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Lord Varys

The Book of Swords - The Sons of the Dragon SPOILERS

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Just now, The Dragon Demands said:

I checked the trees but can't find what you're talking about; specifically which Starks are you referring to?

Lord Cregan Stark's granddaughters by his first son Rickon, Serena and Sansa Stark, were married to their uncles (technically half-uncles) Lord Jonnel and Edric Stark, respectively.

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1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

I won't be able to get my hands on a copy of BoS till tomorrow but based off TWOIAF poison or sickness are equally possible, part of the problem being that the idea of "slander" as presented in TSOTD is heavily undercut by certain decisions GRRM made.

Well, poison is never mentioned there, actually. The story is that Ceryse caught some sickness and died rather suddenly - which certainly is possible in this world. The rumor is that Ceryse made some comment Maegor didn't like and he commanded that Owen Bush Kingsguard thug of his - most likely one of the worst men ever to wear a white cloak (people killed him shortly before Maegor's own death while he was visiting a brothel, and stuffed his cock into his mouth) - to cut out her tongue. The tale claims he slipped with knife and cut her throat.

It is very ugly business - but something that would very much fit Maegor's character.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

For example, why is it likely slander that Maegor butchered a cat at the age of three when apparently it is a known fact that he slaughtered a horse when he was eight and then cut off half the face of the stableboy?

Well, perhaps because there are contemporary witnesses for the latter and none for the former. George has his maester also dismiss the idea about the fertility potion Tyanna allegedly gave Jeyne Westerling because the earliest source claiming that wrote twenty years into the reign of Jaehaerys I.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Honestly, TSOTD is an unedited mess in that regard from what I've heard, which is pretty damning considering that Gardner surely had time to fact-check and cross-reference the text seeing as GRRM handed him a complete draft from the get-go.

I'd agree with that in part, but the person to blame for that is George, not Gardner. Ran told us that they made edits to TSotD in the process of making TWoIaF. We have the same situation here as we had with TRP and the Gerardys-Orwyle thing. George gave Gardner the original file rather than the one with the edits.

However, we surely can blame Gardner for the typos.

Speaking about the thing, I think the worst part narrative-wise in the piece is the sudden jump from the dragon attacks in the Reach Riverlands and West to the arrival at Oldtown.

Did Gardner cut something there, @Ran? Or is George just suddenly moving very quickly. If we keep in mind that Visenya didn't actually attack the Reach but rather the Riverlands one assumes Maegor and she first moved against various pious Reach houses - among them our good friends, the Osgreys - before they targeted Oldtown.

The people there know that the dragons are coming - which only makes sense if Maegor and Visenya sent messages there or if refugees, etc. arrived there. In that sense one assumes that they would have attacked some other castle in the neighborhood - or where at least making camp at such a place - from which they announced their last ultimatum via messenger or raven - which then led to the decision to get rid of the High Septon to save the city.

The idea that a messenger rode all the way to Oldtown to tell Lord Hightower to kill little Rhaella Targaryen at the very end of Maegor's reign also makes no sense, by the way. Such a messenger would never have arrived in time if he had left KL. At best it could have been a messenger from a nearby loyalist castle. But more likely would be a letter. Lord Hightower could burn such a letter instead of imprisoning the messenger, I guess.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

I guess the best we can hope for is that Ran/Linda point out these issues and possibilities to him during the editorial process for Fire & Blood: Volume 1.

I'm pretty sure they will ;-). Things should be somewhat easier this time considering that they hopefully are not going to have to cut as many material as they had the last time.

1 hour ago, Ran said:

I'm sure there'll be art of some sort. Maybe a mix of pieces from TWoIaF and new ones.

Well, I'd still like to see some medieval book illuminations with highly stylized portraits of the kings and their families. But I guess that's not going to happen.

But in regards to art - just drop that art on every page crap. Make some fine and fitting illustrations and give us instead what really matters - the text.

36 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

I don't think you can rule it out on that basis.  He'd be "almost a hundred years old" if he was 92; it's a sufficiently imprecise phrase.

Yeah, that would be my take as well. But I'm not saying that Vermithor and Silverwing have to be those two dragons from 37 AC, just that this is a possibility. But we have eight dragons from which Maegor, Rhaena, Aegon, Viserys, Jaehaerys, Alysanne, and Alyssa could have picked a dragon. And only three of them - Rhaena, Jaehaerys, and Alysanne - are confirmed to have done that. If true, then this would have been very, very odd.

I mean, if you think about it, even the story of Prince Vaegon the Dragonless is odd. There was no reason for this prince to remain dragonless in light of the fact that there was at least two wild dragons - Sheepstealer and the Cannibal - out there on Dragonstone in addition to whatever dragons hatched in those days.

1 hour ago, direpupy said:

As to Sheepstealer "born when  they old king was young" well that means he was born at they earliest in 34 AC the birth-year of the old king, but probably a little later and thus younger then Vermithor.

Perhaps. But that's the thing. We don't know.

1 hour ago, direpupy said:

The Cannibal wel that is more difficult to say he is called they eldest of the wild dragons so he is older then Sheepstealer but wheter that is 1 or 10 years we simply do not know. So yes he may be of similar age to Vermithor.

Well, if there is some truth to the rumors about him it would be odd if he was just a little bit older than Sheepstealer and Vermithor. It is odd that such strange tales are told about him and not the other wild dragons.

1 hour ago, direpupy said:

But hey for al we know its one of those things where Yandel's comments in tWoIaF is simply bullshit after all he is our only source for Vermithor being they oldest.

No, George is the one telling us that.

And in that sentence he even makes it clear that Vermithor becomes the oldest and largest dragon alive after the death of Vhagar - Dreamfyre is dead by that time, too, but she is not mentioned there:

Quote

And truly, with Vhagar dead at last, the oldest and largest living dragon in all Westeros was Vermithor, once the mount of the Old King, now that of Hard Hugh the bastard. Vermithor was thrice the size of Prince Daeron’s she-dragon Tessarion. No man who glimpsed them together could fail to see that Vermithor was a far more fearsome beast.

