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Lord Varys

[SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

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Just now, HelenaExMachina said:

Oops! My bad...

could have been carried by ship. And it’s not like the Lord is going to want some unkempt wildling as his Ward, Manderly possibly just palmed her off wherever he could

No worries.  It could be a nod to Lyanna.  Considering White Harbor stayed with the Faith and the rest of the North holds to the OGs this would be the only place to have a tourney take place.  It could also be a nod to Osha.  White Harbor was suggested to her and perhaps that's how Rickon got to Skagos.  Or it could be nothing more than story.  :)  It's either something or nothing.  LOL

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5 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Sorry. Got my terms mixed up. Having said that I stand by my view that Alyssa Targaryen's death is a symptom of GRRM's occassional habit of disregarding female characters. (See "Lady Stark" for an example.)

Anyway, that line can be found on the first page of Heirs of the Dragon.

I agree with you. Claiming Martin doesn't suffer from that habit like many other (most?) male authors is disregarding the text.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

George has issues with proper presenting female characters like many male authors do. When he actually cares to invent a great character (say, Rhaena) it works very well, but when he just invents people he usually goes for males. Just think of the fact that the text very much implies Ned's mother is literally a non-existing person. Even Dorne doesn't have many ruling ladies, never mind the equal primogeniture thing, especially not in the ruling house. Why is Elia the dead woman and Doran and Oberyn the living men?

In case of the Targaryen women George first decided to make them insignificant by killing them (HotD is much older than the new Jaehaerys material) and then gave some of them a more or less interesting back story. Basically their corpse got some makeup for the funerals...

The family tree as it is is a huge letdown, anyway. Ten children of thirteen not dying in infancy and only four grandchildren is a joke. And there was no reason to keep the Targaryen family tree down to just two branches. The Dance could have cut it back to size. And what if some distant cousins through the female line had survived even the Dance? That wouldn't have been a problem.

Yep. That said, I was actually surprised by the amount of female characters in F&B, and the attention paid to them. Targaryen women are way more interesting than the men. But I found the quick successive deaths of Jaeherys' and Alysanne's children a bit too much.

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George is overplaying the mortality rate of the highest born mothers - who should, by privilege of birth and wealth, have only the best of care said privileges can buy them (and that does not only mean the best maesters but also, historically at least, the best available sorcerers in this world) - meaning that the average Targaryen or Lannister mother should not die in childbirth. The peasant women could very well be different cases, but it is not very believable that tragedies of the kind that strike the Targaryens during the reign of Jaehaerys I should be this common among the royals. Not with maesters and sorcerers actually be able to work miracles by the standards of actual medieval medicine...

Where the ball of realism really drops there is where child mortality is concerned - if so many women died in childbirth how is it that infants and young children pretty much never die, especially not anywhere in the main series. None of Cat's five children died, for instance, there are no reports about any of the children of the great houses that are not born with issues (early births, sickly nature, etc.) die in infancy or childhood - but that's where the children should and did die like flies in the real middle ages as well up into the 19th and early 20th centuries (until proper modern medicine dealt with most of those issues). I've literally an army of uncles and aunts in my family tree in the 19th century who all died in infancy and early childhood - but this kind of thing is not even remotely reflected by the books.

There are not even any children/young people crippled or killed by any of the most famous infectious diseases - we don't get anything about people crippled/killed by polio, tetanus, etc.

All that should be very common, as should be boys not surviving their times as squires because of small wounds that get infected, etc.

And this is the very reason why it makes no sense to go look for 'real world examples' for women dying in childbirth and not demand or use similar statistics for the (pretty much) non-existing children who die in infancy - which should be very different from the way they are depicted if realism where the author's goal here.

Instead it is just awfully convenient to get rid of a woman by means of her dying in childbirth, especially if her only purpose in the story was just to produce another generation, anyway - and that's why Daella and Alyssa and Aemma and Laena (and quite a few women in the main series) are treated in this manner. What happens when no thought is giving to the role of those characters is seen at the example of Jocelyn Baratheon - who just disappears - to the point that even her nephew doesn't seem to recall how exactly he was related to this woman. But in the case of Aemon/Jocelyn even the dynastic role/function is not exactly elaborated in a way that makes much sense.

