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Southron Ambitions question/observation

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3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

A Rickard who had been preparing for war against the Iron Throne for years might have taken the imprisonment of his heir as the time to call for his banners, and for his allies of the other great houses to raise theirs. But the Arryns, Baratheons, and Starks did not raise their banners until Aerys murdered Lord Rickard, Brandon, and Elbert and called for Lord Jon to send the heads of Lord Robert and the new Lord Eddard, and Lord Hoster Tully did not bother to join on the side of the Starks until months into the war, only with the promise that Lords Stark and Arryn would wed his daughters.

Exactly. And we do know that Rickard was likely in the Riverlands already when he learned about Brandon, so his buddy and co-conspirators could have called his banners, sending a sizable host with Rickard to KL if the man insisted on going and refused to wait until his own lords had assembled their troops.

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Really, if there was a faction at the Citadel that wished to see the Targaryens killed and replaced on their Iron Throne, the best candidate would have been Lord Tywin Lannister, who had actually been largely responsible for stabilizing the realm over the course of twenty years in the wake of Summehall, not Robert, who had not even demonstrated any responsibility over his own region after the death of Lord Steffon.

That is a pretty good point, too. For appearances sake such a 'King Tywin' could have forced the Dowager Queen Rhaella to marry him after all her descendants had been put down. And while Rhaella would have been (likely) beyond her child-bearing years 'King Tywin' could have named his own children heirs to the throne (like Sharra Arryn asked Aegon the Conqueror to name her Ronnel his heir).

It would have been bumpy and all, but Tywin being Tywin could have pulled this off, especially with the Citadel influencing the Realm in his favor. And it would have been the way to give the Realm a competent king as well as one without so much as a single drop of Targaryen blood (as far as we know at this point).

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

We can speculate about how truthful Pycelle is being in these quotes, especially in the ones in which he is speaking to sons of Tywin, or how representative Pycelle's love of Tywin is of other maesters at the Citadel, but I think we have a pretty good idea who the Grand Maester and whatever faction he might have belonged to or been trying to influence would have preferred to replace the Targaryens, and it wasn't a Baratheon or Stark.

In general, it is very, very odd to assume a man with such few connections as Rickard Stark could have been at the heart of a conspiracy against the king consisting of many great houses. Lord Rickard didn't even follow the Seven, something that would be, well, problematic when thinking about seizing control of the Iron Throne.

I don't think Queen Betha was forced to abandon her worship of the old gods when she became queen, but I'm pretty sure she was forced to also visit the castle sept and Great Sept and pray there, and participate in all services and religious activities of the Faith that are usually required of a queen. In light of the fact that the High Septon also played an important role in ensuring that Prince Duncan do not succeed Aegon V I think that's pretty likely.

All that makes it very unlikely that the Lord of Winterfell is a very likely architect for a far-flung conspiracy to seize power.

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12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Exactly. And we do know that Rickard was likely in the Riverlands already when he learned about Brandon, so his buddy and co-conspirators could have called his banners, sending a sizable host with Rickard to KL if the man insisted on going and refused to wait until his own lords had assembled their troops.

Which touches on another point that demonstrates the absurdity of the theory of a conspiracy between the great houses. There is a presumption on the part of some in these discussions that a marriage alliance with a great house automatically secures you not only the support of the forces of the great house, but the support of the forces of their entire region,. As if a marriage with Lord Hoster Tully secures not only his own forces, but the forces of all his bannermen. But, especially in a conflict with the Iron Throne, that is far from the case.

Lord Rickard Stark might have been able to count on the loyalty of most or all of his own bannermen, far to the north of him. But if he or Lord Tully had attempted to call their banners against the Iron Throne, there is a good chance they would have been besieged in Riverrun, or attacked and captured in the open. There were too many loyalists and opportunists in the Riverlands, and more of Lord Tully's bannermen might have still leaned toward the Iron Throne at that time, when the atrocious execution of Lord Stark, Brandon, Elbert, etc. had not yet occurred.

Even after those executions, Lords Arryn, Baratheon, and Tully were still opposed by a number of their own bannermen who remained loyal to the Iron Throne. So the idea of these alliances securing entire regions for a plot against the Iron Throne is without basis. And we have no reason to think the great lords themselves were foolish enough to believe that they were securing such support through these marriages. And without the support of the forces of the bannermen, the forces of the great house alone were not sufficient to consider a move against the Iron Throne.

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In general, it is very, very odd to assume a man with such few connections as Rickard Stark could have been at the heart of a conspiracy against the king consisting of many great houses. Lord Rickard didn't even follow the Seven, something that would be, well, problematic when thinking about seizing control of the Iron Throne.

I don't think Queen Betha was forced to abandon her worship of the old gods when she became queen, but I'm pretty sure she was forced to also visit the castle sept and Great Sept and pray there, and participate in all services and religious activities of the Faith that are usually required of a queen. In light of the fact that the High Septon also played an important role in ensuring that Prince Duncan do not succeed Aegon V I think that's pretty likely.

All that makes it very unlikely that the Lord of Winterfell is a very likely architect for a far-flung conspiracy to seize power.

Lord Rickard is a very unlikely architect or participant to a conspiracy to seize power. There is simply no motive for him to be part of such a conspiracy, and no hint of such a conspiracy for him to have been part of. If there was any conspiracy, it was by those closest to King Aerys, those in the Red Keep. People like Prince Rhaegar, Queen Rhaella, and Lord Tywin, who witnessed and experienced first hand his instability and abuses, and how he had deteriorated since Duskendale.

Grand Maester Pycelle, of course, was a witness as well, and was surely reporting back to the Citadel, and to whatever faction at the Citadel he might have belonged to. He and the Citadel might have played a role in negative information about Aerys getting out to the rest of the realm prior to the first hand revelation of his deterioration at Harrenhal. Personally, I suspect Pycelle made sure that Lord Tywin never received the summons Prince Rhaegar persuaded King Aerys to send after the Battle of the Bells, making it likely Tywin would not intervene on their behalf.

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26 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

So the idea of these alliances securing entire regions for a plot against the Iron Throne is without basis. And we have no reason to think the great lords themselves were foolish enough to believe that they were securing such support through these marriages. And without the support of the forces of the bannermen, the forces of the great house alone were not sufficient to consider a move against the Iron Throne.

I'd like to add something that I have said before, if Lord Rickard wanted to rebel and rely on Vale, Riverland and Stormland lords why are Ned and Benjen unmarried and not engaged to fence-sitter Houses in those lands?

This just doesn't fit with the "grand cabal, mastermind plotter" version of Lord Rickard.

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Just now, Ylath's Snout said:

I'd like to add something that I have said before, if Lord Rickard wanted to rebel and rely on Vale, Riverland and Stormland lords why are Ned and Benjen unmarried and not engaged to fence-sitter Houses in those lands?

This just doesn't fit with the "grand cabal, mastermind plotter" version of Lord Rickard.

In fact, we literally can't name a single man or woman of the lords and their heirs and daughters of houses Stark, Arryn, Baratheon, Tully, and Lannister that can be said to have been married at the time Aerys Targaryen (King) named Jaime Lannister (Heir) to the Kingsguard. That includes the widowed Stark, Arryn, Tully, and Lannister lords, all young enough to wed to secure allies, had doing so been deemed so important.

- Rickard Stark (Lord) was unbetrothed/unwed
- Brandon Stark (Heir) and Catelyn Tully remained unwed
- Eddard Stark (2nd) was unbetrothed/unwed
Benjen Stark (3rd) was unbetrothed/unwed
Lyanna Stark and Robert Baratheon (Lord) remained unwed

Jon Arryn (Lord) was unbetrothed/unwed
Elbert Arryn (Heir)'s betrothal/marriage status is unclear

Robert Baratheon (Lord) and Lyanna Stark remained unwed
Stannis Baratheon (Heir) was unbetrothed/unwed

Hoster Tully (Lord) was unbetrothed/unwed
Edmure Tully (Heir) was unbetrothed/unwed
Catelyn Tully and Brandon Stark (Heir) remained unwed
Lysa Tully was unbetrothed/unwed

Tywin Lannister (Lord) was unbetrothed/unwed
Jaime Lannister (Heir) was unbetrothed/unwed
Cersei Lannister was unbetrothed/wed

Out of these sixteen important people, not a single one can be said to have been married in 280-281 AC. The four who were betrothed to be wed were still unwed at the time of the Harrenhal Tourney during the False Spring of 281 AC, and remained unwed into early 282 AC. Where was the urgency to wed, even after witnessing Aerys's sorry state at the Harrenhal Tourney in late 281 AC? They demonstrate no hint of concern that they or their houses might be threatened by Aerys, let alone that they intend to band together to move against him.

