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Lord Varys

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

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Did Jaime and Brienne sit in a small bathtub and wash one another on multiple occasions? Did Brienne welcome Jaime joining her? No. It's not comparable to what's described.

Is Egg a young woman? No. It's not comparable to what's described. 

Does Catelyn recall sharing a bath with her father? Cersei? Arianne? Sansa? Arya? Any signs Baela or Rhaena had their father share a bathtub with them?

No. It doesn't happen in Westeros. Fathers do not bathe with their adult daughters in bathtubs. I could just about see them going for a swim in some lake or large pool, but the bath tub is much too intimate a space. 

I mean, hey, maybe she was his daughter, or at least believed she was. But he was sleeping with her.

Edited by Ran

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

 

I did have the opportunity to read a few of your posts explaining your position.   I get where you're coming from now and it's as likely as any other idea put forth.   

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

Did Jaime and Brienne sit in a small bathtub and wash one another on multiple occasions? Did Brienne welcome Jaime joining her? No. It's not comparable to what's described.

Brienne is very uncomfortable with herself. Daemon and Nettles don't have to be uncomfortable with washing each other. If she were his daughter, and this was as tender a relationship as it appears, this could be part of Daemon (re-)discovering what it means to be a father.

And, frankly, washing and bathing can have an erotic aspect to it - but it doesn't have to have that. It can be just washing. Washing somebody entails physical and ?(ideally) also emotional closeness and trust. But it doesn't have to be romantic or sexual.

And the bathing thing is the only thing that seems to be very much in 'affair territory'. All the other examples fit much better with the father-daughter thing. Especially their farewell scene. Put yourself in Daemon's or Nettles' shoes for a moment. If the other person was your lover wouldn't you at least give him/her a desperate last hug and/or kiss? But there is nothing of that sort.

Quote

Maester Norren writes that “the prince and his bastard girl” supped together every night, broke their fast together every morning, slept in adjoining bedchambers, that the prince “doted upon the brown girl as a man might dote upon his daughter,” instructing her in “common courtesies” and how to dress and sit and brush her hair, that he made gifts to her of “an ivory-handled hairbrush, a silvered looking glass, a cloak of rich brown velvet bordered in satin, a pair of riding boots of leather soft as butter.” The prince taught the girl to wash, Norren says, and the maidservants who fetched their bath water said he oft shared a tub with her, “soaping her back or washing the dragon stink from her hair, both of them as naked as their namedays.”

This is the source, and I think the bold clearly puts the thing in a context that can also hint at a romance but opens up the thing into parent-child context as well - especially in the context of an absent parent who abandoned his child to a cruel fate and now tries to make up for what he missed. Those gifts appear like helpless gestures of a father who came too late, and his attempts to show her proper behavior at court, etc. imply he may have intended to prepare to take her place at his side - in the Targaryen family, as his daughter. If she had convinced him to abandon power and his wife and his children then it is odd that he actually sought to refine her. A more fitting way to hint at that would him forgetting what he came to do - hunting Aemond and Vhagar - and spending more and more time with Nettles and actually making plans to leave everything behind (sort of like Rhaegar and Lyanna simply disappear during the war for a long time). But that doesn't actually come up.

And what Daemon does there - washing her back, taking care of her hair - is still the kind of thing a parent could do.

3 hours ago, Ran said:

Is Egg a young woman? No. It's not comparable to what's described.

But we don't actually play up a homosexual romance/desires there, no? But it is great to disagree on this matter because that's exactly what the author intended here. And the subtleties are, at times, so great that it is difficult to get everybody on the same page. I recall you being pretty much on the far end in relation to Daemon II hitting on Dunk - I think you went with Alyn being into Daemon but Daemon not being into Alyn, and him also not hitting on Dunk ;-).

3 hours ago, Ran said:

I mean, hey, maybe she was his daughter, or at least believed she was. But he was sleeping with her.

