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Sir Jackson

Favorite new character introduced in Fire and Blood?

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Hey folks, new account here. I lost my old one as I haven't been on the boards in awhile, but with Fire and Blood and the new season upon us my passion for ASOIAF has rekindled. I know the "fake history" thing isn't for everyone, and sure, I'd rather have 700 pages of WINDS over this volume perhaps, but at this point I'm thankful with any Westeros writing GRRM gives us. Will we get the 2nd volume? I sure hope so! I love the Blackfyre rebellion and would love to know more details. Anyway, I'm astounded at the amount of new details and lore we have here, and was curious as to what some of your favorite things were.

Observations

Favorite Characters:

1. Bloody Ben Blackwood- What a great character. In fact, the whole riverlands pretty much stole this book. Sybil Frey, Black Alys, Oscar Tully (who formed the Stormbreakers!). Even Elmo and Kermit Tully, although the names were a bit distracting. I like the little nods and references Martin puts in his work, but perhaps this was a bit to on the nose?

2. Alyn Oakenfist- We had already read a bit about the Seasnake, but I found the voyage of Oakenfist to be a lot of fun. Hopefully we here about his other journeys sometime. 

3. Daemon Targaryen- Far from a good person, sure, but to me he represents everything that's great and bad about Targaryens. I do support the Blacks over the Greens however, although by the end they've all done horrible things. The Dance of the Dragons is such a complex event, and could fill several seasons of a tv show (although it would be quite expensive). 

Favorite Moments:

1. The fate of Aerea Targaryen was haunting and horrifying. 

2. The Kingsguard confronting Rogar Baratheon on Dragonstone. So badass!

3. Lord Corbray pointing Lady Forlorn at Rogar during the small council meeting. To me, the reign of Jahearys and Alysanne were the highlights of this book.

4. The "Secret Siege"- I liked the defiance of Aegon the third and his brother, a moment where he finally flexes the power he wields.

One last thing- Cregan Stark was a bit of an asshole. I thought I would cheer on the Hour of the Wolf, as we are used to rooting for the Starks. I assume Martin did this on purpose, to show how outsiders would view the harsh, sullen northmen? Your thoughts?      

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Elissa Farman has to be a favourite, for sure. Her thirst for adventure allowing her to sail across the sea really makes for this wonderful character.

10 hours ago, Sir Jackson said:

One last thing- Cregan Stark was a bit of an asshole. I thought I would cheer on the Hour of the Wolf, as we are used to rooting for the Starks. I assume Martin did this on purpose, to show how outsiders would view the harsh, sullen northmen? Your thoughts?      

I think it's supposed to be that way, to be honest. There's a rather large implication that Ned brought a particular type of honour to House Stark that wasn't always there -- Cregan would've definitely have been the type to have fired Robert's men and ruled somewhat ruthlessly as Hand (not that he didn't have his own flaws, as the bit with Alysanne Blackwood proves). I think there was a bit cut from TWOIAF about northmen raiding the south during winter; they haven't always been their more heroic selves. 

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2 minutes ago, Vaith said:

 

I think it's supposed to be that way, to be honest. There's a rather large implication that Ned brought a particular type of honour to House Stark that wasn't always there -- Cregan would've definitely have been the type to have fired Robert's men and ruled somewhat ruthlessly as Hand (not that he didn't have his own flaws, as the bit with Alysanne Blackwood proves). I think there was a bit cut from TWOIAF about northmen raiding the south during winter; they haven't always been their more heroic selves. 

I’ve been saying this for a while too. Ned is not a typical Stark. He was raised in the Vale, so the heightened sense of honour isn’t a true Stark trait. The true Starks are savage wolves. They’re honest and they keep their word, but they’re also blunt with their honesty. Look at Alaric Stark. And Cregan is that way too.

As to my favourite new character, does Aegon III count? Because his story is honestly one of the most fascinating of the whole series as far as I’m concerned.

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I think people are confusing honor with morality. Honor is a system for upholding a certain code of conduct, much like the law is. The difference is that the law is enforced by a higher authority, while the individual is responsible for upholding their honor and that they become pariahs if they fail to do so.

The Northmen are more sensitive in matters of honor because they are a more backward society. It has nothing to do with them being good or bad. Their social order depends on it more. 