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@Bael's Bastard Wow that is a fukken comprehensive list of weirdly unbetrothed members of the supposed "STAB"-Cabal. Impressive work.

A "What If" for all or even most of those people actually being married/engaged during Robert Rebellion could be pretty interesting.

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1 hour ago, Ylath's Snout said:

@Bael's Bastard Wow that is a fukken comprehensive list of weirdly unbetrothed members of the supposed "STAB"-Cabal. Impressive work.

A "What If" for all or even most of those people actually being married/engaged during Robert Rebellion could be pretty interesting.

The STAB(L) conspiracy theory just does not hold up under scrutiny. The Baratheon-Stark conspiracy theory does not hold up under scrutiny. If we have evidence for any conspiracy against King Aerys, it is for one led by Prince Rhaegar.

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On 6/28/2018 at 4:13 PM, Ser Leftwich said:

 

lia was not long since spoke for, Rhaegar and her were bethrothed AFTER Steffon died. How is Cersei politically unpalatable? Daughter of the current Hand, beautiful, and, in addition, by all reports Steffon and Tywin were good friends from childhood.

If Rhaegar is betrothed after Steffon's death, then obviously the Cersei/Robert betrothal is impossible, as Tywin is holding out for a Targaryen.

After Rhaegar's betrothal, Cersei becomes politically unpalatable because she's the daughter of the soon-to-be disgraced Tywin Lannister (or, disgraced in the eyes of Aerys' cronies).  Aerys is already "the Mad King" and is known to be volatile and paranoid; Steffon will know this as well as anyone else, betrothing his son to Tywin's daughter can't help but set off alarm bells in Aerys' mind.  I give a lot of credence to the idea that Renly was a failed attempt to conceive a daughter that Rhaegar or Viserys could marry, which is additional evidence that Steffon is firmly in the pro-Aerys camp, not pro-Tywin, as that friendship disintegrates.

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53 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

If Rhaegar is betrothed after Steffon's death, then obviously the Cersei/Robert betrothal is impossible, as Tywin is holding out for a Targaryen.

From TWOIAF, we learn that Steffon died in 278 AC, and that Rhaegar and Elia were betrothed in early 279 AC and wed in 280 AC.

From AGOT and TWOIAF, we learn that Robert and Lyanna were betrothed after Steffon's death in 278 AC (since Robert arranged the betrothal himself as Lord of Storm's End), and before the Harrenhal Tourney in 281 AC (at which time Robert and Lyanna had "long been betrothed").

53 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

After Rhaegar's betrothal, Cersei becomes politically unpalatable because she's the daughter of the soon-to-be disgraced Tywin Lannister (or, disgraced in the eyes of Aerys' cronies).  Aerys is already "the Mad King" and is known to be volatile and paranoid; Steffon will know this as well as anyone else, betrothing his son to Tywin's daughter can't help but set off alarm bells in Aerys' mind.  I give a lot of credence to the idea that Renly was a failed attempt to conceive a daughter that Rhaegar or Viserys could marry, which is additional evidence that Steffon is firmly in the pro-Aerys camp, not pro-Tywin, as that friendship disintegrates.

We have no reason to believe that Steffon ever fell out with his cousin and childhood friend Aerys, as Aerys entrusted him with finding a bride for Rhaegar in 278 AC, but that doesn't mean that Steffon avoided ties with Tywin. With the Targaryens and Baratheons both having only sons, and Aerys having rejected Tywin's proposal to wed Cersei to Rhaegar in 276 AC, it is entirely possible that Steffon might have proposed a Robert-Cersei match to Tywin, and that Tywin rejected it.

From ASOS, we learn that in around 273 AC, Tywin rejected the Princess of Dorne's proposal to wed Cersei to Oberyn, informing her that Cersei "was meant for Rhaegar," and that even after Aerys rejected Tywin's proposal in 276 AC, Tywin summoned Cersei to court when she was twelve (278-279 AC), and rejected every offer for her hand, hoping to make her a royal marriage. Jaime's POV suggests he might have even been willing to settle for Viserys, but that he might have still been hoping to wed Cersei to Rhaegar, and was waiting for Elia to die.

So we know that Tywin had pretty much a one track mind to wed Cersei to Rhaegar, and it isn't clear that he was willing to settle for his younger brother Viserys, let alone a Baratheon even more distant from the throne.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We have context. That's enough for me. And I honestly don't care whether she despises maesters in principle for some irrational reason. The reason we are given is that this Walys fellow counseled Lord Rickard to not allow her to marry her love - who, quite frankly, most likely would never have married a woman he had deflowered already, anyway.

So you’re asserting she dislikes maesters because she dislikes Walys, therefore the rest of the stuff she says about maesters can be discounted. Well, we have no reason to believe that. We don’t know when Dustin came to her opinions regarding the maesters and Walys in particular.

You also have to think why a number of paragraphs sketching out the modus operandi of the maesters are included, at the same time as the author is detailing their schemes in a separate POV, if the aim is not to shed further light on their activity. On your view the only takeaway from Dustin’s maester-rant is that she is bitter and disappointed. However, GrrM has only a limited number of words in which to make the Citadel and its influence come to light, so it seems unreasonable to write off everything Dustin says.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't care what's 'unreasonable'. A lot of things are not unreasonable but that doesn't make them true. What's true here is that we Barbrey gives us no reason to believe she believes in a far-flung conspiracy of the Citadel. She mistrusts the maesters because they have a lot of influence over the lords they are serving. Fine. But that's not the same as believing in a far-flung conspiracy.

And thus it makes no little sense to cite Barbrey as a source for the belief that there is a far-flung Citadel conspiracy. She isn't a source for that kind of thing.

On the bolded, I’m not  saying Barbery argues or believes there was a conspiracy to overthrown the Targaryens to banish magic (or dragon-magic, if you prefer). I have explained this.

She’s being cited as evidence Walys tried to influence Rickard’s policies and that he did this in his capacity as a maester and as part of the Citadel. The take from this is that Rickard’s aims aligned with those of the Citadel. Barbery does not tell us what she thinks those aims were: she may not know.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Or on the behest of his individual parents. But then - the Hightowers have no reason for Brandon Stark to marry Catelyn Tully, no? And the Hightowers stayed out of Robert's Rebellion (with the Hightower Lord Commander of the Kingsguard standing with the Targaryens).

The actual quote is:

‘’Walys Flowers had a Hightower girl for a mother...and an archmaester of the Cidatel for a father, it was rumored. The grey rats are not as chaste as they would have us believe. Oldtown maesters are the worst of all.

"Once he forged his chain, his secret father and his friends wasted no time dispatching him to Winterfell to fill Lord Rickard's ears with poisoned words as sweet as honey. The Tully marriage was his notion, never doubt it … ‘’

So the claim is that his secret father, the archmaester sent him to do what he did.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But there is no indication that those 'grey sheep' are on a crusade against magic. Magic is unreliable. Most of its branches didn't work before Dany's dragons came back - and we have a lot of evidence for this. There is this talk of a conspiracy to kill the dragons, but nothing about a conspiracy to destroy/suppress magic as such.

And there are very good reasons why men believing in law and rationality do not like the idea that sorcerers and dragonriders with an insane amount of power rule the world. That has the potential to destroy the world.

Quote I had in mind was:

"The world of the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons.

So, it’s more than dragons, it is sorcery and prophecy as a whole. Now perhaps this does just mean Valyrian magic or something but in any case that’s why I see it as anti-magic plan.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I know the difference. The question is how you know that those people Yandel refers to in TWoIaF know or care about this difference.

It is surely more reasonable to assume Rickard was accused of something that made some kind of sense in ordinary moral terms, rather than something stupid.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, the Rickard Stark conspiracy theory has no evidence for it. The idea that the Citadel (or some people there) might be up to something nefarious is not completely without basis.

