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Lord Varys

[SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

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12 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

The new revelation for me in this context was that in addition to being a neutral death cult, the Faceless Men are also in service to Braavos,  or at least aligned to the interests of protecting Braavos, based on the Sealord’s threat. So they are part of Braavos’s arsenal rather than being completely neutral and just geographically located in Braavos.

The Sealord's threat doesn't necessarily mean the Faceless Men are at his command, though. He may be able to hire them, though ... for a (very steep?) price. Or not. Perhaps they would act on behalf of the city if it were certain doom from some dragonlords. I'm sure nobody paid them for the Doom of Valyria, either, so...

But we cannot be certain since there is no chance the Sealord doesn't lie or exaggerate when treating with foreign dignitaries.

12 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

So might their interest in the eggs have been to study them in order for the Faceless Men to develop magical poisons that could kill dragons? Thus leading to the eventual extinction of the dragons over the next number of decades?

If the point of the three eggs is to make them Dany's eggs, then they didn't do that. And as I mentioned somewhere else, it might be telling, I think, that the Sealord is not actually named. He could have been a Mopatis. Illyrio's ancestors may have moved from Braavos to Pentos (or Illyrio himself may have done that, before he met Varys - bravos are very common in Braavos, and Illyrio was, originally, a bravo).

Also, if 'Jaqen' is in Oldtown to get a look at/steal this 'The Death of the Dragons' book then the Faceless Men do not actually know how to kill dragons (not sure what else one might want to learn reading in that book). I can see 'Jaqen' acting on behalf of his guild rather than an outsider paying to get the book, but that is not clear either.

Overall, if the old guard of the Faceless Men wanted to rid the world of Targaryens and dragons Aegon the Conqueror wouldn't have reigned a year. And his dragons, well, riderless dragons are not that much of deal, anyway.

From what I can fathom I think the 'anti-dragon maester conspiracy' set in with the arrival of the new Dragonstonian maester after the death of Grand Maester Gerardys. That was the guy who chose seven eggs for Aegon II who all didn't hatch as far as we know (why is that). The egg they laid in the cradle of young Laena Velaryon may have been poisoned or messed with so it produces a monstrosity.

But that's all speculation at this point.

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It is not outright confirmed but it is heavily implied by the combination of the Sea lord's conversation with Barth and the fate of the Rogares that both the Iron Bank and the Faceless Men are involved in the governance of Braavos. For one the Sealord gets the Iron Bank to drop a significant portion of the Iron Throne's debt.

That may imply that the eggs were not bought as the Sea lord's personal property, or that if they did so originally, once the Bank was involved and paid for them again they could have been more like the property of the office or the Bank. After all they had no guarantee that any future Targaryen would not decide to conquer the Free Cities. They might not want war but they would want some kind of insurance against that possibility.

As for the role of the Faceless Men I don't think that they are at the Sea lord's command, but it would make sense if he could call on them to address threats to the security of Braavos. After all they must have some kind of arrangement with the authorities of Braavos in order to operate openly. They would also be inclined to do so for the preservation of their temple. 

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11 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

It is not outright confirmed but it is heavily implied by the combination of the Sea lord's conversation with Barth and the fate of the Rogares that both the Iron Bank and the Faceless Men are involved in the governance of Braavos. For one the Sealord gets the Iron Bank to drop a significant portion of the Iron Throne's debt.

Well, that's the bank. The Iron Bank is essentially Braavos' state bank, basically. And while Barth treats with the Sealord, the byzantine power structure of Braavos is completely unclear at this point. We don't know how much authority he has or how exactly he is chosen, and what factions are strongest behind the scenes.

What little we know about the families of Sealords - Laena's wastrel betrothed - and keyholders implies that Braavos is very much meritocracy, at least insofar as wealth is concerned.

Quote

As for the role of the Faceless Men I don't think that they are at the Sea lord's command, but it would make sense if he could call on them to address threats to the security of Braavos. After all they must have some kind of arrangement with the authorities of Braavos in order to operate openly. They would also be inclined to do so for the preservation of their temple. 