Before FaB I considered that not being all that unlikely, but the way the relationship is described I'm pretty firm in the camp that this was not a romantic relationship. But, sure, Daemon wouldn't be the only Targaryen to sleep with an (alleged) daughter.

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 If the other person was your lover wouldn't you at least give him/her a desperate last hug and/or kiss? But there is nothing of that sort.

And this would be any different if they were father-daughter? You're setting challenges that your very own theory can't meet.

The constant gift-giving sounds a lot like courtship to me. We've met spoiled daughters in the novels, they weren't constantly receiving gifts from their fathers.

Sharing a bathtub is not something a father does with his adult daughter, however you want to paint it. It's the behavior of lovers. 

 

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Well, if neither Norren nor Gyldayn think bathing implies sex then I'm really not so sure why you are so convinced of that. If bathing did (almost) certainly indicate intimate relations then surely that in and of itself would have been enough for our two maesters.

Gyldayn connects the previous reports of their relationship and connects them to Daemon's later actions - as if they were supporting each other. But if Nettles were Daemon's daughter then his later actions make as much sense - or even more, as I'd argue - then they do with the affair theory.

I think a very crucial thing when looking at those historical accounts is looking for truths between the scenes Gyldayn and his writers didn't even think of. And this could be one of those.

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

Didn't they say Alys had a dragon already? I imagine Cannibal is already there if its him or a new dragon which has less than 20 years to grow before the extinction date.

Old P&Q said Viserys never became a dragon rider? Baela would be the first dragonrider to have a 2nd mount?

This is why I thought the first quote was referring to an affair between the two causing strife as opposed to more dragonriding. Interesting if we get another clash of dragons before 153!

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9 minutes ago, KCenturion said:

Didn't they say Alys had a dragon already? I imagine Cannibal is already there if its him or a new dragon which has less than 20 years to grow before the extinction date.

There are rumors of this, but no confirmation since the messenger doesn't actually get inside of Harrenhal. But Vhagar could actually have laid some/an egg(s) before the confrontation at Harrenhal, so, yeah, Alys' boy could already have a dragon who is neither the Cannibal nor Silverwing.

9 minutes ago, KCenturion said:

Old P&Q said Viserys never became a dragon rider? Baela would be the first dragonrider to have a 2nd mount?

It said or implied that his egg never hatched, not that he never claimed a dragon, as far as I recall.

9 minutes ago, KCenturion said:

This is why I thought the first quote was referring to an affair between the two causing strife as opposed to more dragonriding. Interesting if we get another clash of dragons before 153!

Yeah, and it would fit since Harrenhal remains without a proper lord until Lucas gets it in 153 AC.

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Guessing Alys Rivers has a bit of woods witchery, but a lot more is smoke and mirrors, much as Melisandre. The man who died sounds like someone picked out because he was the most easily suggestible (helped along by some drugs?), and perhaps combined with some subtle poison (there's a bunch of weird ones floating around in the world) his death could be explained without some advanced sorcery (the finger print stuff can be dismissed as embrodiery, or just the result of extreme suggestibility). The dragon's no doubt the same thing.

The thing I enjoy most about the Daemon-Aemond conversation is that the only source of it must be Alys Rivers herself. And we've no clue if she was actually there or not, or just inserted herself into it to push her own narrative of being Aemond's lady, having magic, etc. 

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28 minutes ago, Ran said:

Guessing Alys Rivers has a bit of woods witchery, but a lot more is smoke and mirrors, much as Melisandre. The man who died sounds like someone picked out because he was the most easily suggestible (helped along by some drugs?), and perhaps combined with some subtle poison (there's a bunch of weird ones floating around in the world) his death could be explained without some advanced sorcery (the finger print stuff can be dismissed as embrodiery, or just the result of extreme suggestibility). The dragon's no doubt the same thing.

