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Daendrew

Is House Blackfyre really extinct on the male line?

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3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

That's not true

House Targaryen lives trough the female line and any eventual son of Dany would bear that name

If the tales about Bael are true, House Stark was dead in the male line

Unless Jorah is restored, House Mormont continues through the female line.

Asha will probably continue the Greyjoy name. 

Etc.

Those would all be special cases - the Gardeners, Strongs, Harroways, Lothstons, Whents, Durrandons, Darklyns, etc. all continue in the female line (presumably) yet this doesn't make the Florents Gardeners, the Tullys Whents, the Baratheons Durrandons (or Targaryens), etc.

If a crown/throne is at stake, then special rules might apply and people might be willing to make exceptions, but if you are just a noble bloodline extinct in the male line and the castle and lordship goes to some other house then it does not matter that there are (close) descendants through the female line around.

A ruling monarch or lord like Bael's grandfather, Asha Greyjoy, or eventually a daughter of Maege Mormont could certainly make precautions that her heir take her name (although we don't know how that goes after the Conquest - back in Bael's days the Stark king could have granted his grandson whatever name he wanted).

But it is quite clear that children take their the names of their fathers, not their mothers.

3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

I always liked that idea which would explain his influence over the GC, but didn't GRRM shut it down for good?

Yeah, it seems to be the case. Although I'd not be surprised if he only now actually started to think about the narrative potential of Bittersteel having children. It is also quite clear that only FaB caused him to come up with the potential new backstory for Dany's dragon eggs.

If there are no Bittersteel children then I assume that Illyrio/Varys/whoever is actually a descendant of a Blackfyre captain-general of the Golden Company, possibly one of the guys running the show before Daemon (IV) and Maelys. But Aenys or one of Daemon III's younger brothers/siblings would also be a possibility.

I like the idea of them being a female cadet branch (i.e. a son of Daemon I who only produced daughters) which was completely ignored/passed over, causing them to descend into obscurity at a time when there were still many male Blackfyres around.

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7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Those would all be special cases - the Gardeners, Strongs, Harroways, Lothstons, Whents, Durrandons, Darklyns, etc. all continue in the female line (presumably) yet this doesn't make the Florents Gardeners, the Tullys Whents, the Baratheons Durrandons (or Targaryens), etc.

That's why I said it depends on political considerations. If the last Gardener king and his sons had been hit by a truck instead by dragonfire, any hypothetical daughter would have continued with the name. But Aegon the Conqueror was not about to allow that. 

You can think on similar scenarios for your examples, but I don't think that a female line can claim the name after a  few generations. Which of course has implications for any Blackfyre conspiracy in the series. Again, Serra had the right age to be daughter of Maelys. 

 

7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

That's why I said it depends on political considerations. If the last Gardener king and his sons had been hit by a truck instead by dragonfire, any hypothetical daughter would have continued with the name. But Aegon the Conqueror was not about to allow that.

Perhaps. We don't really know that at this point. Rhaenyra's sons not bearing her name strongly suggests that these people were not necessarily as obsessed with royal names as we think they were. And if you think about obscure people like Bael's son then this guy really had no father whose house name he could take - assuming he wasn't just (seen as) a bastard.

6 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

You can think on similar scenarios for your examples, but I don't think that a female line can claim the name after a  few generations. Which of course has implications for any Blackfyre conspiracy in the series. Again, Serra had the right age to be daughter of Maelys.

I don't see any good reason to assume the Serra woman - if she existed - had any Blackfyre or Targaryen blood. She was a Lysene whore, and Lysene whores do look Valyrian not matter who their parents and grandparents were. They are bred this way. Valyrian blood might be rare and costly and royal in Westeros, but it comes very cheap in Essos, as both ADwD (Jorah fucking his replacement Dany) and, especially, FaB show. George is not sending the message that Valyrians in Essos have to be related to the Targaryens. And it is quite clear what purpose a Lysene whore had as Aegon's potential mother - to ensure the child would have the Valyrian features necessary to pass for Prince Rhaegar's son since Prince Aegon actually had Valyrian features.

