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How could Steffon Baratheon not find a Valyrian bride for Rhaegar?

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In the free cities of Essos is supposly populated by an upper class with significant Valyrian ancestry. While in Lys even the smallfolk is said to be of Valyrian stock. How could Steffon not find a bride for Rhaegar there?

 

What was the criteria that Aerys had for Rhaegar's prospective bride?

 

Are Valyrian noble Houses reluctant to let their female members depart?

 

Dragonstone is also said to be populated by dragonseeds could they qualify as Rhaegars bride? 

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There must have been some special criteria that Aerys gave for it to not work out. Either that or Westeros has a worse reputation overseas than I thought.

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Well there are two options:
1. Aerys gave him additional criteria that were not possible to fulfill. 
2. He was team Tywin and hoped that his failure would lead Aerys to change his mind and agree to Marry Rhaegar to Cersei and mend his relationship with Tywin.

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2 hours ago, norwaywolf123 said:

In the free cities of Essos is supposly populated by an upper class with significant Valyrian ancestry. While in Lys even the smallfolk is said to be of Valyrian stock. How could Steffon not find a bride for Rhaegar there?

 

What was the criteria that Aerys had for Rhaegar's prospective bride?

 

Are Valyrian noble Houses reluctant to let their female members depart?

 

Dragonstone is also said to be populated by dragonseeds could they qualify as Rhaegars bride? 

I would have thought Steffon was wise enough to know Rhaegar needed a Westerosi bride that could bring alliance and security to the realm. I know that is not what Aerys wanted - but I would have thought a Essosi bride would cause anger among Westerosi families.

Also, due the tons of Houses that have already married in to the Targ family, are there not quite a few Westerosi who have Valyrian ancestry already? Maybe not as much as those in Essos, but some surely?

Edited by Legitimate_Bastard

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1 hour ago, norwaywolf123 said:

In the free cities of Essos is supposly populated by an upper class with significant Valyrian ancestry. While in Lys even the smallfolk is said to be of Valyrian stock. How could Steffon not find a bride for Rhaegar there?

 

What was the criteria that Aerys had for Rhaegar's prospective bride?

 

Are Valyrian noble Houses reluctant to let their female members depart?

 

Dragonstone is also said to be populated by dragonseeds could they qualify as Rhaegars bride? 

In 278 AC, the king sent Lord Steffon across the narrow sea on a mission to Old Volantis, to seek a suitable bride for Prince Rhaegar, "a maid of noble birth from an old Valyrian bloodline." (The World of Ice and Fire - The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II)

For whatever reason, the Essosi nobles who claim Valyrian ancestry must not have met Aerys's requirements.

I suspect Aerys tasked Steffon with finding Essosi nobles with not just Valyrian ancestry, but dragonlord ancestry, particularly, Targaryen dragonlord ancestry.

We are told that, after Duskendale, Aerys attempted to bring forth dragon eggs discovered on Dragonstone:

In the wake of Duskendale, the king also began to display signs of an ever-increasing obsession with dragonfire, similar to that which had haunted several of his forebears. Lord Darklyn would never have dared defy him if he had been a dragonrider, Aerys reasoned. His attempts to bring forth dragons from eggs found in the depths of Dragonstone (some so old that they had turned to stone) yielded naught, however. (The World of Ice and Fire - The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II)

So, with the Defiance starting in 277 AC and ending either in 277 or 278 AC, and with Steffon dying in 278 AC on his return from being tasked by Aerys to find a bride for Rhaegar, it is entirely possible that his attempts to hatch the dragon eggs, and his tasking Steffon to find a bride for Rhaegar occurred around the same time, and were both related to his desire to bring back the Targaryens dragons.

Furthermore, we know that sibling incest was not just a post-Doom invention of the Targaryens to preserve the little dragonlord ancestry left in the world, but a pre-Doom custom practiced by all the dragonlord families of Valyria.

This indicates that the pre-Doom Valyrians preferred incest even when there were forty noble dragonlord families to wed, and they had to have their reasons for such a preference which went beyond just perpetuating the superficial silver-gold hair and purple eyes.

