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Alexander Leonard

Do you think Visenya should have been made heir to Aegon the Conqueror?

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Aegon conquered Westeros with the help of his two sister-wives Visenya and Rhaenys, both of whom played a pivotal role in the Conquest. Aegon wouldn’t have been Lord of the Seven Kingdoms without his sister-wives, so he owed them a major debt of gratitude. However, upon Aegon’s death, it was Aegon’s son Aenys who ascended to the throne, when Visenya was still alive.

Visenya is my heroine, a warrior-queen who survived and thrived on male-dominated battlefield. She brought one city after another to its knees. She single-handedly conquered the Vale of Arryn without bloodshed.

The rule of succession was really unfair to Visenya. Being the eldest of the three siblings, she could not succeed their father only because she was female, though she was Aegon’s equal in every major way. And then upon Aegon’s death, she had to watch Aenys crowed King and bend her knees to him.

In my opinion, upon conquest of the Seven Kingdoms, Aegon should have changed the rule of succession to recognize the contribution of Visenya and Rhaenys in the Conquest. He should have named Visenya his heir and Rhaenys (if she was not killed) heir to Visenya, and Aegon's first born child (whoever his or her mother was) heir after his two sister-wives.

Visenya and Rhaenys (if not killed) were both capable of and deserved to be ruling Queen in their own right. They should really have preceded their sons in the line of succession because their sons really did nothing in the Conquest and were unfit to rule (Aenys too weak, Maegor too cruel).

What do you think? Do you think Visenya should have been heir to Aegon’s throne?

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It's possible that the rest of Westeros would not have accepted such an arrangement so easily. A similar succession question was faced by the Great Council of 101AC and the assembled Lords chose the male heir over the female one; it seems like it's not just the Targs but most of Westerosi culture favors the male line.

So, and I don't think there's any direct evidence to support that he did it on purpose, Aegon may have made the right decision to ensure that any Targ would remain in control of Westeros.  

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I've been in study overload since that damned Fire and Blood was release.   Forgive me if my facts are confused.   I believe the male over female heir was an Andal practice originally.   The Targaryans came from a Freehold which wasn't ruled by a monarchy, but more along the lines of Braavos with the keyholders or Maegesters of Pentos.   The were land barons and merchants for the most part.  For all it's worth, it doesn't sound like they had a central religion either.   As we see throughout Fire and Blood, The Faith held a great deal of power and influence over the majority of people in Westeros.   The Old Gods were very much in the past save in the North.   Aegon, presumably Visenya and Rhaenys, had to find some common ground with the Faith.   Concessions were made on both sides.   We see Old Town welcome Aegon with open arms after much trepidation and fear.   Andal customs are the majority rule in Westeros.   I don't think the idea of an heir either mattered or the Targs really understood the importance of it.   Visenya didn't get pregnant for a very long time.   Rhaenys, too, for all that matters.   They were conquerors, not necessarily law makers or governors.   They had dragons and bad attitudes.   You do as they say.   However, Aegon was a man to be reasoned with and I think he understood how strange Targaryan ways were to Westeros.   Adopting some of the passionately held customs in place went a very long way to keeping peace.  You can not underestimate the power the Faith had at that time. 

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It is weird for siblings to inherit before children. I imagine that the whole point of inheritance was to pave the way and provide for one's offspring after one passes away or is otherwise unable to provide.

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17 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I've been in study overload since that damned Fire and Blood was release.   Forgive me if my facts are confused.   I believe the male over female heir was an Andal practice originally.

Both the First Men and Andals seem to concur on inheritance. It's also "a daughter before an uncle," to Alys Karstark, so male-preference primogeniture is a thing in the north, too.

On the Iron Islands they seem to be stricter, almost never accepting female heirs, and the Rhoynar of course being equal in matters of inheritance.

