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The Merling King

Targaryen dragon regulation?

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It looks like Jaehaerys I tried to limit the number of dragon riders as only 3 of his 13 children were given dragons. It seems he had the foresight that his grandson Viserys I lacked. Do you think Targaryens should have limited the dragon riders to the king and prince of DS. Is this feasible and what would be the long term affects

 

Edited by The Merling King

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It's a pity that Fire and Blood does not give us more insights about why only three of Jaehaerys' children mounted dragon.

But I don't think that it's because Jaehaerys consciously limited it at three. My assumption is that, being the misogynist that he was, Jaehaerys thought that only males were fit to ride dragons. So Aemon and Baelon got dragons, and Vaegon would have had one too but he never showed interest for dragons or martial prowess, and decided to become a maester at a very young age. As for Alyssa, the text seems to imply that her decision to claim a dragon was sudden and unexpected (the dragonkeepers, and not her father, were the ones who had to convince her not to claim Balerion).

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2 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

My assumption is that, being the misogynist that he was, Jaehaerys thought that only males were fit to ride dragons.

I think there is some misogyny involved but it isn't Jaehaerys's. It's the problem of the feudal system of Westeros. Giving his daughters dragons was equivalent with giving dragons with the houses his daughters were marrying into. That is why Alyssa was a dragon rider, cause she married into the family and thus there wasn't any problem in her taming a dragon.

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20 hours ago, The Merling King said:

It looks like Jaehaerys I tried to limit the number of dragon riders as only 3 of his 13 children were given dragons. It seems he had the foresight that his grandson Viserys I lacked. Do you think Targaryens should have limited the dragon riders to the king and prince of DS. Is this feasible and what would be the long term affects

It is quite clear why he did that. Jaehaerys I had first hand experience with both Visenya and Maegor's cruelty and malice, he had to deal with the whole Aerea business (an adolescent loose cannon controlling the largest dragon alive), Rhaena's mood swings which nearly caused another Harrenhal (at Fair Castle and Storm's End), and the prospect of other dragonlord families in Volantis or elsewhere in Essos (which greatly troubled him and nearly caused a war between the Iron Throne and Braavos).

The whole point of the Dragonpit and and the Dragonkeepers was to prevent dragon theft and to keep even the princes and princesses of the blood of the dragon away from the dragons who were, in the end, the property of the king.

That this was his dragon policy is implicitly confirmed when the Dragonkeepers prevent Saera from entering the Dragonpit and Jaehaerys I himself is horrified at the thought that this particular daughter of his could become a dragonrider, indicating that he hadn't really considered allowing her a dragon prior to scandal with the fool.

2 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

It's a pity that Fire and Blood does not give us more insights about why only three of Jaehaerys' children mounted dragon.

We do have reasons for Daella and Saera. Also for Maegelle, considering the fact that she was handed to the Faith at the age of ten. But to be sure - there is no reason to assume a dragonriding Targaryen couldn't become a septa, septon, maester, Kingsguard, or black brother. They could abandon their dragons, dumping them on Dragonstone or in the Dragonpit (where they could be safely locked away) or tnhey could just take them with them - a maester wouldn't be better or worse if he had a dragon, and the same goes for a septa/septon, etc.

2 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

But I don't think that it's because Jaehaerys consciously limited it at three. My assumption is that, being the misogynist that he was, Jaehaerys thought that only males were fit to ride dragons. So Aemon and Baelon got dragons, and Vaegon would have had one too but he never showed interest for dragons or martial prowess, and decided to become a maester at a very young age. As for Alyssa, the text seems to imply that her decision to claim a dragon was sudden and unexpected (the dragonkeepers, and not her father, were the ones who had to convince her not to claim Balerion).

That takes things way too far. Jaehaerys I did not only allow his own sister-wife a dragon but wanted to give one to his daughter Daenerys and had no issues with Alyssa mounting Meleys. There is no reason to speculate Alyssa claimed a dragon spontaneously and without the king's permission (if she had done so, she would have been punished afterwards - not to mention that her father could have permanently separated her from her dragon). In fact, it seems clear that you had to ask the king for permission to enter the Dragonpit to try to mount a dragon - and the Dragonkeepers would only allow you to claim a dragon if you had the permission of the king. This we can draw both from Alyssa having to deal with the Dragonkeepers, the Dragonkeepers keeping Saera from the Dragonpit, and Viserra being able to hang out at the Dragonpit but not being allowed to claim a dragon.