And if Illyrio is the guy with the Blackfyre ancestry - which I think is actually more likely - then he obviously prefers to go by what we can assume is his father's name - Mopatis. If the guy were proud of his maternal ancestry, etc. he would have had no reason to not call himself Blackfyre, especially back in the days he and Varys first hooked up. Because whatever conspiracy these two made goes back just two decades.

And in any case - the plan they made most definitely hinges on the fact that the Blackfyre involvement is neither publicly revealed nor openly admitted. They highjacked the Targaryen bandwagon.

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15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But it is quite clear that children take their the names of their fathers, not their mothers.

Though there was Ambrose Butterwell, who seems to be son of Aegon IV and one of three daughters of the previous Lord Butterwell. Aegon made that Lord Butterwell his Hand, and gave dragon egg for his grandson, and later gave to that grandson a post of Master of Coin, and he also briefly was the Hand of the King during reign of Daeron II, and he was blond, and he wasn't executed, even though the conspiracy against Targaryens took place at his castle (Bloodraven didn't executed him, because they were half-brothers). So, it's more than likely, that Ambrose was one of Aegon's bastards, and when Aegon on his death-bed legitimized all of his children, Ambrose took his mother's last-name and became Butterwell.

And Daemon took a last-name Blackfyre. And his half-sister was Shiera Seastar, not Waters, or whatever was Serenei's last-name.

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15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is also quite clear that only FaB caused him to come up with the potential new backstory for Dany's dragon eggs.

No, that backstory first was mentioned in ADWD, years prior F&B:

Tyrion VIII - "It was Father's idea to do the tilts. He even trained the first pig, but by then he was too sick to ride her, so Oppo took his place. I always rode the dog. We performed for the Sealord of Braavos once, and he laughed so hard that afterward he gave each of us a … a grand gift."

The Sealord of Braavos gave one dragon egg for each of mummer-dwarfs, one for Hop-Bean, one for Oppo, and one for Penny. And he got those eggs from his predecessor, and so on, back to the one, who got them from Elissa Farman. So, maybe, GRRM wasn't yet sure, how did the current Sealord became owner of those three dragon eggs (maybe GRRM was originally planning, that Aegon IV gave those dragon eggs for his three children from Bellegere Otherys, who was granddaughter of the Sealord of Braavos, same as he gave a dragon egg to Butterwell's daughter, Ambrose's mother. Though in case with Butterwells, Aegon gave a dragon egg only for a male-child, while in case with Bellegere, he gave one egg for each of her children, boy and two girls), but back in ADWD it was Penny and her family, who in the past owned three dragon eggs, that Illyrio later gave to Dany, as her wedding present.

Hop-Bean was a mummer, and Varys was a mummer, so, maybe, that's the connection thru which Illyrio got those eggs.

And it doesn't actually matter from whom did the latest Sealord got those eggs, whether their origin is Elissa Farman or Bellegere Otherys. Though, based on the timing, looks like Bellegere's grandfather, was the Sealord, who got those eggs from Elissa. So, could be that he intentionally introduced Bellegere to Aegon, when Aegon arrived to Braavos as an envoy. The Sealord had three dragon eggs, so he planned that his granddaughter will give birth to Aegon's three children, and possibly they will be able to hatch those eggs, and then Braavos will have three dragons. But that plan had failed, and the next next next Sealord, who was a very eccentric guy, gave those eggs to mummer-dwarfs, just because they made him laugh. Seems, that he's the same guy, who gave a title of the First Sword of Braavos to Syrio Forel, just because Syrio guesed, that the Sealord's cat is just an average cat, and not some mysterious creature.

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Ser Barristan slew the last of the Blackfyre men.  It will be next to impossible for another boy to prove he is a Blackfyre.  Yes they are gone.  

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Aegon or YG is a Blackfyre.  We don't know what's under that tunic but if he has the balls then no.  What extinct meant is the lack of a legitimate male to carry the name.  If we don't confine ourselves to legitimate men then the answer is again no.

