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FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

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4 minutes ago, Ran said:

Because at this point it was understood implicitly that Baelon was Aemon's successor, despite Aemon's daughter, and she was calculating that Aemon was unlikely to remarry. 

Is that your idea/explanation or something approaching 'official canon status'?

Baelon as second in line to the Iron Throne after Aemon makes little sense to me, at least not in the proper order of things where one doesn't expect that the heir doesn't live to reasonably old age. Aemon is still married to Jocelyn, they could have an army of sons (or grandsons, by Rhaenys), and the idea that a King Aemon would hand the throne to an aged Baelon if the died in his fifties or sixties rather than a son, grandson, or even his daughter doesn't strike me as very likely - in fact the same would go if Jaehaerys I had lived into his eighties and Aemon had predeceased him but Baelon was yet alive. You don't make an old man your heir if the elder line has sufficient grandchildren to offer.

One can, perhaps, see Baelon as a spare heir while Aemon had not yet any heirs of his own body - and while Rhaenys was young - but Alysanne's proclamation that Rhaenys will be their future queen makes it pretty clear that it was expected that the heir of a King Aemon I would be Princess Rhaenys, and not Baelon. Why on earth should Viserra assume Aemon is not going to follow their father?

In any case, a princess wanting to be queen should try to seduce the real heir to the throne, not the spare. The scene with Baelon could have been even more juicier and interesting if Aemon had been the target, and Viserra had tried to drive a wedge between him and Jocelyn, playing the 'she is never going to give you sons' card, or something along those lines. Or one could have added sinister hints that she had a plan how to make Baelon king after she had seduced and married him (poison, murder, I Claudius-like schemes to discredit Aemon and Rhaenys)

And who knows? If there is something to this thing she may have had such plans. But it would have been nice to get some hints.

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I had thought Rhaenys was first denied as the heir in 92 AC. So it seems Jaehaerys refused to name her the next legitimate heir long before then?

Also I'm a little curious about the word count. F&B probably has ~270 k words, ~90 k of which is focused on Jaehaerys. So ~200 k words are written before TWOIAF. However, George kept saying he had written 350 k words for TWOIAF. Does that mean he had ~150 k words on Westerosi history beyond -2 ~ 136 AC & Essos? Or George's Wordstar uses a different word count algorithm? (e.g. George often said he had 80 k words for Dance of Dragons, but it turned out to be ~60 k words.)

Edited by zionius

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1 hour ago, naseridrl said:

The second great quarrel makes little sense either if Rhaenys was passed over way before.

To rephrase, _Viserra_ was betting on the fact that Baelon would succeed Aemon if Aemon died with only Rhaenys, because there was really no other way for her to achieve her ambition of becoming queen, however remote that ambition may have seemed at the time. She certainly had no hope of marrying Aemon,, given he was already wed, whereas Baelon wasn't. This is what Alyssa is referring to, that she could see her ambition was to get as close to the throne as she could through her marriage.

She certainly wasn't going to have any chance of becoming queen by wedding a non-Targaryen.

Edited by Ran

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

To rephrase, _Viserra_ was betting on the fact that Baelon would succeed Aemon if Aemon died with only Rhaenys, because there was really no other way for her to achieve her ambition of becoming queen, however remote that ambition may have seemed at the time. She certainly had no hope of marrying Aemon,, given he was already wed, whereas Baelon wasn't. This is what Alyssa is referring to, that she could see her ambition was to get as close to the throne as she could through her marriage.

She certainly wasn't going to have any chance of becoming queen by wedding a non-Targaryen.

Phrased like that it makes sense. My try: Gyldayn thinks he has reason to believe that Alysanne believed her daughter Viserra wanted to be queen because she was trying to seduce and marry her brother Baelon. We are not given a reason why Gyldayn thinks Alysanne thought that, but if Alysanne thought that, then she must have believed that Viserra believed Baelon would succeed their father if Aemon predeceased him - or possibly that she would try to find a way to make it so.

The issue is that any proper historian recounting speculation a historical figure made about another would actually give his reasoning *why* and *how* the figure tried to accomplish the goal.