Also, it is quite clear that Jaehaerys I and Alysanne would have nothing of that nonsense their own parents and grandparents and their own grandchildren and great-grandchildren would do - namely throw dragons at young children. Aemon and Baelon and Alyssa were allowed to claim dragons only as youths at the cusp of manhood/womanhood. And considering that we have to assume that none of their children ever got those dragon eggs in the cradle (aside from, perhaps, Aemon where it may have lead nowhere) it is also quite likely that the origin story of Vermithor and Silverwing is just a later legend. Rhaena didn't put those eggs in the cradles of her younger siblings - if she had done that, all of Jaehaerys I's children would have gotten similar eggs. And then many more of his children would have been dragonriders. In fact, it might have meant that all of the surviving children would have been dragonriders.

Vaegon did not decide to become a maester at a young age - his father forced him to go to the Citadel, and not as a young teen, but as a fifteen-year-old youth, a year before he became a man grown. We also don't know that he was uninterested in dragons although it makes sense to assume that he was - Jaehaerys I expected him to eventually grow into a proper Targaryen prince which, we can assume, would have involved him also to eventually claim a dragon. And after Aemon and Baelon and Alyssa had claimed their dragons, Vaegon would have been next. Maegelle wasn't considered as a dragonrider, and Daella, the child after Vaegon, was too afraid of dragons to ever claim one.

If you cut to the heart of the matter the best take on this issue is that Jaehaerys I jealously guarded his dragons, and was determined to prevent other noble bloodlines and their offspring from acquiring a dragon, than that this was an issue of gender. Alyssa was married to Baelon and thus her dragon would not pass to the kin of her husband upon her death. Daella and Saera and Viserra would likely also not have been considered as brides from some of the men suggested if they had been dragonriders.

If misogyny had been involved there then neither Princess Rhaenys nor Laena Velaryon would have been allowed to claim a dragon. The former definitely claimed a dragon with the king's permission - Meleys would have been housed in the Dragonpit after Alyssa's early death - and Laena may have mounted Vhagar in the last two years of her great-grandfather's reign - although we can be reasonably sure she wasn't yet a dragonrider at the Great Council. And with Meleys originally being Alyssa's dragon and Vhagar being Baelon's dragon and both of those Targaryens dying in KL it is quite clear that both dragons would have been at the Dragonpit when their riders, implicitly confirming that the king controlled access to both Meleys and Vhagar when Rhaenys and Laena claimed them. There was no weird dragon theft thing going on there as it sort of happened with Quicksilver and Aegon, Aerea and Balerion, or Aemond and Vhagar.

That the Velaryons were allowed access to dragons with Vhagar and Seasmoke (or he could also have been hatched from an egg produced by Meleys, giving the Velaryons independent access to new dragons) in the last years of Jaehaerys I and the early years of Viserys I indicates in my opinion that the children of Rhaenys and Corlys were still seen as part of the royal family, unlike the Velaryons and Baratheons of earlier years who were never offered any dragons nor themselves ever considered to try to claim a dragon (both Alyssa Velaryon and Rogar Baratheon would have been able to greatly change their standing and position during the minority of Jaehaerys I if they had mounted Balerion or Vhagar or one of the younger drakes themselves).

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On 2/17/2020 at 8:54 PM, The Merling King said:

It looks like Jaehaerys I tried to limit the number of dragon riders as only 3 of his 13 children were given dragons. It seems he had the foresight that his grandson Viserys I lacked. Do you think Targaryens should have limited the dragon riders to the king and prince of DS. Is this feasible and what would be the long term affects

 

You have to factor in the children's personalities. Daella was terrified of dragons and Gael was described as simple. After Saera tried to get a dragon, it was probably decided to keep Viserra away due to her personality and I don't blame Jaehaerys for that decision. Maegelle became a septa who seems to have stayed in KL and Vaegon an archmaester in Oldtown so they didn't exactly need dragons to travel. And neither seemed to express any interest in having a dragon.

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14 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

I think there is some misogyny involved but it isn't Jaehaerys's. It's the problem of the feudal system of Westeros. Giving his daughters dragons was equivalent with giving dragons with the houses his daughters were marrying into. That is why Alyssa was a dragon rider, cause she married into the family and thus there wasn't any problem in her taming a dragon.

