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ASwordAhai

Birth year of Quicksilver?

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There is a passage from Son's of the Dragon that I have not seen reflected in the Wiki. It seems straightforward, but perhaps I am missing something 

Quote

Aenys came first. Born in 7 AC to the boy was small at birth, and sickly. He cried all the time, and it was said that his limbs were spindly and his eyes small and watery, so that the king’s maesters feared for his survival. He would spit out the nipples of his wet nurse, and give suck only at his mother’s breasts, and rumors claimed that he screamed for a fortnight when he was weaned. So unlike King Aegon was he that a few even dared suggest that His Grace was not the boy’s true sire, that Aenys was some bastard born of one of Queen Rhaenys’s many handsome favorites, the son of a singer or a mummer or a mime. And the prince was slow to grow as well. Not until he was given the young dragon Quicksilver, a hatchling born that year on Dragonstone, did Aenys Targaryen begin to thrive.

To me, it seems as if GRRM has given us a very specific date for the birth of Quicksilver, in contrast to most other dragons. Unless I'm missing something. 

Edited by ASwordAhai

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To quote @Rhaenys_Targaryen's statement from Quicksilver's Talk Page in the wiki:

I've removed the statement that Quicksilver was born in 7 AC as I must say that the text remains vague about it.

The Sons of the Dragon discusses Aenys's health in the paragraph discussing his birth, ending with the fact that his poor health sparked rumors about Aenys being Rhaenys's bastard instead of Aegon's son, and with the fact that these rumors ended only after Aenys bonded with Quicksilver. Yet next, we also read that Aenys deteriorated when he was three years old, when Rhaenys died. However, it is not stated that Aenys deteriorated afterhaving been given Quicksilver.

In fact, The World of Ice & Fire tells us that "But though his father and brother, Maegor (who was Visenya's child), were both warriors born, Aenys was made of different stuff. He had begun life as a weak and sickly infant and remained so throughout his earliest years. Rumors abounded that this could be no true son of Aegon the Conqueror, who had been a warrior without peer. In fact, it was well-known that Queen Rhaenys delighted in handsome singers and witty mummers; perhaps one of these might have fathered the child. But the rumors dampened and eventually died when the sickly child was given a young hatchling who was named Quicksilver. And as the dragon grew, so too did Aenys." Especially the bolded part implies that Quicksilver was actually born a few years after Aenys's birth, as he "remained [a weak and sickly infant] throughout his earliest years". Only after been given Quicksilver, did the sickly child thrive.

So the sentence from The Sons of the Dragon(which I think that the 7 AC was based on), "And the prince was slow to grow as well. Not until he was given the young dragon Quicksilver, a hatchling born that year on Dragonstone, did Aenys Targaryen begin to thrive." is not saying that Quicksilver was born the same year as Aenys was born. All it says is that Quicksilver was given to Aenys in the same year that his egg hatched (which says nothing about how old Aenys was at the time).

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The year in question in the paragraph can only be 7 AC. It is the only year mentioned the later sentence can refer to.

Quicksilver's birth year doesn't mean the dragon was also given to Aenys in the same year. An infant as small and sickly as he would have no use for a dragon whatsoever. Which makes it not unlikely that Aenys only got Quicksilver after Rhaenys's death.

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8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The year in question in the paragraph can only be 7 AC. It is the only year mentioned the later sentence can refer to.

Quicksilver's birth year doesn't mean the dragon was also given to Aenys in the same year. An infant as small and sickly as he would have no use for a dragon whatsoever. Which makes it not unlikely that Aenys only got Quicksilver after Rhaenys's death.

I have to disagree on the bolded statement. I'd say that  "Not until he was given the young dragon Quicksilver, a hatchling born that year on Dragonstone, did Aenys Targaryen begin to thrive." associates the year Quicksilver was given to Aenys to the year of his birth. Not to Aenys's year of birth.

Would a dragon still be called a hatchling when its a few years old already? I think that's unlikely, especially considering that the definition of "hatchling" states that the animals has recently hatched from its egg.

