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Why did Aegon the Conqueror didn't have more children?


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4 hours ago, Carrotecuite said:

If Aegon could not produce children, the throne would have passed to his older sister Visenya and her children, then to his younger sister Rhaenys.

If Aegon could not produce children and had lived as long as he did, his sister-wives would have been well beyond child-bearing age at the time they might have had the opportunity to remarry a fertile husband.

Of course, if the Conqueror had died childless the throne could have passed to either Rhaenys or Visenya, but House Targaryen would have died out with them in such a scenario.

And whether Westeros would have accepted a toothless, childless woman in her sixties or seventies as a monarch is (at least) questionable. We do see how King Aenys is not exactly viewed as a strong and worthy successor of Aegon the Conqueror, and he was a young and healthy man in 37 AC. If a childless Visenya had taken the Iron Throne in 37 AC the situation would have likely been much worse.

Physical weakness is political weakness, especially since using dragons in war necessitates you have a healthy strong body. Queen Alysanne could no longer ride Silverwing in old age, years before her death. Queen Visenya could still ride Vhagar a year before her death, but she seems to have been an exception in this regard.

And as a childless monarch the only dragon Visenya could use to fight against rebels would be her own Vhagar.

4 hours ago, Carrotecuite said:

The lords would have accepted her as their queen much more than a rhaenyra for example.

A younger Visenya may have had considerable support ... an old crone not so much.

4 hours ago, Carrotecuite said:

The idea that they will only accept biological children of Aegon makes no sense, as long as the child has the blood of Aegon the Conqueror, can ride a dragon and looks like a Targaryen.

Aegon and his sister-wives likely had some placeholder heirs before Aenys and Maegor were born ... and before the grandchildren were born there would also have been talk to whom the Iron Throne would pass if both Aenys and Maegor were to predecese their parents. Two children aren't exactly many heirs.

But how popular a dragonless Velaryon or Baratheon heir would have been compared to a Targaryen heir is an interesting question. Chances are that Aethan/Daemon Velaryon or Orys Baratheon and his eldest son wouldn't have had the same prestige as the Conqueror's own children.

4 hours ago, Carrotecuite said:

All these theories that Aegon and Visenya are doing everything to hide the parentage of their children or supposed children are not very relevant. 

Of course that's pretty relevant if the children weren't truly Aegon's seed - because then they would be clandestine bastards, and people would not view them as eligible to inherit the Iron Throne.

4 hours ago, Carrotecuite said:

And if Maegor is not also from aegon, do you mean that Visenya has also committed adultery?

The idea is that Visenya may have used sorcery to create Maegor as a male clone of herself. This is a rather interesting idea in light of the fact that George actually has a weird woman create a male clone of herself in his novella 'Nightflyers'. This is a concept he actually used.

3 minutes ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:

Still a king not producing heirs is a problem. Same for a queen ruling Westeros. She would become a Maegor, burning and killing people who dont accept her right to rule.

The problem is that the Targaryens needed children to continue their dynasty. As I said, Aegon dying early would most likely not cause that much of a problem since Visenya/Rhaenys were powerful enough in their own right to take the throne ... and even in old age Visenya certainly may have succeeded Aegon - but she would then have been the last Targaryen monarch, most likely, and the Seven Kingdoms would have fragmented after her death. After all, her reign wouldn't have been that long, even if she had died of natural causes in such a scenario.

But neither Rhaenys nor Visenya could have produced children with new husbands in old age, so the Targaryen dynasty could have been only continued by Rhaenys/Visenya if they had remarried while they were still able to bear children.

3 minutes ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:

Also, FAB records Aegon's feelings for his wifes, not their feelings for him or their feelings for each other. Could be a case that Visenya felt always neglected by Aegon and so became more stern or that she was worried that Aegon would cast her aside for her inability to birth children or that she knew that Rhaenys was having lovers but kept this a secret to ensure their legacy 

You can interpret Visenya's opposition to and (possible) assassination of King Aenys as her ensuring the Iron Throne would not be soiled by a man who she knew/believed to be a bastard. It doesn't have to be the case, of course, it could just be she preferred her son over Rhaenys' son, etc.

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  • 5 months later...

In real life, inbreeding is a cause reduced fertility. It also provokes a poorer health and other problems, but the Valyrians, being magical, seem to have suffered of madness and deformed reptilian stillborn babies as a consequence of incest rather than mere ugly, unhealthy and low intelligence children like in real life...

In short, inbreeding didn't seem to affect the Targaryen as much as it would real life people, and they managed to remain attractive and healthy, but they seem to have been plagued by madness and stillbirths.

What if Aegon's sister-wives suffered many stillbirths, just like Maegor's wives did...?

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think something that needs to be brought up is that it is entirely possible that Visenya simply chose not to have children at all. It would be in line with her warrior queen archetype to not want to get pregnant and have that vulnerability when Rhaenys was around to do that job. You can also compound that with the fact that it's common knowledge that she and Aegon didn't have a relationship that was even close to the same level of passion. 

Then when Rhaenys dies in Dorne the Targaryens suddenly have no options left. Either Visenya must have a child to secure the dynasty, Aegon must marry inferior stock to have more children, or they have to gamble on the sickly Aenys living to adulthood and having children. 

I don't put stock in the combined theory that Aegon was infertile and Visenya somehow had a magical clone. 

If Aegon was infertile and there were no other options, then both Aenys and Maegor would both be bastards conceived by mundane means. 

If Aegon was infertile but Visenya was able to conceive children by magic, it seems vastly more likely that Aegon and his wives would use the same method to conceive Aenys as well. There is no reason to introduce an outside party to father a bastard on Rhaenys.

Not to mention that I would expect it's probably easier to use magic to make Aegon fertile as opposed to creating opposite gender clones out of nothing.

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On 10/30/2021 at 6:50 PM, Ser Lepus said:

What if Aegon's sister-wives suffered many stillbirths, just like Maegor's wives did...?

 

You can also scale it down and say that only Rhaenys had those stillbirths, as Warrior Queen Sorceress Visenya may have not wanted to have children until it was absolutely critical for the dynasty. 

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On 10/30/2021 at 11:50 PM, Ser Lepus said:

What if Aegon's sister-wives suffered many stillbirths, just like Maegor's wives did...?

That could work ... if George had bothered to mention such pregnancies and stillbirths. He did that rather extensively for Aerys and Rhaella, Queen Naerys, Queen Alysanne and to a lesser degree for Aemma Arryn and Laena Velaryon.

The fact that we have only a short account on the Conqueror's reign is no excuse for that. It would have just cost George a sentence to mention the trouble Aegon and his sister-wives had until Aenys was finally born in 7 AC. It would have also been no problem to mention that the birth of Aenys left Rhaenys barren.

