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Canon Claude

Which of Jaehaerys and Alysanne's kids was the most interesting to read about?

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The Old King and Good Queen had quite a few children together, and they all got up to a number of interesting adventures while being unique individuals.

So which of these kids caught your attention the most? 

For me, it was Alyssa Targaryen. It was oddly refreshing to read about a young happy couple who were completely open and unashamed about how epic their sex life was (this was after I just quietly forgot about how incestuous House Targaryen is and tried not to think about it while reading these books). But more than that, Alyssa was almost like an Arya Stark who got to live life as she wanted. She was clearly an adept fighter, given how badly she humiliated her brother in the training yard, and she was quick to stand up for her sisters, even if she didn't have a good relationship with them. 

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Posted (edited)

I think it’s a tossup between Vaegon and Saera. I find myself drawn to the people who defy the Westerosi conventions, whether it’s Arya Stark or Aegon III or Stannis Baratheon. And Vaegon and Saera both fit in this category.

Vaegon clearly has issues with socializing, or maybe even a condition that puts him on the spectrum. Either way, he defies any and all attempts to normalize him. Reading about that, as well as the lengths his parents go to find a place for him in Westerosi society, was a genuinely interesting read. 

Saera, meanwhile, does something similar. Yes, she is very manipulative and selfish, but some could read her actions like a rebellion against what women were expected to be like, especially princesses. Saera’s abandonment of her family felt almost brave, and her becoming a prostitute could arguably be her embracing her sexuality, much like how Vaegon embraces his a sexuality. And they both lead lives that they’re clearly happy with, even though everyone around them disapproves. And what’s more, they both thrive and refuse the conventional trappings previously denied to them. Vaegon is a celebrated archmaester who refuses to become his father’s heir after his brothers are all dead, and Saera rises to power in Essos and laughs off the idea that she’d pursue her judgmental father’s old crown when she has her own kingdom to enjoy.

Edited by James Steller

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Although she wasn't featured prominently, I'd say Viserra, since she really got a raw deal. She's described as "sly" and "vain," but she never really did anything wrong. We're told that her and some boys tried to play a game of chicken in the dragonpit, but she's one of about a dozen Targaryens who broke into the dragonpit in Fire and Blood (and unlike the others, she seemed to have learned her lesson). Her drunken attempt at seducing Baelon was framed more as a desperate attempt to avoid marrying an old man than as a play for power. We're told that she spent a lot of times around boys but was never intimate with any of them. Her best friend was a Butterwell, who is randomly smeared in F&B as "empty-headed" for no particular reason. 

So despite the fact that Viserra never actually did anything wrong, her mother was certain she was Cersei-in-training, and decided to marry her off to an obese elderly man who had already outlived four wives. Viserra's beauty was painted as an omen of doom (despite it never being held against any of the other Targaryens), and whereas all of her other sisters had some say in who they were going to marry, Viserra was never consulted about her betrothal. Perhaps she was just more compliant than Daella and Saera; the night Viserra died, she wasn't running away, but rather throwing herself a kind of "going away party" before she was shipped North.

Alysanne's treatment of Viserra doesn't make any sense. I've seen it suggested that Alysanne was subconsciously jealous of her daughter (Alysanne wasn't considered particularly beautiful, and neither were Alyssa or Maegelle. Daella was extremely fragile, and Saera was Saera). That could be true, although F&B didn't really do much in clarifying that. Either way, #ViserraDeservedBetter

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1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Although she wasn't featured prominently, I'd say Viserra, since she really got a raw deal. She's described as "sly" and "vain," but she never really did anything wrong. We're told that her and some boys tried to play a game of chicken in the dragonpit, but she's one of about a dozen Targaryens who broke into the dragonpit in Fire and Blood (and unlike the others, she seemed to have learned her lesson). Her drunken attempt at seducing Baelon was framed more as a desperate attempt to avoid marrying an old man than as a play for power. We're told that she spent a lot of times around boys but was never intimate with any of them. Her best friend was a Butterwell, who is randomly smeared in F&B as "empty-headed" for no particular reason. 

So despite the fact that Viserra never actually did anything wrong, her mother was certain she was Cersei-in-training, and decided to marry her off to an obese elderly man who had already outlived four wives. Viserra's beauty was painted as an omen of doom (despite it never being held against any of the other Targaryens), and whereas all of her other sisters had some say in who they were going to marry, Viserra was never consulted about her betrothal. Perhaps she was just more compliant than Daella and Saera; the night Viserra died, she wasn't running away, but rather throwing herself a kind of "going away party" before she was shipped North.