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According to Illyrio and Yandel the male line of House Blackfyre is extinct but that leaves the possibility of the female line. Many, myself included, believe that Young Griff/Aegon is a Blackfyre through the female line.

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On 8/18/2019 at 4:17 PM, Lord Varys said:

Perhaps. We don't really know that at this point. Rhaenyra's sons not bearing her name strongly suggests that these people were not necessarily as obsessed with royal names as we think they were. 

That's an oddity if we take into account the dynastic implications, but at the same time is a way to affirm they are not bastards as rumors claim.

On 8/18/2019 at 4:17 PM, Lord Varys said:

I don't see any good reason to assume the Serra woman - if she existed - had any Blackfyre or Targaryen blood. She was a Lysene whore, and Lysene whores do look Valyrian not matter who their parents and grandparents were.

You make too much of her being a prostitute. Dany was married off to a Dothraki savage and if Illyrio had succumbed to his impulses, she would have become the cheesemonger whore.

I believe though that both Varys and Illyrio are related to the Blackfyres at different levels. Maybe they rescued Serra from the pillowhouses? Since Varys cannot reproduce, Illyrio was the only possible choice to continue with the bloodline

On 8/18/2019 at 4:17 PM, Lord Varys said:

They are bred this way. Valyrian blood might be rare and costly and royal in Westeros, but it comes very cheap in Essos, as both ADwD (Jorah fucking his replacement Dany) and, especially, FaB show. George is not sending the message that Valyrians in Essos have to be related to the Targaryens. And it is quite clear what purpose a Lysene whore had as Aegon's potential mother - to ensure the child would have the Valyrian features necessary to pass for Prince Rhaegar's son since Prince Aegon actually had Valyrian features.

Yet Illyrio seemed attached to that whore and he is certainly not a man to become attached to other human beings. The other exceptions are Varys and Young Griff

On 8/18/2019 at 4:17 PM, Lord Varys said:

And if Illyrio is the guy with the Blackfyre ancestry - which I think is actually more likely - then he obviously prefers to go by what we can assume is his father's name - Mopatis. If the guy were proud of his maternal ancestry, etc. he would have had no reason to not call himself Blackfyre, especially back in the days he and Varys first hooked up. Because whatever conspiracy these two made goes back just two decades.

And in any case - the plan they made most definitely hinges on the fact that the Blackfyre involvement is neither publicly revealed nor openly admitted. They highjacked the Targaryen bandwagon.

Oh yes. Bittersteel wouldn't be proud

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4 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

That's an oddity if we take into account the dynastic implications, but at the same time is a way to affirm they are not bastards as rumors claim.

They would have had the names 'Velaryon' since their births, not merely since the day in 120 AC when Alicent's calumnies started to bear ugly fruit. Yet it was quite clear from the start that both Rhaenyra and Viserys I wanted Jacaerys Velaryon (and if something happened to him his younger brothers) to succeed Rhaenyra and Viserys I on the Iron Throne.

4 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

You make too much of her being a prostitute. Dany was married off to a Dothraki savage and if Illyrio had succumbed to his impulses, she would have become the cheesemonger whore.

I don't think so. I think her being a prostitute is the key to the whole because I think Illyrio fucked a dozen or more Serras (i.e. Lysene prostitutes with Valyrian features) to get what he wanted/needed - a child to pass for Rhaegar's son. It would be completely convenient (and thus very bad writing) if Illyrio just happened to produce a child with the right gender and the right looks to pass for Rhaegar's Aegon with the woman he loved. And the fact that Aegon seems to be a couple of years younger than Rhaegar's son strongly implies Illyrio only fathered the boy after the Sack - which means they really had no time to lose. They needed their Aegon as soon as possible.

If Illyrio did fall in love and marry the Serra woman - for which we have no other evidence than his word at this point - then this would have been after she gave him the child he wanted and needed for his plan, not before. In fact, I think it is quite clear why Illyrio married the woman even if that basically destroyed his reputation with the Prince and his peers for a time - to ensure his son Aegon was eligible to inherit his Pentoshi estates and fortune.

