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Br16

Did Aegon I side against Volantis because of prejudice?

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It would seem more reasonable if Aegon I had negotiated himself some sort of position of power in Volantis during the century of blood. He was the last of the 40 Dragon Lord families, and Volantis was the closest thing to Valyria remaining. 

However, he chose to side with Pentos etc. against Volantis. Could it be because he looked down on the Old Blood of Volantis as upstarts and social climbers? After all, the Old Blood prides themselves on having an unbroken line of Valyrian forefathers. However, to Aegon, that claim would be totally unimpressive as Volantis was once just a garrison town.

So if we put it into the example of Rome. Aegon and the Targaryens would be the last Patrician family of senatorial/consular rank while Volanteen elites would probably have been the equivalent of poor plebeian Roman citizen ranking no higher than an enlisted legionnaire or centurion. 

Thus, could Aegon have been angered that his social inferiors were claiming to be the heirs of Valyria, and thus sided with Volantis' enemies? 

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29 minutes ago, Br16 said:

Could it be because he looked down on the Old Blood of Volantis as upstarts and social climbers?

Why would he seem them as such?

30 minutes ago, Br16 said:

However, to Aegon, that claim would be totally unimpressive as Volantis was once just a garrison town. 

Dragonstone was even less impressive. It was just a tiny irrelevant island far from Valyria itself.

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1 minute ago, The Hoare said:

Why would he seem them as such?

Dragonstone was even less impressive. It was just a tiny irrelevant island far from Valyria itself.

Not the real estate, but the prestige of the blood line (i.e. Dragon lord > non dragon lord Valyrian). It's like how old money discriminates against new money even when the new money have more money.

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Just now, Br16 said:

Not the real estate, but the prestige of the blood line (i.e. Dragon lord > non dragon lord Valyrian). It's like how old money discriminates against new money even when the new money have more money. 

Do we really know that the volantene elites weren't valyrian nobles as well?

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Just now, The Hoare said:

Do we really know that the volantene elites weren't valyrian nobles as well?

I think we could be fairly sure that they were not of the 40 Dragon Lord Houses. Everything I read seems to point out that they all died during the doom, and the few surviving ones other than the Targs died trying to retake Valyria (Aurion and his Qohor host) or were killed afterwards in the ensuing riots/mess. 

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30 minutes ago, Br16 said:

and the few surviving ones other than the Targs died trying to retake Valyria (Aurion and his Qohor host) or were killed afterwards in the ensuing riots/mess.  

The dragons died, but did the former aristocracy also died? I think it's hard to believe that they were all in Valyria. It wouldn't be weird if some second sons decided to create their own fortune in the colonies.

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1 minute ago, The Hoare said:

The dragons died, but did the former aristocracy also died? I think it's hard to believe that they were all in Valyria. It wouldn't be weird if some second sons decided to create their own fortune in the colonies.

I find it even harder to believe that 99% of the dragons were all in one place to face that extinction level event. I mean like no wild dragons hanging around the rest of Essos, hatching their own eggs? 

As for second and third sons making their way in the colonies and surviving, I feel it is not only possible but a sure thing. However, it could be that the reason they are in the colonies is because they could not bond with dragons, thus were considered inferior nobility due to their DNA not being dragon friendly enough? Maybe Valyria did not have a primogeniture system but was more based on the strength of dragon bonding DNA.

Perhaps Valyria was like Gattaca, where a top tier "valid" (such as Jerome Morrow) far outranked a regular "valid", and both outranked the "invalids". 

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Posted (edited)

Mmm problem is it seams you can still bond with a dragon just by having a tiny drop of valyrian blood as it happened with all dragon stone bastards during the dance of dragons. 

 

 

Edited by Señor de la Tormenta

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8 hours ago, Br16 said:

However, it could be that the reason they are in the colonies is because they could not bond with dragons, thus were considered inferior nobility due to their DNA not being dragon friendly enough?

I don't think so. Many half-bloods managed to bond with dragons, even people that didn't looked like valyrians.

