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The Merling King

Did King Aerys I and Bloodraven have any political support?

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Posted (edited)

I believe the primary reasons Bloodraven was able to enact his police state beside Aerys I neglecting his duties and handing him power, was because the spring sickness and drought weakened the 7 kingdoms. These reforms and restictions caused widespread fear, hatred and mistrust in the government but did they face any political pressure or lordly opposition besides the Blackfyre supporters? For example if the Starks and Lannister’s were able to defeat Dagon Greyjoy and made common cause against the iron throne maybe with Tully or Tyrell support could King Aerys and lord Bloodraven counter this type of rebellion? It seems they had little political support and alienated the allies of Daeron II like the Martells, Arryn and stormlords. Obviously Maekar could lead defensive forces, if he does not decide to join the rebels or they declare him king. There was a lot more Targaryen blood and claimants around a 100 year before WOT5K. Could the third Blackfyre rebellion have helped unite and heal the realm?

Edited by The Merling King

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There seems to be little basis for this kind of scenario. For one, there was no police state, instead the new Hand greatly relying on a pretty effective network of informers. For instance, the traitor septon executed at Stoney Sept wasn't executed by some royal official in the service of Bloodraven, but by the local lord who apparently was loyal to his king.

The other thing is that Aerys I and Bloodraven were merely perceived as 'weak' and 'shady' because they were not exactly 'normal people' - Bloodraven was a thin albino freak bastard, who was a rumored sorcerer, and King Aerys I's only real interests were his arcane studies. Neither fit the bill of the ideal king/Hand.

They had nothing to do with the Spring Sickness, the drought and all of that - but they were blamed for it all the same, the same way Tyland Lannister was seen as an evil person because he was hiding his face in public or Tyrion is blamed for everything bad going on during Joff's reign because he is an ugly dwarf.

How strong Aerys I was with his lords can be seen when Bloodraven crushes the Second Blackfyre Rebellion as easily as he does - he doesn't show up at Whitewalls just with his Raven's Teeth, does he?

Some hedge knights (and other people, too, one imagines) would have preferred it if the Iron Throne had taken a more active role in stopping those Ironborn raids, but they were a minor nuisance and may have, in the end, indeed been stopped by the royal fleet - once the Blackfyre pretender was a prisoner at the court of King Aerys I, Bloodraven's hands were untied and he may have sent the royal fleet against the Ironborn. Although I think that would have been a waste of resources - the Redwynes and Hightowers and Lannisters should have enough ships to deal with them eventually.

As for the Martells, the Arryns, and the Stormlords - there is no indication that Aerys I and Bloodraven alienated them in any way.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

There seems to be little basis for this kind of scenario. For one, there was no police state, instead the new Hand greatly relying on a pretty effective network of informers. For instance, the traitor septon executed at Stoney Sept wasn't executed by some royal official in the service of Bloodraven, but by the local lord who apparently was loyal to his king.

The other thing is that Aerys I and Bloodraven were merely perceived as 'weak' and 'shady' because they were not exactly 'normal people' - Bloodraven was a thin albino freak bastard, who was a rumored sorcerer, and King Aerys I's only real interests were his arcane studies. Neither fit the bill of the ideal king/Hand.

They had nothing to do with the Spring Sickness, the drought and all of that - but they were blamed for it all the same, the same way Tyland Lannister was seen as an evil person because he was hiding his face in public or Tyrion is blamed for everything bad going on during Joff's reign because he is an ugly dwarf.

How strong Aerys I was with his lords can be seen when Bloodraven crushes the Second Blackfyre Rebellion as easily as he does - he doesn't show up at Whitewalls just with his Raven's Teeth, does he?

Some hedge knights (and other people, too, one imagines) would have preferred it if the Iron Throne had taken a more active role in stopping those Ironborn raids, but they were a minor nuisance and may have, in the end, indeed been stopped by the royal fleet - once the Blackfyre pretender was a prisoner at the court of King Aerys I, Bloodraven's hands were untied and he may have sent the royal fleet against the Ironborn. Although I think that would have been a waste of resources - the Redwynes and Hightowers and Lannisters should have enough ships to deal with them eventually.

