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Lost Melnibonean

The George [did not have] The Blackfyre subplot already in mind when he wrote Game

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The Blackfyre was not mentioned by name until Storm was published in 2000, but the George alluded to it in Game in 1996...

Quote

Beyond the horse gate, plundered gods and stolen heroes loomed to either side of them. ... Monsters stood in the grass beside the road; black iron dragons with jewels for eyes, roaring griffins, manticores with their barbed tails poised to strike, and other beasts she could not name. 

Daenerys IV, Game 36

There are only three monsters described... A black iron dragon, a roaring griffin, and a manticore poised to strike. The black dragon clearly alludes to The Blackfyre, especially since it is a black iron dragon...

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“... Later it passed to a crippled knight named Long Jon Heddle, who took up ironworking when he grew too old to fight. He forged a new sign for the yard, a three-headed dragon of black iron that he hung from a wooden post. The beast was so big it had to be made in a dozen pieces, joined with rope and wire. ..."

...

... "When the smith's son was an old man, a bastard son of the fourth Aegon rose up in rebellion against his trueborn brother and took for his sigil a black dragon. These lands belonged to Lord Darry then, and his lordship was fiercely loyal to the king. The sight of the black iron dragon made him wroth, so he cut down the post, hacked the sign into pieces, and cast them into the river. One of the dragon's heads washed up on the Quiet Isle many years later, though by that time it was red with rust. ..."

Brienne VII, Feast 37

Jon Connington is the griffin. The coat of arms of House Connington was red and white with twin griffins counterchanged and combatant. Jaime referred to Jon Connington as the “dancing griffins hand” and simply “griffin,” Arianne, Daemon Sand, the smallfolk of Weeping Town, and men of the Golden Company all refer to him as “griffin” or "the griffin." Meera referred to him as the “lord of griffins,” and Jon Connington referred to himself in the third person as “the griffin.”

By definition, the manticore is a chimera, which includes any fantastical beast comprised of the body parts of more than one animal or mythical beast. In the real world, the manticore most commonly consisted of a human head, a lion’s body, a bat’s wings, and a scorpion’s tail, but there were other variations. In ASOIAF, the manticorewas much smaller, with a malign, black face and an arched, venomous tail, with the ability to fold itself into a scarab. In the real world, the manticore and chimeras were depicted in the art of the Romanesque and Renaissance periods to symbolize fraud.

So, in Dance, Daenerys observes a black iron dragon, a griffin, and a manticore... The Blackfyre, Jon Connington, and a fraud.

And we would see this combination again in Clash, suggesting that the combination is no mere coincidence, but something purposeful...

Quote

All the colors that had been missing from Vaes Tolorro had found their way to Qarth; buildings crowded about her fantastical as a fever dream in shades of rose, violet, and umber. She passed under a bronze arch fashioned in the likeness of two snakes mating, their scales delicate flakes of jade, obsidian, and lapis lazuli. Slim towers stood taller than any Dany had ever seen, and elaborate fountains filled every square, wrought in the shapes of griffins and dragons and manticores.

Daenerys II, Clash 27

So, I suggested that The George had The Blackfyre subplot already in mind when he wrote Game. 

However, as @Ran advises below, he did not have it worked out before 1999. The mods are not mocked, girl. 

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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I can tell with you 100% certainty that George did not, in fact, consciously have the Blackfyres in mind in AGoT. He didn't even decide on the black dragon as their arms until 1999.

Whether his subconscious was already toying with these ideas, neither I nor he could say, I suppose.

 

Edited by Ran

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I would also throw another interpretation into the ring...

The Black Dragon is Rhaegar Targaryen -And I believe the sign at the crossroads in is a metaphor for the clan of the king during robert’s rebellion

The Manticore is Ser Armory Lorch - who dashed baby Aegon’s head against a wall

The Griffin is Jon Connington - who is raising “Aegon”

Stolen Heros!

Also worth noting that these beast appear on the fountains of Quarth and the Gargoyals of Dragonstone as well.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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15 minutes ago, Ran said:

I can tell with you 100% certainty that George did not, in fact, consciously have the Blackfyres in mind in AGoT. He didn't even decide on the black dragon as their arms until 1999.

Whether his subconscious was already toying with these ideas, neither I nor he could say, I suppose.