Without that, the fact that Aegon had just two children is pretty weird. As is the fact that they were born very late - decades after their marriage, and long years after the Conquest.

On 11/8/2021 at 11:09 PM, The Jingo said:

I think something that needs to be brought up is that it is entirely possible that Visenya simply chose not to have children at all. It would be in line with her warrior queen archetype to not want to get pregnant and have that vulnerability when Rhaenys was around to do that job. You can also compound that with the fact that it's common knowledge that she and Aegon didn't have a relationship that was even close to the same level of passion. 

That is not very likely. The sole purpose of marriage is to produce children, even more so in a noble family which, especially after they have become the rulers of a gigantic empire after the Conquest, were in desperate need of an heir. If Visenya hadn't wanted children she could (and likely would) have refused to marry Aegon. After all, she would have known that he was very much in love with Rhaenys.

Aegon didn't seem to love Visenya romantically, but it is quite clear that Visenya was very much devoted to her brother in the first half of their reign - she defended his person with her own sword, formed the Kingsguard to defend him, etc.

Both she and her siblings would have been aware that they needed an heir after they had forged the Iron Throne, so if Rhaenys couldn't really do it - and she didn't do it until 7 AC - then Visenya should have gotten her shot at getting pregnant. And we know she did, since there were times when she and Aegon did have sex.

On 11/8/2021 at 11:09 PM, The Jingo said:

Then when Rhaenys dies in Dorne the Targaryens suddenly have no options left. Either Visenya must have a child to secure the dynasty, Aegon must marry inferior stock to have more children, or they have to gamble on the sickly Aenys living to adulthood and having children. 

They faced exactly that problem in the years up to Aenys' birth, too, when they had no heir of their body at all. Rhaenys' death and Meraxes' loss dealt a considerable blow to the stability of the reign of the dynasty, so, with Aenys' condition worsening, they also were in need of a spare.

Visenya's position seems to have been very dire at that point since chances were likely not that bad that Aegon would (eventually) be forced to discard her as a wife and queen should he take another queen to replace Rhaenys. The Faith wasn't allowing polygamy, so Aegon may have been willing to cut his ties with her once it had become clear she could no longer give him children.

Maegor's sudden birth strengthened Visenya's position immensely.

On 11/8/2021 at 11:09 PM, The Jingo said:

I don't put stock in the combined theory that Aegon was infertile and Visenya somehow had a magical clone. 

You don't have to go with the latter part, but the former is actually not unlikely at all. Aegon had two wives and was a very attractive man. Yet he produced only two children, one with a reputedly promiscuous wife very late in their marriage despite the fact that he was, apparently, very much taken with that woman, meaning he must have had a lot of sex with Rhaenys in the first years of their marriage.

The other with the woman he rarely slept with shortly before the end of her childbearing years ... and we have no indication that Aegon showed more enthusiasm to father a child on Visenya after Rhaenys' death.

In addition, there are no bastards known, not even reputed bastards. Which is rather odd since Aegon lost the love of his life twenty-seven years before his own death, meaning even if he had no lovers while Rhaenys was still alive, there is little reason to assume he didn't look for solace in the arms of younger women when his marriage to Visenya was effectively over ... which seems to have been the case in his later years.

On 11/8/2021 at 11:09 PM, The Jingo said:

If Aegon was infertile but Visenya was able to conceive children by magic, it seems vastly more likely that Aegon and his wives would use the same method to conceive Aenys as well. There is no reason to introduce an outside party to father a bastard on Rhaenys.

The idea for that extreme measure would be that Visenya's position was dire and Aegon about to take another wife, putting her in the background or even effectively divorcing her. The dynasty as such also needed a spare to ensure that Aenys' death didn't create a succession crisis, but Visenya herself may have been in a more precarious position.

Aegon could not possibly remarry or cut his ties with Visenya if she gave him the strong son he wanted and needed. And that's what happened.

On 11/8/2021 at 11:09 PM, The Jingo said:

Not to mention that I would expect it's probably easier to use magic to make Aegon fertile as opposed to creating opposite gender clones out of nothing.

That would mean that Aegon was in on this entire operation ... which I'd not assume to be the case. I'd expect him to have known that Aenys wasn't his child ... but considering how late Aenys was born we would assume that Rhaenys looked for a sperm-donor to ensure she got pregnant with both Aegon's and Visenya's permission.

Visenya could have used magic either with or without Aegon's direct involvement - in the former scenario she would claim their last night together finally led to a pregnancy, in the latter she would tell him what she did and he would have to accept it.

But, to be sure, the idea of both Aenys and Maegor not being Aegon's children is based on symmetry. Aenys is very much a dialed-up version of his mother (mixed with a singer), while Maegor is a dialed-up version of Visenya. It makes sense to view them as male versions of their mothers rather than as versions of the Conqueror who basically seems to have little to nothing in common with either of his sons.

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45 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That is not very likely. The sole purpose of marriage is to produce children, even more so in a noble family which, especially after they have become the rulers of a gigantic empire after the Conquest, were in desperate need of an heir. If Visenya hadn't wanted children she could (and likely would) have refused to marry Aegon. After all, she would have known that he was very much in love with Rhaenys.

1) She could have simply wanted the prestige and power associated with the formal title of Queen. 

2) Given it seems to be Valyrian tradition to marry the eldest daughter and the eldest son, with polygamy being permitted but not common, it is entirely possible that Visenya and Aegon were married at the command of their father when the man was still alive. She might not even have had a choice in the matter, and simply agreed with Aegon to make the best of it. 

This isn't to say that Visenya hated Aegon. She is perfectly capable of loving him as her brother, marrying him for other reason and not wanting to have heirs with him, and then agreeing later on that they had to make it happen for the sake of their dynasty.

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They faced exactly that problem in the years up to Aenys' birth, too, when they had no heir of their body at all.

Sure, but there was probably some degree of arrogance. They'd won almost the entire continent without taking any serious losses or setbacks, so they probably felt everything would work out. It would have taken quite some time for the glow to wear off and for them to start worrying, and even more time for them to start getting really anxious. 

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You don't have to go with the latter part, but the former is actually not unlikely at all.

It's not that I think it's impossible for Aegon to be infertile. It's that I think if he was and clones were possible, then Aenys should similarly be a clone rather than the seed of some random dirtblood. 

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The idea for that extreme measure would be that Visenya's position was dire and Aegon about to take another wife, putting her in the background or even effectively divorcing her.

But that's what I'm getting at. Why use an extreme measure at all? Or why use it in one case, but not in the other?

If cloning was not that extreme and difficult, then why permit Rhaenys to go around and have some halfbreed bastard and try to pass it off as the heir to Aegon's Throne? Or if the magic was that difficult, why do it at all? Why not simply tumble with Orys and see what happens? At least in that case you'd know Orys was half a dragon himself.