As for the Martells, the Arryns, and the Stormlords - there is no indication that Aerys I and Bloodraven alienated them in any way.

You can’t rule out that he was a sorcerer. Bloodraven is more associated with magic than almost anyone else in Westeros. It is inconclusive whether or not he was a magical figure back then, of course, so it’s always possible that he really was a sorcerer. And if he was a sorcerer, he might very well have been responsible for bad things happening. I always thought it was convenient for Bloodraven that the sickness killed  off every single Targaryen with the will to keep Bloodraven’s powers in check. And we know that he is capable of murder and kinslaying for his own benefit. Look at Daemon Blackfyre. Look at Aenys Blackfyre, victim of something I hold up with the Red Wedding as an appalling act of bad faith and a breaking of sacred laws in that universe.

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2 hours ago, James Steller said:

You can’t rule out that he was a sorcerer. Bloodraven is more associated with magic than almost anyone else in Westeros. It is inconclusive whether or not he was a magical figure back then, of course, so it’s always possible that he really was a sorcerer. And if he was a sorcerer, he might very well have been responsible for bad things happening. I always thought it was convenient for Bloodraven that the sickness killed  off every single Targaryen with the will to keep Bloodraven’s powers in check. And we know that he is capable of murder and kinslaying for his own benefit. Look at Daemon Blackfyre. Look at Aenys Blackfyre, victim of something I hold up with the Red Wedding as an appalling act of bad faith and a breaking of sacred laws in that universe.

Of course, Bloodraven is a sorcerer, but a sorcerer in service to his royal brother and nephew(s). And where do you get the idea that Daeron II, Valarr, and Matarys did or would have kept Bloodraven in check? The idea that the man would have magically created a plague just to become Hand of the King is insane - if he could do something like that why not kill all the Targaryens and take the throne yourself? Bloodraven was a Targaryen with a claim to the Iron Throne, too.

Daemon Blackfyre died in battle, there is nothing problematic about that. The murder of Aenys Blackfyre is in no way comparable to the Red Wedding. He was one guy, not a couple of thousands, and the guest right isn't as valued in the south as it is in the North - not that it is honored that much in the North, either, if you look at how Mance's women murder themselves through the ranks at Winterfell. Not to mention we have no idea how exactly that little thing happened - but Bloodraven paid the price for the betrayal.

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

As for the Martells, the Arryns, and the Stormlords - there is no indication that Aerys I and Bloodraven alienated them in any way.

Considering the Daynes, Arryns and Penroses were all married into the royal family at this time, they probably did have some interest in supporting the ruling regime.  My main point is that they seemed to isolate and alienate alot of lords and small folks and did not seem to continue the policies of Daeron II, of building political strength through marriage alliances. Did they have one major house fully invested in the regime? I will admit its hard to fully say as we don't know who sat on Aerys small counsel but they seem to have the least political support of any post dragon king.

Edited by The Merling King

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

There seems to be little basis for this kind of scenario. For one, there was no police state, instead the new Hand greatly relying on a pretty effective network of informers. For instance, the traitor septon executed at Stoney Sept wasn't executed by some royal official in the service of Bloodraven, but by the local lord who apparently was loyal to his king.

The other thing is that Aerys I and Bloodraven were merely perceived as 'weak' and 'shady' because they were not exactly 'normal people' - Bloodraven was a thin albino freak bastard, who was a rumored sorcerer, and King Aerys I's only real interests were his arcane studies. Neither fit the bill of the ideal king/Hand.

They had nothing to do with the Spring Sickness, the drought and all of that - but they were blamed for it all the same, the same way Tyland Lannister was seen as an evil person because he was hiding his face in public or Tyrion is blamed for everything bad going on during Joff's reign because he is an ugly dwarf.

