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capo51

Least favorite theory?

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1 hour ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Door Guard #1 was as good as a saint. 

Yeah, because ANY random guy on the street is "a saint." Until you know anything about him, that is. But more to the point, I don't believe Arya is anywhere near a psycho. She's too revenge-driven, but given what's happened to her, a desire for revenge is at least understandable. Also, Arya is a girl of action. She won't just sit on her tuffet and fret; she'll go out and deal with things.

Perhaps some of what many hate about her is that she IS a girl. Do we consider the "Rambo" character to be a psychopath? How about Inigo Montoya from "The Princess Bride"? These guys (and undoubtedly more that I can't think of at the moment) have lives based around vengeance. Yet I'm guessing they're viewed as heroes. What's the difference between them and Arya?

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1 hour ago, zandru said:

Perhaps some of what many hate about her is that she IS a girl.

I think that sums it up. It's sad how misogynistic our world still is. 

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1 hour ago, zandru said:

Yeah, because ANY random guy on the street is "a saint." Until you know anything about him, that is. But more to the point, I don't believe Arya is anywhere near a psycho. She's too revenge-driven, but given what's happened to her, a desire for revenge is at least understandable. Also, Arya is a girl of action. She won't just sit on her tuffet and fret; she'll go out and deal with things.

Perhaps some of what many hate about her is that she IS a girl. Do we consider the "Rambo" character to be a psychopath? How about Inigo Montoya from "The Princess Bride"? These guys (and undoubtedly more that I can't think of at the moment) have lives based around vengeance. Yet I'm guessing they're viewed as heroes. What's the difference between them and Arya?

Whoa, I said I didn't think she was a psychopath! For what it's worth, I also think Rambo is evil.

To be fair, that it's a young girl who is killing people probably does affect people's reactions.

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13 hours ago, capo51 said:

While the obvious stupid theories are ones like Ned is still alive, it was only a Faceless Man that was beheaded, or Prince Rhaegar is still alive, somehow the rebels never bothered to check for his body, or Lyanna is still alive, my personal least favorite would be that Prince Aegon is actually a Blackfyre.

For one, it comes completely out of left field. So what if Illyrio mentioned the Blackfyres at the beginning of Dance? What does that prove? Dany mentioned her nephew Aegon too, does that prove anything? Second, Varys gave a monologue to a dying Kevan Lannister at the end of Dance all about how the crown prince Aegon was coming back to Westeros. Why would Varys lie?

(Personally, I prefer the theory that Young Griff really is Prince Aegon - that by itself is a good enough plot twist. Or, if not, I'm also a fan of him being Brandon and Ashara's son, as Selmy recalled Dayne being dishonored by "a Stark" and having  a stillborn daughter, when in reality Elia Martell had a stillborn daughter, nearly died, and didn't know that her stillborn girl was switched for Dayne's healthy son with Brandon, although Dayne did know, and therefore killed herself when Eddard confirmed the rumors that "Rhaegar's son" died in King's Landing. If Young Griff is not really Prince Aegon,I like that idea best.)

But anyway, what are your least favorite theories? And those of you who champion the "Aegon Blackfyre" theory, what's the appeal?

Aegon being a descendant of Daemon Blackfyre, and not Daeron the Good does come from the outfield, but not left field, I think. 

At the end of Storm, we can conclude that Varys and Illyrio are working together to install a claimant other than one of the two Targlings on the Iron Throne, but we can only guess at who that other claimant might be.

Based on what we know at the end of Storm, that claimant will likely be Rhaegar's son Aegon, or perhaps an imposter posing as Rhaegar's son.

Given that Aerion was introduced as the antagonist in The Hedge Knight, which was published before Clash, the next most likely possibility at this point, other than Rhaegar's son Aegon, is a descendant of Aerion's son, who, we learn in Jon I, Clash 6, was passed over for Aegon the Unlikely. 

A descendant of Rhaenrya Targaryen was another possibility, but she was only mentored once. Finally, we have to consider a descendant of Daemon Blackfyre since Catelyn told us that the Blackfyre "pretenders" troubled the Targaryens for five generations, but she also suggested they were wiped out a generation or two earlier. 

But after Storm, the question is, who is the Iron Throne claimant supported by Illyrio? 

Three years after Storm, The George gives us the second installment of The Tales of Dunk and Egg, and we learn quite a bit about the Blackfyre Rebellion. But since Catelyn tells us that the last of the Blackfyre pretenders died a generation or two ago, our best guess is that this might be foreshadowing or setting up a claim by a descendant of Aerion Targaryen, who remains abroad during the Sworn Sword.

In the Prolgue to Feast, we learn that news of Daenerys and her three dragons has spread to Westeros, and we meet Aleras who echos Daenerys’s vision of Rhaegar Targaryen, that the dragon has three heads, and we are reminded that we should be looking for two more Targaryens to appear, presumably, one of them being the claimant Illyrio supports.

After Feast, we get the third installment of the tales of Dunk and Egg, which tells the story of the Second Blackfyre Rebellion. Given what we learned about the Golden Company in Feast, that's a lot of backstory now on the Blackfyre history, but since Barristan extinguished the Blackfyres when he slew Maelys, we still have no compelling reason to suspect that Illyrio is plotting to install a Blackfyre. 

We do know that Varys and Illyrio are working to install a claimant other than one of the Targlings on the Iron Throne, but we can still only guess at who that other claimant might be.

Based on what we know after The Mystery Knight, that claimant will likely be Rhaegar's son Aegon, or perhaps an imposter posing as Rhaegar's son. The next most likely possibility at this point is a descendant of Aerion's son, who, we learned, was passed over for Aegon the Unlikely. A descendant of Rhaenrya Targaryen was another possibility, but she was only mentioned once. 

In Tyrion I, Dance 1, we see that Varys has sent Tyrion off to his master Illyrio. This appears to have been spur of the moment since Jaime compelled him to do it. 

Tyrion describes a statue in Illyrio's manse of a boy of 16, blonde, lithe, and handsome, holding a sword that shimmers like "true steel." We will learn in Tyrion II that this was crafted when Illyrio was 16. So, Tyrion can guess ages after all.;) And Tyrion finds a chest of clothes for a young boy that Illyrio has had stored with some care. 

And we see that Illyrio is sending the clever dwarf off to aid Daenerys, just as he sent Barristan. But if he's backing some other claimant, why is he giving so much support to Daenerys? 

And then we read Tyrion II, Dance 5, and everything changes. 

Illyrio expects that Daenerys is on her way west with Barristan, and that she merely stopped in Slaver's Bay to aquire an army and take some spoils. He believes that she will have to pass Volantis, whether by land or sea, so that's where he is sending Tyrion to meet her. But they are going northeast to the Flatlands, and Tyrion notes that they should travel to Volantis by sea. We will find out why momentarily. 

Illyrio first tells Tyrion that he is merely helping Daenerys to gain her birthright, but Tyrion notes that he gave her to Drogo. Although Illyrio admitted that he did not think the fearful, furtive girl would survive, he "grew pensive" when he said that, suggesting that he was genuinely concerned about her, but then we see he was concerned about his investment, rather than the girl, when he tells Tyrion that "Viserys might have undone years of planning," if Viserys had taken his sister's maidenhead. 

Next Illyrio tells Tyrion that he helped Viserys because Viserys offered him Casterly Rock and the office of Master of Coin. Illyrio suggests that he was was doing it for coin, but the reason rings hollow when he admits that he has no interest in leaving Pentos for Casterly Rock. And would replacing Petyr, Tyrion, and Gyles Rosby to become Master of Coin truly enhance Illyrio's wealth? Moreover, he waives it off completely in any case, expressing no concern as to whether Daenerys will make good on her brother's promises. 

