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26 minutes ago, MarraOfChaos said:

I think the question was who is the worst ruller, not the worst father. I think both Aegon II and Rhaenyra are worse rullers than their father Viserys. My personal favourites for  worst Targaryen rullers are Aegon II and Rhaenyra. I cannot choose. Both are unprepaired and lacked ability to rule a kingdom. For a proper ruller the right question is "can he"/she rule", not "does he/she got ancestral right for the throne". Aegon II and Rhaenyra both caused a great disaster.

I agree that they both were horrible in slightly different sense. 

Though I feel Viserys doesn't get enough of flak for creating two branches of family, arming them with weapons of mass destruction, not doing enough to enable proper succession. He ruled for 26 years and in that time didn't had any major problem to  resolve other than succession, he had all the power to stop future rift that caused death of dragons and almost ruination of dynasty.

While Aegon and Rhaenyra were possibly manipulated to conflict though that doesn't excuse any  of their cruel actions. It still makes their position at the moment of death of Viserys more complicated in my opinion and war at that moment is harder to stop , then while power was concentrated mostly in one place.

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2 hours ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

This discussion got really weird. I mean how can you defend Rhaenyra's actions while attacking Aegon's? They both were terrible people and even worse rulers. I would rank them Ex æquo as one of the worst Targaryens to sit on the Iron Throne. Suggesting that torture of Tyland and cutting out tongues of Stokeworth and Rosby just before executing them was justified, while saying that Aegon's actions(burning alive rebels, feeding Rhaenyra to Sunfyre) were somehow bad, is just laughable. You cannot blame only one side of the conflict for everything that happened during Dance.

Aegon II was objectively worse than Rhaenyra in pretty much every aspect. He was crueler than her, more vindictive, more incompetent as a ruler, a greater pawn than his half-sister. Rhaenyra fought for herself, Aegon II basically just because grandpa and mommy told him to. Even in the end he is still ruled by his mother who convinces him not to trust on the mercy of King Aegon III.

I see no issue in monarchs torturing, mutilating, or executing traitors. You do recall what the greatest Targaryen king, Jaehaerys I, did to the murderers of Rego Draz, right? I accept the rules of this world and don't pretend that people cutting out tongues is seen as bad, or that torturing traitors who stole the treasury is somehow most evil. It is part of the judicial reality of this world.

Personally, I find the treatment of Rosby and Stokeworth more than justified within the framework of this story. Rhaenyra had had loyal followers who accepted execution rather than break their vows. If Rhaenyra had accepted the double turncloaks back in her favor she would have dishonored the memory of the men (and woman) who died for her.

Rhaenyra spared the lives of both Helaena and Alicent - and Aegon II killed her. Who looks more ugly after that?

And burning rebels? The gang just seized a bunch of people which were declared the most fervent followers of the Shepherd and then they were burned alive. How is that justice? How it is just to execute the pawn Trystane and reward the puppet masters - both Perkin the Flea and Larys Strong?

Aegon II is cruel and capricious himself. He is surrounded by (reasonably) competent advisers yet he ignores their advice and does the stupid thing. Rhaenyra is more often than not pushed to do the stupid thing by her advisers - especially in relation to the bastard dragonriders. She doesn't come up with cruel nonsense herself.

And nobody is doing what you said in the last sentence. Rhaenyra sucks as a person. She stupid, vain, and craven as I said above. But she is still in the right and still the one who is depicted in as less bad than Aegon II (and his entire ilk).

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10 minutes ago, Eltharion21 said:

I agree that they both were horrible in slightly different sense. 

Though I feel Viserys doesn't get enough of flak for creating two branches of family, arming them with weapons of mass destruction, not doing enough to enable proper succession. He ruled for 26 years and in that time didn't had any major problem to  resolve other than succession, he had all the power to stop future rift that caused death of dragons and almost ruination of dynasty.

While Aegon and Rhaenyra were possibly manipulated to conflict though that doesn't excuse any  of their cruel actions. It still makes their position at the moment of death of Viserys more complicated in my opinion and war at that moment is harder to stop , then while power was concentrated mostly in one place.

Viserys made his choice for the succesion of the throne. Just Aegon II didn't accepted his father's will. Both Aegon II and Rhaenyra desired the throne. What makes them the worst rullers is that they used the worst means to take and keep the throne. After them the kingdom is a wreck. House Targaryen lost his pride and glory losing most of the dragons. With no dragons Targaryens are not the same half-gods and it is just a matter of time to be displaced from the throne. It is something realised about a century later from Aegon V. 

A proper ruller sacrifices himself for the good for the kingdom. The bad ruller sacrifices the kingdom to protect his ego.

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15 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Aegon II was objectively worse than Rhaenyra in pretty much every aspect. He was crueler than her, more vindictive, more incompetent as a ruler, a greater pawn than his half-sister. Rhaenyra fought for herself, Aegon II basically just because grandpa and mommy told him to. Even in the end he is still ruled by his mother who convinces him not to trust on the mercy of King Aegon III.

I see no issue in monarchs torturing, mutilating, or executing traitors. You do recall what the greatest Targaryen king, Jaehaerys I, did to the murderers of Rego Draz, right? I accept the rules of this world and don't pretend that people cutting out tongues is seen as bad, or that torturing traitors who stole the treasury is somehow most evil. It is part of the judicial reality of this world.

Personally, I find the treatment of Rosby and Stokeworth more than justified within the framework of this story. Rhaenyra had had loyal followers who accepted execution rather than break their vows. If Rhaenyra had accepted the double turncloaks back in her favor she would have dishonored the memory of the men (and woman) who died for her.

Rhaenyra spared the lives of both Helaena and Alicent - and Aegon II killed her. Who looks more ugly after that?

And burning rebels? The gang just seized a bunch of people which were declared the most fervent followers of the Shepherd and then they were burned alive. How is that justice? How it is just to execute the pawn Trystane and reward the puppet masters - both Perkin the Flea and Larys Strong?

Aegon II is cruel and capricious himself. He is surrounded by (reasonably) competent advisers yet he ignores their advice and does the stupid thing. Rhaenyra is more often than not pushed to do the stupid thing by her advisers - especially in relation to the bastard dragonriders. She doesn't come up with cruel nonsense herself.

And nobody is doing what you said in the last sentence. Rhaenyra sucks as a person. She stupid, vain, and craven as I said above. But she is still in the right and still the one who is depicted in as less bad than Aegon II (and his entire ilk).

Rhaenyra was objectively worse than Aegon II in pretty much every aspect. She was crueler than him, more vindictive, more incompetent as a ruler, a greater pawn than her half-brother.

I can't take what you write seriously. You are literally excusing violence on one side, while completely condemining another side. You are a hypocrite.

Rhaenyra executed every follower of her brother she found in the city, when they surrendered to her. Ironrod until his death screamed about how by law son comes before the daughter, Tyland was cruelly tortured in order to retrieve information aboout money from him and Stokeworth and Rosby had choice to renounce their oaths or they would lose their heads and she out of spite had to cut their tongues before killing them. War wasn't even over and they all could be valuable hostages but she preferred personal revenge over peace.

Supporters of Rhaenyra murdered Jaehaerys and Maelor, little children and Helaena killed herself from grief while Aegon II spared both Baela and Aegon the Younger even though he threatened to hurt them. Who looks more ugly after that?

Rhaenyra is cruel and capricious herself. She is surrounded by (reasonably) competent advisers like Corlys, yet she ignores his advices and does stupid things.

She doesn't come up with cruel nonsense herself.

She ordered mutilation of Tyland, cut tongues of Rosby and Stokeworth before executing them, created knights inquisitors to hunt down children, told Corlys that she would never consider peace until her brothers are dead, cruelly exploited peasants of King's Landing to the point they rebelled against her(becoming only ruler in history of Iron Throne to be thrown off from its own city by its subjects).

Aegon II by law had better claim to throne than Rhaenyra and it's clear that neither she or Viserys I wished to even consider changing the law since she didn't give a damn about daughters of Stokeworth and Rosby. She only ever cared about the throne, just like her brother Aegon. And ruler should not have the power to arbitralily ignore law and choose whomever he/she wishes to name as its heir. It's clear recipee for disaster.

And nobody is doing what you said in the last sentence. Rhaenyra sucks as a person. She stupid, vain, and craven as I said above. But she is still in the right and still the one who is depicted in as less bad than Aegon II (and his entire ilk).

What is even your argument then? Do you personally have such big problem with Aegon II that you can't aprehend that some people consider them both equally bad? I don't like Aegon as much as Rhaenyra, but treating her like she dindu nuffin is just ridiculous.

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15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

We see later in time, that Jon and Stannis manage to make deal with Iron Bank regarding the funds for their campaign.

The Iron Bank sided with the Greens. A quarter of the treasury was entrusted to them for safe-keeping. Rhaenyra would not get any loans there.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Poorest have basic needs , if they didn't lack in food, then why did she need to tax them for - war effort? She didn't field large army , mostly focusing strategy on using dragons.

Rhaenyra literally had no money when she arrived in KL. She had to pay the men in her employ and to prepare the city for an attack, and to continue the war effort. She did send a considerable amount of men to Tumbleton.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

She could have awarded those who contribute in war later with lands and tithes, when she becomes undisputed ruler, but hey lets squeeze the smallfolk with increasing taxes including those on bastards (how ironic).

You do think men fight for empty promises? And an administration can be kept functional when there is no money left?

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Her monetary policies, combined with bad intelligence in Kings Landing and vindictive and torturous decisions, resulted in rebellion in several different sources ,   which is something even Cersei will be hard to outpreform. 

It is not her fault that Larys Strong got away, is it? And the conundrum of approaching armies demanding that the gates be closed while the fact that the approaching army might come with dragons which will cause the people to want to get out of the city is one faced by her and the Greens before her.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

I don't see similar proclamations of efforts for diplomacy when she controlled Kings Landing  with slippery fingers.

I don't think diplomacy was called for at that time. Perhaps she could have offered Storm's End and Casterly Rock terms, but it would be silly to reach out to the Hightowers while they had army in the field marching against her.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Yep she was got nickname by Maegor, no small feat.

Not sure how an insult is a proper measurement of how much somebody fucked up. Would you say 'twisted little monkey demon' describes Tyrion accurately?

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

You need to guard vital parts of the city like granaries, water supply, port, Palace, Dragonpit, and have good intelligence to judge what can be threatened, she didn't need more people but to use better what she had, organisation instead focusing on punishing those who slighted her driven by her paranoia.

No, it is made more than obvious that the riots were so massive that the men she had were simply overwhelmed. Also keep in mind that Shepherd made no difference between Blacks or Greens - three of the dragons her killed were Green dragons or formally Green dragons. The Shepherds uprising - which was the largest part of the riots - was a riot against House Targaryen as such, not merely Rhaenyra.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Punishing traitors is more prudent after the war, and you don't need to rip peoples tongues before execution , that is added cruelty.