17 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

The Targaryens came from a Freehold which wasn't ruled by a monarchy, but more along the lines of Braavos with the keyholders or magisters of Pentos.   The were land barons and merchants for the most part.  For all it's worth, it doesn't sound like they had a central religion either.   As we see throughout Fire and Blood, The Faith held a great deal of power and influence over the majority of people in Westeros.   The Old Gods were very much in the past save in the North.   Aegon, presumably Visenya and Rhaenys, had to find some common ground with the Faith.   Concessions were made on both sides.   We see Old Town welcome Aegon with open arms after much trepidation and fear.   Andal customs are the majority rule in Westeros.   I don't think the idea of an heir either mattered or the Targs really understood the importance of it.

Yeah, it seems prominent that Valyria was ruled by "families", not lords. Presumably, lordship wasn't perceived in the same way. I don't doubt that the Valyrians were sexist, but there was probably less of an input between the "head" and other members (incestuous marriages streamlines family links, anyway)... There were also commonly female dragonriders, so women aren't going to be completely helpless.

However, Aegon was decidedly Lord of Dragonstone - not Visenya. This isn't to say that the Targaryens saw themselves following male-preference primogeniture 100% of the time, though. There seems to be some confusion as to the inheritance laws throughout the first century or so of their reign, and even after the Dance things seem to be a bit messy. So I don't think Aegon I codified anything with regards to inheritance.

17 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

Visenya didn't get pregnant for a very long time.   Rhaenys, too, for all that matters.   They were conquerors, not necessarily law makers or governors.   They had dragons and bad attitudes.   You do as they say.   However, Aegon was a man to be reasoned with and I think he understood how strange Targaryan ways were to Westeros.   Adopting some of the passionately held customs in place went a very long way to keeping peace.  You can not underestimate the power the Faith had at that time. 

I have to disagree on their not being governors. Aegon codified legal concepts such as the King's Peace and saw due governance over the region, rather than being some completely reckless, power-hungry conqueror.

16 hours ago, Rocks For Jocks 101 said:

Visenya wanted her son to inherit the throne.  Mothers are like that.   

 

16 hours ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

It is weird for siblings to inherit before children. I imagine that the whole point of inheritance was to pave the way and provide for one's offspring after one passes away or is otherwise unable to provide.

This would be spousal inheritance instead of simply sibling inheritance. I have to raise an eyebrow about Visenya wanting her son to inherit the throne instead of her -- as it stands, Aegon passes the throne to Aenys. Her being Aegon's heir instead makes the inheritance of Maegor all the more likely. While spousal inheritance is rare in Westeros, it is not unprecedented (Donella Hornwood, Barbrey Dustin), but only occurs during succession disputes. However, with a real life example, we can look to Peter the Great of Russia, who left the throne to his wife, Catherine I - it was a way of saying he was the lawmaker of the realm and could dictate who the heir was.

Which is why I'm going to say Visenya shouldn't have sat the Iron Throne. Was she a great dragonrider and warrior? Sure. But the ascension of Visenya is going to embolden Maegor. As weak as Aenys was, he at least banished Maegor to Pentos - Visenya wouldn't do the same, probably even encouraging him to take more wives and causing relations with the Faith to sour even more than they did in the canon timeline.

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The reason why spousal inheritance is so rare in Westeros is because, most of the time, it works backwards.

Meaning that the wives of rulers/landholders inherit and become rulers/landholders themselves only if:

  • their husbands die and their children die without issue
  • their husband has no living blood relatives

Basically, as you said, unless a ruler/landholder expressly rules it in their will, a spouse inheriting is nightmare fuel for a succession crisis.

In the case of Visenya, Aenys and Maegor were both alive and well when Aegon passed. Aenys even had children of his ow. Which makes the whole point of Visenya inheriting irrelevant as there is no place in the world of Planetos where spouses (especially female spouses) inherit before healthy children and grandchildren.