4 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

I believe though that both Varys and Illyrio are related to the Blackfyres at different levels. Maybe they rescued Serra from the pillowhouses? Since Varys cannot reproduce, Illyrio was the only possible choice to continue with the bloodline

There is this quote from Illyrio where he wonders why Varys chose him as his protector. He pretends to not know, but he must know by now. And the reason why this happened is likely key to understand Varys and Illyrio's motivations. My guess there is that Varys essentially gave Illyrio (back) his identity, telling him from who he was descended - and that he himself was his cousin. My personal guess about Illyrio is that he has a similar background as the waif - i.e. his mother died at birth or when he was a child and his father married anew and he himself was, after the death of his father while he was still half a child, cheated out of his inheritance and thrown on the streets.

And with FaB there is a strong chance that Illyrio is actually Braavosi by birth since I'd not be surprised if it turned out that the Sealord Septon Barth treated with during Jaehaerys I's reign was named ... Mopatis. And we certainly do know - from the examples of some of the keyholders and Laena Velaryon's Braavosi betrothed (who was the wastrel son of a Sealord who squandered his father's wealth) - that you do not have to remain at the top of Braavosi society just because one of your ancestors was a Sealord.

4 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Yet Illyrio seemed attached to that whore and he is certainly not a man to become attached to other human beings. The other exceptions are Varys and Young Griff

He also seems to be reasonably attached to some of his long-time servants. But if Serra existed and if Illyrio was 'in love with her' then his attachment certainly can be based completely on the fact that she gave him the son he wanted/needed for his plan.

We cannot ignore the fact that he only tells this story to a depressed and suicidal Tyrion whose entire story revolves around former/alleged prostitutes he was in love with - and Illyrio would know all that from Varys. It is really awfully convenient that Illyrio fell for a beautiful prostitute, too, no?

4 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Oh yes. Bittersteel wouldn't be proud

Which is actual part of the reason why I think the chances are not that bad that Varys/Illyrio also fuck the Golden Company. They could have told Toyne the story that the boy is a Blackfyre descendant to get him on board when in fact that's just as 'true' as the official story that he is Rhaegar's son.

That would be the ultimate joke.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I think her being a prostitute is the key to the whole because I think Illyrio fucked a dozen or more Serras (i.e. Lysene prostitutes with Valyrian features) to get what he wanted/needed - a child to pass for Rhaegar's son. It would be completely convenient (and thus very bad writing) if Illyrio just happened to produce a child with the right gender and the right looks to pass for Rhaegar's Aegon with the woman he loved.

It's more likely for a Blackfyre to produce a "Targaryen"-looking child with a Swann-girl, than with some random Valyrian-looking whore from Lys.

Evidence:

Spoiler

In the World book it was said, that Johanna Swann was ruler of Lys in all but name, and that Rogare Bank was even wealthier than Iron Bank of Braavos, and in F&B it was said about Rogares, that they were princes of Lys in all but name, and for some reason GRRM hasn't revealed who was Larra Rogare's mother (not in the World book, not in F&B) <- based on that information, it's OBVIOUS, that Larra's mother, most likely, was Johanna Swann. Thus, all current Targaryens, Blackfyres, Shiera, Bloodraven, etc. are partially Swanns.

Johanna (Swann) - Larra (1/2 Swann) - Aegon IV (1/4 Swann, 1/4 Rogare, 2/4 Targaryen) - Daemon I Blackfyre (1/8 Swann, 1/8 Rogare, 6/8 Targaryen) - Aenys Blackfyre (1/16 Swann, 1/16 Rogare, 6/16 Targaryen, 8/16 genes of Rohanne of Tyrosh) - Aenys' daughter (1/32 Swann, 1/32 Rogare, 6/32 Targaryen, 8/32 genes of Rohanne of Tyrosh, 16/32 whoever was her mother; if the mother was Aenys' sister, which is highly likely (if Calla Blackfyre didn't married with her uncle, then possibly, that's because she married with her brother), then their daughter was 2/32 Swann, 2/32 Rogare, 12/32 Targaryen, 16/32 genes of Rohanne of Tyrosh).

