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Targaryen family dynamic

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I think it was mostly harmonious. Baelor was a charming and diplomatic man, and surely earned the love and respect of all his brothers. Other factors that contributed to this healthy environment are that they had a common enemy in the Blackfyres, and that none of the brothers could expect to inherit kingship soon (Daeron had Baelor when he was 15, so normally Baelor would become king as an old man).

While Maekar admired and felt close to Baelor, I'm sure Ser Raymon Fossoway was right when he said that he also envied him a lot. All his accomplishments were overshadowed by his older brother, and that made him a bitter man and Stannis' precursor.

Rhaegel seems to have had some kind of intellectual disability, so probably he was left aside and hidden from the public. And while Aerys probably was in good terms with his father and Baelor, he and Maekar were probably too different to  get along (I see Aerys of having only the intellectual side and Maekar only the warlike side, while Daeron and Baelor combined both).

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14 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

I think it was mostly harmonious. Baelor was a charming and diplomatic man, and surely earned the love and respect of all his brothers.

I'm pretty sure Aerys and Rhaegel liked their older brother - assuming they recognized his existence - but Maekar is clearly also jealous of the man. He may love him the way you love a brother, but he would prefer it if he himself was Baelor - or rather, if he was the firstborn son. He feels cheated by fate, and it takes him a long time to make peace with that.

One should assume the death of Baelor at his hand should have changed him - but afterwards he has issues with both King Aerys I and Bloodraven.

14 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

While Maekar admired and felt close to Baelor, I'm sure Ser Raymon Fossoway was right when he said that he also envied him a lot. All his accomplishments were overshadowed by his older brother, and that made him a bitter man and Stannis' precursor.

It is not just that, he also transferred his own rivalry with Baelor to his own sons, forcing Daeron and Aerion to compete with Prince Valarr (and Matarys as well, presumably). That isn't exactly healthy. If Baelor and his sons hadn't died as early as they did, Maekar could have planted the seeds for a another Dance. One can easily see Aerion and his sons challenging the rule of a weak Valarr I, can't we? The man wasn't even remotely as great as his father or grandfather...

14 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

Rhaegel seems to have had some kind of intellectual disability, so probably he was left aside and hidden from the public. And while Aerys probably was in good terms with his father and Baelor, he and Maekar were probably too different to  get along (I see Aerys of having only the intellectual side and Maekar only the warlike side, while Daeron and Baelor combined both).

I doubt Maekar and Aerys had anything to talk about. I mean, Aerys I is likely one of the smartest and most obsessed characters in the series, being completely absorbed by his research and hobbies. One assumes that he would only want to talk about this stuff when he ever showed at the dinner table, or wherever he interacted with his family while his parents were still alive. I don't see Maekar being able to comment on anything Aerys was trying to explain them, nor him being interested in showing - or feigning - respect for anything Aerys was doing.

It is hardly a surprise that King Aerys I favored the bastard uncle who was also very much into sorcery over his martial younger brother. Bloodraven can manage Aerys I's kingdom for him - and he can converse with him as an equal about higher mystery stuff. Maekar could only do the former.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

One should assume the death of Baelor at his hand should have changed him - but afterwards he has issues with both King Aerys I and Bloodraven.

To be fair, half the kingdom had issues with both Aerys I and Bloodraven. Their polices were questionable and unpopular, to say the least.

And Baelor's death actually change him. He acknowledges that he had been wrong by sending Aerion to Lys and Egg with Duncan. And TWOIAF says that "he became even more stern and unforgiving".

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is not just that, he also transferred his own rivalry with Baelor to his own sons, forcing Daeron and Aerion to compete with Prince Valarr (and Matarys as well, presumably). That isn't exactly healthy. If Baelor and his sons hadn't died as early as they did, Maekar could have planted the seeds for a another Dance. One can easily see Aerion and his sons challenging the rule of a weak Valarr I, can't we?

I don't see it.

It's true, as Baelor himself tells us, that Maekar hoped that his sons outshone Baelor's in the tourney. But from rivalry to treason there is a huge leap. We never see Maekar doing any step to usurp power (he doesn't marry his sons to powerful houses, he abandons KL when he is not named Hand,...), and none of his sons show any sign of being overtly ambitious (Daeron refuses the title Prince of Dragonstone, Aemon takes vows as a maester, Egg goes with a Hedge Knight)

Moreover, everyone involved is fully aware that if Daeron's descendants start fighting among themselves, they risk losing everything. The Blackfyres are waiting across the narrow sea for such an opportunity.