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That would mean that Aegon was in on this entire operation ... which I'd not assume to be the case. 

Unless Aegon was breathtakingly arrogant, it would be exponentially easier to have him on board from the beginning. Trying to keep it all a secret would just limit Visenya's and Rhaenys' options to an almost absurd degree. 

It's like, "Oh, maybe we should tell our husband this is a problem and brainstorm solutions?" 

"Nah man, we're gonna ride the edge. Just lie, cheat, and steal. I live for the drama."

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13 hours ago, The Jingo said:

1) She could have simply wanted the prestige and power associated with the formal title of Queen. 

Visenya married Aegon before the Conquest - likely years before the Conquest if we consider the traditional Targaryen marriage age (15-18 or so) and the age of the siblings in 2 BC (all were in their early twenties) - meaning it is very unlikely she ever coveted the title of queen.

It is possible that the siblings had planned something like the Conquest years before it started, but it wasn't a given that they would succeed.

13 hours ago, The Jingo said:

2) Given it seems to be Valyrian tradition to marry the eldest daughter and the eldest son, with polygamy being permitted but not common, it is entirely possible that Visenya and Aegon were married at the command of their father when the man was still alive. She might not even have had a choice in the matter, and simply agreed with Aegon to make the best of it. 

That is actually not that likely since it seems that Aegon decided to marry Visenya and Rhaenys. We can expect that their parents set up Visenya and Aegon to eventually marry, but I'd expect that at least Lord Aerion died before his children married. We do know Aegon was already the Lord of Dragonstone when he fought against the Volantenes in Essos and it is noteworthy that neither of his sister accompanied him there. We also know that all three siblings were dragonlords before they married, meaning we would assume Lord Aerion died before that since chances are pretty high that he was the previous rider of one of the three monstrous dragons.

That Aegon may have been viewed as infertile not only by his sister-wives but the more perceptive people of the Seven Kingdoms can also be drawn from Sharra Arryn's offer to marry Aegon if he were to name her son Ronnel his heir. That would be something greatly benefiting Ronnel and the Arryns but not exactly Aegon ... unless everybody were to know or expect that neither of his sister-wives - nor any other wife he might take in the future - were likely to give him a child.

13 hours ago, The Jingo said:

This isn't to say that Visenya hated Aegon. She is perfectly capable of loving him as her brother, marrying him for other reason and not wanting to have heirs with him, and then agreeing later on that they had to make it happen for the sake of their dynasty.

While that is theoretically possible it is just not very likely that a woman who agreed to marry refused to give birth to a child. As Aegon's unmarried sister and a dragonrider she could have basically had as prominent a role at his court as she had as his wife.

13 hours ago, The Jingo said:

Sure, but there was probably some degree of arrogance. They'd won almost the entire continent without taking any serious losses or setbacks, so they probably felt everything would work out. It would have taken quite some time for the glow to wear off and for them to start worrying, and even more time for them to start getting really anxious. 

That doesn't make much sense ... and, in part, it is due to the limited account of Aegon's reign. Aegon I had no heir of his body for seven years after his coronation. Seven long years most of which were consumed by the ever more escalating Dornish War.

We know all the childless kings had presumptive heirs immediately after their ascension - Jaehaerys I had Aerea, Viserys I had Daemon until he formally installed Rhaenyra, Aegon III had his half-sisters and eventually Viserys, etc.

Aegon the Conqueror would also have a presumptive heir upon his ascensions, possibly Orys Baratheon, Orys' eldest son and/or Aethan and Daemon Velaryon. Even if he never acknowledged any heirs, insisting, say, that in case of his sudden death the Iron Throne would pass to one of his queens, the fact that the succession was unclear insofar as the next generation was concerned would have put great strain on the three siblings to produce a clear heir.

That is not something they could possibly postpone or forget until 6-7 AC. They would have to deal with that question from the moment of their coronation and the pressure would only increase as the years went by and the Conqueror remained childless. This was an even bigger issue in light of the fact that the Targaryens needed children of their bloodline to pass on their dragons. They could not possibly hand the Seven Kingdoms to somebody who couldn't claim a dragon. And they would also need at least one - but better multiple - adult dragonriders by the time old age crippled their ability to successfully ride a dragon to war. All that would greatly increase the need for legitimate children. If they hadn't had children who were dragonriders the lords could have risen in rebellion as soon as Aegon and his sisters were no longer able to ride their dragons into battle ... or when a dragonless successor presumed to ascend the Iron Throne after Aegon's death.

In fact, we would have to assume that Aegon I would have to rule on his own succession basically as shortly after his own coronation as Viserys I had to, simply to consolidate his rule. People would want to know what were to happen if their new supreme were suddenly gone.

13 hours ago, The Jingo said:

It's not that I think it's impossible for Aegon to be infertile. It's that I think if he was and clones were possible, then Aenys should similarly be a clone rather than the seed of some random dirtblood.

But only Visenya is said to have dabbled into sorcery. Rhaenys, on the other hand, is said to have entertained a lot of favorites. And there is the whole jealousy dynamic within the polygamy setting indicating that Rhaenys may have not enjoyed it when Aegon slept with Visenya, deciding to have fun with other men whenever that happened. That's not all that difficult to get at since if Aegon can fuck two women why should Rhaenys fuck only one man?

That indicates that Aenys may have been fathered by another man while Visenya could have turned to sorcery instead. I mean, George is pretty much subtly on the head there when he talks about singers being among Rhaenys' favorites and then Gyldayn actually points out that Aenys was a fine singer himself. No other Targaryen king is praised for his singer's voice in FaB.

13 hours ago, The Jingo said:

If cloning was not that extreme and difficult, then why permit Rhaenys to go around and have some halfbreed bastard and try to pass it off as the heir to Aegon's Throne? Or if the magic was that difficult, why do it at all? Why not simply tumble with Orys and see what happens? At least in that case you'd know Orys was half a dragon himself.

Considering Aenys' looks chances are not that bad that Rhaenys picked a fine looking specimen with Valyrian - or at least blond - looks.

Orys Baratheon spent most of his time in those crucial years in Dornish captivity and when he returned in 7 AC Aenys was either already born or Rhaenys was already pregnant with him and he resigned as Hand and retired to Storm's End in bitterness.

The first couple of years Aegon and his sisters would have desperately tried to produce a child without any outside help, one imagines.

13 hours ago, The Jingo said:

Unless Aegon was breathtakingly arrogant, it would be exponentially easier to have him on board from the beginning. Trying to keep it all a secret would just limit Visenya's and Rhaenys' options to an almost absurd degree. 

It's like, "Oh, maybe we should tell our husband this is a problem and brainstorm solutions?" 

"Nah man, we're gonna ride the edge. Just lie, cheat, and steal. I live for the drama."

