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Alyn Oakenfist

Why did Rhaenyra have the 3 strong kids?

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Why did Rhaenyra have the 3 strong kids, who are so painfully obvious to be bastards. Like I know Leanor was gay, but couldn't she convince him to try and have a child out of duty at least? Cause in the long run her 3 strong children were one of the main arguments for the greens and probably one of the reasons the Dance of Dragons happened. Many people didn't care who was the rightful heir (hard to say anyways) given that after Rhaenyra a bastard would have ascended to the Throne. So why did Rhaenyra commit such a massive mistake?

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It is hard to prove bastardry and even much harder to prove legitimacy.  The accusation coming from the side with the most to gain was also suspect.  The greens wanted to believe what they want to believe.  They were looking at any possible reason to take the throne.  The reader himself has not been given solid evidence of who fathered the children.  Would Rhaenyra herself know?  Was she sleeping with only one man?  After all, a gay man might switch from time to time and do it out of duty.  

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People can do all kinds of dumb things when love and lust are involved. Targaryen arrogance is a thing and the lords of Westeros have a habit of declaring whatever is in their best interest to be the truth regardless of those inconvenient things like facts.

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She did it because she was arrogant and confident in her own power. She either didn't believe that anyone would challenge that succession, or she believed that if anyone dared to that she and her supporters would easily crush them. She had similar motivations as Cersei (though it's doubtful she hated her husband to the degree Cersei hated Robert).

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3 minutes ago, The Jingo said:

She had similar motivations as Cersei (though it's doubtful she hated her husband to the degree Cersei hated Robert).

And yet what she did was way dumber then Cersei. Cersei could say her children got the look from her (which without knowledge of Mendelian genetics is impossible to truly disprove. However Rhaenyra claims she had brown eyed children when both her and her husband have valyrian looks.

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We have no proof that they were actually Strong's children. We don't know how he looked, and both Rhaenyra and Laenor had non-Valyrian ancestors on both sides of their lineage.

We don't even know how the late Queen Aemma Arryn looked like - perhaps she was brown-haired, brown-eyed, and pug-nosed? We don't know.

But the obvious culprit in this whole thing if the father wasn't Laenor is Laenor Velaryon herself. He was the lord husband in that marriage. Rhaenyra couldn't make him fuck her if he didn't wanted to, but they both knew and cared about having heirs for the Iron Throne and Driftmark (Laenor was always there when the children were born, and they all got Velaryon names until he finally could name one of them after Joffrey).

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4 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

And yet what she did was way dumber then Cersei. Cersei could say her children got the look from her (which without knowledge of Mendelian genetics is impossible to truly disprove. However Rhaenyra claims she had brown eyed children when both her and her husband have valyrian looks.

Rhaenyra could have deceived the realm if her sons looked like her, which is not impossible since we don't know how dominant or recessive the Valyrian genes were.

Also as a correction, the problem is not that her children just had brown eyes. It's that they were brown-haired, brown-eyed, and were pug-nosed. All features that neither Rhaenyra nor her husband possessed, and which coincidentally resembled a specific third party.

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1 minute ago, The Jingo said:

Also as a correction, the problem is not that her children just had brown eyes. It's that they were brown-haired, brown-eyed, and were pug-nosed. All features that neither Rhaenyra nor her husband possessed, and which coincidentally resembled a specific third party.

Yeah you're right sorry. I was thinking about brown hair and somehow wrote eyes. But yeah all of their aspect were dead giveaways. Even considering she couldn't have known how the children would come out it was still very dumb of her seeing as she didn't seem to really think that much of Strong and didn't seems to hate Laenor. So the question remains why didn't she just make Laenor do his duty occasionally. I mean he might have been gay, but still I think he could have performed if needed.

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3 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We have no proof that they were actually Strong's children. We don't know how he looked, and both Rhaenyra and Laenor had non-Valyrian ancestors on both sides of their lineage.

We don't even know how the late Queen Aemma Arryn looked like - perhaps she was brown-haired, brown-eyed, and pug-nosed? We don't know.

But the obvious culprit in this whole thing if the father wasn't Laenor is Laenor Velaryon herself. He was the lord husband in that marriage. Rhaenyra couldn't make him fuck her if he didn't wanted to, but they both knew and cared about having heirs for the Iron Throne and Driftmark (Laenor was always there when the children were born, and they all got Velaryon names until he finally could name one of them after Joffrey).

If I had to guess, I'd give her blonde hair and blue eyes as the Andals were noted to generally have. The Arryns have long been considered the oldest and purest line of Andal nobility, so with no information about her appearance that's what I'd presume.

