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Lord Varys

The succession of Baelor the Blessed (and a little tidbit on Daeron I)

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Both as a discussion in general as well as an inquiry at @Ran I'd like to make sense of what we know at this point about the succession of Baelor I.

TWoIaF implies that the succession of the septon-king was only addressed, discussed, and eventually decided after Baelor the Blessed had already died - which actually makes no sense from any realistic in-world POV we might take.

For one, King Baelor should have formally recognized at least a presumptive heir possibly by the time he ascended the Iron Throne, at the latest when he annulled his marriage to his sister-wife Daena, making it clear to his court as well as the world at large that he would father any (legitimate) children in the near future.

But when he decided to take the vows of a septon some time later, committing himself to celibacy for the remainder of his life, making it crystal clear he did not only intend to never take another wife in the future but effectively closing that door for good he would have been forced to name an heir apparent considering he would never have a son or a daughter.

In light of the fact that pretty much any king before Baelor does have a presumptive heir before he names an heir apparent, and considering that kings whose succession is somewhat garbled (like Viserys I's in the first two years of his reign) have to rule on the matter as soon it becomes a vexing issue it is pretty much impossible that Baelor the Blessed could ignore this issue throughout his reign.

And if he did ignore it, if he made no decision to between his uncle Prince Viserys and his former sister-wife Daena the Defiant, then we should actually expect a court being as split as it was before the Dance of the Dragons because nothing encourages factionalism more than uncertainty.

Then there is the Maidenvault issue - but Baelor annulling his marriage as well as his decision to imprison his former sister-wife and other sisters can only be a strong sign that he never so much as entertained the notion that his sisters should sit the Iron Throne or that any of them should marry to give birth to sons who might succeed their holy royal uncle.

Thus one would assume that King Baelor named his uncle Prince Viserys Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne, most likely around the time he annulled his marriage or when he took his septon's vows of celibacy.

Back before the Viper Pit, when Baelor arranged the marriage between Prince Daeron and Princess Myriah he may have still intended continue his marriage and eventually father heirs of his own body. And if we assume that Daeron II and Maron essentially completed the work Baelor the Blessed started - which is implied by TWoIaF - then Baelor's plan may actually have been - once he was sure he would never have children - that a Targaryen prince married to a Dornish princess (and their children after him) would eventually inherit the Iron Throne, greatly increasing the chances that the Dornish problem could be resolved by peaceable means (something that wouldn't have happened if one of his sisters had succeeded him).

That idea, too, would indicate that Baelor the Blessed would have made his uncle Heir Apparent so young Daeron could eventually succeed to the throne.

There would certainly be a chance for a last minute change of heart in Baelor - say, the dying king trying the change the succession in favor of Daena or one of his other sisters (Rhaena, say, because she had become a septa and could thus continue his work much better than Viserys) - and something like muddying the succession to a degree, but I really cannot imagine it can be maintained that Baelor would not have ruled on his own succession throughout his entire reign. Especially in light of the fact that the unexpected death of the Young Dragon showed again the vulnerability of the dynasty to such events and putting great pressure on Baelor to continue the bloodline - something he refused to do, but something he may only be able to do because he was quite clear who would succeed him.

One could perhaps fantasize about him being so far gone that he believed the Seven would make him immortal or would sort of miraculously create a successor when he was needed, but I don't think he was ever that far gone.

As for Daeron I:

After reading the Druon novels on the Kings of France I cannot help but wishing George would give Daeron I the wife back he once had - and give him a posthumous daughter to also deal with the issues that plague a monarchy when the (possible) heir of the throne has not yet left the womb when the king dies. Not to mention that such a child could also help to sort of unite the two branches of House Targaryen - say, by Dyanna Dayne being the daughter of such a daughter (that Elaena's Penrose girls never made it back into the Targaryen family tree wasn't exactly a tantalizing development in a family that is supposed to be inbred ;-).

Not to mention that such a daughter (or one of them, if they were twins) could also be used for that messing Baratheon-Targaryen problem (Renly's talk) I keep talking about. We all can accept that Renly ignores or forgets his own grandmother when talking about the blood ties between the Baratheons and the Targaryens. But he also talks about those second sons and elder daughters. The main branch of House Baratheon of the main series being descended from the eldest/only daughter of Daeron I certainly would make both George and Renly look less inconsistent than they are looking now (and this is an inconsistency).

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I don't think he ever named an heir presumptive and if he indeed named an heir presumptive it was one of his sisters, what we know about the aftermath of his death is this.

