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James Steller

Aegon and his Enemies

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Aegon III has become one of my all time favourite characters thanks to Fire and Blood. He’s really come alive as one of the most interesting figures of the series. And there’s a lot to talk about with him.

One thing that struck me recently as the situation between Aegon and Gareth Long, but let’s also throw the situation between Aegon and Marston Waters as well later on. 

Gareth is a highly abusive man who tortures Aegon’s only friend to make him train better. He never fails to maintain that Aegon is weak and later conspires against Aegon with Unwin Peake. Naturally, Gareth is sent to the Wall for his crimes when he’s caught.

But let’s put aside the conspiracy. Let’s assume Gareth didn’t conspire against Aegon. What exactly will happen when Aegon becomes king? As I read the passage about the whipping boy incident, I couldn’t help but imagine Aegon glaring at a sneering Gareth and imagining a cruel revenge when he came of age. Nobody would have stopped the king from sending Gareth to the Wall on his own or object to Gareth being punished somehow. Kings far crueller than Aegon got away with much worse. 

The same thing applies to Marston Waters on a lesser degree. He’s the man who watched Aegon’s mother get fed to a dragon. He himself points out that the Kingsguard are sworn to obey the king no matter what. So Aegon could have ordered Marston to the Wall, or even kill himself if Aegon was particularly bloody minded. 

My point is that apart from Tyland Lannister, nobody tried to get on the future king’s good side, while some were completely hostile from the start. Were Gareth Long and Marston Waters planning to leave King’s Landing before Aegon turned 16? Because they’d be stupid to stick around once the boy who hated them became their ruler.

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As I think I've say before, I thought Marston Waters and Gareth Long and all of Peake's other cronies actually hoped that the broken boy would, in fact, never rule. When Peake still held the reins of the government - and he was effectively king in all but name after he become both Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm in addition to be one of the regents - they clearly hoped that Lord Unwin would continue to rule in Aegon III's name even after the boy had come of age. And that's not exactly a futile hope or naivete if one actually considers how singularly unpromising and unsuited Aegon III was to actually rule as a king. He did not speak for days. He had no friends, companions, or confidants, followers, etc. aside from a whore's son. He made no attempt whatsoever to play a part in his own government or to oppose the decisions his regents made or to try to push some limits on the authority they exerted over him and his half-sisters.

Peake's plan clearly was to continue as Hand of the King after the king had come of age - and keep Aegon III under his thumb with the help of the men he had put into high office. At times the entire court was controlled by Unwin Peake's people. Aegon III had no way to actually break the power those men and women had over him - and considering his personality and character Peake and his followers could be very sure that he would never gain the means to change that. Aegon III wasn't a boy king who would spent, say, the 2-3 years before he came of age with well-connected highborn buddies he would hunt, drink, whore, and make plans with. He would spent those years basically in self-chosen solitary confinement - with Peake needing only to exert mild pressure to ensure that it stayed that way.

The boy was the ideal puppet king.

Aside from all that, we should also take into account that the kind of methods Gareth Long used to train his king at arms were likely not that exceptional. Masters-at-arms are supposed to train even princes at kings to fight and defend themselves and prepare them for the harsh and dangerous world they live in. Long certainly seems to take this very far and seems to be singularly disinterested in actually sucking up to the boy who is later - at least nominally - going to hold his life and career in his hand. But that perhaps is an indication that he never actually expected Unwin Peake would permit the king to rule in his own right.

I think this quote about both Peake's and Waters' attitude toward Aegon III's newfound interest in the governance of his Seven Kingdoms after he had married Daenaera Velaryon can be seen as implicit confirmation of my overall theory:

Quote

The young king’s new interest in the world even extended to the rule of his kingdom. Aegon III began to attend the council. Though he seldom spoke, his presence heartened Grand Maester Munkun, and seemed to please Lord Mooton and Lord Rowan. Ser Marston Waters of the Kingsguard seemed discomfited by His Grace’s attendance, however, and Lord Peake took it for a rebuke. Whenever Aegon made so bold as to ask a question, Munkun tells us, the Hand would bristle and accuse him of wasting the council’s time, or inform him that such weighty matters were beyond the understanding of a child. Unsurprisingly, before very long His Grace began to absent himself from the meetings, as before.

Peake and Waters basically bullied the king out of his own council and government - which strongly suggests, indicates even, that they did not want to see him take an active part nor intended to prepare him for a time when the power was actually transferred to Aegon III. Instead they seemed to have intended to ensure that the boy is both not prepared to rule nor ever able to take power from them.