Besides, by the time Aegon passed, Visenya was an old woman. While I imagine that she would be no less capable, I imagine an elderly person who led a life like Visenya's would want to take a step back from responsibility and enjoy some sort of peace...not take on more responsibility.

Even if the Iron Throne was offered to her, it would have been wise for Visenya to decline. Four different rebellions immediately broke out when Aegon died and the Faith Militant nearly toppled the Targaryen dynasty when Maegor sat the Iron Throne. Visenya taking the throne would have made the situation worse in such a time of fragility for the Targaryens.

Now the Princesses Rhaneys, Rhaenyra and Daena? That's a completely different story as they were daughters of the king and they were robbed. Particularly Daena.

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16 hours ago, Vaith said:

Both the First Men and Andals seem to concur on inheritance. It's also "a daughter before an uncle," to Alys Karstark, so male-preference primogeniture is a thing in the north, too.

On the Iron Islands they seem to be stricter, almost never accepting female heirs, and the Rhoynar of course being equal in matters of inheritance.

Yeah, it seems prominent that Valyria was ruled by "families", not lords. Presumably, lordship wasn't perceived in the same way. I don't doubt that the Valyrians were sexist, but there was probably less of an input between the "head" and other members (incestuous marriages streamlines family links, anyway)... There were also commonly female dragonriders, so women aren't going to be completely helpless.

However, Aegon was decidedly Lord of Dragonstone - not Visenya. This isn't to say that the Targaryens saw themselves following male-preference primogeniture 100% of the time, though. There seems to be some confusion as to the inheritance laws throughout the first century or so of their reign, and even after the Dance things seem to be a bit messy. So I don't think Aegon I codified anything with regards to inheritance.

I have to disagree on their not being governors. Aegon codified legal concepts such as the King's Peace and saw due governance over the region, rather than being some completely reckless, power-hungry conqueror.

 

This would be spousal inheritance instead of simply sibling inheritance. I have to raise an eyebrow about Visenya wanting her son to inherit the throne instead of her -- as it stands, Aegon passes the throne to Aenys. Her being Aegon's heir instead makes the inheritance of Maegor all the more likely. While spousal inheritance is rare in Westeros, it is not unprecedented (Donella Hornwood, Barbrey Dustin), but only occurs during succession disputes. However, with a real life example, we can look to Peter the Great of Russia, who left the throne to his wife, Catherine I - it was a way of saying he was the lawmaker of the realm and could dictate who the heir was.

Which is why I'm going to say Visenya shouldn't have sat the Iron Throne. Was she a great dragonrider and warrior? Sure. But the ascension of Visenya is going to embolden Maegor. As weak as Aenys was, he at least banished Maegor to Pentos - Visenya wouldn't do the same, probably even encouraging him to take more wives and causing relations with the Faith to sour even more than they did in the canon timeline.

Really enjoyed your comments, but only skimming--will check back with a proper response after work, but thanks for such a thoughtful reply.   

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20 hours ago, Vaith said:

Both the First Men and Andals seem to concur on inheritance. It's also "a daughter before an uncle," to Alys Karstark, so male-

Yeah, it seems prominent that Valyria was ruled by "families", not lords. Presumably, lordship wasn't perceived in the same way. I don't doubt that the Valyrians were sexist, but there was probably less of an input between the "head" and other members (incestuous marriages streamlines family links, anyway)... There were also commonly female dragonriders, so women aren't going to be completely helpless.

However, Aegon was decidedly Lord of Dragonstone - not Visenya. This isn't to say that the Targaryens saw themselves following male-preference primogeniture 100% of the time, though. There seems to be some confusion as to the inheritance laws throughout the first century or so of their reign, and even after the Dance things seem to be a bit messy. So I don't think Aegon I codified anything with regards to inheritance.

I have to disagree on their not being governors. Aegon codified legal concepts such as the King's Peace and saw due governance over the region, rather than being some completely reckless, power-hungry conqueror.