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6 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

To be fair, half the kingdom had issues with both Aerys I and Bloodraven. Their polices were questionable and unpopular, to say the least.

The people are pissed about the Great Spring Sickness and the subsequent drought, but neither the king nor his Hand are to be blamed for any of that. One can complain about the whole Greyjoy thing - but in the wake of the deaths of many of the hostages the Blackfyre loyalists had to turn over, a Second Blackfyre Rebellion/invasion was in the air from 209 AC. They had to keep a close eye on the real enemy.

Daeron II would have done pretty much the same as Aerys I and Bloodraven did - just as he would have been blamed for the Spring and the drought.

That aside, Prince Maekar's issues with Aerys I and Bloodraven have nothing to do with politics. They are strictly based on his own petty and personal ambition to be the Hand in place of his bastard uncle - which, under a King Aerys I means to wield nearly as much power as the king himself.

6 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

And Baelor's death actually change him. He acknowledges that he had been wrong by sending Aerion to Lys and Egg with Duncan. And TWOIAF says that "he became even more stern and unforgiving".

He recognized that he had made a mistake there, but he doesn't really change for the better as a character. Instead of trying his best to work with his royal brother and uncle later on he removes himself to Summerhall and sulks there, possibly for years to come. That is not the kind of behavior grown-up man should indulge in - especially not when the reign of his brother isn't secure and the entire (extended) family is in danger.

If Maekar had really changed, he would have stood with Aerys I and Bloodraven, serving them in any capacity they felt they could offer him.

6 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

It's true, as Baelor himself tells us, that Maekar hoped that his sons outshone Baelor's in the tourney.

It is not just that, it is Aerion openly contemplating to challenge Prince Valarr at Ashford. He makes a show out of the whole thing. Considering that he is clearly the better lance he could have humiliated or killed his cousin there - what stayed his hand was likely only the fact that Prince Baelor and King Daeron II would react very harshly to this kind of thing.

But they are not going to be around for all time, are they?

6 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

But from rivalry to treason there is a huge leap. We never see Maekar doing any step to usurp power (he doesn't marry his sons to powerful houses, he abandons KL when he is not named Hand,...), and none of his sons show any sign of being overtly ambitious (Daeron refuses the title Prince of Dragonstone, Aemon takes vows as a maester, Egg goes with a Hedge Knight).

Oh, I did not say Maekar himself intentionally strove to create tension between his own sons and Baelor's - but the fact remains that this tension is there. And Maekar shares part of the blame for all that - he doesn't have to talk aloud about the fact that he himself would like more glory and a better place in the line of succession for himself to cause Aerion to emulate this example of his father's.

My idea is just that Aerion and his sons most definitely would have set themselves up to get closer to the throne if there had been a King Valarr. And it is also pretty clear that he did just that without a son (for most of his life). We have to wait and see how Aerion is going to get along with uncle Aerys and granduncle Bloodraven, but it is pretty clear that he is going to be the most prominent of Daeron II's grandsons - the one people expect/dread to sit the Iron Throne in the future. He is ambitious, skilled, and cruel. Rhaegel wouldn't be a match for him, and we don't know what kind of material Aelor and Aelora are going to be. Had Daeron and Aerion both outlived their father, it is pretty clear that Aerion would have soon been king. Daeron was always a joke.

And by the way: It is Daeron II who forces Aemon to go to the Citadel. The boy is not asked, nor did King Daeron ask for Maekar's permission on the matter. 

6 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Moreover, everyone involved is fully aware that if Daeron's descendants start fighting among themselves, they risk losing everything. The Blackfyres are waiting across the narrow sea for such an opportunity.

Well, Yandel tells us that it nearly came to another Dance in 233 AC when Maekar died. The Blackfyre threat isn't going to prevent hostilities in the family when the family members really, really don't like each other - just as the Targaryen/Dothraki threat did literally nothing in AGoT to prevent the War of the Five Kings.

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Interesting points here, I've always wondered what Valarr and Matarys were like especially growing up in the shadow of their father, as well as Aelor and Aelora with their father being mad. Must've been a fascinating period. I hope we get more info on them soon

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On 21/2/2018 at 4:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

The people are pissed about the Great Spring Sickness and the subsequent drought, but neither the king nor his Hand are to be blamed for any of that. One can complain about the whole Greyjoy thing - but in the wake of the deaths of many of the hostages the Blackfyre loyalists had to turn over, a Second Blackfyre Rebellion/invasion was in the air from 209 AC. They had to keep a close eye on the real enemy.