But there is no indication they wanted to eradicate the Targaryen dynasty or make Robert king.

Except all the evidence we are discussing. Evidence is usually defined as the body of information determining whether a proposition is true or not.

The link to the maesters, and the maesters’ anti-dragon scheme (explained by Marwyn) is the evidence for this, as you well know.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yandel is a historian who does not throw dirt at his king and his queen and the family of his queen. That's it. He is not pro-anything, and there is no reason to believe he twists around facts or carefully thinks about including stuff about Lord Rickard depending how that look.

That’s arguably just another way of saying what I said, dressed up so you can keep disagreeing. He is in favour of Robert’s dynasty, and the wrongful attack on the Starks is part of the chain of events that brought Robert to power. Robert was going to be Rickard’s son-in-law and went to war alongside Rickard’s surviving son. So Yandel would not  be needlessly throwing dirt on Rickard.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This is a medieval world. People believe all kind of nonsense there, as a lot of rumors and ridiculous beliefs of many people do attest.

So let’s just dismiss anything we don’t like because it’s a medieval world right. In any case, I think rumours and nonsense are a different thing to what’s being argued here. The only reason the accusations of the misguided men are likely to be recorded is because they are bannermen, Yandel would not bother recording the blithering of some peasant. The opinion is not rumour or tall tales therefore but a judgement on Rickard’s behaviour by his immediate subordinates.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is not about Lyanna and Rhaegar as such, it is about Brandon's foolish reaction to the abduction. That's the starting point of the war. It could still have been stopped at that point but it was the first step to escalate the situation.

Nah, your argument is that the misguided men think Rickard was to blame for the near annihilation of his house because his southron ambitions meant his family was in the south. Switching from blaming Rickard for the abduction of Lyanna, because his ambitions put her in the south, to blaming Rickard for Brandon’s reaction to Lyanna's abduction, as the abduction only happened because she was in the south makes no difference to the logic at play here.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

No reason to believe Rhaegar had any such motivation nor any reason that this kind of thing could have accomplished what he wanted to do. Why on earth didn't he leave a note to his mad father along the line 'Dad, we are all in danger. There is an evil alliance of anti-Targaryen lords out there. Beware!'

If Aerys' guys had known what was 'going on' this rebellion could have been crushed very easily.

Here’s the interesting thing. If we don’t accept there was a scheme to make Robert king before the beginning of the war, various statements from the time become hard to understand. The lord of the three sisters tells Davos he thought Robert fought like a king during the attack on Gulltown, while his maester counselled Rhaegar would put the rebel down.

Jon Connington thinks if he had killed Robert at Stony Sept the rebellion would have been over, but on the conventional theory Jon is wrong, Robert was raised to the kingship as a kind of afterthought, no one assumed he was making a bid for the throne at the beginning of the war, so the rebellion could not have been stopped by winning at Stony Sept.

Yet contemporary testimony always pinpoints Robert as the heart of the rebellion; this is unlikely unless it was known he was thinking of declaring for the kingship before the war actually started.

And just as Robert was crucial to the plan so was Lyanna. This is why Rickard’s plan collapsed when she eloped with Rhaegar and why Rhaegar chose to abduct her in the first place. The whole scheme was to replace the Targs with the Starks and the Baratheons, so once Lyanna was in Targaryen hands the plot was destroyed and Rickard went meekly to King’s Landing to try and save his children.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But it is not. You do not look at the data with the framework of your theory already in mind, without actually creating your theory out of the data.

If there were a single hint that Rickard-Jon-Hoster actually had had some plan then such a theory could make sense. But there is none of that sort. None whatsoever.

The hints are what we are discussing.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, but in relation to this Marwyn is just a windbag, isn't he? The dragons who died in the Dance were killed by dragons and dragonslayers who didn't wear chains. And of the four dragons who survived the Dance three are not likely to be killed by the maesters, either (Sheepstealer, Silverwing, and the Cannibal). There may be some dragons in eggs and hatchlings who were killed by maesters, but 'the dragons' weren't killed by maesters.

He'll be referring to the last generation of dragons, the ones born misshapen and no bigger than dogs Arya sees beneath the Red Keep.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I mean the one Marwyn hinted at - the one involving a 'grey sheep' traveling to Meereen to kill Daenerys and her dragons - and what all that entails back home.

Assuming Marwyn can be trusted, of course. The idea that he is correct in his assessment of what the maesters did to the dragons in the past might not be accurate.

Having Dustin throw out some hints about the maesters does not build up their plot to go after Daenerys in any way – Marwyn already told us about it. The way Dustin’s speech affects what we already know about the maesters, or builds them up in any way, is to link them into events in the north and in the past.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Again - the Baratheons are a Targaryen cadet branch. Orys Baratheon was Aerion Targaryen's son and Aegon the Conqueror's half-brother. He is as much a Targaryen as Shiera Seastar, Bittersteel, Bloodraven, and all the other Targaryens (trueborn or bastard-born) who have a non-Targaryen parent.

Robert has issues with his own identity as a member of a Targaryen cadet branch and the fact that he is the great-grandson of Aegon V and a close cousin of Aerys II and Rhaegar, but that doesn't change who and what he and his brothers are. They are as much Targaryens as Harrold Hardyng is an Arryn. And just as Harrold is likely going to presume to call himself 'Arryn' if he becomes lord - and already including the moon-and-falcon of House Arryn in his own personal arms - Robert Baratheon could have taken the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen as his sigil and claimed the Iron Throne as King Robert I Targaryen rather than Robert I Baratheon. He chose not to do this, but as a Targaryen descendant (at least) two times over he could have done that.

Hell, Robert could even adopted/continued the royal incest. It is not that his ancestors (both Targaryen and Baratheon, in the case of Jocelyn Baratheon and Aemon Targaryen) didn't marry their close kin.

What argument do you imagine you are responding to here? I am genuinely curious. Do you think I don’t know the Baratheons don’t have Targaryen blood?

Does not all this just go to show that culture and family tradition count for a lot and are ultimately more important than blood. Robert could have set himself up as another Aegon I but his mindset, conditioned by the family tradition of the Baratheons is such the thought likely never entered his head. This supports my argument not yours.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Man, there is no 'correct theory' there because all we get about the origins of Valyrian incest is that the wise men of the ancestors thought the blood of the dragon needed to be preserved pure. We have no idea whether they were right in that believe - or even if they happen to be right whether they concluded that they are right because they properly investigated the phenomenon. It is difficult to breed human beings if you are your a specimen in your own experiment.

Perhaps they had the right idea, perhaps not. Perhaps for the right reasons, perhaps for nonsensical reasons. 

However, bastards don't feature into the thing because they - especially baseborn bastards - are irrelevant. But a dragonlord officially taking a spouse from a non-dragonlord family would give the children from such unions a right to the estate of the dragonlord (and perhaps even other kin of the spouse, depending on Valyrian law). And dragons would be part of such an estate. If you don't want to see your wealth and the foundation of your wealth being squandered you better marry your own.

That is why royalty and the very rich do not seldom develop marriage customs involving incestuous unions or marriages among close kin. That way the family strengthened because outsiders do not make away with your wealth or presume to share in your power/prestige.

Well, I think the crucial point is why the Targaryens thought interbreeding was a good idea, and also why the maesters thought that the Targaryens thought interbreeding was a good idea.

If you want to keep the bloodlines pure to prevent other houses acquiring the ability to birth and control dragons bastard children do very much matter, as they create the opportunity for all non-valyrian houses to seize your unique ability. This is what you acknowledged in your last post. You said:

''I mean, the reason why the dragonlords started it could have been a combination of the idea that it would help to ensure that all children (and not only 70-80% of each generation, say) are born with the potential to become dragonlords but also part of the policy that the blood of the dragon be not spread to lesser men. If half of the Lands of the Long Summer had the potential to become dragonlords the foundation of Valyrian supremacy may have been in real jeopardy. I mean, we must keep in mind there were hundreds (or perhaps even thousands) of dragons in Valyria.''

The fact that there was no prohibition against sex outside of incestuous sex destroys this argument. You’ve now retreated to the notion that the Targaryens were not worried about spreading their blood to other houses, which is what you originally claimed, but that there was some legal reason they feared to marry with other houses.