But then he hints at the real reason: that he has "debts of affection to repay." Even Tyrion notes that Illyrio has something more in this venture than coin or castles. 

Here, we get the backstory on Illyrio and Varys...

"How is it that the Spider became so dear to you?"

"We were young together, two green boys in Pentos."

"Varys came from Myr."

"So he did. I met him not long after he arrived, one step ahead of the slavers. By day he slept in the sewers, by night he prowled the rooftops like a cat. I was near as poor, a bravo in soiled silks, living by my blade. Perhaps you chanced to glimpse the statue by my pool? Pytho Malanon carved that when I was six-and-ten.a on lovely thing, though now I weep to see it."

"Age makes ruins of us all. I am still in mourning for my nose. But Varys …"

"In Myr he was a prince of thieves, until a rival thief informed on him. In Pentos his accent marked him, and once he was known for a eunuch he was despised and beaten. Why he chose me to protect him I may never know, but we came to an arrangement. Varys spied on lesser thieves and took their takings. I offered my help to their victims, promising to recover their valuables for a fee. Soon every man who had suffered a loss knew to come to me, whilst city's footpads and cutpurses sought out Varys … half to slit his throat, the other half to sell him what they'd stolen. We both grew rich, and richer still when Varys trained his mice."

"In King's Landing he kept little birds."

"Mice, we called them then. The older thieves were fools who thought no further than turning a night's plunder into wine. Varys preferred orphan boys and young girls. He chose the smallest, the ones who were quick and quiet, and taught them to climb walls and slip down chimneys. He taught them to read as well. We left the gold and gems for common thieves. Instead our mice stole letters, ledgers, charts … later, they would read them and leave them where they lay. Secrets are worth more than silver or sapphires, Varys claimed. Just so. I grew so respectable that a cousin of the Prince of Pentos let me wed his maiden daughter, whilst whispers of a certain eunuch's talents crossed the narrow sea and reached the ears of a certain king. A very anxious king, who did not wholly trust his son, nor his wife, nor his Hand, a friend of his youth who had grown arrogant and overproud. I do believe that you know the rest of this tale, is that not so?"

"Much of it," Tyrion admitted.

Surely, Illyrio is holding back critical details, but the storyteller is telling the reader what he wants us to know. 

And then we learn why they are headed for the Flatlands... We learn that Illyrio is taking Tyrion to Griff, a sellsword whom Illyrio says they can trust. We will learn the reason why soon enough. 

And then Illyrio tells us...

"The Golden Company marches toward Volantis as we speak, there to await the coming of our queen out of the east."

Beneath the gold, the bitter steel.

(Emphasis in the original)

Immediately, we should recall what we read in the the Tales of Dunk and Egg, and most importantly this from The Soiled Knight, Feast 13...

"Are you aware that the Golden Company has broken its contract with Myr?"

"Sellswords break their contracts all the time."

"Not the Golden Company. Our word is good as gold has been their boast since the days of Bittersteel. Myr is on the point of war with Lys and Tyrosh. Why break a contract that offered them the prospect of good wages and good plunder?"

"Perhaps Lys offered them better wages. Or Tyrosh."

"No," she said. "I would believe it of any of the other free companies, yes. Most of them would change sides for half a groat. The Golden Company is different. A brotherhood of exiles and the sons of exiles, united by the dream of Bittersteel. It's home they want, as much as gold. Lord Yronwood knows that as well as I do. His forebears rode with Bittersteel during three of the Blackfyre Rebellions." She took Ser Arys by the hand, and wove her fingers through his own. "Have you ever seen the arms of House Toland of Ghost Hill?"

He had to think a moment. "A dragon eating its own tail?"

"The dragon is time. It has no beginning and no ending, so all things come round again."

(Emphasis added) Apparently, Dance 1 occurs before Feast 13...

"I had heard the Golden Company was under contract with one of the Free Cities."

"Myr." Illyrio smirked. "Contracts can be broken."

"There is more coin in cheese than I knew," said Tyrion. "How did you accomplish that?"

The magister waggled his fat fingers. "Some contracts are writ in ink, and some in blood. I say no more."

This is getting really interseting... What does he mean by a contract writ in blood? Is it related to the debts of affection he must repay? What is Illyrio's relationship with the Golden Company?

The dwarf pondered that. The Golden Company was reputedly the finest of the free companies, founded a century ago by Bittersteel, a bastard son of Aegon the Unworthy. When another of Aegon's Great Bastards tried to seize the Iron Throne from his trueborn half-brother, Bittersteel joined the revolt. Daemon Blackfyre had perished on the Redgrass Field, however, and his rebellion with him. Those followers of the Black Dragon who survived the battle yet refused to bend the knee fled across the narrow sea, among them Daemon's younger sons, Bittersteel, and hundreds of landless lords and knights who soon found themselves forced to sell their swords to eat. Some joined the Ragged Standard, some the Second Sons or Maiden's Men. Bittersteel saw the strength of House Blackfyre scattering to the four winds, so he formed the Golden Company to bind the exiles together.

From that day to this, the men of the Golden Company had lived and died in the Disputed Lands, fighting for Myr or Lys or Tyrosh in their pointless little wars, and dreaming of the land their fathers had lost. They were exiles and sons of exiles, dispossessed and unforgiven … yet formidable fighters still.

"I admire your powers of persuasion," Tyrion told Illyrio. "How did you convince the Golden Company to take up the cause of our sweet queen when they have spent so much of their history fighting against the Targaryens?"

Illyrio brushed away the objection as if it were a fly.

A fly in the ointment, perhaps...

"Black or red, a dragon is still a dragon. When Maelys the Monstrous died upon the Stepstones, it was the end of the male line of House Blackfyre." The cheesemonger smiled through his forked beard. "And Daenerys will give the exiles what Bittersteel and the Blackfyres never could. She will take them home."

And there it is. House Blackfyre ended through the male line, but the implication is that House Blackfyre has survived through the female line. 

We should not believe home is all they want since we learn in Daenerys III, Dance 16 that Viserys "had once feasted the captains of the Golden Company, in hopes they might take up his cause. They ate his food and heard his pleas and laughed at him." 

But the chapter is not done. We get a little more of Illyrio's backstory...

"A maiden? I know the way of that." Illyrio thrust his right hand up his left sleeve and drew out a silver locket. Inside was a painted likeness of a woman with big blue eyes and pale golden hair streaked by silver. "Serra. I found her in a Lysene pillow house and brought her home to warm my bed, but in the end I wed her. Me, whose first wife had been a cousin of the Prince of Pentos. The palace gates were closed to me thereafter, but I did not care. The price was small enough, for Serra."

"How did she die?" Tyrion knew that she was dead; no man spoke so fondly of a woman who had abandoned him.

"A Braavosi trading galley called at Pentos on her way back from the Jade Sea. The Treasure carried cloves and saffron, jet and jade, scarlet samite, green silk … and the grey death. We slew her oarsmen as they came ashore and burned the ship at anchor, but the rats crept down the oars and paddled to the quay on cold stone feet. The plague took two thousand before it ran its course." Magister Illyrio closed the locket. "I keep her hands in my bedchamber. Her hands that were so soft …"

Now, why is Serra important to the plot of ASOIAF and, more specifically, to the Second Dance of the Dragons? 

"Sellswords will not stand against Dothraki screamers. That was proved at Qohor."

