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Aegon III's dismissal of his Hand and regents: Thoughts?

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One of the most memorable moments of Fire and Blood is how it ends. After years of being manipulated and ignored on account of his age, the broken king walks into the council with armed men and basically fires everyone with only the barest of courtesies while cancelling plans for a year-long progress around Westeros. Torrhen Manderly is left to leave for White Harbor, grumbling and gnashing about all his plans being undone by "that sullen boy". 

But what do you all think of this scene when you read it?

Sure, Aegon was finally exercising his royal authority and he very clearly did not like or trust the nobility after all the stuff he was put through in his short life. But Torrhen Manderly had fought for his mother during the Dance of Dragons, and his intentions would be seen as rational to most. So how did you all feel about this scene? Is it a triumph for Aegon? A personal downfall? Was Torrhen treated unjustly? Should Aegon have gone on the royal progress?

Edited by Canon Claude

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I think it is wish fulfillment for people who would love to spitefully take charge and do exactly what they want, be damned what their elders wanted done. So naturally, I enjoy reading it very much. Plus, Aegon had a good point when he talked about how no royal progress would win the noblemen to his side. Given the smallest chance, they would turn on him and betray him, just like they did when Rhaenyra was alive and he was a child. And I love that he cancelled the royal feast and gave whatever food was prepared to the common folk who actually needed it.

Admittedly, Torrhen could have been treated with a lot more respect, given the good he’d done and the loyalty he’d shown during the Dance, but he clearly didn’t treat Aegon very well, and he had little patience for a person suffering from PTSD. It’s rather ironic that the Lannister green who wanted Aegon killed ended up being the man who earned Aegon’s respect and admiration. 

That scene makes me so eager to read more about Aegon III. It’s basically what might have happened if Stannis Baratheon became king.

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15 minutes ago, James Steller said:

I think it is wish fulfillment for people who would love to spitefully take charge and do exactly what they want, be damned what their elders wanted done. So naturally, I enjoy reading it very much. 

You're basically saying you're a spiteful person who would love to become a dictator and spit in everyone else's face with such a comment. I get that you're probably just being funny, but it doesn't make you look very good, just saying. Especially given who's president right now.

15 minutes ago, James Steller said:

 Plus, Aegon had a good point when he talked about how no royal progress would win the noblemen to his side. Given the smallest chance, they would turn on him and betray him, just like they did when Rhaenyra was alive and he was a child. 

The point of the royal progress wasn't to win the nobles to Aegon's side, it was to get Aegon out of his little world and get a proper idea of his responsibilities as king. Torrhen Manderly was absolutely right. The kid had a rough time of it, but moping around in his own castle wasn't going to change anything. He had to grow up and do something for once. 

You want a real life equivalent of Aegon III? Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. He spent his childhood in a palace, and it didn't prepare him for the world at all. He was so out of touch that it's laughable. The guy couldn't even tie his own shoes. 

And hey, you know who was a great ruler? Ned Stark. Did he just sit in Winterfell and sulk because his dad and his brother and his sister died horribly? No! He travelled across the North and actually behaved like a responsible ruler. That's why men are willing to die for him even after he's long been dead and declared a traitor. 

15 minutes ago, James Steller said:

And I love that he cancelled the royal feast and gave whatever food was prepared to the common folk who actually needed it.

Okay, I take back what I said about you being like Trump. You're basically Lenin, which isn't a compliment either. Fair enough that the common people get one day to maybe eat some rich food for one day, though. At least they get a full belly for once.

15 minutes ago, James Steller said:

Admittedly, Torrhen could have been treated with a lot more respect, given the good he’d done and the loyalty he’d shown during the Dance, but he clearly didn’t treat Aegon very well, and he had little patience for a person suffering from PTSD. It’s rather ironic that the Lannister green who wanted Aegon killed ended up being the man who earned Aegon’s respect and admiration. 

