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Legitimate_Bastard

Dragonlords & the Valyrian Freehold

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I have always struggled with the fact that their are no other remaining Valyrian dragonlords except the Targaryens. Yes, we are told of those who were in some of the Free Cities who were killed during the aftermath or killed going back to Valyria proper (Aurion). I just find that so hard to believe. I know it would conflict and take away from ASOIAF if there were more dragonlords, but SURELY there would be more survivors around after the Doom. It has just always bothered me. The Freehold was HUGE. 

Thoughts? 

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It is only odd if we assume/insist that there must have been many outside the Lands of the Long Summer. I agree that it is odd that people who fly on dragons would always hang out at home, but I'm reasonably positive that George would reveal to us that the Doom struck Valyria during a time when nearly all the dragonlords were in Valyria due to some major event - the 5,000 or 6,000 anniversary of the founding of the city, say.

In such a context it would make sense that nearly all dragonlords were taken, aside from the Targaryens and some insignificant others who came too late, left too early, or were such unpopular at home that they stayed in Lys, Tyrosh, or Qohor.

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27 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

It is only odd if we assume/insist that there must have been many outside the Lands of the Long Summer. I agree that it is odd that people who fly on dragons would always hang out at home, but I'm reasonably positive that George would reveal to us that the Doom struck Valyria during a time when nearly all the dragonlords were in Valyria due to some major event - the 5,000 or 6,000 anniversary of the founding of the city, say.

In such a context it would make sense that nearly all dragonlords were taken, aside from the Targaryens and some insignificant others who came too late, left too early, or were such unpopular at home that they stayed in Lys, Tyrosh, or Qohor.

Makes me wonder if we will learn more about the cause of the Doom and why all the significant Valyrians were there at that time and were unable to escape. If we do I hope Asshai is involved and that it plays into the larger global events like the Long Night etc.

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Well if the theories about the Faceless Men causing the doom is true, then they probably set it up at a time when all the dragonlords where there at the same time. They couldn't get the Targaryens because they already left years ago. 

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3 hours ago, EloImFizzy said:

Well if the theories about the Faceless Men causing the doom is true, then they probably set it up at a time when all the dragonlords where there at the same time. They couldn't get the Targaryens because they already left years ago. 

Yeah. All of them, or as many of them as they could possibly catch while they are in Valyria or the Lands of the Long Summer. If the Doom was caused by a thinking agent - like the Faceless Men, who I think were behind it - and with the goal to kill as many of 'the slavers' as they could, then some great celebration/festivity would be the ideal time to strike. Not just to kill as many dragonlords as possible, but also to kill all the Valyrian sorcerers (which seem to be eradicated completely) and as many of the Valyrian elite as possible.

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On 10/15/2018 at 1:18 PM, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I have always struggled with the fact that their are no other remaining Valyrian dragonlords except the Targaryens. Yes, we are told of those who were in some of the Free Cities who were killed during the aftermath or killed going back to Valyria proper (Aurion). I just find that so hard to believe. I know it would conflict and take away from ASOIAF if there were more dragonlords, but SURELY there would be more survivors around after the Doom. It has just always bothered me. The Freehold was HUGE. 

Thoughts? 

The freehold itself was not geographically as large as you would think....its pretty much just the Valyrain peninsula, the free cities were largely independent colonies, not under the direct control of the Dragonlords themselves. So one couldn't suspect that the Dragonlords were largely concerned with their own internal game of thrones and stayed within the freehold itself for the most part.

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On 10/15/2018 at 7:18 PM, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Yes, we are told of those who were in some of the Free Cities who were killed during the aftermath or killed going back to Valyria proper (Aurion). I just find that so hard to believe. I know it would conflict and take away from ASOIAF if there were more dragonlords, but SURELY there would be more survivors around after the Doom. It has just always bothered me. The Freehold was HUGE

The size of Freehold was not an advantage, but a disadvantage to surviving dragonlords - they were spread over vast distances and easy pickings for non-dragon-riding Valyrians. That idiot that gathered an invisible army of satanists to proclaim himself an Emperor, those guys who relaxed on the beaches - there was simply nowhere in the former Empire for them to hide.

Pre-Doom dragonlords in Valyria had a problem - they built an empire, but the empire didn't need them anymore. All actors that could pose a serious threat to Valyrian dominance in Western Essos were destroyed. Free Cities grew powerful and rich and needed Valyria's protection no longer.