A historian telling us that X wants to be queen and accomplish that goal by not marrying the heir just causes a lot of question marks. A proper historian would actually give us his reasoning why he believes the woman wanted to do that - essentially what we are doing here should be what Gyldayn did in FaB. Giving us a little bit more (perhaps baseless) speculation on Viserra's motive.

Else the average reader actually trying to keep track of all the children and claims and such would just scratch his head and say: 'Wait a minute, this Aemon fellow is the heir! Why the hell does this girl believe the younger son is the way to the crown!'

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"Proper historians" don't exist in Westeros. I thought that was obvious in pretty much everything George has written.

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Since Aemon only had a daughter, Viserra would have had good reason to think little of Rhaenys's chances to actually rule Westeros. Alysanne was frankly delusional if she really expected Rhaenys to become monarch of Westeros her own right, rather than envisioning her becoming queen of a Targ king. There was no precedent for a Targ woman ruling Westeros, and her own brother/husband had become king over their elder sister, and their elder brother's and elder sister's daughters.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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7 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Since Aemon only had a daughter, Viserra would have had good reason to think little of Rhaenys's chances to actually rule Westeros. Alysanne was frankly delusional if she really expected Rhaenys to become monarch of Westeros her own right, rather than envisioning her becoming queen of a Targ king. There was no precedent for a Targ woman ruling Westeros, and her own brother/husband had become king over their elder sister, and their elder brother's and elder sister's daughters.

Aerea had been 5, with her father dead, as a traitor. Rhaenys had had a father till she was 17. Was Aemon, if he lived to reign, going to disinherit his daughter?

Also, do we get any details about exactly how and why Rhaena bowed to Jaehaerys? She was at the moment an adult riding the bigger dragon. Had Rhaena demanded that Jaehaerys serve his niece (and marry her, as Protector of the Realm...), would Jaehaerys, at 14, have insisted on resisting?

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47 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Since Aemon only had a daughter, Viserra would have had good reason to think little of Rhaenys's chances to actually rule Westeros. Alysanne was frankly delusional if she really expected Rhaenys to become monarch of Westeros her own right, rather than envisioning her becoming queen of a Targ king. There was no precedent for a Targ woman ruling Westeros, and her own brother/husband had become king over their elder sister, and their elder brother's and elder sister's daughters.

There wasn't likely to be much precedent for the Targs though given that they'd only been ruling from the Iron Throne for less than a century at that point.  The Targs and their dragons did whatever they wanted up until then.

Edited by naseridrl

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40 minutes ago, Ran said:

"Proper historians" don't exist in Westeros. I thought that was obvious in pretty much everything George has written.

Oh, come on, Gyldayn can and does better at other points in the book. He relays a lot theories about people and their motivations - Nymor's letter, Daeron the Daring's death, the murder of Laenor Velaryon, the fire at Harrenhal, etc.

And this is not me complaining for myself - I can make sense out of a lot of things - it is just that I think this kind of thing doesn't really help people all that much who actually just read the book and try to understand the motivations of the people described. If you have somebody acting strangely - make a not that this is strange, or offer some kind of explanation. It doesn't have to be convincing.

This thing is not Aegon magically acquiring Quicksilver, but it is something that can give the reader pause in an unpleasant way.

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And he does worse in other points.

Again, George isn't interested in having a historian who explains where every bit of information comes from, who expands on every detail that might make some reader scratch their head. Gyldayn is a figure who sometimes thinks some things need no explanation and other things do, based entirely on his own views and opinions. This is _deliberate_ by George. Gyldayn is a character, the filter through which we see things, as Yandel was a filter through which we saw some things in TWoIaF. Having to ponder and interpret is a feature, not a bug. Mistakes are mistakes, but this obviously is not a mistake.

George is drawing from his reading of popular histories, of historical fiction, of medieval chronicles. Why did the chronicle of Alfonso X name the deaths of some nobles on his crusade and not others that we know died then? We've no idea. The chronicler was as "proper a historian" as you had, and yet it remains a mystery. I can go on and on on this. George wanted to write a "history" that featured the things he knew and loved from medieval histories and historical fiction, and seeded it with things for people to consider and think about. Again, this is a feature, not a bug.

