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Jon's female ancestors

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49 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

Sorry for the delay...

No problem.

49 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

I'll give you Harrenhal, forgot about that.  After whomever holds it though, I think it's fair to assume the Blackwoods are clearly on the "next tier" with the Mallisters and Freys (at least in prestige if not in power) as evidenced by Cregan taking Black Aly in lieu of a Targ and Lord Tytos' role in ASOIAF.  Granted, I suppose it's fair to assume they were not during the 220 AC period for whatever reason because we don't really know, but that's just absence of evidence.

Well, it seems Cregan really had the hots for Black Aly. I mean, she did only agree to marry him after he agreed to pardon Corlys Velaryon. That indicates she was only willing to marry him after her demands - and the demands of Baela and Rhaena - were met rather than considering it a huge honor to become the Lady Stark of Winterfell.

That said, we have forgotten the fact that Brynden Rivers was the Hand while Egg married Betha. Apparently even that didn't help making this match more acceptable. That makes one wonder whether either Bloodraven or Bittersteel ever would have had a shot on the the throne in their own right. Probably not because they were too lowborn on the side of their mothers.

49 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

I agree with this and it makes sense.  Out of curiosity, what do you think of the possibility of a crown prince marrying a Tyrell or Tully - especially if, say, the Targs were in a similar position as the Lannisters after Blackwater?

I guess it could have worked later on, say, in the 3rd century. But especially the Tyrells - while powerful - still don't have the proper bloodline. It is noteworthy that Aegon V chooses a Baratheon bride for his heir while allowing the Tullys and Tyrells to marry only the younger children - both Riverrun and Highgarden are more powerful than Storm's End. But granting Luthor Tyrell the hand of his eldest daughter was a huge favor and is clearly, in my opinion, the beginning of those royal ambitions Mace has during the series. I'm sure Luthor's parents hoped that a daughter of Luthor and Shaera would marry the son of Duncan and the Baratheon girl, resulting in a Tyrell grandson sitting the Iron Throne one day.

Not to mention the possibility of a Tyrell claiming the throne in his own right should Duncan and Jaehaerys only have daughters...

49 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

I guess my argument is that even without a potential lordship, it would behoove the Targs to marry second or third sons etc. to a powerful secondary house rather than, for example, marrying second son Aerys I to Aelinor Penrose because of the blood relation.  This could be a far greater strategic match not only to ensure a stronger ally but also apply soft pressure to ensure a potentially recalcitrant Great House to stay in line.  Such a strategy would be even more beneficial in marrying off daughters.  This is a normative argument of what the Targs should have done, not of what they did.

I guess there is something to that but if you consider the sons of Edward III such things could also cause problems for years to come. If younger Targaryen sons set themselves up as powerful lords of their own right - like Robert did with his brothers - then this could plunge the Realm into civil war later in the future.

The smarter Targaryens - like Jaehaerys I - seem to have put pressure on greater houses by granting the hands of their daughters to their vassals. Princess Viserra's betrothal to Lord Manderly could be evidence for that. Rodrik Arryn's marriage to Princess Daella is most likely a sign of genuine royal favor.

49 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

Granted, Elaena is a special case, but do we know for sure Aelinor was not a descendent of Ronnel?

We know it sort of know it because we ruled out all other possibilities. We know that Aelinor Penrose is Aerys I's cousin, and we know from Ran that she is a cousin on the Targaryen and not the Martell side. There is still a chance that she might be descended from a Velaryon daughter of Alyn and Baela but we do not know that these two even had daughters. Rhaena and Garmund had six, and a younger Hightower girl surely could have married into House Penrose.

And if we assume that Aelinor is actually the daughter of Ronnel from a previous wife - which I think she is - then it is quite clear that Ronnel himself is descended from Laena and Daemon because they named two of their girls Laena and Jocelyn (presumably after Laena Velaryon and Jocelyn Baratheon). By the way, I'm inclined to believe that the youngest girl, Joy, might actually be Michael Manwoody's daughter. There are hints that Elaena and he were in love before Ronnel died.

The Penrose situation is very vexing. It would have been so much easier if Aelinor had been one of Elaena's daughters by Ronnel. Then she and Aerys I could have married somewhat later than the other sons of Daeron II, perhaps in the late 190s or even the early 200s.

But the whole thing about a Lady Penrose losing most of her sons to Fireball during the Blackfyre Rebellion makes things much more complicated. That Lady Penrose is clearly not Elaena, so if fit that all into one line of Penroses could only work if Ronnel had a wife prior to Elaena from whom he would have had Aelinor and the son who would succeed him as Lord Penrose. That guy then in turn had sons who were old enough to die during the Blackfyre Rebellion.

49 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

Again, how do we know this?

See above.

49 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

This is an excellent point based on the circumstances at the time, and IMO the strongest support that Jena (and subsequently the Dondarrions) had Targ blood.

One can still combine this whole thing with Daeron II's own political ambitions. Perhaps there were also eligible brides among his Velaryon cousins (through Alyn-Baela) but he decided to favor the cousins from the Stormlands because he needed the Dondarrions and Penroses for his Dornish plan.

If that was true then Daeron II would have followed both his family's usual marriage policies while also securing alliances for his own political plans. And it seems that this paid off on the Redgrass Field. It is essentially a given, I think, that the Dondarrions and Penroses played a huge role in Baelor's Stormlander host as well as ensuring that a sufficient portion of the Stormlords would support Daeron II rather than Daemon Blackfyre.

And there is a hint that Daeron II actually had staunch friends among some Stormlanders and Marcher Lords. In the section on Aegon IV when his Dornish war is discussed there is this curious line:


Perhaps it was for this reason that Aegon turned his attention to Dorne, using the hatred for the Dornishmen that still burned in the marches, the stormlands, and the Reach to suborn some of Daeron’s allies and use them against his most powerful supporters.

Now, the most powerful supporters would, of course, be Prince Maron and the Dornishmen. But those other allies mentioned in that sentence must be men living in the Marches, Stormlands, and Reach. Else the whole sentence makes no sense. Now, two of those allies of Daeron's could have been Jena Dondarrion's father and Ronnel Penrose, both cousins of his who perhaps grew up with him at court in the 150s and 160s. I'm sure Prince Viserys would have given the grandsons of his half-sister Rhaena places at court.

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