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Lord Varys

[SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

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12 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Textual evidence for what? It is exactly the same as our own past. 

As little a century ago women who remained single their whole lives were assumed to be unfulfilled, it was mostly sexist bullshit but that was the prevailing opinion in Western society.

That is not really true. There were countless women who did not marry and stayed at home to take care of their aging parents. It was not the marriage bed and the nun. It was the marriage bed, the aging parents, and the nun.

My girlfriend's grandaunt (youngest of three sisters, born 1928) still had that life. She was allowed to work, but not to study abroad so she never marries, stays in her hometown and take care of her aging parents (which she did).

Marriage was also something a family had to be able to afford for a girl. If you had five or seven girls or something like that the dowry could ruin a family. For that reason alone many a woman did remain unmarried.

George doesn't have dowries in the books aside from the weirdo case of Daemon Blackfyre - dowries are paid for women, not men, under normal circumstances.

It is true that being an old maiden, etc. isn't the greatest possible fate for a woman, but a princess with as many siblings as Daella and Viserra and Gael there was really no need to marry for dynastic purposes.

Ned and Cat don't have nine living children, six of them girls. They have only two girls. It is important that at least one of them wed.

12 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

“Maegelle says the Faith will not want a girl who cannot read her prayers.”

There is zero indication that Daella wanted that and we know her parents would have accepted that for her had she, like her older sister, pursued it. 

But life serving the gods is hard, many parents, especially ones in happy marriages, would prefer them to follow in their footsteps.

There is no indication that anyone ever asked what Daella wanted. What we do know is that Alysanne told her daughter what her father the king had commanded her to do, and then she obeyed. Hardly a surprise for a person with Daella's issues.

The prospect of Daella joining the Faith also comes up only among the parents. They do not include their daughter in that. And they also only discuss Daella's shortcomings amongst themselves, never considering that they may have been ways to overcome. Daella was a princess, after all.

12 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Vaegon, like Maegelle, indicated they wanted that life. Massey, one of the leading figures in his father's government, was able to opt out of being a Maester, Vaegon could have done the same.

 “The Citadel will take charge of you,” His Grace said. “It is for you to determine what becomes of you.”

No. Vaegon is not asked what he wants. His father summons him, tells him what he the king has decided. Vaegon does not have choice in the matter nor does his father care whether he wants to go to the Citadel or not. Which is a rather presumptuous and dictatorial thing to do to a youth was nearly a man grown by the standards of this society.

It happened to work out for Vaegon because his parents and Elysar apparently correctly judged his character, but they could have been wrong.

It is the same with Aemon later, apparently. Daeron II seems to have been concerned about his growing number of grandsons, taking a measure of Maekar's sons and deciding that Aemon would go to the Citadel. This was not some nice granddad grating his grandson a wish. Daeron II decided the future of his grandson without caring about the boy's own wishes (assuming he had one at the time - if he did they would have been similar to Egg's, one assumes) or that of his father.

12 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Would Queen Alysanne want to hear that she did not get along with Rodrik's daughter? 

The point I was making there is that the fact that younger daughter wrote those letters rather than Daella herself leaves room for the possibility that Alysanne did not hear about any abuse, sadness, etc. Daella may have felt/suffered through from the elder daughter or the other ladies, servants, etc. at the Eyrie.

If a letter is not written in your own hand you don't necessarily have control over its contents. And it is noteworthy that the letter about the pregnancy and her fears is then written in her own hand.

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4 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

Not quite, they gave her a few years and she seemed as timid as ever. 

Only a few years after she bled in which he was actively trying to marry her off for no political gain, it's not like she had a betrothal to fulfill.  Whats the harm of letting her wait until she's in her 20s? As Alysanne later laments after Daella dies in childbirth, she was probably too young and slight to begin barring children. Perhaps Daella's mind could have furthered matured with her body.

52 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Would Queen Alysanne want to hear that she did not get along with Rodrik's daughter? 

Maybe the step daughter writing the letters didn't like or get along with her older sister and thought bad mouthing her to the Queen would get her punished, and get her moved up the line of succession in the Vale? Said Arryn sister writing the letter could have certainly left  out that her older sister was unkind to Daelle as a means of protecting that sister if they were close.

