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HBO Announces Production Begins on House of the Dragon

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Things happened in 120 AC: Laena died on Jan 6. Then Laenor. Then the fight. Then Harwin went from Driftmark to Harrenhal and died (took ~2 weeks). Then the King sent to Old Town for Otto. (Took ~4 days for raven, ~40 days on road). Then Rhaenyra married. The Rhaenyra gave birth.

No one questioned Rhaenya conceived before Laenor/Laena's deaths, so she must be married 280 days before Dec 31. Therefore Laenor's death happened no later than 365-280-40-4-14-1=Jan 26.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I guess Rhaenyra got pregnant after Laenor's death and before the marriage with Daemon. Assuming Aegon III was born on December 24, he would have been conceived around March 24. So Laenor's death could have occured in February or even March, too.

Edited by The Wondering Wolf

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So far it seems the show won't start in the mid 100's. That's a bit dissapointing to be honest, and I am not disputing it could not work, but that they miss a lot of things with this.

I like how Corlys looks altough I was afraid. Now they just don't have to screw it up and involve some racist reasons for not giving the crown to Rhaenys' children. Otherwise, it's fine, I guess, but I might end up being a Green. So far it seems we won't even see a good side of Rhaenyra or Daemon (if he ever had one), we'll have no Laena, we know nothing about Rhaenys, nor about Daemon's daughters or Rhaenyra's children.

In the case of Alicent's children being aged up: I don't think it is a good thing because it takes away the conflict between the children of Rhaenyra and Alicent, and Baela and Rhaena might end up not being included in the show. I don't know, but I don't feel like HotD has too much characters to work with? Then why not age up everyone so that they'll show the conflict between the next generation as well, and then the Strong bastards and Daemon's sons and daughters can be major characters as well, maybe even Aegon's children.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

I like how Corlys looks altough I was afraid. Now they just don't have to screw it up and involve some racist reasons for not giving the crown to Rhaenys' children. Otherwise, it's fine, I guess, but I might end up being a Green. So far it seems we won't even see a good side of Rhaenyra or Daemon (if he ever had one), we'll have no Laena, we know nothing about Rhaenys, nor about Daemon's daughters or Rhaenyra's children.

 

Traitor. The Greens are usurpers. Rhaenyra should rule. 

Edited by Jaenara Belarys

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8 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

So far it seems the show won't start in the mid 100's. That's a bit dissapointing to be honest, and I am not disputing it could not work, but that they miss a lot of things with this.

According to some of the early casting information, it specifically starts in 105 AC and I believe George (ages back) said it would be The Rogue Prince and the Dance, suggesting - alongside Paddy Considine's casting and Daemon still being heir - that we do get a significant buildup before the Dance itself kicks off.

However, obviously the scenes they've shot so far are with adult Rhaenyra and everyone else. There's no guarantee they're shooting scenes from Episode 1 straight up, so all this does confirm is that at some point in Season 1 we do get to see Rhaenyra grown up.

Another possibility are that the 105 AC stuff - presumably Aemma's death - is a relatively brief setting-the-scene sequence at the start of Episode 1 and there's an immediate timejump, and some of the Rogue Prince events have been moved later in the timeline to when Rhaenyra is an adult so they don't have to keep one of their main actors off the show for most of the season. Or there is a Witcher-style framing story which starts in the present day (before the Dance, but with Rhaenyra as an adult) and then doubles back in the timeline.

One adjustment to the storyline there could be that Daemon is still accepted as heir for much longer than in the book, but the Rogue Prince events take place when Rhaenyra is older and she takes some responsibility for handling the situation, and her level-headed approach makes Viserys decide to appoint her as heir after Daemon's disgrace. There are a few complications with this (particularly when he remarries Alicent and when he has more children), though.

An outside possibility is simply that Rhaenyra is actually a fair bit older than in the books, is already an adult when her mother dies and the Rogue Prince events take place, and they'll perhaps moderately age her up to when the Dance takes place.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

According to some of the early casting information, it specifically starts in 105 AC and I believe George (ages back) said it would be The Rogue Prince and the Dance, suggesting - alongside Paddy Considine's casting and Daemon still being heir - that we do get a significant buildup before the Dance itself kicks off.

However, obviously the scenes they've shot so far are with adult Rhaenyra and everyone else. There's no guarantee they're shooting scenes from Episode 1 straight up, so all this does confirm is that at some point in Season 1 we do get to see Rhaenyra grown up.

