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Lord Varys

[SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

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1 hour ago, lysmonger said:

Do all ethnic Norwegians have blue eyes?

Do all ethnic Norwegians marry their sisters ;-)? The Targaryens (and other Valyrian dragonlords and their descendants in Lys and Volantis and elsewhere) aren't a people but rather a very inbred group of families. They have very distinct features, and it is noteworthy when people in the bloodline to seem to fit the bill. But then, at least those mismatched eyes don't seem to be that uncommon in the Targaryen family tree...

1 hour ago, LadyTargaryen1 said:

Did anyone lose a bit of respect for Jaehaerys after his treatment of Saera? I find it interesting that he had nothing to say about Baelon being lustful, but when it comes to his daughter he denounces her as a whore, and kills an heir of a noble house for sleeping with her. In my opinion, the whole Saera diblocile could of been avoided if he simply wed the Stinger to Saera.

Yeah, the guy really treats his daughters differently (and very badly). Just compare how Vaegon got a free pass on the marriage thing, despite the fact that the guy could have also been forced to marry by royal command. Also not that Daella only seems to have gotten out of the incest marriage because Vaegon publicly rejected her - Viserra could reject the Manderly fellow all day long. She would still be forced to marry the guy. 

I find the Daella thing much worse, actually, considering her marriage basically killed her, and that this could have been foreseen. There was no dynastic reason for Daella to marry, especially not this early.

Saera's behavior as such wasn't that bad, but her psychopathic character makes it clear that they can actually be glad that they are rid of her. They don't understand what exactly she is (although Barth seems to have an inclination) so Jaehaerys' reasons to abandon her - her being a whore, basically - are simply wrong reasons.

Still, the way he dispatched the Stinger was pretty good. The whole episode is very reminiscent of the fall of Augustus' daughter Julia (the official story at that) and Viserra is reminiscent of the machinations of Livilla from I, Claudius, too. Even Jaehaerys and Alysanne channel Augustus and Livia once, when Jaehaerys remarks that marriages have always been the domain of his wife and he would not interfere with them (which was likely a lie, but still...).

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10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Do all ethnic Norwegians marry their sisters ;-)? The Targaryens (and other Valyrian dragonlords and their descendants in Lys and Volantis and elsewhere) aren't a people but rather a very inbred group of families. They have very distinct features, and it is noteworthy when people in the bloodline to seem to fit the bill. But then, at least those mismatched eyes don't seem to be that uncommon in the Targaryen family tree...

Yeah, the guy really treats his daughters differently (and very badly). Just compare how Vaegon got a free pass on the marriage thing, despite the fact that the guy could have also been forced to marry by royal command. Also not that Daella only seems to have gotten out of the incest marriage because Vaegon publicly rejected her - Viserra could reject the Manderly fellow all day long. She would still be forced to marry the guy. 

I find the Daella thing much worse, actually, considering her marriage basically killed her, and that this could have been foreseen. There was no dynastic reason for Daella to marry, especially not this early.

Saera's behavior as such wasn't that bad, but her psychopathic character makes it clear that they can actually be glad that they are rid of her. They don't understand what exactly she is (although Barth seems to have an inclination) so Jaehaerys' reasons to abandon her - her being a whore, basically - are simply wrong reasons.

Still, the way he dispatched the Stinger was pretty good. The whole episode is very reminiscent of the fall of Augustus' daughter Julia (the official story at that) and Viserra is reminiscent of the machinations of Livilla from I, Claudius, too. Even Jaehaerys and Alysanne channel Augustus and Livia once, when Jaehaerys remarks that marriages have always been the domain of his wife and he would not interfere with them (which was likely a lie, but still...).

What makes you think saera is a psychopath? Not arguing, genuinely curious. I got a spoiled rich teenaged Beverly Hills brat vibe from her, but nothing that couldn’t be corrected.

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8 minutes ago, LadyTargaryen1 said:

What makes you think saera is a psychopath? Not arguing, genuinely curious. I got a spoiled rich teenaged Beverly Hills brat vibe from her, but nothing that couldn’t be corrected.