However, I would keep in mind that Rhaenyra's children weren't considered just bastards but bastards of a specific house. When Aegon told Aemond their nephews were bastards, he didn't cite rumors or hearsay, he only said "Everyone knows. Just look at them." If mere visual reference was enough to declare them bastards, then it can probably be assumed that they actually looked like Harwin Strong.

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3 hours ago, The Jingo said:

If I had to guess, I'd give her blonde hair and blue eyes as the Andals were noted to generally have. The Arryns have long been considered the oldest and purest line of Andal nobility, so with no information about her appearance that's what I'd presume.

Rodrik Arryn, Aemma's father, is not described insofar as his hair and eyes are concerned, but we do know that there were Arryns not fitting that profile (most prominently the current Lord of the Vale, Robert Arryn, who has Tully coloring) and we do know that Rodrik was not a handsome man, being described as being short, balding, with a kettle belly. He very well could have been an Arryn not coming after all the Andals in his family tree, even more since it is clear that the present-day Arryns are not descended from that particular branch, at least not through the male line.

Aemma could have had Valyrian or blond Andal features ... or she could have looked differently. We don't know.

3 hours ago, The Jingo said:

However, I would keep in mind that Rhaenyra's children weren't considered just bastards but bastards of a specific house. When Aegon told Aemond their nephews were bastards, he didn't cite rumors or hearsay, he only said "Everyone knows. Just look at them." If mere visual reference was enough to declare them bastards, then it can probably be assumed that they actually looked like Harwin Strong.

The only Strong we have a description for is Lucamore Strong (who would be Harwin's great-uncle, if we assume Bywin was Lyonel's father) and he is described as a blonde bull. We have no description for either Lyonel, Harwin, Larys, or any other Strong. Alys Rivers, possibly a Strong bastard, did have black hair.

The reason why Aegon the Elder claims Rhaenyra's sons are Strongs is not because they resemble Harwin (at least to our knowledge) but because they do not resemble either Rhaenyra or Laenor and, of course, because Harwin Strong was the sworn shield and constant companion of Rhaenyra Targaryen. He is the guy Alicent suspected had an affair with her stepdaughter.

If things were as crystal clear as Laenor's sons looking exactly like Harwin then somebody would have actually accused him and Rhaenyra of adultery. Cole would have done it, one assumes, or Corlys and Rhaenys would have been publicly humiliated to such a degree by this turn of events that they would have been forced to do something. Instead we learn in FaB that Corlys very much loved his three grandsons and preferred them to be Velaryons rather than Targaryens which they aspired to be. He was proud of them.

And we do have various cases in FaB where Targaryen incest couples with Valyrian features do produce a variety of different looking offspring. Alysanne and Jaehaerys have Alyssa with common blond hair and mismatched eyes (one of which green which never appears in the Targaryen bloodline before and after), we have Alysanne herself, who is blond-haired and blue-eyed, not looking Valyrian at all (despite having parents with Valyrian features).

I'm not saying it is the likeliest explanation that Laenor is the father of the boys, I'm just saying that it is still possible. We don't even have actual confirmation that he was gay - as we know is that he seemed to have little interest in women and liked the companies of squires of his own age, etc. If you look at the main series we also have Stannis who is uncomfortable around women and certainly does prefer the company of men, yet this doesn't mean he must be gay, right?

9 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Why did Rhaenyra have the 3 strong kids, who are so painfully obvious to be bastards. Like I know Leanor was gay, but couldn't she convince him to try and have a child out of duty at least? Cause in the long run her 3 strong children were one of the main arguments for the greens and probably one of the reasons the Dance of Dragons happened. Many people didn't care who was the rightful heir (hard to say anyways) given that after Rhaenyra a bastard would have ascended to the Throne. So why did Rhaenyra commit such a massive mistake?

This issue didn't seem to have much to do with the Dance at all. It only comes up as a (relatively minor) issue in the first Green Council where it is used to justify the coup. None of the lords Jace and Luke visit cite their looks or alleged Strong parentage as a reason why side with or against the Blacks.

The only people jumping on this calumny is Corlys' grasping nephew Vaemond Velaryon and his shitty cousins. They use this story as an excuse to try to lay claim to the richest lordship in the Seven Kingdoms.