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1 hour ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Only a few years after she bled in which he was actively trying to marry her off for no political gain, it's not like she had a betrothal to fulfill. Whats the harm of letting her wait until she's in her 20s?

She died at 18, how do you know she would not have died in her 20's, more importantly how would her parents know?

If they had the gift of hindsight they would have waited, but they didn't. 

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As Alysanne later laments after Daella dies in childbirth, she was probably too young and slight to begin barring children. Perhaps Daella's mind could have furthered matured with her body.

She was 18 when she gave birth, likely 17 when she lost her virginity, in their society she had waited. 

It would be great if such young royal marriages were not the norm, but they are; you can either blame the author or the society but two characters within the story can only act on what is normal for them. 

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Maybe the step daughter writing the letters didn't like or get along with her older sister and thought bad mouthing her to the Queen would get her punished, and get her moved up the line of succession in the Vale?

Maybe she did but there is zero evidence for it. 

Fire & Blood goes out if its way for giving multiple options for characters motives, GRRM could have done the same here as he frequently done in the book by having the Maester give another source for what may have happened. He does not. 

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Said Arryn sister writing the letter could have certainly left  out that her older sister was unkind to Daelle as a means of protecting that sister if they were close.

Her mother goes to her three weeks before she gave birth, she will have been able to validate her letters, there would be Maesters in the Vale as well and other women that the daughter of the King and Queen of Westeros, with their arsenal of Dragons, could entrust to send messages to her parents. 

Why does everything have to be a conspiracy theory?

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That is not really true.

Yeah it is. 

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There were countless women who did not marry and stayed at home to take care of their aging parents.

That is not the point I made though, is it?

Society pitied those women. 

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It was not the marriage bed and the nun. It was the marriage bed, the aging parents, and the nun.

For high ranking nobility? No, it was not. If you can name examples of these royal spinsters they would very much be the exceptions to the rule. 

But by all means list some royal examples and lets see how they were viewed at the time. 

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My girlfriend's grandaunt (youngest of three sisters, born 1928) still had that life. She was allowed to work, but not to study abroad so she never marries, stays in her hometown and take care of her aging parents (which she did).

Is that the life her parents wanted for her? Is she nobility? 

And that is my point, after world war II society began to change its views, hugely so by the time of the 60's when your aunt was in her 60's. 

 

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Marriage was also something a family had to be able to afford for a girl.

We are talking about nobility, not peasants. 

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If you had five or seven girls or something like that the dowry could ruin a family. For that reason alone many a woman did remain unmarried.

Again, we are talking nobility. 

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George doesn't have dowries in the books aside from the weirdo case of Daemon Blackfyre - dowries are paid for women, not men, under normal circumstances.

Yes he does. Walda Frey is the most obvious example. 

https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q=dowry

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It is true that being an old maiden, etc. isn't the greatest possible fate for a woman, but a princess with as many siblings as Daella and Viserra and Gael there was really no need to marry for dynastic purposes.

At no point in my post did I say her parents wanted her to marry for dynastic purposes, what is your point?

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Ned and Cat don't have nine living children, six of them girls. They have only two girls. It is important that at least one of them wed.

They wanted them both wed. What is your point here?

No wonder your arguments with FNR go on for so long, you keep on going off track. 

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There is no indication that anyone ever asked what Daella wanted.

Well yeah, there is. She had multiple options of marriage and she picked a man. 

Nothing suggests she was in a position, like Sansa, were she was fearful of the consequences of not marrying. Both her older sister and aunt were in the Faith, she would have known it was an option. 

In fact she seemed disappointed when Corlys did not show an interest in her; however, and on her return complained that “he likes his boats better than he likes me.” (She was not wrong in that.)

We also know that she would have been happy to marry the Blackwood heir if not for his religion

Tall, graceful, courtly, and well-spoken, Royce Blackwood was a gifted bowman, a fine swordsman, and a singer, who melted Daella’s heart with ballads of his own composition. For a short while it seemed as if a betrothal might be in the offing, and Queen Alysanne and Lord Blackwood even began to discuss wedding plans

The indications are she, in principle, was okay with marriage. 

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What we do know is that Alysanne told her daughter what her father the king had commanded her to do, and then she obeyed. Hardly a surprise for a person with Daella's issues.

