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VVSINGOFTHECROSS

Baelon The Brave as King

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As it says on the tin, Baelon the Brave, the Spring Prince, was known to be a solid fighter, and a decent administrator/ Hand. Had he not died from when he did, how do people think he would have done as King?

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He would have been pretty good. Would have likely married Viserys to Laena after Aemma died, to bring the Velaryons back into the fold.

No idea what he would have done politically.

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He would have also spared us Otto Hightower as Hand...

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8 hours ago, Destiny Arrives said:

Much like Baelor Breakspears, Rhaegar and Duncan (if they weren't such  love struck fools) the realm lost a great one. 

Definitely agreed with you there. 

 

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

He would have also spared us Otto Hightower as Hand...

Oh definitely, I do wonder who he would have named as Hand

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13 hours ago, VVSINGOFTHECROSS said:

Oh definitely, I do wonder who he would have named as Hand

We hear he had surrounded himself with good men while Hand, so I doubt he would have called upon Otto in distant Oldtown. The man didn't live at court before Jaehaerys I named him Hand. No idea who he would have named, though.

Edited by Lord Varys

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16 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We hear he had surrounded himself with good men while Hand, so I doubt he would have called up Otto in distant Oldtown. The man didn't live at court before Jaehaerys I named him Hand. No idea who he would have named, though.

 

This is very true, kinda wish we'd gotten more info on those around the Spring Prince. I wonder if one of them might have come from the north, alongside Alarra Stark?

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Well there probably wouldn't have been a Dance of Dragons, for starters.  

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I'm sure he would have been good, but that whole section with Aemon, Baelon and Alyssa seemed quite rose tinted to me.  They all died well before their time, and so were looked back on especially fondly especially with the added issues that the rest of J&As kids seemed to create those three were largely perfect in comparison.  I certainly think he would have been at the very very least a decent king, and some of the later problems would have been easily avoided by having a smooth succession and capable king and administrator in charge.

I think the thing that would have helped an awful lot though was if someone didn't think it was a good idea for Aemma and Viserys to consummate when she was 13. 

Edited by naseridrl

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23 hours ago, naseridrl said:

I'm sure he would have been good, but that whole section with Aemon, Baelon and Alyssa seemed quite rose tinted to me.  They all died well before their time, and so were looked back on especially fondly especially with the added issues that the rest of J&As kids seemed to create those three were largely perfect in comparison.  I certainly think he would have been at the very very least a decent king, and some of the later problems would have been easily avoided by having a smooth succession and capable king and administrator in charge.

I think the thing that would have helped an awful lot though was if someone didn't think it was a good idea for Aemma and Viserys to consummate when she was 13. 

Agreed that seemed quite weird to me, especially as none thought Baelon was going to kick it when they married. 

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On 12/12/2018 at 11:27 AM, naseridrl said:

I'm sure he would have been good, but that whole section with Aemon, Baelon and Alyssa seemed quite rose tinted to me.  They all died well before their time, and so were looked back on especially fondly especially with the added issues that the rest of J&As kids seemed to create those three were largely perfect in comparison.  

I wouldn’t say Baelon was perfect. In the case of his less-than-stellar siblings, he directly contributed to the situation becoming worse. Twice. He was the one who suggested shaming Vaegon in front of everyone by having him fight Alyssa. He then brusquely refused Viserra when she tried to seduce him. Even he felt guilty in both occasions, saying he could have been kinder to Viserra. This makes me think he had trouble reading and interacting with certain types of people. I’m not doubting his ability, skill, or charisma, mind you. I do think he wasn’t without flaws. But that doesn’t really matter in the long run, he would have been a decent enough ruler. Probably in line with Viserys’ time as King.

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@James Steller

I disagree. According to F & B Baelon wasn't an intellectual like Barth but he was good at reading people and surrounded himself with competent men while he was Hand of the King, which is a far cry from his eldest son.

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3 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

@James Steller

I disagree. According to F & B Baelon wasn't an intellectual like Barth but he was good at reading people and surrounded himself with competent men while he was Hand of the King, which is a far cry from his eldest son.

I never said he was bad at reading all people, I just think he was limited when it came to connecting with introverts like Vaegon or people with issues like Viserra. Otherwise why did he adopt a strategy which was Randyll Tarly-esque when dealing with Vaegon? Not necessarily a serious issue, but someone was saying that Baelon seemed flawless. I was just suggesting a flaw that he had.

Edited by James Steller

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7 hours ago, James Steller said:

But that doesn’t really matter in the long run, he would have been a decent enough ruler. Probably in line with Viserys’ time as King.

Baelon seemed much better than his son and I think if he didn't predecease Jaehaerys, he would at least prevent Viserys from marrying Alicent over Laena. 

Anyway I wonder what were his thought about his niece Rhaenys. He could probably refuse being named heir over his elder brother's daughter.

