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Daemon of the Blacks

So what was Criston Cole's deal?

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Cole has no right to express romantic or sexual desires after he has joined the KG. In fact, the man can be happy that his king didn't treat him the way he should have been treated - like Lucamore the Lusty was.

After all, I laid out above somewhere that chances are pretty high that Mushroom's account on the Rhaenyra-Cole thing is wrong with the possible exception of the Harwin Strong thing. As is pretty much obvious, Mushroom's claim that the Daemon-Rhaenyra thing earlier happened because she wanted to know how to seduce Cole was revealed to the king but did apparently not lead to a reaction from Viserys I. But he would have done something to prevent his daughter from trying to make out with Cole - we know/can deduce that from his reaction after Aemond called his grandsons 'Strongs'. He separated Rhaenyra and Harwin. So why didn't he separate Rhaenyra and Cole? It makes no sense, and therefore Mushroom is most likely lying here.

Also, it is a very bad literary device to use the same 'slut plot' twice. If Rhaenyra was once rejected by Cole when she tried to pleasure how on earth is it believable that as proud a princess as she was would try the same humiliating thing again?

In that sense - and in combination with Cole's treatment of Harwin and Joffrey at the tourney in addition with his lasting hatred of Rhaenyra herself - we can be very certain that he was the one very much in love with her whereas Rhaenyra did not exactly return those feelings. At least not to the degree that she would give up her throne for this guy, or only the life of a pampered princess at court. But she may have never truly loved him at all, considering she always had a thing for her uncle and may have ended up having a lasting relationship with Harwin Strong.

Cole certainly could have been Ser Harwin, no? The fact that he wasn't implies that he either was so presumptuous to insist that Rhaenyra must marry him for them to be together (here the fact that Rhaenyra was in a very bad situation when Cole approached her, about to be forced into a marriage she did not want) or Rhaenyra definitely did never make him the offer she may have made to Harwin.

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9 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

By statement in your second paragraph you are basically saying Cersei also had done great job, which isn't correct at all judging by the War of the Five Kings.

No, Robert did in spite of all Cersei’s efforts.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, TwiceBorn said:

No, Robert did in spite of all Cersei’s efforts.

Care to explain how Robert managed to do good job regarding succession? 

Edited by Eltharion21

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15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Care to explain how Robert managed to do good job regarding succession? 

Has more heirs than his enemies can find and kill off.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TwiceBorn said:

Has more heirs than his enemies can find and kill off.

In the books only of his progeny that could be considered as valid heir is Edric Storm since he was recognized by the King.

His other bastards like Gendry or Mya have no lot of benefit being that, only target on their forehead. Not that the reason is their claim, but because  their physical appearance damages claim of Jofferey, Tommen and Myrcella.

Creating bastards, but trying to put them as trueborn heirs to the Iron Throne is actually more similar to what Cersei is doing, than making abundant number of illegitimate children among lower class of Westerosi.

Edited by Eltharion21

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19 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

In the books only of his progeny that could be considered as valid heir is Edric Storm since he was recognized by the King.

His other bastards like Gendry or Mya have no lot of benefit being that, only target on their forehead. Not that the reason is their claim, but because  their physical appearance damages claim of Jofferey, Tommen and Myrcella.

There is a recognized heir and claim of J, T and M is damaged. Good job Robert.

End of offtop.

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Probably something in the middle. After her relationship with Daemon in the 2-3 years to her marriage she seduced Cole. They had an affair which might have lasted a little or all the way to the wedding. There she refused his offer to run from King's Landing because she wanted to be queen. This would mean it's a combination of the 2 versions. It doesn't fully explain why he was so angry towards Harwin Strong if their affair had gone on all the way to the wedding. It makes more sense that she broke it off earlier and had started to take notice of Strong... Of course, when it comes to jealousy perhaps a simple gesture from her towards Strong might have been enough.

Anyway, this makes more sense to me than to have Rhaenyra being completely chaste after her affair with Daemon

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1 hour ago, Bayard said:

Probably something in the middle. After her relationship with Daemon in the 2-3 years to her marriage she seduced Cole. They had an affair which might have lasted a little or all the way to the wedding. There she refused his offer to run from King's Landing because she wanted to be queen. This would mean it's a combination of the 2 versions. It doesn't fully explain why he was so angry towards Harwin Strong if their affair had gone on all the way to the wedding. It makes more sense that she broke it off earlier and had started to take notice of Strong... Of course, when it comes to jealousy perhaps a simple gesture from her towards Strong might have been enough.