Well, Aegon could have just turned a blind eye to the whole thing, suspecting/effectively knowing the truth without either Visenya or Rhaenys ever talking with him about the entire thing.

But, of course, he could also have been actively involved in the whole thing, perhaps even telling his women that they have to take this route now or risk losing everything in old age.

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On 11/14/2021 at 3:53 AM, Lord Varys said:

That could work ... if George had bothered to mention such pregnancies and stillbirths. He did that rather extensively for Aerys and Rhaella, Queen Naerys, Queen Alysanne and to a lesser degree for Aemma Arryn and Laena Velaryon.

Maybe GRRM just wanted to leave Aegon and his sister-wives's relationship veiled in mystery?

There must be a reason they had so few children and so late in life... but GRRM didn't say why.

You say "if it was stillbirths... why didn't GRRM say it?" but that would apply to any other reason we could give: "if it was ********... why didn't GRRM say it...?".

 

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On 11/16/2021 at 10:54 PM, Ser Lepus said:

Maybe GRRM just wanted to leave Aegon and his sister-wives's relationship veiled in mystery?

There must be a reason they had so few children and so late in life... but GRRM didn't say why.

You say "if it was stillbirths... why didn't GRRM say it?" but that would apply to any other reason we could give: "if it was ********... why didn't GRRM say it...?".

When dealing with the oddity of Aegon having only two children we do have textual evidence that something fishy went on there ... while we have no hints that there may have been any miscarriages, stillbirths, dead children in the cradle. In literature you look for clues first before filling gaps with your own suppositions.

Even with all the brevity in the chapters on Aegon's reign - which makes the book worse than it could have been - George did include hints that Aenys may not be Aegon's son, and that Visenya may have used her alleged sorcerous talents to deal with her fertility problem. We also get the hint that Visenya was interested in poisons to conclude that she may have poisoned either Aegon I or Aenys to become the kingslayer as some people saw her. Without that hint the idea that Visenya may have poisoned either her brother-husband or nephew would have less credence than it does with that information on her.

Especially the theory that Aenys may not be Aegon's son stands on pretty solid feet ... while the idea that Rhaenys may have been pregnant more than once (when she had Aenys) stands on no feet at all. And that Visenya wasn't pregnant at all before she had Maegor is effectively confirmed by the fact that Gyldayn points out that 'Visenya was childless and perhaps barren' in 10 AC. If she had been pregnant before people should have viewed her as fertile rather than barren.

The idea that George wanted to leave this whole thing 'shrouded in mystery' is clearly false, since he actually gave us clues. Not very good or detailed clues, I admit, but clues nonetheless. If he wanted mystery he would have just have told us that Aegon had two sons, period.

Edited by Lord Varys
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm actually starting to think that this theory could possibly be true...

 

The thing which I have thought about that gives it the perfect symbolism or foreshadowing in hindsight is the fact that out of the three hills of King's Landing, Rhaenys's hill is the one which has the Dragonpit, which means that all the dragons were hatched from Rhaenys, as a metaphor/symbol for all the Targaryen children/descendants coming from her.

Before I read this theory, that thing seemed decent to me, but obviously wasn't perfect, since Visenya had at least one child/descendant/Targaryen ruler - Maegor - as well, and since Aegon was also parent to the children from Rhaenys. But now, if his theory about Aegon's infertility is true, it makes sense.

...

 

Aegon's hill has the Red Keep, the symbol of the kingship and royal rule itself, but without any dragons (children/descendants). Just like Aegon the Conqueror is the most prominent of the three siblings, Aegon's High Hill and the Red Keep is the most prominent and "official"/authoritative of the three hills/structures, since it has the Iron Throne itself.

Visenya's hill has the Great Sept of Baelor, which doesn't have any dragons (children/descendants) either, but will probably at least have a huge explosion of wildfire in TWOW, just like in the TV show, which symbolises the magical birth of Maegor and/or his rule and war against the Faith of the Seven and the kingdom/city in general. Thus, Visenya's hill has no dragons (children/descendants), but instead has wildfire (a secret evil magic clone, Maegor) - a sort of "cheat solution" that does the job almost as well, but disappears quickly afterwards and cannot reproduce itself. A dragon or a normal Targaryen child can live long and reproduce, but wildfire/Maegor can not. In the same way that wildfire will gradually extinguish itself and die after several hours or even perhaps days of its destruction and fire power, Maegor killed himself in an early age after having exerted his energy and violence in the wars/fights against the Faith. The parallell here is actually really stunning.

Rhaenys's hill has the Dragonpit, which is the only one that has dragons (children/descendants).

 

...

(This theory/metaphor/symbolism also represents the in-world Dothraki creation myth of the sun and the two moons, wherein the second moon - Rhaenys - got too close to the sun and cracked open to fill the world with dragons, like the hatching of an egg. Sure, this isn't perfect if Aegon, the sun, wasn't the father, but still...)

[[Regarding the temporal aspect of the three hills, at the time of the present of ASOIAF, ca 298-300 A.C., the Red Keep is still standing, possibly symbolising Aegon the Conqueror's rule, the Dragonpit is long since gone into ruin, possibly symbolising Rhaenys's death, and yet the Great Sept of Baelor hasn't been destroyed by wildfire yet, but will possibly be so in TWOW or ADOS. Thus, if this theory is correct, that would mean that the present state of the three hills mark the time after Rhaenys's death, and just before Visenya has either given birth to Maegor or just before Maegor has had his war with the Faith.]]

 

Edited by Adam Targaryen
Changed some spacing and such
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7 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

Are we really sure that Maegor killed himself?

It is the most likely scenario. A murder would not only have to include the KG but should also include (several) dead would-be assassins or at least some injured successful assassins.

Nobody could drag Maegor up the steep steps of the Iron Throne without there being considerable commotion. And the way his corpse looked like it doesn't seem as if anyone used weapons to kill Maegor.

If he was murdered we would have to imagine multiple strong men restraining him, dragging him up the steps and use the barbs of the throne to kill him. That is not very likely.

Instead, chances seem to be pretty high we are to believe Maegor sat on the throne and decided on a whim that he would kill himself up there.

Alternatively, I guess there also a small chance that his death was an accident.

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On 12/16/2021 at 5:38 PM, Lord Varys said:

It is the most likely scenario. A murder would not only have to include the KG but should also include (several) dead would-be assassins or at least some injured successful assassins.

Nobody could drag Maegor up the steep steps of the Iron Throne without there being considerable commotion. And the way his corpse looked like it doesn't seem as if anyone used weapons to kill Maegor.

If he was murdered we would have to imagine multiple strong men restraining him, dragging him up the steps and use the barbs of the throne to kill him. That is not very likely.

Instead, chances seem to be pretty high we are to believe Maegor sat on the throne and decided on a whim that he would kill himself up there.

