative note that leaves us worried about the realm whilst mourning what it has lost in the persons of Daeron II, Valarr, and Matarys. 

I don't think we can say that the year 209 AC marked the beginning of 'the second lowest point' for the dynasty. It is said in TSS that the start of the reign of King Aerys I has the Realm worse off than the last years of the reign of the Good King, but the Realm hardly descends into chaos. And a plague like the Great Spring Sickness - while pretty bad - likely happens as often as a really long and hard winter (i.e. every generation or so). It wouldn't necessarily be a really low turn.

The Dance and its aftermath was really, really bad. A very costly and devastating civil, beginning in autumn, stretching into winter, followed by a six-year-winter and a plague (the Winter Fever) while the government of the Realm was in the hands of ambitions and incompetent people.

Vice versa, Maekar and Aegon V might have been troubled by more unrest and rebellions than Aerys I. The Second Blackfyre Rebellion was a joke, and the Ironborn raiders were never threatening the integrity of the Realm. Even Yandel makes it clear that Dalton Greyjoy was the last great Ironborn threat, not this Dagon Greyjoy fellow.

If one searches for low points, the Targaryens may actually have been in a worse shape after the end of the reign of Daeron I (so much dead men in Dorne) or after the Unworthy bit the dust (a Realm deeper in corruption than ever before).

But then, I really don't think that one need conceptual reasons for a break at this point. If George were to produce a lot of material on the Conquest of Dorne and the First Blackfyre Rebellion (as well as significant amounts of material on the reigns of Aegon III, Baelor the Blessed, and, of course, Aegon the Unworthy and Daeron II) then a break could be made at that point simply because the book was already nearly as large, as large, or even larger than FaB I at that point.

After all, conceptually the whole Blackfyre story continues throughout the reigns of Aerys I and Maekar, and many of the characters shaping history remain the same - not just the Blackfyre sons and Bittersteel, but also Bloodraven, and the sons and grandsons of Daeron II.

But it would be a nice way to prevent George from spoiling the Dunk & Egg stories. And reading a second volume going to that point could actually add a lot of depth to all the Dunk & Egg stories - both the existing and the planned novellas - considering we would learn a lot about the background of the people featuring in those stories - or the background of their parents.

While it is great to see Dunk explore an unknown period of Westerosi history it is a lot of baggage, at times, that the narrator does not only have to give us updates on what happened in-between the stories but also give us a lot back story on the Blackfyres and other things - that's very evident in TSS. It works pretty good there, because the main theme of the story is actually a rather trivial conflict, allowing the author to focus heavily on the history of the characters involved, but not every Dunk & Egg story is likely going to be able to afford that kind of thing.

From that point of view it might actually be pretty good to have FaB II acting as a prologue or tie-in history for the Dunk & Egg stories.

4 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

...there was apparently another Dornish War, as they were marshalling in the mountain passes when the final revolt broke out against Maegor, seizing advantage of the chaos.

Could be that a Second Dornish War - if the Vulture Hunt doesn't count as one - developed from there. Lord Baratheon - the Hand and Protector of the Realm during Jaehaerys I's minority - likely wasn't all that willing to ignore a Dornish invasion of his own lands. He may have decided not only to throw them back but also to try another invasion of Dorne itself.

And with the Vulture Hunt not being that far back in the past they may have been more than enough incentive for additional payback.

But we can be pretty sure that those kind of things seized once Jaehaerys I took a more active hand in his own government - especially once he made Septon Barth his Hand.

The question how long Lord Baratheon remained Hand after the king had turned sixteen is another interesting question. Were Alyssa Velaryon and her husband the strong figures at court until Barth was raised to high office, i.e. was Lord Baratheon the only Hand of Jaehaerys I before Barth or were there one or multiple other Hand between Lord Baratheon and Septon Barth?

4 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Viserys I, near death, told his grandchildren a tale of Jaerharys flying north to defeat a horde of wildlings, giants, and wargs at the Wall - is this actually based on anything?  Even exaggerating a ranging in force using a dragon or something?

That is confirmed to have been a fairy-tale told to children. Jaehaerys I and Alysanne were at the Wall, but there was no fighting there.

4 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Negotiated an end to the Blackwood-Bracken feud which held for 50 years, though it did not long outlive him.

Don't think that's going to be a major topic in the story.

4 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • What the heck happened to Rhaena, Rhaella, and Aerea?

That is going to be covered. They were part of the royal family, after all. An even larger focus should be on all the children of Jaehaerys I. Not just because they were royal children but also because Alysanne was the most fertile Targaryen woman in history, so those children are going to play a not exactly insignificant role in any account on their reign - even if the children themselves were insignificant (which they likely were not).

