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Lord Varys

[SPOILERS] The Dance (unabridged version) including the reign of Viserys I

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This is for the Dying of the Dragons and the part of Heirs of the Dragon that doesn't concern Jaehaerys I.

Considering we got nearly everything on Viserys I in TRP I don't think that needs a section on its own - although it is fun and to look for differences there.

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Unfortunately, no. There is also a nameless brother of Cregan Stark who died young who is actually missing from the Stark family tree of TWoIaF. @Ran if you update/change the Targaryen tree for TWoIaF to include Androw and the first Daenerys, you could also add Cregan's little brother, assuming George gives him a name.

Although I don't see much chance for a name attached to Aemma's nameless son, one should try for that, too. He could have been another Aenys, after all.

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I give you here the greatest additions I think are be found in TDotD:

Aemond only wanted Luke's eye, at first, and then he was willing to let him go because of guest right and stuff until that happened:

Quote

And there it might have ended, but for the girl Maris. The second- born daughter of Lord Borros, less comely than her sisters, she was angry with Aemond for preferring them to her. “Was it one of your eyes he took, or one of your balls?” Maris asked the prince, in tones sweet as honey. “I am so glad you chose my sister. I want a husband with all his parts.”

And this is Corlys Velaryon after Jace declares that he and his brothers are Targaryens:

Quote

Mushroom tells us that the Sea Snake grumbled at this, insisting that the three boys were Velaryons, yet he smiled as he said it, with pride in his voice.

That shows that the man loved his grandsons and did not give a damn that they may not have been his biological grandsons - as any good (grand-)parent should do! This whole speculation about him and Rhaenys secretly not wanting Rhaenyra's sons to inherit Driftmark, etc. never made much sense to me, and it is good that we get a (reasonably) good in-universe source to support my idea here.

And I think it is pretty much a given that Nettles was Daemon's daughter now.

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20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I give you here the greatest additions I think are be found in TDotD:

Aemond only wanted Luke's eye, at first, and then he was willing to let him go because of guest right and stuff until that happened:

And this is Corlys Velaryon after Jace declares that he and his brothers are Targaryens:

That shows that the man loved his grandsons and did not give a damn that they may not have been his biological grandsons - as any good (grand-)parent should do! This whole speculation about him and Rhaenys secretly not wanting Rhaenyra's sons to inherit Driftmark, etc. never made much sense to me, and it is good that we get a (reasonably) good in-universe source to support my idea here.

And I think it is pretty much a given that Nettles was Daemon's daughter now.

Were Daemon and Nettles aware of this fact?

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21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I give you here the greatest additions I think are be found in TDotD:

Aemond only wanted Luke's eye, at first, and then he was willing to let him go because of guest right and stuff until that happened:

And this is Corlys Velaryon after Jace declares that he and his brothers are Targaryens:

That shows that the man loved his grandsons and did not give a damn that they may not have been his biological grandsons - as any good (grand-)parent should do! This whole speculation about him and Rhaenys secretly not wanting Rhaenyra's sons to inherit Driftmark, etc. never made much sense to me, and it is good that we get a (reasonably) good in-universe source to support my idea here.

And I think it is pretty much a given that Nettles was Daemon's daughter now.

Plus, it's not like Rhaenyra had no Velaryon blood so whoever the father of her children was they still had the link from Alyssa.  Plus the Targs and Velaryon's probably intermarried enough in the past that the two families were very closely connected by blood. 

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4 hours ago, SeanF said:

Were Daemon and Nettles aware of this fact?

Daemon certainly would have been, one assumes. And considering they were touchingly close and the man seems to have been desperately trying to make up for being a non-existent, shitty father it seems to me that he may have also told Nettles about that. There must be a reason why she is as distraught as he was when they parted ways.

Nettles is more or less confirmed to have the fatherless daughter of a dockside whore on Driftmark. Her age fits with the time Daemon would have spent time there for his Stepstones campaign. And whatever details we got on their intimacy - them sharing a bathtub (like Dunk & Egg), Daemon trying to teach Nettles courtly manners, him giving her a costly comb for her hair, etc. - does not imply they were lovers.

And, in fact, the most hideous twist there is that the whole line of 'A queen's words, a whore's work'. The former is a reference to Rhaenyra, but the latter to Mysaria who - despite the fact that she became Daemon's paramour again after he and Rhaenyra had taken the city - told Rhaenyra that Nettles had already betrayed Daemon by seducing her consort and carrying his child. She is the one who wields the knife there (and a very small echo of that can be find in TWoIaF where it says that the Daemon/Nettles drove a wedge between Daemon and Rhaenyra - it is not so much the thing it is Mysaria who makes it so).