If my theory about Barristan is correct (that he is grandson of Aenys Blackfyre), then he is 32/64 Selmy, 2/64 Swann, 2/64 Rogare, 12/64 Targaryen, 16/64 genes of Rohanne of Tyrosh.

Selmy's castle, Harvest Hall, is not far from Swann's castle, Stonehelm. So it's likely, that somewhere in the past Swanns and Selmyes intermarried, and thus, amongst Barristan's 32/64 Selmy-genes, some of them are actually Swann-genes. Thus Barristan has more common genes with Aegon IV, than King Aerys had with Aegon IV.

fAegon's genes - 66/128 Swann (thru his mother, Jeyne Swann; 32 of those 64 are genes of from whatever House Jeyne's mother was; 2 of those 66-Swanns are from his father's side, who was 2/64 Swann), 32/128 Selmy (some of those 32 could be additional Swann-genes, if Selmyes in the past married with Swanns), 2/128 Rogare, 12/128 Targaryen, 16/128 genes of Rohanne of Tyrosh.

After Daeron II, his descendants were less Targaryen than their Blackfyre-relatives.

Aegon IV (1/4 Swann, 1/4 Rogare, 2/4 Targaryen) - Daemon I Blackfyre (1/8 Swann, 1/8 Rogare, 6/8 Targaryen).

Aegon's sister, Queen Naerys, had same mix of genes as her brother, she got half of her DNA from her mother, and half from her father, so, same as Aegon, Naerys was 1/4 Swann, 1/4 Rogare, 2/4 Targaryen. Thus their son, Daeron II, was 2/8 Swann, 2/8 Rogare, 4/8 Targaryen.

Maekar was 8/16 Martell, 2/16 Swann, 2/16 Rogare, 4/16 Targaryen.

Aegon V was 16/32 Dayne, 8/32 Martell, 2/32 Swann, 2/32 Rogare, 4/32 Targaryen.

Jaehaerys and Shaera were 32/64 Blackwood, 16/64 Dayne, 8/64 Martell, 2/64 Swann, 2/64 Rogare, 4/64 Targaryen.

Aerys and Rhaella were 64/128 Blackwood, 32/128 Dayne, 16/128 Martell, 4/128 Swann, 4/128 Rogare, 8/128 Targaryen.

Rhaegar was 128/256 Blackwood, 64/256 Dayne, 32/256 Martell, 8/256 Swann, 8/256 Rogare, 16/256 Targaryen.

Elia's Aegon was 288/512 Martell (256 from his mother and additional 32 from his father), 64/512 Dayne, 8/512 Swann, 8/512 Rogare, 8/512 Targaryen.

fAegon's is - 66/128 Swann, 32/128 Selmy, 2/128 Rogare, 12/128 Targaryen, 16/128 genes of Rohanne of Tyrosh.

If my theory about fAegon's origin is correct, then he has more Targaryen genes than Rhaegar's real son had. Elia's Aegon was 1,56% Targaryen, and fAegon is 9,37% Targaryen. If Larra's mother was Johanna Swann, then Aegon IV was 25% Swann. And fAegon is also at least 25% Swann (from Jeyne's father).

To produce a boy, that will look like Targaryens of the past 100 years, it was better to find a girl with Swann-genes (because all those Targaryens - Aegon IV, Daeron II, Maekar I, Aegon IV, etc., most likely, were carriers of Swann-genes), and to make her have a child with a carrier of Blackfyre genes (because any Blackfyre of Aerys' or Rhaegar's generation will have more Targaryen genes than those Targaryens. For example - Barristan is 12/64 Targaryen, that's 18,75%, while Aerys and Rhaegar both were only 6,25% Targaryen).

Instead of Barristan insert there any other Blackfyre-man, who is a great-grandson of Daemon I Blackfyre, and he will have the same amount of Targaryen genes (18,75%), and it will be higher than % of Targaryen genes that Aerys or Rhaegar had. Any current Blackfyre has more "Targaryen"-genes than current Targaryens. And if Targaryens of the past, starting from Aegon IV, were carriers of Swann-genes, than it's more likely for a Blackfyre to produce a "Targaryen"-looking child with a Swann-girl, than with some random Valyrian-looking girl from Lys.

