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What do you think of Aegon III?

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I think Aegon III is one of the most underrated rulers in Westeros. Most people only attributed his reign as responsible for the death of dragons but didn't he tried his best to seek and hatch more dragons? He's personally afraid of dragons as a dragon ate his mom in his very eyes when he's a kid, but as far as I can tell in FaB he didn't try to forbade Morning in KL, nor did he seek out to kill all the remaining dragons. 

Also he's one oft he few Monarchs who really care for the smallfolk. He didn't agree to tour the Westeros as adviced by Lord Manderly but I think he's correct on that point. Westeros has just suffered a very expensive war, and the people ought to rebuilt their lives from the devastation. Royal tours are very expensive not just for the King but for the place he visited. 

No major war occurred during his reign, no huge plague, the realm heals, I think he's probably  not one of the worst but probably the 5th of 6th best Targ King in Westeros overall. 

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Like Antoninus Pius during the Roman Empire, Aegon is underrated. Antoninus had a prosperous reign, but it lacked barbarian invasions, conspirations or Caligula-like excesses, so it's largely forgotten. Same happens with Dragonsbane.

Even as a child, Aegon was brave. He tried to defend his mother during the Dragonstone ambush, and reacted better than some knights. While his uncle Aegon kept him prisioner (and constantly menaced with gelding or mutilating him), he showed no fear, and didn't shame himself. 

The regency was a tough time for him. He was used as a political tool, used by everyone, and no one took time to prepear him for ruling (well, maybe Tyland Lannister was an exception). Being under legal age meant he could do zero about it, except for waiting.  Aegon's moral was also at his lowest point, having lost in short time his grandfather, his parents, all his male brothers and his dragon.  Only the return of Viserys brought him some happiness.

Aegon III was beaten by life (destruction of his family, abandoning his brother, etc.) but not broken. His live was a fight agains a bitter illness (chronic depression), without any treatment. Mostly becouse people watched him and only saw a prince or a king, not a man. Against all odds, he kept the Seven kingdoms united after the Dance of Dragons. When he sat at the Iron Throne as a grown man, the Crown was at its lowest moment, without effective authority or reputation. But Aegon and his Hand Viserys rebuilt it, without dragons. I hope B&F second volume helps us to see how the brothers won against all odds. 

When he died, king's justice and king's peace reigned, the treasure was full (Daeron I could start his war without economic problems), and the Greens vs. Black enemity was finaly buried.  Even the death of dragons can't be blamed to him, and he made efforts to help saving the remaining ones. 

At least one of his children, Daera, loved him dearly (she always wore the necklace he gave her). 

Sadly, Aegon made no effort to win any popularity. He lacked social skills and distrusted flattery and multitudes. That makes him (like his brother Viserys) mostly forgotten.

 

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On 3/17/2019 at 11:10 PM, ninewinter said:

I think Aegon III is one of the most underrated rulers in Westeros. Most people only attributed his reign as responsible for the death of dragons but didn't he tried his best to seek and hatch more dragons? He's personally afraid of dragons as a dragon ate his mom in his very eyes when he's a kid, but as far as I can tell in FaB he didn't try to forbade Morning in KL, nor did he seek out to kill all the remaining dragons. 

Also he's one oft he few Monarchs who really care for the smallfolk. He didn't agree to tour the Westeros as adviced by Lord Manderly but I think he's correct on that point. Westeros has just suffered a very expensive war, and the people ought to rebuilt their lives from the devastation. Royal tours are very expensive not just for the King but for the place he visited. 

No major war occurred during his reign, no huge plague, the realm heals, I think he's probably  not one of the worst but probably the 5th of 6th best Targ King in Westeros overall. 

Sadly, good news isn't news. Negative press carries much farther. I agree - Aegon III was actually quite brilliant in the sense that he did not allow all the darkness from his past to manifest in his reign. He never took any of it out on the people. That, I admire.

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 the Greens vs. Black enemity was finaly buried.  

I haven't got to that part yet, but wasn't basically all green candidates are dead? Unlike the Blackfyre rebellion they didn't leave any offspring so it's not like they have anyone to rally around.

