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VVSINGOFTHECROSS

Aemon Targaryen survives, future of the dynasty queries

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Had Aemon Targaryen, son of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne, survived and ascended the throne, one can assume that his daughter would have ascended the throne after him. However, would Aemon perhaps have wanted his grandson to take the Targaryen name to continue that dynasty or not?

Secondly, I presume it was a plot device as to why Aemon and Jocelyn did not have more children

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31 minutes ago, VVSINGOFTHECROSS said:

Had Aemon Targaryen, son of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne, survived and ascended the throne, one can assume that his daughter would have ascended the throne after him. However, would Aemon perhaps have wanted his grandson to take the Targaryen name to continue that dynasty or not?

We most definitely know he wanted grandchildren, so that's that. How a King Aemon I would have settled the succession of Driftmark is another matter entirely. Perhaps Laena and Laenor would have been Laena and Laenor Targaryen with Prince Aemon still around? We don't know. If Rhaenys had succeeded her father it would have likely fallen to her to rule on the names of her children when Laenor was made Prince of Dragonstone. More importantly, with the huge age gap between Corlys and Rhaenys - the man was older than Aemon himself - chances would have been pretty high that the succession of Driftmark would have been resolved long before Queen Rhaenys' death - perhaps even before the death of a King Aemon.

31 minutes ago, VVSINGOFTHECROSS said:

Secondly, I presume it was a plot device as to why Aemon and Jocelyn did not have more children

That's very obviously a plot device. He and Jocelyn could have had more daughters, or there could have at least be talk about her having severe issues with her pregnancy causing her to have trouble conceiving afterward. Or Aegmon could have caught a disease rendering him infertile, etc.

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7 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We most definitely know he wanted grandchildren, so that's that. How a King Aemon I would have settled the succession of Driftmark is another matter entirely. Perhaps Laena and Laenor would have been Laena and Laenor Targaryen with Prince Aemon still around? We don't know. If Rhaenys had succeeded her father it would have likely fallen to her to rule on the names of her children when Laenor was made Prince of Dragonstone. More importantly, with the huge age gap between Corlys and Rhaenys - the man was older than Aemon himself - chances would have been pretty high that the succession of Driftmark would have been resolved long before Queen Rhaenys' death - perhaps even before the death of a King Aemon.

That's very obviously a plot device. He and Jocelyn could have had more daughters, or there could have at least be talk about her having severe issues with her pregnancy causing her to have trouble conceiving afterward. Or Aegmon could have caught a disease rendering him infertile, etc.

 

Agreed with you there. I think a King Aemon would've made for a fascinating King.  It would also have meant that Daemon would've needed to get another dragon

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The bigger problem was the lack of references to Aemon throughout 80s AC. The Dance was obviously brewing!

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6 minutes ago, Jaak said:

The bigger problem was the lack of references to Aemon throughout 80s AC. The Dance was obviously brewing!

Oh? What makes you say that? Do you think had Aemon survived, that his brother or his nephews would've tried something?

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2 minutes ago, VVSINGOFTHECROSS said:

Oh? What makes you say that? Do you think had Aemon survived, that his brother or his nephews would've tried something?

Did Alysanne think Baelon was going to try something?

Quoting Good Queen Alysanne, speaking in 86...87 (page 327)

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She aims much higher, our Viserra. I have seen the way she preens and prances around Baelon. That is the husband she desires, and not for the love of him. She wants to be the queen.

How did Alysanne think Viserra was going to become Queen, even as Baelon´s wife? Baelon had been a good little brother to Aemon for 29 years, and just 2 years his junior.

Viserra needed to 1) seduce Baelon 2) stir up Baelon to usurp the throne of his niece and likely of older brother and likely also 3) shorten the life/reign of Aemon (with or without Baelon´s cooperation). Did Alysanne think Viserra expected to pull off all three?

The inheritance rights of Aerea and Daenerys had been subject to comment (some of it adverse) in a few years. The rights of Rhaenys went uncommented in 80s.

If by 86...87, Alysanne was worried about Viserra stirring up Baelon into usurpation, she should not have limited herself to plotting to remove Viserra! The obvious move would have been to sit down the good brethren and ask Baelon to expressly promise to back up Rhaenys as Aemon´s heir. Offering Baelon compensation. In 87, Rhaenys was 13 - Baelon could have been asked if he prefers himself marrying Rhaenys to marrying Viserra, or if he prefers betrothing Rhaenys to Viserys (then 10).

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1 minute ago, Jaak said:

Did Alysanne think Baelon was going to try something?

Quoting Good Queen Alysanne, speaking in 86...87 (page 327)

How did Alysanne think Viserra was going to become Queen, even as Baelon´s wife? Baelon had been a good little brother to Aemon for 29 years, and just 2 years his junior.

