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Lord Varys

FIRE AND BLOOD Volume 1

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8 hours ago, blackofhairandheart2 said:

I'm actually hoping that the art in this is as minimal as possible. Maybe just a portrait of each king at the start of their sections, with maybe a few other decorative pieces. A ton of new art translates to higher possibilities of the book getting delayed. The bulk of the writing for the World Book was finished by mid-2013, but it didn't come out until late 2014, partially because they were waiting on so much art. 

This is true, but considering that most of the material is already done they could begin commissioning art right now. And one assumes that they have done this or are doing this considering that we got some sort of official announcement.

8 hours ago, blackofhairandheart2 said:

I seriously, seriously doubt the book will be that thorough. A full list of Hands seems doable since we're already most of the way there. Complete lists of Kingsguard is, I think, beyond even Martins powers and interest when it comes to world building. In the entire 290 year history of the order we currently have 68 named or identified members. That's probably not even scratching the surface. I wouldn't be surprised if the total number of knights that served in the order was 200+. There's no way Martin's coming up with that many names and bios. Let alone the headache of organizing them, who died when, who replaced  who, etc. I'm one of the biggest Kingsguard fans out there but I'd settle for a list of Lord Commanders at this point. That at least seems doable.

Oh, I meant, of course, only for the history covered in the first volume. We should get a lot of names for all the Kingsguard dying heroically to defend their king, etc., and during the long peaceful times of Jaehaerys I and Viserys I not all that many Kingsguard would have died in combat or defending the king. And if they did that's likely going to become part of the story.

It should be not that hard to make a complete list there by adding to the ones that are mentioned in the complete text of this first volume.

24 minutes ago, Maia said:

I have been burning to read the complete material that GRRM had originally written for WoIAF since I learned that it existed and always felt that there was little sense in sitting on it until the whole series was complete (which even back then looked like a long, long, time). It doesn't seem like there was much there about the reign of Dragonbane after his majority, though, so I imagine that the first volume  would end with the end of the Regency.

We have the three impostors claiming to be Daeron the Daring, the fate and descendants of Baela and Rhaena, Alyn Velaryon's six grand voyages, the rebuilding of the Realm in general, the decline and eventual death of all the dragons until the last one dies in 153 AC (Silverwing, Sheepstealer, Morning, other dragons that are going to hatch, and perhaps even the Cannibal, though I doubt his fate is going to be discussed in the book), the Nine Mages, the relationship between Viserys, Larra, and their children, and Aegon III himself and Daenaera Velaryon.

That has a lot of potential, especially if other plot threads (like the eventual fate of Unwin Peake and others) from the Regency era left dangling are also looking forward to be wrapped up.

Keep in mind that the Regency also could have been a rather boring and uneventful era. That it wasn't was George's choice. He could make Aegon III's adult reign equally interesting. And what I really would like to read at one point is some sort international crisis/conflict between the Iron Throne and one of the Free Cities. We have this sort of with the Triarchy fighting against Rhaenyra but that's not really enough for my taste. And her sons may have had more than a few issues with certain people in Lys, Myr, and Tyrosh in the wake of the Dance. Rather severe issues, actually.

24 minutes ago, Maia said:

And yea, it seems to me that there could/ought to be some interesting things from Conciliator's reign that need to be filled in - like, what happened to Prince Aemon, and, seemingly, his dragon as well? What gave "The Queen who Never Was" her fiery reputation - which, according to WoIAF she already had as a young woman? There ought to be something substantial about Alysanne too - frankly, one of the largest negatives of tWoIAF was it paucity of interesting female figures and the fact that having awesome destructive power/incomparably quick transport at their personal disposal seemingly affected social standing and opportunities of female dragonriders so little... which just wasn't very believable, IMHO.

The story of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne has the potential of being rather interesting if Gyldayn were to try to write their tale as a sort of biography of them, focusing on how power and responsibility changed them.

The most interesting part of the story could be at the very beginning - how long was the Realm actually in the hands of Alyssa Velaryon and Robar Baratheon? How long did the man remain Hand after Jaehaerys I came of age? Barth served as Hand for forty years, meaning that he appears to have been appointed in 60 AC. If Robar was the only other Hand Jaehaerys I had then the Realm might have been effectively in his and Alyssa's hands until that time. And if that was the case - was the transition of real power easy or hard for the parties involved?

And what triggered the marriage of Prince Aemon to Jaehaerys' half-sister Jocelyn Baratheon? The king's eldest child was a daughter, Alyssa, who ended up marrying only the third son, Baelon. That seems to go against custom. A good way to explain this would be that Alyssa was originally betrothed to her eldest brother Aegon, one of the sons who didn't make it to adulthood. If we assume the boy only died when he was ten or twelve years old they might already have arranged the other betrothal between Aemon and Jocelyn and forced to go along with that to not anger or offend Alyssa Velaryon and step dad Robar. But the fact that they arranged the Aemon-Jocelyn match at all is a strong sign that the Velaryon-Baratheons were a very powerful faction in the first half of Jaehaerys' reign.

Baelon could have then been given as a consolation price to Alyssa. And the fact that she may have been relegated from the future queen (which may have meant co-ruler in light of the example of her mother Alysanne) to a producer of spare heirs alongside her little brother Baelon may have been what triggered the eventual and apparent bickering between the two branches of royal grandchildren.

The idea that they decided to cut out the eldest daughter Alyssa out of the succession by arranging her marriage to Baelon from the start rather making an Alyssa-Aemon match from the start makes little sense. After all, we know it is Targaryen tradition that the eldest daughter marry the eldest son (e.g. Visenya-Aegon).

It is really a pity that we know literally nothing about this Alyssa Targaryen. She has the potential of being one of the most interesting of Jaehaerys and Alysanne's children.

As to Princess Rhaenys - I expect we'll get the entire story, including the story of her parents and how she ended up with Corlys Velaryon instead of one of her Targaryen cousins. Somehow I think that her fiery nature might be part of that. I can see her wanting the best man there is, not this kind of soft man that Viserys Targaryen was. And Daemon may already have been too young for her.

Vice versa, it would also be interesting to learn why on earth Jaehaerys I didn't marry one of his younger daughters to Viserys. Is it going to turn out that Alysanne had most of her children in the 50s and early 60s?

Considering that Ran/Linda think it possible there may have been Dornish Wars during the reign of Jaehaerys I an interesting development could be if one of the sons who didn't make it too adulthood - perhaps the eldest son Aegon - ended up dying as a squire (perhaps along with his dragon?) during some doomed campaign in Dorne? If we assume Robar Baratheon remained Hand throughout the first decade of Jaehaerys I's reign one could see something like that happening. Jaehaerys I may have favored peace with Dorne, but his Baratheon Hand most likely did not. It is not unlikely to assume that Lord Robar's term as Hand ended over such a disagreement, even more so if it resulted in the death of the king's son and heir.

Chances are also not so bad that Dornish aggression may have been on rise again after the wars during the reign of Maegor ripped the Realm to pieces. If Princess Deria was followed by a more aggressive Prince(ss) of Dorne things could have quickly deteriorated between Sunspear and the Iron Throne early on during the reign of Jaehaerys I.

24 minutes ago, Maia said:

Well, there was also Lady Agnes Blackwood, who fought and lost (due to treachery) against Harwyn Hoare and foretold the end of his line in blood and fire - she may have been a seeress also, though, as usual in the setting, it didn't help her much.

Oh, yes, but then - we don't really know whether she was the Lady of Raventree Hall in her own right or merely as a regent in the name of her minor sons. If she wasn't a Blackwood by birth the whole thing becomes sort of moot for the discussion at hand.

24 minutes ago, Maia said:

But yea, black hair isn't restricted to Blackwoods and neither are the variants of the name "Alys"(-sa, -anne, etc.). And while there may be a certain hereditary component in sorcerous/visionary abilities -  and BTW in this setting, the latter often, though not always, seem to be an early indication of the former, they are certainly not tied to the _male_ line. Since Blackwoods intermarried with the other Riverlands Houses and particularly with their enemies the Brackens so much (as Hoster Blackwood  points out in TDwD), Alys Rivers's abilities, even if they were ultimately tied in some way to the Blackwood descent, wouldn't in any way indicate the family name of her noble parent.

Yeah, and as I've said already on the whole thing the Strongs are an ancient First Men house, too. Whatever magic runs in the Blackwood line - if it does - should also be running in the Strong line.

Thinking about that - I'd really like to know what kind of castles the Harroways and Strongs had before they became Lords of Harrenhal.