I have no issue with a tidbit of added cruelty, especially if you deal with double turncloaks.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

I am not referring to Joffery, I am saying her dragon landed and attacked Sheperd's flock with tooth and claw because of her. I don't know why they failed to do that , but she was in charge or is her responsibility only when she does good thing.

Sorry, that's just silly. Syrax is an animal and her actions are not Rhaenyra's to control. You can just as well fault Jacaerys for Vermax getting himself caught by the grapnel or Rhaenys for allowing Meraxes to get a scorpion bolt in her eye.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Rhaenyra also smiled with death of Maelor , or she gave her sister his head in chamber pot, by some sources. When her nephew lost eye in quarrel with her sons , she showed no empathy but asked that he be tortured, There is recurring association with her and punishing people.

I'd have no issue with Rhaenyra smiling at the sight of Maelor's head. While he was alive he could grow up to become a mortal danger to her and her sons - especially since she had had no hand in his death. But the story about the chamberpot is clearly identified as a lie by all the sources, so you have no reason to take it seriously. Considering Rhaenyra's overall personality it seems more likely Mushroom's version is correct here, anyway, and that she wept when she saw the head.

For Aegon II we never see any indication that he felt anything positive whatsoever for Rhaenyra, her sons, or stepdaughters. In Rhaenyra's case we at least have versions supporting she had empathy for them.

Aemond's Strong accusation was treason. Insisting to get to the bottom of this was somewhat extreme but not uncalled for. Just because you are the king's son doesn't mean you cannot commit treason.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Aegon II wanted her to die after lot of blood was already spilled, he didn't care much about her of hers before.

Have you forgotten how Aegon II reacted to the murder of Lucerys? Calling it a 'good beginning'? Feasting the brother responsible for it? That was both completely stupid and incredibly cruel. Even Aemond was better than Aegon II in this regard, considering that he needed to be goaded into that - whereas Aegon II would have immediately attacked Luke if we consider his attitude when he learned the news.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

We really don't know if Aegon tried to comfort Haelena or how she reacted to him considering not much love between them.  He certainly was affected mostly showing in him executing bunch of rat catchers , and Otto finding cats to replace them , which shows what he or Ser Criston had to deal with in  him and Aemond.

Well, they were siblings in addition to spouses. Just ignoring her shows what kind of a brother-husband he was. Killing all the rat catchers was just cruel and pointless nonsense, and may have had more to do with him losing his heir than him having any pity or empathy for his sister-wife.

And while we are at it: When does Rhaenyra ever declare to want to bathe in the blood of innocent people? Alicent does when she has Larys Strong torture Blood to find out his true name so she can make his family suffer for his crime...

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Aegon still managed to beat Rhaenyra, and after her death to punish those guilty for various crimes, murder of dragons not the least, city was in horrible state when she left and some semblance of order was formed.

Aegon II did not beat Rhaenyra. He killed her, yes, but her men beat and killed him. An army can lose its general/leader and still continue the fight and win - and that's what happened here.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

He burned hundred of people who had part in crimes including against Blacks even,  he would have used dragons but unfortunately Rhaenyra managed to loose them all somehow.

Hundreds of people arbitrarily chosen. Was the guilt of those people established in proper trials? Is there any indication given that those people were more guilty than the tens of thousands who got away?

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Aegon II mounted his dragon in battle two times , second time even after he was badly  hurt in contrast to his sister and father, any plan in war is risky , that at least is how person pretending to be ruler should do if possible.

Not really. Rulers should rule, not necessarily risk their lives in battles. And Aegon II did not intend to risk his life the second time. He expected to fly into Dragonstone to triumphantly take possession of the castle. He had no idea that he would have to face Baela and Moondancer - and we can be sure that he would have not flown in if he had known that. Because that battle killed his beloved dragon.

Aegon II's love for his dragon is, perhaps, the only sympathetic quality the guy has.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Corlys was also imprisoned and tortured by Rhaenyra herself, and who signed treaty with Aegon in naming her son a heir and later killing him when he had chance.

Corlys was imprisoned by Rhaenyra but not tortured. Corlys clearly had issues with Rhaenyra, but he continued to defend her son and stepdaughters, his own granddaughters.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Rhaenyra formed  "knight inquistors" I am not sure if anyone before or after has created something similarly ominous in name or purpose, she also had put bounty on head of children.

And what's wrong with either of that? Those knight inquisitors never did anything worthy of note, and bounties on children are common if those are pretenders and the children of pretenders.

Rhaenyra never commanded that Maelor or Jaehaera should be killed.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Aegon II may have executed people but Rhaenyra tortured lot before doing the same , he also didn't kill or torture either her son or Baela, which couldn't be proven in her case for his children and wife.

Who did she torture aside from Tyland Lannister? Aegon II had Blood tortured.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

How does that make Orwyle paint in more positive light? Did he effected that in any way possible? 

He was present and thus complicit in this murder at a time when all what they were doing was still treason. Aegon II had not yet been crowned, after all.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Eustace also might have something against Cole , considering his reports mostly being negative about him , having conflict with other writing about him . Was he even present at the event? He also did survive war so I am not sure much about his loyalties despite his favoritism of Aegon II.

Eustace was the confessor of the people at court. And while we know he didn't like Rhaenyra personally all that much, he reports things that make the Blacks and Greens equally bad. Mushroom isn't a Black partisan, just as Eustace is not a Green partisan. They have certain leanings, to be sure, but especially Mushroom's purpose is to entertain his readers with ribald stories, not to depict a positive image of Rhaenyra Targaryen.

Vice versa, Eustace may not have wanted to portray Aegon II as a usurper greedy for the throne, but that doesn't mean he did not mention the shitty things he did as king.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Did they know about Daemons death at the time? I really doubt that would have worked especially since so many people and especially  family members on both sides have died.

Sure, they knew about that.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

There are many rumors though you seem to focus on those benefiting the Blacks.

How members of the Green act at start of the war doesn't attribute to the idea of having knowledge of Viserys death , they would prepare for it much better if they did. Though there could be some players trying to pit two sides similarly to events in "aGOT".

They were prepared very well for the coup. But since they could not make Aegon II or openly prepare for the coup while Viserys I was still alive, they had to work fast and hard after the king was dead. Otto recruited men to their cause then, not while the king was still alive.

And as it happened he did not have enough time. In no small part thanks to his stupid and ingrate grandson. Otto could have likely won the war for Aegon II.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

If in doubt blame it on Larys Strong. They didn't need much persuasion anyway to turn cloaks . Didn't Larys aid Corlys also to kill Aegon II,  can we be sure he was "Black" or "Green"?

Well, we have to go with the things we have. How much persuasion they needed we don't know. But it is clear that the Greens won them to their side - only to later cruelly betray and murder both of them.

I don't know on what side Larys Strong was. But he certainly wasn't on Rhaenyra's, ever.

15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Gyldayn uses sources that were written at time, he tries to be unbiased but he has personal distaste toward Mushroom and his stories (Eustace, Mushroom , Munkun, Orwyle and rumors are main sources , he seems to compile them).  When reading it I try to find patterns in behavior of men and what events are undoubtedly truth , that don't have multiple versions presented.

Gyldayn never gives us positive variations when he depicts the cruelty and malice of Aegon II. There is no version where he is aghast about Luke's death, no version where he is torn whether to kill Rhaenyra or not, etc. The only positive report is Eustace's obvious attempt to exonerate him for the coup, and that is simply not believable in light of the way he portrayed elsewhere.

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8 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Rhaenyra was objectively worse than Aegon II in pretty much every aspect. She was crueler than him, more vindictive, more incompetent as a ruler, a greater pawn than her half-brother.

Well, that's just factually wrong.

8 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

I can't take what you write seriously. You are literally excusing violence on one side, while completely condemining another side. You are a hypocrite.

Then why are you even addressing me? I'd not address or talk to a person I thought to be hypocrite.

8 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Rhaenyra executed every follower of her brother she found in the city, when they surrendered to her. Ironrod until his death screamed about how by law son comes before the daughter, Tyland was cruelly tortured in order to retrieve information aboout money from him and Stokeworth and Rosby had choice to renounce their oaths or they would lose their heads and she out of spite had to cut their tongues before killing them. War wasn't even over and they all could be valuable hostages but she preferred personal revenge over peace.

Who cares about hostages? Rhaenyra had Alicent and Helaena. Is there any reason to believe she needed a Wylde, a Stokeworth, or a Rosby hostage? Those were all traitors. And they deserved to die as such.

And Tyland could have prevented his torture, supposedly, had he revealed where the money was.

You seem to forget that Rhaenyra indeed has the moral high ground. Her followers and loyalists were loyal to her and the wishes of her late father, the king. The Greens at court knowingly and deliberately betrayed the wishes of the king who had granted them high office. They are utterly disgusting and the worst of traitors imaginable. Their actions are comparable to Vayon Poole and Maester Luwin and Rodrik Cassel arbitrarily deciding to pass over Robb in favor of Bran or Jon or any Stark heir of their own choosing while earlier pretending that they were okay with whatever Ned had decided.

8 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Supporters of Rhaenyra murdered Jaehaerys and Maelor, little children and Helaena killed herself from grief while Aegon II spared both Baela and Aegon the Younger even though he threatened to hurt them. Who looks more ugly after that?

Blood and Cheese were hired cutthroats, not supporters or loyalists or sworn men of Queen Rhaenyra. And she never authorized that attempt, unlike Aegon II when he sent a Kingsguard to murder the queen (or her sons) which is utterly disgusting.

It is silly and hypocritical to criticize a person for what others do in her name. But as Lady Webber would tell you - it is also silly to punish people for the loyalty they show your cause.

Maelor was not killed by 'supporters of Rhaenyra'. He was killed by rabble who were only trying to win a price for themselves. They did not really care about either side of this war. Very few things are made more clear than this in FaB. Some of the people involved even wanted to sell the boy to Lord Hightower.

And, LOL, it is made perfectly clear that Aegon II planned to eventually murder Aegon the Younger and really, really wanted to kill his cousin Baela. He could do neither because of the political circumstances. He didn't stay his hand out of the goodness of his heart or because he thought neither of them deserved to die.

8 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Rhaenyra is cruel and capricious herself. She is surrounded by (reasonably) competent advisers like Corlys, yet she ignores his advices and does stupid things.

Sure, but not to the same degree as Aegon II. And Corlys is not exactly the greatest of advisers. His peace proposal was stupid at the time it was made since there was no chance that either side would have been willing or able to keep the peace.

8 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

She doesn't come up with cruel nonsense herself.

She ordered mutilation of Tyland, cut tongues of Rosby and Stokeworth before executing them, created knights inquisitors to hunt down children, told Corlys that she would never consider peace until her brothers are dead, cruelly exploited peasants of King's Landing to the point they rebelled against her(becoming only ruler in history of Iron Throne to be thrown off from its own city by its subjects).