Viserra needed to 1) seduce Baelon 2) stir up Baelon to usurp the throne of his niece and likely of older brother and likely also 3) shorten the life/reign of Aemon (with or without Baelon´s cooperation). Did Alysanne think Viserra expected to pull off all three?

The inheritance rights of Aerea and Daenerys had been subject to comment (some of it adverse) in a few years. The rights of Rhaenys went uncommented in 80s.

If by 86...87, Alysanne was worried about Viserra stirring up Baelon into usurpation, she should not have limited herself to plotting to remove Viserra! The obvious move would have been to sit down the good brethren and ask Baelon to expressly promise to back up Rhaenys as Aemon´s heir. Offering Baelon compensation. In 87, Rhaenys was 13 - Baelon could have been asked if he prefers himself marrying Rhaenys to marrying Viserra, or if he prefers betrothing Rhaenys to Viserys (then 10).

This is very true, hmm, and with Jaehaerys own views on female succession, I suppose ALysanne was right to be worried. Aemon might well have been content that his brother would not try anything. Perhaps a good thing then that Viserra died.

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@Jaak

That whole dialog allegedly between Jaehaerys and Alysanne is one of the weird ones with no clear sign of the occasion or the source. Many times, dialog is prefaced with GRRM noting that there were many witnesses who reported the same thing. So ... Gyldayn's sourcing here is a bit lightx. I'm not saying Gyldayn invented it, but he may be using some rather curious sourcing that wouldn't necessarily stand up to scrutiny. A pro-Rhaenys writer attempting to indirectly impugn Baelon, for example, might want to plant words in his mother's mouth that _could_ be construed to mean he was not necessarily immune to ambition...

That said, whether an invented quotation or not, the most direct idea that is meant to be conveyed (whether by Alysanne or by the chronicler putting the words into her mouth) is that the idea is obviously that Viserra is so ambitious to become queen that, once married to Baelon, she would connive to become queen however she could, and whether Baelon wanted it or not.

Even if Baelon was absolutely loyal -- and all signs are that he was -- what would he do if some mysterious accident wiped out his brother and his heirs? It would not then be a question of supporting Rhaenys over himself, it'd be that he would literally be put in place as next in line by Viserra's hypothetical machinations.

But of course, in theory Viserra could also work at corrupting Baelon.

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21 minutes ago, Ran said:

@Jaak

That whole dialog allegedly between Jaehaerys and Alysanne is one of the weird ones with no clear sign of the occasion or the source. Many times, dialog is prefaced with GRRM noting that there were many witnesses who reported the same thing. So ... Gyldayn's sourcing here is a bit lightx. I'm not saying Gyldayn invented it, but he may be using some rather curious sourcing that wouldn't necessarily stand up to scrutiny. A pro-Rhaenys writer attempting to indirectly impugn Baelon, for example, might want to plant words in his mother's mouth that _could_ be construed to mean he was not necessarily immune to ambition...

That said, whether an invented quotation or not, the most direct idea that is meant to be conveyed (whether by Alysanne or by the chronicler putting the words into her mouth) is that the idea is obviously that Viserra is so ambitious to become queen that, once married to Baelon, she would connive to become queen however she could, and whether Baelon wanted it or not.

Even if Baelon was absolutely loyal -- and all signs are that he was -- what would he do if some mysterious accident wiped out his brother and his heirs? It would not then be a question of supporting Rhaenys over himself, it'd be that he would literally be put in place as next in line by Viserra's hypothetical machinations.

But of course, in theory Viserra could also work at corrupting Baelon.

This is very true, Viserra did come across as quite the schemer and ambitious lady. Not as bad as Saera, but certainly bad.

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4 minutes ago, Ran said:

But of course, in theory Viserra could also work at corrupting Baelon.

I think the entire Viserra episode could be seen as Gyldayn constructing a story to explain Viserra's treatment by Alysanne. The entire thing is either not based on mentioned historical sources or on court gossip - including the entire episode with Viserra in Baelon's bedchamber.

The few quotes from Viserra herself we have do not allow us to confirm the views of her as an evil femme fatale - that may (or may not) be projection by the men around her - who made fools of themselves to win her favor - or by Alysanne herself who, perhaps in reaction Saera's misbehavior - overreacted in Viserra's case.

In any case, we don't know why the hell she arranged her such an obviously shitty marriage, nor whether Viserra's confirmed interest in Baelon (by her Butterwell friend) was actually motivated by a lust for power. If the episode in Baelon's bedchamber is real then it and her last party in the city indicates she is a less scheming woman than the idea 'she wants to be queen' implies.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I think the entire Viserra episode could be seen as Gyldayn constructing a story to explain Viserra's treatment by Alysanne. The entire thing is either not based on mentioned historical sources or on court gossip - including the entire episode with Viserra in Baelon's bedchamber.