Lyarra Stark isn't even a character at this point - and she should stay that way. It is pretty laughable how Ned never so much as thinks about his mother in AGoT, even when he stands in front of what must be her grave, too - best keep it that way rather than shoehorn her into the story in some fashion. She likely died in childbirth giving birth to Benjen Stark, just as Arra Norrey died giving birth to Rickon.

And I'm very confident that Daenaera Velaryon, Myriah Martell, Jena Dondarrion, Dyanna Dayne (for her that seems to have been effectively confirmed), and Shaera Targaryen will all die in childbirth as well, possibly also Alys Arryn, Daenora Targaryen, and Betha Blackwood. None of those women are confirmed to have outlived their husbands at this point, so death in childbirth is the default cause of death for all those women.

Men - even those who get so little characterization as Aemon and Baelon - all get proper and individual causes of death (aside from the old guys being killed by the serpentine steps, one of the main serial killers of FaB).

14 minutes ago, Lady Anna said:

Yep. That said, I was actually surprised by the amount of female characters in F&B, and the attention paid to them. Targaryen women are way more interesting than the men. But I found the quick successive deaths of Jaeherys' and Alysanne's children a bit too much.

George can write very interesting female characters when he decides to do that - and Rhaena really stands out there in FaB - but those are then usually special characters, not run-of-the-mill characters.

But, true, the characterization of most of Jaehaerys' daughters is much better than that of his sons (Vaegon aside), but this doesn't extend to the way they die.

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8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

George is overplaying the mortality rate of the highest born mothers - who should, by privilege of birth and wealth, have only the best of care said privileges can buy them (and that does not only mean the best maesters but also, historically at least, the best available sorcerers in this world) - meaning that the average Targaryen or Lannister mother should not die in childbirth. The peasant women could very well be different cases, but it is not very believable that tragedies of the kind that strike the Targaryens during the reign of Jaehaerys I should be this common among the royals. Not with maesters and sorcerers actually be able to work miracles by the standards of actual medieval medicine...

Where the ball of realism really drops there is where child mortality is concerned - if so many women died in childbirth how is it that infants and young children pretty much never die, especially not anywhere in the main series. None of Cat's five children died, for instance, there are no reports about any of the children of the great houses that are not born with issues (early births, sickly nature, etc.) die in infancy or childhood - but that's where the children should and did die like flies in the real middle ages as well up into the 19th and early 20th centuries (until proper modern medicine dealt with most of those issues). I've literally an army of uncles and aunts in my family tree in the 19th century who all died in infancy and early childhood - but this kind of thing is not even remotely reflected by the books.

There are not even any children/young people crippled or killed by any of the most famous infectious diseases - we don't get anything about people crippled/killed by polio, tetanus, etc.

All that should be very common, as should be boys not surviving their times as squires because of small wounds that get infected, etc.

And this is the very reason why it makes no sense to go look for 'real world examples' for women dying in childbirth and not demand or use similar statistics for the (pretty much) non-existing children who die in infancy - which should be very different from the way they are depicted if realism where the author's goal here.

Instead it is just awfully convenient to get rid of a woman by means of her dying in childbirth, especially if her only purpose in the story was just to produce another generation, anyway - and that's why Daella and Alyssa and Aemma and Laena (and quite a few women in the main series) are treated in this manner. What happens when no thought is giving to the role of those characters is seen at the example of Jocelyn Baratheon - who just disappears - to the point that even her nephew doesn't seem to recall how exactly he was related to this woman. But in the case of Aemon/Jocelyn even the dynastic role/function is not exactly elaborated in a way that makes much sense.

Lyarra Stark isn't even a character at this point - and she should stay that way. It is pretty laughable how Ned never so much as thinks about his mother in AGoT, even when he stands in front of what must be her grave, too - best keep it that way rather than shoehorn her into the story in some fashion. She likely died in childbirth giving birth to Benjen Stark, just as Arra Norrey died giving birth to Rickon.