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33 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

I think people are confusing honor with morality. Honor is a system for upholding a certain code of conduct, much like the law is. The difference is that the law is enforced by a higher authority, while the individual is responsible for upholding their honor and that they become pariahs if they fail to do so.

The Northmen are more sensitive in matters of honor because they are a more backward society. It has nothing to do with them being good or bad. Their social order depends on it more. 

Not executing Corlys Velaryon simply because Black Aly agreed to marry him strikes me as neither particularly noble nor moral from Cregan. :P

Ned tends to embody the fact that true honour can only exist when it is mostly grounded in morality. 

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Posted (edited)

Technically he's not new, as he was mentioned before in passing but I like Maegor Targaryen. The image of him riding on Balerion burning the Faith Militant alive really gets me going. Plus, he has one of the best deaths in the series.

Edited by Proficiency

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Posted (edited)

There's Daemon Targaryen of course. Lord Fleabottom is a very colorful character who brings a lot of flair to the scenes he's in. Daemon was a commander of the city watch, member of the small council, rogue pirate king and veteran battle commander making him a very, very interesting character to read up on. I also like that Daemon abilities still were somewhat realistic. While Lord Fleabottom might be ridiculously awesome it never managed to change his life being one string of failures after another.

But Daemon was't exactly ''new'' to Fire and Blood right? he already existed in some form or another.

Benjicot Blackwood was definitely a very interesting character to read up on. A child general who's one of the most successful commander but who's still somewhat realistically held back by his youth. Ben seemed like a really good boy, crying over the fallen and having Theserion killed when she was in pain. 

Edited by Daemon of the Blacks

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I really really dug little Viserys Targaryen.   What a badass standing up to everyone and holding the fort against them all in Maegor's holdfast?   Shadoq the Shadow!  Calling everyone out on the carpet effectively cleaning house on the small council in charge.   He was a really cool little guy.  

Honestly I was getting tired of going over the same old tired material.   I'm with you, @Sir Jackson--F&B really gave me some great new things to consider.   I think we needed it just for clarity if nothing else.   Martin is a brilliant writer and this is his element.  

Viserys was probably my favorite character, but there were many excellent new characters all named previously.   It was great to see the rulers and people.  Alysanne and Jaehaerys spring to mind, particularly Jaehaerys with his children.   I've always really enjoyed TPATQ and the extra material was just wonderful.  Dragons!   Queens who probably should have been!  Velaryons!    It was just a great read for a hungry reader.  

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Posted (edited)

Tbh there weren't many new characters who became instant favourite's or anything, pretty much just Ellissa Farman and The Shadow. That being said, F&B did reveal a lot of new information about characters we'd heard about in passing. Jahaerys and Alysanne, who's story I'd assumed would be rather boring, turned out to be one of the most interesting parts of the book and became some of my fav's.

The section on the Dance didn't introduce many big players I wasn't already aware of but it made me like Ben Blackwood, Jace, Addam & Alyn and Viserys II so much more than I had before. My opinion on Tyland Lannister and Aegon III were completely changed. And I hate Aemond, Roxton and Peake even more than I did before. Kinda conflicted on Marston Waters and felt bad for Truefyre.

Edit: Oh and that whole thing after Joffrey died with the seven who rode or whatever it was called was pretty cool, we hadn't had anything about that before I don't think.

Edited by Adam Yozza

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@Adam Yozza God your right, Peake was the worst. I wish he had gotten his just deserts. Aemond One Eyed was a prick to. I don't remember hearing about Tyland Lannister previously but he was a great Hand. I usually have a good memory for the things I read but I haven't read the books in a while now. 

I Forgot to mention Elissa. The Hightower brothers story on their expedition was damn cool.

@Vaith & @James Steller- excellent points on the northmen. And yes, Aegon III definitely counts, as before he was more of a name with a blank face. This book provided the personality and colors we previously lacked. I never heard about that bit with the northern raiders being cut.

Anything specific you guys would want explained/covered in the proposed 2nd volume? More on Roberts and Greyjoys Rebellion, perhaps? Although the Mad Kings reign has been covered in some detail already.  

