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3 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:
34 minutes ago, Geddus said:

Another thing is that Aegon was said to have been reluctant in taking the crown: this version is put forward in F&B as well but it's not believable any more, it clashes with basically everything else we now know.

 

I think it's entirely compatible. Aegon II could indeed have been reluctant, not having the ambition or the desire, but fundamentally he's weak-willed and once he's pressured and convinced that his sister must kill him and his brothers to secure the crown for herself, he turns against her once and for all when she rejects his terms, which to him proves that she's out for blood.

The disasters that then lead to his being broken in body and mind in the course of the war make him, I suspect, a different person than he was at the outset of it. 

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8 hours ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Yet in comparison to Bittersteel, Bloodraven seem much better - he even became cool weirwood tree magician for breaking his nightswatch oaths, while Bittersteel died pathetic death after numeroud failed rebellions.

Well, I really don't understand on what you guys base this assumption that the Brackens and Blackwoods have to have identical accomplishments/abilities, etc.? I mean, why not complain that Ned and Brandon are not equally strong fighters? Or that it is unfair that Robert and Jaime are so physically overpowered in comparison to Ned? That it is unjust that Jon Arryn and Barristan Selmy and Maester Aemon live to pretty old age in decent shape whereas Hoster Tully dies a slow and painful death?

I mean, come on.

Besides, one can even make a case that Bloodraven paid a huge price for his magical powers, being living corpse chained to a tree while he slowly rots. Not to mention he is basically forced to always watch without being able to actually influence much (or anything) that's happening in the world.

6 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

It is his character; he can do whatever he wants with him. Besides the whole affair comes off as a naked power grab on behalf of Otto Hightower. His one good justification is keeping Daemon of the throne. But even so Rhaenyra wasn't his puppet. If anything she seems to have been the only one keeping him in line. 

Yeah, the idea that Aegon II was anything but the shithead we now see that he was was always a pretty baseless assumption.

6 hours ago, Geddus said:

Yeah but before there was at least room for discussion, it was understood (at least that was my impression) that both sides had legitimate claims and grievances. Now it's just years of insults and open, unprovoked hostility from Alicent and her sons that culminate in a coup, it's just a power grab without any justification.

The power grab as such was never with justification. And this coup thing was never justified.

There are still some decent people among the Greens, one assumes, Grover Tully seems to have been a man of principle, and apparently Unwin Peake's original reasons to prefer Aegon II to Rhaenyra are also grounded in his belief that a daughter should not come before a son. But then - Wylde was apparently also not exactly honest serving a king who clearly had decreed that his daughter should come before his sons. If the man had later rebelled against Rhaenyra - fine. But serving Viserys I on his council and then turning against the man's decrees and laws after he is dead is just treason - and very bad form no matter how you spin it.

The Hightower cabal as such was never motivated by 'the law' or custom in any of that, as Ser Otto's original decision for Rhaenyra and against Daemon makes clear. This man didn't give a rat's ass about the Great Council since that meant that Daemon was the presumptive heir of King Viserys while the man had no sons. And he could not accept that.

And from the point of view of the reader it makes actually no sense to side with the guys who think it right and proper that women cannot or should not rule - unless we actually share that opinion. One can, perhaps, say that this or that guy holding that opinion (Grover Tully, say) was true to himself and his values in this, but it makes no sense to actually ascribe to those values ourselves.

6 hours ago, Ran said:

You know who else fucks a camp follower? Tyrion Lannister, George's favorite character. You know who else is refined? Rhaegar Frey, who ends up in a pie.

To me, a more apt comparison would be to say that Tytos Blackwood is the Denys Mallister to Jonos Bracken's Cotter Pyke. GRRM clearly doesn't think either of these characters are really better or worse than the other, they're merely two differing world-views and approaches to life caught in an inexorable opposition.

Yeah, by the way George describes and characterizes his characters Jonos Bracken comes off not exactly as unsympathetic. In fact, him looking for sexual pleasure outside his marriage bed is another hint that those arranged marriages do not work out all that much.

5 hours ago, lysmonger said:

I think a lot of what makes Aegon ll a vicious king is he never was groomed for anything. He was overweight. Hardly put in any hours in the practice hour His dad wasnt a role model nor did he give him experience running anything. Hell his maternal Grandfather ignored him and Aemond. Neither one of those two had anytime working with smallfolk  or  non household knights. 