Now, Mysaria's motives are very strange here. She has Daemon's affection (or at least she has sex with him) so what's her issue here? Here I think we have to get back to Daemon and Mysaria's early story, back when Viserys I had just taken the throne. Back then Mysaria was Daemon's official paramour, they spent some time together on Dragonstone where Daemon impregnated her, bestowing a dragon egg on Mysaria. That went to far for Viserys I, he commanded Daemon to take the egg back, and return to his lawful wife in the Vale. And Daemon acted as a complete shit-head, putting his pregnant paramour on a ship back to Lys and during the journey she lost her unborn child.

Now, what does this mean? If we assume that Nettles is Daemon's daughter, then she is the child Mysaria would have gladly given Daemon. A child she lost because of Daemon himself. And now, in old age, he cares more about the child of some whore than her - or the child they could have had. That may have been too much for a woman as twisted as Mysaria.

She cannot have a proper political reason, considering she was a great asset on Daemon and Rhaenyra's way to power - and Rhaenyra actually rewarded her for that, never mind that she continued to share her consort's bed (Eustace's ugly comment that Rhaenyra's slakes her appetites on food rather than the way Daemon does really shows how much of tragic character Rhaenyra is) - unless ...

There is a very curious thing going on when Mysaria is summoned into the throne room to advise Rhaenyra on Nettles. George actually takes his time to describe Mysaria's wardrobe (which he doesn't usually do in FaB):

Quote

With her skin as pale as milk, Lady Misery appeared before the council in a hooded robe of black velvet lined with blood-red silk, and stood with head bowed humbly as Her Grace asked whether she thought Ser Addam and Nettles might be planning to betray them.

Those are the Targaryen colors. Why is it that Mysaria of Lys presumes to wear the colors of the royal family? Is it because she is Daemon's paramour? Perhaps. But there is another thing - this is how things are phrased when Mysaria first shows up:

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Though he sampled countless whores in the city’s brothels, and was said to have an especial fondness for deflowering maidens, a certain Lysene dancing girl soon became his favorite. Mysaria was the name she went by, though her rivals and enemies called her Misery, the White Worm.

That doesn't mean this has to be her real name, the name she was born with.

Considering that we know who went to Lys in 85 AC starting a profession there that can lead to many a pregnancy, there is a chance that Mysaria is actually the daughter and eldest child of Princess Saera. Mysaria is a dancing girl when Daemon first meets her around 105 AC, which would if she were Saera's daughter and if she was born shortly after Saera's arrival there (perhaps fathered by one of the sailors or the captain who took her aboard the ship to Lys in exchange for warming his bed throughout the journey) then she would be 19-20 at the time we first meet her.

It would fit.

The question is: Am I reading too much into a hooded robe of black velvet lined with blood-red silk ;-)?

Edited by Lord Varys

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12 minutes ago, naseridrl said:

Plus, it's not like Rhaenyra had no Velaryon blood so whoever the father of her children was they still had the link from Alyssa.  Plus the Targs and Velaryon's probably intermarried enough in the past that the two families were very closely connected by blood. 

Sure, sure, but this really makes it clear that they had no issue with the whole cuckold thing, and perhaps even had known from the get-go that they dear son Laenor would never consummate any marriage to a woman. I mean, he lived and resided with them at High Tide before and after 'his wedding', and he would have entertained his dear Knight of Kisses and his wastrel Qarl, and whoever else he had over the year right there, under the nose of his parents.

They knew everything about him, which means they must have gone along very well - and that makes it not very likely that Laenor actually pretended in private that he had fathered 'his sons' (if that wasn't the case). The way the birth of Rhaenyra's sons is described - with both Harwin and Laenor being there - strongly implies this was an arrangement everybody in the family knew about. At least in Rhaenyra's and the Velaryon's (Alicent's family wouldn't have been actually briefed, for obvious reasons, and Viserys I likely knew what was going on, too, but turned a blind eye to it - after all, he was the one to blame for the Laenor marriage).

There is also another hint that Corlys considers the actions of the silent ones during the Dance a betrayal, so that's again reinforced there.

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5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, sure, but this really makes it clear that they had no issue with the whole cuckold thing, and perhaps even had known from the get-go that they dear son Laenor would never consummate any marriage to a woman. I mean, he lived and resided with them at High Tide before and after 'his wedding', and he would have entertained his dear Knight of Kisses and his wastrel Qarl, and whoever else he had over the year right there, under the nose of his parents.

