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Bael's Bastard

If you think Varys saved baby Aegon, explain your timeline

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On 1/6/2021 at 2:15 PM, The Young Maester said:

I am very doubtful of this spiriting aegon away as a babe.

Because I am of the mind that before roberts rebellion.Varys was the one whispering in the kings ear about hidden traitors. Rickards death lends to a possibility that Varys told the king that his warden of the north is plotting treason. It might’ve been true or might’ve been the thing Varys needed to weaken the Targaryen legitimacy. If Rickard was plotting treason than I guess Varys just did his duty and informed the king about it. The king obviously took it to another level.

Than you have aerys demanding Ned and roberts head. Demanding neds head makes sense since the mad king probably thought that if the father is a traitor than the 2nd son most be as well. Robert however is confusing because the guy was a hothead lord living his best life. The only treason Robert couldve been plotting was the one on his bed.

So either Varys whispered lies to the king, or maybe aerys’s crazy mind went stark+Robert= traitors.

The other factor could be that grrm invented aegon as a late character. Because he needed Daenerys in Westeros by winds, however he didnt anticipate her ark to be so long and full of other plot points. So he made aegon up so he can have a Targaryen invade Westeros by winds. If this is the case than I do believe aegon is legit since it is what George needs.

I doubt AeGriff is a later character. If anything, I think his identity got changed from an Aerion Brightflame descendant to perhaps a Blackfyre (maybe married with a Brightflame descendants). But I am open to the possibility he is truly Aegon. 

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On 1/7/2021 at 2:12 PM, Shadow of Asshai said:

Yes, if he was raised by the real deal, he will surely believe it, Jon Connington just knew Aegon as a newborn baby, so it could be easily to fool him, since the boy had the "Valyrian" looks.

Since Aegon was born on Dragonstone in the last weeks of 281-first weeks of 282, Connington was exiled after the Battle of the Bells, and I don't think it's clear when Elia and children were brought to King's Landing, I'm guessing Connington didn't get a lot of looks at baby Aegon, and it sounds like it wasn't for a number of years after the Sack that Connington was given responsibility of AeGriff.

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On 1/11/2021 at 6:58 PM, corbon said:

Sorry about the delay replying. busy leading up to Christmas, NY, family and all that, and the lunatics have pretty much taken over around here so its less and less interesting to even bother to pop in for a visit.

 

I think there is plenty of room for a wide variety of timeline scenarios in which fAegon is in fact Aegon. So I'm actually a bit puzzled by the question really. From my point of view its more a case of what objection could one have, timeline wise?

Varys claims to have done a switch. We've seen a substitute used in  Myrcella's case. Which shows that its a reasonable preparation to have made and could have been made before events got out of hand, in preparation, or as a last minute secret-passage switch as shit was going down (assuming the substitute had been prepared, but not yet switched of course).
I don't see any reason to suppose Varys doesn't have several months at least in which to prepare such a potential substitute, which may or may not even be used, or could have entirely other purposes planned (such as a similar use as Myrcella's substitute).

Varys had the capability to get Tyrion out of KL when there was much less chaos and a far more desperate search for a much more identifiable subject. It clearly would be significantly easier to smuggle out a 1 year old child during or immediately after the Sack. Or even several weeks later. Especially when no one is looking for such a child.
We've seen, through Arya's unwitting eyes, that Varys has 'command' of the hidden passages and ways inside the Red Keep - such that Illyrio was able to secretly visit him there without anyone's (well, there's Arya!) knowledge. Not to mention the arranged comings and goings of Shae, and even Tyrion's trip to visit (and eventually kill) Tywin). It seems entirely reasonable that he could spirit Aegon away safely and perhaps even hold and care for him there for several weeks or even months if needed.
Aegon was a year or so old so may not even require a wetnurse by that time, though he would require a minder - I assume mid-long term pacification drugs would be too risky at that age.

From there, to Essos, in any number of ways. Especially when the child is 'known' to be dead.

One way that I think ties in very nicely at multiple levels, including the general timeline, is the 'suicide' of Ashara Dayne. Who supposedly dived from the Palestone Tower into the sea and whose body was never found. Who was the friend and companion of Aegon's mother. Whose brother was the closest companion and ally of Aegon's father. Whose own story and timeline doesn't really fit very well with the suggested reasons for her apparent suicide.
If a ship was offshore, and Varys had arranged with her to take Aegon to Essos in exile... The timing of that appears to be within a month or two of the Sack, roughly, which could comfortably fit with a general timeline for Aegon's escape and hiding and travel to Essos.  