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34 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The most interesting part of the story could be at the very beginning - how long was the Realm actually in the hands of Alyssa Velaryon and Robar Baratheon? How long did the man remain Hand after Jaehaerys I came of age? Barth served as Hand for forty years, meaning that he appears to have been appointed in 60 AC. If Robar was the only other Hand Jaehaerys I had then the Realm might have been effectively in his and Alyssa's hands until that time. And if that was the case - was the transition of real power easy or hard for the parties involved?

According to the wiki Jaehaerys was served by a total of 5 Hands of the King.

Lord Robar Baratheon 48 AC - Unknown.

Septon Barth 59 AC - 99 AC

Ser Ryam Redwyne 99 AC - 100 AC. Concurrently served as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

Prince Baelon Targaryen 100 AC - 101 AC

Ser Otto Hightower 101 AC - 109 AC. From 103 however he is serving Viserys I as hand since that is the year Viserys I becomes king.

Since they end date of Robar being Hand is unknown there could be a sixth Hand or he was Hand for about 11 years.

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59 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

This is true, but considering that most of the material is already done they could begin commissioning art right now. And one assumes that they have done this or are doing this considering that we got some sort of official announcement.

Oh, I meant, of course, only for the history covered in the first volume. We should get a lot of names for all the Kingsguard dying heroically to defend their king, etc., and during the long peaceful times of Jaehaerys I and Viserys I not all that many Kingsguard would have died in combat or defending the king. And if they did that's likely going to become part of the story.

It should be not that hard to make a complete list there by adding to the ones that are mentioned in the complete text of this first volume.

We have the three impostors claiming to be Daeron the Daring, the fate and descendants of Baela and Rhaena, Alyn Velaryon's six grand voyages, the rebuilding of the Realm in general, the decline and eventual death of all the dragons until the last one dies in 153 AC (Silverwing, Sheepstealer, Morning, other dragons that are going to hatch, and perhaps even the Cannibal, though I doubt his fate is going to be discussed in the book), the Nine Mages, the relationship between Viserys, Larra, and their children, and Aegon III himself and Daenaera Velaryon.

That has a lot of potential, especially if other plot threads (like the eventual fate of Unwin Peake and others) from the Regency era left dangling are also looking forward to be wrapped up.

Keep in mind that the Regency also could have been a rather boring and uneventful era. That it wasn't was George's choice. He could make Aegon III's adult reign equally interesting. And what I really would like to read at one point is some sort international crisis/conflict between the Iron Throne and one of the Free Cities. We have this sort of with the Triarchy fighting against Rhaenyra but that's not really enough for my taste. And her sons may have had more than a few issues with certain people in Lys, Myr, and Tyrosh in the wake of the Dance. Rather severe issues, actually.

The story of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne has the potential of being rather interesting if Gyldayn were to try to write their tale as a sort of biography of them, focusing on how power and responsibility changed them.

The most interesting part of the story could be at the very beginning - how long was the Realm actually in the hands of Alyssa Velaryon and Robar Baratheon? How long did the man remain Hand after Jaehaerys I came of age? Barth served as Hand for forty years, meaning that he appears to have been appointed in 60 AC. If Robar was the only other Hand Jaehaerys I had then the Realm might have been effectively in his and Alyssa's hands until that time. And if that was the case - was the transition of real power easy or hard for the parties involved?

And what triggered the marriage of Prince Aemon to Jaehaerys' half-sister Jocelyn Baratheon? The king's eldest child was a daughter, Alyssa, who ended up marrying only the third son, Baelon. That seems to go against custom. A good way to explain this would be that Alyssa was originally betrothed to her eldest brother Aegon, one of the sons who didn't make it to adulthood. If we assume the boy only died when he was ten or twelve years old they might already have arranged the other betrothal between Aemon and Jocelyn and forced to go along with that to not anger or offend Alyssa Velaryon and step dad Robar. But the fact that they arranged the Aemon-Jocelyn match at all is a strong sign that the Velaryon-Baratheons were a very powerful faction in the first half of Jaehaerys' reign.

Baelon could have then been given as a consolation price to Alyssa. And the fact that she may have been relegated from the future queen (which may have meant co-ruler in light of the example of her mother Alysanne) to a producer of spare heirs alongside her little brother Baelon may have been what triggered the eventual and apparent bickering between the two branches of royal grandchildren.

The idea that they decided to cut out the eldest daughter Alyssa out of the succession by arranging her marriage to Baelon from the start rather making an Alyssa-Aemon match from the start makes little sense. After all, we know it is Targaryen tradition that the eldest daughter marry the eldest son (e.g. Visenya-Aegon).

It is really a pity that we know literally nothing about this Alyssa Targaryen. She has the potential of being one of the most interesting of Jaehaerys and Alysanne's children.

As to Princess Rhaenys - I expect we'll get the entire story, including the story of her parents and how she ended up with Corlys Velaryon instead of one of her Targaryen cousins. Somehow I think that her fiery nature might be part of that. I can see her wanting the best man there is, not this kind of soft man that Viserys Targaryen was. And Daemon may already have been too young for her.

Vice versa, it would also be interesting to learn why on earth Jaehaerys I didn't marry one of his younger daughters to Viserys. Is it going to turn out that Alysanne had most of her children in the 50s and early 60s?

 

According to the family tree at the end of the book, Jaehaerys and Alysanne's oldest child had been an Aegon Targaryen. I think it can be presumed that Alyssa had been originally betrothed to him, while Aemon (the secondborn son and the thirdborn child) had been promised to Jocelyn to humor Alyssa Velaryon-Targaryen-Baratheon and to keep the Targaryens and the Baratheons close for the next generation. But at some point Aegon died and J&A wouldn't or couldn't break the agreement with the Baratheons, so Alyssa was paired up with the thirdborn son, Baelon.

On the whole, I think that J&A tried to keep the balance between the traditional incestous marriage and a political marriage that was supposed to bring noble houses to their side. Their father's and uncle's reigns taught them that dragons were important, but not the be-all and end-all.

Edited by lojzelote

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35 minutes ago, direpupy said:

According to the wiki Jaehaerys was served by a total of 5 Hands of the King.

Lord Robar Baratheon 48 AC - Unknown.

Septon Barth 59 AC - 99 AC

Ser Ryam Redwyne 99 AC - 100 AC. Concurrently served as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

Prince Baelon Targaryen 100 AC - 101 AC

Ser Otto Hightower 101 AC - 109 AC. From 103 however he is serving Viserys I as hand since that is the year Viserys I becomes king.

Since they end date of Robar being Hand is unknown there could be a sixth Hand or he was Hand for about 11 years.

Yeah, but that totality is derived from the mentioning of the Hands we know, it is not a number that's explicitly confirmed. There could have been quite a few Hands between Robar and Barth. Or Robar remained Hand until 59 AC (I misremembered Barth as having died in 100 AC). That Barth became Hand in 59 AC is also conjecture at this point. We know he was supposedly Hand for a forty years but whether those are exactly forty years (or, say, 39 and a few months or 40 and half a year, or even more) is unclear.

28 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

According to the family tree at the end of the book, Jaehaerys and Alysanne's oldest child had been an Aegon Targaryen. I think it can be presumed that Alyssa had been originally betrothed to him, while Aemon (the secondborn son and the thirdborn child) had been promised to Jocelyn to humor Alyssa Velaryon-Targaryen-Baratheon and to keep the Targaryens and the Baratheons close for the next generation. But at some point Aegon died and J&A wouldn't or couldn't break the agreement with the Baratheons, so Alyssa was paired up with the thirdborn son, Baelon.

Yeah, that's the idea.

28 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

On the whole, I think that J&A tried to keep the balance between the traditional incestous marriage and a political marriage that was supposed to bring noble houses to their side. Their father's and uncle's reigns taught them that dragons were important, but not the be-all and end-all.

I don't think that's all that likely. It rather seems to me Aemon-Jocelyn is a sign that they were extending the incestuous marriage thing to their close Velaryon-Baratheon kin. Jocelyn Baratheon (and her brother Boremund, too) was a half-sibling of the king and queen and Prince Aemon's half-aunt. That is more or less the same kinship as Maegor-Rhaena and only a little less closer than Rhaenyra-Daemon.

The idea that Jaehaerys I-Alysanne were all that keen to hand the Iron Throne to a bloodline that was as much Durrandon-Baratheon as Targaryen doesn't sound all that convincing to me. It makes more sense if Aemon-Jocelyn only became the heirs after Prince Aegon died. The chances that Alyssa Velaryon and Robar Baratheon had the power to force the royal couple to marry their heir to a bride of their choosing doesn't sound all that convincing, especially in light of the fact that they also arranged the Alyssa-Baelon match.