IMO Aegon III was just a tragic figure. One of his legacies were his sons, which wasn't that good. Daeron was too rash, and Maekor was outright crazy. He basically failed as a father. But so was Viserys. Both brothers had tragic lives and it showed in their offspring.

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I liked the Jon Snow hint about Cregan taking him to Winterfell to foster him. I think that would have been good for him. I think he internalized a lot of his traumas which is reflected in how he struggled to be emotionally intimate. I think being called the Dragonsbane is a neat title, who wouldn't want that? Dragonslayers are still heroes in Westeros. 

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22 hours ago, Jane Doe said:

 the Greens vs. Black enemity was finaly buried.  

I haven't got to that part yet, but wasn't basically all green candidates are dead? Unlike the Blackfyre rebellion they didn't leave any offspring so it's not like they have anyone to rally around.

IMO Aegon III was just a tragic figure. One of his legacies were his sons, which wasn't that good. Daeron was too rash, and Maekor was outright crazy. He basically failed as a father. But so was Viserys. Both brothers had tragic lives and it showed in their offspring.

Aegon II and his family were dead... Most of them. But little Jaehaera was safe at Storm's End, and the greens could crown her and keep fighting in her name.

Even with all green dragons dead, the former Green party members could be afraid of reprisals, and plan reactions. Like Unwin Peake.

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29 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I liked the Jon Snow hint about Cregan taking him to Winterfell to foster him. I think that would have been good for him. I think he internalized a lot of his traumas which is reflected in how he struggled to be emotionally intimate. I think being called the Dragonsbane is a neat title, who wouldn't want that? Dragonslayers are still heroes in Westeros. 

When did Jon Snow said that?

Maybe Winterfell is a good place to raise a kid during Eddard Stark's time, but Cregan isn't an especialy caring man. Also with the famine in the North, is really not a good idea.

Also the Regency plan was to rebuild the kingdom's peace by investing in reconciliation. Having a diehard blackist as Hand of the King and king's ward wouldn't have helped.

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3 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

When did Jon Snow said that?

Maybe Winterfell is a good place to raise a kid during Eddard Stark's time, but Cregan isn't an especialy caring man. Also with the famine in the North, is really not a good idea.

Also the Regency plan was to rebuild the kingdom's peace by investing in reconciliation. Having a diehard blackist as Hand of the King and king's ward wouldn't have helped.

I just meant the idea of a Targaryen child heir taken up North to be removed from the mess in KL is similar to what Ned did with Jon. It seemed like a R+L=J hint to me. It's just a rumor anyway. I think the idea of fostering him (anywhere else, really) could be emotionally helpful because he's surrounded by people, places that would trigger him. 

 

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Aemond's 'trueborn son' still lives with Alys Rivers at Harrenhal. The line of Alicent is not eradicated yet. And he does have a much better claim than Aegon III, his brother, his half-sisters, and all their children.

Also, the fact that there were numerous attempts of fake Daerons to claim the throne also implies that the Broken King was never popular and always invited rebels and would-be usurpers. The fact that they all failed doesn't mean Aegon III ruled well - just that nobody was able to topple him. But considering his personality it is very likely that it fell to Viserys, Baela, Alyn, and Rhaena (and perhaps even Daenaera, after she had grown older) to defend him.

If Aemond's son - or any of the fake Daerons, for that matter - end up becoming dragonriders (and that is very likely for Aemond's son) then Aegon III won't be of any use in the actual fight against such a pretender. At this point only Rhaena has a dragon but both Baela and Viserys clearly have the potential to claim either a newly hatched dragon from a healthy egg or either Silverwing or the Cannibal.

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Like Antoninus Pius during the Roman Empire, Aegon is underrated. Antoninus had a prosperous reign, but it lacked barbarian invasions, conspirations or Caligula-like excesses, so it's largely forgotten. Same happens with Dragonsbane.

Even as a child, Aegon was brave. He tried to defend his mother during the Dragonstone ambush, and reacted better than some knights. While his uncle Aegon kept him prisioner (and constantly menaced with gelding or mutilating him), he showed no fear, and didn't shame himself. 

