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Canon Claude

The ramifications of killing Aegon the Younger

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Not that I wanted Aegon the Younger to die (far from it, I've always been a supporter of the blacks) but from the greens' perspective, why the hell did they keep him alive? Even if they don't have the heart to execute a child, why not geld him send him in chains to the Wall? Sure, the North is pro-black, but what are they going to do with a boy who's lost the ability to produce heirs? Sure, Cregan Stark would have gone to any length to avenge the insult, but it would be a futile gesture resulting in a lot of Northmen dying for no reason. 

And before people argue that Aegon II needed an heir, he had one; Jaehaera. And we have no proof whether Aegon would have been able to produce more heirs, he was certainly planning to do so before he was killed. Even before Larys Strong and Corlys Velaryon began the conspiracy against him, Aegon II had every opportunity to feed Aegon to Sunfyre along with his mother. Granted, you'd have to do the same to Baela and Rhaella, and that would have resulted in the Velaryons taking revenge, but what are they going to do? Depose Aegon? This wasn't Robert's Rebellion, nobody wanted the Targaryen kings to be overthrown. With the death of Aegon the Younger, Aegon III would have won his war the instant that the blacks' family line ends.

There is, of course, the matter of Viserys, but we can assume that if Aegon II won, the Rogare family would have executed Viserys for a price. Given how unpopular they became, I can only imagine that any attempt to back an invasion of Westeros with Viserys at its head would have resulted in Westeros uniting against a foreign power and claim that Viserys was an imposter.

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1 minute ago, Canon Claude said:

And before people argue that Aegon II needed an heir, he had one; Jaehaera. And we have no proof whether Aegon would have been able to produce more heirs, he was certainly planning to do so before he was killed. 

I think it would be the height of irony if the greens had to depend on a female heir for House Targaryen to continue. 

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39 minutes ago, James Steller said:

I think it would be the height of irony if the greens had to depend on a female heir for House Targaryen to continue. 

Well it was even more ironic for Rhaenyra to declare Rosby and Stokeworth sons over their elder sisters. This whole war was really stupid.

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16 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Well it was even more ironic for Rhaenyra to declare Rosby and Stokeworth sons over their elder sisters. This whole war was really stupid.

Agreed, but I take it further. Most, if not all, wars are really stupid. 

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6 hours ago, James Steller said:

Agreed, but I take it further. Most, if not all, wars are really stupid. 

Indeed, but nowadays most people agree with this statement, so it's not really saying much, heh.

 

Anyway, I think this is another issue where the the explanation seems to be that Martin simply thought out general story first and only later wrote details. By executing Aegon the Younger Aegon II would of course become kinslayer, but he already was one by killing his sister and this entire war revolted around Targaryens killing other Targaryens. Rhaenyra too wanted to execute her half-brothers although we have no information about what were her plans about her brother's children. Given how vengeful Aegon II was, it's actually a bit out of his character for him to spare his nephew, at least that's what I think.

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I think George goes to great and convincing lengths to explain all this. First Aegon II doesn't kill the boy because he has him in his power, has no view of the political situation in the greater Realm, and every reason to make use of him as a hostage. We see this even stronger in the case of Lady Baela - who he simply cannot execute due to the danger the Velaryon fleet poses.

The idea that everybody would fall in line if Aegon II had killed his nephew and cousin while on Dragonstone is utterly ridiculous. Chances are pretty high that Alyn Velaryon would then have just invaded Dragonstone, stormed the castle, and put Aegon II out of his misery. Aegon II is not exactly a powerful king when he is restored to the throne. He is effectively a Velaryon hostage on Dragonstone and later completely at their mercy when he returns to court on the ship they give him - which he only can because Lord Corlys Velaryon forced Alicent to agree to his terms in the name of her son.

Once Aegon II is back in the Red Keep he tries unmake that deal, tries to free himself of the Black lashes around him, but it doesn't work. Had Borros Baratheon won on the Kingsroad the time would have come to kill Aegon the Younger, Lady Baela, and Corlys Velaryon himself. But it never came to that. He could, perhaps, also have prevailed had he been willing to offer pardons to his enemies. That could have helped to draw a wedge between the Blacks assembling their armies. Although I doubt it would have had an effect on Cregan's army - they came to fight and die - nor Jeyne Arryn's Vale forces.