Anyway, this makes more sense to me than to have Rhaenyra being completely chaste after her affair with Daemon

If there had been an affair, then the risk of Rhaenyra getting pregnant would have been pretty high. Apparently she either had no access to moon tea or no intention of using it - when she and Daemon had comfort sex after Laena's death she got pregnant with Aegon the Younger causing her eventual marriage with Daemon. She took no precaution to prevent a pregnancy, making it not exactly likely she took such precautions in the past.

Not to mention that no source of ours ever implies that Rhaenyra and Criston ever had an affair. They may have been in love/attracted to each other, but an actual affair does not sound very likely.

I mean, our two real sources on the matter either have Cole be disgusted by Rhaenyra desiring him in a sexual way or have him offer her to run away with him when an arranged marriage threatened her. Nobody ever says anything of them secretly sleeping with each other.

And the fact that Rhaenyra was apparently disgusted by Cole's suggestion that he break his KG vows for her in one version - because this would be a sign that whatever marriage vows he spoke would be equally important for him - makes it also not very that she had had an affair with Cole before.

In fact, in the end it appears that Cole was little more than 'a white knight' Rhaenyra was enamored with in her childhood. He wasn't a man she was as much in love with as either Harwin Strong or her dear uncle (whose companionship she apparently preferred to Cole back in 111 AC), and she was not exactly sad or unhappy or even resentful after their friendship ended. Rhaenyra never speaks a bad word about Cole after their bond is severed, nor does she care about him.

With Cole it is completely different, implying that he was the guy who greatly desired this princess, being jealous to the degree that he loathed anyone who was with her, even her gay Velaryon husband, a man she clearly did not love and with whom she might not even sleep with (on a regular basis). Cole seems to have been the kind of man who would kill a woman rather than allow her to be with somebody else. And that's what he tried to do.

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If there had been an affair, then the risk of Rhaenyra getting pregnant would have been pretty high. Apparently she either had no access to moon tea or no intention of using it - when she and Daemon had comfort sex after Laena's death she got pregnant with Aegon the Younger causing her eventual marriage with Daemon. She took no precaution to prevent a pregnancy, making it not exactly likely she took such precautions in the past.

Not to mention that no source of ours ever implies that Rhaenyra and Criston ever had an affair. They may have been in love/attracted to each other, but an actual affair does not sound very likely.

I mean, our two real sources on the matter either have Cole be disgusted by Rhaenyra desiring him in a sexual way or have him offer her to run away with him when an arranged marriage threatened her. Nobody ever says anything of them secretly sleeping with each other.

And the fact that Rhaenyra was apparently disgusted by Cole's suggestion that he break his KG vows for her in one version - because this would be a sign that whatever marriage vows he spoke would be equally important for him - makes it also not very that she had had an affair with Cole before.

In fact, in the end it appears that Cole was little more than 'a white knight' Rhaenyra was enamored with in her childhood. He wasn't a man she was as much in love with as either Harwin Strong or her dear uncle (whose companionship she apparently preferred to Cole back in 111 AC), and she was not exactly sad or unhappy or even resentful after their friendship ended. Rhaenyra never speaks a bad word about Cole after their bond is severed, nor does she care about him.

With Cole it is completely different, implying that he was the guy who greatly desired this princess, being jealous to the degree that he loathed anyone who was with her, even her gay Velaryon husband, a man she clearly did not love and with whom she might not even sleep with (on a regular basis). Cole seems to have been the kind of man who would kill a woman rather than allow her to be with somebody else. And that's what he tried to do.

Agreed, I don't believe Cole and Rhaenyra had some sort of secret affair. It would've been hinted by someone if that was the case. Cole acts like someone who told a woman he loved her, got rejected and his love  turned to hate/disgust because of the rejection. 

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4 minutes ago, Daemon The Black Dragon said:

Agreed, I don't believe Cole and Rhaenyra had some sort of secret affair. It would've been hinted by someone if that was the case. Cole acts like someone who told a woman he loved her, got rejected and his love  turned to hate/disgust because of the rejection. 