I'm not sure Aegon II was ever all that overweight, he doesn't come across as fat on any of the portraits I've seen. It is true that he wasn't groomed to rule, but that doesn't change he was a shitty ruler and has to be seen as such. There are other princes who were not groomed to rule who turned out pretty well - foremost amongst them King Jaehaerys I. But also Maekar and Aegon V.

5 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

I never got the impression from tPatQ or tRP that the Greens actions were anything but a naked power grab without justification. I was always surprised when people took that stance

All the key elements showing that the leading Greens were nothing but insidious plotters - especially such people as Otto, Alicent, and Criston Cole - were there in the material we already had. The details we get now show us the depth of Aegon II's depravity, but a lot of that is just more details, not a completely new perspective on the overall story.

4 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

The laws of the land state that a son comes before a daughter, Viserys himself was only King because his claim was judged to be superior to his older female cousin and her children. On top of that Viserys actions  were as much to stop his brother becoming King as they were getting his daughter to be Queen, with Daemon now as his daughters husband and defacto king it becomes even muddier. 

The laws in Dorne did also state that, once, one assumes. They changed. There is nothing wrong in change. And there is no indication that King Viserys could not rule on his own succession nor that changes in law have to retroactively affect your own claims. Or did Princess Rhaenys rebel against King Viserys I when the man discarded the Great Council and Jaehaerys I's decision of 92 AC (and the dismissal of Princess Aerea in 48 AC) and named Rhaenyra his heir in 105 AC? Did she say 'When Viserys ignores the implications of the legal prattle that made him king then this means I am the Queen now!'?

No, she did not.

In fact, one of Rhaenyra's worst decisions - and a confirmation how misogynist the Westerosi society is - is when she rules against the suggestion to hand Rosby and Stokeworth to the daughters of the lords she executed. New laws and practices can be introduced without necessarily affecting previous decisions. There is a reason there why George has so much fun dwelling on how this decisions continues to bite Rhaenyra in the ass...

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Viserys screwed up, he allowed a power grab to happen and did not do enough after Aegon's birth or Daemon's marriage to his daughter to clarify who should rule. 

It makes no sense to lay the greatest chunk of the blame at the feet of Viserys there. Take this example: We run a company together and you trust me but we are not on the same page in all matters. Eventually I play you, outmaneuver you, ruin you, and see to it that you never work in the business again. Is it now mainly your fault that you were stupid, didn't see that coming?

Or take a person who takes a spouses and only later realizes that the person beats him/her or was only after his/her money? Would you say they should have known that in advance?

People condemning Viserys in hindsight always knew about the Dance. But could the man actually have known what Alicent and Otto would do? How well could they conceal their intentions from him? How realistic is it that a man who loves his wife is going to believe she will kill his daughter? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt there, just as I give the Conqueror the doubt and don't condemn him that he didn't leave orders to his KG to kill both Visenya and Maegor the day he died.

1 hour ago, Geddus said:

Well no, the fact that Rhaenyra was a woman and that she was Daemon's wife were legitimate issues (in Westerosi terms obviously, I'm not saying that a woman shouldn't rule) and I thought at least some of the Greens were actually concerned about those, in good faith. According to F&B, however, they couldn't care less, they only acted out of ambition, personal vendettas and lust for power: I don't think there's a single Green that doesn't come off as an asshole at best, except for maybe Tyland Lannister.

The Greens at court are all assholes, of course, feigning allegiance and loyalty to their king and then betraying him and his memory as soon as he closes his eyes forever. However, there are some people across the land who were not involved in that, who really believe in what they say.

However, considering that essentially all Greens (try to) turn Black in the end it is pretty obvious that those men - especially Larys Strong - were never caring all that much about about laws and shit like that.

And even those who care about the Great Council would no longer stick to the Green side of things after Aegon II no longer has any male heirs (of his own body) on his side of the family. If the male claimant must sit the throne, then Aegon III is the rightful heir and successor of Aegon II, and not Jaehaera.

But as I laid out for years - and which was thankfully confirmed by FaB - it makes no sense that Aegon II and Alicent would want to see Rhaenyra's son on the Iron Throne. It even goes as far as Unwin Peake murdering Jaehaera to ensure the line of House Targaryen continues and no woman or male through the female line ever despoils the Iron Throne again.