Basically this section here:

Quote

“It was a cruel jape,” said Queen Alysanne, “but just now there are other matters that concern me more. I have been speaking with your…ladies. Are you aware that Alys Turnberry is with child?”
It was only then that the princess came to realize that she was not there to answer for Tom Turnip, but for more shameful sins. For a moment Saera was at a loss for words, but only for a moment. Then she gasped and said, “My Sweetberry? Truly? She…oh, what has she done? Oh, my sweet little fool.” If Septon Barth’s testimony is to be believed, a tear rolled down her cheek.

She is very good at feigning emotions and manipulating people. Saera doesn't care one bit about her stupid friends.

And then comes her mad diatribe, a section I consider one of the best passages in the book:

Quote

Saera crumbled then, and the words came tumbling out one after another in a rush, a flood that left the princess almost breathless. “She went from denial to dismissal to quibbling to contrition to accusation to justification to defiance in the space of an hour, with stops at giggling and weeping along the way,” Septon Barth would write. “She never did it, they were lying, it never happened, how could they believe that, it was just a game, it was just a jape, who said that, that was not how it happened, everyone likes kissing, she was sorry, Peri started it, it was such fun, no one was hurt, no one ever told her kissing was bad, Sweetberry had dared her, she was so ashamed, Baelon used to kiss Alyssa all the time, once she started she did not know how to stop, she was afraid of Stinger, the Mother Above had forgiven her, all the girls were doing it, the first time she was drunk, she had never wanted to, it was what men wanted, Maegelle said the gods forgave all sins, Jonah said he loved her, the gods had made her pretty, it was not her fault, she would be good from now on, it will be as if it never happened, she would marry Red Roy Connington, they had to forgive her, she would never kiss a man again or do any of those other things, it wasn’t her who was with child, she was their daughter, she was their little girl, she was a princess, if she were queen she would do as she liked, why wouldn’t they believe her, they never loved her, she hated them, they could whip her if they wanted but she would never be their slave. She took my breath away, this girl. There was never a mummer in all the land who gave such a performance, but by the end she was exhausted and afraid, and her mask slipped.
“What have you done?” the king said, when at last the princess ran out of words. “Seven save us, what have you done? Have you given one of these boys your maidenhead? Tell me true.”
“True?” said Saera. It was in that moment, with that word, that the contempt came out. “No. I gave it to all three. They all think they were the first. Boys are such silly fools.”

Female psychopaths usually are much more subtle and more insidious as to how they get what they want. They exploit other people, even their own children (there are cases where mothers forced their children to sign contracts and make loans and the like by playing off and exploiting the love they felt for their siblings), and they are - when they have learned how to do it - perfectly capable of giving men they are interested in (for this or that reason) exactly what they want - for a time, at least.

Saera shows her true emotions down at the end, what she really thinks of those morons. What comes above, the actual mad diatribe, is a textbook case of the way a psychopaths standing accused of this or that crime/offense try to rationalize/wiggle out of/justify/relativize what they did. Especially the way she tries to blame others for her own deeds is telling.

Her entire back story sends the message even louder. Another part of a textbook case is the inability to realize what's still socially accepted/funny behavior in the prank territory, and what has gone too far. There is something wrong with Saera's brain that doesn't allow her to make that distinction. And that her only priority throughout her entire life was just she herself and her needs is even more hammered how with what we learn about her early childhood.

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13 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Basically this section here:

She is very good at feigning emotions and manipulating people. Saera doesn't care one bit about her stupid friends.

And then comes her mad diatribe, a section I consider one of the best passages in the book:

Female psychopaths usually are much more subtle and more insidious as to how they get what they want. They exploit other people, even their own children (there are cases where mothers forced their children to sign contracts and make loans and the like by playing off and exploiting the love they felt for their siblings), and they are - when they have learned how to do it - perfectly capable of giving men they are interested in (for this or that reason) exactly what they want - for a time, at least.

Saera shows her true emotions down at the end, what she really thinks of those morons. What comes above, the actual mad diatribe, is a textbook case of the way a psychopaths standing accused of this or that crime/offense try to rationalize/wiggle out of/justify/relativize what they did. Especially the way she tries to blame others for her own deeds is telling.

Her entire back story sends the message even louder. Another part of a textbook case is the inability to realize what's still socially accepted/funny behavior in the prank territory, and what has gone too far. There is something wrong with Saera's brain that doesn't allow her to make that distinction. And that her only priority throughout her entire life was just she herself and her needs is even more hammered how with what we learn about her early childhood.

