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[SPOILERS] The Regency of Aegon III

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10 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Can we actually be sure Aemond's son really is Aemond's? Considering all of Alys's previous children were stillborn and there is no mention of the boy having the Targaryen look I wouldn't be surprised if GRRM underwhelmed us by making Alys Rivers into another version of Essie.

We have pretty much as much reason to buy the story of Alys' son as we have to believe the story of Jon Snow. But Gyldayn does not only seem to believe the story is genuine, he also seems to buy Alys' claim that she and Aemond were married - after all, Alys Rivers' early exploits at Harrenhal are discussed when Gyldayn turns to the widows who came to the fore after the Dance. If there was no consensus among historians that Alys Rivers was indeed the widow of Prince Aemond she would not have been discussed in that context - or rather: it would have mentioned that she was merely claiming to be his widow.

It is also very much implied that all those women who took power after the Dance kept it for considerable time. After all, many of the children in whose name they ruled were still very young. 

10 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Also, considering how many child/baby lords with female regents (Elenda Caron, Johanna Westerling, Sharis Footly, Sabitha Frey, Lady Tyrell) come out of the Dance I'm surprised Daeron I's conquest didn't get more pushback initially.

Aegon III dies 26 years after the Dance. Many of those women may be dead by then - even if not, Elenda Caron, Lady Tyrell, and Lady Sam may actually have reason to attack Dorne then. Elenda at least lost her Connington husband to Dornish raiders, so she was likely not exactly positively inclined to them later in life.

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I liked it more than I thought. I imagined it was just a rather tame epilogue after the epic Dance of Dragons but it was a very interesting read. Aegon III actually came off really sympathetic to me. For such a sullen boy he had some very sweet moments like weeping with joy at the sight of his brother, putting in an effort for the arms training he hates so his friend doesn't get beaten up or holding himself up in a tower with his brother for days to defend his sister in law. 

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The regency is probably the best part of the book - Aegon's Conquest was already known, the chapters about his reign too sort to draw any conclusions of the characters hadn't had already, the Maegor & Aenys chapter was... good, but not exceptional, the chapters of Jaehaerys and Alysanne, though fun to read, are tiring after too much 'Jaehaerys is the best, Jaehaerys is god, Jaehaerys can do no mistake' propaganda and the shifting in characterization. As for the Dance, it was... the Dance. Gritty and all.

 

But Aegon III's regency, despite having a bit of gore, is surprisingly light-hearted and enjoyable. The fact that Baela and Rhaena just faded after a certain part left a bad taste in my mouth, but I guess they couldn't be at court all the time. And I am a bit disappointed we did not get to see a little more of their relationship with their half-brothers, especially Viserys.

I think when it came to Baela, GRRM sort of... gave up. Baela feels like a repetition of (an older) Arya, and a mix between Alyssa, Saera and Viserra, like he couldn't think of a distinct personality for her. She prefers masculine activities to feminine ones, has scandalous sex drive, is the tomboy to the girly girl, very pretty, etc. I do wish GRRM didn't act like sisters only come in two different modes, one traditional feminine, and 'meek' (for lack of better word), the other more masculine and adventurous - and are polar opposites. We see that with Visenya and Rhaenys, Rhaena and Alysanne, Aerea and Rhaella, the daughters of Jaehaerys (compare Daenerys, Maegelle and Daella to Alyssa, Saera and Viserra), Baela and Rhaena, Daena and Rhaena, Sansa and Arya.

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On 2/10/2019 at 3:08 PM, Alyssa of House Arryn said:

The regency is probably the best part of the book - Aegon's Conquest was already known, the chapters about his reign too sort to draw any conclusions of the characters hadn't had already, the Maegor & Aenys chapter was... good, but not exceptional, the chapters of Jaehaerys and Alysanne, though fun to read, are tiring after too much 'Jaehaerys is the best, Jaehaerys is god, Jaehaerys can do no mistake' propaganda and the shifting in characterization. As for the Dance, it was... the Dance. Gritty and all.

 

But Aegon III's regency, despite having a bit of gore, is surprisingly light-hearted and enjoyable. The fact that Baela and Rhaena just faded after a certain part left a bad taste in my mouth, but I guess they couldn't be at court all the time. And I am a bit disappointed we did not get to see a little more of their relationship with their half-brothers, especially Viserys.

I think when it came to Baela, GRRM sort of... gave up. Baela feels like a repetition of (an older) Arya, and a mix between Alyssa, Saera and Viserra, like he couldn't think of a distinct personality for her. She prefers masculine activities to feminine ones, has scandalous sex drive, is the tomboy to the girly girl, very pretty, etc. I do wish GRRM didn't act like sisters only come in two different modes, one traditional feminine, and 'meek' (for lack of better word), the other more masculine and adventurous - and are polar opposites. We see that with Visenya and Rhaenys, Rhaena and Alysanne, Aerea and Rhaella, the daughters of Jaehaerys (compare Daenerys, Maegelle and Daella to Alyssa, Saera and Viserra), Baela and Rhaena, Daena and Rhaena, Sansa and Arya.

I personally don’t mind Aegon refusing to bond with his half sisters. He seems to have been squeamish and uncomfortable around women, even his own wife. One of my favourite moments of the regency chapters was when the sisters defy everyone and insist on seeing their brother in private, only for him to take one look at their dragon and demand of his Kingsguard to get it out of his sight. I wish they’d expanded more on that moment, maybe gotten a proper shocked reaction from the girls that this Targaryen wants nothing to do with dragons, this impossible divide between Aegon and everyone around him, even Baela (who went through just as much, if not more than Aegon). Maybe we’ll get more of that in part II.

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