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Lord Varys

FIRE AND BLOOD Volume 1

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As I understand it, Fire and Blood Volume 1 ends where it does, after Aegon III, because:

  • It's simply where GRRM stopped writing his background "notes" for the World book...on realizing they were now as long as the book they were meant to fit inside (that's when he reached 180,000 words worth of "notes"...for a World book that's 180,000 words long)
  • It actually is sort of the "mid-point" of Targaryen history, chronologically.  Loosely about 150 years after the Conquest but 150 years before Robert's Rebellion.  Just due to the "chapter breaks" of history - the drawn out Daeron I / Baelor / Viserys II era has no clear stopping points (you wouldn't stop with Daeron I), but by the time you get to Aegon IV it's a whole generation later, and just looking at the content, it's really..."over half" of Targaryen history.
  • It's also thematically a good stopping point because it's when the last dragon died.  

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

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.

What?!

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11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

Elio confirmed that the Lyonel guy from the MUSH and his former step-mother Samantha are canon, so I think it is clear that Garmund was not Ormund's heir. 

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7 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

....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..)

He doesn't just comment on the forum, either. It would be easier if he did. From what I heard he asked George about the whole thing and he said that was a children's story - which was always obvious, but then, people over-interpret and project things at an alarming rate...

7 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

As I understand it, Fire and Blood Volume 1 ends where it does, after Aegon III, because:

  • It's simply where GRRM stopped writing his background "notes" for the World book...on realizing they were now as long as the book they were meant to fit inside (that's when he reached 180,000 words worth of "notes"...for a World book that's 180,000 words long)

That seems to be the main reason. Again, conceptually, I think Aegon III's entire reign should have been added to the story, not just the minority of Aegon III as some sort of long epilogue to the Dance. That is ending things in medias res, basically. Such histories should end with the death of a king, not exactly with a king finally ruling in his own right...

The last dragon died in 153 AC, a time not covered by FaB I. And it wouldn't have been a good stopping point either, because Aegon III only lived for another four years after that, and the Nine Mages thing took place in those years, after the death of the last dragon.

But then, I guess there is a decent chance that the reign of the adult Aegon III will fill quite a few pages, too. There are the surviving dragons, the three impostors pretending to be Daeron the Daring, the final death of the dragons, Alyn Velaryon and his voyages, the king's half-sisters, the early exploits of Aegon the Unworthy, the Nine Mages, in general the relationship between Aegon III and Viserys II.

Such an account should fill about as many pages as the account on the Regency era, perhaps even more.

7 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

What?!

The years George gives in TWoIaF as the years of Jaehaerys and Alysanne's marriage do not actually reflect the years they were officially married. There were separations - once during the Second Quarrel (two years) and, presumably, during the First Quarrel. George gives the years of their marriage as 46 years, when in fact they married in 50 AC, when Jaehaerys I's reached majority, which means they would have been married 49-50 years when Alysanne died in 99/100 AC.

But that's not the number George gives, and we do know that this was intentional.

Considering that Alysanne's inspiration is Eleanor of Aquitaine one assumes there is a chance that another man played a considerable role in her life at one point - after all, Eleanor had her married annulled to be able to marry Henry of Anjou who later became King Henry II of England. But her first husband was the French king.

Alysanne only was married to Jaehaerys I, most likely, but I'd not be surprised if she had had enough of only sleeping with her brother at one point.

3 hours ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

Elio confirmed that the Lyonel guy from the MUSH and his former step-mother Samantha are canon, so I think it is clear that Garmund was not Ormund's heir. 

That travesty is canon?! Very interesting...

Any other confirmations as to the MUSH stuff? There seem to have certain additions there. For instance, the fact that Borros Baratheon's daughters as identified as 'the Four Storms' seems to be a new development.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

He doesn't just comment on the forum, either. It would be easier if he did. From what I heard he asked George about the whole thing and he said that was a children's story - which was always obvious, but then, people over-interpret and project things at an alarming rate...

On this page:

I remember it well because it was the last time we saw AlaskanSandman and his colourcoded ramblings.

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@The Dragon Demands

Here you go.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

For instance, the fact that Borros Baratheon's daughters as identified as 'the Four Storms' seems to be a new development.

