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Lord Varys

Missing things in FaB

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This is not supposed to be about stuff you think should have been in there thematically, but about things you think should have been in there due to earlier buildup or introductions of other characters and concepts:

There you go:

1. More on the early Baratheons, i.e. Argella Durrandon's fate, and Orys Baratheon's children (due to the importance his grandsons later have on the story). It would also have been very nice to get some information on the marriage of Orys and Argella, whether they got along or not, and how the new Baratheon regime established itself in the Stormlands.

2. The black hole about where Jaehaerys, Alysanne, and Alyssa Velaryon were and what they did in 44-48 AC should have been filled. Either by adding more material to TSotD or, much better, by covering those events in the first chapter on the reign of Jaehaerys I.

3. Donnel Hightower's relationship to his predecessors should have been addressed. Up until the Jaehaerys material FaB is essentially a Targaryen and a Hightower history, and then George just suddenly dumps a new lord into a lap without properly introducing him. The same goes about Donnel's successor who, most likely, was the father of Ser Otto Hightower. Otto, his brother, and his children also would have deserved a proper introduction.

4. Much more material on Prince Aemon and his mysterious dragon egg which disappeared from the story, as well as Jocelyn Baratheon and her brother Boremund. Jocelyn was a half-sister of the Old King, we should know at least what she did in later life - not to mention her death. But their marriage should have gotten some coverage, too, especially with the rather interesting fact that she and her prince were apparently not capable of producing more than one daughter. That would have been reason for concern. Also, Boremund as the half-brother of the king would have every right to have a place at Jaehaerys I's side - i.e. a seat at his council and/or the hand of a daughter or granddaughter of the king. He comes up as a potential groom for Daella, yes, but Jaehaerys I had other daughters, too.

5. Even more on the grandchildren. The most glaring oversight, I think, is that neither Princess Rhaenys nor Viserys I or Prince Daemon get flashed out as children, youths, and young adults. This fact makes neither of them a particularly round character later in life. We never understand the actual nature of Viserys and Daemon's relationship, nor get any real feeling of the nature of the relationship of Rhaenys/Corlys and Viserys I. Were they just separated by 'professional rivalry' or did they personally detest each other to some degree? How is it that Corlys and Daemon really started a war in 101 AC but shortly thereafter worked together in their private Stepstones war? What kind of person was Princess Rhaenys? And then are the marriages between them for which there is no explanation given whatsoever with the sole exception of the Rhaenys-Corlys match.

But the most glaring oversight in the grandchildren department is most definitely Queen Aemma. We don't even know how the woman looked like, nor anything about her personality or why she was married to her cousin Viserys at the age of eleven (!).

6. Another unpleasant dead end are the fates of Septa Rhaella, Princess Saera, and Archmaester Vaegon. One imagines the latter died both during the reign of Viserys I - if so, this should have been mentioned. About Rhaella we don't anything. She may have died during the reign of her uncle or later still - but it wouldn't have hurt George to give us 1-2 sentences about her later life and death during the account of the feast where she last showed up.

7. While there is a lot on the Velaryons it would have been really, really great to get the name of Corlys' father and mother and also the names of his brothers to actually piece together a complete Velaryon family tree - at least for those Velaryons who come to great prominence later (i.e. the main branch and the cadet branch leading to Daenaera).

8. Generally it would have been good to get more on the houses that featured notably in the first half of the book during the later reign of Jaehaerys I and Viserys I (i.e.  Baratheons, Lannisters, Tyrells, Tullys, Redwynes). It is very odd that we have to deal again with Lords Without Given Names in the HotD.

Anything else?

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I would have liked a little more on House Celtigar. They have a similar backstory to House Velaryon being able to trace their ancestry back to Old Valyria. But we get a bare handful of Celtigars serving on small councils. What's their deal? Did they set up shop around the same time as Velaryon? Were they exiled lords who ended up on Claw Isle during the Century of Blood? While the House Targaryen are basically cousins to House Velaryon, there is very little explanation of their relationship to House Celtigar.