They knew everything about him, which means they must have gone along very well - and that makes it not very likely that Laenor actually pretended in private that he had fathered 'his sons' (if that wasn't the case). The way the birth of Rhaenyra's sons is described - with both Harwin and Laenor being there - strongly implies this was an arrangement everybody in the family knew about. At least in Rhaenyra's and the Velaryon's (Alicent's family wouldn't have been actually briefed, for obvious reasons, and Viserys I likely knew what was going on, too, but turned a blind eye to it - after all, he was the one to blame for the Laenor marriage).

There is also another hint that Corlys considers the actions of the silent ones during the Dance a betrayal, so that's again reinforced there.

Completely agree.  I just meant its like a 2 for one deal I suppose, they love the boys who've been raised in their home and are a family, but equally they know that there is Velaryon blood in there as well even if its not Leanor's.  So if you're going to marry your son (who you think is unlikely to procreate with his wife) to anyone at least being married to someone with Velaryon blood and ancestory helps deal with that problem.

Edited by naseridrl

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As for speculation about the origins of Alys Rivers I see two interesting possibilities if the more outlandish claims of Mushroom about her true age are accurate (and her parentage/ancestry matters all that much in the grand scale of things):

1. She is a bastard daughter of Lucamore Strong who was fostered with his brother Lord Bywin (who likely is the father of Lord Lyonel Strong). That is an interesting but not a very strange or weird possibility.

2. This would be the idea that she is the bastard daughter of Queen Rhaena by Maegor Towers, the sickly last Lord Towers of Harrenhal with whom Rhaena formed a friendship of sorts during her own time at Harrenhal. Considering the secluded life they lived at Harrenhal, with only an absolute minimum of servants it would be very easy for such a pregnancy and birth to take place without the outside world knowing about it.

That would be the idea favored by me, especially in light of the fact that Rhaena herself was a reputed witch late in life (and even before that, in a sense, considering that there are those rumors she was behind Maegor's death - which would actually be kind of cool, if true).

That Alys Rivers is an actual sorceress nobody is going to doubt now. That post-hypnotic command planted in that poor fellow is among the more twisted scenes in the book.

By the way, I really like the how the reputation of Harrenhal gets ever more darker, and how the castle gets ever more tied to the Targaryens. With Rhaena it is officially a Targaryen seat from 61-73 AC, and it also becomes the seat of Alys and Aemond's 'trueborn son' after 130 AC. Afterwards it seems to pass eventually to the Targaryen-Lothstons (if the Lothston heir is going to be the Unworthy's son, which is pretty likely).

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@Lord Varys, the idea that Mysaria could be a bastard daughter of Princess Saera is a fascinating speculation! In fact it has greater credence when you look at the Great Council of 101; the three Essosi claimants are rival sons of Saera, each from different fathers. So it's quite easy to imagine that a few daughters exist as well, especially in Lys, where the Princess started out at. It could also be a tie-in to the possible bastards fathered by Aerion Brightflame in Lys much later. 

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4 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Anything new on the Cannibal?

He is alive and kicking. Silverwing and Morning, too. Sheepstealer shows up in the Mountains of the Moon, too, but it seems we have seen Sheepstealer the last time in the last chapter of the book. He isn't dead or anything, but it is claimed that's the last time he appeared in the annals of Westeros.

Two prospective riders for both Silverwing and the Cannibal are out there, since there is a scenario built up in the Regency era that's likely going to result in a very severe challenge of the reign of Aegon III, one that's likely going to need a lot of effort to put down. I'm talking about Viserys/Baela and Aemond's son, of course - the latter wouldn't just have a better claim than Aegon III in the eyes of many - if his 'Jon Snow story' were true (Aemond having married Alys Rivers before his death). And the former are the only Targaryens left who are capable to mount a large dragon. Aegon III will never be a dragonrider.

Gyldayn agrees with me that the Cannibal origin story is nonsense ;-).

But since it is also made clear that the idea that there are different 'dragon lines' and the like is not shared by the guys in the book. Jaehaerys I fears that the Volentene triarchs may become dragonlords if they got a hand on the eggs and they hatched. He doesn't believe Targaryen dragons can only be claimed by Targaryens or their descendants, but by all those who have the blood of the dragon - meaning descendants of Valyrian dragonlords.

Elsewhere there are even hints that people in-world (Lyman Lannister) believe - like the Astapori and Qartheen, in fact - that people owning dragon hatchlings could train and ride them, never mind their blood. Even Queen Rhaena indicates that she may believe something along those lines when she comments that Androw Farman would never dare mount one of the dragon on Dragonstone.