I actively don’t understand this. Every house aside from the Targaryens marries into other houses without fearing that their estates will be plundered and destroyed. If I, as a Targaryen dragonlord, marry the daughter of a non-Valyrian house all children of such a union are mine and in virtue of that fact Targaryens. Why would I be frightened that my children lay a claim on my estate.  

 

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Nope, Aegon V actually investigated dragonlore from all over the world, including Asshai. And he had dragon eggs. I could do the same as he did if I lived in Westeros, had money, and some dragon eggs. I don't need Targaryen blood for that. Everybody knowing anything about the power of dragons as a weapon will jump on the chance to get some if he can think of way to make use of them.

Just look at the Astapori. They saw dragons. And they wanted them.

I meant Aegon’s plans were possible because his ancestors, through their practice of incest, had preserved in the dynasty enough dragon blood to make Aegon’s dabbling in magic, dragonlore and human sacrifice viable.

What on earth does the point about the Astapori prove. What point are you arguing against?

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

To let him rot at the Citadel rather than raise him to the rank of archmaester, yes. They mistrusted his blood and did, apparently, not want him to teach and research there (but this seems to be where Marwyn is wrong, too, actually, considering that we actually do know why Aemon went to the Wall).

They would only want to kill Aemon, according to Marwyn, when/if the man had talked about Daenerys, dragons, and the fulfillment of a certain prophecy. That's when they will supposedly try to kill Samwell, too, after all.

Well I think Marwyn is to be understood as noting why the grey sheep never encouraged Aemon to come back to the Citadel from his distant and lonely posting because they distrusted him. This is before they know of the rebirth of the dragons, so it appears their dislike of the Targaryens antedates the revival of the dragons.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But is it? Where is the evidence that the Citadel wants to *destroy* magic? There is no such evidence, not to mention no hint that this is even possible.

It has been given above.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This is not a question of interpretation. I talked about a Stannis getting Dany's story as Stannis Baratheon. If he had had her dreams, had gotten her eggs, had been (more or less) in her situations, met similar people than she did, get a similar crash course in magic, etc. then he, too, would have decided to try to hatch those eggs. Whether it would have worked is another question.

You don't have to bear the Targaryen name to do Targaryen things. And Dany pretty much knows nothing about House Targaryen, anyway.

My argument all along has been is that you blood alone is not enough to pose a danger to the Citadel’s anti-magic plans. Perhaps the grey sheep would like to eradicate all dragon blood if they could but this is not practical and probably unnecessary.

To control dragons, or revivify them you need to possess the self-belief, the knowledge of magic, the resources to acquire it and the eggs, the ruthlessness to engage in human sacrifice and so on. Dany’s upbringing and experience provided her with this; there is no reason to suppose once House Targaryen was extinguished any other westerosi lords would have randomly decided they were the blood of the dragon and the heirs to old Valyria.

So, if everything about Stannis’s life was different he might have done what Dany did. So what? This proves my argument, not yours.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

What was going on besides that? Dany has no ideas about prophecies and destinies. She just feels those dragon eggs are worn and dreams about a dragon coming from one of those eggs. She also dreams about her Targaryen ancestors urging her own, etc. 

If I had such dreams, such feelings when I touch lifeless eggs, and were a descendant of royalty I would do the same thing as Dany, too. As would Stannis in her situation. And perhaps even Robert and Renly. Those dreams are nothing if not persistent. They broke Daeron the Drunken, remember?

Look, most sane people will not be convinced by some dreams they can birth dragons from stone and walk through fire. That’s just the way it is. Most people are not insane. An insistent dream to most people is just that, a nuisance. If you know who your ancestors are, on the other hand, and if your identity is conditioned by being part of a family of dragonriders things might be different.

On Dany specifically, I think her decision to burn Mirri and walk into the blaze was part pure intuition and maybe to a degree sui generis. However, the rebirth involved human sacrifice, in some form or another (either Drogo, Rhaego, Mirri or all three). This is not something you just do off the back of a dream.

Ok, the real thing you’re concerned about is as follows, right? Anyone with dragon blood could, in theory, get the idea they are they can control dragons or breed them. Even people without dragon blood get these ideas, like Euron. So the maester plan to extinguish magic by removing all possibility of the return of the dragons can’t work.

The issue is the total lack of proportion. It is far more reasonable to be afraid of a family who are ultra-conscious of their special status as the heirs of Valyria, who intermarry to preserve the purity of their blood, who have many members obsessed with prophecy and dragonlore than a family who evince none of these traits.

Oh, but you say, what if Robert Baratheon decided to declare he was Balerion the Black Dread reborn. He could, he has the blood. Well, what if I say I’m a marshmallow. How about that? I could, no one could stop me. The issue is people are concerned with reasonable fears and apprehensions. We all accept no plan is fool proof; decisions are made on what is most likely to bring about the best results.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't see a reason to believe dragon blood can be bred out at all. People may no longer have the looks, but that doesn't mean they cannot have dragon dreams, become dragonriders, or have the potential to do what Dany did. She isn't exactly a Targaryen whose dragon lord is there in undiluted form when compared to Aegon and his sisters.

Why not? Why else marry brother to sister to preserve the blood. Aren’t most traits capable of being bred out by selective breading.

Dany is, compared to everyone else, very inbred.

 

Edited by Chaircat Meow

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On 7/9/2018 at 8:50 PM, Bael's Bastard said:

Meanwhile, Jon Arryn, whose heir Elbert was held by the king along with Brandon and the rest of his entourage, did not go to King's Landing to answer for the crimes of his "son," as Rickard did, but remained in the Vale.

It seems likely that Jon would have been the "father" Aerys would have summoned to King's Landing, and held responsible for answering for Elbert's "crimes," seeing how Elbert's father was dead, and Jon was Elbert's lord, and had named him his heir. Yet he remained in the Vale with Lord Robert and Eddard, leaving Elbert to whatever fate awaited him at the hands of Aerys. He seems to have understood that he wasn't going to get Elbert back, while Rickard walked right into the hands of the Mad King.

A Rickard who had been preparing for war against the Iron Throne for years might have taken the imprisonment of his heir as the time to call for his banners, and for his allies of the other great houses to raise theirs. But the Arryns, Baratheons, and Starks did not raise their banners until Aerys murdered Lord Rickard, Brandon, and Elbert and called for Lord Jon to send the heads of Lord Robert and the new Lord Eddard, and Lord Hoster Tully did not bother to join on the side of the Starks until months into the war, only with the promise that Lords Stark and Arryn would wed his daughters.

Really, if there was a faction at the Citadel that wished to see the Targaryens killed and replaced on their Iron Throne, the best candidate would have been Lord Tywin Lannister, who had actually been largely responsible for stabilizing the realm over the course of twenty years in the wake of Summehall, not Robert, who had not even demonstrated any responsibility over his own region after the death of Lord Steffon.

Maester Pycelle, who served as Grand Maester for forty years, starting just before the Summerhall deaths of most the royal family, is long on record praising Tywin, who became Hand of the King within two or three years of Pycelle being elevated to his office.

In TWOIAF, Maester Yandel quotes Grand Maester Pycelle: "'The gods made and shaped this man to rule,' Grand Maester Pycelle wrote of Tywin Lannister in a letter to the Citadel after serving with him on the small council for two years."

In ACOK, Grand Maester Pycelle tells Tyrion: "'For the realm! Once Rhaegar died, the war was done. Aerys was mad, Viserys too young, Prince Aegon a babe at the breast, but the realm needed a king . . . I prayed it should be your good father, but Robert was too strong, and Lord Stark moved too swiftly . . .'"

In ASOS, Grand Maester Pycelle tells Jaime: "'I have served six kings... but here before us lies the greatest man I ever knew. Lord Tywin wore no crown, yet he was all a king should be.'"

We can speculate about how truthful Pycelle is being in these quotes, especially in the ones in which he is speaking to sons of Tywin, or how representative Pycelle's love of Tywin is of other maesters at the Citadel, but I think we have a pretty good idea who the Grand Maester and whatever faction he might have belonged to or been trying to influence would have preferred to replace the Targaryens, and it wasn't a Baratheon or Stark.