Also, one thing I've been wondering about is the existence of House Paege. Maybe we'll find out something in the second part, but they've got the 'ae' in their name like Baelish and three quarters of Targaryen given names which makes me think it's a Valyrian name. Except according to TWOIAF they were around at the time of Harwyn Hardhand, so they existed before the conquest, during the Century of Blood. With the early Targaryens being closely allied with Velaryon and Celtigar, two houses of Valyrian descent as well as setting up Baratheon and Qoherys after the Conquest, they were clearly associated with any house of any relation to Valyria. I would have expected them to be an ally in the Riverlands based on their name. I wonder if Paege is just an anomaly or if there is going to be an interesting story behind that name.

 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This is not supposed to be about stuff you think should have been in there thematically, but about things you think should have been in there due to earlier buildup or introductions of other characters and concepts:

There you go:

 

2. The black hole about where Jaehaerys, Alysanne, and Alyssa Velaryon were and what they did in 44-48 AC should have been filled. Either by adding more material to TSotD or, much better, by covering those events in the first chapter on the reign of Jaehaerys I.

2 is the only one that had a plausible in-story explanation. The whereabouts would have been a secret known to no or few others at the time.

After they appeared and Maegor was dead - they might have published their whereabouts. Especially if they wanted to reward people who had helped them hide.

They could have got away with refusing to disclose their whereabouts. But in that case, the historians would at least have to mention in one line that they refused to disclose. And Fire and Blood does not address that obvious question.

The rest, 1 and 3...8, were in public view. So the information must have been known.

Edited by Jaak

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19 hours ago, Syl of Syl said:

I would have liked a little more on House Celtigar. They have a similar backstory to House Velaryon being able to trace their ancestry back to Old Valyria. But we get a bare handful of Celtigars serving on small councils. What's their deal? Did they set up shop around the same time as Velaryon? Were they exiled lords who ended up on Claw Isle during the Century of Blood? While the House Targaryen are basically cousins to House Velaryon, there is very little explanation of their relationship to House Celtigar.

I guess one can expect more on that if George were to ever write a history on the Targaryens during the Century of Blood, or elaborate more on all that. I must say I was rather surprised about the prominence of the Celtigars during the first half of the Targaryen reign. They were prominent and influential house for most of the time, and got awfully close to royal matches a couple of times.

My gut feeling would be that the Celtigars are even less significant a Valyrian house than the Velaryons. Although one guesses they have Targaryen blood due to their likely intermarriage with the Velaryons.

19 hours ago, Syl of Syl said:

Also, one thing I've been wondering about is the existence of House Paege. Maybe we'll find out something in the second part, but they've got the 'ae' in their name like Baelish and three quarters of Targaryen given names which makes me think it's a Valyrian name. Except according to TWOIAF they were around at the time of Harwyn Hardhand, so they existed before the conquest, during the Century of Blood. With the early Targaryens being closely allied with Velaryon and Celtigar, two houses of Valyrian descent as well as setting up Baratheon and Qoherys after the Conquest, they were clearly associated with any house of any relation to Valyria. I would have expected them to be an ally in the Riverlands based on their name. I wonder if Paege is just an anomaly or if there is going to be an interesting story behind that name.

They could be some Valyrian/Andal family of sellswords that came to Westeros from Pentos or some other Free City era during rise of the Teague kings. We know that the first Teague seized power because he had the funds to buy sellswords, presumably from Essos, so the Paeges could go back to some of those folks.

7 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

The book should have covered a wider span of time.  Too many pages given to the dance of the dragons took up the volume.

I agree in principle, I'd have liked to get the full history of Aegon III in that book. And it is a strong and weird imbalance to have the overly detailed Dance and its aftermath making up more or less half of the book. That could have amended by adding more material to the earlier kings, starting with the Conqueror and his sons, cutting down the Dance material or running through the later reigns wouldn't have been my approach.