The regency was a tough time for him. He was used as a political tool, used by everyone, and no one took time to prepear him for ruling (well, maybe Tyland Lannister was an exception). Being under legal age meant he could do zero about it, except for waiting.  Aegon's moral was also at his lowest point, having lost in short time his grandfather, his parents, all his male brothers and his dragon.  Only the return of Viserys brought him some happiness.

Aegon III was beaten by life (destruction of his family, abandoning his brother, etc.) but not broken. His live was a fight agains a bitter illness (chronic depression), without any treatment. Mostly becouse people watched him and only saw a prince or a king, not a man. Against all odds, he kept the Seven kingdoms united after the Dance of Dragons. When he sat at the Iron Throne as a grown man, the Crown was at its lowest moment, without effective authority or reputation. But Aegon and his Hand Viserys rebuilt it, without dragons. I hope B&F second volume helps us to see how the brothers won against all odds. 

When he died, king's justice and king's peace reigned, the treasure was full (Daeron I could start his war without economic problems), and the Greens vs. Black enemity was finaly buried.  Even the death of dragons can't be blamed to him, and he made efforts to help saving the remaining ones. 

At least one of his children, Daera, loved him dearly (she always wore the necklace he gave her). 

Sadly, Aegon made no effort to win any popularity. He lacked social skills and distrusted flattery and multitudes. That makes him (like his brother Viserys) mostly forgotten.

 

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Aemond's 'trueborn son' still lives with Alys Rivers at Harrenhal. The line of Alicent is not eradicated yet. And he does have a much better claim than Aegon III, his brother, his half-sisters, and all their children.

Also, the fact that there were numerous attempts of fake Daerons to claim the throne also implies that the Broken King was never popular and always invited rebels and would-be usurpers. The fact that they all failed doesn't mean Aegon III ruled well - just that nobody was able to topple him. But considering his personality it is very likely that it fell to Viserys, Baela, Alyn, and Rhaena (and perhaps even Daenaera, after she had grown older) to defend him.

If Aemond's son - or any of the fake Daerons, for that matter - end up becoming dragonriders (and that is very likely for Aemond's son) then Aegon III won't be of any use in the actual fight against such a pretender. At this point only Rhaena has a dragon but both Baela and Viserys clearly have the potential to claim either a newly hatched dragon from a healthy egg or either Silverwing or the Cannibal.

I think the fake Daerons just showed that Unwin Peake still had resources to make more kingmaking attempts. 

Aegon showed courage in decisive moments. He was apathic as a teenager and a loner all his life, but he never was completly authistic. Spending all the Regency being a puppet make him grew fed up with pretentious Hands. He was not like Aenys Targaryen.

His brother Viserys was a talented man, but he didn't became Hand until the last years of Aegon's reign. At that time Aegon was suffering consumption (tuberculosis) a weakening illness who killed him slowly. So any success of Aegon, AFAIK, belongs to himself exclusively. Of course he probably got help from his sisters and allies.

About Aemond "son", I can't imagine a baseborn bastard being a believable contender for the Iron Throne. Probably Alys and her gang were a local trouble at the Riverlands (that perhaps explains why Harrenhal was empty for 20 years), but not a real danger for the king.

 

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12 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

I think the fake Daerons just showed that Unwin Peake still had resources to make more kingmaking attempts.

Oh, well, we have to wait and see how they deal with him. I doubt that Aegon III and especially Viserys needed good evidence to ruin and destroy that man. Aegon III doesn't seem to have been particularly vindictive but considering what the man pulled - trying to murder both his king and queen and then trying to get Larra tortured and killed, too - one should expect his future actions to be the desperate attempts of a doomed man to save his pitiful hide rather than him trying to mastermind another great conspiracy.

I expect him to be connected with one of the fake Daerons, to be sure, but this may be at a point in time when he was already fighting for his own survival rather than a great plan to seize power.

It is, I think, no coincidence that Unwin Peake has no male heirs of his own body and only that one daughter. She might die as the wife of a fake Daeron whereas the Peake holdings and castle pass from Unwin the Traitor to a more distantly related Peake branch - say, a second or third cousin who was (deliberately?) overlooked by Lord Unwin during his power grab at court and who ended up siding with Aegon III against Lord Unwin.