We don't know if all of the valyrian nobility were all dragonriders either, or if there were commoners that rode dragons.

8 hours ago, Br16 said:

I find it even harder to believe that 99% of the dragons were all in one place to face that extinction level event

Maybe this was just a excuse that George used to make the Targaryens special?

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We know that the Old Blood of Volantis are the cousins and kin of the Valyrian dragonlords, meaning that there could be scions of much ancient and prestigious dragonlord families still live and rule in Volantis than the Targaryens ever back in Old Valyria. They were a tertiary dragonlord family at best.

We also learn that some of the dragonlords involved in the fighting that led to the destruction of the Rhoynar were closely related to the Volantene elite, reinforcing the fact that some/many of the Old Blood of Volantis are effectively the blood of the dragon who merely lack the dragons. The Maegyrs and Paenymions and Vhassars and Qhaedars, etc. we hear of in ADwD (ruling triarchs and candidates for the elections) might all bear the names of more prestigious dragonlord houses than the Targaryens. Even the Rogares of Lys might have a more prestigious dragonlord ancestors than Aenar Targaryen and his brood.

We also see this reflected in Jaehaerys I's fear what might happen if the stolen dragon eggs fall in the wrong hands - for him, it is not even question that the Volantene triarchs could become dragonlords. For him it is a given that they would if they got those dragon eggs and they did hatch.

In that sense, one has to assume that House Targaryen actually severed their ties to Volantis at one point during the Century of Blood, deciding that the ambitions of Volantis were a threat to them as well as the other children of Valyria.

Volantis started as a Valyrian garrison, but it was built and peopled and ruled by Valyrians - and such Valyrians who kept the closest ties to Valyria itself, with offshoots and cousins and kin of the dragonlords settling there.

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We know that the Old Blood of Volantis are the cousins and kin of the Valyrian dragonlords, meaning that there could be scions of much ancient and prestigious dragonlord families still live and rule in Volantis than the Targaryens ever back in Old Valyria. They were a tertiary dragonlord family at best.

We also learn that some of the dragonlords involved in the fighting that led to the destruction of the Rhoynar were closely related to the Volantene elite, reinforcing the fact that some/many of the Old Blood of Volantis are effectively the blood of the dragon who merely lack the dragons. The Maegyrs and Paenymions and Vhassars and Qhaedars, etc. we hear of in ADwD (ruling triarchs and candidates for the elections) might all bear the names of more prestigious dragonlord houses than the Targaryens. Even the Rogares of Lys might have a more prestigious dragonlord ancestors than Aenar Targaryen and his brood.

We also see this reflected in Jaehaerys I's fear what might happen if the stolen dragon eggs fall in the wrong hands - for him, it is not even question that the Volantene triarchs could become dragonlords. For him it is a given that they would if they got those dragon eggs and they did hatch.

In that sense, one has to assume that House Targaryen actually severed their ties to Volantis at one point during the Century of Blood, deciding that the ambitions of Volantis were a threat to them as well as the other children of Valyria.

Volantis started as a Valyrian garrison, but it was built and peopled and ruled by Valyrians - and such Valyrians who kept the closest ties to Valyria itself, with offshoots and cousins and kin of the dragonlords settling there.

You bring up some great points. So now we have an interesting situation where the Targaryens of Aenar and Aegon are Dragonlords of junior stock (in terms of ranking among the 40) but still a Dragonlord, but the Old Blood of Volantis are the extended family of those whose Houses outranked the Targs, but for some reason did not have dragons of their own and kind got pushed to the periphery. 

So an equivalent example of this dilemma using Westeros social ranking would be: which is more prestigious, a Lannister cousin without gold, or Lord Paramount Bronn, Master of Coin, with seat, title and control of Reach but without that name?

Thus, maybe the situation was the opposite of my original idea: The Targs sided against Volantis and turned to backwater Westeros because bullying agrarian Andals was easier than jumping back into cutthroat Freehold style politics. 