First off, PTSD isn't recognized in Westeros. Second off, you don't cure PTSD by letting someone lose themselves in it. I'm not saying Torrhen did the right thing but at least he tried to help in what ways that he could. Of course he wouldn't have patience for Aegon: I didn't either. Aegon III is basically a tragic version of Joffrey. I won't deny that he suffered (though not as much as the common people caught up in the Dance). But frankly, Aegon isn't a likable guy, and you wouldn't enjoy spending time with him. He is an antisocial little brat who doesn't bother learning how to be a warrior or a ruler, he just makes empty, snarky platitudes about giving the people food and dancing bears. A teenager with attitude and angst, possibly the worst form of existence that human beings ever go through as far as I'm concerned. There's a reason Aegon's sons turned out to be such awful kings, and I'm sure Fire and Blood Part II will reveal just how little good the Broken King did in his life, with his brother picking up the slack as his Hand of the King. 

15 minutes ago, James Steller said:

That scene makes me so eager to read more about Aegon III. It’s basically what might have happened if Stannis Baratheon became king.

Again, not a compliment.

Edited by Floki of the Ironborn

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Canceling the progress and announcing anyone who wants to talk to him will find him on the Iron Throne was nonsense. That way Aegon III will never be able to do justice to the smallfolk, considering that most of them can hardly afford to travel to KL to talk to him. Sure, it is understandably why he didn't want to entertain all those traitorous lords, but it was still a stupid move.

Dismissing Manderly was okay. The man wasn't his choice, and he actually already abandoned Aegon III to the other regents/Peake when he resigned as regent after the deaths of his father and older brother. Not sure why he should keep such a man as his Hand.

The more interesting thing is what other house-cleaning Aegon III did after that. Did he also dismiss Munkun and all the other adviser and the officials appointed by Peake? If not, then this was but a futile gesture.

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Also, in case it's not clear to Canon Claude, what did I think of that scene? I thought it showed that even after all that he went through, all that the Targaryens learned, all they did right, Aegon III learned nothing. He might not have been the worst king of Westeros, but he was definitely one of the least likable. He was worse than an evil madman or a shameless glutton because he did... nothing. He had sympathy for the common people and he rightly saw the corruption of authority but he did nothing. Otherwise, why do we have to wait until Aegon V for any real kind of reform? Aegon III didn't care because he was too busy going "My life is awful! Look at me brood in the biggest palace on a continent surrounded by luxury and servants! WAHHHHHHH!" 

So yeah, I hate Aegon III. I can't say he was the worst king, but he's definitely the one who pisses me off the most. 

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8 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

You're basically saying you're a spiteful person who would love to become a dictator and spit in everyone else's face with such a comment. I get that you're probably just being funny, but it doesn't make you look very good, just saying. Especially given who's president right now.

I think this is a little harsh. Nor is the United States the centre of the world.

 

3 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Also, in case it's not clear to Canon Claude, what did I think of that scene? I thought it showed that even after all that he went through, all that the Targaryens learned, all they did right, Aegon III learned nothing. He might not have been the worst king of Westeros, but he was definitely one of the least likable. He was worse than an evil madman or a shameless glutton because he did... nothing. He had sympathy for the common people and he rightly saw the corruption of authority but he did nothing. Otherwise, why do we have to wait until Aegon V for any real kind of reform? Aegon III didn't care because he was too busy going "My life is awful! Look at me brood in the biggest palace on a continent surrounded by luxury and servants! WAHHHHHHH!" 

So yeah, I hate Aegon III. I can't say he was the worst king, but he's definitely the one who pisses me off the most. 

I didn't find him dislikeable at all. He seems like an interesting person, and I'm concerned that you can have so much hate for a sixteen year old who lived through the deaths of most his family and who saw his mother being eaten by a dragon. 

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I’m sorry, but you’re going way too far in your anti-Aegon III hatred, Floki. 

This was a little boy whose half brothers all died gruesomely, only for him to watch his own mother get eaten by a dragon. He’s then used as either a hostage or a figurehead by either side of the war. You use Pu Yi as a negative example. I find Pu Yi to be tragic more than negative. He, like Aegon, didn’t ask for any of what happened to him. He spent his entire childhood having no control over anything which affected his life, and it was nearly all bad. The fact that he was so privileged, as you so vigorously rant about, serves as a great statement of irony from a storytelling perspective and it’s also a commentary on how hollow materialism is when you hate yourself and your life. 

Aegon III is a tragic figure who clearly needed the kind of help that nobody in his life was able or willing to give him. Comparing him to Joffrey is asinine. Joffrey never suffered, he never showed any sympathy for plague victims or starving poor folk. Aegon III could have been Aegon V if he’d had a different upbringing, and yet after all the pain he suffered, he still had a heart. That’s oddly triumphant in itself.