Alternatively, I guess there also a small chance that his death was an accident.

How did Aegon II die?

Why was Maegor's death deemed a suicide and Aegon's death deemed to be murder?

Am I missing something or is it really a matter of who came to power after their death. Jaehaerys, Alyssa, Rogar and most of the relam hated Maegor and were eager to have him out of the way; whereas Aegon had a large amount of supporters and Cregan seemed to be sympathetic.

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7 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

How did Aegon II die?

Why was Maegor's death deemed a suicide and Aegon's death deemed to be murder?

Am I missing something or is it really a matter of who came to power after their death. Jaehaerys, Alyssa, Rogar and most of the relam hated Maegor and were eager to have him out of the way; whereas Aegon had a large amount of supporters and Cregan seemed to be sympathetic.

I'd say the obvious difference is that an investigation uncovered a vast reaching conspiracy to murder Aegon II and crown Aegon III in his stead whereas there is no such conspiracy indicated for Maegor-Jaehaerys.

And brevity of the material aside, Aegon II intended to fight on and refused to yield and take the black, while Maegor seemed to have been desperate enough to kill himself.

Also, nothing surrounding the circumstances of Aegon II's death suggests suicide. Somebody poisoned the wine he was given on his way back to his chambers.

But to be sure - suicide just seems to be the most likely scenario in Maegor's case. But it is by no means confirmed. And it most likely never will be confirmed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Someone else's thoughts on this from Alternatehistory.com (shout out to @caekdaemon) are threefoldish:

1. Aegon was busy - we don't know how old the Targaryens were when they got married together, that's something that hasn't been revealed and probably won't be, but we do know this: the birth order goes Visenya in 29 or 28BC, Aegon in 27BC, Rhaenys in 25 or 26 BC. The age gap between them isn't that large, but something always struck me as being a little odd in that we know that Aegon married Rhaenys because he wanted to marry Rhaenys, but that he married Visenya out of duty, and that raised the question of what that duty was...until we got more info and found out that Aerion Targaryen, the dad of the three, died sometime between 26 and 2BC. For much of Aegon's youth before the conquest, there is the very good chance that his father was alive, and that would explain the question of duty and why he married Visenya even though by most accounts he didn't like her anywhere near as much as he liked Rhaenys: he was made to by his father, much as future Targaryen kings would have their heirs wed to their sisters whether they wanted to be married or not, and Aegon thus was not free to marry Rhaenys until after he had become Lord of Dragonstone in his own right. Considering that he probably wouldn't be marrying anyone until around 16 years of age (for logical reasons discussed in these threads before as to the issues of people getting married young, especially women), Aegon wouldn't have been with Visenya till around 13BC or 12BC, and wouldn't be able to marry Rhaenys until potentially as late as 2BC when Aerion dies. Whatever happens there, he didn't seem that interested in Visenya, so it's safe to assume that not much actually happened between the two of them over that time. Sure, they're married, but they're not, uh, "active" in that marriage, so not much is actually going on. He might very well be hooking up with Rhaenys on the side over these years, or it might be that his father realized that it was a mess waiting to happen and kept the two separated from one another so that they couldn't, but whatever is going on between Aegon and Rhaenys, Aegon and Visenya is quiet.

But then eventually Aerion dies and Aegon becomes Lord of Dragonstone, and would be free to do as he wills and thus marries Rhaenys. His "activities" with Visenya probably die down for a while, lower than they were even before this kicked off, but remember, this could be as late as two years before the conquest - the age gap between, say, Brandon and Rickon is five years, and that's Eddard and Catelyn, a happily loving couple, and there's a gap of three between Sansa and Arya, just as there is between Robb and Sansa, so taking a couple of years to have the first child is hardly unheard of - actually striking one out of the park on the wedding night is more of an oddity than the case of a few years before the first kid comes along, even with regular "attempts" for them.

But the thing is, Aegon isn't really around to do said attempts in the first place, because the man is barely in one place long enough to try, because not long before the conquest, Aegon did this:
 

Near the end, even the future Conqueror, the still-young Aegon Targaryen, became involved in the struggle. His ancestors had long looked east, but his attention from an early age had been turned westward. Still, when Pentos and Tyrosh approached him, inviting him to join a grand alliance against Volantis, he listened. And for reasons unknown to this day, he chose to heed their call...to a point. Mounting the Black Dread, it is said that he flew to the east, meeting with the Prince of Pentos and the magisters of the Free City, and from there flew Balerion to Lys in time to set ablaze a Volantene fleet that was preparing to invade that Free City.
As for Aegon Targaryen, shortly after his role in defeating Volantis it is written that he lost all interest in the affairs of the east. Believing Volantis's rule at an end, he flew back to Dragonstone. And now, no longer distracted by the wars of Essos, he turned his gaze west.


That's not really something he could've done whilst his father was alive, so it is fair to assume that he did it after Aerion was dead, which means that it wouldn't have been long after he married Rhaenys, and there's no mention of his wives coming with him in his flight to the east. If Aegon is busy in the east, then he's not going to be busy in the bedchamber, and combined with the situation with Rhaenys, that easily serves to explain why he didn't have any kids before the Conquest; the wife he was married to for longer he didn't have much interest in, the wife he wanted to marry he was only recently able to marry, but before they might've had a child he was off to war in Essos.

And then right after that, there was the Conquest, a campaign that leaves little time for "attempts" between him and Rhaenys or Visenya for that matter, as the three spend ages away from one another. The conquest itself kicked off in 2BC, and lasted until 1AC, so three years. That's three years of nearly constant war and campaigning, so not that much time when the three of them are together, or even just two of them.

But what happened after that? Surely then Aegon might've had some time?

Answer, not really.
 

Aegon's first established law was the King's Peace, which forbid conflict in the realm without the leave of the Iron Throne. Aegon treated the defeated lords with respect and allowed each region to retain its own laws and customs and for the lords to retain both the right of pit and gallows and the first night. Aegon often travelled the realm with six maesters who educated him on each region's local customs and history.

 

In 2 AC King Aegon I Targaryen descended on the Iron Islands with Balerion in order to put and end to the civil war that has erupted after Harren Hoare's death during the Conquest. The main claimant, Qhorin Volmark, was slain by Aegon with Blackfyre, and the priest-king Lodos drowned himself after his prayers to the Drowned God went unanswered. Afterwards, Aegon allowed the ironborn to elect their own leader, and Lord Vickon Greyjoy was chosen as Lord of the Iron Islands

 

4 AC was the beginning of the First Dornish War, with a Targaryen full-fledged attempt to invade Dorne. Queen Rhaenys Targaryen attacked the Planky Town from the air with Meraxes, while King Aegon marched through the Prince's Pass and Lord Orys Baratheon descended through the Boneway. Although Orys was ambushed and captured by the Wyl of Wyl, most of the Dornish prefer to avoid confrontation and abandon their strongholds rather than face the invading armies. After capturing a few castles, Aegon took Sunspear and declared the conquest of Dorne concluded.