This, I think, would give us the best explanation as to why there still are Peakes after the reign of Aegon III. It may also turn out that House Peake did not lose two of their castles during the Blackfyre Rebellion but that Lord Unwin caused them to lose their first castle, and Gormy further down the line only the second castle.

12 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

Aegon showed courage in decisive moments. He was apathic as a teenager and a loner all his life, but he never was completly authistic. Spending all the Regency being a puppet make him grew fed up with pretentious Hands. He was not like Aenys Targaryen.

Aegon III seems to be pretty much like King Aenys in relation to the dragons. Aenys feared to lose a dragon and a dragonrider in battle - and Aegon III feared the dragons themselves. The latter is bad but sort of understandable but Aegon III's approach to dragons was weakening the power of his dynasty.

Aegon III has some autistic tendencies - like Vaegon and Aerys I, too - although he is also deeply traumatized. And his traumas didn't help him becoming a good ruler. I think he was better than both his sons (with the first being an utter failure, and the second being nearly as bad), but likely not exactly a great king. If he were a great king then he would have also been remembered as such, never mind his personal demeanor. After all, most of his subjects would have never come to court nor ever seen him - but if his reign had bettered their lives they would have realized that and praised him for that.

12 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

His brother Viserys was a talented man, but he didn't became Hand until the last years of Aegon's reign. At that time Aegon was suffering consumption (tuberculosis) a weakening illness who killed him slowly. So any success of Aegon, AFAIK, belongs to himself exclusively. Of course he probably got help from his sisters and allies.

Oh, we don't know how long it took for Aegon III to die, nor whether his consumption was actually tuberculosis. Could be - or not. I certainly think he may have participated to a degree in his own government but a man known to refuse to speak for days or longer who even avoided intimate contact with his very beautiful wife (a girl he actually grew to like or love from the start) does not exactly cause me to expect to be a very active king, nor one who lead and controlled his own government.

We don't know when Viserys became Hand, but we do know he must have been older than twenty since Tywin was the youngest Hand at twenty. But that means that Viserys could have become Hand as early 141-42 AC, considering he was already 14-15 in 136 AC. We can also reasonably assume that Viserys essentially became 'the king' in 136 AC, acting as the stand-in for Aegon III whenever he was unwilling or incapable to attend court or council. We already see Viserys acting in Aegon's place during the last years of the Regency, attending the trials, the informal Great Council, and other court sessions. Regardless who served as Aegon III's first Hand - or second or third Hand before Viserys finally took that office - Viserys would always been the real Hand or 'the second king' considering he was one of the few people his royal brother ever trusted. Titles and offices are irrelevant if you have the trust and ear of the king.

Just think of Melisandre who basically has neither title nor office at Stannis' court yet effectively runs everything.

12 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

About Aemond "son", I can't imagine a baseborn bastard being a believable contender for the Iron Throne. Probably Alys and her gang were a local trouble at the Riverlands (that perhaps explains why Harrenhal was empty for 20 years), but not a real danger for the king.

Aemond's son is basically another Jon Snow. Aemond supposedly married Alys Rivers before his death, and if that's the case then there will be witnesses coming forth to prove that this happened. Alys Rivers wasn't stupid. They wouldn't have married among the beasts of the fields. Even if it were a lie then Alys certainly should be able to bring forth people who still claimed they attended such a wedding.

More importantly, the entire plot about Alys and her son explains why George decided that Aemond did not marry his Baratheon girl before that. Aemond was still unwed when he espoused his Alys, making it perfectly clear that her son was legitimate.

Sure, Alys herself is a bastard but she is descended from some nobleman, most likely a Strong. This is not ideal, but if her son became a dragonrider he would look much, much better than the Broken King who is neither impressive personally - no warrior, no dragonrider (afraid of dragons, even), and socially inadequate. If people have a choice then they would *never* choose this guy to be their king. And the very existence of Aemond's son gives them such a choice.

Aegon III's claim goes through his mother, which is why his claim is actually considered to be weaker by some than that of Queen Jaehaera. Both the remaining Greens in the Realm as well as those unhappy with this 'sullen boy' would likely see Aemond's son as a much better alternative.