In the White Book in Jaime's entry it was written - "Ser Jaime of House Lannister. Firstborn son of Lord Tywin and Lady Joanna of Casterly Rock." and in Barristan's - "Ser Barristan of House Selmy. Firstborn son of Ser Lyonel Selmy of Harvest Hall." - why his mother's name isn't there? Add this missing piece of information, to the fact, when Barristan was born - in 236, between execution of Aenys Blackfyre in 233 and the Fourth Rebellion of Blackfyres in 236. Bittersteel came to Westeros to take back Aenys' family, that Aenys has brought with him, when he went to 7K. Bloodraven promised him a safe passage, that he is supposedly forgiven for whatever his family did in 7K, while Aenys was still a child. Thus, Aenys wasn't intending to return to Essos, even if the Great Council would have decided to give a crown to someone else. Westeros is more civilized and peaceful than Essos, so it's likely, that Aenys was either way intending to stay with his family at 7K, even if he didn't became King. So, when he arrived to Westeros, he left his wife and children in Stonehelm, because Swanns of Stonehelm possibly are relatives of Blackfyres - Johanna Swann, most likely, was Daemon Blackfyre's great-grandmother. It's unlikely, that it's a mere coincidense, that GRRM didn't revealed to readers who was Larra's mother, and who was Barristan's mother. But in the books there's enought clues, to figure out, who those two women were - Johanna Swann and Aenys' daughter.

That possibility is more likely, than that Illyrio had sex with numerous random Valyrian-looking whores, in hope to produse a Targaryen-looking child.

Edited by Megorova

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't think so. I think her being a prostitute is the key to the whole because I think Illyrio fucked a dozen or more Serras (i.e. Lysene prostitutes with Valyrian features) to get what he wanted/needed - a child to pass for Rhaegar's son. It would be completely convenient (and thus very bad writing) if Illyrio just happened to produce a child with the right gender and the right looks to pass for Rhaegar's Aegon with the woman he loved. And the fact that Aegon seems to be a couple of years younger than Rhaegar's son strongly implies Illyrio only fathered the boy after the Sack - which means they really had no time to lose. They needed their Aegon as soon as possible.

I have no doubt that she was a bed slave from Lys, but we are told that the slave breeders from Lys have bred the dragonlord features shared by Targaryens into a line of their slaves, so that Illyrio would be able to expect hitting the nail on the head, so to speak, on the first try with such a slave, especially if he knows that he carries the Targaryen genes himself. 

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If Illyrio did fall in love and marry the Serra woman - for which we have no other evidence than his word at this point - then this would have been after she gave him the child he wanted and needed for his plan, not before. In fact, I think it is quite clear why Illyrio married the woman even if that basically destroyed his reputation with the Prince and his peers for a time - to ensure his son Aegon was eligible to inherit his Pentoshi estates and fortune.

And anything else Illyrio might have a claim, however tenuous, for. 

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22 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

I have no doubt that she was a bed slave from Lys, but we are told that the slave breeders from Lys have bred the dragonlord features shared by Targaryens into a line of their slaves, so that Illyrio would be able to expect hitting the nail on the head, so to speak, on the first try with such a slave, especially if he knows that he carries the Targaryen genes himself. 

There are hints that Lemore could be Aegon's mother. She has the stretch marks that indicate that she has given birth, and she is old enough to be Aegon's mother. Serra is, at this point, just part of a fanciful tale Illyrio told - and he told a lot of those. If we don't buy 'the reasoning' he gives for helping Varys and Dany, why do we buy the story he tells us about a wife we don't even know ever existed? Especially if the point of the entire story was just to mess with Tyrion.