What's more, Valyria's way of life was exceptionally poorly suited for this new reality of pacified ecumene. As per WoIaF, their economy revolved around marching forth, enslaving a bunch of neighbors and putting them to work in volcanoes to mine gold and silver. And those slaves had to be dirt cheap or they would all die before recouping transport/upkeep costs. You can't raise a slave for twenty years, send him into a volcano and expect to make a profit. So once Rhoynar were destroyed, it was only a matter of time before Valyria would collapse.

Dragonlords became a liability and had to go. And so they did, leaving Free Cities to take up the pieces of old empire. Unlike Valyria, Free Cities do not need to throw people into volcanoes to "pay for it all", as WoIaF puts it.

 

Edited by Myrish Lace

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Considering the size and importance of Volantis to the Valyrian empire, the lack of any dragonlords had always puzzled me.

I've observed a link between dragons and volcanoes and have theories that volcanic environments are natural dragon habitats.  The only wild dragons observed have been around the Dragonstone volcano and it is noted that dragons kept in Kings Landing were stunted in growth.

If these habitat preferences for dragons pan through then it could be a reason for the extreme centralization of Valyrian dragonlord families among the 14 flames.    Aside from Targ dragons the other three dragons to survive the Doom were all established to have been visiting their destination when the event occurred.  This places only two locations that dragons were kept as a residence during the Valyrian empire, both have volcanoes.

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If I remember correctly, it wasn't said anywhere, that all dragonlords and their families died (on the contrary, some dragonlords still were present in Essos, after the Doom, and later participated in the war called Century of Blood <- Aegon supported some of them, and used his dragons to defeat the others). What was said, in the books, is that all the dragons died, besides those, that belonged to Targaryens. And that is not the same thing - death of all dragons doesn't mean death of all dragonlords all over Essos.

There are birds, that migrate, and those that don't migrate. Some of them choose specific places to lay eggs, and won't do it anywhere else. Maybe the dragons are the kind of animals, that are nesting in certain places (such as volcanoes at Valyrian Peninsula, or the caves under Dragonstone), and they all do it at specific time. So when Valyria KABOOMed, all dragons, besides Targ-dragons, were gathered there, because it was nesting period, so they were laying eggs (females), or defending nests and bringing food to mothers (males).

So the dragons were at Valyria, but majority of their masters were staying, wherever was the place of their residence - all over Valyrian Freehold. So after it became known, what happened to Valyria, other nations of Essos rebelled against remaining dragonlords, and killed majority of them, because Valyrians were slavers. Those that survived, were fighting against each other, for a right to control, what was left of their property in Essos. Several generations later, Aegon I helped them to resolve their disputes.

Even after the Doom, there were still present highborn Valyrians in Essos, descendants of dragonlords (dragonless dragonlords ^_^). Such as Rogare family, such as family of Serenei of Lys. Aerys II has sent Steffon Baratheon to Volantis, to find a bride "of noble birth from an old Valyrian bloodline" for Prince Rhaegar. This proves, that even though all (or nearly all) dragons died, their masters didn't, at least not all of them. Aurion and his dragon were not the only survivors.

Quote

In 114 BC[2] the Valyrian Freehold collapsed when the Valyrian peninsula was destroyed in the Doom. Within mere hours, Valyria was gone and the Freehold was destroyed. It is said that the fire and smoke was so hot that even dragons were consumed. The destruction of Valyria strongly reduced the number of dragonlords left in the known world.[9]House Targaryen had relocated to Dragonstone, the westernmost outpost of Valyria located in the narrow sea, twelve years before with their dragons, thereby ensuring their survival.[2]Some other dragonlords — those who had not been in Valyria when the Doom occurred — survived as well. In Tyrosh, Lys and Qohor, it is said that dragonlords were spared, but they did not long outlive the Doom.[9]

So there's actually no need to make up some sort of important gathering, or celebration, on which all dragonlords were supposed to be present at Valyria, when it doomed. Majority of Planetos' dragons were there, same as local dragonlords. And some dragonlords from other regions, also came back to Valyria, when their dragons came there to nest. But majority of those, that were living elsewhere, didn't escorted their dragons to Valyria. So Valyrians didn't became totally extinct after the Doom, they just stopped being dragonlords.

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16 hours ago, Megorova said:

If I remember correctly, it wasn't said anywhere, that all dragonlords and their families died (on the contrary, some dragonlords still were present in Essos, after the Doom, and later participated in the war called Century of Blood <- Aegon supported some of them, and used his dragons to defeat the others). What was said, in the books, is that all the dragons died, besides those, that belonged to Targaryens. And that is not the same thing - death of all dragons doesn't mean death of all dragonlords all over Essos.