 

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7 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Text

Re slander: I meant more that why is there continued insistence that some really awful stories about Maegor are undoubtedly true while others are only later-invented calumnies given that Maegor by all accounts was an irredeemably bad person? It would make more sense in my opinion to either drop the whole slander angle entirely or run with it and really make Maegor a controversial figure whose historiography is an utter mess to sift through.

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1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Sansa and Serena Stark if I'm not mistaken. Also, it should be mentioned that the Starks don't follow the Faith of the Seven so they wouldn't care if the High Septon decreed uncle/aunt-niece/nephew marriages to be incest.

Yes, those are the ones. And those are most certainly in there to introduce the reader to the fact that avuncular marriages are not that big of a deal for the Starks. You know, because there might be a Stark descendant out there who may be tempted to marry his own aunt.

The First Men and the old gods also condemn incest. So if avuncular marriages were considered abominable incest the Starks wouldn't practice it either, right?

I'm not saying those types of marriages would be the rule. But as I've laid out elsewhere repeatedly it is pretty obvious that all the noble and royal families but be inbred in the highest degree considering that most marriages must take place between cousins of various degrees. Just look at the recent Lannister or Tyrell-Redwyne marriages. Or keep in mind that there were nine marriages between the Gardeners and Tyrells during their history - with the Tyrells being not exactly the most prestigious house in the Reach at that time. How often intermarried the Gardeners with the Hightowers, Redwynes, Manderlys, Peakes, Rowans, etc. throughout the centuries?

The Stark family tree gives us an inclination of the houses from which the Starks picked their brides, but we can only identify avuncular and cousin marriages through the male line. We don't see those through the female line since the marriages and descendants (and marriages and descendants) of the Stark daughters are mostly missing. Those people would all (or mostly) marry into noble families in the North. And there are not that many around, not to mention that the average Stark of Winterfell is not likely to marry some lesser lordling. Especially not back when the Starks still wore crowns.

1 hour ago, Colonel Green said:

Lord Cregan Stark's granddaughters by his first son Rickon, Serena and Sansa Stark, were married to their uncles (technically half-uncles) Lord Jonnel and Edric Stark, respectively.

Technically Maegor and Rhaena are also only half-uncle and half-aunt, right? Maegor's mother isn't Rhaena's grandmother. In that sense Maegor-Rhaena and Serena/Sansa-Jonnel/Edric seem to be the same.

Edited by Lord Varys

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10 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Re slander: I meant more that why is there continued insistence that some really awful stories about Maegor are undoubtedly true while others are only later-invented calumnies given that Maegor by all accounts was an irredeemably bad person? It would make more sense in my opinion to either drop the whole slander angle entirely or run with it and really make Maegor a controversial figure whose historiography is an utter mess to sift through.

Well, but those kind of calumnies are invented about really bad people in real world history, too, right? If you have a serial killer you go back in his childhood and check whether he was 'born evil', and did something horrible or strange even as a toddler or preteen. 

Or take a guy like Caligula. The man most likely wasn't mad in a clinical sense, and all those slanders about him being like the John Hurt version are slander - but there are very good reasons why the man was slandered the way he was. There were rebellions against him, and repeated purges afterwards, making the man not exactly popular with the Senatorial class.

Maegor was never invented or imagined as a complex or gray character. I guess there are some dots gray in him, like the fact that he did work with Aenys, not immediately believed Alys betrayed him, reconciled with Ceryse, didn't carry the war to Aegon without being provoked, and agreed to send most of the Warrior's Sons of Oldtown to the Wall - not to mention not burning Oldtown down.

But aside from that the man most definitely is one of the worst individuals we meet in this entire fictional universe. And it is actually quite interesting how his own inflexibility ruins everything. It begins with the burning of the Sept of Remembrance. That was unnecessary. They needed to be harsh and determined against the Faith but Maegor essentially tried to exterminate them all. And I guess the point of no return for the Kingslanders and other smallfolk who were Targaryen loyalists came when he slaughtered the men who built the Red Keep. At that point he turned against his own people, basically.

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21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Yes, those are the ones. And those are most certainly in there to introduce the reader to the fact that avuncular marriages are not that big of a deal for the Starks. You know, because there might be a Stark descendant out there who may be tempted to marry his own aunt.

The First Men and the old gods also condemn incest. So if avuncular marriages were considered abominable incest the Starks wouldn't practice it either, right?

Except you are incorrect with this assumption and it goes against what GRRM has said in SSM's before.

Quote

I'm not saying those types of marriages would be the rule.

That is good, because they are certainly NOT the rule, or even a casual standard because it happened in one double-instance that included a grasping family and then it was never practiced again in the Stark line at all, and those two half-uncle to niece marriages either never produced any heirs to carry on the learned practice, or the offspring married back in to other non Stark houses and the close relationship marriages were not replicated again in any way. Cousins once removed seem to be the closest relation allowed and that is probably because they share a small amount of blood with two other bloodlines in the once removed branches.

Quote

 

But as I've laid out elsewhere repeatedly it is pretty obvious that all the noble and royal families but be inbred in the highest degree considering that most marriages must take place between cousins of various degrees.


Again, this is not correct at all when you look at the family trees and not correct at all when you listen to when the author tells us that the norm was to marry between families to secure alliances and such. It does zero, squat, zilch to increase your lands and "riches" if your tree doesn't branch. 

And I care not to go on with this topic any further because it has nothing to do with this interesting new story about Targaryens we were just given. Instead it is a cheap attempt to sling mud where it doesn't belong. Personal assumptions do not count as canon.

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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8 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

I hope so. There was another typo I saw with two successive plurals. 

I have noticed there tend to be a lot of typos in e-books in general, and the RN for M thing happens so often that I wonder if e-pub conversion isn't basically just OCR.