"Not even your brave Griff?" mocked Tyrion. "Griff is different. He has a son he dotes on. Young Griff, the boy is called. There never was a nobler lad."

Oh really? Why would Illyrio believe a sellsword's son is the most noble lad that ever lived? 

The next evening they came upon a huge Valyrian sphinx crouched beside the road. It had a dragon's body and a woman's face.

"A dragon queen," said Tyrion. "A pleasant omen."

"Her king is missing." Illyrio pointed out the smooth stone plinth on which the second sphinx once stood, now grown over with moss and flowering vines.

Oho! That's why. Now, we know Illyrio's motive in the game of thrones: to put this most noblest of lads upon the Iron Throne. 

We can reasonably conclude that Aegon is descended from Daemon Blackfyre along the female line. But we still have to piece together the relationships among Illyrio, Varys, Jon Connington, Young Griff, and the Golden Company. 

In Tyrion III, Dance 8, Tyrion wakes to find Illyrio speaking with Haldon and Rolly "in a tongue he did not know." (There was no mention of a sword. ;)) Illyrio gave them six oaken chests with iron hasps. Presumably, such chests by themselves would be at least somewhat heavy. 

Illyrio's first concern appears to be for Griff's noble lad. He has brought a gift of candied ginger for him, noting that he was always fond of it, suggesting more than a passing familiarity with the boy and explaining the chest of rich boy's clothes Illyrio had stored in his manse. 

Illyrio wants to continue on with them to feast the rest of the band of the Shy Maid, but Haldon explains that Griff wants to be away before Dothraki khalasars arise ahead of a larger khalasar of 30,000 commanded by Pono (who had been one of Drogo’s kos). 

We see that Illyrio has already told Haldon that Tyrion's value, in addition to his cleverness, which would be unlikely to sway Griff, is his knowledge of dragonlore. 

As Haldon, Rolly, and Tyrion depart, Illyrio wishes them, "Good fortune," and bids them, "Tell the boy I am sorry that I will not be with him for his wedding." 

What wedding? In the previous Tyrion chapter, Illyrio noted that Daenerys was missing her king--a sphinx (which can be interpreted artistically as fraud) with a dragon's body and a male head. Shouldn't we assume that Illyrio intends to wed the noble lad to Daenerys? 

Then Tyrion notices that Illyrio watches them with shoulders slumped and looking small, clearly suggesting that Illyrio is sad, presumably, about missing the boy. 

At this point, we can reasonably infer that the noble lad might be Illyrio's son, or that the noble lad spent his earliest years in Illyrio's home. 

As they travel to the Shy Maid, Tyrion notes that the chests do not contain gold for the Golden Company, further suggesting that the Golden Company are motivated by something other than gold. What's beneath the gold? 

We're told that the Golden Company was formed to effect Bittersteel's dream, and that they desire to return home to Westeros, so the reader can choose what he or she likes--either that the Golden Company is going to ride Daenerys's coattails home, or that Illyrio's claimant is a Blackfyre (or both). But we have to add to our consideration the line about the contract that the Golden Company is honoring being writ in blood, so we should assume the latter reason. 

Rolly tells Tyrion that the chests contain armor, armor which we will see soon. But note how Haldon jumps in and talks about court clothes and gifts for Daenerys. What is Haldon worried about Rolly disclosing? (We will find out later that one of those six chests was packed with the old child's clothing Tyrion found in Illyrio's manse. 

And finally, after thousands of pages, we meet the noblest lad that ever graced the grrearth. 

...a boy standing on the roof of a low wooden building, waiving a wide-brimmed straw hat. He was a lithe and well-made youth, with a lanky build and a shock of blue hair. The dwarf put his age at fifteen, sixteen, or near enough to make no matter. 

The wide-brimmed straw hat recalls Egg, who wears such a hat to shade his head, which he has to keep shaven to disguise his distinctive Targaryen hair, and we note that Illyrio's noble lad dies his hair. The description of him as "lithe" recalls the statue of young Illyrio, which was crafted at a similar age--16, as correctly guessed by Tyrion. Shouldn't we assume that Illyrio’s noble young lad is 16? If so, he's a couple years too young to be Rhaegar's son, but he is old enough to have been conceived in the immediate aftermath of Robert's Rebellion, which would explain why Serra is important to the plot. 

And it becomes quite clear that Griff is Jon Connington. From Storm, we know that Jon Connington was dear to Rhaegar, and that he was hand until his failure during the Battle of the Bells. 

In Feast, we learn that Jon's predecessor failed dismally to contain Robert's Rebellion and that Rhaegar could not be found, so Aerys raised Connington to hand. After Jon's failure, though, he was stripped of honors, lands, and wealth, and packed off across the sea to die in exile, where he soon drank himself to death. Obviously, Jon Connington did not die, so the last part, the bit about drinking himself to death, is fabricated. 

But the reader has to ask why Jon Connington would support a Blackfyre? If the boy really is 16, the reader should consider whether Jon is being hoodwinked. 

The storyteller gives us additional reason to believe that the noble young lad was born a year after Robert’s Rebellion in Tyrion IV, Dance 14...

"The lad was shorter than Duck, but his lanky build suggested that he had not yet come into his full growth. This beardless boy could have any maiden in the Seven Kingdoms, blue hair or no."

(Italics in the original)

The storyteller also tells us that Illyrio is playing the game of thrones with certain cyvasse pieces of his own...

“I am trying to lull you into a false sense of confidence,” said Tyrion, as they arranged their tiles on either side of a carved wooden screen. “You think you taught me how to play, but things are not always as they seem. Perhaps I learned the game from the cheesemonger, have you considered that?” “Illyrio does not play cyvasse.” No, thought the dwarf, he plays the game of thrones, and you and Griff and Duck are only pieces, to be moved where he will and sacrificed at need, just as he sacrificed Viserys.

(Italics in the original)

Later in the Bridge of Dream chapter, we see that Young Griff has been raised to believe that he is the son of Rhaegar...

Tyrion had no sooner exhaled than Young Griff grabbed hold of his arm. "What do you mean? I am everything? What did you mean by that? Why am I everything?"

"Why," said Tyrion, "if the stone men had taken Yandry or Griff or our lovely Lemore, we would have grieved for them and gone on. Lose you, and this whole enterprise is undone, and all those years of feverish plotting by the cheesemonger and the eunuch will have been for naught … isn't that so?"

The boy looked to Griff. "He knows who I am."

...

"The blue hair makes your eyes seem blue, that's good. And the tale of how you color it in honor of your dead Tyroshi mother was so touching it almost made me cry. Still, a curious man might wonder why some sellsword's whelp would need a soiled septa to instruct him in the Faith, or a chainless maester to tutor him in history and tongues. And a clever man might question why your father would engage a hedge knight to train you in arms instead of simply sending you off to apprentice with one of the free companies. It is almost as if someone wanted to keep you hidden whilst still preparing you for … what? Now, there's a puzzlement, but I'm sure that in time it will come to me. I must admit, you have noble features for a dead boy."

The boy flushed. "I am not dead. "

"How not? My lord father wrapped your corpse in a crimson cloak and laid you down beside your sister at the foot of the Iron Throne, his gift to the new king. Those who had the stomach to lift the cloak said that half your head was gone."

...

The dwarf sniggered. "You should thank the gods that Varys the Spider is a part of this plot of yours. Griff would not have fooled the cockless wonder for an instant, no more than it did me. No lord, my lordship says, no knight. And I'm no dwarf. Just saying a thing does not make it true. Who better to raise Prince Rhaegar's infant son than Prince Rhaegar's dear friend Jon Connington, once Lord of Griffin's Roost and Hand of the King?"