 

In 5 AC the Dornish War continued with renewed fierceness. Taking advantage of the fact that Aegon and Balerion had returned to King's Landing, hordes of Dornish spearmen emerged from hiding and recaptured the castles they had lost, killing the garrisons and the castellans. Lord Jon Rosby was thrown by Meria Martell from the top of the Spear Tower in what would be known as the Defenestration of Sunspear, and Harlan Tyrell and his entire army disappeared amidst the red sands, somewhere at the east of Hellholt.

 

One of these tragedies was the capture and mutilation of Aegon's friend and Hand of the King, Lord Orys Baratheon, by the Wyl of Wyl. Following his release from two years of captivity, Orys returned home lacking a swordhand, as did the men who had been taken captive with him. Aegon, intent on revenge, released his dragons and burned the castles of the defiant Dornish lords.


So, we have a king who was constantly travelling the realm, crushing rebels or sending sisters to go and crush rebels, who then got involved in a multi-year campaign in Dorne that was itself full of back and forth flying, burning and then more burning, but even still, Aegon manages to find time to father a child: Aenys is born to Rhanys in 7AC, in the middle of the Dornish War, and at that point things seem to turn around for Aegon in that he seems to try and spend more time at home, but then the war with Dorne continues, and...


2. Rhaenys dies. - ...this happens.
 

The greatest loss Aegon faced was the death of Queen Rhaenys Targaryen at Hellholt in 10 AC, when Meraxes fell from the sky (with Rhaenys upon her back) after a shot from a scorpion took the dragon in the eye. The two years that followed are known as the Dragon's Wroth, as Aegon's wrath after Rhaenys's death knew no bounds.


Rhaenys dies, and Aegon quite simply loses his shit. Basedo n what we know, he pretty much went like Robert Baratheon, except instead of it being one prince he was after, it was a geographical region. Aegon pretty much bulldozes most of Dorne, and Visenya is dragged along for the ride. I wouldn't be surprised if dragonfire turned some parts of the desert to glass or something. And why wouldn't he be so angry? Based on what we know, he seemed to like Visenya, but he loved Rhaenys, and the Dornish have just butchered his best friend and murdered the love of his life. He spends two years torching the place, and Maegor is born at the end of those two years in 12AC. Perhaps the two might've bonded over the grief, perhaps he had no-one else to turn to, whatever happened, Visenya gets pregnant not long after Rhaenys is dead and no longer around to be loved. But the next year, this happens:

 

The attempted conquest of Dorne was called to an end in 13 AC, after a visit from Princess Deria Martell, the daughter of Nymor Martell, the ruling Prince of Dorne. Deria brought the skull of Meraxes and a letter with her, which was given to Aegon. After reading the letter, Aegon flew on Balerion to Dragonstone. He returned the next day, and agreed to a peace between Dorne and the Seven Kingdoms.


There is a lot of speculation as to what is in that letter, from theories about Rhaenys being captured alive to being tortured to being pregnant and giving birth to another of Aegon's children, no one really knows, but there is one thing that dominates that and should have a massive influence on such considerations, but which tends to go unnoticed. That is this:

Aegon kept good relations with Princess Deria. He visited Sunspear with his eldest son, Prince Aenys, in 23 AC to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the peace between the Iron Throne and Dorne.


If something bad is happening to Rhaenys and she's being used against him, it doesn't exactly make sense that Aegon would keep good relations with Dorne in the years afterwards, even trusting them enough to visit them with the son of Rhaenys herself. No, I think something else was in that letter, something that seemed to end Aegon's expansionism the moment he got the letter and changed the man in many ways that are hinted at in the text itself - I think the Martells, for a lack of better words, blamed Aegon for her death, for placing the growth of his kingdom over the life of the woman he loved, for forsaking the joys of a family and kingdom at peace for the glories and advancements of one at war. Aegon had been in almost ceaseless war until that letter arrives, yet the moment it does he returns to the isle of the birth of himself and his sisterwives, as if soul-seeking, and then returns the next day to accept a peace. I think what they did was hold up a mirror to him, and allow him to realize that despite all his successes, despite the power and majesty of the realm he had built, he was losing the things he cared about in the process: his most loyal and oldest of subjects, the health of his best friend and half brother, on and on, to culminate in the life of the woman he loved. It conjures to mind the question of how far a man will go to build an empire, what price they might pay, and what might happen when they realise what they have lost in the process of building that realm...something that is a very, very ASOIAF style tale to tell, and fits well into the kind of themes that we see within the setting.

After that, his reign switches gears almost instantly, but something is...different.


3. A great man, but still a man - After the death of Rhaenys and the peace with Dorne, Aegon's reign takes on a decidedly more peaceful turn. His expansionism stops entirely and stops dead. The man who was seemingly forever ready for a fight is now a man of peace, but even still, he rarely ever stays in one place.
 

The remaining twenty-four years of Aegon's reign were peaceful, so much that the last two decades of his reign were later called the Dragon's Peace, by the maesters of the Citadel. He spent much of his time consolidating his power by traveling throughout the Seven Kingdoms and building his capital at King's Landing. Aegon devoted half of every year to making these royal progresses.


Aegon spends half of every year on the road, travelling the Seven Kingdoms, meeting his subjects, getting to learn the peoples of the realm he has built. He visits King's Landing every now and then to keep things going and to continue work on his city, of course, but for the most part, he's on the roads, or over them to be more precise, travelling from place to place...

Aegon is known to have visited many places during his progresses, including the Arbor, Ashford, Casterly Rock, Crakehall, Evenfall Hall, the Eyrie, Gulltown, Harrenhal, Highgarden, Horn Hill, Lannisport, Old Oak, Oldtown, Riverrun and Storm's End. He also journeyed thrice to the Iron Islands (twice to Pyke and once to Great Wyk), spent a fortnight at Sisterton in 19 AC, and visited the North six times, holding court thrice in White Harbor, twice at Barrowton, and once at Winterfell.

Aegon traveled on Balerion during his progresses and was accompanied by a famously large retinue, sometimes including as many as a thousand knights and lords and ladies. He always surrounded himself with six maesters, to answer any questions he might have on local law, customs, and history and help him hold court wherever he went. With time, Aegon would also take along his son and heir, Prince Aenys.

Aegon made his last progress at the age of sixty in 33 AC, when he traveled to the North


...yet very, very rarely remaining home until he was so old that he couldn't make the journeys anymore. What happened not long after?