That is all not cruel nonsense. For one, all we know is that she handed Tyland over to the torturers. It is nowhere stated she commanded him to be mutilated. That happened in the torture chamber, sure, but Rhaenyra was not Maegor personally spending time there.

I have no issue with traitors being punished and executed. That's justice in this world, not cruelty. And Jaehaerys I and Unwin Peake show us that this kind of thing is perfectly normal, a day-to-day part of justice. Do you think Robb came up with 'cruel nonsense' when he personally and cruelly hacked away at Rickard Karstark's neck rather than giving him a decent death at the hands of an experienced headsman?

The children of pretenders and traitors cannot be allowed to roam free and grow into men to challenge your claim. Robert Baratheon could tell you that.

The Kingslanders are not peasants, but aside from that - newsflash: kings and queens do not rule for the good of the people, they rule because they think they have the right, because their blood and breeding and ancestry sets them apart from the rabble. Their first priorities are always their own interests, not the interests for the people they exploit. And if they have to fight a war then they don't give a rat's ass about taxes and the like, especially if they desperately need money (also to defend the city the people they tax happen to live in).

Rhaenyra was not 'thrown off' the Iron Throne. She decided to leave the city.

8 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Aegon II by law had better claim to throne than Rhaenyra and it's clear that neither she or Viserys I wished to even consider changing the law since she didn't give a damn about daughters of Stokeworth and Rosby. She only ever cared about the throne, just like her brother Aegon. And ruler should not have the power to arbitralily ignore law and choose whomever he/she wishes to name as its heir. It's clear recipee for disaster.

There is no such law. The last and most ruling of the succession of the Iron Throne was made in 105 AC. That was the law now, not what some lords decided in 101 AC, and what kings long dead decided in 92 AC or even in the more distant past.

Kings are not beholden by precedents made by their predecessors. Else Jaehaerys I or Aegon I or Rhaenys or whoever else you would like to name could have never introduced any new laws, changed established laws, done reforms, abolished the First Night, etc.

There were people who thought they knew better than their king, sure, there were people who didn't like what was law and claimed that it shouldn't have been changed, but this is not a democracy. The king rules on his succession, not other people.

8 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

And nobody is doing what you said in the last sentence. Rhaenyra sucks as a person. She stupid, vain, and craven as I said above. But she is still in the right and still the one who is depicted in as less bad than Aegon II (and his entire ilk).

What is even your argument then? Do you personally have such big problem with Aegon II that you can't aprehend that some people consider them both equally bad? I don't like Aegon as much as Rhaenyra, but treating her like she dindu nuffin is just ridiculous.

My point is just that it makes objectively no sense to claim that Rhaenyra is as worse as Aegon II. Not where their deeds, decisions, and personal character are concerned.

Rhaenyra is more a pitiful creature, cuckolded by her consort, manipulated and fooled by some of her closest advisers, finding only solace in food when she should have been cared for her by her husband, she severely marred by her stillbirth, the blows the death of her son deals her. She is fearful and craven when she should have been bold and strong, etc. Her shortcomings are mostly on a personal level, and when she lashes out and is cruel then this is always when she is under a lot of pressure and surrounded by enemies.

Aegon II and Aemond are cruel and sadistic by character. Cruel deeds and sentences come naturally to them and they are not a result of extreme circumstances.

Rhaenyra never gives in to excesses of violence. She never insist on killing her relatives until they give her good cause (unlike Aegon II). She doesn't command a KG to kill a queen/princes (like Aegon II), she never butchers an entire noble house which actually happens to be allied to her side (like Aemond does), she doesn't insist on the sacking on an entire town (as gentle Daeron does), she never wants to bathe in the blood of innocents (as Alicent wants), she never orders the execution of all members of a certain profession she can lay a hand on (as does Aegon II), she never throws a celebration for the murderer of a close relative (as does Aegon II), she never commands the murder of a close family member (unlike Aegon II), she never wants her grandchild to murder the grandchild of her husband - who also happens to be the husband and king of said grandchild (unlike Alicent), she does not arbitrarily burn hundreds of people alive (like Aegon II), or punishes the pawn rather than the puppet master (like Aegon II).

Rhaenyra makes grave personal mistakes, but rarely generalizations. She commands the arrest of Addam Velaryon and then Corlys, but she does not attaint the Velaryons or demand Alyn's head, too. She executes Lords Rosby and Stokeworth but she does not kill all Rosbys and Stokeworths - unlike Aemond with the Strongs.

She is even willing to offer terms to her main enemies - Hightower, Lannister, Baratheon - after the last armies in the field are defeated.

Aegon II never does anything like that. He wants to destroy all his enemies.

Even Rhaenyra's armies and soldiers are morally better than Aegon II's. They never commit as atrocious an act as the Sack of Tumbleton. Instead, they raise a new army to avenge that atrocity. The Blackwoods do some severe raiding and the City Watch betray and kill their Green leadership, but that's not even remotely as bad as what the Greens do - especially at Tumbleton, during the Sack and then afterwards with all their infighting, plotting, and treason.

The Ironborn could be seen as an exception, of course, but it would be pretty stretching to count Dalton Greyjoy as a Black. He got permission to attack Rhaenyra's enemies in the west, but he didn't do that for her, he did it for plunder and glory and salt wives. He didn't care who sat the Iron Throne while he got what he wanted.

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2 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

If we're talking disaster then the choice has to be Aegon IV for letting his fatherly love lead him to legitimize his bastards.

I was with you up to "fatherly love". That's not why he legitimized all of them.

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12 minutes ago, Ran said:

I was with you up to "fatherly love". That's not why he legitimized all of them.

Yeah, and it was also his concern for 'the truth' which had him cast doubt on Daeron's parentage or an acknowledgment that Daemon was 'the better man' when he gave him Blackfyre.

It is a sign of how great a manipulator Aegon IV was that people in TSS and TMK still buy into that crap.

I mean, if you are the worst king of all time but people still look to you as an authority on the quality of men and legitimacy of kings then you must have been really great at hiding what you were truly about.

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I'd argue for Maegor the cruel. Using Balerion on his own subjects, the 6 wives, sheer needless cruelty and enabled by his mother Visenya. 

 

Viserys I and Aegon IV took no thought to succession issues and laid the foundation for the bloodshed after their deaths, but they weren't a patch on Maegor for misrule 

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2 minutes ago, Ser Uncle P said:

I'd argue for Maegor the cruel. Using Balerion on his own subjects, the 6 wives, sheer needless cruelty and enabled by his mother Visenya. 

Viserys I and Aegon IV took no thought to succession issues and laid the foundation for the bloodshed after their deaths, but they weren't a patch on Maegor for misrule 

George basically thinks it is the other way around. At least where Aegon IV and Maegor are concerned. Maegor was cruel, but did not practice wanton misrule, unlike Aegon IV.

It seems the reason why many people don't see or expect that is that we know actually very little about Aegon IV's reign. Maegor crushed enemies who tried to topple House Targaryen as a whole,  and he finished the Red Keep and started the building of the Dragonpit.

He left the Seven Kingdoms some lasting legacies. If we talk reigns such things are usually counted in favor of kings. Kings building palaces, churches, etc. are usually praised for that kind of thing.

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The Iron Bank sided with the Greens. A quarter of the treasury was entrusted to them for safe-keeping. Rhaenyra would not get any loans there.

 

In recent history Iron Bank had given the loans to Iron Throne which Cersei refused to honor and they are looking for other ways to get their money back, she could have negotiated with them, skill she seriously lacks of, doubly so if they managed to make Triarchy and Braavos enemies , there is Volantis, Pentos or other cities to ask for assistance.

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Rhaenyra literally had no money when she arrived in KL. She had to pay the men in her employ and to prepare the city for an attack, and to continue the war effort. She did send a considerable amount of men to Tumbleton.

You do think men fight for empty promises? And an administration can be kept functional when there is no money left?

 

 
 

Tell that to Saaladhor San, Brootherhood without Banners, Tyrion's sellswords and many others who join with promise of reward when they get their ruler to the throne, though it is possible that many had doubts about longevity of her reign.
I see little of organized administration other than tortures, executioners, knights inquisitors, during only six months of her reign, it seems that over taxing the poor wasn't very good decision, but far from it was only bad or even worst , it is clear that death of royal family is main trigger of revolts.

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It is not her fault that Larys Strong got away, is it? And the conundrum of approaching armies demanding that the gates be closed while the fact that the approaching army might come with dragons which will cause the people to want to get out of the city is one faced by her and the Greens before her.

 

If one Spymaster can cause so much damage to her regime , she is  certainly incompetent which might been more evident if Visery employed her on his court in some function.
Also she always try to resolve things by torture, executions, threats or imprisonment with underwhelming benefits.

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I don't think diplomacy was called for at that time. Perhaps she could have offered Storm's End and Casterly Rock terms, but it would be silly to reach out to the Hightowers while they had army in the field marching against her.

 

In my opinion any sort of diplomacy to stop the needless blood spilling would be great, but instead of pacifying her foes she creates new from her allies in Velaryons another sign of incompetence.

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Not sure how an insult is a proper measurement of how much somebody fucked up. Would you say 'twisted little monkey demon' describes Tyrion accurately?

 

It isn't a insult it is her legacy. That nickname could describe Tyrion by his foes, people who died burned by Wildfire, or people who starved in city not knowing that he tried to help them , It actually represents part of his personality which he in later books is struggling with.

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No, it is made more than obvious that the riots were so massive that the men she had were simply overwhelmed. Also keep in mind that Shepherd made no difference between Blacks or Greens - three of the dragons her killed were Green dragons or formally Green dragons. The Shepherds uprising - which was the largest part of the riots - was a riot against House Targaryen as such, not merely Rhaenyra.

 

We don't see other examples of so massive and successful riots in Kings Landing in long Targaryen rule or after , the revolt happened during her rule, she was responsible for city, safety of citizens and dragons, children, her hostages and  everything else.


i also find representation of her being sad or deeply impacted by tragedies around her attempt to romanticize a tyrant ,since until the end she resorted to retaliation, executions and torture instead of trying to do something better for a change.

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I have no issue with a tidbit of added cruelty, especially if you deal with double turncloaks.

 

I have issue with that cruelty is not justice, also it is nice marker for how forum posters are consistent with their own moral beliefs and judging of other  characters more harshly in ASOIAF book series.

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Sorry, that's just silly. Syrax is an animal and her actions are not Rhaenyra's to control. You can just as well fault Jacaerys for Vermax getting himself caught by the grapnel or Rhaenys for allowing Meraxes to get a scorpion bolt in her eye.

 

Dragons aren't simple animals. Rhaenyra should have gone to battle instead of her son if she valued him or instead of Rhaenys.