6 hours ago, Jaak said:

They could have got away with refusing to disclose their whereabouts. But in that case, the historians would at least have to mention in one line that they refused to disclose. And Fire and Blood does not address that obvious question.

It actually dances around the entire thing in a rather stupid fashion. Gyldayn takes his time to talk about Alysanne's memory of the splendor of her father's court on Dragonstone, and how her mother made everything great, and then there is nothing on the years of her escape.

Later on, we learn that the also rather obscure sojourn of young Jaehaerys and Alysanne is the topic of much songs, yet apparently no singer or historian ever tried to uncover what they did while they were running for their lives? Also with their mother - she is loved and revered for the role she played in her opposition to Maegor and the losses she had to suffer to rid the Realm of him, yet no elaboration whatsoever on her actual flight from Maegor nor how the alliance with Lord Rogar was first forged.

The idea that nobody would have talked about any of that later on is completely unbelievable.

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8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It actually dances around the entire thing in a rather stupid fashion. Gyldayn takes his time to talk about Alysanne's memory of the splendor of her father's court on Dragonstone, and how her mother made everything great, and then there is nothing on the years of her escape.

Later on, we learn that the also rather obscure sojourn of young Jaehaerys and Alysanne is the topic of much songs, yet apparently no singer or historian ever tried to uncover what they did while they were running for their lives? Also with their mother - she is loved and revered for the role she played in her opposition to Maegor and the losses she had to suffer to rid the Realm of him, yet no elaboration whatsoever on her actual flight from Maegor nor how the alliance with Lord Rogar was first forged.

The idea that nobody would have talked about any of that later on is completely unbelievable.

It´s not completely impossible that truth was never disclosed by any of the few who knew. But in that case, it must have been a subject of a lot of wild and contradictory speculation. A serious historian may have dismissed all of them as unproven, but should have mentioned the existence of speculation and a few of the more popular theories. For example, with Rhaena, Fire and Blood reports the rumour that she used her dracomobility to lose her virginity to a random stranger. How much space should have been devoted to rumours and speculations about Jaehaerys, Alysanne and Alyssa?

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18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I guess one can expect more on that if George were to ever write a history on the Targaryens during the Century of Blood, or elaborate more on all that. I must say I was rather surprised about the prominence of the Celtigars during the first half of the Targaryen reign. They were prominent and influential house for most of the time, and got awfully close to royal matches a couple of times.

My gut feeling would be that the Celtigars are even less significant a Valyrian house than the Velaryons. Although one guesses they have Targaryen blood due to their likely intermarriage with the Velaryons.

They could be some Valyrian/Andal family of sellswords that came to Westeros from Pentos or some other Free City era during rise of the Teague kings. We know that the first Teague seized power because he had the funds to buy sellswords, presumably from Essos, so the Paeges could go back to some of those folks.

I agree in principle, I'd have liked to get the full history of Aegon III in that book. And it is a strong and weird imbalance to have the overly detailed Dance and its aftermath making up more or less half of the book. That could have amended by adding more material to the earlier kings, starting with the Conqueror and his sons, cutting down the Dance material or running through the later reigns wouldn't have been my approach.

It actually dances around the entire thing in a rather stupid fashion. Gyldayn takes his time to talk about Alysanne's memory of the splendor of her father's court on Dragonstone, and how her mother made everything great, and then there is nothing on the years of her escape.

Later on, we learn that the also rather obscure sojourn of young Jaehaerys and Alysanne is the topic of much songs, yet apparently no singer or historian ever tried to uncover what they did while they were running for their lives? Also with their mother - she is loved and revered for the role she played in her opposition to Maegor and the losses she had to suffer to rid the Realm of him, yet no elaboration whatsoever on her actual flight from Maegor nor how the alliance with Lord Rogar was first forged.

The idea that nobody would have talked about any of that later on is completely unbelievable.