FaB also made it perfectly clear that not even incestuous Targaryens can expect to produce offspring with prototypical Valyrian features each time they try (e.g. the Valyrian prototypes King Aenys and Queen Alyssa producing a honey-haired, blue-eyed Alysanne, and Jaehaerys I and Alysanne producing Alyssa of the mismatched eyes and the common blond hair) - that makes it exceedingly unlikely that men like Varys and Illyrio deluded themselves into believing the probability was very high that Illyrio's diluted Targaryen blood could produce the kind of child they need, even with the assistance of a Lysene whore with very prominent Valyrian features.

But as I said - the problem isn't just that, it is also that they could not guarantee or expect that the whore would produce a male child. For that reason alone it seems a given the fat man pumped his seed in as many Lysene whores of the proper looks and breeding they could find - and they would have been able to find a lot. Once the results were known, the most promising child (and perhaps the mother along with the child) was chosen, and the rest was discarded.

Chances are very high that there is nothing special about this Serra woman if she were Aegon's mother. Just the womb to produce him.

And who knows? Perhaps the golden boy turns out to be just some whoreson after all. If Varys were the guy with the Blackfyre link then the Black Dragon has lost his balls for good. It would be a dead end, and all Varys could do was to create a king of his own making who was his child in spirit if not in the flesh. It could make for a better story than this entire dynastic stuff - which is rather cheesy to begin with, especially since the whole Targaryen-Blackfyre enmity is obviously dead since Maelys and, especially, since Aerys II was overthrown.

The Second Dance is going to be about Daenerys Targaryen and Aegon Targaryen - and the crucial challenge to Aegon's claim will be that he is not Rhaegar's son. It won't be particularly important on the political level who he is truth, and it would be infinitely more interesting if he were just a king created from scratch than the last pretender of a doomed cadet branch.

22 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

And anything else Illyrio might have a claim, however tenuous, for. 

Considering the fact that they don't give a rat's ass about 'the Blackfyre claim', this doesn't seem to be particularly likely. Illyrio himself doesn't give a damn about the Golden Company - he uses them, but he has no inclination to try to lead them - and what Aegon needed in the case the plan was abandoned or Illyrio died early is his Pentoshi estates and wealth, not some tenuous claim to kingship they were never to pursue this way, anyway.

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14 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

There are hints that Lemore could be Aegon's mother. She has the stretch marks that indicate that she has given birth, and she is old enough to be Aegon's mother. Serra is, at this point, just part of a fanciful tale Illyrio told - and he told a lot of those. If we don't buy 'the reasoning' he gives for helping Varys and Dany, why do we buy the story he tells us about a wife we don't even know ever existed? Especially if the point of the entire story was just to mess with Tyrion.

FaB also made it perfectly clear that not even incestuous Targaryens can expect to produce offspring with prototypical Valyrian features each time they try (e.g. the Valyrian prototypes King Aenys and Queen Alyssa producing a honey-haired, blue-eyed Alysanne, and Jaehaerys I and Alysanne producing Alyssa of the mismatched eyes and the common blond hair) - that makes it exceedingly unlikely that men like Varys and Illyrio deluded themselves into believing the probability was very high that Illyrio's diluted Targaryen blood could produce the kind of child they need, even with the assistance of a Lysene whore with very prominent Valyrian features.

But as I said - the problem isn't just that, it is also that they could not guarantee or expect that the whore would produce a male child. For that reason alone it seems a given the fat man pumped his seed in as many Lysene whores of the proper looks and breeding they could find - and they would have been able to find a lot. Once the results were known, the most promising child (and perhaps the mother along with the child) was chosen, and the rest was discarded.

Chances are very high that there is nothing special about this Serra woman if she were Aegon's mother. Just the womb to produce him.

And who knows? Perhaps the golden boy turns out to be just some whoreson after all. If Varys were the guy with the Blackfyre link then the Black Dragon has lost his balls for good. It would be a dead end, and all Varys could do was to create a king of his own making who was his child in spirit if not in the flesh. It could make for a better story than this entire dynastic stuff - which is rather cheesy to begin with, especially since the whole Targaryen-Blackfyre enmity is obviously dead since Maelys and, especially, since Aerys II was overthrown.