I don't mean to turn the question back to you - I mean, I don't mean to be difficult by doing so, but I guess I'll repeat myself. There are entirely reasonable options, multiple options, at almost every step along the way. So in order to answer the question more usefully, I almost have to ask, where's the problems you see, that you have to ask such a question?

I don't think it's implausible that Aegon could have been saved. I am just curious the ideas people that believe he was saved have for how they see it playing out. I am not looking to tear people's ideas down, but get an idea for how people see it having happened. 

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33 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Thanks for your response @Lord Varys. I think you bring up some good points for how Aegon could have been plausibly saved. I think the issue of AeGriff's true ancestry comes down to whether we feel we can believe Varys, rather than whether it was possible.

Of course, but as has already been commented on: You asked how we think it might be possible.

And we do know Varys' intentions now, we know that the point of Aegon is to create the ideal king from scratch. And since it doesn't matter really who the raw material for that is, chances are not that bad that the real Aegon is the person that was used for this plan. If Varys had the real Aegon he would have used him.

In that sense, the real question is whether Varys and Elia actually did have the foresight to get the real Aegon to safety or not. If they didn't, then Aegon is fake. If they did, then Aegon is the real deal.

23 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I would be more open to Lemore being Ashara if George hasn't made Tyrion oblivious to anything remotely resembling Ashara's noted-by-everyone features. And I don't accept any of the excuses for why George would contain Tyrion's thoughts and mouth on this, right around the same time Tyrion couldn't countain his thoughts and mouth on AeGriff's features.

If not for that, I could probably get past pretty much every other objection. I could even see Ned being aware of it, although I think we'd have to examine how Ned thinks of baby Aegon (on a quick search, it seems he only thinks of his name once, when thinking about the rumor that Gregor was the one that murdered him).

But I can't get past that objection.

That said, I do think Lemore could have been associated with Elia, perhaps one of her ladies, or one of the Dornishwomen that came to court with her.

As I said above somewhere - if Lemore were Ashara then chances are actually very bad that she had any insight on the switch. What we know of her whereabouts makes it very, very unlikely that she was in KL between the Trident and the Sack. Ned visited her at Starfall shortly thereafter. And to know something significant she would have to be involved in the original switch. If she just eventually joined with Illyrio after she faked her death she would have about as knowledge about Aegon's true identity as Jon Connington has.

And with Ashara apparently getting pregnant at Harrenhal she may have been forced to leave court before Aegon was even born, making it very unlikely she could determine whether a child Varys/Illyrio presented to her later was Rhaegar's son or not.

Also, if you are thinking about it, it is completely ridiculous to assume Connington would think of 'Lady Lemore' in his chapter when it was actually 'Lady Ashara'. He would know Ashara Dayne, and since he thinks of Young Griff as Aegon even before he is publicly revealed then why the hell would he keep the identity of the woman a secret when effectively nobody would give a damn whether Ashara Dayne is still alive or dead? That just doesn't make much sense.

But Lemore definitely could have been a lady-in-waiting to Elia who was with her when the switch was made and who took care of Aegon from the start. When she talks to Connington she clearly seems to have her own reasons to want to care for Aegon, and she is the one who urges for more secrecy.

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On 1/11/2021 at 7:59 PM, Lord Varys said:

I have difficulty seeing a preparation for this thing to have taken place over a period of months unless we go with a scenario where Varys wanted, for some reason, to steal Rhaegar's son. While Rhaegar was still at KL training the army there would be no need to protect Aegon by means of a substitute. Instead, if Rhaegar was concerned for the safety of his heir or family in general he would have sent them to Dragonstone - like King Aerys II did later with Rhaella and Viserys after the Trident.

And overall we would go with a scenario where Varys took care of Aegon at the behest or with the permission of Elia Martell.

Hence, the idea, that the plan to do this would have been considered seriously only after the Trident - and also, in part, because the Mad King blamed the Dornish for Rhaegar's death and was now really using Elia and her children as hostages. In that sense, such a thing would not only have been done to protect Aegon from the rebels but also from his own royal grandfather.