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54 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Yes, those are the ones. And those are most certainly in there to introduce the reader to the fact that avuncular marriages are not that big of a deal for the Starks. You know, because there might be a Stark descendant out there who may be tempted to marry his own aunt.

The First Men and the old gods also condemn incest. So if avuncular marriages were considered abominable incest the Starks wouldn't practice it either, right?

I'm not saying those types of marriages would be the rule. But as I've laid out elsewhere repeatedly it is pretty obvious that all the noble and royal families but be inbred in the highest degree considering that most marriages must take place between cousins of various degrees. Just look at the recent Lannister or Tyrell-Redwyne marriages. Or keep in mind that there were nine marriages between the Gardeners and Tyrells during their history - with the Tyrells being not exactly the most prestigious house in the Reach at that time. How often intermarried the Gardeners with the Hightowers, Redwynes, Manderlys, Peakes, Rowans, etc. throughout the centuries?

The Stark family tree gives us an inclination of the houses from which the Starks picked their brides, but we can only identify avuncular and cousin marriages through the male line. We don't see those through the female line since the marriages and descendants (and marriages and descendants) of the Stark daughters are mostly missing. Those people would all (or mostly) marry into noble families in the North. And there are not that many around, not to mention that the average Stark of Winterfell is not likely to marry some lesser lordling. Especially not back when the Starks still wore crowns.

Technically Maegor and Rhaena are also only half-uncle and half-aunt, right? Maegor's mother isn't Rhaena's grandmother. In that sense Maegor-Rhaena and Serena/Sansa-Jonnel/Edric seem to be the same.

 

.....oh....major realization:

Different societies had different limits on degrees of incest/consanguinity at different points in history - at times, almost arbitrary (a third cousin is okay but a fourth cousin is a vile sin, but in a different century it's second cousins, etc.).

A major real life example is that Leonidas of Sparta, who led the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, was married to Gorgo...his own half-niece (who you may recall was played by Lena Headey in the live-action 2007 movie).  Ancient Greek historians specifically pointed out that the Spartans officially considered marriage to a full niece to be incest, but *did not* consider marriage to a half-niece to be incest.  They considered this a big distinction.

The two cited are Serena and Sansa Stark, the two daughters of Rickon son of Cregan.  BOTH of them married *half*-uncles.  

Similarly, Maegor wanted to marry his half-niece.  Maybe it was just seen as a little too reminiscent of brother-sister incest...in short, it would be "pushing it"...so Aegon backed down and said no rather than anger the Faith.  

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Therae said:

I have noticed there tend to be a lot of typos in e-books in general, and the RN for M thing happens so often that I wonder if e-pub conversion isn't basically just OCR.

I have the nook version and the hard cover. It's in both. 

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1 hour ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Again, this is not correct at all when you look at the family trees and not correct at all when you listen to when the author tells us that the norm was to marry between families to secure alliances and such. It does zero, squat, zilch to increase your lands and "riches" if your tree doesn't branch. 

'Inbred' in this context means that there is a group or population that only/mostly marry among themselves over an extended period of time. The nobility of the Seven Kingdoms did that over thousands of years. They are inbred to a very high degree, and there is no way around that. Even if they only constantly married only second or third cousins - and entirely evaded first cousin or avuncular marriages (which they do not) - they would still be inbred.

Whatever reasons the nobles have to arrange their marriages - they do arrange them. Nobles do not marry for love, they marry the people their elders pick for them. And the gene pool from which they choose those spouses for their children is very small indeed. It is basically a couple of dozen or scores of noble families of equal or similar rank from the same region.

It is inevitable that people are much closer related when they are only marrying people from a small group that is already heavily interrelated than when they actually choose their spouses themselves - which perhaps one in a hundred nobles in Westeros actually do.

35 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Different societies had different limits on degrees of incest/consanguinity at different points in history - at times, almost arbitrary (a third cousin is okay but a fourth cousin is a vile sin, but in a different century it's second cousins, etc.).

A major real life example is that Leonidas of Sparta, who led the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, was married to Gorgo...his own half-niece (who you may recall was played by Lena Headey in the live-action 2007 movie).  Ancient Greek historians specifically pointed out that the Spartans officially considered marriage to a full niece to be incest, but *did not* consider marriage to a half-niece to be incest.  They considered this a big distinction.

Yeah, we have that today, too. In the US first cousin relationships seem to big deal when this is really no deal at all in most countries in the world. And even avuncular marriages are permitted in many western countries - of course not advised or practiced by many people - but still nothing that's usually punished by the law.

The real taboo incest usually is the whole core incest between siblings and (grand-)parents and (grand-)children. But, of course, that's in the end culturally enforced, too, if the widespread sibling incest in Roman Egypt is any indication. If the cultural norm allows or encourages you to marry your sister we seem to be able to do that.

That said, the really funny thing is what also counts as incest in addition to the core thing - stuff like adoptive kin, the spouses of your siblings, the relations of your in-laws, the former spouses of your parents, etc. There is considerable cultural variation there.

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The two cited are Serena and Sansa Stark, the two daughters of Rickon son of Cregan.  BOTH of them married *half*-uncles.  

Similarly, Maegor wanted to marry his half-niece.  Maybe it was just seen as a little too reminiscent of brother-sister incest...in short, it would be "pushing it"...so Aegon backed down and said no rather than anger the Faith.

Yeah, that's what I suggested above somewhere already. The High Septon didn't condemn the Rhaena-Maegor betrothal plans as abominable incest, he just advised them not to do - presumably because it was too reminiscent of the traditional Targaryen sibling incest and would send the message that this is what they would really like (to continue) to do - and suggested a suitable bride for Maegor to soften the blow.

Not to mention that his motivation there - and the motivation of Lord Hightower - would have been to marry Ceryse to Maegor. He may have used any argument to convince Aegon to agree to that...