Wow... I never really perceived the writings like that, more insight for me lol!

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Well excuse me for saying this, but Saera is a thot. Nothing unusual nor unexpected, a lot of girls act like this when they are 16. 

What Jaeherys makes his mistakes is not realizing there behavior is typical. They are acting out. They are seldom with their parents and desire attention from them. Normal teenage acting out. What kind of makes for a good Valyrian king is not necessarily a prim, proper, and prude leader. Saera and Viserra were pretty and manipulative. Daella wasnt. Daella died in childbed. Saera ended up having a butload  of bastards in Lys and Volantis. She appears to end up creating her own business and enterprise.

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1 hour ago, lysmonger said:

Well excuse me for saying this, but Saera is a thot. Nothing unusual nor unexpected, a lot of girls act like this when they are 16. 

What Jaeherys makes his mistakes is not realizing there behavior is typical. They are acting out. They are seldom with their parents and desire attention from them. Normal teenage acting out. What kind of makes for a good Valyrian king is not necessarily a prim, proper, and prude leader. Saera and Viserra were pretty and manipulative. Daella wasnt. Daella died in childbed. Saera ended up having a butload  of bastards in Lys and Volantis. She appears to end up creating her own business and enterprise.

Exactly, Jaehaerys went to far in his punishment and added unnecessary strain on his marriage. It’s even worse because he wouldn’t act half as outraged if it were Aemon  or Baelon acting this way.

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1 hour ago, lysmonger said:

Well excuse me for saying this, but Saera is a thot. Nothing unusual nor unexpected, a lot of girls act like this when they are 16. 

Sorry, but there is nothing in the text that indicates George wanted to describe Saera as a normal teenager acting out. Everything we learn about her character - and we get essentially a character study there, with input from a lot of people who have known her through the years - implies that she was a psychopath.

The daughter that's, perhaps, branded as too great a potential villainess is Viserra, considering here most of her bad character traits revolve around her beauty, and she has no control over her looks and how others see her. That she dares men who worship her to do nonsensical and dangerous things is not so uncommon in very beautiful girls. But she is clearly vilified for that.

Her sneaking into Baelon's bedchamber and taking too many drinks there as well as her comment when she went out for her last tour of the city are more evocative of a normal teenage girl acting out than an evil master manipulator trying become queen by seducing and marrying her second eldest brother. Perhaps she truly liked Baelon? I definitely understand why she didn't want to marry that old Manderly fellow. 

In the end, one has to wonder whether Alysanne was not somewhat jealous of Viserra's beauty there herself. Trying to force her to marry such an old man seems hardly appropriate, especially since the dynastic value of any offspring from such a union is very low indeed. Viserra's children wouldn't be the heirs of White Harbor.

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7 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Sorry, but there is nothing in the text that indicates George wanted to describe Saera as a normal teenager acting out. Everything we learn about her character - and we get essentially a character study there, with input from a lot of people who have known her through the years - implies that she was a psychopath.

The daughter that's, perhaps, branded as too great a potential villainess is Viserra, considering here most of her bad character traits revolve around her beauty, and she has no control over her looks and how others see her. That she dares men who worship her to do nonsensical and dangerous things is not so uncommon in very beautiful girls. But she is clearly vilified for that.

Her sneaking into Baelon's bedchamber and taking too many drinks there as well as her comment when she went out for her last tour of the city are more evocative of a normal teenage girl acting out than an evil master manipulator trying become queen by seducing and marrying her second eldest brother. Perhaps she truly liked Baelon? I definitely understand why she didn't want to marry that old Manderly fellow. 

In the end, one has to wonder whether Alysanne was not somewhat jealous of Viserra's beauty there herself. Trying to force her to marry such an old man seems hardly appropriate, especially since the dynastic value of any offspring from such a union is very low indeed. Viserra's children wouldn't be the heirs of White Harbor.

You raise an amazing point at the end. Was Alysanne jealous of her daughters? We see her devastation at the death of Daenerys, but her treatment of Viserra and Saera shows that she at least had favorites among her children. Saera gets the benefit of doubt, viserra is married to an old man twice her age.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Trying to force her to marry such an old man seems hardly appropriate, especially since the dynastic value of any offspring from such a union is very low indeed. Viserra's children wouldn't be the heirs of White Harbor.