And I think Jaehaerys I's decision to reject Rhaenys as his heir in favor of Baelon and eventually Viserys may not only be rooted in the fact that Rhaenys was a woman but also that she wasn't of as pure-blooded Valyrian stock as Baelon-Alyssa and their sons. Rhaenys marrying Corlys Velaryon certainly improved her chances of producing very fine Valyrian offspring (which they did in the 90s) but we don't know how many Targaryen ancestors Corlys Velaryon had.

Now, it is also possible that personal animosity and preferences played into all that. Perhaps Aemon fell for Auntie Jocelyn with whom he grew up at court? Perhaps Aegon died in the cradle and Princess Alyssa and Prince Aemon simply didn't get along? Perhaps Baelon and Alyssa fell madly in love?

We don't know the details on any of that. But if we go with the marriages there being arranged marriages rather than marriages that were came from love and passion I'd consider the chances to be higher that dynastic considerations shaped most of those marriages. In that sense the betrothal between Viserra and Lord Manderly is very interesting (as that an attempt by Jaehaerys I to put the Starks back into their place?), as are the details leading up to the Daella-Rodrik match.

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53 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, but that totality is derived from the mentioning of the Hands we know, it is not a number that's explicitly confirmed. There could have been quite a few Hands between Robar and Barth. Or Robar remained Hand until 59 AC (I misremembered Barth as having died in 100 AC). That Barth became Hand in 59 AC is also conjecture at this point. We know he was supposedly Hand for a forty years but whether those are exactly forty years (or, say, 39 and a few months or 40 and half a year, or even more) is unclear.

Yeah, that's the idea.

I don't think that's all that likely. It rather seems to me Aemon-Jocelyn is a sign that they were extending the incestuous marriage thing to their close Velaryon-Baratheon kin. Jocelyn Baratheon (and her brother Boremund, too) was a half-sibling of the king and queen and Prince Aemon's half-aunt. That is more or less the same kinship as Maegor-Rhaena and only a little less closer than Rhaenyra-Daemon.

The idea that Jaehaerys I-Alysanne were all that keen to hand the Iron Throne to a bloodline that was as much Durrandon-Baratheon as Targaryen doesn't sound all that convincing to me. It makes more sense if Aemon-Jocelyn only became the heirs after Prince Aegon died. The chances that Alyssa Velaryon and Robar Baratheon had the power to force the royal couple to marry their heir to a bride of their choosing doesn't sound all that convincing, especially in light of the fact that they also arranged the Alyssa-Baelon match.

And I think Jaehaerys I's decision to reject Rhaenys as his heir in favor of Baelon and eventually Viserys may not only be rooted in the fact that Rhaenys was a woman but also that she wasn't of as pure-blooded Valyrian stock as Baelon-Alyssa and their sons. Rhaenys marrying Corlys Velaryon certainly improved her chances of producing very fine Valyrian offspring (which they did in the 90s) but we don't know how many Targaryen ancestors Corlys Velaryon had.

Now, it is also possible that personal animosity and preferences played into all that. Perhaps Aemon fell for Auntie Jocelyn with whom he grew up at court? Perhaps Aegon died in the cradle and Princess Alyssa and Prince Aemon simply didn't get along? Perhaps Baelon and Alyssa fell madly in love?

We don't know the details on any of that. But if we go with the marriages there being arranged marriages rather than marriages that were came from love and passion I'd consider the chances to be higher that dynastic considerations shaped most of those marriages. In that sense the betrothal between Viserra and Lord Manderly is very interesting (as that an attempt by Jaehaerys I to put the Starks back into their place?), as are the details leading up to the Daella-Rodrik match.

Well, I'd hate to think that Jaehaerys rejected Rhaenys as his heir because she was not sufficiently pure-blooded. (It is true that rejecting her for her sex isn't any better.) I tend to believe that Jaehaerys' hand was led by practical considerations (ie, the Realm would accept a male heir much easier)... and by the fact that Baelon was apparently his favorite son (or am I misremembering?). OTOH Alysanne wanted to give Rhaenys an opportunity to prove herself.

So, in fact I believe it was J who played favorites here rather than any of his children. It seems to me the children didn't get much say in anything. Saera certainly didn't seem fond of the idea of becoming a septa and we can only wonder about how Maegelle and Vaegon felt about the career paths that had been chosen for them by their parents.

Edited by lojzelote

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If we assume Robar Baratheon remained Hand throughout the first decade of Jaehaerys I's reign one could see something like that happening. Jaehaerys I may have favored peace with Dorne, but his Baratheon Hand most likely did not.

Based on TWOIAF, I think it is very plausible that Jaehaerys I favored a peace of some sort, and that the Baratheon were against peace without surrender.

TWOIAF records a claim that even Dorne mourned the death of Jaehaerys I.

"King Jaehaerys, the First of His Name—known as the Conciliator, and the Old King (being the only Targaryen ruler who lived to such an advanced age)—died peacefully in his bed in 103 AC, while Lady Alicent read to him from his friend Barth's Unnatural History. He was nine-and-sixty at his death, and had ruled wisely and well for five-and-fifty years. Westeros mourned, and it was claimed that even in Dorne men wept and women tore their garments in lament for a king who had been so just and good. His ashes were interred with that of his beloved, the Good Queen Alysanne, beneath the Red Keep. And the realm never saw their like again." (The World of Ice and Fire - The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I)

Whether true or not, I think it is notable that such a claim could even be made about a Targaryen king that ruled and died so many decades before peace was made with Dorne and they were brought into the realm. 

TWOIAF also records a number of things which make a lingering Baratheon hostility toward Dorne seem likely.

Orys Baratheon was captured in Dorne in 4 AC during Aegon's invasion of Dorne. He and his men were held until 7 AC, and his captor, Wyl of Wyl, cut his hand off and the hands of his men. All accounts say he became bitter afterward. He resigned as Hand, and turned his attention to Dorne, obsessed with the idea of revenge. He was among those who received the return of Meraxes's skull in 13 AC as a bad omen. It seems plausible that Orys was among those who urged Aegon I not to accept peace with Dorne without submission. Orys got his chance for revenge against House Wyl during the reign of King Aenys (37-42 AC), when he captured Wyl's son Walter, and cut off both his hands and both his feet.

So Orys himself held that grudge against Dorne for over thirty years, and it would not be unlikely for his sons and grandsons to have been instilled with that grudge, especially after Orys died on his way back to Storm's End, from wounds taken in Dorne.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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3 hours ago, lojzelote said:

Well, I'd hate to think that Jaehaerys rejected Rhaenys as his heir because she was not sufficiently pure-blooded. (It is true that rejecting her for her sex isn't any better.) I tend to believe that Jaehaerys' hand was led by practical considerations (ie, the Realm would accept a male heir much easier)... and by the fact that Baelon was apparently his favorite son (or am I misremembering?). OTOH Alysanne wanted to give Rhaenys an opportunity to prove herself.

Yeah, they were split up over the issue. Jaehaerys I favored Baelon for some reason while Alysanne thought Rhaenys should become the heir as only child of Aemon. Now, we only know that Baelon was known as 'the Brave' and 'the Spring Prince'. I could see him being the son who was most like his father in mind, body, and character. If he was his favorite son and simply a great and very competent guy it is more than understandable why he would him to succeed him. He could have very well been another, earlier version of Baelor Breakspear.

And I'm pretty sure that Jaehaerys' most important consideration was whether the Realm and his peace - and what he wanted to have for them (continued peace and prosperity) - would flourish better under a King Baelon or a Queen Rhaenys.

But it could also be that Baelon was pretty ambitious, that Barth was biased against a female monarch (in 92 AC), etc. We don't know.

The idea why I think the purity of blood issue is likely to figure into that, too, is simply the fact that Jaehaerys I and Alysanne continued the traditional incest. And they most likely did that for a reason. Because they believed it was necessary to continue to control the dragons. The main branch of the royal family has to remain in control of the dragons. If it turned out that Jaehaerys I's great-great-grandson through the main line - the line that inherited the Iron Throne - was no longer capable to mount a dragon the power base of the dynasty would be in danger. It is also not that ideal if the dragons remained in the hands of a cadet branch who continued to practice incest (keeping the bloodline pure).

And we also learn that purity of blood is also an issue when the claims of Rhaenyra and Aegon are discussed in 129 AC.

3 hours ago, lojzelote said:

So, in fact I believe it was J who played favorites here rather than any of his children. It seems to me the children didn't get much say in anything. Saera certainly didn't seem fond of the idea of becoming a septa and we can only wonder about how Maegelle and Vaegon felt about the career paths that had been chosen for them by their parents.

