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Anthony Appleyard

Valyrian families surviving after the Doom

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On 6/13/2019 at 3:24 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

Yeah, I never really understood why the Targaryens were considered the last of the Valyrians, when the Velaryons are also of Valyrian descent, and many of them were dragon riders. Then again, I'm also not sure why the Valyrians married their siblings, when there were dozens of dragon-riding, pure-blood Valyrian families prior to the Doom.

It makes political sense. We know there were about 40 families in the freehold who were the main players of the game (can't remember if they were all supposed to be dragonlords). On dragonback women and men are equal, and why would you send a perfectly good rider with a dragon that you've bred to marry into another family, have children and switch allegiance when you can keep them in? 

I don't doubt the different families made marriage alliances from time to time to gain an advantage, but by that point the incest would already be a tradition and it would also be further incentivised by whatever valyrian game of thrones they were playing.

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On 6/18/2019 at 11:26 PM, blindaviator94 said:

Yes! I think it comes more from wanting to keep dragons within the family than deep belief in incest.

No. Because they prefer brother-sister to uncle-niece, aunt-nephew or first cousin, given a choice.

Targaryens had 5 dragons total at Exile, and Balerion was a hatchling, so a maximum of 4 ridable ones.

600 years before, Valyria deployed 300 dragons to Rhoyne - meaning average 8 for a family.

In a family with 8 deployed combatant dragonriders, plus combatants left back in Valyria, plus noncombatants (children, elders, some women)... it is more than one nuclear family.

If siblings´ children marry their siblings, not first cousins, then families tend to split as first cousins soon become second et cetera.

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On 6/13/2019 at 10:24 AM, The Bard of Banefort said:

Yeah, I never really understood why the Targaryens were considered the last of the Valyrians, when the Velaryons are also of Valyrian descent, and many of them were dragon riders. Then again, I'm also not sure why the Valyrians married their siblings, when there were dozens of dragon-riding, pure-blood Valyrian families prior to the Doom.

Because the Targaryen's promote themselves as the last of the Valyrians.  F&B expanded on this with Jaehaerys' doctrine of exceptionalism.

Long story short, the Targaryens are the last dragonriding AND dragon-owning family in the world, and since the identity of the Freehold was inextricably bound with its monopoly on draconic force, this gives the Targaryens a good rationale for claiming the title of last of the Valyrians.  And in the ensuing centuries since the Doom, they've been quite voluble about "keeping the blood of the dragon pure" and all that.  And finally, we're looking at this from a Westerosi perspective.  While there may be dozens or hundreds or even thousands of pureblooded Valyrians in Essos, our sources are Westerosi, and to them, the Targaryens are the only family who are explicitly maintaining a genetic heritage of purely Valyrian descent.  Sure, the Velaryons may be almost-equally pureblooded, but they certainly aren't as dogmatic about it as the Targs, and moreover, they don't get the same pass on that account when it comes to incest, or in Aegon's case, polygamy.  And, of course, they don't have dragons.  Yes, some of them can ride dragons, but those are explicitly royal and not personal property.

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On 6/25/2019 at 5:01 PM, cpg2016 said:

Because the Targaryen's promote themselves as the last of the Valyrians.  F&B expanded on this with Jaehaerys' doctrine of exceptionalism.

Long story short, the Targaryens are the last dragonriding AND dragon-owning family in the world, and since the identity of the Freehold was inextricably bound with its monopoly on draconic force, this gives the Targaryens a good rationale for claiming the title of last of the Valyrians.  And in the ensuing centuries since the Doom, they've been quite voluble about "keeping the blood of the dragon pure" and all that.  And finally, we're looking at this from a Westerosi perspective.  While there may be dozens or hundreds or even thousands of pureblooded Valyrians in Essos, our sources are Westerosi, and to them, the Targaryens are the only family who are explicitly maintaining a genetic heritage of purely Valyrian descent.  Sure, the Velaryons may be almost-equally pureblooded, but they certainly aren't as dogmatic about it as the Targs, and moreover, they don't get the same pass on that account when it comes to incest, or in Aegon's case, polygamy.  And, of course, they don't have dragons.  Yes, some of them can ride dragons, but those are explicitly royal and not personal property.

They were the last of the dragon-lords, and I think that's the most important thing, like you said. Without the dragons, the old blood of Valyria is just a reference to your proud lineage, but holds no real significance in terms of power acquisition. With the dragons, the Targaryens could truly say they were the last of the dragonlords of the Valyrian Freehold, and that would mean something

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On 6/18/2019 at 4:26 PM, blindaviator94 said:

Yes! I think it comes more from wanting to keep dragons within the family than deep belief in incest.

Yeah I think you're right on the money there. I have read some theories which postulate that the Targaryens and other dragonlord families of the Freehold practiced incest more so as a means of keeping the source of their power (the dragons) within their families. Otherwise, marriages with other families would allow future generations to claim one's source of power whenever they wished, which would've hurt the standings and influence of certain families. And with the Targaryens being the last of the dragonlords to survive, they probably felt it gave them even more reason to continue the incest. 

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