Which is probably ideal, the future ruler of White Harbor being a claimant for the crown is not something that would be wanted by the crown. Lords Arryn and Manderly had children of their own, it may be why they were chosen.

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15 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Which is probably ideal, the future ruler of White Harbor being a claimant for the crown is not something that would be wanted by the crown. Lords Arryn and Manderly had children of their own, it may be why they were chosen.

We can safely dismiss that idea for Rodrik Arryn. He was chosen by Princess Daella, and not for such strange dynastic reasons. She just liked the man and wanted to be the new mother to his (in part already adult) children.

Alysanne gives Daella three final choices for a husband - her own half-uncle, Boremund Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End, as of yet unwed with no children of his own, Tymond Lannister, the heir to Casterly Rock (unwed), and Rodrik Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie, a widower with four children (two daughters, two sons).

Theomore Manderly is just an awful choice. The man was not twice Viserra's age - rather thrice, possibly even four times as old. When the match is announced in 86 AC, when Viserra is fifteen, but Manderly already had multiple children in 58 AC (!) nearly thirty (!) years earlier.

From a dynastic and political point of view such a union would not live long enough. Viserra might not even get impregnated by such an old man - and if she did any children from that union would have no effect on the policies in White Harbor considering that the new Lord Manderly would either be a son or a grandson from Lord Theomore's first wife. So what's the point of throwing a daughter at a man if the children from that union aren't really worth all that much. They wouldn't be Targaryen-Manderlys actually influencing things in the North.

Gyldayn even presents the whole proclamation of this betrothal in a way that makes it clear that he doesn't necessarily buy the reasons that are given officially:

Quote

In 86 AC, Queen Alysanne announced the betrothal of her daughter Viserra, fifteen years of age, to Theomore Manderly, the fierce old Lord of White Harbor. The marriage would do much and more to tie the realm together by uniting one of the great houses of the North to the Iron Throne, the king declared.

What the king declares is not necessarily what's actually the case or the real reason behind his actions.

What we learn about Viserra's back story implies her mother arranged this 'betrothal' to get Viserra away from Baelon and the court. And since Gyldayn doesn't think it is a given that Viserra would have married the man, I think we should not treat this as an marriage that was only prevented by Viserra's sudden death. I'm sure the girl would have found a way to get out of this ridiculous arrangement.

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5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We can safely dismiss that idea for Rodrik Arryn. He was chosen by Princess Daella, and not for such strange dynastic reasons. She just liked the man and wanted to be the new mother to his (in part already adult) children.

Alysanne gives Daella three final choices for a husband - her own half-uncle, Boremund Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End, as of yet unwed with no children of his own, Tymond Lannister, the heir to Casterly Rock (unwed), and Rodrik Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie, a widower with four children (two daughters, two sons).

And Alysanne seems to indicate that she knew who her daughter would choose between a  A warrior, a playboy and a gentle man who sat on her father's council. 

Edited by Bernie Mac

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35 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

And Alysanne seems to indicate that she knew who her daughter would choose between a  A warrior, a playboy and a gentle man who sat on her father's council. 

There is still no reason given that the fact that Lord Rodrik had already children of his own played a role in Alysanne's decision to present him to her. Not to mention that all the other men she was offering her before - Corlys Velaryon, second in line to Driftmark, the young squires she was set up with - a Staunton, Crane, Templeton, and Swann, and the heir to Raventree, Royce Blackwood - don't exactly seem to be men who already had children of their own ... ;-).

One confirmed heir, the other the heir of an heir, and the squires likely heirs, too. We are talking of a princess here, and it is made clear that it is actually beneath a princess to marry a second son from a minor house (like Androw Farman).

It is also quite clear that Jaehaerys seems to have no issues if his daughters marry great lords.

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43 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We can safely dismiss that idea for Rodrik Arryn. He was chosen by Princess Daella, and not for such strange dynastic reasons. She just liked the man and wanted to be the new mother to his (in part already adult) children.

Alysanne gives Daella three final choices for a husband - her own half-uncle, Boremund Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End, as of yet unwed with no children of his own, Tymond Lannister, the heir to Casterly Rock (unwed), and Rodrik Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie, a widower with four children (two daughters, two sons).