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4 hours ago, Rhaenys_Targaryen said:

I have to disagree on the bolded statement. I'd say that  "Not until he was given the young dragon Quicksilver, a hatchling born that year on Dragonstone, did Aenys Targaryen begin to thrive." associates the year Quicksilver was given to Aenys to the year of his birth. Not to Aenys's year of birth.

Aenys could also have begun to thrive in the year of his birth, though, and the death of Rhaenys could have affected him greatly with or without his dragon. 'That year' means that the author is referring to a year mentioned earlier, and there is not other year but 7 AC mentioned in the entire context. Nor is there any indication that the events depicted in that paragraph stretched beyond the first year of Aenys' life. We hear about him only being breastfed by his mother and we here about him being weaned - considering that he was born during the First Dornish War which saw a lot of action for Rhaenys and Meraxes, chances are not bad that Aenys wasn't breastfed all that long.

Citing TWoIaF as a primary source to compare TSotD makes little sense in that context. TWoIaF is Ran/Linda's concise rewriting of TSotD. If we want to know what 'truly happened' we have to turn to George's own words, not the concise rewriting (unless we are talking about details by them that are nowhere mentioned in George's original texts).

In that sense, we have no reason to believe that receiving Quicksilver had as much of an effect on Aenys' growth and health as TWoIaF implied. George himself uses the words 'began to thrive' not 'And as the dragon grew, so did Aenys'.

4 hours ago, Rhaenys_Targaryen said:

Would a dragon still be called a hatchling when its a few years old already? I think that's unlikely, especially considering that the definition of "hatchling" states that the animals has recently hatched from its egg.

That would really depend on how long a dragon hatchling is seen as a hatchling. But since we don't know when exactly Quicksilver was given to Aenys the question is really moot. For all we know the boy already had Quicksilver and still collapsed after the loss of his mother. That's not unlikely at all, actually.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

'That year' means that the author is referring to a year mentioned earlier,

I have to disagree that that must necessarily be the case. The second part of the sentence is connected to the first part of the sentence, thereby implying, in my opinion, that Quicksilver was born the year he was given to Aenys. Regardless of how old Aenys was at the time. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Citing TWoIaF as a primary source to compare TSotD makes little sense in that context.

I am simply trying to consolidate the two accounts that we have.

Edited by Rhaenys_Targaryen

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Let us try rephrase the sentence in question to test what grammatical function 'that year' has in that sentence:

'Not until he was given the young dragon Quicksilver, a hatchling born that year on Dragonstone, did Aenys Targaryen begin to thrive.'

>

'Not until he was given the young dragon Quicksilver, a hatchling born on Dragonstone in the year the hatchling was born, did Aenys Targaryen begin to thrive.'

The sentence, as it stands, does not introduce any new information. It makes a reference to an earlier date, and the only date we are given in the context of the entire paragraph is 7 AC.

If George had wanted to convey the information that Quicksilver was born in a later year he would have been forced to phrase the sentence much differently, somewhat along the lines of this:

'Not until a few years later [or: Not until the year X AC], when he was given the young dragon Quicksilver which hatched on Dragonstone that very same year, did Aenys Targaryen begin to thrive.'

As to consolidate accounts between Ran/Linda's words and George's - we should not do that. George's words are canon. Yandel's words are essentially rephrasing the canon. The facts therein are canon but there are details missing, and at times the concise rephrasing introduces errors, uncertainties, and false impressions. That's inevitable.

However, when we actually have George's original words we should go by them. Unless, of course, there are obvious errors in those words (which there are rather many in TSotD) or we have confirmation that TWoIaF introduced new information that wasn't yet present in George's original texts.

Once we have 'Fire and Blood' all of that should go away, anyway, since that should be the final version of Gyldayn's history, properly edited and free of all errors.

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On 12/11/2017 at 8:55 AM, Lord Varys said:

If George had wanted to convey the information that Quicksilver was born in a later year he would have been forced to phrase the sentence much differently, somewhat along the lines of this:

'Not until a few years later [or: Not until the year X AC], when he was given the young dragon Quicksilver which hatched on Dragonstone that very same year, did Aenys Targaryen begin to thrive.'

Someone else above actually mentioned that TWOIAF actually does state it in precisely that manner:

"He had begun life as a weak and sickly infant and remained so throughout his earliest years."

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