 

Well thanks for straightening me out on the 1st Men being part of that inheritance custom.   In that we don't actually have any real history or ancient writing from Valyria it's safer for me to leave the whole "they thought" or behaved in particular ways open to interpretation.   You could of course, be absolutely correct about their society.    I'm leaning more toward Aegon bringing not only his 2 sister wives, but possibly his bastard half brother, along for the conquest.   Rhaenys wasn't known for her mad warrior skill but she alone was sent to Dorne just as Visenya and Orys were sent on their own missions for the conquest.  This opens the possibility that Valyrians didn't have all that stupid  prejudice as a mainstream part of their culture.   They were weird enough and I certainly don't mean to fan those flames, but they were a very different society.   No reason they would have the same cultural leanings as the 1st Men or Andals.  They were slavers and that's as big a difference from Westeros as any.    No reason there could not be more.    I don't throw this out to be contrary.   I really enjoyed your reply.    We all read this story differently.   I'm leaving Fire and Blood thinking Aegon conquered, CHAOS and Jaehaery's & Alysanne were the 1st real rulers.    It's got to take time to learn how to do a thing.    That said, I don't discount your comments about Aegon making some laws any more than I would discount Rhaeny's efforts to unite the realm with marriages or Visenya establishing a Kingsguard or Orys integrating the Durandon greatness with his own name.   I think it's a process and even a jerk like Maegor served his purpose as a king of Westeros.   It was as though Westeros was a whole new thing.   Not the society the Targs hailed nor the current Westerosi ways.   Aegon united the kingdoms and that's huge, but still not a Valyrian way to do things and I still think it's interesting that he even bothered.   

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17 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

Well thanks for straightening me out on the 1st Men being part of that inheritance custom.   In that we don't actually have any real history or ancient writing from Valyria it's safer for me to leave the whole "they thought" or behaved in particular ways open to interpretation.   You could of course, be absolutely correct about their society.   

Yeah, it's speculation -- I'm just going off that, since the Free Cities have institutions like the magisters, Volantis has the Old Blood, we know 40 families ruled jointly instead of having kings -- it seems like Valyria was closer to something like the Roman Republic than the feudal system we see in the Seven Kingdoms.

19 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

I'm leaning more toward Aegon bringing not only his 2 sister wives, but possibly his bastard half brother, along for the conquest.   Rhaenys wasn't known for her mad warrior skill but she alone was sent to Dorne just as Visenya and Orys were sent on their own missions for the conquest.  This opens the possibility that Valyrians didn't have all that stupid  prejudice as a mainstream part of their culture.   They were weird enough and I certainly don't mean to fan those flames, but they were a very different society.   No reason they would have the same cultural leanings as the 1st Men or Andals.  They were slavers and that's as big a difference from Westeros as any. 

If Orys were on equal ground with his half-siblings, I think he'd be mentioned more. He was, in fact, never acknowledged as Aegon's bastard brother, it's just one of those things so heavily rumoured that it is fact.

I definitely don't think that sexism would be the same in Westeros and Valyria, but I don't think that it was non-existent. Otherwise, Aerion would have left Dragonstone to Visenya if they were completely free of prejudice.

21 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

 No reason there could not be more.    I don't throw this out to be contrary.   I really enjoyed your reply.    We all read this story differently.   I'm leaving Fire and Blood thinking Aegon conquered, CHAOS and Jaehaery's & Alysanne were the 1st real rulers.    It's got to take time to learn how to do a thing.    That said, I don't discount your comments about Aegon making some laws any more than I would discount Rhaeny's efforts to unite the realm with marriages or Visenya establishing a Kingsguard or Orys integrating the Durandon greatness with his own name.   I think it's a process and even a jerk like Maegor served his purpose as a king of Westeros.   It was as though Westeros was a whole new thing.   Not the society the Targs hailed nor the current Westerosi ways.   Aegon united the kingdoms and that's huge, but still not a Valyrian way to do things and I still think it's interesting that he even bothered.   