That only works in a scenario where such a switch was done before Elia and the children were kept under guard in Maegor's Holdfast. There are no secret tunnels and such in the walls of Maegor's, they only exist in the other parts of the Red Keep. The only secret tunnel in Maegor's is the king's own escape way (used by Aegon II and his children during the Dance) and that one is unconnected to the other tunnels, meaning that Varys would have to take a long detour to use this tunnel to get inside Maegor's to get Aegon out.

In that sense, we would have to go with Varys using a disguise to get inside Maegor's - septon/septa, maester, servant, wetnurse, etc. - or to meet with Elia outside Maegor's - the castle sept, godswood, etc.

I guess there is also a chance that they did the switch during the Sack - Varys is curiously absent from Aerys' side after the king agrees to let Tywin and his men inside the city - since the chaos after the Sack began may have allowed Varys easy access to Maegor's and Elia's apartments, but that would be a last minute thing then, and somewhat strange considering Elia and Varys both would have known that Rhaegar's son was in considerable danger after Robert's victory at the Trident. But it is possible that it took this long to find a suitable child or to be able to go through with the switch.

Yes, chances are pretty good that Varys would entrust the boy to some woman - either his wetnurse or some other servant/companion of Elia's. Lemore most likely would be exactly this woman in a scenario where Aegon is truly Rhaegar's son.

I think he is rather set in his opinion that Varys wouldn't do such a thing because he was hellbent on destroying the Targaryens. But even if he truly planned the end of Aerys and Rhaegar both ... this wouldn't mean he also wanted to see the children dead. Or that he would walk away from the opportunity to acquire a Targaryen child as 'raw material' to mold into a king of his making.

It is like Robb wanting to destroy Joffrey ... without ever wishing Myrcella or Tommen harm.

I think you make some good points. If he were real, I would expect Lemore to be someone close to Elia or the baby, but for reasons I've already gone over, I can't accept arguments for Ashara.

It's more that if Varys intentionally undermined the Targaryen dynasty, it makes no sense to me that he then suddenly cared about saving Aegon, even if he had some inkling of passing some blonde child off as Aegon. And after the fact, what people believe about what happened to Aegon is enough for him to do whatever he wants with that, without actually needing THE Aegon.

But I think we see from the books that Varys is honest to people like Ned and Tyrion about playing both sides, and that he is willing to help them up to a point, but he isn't going to die for them, and if need be, he will do his duty and out them to the king or queen. So IMO it is not only plausible but likely that Varys had such a complicated relationship with Rhaegar.

I have even wondered whether Rhaegar either directly enlisted Varys to inform on him to get Aerys off his ass to attend Harrenhal and expose himself to Westeros, or spoke of intentions re: his father loudly enough that he knew Varys would hear and relay it for the same purpose.

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19 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Since Aegon was born on Dragonstone in the last weeks of 281-first weeks of 282, Connington was exiled after the Battle of the Bells, and I don't think it's clear when Elia and children were brought to King's Landing, I'm guessing Connington didn't get a lot of looks at baby Aegon, and it sounds like it wasn't for a number of years after the Sack that Connington was given responsibility of AeGriff.

Jon was Rhaegar's buddy, so it stands to reason that he attended Rhaegar at Dragonstone while Rhaegar was there. Rhaegar's friends and hangers-on would have been only at court while Rhaegar was there. When Rhaegar decided to live on Dragonstone after his wedding his friends would have accompanied him. Not all of them may have been with him at all times, especially not if the king called on the Kingsguard that were with him from time to time, but Connington was a lord in his own right and could be wherever the hell he wanted. And he definitely would have wanted to be with his friend to celebrate the birth of his first son.

3 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I think you make some good points. If he were real, I would expect Lemore to be someone close to Elia or the baby, but for reasons I've already gone over, I can't accept arguments for Ashara.

Me neither, see above.

3 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

It's more that if Varys intentionally undermined the Targaryen dynasty, it makes no sense to me that he then suddenly cared about saving Aegon, even if he had some inkling of passing some blonde child off as Aegon. And after the fact, what people believe about what happened to Aegon is enough for him to do whatever he wants with that, without actually needing THE Aegon.

Of course, if the plan was made after the real Aegon died, then he wouldn't have and wouldn't need the real Aegon. As I said, the crucial thing is whether he and Elia did successfully save the real Aegon or not. And we cannot know that at this point.

