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Alexander Leonard

Why was Visenya wiling to share husband with her younger sister?

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Why did Visenya agree that Rhaenys should also marry their brother when it was both against the tradition of her family and her own interest? Given her status as the eldest of the three siblings (with parents dead, eldest sister became the head of the family, if not head of the regime), couldn't she block her younger sister joining her marriage (for example, threatening to divorce Aegon if he insisted out of his own desire)?

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I don't think that threat would work. If Aegon had to choose between Rhaenys or Visenya, he would probably choose Rhaenys, and then Visenya would be left with nothing. 

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12 minutes ago, King Aegon I Targaryen said:

I don't think that threat would work. If Aegon had to choose between Rhaenys or Visenya, he would probably choose Rhaenys, and then Visenya would be left with nothing. 

Or she could use her authority over Aegon as his elder sister. I am sure she could find a way to stop him. And actually it's a good thing to lose a husband who loves your sister more than you. Then Visenya would the opportunity to find a husband who truly deserved her.

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12 minutes ago, Alexander Leonard said:

Or she could use her authority over Aegon as his elder sister. I am sure she could find a way to stop him. And actually it's a good thing to lose a husband who loves your sister more than you. Then Visenya would the opportunity to find a husband who truly deserved her.

Unfortunately that isn't the way the ASOIAF world works. People marry for position, and position for their children. Visenya marrying Aegon would mean her children would be the future Lord of Dragonstone. In the main story, I doubt Margaery loved Joffrey, yet she still married him because it meant she would be Queen, and her son would be King. 

Plus it was probably different when dragons where around. I imagine the Targaryens didn't want to marry into other families, since that would mean other families getting their hands on a dragon. 

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Because my boi Aegon was just too magnificent nothing she could do when he said look i'm taking lil sis too so deal with it. 

 

Still why not only had 3 dragons at the time why tie Rhaenys to someone out side the family 

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17 minutes ago, Destiny Arrives said:

Because my boi Aegon was just too magnificent nothing she could do when he said look i'm taking lil sis too so deal with it. 

 

Still why not only had 3 dragons at the time why tie Rhaenys to someone out side the family 

Haha considering her strong personality, I cannot imagine she would put up with that. She would most likely strike him in the face if her younger brother dared to speak like that.

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We don't know when exactly Aegon married his two sisters. Were their parents still alive? Did Lord Aerion give Aegon permission to do this? Was Aegon already the Lord of Dragonstone when he did that?

Visenya did not inherit Dragonstone after her father's death, so it would not have been her decision to do anything about or against the inclusion of Rhaenys in their marriage.

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Honestly, given how Visenya behaved, she clearly didn’t have much love for Aegon or Rhaenys. I doubt she ever forgave them for that slight. We never really get a heart to heart scene between the sisters and Visenya spends the latter part of her life undermining the children of Rhaenys and helping her obvious psychopath of a son.

Edited by James Steller

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1 hour ago, James Steller said:

Honestly, given how Visenya behaved, she clearly didn’t have much love for Aegon or Rhaenys. I doubt she ever forgave them for that slight. We never really get a heart to heart scene between the sisters and Visenya spends the latter part of her life undermining the children of Rhaenys and helping her obvious psychopath of a son.

I also think she should have resented Aegon for the way he treated her, yet she remained married with Aegon for the rest of his life, and decided to bear Aegon's child, and risked her own life to save his, and never had any other lover. These all puzzled me. F&B doesn't tell us anything new about their relationship, I hope HBO's planned presequel will.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't know when exactly Aegon married his two sisters. Were their parents still alive? Did Lord Aerion give Aegon permission to do this? Was Aegon already the Lord of Dragonstone when he did that?

Visenya did not inherit Dragonstone after her father's death, so it would not have been her decision to do anything about or against the inclusion of Rhaenys in their marriage. 

Yeah Aegon inherited Dragonstone. But Visenya was the eldest of the three siblings. With their parents dead, she became the most senior one in their family. If Aegon and Rhaenys married after their parents' death, they would have to obtain Visenya's permission. If it happened while their parents were alive, as you said, she would not have been in a position to decide it.

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16 minutes ago, Alexander Leonard said:

If Aegon and Rhaenys married after their parents' death, they would have to obtain Visenya's permission.

No they wouldn't. Aegon was Lord of Dragonstone, he could do whatever he wanted. ASOIAF is set in a man's world, being the eldest daughter doesn't count for shit if the parents have a son. 

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40 minutes ago, King Aegon I Targaryen said:

No they wouldn't. Aegon was Lord of Dragonstone, he could do whatever he wanted. ASOIAF is set in a man's world, being the eldest daughter doesn't count for shit if the parents have a son. 

I think a person naturally respects his elder sibling, even more so when the elder sibling is also his wife. That would give Visenya some power over her younger brother. And given Visenya's fierce personality, it would be better for Aegon to obtain her consent if he did not want to "wake the dragon". And he would risk losing Visenya's loyalty and support for his conquest if he acted without considering her feeling.