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8 hours ago, James Steller said:

I wouldn’t say Baelon was perfect. In the case of his less-than-stellar siblings, he directly contributed to the situation becoming worse. Twice. He was the one who suggested shaming Vaegon in front of everyone by having him fight Alyssa. He then brusquely refused Viserra when she tried to seduce him. Even he felt guilty in both occasions, saying he could have been kinder to Viserra. This makes me think he had trouble reading and interacting with certain types of people. I’m not doubting his ability, skill, or charisma, mind you. I do think he wasn’t without flaws. But that doesn’t really matter in the long run, he would have been a decent enough ruler. Probably in line with Viserys’ time as King.

Not sure how publicly shaming Vaegon the Prick was making anything worse. Nobody ever mentions that Vaegon's reputation suffered from that. Instead, we learn that the great unpopularity of this prince goes back to the fact that he simply was unwilling or incapable of behaving like it was expected of him. Not to mention that his autistic nature should have made it a very low priority to hang out with people or try to befriend them.

But we should not put Baelon on that high a pedestal. He predeceased his father and was thus idealized more than he would had he actually been forced to rule. For instance, his last conversation there with his mother sounds like utter panegyric if you ask me. Gyldayn (or whatever his sources for the last years of Alysanne are) seems to like to believe that they had such an exchange, where Alysanne gave her son her blessing and claimed he would be a greater king than his father - but he also says Alysanne died sticking to the opinion that Rhaenys and her children had been cheated of their rights. If the latter is true the former is not likely to be true, either.

24 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Anyway I wonder what were his thought about his niece Rhaenys. He could probably refuse being named heir over his elder brother's daughter.

I'm under the impression that Baelon never had much of a choice in the matter. When Aemon died he went to war to avenge his fallen brother and when he returned his father publicly named him his new heir when he received him. The deliberations - if there were any, as Gyldayn claims - would have taken place in Baelon's absence. Baelon could not publicly deny his own father, and after he publicly accepted the honor he had to keep it.

I'm sure he had no issue becoming king when the issue was settled, but it is not impossible that he did not actually have the ambition to be king and would have suggested that Rhaenys be heir in his dead brother's stead had he been asked his opinion on the matter.

After all, if Baelon had had any designs for the throne - either for himself or for his two sons - then he certainly should have pushed Aemon, Jaehaerys I, and Rhaenys from the start to marry his son Viserys to Aemon's Rhaenys. That he apparently did not do this, that this possibility was not even on the table (very odd in light of the fact that Alysanne and Jaehaerys arranged the matches of their own children usually when they were still pretty young children) makes it very likely that Baelon expected Aemon to succeed him and Rhaenys to succeed Aemon.

If he had had issues with the idea that Aemon's successor would have been Rhaenys he should have done everything in his power to marry her to Viserys. Because if Aemon had ruled and they had expected him to die of natural causes then his death should have come later in life, at a time when both Aemon and Baelon had adult grandchildren or even great-grandchildren. In such a time the next generation should take the throne, not some toothless, white-haired younger brother.

There has been speculation that Jaehaerys I and his sons always had had 'a plan' should Aemon predecease his royal father, but I don't see any evidence for that. The basis for such speculation is the rumor that Viserra planned to be queen by marrying Baelon at a time when Baelon most definitely was not the heir. But since said rumor is itself not very well-attested - and Viserra's actual behavior does not really give the impression that she was master seductress driven by ambition to wear a crown - it actually seems very likely that this rumor about Viserra's ambitions put in Alysanne's mouth is a fable concocted some time later - i.e. after 92 AC when Baelon was actually the heir to the Iron Throne.

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Aemon and Baelon probably would have both been very good kings, certainly better than lazy Viserys. Succession could have been interesting, though.

If Aemon has a son before he dies then it is easy. If Aemon reigns but only has Rhaenys and/or daughters than succession could get dicey. Whether Aemon or Baelon is king, Viserys is probably forced to marry Laena and Rhaenyra to Laenor to tidy up the succession with the assumption their kids would marry each other. However, it's possible that Aemon or Baelon die before Aemma Arryn and so Viserys might be king by the time he gets to remarry, which might bring us to square one. But mayhaps Viserys is not even aware of Alicent because Otto being Hand might get butterflied away.

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On 1/24/2019 at 7:24 PM, James Steller said:

I wouldn’t say Baelon was perfect. In the case of his less-than-stellar siblings, he directly contributed to the situation becoming worse. Twice. He was the one who suggested shaming Vaegon in front of everyone by having him fight Alyssa. He then brusquely refused Viserra when she tried to seduce him. Even he felt guilty in both occasions, saying he could have been kinder to Viserra. This makes me think he had trouble reading and interacting with certain types of people. I’m not doubting his ability, skill, or charisma, mind you. I do think he wasn’t without flaws. But that doesn’t really matter in the long run, he would have been a decent enough ruler. Probably in line with Viserys’ time as King.

 

On 1/24/2019 at 8:13 PM, James Steller said:

I never said he was bad at reading all people, I just think he was limited when it came to connecting with introverts like Vaegon or people with issues like Viserra. Otherwise why did he adopt a strategy which was Randyll Tarly-esque when dealing with Vaegon? Not necessarily a serious issue, but someone was saying that Baelon seemed flawless. I was just suggesting a flaw that he had.