I am sure that was added right back with the rest of the MUSH 2.0 stuff.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Any other confirmations as to the MUSH stuff?

I think Lyonel's siblings Stafford, Martyn and Bethany are marked as canon as well, although it is not really clear if their names were given by GRRM himself. Lyonel's children with Samantha were named by Elio and Linda.

So maybe Garmund could be a grandchild of Otto through one of Alicent's brothers? Do not know how this could have worked politically, but at least the timeline would fit.

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5 minutes ago, Kandrax said:

Name sounds really out of place.

Why? The male equivalent is Sam, and we have both historical Sam’s and a rather well known NW maester in training in the main novels

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12 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Yes? I didn’t say it wasn’t 

Is Samweel common name among english speaking nations?

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For people who do care, George is in a rather talkative mode right now in the comment section of the 'Fire and Blood' NAB entry.

When the eunuch saw an opening he rambled on about the real issues with 'The Sons of the Dragon':

Quote

Well, TSotD did also disappoint some of the more ardent fans of the whole fake/imaginary history crowd – and I’m actually one of the people who are looking forward more to FIRE AND BLOOD than TWoW simply because this historical world-building stuff is what really got into my mind over the years – and I really can’t thank you enough for tackling all those details on those dragonriding pricks, especially around the Dance.

But I actually think most of those reviewers not liking it simply don’t like the whole imaginary history thing and the fact that this isn’t TWoW.

However, there were real issues with TSoD. Not just some rather unpleasant errors, but also things related to plot. I mean, I and many other people deeply interested in this history thing really expected you to tell us the story how the dragon Quicksilver bonded with King Aenys’ son, Prince Aegon. Surely the dragon would have been with King Aenys when the man died (after all, Visenya told him to use his dragon to burn Oldtown shortly before he died) – and so we expected to learn how Prince Aegon claimed her, how she got to the Westerlands, etc. That would have been (and still is, presumably) a very interesting and tantalizing story, but sadly one that was missing from the text. That was a letdown. In a sense it was as if Tyrion was just suddenly riding a dragon and nobody would ask or explain why and how this happened. I mean, we don’t even have a hint how this might have happened. Nope. Aegon just shows up again and rides his father’s dragon.

It also felt strange that King Aenys’ older sons – Aegon and Viserys – apparently weren’t dragonriders from the start while Rhaena and Jaehaerys and Alysanne apparently were. As Aenys’ heir it surely would have been as important for Prince Aegon to be a dragonrider as it was for his siblings. I mean, it is the dragons and not so much the hair and eyes that makes the Targaryens special. A future king without a dragon would look less impressive than his princely uncle Maegor as well as inferior as his dragonriding siblings. And we do learn in TSoD itself that half a dozen dragons hatched in the later half of the Conqueror’s reign – and two more after King Aenys made Maegor his Hand – so there were more than enough dragon hatchlings to be given to all of King Aenys’ children – even to his Velaryon wife, actually.
I know you take a similar route with a dragonless king in Viserys I later on (and that’s odd, too, it may have been much more fitting if he had a dragon as fat and ailing as he was in the last years of his reign, sort of an anti-Balerion) but in the climate of the decades after the Conquest there shouldn’t be a good reason why the elder Targaryen sons don’t get dragons – and if they got some, and they died, then this should have been mentioned in the text. We have Alyssa Velaryon mocking her brother-in-law Maegor in TSotD, asking him whether he is afraid of dragons. But two of her own sons by Aenys’ are dragonless, too. Were they afraid of dragons, too, at least in her mind?

Sure, Aegon couldn’t have claimed Quicksilver if he had already had a dragon at that time, but such a dragon could have been killed by the Faith Militant (say, while they were besieged at Crakehall or attacked on the road by the Poor Fellows) or died of some other cause.

And then it is rather weird how Jaehaerys and Alysanne can hide with two pretty big dragons (and do so apparently – at least for a time – at Storm’s End, not exactly that far from Maegor’s capital) while Princess Rhaena apparently can’t hide with her Dreamfyre, not to mention Alyssa and the children apparently fleeing from Dragonstone with their dragons on a ship – which should make it much harder to hide, etc. when you are traveling with dragons. Yet Tyanna only finds Rhaena’s dragonless daughters – she can’t find the dragonriding children of King Aenys.