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1 hour ago, Alexander Leonard said:

I think a person naturally respects his elder sibling, even more so when the elder sibling is also his wife. That would give Visenya some power over her younger brother. And given Visenya's fierce personality, it would be better for Aegon to obtain her consent if he did not want to "wake the dragon". And he would risk losing Visenya's loyalty and support for his conquest if he acted without considering her feeling.

Respect for your older sister has be taught by your family and society. If your little brother was taught all his life that he was set to inherit everything because he was a boy and he also would marry you and have authority over you, he’s going to keep that in mind, no matter how much he might like you or how polite he is. Engrained sexism is an effect of patriarchy.

Also, no matter what Visenya did, it would be her dragon against two, and one of those dragons is Balerion.

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I assume Aegon married both Visenya and Rhaenys at the same time and the bigamy thing was a compromise to make them all happy. Or as happy as they could be. One assumes that Aegon would have only married Rhaenys if he had had a choice on the matter.

No idea whether it was the decent thing to do to also marry Visenya, or whether it had to do with the fact that Visenya was a dragonlord with her own dragon and he did not want her to marry somebody else is unclear at this point.

But in general it seems that the siblings were a pretty functional and close family until Rhaenys died and Aenys and Maegor and the grandchildren started to bring the succession on the table.

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12 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But in general it seems that the siblings were a pretty functional and close family until Rhaenys died and Aenys and Maegor and the grandchildren started to bring the succession on the table.

Honestly, they might have been functional, but I don’t think they were that close at all. Even when Rhaenys was alive, she and Visenya had nothing in common and Fire and Blood points out that Visenya was contemptuous of her sister’s fondness for singers and artists. Aegon openly preferred Rhaenys to Visenya, and she lurked on Dragonstone dabbling in the occult. It seems like if Rhaenys never died, we’d have gotten a mini Dance of the Dragons between her family and Visenya’s the second Aegon dropped dead.

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14 hours ago, Alexander Leonard said:

Why did Visenya agree that Rhaenys should also marry their brother when it was both against the tradition of her family and her own interest?

Aegon is unlikely to have required Visenya's agreement. He was Lord of Dragonstone, and he answered to no higher authority.

Polygamy, though not as common as incest, was neither against the traditions of House Targaryen in particular, or of the pre-Doom dragonlords of Valyria in general. Lord Aenar Targaryen himself had brought multiple wives to Dragonstone before the Doom.

The tradition amongst the Targaryens had always been to marry kin to kin. Wedding brother to sister was thought to be ideal. Failing that, a girl might wed an uncle, a cousin, or a nephew; a boy, a cousin, aunt, or niece. This practice went back to Old Valyria, where it was common amongst many of the ancient families, particularly those who bred and rode dragons. "The blood of the dragon must remain pure," the wisdom went. Some of the sorcerer princes also took more than one wife when it pleased them, though this was less common than incestuous marriage. In Valryia before the Doom, wise men wrote, a thousand gods were honored, but none were feared, so few dared to speak against these customs.

- TWOIAF: Aenys I

The Aegon who is known to history as Aegon the Conqueror and Aegon the Dragon was born on Dragonstone in 27 BC. He was the only son, and second child, of Aerion, Lord of Dragonstone, and Lady Valaena of House Velaryon, herself half-Targaryen on her mother's side. Aegon had two trueborn siblings; an elder sister, Visenya, and a younger sister, Rhaenys. It had long been the custom amongst the dragonlords of Valyria to wed brother to sister, to keep the bloodlines pure, but Aegon took both his sisters to bride. By tradition, he was expected to wed only his older sister, Visenya; the inclusion of Rhaenys as a second wife was unusual, though not without precedent. It was said by some that Aegon wed Visenya out of duty and Rhaenys out of desire.

- TWOIAF: The Reign of the Dragons - The Conquest

The Targaryens were of pure Valyrian blood, dragonlords of ancient lineage. Twelve years before the Doom of Valyria (114 BC), Aenar Targaryen sold his holdings in the Freehold and the Lands of the Long Summer and moved with all his wives, wealth, slaves, dragons, siblings, kin, and children to Dragonstone, a bleak island citadel beneath a smoking mountain in the narrow sea.

- TWOIAF: The Reign of the Dragons - The Conquest

14 hours ago, Alexander Leonard said:

Given her status as the eldest of the three siblings (with parents dead, eldest sister became the head of the family, if not head of the regime), couldn't she block her younger sister joining her marriage (for example, threatening to divorce Aegon if he insisted out of his own desire)?

Aegon appears to have been Lord of Dragonstone for at least a couple years before he and his sisters landed in Westeros, but other than that, there is no indication of when their parents died, or whether their parents were dead when they wed. He could have wed them both in one ceremony. Whatever the case, Visenya certainly wasn't head of the family over her lord brother Aegon. She was a dragonlord, and she certainly was given some amount of authority, but Aegon was her lord, and later her king, not merely her younger brother. 

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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6 minutes ago, James Steller said:

Honestly, they might have been functional, but I don’t think they were that close at all. Even when Rhaenys was alive, she and Visenya had nothing in common and Fire and Blood points out that Visenya was contemptuous of her sister’s fondness for singers and artists. Aegon openly preferred Rhaenys to Visenya, and she lurked on Dragonstone dabbling in the occult. It seems like if Rhaenys never died, we’d have gotten a mini Dance of the Dragons between her family and Visenya’s the second Aegon dropped dead.