How strong Aerys I was with his lords can be seen when Bloodraven crushes the Second Blackfyre Rebellion as easily as he does - he doesn't show up at Whitewalls just with his Raven's Teeth, does he?

 I agree Bloodraven efficiently stopped the second rebellion and did have local support from the Crownland and some Riverland houses including his mothers house the Blackwoods and the Lothstons, who owed the crown for gifting them Harrenhal. 

Its not my point to argue Bloodravens effectiveness or if his means justified the end goals. I believe he was a great MOW for Dearon II because he "relied on a pretty effective network of informers" but when he gains unlimited power under Aerys I, it does sound like he instituted a failed police state though spy-networks and controlling people through restricting travel. 

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Some hedge knights (and other people, too, one imagines) would have preferred it if the Iron Throne had taken a more active role in stopping those Ironborn raids, but they were a minor nuisance and may have, in the end, indeed been stopped by the royal fleet - once the Blackfyre pretender was a prisoner at the court of King Aerys I, Bloodraven's hands were untied and he may have sent the royal fleet against the Ironborn. Although I think that would have been a waste of resources - the Redwynes and Hightowers and Lannisters should have enough ships to deal with them eventually.

I agree that you would think the combined fleets of the Redwynes, Hightowers and Lannisters should be able to defeat the Ironborn but the king (hand) was still ignoring his vassal and it was all for nothing as Bittersteel and Haegon Blackfyre still invaded with a mildly successful rebellion from what we have been told.  

Maekar and Egg could have helped alleviate some this tension and the third Blackfyre rebellion might have given a majority of the realm common cause and saved Aerys I and Bloodraven from brewing internal dissidents.  

Also didn't many people anticipate a civil war between Maekar and Bloodraven when Aerys I died?  I'm just speculating this could have happened earlier.

Edited by The Merling King

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28 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Of course, Bloodraven is a sorcerer, but a sorcerer in service to his royal brother and nephew(s). And where do you get the idea that Daeron II, Valarr, and Matarys did or would have kept Bloodraven in check?

I think Dearon II kept Bloodraven in check and probably so could Baelor Breaskpear and Maekar.

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6 minutes ago, The Merling King said:

I agree Bloodraven efficiently stopped the second rebellion and did have local support from the Crownland and some Riverland houses including his mothers house the Blackwoods and the Lothstons, who owed the crown for gifting them Harrenhal. 

Its not my point to argue Bloodravens effectiveness or if his means justified the end goals. I believe he was a great MOW for Dearon II because he "relied on a pretty effective network of informers" but when he gains unlimited power under Aerys I, it does sound like he instituted a failed police state though spy-networks and controlling people through restricting travel. 

Again, where is the basis for this police state stuff? What we do know is that Westeros was less safe during the first years of the reign of Aerys I (i.e. from 209-212 AC) but that is because a terrible plague and a drought troubled the Realm. Societal order broke down to a degree and that, in turn, triggered the Whitewalls plan and the raids of the Ironborn.

It may have been a tidbit worse under Aerys I and Bloodraven than it would have been under Daeron II while Baelor was still alive, but keep in mind that Daeron II was physically about as impressive as Aerys I. As an aging king he would have been not seen as very effective/capable - and Valarr may have been even worse than his uncle considering his inexperience.

It might be that Bloodraven was Master of Whisperers for Daeron II, but there is no confirmation for this at this point.

6 minutes ago, The Merling King said:

Considering the Daynes, Arryns and Penroses were all married into the royal family at this time, they probably did have some interest in supporting the ruling regime.  My main point is that they seemed to isolate and alienate alot of lords and small folks and did not seem to continue the policies of Daeron II, of building political strength through marriage alliances. Did they have one major house fully invested in the regime? I will admit its hard to fully say as we don't know who sat on Aerys small counsel but they seem to have the least political support of any post dragon king.