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Unchained and riderless, Syrax might have easily flown away from the madness. The sky was hers. She could have returned to the Red Keep, left the city entirely, taken wing for Dragonstone. Was it the noise and fire that drew her to the Hill of Rhaenys, the roars and screams of the dying dragons, the smell of burning flesh? We cannot know, no more than we can know why Syrax chose to descend upon the Shepherd’s mobs, rending them with tooth and claw and devouring dozens, when she might as easily have rained fire on them from above, for in the sky no man could have harmed her. We can only report what happened, as Mushroom, Septon Eustace, and Grand Maester Munkun have set it down for us.
 

Six dragons remained in King’s Landing, but only one within the walls of the Red Keep: the queen’s own she-dragon, Syrax. A stable in the outer ward had been emptied of horses and given over for her use. Heavy chains bound her to the ground. Though long enough to allow her to move from stable to yard, the chains kept her from flying off riderless. Syrax had long grown accustomed to chains; exceedingly well-fed, she had not hunted for years.

 

Her dragon is great analogy for her and her bad qualities to be a ruler of entire realm.
Syrax had mistaken Shepherds flock for sheep she was being fed with to her doom.

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I'd have no issue with Rhaenyra smiling at the sight of Maelor's head. While he was alive he could grow up to become a mortal danger to her and her sons - especially since she had had no hand in his death. But the story about the chamberpot is clearly identified as a lie by all the sources, so you have no reason to take it seriously. Considering Rhaenyra's overall personality it seems more likely Mushroom's version is correct here, anyway, and that she wept when she saw the head.

For Aegon II we never see any indication that he felt anything positive whatsoever for Rhaenyra, her sons, or stepdaughters. In Rhaenyra's case we at least have versions supporting she had empathy for them.

Aemond's Strong accusation was treason. Insisting to get to the bottom of this was somewhat extreme but not uncalled for. Just because you are the king's son doesn't mean you cannot commit treason.

 

 

If you have no issue with her smiling when seeing head of her child cousin, I don't know what to say.
She had a hand in his death, putting bounty on child's head, and sending headhunters after him has created the atmosphere of murder at the least, at worst some of them might have been and affected his death and they were sent by her.

We really can't see any empathy from Rhaenyra other than Mushrooms writing which is biased to say the least, though we have evidence of Aegon offering Rhaenyra deal before the war started , and later Alicent asking for great council, something that Rhaenyra never tried to expand upon.

Aemond was 10 year old smaller in size than her sons, he was attacked and he said what he saw three kids who looked like Strongs.

 More probable truth is that she committed high treason by birthing three bastards and trying to pass them as true-born heirs  and that truth spoken out loud was what hurt her most, not that kid lost an eye, if she reacted differently it is possible Luke would live and war would be less bloody.

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Have you forgotten how Aegon II reacted to the murder of Lucerys? Calling it a 'good beginning'? Feasting the brother responsible for it? That was both completely stupid and incredibly cruel. Even Aemond was better than Aegon II in this regard, considering that he needed to be goaded into that - whereas Aegon II would have immediately attacked Luke if we consider his attitude when he learned the news.

 

I can't say Aegon II had great character, or that he was good person only that he was almost as incompetent as her but that he much less cruel.
We can't be certain if Aegon would even care about Luke let alone that he would attack him also considering that Aemond was additionally provoked by one of the Baratheon daughters and he had most of reason and much worse temperament ( twice as fierce) .

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Well, they were siblings in addition to spouses. Just ignoring her shows what kind of a brother-husband he was. Killing all the rat catchers was just cruel and pointless nonsense, and may have had more to do with him losing his heir than him having any pity or empathy for his sister-wife.

And while we are at it: When does Rhaenyra ever declare to want to bathe in the blood of innocent people? Alicent does when she has Larys Strong torture Blood to find out his true name so she can make his family suffer for his crime...

 

 

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Though Blood and Cheese had spared her life, Queen Helaena cannot be said to have survived that fateful dusk. Afterward she would not eat, nor bathe, nor leave her chambers, and she could no longer stand to look upon her son Maelor, knowing that she had named him to die. The king had no recourse but to take the boy from her and give him over to their mother, the Dowager Queen Alicent, to raise as if he were her own. Aegon and his wife slept separately thereafter, and Queen Helaena sank deeper and deeper into madness, whilst the king raged, and drank, and raged.

To me it certainly seems he was also affected by that event in different way.

Blood deserved what he got, though the part about Larys and Alicent's command  also doesn't seem as credible source, like many things regarding him.
If they wanted to do similar thing they could have send assassins to kill Rhaenyras other children, but they sent Kingsguard to kill her instead, Alicent also doesn't have pattern of torturous behavior unlike Rhaenyra.

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"Queen Alicent had commanded Larys Clubfoot to learn his true name, so that she might bathe in the blood of his wife and children, but our sources do not say if this occurred."

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Aegon II did not beat Rhaenyra. He killed her, yes, but her men beat and killed him. An army can lose its general/leader and still continue the fight and win - and that's what happened here.

 

He did beat Rhaenyra, he didn't beat Velaryon's, Riverlands, North and Vale , but they had their own agenda, also histories of Westeros don't consider her as rightful queen  and neither do many readers even those who are fan of "Black" side, Aegon III was crowned as heir of Aegon II, and I tend not to attribute to children the sins of their elders.

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Hundreds of people arbitrarily chosen. Was the guilt of those people established in proper trials? Is there any indication given that those people were more guilty than the tens of thousands who got away?

 

I doubt they were arbitrarily chosen, Sheperd was caught certainly and he was main instigator of attack on Dragonpit along with those of most devout zealots who stayed with him and didn't ran. 
"On the last day of the year, two hundred forty-one “barefoot lambs,” the Shepherd’s most fervid and devoted followers  were covered with pitch and chained to poles"

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Not really. Rulers should rule, not necessarily risk their lives in battles. And Aegon II did not intend to risk his life the second time. He expected to fly into Dragonstone to triumphantly take possession of the castle. He had no idea that he would have to face Baela and Moondancer - and we can be sure that he would have not flown in if he had known that. Because that battle killed his beloved dragon.

Aegon II's love for his dragon is, perhaps, the only sympathetic quality the guy has.

 

 

Rulers should do whatever is required for good of realm, though Rhaenyra and Viserys didn't ride their dragons to battle but in Rhaenyras case send family members to die instead of her, and Viserys didn't mount the Throne when he was hurt and didn't take other mount after Balerion, that is something with plenty of faults I give Aegon II credit for.
Targaryen rulers must ride their dragons it is what makes them.
 He would have faced Moondancer anyway considering he couldn't be sure  those injuries would be fatal to Sunfyre and anyway he had no other choice but to take Dragonstone or die.

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Corlys was imprisoned by Rhaenyra but not tortured. Corlys clearly had issues with Rhaenyra, but he continued to defend her son and stepdaughters, his own granddaughters.

 

She asked for Addam to be "questioned sharply" really recurring theme with her.
Also regarding Corlys he was beaten, that seems like abuse if not torture, though it would possibly happen in time if she didn't leave the city.

" Balked and angry, Ser Luthor returned at once to the Red Keep, where he burst into the Tower of the Hand and laid rough hands on the aged Lord Corlys, accusing him of treachery. Nor did the old man deny it. Bound and beaten, but still silent, he was taken down into the dungeons and thrown into a black cell to await trial and execution."

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And what's wrong with either of that? Those knight inquisitors never did anything worthy of note, and bounties on children are common if those are pretenders and the children of pretenders.

Rhaenyra never commanded that Maelor or Jaehaera should be killed.

 

 
 

We can see patterns from things that are proven and events that happened.We don't know  with certainty what inquisitors have done but we know they were sent to apprehend and also to punish. Her side has won it is possible those accounts were removed we know that all of the opposing family is conveniently dead , while 3 of her family captured by other side lived, we know for Blood and Cheese atrocity through records, and we have this quote:

Regarding destruction of Prince Daeron and Tessarion. Lord Corlys suggested that mayhaps the prince might be taken alive and held as hostage. But Queen Rhaenyra was adamant. “He will not remain a boy forever. Let him grow to manhood, and soon or late he will seek to revenge himself upon my own sons.” ( this sound like something Don Ciccio from Godfather 2 would say)

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Who did she torture aside from Tyland Lannister? Aegon II had Blood tortured.

 

Many people Haelena, Alicent, Tyland, Lords Rosby and Stokeworth, mentioning "questioning sharply" in both case of Aemond and Addam  are some that I recall. She also used Mysaria as master of whispers which if she was appaled by Blood and Cheese she wouldn't be doing.

Blood got off easy, are you seriously comparing murderer of woman, child and rapist to Tyland Lannister guy who worked for benefit of  Aegon III even after he was mutilated by his mother ? 

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He was present and thus complicit in this murder at a time when all what they were doing was still treason. Aegon II had not yet been crowned, after all.

 
 

He was present but he couldn't do nothing if murder happened , he had no power to stop it. He also could have taken the Wall but he escaped and that did cost him his life. Though considering how many ill people he saved it was a waste to kill him.

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Eustace was the confessor of the people at court. And while we know he didn't like Rhaenyra personally all that much, he reports things that make the Blacks and Greens equally bad. Mushroom isn't a Black partisan, just as Eustace is not a Green partisan. They have certain leanings, to be sure, but especially Mushroom's purpose is to entertain his readers with ribald stories, not to depict a positive image of Rhaenyra Targaryen.

Vice versa, Eustace may not have wanted to portray Aegon II as a usurper greedy for the throne, but that doesn't mean he did not mention the shitty things he did as king.

 

 

Sources have their own biases not limited only to their side, and lot of use second hand information, though usually winning side writes the history , why here would be different? At the start of Game of Thrones regarding Roberts Rebellion we know some things considered as fact Rhaegar and abduction of Lyanna, Jaimie killing Aerys from the back, Robert being the hero, Ned making a bastard, later we find out more information about those events. I say that Dance is even more a mystery written with some bias in favor of winning side.

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Sure, they knew about that.

 

Duel happened twenty-second day of the fifth moon of the year 130 AC 
Yet so few were on hand to bear witness that it would be some time before word of Prince Daemon’s last battle became widely known.

Twenty-second day of the tenth moon of the 130th year after Aegon’s Conquest Rhaenyra died.

It is possible they knew but I find it odd nobody mentions him , probably nobody cared much.

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They were prepared very well for the coup. But since they could not make Aegon II or openly prepare for the coup while Viserys I was still alive, they had to work fast and hard after the king was dead. Otto recruited men to their cause then, not while the king was still alive.

And as it happened he did not have enough time. In no small part thanks to his stupid and ingrate grandson. Otto could have likely won the war for Aegon II.

Well, we have to go with the things we have. How much persuasion they needed we don't know. But it is clear that the Greens won them to their side - only to later cruelly betray and murder both of them.

I don't know on what side Larys Strong was. But he certainly wasn't on Rhaenyra's, ever.

 

 

We see how things worked in preparation for War of the five kings with Tywin, while Robert was king , and Viserys cared almost as little, it wouldn't be difficult for Otto to at least get in negotiation with Triarchy in subduing Velaryon sea power.
 If they planed that event than it would seem the death was natural and of course if you take small council meting as source it is pointed that most had to make final decision then, if his death was planned there would made their deal earlier.