 

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For me it is basically Rhaena, Elissa, and Androw. Rhaena is perhaps the most nuanced and complex (female) character George ever created, Androw is a pitiful guy who grew mad with jealousy, sort of the reversal of the scorned female lover using poison to get her due (think Elektra, for instance), and Elissa simply is one of the greatest and most visionary characters of all time.

I also liked Vaegon Targaryen very much, expecting him to be basically a mirror image of the later King Aerys I - it will be so great if Egg finally interacts with his royal uncle and he turns out to be exactly like Vaegon. Also a great fan of the first female Targaryen psychopath, Princess Saera. Her mad tirade is perhaps one of the best paragraphs in the book.

I also greatly enjoyed all those windbag Baratheons mirroring the unpleasant traits we later see resurfacing in Robert and Stannis, and that also goes for the Four Storms. Borys Baratheon really seems to have a tidbit more ambition and resentment than Stannis. He turned a nudge sourer than Stannis, but we can be reasonably certain that they more or less started at a similar spot. Both very much wanted Storm's End.

On 4/23/2019 at 3:05 AM, Sir Jackson said:

One last thing- Cregan Stark was a bit of an asshole. I thought I would cheer on the Hour of the Wolf, as we are used to rooting for the Starks. I assume Martin did this on purpose, to show how outsiders would view the harsh, sullen northmen? Your thoughts?      

Oh, well, I think Cregan is somewhat more complex than the story makes him appear to be. He comes down to destroy Aegon II and all his allies. He comes too late and that makes him pissed. He says he seized Corlys and Larys and all the others because they betrayed their king, etc. and he says he wants justice for that - and we can believe, I think, that he is clearly not in favor of insidious betrayal and poisonings and felt he could not allow to go that unpunished - but his main motivation to seize those men is not because he found it a horrible crime to kill Aegon II - he would have done that, too, and possibly not exactly in a pleasant manner - but rather that those guys stole his victory. That's what he cannot forgive. And that's also why feminine wiles, etc. can convince him to spare the Sea Snake and it is also the reason why he agreed to allowed these guys to take the black. That he insisted on a trial against the kingslayers simply is a big 'FUCK YOU!' to the people who stole his victory. My king, Aegon III, is on the throne now, but you guys won't enjoy the Black victory. You die or go to the Wall.

Lord Alaric proves to us that the Stark don't think anyone deserves to serve in the NW. Aegon II wouldn't have been allowed to do that, if Lord Cregan had had a chance to sit in judgment over him - not after what he did to Rhaenyra. Just as Cregan also had no intention to offer the Baratheons, Hightowers, and Lannisters to take the black, either. He wanted to destroy them.

37 minutes ago, Sir Jackson said:

Anything specific you guys would want explained/covered in the proposed 2nd volume? More on Roberts and Greyjoys Rebellion, perhaps? Although the Mad Kings reign has been covered in some detail already. 

I'm expecting to see Peake going to get his just desert in the second volume. There is no way Aegon III and Viserys allow this guy to get away with what he (trued to) pull(ed). He did not only try to murder the king and queen but also actually murdered Queen Jaehaera. Aegon III may have never liked her at all, but you cannot let something like that go. Even if there is a never a proper trial or investigation into that thing the man has to pay for all that.

I don't think it is a coincidence that he has no male heirs. I expect Myrielle to end up with one of the fake Daerons and Unwin go down with them, with Gedmund's branch or some other distant cousin who actually wasn't involved in any shenanigans and who stands with Aegon III against Lord Unwin taking over the lordship. But I'd not be surprised if it was Unwin who cost the Peakes their first castle. I know, Egg says they lost two of them after the Redgrass Field, but it would be more fitting if they just lost the second one during the First Blackfyre Rebellion.

Also, what do you guys make of Alys Rivers and Aemond's son?

I expect the latter to actually become a dragonrider - the dragon he supposedly has already (possibly from an egg from Vhagar), Silverwing, or the Cannibal - and challenge Aegon III later during his reign, triggering the last dragon battle, possibly involving Morning and Rhaena, Baela and a new dragon (the way she is characterized it is nearly inevitable that she is going to Dragonstone to mount the Cannibal eventually), and Viserys - who I think might decide to go to Red Lake to get himself a dragon, too.