 

/thread. Smells a bit fishy to me, and this would mean that a black iron dragon, a griffin, and a manticore had no special significance even though they were combined at least twice in Daenerys's chapters, but the mods are not mocked, girl. So, I guess I give The George too much credit. And maybe this is  just another coincidence...

Quote

Theon Greyjoy had once commented that Hodor did not know much, but no one could doubt that he knew his name. 

Bran IV, Game 24

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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I think we can safely assume that the precursor of what came to be the Blackfyre thing - George himself wondering why this fat Illyrio was helping Viserys III - developed during the writing process of AGoT.

We have no idea when/how the character of Varys was developed, but the conversation Arya overhears very deliberately only reveals that these two guys truly want the Dothraki to invade. Nothing there implies they are staunch Targaryen loyalists or personal fans of either Viserys or Daenerys.

From there it is not that far to them doing what they do because they have their own motives - motives based on them being descended from/having connections to some Targaryen (bastard) passed over in earlier times.

This kind of story strongly resonates with the Jon Snow story, the Dany story, the Cersei/Jaime/Robert story, etc.

It isn't a big leap from there to the Aegon story - especially since the back story of the dead Targaryen children was already there in the first book.

Now, the Blackfyre story as such seems to be an outgrowth of the world-building that followed THK. George began a new story there, one that can lead into ASoIaF - as we see happening with Bloodraven showing up in TMK and then in ADwD.

But without Dunk & Egg there would most likely not have been any Blackfyre rebellions. We would likely have gotten only a few paragraphs when the final reveal of the ancestry of Varys, Illyrio, and Aegon came - it could have been a bastard of Aegon IV, but just as well some bastard of Daeron II, Maekar, Aegon V, etc.

Back in AGoT references to the 'distant past' are just casual to give the story some background. They are trying to give the feeling that this world has a history, etc. but it isn't there yet. And if George had continued writing ASoIaF without creating details for earlier historical periods (as he did when starting to write Dunk & Egg and later stuff) we wouldn't have gotten the whole Blackfyre thing.

As they stand now, the Blackfyres seem to be both: The potential background for the Aegon story as well as the main antagonists of Dunk & Egg during their adventures.

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38 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

/thread. Smells a bit fishy to me, and this would mean that a black iron dragon, a griffin, and a manticore had no special significance even though they were combined at least twice in Daenerys's chapters, but the mods are not mocked, girl. So, I guess I give The George too much credit. And maybe this is  just another coincidence...

Man, George actually knows his novels, presumably. He can take things he has written just as window-dressing and give them new meaning by using them for heraldry for yet to be created houses.

Even what manticores are in George's world at that point may not have been clear (just as wyverns have only been introduced by TWoIaF if I remember correctly, only to possibly show up as real things in later novels if some of those happen to fly across the pages) considering they just show up as a name.

The Valyrian sphinxes in the Small Council also don't foreshadow Sarella Sand or indicate that she will one day claim the chain of the Grand Maester.

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11 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I think we can safely assume that the precursor of what came to be the Blackfyre thing - George himself wondering why this fat Illyrio was helping Viserys III - developed during the writing process of AGoT.

We have no idea when/how the character of Varys was developed, but the conversation Arya overhears very deliberately only reveals that these two guys truly want the Dothraki to invade. Nothing there implies they are staunch Targaryen loyalists or personal fans of either Viserys or Daenerys.

From there it is not that far to them doing what they do because they have their own motives - motives based on them being descended from/having connections to some Targaryen (bastard) passed over in earlier times.

This kind of story strongly resonates with the Jon Snow story, the Dany story, the Cersei/Jaime/Robert story, etc.

It isn't a big leap from there to the Aegon story - especially since the back story of the dead Targaryen children was already there in the first book.

Now, the Blackfyre story as such seems to be an outgrowth of the world-building that followed THK. George began a new story there, one that can lead into ASoIaF - as we see happening with Bloodraven showing up in TMK and then in ADwD.

But without Dunk & Egg there would most likely not have been any Blackfyre rebellions. We would likely have gotten only a few paragraphs when the final reveal of the ancestry of Varys, Illyrio, and Aegon came - it could have been a bastard of Aegon IV, but just as well some bastard of Daeron II, Maekar, Aegon V, etc.

Back in AGoT references to the 'distant past' are just casual to give the story some background. They are trying to give the feeling that this world has a history, etc. but it isn't there yet. And if George had continued writing ASoIaF without creating details for earlier historical periods (as he did when starting to write Dunk & Egg and later stuff) we wouldn't have gotten the whole Blackfyre thing.