And I'm very confident that Daenaera Velaryon, Myriah Martell, Jena Dondarrion, Dyanna Dayne (for her that seems to have been effectively confirmed), and Shaera Targaryen will all die in childbirth as well, possibly also Alys Arryn, Daenora Targaryen, and Betha Blackwood. None of those women are confirmed to have outlived their husbands at this point, so death in childbirth is the default cause of death for all those women.

Men - even those who get so little characterization as Aemon and Baelon - all get proper and individual causes of death (aside from the old guys being killed by the serpentine steps, one of the main serial killers of FaB).

George can write very interesting female characters when he decides to do that - and Rhaena really stands out there in FaB - but those are then usually special characters, not run-of-the-mill characters.

But, true, the characterization of most of Jaehaerys' daughters is much better than that of his sons (Vaegon aside), but this doesn't extend to the way they die.

It does seem as though George has slowly given up on actually giving a shit.

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9 hours ago, DarkSister1001 said:

No worries.  It could be a nod to Lyanna.  Considering White Harbor stayed with the Faith and the rest of the North holds to the OGs this would be the only place to have a tourney take place. 

Fair point. George has said the northmen tend more to wild melees than jousting tourneys, but the Manderleys hold to more southron ways. 

I do like the idea that Grrm is basically going out of his way to give examples of women riding in disguise in jousts.

 

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14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And I'm very confident that Daenaera Velaryon, Myriah Martell, Jena Dondarrion, Dyanna Dayne (for her that seems to have been effectively confirmed), and Shaera Targaryen will all die in childbirth as well, possibly also Alys Arryn, Daenora Targaryen, and Betha Blackwood. None of those women are confirmed to have outlived their husbands at this point, so death in childbirth is the default cause of death for all those women.

As far as Betha Blackwood goes, I always felt the Battle of the Blackwater and the ship that bore her name going up in green flames may have been a hint as to what happened to her. (Didn't she also see to her children's betrothals?)

Now, question;

Vaegon Targaryen. I know Blood & Fire is said to have been written by an anonymous person, but is there any chance at all he could have authored it. He just seems like a really good candidate for it. 

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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5 hours ago, Hiigara129 said:

Minor question; was Jaehaerys ever knighted? I would assume he was but I can't recall that ever being mentioned.

As a king he could have knighted himself. 

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On 11/20/2018 at 2:44 AM, Lord Varys said:

(...)

And for all who still challenge the gospel: Princess Alyssa Targaryen has mis-matched eyes. One purple, one green. She breaks her nose, and she likes sex as much as Tyrion. Shiera is subtle, the tourney of 272 AC is less subtle, but this is no longer subtlety. This a hammer on the head.

And who knows, perhaps some green-eyed singer from Lannisport was Aenys' father, after all ;-)?

How could I miss that? Can I quote you on the AJT thread?

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12 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

As a king he could have knighted himself. 

Hm no he couldn't. He could have himself knighted by one of the Kingsguard, but he couldn't knight himself. AFAIK we don't an example of the King being able to knight people on his own authority while not a Knight himself. That's why I said it was weird.

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18 hours ago, Hiigara129 said:

Hm no he couldn't. He could have himself knighted by one of the Kingsguard, but he couldn't knight himself. AFAIK we don't an example of the King being able to knight people on his own authority while not a Knight himself. That's why I said it was weird.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1624

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To settle an old debate on EZBoard, any king can make a knight but any lord cannot. That lord must be a knight as well. So Baelor I could make knights but Eddard could not. George said the more important thing for kings is making lords. The problem is giving lands.

 

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19 hours ago, Hiigara129 said:

Hm no he couldn't. He could have himself knighted by one of the Kingsguard, but he couldn't knight himself. AFAIK we don't an example of the King being able to knight people on his own authority while not a Knight himself. That's why I said it was weird.

Aenys I knights Bernarr Brune after he slew Harren the Red, despite Aenys not being a knight.