Another possibility are that the 105 AC stuff - presumably Aemma's death - is a relatively brief setting-the-scene sequence at the start of Episode 1 and there's an immediate timejump, and some of the Rogue Prince events have been moved later in the timeline to when Rhaenyra is an adult so they don't have to keep one of their main actors off the show for most of the season. Or there is a Witcher-style framing story which starts in the present day (before the Dance, but with Rhaenyra as an adult) and then doubles back in the timeline.

One adjustment to the storyline there could be that Daemon is still accepted as heir for much longer than in the book, but the Rogue Prince events take place when Rhaenyra is older and she takes some responsibility for handling the situation, and her level-headed approach makes Viserys decide to appoint her as heir after Daemon's disgrace. There are a few complications with this (particularly when he remarries Alicent and when he has more children), though.

An outside possibility is simply that Rhaenyra is actually a fair bit older than in the books, is already an adult when her mother dies and the Rogue Prince events take place, and they'll perhaps moderately age her up to when the Dance takes place.

I don't think there is much of a chance to have all that stuff with a child Rhaenyra - her being her father's little darling, her crush on Criston, Daemon trying to suck up to and seduce a (pre-)teenage girl, etc. are possible or would work in a show like that.

Instead, the only way this makes sense if Rhaenyra is aged up so she can be a teenager (say 16-18) when the show properly starts.

They could have flashbacks to the Great Council or Aemon's death and Rhaenys' wedding and whatnot with a child Rhaenyra in the scenes, but the entire plot around Rhaenyra's romances and affairs has to involve a woman beyond the age of fifteen at least.

I don't think there is any good reason to assume that Daemon has to retain his status as heir for long. And he is never Heir Apparent, merely the king's acknowledged presumptive heir in the book. Viserys I refuses to grant him the title of Prince of Dragonstone, after all, because he still expects a son from Aemma, etc.

After all, the same press releases which informed us that Daemon was 'the king's heir' told us that Alicent Hightower was merely the Hand's daughter, not the queen, and they also told us that Criston Cole was not yet a Kingsguard (nor that he would ever join the order) but a common-born humble knight aspiring to be more.

Emma D'Arcy definitely can play Rhaenyra throughout the entire show. She can play a woman approaching forty, and if Rhaenyra were aged up, say, ten years, then she would die at the age of 43 instead of 33.

But an aged-up Rhaenyra also would mean they could rush her marriage to Laenor to take place shortly after or around the king's marriage to Alicent. The reason Rhaenyra marries Laenor only in 113 AC in the books is that she only comes of age in that year - whereas the show Rhaenyra would already be an adult. This, in turn, would allow them to compress the reign of Viserys I somewhat so the Dance could start, perhaps, what would be 122 or 125 AC in the books, with Aegon II being around twenty when the war starts. To simplify things Aegon and Helaena could be twins, etc.

They could even change things somewhat and have Aegon II be still minor/in his teens when his father dies, so the coup is staged only in his name and Alicent rules as Queen Regent. That could work if they wanted the Dance to be truly about 'The Princess and the Queen' and not so much about the Queen and the King.

The really big issue with the time passing from the beginning of the show to the Dance would be ages of Alicent's children. In the books Aegon II and Aemond were already men grown ... but a (or perhaps the) significant change there might be that they won't have the same age in the show.

For Rhaenyra's sons and her two marriages things would be as condensed if she could marry before 113 AC. Her elder sons could be pretty much of the same age as Aegon and Aemond, and the younger sons by Daemon could also be somewhat older.

It would also give them the opportunity to make Baela and Rhaena daughters of Daemon and Rhaenyra rather than Laena and Daemon - if they wanted to cut Laena, that is, which they hopefully do not.

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

However, obviously the scenes they've shot so far are with adult Rhaenyra and everyone else. There's no guarantee they're shooting scenes from Episode 1 straight up, so all this does confirm is that at some point in Season 1 we do get to see Rhaenyra grown up.

See, the problem isn't with an aged-up Rhaenyra. The problem comes from Alicent's children being aged up while Rhaenyra's and Daemon's doesn't seem to be. It might be that we haven't seen them yet, just as we haven't yet saw Rhaenys (or we did), but none of them? Even if you'd leave Aegon the Younger and Viserys as children, wouldn't a similar age for the entire third generation work out better? I mean Jake, Luke, Joff and even Baela and Rhaena. 

And man, I don't know who they bury at Driftmark so early, but it better not be Laena or Laenor.

Let's assume a part of episode 1 will play in 105 AC, where they still use a younger Rhaenyra, but they get over it pretty fast. Shouldn't the current Rhaenyra have children then, if Alicent already has grown-up sons? (Aegon seemed to be at least 20, if that's Aegon).