Peake's plan to marry Aegon III to his own daughter Myrielle also very much indicates what he wanted to do: He did not only want to advance himself and his family by marrying his daughter to the king, but he wanted the king to produce another heir, a half-Peake, in whose name he, Unwin Peake, could continue to rule if Aegon III would have to be dealt with the same way Lord Unwin had already dealt with Queen Jaehaera in the past.

The only reason why Unwin Peake and his goons did not try to kill Aegon III earlier is that without him they would lose the reins of power. Because the king's half-sisters, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen, married under the aegis of Tyland Lannister, and if either of them (or hypothetical sons of theirs) were to ascend the Iron Throne after Aegon III's death the new regency government or effective power over the government would fall in the hands of the girls and/or their husbands, Alyn Velaryon and Corwyn Corbray. This was definitely not in Peake's interest nor in the interest of any of his allies among the (former) Greens.

I mean, we see how Aegon III himself is only targeted by the Peake gang after Prince Viserys has returned from Lys - he is an alternative to Aegon III because he isn't the boy who personally witnessed and suffered through a lot of atrocities during the Dance nor did he hear much firsthand about the various plots and betrayal that were dominating Aegon III day-to-day life from 129-134 AC.

When they try to poison Aegon III and Daenaera Peake has already been dismissed as Lord Regent, Protector of the Realm, and Hand. He still has men and women in crucial positions, but he no longer runs the show. The new queen, the meddling of the Velaryons and Corbrays, and the arrival of the Rogares further weakens his position. It also becomes clear that the boy king might actually play a long game here, at least insofar as he is capable of doing that in his state, preparing himself for a moment when he can come into his own and cleanse his court.

Neither Lord Unwin nor his goons would have been looking forward to that, so they planned to get rid of Aegon III and try to play the same game with a Viserys II.

I'd also say that the ultimate point of Rogare plot that culminated in the Secret Siege was to make Prince Viserys a widower by killing Larra alongside her brothers and make another attempt - this time a successful one - on Aegon III himself. That way their future would have been secured.

And to come back to Marston Waters specifically:

I'd say the quote I give above makes it a tidbit more likely that Waters was well aware of his own precarious position should Aegon III ever be allowed to run his own household and government. A single look in the White Book would have given Waters the names of his sworn brothers who were sent to the Wall by Jaehaerys I because they had been creatures of the usurper Maegor the Cruel.

Even if we assume Aegon III bore Waters no ill will - which I doubt considering the role he played in the death of his mother and his own and Baela's imprisonment (not to mention Waters apparently also actively not liking his king's active participation or mere attendance at council sessions) - then Waters would have (1) no way of actually knowing that for sure (he would have been stupid to simply (want to) believe that the king whose mother he helped to kill wouldn't hold that against him, and (2) no reason at all to believe that Aegon III could possibly keep him as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard or allow him to continue to serve.

The relationship between KG and king is based on trust. You don't surround yourself with bodyguards you don't trust. That would just be silly. And you don't allow men you don't trust to protect your wife and children. It is clear that many a king would have 'inherited' KG from his predecessor, but it is one thing to not (particularly) like a specific KG and have the kind of history with a KG Aegon III had with Waters.

In that sense, Waters had every reason to expect to be forced to take the black when Aegon III started to rule in his own right - or to actually be executed or suffer some sort of accident.

And that, I think, is a reason why he was more deeply involved in the schemes of Peake's gang than some people believe. The fact that he did not openly attack Maegor's Holdfast can easily enough explained with him having scruples because it would be impossible for him as Kingsguard to directly attack the king. Even if he succeeded, this would have severe consequences for him once the Realm at large learned about what had happened - as they eventually would. Even more so if King Aegon III or Prince Viserys were injured or even killed in such an attack.

Turning against the conspirators could have been Waters' way to both save his neck and win the trust or at least of the king who was quickly approaching manhood and whose court was no longer dominated by Unwin Peake and his allies.

As for Long: I expect he would have quietly resigned as master-of-arms a fortnight or so before Aegon III became a man grown if there had been no conspiracy, removing himself back to one of Peake's castles where he would continue in the capacity of master-of-arms there. A particular nasty or vindictive king could certainly destroy Long even there, but it would be somewhat more difficult if the man was under the protection of Lord Unwin.

But a Long who stubbornly or naively thought he done nothing wrong while training the king at arms might have been as hurt or pissed as Lord Torrhen Manderly is when he is unexpectedly dismissed as Hand.