However, we don't have any indication that Varys tried to intentionally undermine the Targaryen dynasty. He could have had his reasons to destroy the Mad King and even Rhaegar (a nutcase obsessed with magic and prophecy wouldn't have looked promising in the eyes of Varys who hates magic) without ever wanting to destroy the dynasty. I mean, you do know that Varys clearly wants the Baratheons gone now, but still took care of Edric Storm and Gendry ... and he also seems to bear no ill will towards Tommen or Shireen or Myrcella.

If push comes to shove then the real Aegon simply is an asset. Very much like Sansa is an asset right now in Littlefinger's hands (whatever else she is also for him). Varys would be a complete moron if he passed on this opportunity.

But with what we know so far the idea that Varys even wanted to destroy Aerys II and Rhaegar is basically just conjecture. Varys pointing out traitors as per Selmy and Jaime isn't sufficient evidence for that. Especially since nobody has yet to give us examples for Varys giving actual bad advice to his king.

3 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

But I think we see from the books that Varys is honest to people like Ned and Tyrion about playing both sides, and that he is willing to help them up to a point, but he isn't going to die for them, and if need be, he will do his duty and out them to the king or queen. So IMO it is not only plausible but likely that Varys had such a complicated relationship with Rhaegar.

You have to also consider Varys developing over the years. The man who served the Mad King was younger and less experienced with Westeros. He was a foreigner and complete new man at court, much more dependent on keeping his king happy to earn his keep and stay alive than he was later with Robert when he had already established himself as this super spy.

The Varys we know can play people very well ... but none of those people are Mad Aerys. Aerys II had sudden mood swings and was clearly completely unpredictable at times. The way to stay in his good graces was to correctly guess what he might want right now, and that likely meant less manipulation and more, let's say, pleasing the king.

Varys' stick of helping Ned and Tyrion only up to a point is pretty much bogus if you ask me. He constantly betrays Robert with the Aegon/Dothraki invasion plan and isn't afraid for his life. He paints himself as loyal to the Baratheon king in charge but that is a lie.

It would be great to know more about Varys' relationship with Rhaegar - but we don't. And so far we have no indication that Varys was among the courtiers who fueled the king's mistrust of his heir for their own selfish reasons (like the man Yandel mentions doing this). Varys wasn't one of the guys who feared to lose their wealth and privileges once Rhaegar took the throne. But I certainly could see Varys informing Aerys II about Rhaegar's covert Great Council ideas - either because he was truly loyal to his king or because he tried to prevent a civil war. Because if you think about it then there is no chance that Mad Aerys wouldn't have started a war to keep his power - even if Rhaegar had gotten a decent number of lords on his side at Harrenhal.

3 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I have even wondered whether Rhaegar either directly enlisted Varys to inform on him to get Aerys off his ass to attend Harrenhal and expose himself to Westeros, or spoke of intentions re: his father loudly enough that he knew Varys would hear and relay it for the same purpose.

From what we know from Rhaegar himself indicates that he never pushed the madness question at Harrenhal after his father chose to show up there ... so Aerys II revealing himself to the world may have made him look bad, but clearly didn't do anything in the department of undoing him. Especiallys since we can see various lords remain loyal to Aerys II at the beginning of the Rebellion when Rhaegar has disappeared - the Graftons in the Vale, various Stormlords, the Reach, and Aerys II's friends in the Riverlands.

Rhaegar eventually becomes the symbol of the future of the Targaryen dynasty. But his father still rules and the son follows.

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@Bael's Bastard, if Varys wanted to save Aegon, he had te chance to do it, just as Larys Clubfoot did it with Aegon II and his children.

Varys' intentions are the real question. Assuming he is a eunuch from a young age, and likely has no relatives, he isn't doing it for personal purposes. 

He's not doing it for lands or money. Likely has no relatives that might come into the story. Illyrio was a simple sellsword the time they met. The two grow out because of their coalition.

Now, assumping he is Varys, words about him might have reached Aerys because he wanted to. Anyway, he was invited to KL to support Aerys and spy on Tywin and especially Rhaegar. And he pleased amd supported him, that is for sure.Tho Barristan is honorable in a stubborn way, he surely is right about this one.

It might be that he simply didn't want to lose his job, but he had to take into account of Rhaegar inheriting the Throne at any point. I suppose, his purpose wasn't to work against him, just simply doing what he had to. Because, either way, Rhaegar sooner or later would have  inherited the IT. I doubt he didn't know where Rhaegar is (I mean, he's the spymaster). If he knew, he didn't tell it to Aerys. It was Lord Commander Hightower who brought back Rhaegar. Either way, he likely did not want Rhaegar back.