Especially the elder children - Alyssa, Aemon, and Baelon - should feature rather prominently, and they children later on, too. One wouldn't be surprised if Aemon/Jocelyn and Alyssa/Baelon didn't turn out to be the best of friends. They may have been tensions between the branches from an early age. There must be a reason why Princess Alyssa ended up with her second youngest brother, Baelon, instead of the eldest son Aemon.

But Daella, Vaegon, Viserra (and the story about her Manderly betrothal), and Maegelle are likely going to be pretty prominent as well. 

4 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Unified the law code.  I hope we get a lot of worldbuilding details on what exactly they unified.

That would be nice. One would like to get at least some idea what this whole thing meant in practice.

4 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • ....what was the "First Quarrel"?

That is very likely going to be addressed. Considering that George indicates that the king and queen were not exactly married for all the years of their marriage I'm inclined to believe that there was a separation for romantic grounds. It would be very interesting if Alysanne decided that she had had enough of her brother-husband and intended to live with some paramour of hers.

4 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

....might we possibly get some more info on the voyages of Corlys Velaryon, the Sea Snake?  From his younger years?  He was Rhaenys's husband.

There is likely going to be more on him. And, in fact, I actually like the idea that Corlys Velaryon - due to his early birth - may have been Alysanne's favorite at a time. She could have accompanied him on one of his voyages. The impression we get on her character in those tales from the North implies that she had a strong desire for adventure...

4 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • 99 AC - youngest daughter Gael drowns herself after being impregnated by a singer.  Consumed by grief, Alysanne follows her daughter in death a year later.  For the last years of his reign from 100 to 103, Jaehaerys is an old, frail shell of his former self (and the Hightowers start muscling in to positions.
  • The same year that Gael died, in 99 AC Septon Barth died, his Hand of the King for 40 years.
  • 101 AC - Baelon dies of a burst belly, leading to the Great Council of 101 to settle on a successor.

About the end we already know a lot, so it would be interesting to see how this is handled in the book. One imagines that George is going to focus less on the succession in the chapter and more what transpired in the last years from the point of view of the king and queen. And there are quite a few marriages and births to be recounted in those days - Rhaenys and Corlys, Viserys and Aemma, Daemon and Rhea - and, of course, the births of Laena, Laenor, and Rhaenyra. Especially the birth of Laenor should have had effects on Jaehaerys I and Baelon considering that Princess Rhaenys had produced a male heir whereas Baelon's heir Viserys - and his second son Daemon - were still without sons when the Old King died...

And in regards to the succession we should learn a lot more about Jaehaerys I's decision for Baelon back in 92 AC as well as the Great Council later on. At this point we only know the outcomes - and, to a point - who supported who at the Great Council - but not so much why certain people flocked to this or that party.

And both Prince Viserys and Princess Rhaenys need to be flashed out more in those days. How eager were they to sit the throne? How well-connected/popular were they, and for what reason? Viserys I is later flashed out in his role as king, but his childhood, youth and early adulthood are not touched upon on in any detailed in the published material.

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On 28/04/2018 at 10:05 PM, Lord Varys said:

Has anybody ever read any of the popular histories George mentioned in his NAB post, the books on the Plantagenet kings by Thomas B. Costain? I've read into the first one, 'The Conquering Family', and it is really remarkable how similar they are in style and tone.

And there are even plot germs in there - Costain's Empress Matilda is portrayed in an even less sympathetic light than George's Rhaenyra (but they seem to be on the same page in their degree of haughtiness) and the way he repeats the weirdo rumors (without referencing sources, of course) about King Stephen being the true father of King Henry II, gleefully talking about the possibility that no so-called Plantagenet king is actually descended from Geoffrey of Anjou, may very well be the origin of the underlying idea that King Aenys - and thus all Targaryens of Westerosi history are not, in fact, descended from Aegon the Conqueror and thus only Targaryen through the female line.

Trestle tables, religious courts judging their own in Henry II's England), etc. are also mentioned frequently in there, making it very likely that this series is not just a significant source for the FaB but actually the entire series.

I'm not familiar with the text, certainly sounds like something I'd enjoy. 

The King Henry/Aenys parentage comparison is interesting - I've always been fascinated by the idea that The Conqueror was not the father.

It also makes me think of House Blackfyre, who's current representatives would likely be from the female line -  I guess from now on I'm gonna be suspicious of Thomas B. Costain's namesakes, House Costayne (who's members have included Blackfyre supporters, Kingsguard Knights and even a bride of Maegor the Cruel).