It's a leap to say she married out of fear of her father. 

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The prospect of Daella joining the Faith also comes up only among the parents. They do not include their daughter in that. And they also only discuss Daella's shortcomings amongst themselves, never considering that they may have been ways to overcome. Daella was a princess, after all.

Daella's sister and aunt are in the Faith, she knew it would have been an option. 

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No. Vaegon is not asked what he wants. His father summons him, tells him what he the king has decided. Vaegon does not have choice in the matter nor does his father care whether he wants to go to the Citadel or not.

Plenty of noble children go to the Citadel and don't become Maesters. At least three council members in Massey, Strong and Oberyn. 

 “The Citadel will take charge of you,” His Grace said. “It is for you to determine what becomes of you.”

His father gives him the choice, he's not forced to become a Maester, only to study at the Citadel. Once again, they came to a choice that they assumed would make him happy. 

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Which is a rather presumptuous and dictatorial thing to do to a youth was nearly a man grown by the standards of this society.

How so?

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It happened to work out for Vaegon because his parents and Elysar apparently correctly judged his character, but they could have been wrong.

 

Every decision made, no matter how nice the intentions, can turn out to be wrong. 

 

 

 

 

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@Bernie Mac

You don't know how women like Malora and Patrice Hightower are viewed in Westeros, do you? You cannot claim that remaining unwed for whatever reason is that much of a problem - especially not if the family is rich like hell. They could get a life-long allowance and live in peace and plenty.

Princess Gael's shows this. She is 19 at the time of her suicide, and both unmarried and unbetrothed at that time as far as we know. Perhaps they learned from Daella and Viserra, but perhaps it was just more common to keep the youngest of a string of daughters at home. We don't know. Society may pity those women - or not. We don't know. You cannot just take your personal view of the middle ages and then just transfer that to Westeros and say 'that's how it must be'.

Not everything in this book is elaborated upon. But it is significant that Daella does not write her early letters not by herself. This is a detail that allows us to interpret, just as it is significant that Borros Baratheon is illiterate and his maesters whispers the contents of Rhaenyra's letter in his ear.

Walda is the other exception. We don't have dowries mentioned for any other bride. And it is noteworthy here that Walder offered such a dowry to Roose, this may not actually be all that common. For instance, we have no mentioning of Lord Tywin paying a gigantic dowry for Cersei, or Mace Tyrell throwing two great dowries at Renly and Joffrey Baratheon. Another example that dowries don't seem to be much an issue seems to be Jorah's financial situation after his marriage - the standard dowry for a Hightower girl would be an enormous sum. A sum Jorah could have used to rebuild his longhall on Bear Island in stone, perhaps (or at least to lavishly entertain his new lady without going bankrupt as quickly as he did).

Even nobility has to pay dowries. And if you have only daughters and are not exactly rich as hell then this can be (and was) a problem, even for nobility. After all, you have to find a suitable match for your daughter or sister.

Dynastic purposes seem to me the only reason why a girl as frail and sickly as Daella was forced into a marriage. Instead, nobody gives us a reason for this. It is just that the king and queen both think she has to marry and that's that.

You don't seem to understand: Nobody ever asked Daella whether she wanted to marry or not - or what she wanted to do with her life. They gave her choices who to marry, but not the choice whether she wanted to marry or not. Perhaps she wanted to marry herself - if that was so, then we don't know. The final decision was not made by Daella but by the king's command Daella as his daughter and subject had to obey. This is not a democracy. You don't have to invoke fear there. If your king and father gives you a command you obey - you don't have to be afraid of him or of the consequences. It is just what you do when the king gives you a command.

But even if Daella dreamed of marriage and wanted to marry (not very likely considering that she was afraid of the bedding) it is quite clear that she wasn't exactly mentally mature/capable enough to actually judge her own situation the way a person making a free choice about her life should be able to do. Her parents should have realized that she was not well enough to marry and live and that she was perfectly unsuited to ever become the proper lady of castle - much less the lady of as great a castle as the Eyrie. The Lady Daella Arryn of the Eyrie was a joke. She could do none of the things that were expected for a mistress of such a great castle.