In Tyrion VI, Dance 22, we learn about the pisswater prince switcheroo, and we can begin to reconcile the true identity Aegon with the presumed identity of Aegon. And we can start piecing together the relationships between Illyrio, Varys, Jon Connington, Aegon, and the Golden Company. 

We already know that Varys has a drop of dragonblood, and that he serves Illyrio, with those two having developed a patron-client relationship in their teenage years. 

Aegon tells Tyrion that Jon Connington and Rhaegar were squires together at King's Landing, and we already know from Jaime that Aerys elevated Jon Connington to be his Hand in part because of Jon Connington's relationship with Rhaegar. 

And Aegon confirms that their intention is to have Aegon wed Daenerys and harness the power of her dragons, presumably, an even greater asset than a Dothraki khalasar. 

Does Tyrion guess that Aegon is a Blackfyre, or a pisswater prince? When Aegon proves to be a sore loser at cyvasse, Tyrion muses, "He may well be a Targaryen after all." 

Tyrion then gets captured by Jorah, and Griff learns that Daenerys has not departed Slaver's Bay, and that Yunkai has marshaled all the ports on the north coast of the Summer Sea to war against her. He also learns that Benerro believes that Daenerys is the savior promised in an ancient prophecy.  

Although Arianne suggests that the Golden Company is different from other sellsword companies, and Tyrion notes their motto is "Beneath the gold the bitter steel," Jon Connington believes they are common sellswords. Lemore fears to reveal Aegon to them, believing they are his only because they are bought and paid for, presumably with Illyrio’s gold, and Jon Connington does not challenge that assumption, but the reader knows that Illyrio does not buy them with gold but with blood--beneath the gold the bitter steel

In The Lost Lord, Dance 24, we learn that Jon Connington believes that Myles Toyne had been his friend. Myles Toyne had been Captain General of the Golden Company until his death four years earlier. Myles Toyne, a charismatic leader, had taken Jon Connington under his wing. But at what point? Jon Connington served with the Golden Company for five years, presumably beginning shortly after he was exiled, "rising from the ranks to a place of honor at Toyne's right hand." Jon Connington believes he was being groomed to succeed Myles Toyne, but it seems to me that he was being groomed to raise Aegon. 

Jon Connington left the Golden Company 12 years earlier. So, Aegon would have been 4 according to Tyrion's guess, while Rhaegar’s son would have been 6. 

Jon Connington assumes that most of the men of the Golden Company will not know him. We learn that he resents Varys, who persuaded him to sacrifice what was left of his honor to raise Aegon. Presumably, Varys’s plan was orchestrated with Myles Toyne and Illyrio. 

From Franklyn Flowers we learn that Homeless Harry Strickland, the Captain-General of the Golden Company, told his officers that they would meet Jon Connington near Volantis. Should we assume that Homeless Harry told his officers anything else? 

When Franklyn Flowers begins to introduce Aegon, Jon Connington cuts him off, introducing the noble lad as his squire. Upon their reintroduction, Homeless Harry, a proud, third generation descendant of a Blackfyre rebel, identifies Aegon as Jon Connington's son. When Jon Connington reveals the noble lad to be Rhaegar's son, he is greeted by silence, a very pregnant pause, and he realizes that the officers of the Golden Company are not surprised. He asks Homeless Harry, "When did you tell them?" But he does not ask what he told them. Homeless Harry told them when they reached the river, but did he tell them who Aegon really was? 

Homeless Harry says they were losing money and refusing contracts, including the opportunity to go to war against Daenerys Targaryen, which the officers would have been glad to do. If they would have been glad to go to war against Daenerys Targaryen, why would they be willing to lose money to go to war for Aegon Targaryen? The contract was writ in blood.

Homeless Harry adds that Myles Toyne sealed the secret pact, apparently between Illyrio and the Golden Company, and Homeless Harry at least states that he would honor it, and apparently the officers would too. 

Jon Connington senses unease from some of the officers of the Golden Company, and he attributes it to the cloud under which he departed twelve years ago, but the reader should wonder about this, since we really don't know what the men have been told about his return with the noble lad. And the reader should note Jon Connington's near contempt for the Golden Company's failure to seize the Iron Throne for a Blackfyre. 

The familiarity Franklyn Flowers shares with Haldon Halfmaester shows that Haldon served with the Golden Company as well. 

We also learn that in addition to being squires together, Jon Connington thinks of Rhaegar as "his silver prince." 

No amount of prayer would put him on the Iron Throne, however. That was Griff’s task. He had failed Prince Rhaegar once. He would not fail his son, not whilst life remained in his body.

So, Jon Connington apparently believes that Aegon is Rhaegar’s son, and he is willing to die to put the son of his silver prince on the throne. 

He had waited so long, surely the gods would grant him a few more years, enough time to see the boy he'd called a son seated on the Iron Throne. To reclaim his lands, his name, his honor. To still the bells that rang so loudly in his dreams whenever he closed his eyes to sleep.

Lysono Maar indicates that the officers of the Golden Company know that they are waiting for Daenerys, but like Jon Connington, and surely by now Illyrio as well, they know that Daenerys has remained in Slaver's Bay. Lysono Maar cannot imagine why she has lingered. He thinks it must be fear, madness, or sloth. 

Homeless Harry confirms that they intended to "raise up a king and queen that would lead them home to Westeros," and they are very frustrated by Daenerys. 

Tristan Rivers suggests going to Daenerys. Indicating that they have been debating their course of action, Lysono Maar assures them that they cannot reach Meereen by sea, without using the dishonorable ploy that Quentyn used. 

Franklyn Flowers suggests the demon road, but Homeless Harry points out the folly of that option. 

Indeed, the Golden Company are very, very frustrated with the Targaryen queen...

"It grieves me to say it, but Magister Illyrio and his friends may have been unwise to put so much hope on this child queen."

But they are not frustrated at all with the noblest lad that ever lived...

"Then put your hopes on me."

Franklin Flowers likes the idea of leaving the Targaryen queen in Slaver's Bay and says the noble lad has stones. 

Homeless Harry balks hard, not because of the dragons, but because of the legitimacy Daenerys would give his claim as Rhaegar's son. 

Jon Connington supports the noble lad, and so does Lysono Maar, followed by one of the Coles, and then by Tristan Rivers, who recounts Illyrio's changing plans...

"The fat man's plan? The one that changes every time the moon turns? First Viserys Targaryen was to join us with fifty thousand Dothraki screamers at his back. Then the Beggar King was dead, and it was to be the sister, a pliable young child queen who was on her way to Pentos with three new-hatched dragons. Instead the girl turns up on Slaver's Bay and leaves a string of burning cities in her wake, and the fat man decides we should meet her by Volantis. Now that plan is in ruins as well."

That Tristan Rivers knew the different iterations of Illyrio's plan at least suggests that he, and perhaps some others, were privy to the plans as they were developed. 

Laswell Peake joins in support, as does Marq Mandrake. Then, Tristan Rivers pledges, "Prince Aegon, we are your men," and...

One by one, the men of the Golden Company rose, knelt, and laid their swords at the feet of his young prince. The last to do so was Homeless Harry Strickland, blistered feet and all.

The officers of the Golden Company did not sell their swords, they swore their swords to honor a contract writ in blood--beneath the gold, the bitter steel. 

Now, as to Varys lying to a dead man...

Varys's evil monologue in the Epilogue to Dance is one of the most intriguing passages in all of ASOIAF. So, what was the George telling us? This is where it begins (I only omitted a short, non-relevant exchange with Cersei)...