The bold goes without saying - and I remember mentioning that in the past occasionally when putting forth the idea that the House of Black and White must have enormous power behind the scenes - especially with (and through) the Iron Bank.

The issue just is that they don't seem to strive to lend their talents to those who acquire earthly power, nor do they apparently deeply involve themselves in politics overseas to the degree that makes the Faceless Men an actual political player. They are an ace up the sleeve of Braavos as a city, I'd say, something they can utilize to defend themselves against threats that cannot be dealt with otherwise. But they don't seem to come on the table as a means to dominate or conquer. And that's mostly because of their philosophy.

Edited by Lord Varys

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Thankfully, no Aerion Brightflames or Aerys among Jaehaerys and Alyssa's children. A generation of no mad Targaryens is an accomplishment. 

Aemon and Baelon seem okay. They are friendly rivals akin to Jon and Robb, with both being skilled at arms and getting some experience in governance under their father. Their untimely deaths are unfortunate. Perhaps, the Dance of Dragons could have been avoided if either lived. 

Alyssa is another Arya-esque Targaryen, a non-conventional girl who prefers hobbies generally assigned for men, and she's a lot of fun. 

Vaegon sounds like a more dickish version of Maester Aemon. 

Viserra sounds awful, given the way she spoke about her late sister. 

Maegella seems a wonderful person, reconciling her parents twice and tending to sick kids.

As for Saera, I admit dying all the KGs' cloaks pink was funny. However, she is basically the Targaryen version of a Mean Girl. She reminds me of Cersei, being a spoiled brat with a huge sense of entitlement, and also being a psychopath who consistently manipulates and uses people. The Sun and Daily Mail would have loved her. 

@Lord Varys agreed on Rogar and Alyssa. The guy was a windbag who acted tough, but cracked in some tough moments. When his wife was going through a difficult delivery, rather than be there for her, he got drunk. His worst moment was when he wanted to go for the nuclear option of replacing Jaehaerys with his niece Aerea, and later her twin Rhaella, ostensibly over his marriage to Alysanne, but actually over his humiliation in the yard on Dragonstone. In other words, he was willing to potentially start another civil war just to get even with a 15 year-old. When his wife states the plain truth that Jaehaerys isn't going to set aside his marriage to Alysanne, how does Rogar respond? He says: "You are weak, as weak as your first husband was, as weak as your son. Sentiment may be forgiven in a mother, but not in a regent, and never a king." That is an incredibly awful thing to say; he didn't just insult her, he basically just insulted her late husband and her remaining son to her face. In truth, it'd be ludicrous to call Jaehaerys weak over what happened on Dragonstone given he stood his ground, and didn't give an inch to Rogar, Alyssa or Septon Mattheus. 

Alyssa, OTOH, had to endure a lot with losing her two eldest sons and her husband. She communicated with other lords trying to win support for her family, and ran away when she got the opportunity. She was also willing to stand up to her husband and Hand, and make him resign when push came to shove. When the final moment came, she chose to sacrifice herself to save her unborn child. 

Edited by Fire Eater

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9 hours ago, Ran said:

If Braavos really wanted to hatch the dragons and set itself against Westeros, they'd just send the Faceless Men preemptively anyways, and the Targaryens would be snuffed out before they knew what was happening.

The threat of the Faceless Men is about as bad as the threat of dragons, which basically makes it a situation of MAD theory.

Could the faceless men be experimenting with the dragon eggs? Learning how to destroy them?
 

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Just now, lysmonger said:

Could the faceless men be experimenting with the dragon eggs? Learning how to destroy them?
 

An interesting idea.

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This has been my speculation for awhile. They poisoned or changed a few eggs irreversibly as a way to get rid of dragons.

I also believe most  Valyrian families suspect the Faceless men are behind the doom of Valyria. There has to be an unknown agreement between the Facelessmen and the Targaryens

10 hours ago, Ran said:

If Braavos really wanted to hatch the dragons and set itself against Westeros, they'd just send the Faceless Men preemptively anyways, and the Targaryens would be snuffed out before they knew what was happening.