I found the style quite dry.  I guess it was easier than doing the individual POV method.  And sometimes amguity and lack of concrete information can get taxing.  George gave a lot without giving much. 

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Too much focus on salacious and sketchy rumours rather than actual history (what was Viserys I actually like as a ruler? What happened during his reign? Apparently nothing except cat fights, sex and feuding children).

considering the oft quoted comment about Aragorn’s tax policy and the entirely appropriate kind of book to delve into such things, you would have thought grrm would have done more with this kind of thing

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Ryam Redwyne's Handship. I get that there's not really much he could have actually done to be one of the worst, but leaving it unsaid felt like a cop-out

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On 4/12/2019 at 7:29 PM, Moiraine Sedai said:

I found the style quite dry.  I guess it was easier than doing the individual POV method.  And sometimes amguity and lack of concrete information can get taxing.  George gave a lot without giving much. 

Oh, I personally like the ambiguity there. At times we really get good stories - that they might not be actually *true* doesn't concern me all that much. I choose to believe that Corlys Velaryon did indeed see the Sun Chaser in Asshai, but we'll never know.

On 4/12/2019 at 9:21 AM, Jaak said:

It´s not completely impossible that truth was never disclosed by any of the few who knew. But in that case, it must have been a subject of a lot of wild and contradictory speculation. A serious historian may have dismissed all of them as unproven, but should have mentioned the existence of speculation and a few of the more popular theories. For example, with Rhaena, Fire and Blood reports the rumour that she used her dracomobility to lose her virginity to a random stranger. How much space should have been devoted to rumours and speculations about Jaehaerys, Alysanne and Alyssa?

Yeah, this stuff should have been addressed. I'm not insisting we should have gotten *the truth* but rather that the gap as such and the stories, rumors, and theories about it should have been addressed. 

On 4/15/2019 at 6:31 AM, Mrs.Grumpy said:

Tourney of the Field of Roses

Yeah, that would have been great. As would have been another great event taking place at Highgarden. Rhaena's visit at Casterly Rock sort of gave us a better feeling for the place (however superficially) but Highgarden is, at this point, still only a theoretically impressive and beautiful place ;-).

I'd also have very much liked the anniversary tourney of 98 AC in great detail as well as the later marriages during the reign of Jaehaerys I - Corlys-Rhaenys in 90 AC as the last great event where everybody was happy, the weirdness of Viserys-Aemma in 93 AC, Daemon-Rhea in 97 AC, etc. All that could also have helped to flash out the Vale characters more - not just Aemma Arryn, but also her Arryn siblings and nephews/nieces and, of course, Rhea Royce and Lord Yorbert. I'm suspecting that Lord Rodrik's eldest daughter Elys Arryn ended up marrying Lord Yorbert and is the mother of Rhea Royce. This could explain both why Rhea could make a princely marriage and why Lord Yorbert ended up as Lord Protector of the Vale rather than Jeyne Arryn's Arryn uncle or her cousin, Ser Arnold.

On 4/15/2019 at 12:23 PM, HelenaExMachina said:

Too much focus on salacious and sketchy rumours rather than actual history (what was Viserys I actually like as a ruler? What happened during his reign? Apparently nothing except cat fights, sex and feuding children).

considering the oft quoted comment about Aragorn’s tax policy and the entirely appropriate kind of book to delve into such things, you would have thought grrm would have done more with this kind of thing

Yeah, as I say, HotD is the chapter in the book that was in desperate need of expansion to make it better fit with the Dance material thereafter and the Jaehaerys I material before that. The amount of detail in that section is very low, which is a shame not just for Viserys I but also for the last years of Jaehaerys I. The man starts as a main character and basically dies as a tertiary character.

17 minutes ago, CAllDSmith said:

Ryam Redwyne's Handship. I get that there's not really much he could have actually done to be one of the worst, but leaving it unsaid felt like a cop-out

Yeah, there should have been more about that, too. One could very much connect that to some very stupid financial or tax-related situation, highlighting the inability of the man to serve as an administrator.