He might have said more, but the dark-haired novice with the round cheeks returned to say, "My lord, my lady, I am sorry to intrude, but there is a boy below. Grand Maester Pycelle begs the favor of the Lord Regent's presence at once.

If we suspect that the boy below was one of Varys's little birds, and that he could not speak, then how did he pass the information to the dark-haired novice? Did he give a written note to Ser Meryn, who kept him waiting below, with Meryn then relaying the summons to the dark-haired novice? Or was the dark-haired novice working for Varys? 

Dark wings, dark words, Ser Kevan thought. Could Storm' s End have fallen? Or might this be word from Bolton in the north? . . .

The summons said nothing about a raven, yet The George, through Kevan's thoughts, has us thinking about ravens right off the bat. 

The messenger was a boy of eight or nine, so bundled up in fur he seemed a bear cub. Trant had kept him waiting out on the drawbridge rather than admit him into Maegor's. "Go find a fire, lad," Ser Kevan told him, pressing a penny into his hand. "I know the way to the rookery well enough."

Since we know the boy was sent by Varys, and since the boy did not speak when he was met by Kevan, we can assume that he is one of Varys's little birds, whom we assume have their tongues removed and learn their letters before arriving in King's Landing.

The snow had finally stopped falling. Behind a veil of ragged clouds, a full moon floated fat and white as a snowball. The stars shone cold and distant. As Ser Kevan made his way across the inner ward, the castle seemed an alien place, where every keep and tower had grown icy teeth, and all familiar paths had vanished beneath a white blanket. Once an icicle long as a spear fell to shatter by his feet. Autumn in King' s Landing, he brooded. What must it be like up on the Wall? 

The author is clearly setting a creepy mood here, with a full moon, stars shining cold and distant, an alien landscape with icy teeth, no familiar paths, and a spear of ice falling near him.

The door was opened by a serving girl, a skinny thing in a fur-lined robe much too big for her. Ser Kevan stamped the snow off his boots, removed his cloak, tossed it to her. "The Grand Maester is expecting me," he announced. The girl nodded, solemn and silent, and pointed to the steps.

We know this girl is working for Varys, and her silence is pointed out by the George. Notice that she does not depart from the room.

Pycelle's chambers were beneath the rookery, a spacious suite of rooms cluttered with racks of herbs and salves and potions and shelves jammed full of books and scrolls. Ser Kevan had always found them uncomfortably hot. Not tonight. Once past the chamber door, the chill was palpable. Black ash and dying embers were all that remained of the hearthfire. A few flickering candles cast pools of dim light here and there. The rest was shrouded in shadow except beneath the open window, where a spray of ice crystals glittered in the moonlight, swirling in the wind.

Now, we know that something is very wrong since the window has been left open and the fire has been allowed to die on a cold night. And consider that imagery... dying embers in black ash--not gray ash, but black ash. Burning embers are red, but as they die, the red turns to black.  

On the window seat a raven loitered, pale, huge, its feathers ruffled. It was the largest raven that Kevan Lannister had ever seen. Larger than any hunting hawk at Casterly Rock, larger than the largest owl. Blowing snow danced around it, and the moon painted it silver.

Not silver. White. The bird is white.

The white ravens of the Citadel did not carry messages, as their dark cousins did. When they went forth from Oldtown, it was for one purpose only: to herald a change of seasons.

"Winter," said Ser Kevan. The word made a white mist in the air. He turned away from the window.

This is our first confirmation that winter has finally come.

Then something slammed him in the chest between the ribs, hard as a giant's fist. It drove the breath from him and sent him lurching backwards. The white raven took to the air, its pale wings slapping him about the head.

Note the abrupt change from creepy to the quarrel slamming into Kevan's chest, like modulation in a musical composition.

Ser Kevan half-sat and half-fell onto the window seat. What ... who ... A quarrel was sunk almost to the fletching in his chest. No. No, that was how my brother died. Blood was seeping out around the shaft. "Pycelle," he muttered, confused. "Help me ... I ... "

Then he saw. Grand Maester Pycelle was seated at his table, his head pillowed on the great leather-bound tome before him. Sleeping, Kevan thought until he blinked and saw the deep red gash in the old man's spotted skull and the blood pooled beneath his head, staining the pages of his book. All around his candle were bits of bone and brain, islands in a lake of melted wax.

He wanted guards, Ser Kevan thought. I should have sent him guards. Could Cersei have been right all along? Was this his nephew's work?

"Tyrion?" he called. "Where ... ?"

"Far away," a half-familiar voice replied.

He stood in a pool of shadow by a bookcase, plump, pale-faced, round-shouldered, clutching a crossbow in soft powdered hands. Silk slippers swaddled his feet.

"Varys?" The eunuch set the crossbow down.

"Ser Kevan. Forgive me if you can. I bear you no ill will. This was not done from malice. It was for the realm. For the children."

I cannot take that last sentence at face value. The first statement, the plea for forgiveness, and the testament that Varys is not murdering Kevan out of malice appears believable. Kevan's good works are an obstacle to Varys's effort to pave the way for the Blackfyre. And that ties into the penultimate sentence, that he murdered Kevan for the realm, not for the good of the realm, mind you, but for the realm. The king and the land are one, after all. But for the children? Which children would those be? The ones Varys has mutilated and disabled to serve his purpose? The little ones that were slaughtered or traumatized and left for dead, especially in the Riverlands, during the War of the Five Kings, like poor Weasel?

Meribald works for the children, not Varys. 

"I have children. I have a wife. Oh, Dorna. Pain washed over him. He closed his eyes, opened them again. "There are there are hundreds of Lannister guardsmen in this castle."

"But none in this room, thankfully. This pains me, my lord. You do not deserve to die alone on such a cold dark night. There are many like you, good men in service to bad causes but you were threatening to undo all the queen's good work, to reconcile Highgarden and Casterly Rock, bind the Faith to your little king, unite the Seven Kingdoms under Tommen's rule. So ... 

Again, I ask, if Kevan is laying the foundation for a lasting peace, and if Varys wants a lasting peace, why did Varys murder Kevan?

A gust of wind blew up. Ser Kevan shivered violently. "Are you cold, my lord?" asked Varys. "Do forgive me. The Grand Maester befouled himself in dying, and the stink was so abominable that I thought I might choke."

Ser Kevan tried to rise, but the strength had left him. He could not feel his legs.

"I thought the crossbow fitting. You shared so much with Lord Tywin, why not that? Your niece will think the Tyrells had you murdered, mayhaps with the connivance of the Imp. The Tyrells will suspect her. Someone somewhere will find a way to blame the Dornishmen."

Is more war, on the heels of a horribly destructive conflict, and at the onset of what will most likely be a brutal winter, truly in the best interest of the children?

"Doubt, division, and mistrust will eat the very ground beneath your boy king, whilst Aegon raises his banner above Storm's End and the lords of the realm gather round him."

"Aegon?" For a moment he did not understand. Then he remembered. A babe swaddled in a crimson cloak, the cloth stained with his blood and brains. "Dead. He's dead."

"No." The eunuch's voice seemed deeper. "He is here."

Now, we learn, without doubt, that Varys, along with Illyrio, supports Aegon. And there is no denying that the George is leading us to believe that Kevan and Varys are referring to the same Aegon. But is the George actually telling us that these Aegons are one and the same, or is he only leading us to this conclusion and away from the hare? The ambiguity suggests the latter. 