Daeron II would have done pretty much the same as Aerys I and Bloodraven did - just as he would have been blamed for the Spring and the drought.

It's more than that. As a rulers, Aerys+Blodraven did a terrible job at public relations. They were widely seen as kinslayers and sorcerers, and while some of it can be due to Blackfyre propaganda, they did a very bad job countering it.

There's also the fact that Aerys also neglected some of their duties as monarch: shunning her wife's bed and failing to produce a heir, not caring about his public image and failing to make public appearances,... all this weakened the Targaryen monarchy.

And he "Greyjoy thing" by itself is a clear declaration of intentions: I don't care that Dagon sack and rape at will, because "the real" problem is the dynastic challenge to my rule. If it doesn't menace my position, I won't act on it. Again, a PR failure.

I think Maekar had reason to be upset for all this, and it's understandable that he did want to separate his public image from them. It was good for him, and it was even a good decision for the family. It showed that the Targaryen main branch could offer an alternative to the dismal job Aerys and his hand were doing at ruling the kingdom.

On 21/2/2018 at 4:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

It is not just that, it is Aerion openly contemplating to challenge Prince Valarr at Ashford. He makes a show out of the whole thing. Considering that he is clearly the better lance he could have humiliated or killed his cousin there -

You cannot use Aerion's actions as an indication of the relationship between Maekar's sons and Baelor's. He was a madman, and his father clearly disproved of his actions and chastised him, sending him to Lys.

And even if Aerion had defeated Valarr at the tourney, it wouldn't be such as big a deal as you suggest. We have plenty of examples were knights have defeated crown princes and no one have accused them of putting their lives at risk or staining their reputations. Duncan Targaryen was defeated by Barristan, Rhaegar was defeated by both Arhur Dayne and Barristan,...

On 21/2/2018 at 4:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

Oh, I did not say Maekar himself intentionally strove to create tension between his own sons and Baelor's - but the fact remains that this tension is there.

I insist: there's no tension between the sons of Maekar and Baelor. There's tension between Aerys and the rest of the world. He mistreated Aegon too, who was his own brother. If we look at all the other sons of Maekar (Daeron, Aemon and Egg) there is not any sign of rivalry or bad relationship with Valarr and Matarys.

On 21/2/2018 at 4:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

My idea is just that Aerion and his sons most definitely would have set themselves up to get closer to the throne if there had been a King Valarr.

Daeron tries to spend his days drinking far away from court. Aemon becomes a maester. And Egg decides to be a squire to a hedge knight. I don't think it can be said that Maekar educated his sons puting in their head the idea that they should become kings some day. If Aerys was a delusional fool, I don't see any reason to blame it on Maekar.

And furthermore, as far as I know, there's no hint that Aerion wanted the throne for himself. So even in his case we can't say that Maekar's "sporting rivalry" was ever interpreted as "challenge the throne"

On 21/2/2018 at 4:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

Well, Yandel tells us that it nearly came to another Dance in 233 AC when Maekar died.

It doesn't say that. It says that "Rather than risk another Dance of the Dragons, the King’s Hand, Bloodraven, elected to call a Great Council".

Maester Aemon didn't want to be king. We know that the "simple-minded Vaella" had no support at all, and "only a few spoke up for Aerion Brightflame's son". Honestly, that's far from "nearly coming" to another civil war.

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On 20.02.2018 at 7:33 PM, The hairy bear said:

Rhaegel seems to have had some kind of intellectual disability, so probably he was left aside and hidden from the public. And while Aerys probably was in good terms with his father and Baelor, he and Maekar were probably too different to  get along (I see Aerys of having only the intellectual side and Maekar only the warlike side, while Daeron and Baelor combined both).

Daeron the Good wasn't warlike king. We know that he was no warrior and he preffered peace over war. If I remember correctl, he never even commanded army in battle. Nonetheless he did not put his private hobbies over ruling a kingdom.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

It's more than that. As a rulers, Aerys+Blodraven did a terrible job at public relations. They were widely seen as kinslayers and sorcerers, and while some of it can be due to Blackfyre propaganda, they did a very bad job countering it.

There's also the fact that Aerys also neglected some of their duties as monarch: shunning her wife's bed and failing to produce a heir, not caring about his public image and failing to make public appearances,... all this weakened the Targaryen monarchy.