I think we'll have to wait and see how she goes down to guess who and what she actually is. Mushroom - a crucial source on her, it seems - seems to have lived long enough to have learned what happened to her, so it might be not wrong to take him seriously there. And what exactly drugs can do in comparison to actual magic is, at this point, still very hard to pin down.

28 minutes ago, Ran said:

The thing I enjoy most about the Daemon-Aemond conversation is that the only source of it must be Alys Rivers herself. And we've no clue if she was actually there or not, or just inserted herself into it to push her own narrative of being Aemond's lady, having magic, etc. 

Technically, yes, but how likely is it now that she ever told the story as we know it to anyone? Wouldn't she have told a version that made look Aemond better? But, sure, the story as known by us via Gyldayn may have been the version Alys told her son and her/his followers at Harrenhal, and from there it made its way into the history books.

Overall, though, if Alys' 'Jon Snow' ends up becoming a dragonrider - as I think he will - it seems more likely the boy makes a journey to Red Lake or Dragonstone. Right now there is no Prince of Dragonstone, and there shouldn't be any, technically, as long as Prince Daeron is not born, possibly causing security measure no longer being as strong as they had before. But even if they were - the Cannibal doesn't live within the premises of the citadel, so Aemond's son could easily enough find his way to his lair.

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On 11/21/2018 at 7:56 AM, Lord Varys said:

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):

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:

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 ;-)?

Well, it is an interesting theory. Mysaria's description could be that of an albino, and House Targaryen has known its share with Bloodraven, who was also a master of whisperers. There is also her sobriquet "White Worm." It could be a mishearing of the word "wyrm" which has been used as a synonym for "dragon." Mysaria also does sound a lot similar to Saera. 

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Affair with Nettles notwithstanding, I personally think Daemon had a Valyrian fetish, seeing as three of his four serious relationships (three wives and Mysaria) were with women who either were Valyrian or looked like they were. The only woman who doesn't fit this pattern, Rhea Royce, was an arranged marriage that neither started nor ended well. Granted, it could also be tied to narcissism, the same way Cersei's relationship with Jaime is.

On another note, I noticed that one of Jaehaerys' first decrees was that the children of a man's second marriage cannot be given inheritance over the children from a first marriage. There's definitely an irony there. 

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18 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

On another note, I noticed that one of Jaehaerys' first decrees was that the children of a man's second marriage cannot be given inheritance over the children from a first marriage. There's definitely an irony there. 

Irony yes, but its a fairly irrelevant part as the king's power is absolute and "what one king does another can undo". Hence laws are of no importance to the inheritance of the Iron Throne. Or at least that's what I must conclude from what I've previously seen written here or said by GRRM.

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6 hours ago, Lion of the West said:

Irony yes, but its a fairly irrelevant part as the king's power is absolute and "what one king does another can undo". Hence laws are of no importance to the inheritance of the Iron Throne. Or at least that's what I must conclude from what I've previously seen written here or said by GRRM.

Well, yeah apparently the king is the highest (and maybe only) legislator in the land. Viserys having named Rhaenyra as his heir should have been that regardless of precedent. Inheritance laws however are the one set that the king who made them can't uphold or enforce. 

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Can we really call the Reign of Visearys I pax targaryenica?? I know he kept the peace and Daemon and Corlys were still ruled by him when they conquered the steppstones but his reign feels so i don't know how it lead to the dance really shook me especially when it was plain to see.

Reading more info in the war seriously what were the greens thinking the only one i can say had great success in fight the war who Larys and Tyland Lannister the both caused the black defeat with their moves.

 

Edited by Destiny Arrives

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3 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

Well, yeah apparently the king is the highest (and maybe only) legislator in the land. Viserys having named Rhaenyra as his heir should have been that regardless of precedent. Inheritance laws however are the one set that the king who made them can't uphold or enforce. 

It would seem so yes, although only a foolish king, like Viserys I, would not keep an eye on the polls when forminig policy. Not saying that he should be ruled by the polls but should have a basic idea of what policies will go down well or bad and with who.