Harrenhal seems to remain in the possession of Alys Rivers and her son until it is given to Lucas Lothston - who only gets it in 151 AC. We also have talk about Larys only being buried at Harrenhal much later, just as Dark Sister and Vhagar's carcass and Aemond's corpse are only recovered years later, implying the Crown continues to not control Harrenhal and the surrounding lands for years.

In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Aemond's son were to wield Dark Sister in battle.

It would be fitting if most/all of the dragons that are still alive were to killed in this fight against Aemond's son - or so injured that they would quickly follow the guy into the grave. After all, right now the Targaryens may lack dragons but for Morning but Silverwing, the Cannibal, and Sheepstealer are still out there, there is no reason for real concern yet. If freakish dragons continue to hatch during the reign of Aegon III alongside then this might be troubling but they still technically have 2-3 healthy and large ones to claim. Aegon I also basically had just three dragonriders.

But if they were to lose all their ridable dragons in 150-151 AC, being stuck only with the two crippled she-dragons the last of which would die 153 AC then there are truly fucked from that point on. Explaining why they later have the Nine Mages and stuff in the last years of Aegon III's reign.

As you can see, I great hope FaB II is going to focus greatly on the reign of Aegon III continuing the story of the characters that were described in such detail in the Dance and Regency material.

Hopefully that one is only to cover the reigns from Aegon III to Daeron II to not spoil Dunk & Egg in great detail. Aegon III's reign, the Conquest of Dorne, Baelor's mad reign, the Unworthy, and Daeron II plus the First Blackfyre Rebellion and all the buildup for that should easily enough cover another volume of the size of FaB I. Especially if George were to decide - which he should - to make Aegon IV autobiography a major source commentary on the reigns of Aegon III up to his own. We know he once played with the idea to write a novel covering the Unworthy's life from his POV - quoting extensively from such a book could be really hilarious.

Also, it would be very cheap to see Cregan, Aly, Alyn, Baela and Rhaena, the Tullys, etc. to disappear into obscurity now that they played great roles during the Dance and its aftermath.

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I'd have to say that my favorite new introduction was Alyssa Targaryean.  I know she was mentioned in the World Book, but we didn't learn anything about her personality.  I found it especially cool that she took Viserys and Daemon on her dragon within a month of their birth.

Actually, I find Aemon, Baelon and Alyssa likeable, interesting and capable.  Sadly, they all had to die young or there wouldn't have been much of a story.

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

For me it is basically Rhaena, Elissa, and Androw. Rhaena is perhaps the most nuanced and complex (female) character George ever created, Androw is a pitiful guy who grew mad with jealousy, sort of the reversal of the scorned female lover using poison to get her due (think Elektra, for instance), and Elissa simply is one of the greatest and most visionary characters of all time.

I'm sorry but what? What is it with everyone loving Elissa Farman? I thought she was a very unlikable character. She had a one-track mind to sail farther than anyone had ever sailed before and betrayed her closest friends to accomplish that dream of sailing. And what did she even accomplish? We never find out where she ended up, so her great journey, if it ever did succeed, only ever benefited her. Alyn Velaryon did far more with his great voyages than she did, and he was a much more interesting character.

If we're talking about great female characters, I agree with Rhaena Targaryen being on that list, she was incredibly developed and complex. I'd also put Alysanne Targaryen on that list, as well as Rhaenyra Targaryen and, frankly, Alicent Hightower. Her final years were supremely satisfying to read about, given what she did with her life and all the terrible actions which backfired on her. 

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35 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

I'm sorry but what? What is it with everyone loving Elissa Farman? I thought she was a very unlikable character. She had a one-track mind to sail farther than anyone had ever sailed before and betrayed her closest friends to accomplish that dream of sailing. And what did she even accomplish? We never find out where she ended up, so her great journey, if it ever did succeed, only ever benefited her. Alyn Velaryon did far more with his great voyages than she did, and he was a much more interesting character.

If we're talking about great female characters, I agree with Rhaena Targaryen being on that list, she was incredibly developed and complex. I'd also put Alysanne Targaryen on that list, as well as Rhaenyra Targaryen and, frankly, Alicent Hightower. Her final years were supremely satisfying to read about, given what she did with her life and all the terrible actions which backfired on her. 