Edited by LordSeaSnake

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On 12/8/2018 at 4:55 PM, Maia said:

Yet Alysanne, specifically, was continiously pushing for extending the roles that women could occupy in their society and the rights that they could enjoy! And Jaehaerys may not have supported her in this as much as she or many of us would have wished, but he still did do so. Certainly, Alysanne was in position to and did separate herself from him over issues that she felt strong enough about. Nor do I have any reason to think that he wanted his beloved wife dead.

Only within the framework of the society they live in. The Widow's Law strengthened the position of widows (i.e. women as mothers and wives), the abolishment of the First Night is also a strengthening of marriage as understood by the Faith. Alysanne's crucial argument is that the First Night is a right promoting adultery.

Alysanne gives no indication she had any interest no longer sharing the marriage bed with Jaehaerys in her later years, never mind the death of her own mother. Nor does she give any indication she had/wanted access to moon tea or considered using it.

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No, it is, IMHO, different in that Rogar didn't have children. He married a woman who was considered to be past childbearing and his compensation and reward for his previous help to her and her children was supposed to be closeness to the throne. After it all fell through and the miracle pregnancy happened Alyssa felt obligated to try to give him a heir and he, too, felt owed. That second pregnancy - that the maester suggested interrupting, BTW, was just Rogar being selfish and not caring that much for Alyssa's well-being, IMHO. But both the situation and the relationship of Jaehaerys and Alysanne after Viserra's birth were very different.

Well, Jaehaerys effectively commanded Rogar to continue fuck his mother after the end of the Regency, no? He told him to take her back with him to Storm's End and live there together with her as husband and wife. And that's what they did.

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Cat was only 33 at the time and Rickon was still in his infancy, so the succession situation was somewhat less secure. The 2 of them had had 5 kids, not 10. Not to mention that there was in Cat that nagging uncertainty re: Jon's continued presence and whether it might signify that Ned wasn't completely satisfied with _her_ sons. She likely wanted to finally produce a son with Ned's looks. Whether she would have been that eager if Arya had been a boy and whether Ned would have wanted her to take that risk we'll never know.

She says that she can give him another child, not that there is a reason for that. She thinks her function as a wife and the purpose of the sex they just had is to produce children.

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On the contrary, it is, IMHO, one of the instances where GRRM failed to take the differences between his setting and iRL history into account. A loving husband who has enough heirs and wants to continue having sex with his wife isn't going to risk her life in endless pregnancies if contraception is available and non-procreative sex isn't supposed to damn you to hell forever. Another such instance is his fondness for childbed fever, which really shouldn't be nearly as prevalent in that setting, as the maesters know the value of desinfection. In fact, death due to childbirth among the nobles should be reduced compared to iRL history because the maesters actually have a decent grasp of medicine. Etc.

Highborn women die too often in childbirth considering the medical and magical knowledge the people in this world can have. And child mortality is far too low, not just in relation to deaths in the cradle, but also deaths in early childhood from infectious diseases, wounds gone bad, etc. Not to mention the lack of cripples thanks to early training at arms, etc.

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The fact that Margaery could just request it from Pycelle - if she in fact did so, shows that they have access if they chose to and their husband/father/guardian allows this. As to Cersei, I personally think that she had constant access to Moon Tea, since she had sex with Jaime even when Robert was elsewhere for weeks/months, not to mention that she also had sex with him before her marriage. IMHO, her need to resort to that woman's help was due to Moon Tea failing as a contraceptive in the face of Robert's super-fertility.

Cersei seems to have had access to it after Jaime got it for her. It is not something a Lannister of Casterly Rock grew up with and was intimately familiar with. In fact, it is seems to have been a lucky coincidence that Cersei didn't give Jaime a bastard back when they had their first real thing in KL.

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Not sure about that - in many cases these noble girls were just too foolish or too afraid to take precautions. A maester would report them to their family, after all. And so could servants sent to procure the moon tea from other sources - which, BTW, may not be as effective and reliable as that of approved Citadel manufacture. And there weren't that many of them, really.