Yeah, this is a reasonable explanation too.

To make this work, you should assume that the two Velaryon kids received the dragons without Jaehaerys approval. Laenor would have been given some egg or hatchling from Dragonstone, and Laena would have claimed Vhagar after the Old King's death.

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We do have reasons for Daella and Saera.

I don't think that we really have reasons for Saera. She was nearly 17 when she fell from grace. At this age, Aemon, Baelon and Alyssa had already claimed their dragon.

I think that we it would be great to have an explanation on why she didn't had a dragon by then, since the text establishes that "Saera had learned the art of getting anything she wanted from her father: a kitten, a hound, a pony, a hawk, a horse (Jaehaerys did draw a firm line at the elephant)."

I agree that the personalities/early deaths of the rest of the daughters can explain why they never persued a career in dragon-riding.

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Jaehaerys I did not only allow his own sister-wife a dragon but wanted to give one to his daughter Daenerys

Silverwing hatched at Alysanne's craddle, and she first mounted it during Maegor's reign. It's not like she needed her brother's permission.

And Daenerys was given a hatchling only as a last desperate resort, hours before she died. I'm not sure we can draw many conclusions from that.

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There is no reason to speculate Alyssa claimed a dragon spontaneously and without the king's permission (if she had done so, she would have been punished afterwards - not to mention that her father could have permanently separated her from her dragon).

Why are we here if not to speculate? :)

Honestly, that's the vibe I get from reading the section from FIB. It is said that Aemon had claimed a dragon at 17 and Baelon at 16, so people wouldn't be expecting Alyssa to claim a dragon then. And it is said that the dragonkeepers had to convince her no to take Balerion. If that had been something that Jaehaerys had explicitly authorized, one would expect that it would have been him deciding whether Alyssa was worthy of the great dragon from the Conqueror.

The phrasing itself suggests that to, IMO. It says that "According to the tales set down by the Dragonkeepers, it was all that they could do to persuade her not to claim Balerion. “He is old and slow, Princess,” they had to tell her. “Surely you want a swifter mount.”"

And we hear nothing about Jaehaerys' reaction to Alyssa claiming a dragon. The fact that the dragonkeepers were more strict about the access to the Dragonpit afterwards could as well be used to support the idea the he wasn't happy about it. I'd have really liked that FIB gave more context about that.

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If misogyny had been involved there then neither Princess Rhaenys nor Laena Velaryon would have been allowed to claim a dragon.

Laena Velaryon may have claimed Vhagar after the Old King's death, if I'm not wrong.  In any case, we know for sure that Laenor already had a dragon at 101, but his elder sister hadn't. That is, I believe, another hint in pointing in the direction of misogyny.

In the case of Princess Rhaenys, it's true that Jaehaerys would have had to give some kind of permission. But it would have been Aemon who would have asked his father in her daughter's behalf. He was the heir to the throne, and Rhaenys was her only child.

 

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

both Alyssa Velaryon and Rogar Baratheon would have been able to greatly change their standing and position during the minority of Jaehaerys I if they had mounted Balerion or Vhagar or one of the younger drakes themselves.

I can imagine Rogar making an attempt, or at least making efforts to dare it. But he was only 1/8th Targaryen. I don't think anyone with so little Targ blood ever rode a dragon.

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19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That the Velaryons were allowed access to dragons with Vhagar and Seasmoke (or he could also have been hatched from an egg produced by Meleys, giving the Velaryons independent access to new dragons) in the last years of Jaehaerys I and the early years of Viserys I indicates in my opinion that the children of Rhaenys and Corlys were still seen as part of the royal family, unlike the Velaryons and Baratheons of earlier years who were never offered any dragons nor themselves ever considered to try to claim a dragon (both Alyssa Velaryon and Rogar Baratheon would have been able to greatly change their standing and position during the minority of Jaehaerys I if they had mounted Balerion or Vhagar or one of the younger drakes themselves).

Assuming Viserys I could claim a second dragon after Balerion died but had no interest in riding another dragon, why wouldn’t he at least claim Vhagar or Vermithor for symbolic purposes or potentially for security as Daemon and the Valeryons could be seen as potential “threats” early in his reign? Also do you think his small council urged him to claim another dragon and he simply disregarded there advise similar to the Lana Valeryon marriage?