And he "Greyjoy thing" by itself is a clear declaration of intentions: I don't care that Dagon sack and rape at will, because "the real" problem is the dynastic challenge to my rule. If it doesn't menace my position, I won't act on it. Again, a PR failure.

I think Maekar had reason to be upset for all this, and it's understandable that he did want to separate his public image from them. It was good for him, and it was even a good decision for the family. It showed that the Targaryen main branch could offer an alternative to the dismal job Aerys and his hand were doing at ruling the kingdom.

Yes, Aerys I clearly showed that he did not care about ruling kingdom or his duties as king. After all in feudalism, one of the chief obligations of the overlord is protection. By refusing to fulfill his obligations to dfend hisvassals, Aerys have shown that he do not believe to be bound by feudal oaths. If King doesn't defend his subjects, why should they pay taxes to him or even obey him? By doing this he even made himself look not legitimate, and made possible rebellion against him seen as just.

PS. You mistakenly called Aerion Aerys in your post.

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1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

It's more than that. As a rulers, Aerys+Blodraven did a terrible job at public relations. They were widely seen as kinslayers and sorcerers, and while some of it can be due to Blackfyre propaganda, they did a very bad job countering it.

Bloodraven was, nobody ever accused King Aerys of being a kinslayer. In fact, he ensured he would not become a kinslayer by pardoning Bittersteel in 219 AC.

Bloodraven is seen as a kinslayer, of course, but there is nothing that could be done about that.

I'm not sure what you mean by not countering the Blackfyre propaganda. They crushed the Second Rebellion at Whitewalls in something that was clearly a masterstroke done by Bloodraven. He was not, in fact, doing nothing as the morons believed, he kept a close eye on Peake, Heddle, and Daemon II and they walked right into his trap.

After that, King Aerys I most definitely no longer looked weak.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

There's also the fact that Aerys also neglected some of their duties as monarch: shunning her wife's bed and failing to produce a heir, not caring about his public image and failing to make public appearances,... all this weakened the Targaryen monarchy.

It didn't help all that much with his public image, but I honestly don't think Aerys I looked much worse than his own father. Daeron II was just physically unimpressive as Aerys I, and while his son surrounded himself with sorcerers, Daeron II surrounded himself with septons and maesters. Granted, he was more interested in ruling his kingdom, but that seems to have been the only difference.

Aerys I was actually pretty wise not to produce any heirs of his own body. He had more than enough heirs in his brothers and the children of those brothers. If he had produced a son during his reign there would have been need for a regency in after his death in 221 AC, leading to another period of instability and turmoil.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

And he "Greyjoy thing" by itself is a clear declaration of intentions: I don't care that Dagon sack and rape at will, because "the real" problem is the dynastic challenge to my rule. If it doesn't menace my position, I won't act on it. Again, a PR failure.

A PR failure in some peripheral regions of his kingdom, yes. But a great success at Whitewalls. The first priority of any king - any ruler, in fact - is to secure your own power. Caring about others comes later. Anything else is pretty much (political) suicide.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

I think Maekar had reason to be upset for all this, and it's understandable that he did want to separate his public image from them. It was good for him, and it was even a good decision for the family. It showed that the Targaryen main branch could offer an alternative to the dismal job Aerys and his hand were doing at ruling the kingdom.

You are confusing things here in relation to the time line. Maekar left court immediately after his royal brother named Bloodraven his Hand. Possibly even immediately after the funeral of King Daeron II and Baelor's sons. At that point Maekar had no reason to distance himself for Aerys' or Bloodraven's policies. There was no drought yet. No Ironborn raids. No Blackfyre conspiracy.

Unless, of course, we assume Maekar can foresee the future.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

You cannot use Aerion's actions as an indication of the relationship between Maekar's sons and Baelor's. He was a madman, and his father clearly disproved of his actions and chastised him, sending him to Lys.

I never said that Daeron, Aemon, or Aegon didn't get along with Valarr and Matarys. I was only talking about Aerion and his (potential) descendants in relation to a King Valarr and his potential descendants.

Maekar only sent Aerion to Lys after the death of Prince Baelor. Do you know what the proper punishment would have been here? Exile for both Maekar and Aerion for causing the death of the Prince of Dragonstone. Aerion and Maekar killed Prince Baelor, not Dunk.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

And even if Aerion had defeated Valarr at the tourney, it wouldn't be such as big a deal as you suggest. We have plenty of examples were knights have defeated crown princes and no one have accused them of putting their lives at risk or staining their reputations. Duncan Targaryen was defeated by Barristan, Rhaegar was defeated by both Arhur Dayne and Barristan,...