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Another thing is that Aegon was said to have been reluctant in taking the crown: this version is put forward in F&B as well but it's not believable any more, it clashes with basically everything else we now know. Also, the enmity between the two sides is now all the Greens' fault, I don't remember anyone on Rhaenyra's camp provoking the opposite side before the war, not even Daemon.

It was always dubious that this idea was true considering how Aegon II behaved before and very shortly after his coronation.

1 hour ago, Ran said:

I think it's entirely compatible. Aegon II could indeed have been reluctant, not having the ambition or the desire, but fundamentally he's weak-willed and once he's pressured and convinced that his sister must kill him and his brothers to secure the crown for herself, he turns against her once and for all when she rejects his terms, which to him proves that she's out for blood.

The disasters that then lead to his being broken in body and mind in the course of the war make him, I suspect, a different person than he was at the outset of it. 

What we learn about him prior to that - him not getting along with Rhaenyra at the age of six, him being the one repeating his mother's 'Strong stories' to Aemond, him having severe issues when Jacaerys wanted to dance with Helaena - strongly suggests that the part of him actually seeing his half-sister's claim as stronger than his own as nothing but a pious fable.

Perhaps he was reluctant to take the throne because neither his mother nor his grandfather had cared to inform him of their intentions to make him king once the time came (they may have not trusted a man like Aegon with as sensitive a knowledge as that, knowing his outgoing nature and all) and he was thus surprised and didn't exactly know what he wanted at first. But I think we cannot really take the idea seriously he thought Rhaenyra had the better claim and actually 'a birthright' to be queen.

His later actions also show that he didn't actually believe Rhaenyra's dragons or her overall standing with the lords of the Realm would give her any advantage or her cause any hope. He is very surprised when Daemon takes Harrenhal and things don't go smoothly. This also makes it not very likely that he was afraid their power grab could backfire on them.

How much the late Aegon II is different from the early one is also up for debate. He apparently get off most of his drugs, but I see little difference between him demanding Rhaenyra's death early on during the war and him actually executing half and a year later. The way he completely fails to see how essentially everybody at his court is betraying him also shows that his pain and suffering didn't somehow make him understand politics and power better.

As I think I laid out years ago, I think he could have shown real greatness and not only saved his throne and life and made himself into a great monarch if he had offered Rhaenyra to marry him so that they could rule together and overcome the pain and suffering their struggle had caused their subjects. They were both widowed, and they could have ruled jointly like the Conqueror and his sisters. That would have been in the same league as Baelor forgiving the Dornish. It could also have helped to give the Realm a truer and much faster peace than anything the regents and Aegon III could later do, because if those people who hated each other the most could overcome that hate then all their lords and subjects would have to follow their example.

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

I think it's entirely compatible. Aegon II could indeed have been reluctant, not having the ambition or the desire, but fundamentally he's weak-willed and once he's pressured and convinced that his sister must kill him and his brothers to secure the crown for herself, he turns against her once and for all when she rejects his terms, which to him proves that she's out for blood.

I think Aegon's actions both before and immediately after Viserys' death show that he never considered Rhaenyra's claim to be better than his own, quite the contrary: so while he could maybe have been reluctant because he didn't want to go to war (and even that is doubtful, given how he reacted when Aemond opened the hostilities by murdering his nephew) I don't believe for a second that he didn't want to steal his sister's birthright, which is the reason given in the text.

Also, Rhaenyra never showed any signs that she wanted her brother's head or anything of the sort; all the enmity always came from Aegon and his relatives, so that fear is another thing I find very hard to believe.

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@Ran

The camp follower thing was just an example of how one is portrayed better than the other in ADWD, which by itself is fine. It's when you add TWOIAF and F & B that it becomes troublesome and hard to believe that both sides in the feud are at fault. It's a case where the optics don't match the argument is what I'm saying in other words.

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47 minutes ago, Geddus said:

I think Aegon's actions both before and immediately after Viserys' death show that he never considered Rhaenyra's claim to be better than his own, quite the contrary: so while he could maybe have been reluctant because he didn't want to go to war (and even that is doubtful, given how he reacted when Aemond opened the hostilities by murdering his nephew) I don't believe for a second that he didn't want to steal his sister's birthright, which is the reason given in the text.