 

THOUGH BOTH OF the sons of King Aegon III were dead, his three daughters yet survived, and there were some amongst the smallfolk—and even some lords—who felt that the Iron Throne should by rights now pass to Princess Daena. They were few, however; a decade of isolation in the Maidenvault had left Daena and her sisters without powerful allies, and memories of the woes that had befallen the realm when last a woman sat the Iron Throne were still fresh. Daena the Defiant was seen by many lords as being wild and unmanageable besides … and wanton as well, for a year earlier she had given birth to a bastard son she named Daemon, whose sire she steadfastly refused to name. The precedents of the Great Council of 101 and the Dance of the Dragons were therefore cited, and the claims of Baelor’s sisters were set aside. Instead the crown passed to his uncle, the King’s Hand, Prince Viserys.

 

Had Baelor ever made a choice that supported Viserys or his children claims, the precedents of 101 and the Dance and Daena's character would not be that relevant, if they highlighted that was because indeed either there was no succesion will, given Baelor's behaviour is not that unlikely that he simply did not care about that and since no one could force him to do it, things remained like that or that he indeed said that he wanted his sisters to succeed him and was overruled, if Baelor indeed supported the male claim and named him heir apparent we should know.

I don't know why you're sure that Baelor couldn't ignore the problem forever, it would not be first time and i'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the last.

More protest came when Baelor went on to outlaw prostitution within King’s Landing, and no one could impress on him how much trouble that would cause. More than a thousand whores and their children, it is said, were rounded up and put out of the city. The unrest that followed was something that King Baelor chose not to acknowledge as he busied himself with his newest project: a great sept that would be built on top of Visenya’s Hill—a sept that he said he had seen in a vision. So was the Great Sept first envisioned, though it was not completed until many years after his death.

I don't know why i zealot can't act like a zealot, one should ask to himself how and why them man was allowed to rule for 12 years, instead of forcing a regency.

 

I don't think that the court would've or could've been split, the sisters being locked for a decade easily should've put any of their loyalists to bed, Viserys likely caring for his brother's children and those kids growing with him with no reason to hate him whatsoever, unlike the Dance when we were especifically told that Alicent's and Rhaenrya's kids inherited their hatred, makes it pretty unlikely that there would've been bad blood in those ten years, tho i expect Aegon 4 doing some shit.

 

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On 11/17/2019 at 4:26 AM, Lord Varys said:

But he also talks about those second sons and elder daughters.

From the SSM:

Quote

"Oh, there was talk of the blood ties between Baratheon and Targaryen, of weddings a hundred years past, _of second sons and elder daughters._"

Ummmm... I think you are putting a lot more weight on this slender branch than it can bear. Renly was a carefree and careless soul, and he was speaking in broad generalizations here. He cared almost nothing about the legal basis of his brother's claim, as the context makes clear; so far as he was concerned, the only thing that mattered was the size of your army.

George explicitly disagrees with the notion that Renly wouldn't be so careless. It is, in fact, his intention that Renly is denigrating the whole subject of legitimacy by inheritance by throwing out silly, picayune examples that weren't even real to emphasize how foolish (to him) the idea was.

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6 hours ago, Ran said:

From the SSM:

George explicitly disagrees with the notion that Renly wouldn't be so careless. It is, in fact, his intention that Renly is denigrating the whole subject of legitimacy by inheritance by throwing out silly, picayune examples that weren't even real to emphasize how foolish (to him) the idea was.

I'd say this is a later reinterpretation of George's, a way to explain away an inconsistency without having to change it ;-).

If this were the intention of the author at the time he wrote this he could have sent his own message in a way that makes more sense by actually talking about his grandmother - and making it very clear that neither he nor Robert ever gave a damn about 'the blood claim' Rhaelle Targaryen gave House Baratheon. That would have given this version to the readers without them having to look for obscure internet references to make sense of this. Because an author (re-)interpreting his own work to make sense of it is clearly less ideal than a work that makes sense in its own right.

Renly makes it clear he doesn't give a damn about the legality of claims and what not - but he also shows he has no idea about his own family tree and ancestors - which is ridiculous within the framework of this setting because if those noblemen know anything about history it is their own (royal) ancestors. It does not also get your prestige, it gives you power and land. You can only claim the lands of childless cousin if you know he is your cousin. If you forget that kind of thing you basically lose a lot of potential income.

And you are very well aware of the fact that George having Borros Baratheon making a similar remark about his alleged 'great-aunt' didn't work that well, either, not even with his own editorial staff.

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