But for now, let's stick with Aegon. At that point, he was there for years, being able to rescue Aegon if he wanted. Putting a nobody on the throne would only be trolling, and Aegon also is not perfect, so that he would make a perfect king. He'd be a good king, but nothing more,and there is no guarantee his ancestors would be good. At least YG is not a noone, I believe. He's either a Targaryen or (as some may say) a Blackfyre (or anyone else). 

I doubt he's doing anything for the sake of the smallfolk. The would've stopped Petyr on doing what he did.

But the question is still hanging in the air. Why would someone like Varys, a eunuch (or maybe not, but that seems pretty unlikely), someone who leaves nothing and noone back, do all this? The hatred to magic? That might answer why he supported Aerys over Rhaegar, but does not make any sense in the case of Aegon and Daenerys. Illyrio might have his personal intentions for Aegon, if the two are related in any way, but still does not explain Varys' presence.

5 books, and we still don't know what the man wants or what a man like him would want. I would put my bet on Targaryen supporting. But why wuld he do such a thing? We don't know.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bael's Bastard said:

I have even wondered whether Rhaegar either directly enlisted Varys to inform on him to get Aerys off his ass to attend Harrenhal and expose himself to Westeros, or spoke of intentions re: his father loudly enough that he knew Varys would hear and relay it for the same purpose.

This. Varys informs on Rhaegar, allegedly, but he never gives Aerys anything that will get him arrested for treason. If Varys is this Blackfyre supporter, then the first step is to get rid of the heir to the throne. Rhaegar was liked and we are told that he was capable. If Rhaegar was plotting to depose his father (by whatever means) and Varys knows this, then why didn't he give up the information he had.

More and more, Harrenhal to me seems to have been designed to try and get Aerys out of the Red Keep for everyone present to see. It's a win-win situation for Rhaegar. If Aerys goes, the world sees what his father has become, so when the time comes to remove him, the lords will see the sense in that. If Aerys stays away from the tourney, then he gets to meet as many lords as he can to discuss with them what's going on with Aerys and try and gain their support.

I think Varys threw in his lot with Rhaegar sometime before Harrenhal, perhaps as early as when Rhaegar returned to KL to present Rhaenys to court.

I've been thinking for a while that Varys's loyalties shifted to Rhaegar and have remained with him, rather than House Targaryen as a whole, and that's why he is doing everything he can to put Aegon on the throne. Varys put his own life on the line when he bent the knee to Robert. He has no idea whether he'll be pardoned or his head will be lopped off because he is more disposable than Jaime, Pycelle and Barristan.

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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4 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Very true, but that has more to do with how they will get people to believe he is real, than whether he is real. And I suspect that he will receive significant support, both from people that believe he is genuinely Rhaegar's son come back from the dead to save Westeros, and people who just see him as an acceptable regime change to get their houses, and Westeros, back on track.

From the perspective of the characters in the story, fAegon's legitimacy depends on realpolitik. Anyone who benefits from fAegon's claim will believe that he is legit. And vice versa. 

My point was about the perspective of the readers. As far as the readers are concerned, the only evidence in favor of fAegon's legitimacy is "because Varys says so". Some readers might trust Varys enough and consider the case closed. You asked for a plausible switch scenario for other readers who doubt fAegon's legitimacy. The only reasonable* way for GRRM to reveal that information to the readers can again be via Varys because he is the only remaining live witness. That is counter-productive because these readers already mistrust Varys.

* There are unreasonable ways such as GRRM retcons a totally unknown or some known live character into the switch scenario or uses the Bran exposition. Both would be bad writing.

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27 minutes ago, Mithras said:

From the perspective of the characters in the story, fAegon's legitimacy depends on realpolitik. Anyone who benefits from fAegon's claim will believe that he is legit. And vice versa. 

My point was about the perspective of the readers. As far as the readers are concerned, the only evidence in favor of fAegon's legitimacy is "because Varys says so". Some readers might trust Varys enough and consider the case closed. You asked for a plausible switch scenario for other readers who doubt fAegon's legitimacy. The only reasonable* way for GRRM to reveal that information to the readers can again be via Varys because he is the only remaining live witness. That is counter-productive because these readers already mistrust Varys.

* There are unreasonable ways such as GRRM retcons a totally unknown or some known live character into the switch scenario or uses the Bran exposition. Both would be bad writing.