The point here is just that moon tea doesn't really seem to enable women to enjoy sex outside of/before marriage or enable them to do some family planning - despite the fact that proper birth control should actually give them precisely that opportunity. A medieval society with George's moon tea shouldn't be a patriarchal as it is - because women could actually control when and if they get pregnant.

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Given their family's history he was also very aware how lack of personal military prowess could lead to somebody being seen as "weak". But still - his best Hand was a septon, for Pete's sake! Surely he should have known that there are all kinds of strength.

One should think that - but Jaehaerys was apparently not as, well, imaginative as that.

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Not for the males - there are plenty of lords and heirs in canon who were still unmarried and not betrothed in their late twenties, leave alone younger sons. I mean, Boremund was available as an option for Daella because of it. And even women aren't always betrothed or married at that age. I.e. Princess Rhaenys wasn't betrothed to her cousin. For that matter, if they were so set on finding a good incest match for Vaegon, why did they send away Maegaelle so soon? The 2 of them could have at least connected on intellectual level.

That is true, but it seems the Targaryens do make their marriage deals rather early. I guess there is a chance that Maegelle showed her own desire to join the Faith rather early. They spin it as Alysanne giving a daughter back to the Faith, etc. but it seems they are not, actually, as shitty parents as to force children into the Faith against their will - apparently they didn't even want to do that with Saera. And by the time they decided Maegelle's path they were actually still been confident that Daella and Vaegon would marry one day. That only ended in 73 AC, when Vaegon was ten and Daella nine.

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Would she have really slept with a singer and then killed herself when she discovered that she was pregnant, instead of asking her mother for help, if she wasn't "simple" in some way? And then, again, after Saera and Viserra how comes that she wasn't better watched? I wouldn't say that Alysanne expected her youngest daughter to remain single and take care of her - she just wasn't going to push her into any marriages - understandably after all the tragedies. Wasn't Gael like only 20 or so when she died?

No idea. Perhaps the fact that they were all pretty old by that point may have contributed to all that. And Gael didn't kill herself as a pregnant woman but rather in postnatal depression/grief over her stillborn child. Chances are not that bad that said singer was part of Alysanne's retinue around the time they had that affair.

The idea is that Alysanne was unwilling to give up her youngest child in the wake of the tragedy that befell many of her other children.

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No. After dismissing Rogar, she handed off all her duties to her brother and moped in her chambers for a year. That's a rather poor performance as a regent.

Those were just a few months/weeks. And Alyssa did what was necessary - she saved both their children's marriage as well as Jaehaerys' throne.

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She ruled Dragonstone for a few years - with disastrous results.

Only on a personal - and there Jaehaerys I fucked things up in a similar, perhaps even a worse manner, considering the amount of children and loved ones he got killed over the years.

About her management of Dragonstone as such we don't know anything - nor about her management of Harrenhal afterwards.

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That's what made me understand Jaehaerys's choice against Rhaenys somewhat better after FaB - he was culturally prejudiced, sure, but he also had been exposed to any number of men in positions of authority - ranging from horrible to very good, but of the very few women ditto, most of them have done poorly in his experience and even Alysanne would repeatedly abandon affairs of state due to grief, family preoccupations, etc.

As I said, he dealt with grief differently - after the people he loved the most went away, starting with Aemon. That left him a drunkard, it seems, and Alysanne and Baelon pretty much killed him.

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OTOH, I understand his failure to marry Rhaenys to Viserys even less, as it was a very traditional match that would have alleviated all his concerns re: succession. IMHO, GRRM could have played it in any number of ways that would have made sense - like Aemon having a younger son, who inconveniently died before him, but after Rhaenys was already married, Rhaenys having been betrothed to Viserys, but breaking the betrothal to marry Corlys, etc. As it is, the whole thing seems rather implausible and contrived.

Nah, if Rhaenys had had a younger brother then it makes no sense that she wasn't married to that brother, regardless the age gap. Sibling incest is ideal, if Rhaenys had had a brother he would have been her match, not her cousin.

