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Egged

"So they will not love, for love is the bane of honor, the death of duty."

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"A bastard can have honor too," Jon said. "I am ready to swear your oath."

"You are a boy of fourteen," Benjen said. "Not a man, not yet. Until you have known a woman, you cannot understand what you would be giving up."

"I don't care about that!" Jon said hotly.

"You might, if you knew what it meant," Benjen said. "If you knew what the oath would cost you, you might be less eager to pay the price, son."

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"Jon, did you ever wonder why the men of the Night's Watch take no wives and father no children?" Maester Aemon asked.

Jon shrugged. "No." He scattered more meat. The fingers of his left hand were slimy with blood, and his right throbbed from the weight of the bucket.

"So they will not love," the old man answered, "for love is the bane of honor, the death of duty."

That did not sound right to Jon, yet he said nothing. The maester was a hundred years old, and a high officer of the Night's Watch; it was not his place to contradict him.

The old man seemed to sense his doubts. "Tell me, Jon, if the day should ever come when your lord father must needs choose between honor on the one hand and those he loves on the other, what would he do?"

Jon hesitated. He wanted to say that Lord Eddard would never dishonor himself, not even for love, yet inside a small sly voice whispered, He fathered a bastard, where was the honor in that? And your mother, what of his duty to her, he will not even say her name. "He would do whatever was right," he said … ringingly, to make up for his hesitation. "No matter what."

"Then Lord Eddard is a man in ten thousand. Most of us are not so strong. What is honor compared to a woman's love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms … or the memory of a brother's smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

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"Poor Daario, her brave captain … she will never forget him, no … but better for all of us if he is dead, yes? Better for Daenerys too."

Better for Daenerys, and for Westeros. Daenerys Targaryen loved her captain, but that was the girl in her, not the queen. Prince Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna, and thousands died for it. Daemon Blackfyre loved the first Daenerys, and rose in rebellion when denied her. Bittersteel and Bloodraven both loved Shiera Seastar, and the Seven Kingdoms bled. The Prince of Dragonflies loved Jenny of Oldstones so much he cast aside a crown, and Westeros paid the bride price in corpses. All three of the sons of the fifth Aegon had wed for love, in defiance of their father's wishes. And because that unlikely monarch had himself followed his heart when he chose his queen, he allowed his sons to have their way, making bitter enemies where he might have had fast friends. Treason and turmoil followed, as night follows day, ending at Summerhall in sorcery, fire, and grief.

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"My lord does have one prize to offer," Haldon Halfmaester pointed out. "Prince Aegon's hand. A marriage alliance, to bring some great House to our banners."

A bride for our bright prince. Jon Connington remembered Prince Rhaegar's wedding all too well. Elia was never worthy of him. She was frail and sickly from the first, and childbirth only left her weaker. After the birth of Princess Rhaenys, her mother had been bedridden for half a year, and Prince Aegon's birth had almost been the death of her. She would bear no more children, the maesters told Prince Rhaegar afterward.

"Daenerys Targaryen may yet come home one day," Connington told the Halfmaester. "Aegon must be free to marry her."

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"So they will not love, for love is the bane of honor, the death of duty."

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"He is here. Aegon has been shaped for rule since before he could walk. He has been trained in arms, as befits a knight to be, but that was not the end of his education. He reads and writes, he speaks several tongues, he has studied history and law and poetry. A septa has instructed him in the mysteries of the Faith since he was old enough to understand them. He has lived with fisherfolk, worked with his hands, swum in rivers and mended nets and learned to wash his own clothes at need. He can fish and cook and bind up a wound, he knows what it is like to be hungry, to be hunted, to be afraid. Tommen has been taught that kingship is his right. Aegon knows that kingship is his duty, that a king must put his people first, and live and rule for them."

"Aegon knows that kingship is his duty ..."

"... his duty ..."

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"So they will not love, for love is the bane of honor, the death of duty."

Fore. Shadow. Ing. :)

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Just now, Rose of Red Lake said:

For Jon falling in love with Aegon?

If that is not a joke: no, for Aegon falling in love, failing at what Varys and others had expected for him to become. Jon Connington is specifically pushing for an arranged marriage regardless of Aegon's feelings. Varys believes that because Aegon has been properly raised he will rule out of duty. But one thing Aegon hasn't had yet is love for a woman. He has been raised as a cloistered boy by a small entourage, including a Septa. And now he is about the meet the "hottest" woman of Westeros.

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2 hours ago, Egged said:

If that is not a joke: no, for Aegon falling in love, failing at what Varys and others had expected for him to become. Jon Connington is specifically pushing for an arranged marriage regardless of Aegon's feelings. Varys believes that because Aegon has been properly raised he will rule out of duty. But one thing Aegon hasn't had yet is love for a woman. He has been raised as a cloistered boy by a small entourage, including a Septa. And now he is about the meet the "hottest" woman of Westeros.

It was a joke but it's also kinda the conclusion I came to when looking at the quotes you pulled out.

But yeah I agree that marrying for duty is portrayed as the "sacrificial" thing - but I don't think the characters involved will be doing much of that.

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The strict adherence to duty is crucial for the NW to do its duty.  Loving and having attachments which may compromise a man's dedication to the NW and its role are detrimental.  Love between husband and wife can be a good thing for a monarch.  Take Aerys and Rhaella.  History would have been different if there was deep love in that marriage.  You have to look at the nature of each duty before making an analysis whether love is good or bad.  But what is really important is having the intelligence and the self-discipline to have the right priorities.  For a ruling Queen, yes, Daenerys is correct.  The Queen belongs to her people.  The desires of the heart for romantic love must take a back seat to the needs of her people.  Daenerys Targaryen is both more intelligent and shows better judgment compared to Robb Stark. 

The NW is a different animal altogether.  They have a very focused goal: to stop the Others from destroying Westeros.  The dedication to duty applies but the Brotherhood live within smaller boundaries. 

Aegon is impulsive.  I too believe he will fall under the spell of Arianne Martell.  But he is an impulsive boy.  One look at Daenerys and he will fall in love a second time.  I don't think she will return the love but she will agree to a marriage if it will further her objectives. 

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