I think it is possible that Aerys was looking to find noble Essosi descendants of the Targaryens who he might have viewed as possibly helpful in his attempts to bring back the Targaryen dragons. House Targaryen was down to four people (Aerys, Rhaella, Rhaegar, Viserys) after twenty years of marriage, and there was going to be no daughter for Rhaegar to marry. And with the Baratheons having only males, they weren't an option, which is perhaps why Aerys eventually settled for the Martells descended from Daenerys.

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31 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Also, due the tons of Houses that have already married in to the Targ family, are there not quite a few Westerosi who have Valyrian ancestry already? Maybe not as much as those in Essos, but some surely?

Steffon, Robert, Stannis, and Renly Baratheon were descended from Aegon V's daughter Rhaelle, but there were no females for Rhaegar to wed.

Selwyn Tarth might have had a Targaryen parent or grandparent, but other than Brienne, who was born the year Rhaegar wed and had Rhaenys, I don't think there are any known Tarth females.

It is possible that Duncan/Jenny, Vaella, Maegor, Daella, or Rhae have some descendants out there, but for whatever reason, Aerys settled on the descendants of the Daenerys that wed a Martell just under a century earlier.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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I think, that, maybe, Steffon didn't managed to find a bride for Rhaegar, because he was killed by Faceless Man, shortly after his arrival to Volantis. Then that Faceless Man impersonated Steffon, and killed all other people from Steffon's entourage. Then, when the ship (full of corpses) was approaching coast of Stormlands, he made that ship to crush. He was the only survivor of that shipwreck, because all other passengers were dead even before they crushed. Then he reported to his employer, that the mission was succesful, and a few days later, took a new identity - Patchface, and was installed in the household of Baratheons, to keep watching over them, just in case. And the one, who hired him to kill Steffon and his people, and then to continue to spy after Steffon's sons, was Tywin Lannister. 

Obviously, that this theory is very speculative. I got this idea because of three things:

1. It's really wierd, that Steffon didn't managed to find anyone in Essos, with dragonblood purer than Elia Martell's.

2. Patchface appeared only on third day after shipwreck, but where was he before that, and how did he survived, if he supposedly was in the open sea for those three days?

3. There was rumors, that Aerys planned to kill Tywin, after Steffon will bring a Valyrian bride for Rhaegar. So if Steffon's mission was sucessful, then it was as good as death sentence for Tywin. Thus he had a motive to get rid of Steffon, and to make Steffon's mission to fail.

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3 hours ago, Megorova said:

I think, that, maybe, Steffon didn't managed to find a bride for Rhaegar, because he was killed by Faceless Man, shortly after his arrival to Volantis. Then that Faceless Man impersonated Steffon, and killed all other people from Steffon's entourage. Then, when the ship (full of corpses) was approaching coast of Stormlands, he made that ship to crush. He was the only survivor of that shipwreck, because all other passengers were dead even before they crushed. Then he reported to his employer, that the mission was succesful, and a few days later, took a new identity - Patchface, and was installed in the household of Baratheons, to keep watching over them, just in case. And the one, who hired him to kill Steffon and his people, and then to continue to spy after Steffon's sons, was Tywin Lannister. 

Obviously, that this theory is very speculative. I got this idea because of three things:

1. It's really wierd, that Steffon didn't managed to find anyone in Essos, with dragonblood purer than Elia Martell's.

2. Patchface appeared only on third day after shipwreck, but where was he before that, and how did he survived, if he supposedly was in the open sea for those three days?

3. There was rumors, that Aerys planned to kill Tywin, after Steffon will bring a Valyrian bride for Rhaegar. So if Steffon's mission was sucessful, then it was as good as death sentence for Tywin. Thus he had a motive to get rid of Steffon, and to make Steffon's mission to fail.

What

The

....?