 

 

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On 28/04/2018 at 10:05 PM, Lord Varys said:

Maekar and Aerys I won't show up in this volume, of course, but we should get an even more detailed picture of Viserys I - both in the unabridged account of his reign as well as the account on the reign of Jaehaerys I - after all, Viserys I and Daemon (and their unknown brother Aegon) grew to manhood during the last decades of Jaehaerys I. Their childhoods and marriages should be touched upon, just as we should get a much more detailed picture of the Queen That Never Was...

Baela and Rhaena Targaryen should feature prominently in the account on Aegon III's regency. Baela married Alyn Velaryon, and Rhaena was first married to Corwyn Corbray, who served as one of the regents of Aegon III until his death. Those two girls grew to womanhood during those years and would have come into their own long before Aegon III. Before Prince Viserys and the Rogares came to court - and perhaps even some time thereafter - the true champions of House Targaryens (and determined defenders of their little half-brother, the king) - would have been Baela and Rhaena, presumably. There was nobody else left. Nobody to defend the boy king from the men ruling in his name.

Alyn Velaryon could likely be counted upon, too, but he apparently spent more time away from court than in KL.

It would be great to see how the Old King interacted with Viserys - how much did the future king learn from his grandfather. 

A parlay between The Conciliator and Rouge Prince could be golden too! Especially if Daemon's pal (and Jaeharys' future son-in-law) the Sea Snake was there.

Great point about Baela and Rhaena serving as de-facto champions of House Targaryen, one I've not seen brought up before.

The twins certainly have a lot of mystique to them - Baela and Moondancer facing off against Aegon II and his much larger dragon (a fight which had a hand in the mighty golden beast's death), as well as Baela, who hatched a dragon which died soon after, and later managed to bond with another (Morning) towards the end of the Dance - a feat unseen amongst any other Targs.

We also finally might get some info on Rhaena and Garmund Hightower's relationship.

On 28/04/2018 at 10:05 PM, Lord Varys said:

Balerion's death should be a significant event in the section on Jaehaerys I. Silverwing's death could take place during the Regency era - or not. If she survives until after 136 AC her ultimate fate will have to wait for FaB II, or some other work of George's where some character references her death. My guess is that some dragonslayer eventually slew her. If that's true she might have been killed during the Regency since it doesn't sound very likely that a grown-up Aegon III ruling in his own right - with his brother Prince Viserys at his side - would have authorized the slaying of a dragon.

After all - wild dragon or not, even if King Aegon III was afraid of dragons after the Dance, Lady Baela or Prince Viserys could have claimed Silverwing to help restore Targaryen dragon power, or one of his sons could have made an attempt (Prince Aegon foremost among them).

Yeah, one would assume that the remaining Targs would have done their best to find Silverwing. It's easy to imagine some would be dragon-rider venturing out towards Red Lake, never to return again.

Certain Velaryons at that point might also have attempted to bond with Silverwing - this would still have only been a few years removed from Laenor claiming Seasmoke (a feat that would surely be held in high regard amongst his father's remaining kin).

I wonder, being that Vol. 1 of F&B will end with the regency of the Dragonbane, perhaps we will get a proper account of the deaths of some of the last dragons such as Morning.

On 28/04/2018 at 10:05 PM, Lord Varys said:

That could be an interesting event to portray in greater detail, yes. Prior to TWoIaF I wondered whether the Targaryen dragonriders entertained themselves and their subjects with 'dragon tourneys' or some kind - or at least some sort of dragon airshow. There would still be opportunity for this.

B) I'd be down for an airshow type situation - the Black and Red Arrows, perhaps?

Interestingly enough, something like an airshow would be a good way to train new riders and sharpen the piloting skills of others, as well as maybe stopping the dragons themselves from getting lazy.

 

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2 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

I'm not familiar with the text, certainly sounds like something I'd enjoy. 

To be sure, George's Gyldayn seems to be less opinionated than the Costain fellow. He really proclaims who was a great king and who wasn't, and he is about as skeptical about his sources as Mushroom is likely to be, giving popular ballads and rumors credit as sources, and assessing them as if they had any meaning at all.

It is still a very entertaining read.

2 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

The King Henry/Aenys parentage comparison is interesting - I've always been fascinated by the idea that The Conqueror was not the father.

I think we can really assume that this is a given, at least beneath the surface. Just like with Cersei's and Rhaenyra's children - if nobody can successfully challenge the parentage then the official story - whatever that is - will end up being believed. And Aegon the Conqueror and his sister-wives made Aenys and Maegor Aegon's sons - but that doesn't mean he was their biological father.