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11 hours ago, The Hoare said:

I don't think so. Many half-bloods managed to bond with dragons, even people that didn't looked like valyrians.

We don't know if all of the valyrian nobility were all dragonriders either, or if there were commoners that rode dragons.

I was under the impression that the case of the dragonseeds wouldn't be an issue in Old Valyria where polygamy and incest were allowed. So they would probably be fully legit members of their Houses back in Old Valyria. Also, I don't think merely having silver hair and purple eyes meant you were dragon material, or else Lys wouldn't have so many Valyrian looking slaves. For example, Dany was definently more special than Viserys, even though they had same hair color etc. Perhaps if Dany and Viserys were born back in old Valyria, Dany would become a Dragonlord while Viserys would fail to bond and end up in Volon Therys as an administrator.  

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15 minutes ago, Br16 said:

You bring up some great points. So now we have an interesting situation where the Targaryens of Aenar and Aegon are Dragonlords of junior stock (in terms of ranking among the 40) but still a Dragonlord, but the Old Blood of Volantis are the extended family of those whose Houses outranked the Targs, but for some reason did not have dragons of their own and kind got pushed to the periphery. 

Well, we do know that the Lands of the Long Summer and Valyria itself were the places the dragonlords and the sorcerer princes and whoever else ruled the Valyrian Freehold spent most of their time. They also visited other places, especially Volantis and Lys (which they used as their pleasure retreat), but we have to keep in mind that there were around forty dragonlord families at the time of the Doom - and likely much more Valyrian related to those dragonlord families to some degree. Yes, incestuous marriage was the norm, but just look at the Targaryen family and the families they are related right now - the Velaryons (and all their kin), the Baratheons, Hightowers, Plumms, Penroses, Martells, Tarths, etc.

Forty+ families would produce much more daughters and sons to spare than a single family ever could - and it seem to be those people the ruling Volantene elite is descended. Some cousins and kin of the dragonlords simply might not have been given permission or opportunity to claim a dragon, so they would have looked for other opportunities to make a fortune, win fame and glory, etc. (you have to keep in mind that Aenar only had five dragons when he left Valyria, but likely more than just five family members, himself included, so even in a dragonlord family there may have been dragonless members at any given time when the family didn't have as many dragons as they could have had). But this doesn't mean they abandoned the incestuous marriages (which were common not only among the dragonlords) and thus they would have preserved the ability to claim dragons just as well as those dragonlord descendants - like the Targaryens and later the Velaryons - who happened to keep their dragons.

15 minutes ago, Br16 said:

So an equivalent example of this dilemma using Westeros social ranking would be: which is more prestigious, a Lannister cousin without gold, or Lord Paramount Bronn, Master of Coin, with seat, title and control of Reach but without that name?

This comparison is somewhat off. Volantis was always more powerful than Aenar Targaryen and his descendants on Dragonstone, never mind their dragons. It was the oldest daughter of Valyria, and the most powerful until the end of the Century of Blood. The Targaryen dragons only gave the Targaryens real power when Aegon conquered Westeros. Prior to that the Targaryens seem to have been little more than (very rich) merchant lords.

Thus the Old Blood of Volantis had the prestige of history, tradition, wealth, and military power against the Targaryens - they also had shiny things, very costly and powerful things - their dragons - but they did not translate into vast political power. We can assume that the Old Blood of Volantis - especially the tigers - coveted the dragons Aenar and his descendants had, while also looking down on them considering they declined to the level of savage feudal lords, giving up the intricate higher civilization of Valyria - Volantis may be a pale of shadow of Valyria due to its lack of both dragonlords and great sorcerers, but it is a freehold, too, and one assumes that the closest we can get to the more mundane aspects of Valyrian political life are actually pretty accurately reflected in the two Volantene political parties, the triarch elections, etc. To see how the Targaryens devolved to the point where they were calling themselves 'lords' and behaved like the feudal lords and petty kings of Westeros must have been painful to watch - assuming the Volantenes bothered to watch that at all. Not to mention that the Targaryens actually had espoused chivalry and other such nonsense, too, by the time the Conqueror was born and raised.