The few quotes from Viserra herself we have do not allow us to confirm the views of her as an evil femme fatale - that may (or may not) be projection by the men around her - who made fools of themselves to win her favor - or by Alysanne herself who, perhaps in reaction Saera's misbehavior - overreacted in Viserra's case.

In any case, we don't know why the hell she arranged her such an obviously shitty marriage, nor whether Viserra's confirmed interest in Baelon (by her Butterwell friend) was actually motivated by a lust for power. If the episode in Baelon's bedchamber is real then it and her last party in the city indicates she is a less scheming woman than the idea 'she wants to be queen' implies.

This is very true, I do wonder why no one thought to marry her to say Viserys, Baelon's son, they would've been closer in age surely?

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

Even if Baelon was absolutely loyal -- and all signs are that he was

There is an obvious sign he wasn´t.

He is not recorded to have protested when his father made him his heir over his niece. Even though his mother joined in open protest.

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He was absolutely loyal to his brother. That's not the same thing as being absolutely loyal to his brother's daughter. For all we know, Aemon had suggested that he thought it best that Baelon succeed him in the event of his untimely passing. We don't really know.

Edited by Ran

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I'd love to know more about Aemon and Baelon, the descriptions we get in Fire and Blood are pretty good, but seeing them brought to life would be fascinating. One can dream

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3 hours ago, Jaak said:

There is an obvious sign he wasn´t.

He is not recorded to have protested when his father made him his heir over his niece. Even though his mother joined in open protest.

The way it seems he was not consulted, though. If there were discussions and deliberations they would have been while Baelon was on Tarth avenging Aemon, and then Baelon is named Prince of Dragonstone basically when his father welcomes him back.

Even if he didn't want to be king, it would have been very difficult for him to reject that in that setting.

Also keep in mind that the king rules on the succession, not the people who see themselves as his heirs.

3 hours ago, VVSINGOFTHECROSS said:

This is very true, I do wonder why no one thought to marry her to say Viserys, Baelon's son, they would've been closer in age surely?

One assumes for the same reason Alysanne didn't want her to marry Baelon.

3 hours ago, Ran said:

He was absolutely loyal to his brother. That's not the same thing as being absolutely loyal to his brother's daughter. For all we know, Aemon had suggested that he thought it best that Baelon succeed him in the event of his untimely passing. We don't really know.

Sounds not very likely in light of the fact that he apparently looks forward to having grandsons by his daughter - not to mention the entire arrangement of the marriage to Corlys Velaryon - which he must have helped his daughter to arrange or at least did not prevent. Marrying your daughter to the most powerful lord in the kingdom sends a pretty clear message. If Aemon had wanted his brother to succeed him he should have given his daughter to the Faith or he should have married her to a less significant and influential man. Or 

It seems clear that Baelon was second in line to the Iron Throne until Rhaenys was born - and, perhaps, de facto while Rhaenys was still an infant and a young girl - but once Rhaenys was a woman grown and married to Corlys Velaryon it should have been much more difficult to ignore that. But there is little reason to assume Aemon wasted any thoughts on his own untimely death just as Jaehaerys I didn't really have a plan for the case that both his sons predecease him. Rather, the two brothers may have made plans how they would rule together after the old man was finally in his grave. Jaehaerys I was not exactly a young man in 92 AC.

But from the text there is essentially no reason whatsoever that anyone ever saw Baelon as Aemon's heir in the 80s. All Gyldayn says is that in his opinion Queen Alysanne believed that her daughter Viserra wanted to be queen and was for that reason trying seduce and marry Baelon. What's the reasoning behind all that is completely unclear? Did any of the things described happen as described? Did Viserra really want to become queen or was she not only sexually/romantically interested in Baelon? Did people later purport the story - when Baelon was actually his father's heir - that Viserra wanted to get laid by Baelon simply because she wanted to be queen?

We don't know.

Chances that things would have escalated between Rhaenys and her cousin Viserys are about zero if you ask me. Viserys was a very amiable fellow. If Jaehaerys had chosen Rhaenys in 92 AC, Viserys would have accepted that.

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33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Sounds not very likely in light of the fact that he apparently looks forward to having grandsons by his daughter - not to mention the entire arrangement of the marriage to Corlys Velaryon - which he must have helped his daughter to arrange or at least did not prevent.

Rhaenys chose it all herself, and had Jaehaerys's blessing. I don't know that this means anything regarding Aemon, who is surprisingly absent from all this wedding matter. He may have just been happy for his daughter to have found someone she loved, and not thought too much about dynastic implications. Certainly, desiring grandchildren does not mean he's already imagining them crowned.

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Marrying your daughter to the most powerful lord in the kingdom sends a pretty clear message. If Aemon had wanted his brother to succeed him he should have given his daughter to the Faith or he should have married her to a less significant and influential man.