Oh, I was not talking about Aerion merely defeating Valarr. I was thinking about Aerion doing to Valarr what he did to Humfrey Hargyng. That would have been a sight to behold, wouldn't it? By crippling or killing Prince Valarr in tourney mishap Aerion would have shown everyone who the real dragon was.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

I insist: there's no tension between the sons of Maekar and Baelor. There's tension between Aerys and the rest of the world. He mistreated Aegon too, who was his own brother. If we look at all the other sons of Maekar (Daeron, Aemon and Egg) there is not any sign of rivalry or bad relationship with Valarr and Matarys.

Right, I should have been more precise there. We are only talking about Aerion. But I'd not say that the explanation here is simply that Aerion is a bad apple. Aside from Egg, Aerion is the only proper son Maekar has. Daeron is an utter failure in every respect, and Daeron II destroyed Aemon by forcing him to become a maester.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

If Aerys was a delusional fool, I don't see any reason to blame it on Maekar.

Maekar himself clearly wants to be king. Perhaps not over the dead bodies of his brothers, but he wants to be king just as much as he wanted to be Aerys' Hand. And Aerion seems to be pretty much like him. At least in that regard.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

And furthermore, as far as I know, there's no hint that Aerion wanted the throne for himself. So even in his case we can't say that Maekar's "sporting rivalry" was ever interpreted as "challenge the throne".

There is always hidden meaning when a prince challenges another prince, just as there is meaning when a lord or knight does that. Do you think it is a coincidence that nobody really challenged Valarr? Perhaps nobody would have openly held it against them had they thrown the prince in the dirt, but it could have been the end of the career of that man, and perhaps even the end of the career of his entire house.

Aerion plays with all that, and Valarr is clearly afraid that he might challenge him and mean the challenge.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

It doesn't say that. It says that "Rather than risk another Dance of the Dragons, the King’s Hand, Bloodraven, elected to call a Great Council".

How could there be the risk of another Dance when there were no factions? How was there the risk of another Dance when nobody wanted to go to war over this issue? Why didn't Prince Aegon not support his nephew Maegor's claim, serving in the subsequent regency government?

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

They crushed the Second Rebellion at Whitewalls in something that was clearly a masterstroke done by Bloodraven

Crushing a sad parody of a rebellion would not qualify as a masterstroke, especially when it came at the expense of leaving the entire west coast to the wolves. Daemon II was a naive dreamer, he had no support from Bittersteel and hardly any support in Westeros either. Without magical destiny to carry the day (destiny that Daemon completely misread), there was simply no way for this little adventure to end with Daemon II coming out on top or even threatening Aerys I. He would need soldiers and gold in quantities surpassing whatever butthurt Lord Peak and his passe of bad boys could provide by the order of magnitude.

If securing King's power is a priority, then fucking up Crown's relationship with half the kingdom for the sake of this farce was a serious blunder.

Edited by Myrish Lace

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8 hours ago, Myrish Lace said:

Crushing a sad parody of a rebellion would not qualify as a masterstroke, especially when it came at the expense of leaving the entire west coast to the wolves. Daemon II was a naive dreamer, he had no support from Bittersteel and hardly any support in Westeros either. Without magical destiny to carry the day (destiny that Daemon completely misread), there was simply no way for this little adventure to end with Daemon II coming out on top or even threatening Aerys I. He would need soldiers and gold in quantities surpassing whatever butthurt Lord Peak and his passe of bad boys could provide by the order of magnitude.

If securing King's power is a priority, then fucking up Crown's relationship with half the kingdom for the sake of this farce was a serious blunder.

There is no indication that half the Realm was pissed with Aerys I and Bloodraven. We don't even know whether the Lannisters and Starks wanted the help of the Iron Throne. Could be. But then, it could just as well be that they were acting as Wardens in the name of their king.

The masterstroke aspect of Bloodraven's crushing of the Second Blackfyre Rebellion is simply the fact that he knew everything about it before it even began, and that he had an army in place to crush it.

That shows that the man was indeed doing something. And what he did would certainly have had an impact on the public perception and reputation of Aerys I. We just don't know that yet because we haven't read a Dunk & Egg story taking place some time after Whitewalls.

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