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24 minutes ago, Jaehaerys Tyrell said:

I didn't find him dislikeable at all. He seems like an interesting person, and I'm concerned that you can have so much hate for a sixteen year old who lived through the deaths of most his family and who saw his mother being eaten by a dragon. 

You know what caught me off-guard when reading Fire and Blood? It was the Bolton girl taking her time with the king begging him to send food to the North. GRRM didn't just do that by accident: a member of the despised House Bolton has more awareness of the ordinary people than this boy king sitting on an iron chair in the lap of luxury. And clearly, that boy king did nothing, because we later read about men selling themselves or their families into slavery just to get enough money for food. We hear about thousands freezing and starving to death. That is a bigger tragedy to me than anything Aegon III ever went through. Aegon III had his own baggage but he never ever truly had to worry about stuff that the commonfolk struggled with on a daily basis, in times of peace or war. And he never truly did anything to help them. That is what infuriates me about him. The good person doing nothing is worse than the evildoer in my mind. 

And that's why Aegon V was such a good king and Alysanne was such a good Queen. They actually went amongst the smallfolk, saw their plight, heard about their struggles, and they made real changes in their lives. Alysanne is far more tragic to me than Aegon III. She did so much to better the lives of the Westerosi yet she was plagued with tragedy. Her father died young, her siblings died thanks to her bloodthirsty uncle, she outlived most of her kids, and most of the ones that outlived her didn't talk to her. And after all the good she did, it was still ruled that a woman is unequal to a man, even though Alysanne was better than probably 80% of the Targaryen kings. 

[I am redacting my personal information and personal politics to avoid being banned and getting off-topic. I apologize that I let my temper get the better of me in that regard]

Edited by Floki of the Ironborn

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41 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The more interesting thing is what other house-cleaning Aegon III did after that. Did he also dismiss Munkun and all the other adviser and the officials appointed by Peake? If not, then this was but a futile gesture.

It's clear that House Peake fell into deep disfavour with the Iron Throne after Unwin. The Peakes supported the Blackfyres at least twice, they rebelled against King Maekar. Really, it's a miracle that they're still around in the SOIAF books. They should have been attainted and replaced a long time ago. 

Edited by Canon Claude

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37 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

You know what caught me off-guard when reading Fire and Blood? It was the Bolton girl taking her time with the king begging him to send food to the North. GRRM didn't just do that by accident: a member of the despised House Bolton has more awareness of the ordinary people than this boy king sitting on an iron chair in the lap of luxury. And clearly, that boy king did nothing, because we later read about men selling themselves or their families into slavery just to get enough money for food. We hear about thousands freezing and starving to death. That is a bigger tragedy to me than anything Aegon III ever went through. Aegon III had his own baggage but he never ever truly had to worry about stuff that the commonfolk struggled with on a daily basis, in times of peace or war. And he never truly did anything to help them. That is what infuriates me about him. The good person doing nothing is worse than the evildoer in my mind. 

And that's why Aegon V was such a good king and Alysanne was such a good Queen. They actually went amongst the smallfolk, saw their plight, heard about their struggles, and they made real changes in their lives. Alysanne is far more tragic to me than Aegon III. She did so much to better the lives of the Westerosi yet she was plagued with tragedy. Her father died young, her siblings died thanks to her bloodthirsty uncle, she outlived most of her kids, and most of the ones that outlived her didn't talk to her. And after all the good she did, it was still ruled that a woman is unequal to a man, even though Alysanne was better than probably 80% of the Targaryen kings. 

 

I can see someone loved Team Four Star’s reinterpretation of Android 16’s speech.

Also, nobody is debating the quality of Alysanne or Egg as rulers. They and Jaehaerys and Daeron II and possibly Viserys I basically top the list when it comes to accomplished kings. But we’re focusing on Aegon III right now and the fact that for the first time in his life, Aegon has the power to make his own decisions, and he did so. It was supremely satisfying for me to read that passage after spending so much time on how powerless he was.

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What surprised me the most while reading the Regency chapters is precisely how not a single one of the regents tried to befriend Aegon, or at least care a little bit about his feelings. One would have expected that at least one of them would have realized that the boy would son reach his majority and it might be a good idea to be on his good side. Specially with the terrible experiences that Aegon had endured during the Regency, with the attempted poisoning and the siege at Maegor's Holdfast.