Killing Aegon the Younger and Lady Baela would also have led nowhere. House Targaryen was not yet extinct, at least not in the female line. Lady Rhaena was safely in the Vale, with a freshly hatched dragon. If Aegon the Younger and Baela had been killed, the Blacks would have continued the war in her name, with the same success the Blacks had fighting in the name of Aegon III. Against that Aegon II had only his pitiful crippled self (even if the man hadn't been poisoned, chances are not that high that he would have lived a long life) and his simple child daughter.

9 hours ago, James Steller said:

I think it would be the height of irony if the greens had to depend on a female heir for House Targaryen to continue. 

Well, they did. And this irony is never sweeter than when Unwin Peake - one of the most stalwart Greens, living to fight for the principle that no woman or male through the female line should ever soil the Iron Throne - ends up killing Queen Jaehaera, the daughter of his king, Aegon II, so that he can prevent that the heirs of King Aegon III are either his half-sisters Baela and Rhaena or any of their children. He does that to have a widowed king who can marry a fertile women (who he wants to be his own daughter, of course) to secure the succession.

Alicent and Aegon II never gave a rat's ass about succession laws. They wanted the throne. And when they have only a female heir then sure as hell said heir should sit the throne, just as Viserys I wanted Rhaenyra as his successor when he had only a daughter.

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Short on time, so someone may have posted this, but:

The blacks: Maintained that legally, women could inherit in the absence of male heirs (I believe this is primary male primogeniture) OR that a king could freely stipulate his heirs

Legal basis: Viserys I declared his heir much as Jahaerys did twice: After his eldest son died and he proclaimed his second son (passing over his eldest son's daughter), and declaring the son of his second son as being the next heir. It's fun that Jahaerys had to do this, since he had a surviving older sister.

 

The greens: Maintained that legally, only a man could inherit the Iron Throne (Absolute male primogeniture)

They argue that the Great Council set this precedent and Jahaerys acknowledged it, not that Jahaerys was consulting and then issuing a decree that was a one-off.

 

F&B is very clear: due to his burns, Aegon II was sterile. The legitimate sons of his body were dead, his brother was dead. His brother had no known legitimate heir. That means you go to the proceeding generation: The next male heir of Viserys I was his brother Daeron, who was dead, but who had a surviving son- Aegon III.

 

The great irony of the Dance was that it didn't actually solve the legal question- Aegon III was the eldest surviving son of his mother, and by the standards of inheritance recognized by the blacks, he was heir. Aegon III was also the senior male heir of the senior-most junior male branch; the next male branch would have been his great-uncle Vaegon's heirs male, if any, making him the male heir of Aegon II according to the greens! The next senior branch, if Vaegon had no heirs, was the Velaryon line as descended through the senior surviving male branch (by green logic) or no heir at all (by black logic).

 

That's why Aegon II didn't get rid of him- it undermined his own claim to the crown to in any way pretend Aegon III wasn't his heir. Since Viserys II had vanished, Aegon III was in fact the only male-line heir of House Targaryen that we know of- via his much hated father.

 

So the tragedy: The greens didn't want Daeron to be king, so they pushed for absolute male primogeniture- which meant Daeron's eldest legitimate son was the remaining heir based on his father's claim according to the greens, and based on his mother's claim according to the blacks.

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18 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

snip

The Blacks will have likely rallied for Baela and Rhaena had Aegon done that. Bloodraven keeps Daemon II Blackfyre alive for similar reasons. They only endanger peace by killing him or exiling him.

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And now, an unsolicited spate of information on agnatic marriages!

Agnatic, or left-hand marriages, were a thing on the European continent. For example, during the Ancien Regime in France, an agnatic marriage (or marriage to someone below your social rank if you were noble) did not make your children illegitimate but could prevent them from inheriting. Essentially, agnatic marriages nullified your nobility; your children under any nation practicing agnatic descent would no longer necessarily be considered dynastic members of the family. This led to the creation of agnatic branches of families; in the case there were no legitimate heirs available, an agnatic line may be considered.

 

George is obviously drawing on this with Jenny of Oldstones and Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies. He had to foreswear the throne for her- the only reason this would be an issue would be that the marriage was considered agnatic and therefore lowering the status of their descendants. Since this appears to be the case in Westeros, but not in the North or Dorne, one assumes it is an Andal custom.