[One guesses that Aegon's ancestors also involved themselves in the wars of the Century of Blood in some capacity - it would be great to know what they did, but it seems that they never clashed with the Volentenes until Aegon.]

15 minutes ago, Br16 said:

Thus, maybe the situation was the opposite of my original idea: The Targs sided against Volantis and turned to backwater Westeros because bullying agrarian Andals was easier than jumping back into cutthroat Freehold style politics. 

Well, there are those hints that prophecy drew Aegon to Westeros, but one assumes that - and here I think Jaehaerys I's attitude towards Volantis is our best hint - he also decided not to expand to Essos because he correctly realized and feared that going there, conquering there could allow the dragonlord descendants there to (eventually) acquire some Targaryen dragons of their own.

We do know that both Rhaena and Jaehaerys I were very aware of that problem - in Westeros the Lannister desire for dragons never got beyond the pipe dream stage because in the end their lack of dragonlord blood would prevent them from ever becoming dragonriders even if they acquired hatchlings or eggs (although it also rather interesting that Rhaena apparently thinks that the Lannisters and her husband Androw Farman could claim dragons if they got the opportunity to try, possibly indicating that not all Targaryens necessarily believe that you must have 'the blood of the dragon' to become a dragonrider - although at this point all dragonriders we know are people who are either confirmed dragonlord descendants or people who clearly are in a position to be descended from dragonlords without us knowing it for a fact) - and that may also have influenced the Conqueror's decision to not set himself up as the ruler of (some of) the Free Cities.

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

We do know that both Rhaena and Jaehaerys I were very aware of that problem - in Westeros the Lannister desire for dragons never got beyond the pipe dream stage because in the end their lack of dragonlord blood would prevent them from ever becoming dragonriders even if they acquired hatchlings or eggs (although it also rather interesting that Rhaena apparently thinks that the Lannisters and her husband Androw Farman could claim dragons if they got the opportunity to try, possibly indicating that not all Targaryens necessarily believe that you must have 'the blood of the dragon' to become a dragonrider - although at this point all dragonriders we know are people who are either confirmed dragonlord descendants or people who clearly are in a position to be descended from dragonlords without us knowing it for a fact) - and that may also have influenced the Conqueror's decision to not set himself up as the ruler of (some of) the Free Cities.

So you believe a better equivalent example would be that to the Old Blood, the Targaryens were like English mid level officers (perhaps a son of a well to do merchant/MP ) who went to West Indies and became sugar barons with their vast plantations, lording over the natives (i.e. Andals) simply because they were European and everybody else was not, but compared to folks closer to home, they would be considered parvenu and provincial? 

Perhaps even when Valyria was still there, Aenar and his House were considered dirt poor upstarts with only five dragons but reluctantly allowed a place in the ruling 40 because he happened to have dragons. Maybe the bigger houses had scores of dragons along with secret sorcery knowledge (i.e. valyrian steel), and even their non dragon riding cousins in Volantis were considered more prestigious than Aenar because they were dragon lords in waiting, and once they got their dragon somehow, they would immediately outrank him. Thus, there could be a lot of resentment against the Targaryens by the Old blood, who viewed the Targs as "underserving" of the last dragons. Perhaps that's why Aerys II couldn't find anybody willing to marry a daughter to Rhaegar when he sent Steffon there. 

Edited by Br16

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1 hour ago, Br16 said:

Perhaps if Dany and Viserys were born back in old Valyria, Dany would become a Dragonlord while Viserys would fail to bond and end up in Volon Therys as an administrator.

I find it unlikely. Yes, Dany does have something special about her, but I can't see why Viserys wouldn't be able to claim a dragon. There were other weaklings that managed to ride a dragon.

We don't know for sure how the dragon bonding works.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, The Hoare said:

I find it unlikely. Yes, Dany does have something special about her, but I can't see why Viserys wouldn't be able to claim a dragon. There were other weaklings that managed to ride a dragon.