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9 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Why did Rhaenyra have the 3 strong kids, who are so painfully obvious to be bastards. Like I know Leanor was gay, but couldn't she convince him to try and have a child out of duty at least? Cause in the long run her 3 strong children were one of the main arguments for the greens and probably one of the reasons the Dance of Dragons happened. Many people didn't care who was the rightful heir (hard to say anyways) given that after Rhaenyra a bastard would have ascended to the Throne. So why did Rhaenyra commit such a massive mistake?

I don't know.  Maybe she was horny and he was the only one around.  The war would have happened anyway because Hightower wanted to put his grandies on the throne.  

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13 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Why did Rhaenyra have the 3 strong kids, who are so painfully obvious to be bastards. Like I know Leanor was gay, but couldn't she convince him to try and have a child out of duty at least? Cause in the long run her 3 strong children were one of the main arguments for the greens and probably one of the reasons the Dance of Dragons happened. Many people didn't care who was the rightful heir (hard to say anyways) given that after Rhaenyra a bastard would have ascended to the Throne. So why did Rhaenyra commit such a massive mistake?

The whole reason the Dance takes place is because most people cared who the rightful heir was.. Rhaenyra 3 kids not looking like a typical Targs had little impact on why the Dance took place. 

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The appearance caused doubts in the minds of many.  The Hightowers in particular.  A Targaryen is expected to look a certain way.  The silver-blonde hair, violet eyes, godlike beauty make up the traits known as the blood of the dragon.  Anybody who doesn't have the look and without a known, observed, unbroken history from birth will have to climb a very high and steep mountain to prove who they are.  

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14 minutes ago, Finley McLeod said:

The appearance caused doubts in the minds of many.  The Hightowers in particular.  A Targaryen is expected to look a certain way.  The silver-blonde hair, violet eyes, godlike beauty make up the traits known as the blood of the dragon.  Anybody who doesn't have the look and without a known, observed, unbroken history from birth will have to climb a very high and steep mountain to prove who they are.  

Whatever doubts there were actually quieted down once their dragon eggs hatched and all three of them became dragonriders. Like with Prince Aenys - the dragon tells whether you are a proper Targaryen or bastard, not your looks or physical strength/resemblance with your father.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Whatever doubts there were actually quieted down once their dragon eggs hatched and all three of them became dragonriders. Like with Prince Aenys - the dragon tells whether you are a proper Targaryen or bastard, not your looks or physical strength/resemblance with your father.

That's not proof at all though.

Riding a dragon is only proof of having dragonblood, not of being legitimate. No one ever asserted that Hugh Hammer, Ulf the White, or Nettles were legitimate Targaryens. Addam of Hull was legitimized, but he was still publicly recognized as the bastard son of Laenor Velaryon and not trueborn.

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15 minutes ago, The Jingo said:

That's not proof at all though.

Riding a dragon is only proof of having dragonblood, not of being legitimate. No one ever asserted that Hugh Hammer, Ulf the White, or Nettles were legitimate Targaryens. Addam of Hull was legitimized, but he was still publicly recognized as the bastard son of Laenor Velaryon and not trueborn.

Oh, sure, but if a Targaryen who was rumored to be a bastard clained a dragon - like it was with Rhaenyra's sons and Prince Aenys - it was seen as a sign that they were legitimate. Lowborn rabble remained lowborn rabble, dragon or no. But that's a different case. People in Westeros do believe the gods care about shit like legitimate and illegitimate birth. Magical blood doesn't care about that, but they either don't know that, or they don't care.

Say, if Joffrey Baratheon claimed a dragon, people would definitely take this as a sign he was a trueborn Targaryen-Baratheon like his father, King Robert, not the son of Jaime Lannister. Never mind the actual facts. That how this symbolism of power works.

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22 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Why did Rhaenyra have the 3 strong kids, who are so painfully obvious to be bastards. Like I know Leanor was gay, but couldn't she convince him to try and have a child out of duty at least? Cause in the long run her 3 strong children were one of the main arguments for the greens and probably one of the reasons the Dance of Dragons happened. Many people didn't care who was the rightful heir (hard to say anyways) given that after Rhaenyra a bastard would have ascended to the Throne. So why did Rhaenyra commit such a massive mistake?

Since she had all three children with one man (Harwin) most likely it is possible they had amiable relationship, it may started as out of spite toward Ser Cole, but developed into something more and Laenor, Corlys, Rhaenys or Viserys I not raising an issue regarding her child's appearance but accepting them, additionally emboldened her. 

She certainly it is possible she was very spoiled child, with many fighting for her favor, her uncle seducing her with gifts, all realm bowing and worshiping her and moniker "The Realm's delight" which might had given her lack of scruples to do it in the first place.

Edited by Eltharion21

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