"Aegon has been shaped for rule since before he could walk. He has been trained in arms, as befits a knight to be, but that was not the end of his education. He reads and writes, he speaks several tongues, he has studied history and law and poetry. A septa has instructed him in the mysteries of the Faith since he was old enough to understand them. He has lived with fisherfolk, worked with his hands, swum in rivers and mended nets and learned to wash his own clothes at need. He can fish and cook and bind up a wound, he knows what it is like to be hungry, to be hunted, to be afraid. Tommen has been taught that kingship is his right. Aegon knows that kingship is his duty, that a king must put his people first, and live and rule for them."

Based on this passage, and Vary's rise from a challenging childhood, many readers believe that Varys wants to install a benevolent sovereign. But I interpret this as Varys saying something like, "Oho, our claimant is better than your claimant." It reminds me of Eustace's monologue to Dunk about the virtues of Daemon Blackfyre over Daeron Targaryen, albeit for different justifications. But do the ends justify the means? Did Varys spend the last couple of decades putting the children first?

Kevan Lannister tried to cry out ... to his guards, his wife, his brother ... but the words would not come. Blood dribbled from his mouth. He shuddered violently.

"I am sorry." Varys wrung his hands. "You are suffering, I know, yet here I stand going on like some silly old woman. Time to make an end to it."

Notice how the George acknowledges the evil monologue to the reader. Was Varys lying to a dying man, or was the George giving the reader some veiled clues even as he used a red herring to distract the hounds? 

The eunuch pursed his lips and gave a little whistle.

Like Jiminy Cricket. Does Varys have a conscience? 

Ser Kevan was cold as ice, and every labored breath sent a fresh stab of pain through him. He glimpsed movement, heard the soft scuffling sound of slippered feet on stone. A child emerged from a pool of darkness, a pale boy in a ragged robe, no more than nine or ten. Another rose up behind the Grand Maester's chair. The girl who had opened the door for him was there as well.

She never left. 

They were all around him, half a dozen of them, white-faced children with dark eyes, boys and girls together.

I would assume they are white-faced because Varys keeps his mutilated and disabled little children toiling in the tunnels of the Red Keep so that one day, a king will come to put his people first, and live and rule for the children. (How can I set the font for sarcastic?) 

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3 hours ago, zandru said:

Yeah, because ANY random guy on the street is "a saint." Until you know anything about him, that is. But more to the point, I don't believe Arya is anywhere near a psycho. She's too revenge-driven, but given what's happened to her, a desire for revenge is at least understandable. Also, Arya is a girl of action. She won't just sit on her tuffet and fret; she'll go out and deal with things.

Perhaps some of what many hate about her is that she IS a girl. Do we consider the "Rambo" character to be a psychopath? How about Inigo Montoya from "The Princess Bride"? These guys (and undoubtedly more that I can't think of at the moment) have lives based around vengeance. Yet I'm guessing they're viewed as heroes. What's the difference between them and Arya?

Movie Rambo is simply trying to survive. If you're referring to book Rambo, yes is a psychopath. 

Indigo is trying to kill one specific person who murdered his father.

Arya just murdered a guy who had done nothing to her or anyone for as far as she knows to keep the approval of a murderous cult because she searching meaning.

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My least favorite theory is that Jon Snow is dead, permanently. He won't return, not as a fire wight, not as resurected by Melisandre, not as merely wounded, not as a soul warged into Ghost. And he is not son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. And if he isn't a secret Targaryen Prince, then there's no reason to bring him back. Jon Snow is a bastard son of Eddard Stark and some insignificant Wylla, he went to The Wall, became Lord Commander of Night's Watch, and was killed - and that's the whole story of Jon Snow. I really really hate this theory.

Second least favorite - nearly all main characters will die (icluding Jon and Dany), and in the end Tyrion will be King of 7K. Previously I thought that this theory was just a wishtful thinking of Tyrion's supporters, until I read this:

Quote

“Remember this, boy. All dwarfs may be bastards, yet not all bastards need be dwarfs.” And with that he turned and sauntered back into the feast, whistling a tune. When he opened the door, the light from within threw his shadow clear across the yard, and for just a moment Tyrion Lannister stood tall as a king.

~

“Oh, I think that Lord Tyrion is quite a large man,” Maester Aemon said from the far end of the table. He spoke softly, yet the high officers of the Night’s Watch all fell quiet, the better to hear what the ancient had to say. “I think he is a giant come among us, here at the end of the world.

Tyrion answered gently, “I’ve been called many things, my lord, but giant is seldom one of them.”

“Nonetheless,” Maester Aemon said as his clouded, milk-white eyes moved to Tyrion’s face, “I think it is true.”

Tall as a king, and giant among others.

GRRM in the very first book of ASOIAF hinted that Tyrion will be King of 7K. If this theory is correct, then there's really no need for Jon or Dany to survive. They will die, and Tyrion will be King. I hate this theory nearly as much as the first one. Though I think that both of them dying (Jon and Dany), is more fair than only him dying. Sadder, but fairer.

 

17 hours ago, capo51 said:

my personal least favorite would be that Prince Aegon is actually a Blackfyre.

For one, it comes completely out of left field. So what if Illyrio mentioned the Blackfyres at the beginning of Dance? What does that prove? Dany mentioned her nephew Aegon too, does that prove anything? Second, Varys gave a monologue to a dying Kevan Lannister at the end of Dance all about how the crown prince Aegon was coming back to Westeros. Why would Varys lie?

~Snip~

But anyway, what are your least favorite theories? And those of you who champion the "Aegon Blackfyre" theory, what's the appeal?

Even though fAegon appeared only in ADWD, his coming was foreshadowed in second book, in one of Dany's visions from the House of Undying. He is the mummers dragon, from Dany's trilogy of visions labeled Slayer of lies. This one, ACOK, Dany IV:

Quote

Glowing like sunset, a red sword was raised in the hand of a blue-eyed king who cast no shadow. A cloth dragon swayed on poles amidst a cheering crowd. From a smoking tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire. . . . mother of dragons, slayer of lies . . .

First vision is Stannis with his fake Lightbringer and his missing shadow (it went to kill Renly, and didn't came back ^_^). Second is fAegon.

Quote

“A dead man in the prow of a ship, a blue rose, a banquet of blood . . . what does any of it mean, Khaleesi? A mummer’s dragon, you said. What is a mummer’s dragon, pray?”

A cloth dragon on poles,” Dany explained. “Mummers use them in their follies, to give the heroes something to fight.

And this is mummers follie (Epilogue of ADWD):

Quote

There are many like you, good men in service to bad causes … but you were threatening to undo all the queen’s good work, to reconcile Highgarden and Casterly Rock, bind the Faith to your little king, unite the Seven Kingdoms under Tommen’s rule. So …

~

Doubt, division, and mistrust will eat the very ground beneath your boy king, whilst Aegon raises his banner above Storm’s End and the lords of the realm gather round him.

~

Aegon has been shaped for rule since before he could walk.

~

Tommen has been taught that kingship is his right. Aegon knows that kingship is his duty

And who rased Aegon with knowledge that kingship is his duty? -> Blackfyres.

Also Varys said:

Quote

“Ser Kevan. Forgive me if you can. I bear you no ill will. This was not done from malice. It was for the realm. For the children.

Whose children? -> Children of Blackfyres.

fAegon is mummers dragon, and they used him to stage a show. While people of 7K will be either fighting against Young Griff and Golden Company, or will join him, believing that he is son of Rhaegar Targaryen, real leader of Blackfyres (Varys) will seize Iron Throne.