That is how the thing is presented:

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Queen Visenya proposed to settle the matter by betrothing Rhaena to Maegor, who had just turned twelve. Aenys and Alyssa spoke out against the match, however…and when word reached Oldtown’s Starry Sept, the High Septon sent a raven, warning the king that such a marriage would not be looked upon with favor by the Faith. He proposed a different bride for Maegor: Ceryse Hightower, maiden daughter to the Lord of Oldtown (and the High Septon’s own niece). Aegon, mindful of the advantages of closer ties with Oldtown and its ruling House, saw wisdom in the choice and agreed to the match.

There is a huge difference there between his rejection of the Maegor-Rhaena match and the condemnation of the later polygamy (both Maegor-Alys and Maegor-Tyanna), not to mention the condemnation of the Aegon-Rhaena marriage as well as the condemnation of their innocent twin daughters.

If you also recall, in our story here it is actually Lord Velaryon who advises King Maegor to marry his niece Rhaena in the end. And the reasons he puts forth - and the reason why Maegor agrees with him - have little to do with keeping the bloodline pure or some ritualistic incest, they are strictly political:

Quote

Lord Velaryon of Driftmark advised Maegor to send for his niece Princess Rhaena, his brother’s daughter and the widow of his brother’s son, and take her to wife. By wedding Rhaena, the king would unite their claims and strengthen the royal bloodline.

[...]

And one of those wives should surely be his niece; there was wisdom in Lord Velaryon’s counsel. Queen Alyssa and her two youngest children remained in hiding (it was thought that they had fled across the narrow sea, to Tyrosh or perhaps Volantis), but they still represented a threat to Maegor’s crown and any son he might father. Taking Aenys’s daughter to wife would weaken any claims put forward by her younger siblings.

The same political reasoning could apply to any other royal or noble bloodline in the Seven Kingdoms under similar circumstances. I assume you recall that Cregan Karstark intended to marry Alys Karstark? That is essentially the same thing Maegor did with Rhaena here. It is not Targaryen special incest, it is a political marriage to strengthen a bloodline.

In that sense we can say that avuncular marriages - as well as cousin marriages - are a legitimate means of noble and royal marriage politics in Westeros. They may not be the most common but they are used especially when you feel you have to strengthen a blood claim, unite two rival branches of family, etc.

Abominable/sinful incest is only intercourse and marriage between members of a core family - siblings, parents-children, and presumably also grandparents-grandchildren.

One wonders how it is with half-siblings? Do we think it would be unheard of/impossible if a Frey married one of his half siblings? I actually doubt that. It would be huge scandal, presumably, but they might get away with that.

Edited by Lord Varys

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Unanswered questions prompted by The Sons of the Dragon:

  • How did Quicksilver get to Aegon in the westerlands?
  • Why do they call Quicksilver by female pronouns?  Is this a casual mistake? (text used interchangeable ones for Caraxes)
  • It states that the Faith of the Seven, prior to Maegor, held it's own ecclesiastical courts and had its own military (we knew all that)...and also that its wealth and lands were exempt from taxation.  This was kind of a big issue in the real Middle Ages (Henry VIII dissolving the monasteries, etc.)  Did they retain such taxation rights after the uprising?  The real Middle Ages had "episcopal counties" in a way that we never really saw in Westeros (i.e the Bishop of Rheims was a powerful feudal lord.  This would be like...controlling territory on a map like a Caswell or a Bracken).  
  • "Some said Maegor ranked behind the daughters too".  What the heck where the inheritance laws that Aegon the Conqueror tried to set?  He generally standardized "Andal law" throughout the Seven Kingdoms (daughters after sons, but a daughter ahead of a younger uncle).  But did he intend the royal family to be different? (as it later was...)  They say Jaehaerys "chose the male line"...fools.  Aemon's daughter Rhaenys WAS the heir under Andal law.  Prioritizing direct male line was a change.  For that matter, it's kind of absurd for "Andal law" to be any more real than "Salic law" (haha) - a uniform inheritance law across an entire continent?  Plausible after the Targaryens explicitly unified it and standardized the inheritance law.  But before that?  These Maesters are just reading their own biases backwards ("knights and trials as we had in Andalos of old" -- how do you know that?!  How do you know they even had those social structures back then?!  Argh.)-------------------------What was Valyrian inheritance law?  It seems they dodged the issue by just marrying a first-born daughter to the firstborn son (Visenya and Aegon "by tradition") -----So did anyone really know what inheritance law Aegon "set" for the new royal dynasty?  It seems kind of a polite fiction given how many disagreed over it.  
  • What noble House was Horys Hill a bastard from?
  • Did Tyanna poison Visenya?
  • Was "Master of Whisperers" actually an official office at this point in time?  For "head spymaster"?  Or was Tyanna just called "mistress of whisperers" and the name kind of stuck for the next office? (the council wasn't standardized until Jaehaerys).
  • How did the office of Grand Maester get established?  Is he "the leader" over the Conclave?  Seems more like "special master to the new Targaryen kings" - in which case....I guess it was established before Aegon I's death?
  • We hear almost nothing about the Free Cities in this time; why did they think Tyrosh and Volantis were probably destinations for Alyssa Velaryon?  Literally the only other scant mentions are that the last Grand Maester wisely fled to Pentos rather than face Maegor (why? Doesn't Maegor have contacts there?  Or did they turn on him after killing Tyanna? Echoes of Daemon's era when Pentos was the Targaryens' home away from home, foreign but not too foreign).  And of course a one-off mention that Iron Bank of Braavos representatives wrote back that the High Septon had become king in all but name.  
  • Which one is the "Great Fork" of the Blackwater?  Gods Eye or Stoney Sept?
  • Westerlands chapter of WOIAF says that the most important Houses at the royal court in the first century or so were Velaryon, Baratheon, Tully, Hightower - all this makes sense - ...and Arryn.  Why Arryn?  Well, maybe due to intermarriage, Aemma Aeryn and so forth.  Maybe that came later, after Maegor's time.
  • Who was actually ruling House Tully at this point?  No named characters are mentioned despite their relative amount of activity in the wars.
  • So Lyman Lannister's wife was named...Jocasta?
  • Why is Ser Joffrey Doggett called "the Red Dog of the Hills"?  There's no red dog in their heraldry.
  • Leading up to the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye, it's said that Maegor-loyalists advancing from the south are Rowan, Merryweather, and Caswell.  At the actual battle, however, only Merryweather and Caswell are mentioned - where was Rowan?  Then it says that in the next phase of the war the remaining rebels resorted to brutal assassinations, among them Lord Merryweather, and also Lord Rowan's son and heir.  Near the end, however, it says that when the Poor Fellows are on the march for the final time, Oakheart and "Rowan" ride out with their levies...to join their strength to his.  Was this still the same Lord Rowan, who fought for Maegor against Prince Aegon?  And whose own son was assassinated?
  • WAS Poxy Jeyne Poore actually a witch of some kind?  That is, Old Gods powers...warg, greensight.  Almost like a proto-Jenny of Oldstones?  Stormlands had a lot of Children of the Forest holdouts longer than most (albeit thousands of years before).  
  • Literally the only surnames I encountered we never saw before were "William Whistler" and "Poxy Jeyne Poore".  Are these actual surnames from real families?  Or are they just descriptors like "Lem Lemoncloak"?
  • What happened to Aethan Velaryon?  By 46 AC, "Lord Velaryon" suggests that Maegor marry again to his "niece" Rhaena...Aethan was her grandfather, Alyssa Velaryon her mother so....Aethan's son?  In which case, did he just die naturally or did he run afoul of Maegor? (I think that would have been mentioned)  EDIT:  TWOIAF's Maegor chapter specifies that "Lord Daemon Velaryon" is the one that openly declared against Maegor at the end.
  • "Elinor Costayne scratched the king’s back to bloody ribbons as they coupled".....I can't tell in this context....does that mean she was fighting him or that she was enjoying it?  I THOUGHT she was fighting him, but she'd do a lot more than just claw at him (sorry I keep thinking of that phrase "clawed at your back" from Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" referring to passionate sex with that harlot).  
  • Why don't we hear of either side attempting to use wildfire on the battlefield?  In fact, we never really did even before this in the Conquest.  Is this sort of just...implied? (I assume they use "burning pitch" in catapults and just don't mention it explicitly).  
  • Why didn't Dorne try to invade again to take advantage of the chaos of Aenys's defeat?  For some time the High Septon still held Oldtown and other territories even after the Great Fork of the Blackwater.  We only hear rumblings of them massing in the mountain passes when Maegor is clearly LOSING after Jaehaerys is declared king.
  • Did the Freys side with Prince Aegon opportunistically our were they legitimately being brave this time?  Normally they'd sit out any conflict, and Prince Aegon actually had the odds stacked against him from the beginning.  It couldn't have been a case of backing a winner.  Or...maybe just because the Tullys were very pro-Maegor at that point?
  • ....Did Wat the Hewer ever actually....die?  Maegor kept him alive for his wedding then no mention is made of him again.