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57 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

To make this work, you should assume that the two Velaryon kids received the dragons without Jaehaerys approval. Laenor would have been given some egg or hatchling from Dragonstone, and Laena would have claimed Vhagar after the Old King's death.

Laena would have needed the king's permission regardless when she did it - either from Jaehaerys I or Viserys I. And it is not clear whether Seasmoke was a Pit dragon, a dragon from an egg, or a hatchling given to the boy. I think it might be the latter, since it seems that Pit dragons weren't allowed to hang out and bond with a prospective rider before they were mounted. And Laenor had bonded with Seasmoke in 101 AC but had not yet mounted him.

But it is a stretch that dragons were ever 'private property'. Even Viserys I jealously controlled access to the royal dragons. Daemon gave Mysaria a dragon egg for their child, and the king commanded him to take it back. Thus we can assume that it would have gone very bad for the Velaryons if they had handed dragon eggs or dragon hatchlings to their children without the king's explicit permission.

The same would have happened if Queen Rhaena had decided to sell or give away dragon eggs or hatchlings produced by Dreamfyre. And when Elissa stole three dragon eggs this became a matter of state, not some private affair.

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I don't think that we really have reasons for Saera. She was nearly 17 when she fell from grace. At this age, Aemon, Baelon and Alyssa had already claimed their dragon.

I think that we it would be great to have an explanation on why she didn't had a dragon by then, since the text establishes that "Saera had learned the art of getting anything she wanted from her father: a kitten, a hound, a pony, a hawk, a horse (Jaehaerys did draw a firm line at the elephant)."

He apparently also didn't give her a dragon. And he makes it clear that he didn't want to have Saera, specifically, to become a dragonrider. Perhaps because of her character or because he intended her to marry outside the family.

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Silverwing hatched at Alysanne's craddle, and she first mounted it during Maegor's reign. It's not like she needed her brother's permission.

I doubt that the cradle story is true, as I laid out above. It is a legend, not a confirmed historical fact. If Jaehaerys I had not liked female dragonriders he could taken Silverwing from his sister-wife when he was king - or he could have forbidden her to ever ride the dragon again.

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And Daenerys was given a hatchling only as a last desperate resort, hours before she died. I'm not sure we can draw many conclusions from that.

We can draw the conclusion that he had no issue with his daughter having a dragon. Although it is clear that Jaehaerys I and Alysanne did not rush things in the dragon department for their children. Aemon and Baelon weren't given dragons, either.

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Honestly, that's the vibe I get from reading the section from FIB. It is said that Aemon had claimed a dragon at 17 and Baelon at 16, so people wouldn't be expecting Alyssa to claim a dragon then. And it is said that the dragonkeepers had to convince her no to take Balerion. If that had been something that Jaehaerys had explicitly authorized, one would expect that it would have been him deciding whether Alyssa was worthy of the great dragon from the Conqueror.

The phrasing itself suggests that to, IMO. It says that "According to the tales set down by the Dragonkeepers, it was all that they could do to persuade her not to claim Balerion. “He is old and slow, Princess,” they had to tell her. “Surely you want a swifter mount.”"

And we hear nothing about Jaehaerys' reaction to Alyssa claiming a dragon. The fact that the dragonkeepers were more strict about the access to the Dragonpit afterwards could as well be used to support the idea the he wasn't happy about it. I'd have really liked that FIB gave more context about that.

Those are the paragraphs on Alyssa claiming her dragon:

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Nor was her brave prince the only mount the princess was to claim that year. Like her brothers before her, Alyssa Targaryen meant to be a dragonrider, and sooner rather than later. Aemon had flown at seventeen, Baelon at sixteen. Alyssa meant to do it at fifteen. According to the tales set down by the Dragonkeepers, it was all that they could do to persuade her not to claim Balerion. “He is old and slow, Princess,” they had to tell her. “Surely you want a swifter mount.” In the end they prevailed, and Princess Alyssa ascended into the sky upon Meleys, a splendid scarlet she-dragon, never before ridden. “Red maidens, the two of us,” the princess boasted, laughing, “but now we’ve both been mounted.”

The princess was seldom long away from the Dragonpit after that day. Flying was the second sweetest thing in the world, she would oft say, and the very sweetest thing could not be mentioned in the company of ladies. The Dragonkeepers had not been wrong; Meleys was as swift a dragon as Westeros had ever seen, easily outpacing Caraxes and Vhagar when she and her brothers flew together.