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10 hours ago, Hiigara129 said:

@Lord Varys, the idea that Mysaria could be a bastard daughter of Princess Saera is a fascinating speculation! In fact it has greater credence when you look at the Great Council of 101; the three Essosi claimants are rival sons of Saera, each from different fathers. So it's quite easy to imagine that a few daughters exist as well, especially in Lys, where the Princess started out at. It could also be a tie-in to the possible bastards fathered by Aerion Brightflame in Lys much later. 

In fact, most of her children must have been born in Lys, anyway, to be old enough to not show up with mommy at Harrenhal. So perhaps the triarch picked her up in Lys and made her his paramour in Volantis, say. But the boys still must all be all in their early teens.

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I haven't got my copy yet so I throw out a question here. Is there info about the Valemen were actually doing during this war? As Lady Arryn declared for Rhaenyra but her armies never seemed to pass the Bloody Gate.

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What do we make of Ser Byron Swann? The fact that Ser Byron has been mentioned as being present when Luke and Aemond had their standoff at Storm's End makes it, I think, a tidbit more likely that Vhagar was indeed the dragon he tried to slay. I mean, Aemond did a very cruel thing there and later her terrorized the Riverlands. If Byron happened to lean towards the Blacks - and expected Lord Borros to side with them rather than the Greens - this could have been sufficient motivation to pull something like this.

Syrax makes sense if the man was a Green and wanted to send a message by killing the queen's dragon, but it is very odd that a Stormlander could just walk into the Red Keep to try to slay a dragon after the whole Storm's End episode. Granted, not impossible, but very odd.

The same goes for Byron actually finding Vhagar in the Riverlands, so I really don't know what to make of it.

Sunfyre would make a certain sense if the attempt took place while the dragon was still near Rook's Rest at the time of the attempt.

Any thoughts on the matter?

Considering Munkun's interview methodology - and if the thing happened somewhere in the field - Gyldayn's conclusion that his source there may have been Orwyle in the dungeons may not exactly be correct. After all, there was a witness to the thing in Byron's squire.

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On 11/20/2018 at 7:12 AM, Lord Varys said:

 

And I think it is pretty much a given that Nettles was Daemon's daughter now.

How is this a given?   I've got bathing together and heavy implication of a sexual relationship.   Eww.  

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On 11/21/2018 at 10:50 PM, Lord Varys said:

Two prospective riders for both Silverwing and the Cannibal are out there, since there is a scenario built up in the Regency era that's likely going to result in a very severe challenge of the reign of Aegon III, one that's likely going to need a lot of effort to put down. I'm talking about Viserys/Baela and Aemond's son, of course - the latter wouldn't just have a better claim than Aegon III in the eyes of many - if his 'Jon Snow story' were true (Aemond having married Alys Rivers before his death). And the former are the only Targaryens left who are capable to mount a large dragon. Aegon III will never be a dragonrider.

I've been away for a while but Viserys/Baela?

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47 minutes ago, KCenturion said:

I've been away for a while but Viserys/Baela?

I think from context LV means Viserys and Baela as two dragon riders on the same side against Aemond’s son on the other

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8 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

How is this a given?   I've got bathing together and heavy implication of a sexual relationship.   Eww.  

I think the relationship is deliberately vague so everything they do together could also be what a father and a daughter did together. Bathing is not something that has to imply a sexual relationship, especially not in a medieval context - @bent branch mentioned Jaime/Brienne as an example, I myself thought of Dunk and Egg.

If George wanted to actually paint this as a definite affair/romance he could have had them share a bedchamber, or he could have told us that a door connected the two rooms to each other. Or there could have been reports indicating sex and/or clear signs of romantic love.

But the signs we get don't go really too far in romance territory.

And I find it makes much more sense if Mysaria was wroth with Daemon because he now forget everything and cared about a child that should have theirs - remember that she lost her child by Daemon's because of him - then if that was just petty jealousy.

39 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

I think from context LV means Viserys and Baela as two dragon riders on the same side against Aemond’s son on the other

Yeah. I expect Aemond's son to either claim the Cannibal or Silverwing, with Viserys or Baela claiming the other dragon to help Rhaena and Morning to defeat him. Considering the weirdness surrounding Alys - and her, well, sort of 'cannibalistic' approach to her own children (which she supposedly sacrificed to demons, if I recall correctly - I think it is very likely that Aemond's son will claim the Cannibal.

Morning alone should not be able to stand against him.

And if the boy should just disappear the regents could have dealt with him and Alys. That they did not implies that this thing is going to come back and haunt Aegon III big time.

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