Yeah. And his disgusting attacks on Ser Joffrey Lonmouth make that very clear. The man is hurt in his patriarchal manly ego. Sure, he later also turns his anger towards Rhaenyra herself with his plots. He wants to destroy her. But when his anger burned the brightest he targeted the men who 'owned' Rhaenyra now - Harwin Strong as her new champion/possible lover and Laenor Velaryon as her legal husband. That he attacked the latter by means of targeting his favorite shows how this is all about his male ego. He saw Rhaenyra as a price other men won instead of him, and he has to punish those now.

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Anyone else thinks its fucked up he was allowed to switch his Sworn Shieldyness?

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I agree that Cole's rage at Rhaenyra's wedding is indication enough that she was the one who spurned him. I wasn't sure about the teenage affair with Daemon, but it's true that Viserys would have probably separated Rhaenyra and Criston Cole had she tried to seduce him when she was fourteen. This then begs the question of why Cole wasn't discouraged at all by Rhaenyra's affair with Daemon, but I suppose he may have attributed that to Daemon wickedly taking advantage of his niece, and that Rhaenyra was young and didn't know any better. (For what it's worth, that Rhaenyra married Daemon so quickly after their spouses' deaths makes me inclined to believe that she had been infatuated with him for quite some time).

If I had to guess, Rhaenyra probably had a childhood crush on Cole that she eventually outgrew, but that she still remained fond of him as her sworn shield. Cole, on the other hand, was enamored with her, and couldn't see that she wasn't in love with him.

The bigger mystery for me is Harwin Strong. I do believe she loved him, because if their relationship was purely about being satisfied sexually, then Rhaenyra could have easily found a lover who more resembled Laenor, therefore dismissing paternity rumors. But she stuck with Harwin long enough to conceive three children, so I find it more likely than not that she did love him. How and when their relationship started, on the other hand, is something I'm unsure of.

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3 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I agree that Cole's rage at Rhaenyra's wedding is indication enough that she was the one who spurned him. I wasn't sure about the teenage affair with Daemon, but it's true that Viserys would have probably separated Rhaenyra and Criston Cole had she tried to seduce him when she was fourteen.

Yeah, I think I laid that out in this very thread, didn't I? Somewhere I wrote a rather detailed piece comparing the various accounts and it is quite clear that Mushroom's claim that Rhaenyra tried to seduce Cole twice in basically exactly the same manner and her father found out the first time yet allowed Cole to remain as her sworn shield is just insane in light of the fact how the man reacted after Laenor's funeral - when he separated Strong and Rhaenyra. That's clearly Mushroom just making shit up.

The best version here is clearly Septon Eustace's who tells us about Daemon seducing and deflowering Rhaenyra and Arryk Cargyll finding them in bed together (something that also fits with Arryk siding with the Greens in the end, even when this means he has to stand against his own twin brother). It also fits best with Daemon's alleged motive of marrying Rhaenyra because he was after the throne - how should convincingly play that if he just helped his niece to seduce a Kingsguard? Sure, he could tell his brother 'marry her to me now to avoid a scandal', but if Rhaenyra doesn't actually want her dear uncle then this isn't going to work very well. Instead, him seducing and deflowering her - him making her love him - certainly would help his case when he asked his brother the king for her hand. Then both Rhaenyra and Daemon would ask Viserys I for permission to marry - and again, that's exactly Eustace's account.

3 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

This then begs the question of why Cole wasn't discouraged at all by Rhaenyra's affair with Daemon, but I suppose he may have attributed that to Daemon wickedly taking advantage of his niece, and that Rhaenyra was young and didn't know any better. (For what it's worth, that Rhaenyra married Daemon so quickly after their spouses' deaths makes me inclined to believe that she had been infatuated with him for quite some time).

Cole likely saw his chance coming again after Daemon was exiled. 2-3 years passed between the Daemon affair and the announcement of Rhaenyra's marriage. That is a lot of time, time for Cole's desire to grow, time for him to forget or deal with the fact that Daemon was there first (although that certainly figures into his hatred of the man - something we should not forget), and time for Rhaenyra to become even more beautiful.