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Alysanne was his best example of a woman who had potential as a ruler - but a ruler needs to be able to do what he did, i.e. carry on in the face of tragedies. This must have only validated his cultural prejudices - even the best woman he knew didn't quite have what it takes. Yes, he eventually broke down too, but it took much more loss than that, and old age.

As I said already, the role of a ruler is different than the role of a consort or adviser. Alysanne and Rhaena never ruled so they had more leeway to do what they wanted than Jaehaerys did. He must have been smart enough to grasp that. That's what Aemon's 'Kill the boy' phrase was all about. And Alysanne and Rhaena never had to do that.

Alyssa Velaryon did it. She could break with her husband when the man became a traitor. What would have Jaehaerys done in a similar situation?

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Which makes zero sense, though. Particularly given recent family history and all the inheritance cases that Jaehaerys must have judged during his career.

There is little need to prepare or make fixed decisions on eventualities that may never come up. And it makes every sense that hypothetical scenarios involving the death of the king or his heir are not exactly things that they would have openly entertained all that often.

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Yea, that was bad. I guess it was to limit the number of named dragons active in the story - though there are still dozens of hatchlings and unclaimed young dragons unaccounted for, but somebody could have ridden Balerion instead and Meleys could have been Raenys's hatchling. Also, I guess that GRRM thought that he needed it to set up Viserra's tragedy, but again, IMHO it was completely unneccessary. If he really wanted more drama with her, she could have pursued Baelon even while Alyssa was alive. That would have at least adequately explained the horrible marriage.

Oh, there is a number of ways to introduce more dragons - for instance, Saera could have had a young dragon that had to be killed to prevent it from joining Saera in exile (or her returning to KL to reclaim it). Viserra could have been the second rider of the dragon Dreamfyre which is stupidly riderless between Rhaena and Helaena.

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Are we seriously supposed to believe that Baelon mourned his wife for the rest of his life and never touched a woman again? Anyway, I think that Baelon - Rhaenys marriage would have been somewhat problematic in the sense of muddling inheritance because he already had 2 older sons. Viserys was 13 at the time, so it was difficult to say what he might have grown into, but the problem of Corlys as the prince-consort was that Rhaenys already had less Targaryen blood than her cousins and Corlys would dilute it even more in their offspring. This consideration, along with general desirability of not pitting female claim against male one should have favored Viserys as Rhaenys's match.

It doesn't seem all that convincing anymore that they gave purity of blood all that much consideration. Yes, the incest thing is default marriage custom, but if that's not on the table then a Targaryen seems to be able to marry pretty much anyone. Nobody cared how the various potential brides for Jaehaerys would affect the royal bloodline, nor was any such concern ever heard in relation to Maegor's many brides.

In light of Daemon Velaryon's daughters and the Velaryon family tree in general it is very odd, though, that Maegor didn't claim a Velaryon bride throughout his reign.

From what we know about Baelon he never had a paramour and he definitely didn't remarry.

As Baelon's wife it would have been much easier for her to become a ruling queen or a queen consort depending how the situation unfolded.

On 12/9/2018 at 8:45 PM, Jô Maltese said:

How could I miss that? Can I quote you on the AJT thread?

Sure.

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Jaeahaerys and Alysanne are a pretty interesting juxtaposition of charity and extreme elitism. We know they did wonders for the smallfolk, but they did seem to buy whole-heartedly into the belief that the Targaryens were gods among men. The Doctrine of Exceptionalism is a pretty big indicator of this, but just the fact that they didn't think any non-Targaryen suitors were worthy of them is kind of gross. It definitely lends credence to the theory I've seen on here that incest is a metaphor for elitism and/or narcissism in this series. I don't think it's a coincidence that Egg, the prince who lived as a commoner for years, was the one who tried to do away with Targaryen incest. 

(On that note, I'm starting to question whether Tywin would have actually objected to the twincest on a purely moral level, seeing as he clearly didn't believe that any other family held a candle to the Lannisters and married a Lannister himself. I think his problem would be more that Cersei's adultery could get them all killed).