He tore down the castle he had built when Rhaenys was with him:

 

By this point late in his reign, Aegon decided that the ramshackle Aegonfort was not a suitable seat for a king, so the structure was torn to the ground in 35 AC. Aegon moved his family and court back to Dragonstone, while he commanded the construction of what would later be called the Red Keep. Visenya was placed in charge of the building of the Red Keep, and it was rumored that Aegon had done this so that he would not have to suffer her presence on Dragonstone.[


Butwhy not Dragonstone, I hear ask. He spent more time with her there than he did at King's Landing. That is so, yes. But think it like this: Dragonstone would be the place where the memories of the past are good - laughing, joyous, the memories of a fond and loved past. Bittersweet from what was lost, yes, but still sweet in their own way. Love that was lost, yet love all the same. The Aegonfort does not have that. The Aegonfort was the future that could've been, the dream that never came true. It is the place where the sweetness became bitter, the first step on a road that led a man to be regaled by all as the greatest conqueror the land had ever seen, yet one who paid a price in the lives of his friends and loved ones in the price. Dragonstone is the ghost of the past-that-was. Aegonfort is the ghost of the future-that-cannot-be, a monument to where things began to go wrong and where the price of Aegon's own ambition began to tally higher and higher still until it took almost everything from him, stopped only by a realization that came far too late. And there is a perfect reason why he tears the castle down - because he cannot stand to be beneath its rafters, knowing what it is that it means.

So instead of Aegon the Conqueror being sterile, I think we have a far more complex, far more personal tale in the form of a man who had no time for the woman he loved until she was gone, and was haunted by the decisions he made for years to come.

That strikes me as being far more tragic a thing - Aegon the Conqueror, glorified for his deeds, yet forever aware that when his travels end and he returns to King's Landing, he returns to a home that is cold and empty.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To keep the story simple. GRRM has tried to keep the Targaryen family tree pretty lean compared houses like the Freys. So Maegor didn't have children, Aegon the Uncrowned's daughters didn't have children, Alicent's legitimate line died out, Baelor Breakspears line died out, etc. It's similar to how GRRM cut down the Stark or Arryn family trees.

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21 hours ago, Lucia Targaryen said:

To keep the story simple. GRRM has tried to keep the Targaryen family tree pretty lean compared houses like the Freys. So Maegor didn't have children, Aegon the Uncrowned's daughters didn't have children, Alicent's legitimate line died out, Baelor Breakspears line died out, etc. It's similar to how GRRM cut down the Stark or Arryn family trees.

Aegon having just two sons doesn't keep the tree particularly simple. If there had been daughters, Aenys and Maegor could have married them (especially Maegor the polygamist), and spare daughters could have been married to a Velaryon or Baratheon cousin - especially the latter could have done very well with more than less Targaryen blood.

So if you have a Targaryen daughter you don't know what to do with - just marry her to a Baratheon.

We could also have had a younger son of the Conqueror as a member of the Kingsguard, one rising to the position of Grand Maester to later serve Jaehaerys I in that capacity, or one as a High Septon. It is also somewhat of a letdown that Aemon and Bloodraven seem to have been the first Targaryens to take the black.

But, of course, it would have also been great to have some cadet branches of House Targaryen which were cut down both during Maegor's tyrannical rule and the Dance of the Dragons.

On 12/31/2021 at 7:16 AM, C.J. said:

Someone else's thoughts on this from Alternatehistory.com (shout out to @caekdaemon) are threefoldish:

1. Aegon was busy - we don't know how old the Targaryens were when they got married together, that's something that hasn't been revealed and probably won't be, but we do know this: the birth order goes Visenya in 29 or 28BC, Aegon in 27BC, Rhaenys in 25 or 26 BC. The age gap between them isn't that large, but something always struck me as being a little odd in that we know that Aegon married Rhaenys because he wanted to marry Rhaenys, but that he married Visenya out of duty, and that raised the question of what that duty was...until we got more info and found out that Aerion Targaryen, the dad of the three, died sometime between 26 and 2BC. For much of Aegon's youth before the conquest, there is the very good chance that his father was alive, and that would explain the question of duty and why he married Visenya even though by most accounts he didn't like her anywhere near as much as he liked Rhaenys: he was made to by his father, much as future Targaryen kings would have their heirs wed to their sisters whether they wanted to be married or not, and Aegon thus was not free to marry Rhaenys until after he had become Lord of Dragonstone in his own right. Considering that he probably wouldn't be marrying anyone until around 16 years of age (for logical reasons discussed in these threads before as to the issues of people getting married young, especially women), Aegon wouldn't have been with Visenya till around 13BC or 12BC, and wouldn't be able to marry Rhaenys until potentially as late as 2BC when Aerion dies. Whatever happens there, he didn't seem that interested in Visenya, so it's safe to assume that not much actually happened between the two of them over that time. Sure, they're married, but they're not, uh, "active" in that marriage, so not much is actually going on. He might very well be hooking up with Rhaenys on the side over these years, or it might be that his father realized that it was a mess waiting to happen and kept the two separated from one another so that they couldn't, but whatever is going on between Aegon and Rhaenys, Aegon and Visenya is quiet.

We know very little about the Targaryens pre-Conquest, but we do know that Aegon was Lord of Dragonstone for quite some time since he did fight the Volantenes on dragonback some time before the Conquest.

We also know that all three Targaryen siblings were already dragonlords before their marriage which may imply that Lord Aerion must have died before the marriage since it stands to reason that Aerion rode either Balerion, Vhagar, or Meraxes before the children claimed them.

The duty Aegon had to follow was the Targaryen tradition that the eldest son marry the eldest sister ... and the eldest and the or a younger sister.

It is not impossible that Aegon had two weddings, but so far there is no confirmation for this and what I take away from the story is that Aegon married Visenya and Rhaenys in a single ceremony, most likely after his father had already died.

On 12/31/2021 at 7:16 AM, C.J. said:

That's not really something he could've done whilst his father was alive, so it is fair to assume that he did it after Aerion was dead, which means that it wouldn't have been long after he married Rhaenys, and there's no mention of his wives coming with him in his flight to the east. If Aegon is busy in the east, then he's not going to be busy in the bedchamber, and combined with the situation with Rhaenys, that easily serves to explain why he didn't have any kids before the Conquest; the wife he was married to for longer he didn't have much interest in, the wife he wanted to marry he was only recently able to marry, but before they might've had a child he was off to war in Essos.

They are in their early twenties in 2 BC when the Conquest starts, so regardless when Aegon became Lord of Dragonstone, there is a chance that he was married to either or both his wives for quite some time. Traditionally, the Targaryens marry around the age of 16, say, from 15-18 or so. Visenya if finally confirmed to have been two years older than Aegon, so to prevent her from marrying outside the family they could have married shortly after she became a woman grown - say, when Visenya was seventeen and Aegon fifteen.