Oh, I'd agree that the younger children pretty much were ruled by their parents. With the elder ones it is somewhat different, though. Aemon was the Heir Apparent (at least since Aegon died, whenever that happened) and Baelon/Alyssa the spare. The other children were pretty much irrelevant.

However, I like the idea that Aegon and Aemon were less promising than Baelon and Vaegon (who certainly would have been a pretty gifted guy if he rose to become an archmaester). Especially Aemon could have been some sort of overconfident, hot-headed fool, explaining how he got himself killed by some pirates invading Tarth. We know Rhaenys is somewhat fiery, too, so it might be interesting to play things this way.

I doubt Maegelle and Saera were given to the Faith at an age where their opinion mattered. Girls and boys were given to nunneries and monasteries at a very early age in the real middle ages, so it seems not unlikely that this would be similar in Westeros. I also don't think Saera ran away at the age of, say, ten but rather as a young woman, perhaps around the age of 14-16 or so.

@Bael's Bastard

Yeah, that are more or less my thoughts, too. Considering the grief the Dornish supposedly felt it is very likely that if there was some sort of Dornish War during the reign of Jaehaerys I it would have been at the beginning rather than around the end of his reign (the Dornish wouldn't mourn him all that much if the dragons had killed a lot of Dornishmen in the 80s or 90s). And it might even be that Robar Baratheon could push the adolescent Jaehaerys I into going along with such an idea (especially if Dorne was playing along with it by provoking/attacking the Marcher Lords). Deria Martell was still around during the reign of Aenys I but she may have died during the reign of Maegor.

A pretty good way to set this up would be to have Robar Baratheon deliberately escalating an issue that began with minor skirmishes until his king had no other choice but to declare war. This could work nicely if such a crisis broke out while Jaehaerys I and Alysanne were on a royal progress while the Hand was sitting the Iron Throne back in KL. It could even be that famous progress that lead the royal couple up to Winterfell and then to the Wall. Alysanne seems to be still very young when they do that.

The Vulture Hunt sort of can qualify as a Second Dornish War (the Vulture King seems to have gotten exclusively/mainly support from Dorne, and at one point he commanded 30,000 people) but it wasn't war a war that was fought in Dorne nor a war to subdue or conquer Dorne. However, assuming Aenys-Maegor (in 38-39 AC) and Maegor alone never got around to deliver the Dornishmen some payback for that this could have happened in the 50s.

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@Lord Varys:

I must have explained myself poorly - it isn't that reign of Aegon III after his majority has less potential points of interest than the Regency, it is just that my understanding is that Regency is basically already written, whereas the rest of his reign isn't. OTOH, the reign of Conciliator _needs_ to be depicted in some detail, since it was so important and revolutionary in many ways, and Volume I of Fire and Blood is being positioned as _the_ definitive canon source on early Targaryens.  Ditto the Dragonstonian period during the Century of Blood and, hopefully, something about Valyria.

Certainly, Dragonsbane's death would make a great conclusion to the volume, but in the interest of keeping the new material that needs to be written yet within limits, his adult reign can be relegated to the next volume, while those earlier periods can't.

As to Jaehaerys's handling of his succession - if he wanted peace, he should have married Rhaenys to Viserys. I am also very curious about Alyssa's role in all of this, but GRRM has to be careful not to make her a second Alicent. Really hope that Alysanne would turn out to be both interesting and admirable - again, there is paucity of such among female characters of tWoIAF, which is a pity.

It would also be interesting to learn if Alysanne sat on the Iron Throne and ruled in her husband's absence like Aegon's queens did. The way they tend to be mentioned together kinda suggests that they were the last co-rulers among the Targaryen monarchs.

And, of course, there are many other potentially interesting characters - Alyssa Velarion , Robar Baratheon, Barth, Aemon, Jocelyn, Baelon, Rhaenys, Corlys, etc. Journey to the North is suitably tantalising too.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, they were split up over the issue. Jaehaerys I favored Baelon for some reason while Alysanne thought Rhaenys should become the heir as only child of Aemon. Now, we only know that Baelon was known as 'the Brave' and 'the Spring Prince'. I could see him being the son who was most like his father in mind, body, and character. If he was his favorite son and simply a great and very competent guy it is more than understandable why he would him to succeed him. He could have very well been another, earlier version of Baelor Breakspear.

And I'm pretty sure that Jaehaerys' most important consideration was whether the Realm and his peace - and what he wanted to have for them (continued peace and prosperity) - would flourish better under a King Baelon or a Queen Rhaenys.

But it could also be that Baelon was pretty ambitious, that Barth was biased against a female monarch (in 92 AC), etc. We don't know.

The idea why I think the purity of blood issue is likely to figure into that, too, is simply the fact that Jaehaerys I and Alysanne continued the traditional incest. And they most likely did that for a reason. Because they believed it was necessary to continue to control the dragons. The main branch of the royal family has to remain in control of the dragons. If it turned out that Jaehaerys I's great-great-grandson through the main line - the line that inherited the Iron Throne - was no longer capable to mount a dragon the power base of the dynasty would be in danger. It is also not that ideal if the dragons remained in the hands of a cadet branch who continued to practice incest (keeping the bloodline pure).

And we also learn that purity of blood is also an issue when the claims of Rhaenyra and Aegon are discussed in 129 AC.

 

Well, to me that seems like a baseless fear, because while Rhaenys' pedigree was not that 'pure', her children seemed to have no problems with bonding to dragons. Both Laena and Laenor were dragonriders and there was no reason to believe that they could not procreate with the dragonriders of the other branch. Jaehaerys could have not foreseen that Viserys and Aemma Arryn's marriage will turn out so unsuccessful children-wise, but if we look at it, the way it panned out with Laena marrying Daemon and Laenor marrying Rhaenyra, Jaehaerys could have spared himself the trouble. Viserys certainly didn't seem afraid that Rhaenyra and Laenor will produce 'squibs' (nor did he seem particularly bothered by the idea that Rhaenyra's heirs were likely sons of some completely unrelated man - they were Rhaenyra's children and that was apparently enough for him).

Anyhow, I still wonder about giving Vaegon to the Citadel. Having three to four sons is not that much for a royal family. It's not like they couldn't afford to feed him, and child mortality was pretty high and they had other children who did not survive till adulthood. What the hell would they have done with Aeryn, Valerion, and Gaemon? Aeryn was older than Vaegon, so maybe for him was intended the life of a prince and not a maester or a septon? Idk, a number of Targs seemed to have trouble with fertility for this or that reason, so it would have been better not to throw prospective cadet branches out of window as quickly as that. J&A had 9 (13) children, but only 5 granchildren (Rhaenys, Aemma Arryn, Viserys, Daemon, and another Aegon, who may have also died before J&A), though it is true that the numbers improved again in the following generation. These sudden population bottlenecks on the Targ family tree kind of bother me. 

Edited by lojzelote

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6 minutes ago, Maia said:

@Lord Varys:

I must have explained myself poorly - it isn't that reign of Aegon III after his majority has less potential points of interest than the Regency, it is just that my understanding is that Regency is basically already written, whereas the rest of his reign isn't.

Oh, I understood you there, I just wanted to point out that it is still pretty much up to George to make a certain period full of interesting events. I mean, the Dance could have ended with lasting peace and there could have just been one Lord or Prince Regent slowly rebuilding things. And according to Ran George's earlier drafts/notes had a Velaryon Hand, the father of Aegon III's Velaryon queen, serving as regent during Aegon's minority.

But he probably realized while writing things that continuing the mess after the Dance would make for a much better story.

We can also expect Aerys I's and especially Maekar's and Aegon V's reigns to be not as devoid of important events and action despite that TWoIaF tried to sell us those reigns as such.

6 minutes ago, Maia said:

OTOH, the reign of Conciliator _needs_ to be depicted in some detail, since it was so important and revolutionary in many ways, and Volume I of Fire and Blood is being positioned as _the_ definitive canon source on early Targaryens.  Ditto the Dragonstonian period during the Century of Blood and, hopefully, something about Valyria.

If Jaehaerys I and Alysanne weren't flashed out in great detail there would simply be a huge gap in the middle of that book. It has to fit with the rest of the stuff. And there is still some chance that we get additional details on the Conqueror and his sons, too.

6 minutes ago, Maia said:

Certainly, Dragonsbane's death would make a great conclusion to the volume, but in the interest of keeping the new material that needs to be written yet within limits, his adult reign can be relegated to the next volume, while those earlier periods can't.