Not sure what makes you believe that Daella's mental limitations caused her to consider the life of a septa. Perhaps she did. Perhaps she did not. My point is that Alysanne made the choice for her without consulting her as far as we know. I think it is quite clear that Jaehaerys and Alysanne could have forced the Faith to make an exemption in reading/singing duties for their darling daughter. They added a new tenet to the Faith, they could have done that, too.

As for Vaegon - to me this seems to be a farewell for good. Vaegon has to go to the Citadel and his father the king is not going to ensure his success. If he fails he may not be welcome at court. Perhaps I'm reading too much into this but the way it is phrased makes clear this never was a suggestion along the lines of 'Try whether this life works for you, and if it doesn't you are always welcome to come back home.'

This whole story could have been spun completely different - Vaegon himself could have come up with the notion to go to the Citadel, like Jon wanted to go to the Wall.

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I'm curious why didn't the Alysanne and Jaehaerys hold off marrying their later daughters. Viserra couldve easily married Viserys or Daemon. You'd think they would value 'spare wives' more.

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16 minutes ago, lysmonger said:

I'm curious why didn't the Alysanne and Jaehaerys hold off marrying their later daughters. Viserra couldve easily married Viserys or Daemon. You'd think they would value 'spare wives' more.

That is an issue that makes little sense, too, as has been repeatedly pointed out. Gael or Viserra could have easily enough been married to Viserys or Daemon.

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Im sure Jaeherys thought a lot about succession issues and potential civil wars.A spare targaryen wife for just in case if another dies is far better than one marrying into another family, such as the Hightowers.

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As much as I like Alysanne, she is quite a hypocrite when it comes to her female family members. She champions Daenerys, and later Rhaenys, as the rightful queen due to her birth order, but seemingly forgets that Rhaena was older than Jaehaerys and should have therefore been crowned queen before him.

She also vilifies Viserra for wanting to marry Baelon in order to be queen, which also rings false. Firstly, why can't she marry Baelon, seeing as the man's a widower and was already married to one sister? And secondly, Alysanne had that exact same ambition. Hell, she and her brother barricaded themselves on Dragonstone and staged a stand-off with their mother in order for the two of them to rule as king and queen.

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Some of things Jaehaerys and Alysanne did to their own children(mostly daughters) have no explanation at all besides: GRRM wanted it to happen.

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2 hours ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Some of things Jaehaerys and Alysanne did to their own children(mostly daughters) have no explanation at all besides: GRRM wanted it to happen.

Pretty much. It doesn't help that most of Jaehaerys's reign is crammed into just one chapter.

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3 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

As much as I like Alysanne, she is quite a hypocrite when it comes to her female family members. She champions Daenerys, and later Rhaenys, as the rightful queen due to her birth order, but seemingly forgets that Rhaena was older than Jaehaerys and should have therefore been crowned queen before him.

That is only partially correct - after all, succession customs and the like can change. Just because Rhaena was not King Aenys' anointed heir doesn't mean Daenerys cannot be Jaehaerys I's anointed heir. The Dornishmen changed their succession laws with the Rhoynar, too, and the fact that they had did it differently before that didn't really matter then.

Also keep in mind that Rhaena herself gave up her claims when she originally said neither Aerea nor Rhaella nor she herself should rule. All she wanted to do after Maegor - originally - was to return to Fair Isle. And as it stands she may have lived a happy life there, away from court and responsibility, had Lord Marq not died as early as he did. She even left her daughter with Alyssa, Jaehaerys, and Alysanne when she left for Fair Isle, so it seems clear that she was done with the court-and-ruling thing.

That only changes when her life doesn't turn out as she imagined it, and she realizes she needs power/a seat of her own to protect her own people.

And overall it is obviously a pretty hard pill to swallow to actually see and experience your baby brother - eleven years younger and far less experienced and matured than you are - to wear a crown. It is one thing to make the rational choice - let him do that, I don't want to - and quite another to actually experience him doing that.

3 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

She also vilifies Viserra for wanting to marry Baelon in order to be queen, which also rings false. Firstly, why can't she marry Baelon, seeing as the man's a widower and was already married to one sister? And secondly, Alysanne had that exact same ambition. Hell, she and her brother barricaded themselves on Dragonstone and staged a stand-off with their mother in order for the two of them to rule as king and queen.