And things fit - Alys is numbered among the widows taking power after the Dance, meaning he implicitly confirms she was married to Aemond (or at least that this was believed to be the case), and Harrenhal only passes to Lucas Lothston in 151 AC, when Aemond's son would have been about as old as his father when he died. One assumes that the great clash between Aegon III and Alys/her son took place in the late 140s or around 150 AC. Then the boy would have been a man grown and powerful enough to challenge the false king.

And it also makes sense that this was the time the last adult dragons were lost. Morning, Silverwing, and the Cannibal are not likely to have been poisoned. But with them lost all they would have left would have been the freaks from the eggs the maesters (or the king himself) may have messed.

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19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, well, we have to wait and see how they deal with him. I doubt that Aegon III and especially Viserys needed good evidence to ruin and destroy that man. Aegon III doesn't seem to have been particularly vindictive but considering what the man pulled - trying to murder both his king and queen and then trying to get Larra tortured and killed, too - one should expect his future actions to be the desperate attempts of a doomed man to save his pitiful hide rather than him trying to mastermind another great conspiracy.

I expect him to be connected with one of the fake Daerons, to be sure, but this may be at a point in time when he was already fighting for his own survival rather than a great plan to seize power.

It is, I think, no coincidence that Unwin Peake has no male heirs of his own body and only that one daughter. She might die as the wife of a fake Daeron whereas the Peake holdings and castle pass from Unwin the Traitor to a more distantly related Peake branch - say, a second or third cousin who was (deliberately?) overlooked by Lord Unwin during his power grab at court and who ended up siding with Aegon III against Lord Unwin.

This, I think, would give us the best explanation as to why there still are Peakes after the reign of Aegon III. It may also turn out that House Peake did not lose two of their castles during the Blackfyre Rebellion but that Lord Unwin caused them to lose their first castle, and Gormy further down the line only the second castle.

Aegon III seems to be pretty much like King Aenys in relation to the dragons. Aenys feared to lose a dragon and a dragonrider in battle - and Aegon III feared the dragons themselves. The latter is bad but sort of understandable but Aegon III's approach to dragons was weakening the power of his dynasty.

Aegon III has some autistic tendencies - like Vaegon and Aerys I, too - although he is also deeply traumatized. And his traumas didn't help him becoming a good ruler. I think he was better than both his sons (with the first being an utter failure, and the second being nearly as bad), but likely not exactly a great king. If he were a great king then he would have also been remembered as such, never mind his personal demeanor. After all, most of his subjects would have never come to court nor ever seen him - but if his reign had bettered their lives they would have realized that and praised him for that.

Oh, we don't know how long it took for Aegon III to die, nor whether his consumption was actually tuberculosis. Could be - or not. I certainly think he may have participated to a degree in his own government but a man known to refuse to speak for days or longer who even avoided intimate contact with his very beautiful wife (a girl he actually grew to like or love from the start) does not exactly cause me to expect to be a very active king, nor one who lead and controlled his own government.

We don't know when Viserys became Hand, but we do know he must have been older than twenty since Tywin was the youngest Hand at twenty. But that means that Viserys could have become Hand as early 141-42 AC, considering he was already 14-15 in 136 AC. We can also reasonably assume that Viserys essentially became 'the king' in 136 AC, acting as the stand-in for Aegon III whenever he was unwilling or incapable to attend court or council. We already see Viserys acting in Aegon's place during the last years of the Regency, attending the trials, the informal Great Council, and other court sessions. Regardless who served as Aegon III's first Hand - or second or third Hand before Viserys finally took that office - Viserys would always been the real Hand or 'the second king' considering he was one of the few people his royal brother ever trusted. Titles and offices are irrelevant if you have the trust and ear of the king.

Just think of Melisandre who basically has neither title nor office at Stannis' court yet effectively runs everything.

Aemond's son is basically another Jon Snow. Aemond supposedly married Alys Rivers before his death, and if that's the case then there will be witnesses coming forth to prove that this happened. Alys Rivers wasn't stupid. They wouldn't have married among the beasts of the fields. Even if it were a lie then Alys certainly should be able to bring forth people who still claimed they attended such a wedding.