Calling Luke's murder 'a good beginning' is likely one of the ugliest lines in the entire book. And it really shows what this man was about. Otto and Alicent still had some sense, it is Aegon II who is the savage one.

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Also, Rhaenyra never showed any signs that she wanted her brother's head or anything of the sort; all the enmity always came from Aegon and his relatives, so that fear is another thing I find very hard to believe.

I think those 'arguments' were indeed used by the actual 'Green cabal' - Otto, Alicent, Cole - to help convince the others to see their point of view. Beesbury was either a clear Black or at least so much an honest man that he intended to fulfill the vow he had once sworn. How far in Green territory Tyland Lannister was at this time is not that clear, considering that he and Jason both once tried to win Rhaenyra's hand, Jasper Wylde was in favor of the son thing in principle but may also have needed encouragement to actually betray his king, Larys Strong's true allegiance/opinion was unknown, and Grand Maester Orwyle, too, was an undecided new man.

And how full of shit those 'arguments' are can be seen by how contradictory they are, as many have pointed out already:

On the one hand, Rhaenyra's sons by Laenor Velaryon are defamed as bastards, making it paramount to prevent Rhaenyra's rise to the Iron Throne so that Jacaerys Velaryon cannot rule after her (although the succession of Rhaenyra would be another matter entirely, not something to be set in stone by making her queen), and on the other it is claimed Laenor's sons are going to make the Red King into their brothel based on 'what Laenor was' - which shouldn't have any impact if he was actually not the biological father of Rhaenyra's sons - and considering they lived apart and he died when the boys were still very young he couldn't even have had much of an effect on their upbringing.

This is especially hypocritical if one considers what kind of man Aegon II actually. The whoremonger and unfaithful husband here is he, not Rhaenyra. If Laenor's sons were not Laenor's then Laenor is to be blamed for that because he didn't want to consummate his marriage - but Aegon II has no excuse for sleeping around, and it seems very clear that he would have become as faithful a husband - and the Red Keep as much a brothel under him - as (it) was under Aegon IV.

Edited by Lord Varys

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9 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

It is his character; he can do whatever he wants with him. Besides the whole affair comes off as a naked power grab on behalf of Otto Hightower. His one good justification is keeping Daemon of the throne. But even so Rhaenyra wasn't his puppet. If anything she seems to have been the only one keeping him in line. 

Of course its GRRM's character, world, series etc. I am not trying to infringe or force him to write this or that. But just like its GRRM's IP its my opinion and I can hold it as I see fit.

7 hours ago, Ran said:

I think sometimes people really do just treat it all like a football game.

Als,o @Lion of the West

The Heirs of the Dragon and the Dance of the Dragon material is essentially unchanged from how George wrote it for TWoIaF. The Greens and Blacks were always depicted this way, long before readers saw the material.

That's the thing with people getting emotionally involved with, for example, literature or sport. I can only speak for myself but the world and characters that GRRM presents to us are so vivid and feel so alive that I get emotionally attached and invested in it and the characters within it to a higher degree than many other fantasy series, or non-fantasy literature for that matter. Hence the strong reaction of like and dislike to things that appears.

Now here you have an information advantage over me. You could be lying through your teeth or be entirely sincere and I don't have a clue about what it is, nor will I ever find out.

So my point stands, regardless of the non-change over the text or not. "The Princess and the Queen" felt very much in the vein of Westeros that I love from the main series and the same with the "Rogue Prince". But then "World of Ice and Fire" made it a little less convincing with a stronger focus on Greens=Evil and now I have a conflict that has even less of what attracts me to GRRM's writings with the latest installment angeling itself towards like a run-of-the-mill fantasy conflict, with some grimdark thrown in to stand out a little. Mind you, I don't think that it is a run-of-the-mill fantasy conflict but I think its sliding down that side of the hill.

So yes, I do find the change of tone between TPatQ and GRRMarillion to be more amusing, or potentially depressing for what is to come, than making me suddenly renounce Aegon II and the Greens.

Edited by Lion of the West

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4 minutes ago, Lion of the West said:

Of course its GRRM's character, world, series etc. I am not trying to infringe or force him to write this or that. But just like its GRRM's IP its my opinion and I can hold it as I see fit.