And I know they everywhere talked about Alicent as Otto's daughter, and about Daemon as the heir, etc, but does the setup we've seen so far confirms it? Not so much. I wonder how they made that working. Why they can't go with something like The Crown, but only changing the really young casting, namely Alicent's children, Rhaenyra (who is close to Alicent in age, but still needs it or I dunno), Laena and Laenor.

Otherwise, don't they have to age up Alicent's younger children anyway?

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A new wave of spy photos was just posted - nothing drastically new, but much better photos of people we had blurry shots of before.

And is that Harwin Strong?

 

 

 

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another point that just occurred to me which pushes suspicions about who Graham McTavish is playing even closer to Lyonel Strong than Harrold Westerling:  Lyonel isn't just described as "big", but "big, burley, and BALDING" -- and here we see McTavish in full costume, bald when all the other actors have their wigs on. So his character is bad.

Lyonel was my first guess, as it SEEMS they're filming Laena's funeral, and Harrold was dead for years by then.

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Posted (edited)

IMDB latest update shows a guy as "Unit Manager: Cornwall" for Episodes 1& 2 https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8820301/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr43

And I checked the IMDB profiles of other crews credited in only one or two episodes. Interestingly, most are credited in either  ep1 or ep7. I guess two possibilities: (a) the show starts with 120 AC, with the first two episodes focus on Year of the Red Spring. (b) it starts with 105 AC (as HBO official description suggests), and Year of the Red Spring will be ep7. Those guys credited in ep1 just don't know which episode they are working for. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E1PlWM6VcAARW-g?format=png 

 

Edited by zionius

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On 4/29/2021 at 6:49 PM, The Dragon Demands said:

But who the heck is the blonde woman with the double peaked black hat with a gold border?

https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2021/04/29/14/42368858-9525555-image-a-78_1619703060025.jpg

 

 

The headpiece looks widdowish and reachish. Kind of like the blue one Olenna had in the meeting with Sansa in the garden.

Silent Sisters has a big weird collar with the seven pointed star sticking up behind their head so she's not that.

Septas had an undyed habit, which this is far too garish for.

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26 minutes ago, Sigella said:

The headpiece looks widdowish and reachish. Kind of like the blue one Olenna had in the meeting with Sansa in the garden.

Silent Sisters has a big weird collar with the seven pointed star sticking up behind their head so she's not that.

Septas had an undyed habit, which this is far too garish for.

The most prominent female at Driftmark for Laena's funeral would be her mother, Rhaenys Targaryen. At least in the book she had dark hair with gray streaks as she got older. Because of the mask it is really difficult to say with certainty whether it is the actress playing her role. And of course they can  do a lot with makeup, especially in "older" individuals. 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, zionius said:

IMDB latest update shows a guy as "Unit Manager: Cornwall" for Episodes 1& 2 https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8820301/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr43

And I checked the IMDB profiles of other crews credited in only one or two episodes. Interestingly, most are credited in either  ep1 or ep7. I guess two possibilities: (a) the show starts with 120 AC, with the first two episodes focus on Year of the Red Spring. (b) it starts with 105 AC (as HBO official description suggests), and Year of the Red Spring will be ep7. Those guys credited in ep1 just don't know which episode they are working for. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E1PlWM6VcAARW-g?format=png 

 

I'm tempted to read into that, but IMDB updates are often quite sloppy about upcoming specific episodes

Edited by The Dragon Demands

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Posted (edited)

@The Dragon Demands I watched your recent 1hr and 15 min video on having a black actor for Corlys.

I have a few counter-arguments, but too lengthy to write in youtube comments. Let me preface that I agree this is a minor change and that you make several excellent points. I also don't have a problem with Corlys being black, but I do have a quibble about his appearance and that of his children, which I'll bring later. My arguments here are about some of your arguments. A few times your supporting evidence wasn't that strong, so here goes:

1) Valyria was a melting pot of peoples and the Free Cities are mixed places. You've mentioned this a lot of times in the early part of the video, that the FCs are mixed, so it's okay to have a lesser noble house like the Velaryons search more widely for marriage partners. 

Valyria was a melting pot of slaves oppressed by a society that looked down on many others. Yes, the dragonlords were obsessed with blood purity, but that doesn't necessarily mean other noble families were fine with mixing with other peoples. You mention Pentos, but Pentos was not really founded by nobles: From TWOIAF - The first Pentoshi were merchants, traders, seafarers, and farmers, with few of high birth amongst them; perhaps for this reason, they were less protective of their Valyrian blood and more willing to breed with the original inhabitants of the lands they ruled. So from this sentence, it's clear noble families had a tendency to be protective of their lineage. While the Velaryons are a lesser noble house, they are still nobility. And nobles tend to look upwards more often than elsewhere, which in the case of Valryian families would mean looking towards the dragonlord families.