Pretty much what I'm saying the entire time. What little actual information we have on Viserra doesn't make her appear like an evil and calculating femme fatale. Rather a young girl who explores and plays at the power and the opportunities her inhumane beauty and rank as princess inevitably give her. Her drunken party and race through the city is something any other teenager would do. And if the story about her stint in Baelon's bedchamber is true it seems to be more a clumsy attempt to get help from him rather than the calculating move of a young woman who was hellbent on seducing/exploiting her brother. The fact that the Butterwell girl who apparently was Viserra's confidant is described as 'empty-headed' also underlines that - if Viserra had been calculating she most likely wouldn't have confided in such a creature.

That's why I tossed around the idea that Alysanne may have been somewhat jealous of her most beautiful daughter. Alysanne herself is described as being only pretty, which is pretty bad for a family that is famed for extraordinary beauty. Thus Alysanne's view of her daughter's looks may have caused her to expect always the worst of her - especially after the Saera incident. After all, if we take Alysanne's assertion that Viserra wanted to become queen via Baelon seriously then this entails that she assumed/thought it possible that her daughter may have intended to actually murder Aemon (and Rhaenys) so that there was a chance that Baelon might be king.

That's why originally said that George really dropped the ball here if he wanted this entire thing to be actually a believing femme fatale story - in that case it should have been Aemon rather than Baelon that Viserra was trying to seduce, possibly even trying to get rid of Jocelyn by means of poisoning or by arranging some scandal (her being an adulteress, etc.).

Had something like that happened - or hinted at happening behind the scenes - the femme fatale story would have been more believable.

The way it is it just appears as if Alysanne deliberately arranged the worst possible marriage for her daughter Viserra having no good reason for that at all.

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On 12/17/2018 at 5:53 PM, Lord Varys said:

 

Pretty much what I'm saying the entire time. What little actual information we have on Viserra doesn't make her appear like an evil and calculating femme fatale. Rather a young girl who explores and plays at the power and the opportunities her inhumane beauty and rank as princess inevitably give her. Her drunken party and race through the city is something any other teenager would do. And if the story about her stint in Baelon's bedchamber is true it seems to be more a clumsy attempt to get help from him rather than the calculating move of a young woman who was hellbent on seducing/exploiting her brother. The fact that the Butterwell girl who apparently was Viserra's confidant is described as 'empty-headed' also underlines that - if Viserra had been calculating she most likely wouldn't have confided in such a creature.

That's why I tossed around the idea that Alysanne may have been somewhat jealous of her most beautiful daughter. Alysanne herself is described as being only pretty, which is pretty bad for a family that is famed for extraordinary beauty. Thus Alysanne's view of her daughter's looks may have caused her to expect always the worst of her - especially after the Saera incident. After all, if we take Alysanne's assertion that Viserra wanted to become queen via Baelon seriously then this entails that she assumed/thought it possible that her daughter may have intended to actually murder Aemon (and Rhaenys) so that there was a chance that Baelon might be king.

That's why originally said that George really dropped the ball here if he wanted this entire thing to be actually a believing femme fatale story - in that case it should have been Aemon rather than Baelon that Viserra was trying to seduce, possibly even trying to get rid of Jocelyn by means of poisoning or by arranging some scandal (her being an adulteress, etc.).

Had something like that happened - or hinted at happening behind the scenes - the femme fatale story would have been more believable.

The way it is it just appears as if Alysanne deliberately arranged the worst possible marriage for her daughter Viserra having no good reason for that at all.

Viserra's story made me reflect on when Cersei was in captivity and noted how Baelor essentially punished his sisters for their beauty by locking them in a tower. In a way, this felt very similar to me, and made me wonder if George was intentionally making Viserra's story about a woman who was being punished for being beautiful and ambitious. She certainly doesn't strike me as a femme fatale -- what little we know of her suggests that the girl died a virgin and, like you said, her attempted seduction of Baelon seems more clumsy than calculating. 

That Alysanne may have been jealous of her daughter is an interesting thought. It does boggle my mind that Daella was offered to every eligible bachelor in the land, but Viserra was forced to marry an elderly man. Daella, on the one hand, was described as being quite simple, whereas Viserra clearly wasn't, which probably played a role in how their mother thought of them. And yet, Viserra isn't really described as troublesome, so I doubt she would have married a Lannister or Baratheon or Blackwood and then used their influence to cause some kind of political trouble. To further nail this point home, Viserra actually agreed to marry Manderly -- she wasn't running away the night she died; she was just out having fun. 