The threat of the Faceless Men is about as bad as the threat of dragons, which basically makes it a situation of MAD theory.

 

44 minutes ago, Ran said:

An interesting idea.

 

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14 hours ago, Fire Eater said:

Thankfully, no Aerion Brightflames or Aerys among Jaehaerys and Alyssa's children. A generation of no mad Targaryens is an accomplishment. 

Saera is much worse. She fits the profile of a proper psychopath perfectly. They don't have to want to murder people or whip or throttle servants. It is enough to have little to no empathy and the strong desire to do whatever the hell you want - combined with the ability to manipulate the people around you to get what you want (which Saera could do with her daddy).

And Viserra may have been worse - although I'm not sure how much observers just played up 'the living goddess' thing because of her inhumane beauty and the fact that she actually wasn't all that modest about it.

14 hours ago, Fire Eater said:

Vaegon sounds like a more dickish version of Maester Aemon. 

Vaegon seems to be George's take on an Asperger autist (and he seems to be either asexual or at least have a reduced sex drive as a youth).

I expect to be Aerys I to be pretty much a reincarnation of Vaegon - and due to the incest certain crucial genetic traits should show up ever more often in the bloodline, so this is no coincidence.

After all, even Jaehaerys supposedly looks very much like Maegor - especially when angry.

14 hours ago, Fire Eater said:

@Lord Varys agreed on Rogar and Alyssa. The guy was a windbag who acted tough, but cracked in some tough moments. When his wife was going through a difficult delivery, rather than be there for her, he got drunk.

Didn't think of that when writing it above, but, yes, that's another sign that the man was talking big without actually being strong.

14 hours ago, Fire Eater said:

His worst moment was when he wanted to go for the nuclear option of replacing Jaehaerys with his niece Aerea, and later her twin Rhaella, ostensibly over his marriage to Alysanne, but actually over his humiliation in the yard on Dragonstone. In other words, he was willing to potentially start another civil war just to get even with a 15 year-old. When his wife states the plain truth that Jaehaerys isn't going to set aside his marriage to Alysanne, how does Rogar respond? He says: "You are weak, as weak as your first husband was, as weak as your son. Sentiment may be forgiven in a mother, but not in a regent, and never a king." That is an incredibly awful thing to say; he didn't just insult her, he basically just insulted her late husband and her remaining son to her face. In truth, it'd be ludicrous to call Jaehaerys weak over what happened on Dragonstone given he stood his ground, and didn't give an inch to Rogar, Alyssa or Septon Mattheus. 

Yeah, and as if as this man could control his desires and stay faithful to his wife, etc. Even if Jaehaerys was driven only by desire and not caring about the Realm and all, Rogar wouldn't be the guy giving him a lesson on that.

14 hours ago, Fire Eater said:

Alyssa, OTOH, had to endure a lot with losing her two eldest sons and her husband. She communicated with other lords trying to win support for her family, and ran away when she got the opportunity. She was also willing to stand up to her husband and Hand, and make him resign when push came to shove. When the final moment came, she chose to sacrifice herself to save her unborn child. 

Not sure if the story is true. I'd like to believe it, too, but the medical care they had makes that unlikely. Not to mention that it wasn't really a choice anymore, rather whether both she and the child or only she would die.

9 hours ago, lysmonger said:

This has been my speculation for awhile. They poisoned or changed a few eggs irreversibly as a way to get rid of dragons.

Really not sure what for they would need the book, then? 'The Dying of the Dragons' in the Citadel - Jaqen should be there for it. And wouldn't that then mean that they, and not the maesters, poisoned the dragons during the reign of Aegon III?

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Vaegon seems to be George's take on an Asperger autist (and he seems to be either asexual or at least have a reduced sex drive as a youth).

I didn't consider that, Helping his father come up with the idea of a Great Council was a not insignificant contribution. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, and as if as this man could control his desires and stay faithful to his wife, etc. Even if Jaehaerys was driven only by desire and not caring about the Realm and all, Rogar wouldn't be the guy giving him a lesson on that.