Thanks. :)

I think Martin goes out of his way to make the reader know that Aegon is not this brutish conqueror. He characterises him as this rather enigmatic figure, where little about his own personality is known -- did he know something about the Others, perhaps? Who knows, but it seems like Aegon wasn't just about the short-term glory of conquest. 

As for this chaos, well, I'm thinking that aside from the First Dornish War, there aren't too many problems in the nearly four decades since Aegon's coronation. It's Aenys who pisses off the Faith with marrying Rhaena to Aegon the Uncrowned, and Maegor where things get really messy. Aegon, however, was already married to his two sisters when he converted (i.e. his marriages weren't made in the Faith), and he smoothed things over a little by marrying Aenys to Alyssa Velaryon, and Maegor to the High Septon's niece (though, true, no daughters were available). The only direct problem from Aegon's conquest was probably Harren the Red, but I imagine the popularity the Targs got from killing off the Hoares made them popular with the riverlords.

Personally, I don't see any good consequences from Maegor's reign, though. 

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21 hours ago, Vaith said:

However, Aegon was decidedly Lord of Dragonstone - not Visenya. This isn't to say that the Targaryens saw themselves following male-preference primogeniture 100% of the time, though. There seems to be some confusion as to the inheritance laws throughout the first century or so of their reign, and even after the Dance things seem to be a bit messy. So I don't think Aegon I codified anything with regards to inheritance.

I think Dragonstone and Seven Kingdoms was jointly owned by Aegon-Visenya-Rhaenys trio. The three siblings were all children of Aerion Targeryen, previous Lord of Dragonstone. And they entered the same marriage and then they conquered Westeros together. Aegon was like a representative of the three siblings. He had slightly more say in their household than Visenya or Rheanys individually, but he had no more power than the two sister-wives combined. It's like a 40%-30%-30% share holding arrangement. Aegon was the largest shareholder and therefore he was appointed the chairman of Board, but he was not a majority shareholder. If Aegon made a decision and one of his sister-wives opposed it, his decision could still be passed. However, if both sister-wives opposed it, he would have to back down. That's how I view their relationship and power structure of their family.

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1 minute ago, Alexander Leonard said:

I think Dragonstone and Seven Kingdoms was jointly owned by Aegon-Visenya-Rhaenys trio. The three siblings were all children of Aerion Targeryen, previous Lord of Dragonstone. And they entered the same marriage and then they conquered Westeros together. Aegon was like a representative of the three siblings. He had slightly more say in their household than Visenya or Rheanys individually, but he had no more power than the two sister-wives combined. It's like a 40%-30%-30% share holding arrangement. Aegon was the largest shareholder and therefore he was appointed the chairman of Board, but he was not a majority shareholder. If Aegon made a decision and one of his sister-wives opposed it, his decision could still be passed. However, if both sister-wives opposed it, he would have to back down. That's how I view their relationship and power structure of their family.

Unofficially? Maybe. Officially, I don't think so. If Visenya and Rhaenys were truly co-queens, they'd be known as Visenya I/Rhaenys I with all the accompanying titles. They would've sat the Iron Throne, like Aegon. He would've respected his sister-wives, but the lords of the realm might not particularly care if Aegon hypothetically did pass a law without consulting his queens. This is no more true to me than saying Alysanne was a 25% shareholder in the Iron Throne under Jaehaerys I.

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23 minutes ago, Vaith said:

Unofficially? Maybe. Officially, I don't think so. If Visenya and Rhaenys were truly co-queens, they'd be known as Visenya I/Rhaenys I with all the accompanying titles. They would've sat the Iron Throne, like Aegon. He would've respected his sister-wives, but the lords of the realm might not particularly care if Aegon hypothetically did pass a law without consulting his queens. This is no more true to me than saying Alysanne was a 25% shareholder in the Iron Throne under Jaehaerys I.