Pentos also brings me to my other point about what you said about the Free Cities being mixed. This is too much of a generalization, and it does a disservice to the true mixed city of Braavos, and yes Pentos, too. But you can't say Lys is that mixed where more than anywhere else in the known world the old Valryian bloodlines still run strong, or Volantis where the ruling class is made up of only those of Valyrian ancestry, or Myr who are homogenous enough to make people believe they are related to the Rhoynar. Qohor and Norvos were founded by religious cults and seem to have a caste system where the only melting pots may be in the lower classes.

2) The Velaryons being seafarers and merchants would have the opportunity to mix with other people, like Summer Islanders. True, but they are not the only ones. Oldtown is a far older and even better known port to even distant merchants than Driftmark is. Summer Islanders call there all the time, too. Why aren't the Hightowers more mixed? Well, the answer has to do with the conservative nature of Westeros high society. Marriages are primarily done for political gain. There would be little political incentive for a Westerosi house to allow one of their members to marry a Summer Islander, or someone else from really distant lands. And while the Velaryons have Valyrian lineage, in the centuries since they settled on Driftmark, they have become a Westerosi house, adopting the Faith of the Seven, knightly traditions etc. So wouldn't the Velaryons also look for marriage partners among the other Westerosi nobles? Yeah sure, there is the occasional marriage for love angle, but without more information about Corlys, that cannot be an argument's basis. Prior to Corlys the wealth of House Velaryon came from them profiteering of the Blackwater Bay trade, so tariffs likely. So again, the Velaryons would have looked closer to home to assure the continuation of their house.

3) This universe is like medieval Europe, and medieval Europeans didn't have the same views on race as modern people.

This is your best point, I totally agree. That being said, there are few tidbits here and there in the books (novels, TWoIaF, I think F&B too) where Westerosi react with fright when they see a Summer Islander. Jeyne Poole when she sees Jalabhar Xho. Ooo, but maybe D+D remembered that one line which is why Missandei and Grey Worm got the dirty looks from the northerners as you mention in the video.  I'm not defending D+D, yuck, no! :ack:

So do some Westerosi react this way out of racism or ignorance? If it's the former, then maybe we can't equate TWoIaF with medieval Europe. If it's the latter (likely) then this hints that the presence of black people in Westeros is extremely rare.

4) So my quibble about how Corlys looks and from the leaked pics his daughter, too, is the white hair, the apparent Valyrian hair. Why? Is this their way to say hey this guy is not just some black guy, he's a Valyrian. Ok, but both books and GoT point out that when two distinct looking people have children, the one's whose 'seed is stronger' pretty much gives the hair color to the children. That seems to be the first of a person's features that is inherited from the dominant gene. I don't have any medical knowledge to know if this is usually the case in the real world, but it seems to be in this world. Remember Ned's recitation about the Baratheons. (and the show didn't even bother including eye color) Now we don't know how Rhaeneys looks in the show. But if they follow the book on this one, then I would find it very odd if Laena and Laenor also have the silver-white hair, just because their dad has it, who is presumably half Summer Islander. (who have black hair)

To conclude, my arguments have drawn from book lore, and it was mainly to point out some issues with your arguments. But thanks to GoT, which ironically is helpful here, the show universe has its own lore that is only loosely related to the book lore, and the writers have the freedom to craft their own consistencies. I just hope that there will be consistencies. 

Edited by Corvinus85

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

While the Velaryons are a lesser noble house, they are still nobility. And nobles tend to look upwards more often than elsewhere, which in the case of Valryian families would mean looking towards the dragonlord families.

Indeed, F&B is explicit that most noble families did this, even those who were not dragonlords:

Quote

Wedding brother to sister was thought to be ideal. Failing that, a girl might wed an uncle, a cousin, or a nephew, a boy a cousin, aunt, or niece. This practice went back to Old Valyria, where it was common amongst many of the ancient families, particularly those who bred and rode dragons. The blood of the dragon must remain pure, the wisdom went.

The Velaryons are described as a "noble house with a storied Valyrian lineage", which pretty clearly aligns them with the kind of family who you'd expect to take the words, "The Old, the True, The Brave" and who must have practiced some degree of incest to maintain their looks for hundreds of years (presumably through cousin, rather than sibling, marriages, and unions with Valyrian-descended nobles from the Free Cities).