They would not have pulled off what they pulled off if they had not been close. They could trust each other implicitly, and Visenya seems to have been very devoted to Aegon even as late as the later stages of the First Dornish War.

On a personal level we have no insight in the sibling relationship between Rhaenys and Visenya, but it does not seem that they resented each other on a personal level. It seems that Aegon was the only one of them who actually loved any of his sisters romantically. We don't know whether Rhaenys loved Aegon in the same way as he loved her (the rumors about her lovers indicate that this may not have been the case), nor whether Visenya loved Aegon more than a normal sister should love her brother.

Visenya not liking Rhaenys' hobbies and delights doesn't mean she didn't love her as a sister.

And that image of Visenya brooding on Dragonstone the entire must also be an exaggeration. Sure, she may have preferred the island to the Aegonfort, and especially Maegor must have spend a lot of time there, but we also learn that one of Aegon's queens usually was in KL seeing to things there while he was on a royal progress, and from 10 AC on Aegon had only one queen, so Visenya would have spent a considerable amount of her time in KL.

One assumes that this changed in the 20s when Maegor grew older, and he and Aenys married. Then things slowly began to deteriorate, with Aenys and Alyssa eventually stepping in for Aegon as the royals doing the progresses, whereas Visenya started to avoid her brother-husband by restricting herself to Dragonstone when he was in KL.

I'm not sure Visenya ever was 'a sorceress'. Especially the piece of her resorting to sorcery when age robbed her of her strength at arms sounds like a textbook case of misogyny if you ask me. Visenya was basically an unconventional freak woman, and history treated her as such. Queen Rhaena is later treated in exactly the same manner, and in her case we have no reason whatsoever to believe the foul rumors that she were a witch, etc.

The idea that Visenya may have been behind Aenys' death is also not really supported in the text by any evidence, nor would that really have to mean she practiced sorcery. She may have just been able to poison him.

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I'm not sure what the relationship was between Visenya and Rhaenys while they are both alive, but while we might think Visenya had reasons to resent or have enmity towards Rhaenys, I am not sure we have any statement or hint that she did. She might have thought Rhaenys frivolous, or thought that her sister's patronage of singers and bards was a waste, but that doesn't tell us whether or not they were close. The only statement I can recall is:

"The two years that followed were later called the years of the Dragon's Wroth. Grief-stricken at the death of their beloved sister, King Aegon and Queen Visenya set ablaze every castle, keep, and holdfast in Dorne at least once...save for Sunspear and the shadow city. Why this is so remains a matter of conjecture. In Dorne, it was said the Targaryens feared that Princess Meria had some cunning means of slaying dragons, something she had purchased from Lys. Likelier, however, is Archmaester Timotty's suggestion in his Conjectures that the Targaryens hoped to turn the rest of the Dornish, who suffered so much destruction, against the Martells, who were spared. If this is true, it may explain the letters dispatched from the marches to the Dornish houses, urging them to surrender and claiming that the Martells had betrayed them by buying their safety from the Targaryens at the expense of the rest of Dorne."

- TWOIAF: Dorne - Dorne Against the Dragons

This too might be an exaggeration, or might not be completely accurate, but the point is that even the sources which give us things which Visenya could have reasonably been resentful of Rhaenys over, don't actually state that she was.

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47 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Aegon appears to have been Lord of Dragonstone for at least a couple years before he and his sisters landed in Westeros, but other than that, there is no indication of when their parents died, or whether their parents were dead when they wed. He could have wed them both in one ceremony. Whatever the case, Visenya certainly wasn't head of the family over her lord brother Aegon. She was a dragonlord, and she certainly was given some amount of authority, but Aegon was her lord, and later her king, not merely her younger brother.  

I feel sorry for Visenya because she was the first child of their parents and heir presumptive at her birth. But later the birth of her little brother took away everything that belonged to her. It must be painful to grow up alongside her little brother knowing that everything she used to have is now his. And later her younger sister took away half of her husband, and then her sister's son took the throne from her own son. She played such a pivotal part in the Conquest, yet she was never given the right to rule the land she conquered.

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1 hour ago, James Steller said:

Honestly, they might have been functional, but I don’t think they were that close at all. Even when Rhaenys was alive, she and Visenya had nothing in common and Fire and Blood points out that Visenya was contemptuous of her sister’s fondness for singers and artists. Aegon openly preferred Rhaenys to Visenya, and she lurked on Dragonstone dabbling in the occult. It seems like if Rhaenys never died, we’d have gotten a mini Dance of the Dragons between her family and Visenya’s the second Aegon dropped dead.

By marrying Visenya out of duty and Rhaenys out of desire, Aegon actually hurt both women. It seems to me that Aegon's desire for Rhaenys was just one-sided love. Rhaenys might not want to marry him because they had very different personalities. So both women were victims of his desire. Had they been able to freely choose their husband, I doubt they would consider marrying Aegon at all.

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