Well, officially, Aegon was the king. There is no doubt in that. But being a king doesn't mean he had absolute power over anyone else. His power came from his dragon, while his sister-wives were also dragon riders. That means, if Visenya and Rhaenys were united against Aegon, they had the power to overthrow him. It is unlikely that Balerion could defeat Meraxes and Vhagar combined. That means Aegon couldn't afford to displease both of this sister-wives.

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1 minute ago, Alexander Leonard said:

Well, officially, Aegon was the king. There is no doubt in that. But being a king doesn't mean he had absolute power over anyone else. His power came from his dragon, while his sister-wives were also dragon riders. That means, if Visenya and Rhaenys were united against Aegon, they had the power to overthrow him. It is unlikely that Balerion could defeat Meraxes and Vhagar combined. That means Aegon couldn't afford to displease both of this sister-wives.

Helaena Targaryen was also a dragonrider, but that doesn’t mean she was a particularly influential queen. :) 

It depends. It wouldn’t be like Visenya and Rhaenys would want to kill him over some tax codes. If Aegon chose to divorce them both to marry Edmyn Tully’s sister, I think he’d realise that’s asking for a taste of dragonfire himself. ;)

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53 minutes ago, Vaith said:

Yeah, it's speculation -- I'm just going off that, since the Free Cities have institutions like the magisters, Volantis has the Old Blood, we know 40 families ruled jointly instead of having kings -- it seems like Valyria was closer to something like the Roman Republic than the feudal system we see in the Seven Kingdoms.

If Orys were on equal ground with his half-siblings, I think he'd be mentioned more. He was, in fact, never acknowledged as Aegon's bastard brother, it's just one of those things so heavily rumoured that it is fact.

I definitely don't think that sexism would be the same in Westeros and Valyria, but I don't think that it was non-existent. Otherwise, Aerion would have left Dragonstone to Visenya if they were completely free of prejudice.

Thanks. :)

I think Martin goes out of his way to make the reader know that Aegon is not this brutish conqueror. He characterises him as this rather enigmatic figure, where little about his own personality is known -- did he know something about the Others, perhaps? Who knows, but it seems like Aegon wasn't just about the short-term glory of conquest. 

As for this chaos, well, I'm thinking that aside from the First Dornish War, there aren't too many problems in the nearly four decades since Aegon's coronation. It's Aenys who pisses off the Faith with marrying Rhaena to Aegon the Uncrowned, and Maegor where things get really messy. Aegon, however, was already married to his two sisters when he converted (i.e. his marriages weren't made in the Faith), and he smoothed things over a little by marrying Aenys to Alyssa Velaryon, and Maegor to the High Septon's niece (though, true, no daughters were available). The only direct problem from Aegon's conquest was probably Harren the Red, but I imagine the popularity the Targs got from killing off the Hoares made them popular with the riverlords.

Personally, I don't see any good consequences from Maegor's reign, though. 

I wonder if the maesters, hundreds of years later or even record keepers at the time of the conquest put their own slant on Orys?   Maybe it was a widely known thing, but distasteful to give a bastard any real recognition?   Marginalize Orys because that's what they did?   Maybe they tried to cover it up entirely but some gossip starved scribe put it together later?  Just for fun.   

Now that really is a good point about Visenya being heir to Dragonstone.   That makes me want to do a reread and little is more boring than rereading the conquest at this point.   Let me leave you with a point on this 1 and my own pin to see if I can discern a different meaning.  It's an eye opener and there is a dark place in my heart that hopes it's wrong.   I sort of want the Valyrians to be very special on all fronts.   

Aegon was an enigma. For a guy who conquered the 7 Kingdoms he didn't seem to throw his crazy weight around.   The loss of position some of the kings received--really all the rewards and punishments that I can recall--seemed fair and just.   It's hard to read Aegon and wonder what the hell he was thinking?   And why!  The conquest of Westeros really was an extraordinary feat...particularly without a real invasion.   After all, there were only 3 Valyrian houses in residence.   