Another clue that point out to Aegon's fakeness is the timing. Willem Darry died 5 years after Robert's Rebellion. Jon Connington shortly after arriving to Essos, joined Golden Company. He was with them for 5 years, when he was aproached by Varys and Illyrio, with their story that Rhaegar's son is alive. By that time Viserys was 13 or 14 years old (about the same age as Jon Snow in the beginning of AGOT). So it was already obvious what kind of adult he will be. Not a leader, not a warrior, not a ruler.

Apparently after Robert's Rebellion, Viserys was Plan A of Blackfyres, to get to Iron Throne. But when he became older, and they realised that he won't do, they switched to Plan B - fAegon + Jon Connington + Golden Company. Originally Plan B was their spare plan. Though just in case if it will be needed, they controlled Jon Connington from the moment he arrived to Essos. They manipulated him to join Golden Company, and kept him close, in case if they will decide to switch to Plan B.

They chose a Blackfyre baby of approximately the same age as Rhaegar's dead son. And they did this not when those babies were infants, they waited with Plan B for a few years. Because they had to be sure, that the chosen baby will grow up looking similar to prince Rhaegar. It's hard to predict how the infant child will look, when he/she will grow up. But with a few years old baby, it's easier to see whether the baby will have required eye and hair color, and other features, such as nose shape, ears, chin, etc. similar to Rhaegar's.

So when they realised that Plan A is a disaster (because of Viserys' personality), probably they poisoned Willem Darry, and then made Viserys and Danny to think that Robert's people are after them, and thus caused them to be on the run (which was made to prevent Viserys from getting support of Martells (because they themselves planned to get support of Martells for their fAegon, and they didn't wanted Martells dividing their support between fAegon and real Targaryens), or from staying long in one place and gaining support of someone else, who could have became interested in the last surviving Targaryens). So they were always on the move, even though no one was actually chasing after them. And all those stories about Usurper's dogs were lies created by Blackfyres, to keep Targaryens under control.

AGOT, Eddard II:

Quote

“You can’t get your hands on this one, can you?” he said quietly.

The king’s mouth twisted in a bitter grimace. “No, gods be cursed. Some pox-ridden Pentoshi cheesemonger had her brother and her walled up on his estate with pointy-hatted eunuchs all around them, and now he’s handed them over to the Dothraki. I should have had them both killed years ago, when it was easy to get at them, but Jon was as bad as you. More fool I, I listened to him.

Which means that, when Jon Arryn was Robert's Hand, they didn't sent any assassins to get rid of Targaryens. And the man with poisoned wine was the first one, who was actually sent by Robert. And prior him there was none. Which means that someone was manipulating Viserys and Dany for many years, convincing them that they are in danger, and that they need to run. And because they were constantly moving from place to place, they were unable to connect with anyone influential, or to gain anyones support.

Thus while Targaryens were on the run from imaginary enemies, but still under control of Varys and Illyrio (just in case if they will later need either Dany or Viserys), they set in motion Plan B - they chose a Blackfyre boy to play role of Aegon and gave him to Jon Con.

So what points to fAegon being secret Blackfyre, is not only Illyrio mentioning Blackfyres in the beginning of Dance, there was many clues.

Edited by Megorova

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Bloodraven somehow manipulating past present and future from his cave. Because we don't have enough omnipotent manipulators in the story already.

Maester Conspiracy. From Watsonian perspective, it has no internal consistency and from Doylist - works as unnecessary fifth wheel in the plot.

R+L=J. Jon Snow's parentage doesn't matter. Jon has only one parent - Ned, regardless of his presence or absence on the night of conception.

 

 

Edited by Myrish Lace

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38 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Movie Rambo is simply trying to survive. If you're referring to book Rambo, yes is a psychopath. 

I happened to watch the movies these days, after a very long time. I haven't read the books, good you have read them though. Rambo is not a very simple character after all.

Let's see: He suffers from PTSD after the war, he is treated badly by his own people, wants vengeance, wants justice, he is a hero-he saves people, is a trained killing machine, but also can show mercy and can be compassionate. 

He also has identity issues. Damn, every movie since the first starts out with him trying to settle on some quite place and then this Colonel guy pops out of somewhere with this new impossible mission for Rambo. John resists at first, but some noble cause drags him out of the peaceful place. Finally, in Rambo IV, he deals with it and decides that it is "in his blood" and he simply can't control it. So guess what he does later.

I'm sorry for the entirely off topic post. 

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Since those of us who have been mulling theories over for 20-odd years or so knew Jon was a Targ, it was no shock that R+L=J. 

My least favorite theory is that Tyrion is a Targ. I would like him to inherit the Rock, and continue as his father writ small. And have all that is due him - the Queen's or King's Hand, for instance. However, a bit off point, do we need three Targs any longer?  There are only two fired-up dragons.  To have an extra Targ roaming around without a dragon may well cause problems.  Or is the leader of the White Walkers a Targ?  Is there any way to "save" the ice dragon and reunite him with the two?

My other least favorite theory is that Dany and Arya are psychopaths --  these women are doing what they must to get by and have been from early on.  Jamie, Sander, Jon, and so forth, have been killing and no one has decided they are psychopaths. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@Myrish Lace nice reflection on how regardless of how R+L=J plays out Ned is Jon's only parent.  I am okay with R+L=J but think it shouldn't be so significant as to his future role or his personal code of honor and service to the realm.

Like most posters, I hate any secret Targ theories, especially those involving Tyrion (though a read AGOT again recently with it in mind and saw how A+J=T could have been foreshadowed).

I hate more than anything though any Bran/Bloodraven is all powerful theories, particularly those that make Bran part of a time loop, make him Bran the builder or other Brandon Starks, and have him influencing every little thing.

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2 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

And we see that Illyrio is sending the clever dwarf off to aid Daenerys, just as he sent Barristan. But if he's backing some other claimant, why is he giving so much support to Daenerys? 

Because he wants her dragons. And he pretended that he supported Dany and Viserys, because Blackfyres had dragon eggs (probably those 7 that were stolen during Tragedy at Summerhall), and those dragon eggs needed to be hatched by Targaryens, thus they gave three of them to Dany and Viserys, just in case if they will be able to hatch them. Though Blackfyres needed Targaryen blood not only to hatch dragon eggs, but also to control those dragons, after they will hatch.

2 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

the question is, who is the Iron Throne claimant supported by Illyrio? 

Daemon I Blackfyre had nine+ children.

His two older sons died with him on Redgrass Field, during First Rebellion. Third son Daemon II was gay and died childless, imprisoned by Targaryens after Second Rebellion. Fourth son (Haegon) and his own older son (Daemon III) died in span of next two Rebellions. Fifth son Aenys was executed by Lord Bloodraven during Great Council, on which was crowned Aegon V. At that time Aenys was at least 37 years old, so if he wasn't gay, like his older brother Daemon II, then most likely by the time he went to Westeros, and was executed there, he already had many children and probably even a few grandchildren. And there was two more sons, and at least two daughters (one of them was Calla Blackfyre, that married with her uncle Aegor Bittersteel Rivers). So there are four children of Daemon I Blackfyre, that didn't participated in Rebellions of Blackfyres, and thus kept living after that. 

Daemon's 2 youngest sons + at least 2 sons of Haegon (Daemon's fourth son) + Calla (wife of Bittersteel) + at least 1 more daughter + most likely Aenys (fifth son) also had offsprings by the time of his execution. That's at least seven of descendants of Daemon I Blackfyre, and thus there are plenty of their offsprings, among which Varys (who is also a Blackfyre) and Illyrio has chosen one baby to play a role of fAegon.