The Volantene episode seems to be just a short sideshow, and a dragon makes you very mobile. Rhaenys/Visenya could have visited Aegon in Lys, or he could flew back home for a short visit.

Keep in mind that Rhaenys and Visenya both managed to get pregnant - allegedly by Aegon - during the First Dornish War when they all were moving around on dragonback more often than not.

On 12/31/2021 at 7:16 AM, C.J. said:

And then right after that, there was the Conquest, a campaign that leaves little time for "attempts" between him and Rhaenys or Visenya for that matter, as the three spend ages away from one another. The conquest itself kicked off in 2BC, and lasted until 1AC, so three years. That's three years of nearly constant war and campaigning, so not that much time when the three of them are together, or even just two of them.

That is not true. They were apart for a considerable time, but they were also together in camps on multiple occasions, namely on the Field of Fire, when they accepted Torrhen Stark's submission, and earlier at KL and later in Oldtown. Also, their dragons made them very mobile - Rhaenys' stint in Dorne was very brief, just as Visenya's 'conquest' of the Vale was.

The campaign in the Stormlands and the naval attack on the Vale may have taken Rhaenys and Visenya some time, but even that cannot have lasted more than a couple of months.

They had more than enough time and opportunity to have sex repeatedly - although that's certainly no guarantee that they did have sex.

When Aegon travels the Realm he left one of his queen back in KL to sit the Iron Throne ... but the other usually accompanied him, so there would be plenty of chance to have sex with one of them on the road ... and one imagines that it was Rhaenys who accompanied Aegon most of the time (although she also spent some time in KL as the Rule of Six shows).

When relations with Visenya deteriorated they effectively separated. Visenya and Maegor were on Dragonstone while Aegon was in KL and vice versa, and when Aegon was touring the Realm with Aenys, Visenya sat the Iron Throne in KL.

On 12/31/2021 at 7:16 AM, C.J. said:

 Visenya gets pregnant not long after Rhaenys is dead and no longer around to be loved. But the next year, this happens.

Visenya doesn't get pregnant after the gang hangs out in the field burning Dorne - although that does happen in 10 AC. She gets pregnant after there is talk in KL that she is barren and Prince Aenys might die.

Dragons fly, so the time it took Aegon and Visenya to torch most of the Dornish castles yet again are more likely to be a couple of weeks than months. When they learned about Rhaenys' death, Hellholt likely burned a 2-3 days later - however long it took Aegon to fly to the place. Without having Rhaenys' body or knowing what had happened to her exactly there wasn't even a need to have a funeral before starting the revenge spree.

Remember how many castles in the West and the Riverlands Maegor and Visenya allegedly burned in a single night?

But anything that happened after Rhaenys' death and Maegor's birth two years later doesn't really matter all that much for the question at hand.

Aegon had twelve years and more to father children on two wives and he only got one child from each of them.

That is just weird.

Even more since the pressure to produce an heir would have been there even before the Conquest - but much, much more afterwards. They had this gigantic kingdom which was too large to be ruled effectively ... and which they could easily lose in old age when they could no longer ride their dragons in battle if they had no clear and universally accepted heir.

An adopted heir - or even a Baratheon or Velaryon cousin - might lack the ability to become a dragonrider, meaning he might end up ruling for less than the proverbial fortnight.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't think there's necessarily any incompatibility between the two statements that "Aegon is Maegor's father" and "Visenya used magic to conceive Maegor". As a purported sorceress, it's entirely feasible that Visenya used fertility magic to improve her chances of conception once she and Aegon were set on having a child (especially if she were older than conventional childbearing age at the time).

I must admit that I have always been a little fonder of (an interpretation of) the version of Maegor we got a glimpse of in AWoIaF than the now-prevailing one, a man who acted as Aenys's enforcer, a necessary iron fist to keep the kingdom in line under a weak king, inherited a war with the church rather than starting it, and whose breaking of the church - though horrendously destructive - was nevertheless necessary in order for Jaehaerys to effect his conciliation, and one who, while always ruthless, only became the brute of legend after his head injury.

That Maegor sits more comfortably in the general trend of Targ rulers (in this context, Maekar becomes something like Maegor-as-he-should-have-been) and less so with the idea of a botched-from-birth sorcerous clone.

Fire and Blood seems to give us a Maegor who was something of a monster from the word go, and whose reign was nothing but horror, though, which is less nuanced than I'd like but seems to be the way it is.

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5 hours ago, Adelstein said:

I don't think there's necessarily any incompatibility between the two statements that "Aegon is Maegor's father" and "Visenya used magic to conceive Maegor". As a purported sorceress, it's entirely feasible that Visenya used fertility magic to improve her chances of conception once she and Aegon were set on having a child (especially if she were older than conventional childbearing age at the time).

While that's certainly possible, it is not the gist of the theory of Aegon the Conqueror being actually sterile.

5 hours ago, Adelstein said:

I must admit that I have always been a little fonder of (an interpretation of) the version of Maegor we got a glimpse of in AWoIaF than the now-prevailing one, a man who acted as Aenys's enforcer, a necessary iron fist to keep the kingdom in line under a weak king, inherited a war with the church rather than starting it, and whose breaking of the church - though horrendously destructive - was nevertheless necessary in order for Jaehaerys to effect his conciliation, and one who, while always ruthless, only became the brute of legend after his head injury.

That Maegor sits more comfortably in the general trend of Targ rulers (in this context, Maekar becomes something like Maegor-as-he-should-have-been) and less so with the idea of a botched-from-birth sorcerous clone.

Fire and Blood seems to give us a Maegor who was something of a monster from the word go, and whose reign was nothing but horror, though, which is less nuanced than I'd like but seems to be the way it is.

That seems to be more wishful-thinking on the side of people who want Maegor to be 'complex' or 'not a monstrous villain' when everything we learned about the guy since AGoT is that he well-earned his moniker 'the Cruel'. His war against the Faith was always just one small part of his overall tyranny.

In no way was it ever 'necessary' for anyone to war with the Faith. Maegor just shouldn't have had more than one wife and Aenys shouldn't have married his children to each other. The Faith Militant and the High Septon were not opposed to Targaryen rule in principle, they just had issues with certain practices they insisted doing.

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11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In no way was it ever 'necessary' for anyone to war with the Faith. Maegor just shouldn't have had more than one wife and Aenys shouldn't have married his children to each other. The Faith Militant and the High Septon were not opposed to Targaryen rule in principle, they just had issues with certain practices they insisted doing.

I assume that major reason why Targs had problem with the Faith was that Maegor's first wife was a Hightower. Or her uncle misused his authority to keep Ceryse as a member of royal family. So if M would have had different wife the Faith might not been happy but almost certainly had caused less problems. In fact I am almost certain that if Maegor's new wife had been a Hightower, or if Hightower had gained more power via that divorce, the Faith almost certainly had even supported it.

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