Chaos went to Aenys and Maegor's rules.   Aenys managed to lose so much ground his dad and aunt gained--he seemed to have 0 political acumen.    "He was a nice guy" does not make a great footnote...but I think he integrated as well as he could.   I mean, it's not like anyone actually liked the Targs at this point.   Everything was a test and Aenys managed to fail pretty well at all of them.  Maegor (ick) if nothing else he crushed the Faith Militant.   His machinations seemed to really bring the Hightowers to the surface--just my take on it--but by eliminating the FM the Targ power base was strengthened.  I think the FM would have roused the realm given enough time, as they certainly had backing.  Crazy mean paved the way for calmer more rational rulers like Jaehaerys and Alysanne.   For all the potential credit I give to the Targs for unity and integration, don't be fooled for a minute about the innate stupidity of the Westerosi nobility.  They were willing to go to great lengths to grab power for themselves.   After reading Maegor, it is no real surprise the Faith finds its resurgence under a dumbass 1st Men/Andal queen regent.    

Dang it, we've gone way off topic.  Sorry, reeling it all back in.   Thanks for the good conversation.     

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3 minutes ago, Vaith said:

Helaena Targaryen was also a dragonrider, but that doesn’t mean she was a particularly influential queen. :) 

It depends. It wouldn’t be like Visenya and Rhaenys would want to kill him over some tax codes. If Aegon chose to divorce them both to marry Edmyn Tully’s sister, I think he’d realise that’s asking for a taste of dragonfire himself. ;)

Speaking of divorce, :D if his sister-wives were also bored with him, the three could part way peacefully. However, if Aegon dared to have a mistress or bastard child while they were still married, Visenya and Rhaenys would certainly let him taste the dragonfire. I think that's actually the most important reason why he didn't have any mistress or bastard sons like other kings and lords.

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4 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

I wonder if the maesters, hundreds of years later or even record keepers at the time of the conquest put their own slant on Orys?   Maybe it was a widely known thing, but distasteful to give a bastard any real recognition?   Marginalize Orys because that's what they did?   Maybe they tried to cover it up entirely but some gossip starved scribe put it together later?  Just for fun.   

Now that really is a good point about Visenya being heir to Dragonstone.   That makes me want to do a reread and little is more boring than rereading the conquest at this point.   Let me leave you with a point on this 1 and my own pin to see if I can discern a different meaning.  It's an eye opener and there is a dark place in my heart that hopes it's wrong.   I sort of want the Valyrians to be very special on all fronts.   

Aegon was an enigma. For a guy who conquered the 7 Kingdoms he didn't seem to throw his crazy weight around.   The loss of position some of the kings received--really all the rewards and punishments that I can recall--seemed fair and just.   It's hard to read Aegon and wonder what the hell he was thinking?   And why!  The conquest of Westeros really was an extraordinary feat...particularly without a real invasion.   After all, there were only 3 Valyrian houses in residence.   

Chaos went to Aenys and Maegor's rules.   Aenys managed to lose so much ground his dad and aunt gained--he seemed to have 0 political acumen.    "He was a nice guy" does not make a great footnote...but I think he integrated as well as he could.   I mean, it's not like anyone actually liked the Targs at this point.   Everything was a test and Aenys managed to fail pretty well at all of them.  Maegor (ick) if nothing else he crushed the Faith Militant.   His machinations seemed to really bring the Hightowers to the surface--just my take on it--but by eliminating the FM the Targ power base was strengthened.  I think the FM would have roused the realm given enough time, as they certainly had backing.  Crazy mean paved the way for calmer more rational rulers like Jaehaerys and Alysanne.   For all the potential credit I give to the Targs for unity and integration, don't be fooled for a minute about the innate stupidity of the Westerosi nobility.  They were willing to go to great lengths to grab power for themselves.   After reading Maegor, it is no real surprise the Faith finds its resurgence under a dumbass 1st Men/Andal queen regent.    