So yeah, jealousy may well have played a role. It was probably unconscious, but it definitely does feel like Viserra was being punished for being young and beautiful. 

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On 12/9/2018 at 2:03 PM, Paxter Redwyne said:

Tyrion will die in childbirth confirmed

After impregnating himself, it is known:

Tyrion gave a sigh. "But do go on, I pray you. I love a good tale."

"And well you might, since you were said to have one, a stiff curly tail like a swine's. Your head was monstrous huge, we heard, half again the size of your body, and you had been born with thick black hair and a beard besides, an evil eye, and lion's claws. Your teeth were so long you could not close your mouth, and between your legs were a girl's privates as well as a boy's."

"Life would be much simpler if men could fuck themselves, don't you agree? And I can think of a few times when claws and teeth might have proved useful. Even so, I begin to see the nature of your complaint." (Tyrion V, ASOS)

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On 12/17/2018 at 7:36 PM, Paxter Redwyne said:

Some of things Jaehaerys and Alysanne did to their own children(mostly daughters) have no explanation at all besides: GRRM wanted it to happen.

What actions were out of the ordinary for their society or the Targs that came before them?

On 12/17/2018 at 7:05 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

As much as I like Alysanne, she is quite a hypocrite when it comes to her female family members. She champions Daenerys, and later Rhaenys, as the rightful queen due to her birth order, but seemingly forgets that Rhaena was older than Jaehaerys and should have therefore been crowned queen before him.

Wasn't she 12/13 when Jaehaerys became king? She was not in a position to challenge her father (Aegon, not Rhaena was Aeny's heir), mother, Rogar, Daemon or any of the other supporters of her brother over her older sister (who also supported Jaehaerys).  As a Queen she had actual influence to enact change. 

It's also likely that she did not have a fully formed opinion on the matter at that age. Is there a person alive who has not changed an opinion they had in their youth?

On 12/17/2018 at 7:05 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

She also vilifies Viserra for wanting to marry Baelon in order to be queen, which also rings false. Firstly, why can't she marry Baelon, seeing as the man's a widower and was already married to one sister?

It's less vilification and pointing out the truth, that she wanted to marry him for the power. She was likely looking out for him and the realm in general, she does not seem to have the makings of a good queen.

On 12/17/2018 at 7:05 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

And secondly, Alysanne had that exact same ambition. Hell, she and her brother barricaded themselves on Dragonstone and staged a stand-off with their mother in order for the two of them to rule as king and queen.

The difference being Baelon had no interest in marrying his younger sister. If he had maybe Alyssane would have been supportive. 

 

On 12/16/2018 at 5:19 PM, lysmonger said:

I'm curious why didn't the Alysanne and Jaehaerys hold off marrying their later daughters. Viserra couldve easily married Viserys or Daemon. You'd think they would value 'spare wives' more.

Isn't that a question for Aemon and Jocelyn? Surely they would have a larger say on who their children marry.

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3 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

What actions were out of the ordinary for their society or the Targs that came before them?

There is a difference between something ordinary and something making sense.

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On 12/16/2018 at 4:22 PM, Lord Varys said:

@Bernie Mac

You don't know how women like Malora and Patrice Hightower are viewed in Westeros, do you?

We actually do, one is called a 'witch' the other the 'mad maid'. How did you miss that?

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You cannot claim that remaining unwed for whatever reason is that much of a problem - especially not if the family is rich like hell. They could get a life-long allowance and live in peace and plenty.

My point was very clear, please stop trying to change it. Parents did not want their children remaining single, something that is still true to this day. Older unmarried women were looked down upon. 

"Strong and healthy single women under the age of fifty were forbidden to rent houses or rooms, but to go into service; women with a bad reputation were to be evicted by their landlords. Such regulations were a further pointer to women's worsening employment prospects in the early modern period."  -Ward, Jennifer (2006). Women in England in the Middle Ages.

Loving parents wanted their children to be happy and, rightly or wrongly, that thought meant them having families of their own. 