I mean, look, this Viserra quote from Alysanne -- it's said to be said to Jaehaerys, and put in quotes. So this means someone with perfect recall wrote it down, or Jaehaerys and Alysanne had scribes following them copying down every word, or whatever. Okay. Who? Why? What's the source?  _Did_ anyone witness it, or is it one of those invented speeches that are so common among the "proper historians" of the pre-modern world? After all, even if she didn't say that exactly, perhaps some earlier source of Gyldayn's created the speech to capture a _sense_ of what Alysanne said and believed. And yet... if you are unfamiliar with medieval histories, and if you ignore what George says about this history as a work of someone who is working with sources long after the fact and is shaping them with his biases and beliefs, you might think Alysanne actually _did_ say this thing. You might take it all at face value. Is this George's fault, or the reader's?

Finally, I think those who read F&B and get the full context of everything said about Viserra will not wonder at Alysanne's meaning at all.

I get bugged by this "but think of the readers!" hand-wringing because it is a slippery slope. You may say this needs more explanation, but this other thing doesn't. Someone else will say "Yeah, but I don't get that, so that needs more explanation too". And at the end, there is no subtext that is acceptable, pretty much every statement can be questioned as needing "more explanation" on some level depending on the sophistication of the reader. So please stop it. Mistakes are mistakes, fine. This is not one.

Edited by Ran

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36 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

That and the Maesters are far more professional than their RL medieval counterparts.

From ADwD:

Quote

but some of the histories were penned by their maesters and some by ours, centuries after the events that they purport to chronicle. 

That's an in-world character keenly aware of the fact that maesters are imperfect, biased, working from dubious sources, and make claims to accuracy and authenticity that could not possibly be real.

If that is what you consider more professional than their medieval counterparts, I'm not going to dissuade you.

Edited by Ran

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1 hour ago, naseridrl said:

There wasn't likely to be much precedent for the Targs though given that they'd only been ruling from the Iron Throne for less than a century at that point.  The Targs and their dragons did whatever they wanted up until then.

Aegon I became Lord of Dragonstone and King of Westeros over his elder sister Visenya.

Aegon was heir of Aenys I over his elder sister Rhaena.

Jaehaerys I became King of Westeros over his elder sister Rhaena, and the daughter of Aenys I's heir Aegon with Rhaena.

Targaryens, like the usurper Maegor and Viserys I, may have felt free to name a woman as their heir, but there was no precedent for a woman actually inheriting the throne, and the precedents had men over women who would have come first without question had they been men.

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15 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Aegon I became Lord of Dragonstone and King of Westeros over his elder sister Visenya.

Aegon was heir of Aenys I over his elder sister Rhaena.

Jaehaerys I became King of Westeros over his elder sister Rhaena, and the daughter of Aenys I's heir Aegon with Rhaena.

Targaryens, like the usurper Maegor and Viserys I, may have felt free to name a woman as their heir, but there was no precedent for a woman actually inheriting the throne, and the precedents had men over women who would have come first without question had they been men.

I agree there is little exp. If this was the case then Visenya should have ruled unless they really had no structure or system.

Still waiting to read about Daenerys and why that change was so needed

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42 minutes ago, Ran said:

From ADwD:

That's an in-world character keenly aware of the fact that maesters are imperfect, biased, working from dubious sources, and make claims to accuracy and authenticity that could not possibly be real.

If that is what you consider more professional than their medieval counterparts, I'm not going to dissuade you.

While true they do come off as more Renaissance/Enlightement-era in their secular appeal to reason and logic. Plus, their level of organization, their longevity, their monopoly on education, and their superior knowledge of medicine as well as astronomy in comparison to RL medieval Europe.

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4 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

While true they do come off as more Renaissance/Enlightement-era in their secular appeal to reason and logic. Plus, their level of organization, their longevity, their monopoly on education, and their superior knowledge of medicine as well as astronomy in comparison to RL medieval Europe.

Hmmm maybe in some ways, but as far as court goes, Westeros is def in the dark ages lol Court in England and France was far more complex. For example, when Rhaegar and Elia had Aegon, there would have been upwards of 70 people in attendance just to verify this kid indeed popped out of this woman. Let alone the figures present in daily court politics and shoulder rubbing

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25 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Aegon I became Lord of Dragonstone and King of Westeros over his elder sister Visenya.