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4 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

In 278 AC, the king sent Lord Steffon across the narrow sea on a mission to Old Volantis, to seek a suitable bride for Prince Rhaegar, "a maid of noble birth from an old Valyrian bloodline." (The World of Ice and Fire - The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II)

For whatever reason, the Essosi nobles who claim Valyrian ancestry must not have met Aerys's requirements.

I suspect Aerys tasked Steffon with finding Essosi nobles with not just Valyrian ancestry, but dragonlord ancestry, particularly, Targaryen dragonlord ancestry.

We are told that, after Duskendale, Aerys attempted to bring forth dragon eggs discovered on Dragonstone:

In the wake of Duskendale, the king also began to display signs of an ever-increasing obsession with dragonfire, similar to that which had haunted several of his forebears. Lord Darklyn would never have dared defy him if he had been a dragonrider, Aerys reasoned. His attempts to bring forth dragons from eggs found in the depths of Dragonstone (some so old that they had turned to stone) yielded naught, however. (The World of Ice and Fire - The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II)

So, with the Defiance starting in 277 AC and ending either in 277 or 278 AC, and with Steffon dying in 278 AC on his return from being tasked by Aerys to find a bride for Rhaegar, it is entirely possible that his attempts to hatch the dragon eggs, and his tasking Steffon to find a bride for Rhaegar occurred around the same time, and were both related to his desire to bring back the Targaryens dragons.

Furthermore, we know that sibling incest was not just a post-Doom invention of the Targaryens to preserve the little dragonlord ancestry left in the world, but a pre-Doom custom practiced by all the dragonlord families of Valyria.

This indicates that the pre-Doom Valyrians preferred incest even when there were forty noble dragonlord families to wed, and they had to have their reasons for such a preference which went beyond just perpetuating the superficial silver-gold hair and purple eyes.

I think it is possible that Aerys was looking to find noble Essosi descendants of the Targaryens who he might have viewed as possibly helpful in his attempts to bring back the Targaryen dragons. House Targaryen was down to four people (Aerys, Rhaella, Rhaegar, Viserys) after twenty years of marriage, and there was going to be no daughter for Rhaegar to marry. And with the Baratheons having only males, they weren't an option, which is perhaps why Aerys eventually settled for the Martells descended from Daenerys.

Yes there had to be specific criteria that was couched behind arrogance.  Cersei had more social prestige compared to Princess Elia.  Aerys and his advisors wanted a specific lineage.  Someone from the dragon lords of old Valyria.  It's all about the dragons.  The Martells have very little of the dragon blood but it was the best they could do. 

The maesters were probably murdering the daughters over the years.  Princess Daenerys was luckily born at Dragonstone under the care of a master loyal to the Targaryens.  I'm hoping this was Maester Marwyn.

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1 hour ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Yes there had to be specific criteria that was couched behind arrogance.  Cersei had more social prestige compared to Princess Elia.  Aerys and his advisors wanted a specific lineage.  Someone from the dragon lords of old Valyria.  It's all about the dragons.  The Martells have very little of the dragon blood but it was the best they could do. 

@Moiraine Sedai

I am sure Aerys would have preferred someone "better" than the Martells, but the Martells might not be as far removed from their Targaryen ancestress as we might assume.

We know that Rhaegar and Elia are both descended from Aegon IV and Naerys through their son Daeron II and daughter Daenerys, and from the Prince of Dorne who made peace with Baelor I, through his son Maron and his daughter Mariah.

But Elia's ancestress Daenerys was almost twenty years younger than her elder sibling Daeron II (born in 153 AC), and closer in age to Daeron II's own eldest children. And Elia wasn't born until her elder sibling Doran (born in 247-248 AC) was already nine.