Alysanne's treatment of Viserra doesn't make any sense. I've seen it suggested that Alysanne was subconsciously jealous of her daughter (Alysanne wasn't considered particularly beautiful, and neither were Alyssa or Maegelle. Daella was extremely fragile, and Saera was Saera). That could be true, although F&B didn't really do much in clarifying that. Either way, #ViserraDeservedBetter

Personally, I didn’t like how Viserra only saw her older sister’s death as a chance to seduce her grieving brother to climb the ladder. She clearly had aspirations to be queen, she thought of herself as a living goddess, and she trashtalked her dead sister as a reason for why Baelon would OBVIOUSLY like her better since she doesn’t have a broken nose.

Admittedly it’s odd that Alysanne wanted to send Viserra north to marry the old lord Manderly, but (a) she wanted to tie the North closer to the rest of Westeros and (b) she wanted to deflate Viserra’s almost-sociopathic vanity.

Viserra might have deserved a bit better, but arrogance is never attractive.

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40 minutes ago, James Steller said:

Personally, I didn’t like how Viserra only saw her older sister’s death as a chance to seduce her grieving brother to climb the ladder. She clearly had aspirations to be queen, she thought of herself as a living goddess, and she trashtalked her dead sister as a reason for why Baelon would OBVIOUSLY like her better since she doesn’t have a broken nose.

Admittedly it’s odd that Alysanne wanted to send Viserra north to marry the old lord Manderly, but (a) she wanted to tie the North closer to the rest of Westeros and (b) she wanted to deflate Viserra’s almost-sociopathic vanity.

Viserra might have deserved a bit better, but arrogance is never attractive.

We don't know that Viserra didn't mourn Alyssa's death. It's implied that Viserra tried to seduce Baelon right before she was to be sent to White Harbor, which was in in 87 AC. Alyssa had died three years earlier, in 84 AC.

I also don't really understand Alysanne's argument that Viserra was scheming to be queen. Aemon was still alive at this point, as was his daughter, Rhaenys. Unless Alysanne thought Viserra was going to kill her brother and niece, then there was no way Viserra was going to be queen (unless George messed up the timeline and intended for Viserra to die after Aemon).

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The most interesting characters are definitely Vaegon and Saera and Daella, with Alyssa and Viserra not that far behind. Aemon, Baelon, Maegelle, Gael, and Daenerys are pretty pale characters (although the latter is pretty flashed out for her age).

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12 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

We don't know that Viserra didn't mourn Alyssa's death. It's implied that Viserra tried to seduce Baelon right before she was to be sent to White Harbor, which was in in 87 AC. Alyssa had died three years earlier, in 84 AC.

I also don't really understand Alysanne's argument that Viserra was scheming to be queen. Aemon was still alive at this point, as was his daughter, Rhaenys. Unless Alysanne thought Viserra was going to kill her brother and niece, then there was no way Viserra was going to be queen (unless George messed up the timeline and intended for Viserra to die after Aemon).

There’s a passage where Viserra makes it clear that she has her eyes on Baelon and wants to replace her ugly older sister and become his wife. Presumably because she can’t try to marry Aemon given that his wife is still alive. But we do know that Westerosi would consider Baelon to be third in line for the throne, and anything can happen to an heir (just like what happened to Aemon) so Viserra wasn’t completely crazy to assume that she could become queen by marrying Baelon.

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On 8/6/2019 at 5:11 AM, Canon Claude said:

For me, it was Alyssa Targaryen. It was oddly refreshing to read about a young happy couple who were completely open and unashamed about how epic their sex life was (this was after I just quietly forgot about how incestuous House Targaryen is and tried not to think about it while reading these books). But more than that, Alyssa was almost like an Arya Stark who got to live life as she wanted. She was clearly an adept fighter, given how badly she humiliated her brother in the training yard, and she was quick to stand up for her sisters, even if she didn't have a good relationship with them. 

Alyssa is the one I have great trouble forgiving George. There was no narrative reason to have her die in childbirth and no reason to not have her accompany her brothers to war. She could have lived into the reign of her son, and she could have had more living children than just Viserys and Daemon.

On 8/6/2019 at 5:23 AM, James Steller said:

Vaegon clearly has issues with socializing, or maybe even a condition that puts him on the spectrum. Either way, he defies any and all attempts to normalize him. Reading about that, as well as the lengths his parents go to find a place for him in Westerosi society, was a genuinely interesting read. 