Aegon was heir of Aenys I over his elder sister Rhaena.

Jaehaerys I became King of Westeros over his elder sister Rhaena, and the daughter of Aenys I's heir Aegon with Rhaena.

Targaryens, like the usurper Maegor and Viserys I, may have felt free to name a woman as their heir, but there was no precedent for a woman actually inheriting the throne, and the precedents had men over women who would have come first without question had they been men.

I think at first Targaryen (kings) followed traditional Andal law. With Jaehaerys, it is simple; Aerea might be the lawful heir, but Maegor needs to be overthrown, now, but no one will follow six-year-old Princess Aerea. Fourteen-year-old Prince Jaehaerys is a much better choice, and when he gets the Throne, he won't simply hand it over his child niece, when the people were ready to fight so he would sit the Iron Throne. Fast forward many years and you've got Aemon dying in 92. Jaehaerys decides to name Baelon heir over Rhaenys. It might be that Jaehaerys is simply against women inheriting, or he simply wants to avoid a civil war after he dies; if he names Rhaenys his heir, he publicly acknowledges that he is not the rightful ruler, Aerea (or whatever male descendant she has) is, and that is a recipe for disaster. If after his death a son or grandson of Aerea declares himself king on the grounds that a daughter inherits before an uncle, there will be war. Similarly, in 101 the Great Council decides that being male is more important than proximity, since Jaehaerys's decision in 92 in still raw. 

The precedents of both 92 and 101 lead to the DotD, since no woman can ever inherit. Then again, Viserys named Rhaenyra heir over a son, not just a male heir, so there was going to be a conflict anyway. Rhaenyra's defeat (and horrible rule) means Daena cannot inherit the throne, since she's a woman, and like Rhaenyra, she gave birth to a bastard.

But after Aerys I's heir Aelor died in 217, Aerys named his niece Aelora his heir, even though Maekar, Daeron, Aerion and Aegon were around, and under the rule of 101 Maekar should be heir. By 217, there's been 125 years since 92 and 116 since the Council. No one remembers, no one cares, most people will agree a daughter comes before an uncle anyway, so no problem.

I think it depends on the ruler and the era.

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20 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

While true they do come off as more Renaissance/Enlightement-era in their secular appeal to reason and logic. Plus, their level of organization, their longevity, their monopoly on education, and their superior knowledge of medicine as well as astronomy in comparison to RL medieval Europe.

"They do come off" is a subjective impression, it must be said. And I agree that they give an impression of being more knowledgable in some areas, but being more knowledgeable is not the same as having developed a modern philosphy of historiography. They have a decidedly non-modern approach to history. The amount of dialog quoted verbatim in the Targaryen material, generally without any kind of reference, is a dead giveaway. And then out of the novels, George has explicitly said "Look, these guys are writing long after the fact, with various sources of differing reliabilty, their own biases", etc.

@Alyssa of House Arryn

The "(kings)" bit reminded me of something. From Aenar to Aegon, there are only male lords of Dragonstone. The one mention of a woman ruling states only that a Targaryen lord shared the rule with his sister/wife, which means this was clearly an exception. And there are cases where perhaps George has had these Targaryens pass over women -- there's a succession of brothers who inherit, for example, and perhaps that's because they had no offspring... but maybe they had daughters, but the younger brother was still superior.

It was always somewhat speculative that the Valyrians practiced gender-blind primogeniture, based solely on the question of the succession of the Dance of the Dragons, when fans knew much less of the Targaryen family tree and how often women had been positioned as possible heirs. TWoIaF and F&B together suggest that if Valyria had a different process, the Targaryens quickly abandoned it when they came to Dragonstone. Certainly, I can't recall at any point where supposed Valyrian or pre-Conquest Dragonstone precedent was cited as a reason to prefer a female over a male.

But yes, the switch to basically a Salic law approach to things as a general rule for the Iron Throne (but not one without exceptions, as you say) is unusual, outside the norm of Andal law, and perhaps outside the norm of Valyrian or post-Doom Targaryen law. Hard to say from the facts we have.

Edited by Ran

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