Didn't say I loved Elissa, said she was one of my favourite's that were introduced in F&B. I liked her as a character, not that I liked her character (Personality etc). Not quite the same. I also thought she was quite selfish. But she was very interesting to read about and the mystery surrounding what happened to her after she found her islands is, to me, very intriguing (Not that I think we'll ever know)

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4 hours ago, PrinceHenryris said:

I'd have to say that my favorite new introduction was Alyssa Targaryean.  I know she was mentioned in the World Book, but we didn't learn anything about her personality.  I found it especially cool that she took Viserys and Daemon on her dragon within a month of their birth.

Actually, I find Aemon, Baelon and Alyssa likeable, interesting and capable.  Sadly, they all had to die young or there wouldn't have been much of a story.

Alyssa was great and could have been much better had she not been killed - her death basically served no point. Her mother's death in childbirth had a narrative purpose and Daella's, too, but Alyssa was just nonsensical. Why not have her live into the reign of her son?

51 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

I'm sorry but what? What is it with everyone loving Elissa Farman? I thought she was a very unlikable character. She had a one-track mind to sail farther than anyone had ever sailed before and betrayed her closest friends to accomplish that dream of sailing. And what did she even accomplish? We never find out where she ended up, so her great journey, if it ever did succeed, only ever benefited her. Alyn Velaryon did far more with his great voyages than she did, and he was a much more interesting character.

I like her more for what she represents and what she may have done. Sort of like one can admire Magellan for what he accomplished without actually knowing or liking him as a character. I really like explorers who sail beyond the horizon and the idea that the greatest explorer of Westeros was actually a woman is even better ;-).

However, I'd have preferred it if Rhaena would have had a posthumous child by Androw or something along those line who then later became a dragonrider, etc. only to fly west on a dragon. That no Targaryen ever tried to fly across the Sunset Sea on dragonback is, in my opinion, not very believable.

51 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

If we're talking about great female characters, I agree with Rhaena Targaryen being on that list, she was incredibly developed and complex. I'd also put Alysanne Targaryen on that list, as well as Rhaenyra Targaryen and, frankly, Alicent Hightower. Her final years were supremely satisfying to read about, given what she did with her life and all the terrible actions which backfired on her. 

Alysanne really is a great character, too, but hers is more the story of a great woman who did everything she was supposed to do - and then actually paid for that with her life in old age. She did so much for her brother-husband and the Seven Kingdoms but she did get pretty much nothing in return. It is nice to believe that Gyldayn's (most likely) invented dialogues between her and Jaehaerys and Baelon in the last years of her life were genuine, but what he tells in HotD about the succession issue makes that not very likely.

Rhaena encompasses pretty much everything a character could do. Great tragedy, personal romantic and sexual issues, and the fact how being a (lesbian) woman in this shitty world of Westeros can affect and twist you even if you are a scion of the royal family. I'd also read her as the prototype/first 'mad Targaryen' in the non-clinical way. Rhaena is branded as mad repeatedly because she defies custom and protocol and expresses her feelings in extreme manners - but she clearly has no actual mental illness aside from, perhaps, mood swings.

Saera, likely the maddest Targaryen we have met up this point, is actually downplayed in her dangerous psychopathic potential due to it expressing itself in a strong sexual desire (at least in her youth, we don't know what she liked later in life). Thus she is branded as a slut. And Viserra, I think, is just a misunderstood teenage girl vilified because of her superhuman beauty.

Rhaenyra got more complex but actually turned out to be a more tragic character. Which is interesting and surprising, making her somewhat more sympathetic than she was before - especially in light of the fact that both Aegon II (in my opinion the second-worst king directly behind the Unworthy - Maegor was much better than this guy) and Aemond were so bad.

About Alicent and Otto and all the other luminaries during the reign of Viserys I I'd have liked to learn more. But, yeah, her last days sort of hammer home the fact that she never loved Viserys I and that this entire thing had just been power grab. What do you make of her memories of Jaehaerys I? Did they have an affair, or was this just her idealizing happy memories of her youth when she had just come to the Red Keep?

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Rhaena, and its not especially close either. None of the other characters, particularly the females i have to sadly say, come close to the level of complexity and nuance she has. 

I’m hoping volume II is better on that front, especially with Baela and (heh) Rhaena initially but there should be tons of interesting women. I mean, I’d hope we get more on, for example, Daena the Defiant than “She was born, she lived, she did a few things, she died of childbirth complications”

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