That is factually wrong since Lemore could actually have been there with Varys and Elia when the switch was made. We don't know who she is so she could have been there. And if Bran is good enough to serve as plot device for Jon Snow and Lyanna stuff - as he was in ADwD - he is also good enough for Aegon Targaryen and the origin of the Others and any other thing George might want to use him for. His way to gain knowledge is obviously rather crucial for the plot - and this can turn out to be handy not just with magical stuff but mundane politics, too.

And of course there are also other means than 'Varys says so' to figure out that Aegon is not Rhaegar's son. Just as there are characters out there who might know that Aegon is Rhaegar's son there are also characters out there who might know that Aegon isn't Rhaegar's son. Lemore again could be one of those. Illyrio definitely would also know the truth. The Tattered Prince might know stuff about Varys and Illyrio and their plans, etc.

2 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

@Bael's Bastard, if Varys wanted to save Aegon, he had te chance to do it, just as Larys Clubfoot did it with Aegon II and his children.

Varys' intentions are the real question. Assuming he is a eunuch from a young age, and likely has no relatives, he isn't doing it for personal purposes. 

He's not doing it for lands or money. Likely has no relatives that might come into the story. Illyrio was a simple sellsword the time they met. The two grow out because of their coalition.

Now, assumping he is Varys, words about him might have reached Aerys because he wanted to. Anyway, he was invited to KL to support Aerys and spy on Tywin and especially Rhaegar. And he pleased amd supported him, that is for sure.Tho Barristan is honorable in a stubborn way, he surely is right about this one.

It might be that he simply didn't want to lose his job, but he had to take into account of Rhaegar inheriting the Throne at any point. I suppose, his purpose wasn't to work against him, just simply doing what he had to. Because, either way, Rhaegar sooner or later would have  inherited the IT. I doubt he didn't know where Rhaegar is (I mean, he's the spymaster). If he knew, he didn't tell it to Aerys. It was Lord Commander Hightower who brought back Rhaegar. Either way, he likely did not want Rhaegar back.

But for now, let's stick with Aegon. At that point, he was there for years, being able to rescue Aegon if he wanted. Putting a nobody on the throne would only be trolling, and Aegon also is not perfect, so that he would make a perfect king. He'd be a good king, but nothing more,and there is no guarantee his ancestors would be good. At least YG is not a noone, I believe. He's either a Targaryen or (as some may say) a Blackfyre (or anyone else). 

I doubt he's doing anything for the sake of the smallfolk. The would've stopped Petyr on doing what he did.

But the question is still hanging in the air. Why would someone like Varys, a eunuch (or maybe not, but that seems pretty unlikely), someone who leaves nothing and noone back, do all this? The hatred to magic? That might answer why he supported Aerys over Rhaegar, but does not make any sense in the case of Aegon and Daenerys. Illyrio might have his personal intentions for Aegon, if the two are related in any way, but still does not explain Varys' presence.

5 books, and we still don't know what the man wants or what a man like him would want. I would put my bet on Targaryen supporting. But why wuld he do such a thing? We don't know.

George may have effectively pulled the plug on an idea I was pushing for years when he introduced Rego Draz in FaB. This guy is lowborn scum from Pentos, too, and he came to KL because the Targaryen king offered him a prestigious job. Thus Varys (and Illyrio) could also have just such base and mundane motives explaining their interest in Westeros.

And that could definitely put to rest all 'it was done for the cause of House Blackfyre or some other obscure cadet branch of House Targaryen' because the author doesn't think his Pentoshi characters need a big and secret motivation to get involved in Westerosi politics.

The Rogares would be another such example.

And if you check Varys' modus operandi then he works with the human resources he is given - Ned, Tyrion, Connington, etc. He isn't picky about the people he manipulates or exploits. If the circumstances were such that he could lay his hands on Rhaegar's son he would figure out what to do with that asset - regardless who he is and what he tried to do before.

The magic angle certainly could explain why Varys may not have been a Rhaegar fan. In his own way Rhaegar was as unstable as his father, allowing himself to be ruled by prophecy and passion rather than common sense.

Dany's dragons are a game changer, that's why Varys and Illyrio want Dany and the dragons for Aegon, but dragons don't make you a sorcerer. Varys hates magic and all those who practice it, he doesn't hate people who ride dragons.