More importantly, the entire plot about Alys and her son explains why George decided that Aemond did not marry his Baratheon girl before that. Aemond was still unwed when he espoused his Alys, making it perfectly clear that her son was legitimate.

 

About Viserys and Aegon: the youngest brother clearly had influence over Aegon, but it's never mentioned he was the real power. Tyrion Lannister (based in "Life of Three Kings") believed Viserys only started being a real decision-maker during Daeron II.

Having royal blood isn't enough to become a king. Remember how Saera's sons and Maegor's bastard hadn't a chance during the Great Council of Jaehaerys. The same way, Jon Snow is of no consequence if he lacks Stannis' suport. 

Without noble attendants able to proof that the wedding happened, it doesn't matter if Aemond and Alyn married or not.

That's why many people prefered a "new" Daeron than Aemond's son (probably: also the son was probably just a kid).

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20 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

About Viserys and Aegon: the youngest brother clearly had influence over Aegon, but it's never mentioned he was the real power. Tyrion Lannister (based in "Life of Three Kings") believed Viserys only started being a real decision-maker during Daeron II.

Tyrion never mentions the reign of Aegon III at all. We already see how Viserys is running the show during the Regency - insofar as Aegon III is concerned, not the Regency as such. He is the one who sees through the Rowan sham, he is the one representing the king at the informal Great Council, he is the one interacting with and closely working with the new regents, Manderly, and the new court officials (his buddy Lucas Lothston, for instance).

I don't think Aegon III was completely invisible or irrelevant in his own government, but I'm very sure his own personal issues made it impossible (or at least very had) for him to actually be a good ruler - much less a ruler being able to put down rebels and pretenders.

20 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

Having royal blood isn't enough to become a king. Remember how Saera's sons and Maegor's bastard hadn't a chance during the Great Council of Jaehaerys. The same way, Jon Snow is of no consequence if he lacks Stannis' suport. 

This was about succession, not challenging the king. We don't assume either Aemond's son or the fake Daerons presented their claims at a council, we expect them to rally armed men around them to challenge a king who wasn't exactly popular. A king who didn't have the best of claims - both Aemond's trueborn son and a real Daeron would have a much better claim (which, one assumes, was the very reason why pretending to be Daeron the Daring looked like a good idea for a number of people) - would have a very hard time dealing with such people. Sort of like Henry VII and Henry the VIII both had problems with impostors and Plantagenet descendants who had as good - or even better - claims than they had.

This should be a very nasty business. And we all - or at least I - assume that Aemond's son will become a dragonrider - either because he already has a dragon, hatched from an egg laid by Vhagar in the wild or because he is going to claim either the Cannibal or Silverwing in the future. And that is going to make him look more kingly and give him more legitimacy than Aegon III could ever hope to be. This Targaryen would hide under the Iron Throne when faced by a dragon, not mount it and show the world what the blood of the dragon truly was about.

20 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

Without noble attendants able to proof that the wedding happened, it doesn't matter if Aemond and Alyn married or not.

That would depend, no? If the boy rides a dragon nobody will care. After all, people see dragons as signs of both legitimacy and kingship. There is a reason why Aenys bonding with a dragon killed the bastard rumors, just as there is a reason why Rhaenyra's sons profited from the fact that they rode dragons. And there is a reason why Aegon the Uncrowned was seen as weak considering he never claimed a dragon during the reign of his father and grandfather. There is also a reason why the second Daemon Blackfyre believed it would be very easy for him to claim the crown if a dragon truly hatched at Whitewalls from the egg - because dragons are the ultimate sign of kingship and power.

At the end of the Dance this is made clear, too. Alicent and Aegon II realize that Aegon II needs a new dragon, too, after Rhaena's Morning hatched in the Vale. Dragons are symbols of power even when they cannot yet be used in war.

But Aegon III will never be capable of personally using that symbol of power. He will never claim either Silverwing or the Cannibal nor any other healthy dragon that might hatch during his reign.

20 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

That's why many people prefered a "new" Daeron than Aemond's son (probably: also the son was probably just a kid).