If Varys and Illyrio wanted to put a Targaryen on Iron Throne, then there was Viserys, and Dany, and Stannis and Renly Baratheons (quarter Targaryens thru their grandmother princess Rhaelle, aunt of Mad King). Two 100% Targaryens, and two 25% Targaryens. But they didn't chose neither of those four. Which means that if fAegon is really fake, then he isn't a descendant of Targaryens. Most likely he is a Blackfyre.

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15 hours ago, Damon_Tor said:

Bran brain-rapes his best friend because he's bored and doesn't even try to justify it to himself.

Another rung in the ladder of reasons as to why i can't stand Bran, every other chapter he either thinks about his climbing exploits or about how he wanted to become a knight. Given he never listened when asked not to climb on things i can only imagine that he would have made a terrible squire, because that entails doing what are told and when you are told. I just can't see Bran doing that.

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24 minutes ago, Megorova said:

Because he wants her dragons. And he pretended that he supported Dany and Viserys, because Blackfyres had dragon eggs (probably those 7 that were stolen during Tragedy at Summerhall), and those dragon eggs needed to be hatched by Targaryens, thus they gave three of them to Dany and Viserys, just in case if they will be able to hatch them. Though Blackfyres needed Targaryen blood not only to hatch dragon eggs, but also to control those dragons, after they will hatch.

Daemon I Blackfyre had nine+ children.

His two older sons died with him on Redgrass Field, during First Rebellion. Third son Daemon II was gay and died childless, imprisoned by Targaryens after Second Rebellion. Fourth son (Haegon) and his own older son (Daemon III) died in span of next two Rebellions. Fifth son Aenys was executed by Lord Bloodraven during Great Council, on which was crowned Aegon V. At that time Aenys was at least 37 years old, so if he wasn't gay, like his older brother Daemon II, then most likely by the time he went to Westeros, and was executed there, he already had many children and probably even a few grandchildren. And there was two more sons, and at least two daughters (one of them was Calla Blackfyre, that married with her uncle Aegor Bittersteel Rivers). So there are four children of Daemon I Blackfyre, that didn't participated in Rebellions of Blackfyres, and thus kept living after that. 

Daemon's 2 youngest sons + at least 2 sons of Haegon (Daemon's fourth son) + Calla (wife of Bittersteel) + at least 1 more daughter + most likely Aenys (fifth son) also had offsprings by the time of his execution. That's at least seven of descendants of Daemon I Blackfyre, and thus there are plenty of their offsprings, among which Varys (who is also a Blackfyre) and Illyrio has chosen one baby to play a role of fAegon.

If Varys and Illyrio wanted to put a Targaryen on Iron Throne, then there was Viserys, and Dany, and Stannis and Renly Baratheons (quarter Targaryens thru their grandmother princess Rhaelle, aunt of Mad King). Two 100% Targaryens, and two 25% Targaryens. But they didn't chose neither of those four. Which means that if fAegon is really fake, then he isn't a descendant of Targaryens. Most likely he is a Blackfyre.

Very nice summation of the Blackfyre Theory, and very convincing. What personally convinced me was Illyrio's utterly insufficient reasoning for why the Golden Company would follow Aegon. 

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16 minutes ago, Megorova said:

Because he wants her dragons.

No doubt. 

16 minutes ago, Megorova said:

And he pretended that he supported Dany and Viserys, because Blackfyres had dragon eggs (probably those 7 that were stolen during Tragedy at Summerhall), and those dragon eggs needed to be hatched by Targaryens, thus they gave three of them to Dany and Viserys, just in case if they will be able to hatch them. Though Blackfyres needed Targaryen blood not only to hatch dragon eggs, but also to control those dragons, after they will hatch.

Perhaps. But we know he supported the Targlings in order to gain Dothraki muscle for Aegon. The idea that Illyrio gave Daenerys three dragon's eggs because he believed she would hatch them seems a bit speculative to me. Are there any hints that either Illyrio or Varys had any prophetic abilities, or that they had interest in such prophecies? I'm not saying your wrong, I would just like to see more of a hint from the author. 

22 minutes ago, Megorova said:

Daemon I Blackfyre had nine+ children.

His two older sons died with him on Redgrass Field, during First Rebellion. Third son Daemon II was gay and died childless, imprisoned by Targaryens after Second Rebellion. Fourth son (Haegon) and his own older son (Daemon III) died in span of next two Rebellions. Fifth son Aenys was executed by Lord Bloodraven during Great Council, on which was crowned Aegon V. At that time Aenys was at least 37 years old, so if he wasn't gay, like his older brother Daemon II, then most likely by the time he went to Westeros, and was executed there, he already had many children and probably even a few grandchildren. And there was two more sons, and at least two daughters (one of them was Calla Blackfyre, that married with her uncle Aegor Bittersteel Rivers). So there are four children of Daemon I Blackfyre, that didn't participated in Rebellions of Blackfyres, and thus kept living after that. 

Daemon's 2 youngest sons + at least 2 sons of Haegon (Daemon's fourth son) + Calla (wife of Bittersteel) + at least 1 more daughter + most likely Aenys (fifth son) also had offsprings by the time of his execution. That's at least seven of descendants of Daemon I Blackfyre, and thus there are plenty of their offsprings, among which Varys (who is also a Blackfyre) and Illyrio has chosen one baby to play a role of fAegon.

We have only learned most of that in the last few years. Until we read Tyrion II, Dance 5, we were told that Ser Barristan the Bold extinguished the last of the Blackfyres on the Stepstones in the War of the Ninepenny Kings. That line by Illyrio about the male line turned The Blackfyre into a likely theory. 

27 minutes ago, Megorova said:

If Varys and Illyrio wanted to put a Targaryen on Iron Throne, then there was Viserys, and Dany, and Stannis and Renly Baratheons (quarter Targaryens thru their grandmother princess Rhaelle, aunt of Mad King). Two 100% Targaryens, and two 25% Targaryens. But they didn't chose neither of those four. Which means that if fAegon is really fake, then he isn't a descendant of Targaryens. Most likely he is a Blackfyre.

I agree that Aegon is The Blackfyre, but it is possible that Illyrio ignored the other Targaryen descendants because he favored Rhaegar's heir, assuming that the Pisswater switcheroo is true. 

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R + L = J became unbearable, I started to think it is too obvious and there are more we still don't know, what about Ashara Dayne? What about Brandon Stark? This "Rhaegar and Lyanna ran away together because they were in love" isn't really GRRM's style. It is too much fairy tale. I admit it is the closest thing we have as a theory concerning Jon, but I prefer the optional Ashara + Brandon = Jon and Rhaegar and Lyanna = Daenerys, plus a baby swapping.

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I've got to go with Tyrion Targ, because there are a lot of hints to it in the text. But it would be bad writing, it would undermine the whole story. I don't like it because I'm a little worried it's true.

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4 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

I would assume they are white-faced because Varys keeps his mutilated and disabled little children toiling in the tunnels of the Red Keep so that one day, a king will come to put his people first, and live and rule for the children. (How can I set the font for sarcastic?) 

He didn't said whose children. But add there "For the children of Blackfyre", and then it all makes more sense.

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38 minutes ago, Shadow of Asshai said:

R + L = J became unbearable, I started to think it is too obvious and there are more we still don't know, what about Ashara Dayne? What about Brandon Stark? This "Rhaegar and Lyanna ran away together because they were in love" isn't really GRRM's style. It is too much fairy tale. I admit it is the closest thing we have as a theory concerning Jon, but I prefer the optional Ashara + Brandon = Jon and Rhaegar and Lyanna = Daenerys, plus a baby swapping.

I agree. I can't believe how many thousands of pages of RLJ stuff there is. How much is there to really talk about? 

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