What is the basis for this idea? We have Septon Sefton and Kyle the Cat spread gossip about how things are at court - most of that stuff is pretty effectively debunked by Bloodraven's appearance at the end of TMK. He is no evil sorcerer determined to steal the throne but rather a harsh and effective Hand who uses his spies to crush rebellions before they can spread.

Bloodraven is just the freak people blame if things don't go well.

6 minutes ago, The Merling King said:

I agree that you would think the combined fleets of the Redwynes, Hightowers and Lannisters should be able to defeat the Ironborn but the king (hand) was still ignoring his vassal and it was all for nothing as Bittersteel and Haegon Blackfyre still invaded with a mildly successful rebellion from what we have been told.  

The Third Rebellion takes place years later and has nothing to do with the Greyjoy thing. And we can expect that the Lannisters and Starks were commanded by the king to take action against Dagon the same way, say, the Iron Throne commanded Alyn Velaryon to take on Dalton after the Dance or the Iron Throne commanded Roose Bolton to pacify the North after the War of the Five Kings.

6 minutes ago, The Merling King said:

Maekar and Egg could have helped alleviate some this tension and the third Blackfyre rebellion might have given a majority of the realm common cause and saved Aerys I and Bloodraven from brewing internal dissidents.  

While we have no idea what happened during the Third Rebellion we have no idea how it influenced the relationship between Aerys I and his brother.

6 minutes ago, The Merling King said:

Also didn't many people anticipate a civil war between Maekar and Bloodraven when Aerys I died?  I'm just speculating this could have happened earlier.

That moron Kyle the Cat expected something like that ... people actually knowing Bloodraven and Maekar (like Egg) did not. If Bloodraven had issues with Maekar he could have easily enough taken Egg hostage at Whitewalls. Not to mention that Maekar would have never kept Bloodraven as Hand if he had issues with him. It seems as if Maekar was merely cross with his royal brother Aerys I who chose the bastard uncle as his Hand rather than Maekar. But chances are that Maekar got over that years before the Third Rebellion or Aerys I's death. Even if Maekar didn't return to court shortly after Whitewalls, chances are pretty good that he came back for Rhaegel's funeral in 215 AC, possibly reconciling with the king and Bloodraven then.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

How strong Aerys I was with his lords can be seen when Bloodraven crushes the Second Blackfyre Rebellion as easily as he does - he doesn't show up at Whitewalls just with his Raven's Teeth, does he?

This. Aerys and Bloodraven certainly had enough political support to show up with an army and quash the rebellion before it started. The OP's "police state" characterization is rather hyperbolic. 

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12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Of course, Bloodraven is a sorcerer, but a sorcerer in service to his royal brother and nephew(s). And where do you get the idea that Daeron II, Valarr, and Matarys did or would have kept Bloodraven in check? The idea that the man would have magically created a plague just to become Hand of the King is insane - if he could do something like that why not kill all the Targaryens and take the throne yourself? Bloodraven was a Targaryen with a claim to the Iron Throne, too.

Daemon Blackfyre died in battle, there is nothing problematic about that. The murder of Aenys Blackfyre is in no way comparable to the Red Wedding. He was one guy, not a couple of thousands, and the guest right isn't as valued in the south as it is in the North - not that it is honored that much in the North, either, if you look at how Mance's women murder themselves through the ranks at Winterfell. Not to mention we have no idea how exactly that little thing happened - but Bloodraven paid the price for the betrayal.

Why would Bloodraven take the throne and all its responsibilities when he could have all the power he wanted with a weak king like Aerys I? Time and time again, the Iron Throne is pointed out to be an uncomfortable seat which might even lash out magically against those who seize the throne by force or treachery (I say “might” because it’s still unclear either way). 