There are birds, that migrate, and those that don't migrate. Some of them choose specific places to lay eggs, and won't do it anywhere else. Maybe the dragons are the kind of animals, that are nesting in certain places (such as volcanoes at Valyrian Peninsula, or the caves under Dragonstone), and they all do it at specific time. So when Valyria KABOOMed, all dragons, besides Targ-dragons, were gathered there, because it was nesting period, so they were laying eggs (females), or defending nests and bringing food to mothers (males).

So the dragons were at Valyria, but majority of their masters were staying, wherever was the place of their residence - all over Valyrian Freehold. So after it became known, what happened to Valyria, other nations of Essos rebelled against remaining dragonlords, and killed majority of them, because Valyrians were slavers. Those that survived, were fighting against each other, for a right to control, what was left of their property in Essos. Several generations later, Aegon I helped them to resolve their disputes.

Even after the Doom, there were still present highborn Valyrians in Essos, descendants of dragonlords (dragonless dragonlords ^_^). Such as Rogare family, such as family of Serenei of Lys. Aerys II has sent Steffon Baratheon to Volantis, to find a bride "of noble birth from an old Valyrian bloodline" for Prince Rhaegar. This proves, that even though all (or nearly all) dragons died, their masters didn't, at least not all of them. Aurion and his dragon were not the only survivors.

So there's actually no need to make up some sort of important gathering, or celebration, on which all dragonlords were supposed to be present at Valyria, when it doomed. Majority of Planetos' dragons were there, same as local dragonlords. And some dragonlords from other regions, also came back to Valyria, when their dragons came there to nest. But majority of those, that were living elsewhere, didn't escorted their dragons to Valyria. So Valyrians didn't became totally extinct after the Doom, they just stopped being dragonlords.

LOL fair enough. I know what you are saying. 

I thought dragons were Asexual?

 

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Were Cannibal, Sheepstealer and Grey Ghost either survivals or descendants of those survivals of that dragon holocaust?

Or did they have different origin?

Or were they just descendants of Targ dragons?

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On 10/28/2018 at 4:24 PM, Myrish Lace said:

Pre-Doom dragonlords in Valyria had a problem - they built an empire, but the empire didn't need them anymore. All actors that could pose a serious threat to Valyrian dominance in Western Essos were destroyed. Free Cities grew powerful and rich and needed Valyria's protection no longer.

There is no evidence for any of that. Valyria had an empire. The Free Cities have no empires. Volantis is a joke compared to Valyria, economically, militarily, magically, in any possible way.

The so-called Free Cities were not ruled by Valyria directly, but Valyria did have colonies it actually oversaw. They filled the void Valyria left, they did not inherit much, because the core of the power Valyria - the Lands of the Long Summer - disappeared during the Doom, too.

On 10/28/2018 at 4:24 PM, Myrish Lace said:

What's more, Valyria's way of life was exceptionally poorly suited for this new reality of pacified ecumene. As per WoIaF, their economy revolved around marching forth, enslaving a bunch of neighbors and putting them to work in volcanoes to mine gold and silver. And those slaves had to be dirt cheap or they would all die before recouping transport/upkeep costs. You can't raise a slave for twenty years, send him into a volcano and expect to make a profit. So once Rhoynar were destroyed, it was only a matter of time before Valyria would collapse.

The slaver culture in Slaver's Bay and in Volantis and the Three Daughters is not that much different. We don't get a proper description of the economy of the Freehold in TWoIaF, but it is quite clear that it wasn't just slaves looking for precious metals and gemstones in volcanoes.

On 10/28/2018 at 4:24 PM, Myrish Lace said:

Dragonlords became a liability and had to go. And so they did, leaving Free Cities to take up the pieces of old empire. Unlike Valyria, Free Cities do not need to throw people into volcanoes to "pay for it all", as WoIaF puts it.

Dragonlords were the military backbone of Valyrian power. Those hanging out in Tyrosh and Lys apparently got killed in the Century of Blood, but we don't know why - what we can say that the nobility would have been pretty stupid if they instigated this. Anyone allying with a dragonlord could rebuild the Freehold and conquer the other Free Cities. Nobody rejects a dragon when you get the chance to mount one, so to speak. And the Aurion chap clearly got himself killed because he went back to Valyria. He wasn't killed by any enemies from the Free Cities.