The issue, as I explained to Lord Varys, is that the anti-Targaryen rebellion, on the southron ambition theory (at least in my version of it) involves replacing the Targaryens with a new Baratheon-Stark dynasty. The only way this cam happen is if Robert becomes king with Lyanna as his queen. The fact Lyanna has eloped with Rhaegar renders this impossible; Rickard's plan is in ruins. 

Furthermore, we don;t even know what Rickard and Robert thought Rhaegar and Lynanna were doing. Was it a love match, was it rape and abduction or was it a political message, from Lyanna, that she wasn't going to play ball in the southron plot? Of course we don't know but there is going to be a lot of context to Rickard's decision to go to King's Landing which we are missing. So saying southron ambitions is wrong because Rickard did not immediately raise the banner misfires, I think. 

As for Tywin, I totally agree with you regarding Pycelle's opinion but this alone does not make Tywin a viable candidate for the throne.

Edited by Chaircat Meow

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10 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Which touches on another point that demonstrates the absurdity of the theory of a conspiracy between the great houses. There is a presumption on the part of some in these discussions that a marriage alliance with a great house automatically secures you not only the support of the forces of the great house, but the support of the forces of their entire region,. As if a marriage with Lord Hoster Tully secures not only his own forces, but the forces of all his bannermen. But, especially in a conflict with the Iron Throne, that is far from the case.

It is not just that. It is also the outrageous idea that a pact involving high treason can be kept together by something as, well, insignificant as a marriage contract. Marriages sure increase the likelihood that you may stand with your in-laws. But you don't have to. And there are many examples where lords just didn't give shit about the families of the spouses of their daughters or sons.

You can't build a castle on sand. Not in that world.

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Grand Maester Pycelle, of course, was a witness as well, and was surely reporting back to the Citadel, and to whatever faction at the Citadel he might have belonged to. He and the Citadel might have played a role in negative information about Aerys getting out to the rest of the realm prior to the first hand revelation of his deterioration at Harrenhal. Personally, I suspect Pycelle made sure that Lord Tywin never received the summons Prince Rhaegar persuaded King Aerys to send after the Battle of the Bells, making it likely Tywin would not intervene on their behalf.

Actually, I think George has given us some hint that Pycelle was a better man than many give him credit for. One, we have him claim he only wanted a 'King Tywin' after Rhaegar was dead (which makes sense, because Rhaegar was also the king Tywin wanted, apparently), second the fact that he is known (as per the full history of the Westerlands) to have mocked and derided Lord Tytos Lannister back in the day - that means Pycelle's reverence for Tywin is actually that - the honest reverence he feel for a man he thinks was truly great.

2 hours ago, Chaircat Meow said:

So you’re asserting she dislikes maesters because she dislikes Walys, therefore the rest of the stuff she says about maesters can be discounted. Well, we have no reason to believe that. We don’t know when Dustin came to her opinions regarding the maesters and Walys in particular.

She gives us a pretty good impression as to where her negative feelings come from.

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You also have to think why a number of paragraphs sketching out the modus operandi of the maesters are included, at the same time as the author is detailing their schemes in a separate POV, if the aim is not to shed further light on their activity. On your view the only takeaway from Dustin’s maester-rant is that she is bitter and disappointed. However, GrrM has only a limited number of words in which to make the Citadel and its influence come to light, so it seems unreasonable to write off everything Dustin says.

I already told you why it makes sense to give the reader a picture as to why and how certain maesters might influence events. This kind of thing comes more and more to the fore. Stannis and Roose trying to use maesters to misinform the enemy, Wyman doesn't even trust his maester, etc.

This entire thing is no buildup for the kind of conspiracy you are fantasizing about. If it were, we would get actual hints. The one you bring up are no such hints.

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‘’Walys Flowers had a Hightower girl for a mother...and an archmaester of the Cidatel for a father, it was rumored. The grey rats are not as chaste as they would have us believe. Oldtown maesters are the worst of all.

"Once he forged his chain, his secret father and his friends wasted no time dispatching him to Winterfell to fill Lord Rickard's ears with poisoned words as sweet as honey. The Tully marriage was his notion, never doubt it … ‘’

This isn't evidence. Those are just baseless claims on Barbrey's part. Does she give any evidence for her claim that Walys was behind the Tully marriage? No. Or that Oldtown maesters are the worst of all? No.

But again - who cares why Walys counseled Lord Rickard to marry Brandon to Catelyn? Even if true, this would not be evidence for a conspiracy.

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So the claim is that his secret father, the archmaester sent him to do what he did.

Another baseless claim. If Walys had been behind the suggestion there would be no way for Barbrey to know his father was behind it. Why not his mother? Why not anyone, really?

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Quote I had in mind was:

"The world of the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons.

So, it’s more than dragons, it is sorcery and prophecy as a whole. Now perhaps this does just mean Valyrian magic or something but in any case that’s why I see it as anti-magic plan.

I know that quote, but you will have realized that this is not about the destruction of magic, no? The Citadel wants to create a world - a world of law and rationality - where there is no place for magic and dragons. If you want to do that, you don't have to try to destroy magic. 

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It is surely more reasonable to assume Rickard was accused of something that made some kind of sense in ordinary moral terms, rather than something stupid.

Perhaps you are right. But you still have no evidence that your explanation there makes sense within the framework of the story nor is it supported by the text.

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The link to the maesters, and the maesters’ anti-dragon scheme (explained by Marwyn) is the evidence for this, as you well know.

But there is no reason to connect these two things into the kind of theory you are fantasizing about.

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That’s arguably just another way of saying what I said, dressed up so you can keep disagreeing. He is in favour of Robert’s dynasty, and the wrongful attack on the Starks is part of the chain of events that brought Robert to power. Robert was going to be Rickard’s son-in-law and went to war alongside Rickard’s surviving son. So Yandel would not  be needlessly throwing dirt on Rickard.

The Starks are attainted traitors by the time Yandel writes. And Rickard, too, died as a traitor. There is no reason for Yandel to protect his name.

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So let’s just dismiss anything we don’t like because it’s a medieval world right. In any case, I think rumours and nonsense are a different thing to what’s being argued here. The only reason the accusations of the misguided men are likely to be recorded is because they are bannermen, Yandel would not bother recording the blithering of some peasant. The opinion is not rumour or tall tales therefore but a judgement on Rickard’s behaviour by his immediate subordinates.

You are just making stuff up as you go along. There is no reason why I (or anyone) should accept any of that because we simply don't know who those misguided men were, what they motivation was, and why Yandel thinks they were misguided.

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Nah, your argument is that the misguided men think Rickard was to blame for the near annihilation of his house because his southron ambitions meant his family was in the south. Switching from blaming Rickard for the abduction of Lyanna, because his ambitions put her in the south, to blaming Rickard for Brandon’s reaction to Lyanna's abduction, as the abduction only happened because she was in the south makes no difference to the logic at play here.

I just suggested an alternative as to why people may have thought Rickard had been a moron. I really don't care much about the opinions or reasons of these 'misguided men'. It is enough that we know that there are alternatives to your scenario to make your scenario worthless as evidence in support of your overall theory.

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Here’s the interesting thing. If we don’t accept there was a scheme to make Robert king before the beginning of the war, various statements from the time become hard to understand. The lord of the three sisters tells Davos he thought Robert fought like a king during the attack on Gulltown, while his maester counselled Rhaegar would put the rebel down.

Lord Borrell isn't the Lord of the Three Sisters, and the man talks years after Robert Baratheon actually became king.

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Jon Connington thinks if he had killed Robert at Stony Sept the rebellion would have been over, but on the conventional theory Jon is wrong, Robert was raised to the kingship as a kind of afterthought, no one assumed he was making a bid for the throne at the beginning of the war, so the rebellion could not have been stopped by winning at Stony Sept.

Robert was already the hero and figurehead of the rebellion at this point, never mind that he didn't claim the throne. With Robert dead at Stoney Sept there wouldn't have been a Trident. Rhaegar wouldn't have died, etc. But, you know, Jon Connington's opinion on things are not gospel. 

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Yet contemporary testimony always pinpoints Robert as the heart of the rebellion; this is unlikely unless it was known he was thinking of declaring for the kingship before the war actually started.

LOL, no. Man, Robert was of royal descent. He was a cousin to the king and his heir. Such people draw people to their banners, especially when they are as charismatic as Robert. Such men don't have to want to be king. The people around them can think such thoughts for them. Just as Bittersteel and Fireball thought such thoughts for Daemon Blackfyre until he, too, believed them.