Anyway, look at how hard Bloodraven worked to have Aegon V placed on the throne. Nobody saw Aegon’s worth, and even considered him too sympathetic to the smallfolk to handle kingship. So yes, maybe Bloodraven just thought Aegon would be a good ruler, but that’s too innocent for Bloodraven. And based on what we’re told, Aenys Blackfyre was being entirely peaceful and honourable. Bloodraven could have denied him the chance to come to King’s Landing, but no, he uses the word of the Iron Throne to lure a man to his death with bad faith promises. That’s incredibly scummy, and Bloodraven clearly didn’t expect to to be arrested for that or else he would have surrendered himself without the need for arrest. Aegon proved more of an idealist than Bloodraven expected, and until GRRM proves me wrong, that’s how I choose to interpret it. Bloodraven is not a moral character, and could very well be an outright sinister figure who yes, might have used magic to have Baelor’s heirs killed in the middle of a plague. Everyone associated with magic is confirmed or at least rumoured to use it for sinister reasons. Melisandre, Moqorro, Euron, Pyatt Pree, the Others, the Children of the Forest, the conspiracy against the dragons by the maesters of Oldtown, etc. Bloodraven isn’t an isolated case, he’s part of a pattern. Magic is dangerous, and it will lead to millions dying.

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4 minutes ago, James Steller said:

Why would Bloodraven take the throne and all its responsibilities when he could have all the power he wanted with a weak king like Aerys I? Time and time again, the Iron Throne is pointed out to be an uncomfortable seat which might even lash out magically against those who seize the throne by force or treachery (I say “might” because it’s still unclear either way). 

Because the position of Hand is dependent on who the king is, and King Aerys I clearly didn't live all that long, did he? Maekar eventually succeeded him, and if Bloodraven hadn't been in good standing with him he would have never continued as Hand. Or do you imagine Maekar to be the same kind of 'puppet king' Aerys I allegedly was?

This idea that Bloodraven is this all-powerful Hand is also not really true even within the garbled rumor nonsense we got so far on the reign of Aerys I. Aerys I is the guy deciding the fate of Daemon the Younger and Bittersteel. This idea that Bloodraven is deceiving his king and not working closely with him is, at this point, completely without basis. Stuff like the Brackens supposedly not getting access to the king is, at this point, just a vile rumor.

4 minutes ago, James Steller said:

Anyway, look at how hard Bloodraven worked to have Aegon V placed on the throne. Nobody saw Aegon’s worth, and even considered him too sympathetic to the smallfolk to handle kingship. So yes, maybe Bloodraven just thought Aegon would be a good ruler, but that’s too innocent for Bloodraven. And based on what we’re told, Aenys Blackfyre was being entirely peaceful and honourable. Bloodraven could have denied him the chance to come to King’s Landing, but no, he uses the word of the Iron Throne to lure a man to his death with bad faith promises. That’s incredibly scummy, and Bloodraven clearly didn’t expect to to be arrested for that or else he would have surrendered himself without the need for arrest. Aegon proved more of an idealist than Bloodraven expected, and until GRRM proves me wrong, that’s how I choose to interpret it. Bloodraven is not a moral character, and could very well be an outright sinister figure who yes, might have used magic to have Baelor’s heirs killed in the middle of a plague. Everyone associated with magic is confirmed or at least rumoured to use it for sinister reasons. Melisandre, Moqorro, Euron, Pyatt Pree, the Others, the Children of the Forest, the conspiracy against the dragons by the maesters of Oldtown, etc. Bloodraven isn’t an isolated case, he’s part of a pattern. Magic is dangerous, and it will lead to millions dying.

We know nothing about Aenys Blackfyre. Chances are not that bad that this guy accompanied his brother Haegon during the Third Rebellion. And how this whole thing went down we don't know yet. Could very well be the entire thing was a charade and all the Targaryens/Aegon V wanted Aenys Blackfyre dead, and Bloodraven merely offered to go through with it and take the blame, regardless which Targaryen claimant would take the throne.

