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James Steller

Who was the Biggest Villain of the Dance?

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2 hours ago, the Last Teague said:

Aemond was clearly the most bloodthirsty character. Clearly a mad Targaryen. Everything about him claims "villain!": distinctive visuals (lacking an eye)? Check. Impressive power (having a dragon)? Check. Arrogant and foul-mouthed? Check. Cruel and vindictive? Check.

Many others had their part of guilt, but Aemond was clearly the most eeevil.

No, actually, I think Aegon II is much worse. Aemond still knew bounds when the war started, and his cruelest acts were done in the spur of the moment when he was very angry, but Aegon II just was an utter shit head no matter in what state of mind he was.

2 hours ago, the Last Teague said:

Rhaenyra was also bloodthirsty. But the narrative gives little exposition to her vile acts. We only hear "many heads appeared on pikes". Even the forced prostitution of her haf-sister and mother-in-law is only a rumour.

Unlike her half-brothers Rhaenyra never extinguished entire bloodlines (the Strongs, for instance) on the mere suspicion that one of them may have been a traitor, nor did she burn hundreds of people alive or commanded the brutal sack of towns. She also never sent her dragonriders out to Westeros to torment the smallfolk and destroy villages, towns, keeps, and castles to make the other side look weak.

It might be that she also beheaded innocents after she took over KL, but this is never explicitly stated. It is clear that she wanted to execute innocents in Addam Velaryon and Nettles, but that wasn't the mad decision of a mad monarch but actually pretty much the consensus the queen reached when debating the issue with her council - there were only two dissenters insisting that the two bastard dragonriders should not be taken into custody. These people were afraid of dragonriders running amok, and one certainly can see how the life of one innocent outweighed their own lives as well as the lives of the Kingslanders in this scenario. It was still wrong and stupid but it is one of the few things that actually make sense after the betrayal of Tumbleton.

Gyldayn makes it clear that public opinion turned against Rhaenyra for a bundle of reasons - the fact that she executed people (like Aegon II had done before) was one of them, but the more crucial reasons were the active propaganda and manipulation of the Kingslanders against her, instigated against her by Larys Strong, and the effects the bad (yet necessary) tax policy enacted by her Master of Coin had on the population of the city. Keep in mind that one of the leading the rioters against her rule was the guy who killed Lord Celtigar who worked the people into a frenzy over tax issues, with the other, Ser Perkin the Flea, being the puppet of Larys Strong from the start. Only the Shepherd seems to have been an independent operative, and he directed the fear and anger of the people against the Targaryens and their dragons in general, not merely against Rhaenyra.

What we learn about Rhaenyra the person makes it clear that things like the forced prostitution stuff is just nonsense. She was clearly not the person who would have become the best monarch House Targaryen could possibly produce - I think she would have been average/not bad had she peacefully succeeded to the throne - but she clearly was light years better than both Aegon II and Aemond.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, the Last Teague said:

Rhaenyra was also bloodthirsty. But the narrative gives little exposition to her vile acts. We only hear "many heads appeared on pikes". Even the forced prostitution of her haf-sister and mother-in-law is only a rumour.

We can pretty much write off all of those as slander. Rhaenyra would never have done such a thing, nor accepted any of her underlings to do it. We know that Rhaenyra had a superior morale fibre in her.

Edited by Lion of the West

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On 6/5/2019 at 4:37 PM, Lion of the West said:

We can pretty much write off all of those as slander. Rhaenyra would never have done such a thing, nor accepted any of her underlings to do it. We know that Rhaenyra had a superior morale fibre in her.

Are you not bored of this silly game of yours yet? Its pretty tiresome i have to say

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7 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Are you not bored of this silly game of yours yet? Its pretty tiresome i have to say

I am very tired of it, hence why I don't post more on the forums, but I feel that to a large degree I have seen much of what I admired with Asoiaf disappeared regarding Dance of the Dragons and I don't care to be disappointed again or to argue with what I experience to be the message of the text.

This may seem odd coming from me, but perhaps a solution would be for people who dislike my recent posting to put me on ignore, check back in year or so on what I've posted recently, and then decide if I should remain on your ignore list or not?

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6 hours ago, Lion of the West said:

I am very tired of it, hence why I don't post more on the forums, but I feel that to a large degree I have seen much of what I admired with Asoiaf disappeared regarding Dance of the Dragons and I don't care to be disappointed again or to argue with what I experience to be the message of the text.

This may seem odd coming from me, but perhaps a solution would be for people who dislike my recent posting to put me on ignore, check back in year or so on what I've posted recently, and then decide if I should remain on your ignore list or not?