Prior to Harrenhal Robert most likely would have beaten any man bloody who dared to suggest he could/should/wanted to be king in Aerys II's or Rhaegar's stead.  

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And just as Robert was crucial to the plan so was Lyanna. This is why Rickard’s plan collapsed when she eloped with Rhaegar and why Rhaegar chose to abduct her in the first place. The whole scheme was to replace the Targs with the Starks and the Baratheons, so once Lyanna was in Targaryen hands the plot was destroyed and Rickard went meekly to King’s Landing to try and save his children.

That doesn't make much sense in light of the facts.

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He'll be referring to the last generation of dragons, the ones born misshapen and no bigger than dogs Arya sees beneath the Red Keep.

But that's not what he said. He talked about 'the dragons'. That implies more than just a generation.

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Having Dustin throw out some hints about the maesters does not build up their plot to go after Daenerys in any way – Marwyn already told us about it. The way Dustin’s speech affects what we already know about the maesters, or builds them up in any way, is to link them into events in the north and in the past.

No, that is a general modus operandi. What Walys supposedly did with Rickard any other maester could do with any other lord. And we may see that in the future in other contexts.

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What argument do you imagine you are responding to here? I am genuinely curious. Do you think I don’t know the Baratheons don’t have Targaryen blood?

Your idea that the maesters wouldn't care about those blood ties, and would actually strive to replace one Targaryen king with another - which Robert basically was.

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Does not all this just go to show that culture and family tradition count for a lot and are ultimately more important than blood. Robert could have set himself up as another Aegon I but his mindset, conditioned by the family tradition of the Baratheons is such the thought likely never entered his head. This supports my argument not yours.

No, because there were many Targaryen kings who didn't care about dragons (didn't even ride them while they were around), yet their children and grandchildren did care about them. Just look at Viserys III in comparison to Dany. The former wanted to sell dragon eggs, the latter ended up hatching them.

There is no reason to draw a line between the Targaryens and the Baratheons in this regard.

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Well, I think the crucial point is why the Targaryens thought interbreeding was a good idea, and also why the maesters thought that the Targaryens thought interbreeding was a good idea.

No, that's not all that important - in our conversation the issue is whether anybody who thought Maester Aemon could not be trusted would have thought the Baratheons could be trusted. And you know my answer to that.

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If you want to keep the bloodlines pure to prevent other houses acquiring the ability to birth and control dragons bastard children do very much matter, as they create the opportunity for all non-valyrian houses to seize your unique ability. This is what you acknowledged in your last post. You said:

''I mean, the reason why the dragonlords started it could have been a combination of the idea that it would help to ensure that all children (and not only 70-80% of each generation, say) are born with the potential to become dragonlords but also part of the policy that the blood of the dragon be not spread to lesser men. If half of the Lands of the Long Summer had the potential to become dragonlords the foundation of Valyrian supremacy may have been in real jeopardy. I mean, we must keep in mind there were hundreds (or perhaps even thousands) of dragons in Valyria.''

The fact that there was no prohibition against sex outside of incestuous sex destroys this argument. You’ve now retreated to the notion that the Targaryens were not worried about spreading their blood to other houses, which is what you originally claimed, but that there was some legal reason they feared to marry with other houses.

I actively don’t understand this. Every house aside from the Targaryens marries into other houses without fearing that their estates will be plundered and destroyed. If I, as a Targaryen dragonlord, marry the daughter of a non-Valyrian house all children of such a union are mine and in virtue of that fact Targaryens. Why would I be frightened that my children lay a claim on my estate.  

Man, there was slavery in Valyria. A slave can have all the dragon blood he wants. He'll never ride a dragon against the will of the masters. And bastards can be much easier dismissed than legitimate children, never mind whether they can be (or are) dragonriders, or not. Just look at the careers of the dragon seeds.

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I meant Aegon’s plans were possible because his ancestors, through their practice of incest, had preserved in the dynasty enough dragon blood to make Aegon’s dabbling in magic, dragonlore and human sacrifice viable.

There is no reason to believe any of that. You can study magic and dragonlore without having (a sufficient amount of) dragon blood, and there is no indication that Aegon V was trying to sacrifice anyone. There is no reason to believe that anybody believes you have to kill people to hatch dragon eggs. Where are you getting this stuff?

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What on earth does the point about the Astapori prove. What point are you arguing against?

It means that you don't have to be a Targaryen, practice incest, be a descendant of incest, etc. to realize that it would be great to have a dragon. That's not that hard to understand.

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Well I think Marwyn is to be understood as noting why the grey sheep never encouraged Aemon to come back to the Citadel from his distant and lonely posting because they distrusted him. This is before they know of the rebirth of the dragons, so it appears their dislike of the Targaryens antedates the revival of the dragons.

Sure, they mistrust his blood. Nobody said they trusted it. But that's no indication they wanted to kill the Targaryens at any point, no? That's what you claim the Citadel wants, remember?

But Marwyn still makes no sense there because Aemon could not have possibly become an archmaester or lived at Oldtown after he had taken the black. You don't come back from the Wall.

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My argument all along has been is that you blood alone is not enough to pose a danger to the Citadel’s anti-magic plans. Perhaps the grey sheep would like to eradicate all dragon blood if they could but this is not practical and probably unnecessary.

There is no reason to believe the grey sheep want to kill any people with dragon blood.

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To control dragons, or revivify them you need to possess the self-belief, the knowledge of magic, the resources to acquire it and the eggs, the ruthlessness to engage in human sacrifice and so on. Dany’s upbringing and experience provided her with this; there is no reason to suppose once House Targaryen was extinguished any other westerosi lords would have randomly decided they were the blood of the dragon and the heirs to old Valyria.

Smart people wouldn't dismiss this possibility the way you do. Nor would they put a Targaryen-Baratheon on the Iron Throne if they had issues with the magical blood of the dynasty. That is pretty much self-evident.

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So, if everything about Stannis’s life was different he might have done what Dany did. So what? This proves my argument, not yours.

He also tries to do what she did in the life he is living right now. And he still doesn't care about incest or rambles on about being 'the blood of the dragon'. Still, he wants to wake dragons from stone.

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Look, most sane people will not be convinced by some dreams they can birth dragons from stone and walk through fire. That’s just the way it is. Most people are not insane. An insistent dream to most people is just that, a nuisance. If you know who your ancestors are, on the other hand, and if your identity is conditioned by being part of a family of dragonriders things might be different.

Even if you were right here, the Baratheons know who they are, too. Steffon's son have the same ancestors as Dany and Viserys from Aegon V onwards. And nobody 'conditioned' various Targaryens to try to bring back the dragons. Why should anyone do that? They decided to do that all by themselves, for their own individual reasons.

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On Dany specifically, I think her decision to burn Mirri and walk into the blaze was part pure intuition and maybe to a degree sui generis. However, the rebirth involved human sacrifice, in some form or another (either Drogo, Rhaego, Mirri or all three). This is not something you just do off the back of a dream.

Says who? Dany did what she did out of intuition and because her dreams guided her. 

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Ok, the real thing you’re concerned about is as follows, right? Anyone with dragon blood could, in theory, get the idea they are they can control dragons or breed them. Even people without dragon blood get these ideas, like Euron. So the maester plan to extinguish magic by removing all possibility of the return of the dragons can’t work.

No, the point is that smart people risk a war to replace a Targaryen king with another king who was effectively Targaryen, too. 

There is no evidence that the maesters do anything to prevent the return of the dragons. No indication that they even think this kind of thing is possible.

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The issue is the total lack of proportion. It is far more reasonable to be afraid of a family who are ultra-conscious of their special status as the heirs of Valyria, who intermarry to preserve the purity of their blood, who have many members obsessed with prophecy and dragonlore than a family who evince none of these traits.

They also have no reason to be afraid of the lunatics and fools of House Targaryen who usually kill themselves when they try to bring the dragons back. Which is why they, most likely, weren't all that afraid of them. 

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Oh, but you say, what if Robert Baratheon decided to declare he was Balerion the Black Dread reborn. He could, he has the blood. Well, what if I say I’m a marshmallow. How about that? I could, no one could stop me. The issue is people are concerned with reasonable fears and apprehensions. We all accept no plan is fool proof; decisions are made on what is most likely to bring about the best results.