I agree that Otto would won the war if left to lead, or would at least not loose the Capitol.

Regarding Betrayers: I doubt Larys could communicate easily to Tumbletown and Betrayers while also sawing discontent in Kings Landing , it is too much for any character, the Greens didn't have much choice when dragonriders joined them, when they realized who are they are dealing with they have done most expedient thing, not every treachery is necessarily evil.

"No doubt they hoped that King Aegon II might reward them better, should they help return the Iron Throne to him. It might even be that certain promises were made to them in this regard, possibly through Lord Larys the Clubfoot or one of his agents, though this remains unproven and unprovable. As neither man could read nor write, we shall never know what drove the Two Betrayers (as history has named them) to do what they did."

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Gyldayn never gives us positive variations when he depicts the cruelty and malice of Aegon II. There is no version where he is aghast about Luke's death, no version where he is torn whether to kill Rhaenyra or not, etc. The only positive report is Eustace's obvious attempt to exonerate him for the coup, and that is simply not believable in light of the way he portrayed elsewhere.

It is harder to figure Gyldayn and his agenda if he has any , though it is probable it will come out if ever Fire and Blood 2 comes out, if he has biases it would be needed to be applied to whole histories he has written and not only Dance and his involvement at Sumerhall.

 

Edited by Eltharion21

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, that's just factually wrong.

You are arguing with emotions, not with facts.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

hen why are you even addressing me? I'd not address or talk to a person I thought to be hypocrite.

What a brilliant response.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Who cares about hostages? Rhaenyra had Alicent and Helaena. Is there any reason to believe she needed a Wylde, a Stokeworth, or a Rosby hostage? Those were all traitors. And they deserved to die as such.

And Tyland could have prevented his torture, supposedly, had he revealed where the money was.

You seem to forget that Rhaenyra indeed has the moral high ground. Her followers and loyalists were loyal to her and the wishes of her late father, the king. The Greens at court knowingly and deliberately betrayed the wishes of the king who had granted them high office. They are utterly disgusting and the worst of traitors imaginable. Their actions are comparable to Vayon Poole and Maester Luwin and Rodrik Cassel arbitrarily deciding to pass over Robb in favor of Bran or Jon or any Stark heir of their own choosing while earlier pretending that they were okay with whatever Ned had decided.

There is no moral high ground in torture. You are again using your personal opinion as objective morality.

It was really ironic how supposedly Rosby was worthless to her only to later be barred from entry to his castle by his daughter Rhaenyra passed over in favor brother and executed their father.

Supporters of Aegon II in same way could be said to be loyal to the law in Westeros. Lawful son always come before daughter, except in Dorne. Otto on multiple ocasions tried to push for his grandson(he was even fired first time for doing so), Ironrod was obsessed about law, Tyland never swore an oath to Rhaenyra, Larys was schemer who in the end betrayed both parties, alicent hated her step-daughter and Orwyle was craven. You can blame Viserys for choosing such councilors. Only Beesbury remained loyal to him.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Blood and Cheese were hired cutthroats, not supporters or loyalists or sworn men of Queen Rhaenyra. And she never authorized that attempt, unlike Aegon II when he sent a Kingsguard to murder the queen (or her sons) which is utterly disgusting.

It is silly and hypocritical to criticize a person for what others do in her name. But as Lady Webber would tell you - it is also silly to punish people for the loyalty they show your cause.

Maelor was not killed by 'supporters of Rhaenyra'. He was killed by rabble who were only trying to win a price for themselves. They did not really care about either side of this war. Very few things are made more clear than this in FaB. Some of the people involved even wanted to sell the boy to Lord Hightower.

And, LOL, it is made perfectly clear that Aegon II planned to eventually murder Aegon the Younger and really, really wanted to kill his cousin Baela. He could do neither because of the political circumstances. He didn't stay his hand out of the goodness of his heart or because he thought neither of them deserved to die.

Those "cutthroats" were hired by her own husband whose bad reputation was one of the reasons for people supporting Aegon. You cannot say that murder of six years old child in front of his mother and little siblings, traumatizing Jaehaera and Helaena for life is worse than attempt on Rhaenyra's life which would most likely end the war as you suggested yourself in another thread.

It is silly and hypocritical to completely ignore what others in your service do in your name. Tywin is responsible in same way for Gregor's deeds. If you do not condemn your follower action you show that you simply do not care what he did.

And yet Rhaenyra sent 'knights inquisitors' to hunt down Aegon's children and their sworn shields.

Lol, by some accounts Rhaenyra threatened to cut out Alicent tongue and by other account that she sent her and her daughter to be raped in brothel, that she smiled at her three years old nephew head and that she abused Helaena during her imprisonment. And story about 'Brothel Queens' comes from Mushroom himself who loved her most of them. It's clear that she didn't love both of them. 

And even considering all of this, Aegon II didn't immediately kill Aegon the Younger and Baela, while Rhaenyra prdered executions of her brother supporters on the spot.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, but not to the same degree as Aegon II. And Corlys is not exactly the greatest of advisers. His peace proposal was stupid at the time it was made since there was no chance that either side would have been willing or able to keep the peace.

Only seemingly good advisor to Aegon was his grandfather. Tyland, Alicent, Criston and Jasper kept suggesting him to use harsh measures against his sister and her followers. Aegon(or rather his granfather) at least sent his sister peace terms described as 'generous'. Rhaenyra on other hand made no such proposal except not killing them what isn't most attractive terms.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is all not cruel nonsense. For one, all we know is that she handed Tyland over to the torturers. It is nowhere stated she commanded him to be mutilated. That happened in the torture chamber, sure, but Rhaenyra was not Maegor personally spending time there.

I have no issue with traitors being punished and executed. That's justice in this world, not cruelty. And Jaehaerys I and Unwin Peake show us that this kind of thing is perfectly normal, a day-to-day part of justice. Do you think Robb came up with 'cruel nonsense' when he personally and cruelly hacked away at Rickard Karstark's neck rather than giving him a decent death at the hands of an experienced headsman?

The children of pretenders and traitors cannot be allowed to roam free and grow into men to challenge your claim. Robert Baratheon could tell you that.

The Kingslanders are not peasants, but aside from that - newsflash: kings and queens do not rule for the good of the people, they rule because they think they have the right, because their blood and breeding and ancestry sets them apart from the rabble. Their first priorities are always their own interests, not the interests for the people they exploit. And if they have to fight a war then they don't give a rat's ass about taxes and the like, especially if they desperately need money (also to defend the city the people they tax happen to live in).

Rhaenyra was not 'thrown off' the Iron Throne. She decided to leave the city.

She is even worse at choosing people than her father then. If the torturers mutilated him without her knowledge this just means that she can't control her own subjects.

The same could be said about any person executed on the order of Aegon II - Shepherd and his followers, Rhaenyra and Gerardys were all traitors to true king of Westeros by law.

Robert Baratheon himself later regretted sending assasins for Dany, and he wasn't best example of a king anyway.

What you say about monarchs is true indeed. But monarchs have to deal with common people too, or else they end up like Louis XVI. 

If Rhaenyra stayed in the city she would end up dead. Her own party was even attacked after leaving the King's Landing, ending up with Lyonel Bentley and Balon Byrch dead.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There is no such law. The last and most ruling of the succession of the Iron Throne was made in 105 AC. That was the law now, not what some lords decided in 101 AC, and what kings long dead decided in 92 AC or even in the more distant past.

Kings are not beholden by precedents made by their predecessors. Else Jaehaerys I or Aegon I or Rhaenys or whoever else you would like to name could have never introduced any new laws, changed established laws, done reforms, abolished the First Night, etc.

There were people who thought they knew better than their king, sure, there were people who didn't like what was law and claimed that it shouldn't have been changed, but this is not a democracy. The king rules on his succession, not other people.

If kings are not beholden by precedents made by predecesssors, then Aegon was not usurper, since Viserys was already dead.

Viserys hadn't even changed the law - he acclaimed Rhaenyra his heir arbitrarily, while keeping old inheritance law. 

King can change the law, but should not arbitrarily ignore the law at certain aspects, while keeping it at others. This is simple recipee for disaster as Dance of Dragons shows.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

My point is just that it makes objectively no sense to claim that Rhaenyra is as worse as Aegon II. Not where their deeds, decisions, and personal character are concerned.

Rhaenyra is more a pitiful creature, cuckolded by her consort, manipulated and fooled by some of her closest advisers, finding only solace in food when she should have been cared for her by her husband, she severely marred by her stillbirth, the blows the death of her son deals her. She is fearful and craven when she should have been bold and strong, etc. Her shortcomings are mostly on a personal level, and when she lashes out and is cruel then this is always when she is under a lot of pressure and surrounded by enemies.

Aegon II and Aemond are cruel and sadistic by character. Cruel deeds and sentences come naturally to them and they are not a result of extreme circumstances.

Rhaenyra never gives in to excesses of violence. She never insist on killing her relatives until they give her good cause (unlike Aegon II). She doesn't command a KG to kill a queen/princes (like Aegon II), she never butchers an entire noble house which actually happens to be allied to her side (like Aemond does), she doesn't insist on the sacking on an entire town (as gentle Daeron does), she never wants to bathe in the blood of innocents (as Alicent wants), she never orders the execution of all members of a certain profession she can lay a hand on (as does Aegon II), she never throws a celebration for the murderer of a close relative (as does Aegon II), she never commands the murder of a close family member (unlike Aegon II), she never wants her grandchild to murder the grandchild of her husband - who also happens to be the husband and king of said grandchild (unlike Alicent), she does not arbitrarily burn hundreds of people alive (like Aegon II), or punishes the pawn rather than the puppet master (like Aegon II).

Rhaenyra makes grave personal mistakes, but rarely generalizations. She commands the arrest of Addam Velaryon and then Corlys, but she does not attaint the Velaryons or demand Alyn's head, too. She executes Lords Rosby and Stokeworth but she does not kill all Rosbys and Stokeworths - unlike Aemond with the Strongs.

She is even willing to offer terms to her main enemies - Hightower, Lannister, Baratheon - after the last armies in the field are defeated.

Aegon II never does anything like that. He wants to destroy all his enemies.

Even Rhaenyra's armies and soldiers are morally better than Aegon II's. They never commit as atrocious an act as the Sack of Tumbleton. Instead, they raise a new army to avenge that atrocity. The Blackwoods do some severe raiding and the City Watch betray and kill their Green leadership, but that's not even remotely as bad as what the Greens do - especially at Tumbleton, during the Sack and then afterwards with all their infighting, plotting, and treason.

The Ironborn could be seen as an exception, of course, but it would be pretty stretching to count Dalton Greyjoy as a Black. He got permission to attack Rhaenyra's enemies in the west, but he didn't do that for her, he did it for plunder and glory and salt wives. He didn't care who sat the Iron Throne while he got what he wanted.