2 hours ago, Destiny Arrives said:

Can we really call the Reign of Visearys I pax targaryenica?? I know he kept the peace and Daemon and Corlys were still ruled by him when they conquered the steppstones but his reign feels so i don't know how it lead to the dance really shook me especially when it was plain to see.

Reading more info in the war seriously what were the greens thinking the only one i can say had great success in fight the war who Larys and Tyland Lannister the both caused the black defeat with their moves.

I think that Pax Targarya was basically Jaehaerys I and Viserys I, so yeah you could probably call it that.

As for the Greens, they were probably thinking what every side in every war so far in Westeros has thought about opening hostilities. A combination of "we've got a just cause", "we can do this" and "its now or the oppertunity is lost". I don't for a second think that them really thought they would be so inept in relation with the Blacks as they proved to be.

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I've always seen Septon Eustace described as a Green loyalist, but something I'm noticing this time is that he takes great pains to defend Rhaenyra's honor. Whenever one of the sources tries to paint her as a "wanton whore," he always tries to counter-act it (ex. Daemon took advantage of her, she turned down Cole's advances, not the other way around, there were no three-ways with Laenor and Qarl, etc). You could make the argument that he's just more conservative, but Eustace does seem to take issue with the smear-campaign against Rhaenyra, particularly in regards to her sexuality.

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3 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I've always seen Septon Eustace described as a Green loyalist, but something I'm noticing this time is that he takes great pains to defend Rhaenyra's honor. Whenever one of the sources tries to paint her as a "wanton whore," he always tries to counter-act it (ex. Daemon took advantage of her, she turned down Cole's advances, not the other way around, there were no three-ways with Laenor and Qarl, etc). You could make the argument that he's just more conservative, but Eustace does seem to take issue with the smear-campaign against Rhaenyra, particularly in regards to her sexuality.

The various guys seem to have certain biases at some points but, yeah, they are not die-hard followers of one or the other side. People here on the boards may have stronger opinion on the various sides than Eustace and Mushroom.

Edited by Lord Varys

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Going back a bit... Probably, Daemon + Nettles = Pygmalion

(GRRM echoes GBS)

Edited by bemused

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On 11/24/2018 at 4:41 PM, Ran said:

Sharing a bathtub is not something a father does with his adult daughter, however you want to paint it. It's the behavior of lovers.

And yet, isn't it odd that sources don't consider it to be a clear proof of romantic relationship? I mean, it isn't like they shy away from writing about Daemon's infidelities towards Rhaenyra with Mysaria - so why this odd tentativeness with Nettles? You'd think that they would jump on the affair interpretation with an older man and a younger woman associating so closely - certainly even Jahaerys I wasn't spared in the m,atter of Alicent taking care of him - even though him often mistaking her for Saera when his wits began to eander would be an argument against it, for me. 

 

On 11/24/2018 at 8:43 PM, Lord Varys said:

 But even if they were - the Cannibal doesn't live within the premises of the citadel, so Aemond's son could easily enough find his way to his lair.

That would make for the stuff of legends given all the many prior unsuccessful and lethal attempts to claim Cannibal - too much so, IMHO, for it not to turn into a popular legend, the subject of songs, etc. Therefore I very much doubt it. In fact, I doubt that Aemond's alleged son lives to adulthood, unless he is captured and given to the Night's Watch.

 

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56 minutes ago, Maia said:

And yet, isn't it odd that sources don't consider it to be a clear proof of romantic relationship?

The only source that doesn't take her to have been his lover is Eustace, though, who simply bases it on her being too ill-favored for Daemon's tastes. Mysaria claimed they were sleeping together, Mushroom claimed it, Gyldayn reads Norren's account as supporting it. We don't really know who else looked at Norren's work, but that said, the best chronicler of the era -- Munkun -- appears to be silent on the subject other than having noted that Nettles was a skinny brown girl.

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