I don't think this is really fair, especially the comparison to Randyll Tarly. There was clearly something wrong with Vaegon (probably autism, as has been suggested) and Baelon dealt with it in his own way. Jaehaerys and Alysanne would have each used different tacts but it's not like anything they did worked either until they came up with the only viable solution of sending him to the Citadel. Viserra's seduction attempt was childish and pathetic and I think Baelon handled that fine. He was fairly gentle if I recall and him beating himself up later is typical survivor guilt stuff. I also don't agree that his reign would be like Viserys because he was clearly an active Hand and most likely would have continued that as king while Viserys was lazy and almost pathologically conflict averse.

 

On 1/25/2019 at 3:50 AM, Lord Varys said:

Not sure how publicly shaming Vaegon the Prick was making anything worse. Nobody ever mentions that Vaegon's reputation suffered from that. Instead, we learn that the great unpopularity of this prince goes back to the fact that he simply was unwilling or incapable of behaving like it was expected of him. Not to mention that his autistic nature should have made it a very low priority to hang out with people or try to befriend them.

But we should not put Baelon on that high a pedestal. He predeceased his father and was thus idealized more than he would had he actually been forced to rule. For instance, his last conversation there with his mother sounds like utter panegyric if you ask me. Gyldayn (or whatever his sources for the last years of Alysanne are) seems to like to believe that they had such an exchange, where Alysanne gave her son her blessing and claimed he would be a greater king than his father - but he also says Alysanne died sticking to the opinion that Rhaenys and her children had been cheated of their rights. If the latter is true the former is not likely to be true, either.

I'm under the impression that Baelon never had much of a choice in the matter. When Aemon died he went to war to avenge his fallen brother and when he returned his father publicly named him his new heir when he received him. The deliberations - if there were any, as Gyldayn claims - would have taken place in Baelon's absence. Baelon could not publicly deny his own father, and after he publicly accepted the honor he had to keep it.

I'm sure he had no issue becoming king when the issue was settled, but it is not impossible that he did not actually have the ambition to be king and would have suggested that Rhaenys be heir in his dead brother's stead had he been asked his opinion on the matter.

After all, if Baelon had had any designs for the throne - either for himself or for his two sons - then he certainly should have pushed Aemon, Jaehaerys I, and Rhaenys from the start to marry his son Viserys to Aemon's Rhaenys. That he apparently did not do this, that this possibility was not even on the table (very odd in light of the fact that Alysanne and Jaehaerys arranged the matches of their own children usually when they were still pretty young children) makes it very likely that Baelon expected Aemon to succeed him and Rhaenys to succeed Aemon.

If he had had issues with the idea that Aemon's successor would have been Rhaenys he should have done everything in his power to marry her to Viserys. Because if Aemon had ruled and they had expected him to die of natural causes then his death should have come later in life, at a time when both Aemon and Baelon had adult grandchildren or even great-grandchildren. In such a time the next generation should take the throne, not some toothless, white-haired younger brother.

There has been speculation that Jaehaerys I and his sons always had had 'a plan' should Aemon predecease his royal father, but I don't see any evidence for that. The basis for such speculation is the rumor that Viserra planned to be queen by marrying Baelon at a time when Baelon most definitely was not the heir. But since said rumor is itself not very well-attested - and Viserra's actual behavior does not really give the impression that she was master seductress driven by ambition to wear a crown - it actually seems very likely that this rumor about Viserra's ambitions put in Alysanne's mouth is a fable concocted some time later - i.e. after 92 AC when Baelon was actually the heir to the Iron Throne.

These are good points. I think they didn't sweat the succession, though, because Aemon and Baelon got along really well and it was a peaceful era so everyone assumed things would work out.

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On 12/12/2018 at 4:27 PM, naseridrl said:

I think the thing that would have helped an awful lot though was if someone didn't think it was a good idea for Aemma and Viserys to consummate when she was 13. 

What I think is weird is the fact Alysanne was present at the wedding when Aemma was 11. The offspring of the very daughter who was married and impregnated too early and whose death caused the first quarrel between Alysanne and Jaehaerys. If she said anything against it, the book doesn't mention it, but her presence is very telling.
Not to mention there was no dynastic reason at the time for why she should be married and bedded so young.

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I think Baelon was a pretty decent lad from the little we've seen of him. 

I wouldn't judge him too harshly on the Vaegon and Viserra incidents. I'm sure he saw the first one as a funny but harmless incident, since his childhood with Aemon and Alyssa was represented by some healthy competition. Not that I think it wasn't meant to shame Vaegon a little bit, but I don't think the text implies his intentions were hateful. 

As for the Viserra incident, he clearly did not want to take another wife, and she was a 15 year old girl who showed up in his bed naked and very, very drunk. He had to get the help of a KG and two maids to get her back to her rooms but there's no indication that he was impolite to her. He just refused her advances. 

The information we get about him as Hand and the admiration I see he had for his sister and wife as a fighter and a woman suggest to me that he would have been an alright king, maybe even great if given the right circumstances. I also wonder if Daemon would have turned out differently had his father lived longer. 

I also liked the detail of his boys being the only babies we hear about who get a dragon flight so early. If I was a badass dragon rider like Alyssa, I would also want to get my babies used to dragons as early as possible.

 

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