As they stand now, the Blackfyres seem to be both: The potential background for the Aegon story as well as the main antagonists of Dunk & Egg during their adventures.

It seems to me that the George had decided very early on to have a prince claim he was Aegon, either the real Aegon or an imposter, but most likely an imposter backed by Illyrio and Varys. I agree that it is ambiguous as to whether this was going to be a Blackfyre or something else (and @Ran strongly suggests that The Bkackfyre subplot was not developed until after Clash), but I think there was always going to be a mummer's dragon for Daenerys to fight in the second of the three main conflicts of ASOIAF. 

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Given the history of the Wars of the Roses which inspired so much of the genesis of the series, I think that's a pretty good assumption.

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2 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

It seems to me that the George had decided very early on to have a prince claim he was Aegon, either the real Aegon or an imposter, but most likely an imposter backed by Illyrio and Varys. I agree that it is ambiguous as to whether this was going to be a Blackfyre or something else (and @Ran strongly suggests that The Bkackfyre subplot was not developed until after Clash), but I think there was always going to be a mummer's dragon for Daenerys to fight in the second of the three main conflicts of ASOIAF. 

I'd say that the story grew out of his own curiosity who that Illyrio fellow was. I mean, one can read the first Dany chapter with Illyrio just being a dude who earned a lot of money helping a fool arranging a wedding. But when George decided to give the dragon eggs to this Illyrio fellow rather than having Daenerys chance on them in Dothraki Sea (and Illyrio presumably was already there in the first version of the Dany chapters, only without the dragon eggs) it became clear that the fellow was more than just a cheese monger.

Back in the first 'trilogy setting' it would have been AGoT - nonsensical/destructive war between Lannisters and Starks -, ADwD - Daenerys conquest of Westeros with the help of the Dothraki putting down 'Evil Jaime' in the process -, TWoW - war against the Others and everything that has still to be resolved.

For Aegon (and many other plot lines) there wouldn't have been any room in that story.

2 minutes ago, Ran said:

Given the history of the Wars of the Roses which inspired so much of the genesis of the series, I think that's a pretty good assumption.

Yeah, during the writing process of AGoT (and the early chapters of ACoK which were already written when the first book was published) the broader scope of the story had become clear.

I mean, when we look at that early outline there then even Stannis and Renly were missing from the game in the very beginning.

But I'd say Aegon - be he real or fake - was at least part of the plan since the point the story started to transfer from the trilogy to what we have now.

And in that sense he would be very old as a concept, certainly, I'd say, as old a concept as the Red Wedding (executed by the Freys and Boltons) which was also clearly first introduced during the writing of the later chapters of AGoT (when the Freys and Roose are introduced).

I'd really like to read one day how Aegon would have fit in the narrative in the five-year-gap scenario...

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2 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Armory Lorch - who dashed baby Aegon’s head against a wall

That was Gregor.

 

/thread. One good evidence that BF are later addition is fact that roles of Baelor and Maekar in First BF rebellion isn't mentioned in Hedge Knight

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This is huge. Thanks for this thread, Lost Mel and for the insight into GRRM's timeline, Ran.

Some things start to make sense to me that didn't feel quite right before. It always seemed a little strange to me that Tyrion had one voyage with Griff and Young Griff and then suddenly transitioned to the voyage with Penny and Ser Jorah. I think the Penny and Ser Jorah voyage was long-planned and the Young Griff encounter was inserted later to introduce us to new characters.

As for the possible foreshadowing / allusion represented by the black dragon, roaring griffin and manticore, Jon Connington is not the only "griffin" in the story - Red Ronnet Connington was an early prospect for Brienne's hand and became the reason she hates roses. If there is finger / griffin wordplay, having griffin symbolism gives the author something to play with as a contrast or parallel to all of the finger and hand symbolism in the books.

I recently read GRRM's wikipedia profile, and was surprised to learn that the Victorian novel Ivanhoe was an early inspiration for ASOIAF. I had to read the plot summary for that novel and had one of those "aha! moments" as the Anglo-Saxon / Norman conflict in that book helped to make sense of the echoes of the First Men / Andal conflicts in ASOIAF. But that conflict seems to diminish in the subtext and all the Blackfyre hints and possibilities seem to grow in volume until Brienne starts her quest in the Riverlands. She meets Illyfer and Creighton and I feel like we're back to talking about Celts and fairies and elves.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Even what manticores are in George's world at that point may not have been clear (just as wyverns have only been introduced by TWoIaF if I remember correctly, only to possibly show up as real things in later novels if some of those happen to fly across the pages) considering they just show up as a name.