This is in turn the issue with the Great Bastards of Aegon IV. He could legitimize all his children- which he did- as king, but any children fathered by him on non-noble women would be disbarred from inheritance as they would be of agnatic lines of descent. His noble-born bastards were a different story.

Now, it can be debated whether children sired by a Targaryen on a noblewoman, legitimized, may still be considered agnatic due to "Targaryen exceptionalism" in comparison to non-agnatic "pureblood" Targaryens, analogous to how the Egyptians perceived the Pharaoh and household (a son of a Pharaoh and not his full-blood female relatives would be "half-divine", although he could become heir in the absence of another). That's roughly speaking.

So, Daemon Blackfyre would be the eldest incontrovertibly non-agnatic heir *if* Daeron II Targaryen were in fact the son of Aemon the Dragonknight and Naerys, instead of Aegon IV and Naerys.

 

There's a whole field of study on this kind of thing, it's actually interesting if you get into it.

 

Now, the relevance to the main text? If there was a surviving Blackfyre male heir (legitimate), he would under these laws take precedence over Daenerys; unless there was a legitimate Targaryen male of male-line descent found first.

 

EDIT: And this is the issue with Aemond's wetnurse and her son. Even if they were married (unprovable), the marriage would in fact be agnatic and therefore disbar her son as being part of the dynastic line with the exception of the case where there were no true-born dynastic heirs.

Edited by BrainFireBob
Added info

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22 hours ago, BrainFireBob said:

Short on time, so someone may have posted this, but:

The blacks: Maintained that legally, women could inherit in the absence of male heirs (I believe this is primary male primogeniture) OR that a king could freely stipulate his heirs

Legal basis: Viserys I declared his heir much as Jahaerys did twice: After his eldest son died and he proclaimed his second son (passing over his eldest son's daughter), and declaring the son of his second son as being the next heir. It's fun that Jahaerys had to do this, since he had a surviving older sister.

I don't think it makes sense to ascribe such motivations to the people fighting for Rhaenyra. Fighting for her can also be a sign that they think she should rule, period, without them having any commitment or opinion on the legal principle(s) behind that. Especially those people who were won over by Jacaerys Velaryon's visits.

22 hours ago, BrainFireBob said:

The greens: Maintained that legally, only a man could inherit the Iron Throne (Absolute male primogeniture)

They argue that the Great Council set this precedent and Jahaerys acknowledged it, not that Jahaerys was consulting and then issuing a decree that was a one-off.

The Greens are not a uniform body, either. When it was Rhaenyra vs. Aegon those people opposing the rule of a woman on principle, those rejecting the idea that an older daughter could come before a son stood behind the Hightower coup - which was a power grab.

When Aegon II's only heir was a simple daughter those 'Greens' rejecting the rule of a woman were no longer in the camp of Aegon II.

22 hours ago, BrainFireBob said:

F&B is very clear: due to his burns, Aegon II was sterile. The legitimate sons of his body were dead, his brother was dead. His brother had no known legitimate heir. That means you go to the proceeding generation: The next male heir of Viserys I was his brother Daeron, who was dead, but who had a surviving son- Aegon III.

I think you mean Daemon here. And, no, the fact that Aegon III (and Viserys II) was the son of both Queen Rhaenyra and Prince Daemon is actually never cited as a reason for the strength of his claim. Aegon III takes the throne as heir of his mother, not as heir of his father (and, of course, also as heir of his uncle since Aegon II the fool actually acknowledged the boy as his heir). When the regents discuss the succession of Aegon III it is made very clear that Queen Jaehaera's claim is actually considered to be stronger by some than Aegon III's claim - which makes sense because she, unlike Aegon III, is actually the daughter of a king whereas Aegon III is the son of an attainted pretender.

They still don't want her to succeed Aegon III, of course, both due to her sex and her mental state, but her claim is seen as stronger as that of Aegon III by some.

22 hours ago, BrainFireBob said:

That's why Aegon II didn't get rid of him- it undermined his own claim to the crown to in any way pretend Aegon III wasn't his heir. Since Viserys II had vanished, Aegon III was in fact the only male-line heir of House Targaryen that we know of- via his much hated father.