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5 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Jaeahaerys and Alysanne are a pretty interesting juxtaposition of charity and extreme elitism. We know they did wonders for the smallfolk, but they did seem to buy whole-heartedly into the belief that the Targaryens were gods among men. The Doctrine of Exceptionalism is a pretty big indicator of this, but just the fact that they didn't think any non-Targaryen suitors were worthy of them is kind of gross. It definitely lends credence to the theory I've seen on here that incest is a metaphor for elitism and/or narcissism in this series. I don't think it's a coincidence that Egg, the prince who lived as a commoner for years, was the one who tried to do away with Targaryen incest. 

(On that note, I'm starting to question whether Tywin would have actually objected to the twincest on a purely moral level, seeing as he clearly didn't believe that any other family held a candle to the Lannisters and married a Lannister himself. I think his problem would be more that Cersei's adultery could get them all killed).

But they should just like how the strak preach there must always be a stark at winterfell (feel this has to do with some spell) the blood line has to remain "pure" or atleast have enough Valyria Egg was a fool for not seeing this knowledge. His House existed by this tenet for thousands of years why all of a sudden he felt it was unnecessary. Alas as you said he spent time with the common folk so i guess it swayed him. 

I do get why people don't like Baelon and Aemon yea not as colourful as some of the other Targs but damn best brother relationship i have seen so far in the series. Seems one as equal with the other having no insecurity about the other they just try to bring out the best in each other. I loved that and man i loved Baelon and Alyssa love story i dear say even more than Jaehaerys and Alysanne, How they bonded (the man let his wife put on armour to beat their brother lol) and as tragic as it ended it was beautiful. Dang wished she lived longer much like how i wish Meraxes and Rhaenys lived longer (then again having Merexes by the time maegor took over would not have been a bad thing)

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8 hours ago, Destiny Arrives said:

But they should just like how the strak preach there must always be a stark at winterfell (feel this has to do with some spell) the blood line has to remain "pure" or atleast have enough Valyria Egg was a fool for not seeing this knowledge. His House existed by this tenet for thousands of years why all of a sudden he felt it was unnecessary. Alas as you said he spent time with the common folk so i guess it swayed him. 

I do get why people don't like Baelon and Aemon yea not as colourful as some of the other Targs but damn best brother relationship i have seen so far in the series. Seems one as equal with the other having no insecurity about the other they just try to bring out the best in each other. I loved that and man i loved Baelon and Alyssa love story i dear say even more than Jaehaerys and Alysanne, How they bonded (the man let his wife put on armour to beat their brother lol) and as tragic as it ended it was beautiful. Dang wished she lived longer much like how i wish Meraxes and Rhaenys lived longer (then again having Merexes by the time maegor took over would not have been a bad thing)

Would there even have been a Maegor had Rhaenys survived?

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On 12/8/2018 at 10:09 PM, Ran said:

Again, much ado about nothing as far as the maesters go. George has shown them to be somewhat better than medieval barbers and surgeons. He has also shown that childbirth is still dangerous, despite this. 

So, I have been idly looking at procreation history of the English kings, after checking some stuff about Isabella of France and my initial impression is that Martin _really_ needs to dial down that "death in childbirth" - "from childbed fever" business. Because I have looked at her, her daughters and then skimmed the wives, daughters and daughters-in law of William, Henry I and Stephen - about  and guess how many of these women have died from this so far? Zero. I am going to make a more rigorous survey if I have time, but my current theory is that combination of the decline of midwifery skills and folk medicine due to witch hunts and growing involvment of medical doctors (who were lethal quacks from modern PoV until well into late 19th century)  in the process of childbirth actually _increased_ the mortality of the women from the process during Renaissance and later.

On 12/8/2018 at 11:22 PM, Ran said:

And Doran's father? As Bernie indicates, George has been pretty even-handed in his not caring very much about the progenitors of the current batch of Martells.