Dang it, we've gone way off topic.  Sorry, reeling it all back in.   Thanks for the good conversation.     

I think the Baratheons would want to maximise the Targaryen link if it was more explicit (After all, maybe Robert could have used that as a further justification for the crown?) The maesters don't seem to be particularly pro-Blackfyre, but they didn't cover up that Aegon IV legitimised all of his kids. The most prominent example of their bias to chronicles, though, is that Aegon II's request to purge Rhaenyra from records as queen stands - she is only Princess, despite sitting the Iron Throne and her sons being kings, because of their Green, Hightower patrons, most likely.

To give some credit to the Valyrians, property-owning women in Volantis can vote, and there has been one (one) female Triarch in the last 300 years... and that seems to be where Valyrian legacy is strongest among the ruling elites. But I think GRRM goes out of his way to make it clear that Valyrians are just men. Princess Daenerys did die from the Shivers, after all, and Aerys/Viserys's problems due to incest are no different than Joffrey's. I suspect they were fallible in regard to sexism too. But the Summer Isles, the Jogos Nhai, and naturally Dorne and the Rhoyne are great cultures with little to no sexism. :)

Maegor crushed the Faith Militant, but some reconciliation with the Faith could have worked if he were an apt ruler - he left Jaehaerys and Alysanne to pick up the pieces, who were very lucky that the Exceptionalism rule stuck. Maegor was saddled with some problems - he did not kill the King Who Flew - but by acting so cruelly to all his adversaries and allies alike, it just inflicted unnecessary suffering on Westeros. Also, by the time of Maegor's reign, only the oldest lords are going to remember what the time before the Conquest was like, so I don't think the resentment of no longer being kings etc. was extremely prevelant.

This all seems relevant to the topic at hand, so please, discuss minutiae all you want. ;)

12 minutes ago, Alexander Leonard said:

Speaking of divorce, :D if his sister-wives were also bored with him, the three could part way peacefully. However, if Aegon dared to have a mistress or bastard child while they were still married, Visenya and Rhaenys would certainly let him taste the dragonfire. I think that's actually the most important reason why he didn't have any mistress or bastard sons like other kings and lords.

From what we know of Aegon I's personality, I wouldn't say he was too likely to do that anyway. In fact most of the Targaryen kings don't seem to have acknowledged bastards aside from Aegon IV (though Viserys I and Aegon II definitely had some). 

There is actually a nice theory that Aegon I was sterile, and that Rhaenys got pregnant from her rumoured lovers, and that Visenya did through magic. In a way it would make the throne more futile to be fighting over in the main series - neither Tommen, Stannis, or Dany are legitimate heirs to the Conqueror anyway. But just a theory. ;)

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On 1/31/2019 at 4:37 PM, Alexander Leonard said:

What do you think? Do you think Visenya should have been heir to Aegon’s throne?

No.   That would be fan fiction.  Maybe it is tempting to assume that your vision of these books would be better than what GRRM wrote but you would be wrong.  Especially if you go and change a major bit of the early history of Targaryen rule in Westeros.   

GRRM’s books are awesome because of the way HE wrote them.   Your fantasy would change the entire history of Westeros for the last 300 years.  

 No thanks  

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, White Ravens said:

No.   That would be fan fiction.  Maybe it is tempting to assume that your vision of these books would be better than what GRRM wrote but you would be wrong.  Especially if you go and change a major bit of the early history of Targaryen rule in Westeros.   

GRRM’s books are awesome because of the way HE wrote them.   Your fantasy would change the entire history of Westeros for the last 300 years.  

 No thanks  

 

 

 

The point of this thread, I imagine, is to examine it as an alternate scenario of Westerosi history, not saying the books would be better if GRRM wrote things differently.

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