What you think is possible is irrelevant while the text doesn't give us actual evidence for that. At this point we have just have vile rumors about Bloodraven. If you buy the nonsense some traitor septon preaches you could just as well take all the slander we get about the twisted little monkey demon, Stannis, Sansa, or any other character who is vilified by people who don't know what they are talking about (or invent slanderous lies intentionally).

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21 hours ago, The Merling King said:

 

The Ironborn were an unstoppable force until the Targaryens came to Westeros.  The Lannisters and the Starks would be dumb to oust the Targaryens from power.  Only the Targaryens can unite Westeros into one kingdom and keep it together.

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4 hours ago, James Steller said:

Anyway, look at how hard Bloodraven worked to have Aegon V placed on the throne. Nobody saw Aegon’s worth, and even considered him too sympathetic to the smallfolk to handle kingship. So yes, maybe Bloodraven just thought Aegon would be a good ruler, but that’s too innocent for Bloodraven

Maybe Bloodraven was just loyal to the idea that no Blackfyre should ever sit on the throne? 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

Maybe Bloodraven was just loyal to the idea that no Blackfyre should ever sit on the throne? 

Why not? I’d sooner have had a competent Blackfyre than a raving Targaryen lunatic. And as good as Aegon V was, look at his descendants. An sickly boy obsessed with incest who produced a madman, and a sister for him to abuse. And those two produced Rhaegar, a man who happily let the world burn because he just had to fulfill a prophecy with the one woman whose abduction (or elopement) results in a giant rebellion against this degenerate family. 
And yes, I’m pretty lukewarm on the Targaryens, and I‘m especially repelled by the pro-Targaryen arguments in the book and amongst the fan base which drift into eugenics territory. And even taking in the genetics, we’ve seen just how deranged the Targaryens can be.

Granted, we don’t know what kind of man Aenys Blackfyre was, but based on his action and the way he was easily and ruthlessly murdered, I see no reason to assume he would have been a bad ruler. He came to King’s Landing peacefully in good faith to pitch his case. He didn’t even demand the throne, he simply wanted a job interview. You’re telling me that guy is more evil than the one promising him safe passage and then using his severed head to terrify any of his potential supporters into silence?

 

I’m not going to tell you that the Blackfyre cause was always worth defending. But I see no evidence that they’re any worse than the Targaryens, or almost any other house in Westeros.

Edited by James Steller

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9 minutes ago, James Steller said:

Why not? I’d sooner have had a competent Blackfyre than a raving Targaryen lunatic. And as good as Aegon V was, look at his descendants. An sickly boy obsessed with incest who produced a madman, and a sister for him to abuse. And those two produced Rhaegar, a man who happily let the world burn because he just had to fulfill a prophecy with the one woman whose abduction (or elopement) results in a giant rebellion against this degenerate family. 
And yes, I’m pretty lukewarm on the Targaryens, and I‘m especially repelled by the pro-Targaryen arguments in the book and amongst the fan base which drift into eugenics territory. And even taking in the genetics, we’ve seen just how deranged the Targaryens can be.

Granted, we don’t know what kind of man Aenys Blackfyre was, but based on his action and the way he was easily and ruthlessly murdered, I see no reason to assume he would have been a bad ruler. He came to King’s Landing peacefully in good faith to pitch his case. He didn’t even demand the throne, he simply wanted a job interview. You’re telling me that guy is more evil than the one promising him safe passage and then using his severed head to terrify any of his potential supporters into silence?

 

I’m not going to tell you that the Blackfyre cause was always worth defending. But I see no evidence that they’re any worse than the Targaryens, or almost any other house in Westeros.

Nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks Aenys Blackfyre's murder was a supremely dick move. Even if Aenys really was that evil, why bother resorting to cheap tricks just to get him out of the way? He only came to Westeros when Bloodraven promised him safe passage. If Bloodraven had simply told Aenys to shove off, he stays in Essos like he was already doing. It's not like Aenys would have made the Third or Fourth Blackfyre rebellions successful, they were done by that point.