So while Rhaegar's ancestry from Aegon IV/Naerys looks something like this:

Aegon IV (135 AC) m. Naerys
- Daeron II (153 AC) m. Mariah Martell
  - Maekar I (174-178 AC) m. Dyanna Dayne
    - Aegon V (200 AC) m. Betha Blackwood
      - Jaehaerys II (225 AC?) m. Shaera (226 AC?)
        - Aerys II (244 AC) m. Rhaella 
          - Rhaegar (259 AC) m. Elia (256-257 AC)

Elia's could be closer to this:

Aegon IV (135 AC) m. Naerys
- Daenerys (172 AC) m. Maron Martell
  - ? Martell (191 AC?)
    - ? Martell (210 AC?)
      - Princess of Dorne (229 AC?)
        - Doran (247-248 AC)
        - Elia (256-257 AC) m. Rhaegar (259 AC)

In which case, Elia might not have more than three generations between her and Daenerys/Maron, while Rhaegar had four generations between him and Mariah/Daeron II. And while Rhaegar's parents and grandparents were male line Targaryen siblings, they also had the recent Martell, Blackwood, and Dayne ancestresses.

Without knowing the rest of Elia's ancestors, including her father, we don't whether or not she had any other ancestors with recent Targaryen ancestry, especially with Targaryens out there who might have lived to have ancestors (Daella, Rhae, Vaella, and Maegor in particular were all descended from both Dyanna Dayne and Mariah Martell).

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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1 hour ago, LindsayLohan said:

What

The

....?

When Steffon and his people were in Volantis, Faceless Man, hired by Tywin, killed Steffon. He has approached Steffon, playing role of a fool Patchface. The one, about whom Steffon has wrote in his letter home.

Though, maybe, even that letter was written not by Steffon, but already by Patchface, that was impersonating Steffon, after killing him, and taking his face. Maybe, he wrote that letter, because he was thinking ahead. By mentioning Patchface in Steffon's letter, and Steffon's desire to bring that fool and use him to teach Stannis to laught, that Faceless Man made sure, that people from Steffon's household will honor his final will, and will accept Patchface into Baratheon castle, because that's what they thought, what Steffon would have wanted.

Quote

Patchface had come to them as a boy. Lord Steffon of cherished memory had found him in Volantis, across the narrow sea. The king - the old king, Aerys II Targaryen, who had not been quite so mad in those days - had sent his lordship to seek a bride for Prince Rhaegar, who had no sisters to wed. "We have found the most splendid fool," he wrote Cressen, a fortnight before he was to return home from his fruitless mission. "Only a boy, yet nimble as a monkey and witty as a dozen courtiers. He juggles and riddles and does magic, and he can sing prettily in four tongues. We have bought his freedom and hope to bring him home with us. Robert will be delighted with him, and perhaps in time he will even teach Stannis how to laugh."

When their ship was sailing back to Westeros, that Faceless Man either 1. killed a cook, took his face, poisoned their food, and gave it to all people on that ship; or 2. he, pretending to be Steffon, near the end of their voyage, brought out a casket of wine, and ordered to treat with it crew of their ship, to celebrate their return home, and that wine was poisoned. So by the time, when ship was approaching coast of Westeros, everyone on it's board, except that Faceless Man, was already dead. Then he took a boat, and sailed towards shore, and the ship wrecked on sea rocks during storm.

It could have happened. Why not?

Maybe Tywin thought, that if Steffon won't find a bride for Rhaegar, and will also die, while he was on that mission, then Aerys won't have any other choise, aside from making amends with Tywin. Because besides Steffon, Aerys had only one other friend - Tywin. So Tywin expected, that to get him back to Targaryen court, Aerys will offer to him to marry their children (what Tywin asked him before their major break up). Though instead of choosing Cersei as Rhaegar's bride, Aerys has chosen Elia (which was not what Tywin expected to happen).

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There is no basis for such a theory. What do you imagine Tywin would have been required to give up in order for the FM to agree to not only kill a Small Councilor and possible future Hand of Aerys, but his wife, and the rest of the people on the ship?

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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10 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

In 278 AC, the king sent Lord Steffon across the narrow sea on a mission to Old Volantis, to seek a suitable bride for Prince Rhaegar, "a maid of noble birth from an old Valyrian bloodline." (The World of Ice and Fire - The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II)

For whatever reason, the Essosi nobles who claim Valyrian ancestry must not have met Aerys's requirements.