I just find it a strange position to hold, considering that he was to an extent among the lesser agents in the whole affair. For instance Otto who planted the seeds and saw Aegon's claim into fruition does not come off as a monster. Conniving and ambitious yes, but not out of control bloodthirsty. Other than that regardless of who started it, escalation is a two way street and both sides had among their ranks violent psychopaths and innocents who suffered. Besides I can't say I care much of who had the right in that particular setting, while I do have an opinion. 

I get that rooting for characters is part of the fun, but up to a point. 

The main differences I saw between The Princess and the Queen and Fire and Blood is that Rhaenyra doesn't come off quite as paranoid and that Daemon comes off as much more dangerous. 

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, I really don't understand on what you guys base this assumption that the Brackens and Blackwoods have to have identical accomplishments/abilities, etc.? I mean, why not complain that Ned and Brandon are not equally strong fighters? Or that it is unfair that Robert and Jaime are so physically overpowered in comparison to Ned? That it is unjust that Jon Arryn and Barristan Selmy and Maester Aemon live to pretty old age in decent shape whereas Hoster Tully dies a slow and painful death?

You bring up individual people, when we have been arguing about noble houses. It is unrealistical to have every Bracken worse in almost every aspect than their Blackwood counterpart at the time, over the span of hundred years. I don't want to be disrespectful, but it sounds like you are attacking an strawman.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I mean, come on.

Not an argument.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Besides, one can even make a case that Bloodraven paid a huge price for his magical powers, being living corpse chained to a tree while he slowly rots. Not to mention he is basically forced to always watch without being able to actually influence much (or anything) that's happening in the world.

My point was that Bloodraven is much better than Bittersteel in every aspect while at the same time being more likeable. 

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

This is especially hypocritical if one considers what kind of man Aegon II actually. The whoremonger and unfaithful husband here is he, not Rhaenyra.

It seems the same "tactic" has been employed in both cases: it's Aegon who wants to kill his sister and her children and he's the one who frequents whores yet those accusations are thrown in Rhaenyra's face.

And if the latter is understandable since her children were almost certainly bastards, very dumb of her, the former is laughable since it appears clear that Rhaenyra didn't want to harm her family at the beginning, and even later it seems she only had it out for Aegon and Aemond (she had nothing to do with Blood and Cheese, and she didn't even execute Alicent).

Edited by Geddus

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3 minutes ago, Lion of the West said:

So yes, I do find the change of tone between TPatQ and GRRMarillion to be more amusing, or potentially depressing for what is to come, than making me suddenly renounce Aegon II and the Greens.

There is no change of tone there, just a more complete picture. You knew that those novellas were not telling the whole story from the start. Growing attached to something on the basis of an incomplete picture is something you have yourself to blame for. It is like complaining a movie was bad on the basis that you judged the trailer to be outstanding.

It was also not exactly a great idea to publish edited material, specially in the case of TPatQ - which at times really twists characters and events around, giving false impressions due to the lack of details and context (the most glaring nonsense here is that the entire conversation between Rhaenyra and Alicent - who were supposed to be 'the core characters' of this TPatQ thing - during which the latter suggests to split up the Realm was actually not in TPatQ) - but we all knew that a lot of material was missing, so any 'judgment' based on the edited material was to be preliminary.

And thankful we no longer have to refer to TPatQ, TRP, and TSotD in its previous forms. We know have the complete and final version of that history.

And for what it is worth, I can confirm what Ran said above: The text of 'The Dying of the Dragons' did exist in the form it was written (aside from minor corrections of dates and typos and the like - and the addition of the Gerardys story) since George wrote it for TWoIaF. There were no changes made to any characters or events in any meaningful way.

9 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

You bring up individual people, when we have been arguing about noble houses. It is unrealistical to have every Bracken worse in almost every aspect than their Blackwood counterpart at the time, over the span of hundred years. I don't want to be disrespectful, but it sounds like you are attacking an strawman.

Not sure why that's supposed to unrealistic - if George wanted to make it so, it were so. You can complain that you don't want it to be this way, but that's a separate issue. But I don't actually think the Brute of Bracken or the Brackens who count (i.e. those not name-dropped in TWoIaF) are overly bad characters. 

9 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Not an argument.

Not supposed to be one.

9 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

My point was that Bloodraven is much better than Bittersteel in every aspect while at the same time being more likeable. 