3 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

This. Varys informs on Rhaegar, allegedly, but he never gives Aerys anything that will get him arrested for treason. If Varys is this Blackfyre supporter, then the first step is to get rid of the heir to the throne. Rhaegar was liked and we are told that he was capable. If Rhaegar was plotting to depose his father (by whatever means) and Varys knows this, then why didn't he give up the information he had.

That is a good point. If Yandel can openly speculate that Prince Rhaegar was plotting against his father with the Harrenhal tourney, then a man like Varys would have figured that out, too, back in the day. And if he had tried to destroy Rhaegar chances are not that bad that he would have succeeded. He supposedly pointed at traitors left and right ... meaning he had enough influence with the king to push him against his heir the way Tyanna pushed Maegor against Alys, say.

3 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

More and more, Harrenhal to me seems to have been designed to try and get Aerys out of the Red Keep for everyone present to see. It's a win-win situation for Rhaegar. If Aerys goes, the world sees what his father has become, so when the time comes to remove him, the lords will see the sense in that. If Aerys stays away from the tourney, then he gets to meet as many lords as he can to discuss with them what's going on with Aerys and try and gain their support.

With a considerable number of lords everywhere in the Realm sticking to Aerys II - with Rhaegar in hiding - after the Rebellion had started I see little evidence that such an approach had any effect. Harrenhal wasn't a win-win situation for Rhaegar ... although I guess they may have tried for it to be such a win-win situation. But Rhaegar completely botched it with the Lyanna thing.

But even without that, it doesn't seem as if people were much willing to make a difference between Rhaegar and his father. They are viewed as one and the same by the rebels, and while we know why Robert did this, Robert wasn't alone. He had followers and allies but it seems pretty much none of those were smarter than he was.

3 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I think Varys threw in his lot with Rhaegar sometime before Harrenhal, perhaps as early as when Rhaegar returned to KL to present Rhaenys to court.

I've been thinking for a while that Varys's loyalties shifted to Rhaegar and have remained with him, rather than House Targaryen as a whole, and that's why he is doing everything he can to put Aegon on the throne. Varys put his own life on the line when he bent the knee to Robert. He has no idea whether he'll be pardoned or his head will be lopped off because he is more disposable than Jaime, Pycelle and Barristan.

I'm pretty sure Varys made sure Robert would pardon him before presenting himself to him. And it wouldn't have been that difficult to figure that out since it was apparently part of a general pardon of all the people who had served the Mad King.

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On 1/13/2021 at 10:25 PM, Lord Varys said:

But the important thing here just is that there is no reason to assume the actual switch was made before the Trident ... unless you make a whole lot of presuppositions to explain why this would make sense.

The one thing we have to take into account is that Rhaegar considered his son Aegon to the the Prince that was Promised.  And since we don’t know exactly what that entails, I don’t think we can rule out that Rhaegar wanted his son close to him while he was doing whatever he was doing in the South.  

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4 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

More and more, Harrenhal to me seems to have been designed to try and get Aerys out of the Red Keep for everyone present to see. It's a win-win situation for Rhaegar. If Aerys goes, the world sees what his father has become, so when the time comes to remove him, the lords will see the sense in that.

I don't know how much of this is true, a mad king means regency and it only takes one powerful lord o get the job and Aerys simply stays, especially after the Lyanna fiasco.

 

 

4 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

 Varys put his own life on the line when he bent the knee to Robert. He has no idea whether he'll be pardoned or his head will be lopped off because he is more disposable than Jaime, Pycelle and Barristan.

Or maybe Varys was captured by the rebel forces, which isn't unlikelygiven that they were everywhere and had taken the city, in that scenario Varys  simply has no choice but to bend the knee.

Even then, Varys is working with the backing Illyrio, who has no connection with either Rhaegar or the Targs.

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46 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That is a good point. If Yandel can openly speculate that Prince Rhaegar was plotting against his father with the Harrenhal tourney, then a man like Varys would have figured that out, too, back in the day. And if he had tried to destroy Rhaegar chances are not that bad that he would have succeeded. He supposedly pointed at traitors left and right ... meaning he had enough influence with the king to push him against his heir the way Tyanna pushed Maegor against Alys, say.

Yandel himself states that there is no evidence whatsoever behind the theory of Rhaegar being the funder of the tourney and we're also told that Aerys and his council already were convinced there was some foul play  going on.

Unless he had hard evidence to justify kinslaying, he risked a civil war. 