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11 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, there should have been more about that, too. One could very much connect that to some very stupid financial or tax-related situation, highlighting the inability of the man to serve as an administrator.

See I was thinking it would be some screw-up in the lead up to the Great Council, or one of the Quarrels. Or maybe something with Gael's death. You know the kind of thing you can screw up in a year that has a big impact.

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I'm fine with history but it did not go far enough back in time.  What we got was a lot of political stories and not enough magic.  The Targaryen history in Westeros has very little magic.  We will never really know what happened in Valyria to cause the doom.  Nor will we ever know about the ancient history of Yi Ti, the great empire of the dawn (if it ever existed at all it's like the story of the garden of eden), Asshai, and the islands of Sothoryos.  

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Posted (edited)

I'm still not sold on the fact that Tyanna could not find three very Valyrian-looking people who had two fairly big dragons, and who were hiding in a big castle like Storm's End, but could locate two dragonless girls who even had their hair dyed. Also Rhaella just disappears after 58 AC. You would think Alysanne and Jaehaerys could call her at court, to act as a role model to their daughters, however this never happens, and Rhaella is never to be mentioned again. Supposing that Rhaena paid a visit to her every year till she died, then we only know that Rhaella was alive in 73 AC. Just this.

Miles Smallwood was so bad at Handship that Pylos mentions him centuries later as an example to be avoided by future Hands. Yet, he appears to be incompetent at best, not outstandingly bad. Similarly, Ryam Redwyne was bad enough for Yandel to write that his 'prowess with sword and lance proved to not be matched by his ability to rule' and for Jaehaerys to make Baelon Hand within a year, and yet, we never really see what exactly he did (or did not) that made him such a bad Hand.

Viserys was born in 77, Daemon in 81, and yet aside of a brief mention of Alyssa flying with them on Meleys, they completely disappear from the narrative until years later, when they are relevant again, in the Great Council of 101 and when Viserys becomes king in 103. Apparently they did nothing noteworthy in their teen years, not even Daemon, even though Gyldayn made sure to write of every single of Saera's deeds.

Jocelyn evaporated into thin air after Rhaenys's claim was put aside in favour of that of Baelon's is quite disappointing. How did she even die??? When did she die??? How did Rhaenys react??? If the average Westerosi age of death is around 50 years of age (Dunk thinks it's remarkable that old Arlan was pretty close to 60), that would mean she probably died early in Viserys's reign, so how come 'A Question of Succession' never mentions the passing of Princess Rhaenys's mother, half-sister to the Old King, cousin to the young one, once wife to the heir?

Also something I still don't get is, how many years old must a dragon be to be fit for riding? Daenerys rides Drogon around mid-300, when he was born late 298-early 299. Yet Morning hatches in 129-130 and Rhaena doesn't ride her until 135.

Edited by Alyssa of House Arryn

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3 hours ago, Alyssa of House Arryn said:

I'm still not sold on the fact that Tyanna could not find three very Valyrian-looking people who had two fairly big dragons, and who were hiding in a big castle like Storm's End, but could locate two dragonless girls who even had their hair dyed. Also Rhaella just disappears after 58 AC. You would think Alysanne and Jaehaerys could call her at court, to act as a role model to their daughters, however this never happens, and Rhaella is never to be mentioned again. Supposing that Rhaena paid a visit to her every year till she died, then we only know that Rhaella was alive in 73 AC. Just this.

Miles Smallwood was so bad at Handship that Pylos mentions him centuries later as an example to be avoided by future Hands. Yet, he appears to be incompetent at best, not outstandingly bad. Similarly, Ryam Redwyne was bad enough for Yandel to write that his 'prowess with sword and lance proved to not be matched by his ability to rule' and for Jaehaerys to make Baelon Hand within a year, and yet, we never really see what exactly he did (or did not) that made him such a bad Hand.