Sure, it is a possibility. It is just that George himself has basically split up the Targaryens between the dragonriding kings and their successor. And the dragon days only properly end with the Dragonbane, or at least in 153 AC. But if George were to cover things until that fateful year he could just as well cover the rest of the reign, too.

6 minutes ago, Maia said:

As to Jaehaerys's handling of his succession - if he wanted peace, he should have married Rhaenys to Viserys.

I'm pretty sure that match came up. Just as the Rhaenyra-Aegon match was discussed, too. The best explanation as to why that didn't happen is because Rhaenys didn't want it, and her father didn't force her into such a marriage. Viserys being rejected by her could also have played a part why he, in turn, later rejected Laena and why things really got as bad as they were in 101 AC.

Viserys is not exactly all that impressive a man, and Rhaenys was three years his elder. She sounds like she was a very forceful and energetic woman in her youth, and Viserys clearly seems to be the entire opposite. A nice guy and all but hardly somebody she would like to spend time with. Corlys Velaryon was much older than she was, and it is quite likely that she decided that she wanted that man, and no one else, and ensured that this came to pass. We later learn that Corlys could not risk bringing any mistresses he may have entertained later in life (or bastards from such unions) to High Tide or the other Velaryon castles.

Rhaenys may have been willing to marry Daemon, but he was four years younger than Viserys, making him seven years younger than Rhaenys. He would only have caught her eye in his mid-teens, one would think, and in 92 AC he was barely eleven. And we don't know when exactly Rhaenys and Corlys married. I assume around 90-91 AC or so. Rhaenys turned sixteen in 90 AC, and we can assume Corlys did most of his grand voyages in the 70-80s. Let's say he returned permanently to Driftmark in 88 AC, and become Lord around the same time (when his grandfather died). Young Rhaenys meets this famous man, realizes she wants him, and then arranges her own marriage (possibly through her father or perhaps simply by force of her own will). And that's that.

But it must be that a Rhaenys-Viserys match fell through prior to Aemon's death. Had both Rhaenys and Viserys been unmarried after Aemon's death Jaehaerys I would have forced them to marry each other and may have even named them joint heirs so that there would be no struggle over the succession. The fact that this didn't happen suggests that Rhaenys was already married to Corlys by the time her father died, and was, perhaps, already pregnant with Laena (who was born in 93 AC).

Viserys married Aemma in 93 AC if we take it at face value that he was really married for an entire decade when he became king in 103 AC. I'd prefer it if George changed that to 8-9 years, placing the wedding in 94-95 AC. Having a 16-year-old Viserys marry an 11-year-old Aemma sounds like a little bit too much for me.

6 minutes ago, Maia said:

I am also very curious about Alyssa's role in all of this, but GRRM has to be careful not to make her a second Alicent. Really hope that Alysanne would turn out to be both interesting and admirable - again, there is paucity of such among female characters of tWoIAF, which is a pity.

Which Alyssa do you mean? Alyssa Targaryen or Alyssa Velaryon? We should get a lot about the latter. The former should be interesting, although we have unfortunately no reason to believe she grew that old. She may already have been dead in 101 AC.

It seems that it was a conscious decision to have Yandel reduce the roles women had in the history. The book is written by a maester and his target audience is exclusively male (women and children are the ones men are supposed to read from the book if they want to).

However, I don't like George's tendency to kill off and ignore women. Alysanne could have outlived her husband, just as Visenya outlived Aegon. Alyssa Targaryen could have been around during the reign of Viserys I (at least the first decade or so). There is no reason to write Larra Rogare out of the story (although it makes some sense in her case, as it does with Naerys - if she sticks around the whole Blackfyre story doesn't work that well). But the fact that we don't know what happened to Mariah Martell, Dyanna Dayne, Aelinor Penrose, Betha Blackwood or Shaera Targaryen - who apparently (or at least very likely) was still around when her son Aerys II took the Iron Throne - is not exactly appreciated.

6 minutes ago, Maia said:

It would also be interesting to learn if Alysanne sat on the Iron Throne and ruled in her husband's absence like Aegon's queens did. The way they tend to be mentioned together kinda suggests that they were the last co-rulers among the Targaryen monarchs.

I'd expect her to be the last Targaryen queen to do so. And I also expect Alyssa Velaryon to have sat up there while she was serving as Queen Regent, at least in her son's absence. Back in those days there was no formal Small Council nor did the Hand enjoy the power the office held in later days. It must have rose to the prominence it did during the long tenure of Barth, and that would have inevitably gone at the expense of the queen. The more powerful the office of the Hand became the weaker the queen got. But it seems that the first Hand to be allowed to speak with the King's Voice after the king's own death was Otto Hightower. That's why he presumed to rule on the royal succession.

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12 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

Well, to me that seems like a baseless fear, because while Rhaenys' pedigree was not that 'pure', her children seemed to have no problems with bonding to dragons. Both Laena and Laenor were dragonriders and there was no reason to believe that they could not procreate with the dragonriders of the other branch. Jaehaerys could have not foreseen that Viserys and Aemma Arryn's marriage will turn out so unsuccessful children-wise, but if we look at it, the way it panned out with Laena marrying Daemon and Laenor marrying Rhaenyra, Jaehaerys could have spared himself the trouble. Viserys certainly didn't seem afraid that Rhaenyra and Laenor will produce 'squibs' (nor did he seem particularly bothered by the idea that Rhaenyra's heirs were likely sons of some completely unrelated man - they were Rhaenyra's children and that was apparently enough for him).

Sure, but we are talking about the situation in 92 AC. Back then Jaehaerys I had no great-grandchildren at all and only five grandchildren (Rhaenys, Viserys, Daemon, mystery Aegon, and Aemma). And he basically had to choose whether his eldest grandchild Rhaenys or his second surviving son Baelon (who was married to his eldest daughter and had three male heirs of his own) were better suited to succeed him. Jaehaerys was already pretty old at that time. He lived another eleven years but he may have feared that the 18-year-old Rhaenys was not as well-suited as the fortyish Baelon if he ended up dying the next year.

If Aemon had succeeded him and had in turn have time to groom Rhaenys to rule she most likely would have become the first Queen Regnant.

And one actually wonders whether Jaehaerys I preferred Viserys (who definitely wasn't his father) over Rhaenys in 101 AC. But he could not go back to 92 AC and simply name her his new heir in 101 AC. Laenor vs. Viserys was stupid in a sense because he was still a child.

12 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

Anyhow, I still wonder about giving Vaegon to the Citadel. Having three to four sons is not that much for a royal family. It's not like they couldn't afford to feed him, and child mortality was pretty high and they had other children who did not survive till adulthood. What the hell would they have done with Aeryn, Valerion, and Gaemon? Aeryn was older than Vaegon, so maybe for him was intended the life of a prince and not a maester or a septon?

Yeah, that could be. But Vaegon simply could have shown a lot of talent in the intelligence and scholarly department. Just as Aemon did. Daeron II wanted to rid himself of another dragon but he also realized that the boy was pretty smart.

12 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

Idk, a number of Targs seemed to have trouble with fertility for this or that reason, so it would have been better not to throw prospective cadet branches out of window as quickly as that. J&A had 9 (13) children, but only 5 granchildren (Rhaenys, Aemma Arryn, Viserys, Daemon, and another Aegon, who may have also died before J&A), though it is true that the numbers improved again in the following generation. These sudden population bottlenecks on the Targ family tree kind of bother me. 

We don't know how many nieces and nephews they had, though. Rhaena was still around, and Aerea and Rhalla, too. There are those seven lesser claimants during the Great Council and we learned from Ran that Rhaenys' kin and family all supported Laenor, and we know Daemon supported Viserys. I doubt that Vaegon pushed his own claim (assuming he was still alive), and most/all of the daughters may have been dead already at this point.

That would mean that those other claimants were descendants of Rhaena/Aerea/Rhalla and/or (legitimized) Targaryen bastards or the descendants of such bastards. Aenys I could have fathered a couple of bastards, and Jaehaerys I's son could have had some, too. Jaehaerys I is less likely to have had illegitimate children but it is certainly not impossible.

It is not unlikely that Jaehaerys I had some troubles with his elder sister and her children and grandchildren throughout his reign, and may have refused to marry off quite a few of his daughters to prevent the nobility for acquiring too much royal blood.

In addition, we should also keep in mind that both Vaegon and Maegelle may have been powerful people in their own right. A royal prince as archmaester must have wielded a lot of power in Oldtown, and Maegelle could easily enough have been one of the Most Devout.