The Second Dance is going to be about Daenerys Targaryen and Aegon Targaryen - and the crucial challenge to Aegon's claim will be that he is not Rhaegar's son. It won't be particularly important on the political level who he is truth, and it would be infinitely more interesting if he were just a king created from scratch than the last pretender of a doomed cadet branch.

Considering the fact that they don't give a rat's ass about 'the Blackfyre claim', this doesn't seem to be particularly likely. Illyrio himself doesn't give a damn about the Golden Company - he uses them, but he has no inclination to try to lead them - and what Aegon needed in the case the plan was abandoned or Illyrio died early is his Pentoshi estates and wealth, not some tenuous claim to kingship they were never to pursue this way, anyway.

The Lemore is Aegon's mum theory has always been intriguing, but then why present the reader with Serra?

As stated upthread, I do agree that Serra was a bed slave. 

If the noblest lad is not a Blackfyre, the whole Blackfyre backstory would be pretty irrelevant. If he's not a Blackfyre, him being the actual son of Rhaegar might be a nice twist. 

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46 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

The Lemore is Aegon's mum theory has always been intriguing, but then why present the reader with Serra?

As I said, she is just part of a story Illyrio tells Tyrion. And if Lemore were Aegon's mother then she could actually *be* Serra.

46 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

If the noblest lad is not a Blackfyre, the whole Blackfyre backstory would be pretty irrelevant. If he's not a Blackfyre, him being the actual son of Rhaegar might be a nice twist. 

Not necessarily, it could still be Varys' backstory, explaining why he was interested in Westeros in the first place. There is no need to assume that the Blackfyre backstory has to bear dynastic fruit - just as the existence of Bittersteel and his betrothal to Calla Blackfyre is no guarantee that they produced any children.

And the noblest lad stuff has to be seen in context, too. Illyrio could refer to Aegon that way both to subtly highlight the fact that he was his son (he does think highly of himself) and/or to express his expectation that the lad is going to become the King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men - which most definitely entails him being 'most noble' in a number of ways.

But I'm not insisting that there cannot be a Blackfyre link there - I merely say that I don't expect Serra to figure into all that. Illyrio himself could be a Targaryen/Blackfyre descendant.

Although honestly from a narrative point of view it is actually more likely George is going to make Varys/Illyrio true conmen - men who successfully made a whoreson into a prince. Because that's basically what most of the historical inspirations the Aegon plot is based on did.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

As I said, she is just part of a story Illyrio tells Tyrion. And if Lemore were Aegon's mother then she could actually *be* Serra.

Are you suggesting that Serra is actually Westerosi woman of noble birth, or that the Lyseni bed slave has been posing as a Westerosi woman of noble birth? 

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13 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Are you suggesting that Serra is actually Westerosi woman of noble birth, or that the Lyseni bed slave has been posing as a Westerosi woman of noble birth? 

No, I'm saying Aegon has a mother and she might be this woman who calls herself Septa or Lady Lemore. And that this woman might also be identical with whatever woman Illyrio Mopatis fell in love with and married (if such a woman actually existed).

We have no actual evidence that the picture of 'Serra' Illyrio showed Tyrion depicted his wife, nor that Aegon's mother has to be a Lyseni. This might be the case ... or not.

But as long as we have just Illyrio's word that he married some Lysene whore we have basically nothing.

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16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

No, I'm saying Aegon has a mother and she might be this woman who calls herself Septa or Lady Lemore. And that this woman might also be identical with whatever woman Illyrio Mopatis fell in love with and married (if such a woman actually existed).

We have no actual evidence that the picture of 'Serra' Illyrio showed Tyrion depicted his wife, nor that Aegon's mother has to be a Lyseni. This might be the case ... or not.

But as long as we have just Illyrio's word that he married some Lysene whore we have basically nothing.

While I do agree Serra is probably not his second wife. But I do think the person known as “Serra” in the portrait is someone significant to him because he does swear by her hands when Tyrion is leaving with Haldon and Duck. I do have a sneaking suspicion it may be Elissa Farman though but it’s only a thought that I’m still developing.

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