 

Edited by The Dragon Demands

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The new puppet High Septon that Maegor replaced the Hightower one with...was...

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a certain Septon Pater. Ninety years old, blind, stooped, and feeble, but famously amiable, the new High Septon almost collapsed beneath the weight of the crystal crown when it was placed upon his head

(goes apoplectic with unbridled rage)

This isn't the TV show.  High Septons *do not* have names.  It is forbidden to record them.

Before or after their ascension.

This is ungodly, ungodly I say!

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13 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

The new puppet High Septon that Maegor replaced the Hightower one with...was...

(goes apoplectic with unbridled rage)

This isn't the TV show.  High Septons *do not* have names.  It is forbidden to record them.

Before or after their ascension.

This is ungodly, ungodly I say!

I think when Pater was mentioned it was when they were searching for a new High Septon to replace the one that died (rumored to have been killed by Visenya). Septon Pater was just a septon at that point. So he had a name before the vote, but after that he was just High Septon.

But you are correct, sir, this is NOT the ungodly abomination! ^_^:P

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My two cents:

1. Jaehaerys stole iron throne from his niece Aerea. 

2. House Dayne often produces lovely ladies who can be candidate for queen

 

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10 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

 

They ALL have names before they are elected!  It is forbidden for Gyldayn to publish it like this!  

(Fire and Blood will need to correct this)

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3 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Text

Isn't the name of the stonemason High Septon or the child High Septon elected at Baelor I's request named in TWOIAF?

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2 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

"Some said Maegor ranked behind the daughters too".  What the heck where the inheritance laws that Aegon the Conqueror tried to set?  He generally standardized "Andal law" throughout the Seven Kingdoms (daughters after sons, but a daughter ahead of a younger uncle).  But did he intend the royal family to be different? (as it later was...)  They say Jaehaerys "chose the male line"...fools.  Aemon's daughter Rhaenys WAS the heir under Andal law.

In theory, maybe, but the fact that there have been almost no female monarchs in every Westerosi kingdom other than post-Rhoynar Dorne suggests that in practise women are systematically passed over.  The only kingdom north of Dorne known to have had a female sovereign is the Reach, which had one unnamed queen at some point in its early history.  The North, the Iron Islands, and the Westerlands, by contrast, are canonically confirmed to have never had a queen regnant, and there's no indications of them elsewhere.

Quote

Did Tyanna poison Visenya?

No, given the lack of any reason.  Visenya was old.

Quote

Why is Ser Joffrey Doggett called "the Red Dog of the Hills"?  There's no red dog in their heraldry.

Because his surname is "Dogget".