There is no reason that anyone who was really educated and smart (like the average archmaester must be) would believe Steffon Baratheon's sons wouldn't produce descendants that were as mad and strange as the ones the Targaryen produced.

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Why not? Why else marry brother to sister to preserve the blood. Aren’t most traits capable of being bred out by selective breading.

Again, the traits are intensified by the incest, but there is no evidence that you can completely breed out the blood of the dragon. But even if it was - no indication that anyone believed it could be done, no indication anybody believed it could be done quickly with the Targaryen-Baratheons, etc.

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Dany is, compared to everyone else, very inbred.

Steffon's sons come immediately behind her.

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On 7/4/2018 at 4:36 PM, Bael's Bastard said:

Women do not inherit the Iron Throne. And when there were seven kingdoms, there is no evidence women inherited those thrones either.

Rhaenys was not only female, but a child.

If it had ever actually come down to a choice between her and Robert, I am sure the adult male Baratheon with female line Targ ancestry would have been chosen.

Dorne has had multiple female rules, The Stormlands had a at least one queen(however short it was), Vale has had atleast 2 female rulers. Cerelle Lannister also was Lady of Casterly Rock. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, dsjj251 said:

Dorne has had multiple female rules, The Stormlands had a at least one queen(however short it was), Vale has had atleast 2 female rulers. Cerelle Lannister also was Lady of Casterly Rock. 

None of those examples are relevant to the Iron Throne, and the hypothetical of a woman inheriting the Iron Throne in her own right via succession. The Iron Throne, Dorne, and the rest of Westeros traditionally have at least three different sets of customs when it comes to succession.

Iron Throne - After the Dance of the Dragons, women were customarily placed behind all men in the Targaryen succession. Therefore, although Rhaenys was Rhaegar's eldest child, she would have been behind not only her younger brother Aegon, but also her uncle Viserys.

A woman's claim might still be considered before being dismissed, as in the case of Baelor I's sisters, who were passed over for their uncle Viserys II, or in the case of Maekar I's granddaughter Vaella, who was passed over for her uncle Aegon V.

That said, a king still has the power to choose his own heir, even a female or someone outside the customary order (whether or not the realm would honor that choice after his death), like when Aerys I chose his niece Aelora over her uncle Maekar I, or when Aerys II named his younger son Viserys over Rhaegar's son Aegon.

Dorne - The eldest child - whether man or woman - inherits as Prince or Princess of Dorne. Thus, before and after Dorne was brought into the Targaryen realm, Dorne has been ruled by princesses, such as Meria, Deria, Aliandra, and the mother of Doran, Elia, and Oberyn, and the current heir is Doran's daughter Arianne.

Westeros - Sons come before daughters, but daughters come after sons and before brothers. Thus, Alys Karstark is the heir of her imprisoned brother Lord Harrion, ahead of their father's uncle Arnolf and his son Cregan, three-year-old Cerelle Lannister succeeded her grandfather Daemon ahead of her uncle Gerold for a short time, and so on.

That said, there has apparently never been a ruling lady of House Stark, and the daughters of Lord Cregan's eldest son/heir Rickon were passed over for three of the four sons of Cregan's third wife Lynara Stark. Lynara's eldest son Jonnel, who was wed to Rickon's second daughter Sansa, succeeded Cregan over Serena.

But for some reason, Lynara's second son Edric, who was wed to Rickon's eldest daughter Serena, with whom he had four children including twin sons, was passed over just as his wife had been. After Jonnel, Lynara's third son Barthogan became lord, and after he died without issue, her fourth son Brandon became lord, and was succeeded by his son Beron.

During the Targaryen conquest, Argella Durrandon proclaimed herself Storm Queen after her father's death in combat against Orys Baratheon. But her forces delivered her to Orys in chains rather than fight and die for her as their queen. For a short time during the conquest, Marla Sunderland was apparently crowned Queen of the Sisters, though she had a brother who eventually bent the knee to Aegon I. And Sharra Arryn was only Queen regent for her young son King Ronnel during the Targaryen conquest.

Even before the Targaryen conquest, we can't point to many women who inherited and ruled their houses in their own right. There is the short-lived reign of Jeyne Nutt in the generation after the Storm Kings conquered the Riverlands. The legendary Sharra the Witch Queen of the Riverlands from the Age of Heroes. There are probably more, but I don't think there are too many examples.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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2 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

None of those examples are relevant to the Iron Throne, and the hypothetical of a woman inheriting the Iron Throne in her own right via succession. The Iron Throne, Dorne, and the rest of Westeros traditionally have at least three different sets of customs when it comes to succession.

Iron Throne - After the Dance of the Dragons, women were customarily placed behind all men in the Targaryen succession. Therefore, although Rhaenys was Rhaegar's eldest child, she would have been behind not only her younger brother Aegon, but also her uncle Viserys.

A woman's claim might still be considered before being dismissed, as in the case of Baelor I's sisters, who were passed over for their uncle Viserys II, or in the case of Maekar I's granddaughter Vaella, who was passed over for her uncle Aegon V.

That said, a king still has the power to choose his own heir, even a female or someone outside the customary order (whether or not the realm would honor that choice after his death), like when Aerys I chose his niece Aelora over her uncle Maekar I, or when Aerys II named his younger son Viserys over Rhaegar's son Aegon.

Dorne - The eldest child - whether man or woman - inherits as Prince or Princess of Dorne. Thus, before and after Dorne was brought into the Targaryen realm, Dorne has been ruled by princesses, such as Meria, Deria, Aliandra, and the mother of Doran, Elia, and Oberyn, and the current heir is Doran's daughter Arianne.

Westeros - Sons come before daughters, but daughters come after sons and before brothers. Thus, Alys Karstark is the heir of her imprisoned brother Lord Harrion, ahead of their father's uncle Arnolf and his son Cregan, three-year-old Cerelle Lannister succeeded her grandfather Daemon ahead of her uncle Gerold for a short time, and so on.

That said, there has apparently never been a ruling lady of House Stark, and the daughters of Lord Cregan's eldest son/heir Rickon were passed over for three of the four sons of Cregan's third wife Lynara Stark. Lynara's eldest son Jonnel, who was wed to Rickon's second daughter Sansa, succeeded Cregan over Serena.

But for some reason, Lynara's second son Edric, who was wed to Rickon's eldest daughter Serena, with whom he had four children including twin sons, was passed over just as his wife had been. After Jonnel, Lynara's third son Barthogan became lord, and after he died without issue, her fourth son Brandon became lord, and was succeeded by his son Beron.

During the Targaryen conquest, Argella Durrandon proclaimed herself Storm Queen after her father's death in combat against Orys Baratheon. But her forces delivered her to Orys in chains rather than fight and die for her as their queen. For a short time during the conquest, Marla Sunderland was apparently crowned Queen of the Sisters, though she had a brother who eventually bent the knee to Aegon I. And Sharra Arryn was only Queen regent for her young son King Ronnel during the Targaryen conquest.

Even before the Targaryen conquest, we can't point to many women who inherited and ruled their houses in their own right. There is the short-lived reign of Jeyne Nutt in the generation after the Storm Kings conquered the Riverlands. The legendary Sharra the Witch Queen of the Riverlands from the Age of Heroes. There are probably more, but I don't think there are too many examples.

As for the bold, I never made such a claim. I responded to your absolute that there had been no female rulers on the indivifual kingdoms before and after the conquest. You were wrong. 

As for the Shewolves of winterfell, it seems that has more to do with those women marrying their uncles and cousins or even more, Martin making a mistake he didnt catch. There is also the argument outside of the crown itself, a women marrying a man turns over lands and titles to him or loses claims based on marriage. 

We see this in other instances like the iron throne itself where the heir to Dorne actually loses their claim to it when becoming the prince or princess consort to the crown. 

 

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5 minutes ago, dsjj251 said:

As for the bold, I never made such a claim. I responded to your absolute that there had been no female rulers on the indivifual kingdoms before and after the conquest. You were wrong. 

I never said there had been no female rulers of the individual kingdoms before and after the conquest. I said, "And when there were seven kingdoms, there is no evidence women inherited those thrones either."