 

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2 minutes ago, frenin said:

Yandel himself states that there is no evidence whatsoever behind the theory of Rhaegar being the funder of the tourney and we're also told that Aerys and his council already were convinced there was some foul play  going on.

Unless he had hard evidence to justify kinslaying, he risked a civil war.

If Rhaegar is ashes there wouldn't be a civil war. The idea is that the king deals with Rhaegar the way he dealt with Rickard and Brandon. Rhaegar had no siblings and children who could avenge him. It may have been a pretty big scandal if the king had disposed of his heir in this manner, but Rhaegar wasn't kin or close friends with any great house. They would not have gone to war over this.

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5 minutes ago, frenin said:

Yandel himself states that there is no evidence whatsoever behind the theory of Rhaegar being the funder of the tourney and we're also told that Aerys and his council already were convinced there was some foul play  going on.

Unless he had hard evidence to justify kinslaying, he risked a civil war. 

 

Well, if you’re going to buy into Rhaegar ran off with Lyanna, because of, umm, true love.  Then you might as well believe that he would be insipid enough to use a high profile tourney to try and get the realm to oust his dad.  

Personally I think the Harrenhal tourney had more to do with Rhaegar’s belief of the Prince that Was Promised which in turn seems to imply that he also believed that the War for the Dawn was just around the corner.

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7 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Well, if you’re going to buy into Rhaegar ran off with Lyanna, because of, umm, true love.  Then you might as well believe that he would be insipid enough to use a high profile tourney to try and get the realm to oust his dad.  

Aerys was the type of man that wouldn't do anything against anyone, unless he doesn't get provoced. Rhaegar likely knew this. And he might have seen the death of Rickard and Brandon as his own fault, not Aerys'. 

If Aerys would have been left dying on the Throne, noone would've been harmed. Sadly nor Rhaegar, nor Brandon realised this, and they pushed the country into the Rebellion.

Aerys was a bomb bout to blow up, people only had to stay out of his range. (I'm not defending Aerys at all)

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8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If Rhaegar is ashes there wouldn't be a civil war. The idea is that the king deals with Rhaegar the way he dealt with Rickard and Brandon. Rhaegar had no siblings and children who could avenge him. It may have been a pretty big scandal if the king had disposed of his heir in this manner, but Rhaegar wasn't kin or close friends with any great house. They would not have gone to war over this.

And what happens with the Martells?? The Darrys, Mootons, Conningtons etc?? Had Rhaegar not pulled what he pulled in Harrenhall, things could've gone south very easily. But i do agree that it's hard to see either the Starks or the Baratheons and their allies rushing into anything for Rhaegar after that.

Regardless, there's always the chance he escapes, in which case, you do have civil war.

 

 

8 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Then you might as well believe that he would be insipid enough to use a high profile tourney to try and get the realm to oust his dad.  

It's perfectly plausible that he was the shadow host, that doesn't mean that there was evidence against him. There wasn't.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, frenin said:

And what happens with the Martells?? The Darrys, Mootons, Conningtons etc?? Had Rhaegar not pulled what he pulled in Harrenhall, things could've gone south very easily. But i do agree that it's hard to see either the Starks or the Baratheons and their allies rushing into anything for Rhaegar after that.

Regardless, there's always the chance he escapes, in which case, you do have civil war.

The idea of Varys helping/pushing Aerys II to destroy his son isn't that they botch such an attempt. Varys wouldn't - especially if he wanted the king to get rid of his heir. The scenario is also not this happening after Harrenhal.

Rhaegar has no army of his own, and no authority to move against his father. So the idea there is that the king would dispatch men he could trust to arrest and (eventually) execute Rhaegar, possibly after a show trial. We know how this works, there are ample examples for this kind of thing.

If Rhaegar is dead, then none of his friends would move against the king because they would know no great lord would support them. Why should they? And the Dornish cannot stand alone against the Iron Throne - nor would Doran Martell do something like that while his sister and her children are in the king's clutches.

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Varys.  You can't tell if he's lying or being sincere.  He could be telling the truth as he believes but rescued the wrong baby.  That Varys is lying is the simplest explanation. 

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if Varys had saved Aegon, I think it was for Elia rather than Rhaegar. It would make sense given the difference of treatment between Dany and Vis to Aegon. She was in a delicate position at court (Aerys had already mocked Rhaenys) and Varys was new at court too (he came one year before her marriage). Doran does mention having a friend at court still, what better friend than the master of whispers?

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