Or maybe he just figured that his daughter would not oppose her uncle to the point of causing any serious trouble over it. Which she did not.

I certainly don't believe that there was really any question in his mind, but the fact is that we don't know what discussions there may have been at any point between Jaehaerys, Aemon, and Baelon, ever pondering the future under certain eventualities, and what understandings there may have been. Jaehaerys's decision didn't come out of nowhere, and there's no evidence that Baelon was shocked or dismayed. 

Maybe the history books are all too kind, and Baelon really was ambitious, and shoved Rhaenys out of the way. But a likelier explanation is that Jaehaerys is, frankly, something of a misogynist despite the examples of his sisters and his mother as strong-willed women, each capable in their way. He loved and respected them all dearly, but he clearly did not believe they were as as capable of ruling as men were.

 

Edited by Ran

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

Rhaenys chose it all herself, and had Jaehaerys's blessing. I don't know that this means anything regarding Aemon, who is surprisingly absent from all this wedding matter. He may have just been happy for his daughter to have found someone she loved, and not thought too much about dynastic implications. Certainly, desiring grandchildren does not mean he's already imagining them crowned.

We don't really know much about the wedding preparations. Rhaenys joins her granddad on his lonely progress and tells him about her wedding plans, but this doesn't say us anything about Aemon's involvement in all that. The idea that he wasn't privy to or involved in all that would be difficult to imagine considering Aemon and Jocelyn and Rhaenys lived on Dragonstone, where Ser/Lord Corlys (do you have any idea when he became Lord of Driftmark, by the way?) would have courted the Princess Rhaenys (or she would have flown to Driftmark but certainly not without her father's knowledge).

But unfortunately both Aemon and Jocelyn are basically non-existing characters in the entire book. We get some glimpses on them in their childhood/youth but that's it. We have no idea how they were like. This underdevelopment there is one of the huge letdowns in the book, by the way, as is the missed opportunity to flash out the childhood/youth of Rhaenys, Viserys, and Daemon. Getting a reason why nobody thought of marrying Baelon or Viserys to Rhaenys, or how the hell it came to the rather silly child marriage involving Aemma Arryn would have been greatly appreciated. I mean, any such marriage could have greatly reduced the chances for a succession struggle, and a Baelon married to Rhaenys could have bound Baelon even more to his brother Aemon.

In that sense, speculating what these people may have thought about 'what if'-scenarios in the succession while Aemon was still around are pretty futile.

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Or maybe he just figured that his daughter would not oppose her uncle to the point of causing any serious trouble over it. Which she did not.

He may have also just not expected to predecease his father. Also, keep in mind that Corlys and Rhaenys were apparently willing to push this very far when the death of the Old King drew nigh. The time to settle a succession by force usually is when the king dies, not when he is still around.

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I certainly don't believe that there was really any question in his mind, but the fact is that we don't know what discussions there may have been at any point between Jaehaerys, Aemon, and Baelon, ever pondering the future under certain eventualities, and what understandings there may have been. Jaehaerys's decision didn't come out of nowhere, and there's no evidence that Baelon was shocked or dismayed. 

There is no reason to expect he would be. Or rather - he had been the second in line to throne for a considerable part of his life anyway. It wouldn't have been that much of a surprise. For Jaehaerys I, I think, it was always clear that wanted one of his sons - Aemon, Baelon, or Vaegon - to succeed him, not some grandchild or great-grandchild. That's more or less 'the normal take' of a father in such a setting. Outliving your children is shitty, so you don't really think about or prepare for that. And Baelon certainly could have been aware of that.

What I don't buy is that Aemon would have preferred his brother or nephew(s) over his daughter or grandchildren. Especially not had he ever ruled as king. That goes against 'the normal take' on things, too.

Quote

Maybe the history books are all too kind, and Baelon really was ambitious, and shoved Rhaenys out of the way. But a likelier explanation is that Jaehaerys is, frankly, something of a misogynist despite the examples of his sisters and his mother as strong-willed women, each capable in their way. He loved and respected them all dearly, but he clearly did not believe they were as as capable of ruling as men were.

That is pretty clear.

In that light, all those nicely written little anecdotes at the end of the Alysanne material really read like invented stuff. The jokes between aging Alysanne and Jaehaerys about the Old King and the Good Queen and Alysanne declaring that Baelon would be a better king than his father. That's one side of the coin. The other is the fact that HotD mentions that while the royal couple found together again Alysanne thought the Velaryons had been cheated out of their rightful inheritance for the rest of her life. If this were her overall approach to things is it then very likely that she would have basically given her Baelon her blessing shortly before her death?

Difficult to say.

Edited by Lord Varys

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Why Aemon and Jocelyn only have one kid. There wasnt any information on their trials of reproduction or failed pregnancies. Could it be Aemon and Jocelyn chose to only have one child because of dynastic issues with other targaryen children?

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