You shouldn't have gotten so emotionally invested in stuff. I mean, do you ever complain that George doesn't give a nuanced portrayal of Ramsay, Roose, Walder Frey, Vargo Hoat, Chett, Biter, Rorge, Raff the Sweetling, Euron or Victarion Greyjoy, etc.? If not, why is this the case? Don't you think it is bad that the virtuous traits of those characters are not shown?

Insisting that characters you apparently wanted to like without properly knowing them have to be depicted in a way you want them to be is, quite frankly, pretty silly. Nobody ever said that the Dance was supposed to a war were both sides are equally right or wrong or have the same amount of heroes and villains on their sides.

Just as it is quite clear that, in the main series, the Starks have the moral high ground over the Lannisters. There are good Lannisters (in the service of a bad cause, as my namesake would put) but Tywin, Jaime, Cersei, and Joffrey all qualify as villains to various degrees.

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10 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf said:

I just wish the Greens were interesting/competent "villains".

And I wish Robert Baratheon were a great and competent king and some drunken, promiscuous fool.

If they had been competent/interesting they would have been able to avoid a self-destructive war. None of the factions leading/starting the Dance were great or competent people. Their failure is evident in them starting and fighting this war. There is excuse of justification for that.

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3 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

So you're saying characters can't be competent and interesting if they're on what you believe to be the wrong side?

I don't think that characters whose sole purpose of existence is to to plunge the kingdom into a pointless and devastating civil war can be believably competent. Because competent characters would have put Rhaenyra and her ilk down without causing a ruinous civil war in the first place.

Insofar as interesting characters - what we got are not proper novels, so very few characters there are interesting. But Larys Strong, Alicent Hightower, Grand Maester Orwyle, Criston Cole, Alys Rivers and Prince Aemond, Unwin Peake, and Tyland Lannister all fit the criteria for 'interesting' in my book.

But overall we can write off most of the Greens the way we can write off the Lannisters during the main series. There are some interesting characters there, but their cause is wrong and we all know that. Some good men in the service of a bad cause don't make the group as whole better.

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On 6/2/2019 at 7:32 PM, James Steller said:

I had an argument with a couple of my friends recently over “Fire and Blood”, and the Dance of the Dragons. Specifically, who was the person most responsible for all that bloodshed. I maintained that it was Otto Hightower, since his ambitions pushed for Viserys’ wedding to his daughter. Not to mention that he spearheaded the coup which left Rhaenyra bereft of her birthright. My other friends were split between Alicent Hightower (given her two-faced conduct during the war and her desire for vengeance even after all her kids were dead) and Rhaenyra Targaryen (if only she’d known her place and hadn’t been so ambitious and bloodthirsty, plus the throne rejected her). I suppose that a good case could be made for Daemon Targaryen, Cristin Cole or Aemond Targaryen, but who do you all think was the biggest villain of that storyline?

The Hightowers and Aegon the third. I think it is paralleled with the war of the 5 kings with Rhaenyra/Stannis, Otto/Tywin, Cersei/Alicent Aegon/Joffrey or Tommen and Halaena(I think that is the name of the Targ princess)/Myrcella

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14 minutes ago, Baelor 'Breakspear' said:

The Hightowers and Aegon the third. I think it is paralleled with the war of the 5 kings with Rhaenyra/Stannis, Otto/Tywin, Cersei/Alicent Aegon/Joffrey or Tommen and Halaena(I think that is the name of the Targ princess)/Myrcella

So how is Aegon III the villain of the story?

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Baelor 'Breakspear' said:

The Hightowers and Aegon the third. I think it is paralleled with the war of the 5 kings with Rhaenyra/Stannis, Otto/Tywin, Cersei/Alicent Aegon/Joffrey or Tommen and Halaena(I think that is the name of the Targ princess)/Myrcella

Stannis doesn't have much in common with Rhaenyra other that they are located in Dragonstone, even he considers her a traitor, she is closer to Cersei in character and action.

"Daemon Blackfyre, the brothers Toyne, the Vulture King, Grand Maester Hareth... traitors have always paid with their lives... even Rhaenyra Targaryen. She was daughter to one king and mother to two more, yet she died a traitor's death for trying to usurp her brother's crown.

—Stannis Baratheon, to Davos Seaworth"

Edited by Eltharion21

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29 minutes ago, Eltharion21 said:

Stannis doesn't have much in common with Rhaenyra other that they are located in Dragonstone, even he considers her a traitor, she is closer to Cersei in character and action.