We don't know whether the Daerons had much support. But Alys Rivers and her son are really built up as a major threat, not just politically, but also magically. Alys may have caused the head of a man to explode and she most definitely put some sort of spell on the messenger guy. We don't know what she can do in addition to that, but that kind of thing certainly should ensure she and her son will get fanatically and completely devoted followers. And the older and more impressive the son of Aemond gets - he may already be six years old at the end of the Regency - the more promising will he look to those people who resent and despise the Broken King.

One assumes Aegon III could have easily ended this threat to his rule - but he may be too weak or fearful to actually attack a Harrenhal which contained a dragon. Not to mention the fact that he may have been unwilling to actually imprison or kill his cousin considering what he went through during the Dance thanks to the inability of his uncles and parents to get along like a family should.

If that was his approach, then there would have come a time when it was too late to resolve this thing easily, a time when dragonriders and pretty large armies had to settle it. I doubt this was a long or devastating civil war, but I'm pretty sure it is going to be very nasty business. 

The fake Daerons may be mostly be clowns by comparisons. Men telling stories to get a free meal or some meager support from some stupid lords, with, perhaps, one or two exceptions. The chances are not that good that people would find many Valyrian-looking men in the right age who spoke the Common Tongue as fluent as Prince Daeron would have - meaning that most such impostors were likely too old or too young to be Daeron the Daring.

Although one can, perhaps, see an obscure descendant/relation (perhaps a bastard) of the silent Velaryons be able to be a pretty good impostor.

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He wasn't the worst king, but he seems pretty weak to me. Not doing further harm at a time when the realm was greatly weakened earns him some points, but he was sorely deficient in a lot of areas that are pretty important to ruling. It may seem unfair to judge him harshly for his lack of personality, but building relationships and charming others is a big part of the job. I know he was technically right to allow his regents to direct things, but we see a similar situation with Jaehaerys during his regency. Despite being underage he found ways to impose his authority when things were important, like picking the kingsguard and his queen. I don't imagine Jaehaerys would have done nothing while Unwin Peake appointed Mervyn Flowers and Amaury Peake to the kingsguard. I just think he lacked some of the confidence and charm that would have made him a lot more effective as a ruler. It just seems like he was easily led by others. Maybe he developed stronger judgment later, but I guess we'll need to wait for the second installment of Fire & Blood to see the finer details of his reign.

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On 3/26/2019 at 12:53 PM, Lord Varys said:

More importantly, the entire plot about Alys and her son explains why George decided that Aemond did not marry his Baratheon girl before that. Aemond was still unwed when he espoused his Alys, making it perfectly clear that her son was legitimate.

This is especially interesting when it comes to how much of medieval customs we can assume carry over to Westeros. During various points in history, I can specifically speak to the Greco-Roman period, an engagement would be considered equivalent to marriage in many ways. (Which is why the Gospel has to specifically specify that Joseph had not lain with Mary.) So there would be a question of whether Alys's child is legitimate even if the marriage itself hadn't been formally finished. Kind of a reverse of the Plumm problem. 

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6 minutes ago, CAllDSmith said:

This is especially interesting when it comes to how much of medieval customs we can assume carry over to Westeros. During various points in history, I can specifically speak to the Greco-Roman period, an engagement would be considered equivalent to marriage in many ways. (Which is why the Gospel has to specifically specify that Joseph had not lain with Mary.) So there would be a question of whether Alys's child is legitimate even if the marriage itself hadn't been formally finished. Kind of a reverse of the Plumm problem. 

This we don't seem to have in Westeros. A betrothal is just a promise of marriage, not a marriage itself - and even a marriage itself isn't a proper marriage until consummated. In that sense it seems crystal clear that Aemond was in no way married to his Baratheon girl, just as Robb wasn't married to a Frey, or Lyanna to Robert.

I think Aemond's son is effectively going to be the first iteration of a Jon Snow, basically. The difference just being that Aemond was only married to one woman by the time of his death, unlike Rhaegar, and, of course, that the stronger claim of the rightful heir did not prevail here - just as it is not likely to prevail in Jon's case.

This entire setup is very significant on a symbolic level. It is hardly a coincidence that Alys' lair - and the subsequent royal seat of her son - is Harrenhal. It is the place where Lyanna and Rhaegar met each other, and it is the place where Aemond and Alyn met.

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