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Princess Gael's shows this. She is 19 at the time of her suicide, and both unmarried and unbetrothed at that time as far as we know.

She is also described as being 'simpleminded'.  We don't know what age she was seduced but her being pregnant would also have delayed her betrothal.

More importantly between the years of betrothing Daella and Gael reaching her teens Alysanne saw Aemon, Alyssa, Daella, Visserra, Maegelle and the two stillborns all dead while Saera in exile. It is understandable that in such a situation a mother might delay a betrothal to have a few more years with the her youngest child. 

And of course Alysanne's views of marriage may have soured at this point. Earlier she was happily married and the marriages she arranged for three of her children seemed equally as happy. Her views on marriage may have changed in the last 15 years.

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Perhaps they learned from Daella and Viserra, but perhaps it was just more common to keep the youngest of a string of daughters at home. We don't know. Society may pity those women - or not. We don't know. You cannot just take your personal view of the middle ages and then just transfer that to Westeros and say 'that's how it must be'.

What on earth are you talking about? 

Quote me, don't just make up arguments you think I have made. 

Parents wanting their daughters to marry is a historical fact. Almost every female fairytale involves a happy ending where they find love and live happily ever after, the majority of films aimed at the female audience in the 20th century involves them finding a partner. 

Our society has been incredibly sexist since before the middle ages with the belief that a woman who has not married and had a family has missed out. That is a fact and you trying to argue that it's something I have made up is ridiculous. 

For centuries women growing up in our society have been led to believe that is what is supposed to be fulfilling for a woman, parents wanting their children to be happy have wanted them to have a partner and children of their own. 

 

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Not everything in this book is elaborated upon. But it is significant that Daella does not write her early letters not by herself.

We are told by Maegelle that she's not very literate. 

“Maegelle says the Faith will not want a girl who cannot read her prayers.”

It is understandable why she would need help, and given her relationship with the three youngest children was reported to be good it is not surprise that one of them helped her. 

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Walda is the other exception. We don't have dowries mentioned for any other bride.

No, Walda is not the only other exception. 

Thus it was that King Argilac reached out to the Targaryens on Dragonstone, offering Lord Aegon his daughter in marriage, with all the lands east of the Gods Eye from the Trident to the Blackwater Rush as her dowry.

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 "He is on his way home, he says, and hopes to see his darling daughter soon. He writes that Lyonel Corbray seems well pleased with his bride, and even more so with her dowry

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Lady Myranda snorted. "I pray he gets the pox. He has a bastard daughter by some common girl, you know. My lord father had hoped to marry me to Harry, but Lady Waynwood would not hear of it. I do not know whether it was me she found unsuitable, or just my dowry."

 

and of course Hoster paid a dowry in the form of military support

"Lysa was the price Jon Arryn had to pay for the swords and spears of House Tully."

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And it is noteworthy here that Walder offered such a dowry to Roose, this may not actually be all that common. For instance, we have no mentioning of Lord Tywin paying a gigantic dowry for Cersei, or Mace Tyrell throwing two great dowries at Renly and Joffrey Baratheon. Another example that dowries don't seem to be much an issue seems to be Jorah's financial situation after his marriage - the standard dowry for a Hightower girl would be an enormous sum. A sum Jorah could have used to rebuild his longhall on Bear Island in stone, perhaps (or at least to lavishly entertain his new lady without going bankrupt as quickly as he did).

Dowries exist in Westeros, your earlier claim that Daemon was the only time it came into play was disproven and so was you trying to save face by saying it was only Daemon and Roose. 

There are multiple mentions of dowries in the series, they exist and are as much a part of regular life as going to the toilet. We don't have to see every character drop a no2 to know it goes on. 

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Even nobility has to pay dowries. And if you have only daughters and are not exactly rich as hell then this can be (and was) a problem, even for nobility. After all, you have to find a suitable match for your daughter or sister.

You do realize the Targs are rich as hell, right? 

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Dynastic purposes seem to me the only reason why a girl as frail and sickly as Daella was forced into a marriage. Instead, nobody gives us a reason for this. It is just that the king and queen both think she has to marry and that's that.

When is she described as sickly? Not in her childhood, not in general married life, the first mention of sickness is when she is giving birth. 