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45 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't know how many nieces and nephews they had, though. Rhaena was still around, and Aerea and Rhalla, too. There are those seven lesser claimants during the Great Council and we learned from Ran that Rhaenys' kin and family all supported Laenor, and we know Daemon supported Viserys. I doubt that Vaegon pushed his own claim (assuming he was still alive), and most/all of the daughters may have been dead already at this point.

That would mean that those other claimants were descendants of Rhaena/Aerea/Rhalla and/or (legitimized) Targaryen bastards or the descendants of such bastards. Aenys I could have fathered a couple of bastards, and Jaehaerys I's son could have had some, too. Jaehaerys I is less likely to have had illegitimate children but it is certainly not impossible.

It is not unlikely that Jaehaerys I had some troubles with his elder sister and her children and grandchildren throughout his reign, and may have refused to marry off quite a few of his daughters to prevent the nobility for acquiring too much royal blood.

In addition, we should also keep in mind that both Vaegon and Maegelle may have been powerful people in their own right. A royal prince as archmaester must have wielded a lot of power in Oldtown, and Maegelle could easily enough have been one of the Most Devout.

The thing is, we never hear of Rhaena, Aerea, or Rhaella again, so their descendants either died out or fell into obscurity very quickly. One would expect them to pop out when Rhaenyra and Jace were looking for dragonriders, for example, but nothing. I've been thinking that maybe one of them married into the Strongs which could have explained why Rhaenyra chose Harwin Strong for her baby daddy (with Laenor unwilling and Daemon gone to Essos) since the Targaryens supposedly cared so much for blood purity. *shrugs*

I find it unlikely there were any legitimized bastards around. Unless you're Aegon the Unworthy, legitimizing a bastard seems to be a last resort method of preserving a noble house. I don't think that Jaehaerys or even Aenys would have been legitimizing their or their children's illegitimate children for the sake of it.

Either way, I would expect Jaehaerys to prefer his own children and grandchildren over Rhaena's.

Edit: I am still shocked by the idea of Visenya, Aegon, and Rhaenys having Targaryen cousin(s) without the text ever mentioning them - except that at least one had to exist since Alyssa Velaryon was half-Targaryen - so I really like the idea that the lesser pretenders were them. Perhaps their descendant still hang around Dragonstone, while Westeros fails to recognize their existence. :D

Edited by lojzelote

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23 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

The thing is, we never hear of Rhaena, Aerea, or Rhaella again, so their descendants either died out or fell into obscurity very quickly.

Keep in mind that George hasn't flashed out that period. How could they pop up if there is nothing written about that period. And there is a possibility that such people were out there during the Dance without us knowing it.

23 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

One would expect them to pop out when Rhaenyra and Jace were looking for dragonriders, for example, but nothing.

The Blacks were confined to Dragonstone and Driftmark when they were looking for dragonriders. It is not that likely that all descendants of Aerea, Rhalla, or Rhaena were confined to those places, too. But note that Steffon Darklyn - the Lord Commander of the Queensguard - and Gormon Massey tried to mount a dragon and failed. They most likely had reason to believe they had a drop of Targaryen blood, possibly due to some intermarriage with the Targaryens or Velaryons from before the Conquest. The Darklyns were pretty powerful back then, making it likely that one of their lords got a Targaryen spare daughter as a price, and the Massey have gotten one or a Velaryon, too. After all, there has to be an explanation why the Masseys stood with Aegon even before the Conquest, despite the fact that they formally sworn to Storm's End. And Justin Massey still has fair hair...

23 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

I've been thinking that maybe one of them married into the Strongs which could have explained why Rhaenyra chose Harwin Strong for her baby daddy (with Laenor unwilling and Daemon gone to Essos) since the Targaryens supposedly cared so much for blood purity. *shrugs*

Could indeed be. And Lord Lyonel being granted Harrenhal by Jaehaerys I is also a sign of favor. Rhalla or Aerea could have married into House Strong, or a daughter of theirs might have. And Lord Lyonel himself could have presented his claim to the Great Council in 101 AC.

The Peakes could be another house who might have acquired a drop of dragon blood.

23 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

I find it unlikely there were any legitimized bastards around. Unless you're Aegon the Unworthy, legitimizing a bastard seems to be a last resort method of preserving a noble house. I don't think that Jaehaerys or even Aenys would have been legitimizing their or their children's illegitimate children for the sake of it.

I doubt Aenys I did legitimize any of his bastards but Maegor or Jaehaerys I might have done such a thing. Rhaenyra also legitimized Addam and Alyn of Hull. It was done. But it is not necessary that they were legitimized. It is enough that they were acknowledged as the son of this or that Targaryen by somebody with authority. Bastards do have claims. Very weak claims but still claims.

23 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

Either way, I would expect Jaehaerys to prefer his own children and grandchildren over Rhaena's.

Sure, but the point isn't preference but matters of state. If Jaehaerys I had some problems with his nieces, their husbands, and his grand-nephews then he would have known that his son or grandson would also have problem with his nephews by his many sisters, explaining why Jaehaerys I refused to permit his younger daughters to marry.

23 minutes ago, lojzelote said:

Edit: I am still shocked by the idea of Visenya, Aegon, and Rhaenys having Targaryen cousin(s) without the text ever mentioning them - except that at least one had to exist since Alyssa Velaryon was half-Targaryen - so I really like the idea that the lesser pretenders were them. Perhaps their descendant still hang around Dragonstone, while Westeros fails to recognize their existence. :D

There could be some such cousins, especially in light of the fact that Aenar seems to have brought an entire clan of Targaryens (and other relations) to Dragonstone. But the chances are not good that such people could lay claim to the Iron Throne of the Conqueror. They were not Aegon's descendants, and Aegon conquered the Seven Kingdoms, not his father or grandfather. In absence of other heirs such people may have been able to lay claim to the Iron Throne - just as they or some Velaryons could have laid claim to the Iron Throne if Aegon and his sister-wives had died without issue (although then Aegon most likely would have named an heir before his death to preserve his legacy as best as he possibly could) - but the idea that anybody would even have heard the claims of people who were not descended from either Aegon I or Aenys I does not sound very convincing to me.

Still, it would be interesting if such people showed up. I doubt that any male line cousins were still around during the Conquest, though, else such people would have been very likely to have played some role in the war. There could have been the occasional tooth-less grand-uncle back on Dragonstone, or some mad or lackwit cousin, but such lines most likely didn't led anywhere.

However, there may have been first and second Targaryen cousins and aunts around through the female line, with Alyssa Velaryon's mother being one such.

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I'd like to know what made Aegon decide he was going to invade Westeros. I'd also like to know if TPTWP was a prophecy well known within the family and passed on and did they anticipate the long night. Also is this book the same thing the faceless men are said to be after ? 

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Keep in mind that George hasn't flashed out that period. How could they pop up if there is nothing written about that period. And there is a possibility that such people were out there during the Dance without us knowing it.

The Blacks were confined to Dragonstone and Driftmark when they were looking for dragonriders. It is not that likely that all descendants of Aerea, Rhalla, or Rhaena were confined to those places, too. But note that Steffon Darklyn - the Lord Commander of the Queensguard - and Gormon Massey tried to mount a dragon and failed. They most likely had reason to believe they had a drop of Targaryen blood, possibly due to some intermarriage with the Targaryens or Velaryons from before the Conquest. The Darklyns were pretty powerful back then, making it likely that one of their lords got a Targaryen spare daughter as a price, and the Massey have gotten one or a Velaryon, too. After all, there has to be an explanation why the Masseys stood with Aegon even before the Conquest, despite the fact that they formally sworn to Storm's End. And Justin Massey still has fair hair...

Could indeed be. And Lord Lyonel being granted Harrenhal by Jaehaerys I is also a sign of favor. Rhalla or Aerea could have married into House Strong, or a daughter of theirs might have. And Lord Lyonel himself could have presented his claim to the Great Council in 101 AC.

The Peakes could be another house who might have acquired a drop of dragon blood.

I doubt Aenys I did legitimize any of his bastards but Maegor or Jaehaerys I might have done such a thing. Rhaenyra also legitimized Addam and Alyn of Hull. It was done. But it is not necessary that they were legitimized. It is enough that they were acknowledged as the son of this or that Targaryen by somebody with authority. Bastards do have claims. Very weak claims but still claims.

Sure, but the point isn't preference but matters of state. If Jaehaerys I had some problems with his nieces, their husbands, and his grand-nephews then he would have known that his son or grandson would also have problem with his nephews by his many sisters, explaining why Jaehaerys I refused to permit his younger daughters to marry.