Viserys was born in 77, Daemon in 81, and yet aside of a brief mention of Alyssa flying with them on Meleys, they completely disappear from the narrative until years later, when they are relevant again, in the Great Council of 101 and when Viserys becomes king in 103. Apparently they did nothing noteworthy in their teen years, not even Daemon, even though Gyldayn made sure to write of every single of Saera's deeds.

Jocelyn evaporated into thin air after Rhaenys's claim was put aside in favour of that of Baelon's is quite disappointing. How did she even die??? When did she die??? How did Rhaenys react??? If the average Westerosi age of death is around 50 years of age (Dunk thinks it's remarkable that old Arlan was pretty close to 60), that would mean she probably died early in Viserys's reign, so how come 'A Question of Succession' never mentions the passing of Princess Rhaenys's mother, half-sister to the Old King, cousin to the young one, once wife to the heir?

Also something I still don't get is, how many years old must a dragon be to be fit for riding? Daenerys rides Drogon around mid-300, when he was born late 298-early 299. Yet Morning hatches in 129-130 and Rhaena doesn't ride her until 135.

DOmt disagree with anything really but with regard to your last point, i believe grrm has stated already that he has had the current dragons grow (and will have them continue to grow’) at the rate the plot demands rather than following some kind of hard and fast rule. I wouldnt look too closely for similarities between the current and historical dragons in terms of growth rate.

if you really want to though, you can argue that because Drogon is “free range” so to speak, he grows quicker

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3 hours ago, Alyssa of House Arryn said:

I'm still not sold on the fact that Tyanna could not find three very Valyrian-looking people who had two fairly big dragons, and who were hiding in a big castle like Storm's End, but could locate two dragonless girls who even had their hair dyed.

Yeah, that's bite that's not really going down well, does it? I guess we can tentatively assume that Tyanna did not so much actively find Aerea and Rhaella via magic or an army of spies but that they were rather sold to her - meaning that Rhaena was betrayed by some of those 'friends' she trusted to keep the girls safe.

But that really does not help with the Jaehaerys/Alysanne thing. That is still just ridiculously absurd. It got a tiny bit better by George no longer claiming they fled by ship meaning that I think we can now reasonably assume that Alyssa and the children fled on dragonback, with Alyssa riding with Jaehaerys on Vermithor considering that he was likely the larger of the two dragons even back then.

I have a mental image of Vermithor and Silverwing hiding in the underground harbor beneath Storm's End or adjacent caverns. If this whole thing was meticulously planned out in advance and Lord Rogar had known that they would come then I could see the two dragons flying in from the seaside in the middle of a stormy and moonless night. That way one it could be believable that no reports of flying dragons in the region of Storm's End got back to Maegor. But this still doesn't help with Rogar's servants and other people.

We do know those Durrandon-Baratheons do inspire a fierce loyalty in their people, but nobody has to want to rat out Alyssa and the children to bring Maegor down on them - all Tyanna and he would need are rumors about dragons at Storm's End. Does it make sense that no one in the castle would talk about dragons being there?

This is very hard to believe. And things like meticulous planning and stern oversight over people don't seem to be things that come naturally to Lord Rogar, either, making it rather unlikely that the man could manage such a thing.

But any scenario where the dragons were not basically hiding at Storm's End for four years would even be worse, because there would have been real and credible reports about where the dragons flew if they spent a good part of the four years not at Storm's End. If they had gone to the Free Cities people there and people in Westeros would know.

A way to resolve this could have been to make the Lord Baratheon to take in Alyssa not Rogar but rather his father or an older brother, who could have been a cooler, more calculating guy. Another way to divert attention from Storm's End could have been if Rogar's father or brother had played an important role at Maegor's court (say, as his Hand) during the last years of his reign. That way suspicion may have not fallen on Storm's End simply because Maegor trusted this guy implicitly for some reason.