Edited by Colonel Green

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I wish he would've covered more about Aegon's progresses with Aenys tagging along.  In TWOIAF, it briefly mentioned that Aegon's last progress in 33AC was in Winterfell.  I kinda hoped that GRRM would've covered it further, especially how Aenys interacted with or thoughts regarding the Starks and the North in general.

 

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8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Unanswered questions prompted by The Sons of the Dragon:

  • How did Quicksilver get to Aegon in the westerlands?

That is a really big question.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Why do they call Quicksilver by female pronouns?  Is this a casual mistake? (text used interchangeable ones for Caraxes)

Why should it be?

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • It states that the Faith of the Seven, prior to Maegor, held it's own ecclesiastical courts and had its own military (we knew all that)...and also that its wealth and lands were exempt from taxation.  This was kind of a big issue in the real Middle Ages (Henry VIII dissolving the monasteries, etc.)  Did they retain such taxation rights after the uprising?  The real Middle Ages had "episcopal counties" in a way that we never really saw in Westeros (i.e the Bishop of Rheims was a powerful feudal lord.  This would be like...controlling territory on a map like a Caswell or a Bracken).  

That isn't an open question. Rather a question that has nothing to do with the story. Maegor had issues with the Faith's military. He dealt with that. Jaehaerys I and his lords had issues with the Faith's corrupt courts, and they dealt with that. But nobody seems to have had issues with the Faith's property being exempt from taxation. It might still be exempt from taxation in the main series considering that the Faith is still rich as hell.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • "Some said Maegor ranked behind the daughters too".  What the heck where the inheritance laws that Aegon the Conqueror tried to set?  He generally standardized "Andal law" throughout the Seven Kingdoms (daughters after sons, but a daughter ahead of a younger uncle).  But did he intend the royal family to be different? (as it later was...)  They say Jaehaerys "chose the male line"...fools.  Aemon's daughter Rhaenys WAS the heir under Andal law.  Prioritizing direct male line was a change.  For that matter, it's kind of absurd for "Andal law" to be any more real than "Salic law" (haha) - a uniform inheritance law across an entire continent?  Plausible after the Targaryens explicitly unified it and standardized the inheritance law.  But before that?  These Maesters are just reading their own biases backwards ("knights and trials as we had in Andalos of old" -- how do you know that?!  How do you know they even had those social structures back then?!  Argh.)-------------------------What was Valyrian inheritance law?  It seems they dodged the issue by just marrying a first-born daughter to the firstborn son (Visenya and Aegon "by tradition") -----So did anyone really know what inheritance law Aegon "set" for the new royal dynasty?  It seems kind of a polite fiction given how many disagreed over it.  

Aegon didn't standardize any law. The only thing that was crystal clear from the legal point of view - at least for the maesters - that the son of a king (Aegon) came before the brother of a king (Maegor), especially in light of the fact that said king actually had named his son (Aegon) his heir.

There is no universal Andal law at this time in the history, anyway. There were Seven Kingdoms prior to the Conquest, and we know they all had their individual laws that were later unified by Jaehaerys I. But the principle that a son comes before a brother seems to have been followed in all the Seven Kingdoms.

The only kingdom were there is one ruling queen confirmed is the Reach. But the Reach isn't the Seven Kingdoms. If the West, the Riverlands, the Stormlands, the Vale, the North, and the Iron Islands never had a Queen Regnant then it was never 'Andal Law' that a daughter inherits a crown prior to an uncle or a male cousin. Quite the contrary, actually. It must have been the custom that this not happens. Else there surely would have been dozens of rulings queens named Durrandon, Arryn, Lannister, Justman, Teague, Hoare, Stark, and Gardener. But there weren't.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • What noble House was Horys Hill a bastard from?

A house of the West, presumably ;-).

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Did Tyanna poison Visenya?

There is no reason to believe she did.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Was "Master of Whisperers" actually an official office at this point in time?  For "head spymaster"?  Or was Tyanna just called "mistress of whisperers" and the name kind of stuck for the next office? (the council wasn't standardized until Jaehaerys).

It seems that title and office grew out of Tyanna's personal styling there. Tyanna was a queen who co-ruled the Seven Kingdoms with Maegor and ran the growing intelligence department. One assumes the structures she established were not dissolved under Jaehaerys I, and his government named a guy to oversee those structures.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • How did the office of Grand Maester get established?  Is he "the leader" over the Conclave?  Seems more like "special master to the new Targaryen kings" - in which case....I guess it was established before Aegon I's death?

We have no idea. One assumes the roots could go back to the individual kingdoms. There could have been Grand Maesters at the courts of all the royal houses of Westeros. But it is quite clear that this was something Aegon and his sisters established.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • We hear almost nothing about the Free Cities in this time; why did they think Tyrosh and Volantis were probably destinations for Alyssa Velaryon?  Literally the only other scant mentions are that the last Grand Maester wisely fled to Pentos rather than face Maegor (why? Doesn't Maegor have contacts there?  Or did they turn on him after killing Tyanna? Echoes of Daemon's era when Pentos was the Targaryens' home away from home, foreign but not too foreign).  And of course a one-off mention that Iron Bank of Braavos representatives wrote back that the High Septon had become king in all but name.  

I guess Benifer just jumped a Pentoshi ship. One assumes you don't have all that much of choice when you suddenly decide to flee.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Which one is the "Great Fork" of the Blackwater?  Gods Eye or Stoney Sept?

I thought that was just the spot where a tributary of the Blackwater joins the river.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Westerlands chapter of WOIAF says that the most important Houses at the royal court in the first century or so were Velaryon, Baratheon, Tully, Hightower - all this makes sense - ...and Arryn.  Why Arryn?  Well, maybe due to intermarriage, Aemma Aeryn and so forth.  Maybe that came later, after Maegor's time.