The Rhaenyra-Daemon situation in 120 AC is an interesting question. We don't know how much time passed between the various deaths but we can, I think, we reasonably certain that Aegon the Younger was conceived before Laenor and/or Harwin Strong were killed. A pregnancy lasts about nine months, so Rhaenyra's first son by Daemon must have been conceived in March for him to be born before the end of the year (which he was).

If I'm right that Rhaenyra was pregnant before Laenor and/or Harwin's death then the cause for that could have been comfort sex initiated by Rhaenyra to console a grieving Daemon - because he truly lost a wife to a natural death early in the year. But we don't know how much time passed between Laena's and Laenor's death, so that's really difficult to figure out. But if Rhaenyra was pregnant this early then the removal of both Laenor and Harwin may have more to do with her desire to marry Daemon than his desire to marry her. She certainly would have also had the means to arrange Laenor's death - and Harwin's, too, although that wouldn't have been necessary after her father had sent him back to Harrenhal.

It may have been difficult for Rhaenyra to start an affair with Daemon while both Laenor and Harwin were still around - after all, Daemon was residing at High Tide as Laena's husband, meaning he and Laenor effectively shared a castle, while Harwin was with Rhaenyra at Dragonstone. But then, it seems they may already have had some threesome menage à trois involving Laena, so who knows in the end?

3 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

If I had to guess, Rhaenyra probably had a childhood crush on Cole that she eventually outgrew, but that she still remained fond of him as her sworn shield. Cole, on the other hand, was enamored with her, and couldn't see that she wasn't in love with him.

Could have been a childhood crush, could have been her playing with the courtly love thing. She was rather precocious, it is said. What seems to be clear, though, is that there is no really conclusive evidence that she was ever in love with him in a lasting manner, meaning that she retained feelings for - then turned to hate - after their thing ended. That is only attested for Cole. For Rhaenyra Criston Cole effectively doesn't seem to exist after her first wedding.

3 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

The bigger mystery for me is Harwin Strong. I do believe she loved him, because if their relationship was purely about being satisfied sexually, then Rhaenyra could have easily found a lover who more resembled Laenor, therefore dismissing paternity rumors. But she stuck with Harwin long enough to conceive three children, so I find it more likely than not that she did love him. How and when their relationship started, on the other hand, is something I'm unsure of.

It would be great if we had gotten more about all that, but that would have likely given away whether he was the father of the children or not. But keep in mind that the children came in rapid succession and one child without Valyrian features doesn't mean the next child is not going to have them, either. Rhaenyra may have started to really compulsively turn her rings around when she first saw Joffrey, but by the time Jacaerys and Lucerys were born she may not yet have admitted to herself that a different father may have been a better choice.

I mean, FaB thankfully gave us a rather wide variation of looks for Targaryen children, meaning that the looks of Rhaenyra's boys may not be so uncommon as one might think. Both Alysanne and Alyssa Targaryen do not fit the bill of the prototypical Targaryen. And it is still not clear that Harwin Strong was brown-haired, brown-eyed, and pug-nosed. Instead, we learn that the only Strong whose hair color we know was ... blond (Lucamore Strong). Perhaps Harwin was blond, too? The curious thing is not that Rhaenyra's sons looked like Harwin Strong (or any Strong) but rather that they did not look like their father, Laenor Velaryon. Those are different things.

But George really could have done more with the Strongs - father, sons, and daughters - on the emotional level. Give us more about their ambitions, especially Lyonel's as Hand, and Harwin's as Rhaenyra's champion. Tell us more how Larys got along with his brother and father and what he thought about Rhaenyra and her children.

The Larys Strong mystery is pretty much unsolvable - if he actually felt some connection to his Rhaenyra's sons, believing them to be his blood, his nephews, then an interesting idea could be that he hoped to eventually rule with/through them. When he was orchestrating Rhaenyra's downfall Joffrey was still alive, he may have intended to use him as the kind of puppet he later made out of Trystane and Aegon III. Also, if he had any love/connection with his family and other kin then Aemond slaughtering them all should have certainly turned him against him, possibly the entire Green gang.

But he could also have flashed out Harwin some more without giving away the parentage of the children. And even more signs that Rhaenyra and/or Harwin had been in love with the other isn't necessary proof that they had an affair or that Harwin was the father of the children.

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