There could be some such cousins, especially in light of the fact that Aenar seems to have brought an entire clan of Targaryens (and other relations) to Dragonstone. But the chances are not good that such people could lay claim to the Iron Throne of the Conqueror. They were not Aegon's descendants, and Aegon conquered the Seven Kingdoms, not his father or grandfather. In absence of other heirs such people may have been able to lay claim to the Iron Throne - just as they or some Velaryons could have laid claim to the Iron Throne if Aegon and his sister-wives had died without issue (although then Aegon most likely would have named an heir before his death to preserve his legacy as best as he possibly could) - but the idea that anybody would even have heard the claims of people who were not descended from either Aegon I or Aenys I does not sound very convincing to me.

Still, it would be interesting if such people showed up. I doubt that any male line cousins were still around during the Conquest, though, else such people would have been very likely to have played some role in the war. There could have been the occasional tooth-less grand-uncle back on Dragonstone, or some mad or lackwit cousin, but such lines most likely didn't led anywhere.

However, there may have been first and second Targaryen cousins and aunts around through the female line, with Alyssa Velaryon's mother being one such.

The thing about the Great Council is that no one else but Jaehaerys' descendants had a realistical chance of success. Aerya&Rhaella and their children may have had good legal claims, but it would have been a pipe dream to believe that they would get chosen over Viserys or Laenor, especially with Jaehaerys still kicking around. If Rhaena had further children with any other man than Aegon, I don't think these would have a chance even in theory - all the advantages would have been on the side of the male lines. So the way I see it, if they tried, some obscure half-forgotten cousins might have tried just as well.

Another possibility is that one or two of the youngest sons of J&A applied as well (is spite of wishes of their parents, most likely). After all, we know that they did not survive until adulthood, but they could have still have lived when they were 14 years old or so, and the boys at that age can be already pretty proactive and ambitious.

In regards to J&A giving their children away, I was mostly speaking about Vaegon, since he was, well, a boy, and therefore dynastically more important. They could have married him to one of his sisters or some noblewoman. It is true that he may have wanted to become a maester, but I question the wisdom of letting him go. It depends on how things stood when he left for the Citadel, but going by his name (Vaegon? who the hell names their son Vaegon if they already have an Aegon? same for Aemon and Gaemon) Aegon might have already been dead - and Aeryn perhaps as well, although that is hard to tell.

On the whole, it was probably more due to bad luck than bad dynastic management, but I find it striking that the second generation after the Targ baby boom during J&A's reign, there are suddenly only Viserys, Daemon, and debatably Laenor to carry on the torch, one of whom had great problems producing children with the wife chosen for him, another boycotted the marriage to the wife chosen for him, and the third one seemed unwilling to have sex and children with any woman at all. This is something that happens several times during their 300 years on the mainland, too many dragons followed quickly by too few dragons, which makes their line appear rather unstable. Much of it is probably done for GRRM's writing convenience, but since they were a royal dynasty with all the advantages that belong to their position, they had the potential to become as numerous as the Lannisters and find some occupation for their cadet branches. 

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15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, they were split up over the issue. Jaehaerys I favored Baelon for some reason while Alysanne thought Rhaenys should become the heir as only child of Aemon. Now, we only know that Baelon was known as 'the Brave' and 'the Spring Prince'. I could see him being the son who was most like his father in mind, body, and character. If he was his favorite son and simply a great and very competent guy it is more than understandable why he would him to succeed him. He could have very well been another, earlier version of Baelor Breakspear.

And I'm pretty sure that Jaehaerys' most important consideration was whether the Realm and his peace - and what he wanted to have for them (continued peace and prosperity) - would flourish better under a King Baelon or a Queen Rhaenys.

But it could also be that Baelon was pretty ambitious, that Barth was biased against a female monarch (in 92 AC), etc. We don't know.

The idea why I think the purity of blood issue is likely to figure into that, too, is simply the fact that Jaehaerys I and Alysanne continued the traditional incest. And they most likely did that for a reason. Because they believed it was necessary to continue to control the dragons. The main branch of the royal family has to remain in control of the dragons. If it turned out that Jaehaerys I's great-great-grandson through the main line - the line that inherited the Iron Throne - was no longer capable to mount a dragon the power base of the dynasty would be in danger. It is also not that ideal if the dragons remained in the hands of a cadet branch who continued to practice incest (keeping the bloodline pure).

And we also learn that purity of blood is also an issue when the claims of Rhaenyra and Aegon are discussed in 129 AC.

Oh, I'd agree that the younger children pretty much were ruled by their parents. With the elder ones it is somewhat different, though. Aemon was the Heir Apparent (at least since Aegon died, whenever that happened) and Baelon/Alyssa the spare. The other children were pretty much irrelevant.

However, I like the idea that Aegon and Aemon were less promising than Baelon and Vaegon (who certainly would have been a pretty gifted guy if he rose to become an archmaester). Especially Aemon could have been some sort of overconfident, hot-headed fool, explaining how he got himself killed by some pirates invading Tarth. We know Rhaenys is somewhat fiery, too, so it might be interesting to play things this way.

I doubt Maegelle and Saera were given to the Faith at an age where their opinion mattered. Girls and boys were given to nunneries and monasteries at a very early age in the real middle ages, so it seems not unlikely that this would be similar in Westeros. I also don't think Saera ran away at the age of, say, ten but rather as a young woman, perhaps around the age of 14-16 or so.

@Bael's Bastard

Yeah, that are more or less my thoughts, too. Considering the grief the Dornish supposedly felt it is very likely that if there was some sort of Dornish War during the reign of Jaehaerys I it would have been at the beginning rather than around the end of his reign (the Dornish wouldn't mourn him all that much if the dragons had killed a lot of Dornishmen in the 80s or 90s). And it might even be that Robar Baratheon could push the adolescent Jaehaerys I into going along with such an idea (especially if Dorne was playing along with it by provoking/attacking the Marcher Lords). Deria Martell was still around during the reign of Aenys I but she may have died during the reign of Maegor.

A pretty good way to set this up would be to have Robar Baratheon deliberately escalating an issue that began with minor skirmishes until his king had no other choice but to declare war. This could work nicely if such a crisis broke out while Jaehaerys I and Alysanne were on a royal progress while the Hand was sitting the Iron Throne back in KL. It could even be that famous progress that lead the royal couple up to Winterfell and then to the Wall. Alysanne seems to be still very young when they do that.

The Vulture Hunt sort of can qualify as a Second Dornish War (the Vulture King seems to have gotten exclusively/mainly support from Dorne, and at one point he commanded 30,000 people) but it wasn't war a war that was fought in Dorne nor a war to subdue or conquer Dorne. However, assuming Aenys-Maegor (in 38-39 AC) and Maegor alone never got around to deliver the Dornishmen some payback for that this could have happened in the 50s.

I'd love to hear a bit more about Saera's story, and how she eventually became the owner of Volantis' best brothel.

As an aside, I thought it was sad how many of Jaehaerys' and Alyasanne's children met premature deaths.

WRT Dorne, I imagine the Dornish marches were like the English-Scottish border.  Even when there was peace between the two countries, there were endless feuds and raids between clans on either side;  sometimes the governments would suppress them, and sometimes they'd stir them up.

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Reading this thread has made me even more excited than I already was for this book. There is so much potential for awesome! If it detailed all of the scenarios you guys have set forth, it would be four or five volumes!

I am so looking forward to reading about Jaeharys and Alysanne, and their children and reign. Also, while I love the family tree in the world book, I would love to get even more detailed ones in here, perhaps showing the families of people like Rhalla and Aerea, or the Velaryon connections to the Targaryens in detail (like Alyssa!). We know a lot about the Targ family lines, but I for one always want more family trees.

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1 hour ago, ThePrinceThatKnewNothing said:

I'd like to know what made Aegon decide he was going to invade Westeros. I'd also like to know if TPTWP was a prophecy well known within the family and passed on and did they anticipate the long night. Also is this book the same thing the faceless men are said to be after ? 

If the promised prince came up during that part of the Targaryen reign it is not impossible that it is mentioned.

1 hour ago, lojzelote said:

The thing about the Great Council is that no one else but Jaehaerys' descendants had a realistical chance of success.

Sure, but for some reasons those seven guys thought they should try anyway. Just as Aenys Blackfyre did in 233 AC.

1 hour ago, lojzelote said:

Aerya&Rhaella and their children may have had good legal claims, but it would have been a pipe dream to believe that they would get chosen over Viserys or Laenor, especially with Jaehaerys still kicking around. If Rhaena had further children with any other man than Aegon, I don't think these would have a chance even in theory - all the advantages would have been on the side of the male lines. So the way I see it, if they tried, some obscure half-forgotten cousins might have tried just as well.