Obviously you have misread and thought she was sickly, she was not. Most people would acknowledge they may be wrong if they came to a conclusion based on misinformation. 

As for frail, Gael is the daughter who is described that way. Daella is roughly the same build as her mother, her issues are mental rather than physical. 

Like Alysanne herself, Daella was small—on her toes, she stood five feet two inches—and there was a childish aspect to her that led everyone who met her to think she was younger than her age. Unlike Alysanne, she was delicate as well, in ways the queen had never been. Her mother had been fearless; Daella always seemed to be afraid.

 

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You don't seem to understand: Nobody ever asked Daella whether she wanted to marry or not - or what she wanted to do with her life.

I do understand. When was Sansa consulted? Or Arya?  Their aunt Lyanna? Cat or Lysa? Cersei? Her daughter Myrcella?

Daughters are not asked, they are told. How Daella's parents treated her was the norm in their society. 

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They gave her choices who to marry, but not the choice whether she wanted to marry or not.

She gave zero indication she did not want to marry, she was smitten with Blackwood before she knew his religion and was upset that Corlys prefered his boats to her. 

 

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Perhaps she wanted to marry herself - if that was so, then we don't know. The final decision was not made by Daella but by the king's command Daella as his daughter and subject had to obey.

How is this any different to the majority of noble daughters in the series?

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This is not a democracy. You don't have to invoke fear there. If your king and father gives you a command you obey - you don't have to be afraid of him or of the consequences. It is just what you do when the king gives you a command.

Same is true of Lords and fathers in general. Cersei's the Queen and seemed likely to have remarried if Tywin had lived. 

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But even if Daella dreamed of marriage and wanted to marry (not very likely considering that she was afraid of the bedding)

How is it not very likely? Marriage is more than just sex, you realize that right? 

Also trepidation about losing your virginity is not exactly unusual, has not stopped the vast majority of the population. 

Finally her issue seemed to have been the bedding ceremony more than sex itself. 

Nor was there a bedding. “Oh, I could not bear that, I should die of shame,” the princess had told her husband to be, and Lord Rodrik had acceded to her wishes.

 

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it is quite clear that she wasn't exactly mentally mature/capable enough to actually judge her own situation the way a person making a free choice about her life should be able to do.

No, Gael is the described as being simple. Daella was simply a little stupid. 

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Her parents should have realized that she was not well enough to marry and live and that she was perfectly unsuited to ever become the proper lady of castle - much less the lady of as great a castle as the Eyrie.

But that is demonstrably false. Fire & Blood, the only canon source we have, makes it clear she was doing well

Life is slower there, and quieter. She will like that. I swear to you, Your Grace, she will be safe and happy.”

And so she was, for a time. The eldest of Lord Rodrik’s four children from his first wife was a daughter, Elys, three years older than her new stepmother. The two of them clashed from the first. Daella doted on the three younger children, however, and they seemed to adore her in turn. Lord Rodrik, true to his word, was a kind and caring husband who never failed to pamper and protect the bride he called “my precious princess.” Such letters as Daella sent her mother (letters largely written for her by Lord Rodrik’s younger daughter, Amanda) spoke glowingly of how happy she was

She was precisely the type of wife the Lord of the Vale desired and according to our only sources, happy. 

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The Lady Daella Arryn of the Eyrie was a joke. She could do none of the things that were expected for a mistress of such a great castle.

What did Lord Rodrick expect from her? 

What sources claim she was a 'joke'? 

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Not sure what makes you believe that Daella's mental limitations caused her to consider the life of a septa.

eh?

If she did not want to marry then following her sister and aunt into the Faith was an option, an o[tion her parents would have accepted. 

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Perhaps she did. Perhaps she did not. My point is that Alysanne made the choice for her without consulting her as far as we know.

No, we know they discussed the Faith.

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I think it is quite clear that Jaehaerys and Alysanne could have forced the Faith to make an exemption in reading/singing duties for their darling daughter. They added a new tenet to the Faith, they could have done that, too.

I agree, which makes it clear that Daella did not want to join. 

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As for Vaegon - to me this seems to be a farewell for good.

You might want to read on, it was not a farewell for good. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

There is a difference between something ordinary and something making sense.

List the things that don't make sense to you. 

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