That's taking into account that he announced his decision to marry Jaehaerys's mother, Alyssa, without asking his leave as Rogar clearly knew was protocol. Jaehaerys, while angry, was willing to let that slide, but Rogar wasn't willing to give him the same courtesy wrt Jaehaerys's marriage. 

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12 minutes ago, Fire Eater said:

I didn't consider that, Helping his father come up with the idea of a Great Council was a not insignificant contribution. 

Yeah, he could have been king. Being an archmaester saved him, it seems. Aerys I didn't have that excuse when they interrupted him in his study, telling him his father and nephews were both dead. He likely couldn't come up with an excuse in time.

Overall, Aspergers usually do want to have sex and relationships, although they develop that desire oftentimes later in life. So who knows? Perhaps Vaegon had a lover or a whore he visited once or twice a year. He really seems to have been not very approachable.

12 minutes ago, Fire Eater said:

That's taking into account that he announced his decision to marry Jaehaerys's mother, Alyssa, without asking his leave as Rogar clearly knew was protocol. Jaehaerys, while angry, was willing to let that slide, but Rogar wasn't willing to give him the same courtesy wrt Jaehaerys's marriage. 

Rogar embodies so many of the Baratheons traits. Great physical prowess, sexual and drug excesses, inability to deal with emotional issues, and a suppressed ambition/desire to show how he great he is without admitting it publicly. He is like Robert and Stannis combined into one.

That is never more evident as in the moment when they expect him to lay claim to the throne and he denies it and hides behind Aerea - everybody there knows the point of her becoming queen is that he can effectively rule longer as Hand and perhaps marry her to one of his nephews to continue to control her after she has come of age.

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6 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Rogar embodies so many of the Baratheons traits. Great physical prowess, sexual and drug excesses, inability to deal with emotional issues, and a suppressed ambition/desire to show how he great he is without admitting it publicly. He is like Robert and Stannis combined into one.

Not to mention stubbornness and just like in Stannis's case, difficult at letting things slide. At least he's not as bad as his brother Borys. 

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Vaegon seems to be George's take on an Asperger autist (and he seems to be either asexual or at least have a reduced sex drive as a youth).

As someone who has a mild form autism himself and thus a great interest in the subject, i can emphatically say that Vaegon does not fit asperger, he misses to many key elements for that, but he does have some traits of autism so i can certainly see him falling in what is called they autistic spectrum.  

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51 minutes ago, direpupy said:

As someone who has a mild form autism himself and thus a great interest in the subject, i can emphatically say that Vaegon does not fit asperger, he misses to many key elements for that, but he does have some traits of autism so i can certainly see him falling in what is called they autistic spectrum.  

My girlfriend is autistic, too, so I do know a lot about that, too, and it is also why I said George's take on it, rather than that he gives a proper depiction of it. He has no apparent issues with loud noises/smells/light, no problem remembering faces. There are no overloads and meltdowns to be seen. People who don't really know/deal with autistic in real life usually forget those things.

What he has are his special interests, the clumsiness, and, perhaps, a certain difficulty accepting social norms (I've read his outburst about not wanting to marry Daella as him emphatically stating that there is no reason why he should marry a woman as stupid as her - he didn't necessarily mean it as an insult).

But we can certainly agree that he is at least on the autistic spectrum - Asperger is no longer in use as a proper description, anyway, is it not?

By the way - do you guys think we can take Daella as a template for 'the Targaryen simpleton'. Unfortunately we don't get a close depiction of Gael, and we don't really the get the impression Gael was worse than Daella, do we? Jaehaera doesn't seem to be that simple, although she could be autistic, too. When she finally is queen and we see her some more she is so traumatized that it is very difficult to actually try to assess her mental state.

1 hour ago, Fire Eater said:

Not to mention stubbornness and just like in Stannis's case, difficult at letting things slide. At least he's not as bad as his brother Borys. 

Rogar's mad dream about using his axe on Maegor is also channeling Lyonel in THK who wants to give Maekar a beating. It is quite clear that only the dragons keep Baratheon ambition in line back then.