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13 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

Were Cannibal, Sheepstealer and Grey Ghost either survivals or descendants of those survivals of that dragon holocaust?

Or did they have different origin?

Or were they just descendants of Targ dragons?

Good questions, I've wondered where they sprang from too.  Westeros is not a volcanic land.  The Dance wasn't that long ago either, you'd think if they were wild there would be a few more of them around even now.

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13 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

Were Cannibal, Sheepstealer and Grey Ghost either survivals or descendants of those survivals of that dragon holocaust?

Or did they have different origin?

Or were they just descendants of Targ dragons?

Grey Ghost was the youngest wild dragon, the Sheepstealer hatched 'when the Old King was still young', and there are spurious tales told about the Cannibal having been there since before the Targaryen came to Dragonstone - which is not a tale anyone in-universe takes seriously. He is the oldest of the wild dragons, though.

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I've always liked the idea of there being some Valyrian colony deep in Sothyros, but there's no real basis for this. 

21 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

Were Cannibal, Sheepstealer and Grey Ghost either survivals or descendants of those survivals of that dragon holocaust?

Or did they have different origin?

Or were they just descendants of Targ dragons?

I've always figured wild dragons were basically a different breed. Like they are wolves compared to the German Shepards the Valyrians bred over the centuries. 

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9 hours ago, Lady Barbrey said:

I thought they were hermaphrodites?

Yeah - that. LOL. They are neither male nor female. They just pop an egg out when the time is right.

I wonder, if there are eggs below Winterfell as some suspect, what sort of thing would have to happen for fAegon to get one/multiples and start a new Dance of Dragons with Dany?

Anyone see that happening?

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On 10/29/2018 at 11:29 PM, Lord Varys said:

They filled the void Valyria left, they did not inherit much

Free Cities inherited western Essos, with all of its "...many other Valyrian towns, settlements, and outposts, some larger and more populous than Gulltown, White Harbor, or even Lannisport..." and countryside to feed it all. More importantly, they won full political independence since without the dragonlords there is no one above them anymore.

Dragonlords had to go for Free Cities to rise. And go they did - Targaryens went to Westeros and abandoned any attempts to rule over the old empire, the rest burned in the Doom or were murdered in the aftermath.

On 10/29/2018 at 11:29 PM, Lord Varys said:

but it is quite clear that it wasn't just slaves looking for precious metals and gemstones in volcanoes

Well, WoIaF presents a different picture: "...and always gold and silver to pay for it all."  That's what it was. And that's what you call "the core power of Valyria", by the way - a territory that couldn't pay the bills without throwing people in volcanoes.

"None can say how many perished, toiling in the Valyrian mines, but the number was so large as to surely defy comprehension. As Valyria grew, its need for ore increased, which led to ever more conquests to keep the mines stocked with slaves." And so once Valyrians conquered and enslaved everyone in the immediate vicinity, there was bound to be a problem. Dragging slaves from far away or producing them like Slaver's Bay would never pay off with attrition like that.

And so the money was bound to run out, instability was bound to follow and the empire with dragonlords on top was bound to become a liability for Free Cities that had a future.

On 10/29/2018 at 11:29 PM, Lord Varys said:

The slaver culture in Slaver's Bay and in Volantis and the Three Daughters is not that much different

Slaver's Bay or Volantis don't need to send slaves into volcanoes to pay their bills. They have more sustainable economies - with banks, overseas trade, manufacturing and such. They do not need a glut of cheap slaves to burn in volcanoes in order to "pay for it all".

A slave in a workshop will live much longer and has more chance to pay off for the owner than a slave that will burn in a stream of molten metal in the first day.

On 10/29/2018 at 11:29 PM, Lord Varys said:

. Anyone allying with a dragonlord could rebuild the Freehold and conquer the other Free Cities

Says who? We have repeated examples of Free Cities successfully fighting dragons. Alliance with dragonlords would not guarantee ability to conquer other Free Cities. Dragons are nice, but they are by no means a trump card in Essos.

On 10/29/2018 at 11:29 PM, Lord Varys said:

He wasn't killed by any enemies from the Free Cities.

Aurion gathers 30000 men to march from a city of satanists all the way to former Valyria. And somehow these 30000 men manage to march hundreds of kilometers through Essos without anyone seeing them?

Does that sound plausible to you?