"Daemon Blackfyre, the brothers Toyne, the Vulture King, Grand Maester Hareth... traitors have always paid with their lives... even Rhaenyra Targaryen. She was daughter to one king and mother to two more, yet she died a traitor's death for trying to usurp her brother's crown.

—Stannis Baratheon, to Davos Seaworth"

Hihi, yeah, and Stannis lost his war, too. He is going to die and not sit the Iron Throne. Does this mean he was a traitor, too? History definitely will see him as such.

Alicent is the one who resembles Cersei the most, Otto Tywin, etc. The Hightowers really are basically the Lannisters of the Dance, whereas Rhaenyra essentially starts as Stannis with some dragons. Like him, she pretty much is the underdog at the beginning of the war, and takes considerable time before her cause takes up some steam.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Hihi, yeah, and Stannis lost his war, too. He is going to die and not sit the Iron Throne. Does this mean he was a traitor, too? History definitely will see him as such.

Alicent is the one who resembles Cersei the most, Otto Tywin, etc. The Hightowers really are basically the Lannisters of the Dance, whereas Rhaenyra essentially starts as Stannis with some dragons. Like him, she pretty much is the underdog at the beginning of the war, and takes considerable time before her cause takes up some steam.

Rhaenyra is considered traitor by some rightly so, even though her side eventually won and she would have bias of historians of the winning side, who excuse many of her crimes and failings on account of having a "mother's heart" .

While Stannis is alive war isn't over, and he already is trying to fight the real fight against Deamons made of Ice and cold, which is currently more than any of leaders of Westeros were doing. Though it is likely he will die, sometimes dying for what people believe is right is noble thing to do.

Rhaenyra had three bastard children who she tried to place in the throne one of whom is named Jofferey , ordered cruel executions starting from Ser Vaemond Velaryon, she also had horrible Masters of Whisperers like Mysaria who can be likened to Qyburn, both were  considered  very beautiful in their youth but later in life that beauty is waning with Rhaenyra being stout after childbirth's and Cersei's description in the walk of shame and also thinking that washerwoman are shrinking her dresses, both are also seemingly prone to paranoia, both likely had relationship with Kingsguard, she also had lot of incompetent policies including financial issues that also plaque Cersei, both are compared with Maegor , etc.

I also doubt claim that Rhaenyra's side was underdog since half of her allies didn't even arrive to conflict and the War was almost won.

Alicent to me is more similar to more ambitious Catelyn.

 

Edited by Eltharion21

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Rhaenyra is considered traitor by some rightly so, even though her side eventually won and she would have bias of historians of the winning side, who excuse many of her crimes and failings on account of having a "mother's heart" .

Rhaenyra is only considered a traitor by Stannis - whose own ancestor was a rather prominent Green and whose house actually suffered considerable for their mistaken allegiances during the Dance. His view on the matter is about as unbiased as Robb's view on whether his dear father was a traitor or not.

Quote

While Stannis is alive war isn't over, and he already is trying to fight the real fight against Deamons made of Ice and cold, which is currently more than any of leaders of Westeros were doing.

He is a dead man walking, and fingers crossed that he will die 'a traitor's death', too. Rhaenyra didn't actually die a 'traitor's death', considering she was fed to a dragon by some thugs, without a proper trial or sentence. Aegon II was no king while he did that. He was just some warlord.

Quote

Rhaenyra had three bastard children who she tried to place in the throne one of whom is named Jofferey , ordered cruel executions starting from Ser Vaemond Velaryon, she also had horrible Masters of Whisperers like Mysaria who can be likened to Qyburn, both were  considered  very beautiful in their youth but later in life that beauty is waning with Rhaenyra being stout after childbirth's and Cersei's description in the walk of shame and also thinking that washerwoman are shrinking her dresses, both are also seemingly prone to paranoia, both likely had relationship with Kingsguard, she also had lot of incompetent policies including financial issues that also plaque Cersei, etc.

Those things have nothing to do with the personality or story of the people involved. Alicent and Cersei are ambitious social climbers, while Rhaenyra was not. She was born to the purple, Alicent and Cersei are trying to cling to usurped power and they will fail.

Rhaenyra never tried to place anyone but herself on the Iron Throne. She never had any intention to abdicate in favor of any of her sons. The question of her own succession is never properly settled during her short reign.

Cersei doesn't have financial problems - the Iron Throne does. Cersei Lannister is the richest person in the Seven Kingdoms.