I was not referring to the Principality of Dorne, which, everyone is aware, has passed to the eldest, regardless of gender, for centuries, since Nymeria wed Mors Martell, and they conquered the rest of Dorne.

Outside of Dorne, we have a handful of exceptional cases where women proclaimed themselves queen for a short time, and no evidence that it was common in those kingdoms pre-conquest for a women to inherit throned in their own right.

Argella was the only child and heir of the last Durrendun king, like the extreme succession case in which a Targaryen woman may inherit. Even so, when he died and she proclaimed herself Storm Queen, her soldiers delivered her gagged, chained, and naked to Orys Baratheon. Hardly a refutation of what I said.

Other than that, you cited two Arryns that ruled their houses as ladies after the conquest, and a three year old Lannister that "ruled" her house for a short time before her death. In other words, not examples of pre-conquest women inheriting the thrones of their fathers.

We know that daughters are supposed to come after sons in Westeros post-conquest. We can name a number of ladies throughout  the current ASOIAF main story who are or have ruled as the head of their house, including Maege Mormont, Tanda Stokeworth, Shella Whent, etc.

The same cannot be said of queens pre-conquest inheriting thrones and ruling in their own right. Hence, my statement.

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1 hour ago, dsjj251 said:

As for the Shewolves of winterfell, it seems that has more to do with those women marrying their uncles and cousins or even more, Martin making a mistake he didnt catch. There is also the argument outside of the crown itself, a women marrying a man turns over lands and titles to him or loses claims based on marriage. 

There is still a lot of information we don't have, but it appears that there was a conscious effort first to pass over Rickon's eldest daughter Serena, and then to pass over both she and her husband Edric. Not only was Serena passed over for Jonnel, but both Serena and her husband Edric were then passed over for Barthogan, then Brandon. Even if there were some transfer to the husbands based on marriage, Serena was still the eldest daughter, not Sansa, and even after the death of Sansa's husband Jonnel, Serena and Edric and their children continued to be passed over. Would be nice to learn more about that story.

 

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7 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

There is still a lot of information we don't have, but it appears that there was a conscious effort first to pass over Rickon's eldest daughter Serena, and then to pass over both she and her husband Edric. Not only was Serena passed over for Jonnel, but both Serena and her husband Edric were then passed over for Barthogan, then Brandon. Even if there were some transfer to the husbands based on marriage, Serena was still the eldest daughter, not Sansa, and even after the death of Sansa's husband Jonnel, Serena and Edric and their children continued to be passed over. Would be nice to learn more about that story.

 

It would indeed be great to know more. 

Its one of 2 theories 

My guess is that once a line has been re-established(marriage changes succession), it cant be re-re established 

And/OR

"a son comes before a daughter, but a daughter comes before an uncle" only applies when the father is Lord/King, if the father is an heir, then the new heir is the next male in line.

Sansa married Jonnel, while Serena married Jon Umber(assuming he was her first  husband) and Considering Cregan's possible death year being 157 or later, his daughters were likely already married when he died. 

 

That made Jonnel the next in line rather than Serena or Sansa. 

 

Before marriages the line was

Serena> Sansa> Jonnel> Edric 

After marriages

Jonnel> Edric > Barthogan > Brandon 

 

That however, does not explain how Edric was skipped over for Barthogan. It is possible Edric could have already died, making Barthogan the heir which puts into play the second theory meaning Edric-Serena's children where never heirs because their father was never lord.  And since the line doesnt revert back, those children can not make a claim through Serena either. 

 

 

 

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There is no reason to believe that "misguided men" are actually people Yandel interviewed, just Yandel's opinions. No reason to believe Yandel ever left the Citatdel.

Lady Dustin may also be bundling in the Robert-Lyanna arrangement into what she thinks of as "Southron Ambitions" even though we know that was initiated by Robert. Lady Dustin may not know how the arrangement came to be.

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On 6/28/2018 at 4:54 PM, Allardyce said:

The Southron Ambitions is looking more like a plot by the Starks to put Robert on the throne.  They wanted to take the Targaryens out of the picture.  Brandon was going to be Robert's hand and obviously Lyanna will be his queen.  Rickard was dreaming big.  But the importance of the Targaryens to the story is greater than any plot that Rickard's little heart could have plotted out.  The Targaryens survived the Doom of Valyria and they survived Robert's Rebellion.   

No, Lord Rickard's Southron Ambitions predate Robert being chosen as the person to take Aerys's throne. Ned and Robert make this clear when they speak to each other in the King's pavilion at the Hand's tourney.

Quote

"Damn you, Ned Stark. You and Jon Arryn. I loved you both. What have you done to me? You were the one should have been king, you or Jon."

"You had the better claim, Your Grace." (AGoT 331)

Which shows us the rebels had not chosen a replacement for Aerys until Ned was considered one  of the candidates. That places the choice after Rickard and Brandon's deaths. Given what we know of Lord Rickard's plans, he at the very least did not tell Jon, Robert or Ned of any plan to put Robert on the throne.

All of which is corroborated by the author's own comments:

Quote

November 19, 2005

US SIGNING TOUR (HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA)

When did Robert proclaim his intention to take the throne? At the outset of the war, or was it a relatively late development?

 

Robert proclaimed his intention to take the throne ... around the time of the Trident. Would not elaborate any further. Mentioned Robert's claim being stronger than Eddard Stark's and Jon Arryn's, the leaders of the two other great houses that spearheaded the revolution, due to blood ties to the Targaryen's.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1384

bold emphasis added

Lastly, let me state my disagreement with @Bael's Bastard, a poster I very much appreciate normally. The theory of the STAB alliance as a Anti-Targaryen alliance stands up quite well. In this case, I would argue that evidence points to Lord Rickard's southron ambitions not being a plot to put someone else on the Iron Throne, but to return Westeros to a land of Seven Kingdoms in which all the High Lords unite in an alliance to reclaim their rights as monarchs in their own lands without a Targaryen overlord. That is what the interlocking marriage pacts and fosterings appear to be all about.

Edited by SFDanny

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As to the Queen Regnant thing:

We do have at least one Gardener queen, which is pretty significant.

As to Cregan's succession:

It seems obvious that Edric would have been lord if he had been alive by the time Lord Jonnel died. There might be some strange explanation as to why he may have been passed over, but until we don't know the story it is pointless to speculate. It is pretty clear, though, that Jonnel and Edric both married their nieces to include Rickon's daughters in the succession. While they wore crowns it should have been very easy for the Starks to push aside female claimants, but lords usually have to abide by the 'a daughter comes before an uncle' rule.

The reason why the children of Serena and Edric were passed over was likely the reason that's usually done - because they were children at the time. Whether they were content with that outcome and meekly accepted their fate is completely unclear at that point. I doubt they did, not do I doubt that Barthogan and his successors didn't treat their kin gently if they actually dared to make trouble.

On 7/14/2018 at 12:53 AM, SFDanny said:

The theory of the STAB alliance as a Anti-Targaryen alliance stands up quite well.

Nay, it is just a 'Wouldn't it be cool, if...' scenario. There is nothing in the text backing it. Marriages don't prove anything in this regard.

On 7/14/2018 at 12:53 AM, SFDanny said:

In this case, I would argue that evidence points to Lord Rickard's southron ambitions not being a plot to put someone else on the Iron Throne, but to return Westeros to a land of Seven Kingdoms in which all the High Lords unite in an alliance to reclaim their rights as monarchs in their own lands without a Targaryen overlord. That is what the interlocking marriage pacts and fosterings appear to be all about.

This is even more difficult since we have not the slightest evidence that anybody wanted this. Only the Starks, Arryns, and Lannisters were kings before the Conquest, and Tywin wanted his grandchildren to sit the Iron Throne, not crown himself King of the Rock. Jon Arryn ended up serving Robert as Hand of the King rather than declaring himself King of Mountain and Vale. And Ned didn't have any such plans, either.

Hoster couldn't possibly hope to rule the Riverlands as king, considering the relative weakness of the Tullys. And Robert and his brothers have better legal claims to the Iron Throne than to the crown of the Storm Kings of old. Why stick to a poor country when you can have it all?

Not to mention that marriages mean nothing when lands are at stake. Those kings would have turned against each other after a fortnight.

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