There are stone wyverns on Dragonstone in the ACoK prologue / Maester Cressen POV.

I believe the manticores were also clear in the author's mind, as they are the sigil of Amory Lorch's house, and Lorch's role was part of the original, unexpanded plot.

2 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

... I think there was always going to be a mummer's dragon for Daenerys to fight in the second of the three main conflicts of ASOIAF. 

Aegon is only the obvious mummer's dragon. I believe there are others: possibly Littlefinger and Penny. Whether Dany must beware of all of them, or whether they are there for other characters whose arcs parallel Dany's arc, I don't know.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Back in AGoT references to the 'distant past' are just casual to give the story some background. They are trying to give the feeling that this world has a history, etc. but it isn't there yet. And if George had continued writing ASoIaF without creating details for earlier historical periods (as he did when starting to write Dunk & Egg and later stuff) we wouldn't have gotten the whole Blackfyre thing.

I understand that you're making a point about how the Blackfyre plot enriches the "current day" stories, but I think there was a lot of history without it. Aside from the First Men / Andal conflict, there was all of the history / legend related by Old Nan and (I assume) the Dance of the Dragons black / green conflict.

From the beginning, I think GRRM must have had Bloodraven and Bittersteel in mind in some form, but their enmity became clearer and was better integrated into the modern events after he came up with the history of the Blackfyre rebellions. Or? Maybe he had Bloodraven in mind but needed to flesh out his story and added Bittersteel to the picture. When is the first mention of House Bracken in the books?

So many things starting to click in my mind now. Very interesting news.

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1 hour ago, Kandrax said:

That was Gregor.

 

/thread. One good evidence that BF are later addition is fact that roles of Baelor and Maekar in First BF rebellion isn't mentioned in Hedge Knight

You are absolutely right, he was just the other guy who was with him commuting atrocities. Cheers

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57 minutes ago, Kandrax said:

/thread. One good evidence that BF are later addition is fact that roles of Baelor and Maekar in First BF rebellion isn't mentioned in Hedge Knight

That is the obvious point @Ran and @Linda have been citing, too. It is kind of obvious.

The entire setup of THK makes little sense with the First Blackfyre Rebellion happening only a couple of years back. Many of the men hanging out with the Hammer and the Anvil at Ashford would have fought against them on the Redgrass Field. Why isn't this creating any tension?

Just as the behavior of Ser Manfred Dondarrion also makes little sense now that he is either the brother or cousin of the wife of the Prince of Dragonstone, Jena Dondarrion.

17 minutes ago, Seams said:

There are stone wyverns on Dragonstone in the ACoK prologue / Maester Cressen POV.

I believe the manticores were also clear in the author's mind, as they are the sigil of Amory Lorch's house, and Lorch's role was part of the original, unexpanded plot.

Oh, that might be - my point just was that we don't really know what George's version of this or that known legendary creature (or really anything he is using) is going to mean or entail as long as we have just heard the name thrown around. George's manticores don't have all that much in common with traditional manticores.

And we also don't know when exactly the author is elaborating on something he has written into the story - like Illyrio Mopatis - or when he has dropped a clear hint foreshadowing an event that's later going to take place. Those things can do look very much alike - they don't have to, but they can.

17 minutes ago, Seams said:

Aegon is only the obvious mummer's dragon. I believe there are others: possibly Littlefinger and Penny. Whether Dany must beware of all of them, or whether they are there for other characters whose arcs parallel Dany's arc, I don't know.

I honestly don't understand what you mean there. We have a prophetic vision of the cloth dragon. We know that this thing is a symbol representing something or someone. But we have no reason to believe this symbol refers to more than one person/event.

17 minutes ago, Seams said:

I understand that you're making a point about how the Blackfyre plot enriches the "current day" stories, but I think there was a lot of history without it. Aside from the First Men / Andal conflict, there was all of the history / legend related by Old Nan and (I assume) the Dance of the Dragons black / green conflict.

Sure, there is the back story about the Others (and that one is important which is the reason why we don't know it yet) and some generic stuff about this people arriving in Westeros after that, etc. but that's mostly not really important nor was it laid out (in detail) when the author wrote the first chapters of this series. The man builds his world as he goes along, he doesn't have everything worked out and then just drops hints to vast pages on files he has on his hard drive.