Your entire point is just your personal opinion which for some reason you think is objective truth. Many people here seem to disagree with you.

You completely ignore her torture, threats of torture, executions and violence, calling it 'justice', while telling that similar deeds made by Aegon are somehow bad. This incoherent.

Rhaenyra called for Aemond to be questioned 'sharply' after her son took his eye for mere words. She ordered her husband to murder Vaemond for speaking against her sons. She threatened to cut out Alicent tongue. Every time when she meets someone who defies her her first reaction is either torture or violence.

And you tell me that's normal.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'd have no issue with Rhaenyra smiling at the sight of Maelor's head.

I simply don't know what to say at that.

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1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

There is no moral high ground in torture. You are again using your personal opinion as objective morality.

Who cares about torture? It is a perfectly fine practice in this world. The Iron Throne employs a lord confessor and a number of confessors. Those are professional torturers. Larys Strong joins their ranks and eventually rises to the position of lord confessor.

Your personal opinion of torture is irrelevant when we talk about torture in this fictional world - where it is part of the justice system, basically. It is still ugly, but it is not seen as vile or wrong or evil by the legal authorities.

Rhaenyra's moral high ground lies in the fact that she is no traitor. She was her father's chosen and anointed heir and all those who fought against her are traitors, especially those who banded together to steal her throne. They deserve to die according to the laws and customs of this world, and they don't necessarily deserve an easy death.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

It was really ironic how supposedly Rosby was worthless to her only to later be barred from entry to his castle by his daughter Rhaenyra passed over in favor brother and executed their father.

Sure, that's ironic, but this has nothing to do with the fact that it was not wrong to take Rosby's head. He was a traitor. And he was worth nothing as a hostage. Not to mention that Rhaenyra wouldn't have stayed at Rosby, anyway.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Supporters of Aegon II in same way could be said to be loyal to the law in Westeros. Lawful son always come before daughter, except in Dorne. Otto on multiple ocasions tried to push for his grandson(he was even fired first time for doing so), Ironrod was obsessed about law, Tyland never swore an oath to Rhaenyra, Larys was schemer who in the end betrayed both parties, alicent hated her step-daughter and Orwyle was craven. You can blame Viserys for choosing such councilors. Only Beesbury remained loyal to him.

There is no law of succession for the Iron Throne. Or can you cite any such law? No, you can't, because there is none. Nobody made any such law, and nobody said anything about Viserys I not being able or not having the right to rule on his own succession. If such things were mentioned I'd be the first to point that out.

Personal preferences do influence people's (legal) opinions, but they do not justify them. Pretty much all of Westeros considers Stannis Baratheon a prick and an unpleasant person they don't want as king, but since Robert has no trueborn children he is right about his claim and all those who want to see a Baratheon on the Iron Throne should follow him. That they don't do that, that they find excuses doesn't justify what they are doing. And it is the same with the men betraying Rhaenyra.

Don't pretend we know anything about the views of Wylde, Strong, Lannister, and Orwyle prior to the first session of the Green Council. We don't. No sources mention their views on the succession prior to the beginning of TDotD. And Tyland Lannister once wanted to marry Princess Rhaenyra when she was already Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne. One assumes he was rather keen of becoming her prince consort at that time, implying that he was not opposed to her inheritance or the inheritance of women in principle.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Those "cutthroats" were hired by her own husband whose bad reputation was one of the reasons for people supporting Aegon. You cannot say that murder of six years old child in front of his mother and little siblings, traumatizing Jaehaera and Helaena for life is worse than attempt on Rhaenyra's life which would most likely end the war as you suggested yourself in another thread.

We were talking about Rhaenyra, personally, here, not about Rhaenyra's government. She personally was not responsible for Blood and Cheese whereas Aegon II was responsible for the Cargyll attempt.

But, you know, I actually find Blood and Cheese and the targeting of the innocent children of traitors - and Aegon II and his ilk were traitors from the moment they conspired to crown the guy - actually a thing that's justified in this world. If commit treason you do that knowing fully well that not you will pay for that. And it was not just treason, it was treason and the murder of an innocent boy. Blood and Cheese was Daemon avenging Lucerys Velaryon.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

It is silly and hypocritical to completely ignore what others in your service do in your name. Tywin is responsible in same way for Gregor's deeds. If you do not condemn your follower action you show that you simply do not care what he did.

Not exactly in the same way, but, yes, Rhaenyra is responsible to a degree. But since this was retribution for murder in a world which has no issue with collective punishment or the eradication of entire families for pretty much no reason - we can cite the burning of Harrenhal, the slaughter of the Harroways, the butchering of the Strongs at Aemond's hands, Castamere, Duskendale, and the Sack of King's Landing - I don't think even Blood and Cheese is specifically vile.

If Tywin doesn't punishes Ser Amory for the Tarbeck boy in the well or Gregor for the murder of Elia and the royal children, I see no reason to insist that Rhaenyra should punish Daemon or Mysaria for what they did - assuming Daemon and Mysaria actually commanded them to do what they did. We don't know who made the call to target Aegon II's children and Helaena/Alicent.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

And yet Rhaenyra sent 'knights inquisitors' to hunt down Aegon's children and their sworn shields.

Why shouldn't she do that? She has to capture them or risk them becoming a danger to herself and her family. This has become war, thanks to the Aegon II and his family. What was she supposed to do? Allow them to hide, grow strong, and continue what Aegon II and Aemond started?

I'd not fault her if she had taken Renly's view on the matter and had commanded to kill them on sight - but that's not what she did. She wanted them in her custody like she had Alicent and Helaena in her custody.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Lol, by some accounts Rhaenyra threatened to cut out Alicent tongue and by other account that she sent her and her daughter to be raped in brothel, that she smiled at her three years old nephew head and that she abused Helaena during her imprisonment. And story about 'Brothel Queens' comes from Mushroom himself who loved her most of them. It's clear that she didn't love both of them. 

If that story were true one would assume that Eustace - who was there, too - would have told it as well. After all, he did love Rhaenyra not all that much.

But even if we pretend the brothel queens are true - what Alicent and Helaena would have suffered was not as worse as them being dead.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

And even considering all of this, Aegon II didn't immediately kill Aegon the Younger and Baela, while Rhaenyra prdered executions of her brother supporters on the spot.

Different cases. Rhaenyra executed adult male traitors, Aegon II wanted to kill his nephew and cousin, the former a young and innocent boy, the latter a girl. You are aware that kinslaying is a pretty strong taboo in this world, and that child murder is pretty bad, too.

Executing adult male traitors, however, is not bad at all. It is what rulers are supposed to do when they sit in judgment over them and find them guilty.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Only seemingly good advisor to Aegon was his grandfather. Tyland, Alicent, Criston and Jasper kept suggesting him to use harsh measures against his sister and her followers. Aegon(or rather his granfather) at least sent his sister peace terms described as 'generous'. Rhaenyra on other hand made no such proposal except not killing them what isn't most attractive terms.

Rhaenyra was under no obligation to offer good terms to the traitors who had stolen her throne. Do you offer 'generous terms' to thieves who invade your home and want to steal your things? Do you perhaps ask them to take only half of your possessions so you can keep half of the things which belong to you?

I don't think so.

It is a ridiculous thing to pretend that Rhaenyra was under any moral obligation to even listen to the 'terms' those traitors were offering. In fact, it was a presumptuous thing of the usurper to actually presume he could offer terms.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

She is even worse at choosing people than her father then. If the torturers mutilated him without her knowledge this just means that she can't control her own subjects.

I'm sure she was aware that he was questioned sharply. It was done at her command. But there is no indication she insisted on him being treated the way he was, or that he would be treated the way he was if he had told the truth.

Why should anyone care about Tyland Lannister being tortured? The man was a traitor. He deserved to die alongside Hightower, Wylde, and the others. He got off easy by comparison.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

The same could be said about any person executed on the order of Aegon II - Shepherd and his followers, Rhaenyra and Gerardys were all traitors to true king of Westeros by law.

No, because Aegon II was a usurper. He had no right to condemn the loyalists of the rightful queen to death.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Robert Baratheon himself later regretted sending assasins for Dany, and he wasn't best example of a king anyway.

But you understand the principle, right? And regret is meaningless if you can no longer change what you commanded. Not to mention that you can also regretfully command such executions. Robb also didn't want to execute the traitor and murderer Rickard Karstark. But that's what he was, and that's why he had to die.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

What you say about monarchs is true indeed. But monarchs have to deal with common people too, or else they end up like Louis XVI. 

Such revolutions don't happen all that often - and never in the middle ages, and most definitely not in George's world where the commoners cannot lace their breeches without the noblemen looking over their shoulders.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

If Rhaenyra stayed in the city she would end up dead. Her own party was even attacked after leaving the King's Landing, ending up with Lyonel Bentley and Balon Byrch dead.

That seems to be not true. Rhaenyra left a garrison and it is said that they could have held the castle, meaning Rhaenyra could have done that, too, if they had stayed. Why they choose to go I don't understand. The way it is written does not really enlighten this.

Be that as it may, you are wrong on the account that Rhaenyra was thrown off the Iron Throne by some rioters. She chose to go by her own free will.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

If kings are not beholden by precedents made by predecesssors, then Aegon was not usurper, since Viserys was already dead.

That is just silly. Viserys I named Rhaenyra his heir, so she was his successor, both while he was alive and when he was dead. Aegon had no right to even claim the Iron Throne, much less to actually seize it.

Being not beholden to a precedent means you don't have to copy the decisions of your predecessors.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Viserys hadn't even changed the law - he acclaimed Rhaenyra his heir arbitrarily, while keeping old inheritance law. 

There is no inheritance law for the Iron Throne, only precedents nobody is beholden to. Viserys I had no need to change anything because there was nothing to change. Just to decide who should succeed him.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

King can change the law, but should not arbitrarily ignore the law at certain aspects, while keeping it at others. This is simple recipee for disaster as Dance of Dragons shows.

That is just your personal opinion. And wrong in relation to 'the law' because there was no need to change any law if there is no succession law for the Iron Throne.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Your entire point is just your personal opinion which for some reason you think is objective truth. Many people here seem to disagree with you.

I don't think it has to do much with my personal opinion. Rather with people being pissed with the fact that the Greens are clearly portrayed as the villains in TDotD.

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

You completely ignore her torture, threats of torture, executions and violence, calling it 'justice', while telling that similar deeds made by Aegon are somehow bad. This incoherent.

See above. It is justice if you are the rightful monarch. It is not when you are a usurper and pretender.

But even if we ignored Aegon II treason and usurpation for a moment, he still is worse than his half-sister. Torturing criminals and traitors is not wrong - and I never faulted Aegon II for torturing Blood, just pointed out that it happened -, threats of torture are just threats and not as worse as killing your half-sister and queen or wanting to kill other relations/celebrating when your nephew is murdered in cold blood by your brother, etc.