And unlike in Cersei's case, the parentage of Rhaenyra's sons is irrelevant. They are her sons no matter what - unlike Cersei's children which are not Robert's sons and thus have no claim to the throne.

Quote

I also doubt claim that Rhaenyra's side was underdog since half of her allies didn't even arrive to conflict and the War was almost won.

Have you read FaB? She is the underdog before many lords of the Realm declare for her. Originally she has only the houses Stannis has at the beginning of the war, too. And like he she is betrayed by Storm's End

Quote

Alicent to me is more similar to more ambitious Catelyn.

Catelyn was never a gold digger trying to incite her husband the king against his oldest child from a previous marriage. Alicent and Cersei's political lives are pretty much the same. They live with kings they do not love, they try to incite said kings against their families (brothers in Cersei's case, brother and daughter in Alicent's case), they conspire with their father to steal the throne, etc.

Chances even are that Cersei is going to get the same miserable death Alicent got - to see her children (and possibly her entire noble house) be destroyed before she herself is allowed to die.

Edited by Lord Varys

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15 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Stannis doesn't have much in common with Rhaenyra other that they are located in Dragonstone, even he considers her a traitor, she is closer to Cersei in character and action.

"Daemon Blackfyre, the brothers Toyne, the Vulture King, Grand Maester Hareth... traitors have always paid with their lives... even Rhaenyra Targaryen. She was daughter to one king and mother to two more, yet she died a traitor's death for trying to usurp her brother's crown.

—Stannis Baratheon, to Davos Seaworth"

Similarities between Stannis and Rhaenyra.

-They are the rightful heirs

-Are on Dragonstone

-Are considered usurpers even thought thay are not

 

About the quote, if Stannis dies, he will be also known as a usurper. Remember history is always written by the winners

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1 hour ago, Baelor 'Breakspear' said:

About the quote, if Stannis dies, he will be also known as a usurper. Remember history is always written by the winners

Chances are also pretty high that Stannis is actually going to die a proper traitor's death, being captured, sentenced, and duly executed either by one of the successful pretenders or by one of their representatives.

Stannis is also known as a traitor, pretender, and would-be usurper. That would only change if he actually ever took the Iron Throne and held it until his death of natural causes. If he were to leave Westeros and impotently tried to gain what he thought belonged to him, like Bittersteel and the Blackfyres, he would also be remembered as a traitor, pretender, and failure.

Other similarities between Rhaenyra and Stannis is their inflexibility. Rhaenyra does not want to compromise despite the fact that Alicent makes (rather ridiculous) suggestions to split up the Seven Kingdoms between Rhaenyra and Aegon II. Also, the way she treats Grand Maester Orwyle on Dragonstone is also something evocative of Stannis. Blood and Cheese, too, actually. It is Stannis' consort Selyse who hooks him up with Melisandre - who then uses guile and low cunning to attack the other side by clandestine means - just as it is Daemon who arranges Blood and Cheese via Mysaria.

Also, we have Stannis and Rhaenyra both having the advantage at sea, we have the Lannister number among Rhaenyra's enemies, we have a Lannister specifically playing the crucial role in her eventual downfall (Ser Tyland), just like Tyrion and Tywin played crucial role in defeating Stannis, etc.

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39 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Chances are also pretty high that Stannis is actually going to die a proper traitor's death, being captured, sentenced, and duly executed either by one of the successful pretenders or by one of their representatives.

Stannis is also known as a traitor, pretender, and would-be usurper. That would only change if he actually ever took the Iron Throne and held it until his death of natural causes. If he were to leave Westeros and impotently tried to gain what he thought belonged to him, like Bittersteel and the Blackfyres, he would also be remembered as a traitor, pretender, and failure.

Other similarities between Rhaenyra and Stannis is their inflexibility. Rhaenyra does not want to compromise despite the fact that Alicent makes (rather ridiculous) suggestions to split up the Seven Kingdoms between Rhaenyra and Aegon II. Also, the way she treats Grand Maester Orwyle on Dragonstone is also something evocative of Stannis. Blood and Cheese, too, actually. It is Stannis' consort Selyse who hooks him up with Melisandre - who then uses guile and low cunning to attack the other side by clandestine means - just as it is Daemon who arranges Blood and Cheese via Mysaria.

Also, we have Stannis and Rhaenyra both having the advantage at sea, we have the Lannister number among Rhaenyra's enemies, we have a Lannister specifically playing the crucial role in her eventual downfall (Ser Tyland), just like Tyrion and Tywin played crucial role in defeating Stannis, etc.

Exactly I think the dance has a lot of parallels with the war of the five kings

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