Ronnel Arryn could have been rather influential and close to the Targaryens during Maegor's reign. We are never told the Arryns were all that popular with the Targaryens throughout the first century. But one assumes that Hubert Arryn and his heir - possibly the Rodrik Arryn who ended up marrying Daella - ended up doing a lot of stuff for Jaehaerys I. Who knows? Perhaps the Arryns sent a lot of men if there was a Third Dornish War shortly after Maegor's demise? And in the process of that an Arryn saved Lord Baratheon's or Jaehaerys' life? Or we even have one of the six sons of Hubert Arryn - or a son from one of those six sons - join the Kingsguard?

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Who was actually ruling House Tully at this point?  No named characters are mentioned despite their relative amount of activity in the wars.

That would be interesting.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • So Lyman Lannister's wife was named...Jocasta?

Apparently, yeah. Do you have a problem with that ;-)?

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Why is Ser Joffrey Doggett called "the Red Dog of the Hills"?  There's no red dog in their heraldry.

How should anyone know? One guesses it had something to do with him being good at killing the enemies of the Faith...

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Leading up to the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye, it's said that Maegor-loyalists advancing from the south are Rowan, Merryweather, and Caswell.  At the actual battle, however, only Merryweather and Caswell are mentioned - where was Rowan?  Then it says that in the next phase of the war the remaining rebels resorted to brutal assassinations, among them Lord Merryweather, and also Lord Rowan's son and heir.  Near the end, however, it says that when the Poor Fellows are on the march for the final time, Oakheart and "Rowan" ride out with their levies...to join their strength to his.  Was this still the same Lord Rowan, who fought for Maegor against Prince Aegon?  And whose own son was assassinated?

Would be interesting to know but Lord Rowan surely could have had more than one son, right?

What I'd like to know, actually, is where Ser Joffrey Doggett and his two thousand fighting men - who were with him when he reached Oldtown to get the High Septon's blessing - went afterwards. They weren't at Oldtown when Maegor and Visenya came, and two thousand men is enough of an army to actually challenge some Targaryen loyalists in the field...

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • WAS Poxy Jeyne Poore actually a witch of some kind?  That is, Old Gods powers...warg, greensight.  Almost like a proto-Jenny of Oldstones?  Stormlands had a lot of Children of the Forest holdouts longer than most (albeit thousands of years before).

We don't really need to know that, just as we don't really need to know whether Tyanna and Visenya actually were witches. They could have been - or not. That's the fun of that kind of storytelling.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Literally the only surnames I encountered we never saw before were "William Whistler" and "Poxy Jeyne Poore".  Are these actual surnames from real families?  Or are they just descriptors like "Lem Lemoncloak"?

Looked like real family names to me.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • What happened to Aethan Velaryon?  By 46 AC, "Lord Velaryon" suggests that Maegor marry again to his "niece" Rhaena...Aethan was her grandfather, Alyssa Velaryon her mother so....Aethan's son?  In which case, did he just die naturally or did he run afoul of Maegor? (I think that would have been mentioned)

I put forth the idea that Aethan must have died at an unknown point in time between Alyssa's arrival on Driftmark (after Aenys' funeral) and her attendance of Maegor's third wedding. He would have been pretty old at that time, anyway. The rationale for that is that Alyssa seeks refuge in her lord father's castle while only her brothers and cousins show up to attend Maegor's wedding and do homage to him as king. Presumably Lord Aethan would have been among them had he still been alive.

Sure, it is possible that he was ailing, confined to his bed, or something of that sort, but it is quite clear that the Lord Velaryon who later advises Maegor - and quickly abandons him - is Alyssa's brother, the one who is identified as Daemon Velaryon (2) in TWoIaF.

George could very well discuss/mention Daemon Velaryon's own kinship with Rhaena Targaryen in 'Fire and Blood' - he was her uncle, too - when he has him suggest Rhaena as a bride for Maegor. The rationale he gives Maegor there would only have been part of the story. A son by Maegor and Rhaena would have much more Velaryon blood than any son Maegor might produce with another wife.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • "Elinor Costayne scratched the king’s back to bloody ribbons as they coupled".....I can't tell in this context....does that mean she was fighting him or that she was enjoying it?  I THOUGHT she was fighting him, but she'd do a lot more than just claw at him (sorry I keep thinking of that phrase "clawed at your back" from Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" referring to passionate sex with that harlot).

Considering that Elinor is described as this passionate and sexually active young woman I guess the point of that story is indeed to give the impression that she enjoyed it so much. But there is, of course, another layer to all that. Elinor is also put forth as a suspect for killing Maegor.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Why don't we hear of either side attempting to use wildfire on the battlefield?  In fact, we never really did even before this in the Conquest.  Is this sort of just...implied? (I assume they use "burning pitch" in catapults and just don't mention it explicitly).  

While the Targaryens had dragons there was no use for wildfire. And chances are that the Targaryens prevented the Faith Militant from acquiring it. One also assumes that there was no Guildhall of the Alchemists built in KL at that time - they might only have risen to prominence there after the dragons died. But wildfire is produced and used in Oldtown at the time, presumably by maesters and not alchemists, though.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Why didn't Dorne try to invade again to take advantage of the chaos of Aenys's defeat?  For some time the High Septon still held Oldtown and other territories even after the Great Fork of the Blackwater.  We only hear rumblings of them massing in the mountain passes when Maegor is clearly LOSING after Jaehaerys is declared king.

I guess a good explanation for that is that the end of the Vulture Hunt left the Dornish weakened and depleted. Remember that the Vulture King's army numbered 30,000 men at one point. Since it seems that all (probably in truth most) of his men were Dornishmen a lot of Dornish commoners must have joined him.

Not all of those people would have been killed, but they suffered a crushing defeat, lost their leader, and a lot of their fellow fighters. It would have been surprising if all the survivors had decided to go to war just a couple of years later.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • Did the Freys side with Prince Aegon opportunistically our were they legitimately being brave this time?  Normally they'd sit out any conflict, and Prince Aegon actually had the odds stacked against him from the beginning.  It couldn't have been a case of backing a winner.  Or...maybe just because the Tullys were very pro-Maegor at that point?