But I'm curious - do you think dismissing the regents and Lord Manderly is the only house-cleansing Aegon III did once he took the government into his own hands?

I expect that he also immediately dismissed Lady Clarice Osgrey as master of the queen's household and also Gedmund Peake simply because he was Lord Unwin's uncle. I also expect him to restore Robert Darklyn to the Kingsguard should the man still be willing and able to serve once there is a new opening.

I don't think Aegon III messed with any of the other new appointments Manderly made - Lucas Lothston remained master-at-arms, Maester Rawley remained Lord Confessor (and I really think that guy, being the student of Archmaester Sandeman, allegedly the greatest healer in the history of Westeros (i.e. an expert in poisons!), played a crucial role in the poisoning of the dragons - if they were poisoned, that is).

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Assuming that there's no treason conspiracy, what would Aegon charge Gareth with once he took his supposed revenge as a grown king?

Guard: Gareth Long, you are under arrest.

Gareth: What's the charge?

Guard: The king accuses you of being mean while training him.

Gareth: You mean while I was training him to have the skill set that any nobleman is expected to have in this world? The skill set that he needs to have in order to be a respected king in our society? And the skill set that he otherwise wouldn't have because he's a goddamn emo boy who doesn't get over the same thing that literally millions of boys less privileged than him would have to deal with in the aftermath of the Dance of Dragons? 

Guard: Er… yes.

Gareth: (Bursts out laughing)

Guard: (Laughs along) Yeah, this is really stupid, why is he our king again?

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22 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Assuming that there's no treason conspiracy, what would Aegon charge Gareth with once he took his supposed revenge as a grown king?

Guard: Gareth Long, you are under arrest.

Gareth: What's the charge?

Guard: The king accuses you of being mean while training him.

Gareth: You mean while I was training him to have the skill set that any nobleman is expected to have in this world? The skill set that he needs to have in order to be a respected king in our society? And the skill set that he otherwise wouldn't have because he's a goddamn emo boy who doesn't get over the same thing that literally millions of boys less privileged than him would have to deal with in the aftermath of the Dance of Dragons? 

Guard: Er… yes.

Gareth: (Bursts out laughing)

Guard: (Laughs along) Yeah, this is really stupid, why is he our king again?

As I said, crueller kings got away with far worse than that.

And besides, Aegon wouldn’t have needed to make a public arrest. He could have commanded Gareth Long to go to the Night’s Watch because they require the service of men like him. If Long protests, he commits treason. Aegon basically gives Gareth the choice of either walking to the Wall and saying his vows honourably, or be dragged north in chains as befitting a man who disobeys his king. 

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Just now, James Steller said:

As I said, crueller kings got away with far worse than that.

And those kings didn't live long, nor were they respected. Aegon III was also unpopular anyway, due to, again, the fact that he's an antisocial, spoiled, self-obsessed man-child who openly shuts down any attempt to be social or makes enemies out of men who are trying to help him. If he started punishing men for doing their jobs, it would have been him who took a crash landing onto some spikes instead of his first wife.

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Just now, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Aegon III was also unpopular anyway, due to, again, the fact that he's an antisocial, spoiled, self-obsessed man-child who openly shuts down any attempt to be social or makes enemies out of men who are trying to help him.

I feel like your negative reaction to Aegon III is wildly out of proportion....

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1 hour ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

And those kings didn't live long, nor were they respected. Aegon III was also unpopular anyway, due to, again, the fact that he's an antisocial, spoiled, self-obsessed man-child who openly shuts down any attempt to be social or makes enemies out of men who are trying to help him. If he started punishing men for doing their jobs, it would have been him who took a crash landing onto some spikes instead of his first wife.

That's just a nonsensical assessment based on insufficient evidence. We have no detailed picture of the adult Aegon III yet. Not to mention that your view doesn't reflect at all that royalty and nobility are set apart from lesser men - nobody gives a damn about the smallfolk that died during the Dance of the Dragons whereas everybody mourns for the blood of the dragon (and those of prestigious noble families) that was pointlessly spilled in the war.

And you really seem underestimate the power monarchs or high nobility have in this world. Gareth Long is basically a nobody. Aegon III could have Sandoq the Shadow pay him a visit and make the remains into some bowls of brown. There is no need to give such people a trial or a public execution.

This world doesn't care what a monarch does to his household knights and retainers - it only cares if people of high rank and high birth are treated unjustly, or if large scale atrocities are committed.