Vaegon clearly seems to be George's take on a guy who is mildly autistic - or at least the kind of autist you meet in fiction (strange character but not the really problematic processing of perceptions, overloads, meltdowns, etc.). The really interesting take we can take from Vaegon, though, is the fact that King Aerys I basically seems to be a reincarnation of Vaegon, meaning that the portrayal of Vaegon likely is going to be a foreshadowing of Aerys' character as well as an indication how he is going to handle things.

On 8/6/2019 at 5:23 AM, James Steller said:

Saera, meanwhile, does something similar. Yes, she is very manipulative and selfish, but some could read her actions like a rebellion against what women were expected to be like, especially princesses. Saera’s abandonment of her family felt almost brave, and her becoming a prostitute could arguably be her embracing her sexuality, much like how Vaegon embraces his a sexuality. And they both lead lives that they’re clearly happy with, even though everyone around them disapproves. And what’s more, they both thrive and refuse the conventional trappings previously denied to them. Vaegon is a celebrated archmaester who refuses to become his father’s heir after his brothers are all dead, and Saera rises to power in Essos and laughs off the idea that she’d pursue her judgmental father’s old crown when she has her own kingdom to enjoy.

Saera is a very great case study of a female psychopath (not one of those who have murderous tendencies, but those who basically do everything to get what they want - and in Saera's case that was playing with people/having sex when she was discovered). The only problem with her is that she seems to have been born that way - nothing pushed her in that direction.

On 8/6/2019 at 11:00 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

Alysanne's treatment of Viserra doesn't make any sense. I've seen it suggested that Alysanne was subconsciously jealous of her daughter (Alysanne wasn't considered particularly beautiful, and neither were Alyssa or Maegelle. Daella was extremely fragile, and Saera was Saera). That could be true, although F&B didn't really do much in clarifying that. Either way, #ViserraDeservedBetter

That was an idea I tossed around, to underline the fact that Viserra is basically demonized because of her physical beauty. That is the narrative, and it makes sense that we speculate about ulterior/hidden motives of Alysanne's for arranging as shitty a marriage for Viserra as she did even if we assume she correctly guessed at Viserra's motivations - which I don't think she did.

I laid it out somewhere already that I find the entire Viserra story to be very suspect since the actual description of the girl doesn't fit with the motives or character people are ascribing to her. That is especially the case for her desire to be queen as well as her feelings for Baelon.

9 hours ago, James Steller said:

There’s a passage where Viserra makes it clear that she has her eyes on Baelon and wants to replace her ugly older sister and become his wife. Presumably because she can’t try to marry Aemon given that his wife is still alive. But we do know that Westerosi would consider Baelon to be third in line for the throne, and anything can happen to an heir (just like what happened to Aemon) so Viserra wasn’t completely crazy to assume that she could become queen by marrying Baelon.

This scenario doesn't really make any sense. George could have portrayed Viserra as a woman willing to ruin/destroy and replace Jocelyn Baratheon. He could have made Aemon the prince Viserra wanted to seduce (so that he set sonless Jocelyn aside in favor of Viserra and the sons she would give Aemon), and he could have given us actual evidence that Viserra wanted to be queen.

Her trying to get to Baelon - and in clumsy way that reeks more of desperation than ambitious seduction - is no evidence that she wanted to be queen, since Baelon was pretty much third in the line of succession at this point.

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Posted (edited)

I am really interested in learning more about this kingdom in Essos that Saera supposedly carved out for herself and her sons.

Is it in Old Volantis? Will we see Saera's kingdom and her progeny through the eyes of Dany in The Winds of Winter. Apparently, Saera had trueborn and bastard sons both.

Maybe there's a connection between Saera Targaryen, Varys and Young Griff.

Edited by Jabar of House Titan

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46 minutes ago, The Ghost Beyond the Wall said:

I think Aemon was the most interesting, simply because he sounded like he was destined for greatness and to be a great Targaryen and great king like his father... a real shame that he died so young

The name “Aemon” really seems to be a curse. Anyone with that name is blessed with a highly promising personality and character, but they never get to sit on the iron throne.

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2 hours ago, James Steller said:

The name “Aemon” really seems to be a curse. Anyone with that name is blessed with a highly promising personality and character, but they never get to sit on the iron throne.

Good point, though some would argue that they'd prefer not to sit the IT and have to deal with all that comes with it

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2 hours ago, The Ghost Beyond the Wall said:

Good point, though some would argue that they'd prefer not to sit the IT and have to deal with all that comes with it

Well, one of them definitely did want to sit on the throne, but your point stands for the rest of them.

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