I'd believe Aegon I wasn't sterile if Aenys and Maegor had had any siblings, if Aegon had any acknowledged bastards, or if Rhaenys/Visenya had had as much trouble as Aerys II and Rhaella to produce living children. But just two confirmed pregnancies after such long marriages and no report about any miscarriages, stillbirths, or princes and princesses that died in the cradle is very odd. It makes it very likely that everything was fine with Rhaenys and Visenya and everything wrong with Aegon the Conqueror.

After all, when they finally got pregnant, everything worked pretty well.

50 minutes ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

It would be great to see how the Old King interacted with Viserys - how much did the future king learn from his grandfather.

Hopefully there will be something about this. Not necessarily some really big scene, but it would be interesting to know what Jaehaerys I (and Alysanne) thought about the grandchildren - just as it would be great to know what Egg and Dunk thought about young Prince Aerys...

But I guess the more interesting thing would also be how well Viserys and Daemon got along with their father Baelon. Back in 92 AC it would have been Baelon's qualities that convinced the king to name him his heir, one assumes.

50 minutes ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

Great point about Baela and Rhaena serving as de-facto champions of House Targaryen, one I've not seen brought up before.

There are some hints about that with the girls arranging Corlys Velaryon's acquittal after the murder of Aegon II as well as choosing Aegon III's second bride for him. They were the ones introducing their half-brother to Daenaera Velaryon, thwarting the plans of Lord Peake to marry his daughter to the king.

50 minutes ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

We also finally might get some info on Rhaena and Garmund Hightower's relationship.

A little bit, one hopes, assuming they married during the Regency era - which seems likely. It would be really interesting to know whether the Garmund Hightower fellow was Lord Ormund's oldest son and heir - and thus the Lord of Oldtown by the time he married Rhaena.

50 minutes ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

Yeah, one would assume that the remaining Targs would have done their best to find Silverwing. It's easy to imagine some would be dragon-rider venturing out towards Red Lake, never to return again.

@Ran once told us that Silverwing has a story of her, but I don't know whether he knows that story yet or not. If the Regency covers her death he does, if not then he may not. He and Linda certainly didn't learn what happened to Rhaena's Morning when they worked on TWoIaF. They asked George about her, but he didn't tell them, indicating that she is still alive and kicking by the end of the Regency era.

50 minutes ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

Certain Velaryons at that point might also have attempted to bond with Silverwing - this would still have only been a few years removed from Laenor claiming Seasmoke (a feat that would surely be held in high regard amongst his father's remaining kin).

Could be, but it seems at least Alyn Velaryon had had enough of dragons considering the scars he received. How many cadet branch Velaryon survived the Dance is unclear. We only know about this Daeron Velaryon fellow, a cousin of Alyn's, who is the father of Queen Daenaera Velaryon.

50 minutes ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

I wonder, being that Vol. 1 of F&B will end with the regency of the Dragonbane, perhaps we will get a proper account of the deaths of some of the last dragons such as Morning.

See above - not very likely. If a dragon died during the Regency we are likely to learn about it - just as we would likely learn it if new dragons hatched during that period, but it is not very likely we get some sort of final account on the fate of the last dragons. Those things might actually part of interesting stories that play out during the reign of the adult Aegon III.

I imagine, though, that it might turn out that Sheepstealer was simply killed during some battle/conflict - either between the clansmen themselves (one could assume other clansmen banding together and taking the witch and her dragon after the Burned Men started to gain momentum thanks to Nettles and Sheepstealer), or when the clansmen (assisted by Nettles and her dragon) attacked the Vale. 

50 minutes ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

B) I'd be down for an airshow type situation - the Black and Red Arrows, perhaps?

Interestingly enough, something like an airshow would be a good way to train new riders and sharpen the piloting skills of others, as well as maybe stopping the dragons themselves from getting lazy.

Yeah, they must have had some purpose for those dragons during peace times.

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One has to imagine the stopping point is very intentional, as it will end just before the history would cover the events of Dunk and Egg and include characters alive in ASoIaF, like Bloodraven, who’s rule as king in all but name appears to me to be a reign of terror and who’s motivations are pivotal for the plot of the series.

It’s hard to believe the timing at this point isn’t intentional...

Like if you think Winds being delayed doesn’t have to do with letting the TV show finish before it’s released, I have a bridge you might be interested in buying...

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On ‎4‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 7:31 AM, Lord Varys said:

That is confirmed to have been a fairy-tale told to children. Jaehaerys I and Alysanne were at the Wall, but there was no fighting there.

....really?

Oh crud, does anyone have an exact citation?  The wiki hasn't been updated with that.  

(It's hard for me to keep track of all of Elio's confirmations scattered across the forums, for wiki update purposes..)

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