I don't like him very much - or rather: the guy I think he may have been when he killed his various nephews and his half-brother. The corpse guy sort of meant through a transformation.

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I appreciate the portrayals of Alicent and Otto. They were obviously very ambitious while Viserys I was still alive, and once he died, but they weren't so senseless that they lusted for war, and made excuses for any and all atrocities for their cause. However delusional they may have been, they had obviously hoped for Aegon III's accession to be a fait accompli, and not to just war, war, war.

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51 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

There is no change of tone there, just a more complete picture. You knew that those novellas were not telling the whole story from the start. Growing attached to something on the basis of an incomplete picture is something you have yourself to blame for. It is like complaining a movie was bad on the basis that you judged the trailer to be outstanding.

The tone may have come from a lack of material, but it was still a whole different feeling to it. As for blaming myself I suppose you're right.

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It was also not exactly a great idea to publish edited material, specially in the case of TPatQ - which at times really twists characters and events around, giving false impressions due to the lack of details and context (the most glaring nonsense here is that the entire conversation between Rhaenyra and Alicent - who were supposed to be 'the core characters' of this TPatQ thing - during which the latter suggests to split up the Realm was actually not in TPatQ) - but we all knew that a lot of material was missing, so any 'judgment' based on the edited material was to be preliminary.

Yet still when the impression is about a 140 degree turn from what you see in the preliminary material to the finished product you get confused.

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And for what it is worth, I can confirm what Ran said above: The text of 'The Dying of the Dragons' did exist in the form it was written (aside from minor corrections of dates and typos and the like - and the addition of the Gerardys story) since George wrote it for TWoIaF. There were no changes made to any characters or events in any meaningful way.

Thank you.

Edited by Lion of the West

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The Brute of Bracken actually gets a pretty bad rap. A melee mishap leads the Blackwoods to agitate for war against the Brackens, and it's believed that the King will not intercede to keep the peace because the Hand of the King is half a Blackwood and hates Brackens. Among famed and refined men like the Grey Lion and Lord Caron, men who ignore Dunk or even laugh at him, he's the only great knight in the crowd who "had the grace" to at least answer him and explain why he wouldn' support him.

Then later, he's not at the conspiracy at Whitewalls (an absence that is noted) and is someone the conspirators believe will have to be forced to take their side rather than doing it willingly.

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36 minutes ago, Ran said:

The Brute of Bracken actually gets a pretty bad rap. A melee mishap leads the Blackwoods to agitate for war against the Brackens, and it's believed that the King will not intercede to keep the peace because the Hand of the King is half a Blackwood and hates Brackens. Among famed and refined men like the Grey Lion and Lord Caron, men who ignore Dunk or even laugh at him, he's the only great knight in the crowd who "had the grace" to at least answer him and explain why he wouldn' support him.

Then later, he's not at the conspiracy at Whitewalls (an absence that is noted) and is someone the conspirators believe will have to be forced to take their side rather than doing it willingly.

I hope if GRRM makes another Dunk and Egg novel he won't suddenly change his personality by 180 degree. Otho seems like only actually good Bracken here. But since Egg later married Blackwood, I have bad feelings about how it will go.

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Going back to GRRM’s quote about Aragon’s tax policy, I always took that to be a bit tongue in cheek; a sort of “the bloom is off the rose” situation. Aragon is king for ten years, people have to pay taxes, and it becomes a case of “well, what has Aragon done for me lately?” Even a good king can’t please everyone.

As for the Greens vs the Blacks, I always had the impression that Rhaenyra was in the right, even if she’s certainly not perfect. Aegon II struck me as the kind of guy who liked the perks of being royalty without the responsibilities. I wonder if he would have been fine with his sister being in charge as long as he got to do whatever he wanted. Also, I know we get several accounts about the nature of Cole’s relationship with Rhaenyra, but what about that guy? 

As much as the Dance sucked for everyone by the end, I think I feel the sorriest for Aegon III. He loses three brothers, possibly four, his dragon, gets dragged around by his increasingly paranoid mother, who he then sees get eaten by a dragon (in BITES, I’d always thought it was one gulp, but NOPE), and then gets surrounded by adults who ignore him or remind him of his mother’s death. I wonder if he wanted to run away to Winterfell when Cregan Stark left. 