And while organizing a progress may have been a good idea, planning it all without consulting Aegon was just an idiocy. Although he still was a minor, they were planning for things that he would have to do after coming of age. Not asking for his opinion on it was a complete lack of respect and a waste of time.

So, as I see it, all the regents deserved to be dismissed. And Munkun should have been sent directly to the black cells, for his role in the coup against king and Lord Rowan.

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12 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Especially given who's president right now.

 

12 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Okay, I take back what I said about you being like Trump. You're basically Lenin, which isn't a compliment either.

 

11 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

[I am redacting my personal information and personal politics to avoid being banned and getting off-topic. I apologize that I let my temper get the better of me in that regard]

Ok, that was... weird? I don't understand the point of ranting about Trump in the middle of conversation about something completely different. Also using your personal politics as an argument against something unrelated is not a good idea, after all chances are fifty fifty that person you are discussing with thinks differently.

 

 

I must say I am not sure what to think about Aegon III. Before new info from Fire and Blood we didn't knew that Aegon III dismissed everyone in the middle of the preparations for the royal progress. Whether it was good idea or not, royal progress might have been a good way to help nobles accept Aegon III as their new king and mend the rift created by Dance of the Dragons. Aegon III knew about the royal progress so I also wonder why he didn't object to it before.

Even if Aegon III turns out to be completely lazy and disconnected ruler, he still wasn't the worst ruler, especially considering that Aerys I too didn't give a damn about his own people and was busy reading books the whole time.

 

 

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Just now, James Steller said:

Admittedly, Torrhen could have been treated with a lot more respect, given the good he’d done and the loyalty he’d shown during the Dance, but he clearly didn’t treat Aegon very well, and he had little patience for a person suffering from PTSD.

 

Well, let's not forget, as Aegon III surely hadn't, that Torrhen was the one surviving councilor of Rhaenyra, who insistently gave her the disastrous advice that doomed her - and might have doomed the Black cause if the Betrayers had been just a little bit less shortsighted and selfish - namely the abyssmally idiotic move to execute Addam Velaryon and Nettles. I can understand that the young king didn't want this man in his service.

Just now, James Steller said:

It’s rather ironic that the Lannister green who wanted Aegon killed ended up being the man who earned Aegon’s respect and admiration. 

 

Yea, I gained a lot of respect and liking for Ser Tyland, who was, IMHO, the best of the Greens.

Just now, James Steller said:

That scene makes me so eager to read more about Aegon III. It’s basically what might have happened if Stannis Baratheon became king.

 

If Stannis had Renly's friendship and support, maybe... Also, I think that Stannis would have been more hands-on than Aegon III allegedly was. Not much for royal progresses too, I'd wager, but he would have traveled around the realm to render judgements and such.

Just now, Paxter Redwyne said:

Aegon III knew about the royal progress so I also wonder why he didn't object to it before.

His history taught him not to cause waves before he had the actual power to implement his wishes, lest he be removed and replaced. It was smart to wait for that moment, IMHO. Cancelling the progress was less so, but then again, his previous experiences made him distrust any goodwill gained by such measures as superficial and not to be trusted. I doubt that his ausetrity will help the smallfolk in any tangible way, though, and him staying put in KL could have only harmed the chances of any commoner not living in KL or rich enough to travel there to make a direct appeal to the king.

 

 

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Do think cancelling the royal progress was dumb but no one taught the kid how to rule if Tyland was there he would have learned but Peake and his betrayal just left a bad taste for him. Him firing manderly can't say he did anything that justified he should stay on permanently, but i see nothing wrong with that. 

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4 hours ago, Destiny Arrives said:

Do think cancelling the royal progress was dumb but no one taught the kid how to rule if Tyland was there he would have learned but Peake and his betrayal just left a bad taste for him. Him firing manderly can't say he did anything that justified he should stay on permanently, but i see nothing wrong with that. 

Aegon II seemed to like Tyland, Corlys, Alyn and maybe Larys(not sure about that one, but he tried to convince Cregan to pardon him). Unfortunately most of his regents simply didn't give a damn about him and that was probably the reason for his behavior.

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It was probably not the best move to dismiss Manderly right away and in that brusque manner but I love the scene because I was sick of everyone disregarding the guy who is about to be king. Ultimately Aegon is right that he needs to have a Hand that he wants and his life experience has only reinforced this.