I suspect Aerys tasked Steffon with finding Essosi nobles with not just Valyrian ancestry, but dragonlord ancestry, particularly, Targaryen dragonlord ancestry.

We are told that, after Duskendale, Aerys attempted to bring forth dragon eggs discovered on Dragonstone:



with Steffon dying in 278 AC on his return from being tasked by Aerys to find a bride for Rhaegar, it is entirely possible that his attempts to hatch the dragon eggs, and his tasking Steffon to find a bride for Rhaegar occurred around the same time, and were both related to his desire to bring back the Targaryens dragons.

Furthermore, we know that sibling incest was not just a post-Doom invention of the Targaryens to preserve the little dragonlord ancestry left in the world, but a pre-Doom custom practiced by all the dragonlord families of Valyria.

This indicates that the pre-Doom Valyrians preferred incest even when there were forty noble dragonlord families to wed, and they had to have their reasons for such a preference which went beyond just perpetuating the superficial silver-gold hair and purple eyes.

I think it is possible that Aerys was looking to find noble Essosi Valryian descendants of the Targaryens who he might have viewed as possibly helpful in his attempts to bring back the Targaryen dragons. House Targaryen was down to four people (Aerys, Rhaella, Rhaegar, Viserys) after twenty years of marriage, and there was going to be no daughter for Rhaegar to marry. And with the Baratheons having only males, they weren't an option, which is perhaps why Aerys eventually settled for the Martells descended from Daenerys.

 

 

Interesting that we bring his attempt at hatching dragons into this. If anyone is familiar with Preston Jacobs The Genetics of Dragons he posits that you need double dragon genes carrier of female descent to be able to hatch them. 

 

Rhaenyra, Rhaenys The Queen who Never Was, Laena Velaryon & Aegon II's wife Helaena  were all hatchers during the Dance, which is why there were so many dragons. All these carriers get killed off during the Dance.

& after they died any other potential carriers were killed off after the war (Jaehaera for a certainty)

This lead to the eventual extinction of dragons not long after. Maesters definitely played a role in this.

 

which is why i like the idea @Moiraine Sedai  floated on the daughters being murdered  / culled off by factions working together trying to stop dragon rebirth and end Targaryen rule.

 

Maybe Aerys was more onto it than we suspected.  Looking for ancient bloodlines of the 2 dozen Dragonrider houses, not necessarily of Targaryen descent, but  purebloods who could trace their ancestry. It would explain why was so picky for the right bride, and why Stannis's dad wasn't able to find one.

 

I'll get to the crux of it, then. Was Aerys killing himself burning down King's Landing meant to be a fire & blood sacrifice ritual to birth dragons?

 

Did Varys get a hold of some dragon eggs & send them to Illyrio? Wheres these dragon eggs that weren't petrified.. could be that "Aegon" turns up with one

Edited by lrresistable
I also find it rather convenient Steffon Baratheon was killed off and didn't find any suitable candidates

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The chosen one was to come from a Targaryen + Targaryen marriage pairing.  That was the goal of the Targaryen family since the prophecy was given.  It had to be a child of pure fire.  Otherwise, if the child only had to come from one Targaryen then any pairing that included one Targaryen would work.  That is not the case.  The child had to be Targaryen on both sides.  Why?  Well, we all know why.  The answer is right there in front of us all along.  The Valyrians have been doing it for thousands of years.  The need to maintain genetic purity in order to have the best relationship with dragons.  The Targaryens needed more than just somebody who can bond with dragons.  They needed more than someone who can hatch dragon eggs.  They needed someone really and truly special.  They needed someone who can resurrect an entire species.  A special someone who can "wake dragons from stone."  Daenerys is the promised child.  The Azor Ahai who brought dragons back from extinction.  She is what the Targaryens have been trying to conceive.  Rhaegar was nothing special.  

What happened is an example of a prophecy coming true.  It didn't happen the way the Targaryens planned it but it still happened.  They had no way of knowing at the time that sometime in the future, Daenerys would be born.  It's like the Dothraki prophecy of the stallion.  It will happen even though Rhaego died.   