Borys is really as poisonous as Renly. He wants Storm's End for himself, so he urges Lord Rogar to take the black.

And it is really great that at least two of Borros' daughters show similar behavior. Maris is very poisonous indeed, and Cassandra shows that a hunger for power isn't a male thing at all.

Edited by Lord Varys

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2 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

My girlfriend is autistic, too, so I can know a lot about that, too, and it is also why I said George's take on it, rather than that he gives a proper depiction of it. He has no apparent issues with loud noises/smells/light, no problem remembering faces. But there are no overloads and meltdowns to be seen. People who don't really know/deal with autistic in real life usually forget.

What he has are his special interests, the clumsiness, and, perhaps, a certain difficulty accepting social norms (I've read his outburst about not wanting to marry Daella as him emphatically stating that there is no reason why he should marry a woman as stupid as her - he didn't necessarily mean it as an insult).

But we can certainly agree that he is at least on the autistic spectrum - Asperger is no longer in use as a proper description, anyway, is it not?

Agreed, he has several traits but not all of them, so probably this was as you said George trying his hand at someone with a form of autism.

As to Asperger being used or not as a description, there is such dispute between scholars and medical experts about autism these days that these terms are used by one group and discarded by the next, so it really depends on who you talk to. 

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8 minutes ago, direpupy said:

As to Asperger being used or not as a description, there is such dispute between scholars and medical experts about autism these days that these terms are used by one group and discarded by the next, so it really depends on who you talk to. 

Yeah, but considering the spectrum angle I think it is not that great an idea to have that special term for a special group within the larger group and all. But for some people the term is better to handle than the 'evil word' autism.

Overall, the description of Vaegon being cold and all has to be seen through the lens of normal people making sense of him who have no clue what people like him actually are - in a medieval world at that.

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17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, but considering the spectrum angle I think it is not that great an idea to have that special term for a special group within the larger group and all. But for some people the term is better to handle than the 'evil word' autism.

Some people just have to put other people in boxes preferably as small as possible, i am not a fan of that but it happens a lot.

17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Overall, the description of Vaegon being cold and all has to be seen through the lens of normal people making sense of him who have no clue what people like him actually are - in a medieval world at that.

Agreed 100%

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Im still tripping on one of the daughters wanting to marry the King beyond the Wall or the Prince of Dorne to become Queen. (Even though in Dorne shed just be a princess still but watever).

But what of this King Beyond the Wall? Who is he? How would she know of Kings beyond the Wall? What King beyond the Wall was there even close to this time? Bael is the closet at maybe 3-400BC. Did Alysanne and Jaehaerys tell there kids Bael's story? That would be odd. Maybe just Gendel and Gorne, Horned Lord and Joramun? Unless there actually was a king in there time? (Couldn't find mention yet). Do the wildlings always have kings? Why didn't he try to go south? Maybe i just need to read more?

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I just finished this through the beginning of Heirs / death of Alysanne.

Broadly divides into 2 halves, the first half ended with the Shivers winter plague and bookended by Third Dornish War:  after that it’s about their trials with their children, and had many timeskips (48 to 62 were covered heavily, nearly linear). 

The Shivers plague is also a big chapter break given just how many characters died.

I took a lot of handwritten notes, proceeding slowly.  Will raise any points from those when I finish.

 

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Ser...just because she thinks there’s a king beyond the wall doesn’t mean there is one.  And many of the kings you listed were stated to have lived thousands of years ago.

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Just now, The Dragon Demands said:

Ser...just because she thinks there’s a king beyond the wall doesn’t mean there is one.  And many of the kings you listed were stated to have lived thousands of years ago.

Yep. That's why i listed the other ones. On the chance that there is no king in her time. Raising the point of how she knows of them and which ones would she know about. Assuming Alysanne or Jaehaerys learned of them when the wilding camp was caught and noses taken. (Still interesting they never heard legend of the Others considering this giant ice wall and the reason for its very creation being tied to this legend but meh.). It's still interesting to me.

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