Well, considering that there were seven lesser claimants we could speculate who they were. Let's say there was a son/grandson of Aerea, Rhalla, and Rhaena. That would make three claimants, leaving four others. One could have been a half-brother of Princess Rhaenys, an acknowledged bastard by Prince Aemon. Another could been a bastard of the Old King himself, making it five. Another could be the son of an acknowledged bastard of Aenys I. Perhaps the seventh may have been one of those obscure cousins, although I'm not very confident there would have been any such male line Targaryens left.

1 hour ago, lojzelote said:

Another possibility is that one or two of the youngest sons of J&A applied as well (is spite of wishes of their parents, most likely). After all, we know that they did not survive until adulthood, but they could have still have lived when they were 14 years old or so, and the boys at that age can be already pretty proactive and ambitious.

I don't think those sons would have been allowed to present their claims against their father's wishes. They would have been minors, after all, and as such not likely to be allowed to speak for themselves. In addition I honestly doubt that any such sons may have been still minors in 101 AC. That would have meant Alysanne gave birth to one of her sons in 86 AC.

1 hour ago, lojzelote said:

In regards to J&A giving their children away, I was mostly speaking about Vaegon, since he was, well, a boy, and therefore dynastically more important. They could have married him to one of his sisters or some noblewoman. It is true that he may have wanted to become a maester, but I question the wisdom of letting him go. It depends on how things stood when he left for the Citadel, but going by his name (Vaegon? who the hell names their son Vaegon if they already have an Aegon? same for Aemon and Gaemon) Aegon might have already been dead - and Aeryn perhaps as well, although that is hard to tell.

Daeron II also didn't sent his youngest son to the Citadel. He picked a younger son who apparently had the talent to become a maester. At the time they sent Vaegon away many of the sons that later died may have been still around.

1 hour ago, lojzelote said:

On the whole, it was probably more due to bad luck than bad dynastic management, but I find it striking that the second generation after the Targ baby boom during J&A's reign, there are suddenly only Viserys, Daemon, and debatably Laenor to carry on the torch, one of whom had great problems producing children with the wife chosen for him, another boycotted the marriage to the wife chosen for him, and the third one seemed unwilling to have sex and children with any woman at all. This is something that happens several times during their 300 years on the mainland, too many dragons followed quickly by too few dragons, which makes their line appear rather unstable. Much of it is probably done for GRRM's writing convenience, but since they were a royal dynasty with all the advantages that belong to their position, they had the potential to become as numerous as the Lannisters and find some occupation for their cadet branches. 

Yeah, I don't like that, either. The Dance could have taken care of all those cadet branches that could have been created during the 1st century. Aenys and Maegor could have had younger siblings, Jaehaerys I could have had a younger brother, 2-3 of Jaehaerys' younger children could have produced offspring of their own, etc.

I expected there to be multiple lesser Targaryens around during the Dance - both through the male and female lines - some of them dragonriders, some of them dragonless. Viserys I's uncles and cousins could have played important roles in the government of the Realm, etc. And such people could have jumped on the chance to fuel the rivalry between the Blacks and the Greens, amassing power in their own right in the process. And those female line Targaryens of this day and age could have been houses we already know - like the Strongs, the Hightowers (Alicent's mother or grandmother, of instance), etc.

George seems to rectify this later on after the Dance with the six daughters of Rhaena and Garmund. If they all lived and married then this means there are quite a few Targaryen cadet branches in those later days, most notably the Dondarrions (if my theory is correct), the Penroses, and perhaps the Daynes. And they then turned to those families for cousin brides. And in addition we have the Lothstons and the Plumms as unofficial cadet branches.

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

I'd love to hear a bit more about Saera's story, and how she eventually became the owner of Volantis' best brothel.

There is a chance that we hear something about that.

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

As an aside, I thought it was sad how many of Jaehaerys' and Alyasanne's children met premature deaths.

Yes. See above.

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

WRT Dorne, I imagine the Dornish marches were like the English-Scottish border.  Even when there was peace between the two countries, there were endless feuds and raids between clans on either side;  sometimes the governments would suppress them, and sometimes they'd stir them up.

Yes, but the whole thing about the First Dornish War indicates that there were other real Dornish Wars, wars involving the Targaryens actually invading Dorne and trying to conquer it another time.

1 hour ago, Eurybia said:

Reading this thread has made me even more excited than I already was for this book. There is so much potential for awesome! If it detailed all of the scenarios you guys have set forth, it would be four or five volumes!

Well, it doesn't have to go into details on every of those things but there should be quite a few things on Jaehaerys I and his children.

1 hour ago, Eurybia said:

I am so looking forward to reading about Jaeharys and Alysanne, and their children and reign. Also, while I love the family tree in the world book, I would love to get even more detailed ones in here, perhaps showing the families of people like Rhalla and Aerea, or the Velaryon connections to the Targaryens in detail (like Alyssa!). We know a lot about the Targ family lines, but I for one always want more family trees.

A more detailed family tree would be very appreciated. First there could be new section of the family tree from Aenar to Aerion and Valaena, including all the earlier Targaryen-Velaryon marriages, and detailing all houses the Targaryens married into prior to the Conquest (like, say, Darklyn and Massey, perhaps). And then filling up all the gaps in the family tree we have as of yet. Alyssa Velaryon's Targaryen ancestry, the marriages of Aerea and Rhalla and a possible third marriage of Rhaena, the parents of Corlys Velaryon, the whereabouts of the mystery prince Aegon (younger brother of Viserys I and Daemon - I still think he is that ape prince Axell talks about in ADwD), ending with the Targaryens as they are after the Dance - the marriages and children of Aegon III-Daenaera, Viserys II-Larra, Baela-Alyn, and Rhaena-Garmund.

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When I first heared that GRRM is gonna write a Targaryen fake history book years ago, I thought and hoped that it will also include their family story in Old Valyria and that it will show us the Valyrian Empire and society. How they learned to tame dragons, how their magic worked, what brought the Doom. That would have been very interesting, since there are huge myths to be revealed to us. The Targaryen story beginning with Aegon, is for me personaly pretty...meh...Most of it is already in TwoIaF. Sure he will flesh their story out, adding a lot of additive informations. But personally I don't care about it. It will be nothing really new, in the sense of giving the reader a sort of new story. But as I said, only my opinion. I am sure there are others who would like those stories. 

Crazy Idea though (and off-topic): Since he wants to release it earlier than we have thought or he has planned, Dance or the Conquest may be the chosen Prequels by HBO. I think we can all agree, that he does not want to be in the same situation he was with GoT, where TV tells his story before he can. 

Edited by Dragonsbone

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If the promised prince came up during that part of the Targaryen reign it is not impossible that it is mentioned.

Sure, but for some reasons those seven guys thought they should try anyway. Just as Aenys Blackfyre did in 233 AC.

Well, considering that there were seven lesser claimants we could speculate who they were. Let's say there was a son/grandson of Aerea, Rhalla, and Rhaena. That would make three claimants, leaving four others. One could have been a half-brother of Princess Rhaenys, an acknowledged bastard by Prince Aemon. Another could been a bastard of the Old King himself, making it five. Another could be the son of an acknowledged bastard of Aenys I. Perhaps the seventh may have been one of those obscure cousins, although I'm not very confident there would have been any such male line Targaryens left.

I don't think those sons would have been allowed to present their claims against their father's wishes. They would have been minors, after all, and as such not likely to be allowed to speak for themselves. In addition I honestly doubt that any such sons may have been still minors in 101 AC. That would have meant Alysanne gave birth to one of her sons in 86 AC.

 

Well, LOL, I didn't do the math.

Rhaena's daughters could have fielded between them most of those claimants. Aerea could have applied herself, and after her her various sons and grandsons, each less suitable than the others (one too extravagant, one lame, one disfigured, one was small and stammered), and then her sister's sons, who believed that their cousins were all disqualified by their various setbacks, and these sons may have happened to be a pair of twins about whom no one was sure who was the firstborn. :D

Nah, kidding, but I think it may have been more difficult.

Btw, are we sure it was Rhalla without the diphtong? I thought it was a typo.

If Aemon had a permanent mistress that he loved and with whom he had a family, it could explain for his strange lack of trueborn children save Rhaenys, but I'm not sure if Jaehaerys would have tolerated such behaviour in his heir. Idk, I feel that a bastard could have applied only if he had a good standing witin the family, but even so I don't find it very likely.

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