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20 minutes ago, James Steller said:

 

Granted, we don’t know what kind of man Aenys Blackfyre was, but based on his action and the way he was easily and ruthlessly murdered, I see no reason to assume he would have been a bad ruler. He came to King’s Landing peacefully in good faith to pitch his case. He didn’t even demand the throne, he simply wanted a job interview. You’re telling me that guy is more evil than the one promising him safe passage and then using his severed head to terrify any of his potential supporters into silence?

You might not have a reason to dismiss Aenys, but you also have no reason to defend him, either, except for the fact that he was murdered. We don't know anything about Aenys or the context, so trying to make a case either way is pointless. Sure, Bloodraven looks the worse in that scenario, but what if a Dunk & Egg novel covers this and reveals that Aenys was a pedophile? Would you still want him on the throne? Arguing about Aenys or Bloodraven is like arguing about Rickon Stark's capabilities as future King of the North. We know next to nothing until GRRM fills in the details. Otherwise, it's all just speculation in an argument with no right answer.

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1 hour ago, James Steller said:

Why not? I’d sooner have had a competent Blackfyre than a raving Targaryen lunatic. And as good as Aegon V was, look at his descendants. An sickly boy obsessed with incest who produced a madman, and a sister for him to abuse. And those two produced Rhaegar, a man who happily let the world burn because he just had to fulfill a prophecy with the one woman whose abduction (or elopement) results in a giant rebellion against this degenerate family. 
And yes, I’m pretty lukewarm on the Targaryens, and I‘m especially repelled by the pro-Targaryen arguments in the book and amongst the fan base which drift into eugenics territory. And even taking in the genetics, we’ve seen just how deranged the Targaryens can be.

Granted, we don’t know what kind of man Aenys Blackfyre was, but based on his action and the way he was easily and ruthlessly murdered, I see no reason to assume he would have been a bad ruler. He came to King’s Landing peacefully in good faith to pitch his case. He didn’t even demand the throne, he simply wanted a job interview. You’re telling me that guy is more evil than the one promising him safe passage and then using his severed head to terrify any of his potential supporters into silence?

I’m not going to tell you that the Blackfyre cause was always worth defending. But I see no evidence that they’re any worse than the Targaryens, or almost any other house in Westeros.

Sorry, but there is no difference between the Targaryens and the Blackfyres. The Blackfyres are just Targaryens who go by a different name. They are the same, as one sees with a mad monstrosity like Maelys the Monstrous or with poor Daemon II who was destroyed by those mad dreams of his.

If you have issues with the Targaryens on the basis of their 'family genetics' - which on your part is a genetic point of view, by the way - then those extends just as well to the Blackfyres and the Baratheons, too (who are also just an offshoot of the Targaryens). But it is a pretty flawed view to go by this on the basis of 'family traits' - sure, many families have 'family looks' and such, but there is a huge variety in character traits and such in all the noble families. For the Targaryens we have gotten the most individuals so far most of which were exceptional individuals on the positive side (just think of the fact that King Aenys produced no foul apples at all, and most of the children of Jaehaerys and Alysanne were great people, too) but you also see it with the Lannisters with as different people as Tytos, Tywin, Jaime, Cersei, Tyrion, Joffrey, and Tommen.

And that is hardly surprising since the author's entire point in portraying noble and royal dynasties is to show that just because your father or grandfather was a great warrior or ruler doesn't mean you will inherit those talents as well. One also gets such a dichotomy with Randyll and Samwell Tarly.

As for Aenys Blackfyre - we don't know why Bloodraven felt the need to execute him. Could be he was just an evil Blackfyre hater but, to be honest, that would be clichéd story unworthy of the complexity of the character. He doesn't come across like that in TMK nor in ADwD. Insted, it is possible that Aenys didn't show up there as some sort of innocent 'Why shouldn't I be king' kind of guy but rather because a coterie of powerful lords encouraged him to come because they hoped to use him as pawn or figurehead to prevent the rise of Aegon V. After all, we know Egg wasn't very popular, and apparently neither Vaella nor Maegor were ever true rivals of Aegon V. The Aemon idea seems to have been a last minute plot at the council to prevent the rise of Aegon V, so perhaps the original idea was to sell Aenys as a compromise candidate to the undecided lords of the council. And that would have been something that had to be prevented to ensure there wouldn't be another succession/civil war.