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5 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

@Moiraine Sedai

I am sure Aerys would have preferred someone "better" than the Martells, but the Martells might not be as far removed from their Targaryen ancestress as we might assume.

We know that Rhaegar and Elia are both descended from Aegon IV and Naerys through their son Daeron II and daughter Daenerys, and from the Prince of Dorne who made peace with Baelor I, through his son Maron and his daughter Mariah.

But Elia's ancestress Daenerys was almost twenty years younger than her elder sibling Daeron II (born in 153 AC), and closer in age to Daeron II's own eldest children. And Elia wasn't born until her elder sibling Doran (born in 247-248 AC) was already nine.

So while Rhaegar's ancestry from Aegon IV/Naerys looks something like this:

Aegon IV (135 AC) m. Naerys
- Daeron II (153 AC) m. Mariah Martell
  - Maekar I (174-178 AC) m. Dyanna Dayne
    - Aegon V (200 AC) m. Betha Blackwood
      - Jaehaerys II (225 AC?) m. Shaera (226 AC?)
        - Aerys II (244 AC) m. Rhaella 
          - Rhaegar (259 AC) m. Elia (256-257 AC)

Elia's could be closer to this:

Aegon IV (135 AC) m. Naerys
- Daenerys (172 AC) m. Maron Martell
  - ? Martell (191 AC?)
    - ? Martell (210 AC?)
      - Princess of Dorne (229 AC?)
        - Doran (247-248 AC)
        - Elia (256-257 AC) m. Rhaegar (259 AC)

In which case, Elia might not have more than three generations between her and Daenerys/Maron, while Rhaegar had four generations between him and Mariah/Daeron II. And while Rhaegar's parents and grandparents were male line Targaryen siblings, they also had the recent Martell, Blackwood, and Dayne ancestresses.

Without knowing the rest of Elia's ancestors, including her father, we don't whether or not she had any other ancestors with recent Targaryen ancestry, especially with Targaryens out there who might have lived to have ancestors (Daella, Rhae, Vaella, and Maegor in particular were all descended from both Dyanna Dayne and Mariah Martell).

It's not good enough for what they need.

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Perhaps there is symbolism for Steffon finding a fool in Essos instead of finding a bride for Rhaegar = its foolish to extend the Targaryen line through someone in Essos

Rhaegar's next generation will be the generation to fight the Others. His heirs with his blood line is important.

Rhaegar marrying someone from Essos will be the wrong Targaryen line to fight the Others

Rhaegar marrying Elia Martell (sun) was the wrong Targaryen line too...and the Targaryen lineage is all dead there (fAegon is still fake)

Rhaegar (fire) continues his lineage with Lyanna Stark (ice) to have Jon Snow (R+L=J), the last Targaryen of the lineage manipulation, the Song of Ice & Fire that will fight the Others

 

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The man had bad luck.  The apples did not fall too far from the tree.  He's like his sons.  He doesn't make the right decisions in times of crisis.  He could be in the same room with an adequate girl but failed to notice.  He was sent to get a bride and he comes back with a motley fool.  That is some seriously messed up mission.

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How was Steffon's conversation with Aerys going to go if the storm never killed him?

Sorry old friend but I couldn't find a single noble family living within the Black Walls of Volantis that want one of their many daughters to become the next Queen of Westeros, I'v failed you and the realm...However I did bring back a fool that might make my sullen second son crack a smile! So there's that!

 

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15 hours ago, norwaywolf123 said:

In the free cities of Essos is supposly populated by an upper class with significant Valyrian ancestry. While in Lys even the smallfolk is said to be of Valyrian stock. How could Steffon not find a bride for Rhaegar there?

What was the criteria that Aerys had for Rhaegar's prospective bride?

Are Valyrian noble Houses reluctant to let their female members depart?

Dragonstone is also said to be populated by dragonseeds could they qualify as Rhaegars bride? 

Plot mostly. For anything else you have to aslk the author 

 

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