No, we learn why he didn't get rid of him because Gyldayn tells us - he was forced to keep alive because Corlys Velaryon insisted on that twice. He even agreed to betroth him to his daughter Jaehaera and named them his heirs.

Had he been free to do as he pleased he would have killed his nephew, or at least castrated him and sent him to the Wall. He wanted his sister's line to end. He didn't care what this may mean for the future of House Targaryen, especially since he believed Cassandra Baratheon would give him new sons to replace the dead ones (the fact that Aegon II may no longer have been able to father children himself doesn't mean his wife couldn't have gotten pregnant to give him trueborn sons, if you get my meaning...). Even if that had led nowhere he still had his daughter, Jaehaera. She could have continued the line.

16 hours ago, BrainFireBob said:

EDIT: And this is the issue with Aemond's wetnurse and her son. Even if they were married (unprovable), the marriage would in fact be agnatic and therefore disbar her son as being part of the dynastic line with the exception of the case where there were no true-born dynastic heirs.

We have no idea what happened to Aemond's son. Chances are pretty low that he just caught a cold and died. He didn't become king, but there is no reason to believe he didn't cause a major rebellion. Alys Rivers was a noble bastard, else she wouldn't have been a Rivers and would instead have no bastard name at all - like the Hull boys, who were never acknowledged by their noble Velaryon father. This may not be one of the most pleasant marriages, but Alys Rivers is not a commoner as such. That the story that she and Aemond were married was widely believed is made pretty obvious in FaB by the simple fact that Gyldayn tells the entire Harrenhal episode along with the story of the other Dance widows.

And, frankly, any son of Aemond One-Eye - bastard or not - should have massive potential to draw people to his banner. The Broken King is pretty much a joke. We know he is one of the least popular kings in Westerosi history. And if Aemond's son becomes a dragonrider - or already has a dragon during FaB - then things should go very well for him when he and Alys finally make their move.

We can say that it is a given that the king who is afraid of dragons is never going to defeat a dragonrider in battle. Since Aemond's son clearly did not prevail or ascend the Iron Throne chances are very high that either Viserys (as rider of Silverwing or the Cannibal or another dragon) or Rhaena or both helped Aegon III to save his crown here. Could even be that Baela mounted another dragon, too.

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I've always thought that much like aSoIaF was based on the "War of the Roses", the dance was based on an earlier  English civil war known as "The Anarchy ".

Short version of "The Anarchy":

1) King Henry I declares his daughter Matilda/Maude his heir and makes his lords swear to honor his wishes;

2) King Henry dies, and instead of honoring the late king's wishes, Henry's brother Stephen is crowned;

3) Maude is not happy and a long and destructive war follows;

4) Eventually, an heir-less Stephen names Maudes son Henry as his heir and later rules England as King Henry II.

Sound familiar?

 I know I've glossed over a lot of history but I didn't think this is the place for a deep dive.

Bottom line, a male relative fought a king's daughter for the throne, but in the end, the king's grandson by his daughter eventually inherited the throne.

 

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3 hours ago, PrinceHenryris said:

I've always thought that much like aSoIaF was based on the "War of the Roses", the dance was based on an earlier  English civil war known as "The Anarchy ".

Short version of "The Anarchy":

1) King Henry I declares his daughter Matilda/Maude his heir and makes his lords swear to honor his wishes;

2) King Henry dies, and instead of honoring the late king's wishes, Henry's brother Stephen is crowned;

3) Maude is not happy and a long and destructive war follows;

4) Eventually, an heir-less Stephen names Maudes son Henry as his heir and later rules England as King Henry II.

Sound familiar?

 I know I've glossed over a lot of history but I didn't think this is the place for a deep dive.

Bottom line, a male relative fought a king's daughter for the throne, but in the end, the king's grandson by his daughter eventually inherited the throne.

 

Just a quick correction, Stephen was Henry I's nephew and Maud's cousin, not Henry's brother.

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On 1/24/2019 at 7:53 PM, Paxter Redwyne said:

Well it was even more ironic for Rhaenyra to declare Rosby and Stokeworth sons over their elder sisters. This whole war was really stupid.