There is nothing there about the king not giving his daughter permission to mount a dragon, nor any indication Alyssa made her decision to become a dragonrider in secret or without the knowledge of her father, mother, and brother-husband. It makes no sense to assume Princess Alyssa could get access to the Dragonpit to choose and mount a dragon when Princess Saera could not. It is not clear why the Dragonkeepers would persuade Princess Alyssa not to mount Balerion - it could be related to the Aerea thing (a fear that a 'weak girl' might not be able to master the Black Dread) or it could simply be that Balerion was already all size and no fun in 75 AC (meaning he had already grown very old and lazy at the time) and then their advice would have been related to Alyssa thinking carefully before mounting her dragon because it would be a choice for life.

The point where this misogyny thing breaks down is the fact that Vaegon wasn't given a dragon. If Jaehaerys I wanted his sons to be dragonriders Vaegon would have been forced to claim a dragon. And there were dragons available for him. If Alyssa could claim her dragon at the age of fifteen and Jaehaerys and Alysanne and Rhaena rode dragons at earlier ages Vaegon would have been pushed to take his dragon before they even considered forcing him to go to the Citadel.

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Laena Velaryon may have claimed Vhagar after the Old King's death, if I'm not wrong.  In any case, we know for sure that Laenor already had a dragon at 101, but his elder sister hadn't. That is, I believe, another hint in pointing in the direction of misogyny.

That would only make sense if we could assume Jaehaerys I was the one who decided that only Laenor would get access to a dragon. And there is no indication that this was the case. Instead, one could just as well assume that Corlys and Rhaenys prioritized giving Laenor a dragon because, since his birth, he was the claimant they would eventually put forth to challenge Baelon the Brave and his sons. They had a vital interest in him becoming a dragonrider.

We know that Laena was a dragonrider by the age of twelve (in 105 AC). But we don't know when she claimed her dragon. She could have done that in 105 AC or a some time earlier. Aemond claimed Vhagar at the age of ten - if Laena did the same she would have done it in 103 AC, the year the Old King died.

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In the case of Princess Rhaenys, it's true that Jaehaerys would have had to give some kind of permission. But it would have been Aemon who would have asked his father in her daughter's behalf. He was the heir to the throne, and Rhaenys was her only child.

There is no indication that Aemon would have done that. Rhaenys arranged her own marriage to Corlys Velaryon, and she herself asked her royal grandfather for his blessing, not her father. And Jaehaerys I hung out with his granddaughter on his eternal progress during the First Quarrel, giving no indication he felt uncomfortable that his granddaughter was a dragonrider.

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I can imagine Rogar making an attempt, or at least making efforts to dare it. But he was only 1/8th Targaryen. I don't think anyone with so little Targ blood ever rode a dragon.

Later they did. And there is no indication that they judged things this way. I mean, even if we count King Aenys as a full Targaryen then Jaehaerys/Alysanne are 1/2 Targaryen, their granddaughter Rhaenys 1/4 Targaryen, and Laenor and Laena 1/8 Targaryen.

1 hour ago, The Merling King said:

Assuming Viserys I could claim a second dragon after Balerion died but had no interest in riding another dragon, why wouldn’t he at least claim Vhagar or Vermithor for symbolic purposes or potentially for security as Daemon and the Valeryons could be seen as potential “threats” early in his reign? Also do you think his small council urged him to claim another dragon and he simply disregarded there advise similar to the Lana Valeryon marriage?

It is implied that he could have done so. It is said that Viserys I chose to never ride another dragon after Balerion's death, not that he couldn't. And we also know that both Rhaenyra and Aegon II wanted new dragons shortly before they died, implying that they believed they could ride other dragons. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that Lady Baela is going to become the first confirmed rider of two dragons. She really likes to ride dragons and Silverwing and the Cannibal are still out there. And other dragons might hatch during the first half of the reign of Aegon III.

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:28 PM, Lord Varys said:

Later they did. And there is no indication that they judged things this way. I mean, even if we count King Aenys as a full Targaryen then Jaehaerys/Alysanne are 1/2 Targaryen, their granddaughter Rhaenys 1/4 Targaryen, and Laenor and Laena 1/8 Targaryen.

Not to mention Addam Velaryon may have been as little as 1.6% Targaryen, assuming Corlys was his father. 

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