The idea that a king would also not have an army of willing helpers in destroying the lives of the people he hates is also not exactly fitting. We see how people basically outdo themselves helping Cersei with her plots to destroy people who have done nothing wrong. If Aegon III had made plans (like Aegon IV later did) to destroy this or that person for fun then he would have gotten all the assistance he needed - at least at a point where it was clear that he was running the government. And it is very clear that he did control his government at the end of FaB.

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13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That's just a nonsensical assessment based on insufficient evidence. We have no detailed picture of the adult Aegon III yet. Not to mention that your view doesn't reflect at all that royalty and nobility are set apart from lesser men - nobody gives a damn about the smallfolk that died during the Dance of the Dragons whereas everybody mourns for the blood of the dragon (and those of prestigious noble families) that was pointlessly spilled in the war.

And you really seem underestimate the power monarchs or high nobility have in this world. Gareth Long is basically a nobody. Aegon III could have Sandoq the Shadow pay him a visit and make the remains into some bowls of brown. There is no need to give such people a trial or a public execution.

This world doesn't care what a monarch does to his household knights and retainers - it only cares if people of high rank and high birth are treated unjustly, or if large scale atrocities are committed.

The idea that a king would also not have an army of willing helpers in destroying the lives of the people he hates is also not exactly fitting. We see how people basically outdo themselves helping Cersei with her plots to destroy people who have done nothing wrong. If Aegon III had made plans (like Aegon IV later did) to destroy this or that person for fun then he would have gotten all the assistance he needed - at least at a point where it was clear that he was running the government. And it is very clear that he did control his government at the end of FaB.

To be fair, it probably wouldn’t have been Sandoq. His arrival with Viserys and the Rogare family was a wild card that nobody could have predicted. But otherwise I agree with you, Lord Varys. But that still makes me feel that even though Unwin Peake was muscling his way into power by surrounding Aegon with his underlings, there’s ultimately nothing he could have done once Aegon came of age. And it’s debatable how long Aegon has this mindset, but it’s clear to me that he was patient and playing the long game when I came to his youth. The instant that his absolute power kicked in, he made use of it without any care for protocol or even courtesy. Even if Unwin was still around, and hell, even if he married Unwin’s daughter, nothing would have saved Unwin from Aegon ordering him out or demanding the Kingsguard to have Gareth Long killed. Ned Stark’s daughter was engaged to the boy king and he wasn’t even of age when he demanded and receiver Ned Stark’s head.

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8 hours ago, James Steller said:

To be fair, it probably wouldn’t have been Sandoq. His arrival with Viserys and the Rogare family was a wild card that nobody could have predicted.

Sure, but I actually expect Sandoq the Shadow to become Aegon III's enforcer, the man he sends out to deal with things he wants to see done. In fact, I'd not be surprised if he ended up on the Kingsguard if he were to remain with Viserys and the children in KL rather than to accompany Larra Rogare back to Lys.

8 hours ago, James Steller said:

But otherwise I agree with you, Lord Varys. But that still makes me feel that even though Unwin Peake was muscling his way into power by surrounding Aegon with his underlings, there’s ultimately nothing he could have done once Aegon came of age.

Aegon III could only come into his own because Peake's plans did not succeed - he did not marry his daughter to the king, and he did not continue to rule as Hand, Protector, and Lord Regent until the king came of age. The Rogare affair and the Secret Siege also led to many or even most of his cronies being ousted from their powerful positions at court while the same events also broke the established power structure of the regency government. The regents chosen by lot had neither a power base nor the ambitions or abilities to build one such, and Torrhen Manderly also did not want to set himself up as the de facto king. It was not difficult to remove and dismiss such men from power.

But if Peake had still been running the show - and if Myrielle Peake had been the queen at Aegon's side - things would have been vastly different.

You have to keep in mind that this is a medieval setting. There is no other authority at court but the king - and if you control the king, not just because you influence his decisions, but because you actually physically control his person by surrounding him with a literal army of people that are all more loyal or beholden to you than the king then you are the one ruling, not the king.

There are sufficient examples for monarchs in the real middle ages which continued to be dominated by their regents or the government officials those regents appointed - Louis IX of France, for instance, remained under the thumb of his mother even after he had become an adult and was ruling in his own right.

In Aegon III's case controlling him should have been very easy considering the boy had neither friends nor loyal followers. All a man like Peake needed to do was to surround him with men he controlled and Aegon III would not have the means to ever rebel against him. It is quite clear that Peake owned and controlled the KG until Amaury Peake, Mervyn Flowers, and Marston Waters were killed. Aegon III couldn't have counted on their support if he wanted to dismiss Peake as Hand on his 16th nameday.