It is also much better to lash out in retribution, to avenge yourself, your family, your honor than actually attacking another person unprovoked. Which is what the Greens, which is was they mostly did throughout the entire war. They started it all, and they kept pushing things towards escalation. Rhaenyra and her people nearly always react to things done by the Greens (aside from the attack on KL).

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Rhaenyra called for Aemond to be questioned 'sharply' after her son took his eye for mere words. She ordered her husband to murder Vaemond for speaking against her sons. She threatened to cut out Alicent tongue. Every time when she meets someone who defies her her first reaction is either torture or violence.

LOL, you really are a twisted one, are you? That's how Aemond Targaryen lost his eye:

Quote

But when he landed, Rhaenyra’s sons were waiting for him.
Joffrey had run to get his brothers when Aemond took to the sky, and both Jace and Luke had come to his call. The Velaryon princelings were younger than Aemond—Jace was six, Luke five, Joff only three—but there were three of them, and they had armed themselves with wooden swords from the training yard. Now they fell on him with a fury. Aemond fought back, breaking Luke’s nose with a punch, then wrenching the sword from Joff’s hands and cracking it across the back of Jace’s head, driving him to his knees. As the younger boys scrambled back away from him, bloody and bruised, the prince began to mock them, laughing and calling them “the Strongs.” Jace at least was old enough to grasp the insult. He flew at Aemond once again, but the older boy began pummeling him savagely…until Luke, coming to the rescue of his brother, drew his dagger and slashed Aemond across the face, taking out his right eye. By the time the stableboys finally arrived to pull apart the combatants, the prince was writhing on the ground, howling in pain, and Vhagar was roaring as well.

Lucerys Velaryon did not want to take out Aemond's eye, and it had nothing to do with talk about 'the Strongs'. Luke came to the rescue of his brother who had been overwhelmed by and was beaten savagely by his uncle who was four years older - which is a lot if you are ten and your opponent is supposedly six (regardless what George writes, Jace is still five and Luke four at that time since both of them are born late in their respective birth years, whereas it is quite clear that Laenor Velaryon's funeral is not exactly in the last months of 120 AC).

As for Vaemond Velaryon - that guy betrayed his lord and uncle laying claim to a castle and a fortune he had no right to. He deserved to die, and Corlys felt what he and the silent ones and their ilk did was a betrayal to him, too.

Rhaenyra didn't have him executed specifically for talking badly about her children, but because he was repeating vile rumors about her children and using that a pretext to lay claim to Driftmark. This was not 'murder'.

Threatening violence is not that bad if it is never actually done. Or rather - it is not as bad as violence that's both threatened and then actually done.

Did Rhaenyra ever take Alicent's tongue?

1 hour ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

And you tell me that's normal.

I simply don't know what to say at that.

Did I ever say that this was 'normal'? I only say Rhaenyra is less bad that her half-brother. I don't think she was normal in our sense of the world.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

 

See above. It is justice if you are the rightful monarch. It is not when you are a usurper and pretender.

 

Excellent, the pertinent part of you post. Aegon is regarded as the rightful monarch, Rhaenyra is not. 

 "This is not my decree. It has always been so, since Aegon's day and before. Daemon Blackfyre, the brothers Toyne, the Vulture King, Grand Maester Hareth . . . traitors have always paid with their lives . . . even Rhaenyra Targaryen. She was daughter to one king and mother to two more, yet she died a traitor's death for trying to usurp her brother's crown. It is law. Law, Davos. Not cruelty."

Rhaenyra's name is absent from the list of Westeros monarchs from the Appendix of AGOT, The World of Ice and Fire and Fire & Blood. Despite the fact that her sons ruled the realm (in some capacity or another) for the next 40 years, it is their mother who was deemed the usurper. Officially Aegon inherited his father's crown.

By your own logic Aegon was dispensing 'justice'. 

Personally I think its more complicated than one side being right and the other wrong, their father's complacency, laziness and attitude screwed the kingdom to an inevitable conflict. 

Aegon IV is rightly partly blamed for the Blackfyre rebellions decades after his death, the same is true for Viserys. That blip on his legacy is what prevents him being compared to the better kings.

Edited by Bernie Mac

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11 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

Excellent, the pertinent part of you post. Aegon is regarded as the rightful monarch, Rhaenyra is not. 

 "This is not my decree. It has always been so, since Aegon's day and before. Daemon Blackfyre, the brothers Toyne, the Vulture King, Grand Maester Hareth . . . traitors have always paid with their lives . . . even Rhaenyra Targaryen. She was daughter to one king and mother to two more, yet she died a traitor's death for trying to usurp her brother's crown. It is law. Law, Davos. Not cruelty."

Not sure what citing a man who is descended from the traitor Borros Baratheon should serve? A man, who is himself the brother of a usurper and complicit in his usurpation ;-)?

11 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

Rhaenyra's name is absent from the list of Westeros monarchs from the Appendix of AGOT, The World of Ice and Fire and Fire & Blood. Despite the fact that her sons ruled the realm (in some capacity or another) for the next 40 years, it is their mother who was deemed the usurper. Officially Aegon inherited his father's crown.

That is not said this way. Rhaenyra ended like a pretender because she was killed. And because she was a woman no one seems to have had any interest to restore her to her throne. It is the same with Empress Matilda - her father was a king, her son was a king who got his throne because he was her son, but that didn't make her queen because she never got herself properly crowned, left the country, and transferred her claim to her son.

If Daemon Blackfyre had been in Rhaenyra's place - had had her claim to the throne, had died as she did, with his armies winning the day shortly after his death, and his son succeeding Daeron II as Aegon III succeeded Aegon II then chances are not that bad that history would have counted Daemon Blackfyre as a proper monarch.

Rhaenyra's problem is her sex, the fact that she was crowned after Aegon II and that she was killed by Aegon II and he was later restored to power for a short period of time.

I assume you agree that Stannis and not Tommen is 'the rightful king' now if we only consider the Baratheon claimants, right? But if Stannis were killed on Tommen's command history would never count Stannis as anything but a pretender, just as Maegor is counted as the king and Aegon the Uncrowned not even mentioned in the appendix of AGoT. Even right now the appendices the fact that the real kings, the proper kings, the official kings are those on the Iron Throne, not the various pretenders. That's why they show up first in the appendices.

Lists of kings do not reflect legitimacy, they reflect who had enough political power, enough standing, to be counted as a proper king. At times that's easy to determine, at times this is pretty hard.

But it is not hard at all to answer the question who the rightful heir of a king - and thus the rightful monarch - was if history records such things.

11 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

By your own logic Aegon was dispensing 'justice'. 

Certainly not. He was a usurper and successfully got away with it, just as Maegor and Robert did. That doesn't make it right what they did.

11 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

Personally I think its more complicated than one side being right and the other wrong, their father's complacency, laziness and attitude screwed the kingdom to an inevitable conflict.

LOL, no. No conflict is inevitable, especially not while it hasn't begun yet. People shape conflicts, and a loving father and husband is not responsible if his ingrate family cannot keep the peace after his death.

You really seem to fail to understand that people are responsible for their own actions.

And, no, things are not 'more complex'. If you know your king and husband/son-in-law's wishes then you accept and support them if you are a loyal and decent and honorable person. It is as simple as that. If you are lying, scheming, duplicitous traitor then you don't do that.

This was not a war, this was not a matter of self-defense or anything, it was just a blatant and obvious treasonous power grab.

If you can excuse that, you can just as well excuse Roose's motivation for the Red Wedding.

11 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

Aegon IV is rightly partly blamed for the Blackfyre rebellions decades after his death, the same is true for Viserys. That blip on his legacy is what prevents him being compared to the better kings.

A proper assessment of a ruler's reign doesn't reduce everything to his stupid succession. The 26 years of Viserys' reign were golden years for Westeros, the best years in its history.

But even if we laid the Dance squarely at Viserys' feet - so what? The Dance was a two years affair, which didn't even involve all of Westeros. There was no fighting in the North or the Vale and pretty much none in the Stormlands (the Vulture King affair was a very minor thing, it seems, which also had nothing to do with the Dance).

The battles were minor affairs with very few dead aside from the Gullet and Tumbleton. It seems the Winter Fever (and the Shivers, back in Jaehaerys' day) killed much more people than the Dance. So why would it be that big of a deal if Viserys I was to be the guy responsible for the Dance?

I mean, we all thought that the Dance must have been this great butchery, but it was not. The armies were small, very few people died in battle, there were only three sacks of towns (Spicetown, Bitterbridge, Tumbleton).

Even if we were to lay all those deaths at Viserys' feet - which would have been ridiculous, then you would have to put those against the people who lived healthy and great lives throughout his reigns, many of which may have only been born because their parents could afford more children, etc.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Not sure what citing a man who is descended from the traitor Borros Baratheon should serve? A man, who is himself the brother of a usurper and complicit in his usurpation ;-)?

Its not just Stannis. She's not listed as a monarch in the Appendix of AGOT, or Fire & Blood succession timeline or gets her own chapter in AWOIAF. 

She is regarded as the traitor, Aegon is regarded as the true monarch. That is just a fact of the series.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That is not said this way. Rhaenyra ended like a pretender because she was killed. And because she was a woman no one seems to have had any interest to restore her to her throne. It is the same with Empress Matilda - her father was a king, her son was a king who got his throne because he was her son, but that didn't make her queen because she never got herself properly crowned, left the country, and transferred her claim to her son.

Exactly. She is the equivalent of  Matilda, another who was not recognized as a true monarch. 

 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

If Daemon Blackfyre had been in Rhaenyra's place 

Let me stop you right there, he wasn't. 

 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Rhaenyra's problem is her sex, the fact that she was crowned after Aegon II and that she was killed by Aegon II and he was later restored to power for a short period of time.

Yeah, no one disputes Westeros is sexist. 

That does not change the fact that Rhaenyra is not regarded as an official monarch. No amount of twisting from you is going to change that history views her as a traitor.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I assume you agree that Stannis and not Tommen is 'the rightful king' now

You assume wrong. 

 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Lists of kings do not reflect legitimacy, 

They actually do, or let me put it another way, their opinion on the matter carries far more weight on the matter than you do.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

 

Certainly not. He was a usurper and successfully got away with it, just as Maegor and Robert did. That doesn't make it right what they did.

Not according to the current day people of Westeros, not according to the Master of Law at the time of Visery's  death. 

This is not an argument about right or wrong, it's about who is seen as the official ruler and who is seen as a traitor. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

LOL, no. No conflict is inevitable, especially not while it hasn't begun yet. People shape conflicts, and a loving father and husband is not responsible if his ingrate family cannot keep the peace after his death.

Again, you are far too emotional on the matter. You are not being objective. 

Conflict was inevitable. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

You really seem to fail to understand that people are responsible for their own actions.

Except Rhaenyra, right? 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

And, no, things are not 'more complex'. If you know your king and husband/son-in-law's wishes then you accept and support them if you are a loyal and decent and honorable person. It is as simple as that. If you are lying, scheming, duplicitous traitor then you don't do that.