Theomore Manderly is just an awful choice. The man was not twice Viserra's age - rather thrice, possibly even four times as old. When the match is announced in 86 AC, when Viserra is fifteen, but Manderly already had multiple children in 58 AC (!) nearly thirty (!) years earlier.

From a dynastic and political point of view such a union would not live long enough. Viserra might not even get impregnated by such an old man - and if she did any children from that union would have no effect on the policies in White Harbor considering that the new Lord Manderly would either be a son or a grandson from Lord Theomore's first wife. So what's the point of throwing a daughter at a man if the children from that union aren't really worth all that much. They wouldn't be Targaryen-Manderlys actually influencing things in the North.

Gyldayn even presents the whole proclamation of this betrothal in a way that makes it clear that he doesn't necessarily buy the reasons that are given officially:

What the king declares is not necessarily what's actually the case or the real reason behind his actions.

What we learn about Viserra's back story implies her mother arranged this 'betrothal' to get Viserra away from Baelon and the court. And since Gyldayn doesn't think it is a given that Viserra would have married the man, I think we should not treat this as an marriage that was only prevented by Viserra's sudden death. I'm sure the girl would have found a way to get out of this ridiculous arrangement.

Then again why would they stop Viserra trying to be queen.  You are probably not going to have the same dynastic problems with Baelon taking her as  a  second wife. She got drunk and got into his bed. He holds all the cards in this relationship. 

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Yeah the way Viserra was treated was BS. Daella got to pick between the Lords/heirs Stark, Arryn and Lannister. yet Viserra was stuck with the four-times widowed Lord Manderly whose claim was being a close friend of Queen Alysanne. Seemed to be a waste of alliances in my book. I hadn't really thought of the jealousy aspect, but now that it's mentioned, that does seem to be as plausible an explanation as any.

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3 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

There is still no reason given that the fact that Lord Rodrik had already children of his own played a role in Alysanne's decision to present him to her. Not to mention that all the other men she was offering her before - Corlys Velaryon, second in line to Driftmark, the young squires she was set up with - a Staunton, Crane, Templeton, and Swann, and the heir to Raventree, Royce Blackwood - don't exactly seem to be men who already had children of their own ... ;-).

One confirmed heir, the other the heir of an heir, and the squires likely heirs, too. We are talking of a princess here, and it is made clear that it is actually beneath a princess to marry a second son from a minor house (like Androw Farman).

It is also quite clear that Jaehaerys seems to have no issues if his daughters marry great lords.

There must have been a discussion from the get go as long as Targaryen women who marry not a Velaryon lordling that their offspring do not become dragon riders. This mustve been Jaehery's decision which was broken with Viserys 1.

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5 minutes ago, lysmonger said:

Then again why would they stop Viserra trying to be queen.  You are probably not going to have the same dynastic problems with Baelon taking her as  a  second wife. She got drunk and got into his bed. He holds all the cards in this relationship. 

We don't know. We don't get enough details on the thing. My suspicion, as cited above, is that Alysanne overreacted here. Couldn't think straight. Was jealous of the beauty of her daughter, perhaps. Alysanne's idea that Viserra wants to be queen via Baelon also entails a lot insidious assumption - for instance, the removal of Aemon and Rhaenys and all children both Rhaenys and Aemon/Jocelyn may have in the future. Baelon could not possibly become king while Aemon was still around. The idea is also, one assumes, that Alysanne fears Viserra would come to control Baelon with her inhuman beauty and feminine wiles.

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't know. We don't get enough details on the thing. My suspicion, as cited above, is that Alysanne overreacted here. Couldn't think straight. Was jealous of the beauty of her daughter, perhaps. Alysanne's idea that Viserra wants to be queen via Baelon also entails a lot insidious assumption - for instance, the removal of Aemon and Rhaenys and all children both Rhaenys and Aemon/Jocelyn may have in the future. Baelon could not possibly become king while Aemon was still around. The idea is also, one assumes, that Alysanne fears Viserra would come to control Baelon with her inhuman beauty and feminine wiles.

To be fair, Saera is 4 years older than Viserra.

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I don't think Alysanne, nor Jaehaerys, would have much of a problem with Viserra wedding Baelon.  Problem was Baelon clearly wasn't interested in remarrying at all, and it seems as if his parents accepted that.  In hindsight, seems the obvious solution is to have Viserra wed Rodrik and give Daella more time.

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