We don't know for sure how the dragon bonding works.

Perhaps, dragon lore seems like one of those things that is so shrouded in mystery all we've got is guess work and gut feelings. 

Edited by Br16

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I didn't think that much about it from the complex perspectives others mentioned.  I thought it was simple expediency.  For whatever reason, Aegon was focused on Westeroos.  If Volantis had one that war, Aegon would have been trying to establish his fledgling kingdom in the West with a superpower across the Narrow Sea.  Instead, Aegon helped curb Volantene power with only minimal effort and risk.

I also find it telling that only Aegon and Baelerion were involved in the conflict.  If Aegon had really wanted to put a stamp on Essos, he would have brought at least, one of his sisters and their dragons with him.

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2 minutes ago, PrinceHenryris said:

I didn't think that much about it from the complex perspectives others mentioned.  I thought it was simple expediency.  For whatever reason, Aegon was focused on Westeroos.  If Volantis had one that war, Aegon would have been trying to establish his fledgling kingdom in the West with a superpower across the Narrow Sea.  Instead, Aegon helped curb Volantene power with only minimal effort and risk.

I also find it telling that only Aegon and Baelerion were involved in the conflict.  If Aegon had really wanted to put a stamp on Essos, he would have brought at least, one of his sisters and their dragons with him.

Good point, he had to secure his flank. Could Aegon have chose Westeros because he knew that once the Andals bent the knee, they took it seriously while the Essosi will always rise up at the first sign of weakness? After all, of the 5 dragons Aenar had, 4 died in sequence but only 2 hatched to replace them. So perhaps he was preparing for the day when his posterity might not have dragons, especially as Balerion was middle aged already.

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13 hours ago, Br16 said:

So you believe a better equivalent example would be that to the Old Blood, the Targaryens were like English mid level officers (perhaps a son of a well to do merchant/MP ) who went to West Indies and became sugar barons with their vast plantations, lording over the natives (i.e. Andals) simply because they were European and everybody else was not, but compared to folks closer to home, they would be considered parvenu and provincial? 

Perhaps even when Valyria was still there, Aenar and his House were considered dirt poor upstarts with only five dragons but reluctantly allowed a place in the ruling 40 because he happened to have dragons. Maybe the bigger houses had scores of dragons along with secret sorcery knowledge (i.e. valyrian steel), and even their non dragon riding cousins in Volantis were considered more prestigious than Aenar because they were dragon lords in waiting, and once they got their dragon somehow, they would immediately outrank him. Thus, there could be a lot of resentment against the Targaryens by the Old blood, who viewed the Targs as "underserving" of the last dragons. Perhaps that's why Aerys II couldn't find anybody willing to marry a daughter to Rhaegar when he sent Steffon there. 

I think the Volantene elite doesn't really give Westeros much thought. They see themselves as successors of Valyria, not House Targaryen. They continue Valyrian culture and tradition, not those half-savages on Dragonstone and later in Westeros.

Where they jealous of the dragons? Perhaps. But it didn't really enter into politics. They never tried to get some, for a start. It is clear that Gyldayn sees Jaehaerys I as a very powerful ruler thanks to his dragons and the assets and resources he controls. But do the Old Blood of Volantis agree? I'm not so sure about that.

It would be interesting to see if any Dragonstonian Targaryens intermarried with the Volatenes and Lyseni before the Conquest, but at this point we don't know that.

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There are some really great points in this thread. I definitely agree that he may have sided against Volantis because they harbored the descendants of Valyrian families that once outranked the Targaryens in the Old Freehold, since the Targaryens originally were not among the most powerful of the 40 families but became the most powerful after the Doom destroyed their kin... the problem for Volantis was Aegon had three dragons, they had none. It sure would've been cool to think about how much stronger Aegon's forces could've been if they were reinforced by the Volantenes, but in the end he conquered Westeros just the same 

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