This was not a war, this was not a matter of self-defense or anything, it was just a blatant and obvious treasonous power grab.

lol calm down, you are really channeling Rhaenyra right now. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

A proper assessment of a ruler's reign doesn't reduce everything to his stupid succession. The 26 years of Viserys' reign were golden years for Westeros, the best years in its history.

I mostly agree.  I said as much on the first page on this thread.  But him not being the worst does not stop his complacency causing the most damaging civil war the continent had ever seen.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

But even if we laid the Dance squarely at Viserys' feet - so what? The Dance was a two years affair, which didn't even involve all of Westeros. There was no fighting in the North or the Vale and pretty much none in the Stormlands (the Vulture King affair was a very minor thing, it seems, which also had nothing to do with the Dance).

The battles were minor affairs with very few dead aside from the Gullet and Tumbleton. It seems the Winter Fever (and the Shivers, back in Jaehaerys' day) killed much more people than the Dance. So why would it be that big of a deal if Viserys I was to be the guy responsible for the Dance?

Apart from another chance to waffle, what was the point of these two paragraphs? Genuine question, do you have a word quota to fulfill? Why the constant need to pad? 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Its not just Stannis. She's not listed as a monarch in the Appendix of AGOT, or Fire & Blood succession timeline or gets her own chapter in AWOIAF. 

She is regarded as the traitor, Aegon is regarded as the true monarch. That is just a fact of the series.

But it is irrelevant how she is seen. The truth is not a popularity contest. She was the rightful queen, the chosen heir of her father, just as Aegon the Uncrowned was the rightful king as Aenys' chosen heir, just as Viserys III was the rightful king as the chosen heir of his royal father, etc.

The appendices don't refer to Rhaenyra as traitor. They just don't list her. Stannis claims she was a traitor because she died a traitor's death, basically. One wonders what Stannis will think when he dies the traitor's death he certainly deserves - after all, unlike Rhaenyra Stannis did actually betray his king, Aerys II, and even acknowledges this.

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Exactly. She is the equivalent of  Matilda, another who was not recognized as a true monarch. 

But everybody recognizes that Matilda was the rightful queen and the chosen heir of her father. Stephen was a usurper. He is counted as king because he actually ruled, Matilda never got a proper coronation, and transferred her claim to her son.

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Let me stop you right there, he wasn't. 

So what? We talk about principles here.

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Yeah, no one disputes Westeros is sexist. 

That does not change the fact that Rhaenyra is not regarded as an official monarch. No amount of twisting from you is going to change that history views her as a traitor.

Where did I ever say that Rhaenyra was part of an official list of kings? And where is it stated that not being on such a list means that you are a traitor? Gyldayn never calls her a traitor, does he? Nor does Yandel. Only Stannis seems to view her as a traitor, and he is neither a historian nor exactly qualified to make that assessment.

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

You assume wrong. 

Well, then you don't really care about how the actual, confirmed truths influences the political opinions of people in the main series, too. That pretty much explains your stance here, too.

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

They actually do, or let me put it another way, their opinion on the matter carries far more weight on the matter than you do.

See above. Give me any indication that the appendix of AGoT of Maegor being listed as a monarch unmakes the fact that he is clearly a usurper and seen as such by his family and successor. Give me any indication that this list makes a judgment on the moral or legal right of those people to sit the throne.

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Not according to the current day people of Westeros, not according to the Master of Law at the time of Visery's  death. 

Stannis' view, who is a traitor by his own admission. Being Master of Laws doesn't make your right? What is coming next? That Orton Merryweather as Master of Laws being complicit in Cersei's machinations means Cersei's plot against Margaery was perfectly legal?

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

This is not an argument about right or wrong, it's about who is seen as the official ruler and who is seen as a traitor.

It is an argument about right and wrong. I don't care about official views in a discussion about right and wrong.

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Again, you are far too emotional on the matter. You are not being objective. 

Conflict was inevitable. 

Because you say so? Do you can give us a reason why conflict was inevitable?

And if it was inevitable then what could Viserys I have done to stop it? This is a serious question. How do you think he could have stopped the Dance if it was inevitable?

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Except Rhaenyra, right? 

What? Sure that bitch is responsible for her ugly things, too.

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

lol calm down, you are really channeling Rhaenyra right now. 

Man, I don't give a rat's ass about Rhaenyra. I only care about the fact that she was the chosen heir of her father and only fought for what she had every reason to think was hers. She had the moral high ground in that, as any child fighting for what her father left to her has. Especially if he was in a position where no there were no legal restrictions preventing him from giving her the gift she was supposed to get.

Posterity has no voice in the present, nor is relevant how things are understood later by other people. It is like saying the American revolutionists weren't rebels and traitors back in the 18th century. They were. And they still are when we look at history as history. People just made their peace with that because they prevailed.

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

I mostly agree.  I said as much on the first page on this thread.  But him not being the worst does not stop his complacency causing the most damaging civil war the continent had ever seen.

We don't know if it was that worse. I'd say the War of the Five Kings seems to be as bad or even worse already.

8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Apart from another chance to waffle, what was the point of these two paragraphs? Genuine question, do you have a word quota to fulfill? Why the constant need to pad? 

To make it clear that Viserys I wouldn't even have been that bad of a king even if he was solely responsible for the Dance because the Dance wasn't that bad. If the war you are responsible for isn't that bad then the overall judgment of your reign from a rational point of view implies that your reign cannot have been that bad, either.

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11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But it is irrelevant how she is seen.

It's the only thing relevant. 

The people of Westeros don't regard her as a true monarch, they are the ones who decide what she was. 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

The truth is not a popularity contest. She was the rightful queen

Not in the eyes of the Westerosi. 

It's a fictional past of a fictional universe, it's already been decided in their world; she was a traitor. 

I could understand if you were arguing it was unfair, I'm in full agreement, but you are arguing their entire world is wrong and you are right. You don't get a say in it. 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The appendices don't refer to Rhaenyra as traitor. They just don't list her.

Yup, it goes Viserys to Aegon. Rhaenyra was never Queen.

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

Stannis claims she was a traitor because she died a traitor's death, basically.

Dude, please! 

 even Rhaenyra Targaryen. She was daughter to one king and mother to two more, yet she died a traitor's death for trying to usurp her brother's crown. 

He's more than clear why she was a traitor.  You are going to great lengths to ignore what is being written.

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

One wonders what Stannis will think when he dies the traitor's death he certainly deserves - after all, unlike Rhaenyra Stannis did actually betray his king, Aerys II, and even acknowledges this.

Come on, another emotional response. 

"See how he likes it when it happens to him!"

He's a fictional character and he'll be a dead fictional character. He obviously won't think anything about it. 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But everybody recognizes that Matilda was the rightful queen and the chosen heir of her father.

No they don't.

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/KingsQueensofBritain/

It's a little more contested now than in the last five centuries, but still the main train of thought that she was not  a Queen, she was a rival claimant.

Holy Roman Empress; 
German Queen; 
Queen of Italy

These are her official titles, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Matilda, Queen of England has never been one of them.

 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

So what? We talk about principles here.

I'm not.  I'm talking about the history of the realm. Aegon inherited the realm, Rhaenyra did not. 

 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Where did I ever say that Rhaenyra was part of an official list of kings?

You didn't. I brought it up because it's pertinent to the argument and I knew you'd try to discredit Stannis' quote. 

This argument we are having is immaterial, it does not matter how much you waffle, how many straw arguments you make. how many quotes you try to misinterpret,  nothing will change the fact that Westeros views Aegon II as the rightful heir to his father. 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

And where is it stated that not being on such a list means that you are a traitor? Gyldayn never calls her a traitor, does he? Nor does Yandel. Only Stannis seems to view her as a traitor, and he is neither a historian nor exactly qualified to make that assessment.

They don't have to, a rebellion against the official monarch is the act of a traitor.

 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, then you don't really care about how the actual, confirmed truths influences the political opinions of people in the main series, too. That pretty much explains your stance here, too.

Again, you are getting emotional and lashing out. 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

See above. Give me any indication that the appendix of AGoT of Maegor being listed as a monarch unmakes the fact that he is clearly a usurper and seen as such by his family and successor. Give me any indication that this list makes a judgment on the moral or legal right of those people to sit the throne.

By very definition it is a legal right. 

I don't really care about an argument based on morals concerning the Dance, both sides were immoral with trashcans for hearts. 

You made a point I disagreed with, that Rhaenyra's action were justice (or words to that effect, I'm not going through the thousand paragraphs you've written on the matter. Neither claimant's actions were justice, but the irony here is from your perspective, a rightful monarch can commit atrocities and pass them of as justice is fairly ironic given Aegon is the legal ruler. 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Stannis' view, who is a traitor by his own admission. Being Master of Laws doesn't make your right? What is coming next? That Orton Merryweather as Master of Laws being complicit in Cersei's machinations means Cersei's plot against Margaery was perfectly legal?

eh? 

Usually I understand your strawman arguments, this one is just odd.

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is an argument about right and wrong. I don't care about official views in a discussion about right and wrong.

You don't get to dictate

  • what this discussion is about
  • what constitutes right and wrong

Given you have no problem with how the Velaryons were treated its a bit late to present yourself as a moral authority in this discussion

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Because you say so? Do you can give us a reason why conflict was inevitable?

The Maesters written account, that the year 120, 9 years before Viserys death, 

Though Viserys I would reign for nine more years, the bloody seeds of the Dance of the Dragons had already been planted, and 120 AC was the year when they began to sprout

The very people relaying to us what happened pinpoint just how clear conflict was coming. 

Rhaenyra a female, her partner a  disliked Prince and three oldest heirs bastards. They were going to be challenged and Alicent's brood, with superior claims to the throne, were always going to be the tools used to challenge them.

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And if it was inevitable then what could Viserys I have done to stop it? This is a serious question. How do you think he could have stopped the Dance if it was inevitable?

Dude, I've repeatedly given suggestions of actions he could have attempted. 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

Man, I don't give a rat's ass about Rhaenyra. I only care about the fact that she was the chosen heir of her father and only fought for what she had every reason to think was hers. She had the moral high ground in that, as any child fighting for what her father left to her has. Especially if he was in a position where no there were no legal restrictions preventing him from giving her the gift she was supposed to get.

Both sides can argue they were in the right, that is what makes it a compelling civil war. It is not right vs wrong.

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

We don't know if it was that worse. I'd say the War of the Five Kings seems to be as bad or even worse already.

Quibbling for the sake of quibbling.

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

To make it clear that Viserys I wouldn't even have been that bad of a king even if he was solely responsible for the Dance because the Dance wasn't that bad.

lol. Don't be ridiculous, it irrefutably weakened the crown, it was a disaster.

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

If the war you are responsible for isn't that bad then the overall judgment of your reign from a rational point of view implies that your reign cannot have been that bad, either.

No war had been as bad.

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