Did I mention Aurion conscripted 30000 people from a city of satanists with a history of human sacrifice? You know, the wholesome, reliable lot.

Edited by Myrish Lace

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2 minutes ago, Myrish Lace said:

Free Cities inherited western Essos, with all of its "...many other Valyrian towns, settlements, and outposts, some larger and more populous than Gulltown, White Harbor, or even Lannisport..." and countryside to feed it all. More importantly, they won full political independence since without the dragonlords there is no one above them anymore.

The Free Cities already had full political independence. The only difference is that with Valyria gone no dragonlords would come and protect them from their enemies (like the Rhoynar) or themselves.

The Free Cities were free long before Valyria disappeared.

And they lost all of that what Valyria had built to the Dothraki who destroyed all those towns, settlements, and outpost - the only exception being the Free Cities itself and those towns along the Rhoyne Volantis still holds.

That's not really an empire. It is pretty much a joke compared to what Valyria ruled before the Doom.

2 minutes ago, Myrish Lace said:

Well, WoIaF presents a different picture: "...and always gold and silver to pay for it all."  That's what it was. And that's what you call "the core power of Valyria", by the way - a territory that couldn't pay the bills without throwing people in volcanoes.

LOL, you think the Free Cities don't pay their sellswords and goods and the slave traders with gold and silver? And you think in Valyria you could not just have all the (luxury) goods from the entire world, from Lannispart to the lands from Ulthos? Valyria was the greatest city of the world. It wasn't just a grave for gold and silver and gemstones.

Valyrian precious metals were as easy to come by as Casterly Rock gold. They were in the mountains they controlled. And they used slaves to mine them where the Lannisters presumably used serfs and later levies and perhaps even workers they pay. Does the fact mean that the Lannisters can take their gold out of their very home mean that there is no trade going on in Lannisport? Or that the Lannisters pay for all the trade their traders and merchants do in their city with their gold?

2 minutes ago, Myrish Lace said:

Slaver's Bay or Volantis don't need to send slaves into volcanoes to pay their bills. They have more sustainable economies - with banks, overseas trade, manufacturing and such. They do not need a glut of cheap slaves to burn in volcanoes in order to "pay for it all"

You actually think Valyria didn't have traders and merchants and a vastly greater economy than, say, Volantis, which is effectively a dying city since the Century of Blood broke their neck?

2 minutes ago, Myrish Lace said:

Says who? We have repeated examples of Free Cities successfully fighting dragons. Alliance with dragonlords would not guarantee ability to conquer other Free Cities. Dragons are nice, but they are by no means a trump card in Essos.

5,000 years of Valyrian history tell you otherwise.

2 minutes ago, Myrish Lace said:

Aurion gathers 30000 men to march from a city of satanists all the way to former Valyria. And somehow these 30000 men manage to march hundreds of kilometers through Essos without anyone seeing them?

Does that sound plausible to you?

Actually, it does. We don't have evidence that nobody saw them on their march - just that there is no report of that. Which makes sense considering our historian is neither Essosi nor Qohorik, and has at best second had reports on events taking place during the Century of Blood in Essos.

But if Aurion made his way to Valyria he met the same fate there as Tommen II and Gerion Lannister. Valyria is not a place you should go to. The Doom itself shows you that a dragon doesn't help you there, either. After all, none of the Valyrian dragons in the Lands of the Long Summer did survive the Doom, or did they?

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On 10/31/2018 at 3:24 PM, Lord Varys said:

Actually, it does. We don't have evidence that nobody saw them on their march - just that there is no report of that. Which makes sense considering our historian is neither Essosi nor Qohorik, and has at best second had reports on events taking place during the Century of Blood in Essos.

But if Aurion made his way to Valyria he met the same fate there as Tommen II and Gerion Lannister. Valyria is not a place you should go to. The Doom itself shows you that a dragon doesn't help you there, either. After all, none of the Valyrian dragons in the Lands of the Long Summer did survive the Doom, or did they?

That was the Doom, though.

But Aurion can be forgiven for his lack of caution. He was the first after the Doom to try going back to Valyria. Valyria is no longer issuing hundred foot waves every hour. In Aurion´s time, no one yet knew it was not safe to go and bury those who had died in Valyria.

A chain of 30 000 men with 100 yards between each man would be 1700 miles long. People live and continue to live in Mantarys. So it might be logical to build a chain of people Mantarys to Valyria, all in eyesight of next, and ask the last man who came back what exactly happened to first man who did not.

 

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