And the idea expressed by Lord Baratheon in the end – that King Maegor would be under a powerful dragon threat from the two very youthful dragonriders in his care – one of which is of paramount importance for the anti-Maegor cause (and should thus not be risked in a dragon battle) – is stretching credibility pretty much. I can buy that the youngsters might have been able to roast Maegor atop Balerion with their smaller, quicker dragons, but the risk of Balerion killing one or two (or all) of them would have still been high. Later on, during the Dance, Prince Daemon is not keen to use Rhaenyra’s many dragons against Vhagar because that poses a large risk to all the riders involved – but risking the life of Jaehaerys I – a mere 14-year-old boy (and Alysanne a 12-year-old girl) against the beast Balerion sounds like madness by comparison. I mean, Rhaenyra losing her sons would (and turns out to) be very painful but it wouldn’t be the end of her cause – whereas risking Jaehaerys’s life could very well be the end of his cause as well as the end of House Targaryen itself (at least in the male branch of the line from King Aenys).

Those things could have been mended if Jaehaerys I’s faction had secured Vhagar – who was presumably riderless after Visenya’s death. His mother Alyssa Velaryon could have claimed Vhagar due to her own Targaryen ancestry. And then Balerion would have stood alone against another large dragon assisted by three smaller but growing dragons.

Long story short. There were certain issues with TSotD that made it not as good as it could have been. But I’d most definitely not say that they had anything to do with it being old, rehashed material.

This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading it – I did. But it could have been better.

George did reply:

Quote

A lot of issues here.

The bit about Quicksilver was definitely an oversight, and one that I have addressed in FIRE & BLOOD. Sometimes the fans have a sharper eye for this sort of detail than I do… not to mention my editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, and publishers all over the world.

As to when and how various Targaryens have become dragonriders… well, it varies. And I think that is realistic, based on what I have seen and learned from my real world friends who ride horses. Some begin to ride when they are very young, some as teenagers, some not until adulthood. There are even cases of riders who don’t get on a horse till retirement. Horses vary, people vary, and so do dragons and their riders.

The rebels at the end of Maegor’s reign had three dragons, not two: Vermithor, Dreamfyre, and Silverwing. And a much larger and more powerful army besides.

In any case, I am glad you enjoyed “Sons of the Dragon.”

Well, guys, I think FaB is going to give us some really new material, after all. I'm sure I'm not the only guy interesting in the Aegon-Quicksilver story, or am I?

If nobody says anything I'll feel really sorry and alone, you know.

Edited by Lord Varys

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15 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

For people who do care, George is in a rather talkative mode right now in the comment section of the 'Fire and Blood' NAB entry.

When the eunuch saw an opening and rambled on about the real issues of 'The Sons of the Dragon':

George did replied::

Well, guys, I think FaB is going to give us some really new material, after all. I'm sure I'm not the only guy interesting in the Aegon-Quicksilver story, or am I?

If nobody says anything I'll feel really sorry and alone, you know.

The George's response to you about how dragonriders becoming dragonriders varies is very telling, I think. To often theorists here assume that there is a fictional science to this sort of thing and other fantastic occurrences in ASOIAF. But this is not "hard fantasy," it's "high fantasy," which allows for inexplicable magic. 

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11 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

The George's response to you about how dragonriders becoming dragonriders varies is very telling, I think. To often theorists here assume that there is a fictional science to this sort of thing and other fantastic occurrences in ASOIAF. But this is not "hard fantasy," it's "high fantasy," which allows for inexplicable magic. 

Sure, and as I'm replying to the George right now - in much more words, though, I'm afraid ;-) - that I really don't care as to why some Targaryens I think should have dragons don't have dragons. I just want an explanation as to why they don't have dragons. I think that's a legitimate concern on my part. 

Meaning there should be explanations as to why Aegon and Viserys remained dragonless when their siblings did not, just as there was a pretty good explanation as to why Maegor refused to take a dragon as long as he did.

It could be any explanation just as long there is some explanation. 

We also know Viserys I didn't take another dragon after Balerion died. It was his choice. I'd also like to know why he made such a decision, but I can live with the fact that I don't know that at this point - we have gotten an explanation. I can imagine some reason behind his choice - like, that this guy may have just thought every other dragon would pale to Balerion, or that it would be unpleasant to have another dragon when your one true mount died, or that he just didn't enjoy flying all that much, etc. - but I don't have to.