He only made such notes when he had to - when the world got larger and the readers were starting to measure distances (using the Wall as a scale) and passed time, etc. The books were originally written in such a way that the reader restricts him-/herself to the story, not how the world works in detail, how long people have to travel, etc.

The Dance of the Dragons and the alleged affair between Dragonknight and Naerys were already there in AGoT, but no more details than that - and the former was just a nod to the Anarchy as well as a convenient way to rob the Targaryens of their dragons, whereas the latter is both a nod to Lancelot and Guinevere as well as a nod to the Cersei/Jaime twincest and the bastards that sprung from that union.

There was a time - I think over ten years ago - when @Ran and @Linda mentioned that George had worked out all the details of the Targaryens and their reign from Aegon III onwards. The stuff farther in the past was not yet worked out in detail.

And there was also a time when a strong Velaryon regent/Hand tied the Realm back together after the Dance. There was no reign of a corrupt/incompetent regency council, nor a wedding between Aegon III and some daughter of Aegon II. The Velaryon marriage remained, everything else went out the window. There was also a time when Rhaenyra didn't have a gay first consort but was instead first married to her father's Hand, Lord Lyonel Strong, making her first three sons actual Strongs. There was also a time when Alyn Velaryon wasn't a bastard nor an old man when he fell in love with his cousin, Princess Elaena.

@Ran's original notes on the Blackfyre Rebellion and the great bastards actually have Bittersteel lose his hand on the Redgrass Field. Something George later dropped (although something like that might still happen during his second duel with Bloodraven during the Third Blackfyre Rebellion).

17 minutes ago, Seams said:

From the beginning, I think GRRM must have had Bloodraven and Bittersteel in mind in some form, but their enmity became clearer and was better integrated into the modern events after he came up with the history of the Blackfyre rebellions. Or? Maybe he had Bloodraven in mind but needed to flesh out his story and added Bittersteel to the picture. When is the first mention of House Bracken in the books?

Not sure why Bittersteel and Bloodraven have to be there from the beginning. We have every reason to believe they were only invented after THK was finished. The three-eyed crow was there from the start. And he was supposedly always connected to the Targaryens (not the obscure Blackwoods) in some form. But George just took these two houses who had a constant feud throughout the centuries and made two guys who also were supposed to hate each other to be from those houses.

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How could it be, that GRRM didn't planned to bring Blackfyres back, from the very beginning of ASOIAF-series, if even in AGOT, there was build a premise for Blackfyre plot line? :huh:

For example - 3 eyed crow is probably Shiera Seastar. She has helped Bran to wake up from his coma, and lured him to go beyond The Wall, to Bloodraven. If there was no Blackfyres prior further books, then why did Bloodraven joined Night's Watch? And if there was no Bloodraven beyond The Wall in AGOT, then why did 3EC showed to Bran - "At the heart of the godswood, the great white weirwood brooded over its reflection in the black pool, its leaves rustling in a chill wind. When it felt Bran watching, it lifted its eyes from the still waters and stared back at him knowingly. ~ And he looked past the Wall, past endless forests cloaked in snow, past the frozen shore and the great blue-white rivers of ice and the dead plains where nothing grew or lived. North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks." Brooding weirwood was Bloodraven, and in the heart of winter Bran probably saw himself, as he became Bloodraven's replacement, and was binded to a tree. If Blackfyres didn't existed yet, at the time of Bloodraven's exile to The Wall, then why did he went there?

Furthermore, if Egg's father, King Maekar, wasn't killed by Pykes, that were supporters of Blackfyres, then why did maester Aemon went to Night's Watch, and let Egg become King?

Also why did GRRM "killed" little Aegon in a manner, that his body was unrecognisable, if not to use this later, to bring fAegon into the story? Because it seems that fAegon is a Blackfyre.

And also Varys and Illyrio. And Littlefinger's connections from Essos (family of Kettleblacks, Tears of Lys).

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GRRM refers to Stannis as iron in AGOT before Noye's more elaborate quote, he always had Stannis pegged as iron. JC was probably just what he knew then as the linchpin of the Aegon storyline that expanded to include the BFs.

Black iron dragon with jewels for eyes  = Stannis = blue eyed king with no shadow.