8 hours ago, James Steller said:

And it’s debatable how long Aegon has this mindset, but it’s clear to me that he was patient and playing the long game when I came to his youth. The instant that his absolute power kicked in, he made use of it without any care for protocol or even courtesy. Even if Unwin was still around, and hell, even if he married Unwin’s daughter, nothing would have saved Unwin from Aegon ordering him out or demanding the Kingsguard to have Gareth Long killed. Ned Stark’s daughter was engaged to the boy king and he wasn’t even of age when he demanded and receiver Ned Stark’s head.

The differences here are enormous - Joffrey was part of a government which wanted to include him in public affairs and it was arranged that the men he was ordering about would actually obey his commands (we all suspect that Littlefinger was the guy who ensured behind the scenes that Slynt would immediately execute Joff's command after it was given). This wouldn't have been the case with Aegon III.

It is very evident that Aegon III was nothing but a puppet during the days of Peake's greatest power. Peake used and moved like a pawn when he had that great ceremony where Alyn Velaryon was first rewarded and honored and then dispatched to the Sunset Sea.

But the crucial point is not that Waters and Long and Peake could have been perfectly sure that their positions would be perfectly secure even after the king had come of age - it is that all we need to assume is that they believed or convinced themselves that they could continue to run the government even after the king had come of age. All they needed to do that was to be overconfident, to believe more in their own ability and power and underestimating Aegon III - which could have happened rather easily. A boy who rarely even talks (and does even less) isn't somebody you think of an adversary.

I'm not saying there is no chance that Aegon III could have freed himself from Peake and his gang even if he had been married to Myrielle and Peake had continued to rule the Realm even after the king had come of age - I'm just saying that the way things have been presented it would have been much more difficult to break Peake in such a scenario than it would have been to break Manderly.

And if Prince Viserys had been dead/never returned, if Alyn Velaryon had died in the Sunset Sea chances would have been very high that Aegon III may not have lived to celebrate his 16th nameday - because Peake would have removed him the way he removed Jaehaera as soon as Myrielle had born Aegon III 1-2 heirs. There wouldn't have been any people around the king who could have helped or protected him. Baela would have been married to a man of Peake's choosing, and Corwyn Corbray - assuming he had not died in the Vale - wouldn't have had the standing to really challenge the Peake-dominated regency government. Rhaena herself could have become a power of her own once her dragon started to grow, but by that time it may have been too late for Aegon III.

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It is a very sad story indeed but Aegon had spine when it mattered really. He just wore a mask and he did show what he really was from time to time but really he was imprisoned in his own mind of torture. He was always I think under the believe he deserved everything he got and then some even though it wasn't true. 

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Even if Viserys never returned, Unwin Peake was never going to triumph.

He isn't undone in one fell swoop. His downfall is carried out by a sequence of actions and the intervention of many people. First, his attempt to marry Myrielle to Aegon leads to a literal continent-wide protest from everyone else. Unwin acted selfishly, arrogantly, and in great haste following the tragic death of Jaehaera (even if he had nothing to do with her murder). If Aegon was truly isolated, none of those lords would have said a thing. Yes, I'm aware that most of those lords are selfish themselves, but the point still stands that they would never allow one egotistical lord take control of the royal family. 

And even without the other lords, there's also Rhaena and Baela Targaryen. Their arrival with Daenara Velaryon is one of the best moments of the book, as far as I'm concerned, and it's a clear sign that nothing Unwin could do would ever be enough to defeat the sisters. They were popular, headstrong, independent, and all despite having wildly different personalities. Unwin would never be able to rein them in. 

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On 7/29/2019 at 6:09 PM, desire said:

It is a very sad story indeed but Aegon had spine when it mattered really. He just wore a mask and he did show what he really was from time to time but really he was imprisoned in his own mind of torture. He was always I think under the believe he deserved everything he got and then some even though it wasn't true. 

I don't really think he wore a mask as such. He certainly was smart enough to not let people he may have despised or hated to see his true feelings, but we see, for instance, that the Peake gang essentially fooled him since he actually bought Lord Rowan's fake confession until Viserys' intervention proved what they had done.

32 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

Even if Viserys never returned, Unwin Peake was never going to triumph.

Perhaps not. The point I was making is simply that I think Peake, Waters, and his other cronies actually believed that Lord Unwin would get his way. That explains their actions.