His father was not a lord paramount. We know the names of all contemporary paramounts, except for her, which makes the omission notable.

 

On 12/8/2018 at 11:40 PM, lysmonger said:

Maestars could be really really far into medicine, but that means very little because the maestar's are  a closed in order that cant have kids.

What does it have to do with anything? The Citadel represents a far more efficient model of disseminating skills than from a parent to child.

On 12/8/2018 at 7:45 PM, Ran said:

Bread mould was also used by the ancient Egyptians. Antiseptics are recorded by the Sumerians, and the Greek Galen. They did not really understand why these things sometimes worked and sometimes didn't, they didn't understand how rigorous usage should be, nor the fact that cleaning instruments did very little if you didn't have rigorous protocols regarding washing your hands and not touching contaminated objects.

What makes you think that the mechanisms by which drugs work are always wholly understood even now? Or need to be, to build up effective medical practices? All you need is the consequently applied experimental method to ascertain that certain things do work. Which the maesters use. It is also quite plausible, even likely, that say, ancient Egyptians, had better medicine for privileged classes than anything we had until the late 19th century in the West. This has already been proven re: dentistry in their case.

You also seriously unerestimate how effective just regular washing hands and things with soap and desinfection with alcohol is, in the matter of prevention of disease or of complications after surgery. If the maesters also figured out that they need to boil water to make it safe to drink, they'd be almost at the level of early 20-ieth century.

 

On 12/10/2018 at 11:54 PM, Lord Varys said:

Only within the framework of the society they live in. The Widow's Law strengthened the position of widows (i.e. women as mothers and wives), the abolishment of the First Night is also a strengthening of marriage as understood by the Faith.

The Widow's Law also reaffirmed that the eldest daughter should inherit when there was no son and Alysanne always championed inheritance rights  of her female descendants. She also tried to convince the maesters to admit women women to the Citadel and employed a female bodyguard. Princess Alyssa was allowed her tomboyish childhood too. Alysanne was definitely pushing at boundaries of what was possible for women in her society.

On 12/10/2018 at 11:54 PM, Lord Varys said:

Alysanne gives no indication she had any interest no longer sharing the marriage bed with Jaehaerys in her later years, never mind the death of her own mother. Nor does she give any indication she had/wanted access to moon tea or considered using it.

Which is very odd and counter-intuitive. I am now leaisurely re-reading FaB and when she had Gaemon, the maesters felt that her life was at risk. You'd think that at that point both she and her husband would decided to be safe and have called for moon tea.

On 12/10/2018 at 11:54 PM, Lord Varys said:

Well, Jaehaerys effectively commanded Rogar to continue fuck his mother after the end of the Regency, no? He told him to take her back with him to Storm's End and live there together with her as husband and wife.

His mother was supposed to be past child-bearing at that time, though. But I never understood how we are supposed to understand it - was his punishing his mother? Or was she still in love with Rogar despite anything and wanted to try being his wife? I mean, it is understandable that Jaehaerys didn't want her at his court until things became more settled and his authority and power established, but he could have sent her somewhere else.

On 12/10/2018 at 11:54 PM, Lord Varys said:

Highborn women die too often in childbirth considering the medical and magical knowledge the people in this world can have. And child mortality is far too low, not just in relation to deaths in the cradle, but also deaths in early childhood from infectious diseases, wounds gone bad, etc.

Maybe not. So far it seems entirely plausible from what I have been reading about the Conqueror and his descendants.

 

On 12/13/2018 at 3:58 PM, VVSINGOFTHECROSS said:

Would there even have been a Maegor had Rhaenys survived?

A very good question. I am under impression that Visenya wasn't particularly interested in having children until she felt pressed by circumstances to produce Maegor. Also, it seems like she had a close and loving relationship with Rhaenys - there certainly wasn't any hint at jealousy or strife while her younger sister was alive.

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I think its fair to say the Citadel through the rites of its orders limits the spread of knowledge and ways of thinking. It perhaps causes prejuideces amongst nobles and commoners alike much like Jesuits were seen as the bane of every catholic european countries.

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