Roaring Griffin = JC = Mummer's dragon. Okay JC and Aegon are not the same person, but they are the same team, same faction, one of the big three baddies Dany is going to have to destroy and are interchangeable symbolically.

Manticores = sphinxes = Euron = shadow fire breathing stone beast.

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12 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The entire setup of THK makes little sense with the First Blackfyre Rebellion happening only a couple of years back. Many of the men hanging out with the Hammer and the Anvil at Ashford would have fought against them on the Redgrass Field. Why isn't this creating any tension?

Just as the behavior of Ser Manfred Dondarrion also makes little sense now that he is either the brother or cousin of the wife of the Prince of Dragonstone, Jena Dondarrion.

Events in THK happened in 209. And First Blackfyre Rebellion in 196.

13 years between those events. And during all that time, those people, that during Rebellion were fighting for Blackfyres, has given their children as hostages to Targaryens. Thus, if those children for 13 years lived with Targaryens, then those ex-Blackfyre-loyalists had to be nice with Targaryens and their supporters, for safety of those hostages. So to create unnecessary tension, that will endanger those hostages, isn't something, that any of them would have wanted to do.

Also nobody knew until the very last moment, that Baelor is going to fight for Dunk. Even Dunk himself was surprised by it. Prior Baelor came out on the field, it looked to everyone present there, that Dunk and his companions are going to fight against royal family (Maekar, Aerion, Daeron, three Kingsguards, red apple guy). So why should have Manfred Dondarrion supported Dunk? He thought, that Dunk is going to fight against Targaryens, and thus he's an enemy of House Dondarrion, that is united to Targaryens thru Baelor and Jena. Dunk asked Manfred's help, prior it became known, that Baelor is going to fight on this side too. Things could have been different, if after Baelor joined them, they still had one empty slot, maybe then Manfred would have supported Dunk, and joined his side.

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I'm looking at the list of Houses known to have participated in the first Blackfyre Rebellion in support of the Blackfyres. The only overlap with the houses that participated in the tourney at Ashford Meadow is House Hightower, which had participants on both sides of the first Blackfyre Rebellion. If there's tension at the tourney, it's not likely to stem from Blackfyre-related causes.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

And we also don't know when exactly the author is elaborating on something he has written into the story - like Illyrio Mopatis - or when he has dropped a clear hint foreshadowing an event that's later going to take place. Those things can do look very much alike - they don't have to, but they can.

This realization, with @Ran's revelation/confirmation above, is so very disappointing for me. The beauty of ASOIAF for me, the reason I have spent the past seven years obsessing over it ever since I had to stay up late with a newborn on my chest and saw Sean Bean and thought this must be based on a book was because of all the perceived foreshadowing. The idea that only the obvious foreshadowing is intended and that everything else is either coincidental or not really there at all is disappointing. 

...

Maybe I'll reread Dune or the Elric saga, or maybe go back to postapocalyptic and political thrillers. 

At least I haven't spent 20 years obsessing over this. 

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5 hours ago, Seams said:

I'm looking at the list of Houses known to have participated in the first Blackfyre Rebellion in support of the Blackfyres. The only overlap with the houses that participated in the tourney at Ashford Meadow is House Hightower, which had participants on both sides of the first Blackfyre Rebellion. If there's tension at the tourney, it's not likely to stem from Blackfyre-related causes.

That isn't a complete list. And both the Greyjoy Rebellion and Robert's Rebellion are still very fresh on everybody's mind in AGoT - as is the Blackfyre Rebellion in TSS and TMK but, strangely, not in THK. That is odd.

5 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

This realization, with @Ran's revelation/confirmation above, is so very disappointing for me. The beauty of ASOIAF for me, the reason I have spent the past seven years obsessing over it ever since I had to stay up late with a newborn on my chest and saw Sean Bean and thought this must be based on a book was because of all the perceived foreshadowing. The idea that only the obvious foreshadowing is intended and that everything else is either coincidental or not really there at all is disappointing. 

Well, I tried to tell you this quite a few times in the past. And it is not that this means the author is lazy or not subtle. It just means he didn't work out all the details when he started writing this thing. There is some obvious foreshadowing in the book, and there is some less obvious foreshadowing in the book.

But there is also a lot of stuff in there that's not there. Things that are just imagined by readers. This doesn't mean the work cannot also been interpreted by making use of such non-intentional parallels, etc. But they would still not be intended as such by the author.

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