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16 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I appreciate the portrayals of Alicent and Otto. They were obviously very ambitious while Viserys I was still alive, and once he died, but they weren't so senseless that they lusted for war, and made excuses for any and all atrocities for their cause. However delusional they may have been, they had obviously hoped for Aegon III's accession to be a fait accompli, and not to just war, war, war.

Alicent and Otto seem to be less savage than Aegon II and Aemond, but Alicent really shows what she is with her desire to bathe in the blood of Blood's family (!) and her later attempts to push Jaehaera into murdering her king, husband, and cousin (!). Not to mention the affection/love she apparently feigned for her husband the entire time.

She only comes up with (rather ridiculous, one must say) peace offerings after she realizes that her mad coup is going to cost her. If she and Otto had wanted they certainly could have tried to overcome their differences in the 120s and establish a modus vivendi and perhaps even share in Rhaenyra's power to some degree - by offering Helaena as bride for one of Rhaenyra's sons or - after the incest match - by offering Jaehaera as bride for Aegon the Younger.

14 hours ago, Ran said:

The Brute of Bracken actually gets a pretty bad rap. A melee mishap leads the Blackwoods to agitate for war against the Brackens, and it's believed that the King will not intercede to keep the peace because the Hand of the King is half a Blackwood and hates Brackens. Among famed and refined men like the Grey Lion and Lord Caron, men who ignore Dunk or even laugh at him, he's the only great knight in the crowd who "had the grace" to at least answer him and explain why he wouldn' support him.

Then later, he's not at the conspiracy at Whitewalls (an absence that is noted) and is someone the conspirators believe will have to be forced to take their side rather than doing it willingly.

This bad reputation is just talk at this point, though. Rumors are not facts. What counts for me to give Ser Otho a pretty good positive reputation is that Dunk sees him as a man to address and that he has indeed the grace to answer him. That does not indicate he is a bad man at heart.

13 hours ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

I hope if GRRM makes another Dunk and Egg novel he won't suddenly change his personality by 180 degree. Otho seems like only actually good Bracken here. But since Egg later married Blackwood, I have bad feelings about how it will go.

I'd be very surprised if Dunk & Egg were to take a side in the ridiculous and nonsensical Bracken-Blackwood feud, not to mention that I see no chance that King Aegon V is going to favor the Blackwoods over the Brackens just because he is married to a Blackwood.

If 'The Village Hero' is going to take place in Pennytree and deal with the rumored Bracken-Blackwood feud brewing due to Otho's rise to heir of Stone Hedge then I'd expect them to find/enforce a peaceful solution there - perhaps even with the help of Betha Blackwood should she make a first appearance there.

Edited by Lord Varys

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8 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

@Lord Varys

Is Alicent wanting to bathe in the blood of Blood's family undisputed or something claimed by particular sources?

It is implied that this is confirmed by all the sources, since it is mentioned that the sources, plural, don't say whether it occurred or not.

Keep in mind that Alicent did not only lose her grandson but was actually herself attacked by Blood and Cheese.

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On 12/4/2018 at 12:44 AM, Lord Varys said:

If 'The Village Hero' is going to take place in Pennytree and deal with the rumored Bracken-Blackwood feud brewing due to Otho's rise to heir of Stone Hedge then I'd expect them to find/enforce a peaceful solution there - perhaps even with the help of Betha Blackwood should she make a first appearance there.

That's something that I can see. That Otho and the Brackens are causing all kinds of unnecessary hell and problems and then the Blackswoods teams up with Dunk and Egg to put a stop to it with Betha Blackwood doing the star performance. I wouldn't be suprised if Dunk does a duel with Otho and avenge himself on Otho's refusal to aid Duncan in the Trial by Seven.

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7 minutes ago, Blue Falcon said:

That's something that I can see. That Otho and the Brackens are causing all kinds of unnecessary hell and problems and then the Blackswoods teams up with Dunk and Egg to put a stop to it with Betha Blackwood doing the star performance. I wouldn't be suprised if Dunk does a duel with Otho and avenge himself on Otho's refusal to aid Duncan in the Trial by Seven.

That's exactly opposite of what would I want. Blackwoods are every single time shown as honorable and righteous while Brackens are treated almost like cartoony villains. Blackwoods were the one rumored to attack Otho and they cared even less about Dunk during Trial of Seven at Ashford. 

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