It was ironic but Corlys' logic was sound. The Blacks weren't claiming that all eldest children should inherit regardless of sex (which would have totally upended Westerosi succession law), just that the king has the right to name their heir. Even though the war is seen as a victory for males getting the throne over all females, the regents stay consistent with the principle that a lord can name their heir when they fight to uphold Lady Jeyne Arryn's chosen heir.

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3 hours ago, SerBronnsMullet said:

It was ironic but Corlys' logic was sound. The Blacks weren't claiming that all eldest children should inherit regardless of sex (which would have totally upended Westerosi succession law), just that the king has the right to name their heir. Even though the war is seen as a victory for males getting the throne over all females, the regents stay consistent with the principle that a lord can name their heir when they fight to uphold Lady Jeyne Arryn's chosen heir.

Not really. In the cases laid before her Rhaenyra could actually have attainted the Rosbys and Stokeworths, granting the seats and lordships to Hugh and Ulf in their own right and then help solidify their claims by marrying them to the daughters - sort of like Lancel Lannister was made Lord of Darry in his own right, with his marriage to the Amerei Frey just solidifying his claim.

Even if she wanted to do it the way it is the book - by favoring the elder daughters over the younger sons - this could have worked as well as precedent for the future and not the past. Dornish succession law also changed slowly, with one elder daughter making the start - and that may not have even been Nymeria's eldest daughter. There is no indication there that this had an effect on past successions, with elder sisters, etc. trying to oust their brothers...

In that sense, I'd say that was Corlys Velaryon being a patriarchal prick using fear-mongering to prevent his daughter-in-law from implementing changes he did not like.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not really. In the cases laid before her Rhaenyra could actually have attainted the Rosbys and Stokeworths, granting the seats and lordships to Hugh and Ulf in their own right and then help solidify their claims by marrying them to the daughters - sort of like Lancel Lannister was made Lord of Darry in his own right, with his marriage to the Amerei Frey just solidifying his claim.

Even if she wanted to do it the way it is the book - by favoring the elder daughters over the younger sons - this could have worked as well as precedent for the future and not the past. Dornish succession law also changed slowly, with one elder daughter making the start - and that may not have even been Nymeria's eldest daughter. There is no indication there that this had an effect on past successions, with elder sisters, etc. trying to oust their brothers...

In that sense, I'd say that was Corlys Velaryon being a patriarchal prick using fear-mongering to prevent his daughter-in-law from implementing changes he did not like.

Well yeah, she could have but it would have provoked backlash. I think it's unfair to dismiss Corlys like that because we have ample evidence that he is a good political judge and is the most sensible person on Team Black (and later the rump council at the end of the war).

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5 minutes ago, SerBronnsMullet said:

Well yeah, she could have but it would have provoked backlash. I think it's unfair to dismiss Corlys like that because we have ample evidence that he is a good political judge and is the most sensible person on Team Black (and later the rump council at the end of the war).

Well, with Corlys clearly favoring his bastard sons (or bastard grandsons) over his trueborn granddaughters I'd say we have a sound basis for his agenda here. If Rhaenyra had created such a precedent then Baela or Rhaena could have also claimed Driftmark rather than allowing it to pass to Addam or Alyn.

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, with Corlys clearly favoring his bastard sons (or bastard grandsons) over his trueborn granddaughters I'd say we have a sound basis for his agenda here. If Rhaenyra had created such a precedent then Baela or Rhaena could have also claimed Driftmark rather than allowing it to pass to Addam or Alyn.

I don't think Baela and Rhaena had any claim to Driftmark, though of course Rhaenyra could have just granted it to them by not recognizing Addam and Alyn and disqualifying the other Velaryon relatives for speaking treason.

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1 hour ago, SerBronnsMullet said:

I don't think Baela and Rhaena had any claim to Driftmark, though of course Rhaenyra could have just granted it to them by not recognizing Addam and Alyn and disqualifying the other Velaryon relatives for speaking treason.

What?! How do they not have a claim to Driftmark if their mother is Laena Velaryon, Lord Corlys' eldest child? They are next in line to Driftmark after Rhaenyra's sons by Laenor.

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

What?! How do they not have a claim to Driftmark if their mother is Laena Velaryon, Lord Corlys' eldest child? They are next in line to Driftmark after Rhaenyra's sons by Laenor.

Oh sorry I'm confusing who their parents were vs. Aegon III and Viserys. So yeah, good claim then.

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