In theory the progress is a good idea but Aegon knows better than everyone that it will be a disaster because he will hate it and he is not up for it. The reality is Manderly wanted Aegon out of the way so he could keep ruling. However, he is wrong to totally dismiss the idea of symbolic politics.

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On 1/20/2019 at 7:25 AM, Maia said:

 

Well, let's not forget, as Aegon III surely hadn't, that Torrhen was the one surviving councilor of Rhaenyra, who insistently gave her the disastrous advice that doomed her - and might have doomed the Black cause if the Betrayers had been just a little bit less shortsighted and selfish - namely the abyssmally idiotic move to execute Addam Velaryon and Nettles. I can understand that the young king didn't want this man in his service.

 

Yea, I gained a lot of respect and liking for Ser Tyland, who was, IMHO, the best of the Greens.

 

If Stannis had Renly's friendship and support, maybe... Also, I think that Stannis would have been more hands-on than Aegon III allegedly was. Not much for royal progresses too, I'd wager, but he would have traveled around the realm to render judgements and such.

His history taught him not to cause waves before he had the actual power to implement his wishes, lest he be removed and replaced. It was smart to wait for that moment, IMHO. Cancelling the progress was less so, but then again, his previous experiences made him distrust any goodwill gained by such measures as superficial and not to be trusted. I doubt that his ausetrity will help the smallfolk in any tangible way, though, and him staying put in KL could have only harmed the chances of any commoner not living in KL or rich enough to travel there to make a direct appeal to the king.

 

 

I think the direct appeal point is a good one and probably one that could have swayed Aegon but the progress was clearly designed to be a dog and pony show (not that there is anything inherently wrong with that but Aegon just can't do it) and not a Aegon I/Jaehaerys style progress where he would be doing the travelling justice circuit.

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I mean Manderly had never done anything awful for Aegon but he certainly didn't help him much either; maybe he shouldn't have been so brusque, but I can understand him wanting to choose his own Hand. Manderly may have fought loyally for Rhaenyra but he gave her bad advice on the Dragonseeds and had abandoned him to Peake. Tbh, of the original seven regents Corlys was the only one Aegon seemed to trust and respect. The other six never attempted to connect with him in any way and the man who replaced Corlys was possibly the worst candidate to do so. So really, since the end of the war he could count on one hand how many men had proven reliable (Corlys, Tyland, Alyn and I'd hesitently add Cregan to the list). The annoying thing is there were others people around who he could have come to rely on; that Massey he named to the KG was obviously more trusted than any of the others in the order (not that thats saying much) and the lads could have been given positions at court despite their age (proven Black loyalists who'd fought on til the end, something not even Corlys and Alyn could claim). But no: the regents know best and such people weren't allowed power in King's Landing.

Do disagree on cancelling the progress, but he's a sixteen year old with an almost permanent state of depression and more than a little PTSD. So I can't blame him all too much.

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1 hour ago, Adam Yozza said:

I mean Manderly had never done anything awful for Aegon but he certainly didn't help him much either; maybe he shouldn't have been so brusque, but I can understand him wanting to choose his own Hand. Manderly may have fought loyally for Rhaenyra but he gave her bad advice on the Dragonseeds and had abandoned him to Peake. Tbh, of the original seven regents Corlys was the only one Aegon seemed to trust and respect. The other six never attempted to connect with him in any way and the man who replaced Corlys was possibly the worst candidate to do so. So really, since the end of the war he could count on one hand how many men had proven reliable (Corlys, Tyland, Alyn and I'd hesitently add Cregan to the list). The annoying thing is there were others people around who he could have come to rely on; that Massey he named to the KG was obviously more trusted than any of the others in the order (not that thats saying much) and the lads could have been given positions at court despite their age (proven Black loyalists who'd fought on til the end, something not even Corlys and Alyn could claim). But no: the regents know best and such people weren't allowed power in King's Landing.

Do disagree on cancelling the progress, but he's a sixteen year old with an almost permanent state of depression and more than a little PTSD. So I can't blame him all too much.

The Lads should have been in the regency, or at least Kermit, but I think other lords were afraid that letting them on the council would be an implicit admission that Aegon's youth shouldn't prevent him from taking some responsibility for the realm.

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