And come to think of that - one of Maegor's wives could also have been a Baratheon. That could have helped, too.

3 hours ago, Alyssa of House Arryn said:

Also Rhaella just disappears after 58 AC. You would think Alysanne and Jaehaerys could call her at court, to act as a role model to their daughters, however this never happens, and Rhaella is never to be mentioned again. Supposing that Rhaena paid a visit to her every year till she died, then we only know that Rhaella was alive in 73 AC. Just this.

Yeah, that's a pity. I hoped she would come back later in the book as an influential member of the Most Devout after Maegelle apparently did never rise this high. She could also have attended the Great Council, representing the High Septon there. Also it could have been a nice touch to have her claim Dreamfyre after the death of her mother rather than allowing one of the greatest Targaryen dragons to remain riderless for such a long time. Just because you are a septa doesn't mean you cannot ride a dragon if you are also a Targaryen. And the way Aerea-Rhaella is described during her last appearance very much implies she grew out of her timidness to some degree eventually.

3 hours ago, Alyssa of House Arryn said:

Miles Smallwood was so bad at Handship that Pylos mentions him centuries later as an example to be avoided by future Hands. Yet, he appears to be incompetent at best, not outstandingly bad. Similarly, Ryam Redwyne was bad enough for Yandel to write that his 'prowess with sword and lance proved to not be matched by his ability to rule' and for Jaehaerys to make Baelon Hand within a year, and yet, we never really see what exactly he did (or did not) that made him such a bad Hand.

Yeah, there should have been some more to both of those. However, what we hear of Myles doesn't really imply he had anything smart to say whatsoever. I don't think we are supposed to believe those bad Hands are supposed to have been great failures insofar as their were responsible for great crises. Not every Hand can be Ser Otto Hightower, after all. And if there is a strong and powerful king then the Hand cannot really decide much, if anything. If he fucks things up it would because he is incapable of properly executing a command or decided policy or because he simply is completely incapable of doing his job - which in such a scenario would be to advise the king, not make a lot of important decisions.

However, it is quite clear that we should have gotten much more about Ser Ryam Redwyne - both the Kingsguard and the Hand.

3 hours ago, Alyssa of House Arryn said:

Viserys was born in 77, Daemon in 81, and yet aside of a brief mention of Alyssa flying with them on Meleys, they completely disappear from the narrative until years later, when they are relevant again, in the Great Council of 101 and when Viserys becomes king in 103. Apparently they did nothing noteworthy in their teen years, not even Daemon, even though Gyldayn made sure to write of every single of Saera's deeds.

That is, I think, a huge flaw in the second half of the book. Viserys I and Daemon are both very shallow and superficial characters. Jaehaerys I, Alysanne, and especially Rhaena (and Rogar and Alyssa Velaryon and the children who are not Aemon and Baelon to a lesser extent) all are living, breathing characters, but what Viserys I or Daemon actually thought about things is completely unclear.

And that's a pity because a lot of the stuff in HotD revolves around the brotherly love Viserys I feels for Daemon which is supposedly rooted in the days of their youth. But this is never elaborated on. A lot of Daemon's machinations during the early reign of Viserys I could make more sense if we understood their relationship better. Not to mention the thing with the Velaryons and how it worked that Daemon and Corlys nearly started a war in 101 AC and then teamed up to wage another war together merely five years later.

Also, there is the weird conundrum about Dark Sister and Baelon supposedly wielding it in 92 AC to avenge Aemon - which is at odds with the claim that Jaehaerys I gave the swords to Daemon when he was knighted (if Baelon wielded Dark Sister in 92 AC he should have owned that sword until his death or it should have been he who gave it to his son for his knighthood, not the king).

A similar thing is, of course, also true for Rhaenys and Corlys and, especially, Aemma Arryn. She is clearly the least developed grandchild, lacking even a description. A very odd thing for a queen. And if one thinks of Dreamfyre - Aemma could have ridden her, too.