The idea that Aenys was a nice and fair guy is not very likely in light of the fact that his rise to the throne would have come at the expense of the rightful Blackfyre king - Haegon's eldest son, Daemon III. What kind of uncle tries to steal the birthright of his nephew?

1 hour ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks Aenys Blackfyre's murder was a supremely dick move. Even if Aenys really was that evil, why bother resorting to cheap tricks just to get him out of the way? He only came to Westeros when Bloodraven promised him safe passage. If Bloodraven had simply told Aenys to shove off, he stays in Essos like he was already doing. It's not like Aenys would have made the Third or Fourth Blackfyre rebellions successful, they were done by that point.

That is too much speculation for my part. We know Bloodraven promised Aenys safe passage and all, but we don't know whether this was what triggered his decision to come - perhaps he would have shown up as guest of some powerful lord if Bloodraven hadn't lured him in all by himself? We have to get the actual story there before we can discuss this issue, and at this point we have literally no idea what the hell Aenys Blackfyre thought he could make a good case at the Great Council, nor do we have any idea how worse the situation at court and the Realm at large was after Maekar's death. Who exactly were the power players which made a Great Council the only way to prevent another Dance of the Dragons?

Without us knowing more about all that it makes no sense to make great proclamations about the people doing stuff there. I agree that killing Aenys was ugly, but how ugly it actually was will have to wait and see when we learn more about the entire thing.

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Posted (edited)

For the record, what I dislike is the focus on genetics when it comes to the Targaryens, as well as the incest that accompanies their mindset. The incest results in their tendency to go mad. Aegon V had the right idea trying to get away from it. Though I’m worried that GRRM will try and claim that Aerys getting together with his sister was necessary to produce Rhaegar and the three headed dragon. And then we’re stuck with this Chosen One plot where Jon or Danaerys is meant to save the world.

Edited by James Steller

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2 hours ago, James Steller said:

Why not? I’d sooner have had a competent Blackfyre than a raving Targaryen lunatic. And as good as Aegon V was, look at his descendants. An sickly boy obsessed with incest who produced a madman, and a sister for him to abuse. And those two produced Rhaegar, a man who happily let the world burn because he just had to fulfill a prophecy with the one woman whose abduction (or elopement) results in a giant rebellion against this degenerate family. 

Maybe objectively Aenys might have been better than Aegon, but I do think someone who has been collaborating with the Targs and fighting against the Blackfyres for years might just be loyal to the Targs. 

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5 minutes ago, James Steller said:

For the record, what I dislike is the focus on genetics when it comes to the Targaryens, as well as the incest that accompanies their mindset. The incest results in their tendency to go mad. Aegon V had the right idea trying to get away from it. Though I’m worried that GRRM will try and claim that Aerys getting together with his sister was necessary to produce Rhaegar and the three headed dragon.

It is nowhere stated the the incest is what caused Targaryen madness, nor is it that prevalent among them as we previously may have thought. There don't seem to be more foul apples among the Targaryens than any other noble family, and, if we talk good apples, then the Targaryens seem to have produced more of those than bad ones. There are very few mad or cruel Targaryens in the time period covered by FaB.

And as the story of Cersei's children and the story of Gilly and her child show - the author does not approve of children being vilified because they were born of incest.

Incest may not be everybody's taste, but the incest of the Targaryens doesn't seem to have produced more unhappy unions than the average arranged marriage among nobles - Aegon and his sisters, Jaehaerys-Alysanne, Aemon-Jocelyn, Baelon-Alyssa all turned out to be very fine, loving marriages.

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