The Freys seem to have been rather loyal and decent fellows in those old days. Forrest Frey was another such. There is no reason to assume they were all rotten the way they were under Walder's father (in TMK) and Walder himself.

8 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:
  • ....Did Wat the Hewer ever actually....die?  Maegor kept him alive for his wedding then no mention is made of him again.

I guess he was killed then. But that's an interesting question.

6 hours ago, Colonel Green said:

In theory, maybe, but the fact that there have been almost no female monarchs in every Westerosi kingdom other than post-Rhoynar Dorne suggests that in practise women are systematically passed over.  The only kingdom north of Dorne known to have had a female sovereign is the Reach, which had one unnamed queen at some point in its early history.  The North, the Iron Islands, and the Westerlands, by contrast, are canonically confirmed to have never had a queen regnant, and there's no indications of them elsewhere.

Actually, the uncertainty where exactly Maegor figured in the line of succession after the birth of Rhaena (and later Alysanne) means that it was not, in fact, clear where an uncle stood in relation to a daughter. It was quite clear that Aenys' sons came before Maegor, but not whether his daughters came before him as well.

It is pretty clear how such uncertainty might have arisen. There were Seven Kingdoms with seven different inheritance laws - or inheritance customs. All were in agreement that a man's eldest son is his heir, and comes before a younger brother, but the view on female inheritance was different in all the Seven Kingdoms, with the Reach accepting a Queen Regnant, and the West at least allowing the husband of a daughter to rule in her name as king. But in the North, the Vale, the Riverlands, the Stormlands, and the Iron Islands the idea of a Queen Regnant Rhaena or Alysanne Targaryen wouldn't have been all that popular.

And the Targaryens of Dragonstone usually got around such trivial issues with their traditional sibling incest marriage policy. That is why Visenya suggests the Maegor-Rhaena match when the issue arises. And the message there is clear that in such a union the man (usually) wears the pants.

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Just finished it. Great read, and it's always exciting to read more Martin material after such long waits, but I expected more. Not much new information, no unexpected turns, bad editing,... I suppose it would have been much more exciting if we hadn't read TWOIAF yet, but still, I feel that The Princess and the Queen > the Rogue Prince > The Sons of the Dragon.

On 10/10/2017 at 3:43 AM, Lord Varys said:

We can also safely say that it is wrong that Vermithor is the oldest Targaryen dragon after Balerion and Vhagar by the time of the Dance. Dreamfyre must be older if she was already ridden - not claimed, ridden - by Rhaena at the age of twelve.

I think it can still work. Rhanea was riding Dreamfyre by 35 AC. She was clearly one of those "half a dozen hatchlings" that had been born in Dragonstone by 31 AC. But Vermithor could easily be another (elder) one, even if obviously he could have only bonded with Jaehaerys after his birth in 34 AC. Am I missing anything?

I would bet that besides Dreamfyre and Vermithor, among those six hatchlings we would find the Cannibal and Silverwing.

On 10/10/2017 at 3:43 AM, Lord Varys said:

Prince Aegon and Prince Viserys apparently weren't dragonriders while Rhaena, Jaehaerys, and Alysanne were.

When Aenys died, Prince Aegon was 16 and Visenya was 71. My guess is that he was waiting for she to die in order to get Vhagar. I can see Aegon wanting to emulate Maegor's gamble of waiting for Balerion, specially if he already feared that his uncle may want to usurp the throne after Aenys' death.

Prince Viserys was just 13 at his father's death. It is possible that he hadn't bonded with a dragon yet? Aenys was given a hatchling at infancy, but perhaps the next generation received them at an older age.

On 10/10/2017 at 3:43 AM, Lord Varys said:

The non-existing story of Prince Aegon and Quicksilver (how on earth could that guy claim his father's dragon in the Westerlands?!)

I agree that that's something that should have been explained in the narrative. I can't came up with any good explanation.

On 10/10/2017 at 3:43 AM, Lord Varys said:

 the fact that George stresses the fact that Rhaena could not hide her dragon Dreamfyre - which is the reason why she sent her twin daughters away into hiding while remaining herself visibly a guest at Faircastle - while Jaehaerys and Alysanne could apparently hide Vermithor and Silverwing - whom they are already riding in 48 AC - in plain sight at fucking Storm's End??

A possible explanation is that Jaehaerys and Alysanne only bonded with Vermithor and Silverwing just before claiming the throne in 48 AC. Jaeahaerys was 14 and Alysanne was 12. Alyssa could have fled with her children Storm's end, and once she decided it was the right time, bring them secretively to Dragonstone to claim a couple of dragons.

Again, it depends on whether we assume that this generation of Targaryens were given dragons at birth, or at their early teens. I think it works better if we go with the later.

On 10/10/2017 at 4:26 PM, Lord Varys said:

It is quite clear that Ceryse cannot be the maiden daughter of Lord Manfred - although that could have been interesting, too - but rather yet another daughter Lord Manfred might have had later.

But I really think that sentence here is simply a mistake:

The Lord Hightower in question here is undoubtedly Lord Martyn since he is identified as such a few sentences before, and there is no indication that Lord Martyn died off page and was subsequently replaced by his eldest son without anyone realizing it. The Oldtown events are described in detail and are one of the more atmospheric accounts of the piece.

TWOIAF says that "Manfred Hightower, Lord of Oldtown, was a cautious man, and godly. One of his younger sons served with the Warrior's Sons, and another had only recently taken vows as a septon". It seems clear that Lord Martyn is intended to be his son, and Ser Morgan the one with the Warrior's Sons.

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

What is your take on Maegor's death?

I'm convinced he was murdered. Not only his psychological profile and his actions in the previous meeting were not be consistent with a suicide, but also the manner of his death is very telling. His hands where slashed open AND another barb crossed through his neck. No one could/would kill himself in this manner.

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