With King Aenys' elder sons we don't even have that much.

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52 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

To often theorists here assume that there is a fictional science to this sort of thing and other fantastic occurrences in ASOIAF. But this is not "hard fantasy," it's "high fantasy," which allows for inexplicable magic. 

Well said.

23 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Meaning there should be explanations as to why Aegon and Viserys remained dragonless when their siblings did not, just as there was a pretty good explanation as to why Maegor refused to take a dragon as long as he did.

It could be any explanation just as long there is some explanation. 

I agree.

Thank you so much for sharing this information with us! Please let us know if he responds again. :thumbsup:

 

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

For people who do care, George is in a rather talkative mode right now in the comment section of the 'Fire and Blood' NAB entry.

When the eunuch saw an opening he rambled on about the real issues with 'The Sons of the Dragon':

George did reply:

Well, guys, I think FaB is going to give us some really new material, after all. I'm sure I'm not the only guy interesting in the Aegon-Quicksilver story, or am I?

If nobody says anything I'll feel really sorry and alone, you know.

Wow. Nice job getting your queries in there in such a way you received a good response.

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

For people who do care, George is in a rather talkative mode right now in the comment section of the 'Fire and Blood' NAB entry.

When the eunuch saw an opening he rambled on about the real issues with 'The Sons of the Dragon':

George did reply:

Well, guys, I think FaB is going to give us some really new material, after all. I'm sure I'm not the only guy interesting in the Aegon-Quicksilver story, or am I?

If nobody says anything I'll feel really sorry and alone, you know.

Firstly, legendary! :) You got a reply to a decent post! :)

I am also quite pumped for more imaginary history. I have often wondered if the Dance of the Dragons really boiled down to, "We don't want a woman on the throne," or if, as I suspect, the Greens had spent years preparing for just such a moment and lots of promises were made that were just better than what the Blacks offered.

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On 5/2/2018 at 10:15 AM, Lord Varys said:

For people who do care, George is in a rather talkative mode right now in the comment section of the 'Fire and Blood' NAB entry.

When the eunuch saw an opening he rambled on about the real issues with 'The Sons of the Dragon':

George did reply:

Well, guys, I think FaB is going to give us some really new material, after all. I'm sure I'm not the only guy interesting in the Aegon-Quicksilver story, or am I?

If nobody says anything I'll feel really sorry and alone, you know.

Thank you Lord Varys!

I hope GRRM addresses the other plot holes in TSOTD (including the Warrior's Sons of Gulltown and the Dornish Poor Fellows) but by the look of his response it sounds like he won't.

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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2 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Thank you Lord Varys!

I hope GRRM addresses the other plot holes in TSOTD (including the Warrior's Sons of Gulltown and the Dornish Poor Fellows) but by the sound of his response it looks like he won't.

Well, we all do have different priorities.

But keep in mind that the Faith Militant's story hasn't been completely written yet. We left Septon Moon knocking at the gates of Oldtown, basically. There might be a rather lengthy addendum to the whole thing, considering that it will be Jaehaerys I and Barth who finally lay the Faith Militant to rest - and that means it happens after 60 AC.

It might very well turn out that missing Warrior's Sons - both in Gulltown and Dorne - as well as Poor Fellows are going to be mentioned later on. The Arryns helped to deal with the Faith Militant in the Vale could very well turn out to be part of the reason why Lord Rodrik got the hand of Princess Daella in marriage.

And @Ran has also told us the real errors will be dealt with, too.

Other thing:

What do you guys want to see in the illustrations?

I want:

- Individual portraits of all the kings, queens, princes, and princesses, and their extended families if they are relevant. There are many people we have never seen at this point - Alyssa Velaryon, most of Aenys' children, Aerea and Rhaella, pretty much all the children of Jaehaerys I, Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys, Laenor and Laena Velaryon, etc.

- Group pictures of various royal families at different times (for instance, Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya with little Aenys; Aegon and Visenya with young Aenys and little Maegor; old Aegon and Visenya with Aenys and Alyssa, their elder children, and Maegor/Ceryse, etc.)

- various crucial historical events - battles, meetings, fights, etc.

Any favorites?

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