3 hours ago, Alyssa of House Arryn said:

Jocelyn evaporated into thin air after Rhaenys's claim was put aside in favour of that of Baelon's is quite disappointing. How did she even die??? When did she die??? How did Rhaenys react??? If the average Westerosi age of death is around 50 years of age (Dunk thinks it's remarkable that old Arlan was pretty close to 60), that would mean she probably died early in Viserys's reign, so how come 'A Question of Succession' never mentions the passing of Princess Rhaenys's mother, half-sister to the Old King, cousin to the young one, once wife to the heir?

Yeah, that's very unpleasant. As is the fact that Lord Boremund - the half-brother of the Old King - also never does anything noteworthy. Considering his high birth it is also very odd that he didn't marry a royal princess.

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On 4/17/2019 at 9:33 PM, Widowmaker 811 said:

I'm fine with history but it did not go far enough back in time.

Agreed, but not as much as you want.

On 4/17/2019 at 9:33 PM, Widowmaker 811 said:

What we got was a lot of political stories and not enough magic.  The Targaryen history in Westeros has very little magic. 

So what?

On 4/17/2019 at 9:33 PM, Widowmaker 811 said:

We will never really know what happened in Valyria to cause the doom. 

Who knows in story? The Valyrians died in Doom, and there is no guarantee they knew why.

On 4/17/2019 at 9:33 PM, Widowmaker 811 said:

Nor will we ever know about the ancient history of Yi Ti, the great empire of the dawn (if it ever existed at all it's like the story of the garden of eden), Asshai, and the islands of Sothoryos.  

Far out of scope.  That´s what World should have been for.

But look at the starting cutoff at Conquest.

We get a bit of the Targaryens of Dragonstone... the succession from Aenar to Aerion. And then... tidbits.

We have the birthdates. The actual landing was 2 BC, so at that time, Visenya, Aegon and Rhaenys were 27, 24 and 22 respectively, married and childless.

We see it asserted that all three "became dragonriders" before marrying, which was before conquest - but not dates.

We hear that Aegon commissioned Painted Table "years before" his Conquest - as Lord of Dragonstone.

We hear it asserted that common opinion says Aegon had never set foot in Westeros before, and we hear that opinion denied - that "in their youth" Visenya and Aegon visited Oldtown, Arbor, possibly Lannisport.

Well, considering it... Before Conquest, Aegon was a low profile lordling. So he could have visited Oldtown and Lannisport without attracting attention there, and his attendants from Dragonstone may not have told much either.

But what should have been public information, and highly relevant:

Precisely at what age did Aegon become Lord of Dragonstone with death of Aerion?

Was Aerion a dragonrider? If so, of which dragon?

Did Valaena survive Aerion?

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On 4/18/2019 at 6:44 PM, Lord Varys said:

But any scenario where the dragons were not basically hiding at Storm's End for four years would even be worse, because there would have been real and credible reports about where the dragons flew if they spent a good part of the four years not at Storm's End. If they had gone to the Free Cities people there and people in Westeros would know.

An idea popped into my head with this. The two dragons certainly could not have stayed in the cavern beneath Storm's End, for space and feeding reasons. However there is a location near Storm's End that has a lot of open space and was fairly out of the way at that point in time. It possesses a wide and varied biome (mountains, hidden vales, shaded groves etc.) where enough food and fodder for dragons could be found and enough space for them to fly and travel without being easily discovered. It is within travelling distance of Storm's End, but also has little involvement with affairs at court. It is larger than Great Wyk so there are certainly locations in those mountains that cannot see the sea or be seen from there. It also is the home to a Velaryon cousin, Larissa. Certainly it isn't confirm-able, but it seems like a decent enough location. 

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I think we are rather running out of history for all those matches between Lannister and Baratheon that Ned read about to happen in.

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Septon Barth, described in ASOIAF as "more sorcerer than septon", which leaves you wanting to know more, but we get next to nothing.

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