32 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

He isn't undone in one fell swoop. His downfall is carried out by a sequence of actions and the intervention of many people. First, his attempt to marry Myrielle to Aegon leads to a literal continent-wide protest from everyone else. Unwin acted selfishly, arrogantly, and in great haste following the tragic death of Jaehaera (even if he had nothing to do with her murder). If Aegon was truly isolated, none of those lords would have said a thing. Yes, I'm aware that most of those lords are selfish themselves, but the point still stands that they would never allow one egotistical lord take control of the royal family.

But he continued to do everything in his power to ensure Aegon III would marry his own daughter by arranging the ball, having his daughter spend time with Aegon III, trying to destroy Myrielle's greatest rivals, etc. He also tried to undo the king's decision to marry Daenaera and had he not stupidly offered his own resignation in the process of all of that, he certainly could have later set the marriage aside at a point where he was the only powerful regent left - after all, Aegon III and Daenaera only consummated their marriage years later.

32 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

And even without the other lords, there's also Rhaena and Baela Targaryen. Their arrival with Daenara Velaryon is one of the best moments of the book, as far as I'm concerned, and it's a clear sign that nothing Unwin could do would ever be enough to defeat the sisters. They were popular, headstrong, independent, and all despite having wildly different personalities. Unwin would never be able to rein them in. 

Yeah, but as I said above, the girls could easily have ended up at Peake's mercy if Lord Unwin had still been Hand when Ser Corwyn Corbray died and if Alyn Velaryon had died in the Sunset Sea.

The man had a queen murdered and later masterminded an attempt on another queen and the king, continuing with a plot that would have likely led to the eventual death of the king (Aegon III would not have long survived the end of the Secret Siege).

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

The man had a queen murdered and later masterminded an attempt on another queen and the king, continuing with a plot that would have likely led to the eventual death of the king (Aegon III would not have long survived the end of the Secret Siege).

Frankly, Unwin didn't try hard enough as far as I'm concerned. Reading about the Targaryens is like reading about the Egyptian pharaohs, especially the really gross ones during the Ptolemaic dynasty where Cleopatra had just six great grandparents instead of the normal sixteen. It's disgusting.

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2 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Frankly, Unwin didn't try hard enough as far as I'm concerned. Reading about the Targaryens is like reading about the Egyptian pharaohs, especially the really gross ones during the Ptolemaic dynasty where Cleopatra had just six great grandparents instead of the normal sixteen. It's disgusting.

Are you deluding yourself into believing Peake wouldn't have married the children of Myrielle-Aegon III or Myrielle-Viserys II to each other to purify and preserve the new Peake-Targaryens? Alicent Hightower does the same with Aegon the Elder and Helaena.

There is not a shred of a chance that the royal incest would have stopped. And as it happens both Aegon III-Daenaera Velaryon and Viserys II-Larra Rogare actually happen to be less closely related to each other than the children of a Targaryen king and Myrielle Peake would have been.

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11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Are you deluding yourself into believing Peake wouldn't have married the children of Myrielle-Aegon III or Myrielle-Viserys II to each other to purify and preserve the new Peake-Targaryens? Alicent Hightower does the same with Aegon the Elder and Helaena.

There is not a shred of a chance that the royal incest would have stopped. And as it happens both Aegon III-Daenaera Velaryon and Viserys II-Larra Rogare actually happen to be less closely related to each other than the children of a Targaryen king and Myrielle Peake would have been.

I’m familiar with Floki’s posts, he’s very anti-Targaryen in general. And for some reason Aegon III really irks him. I wouldn’t put too much effort into out-rationalizing him on this.

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2 minutes ago, James Steller said:

I’m familiar with Floki’s posts, he’s very anti-Targaryen in general. And for some reason Aegon III really irks him. I wouldn’t put too much effort into out-rationalizing him on this.

As I said above, there is really no reason to give credence to the idea that Aegon III sucked as an adult, so I really don't know where this thing is coming from.

I don't expect Aegon III to be a particularly good king, but it seems clear he is going to manage and he is going to be in control of his own court and government. And while he clearly failed at ever becoming popular, he most definitely seems going to be better than his two sons and his nephew considering that he is neither war-mongering, madly pious, or, according to George himself, the worst Targaryen king in history.

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I'm really looking forward to the next installment of Fire and Blood.

I want to know what happens to Baela, Rhaena, Aegon III and Daenaera.

Particularly, I want to know what caused Aegon III to be known as Aegon the Dragonbane.

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