As to the Velaryons being merchants, that's a strange one. They profited from having a port and for demanding customs and duties from ships passing their waters, but the first Velaryon to ever show mercantile interest was Corlys, who is explicitly described as exceptional and unique:

Quote

Yet even with such forebears, Corlys Velaryon was a man apart, a man as brilliant as he was restless, as adventurous as he was ambitious.

The only thing I can really say is that the Corlys of the TV series can't be squared with the Corlys of the novels, and that the apparent changes they're making to the setting in the TV series to make it work there are precisely that: changes from the literary canon. But, the TV show is the TV show and it can have its own canon, like having a stupid fishtailed horse as the Velaryon sigil instead of the correct one or dropping the existence of Jaehaerys II.

 

Edited by Ran

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12 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

4) So my quibble about how Corlys looks and from the leaked pics his daughter, too, is the white hair, the apparent Valyrian hair. Why? Is this their way to say hey this guy is not just some black guy, he's a Valyrian. Ok, but both books and GoT point out that when two distinct looking people have children, the one's whose 'seed is stronger' pretty much gives the hair color to the children. That seems to be the first of a person's features that is inherited from the dominant gene. I don't have any medical knowledge to know if this is usually the case in the real world, but it seems to be in this world. Remember Ned's recitation about the Baratheons. (and the show didn't even bother including eye color) Now we don't know how Rhaeneys looks in the show. But if they follow the book on this one, then I would find it very odd if Laena and Laenor also have the silver-white hair, just because their dad has it, who is presumably half Summer Islander. (who have black hair)

You have a point there, but in the books George also has weirdo fantasy rules for Valyrian hair as the freak streaks in the hair of Elaena Targaryen (who has silver hair with one distinct gold streak) and, especially, in the hair of Valarr Targaryen, who has predominantly the dark hair of his father but also a single silver-gold streak in his hair.

In that sense, one could see the skin color issue to not always mess with the Valyrian hair ... although we have to concede that it did so in the case of the Black Pearl bloodline started by Aegon IV and Bellegere Otherys.

As for the racism issue, I think it is clear that Westeros doesn't have the modern scientific racism nonsense of our day and age ... and best you get xenophobic fears of people who look different. That said - high nobility/royalty would still intermarry with high nobility from other peoples, even such people who look distinctly different. In a very real sense you get that kind of reversed exotism when Khal Drogo marries Daenerys Targaryen who basically is nothing but an exotic trophy wife, chosen for her distinct Valyrian looks and her storied Valyrian background which is apparently praised and desired by the Dothraki. Else Drogo would have married a good and decent Dothraki princess, not some exiled foreigner.

The Velaryons intermarrying with high nobility from abroad is thus not all that unlikely. Although I very much doubt it is intended that Corlys is the scion of such a union in the books.

That said, I think we can imagine the Hightowers as having the occasional or not-so-occasional foreign bride ... although not from the Summer Isles but rather the Free Cities like the Martells. Lynesse Hightower and Alerie Hightower both seem to have Valyrian features of some sort (Alerie has silver hair although she seems to be only about forty years old, whereas Lynesse Hightower apparently is the living image of Daenerys Targaryen ... at least in Jorah's eyes). And while many people seem to suspect or hope that this is due to them descending from one of the daughters of Garmund and Rhaena - or some more recent Targaryen-Hightower union - a more realistic scenario would be to assume that this is the case because Lord Leyton or his father took a wife from the Old Blood of Volantis or from Lys. This wouldn't be surprising for a lord running a city like Oldtown which has connections throughout the known world. And we also saw something like that happening with Denys Darklyn and his Myrish wife.

1 hour ago, Ran said:

The Velaryons are described as a "noble house with a storied Valyrian lineage", which pretty clearly aligns them with the kind of family who you'd expect to take the words, "The Old, the True, The Brave" and who must have practiced some degree of incest to maintain their looks for hundreds of years (presumably through cousin, rather than sibling, marriages, and unions with Valyrian-descended nobles from the Free Cities).

Yeah, for the book Velaryons I'd assume we see quite a few cousin marriages in the first century, not just through the female but also the male line. The second Daemon Velaryon seems to have had many children, and quite a few of those may have had children of their own - and for Maegor's third marriage brothers and (unspecified) cousins of Alyssa Velaryon showed up, meaning the first Daemon and Aethan had multiple children as well, not just the named ones. In addition to that, there are also the Celtigars to consider. There would have been marriages between those two houses - and all the other houses the Velaryons may have married into. I'd expect that Alarra Massey wasn't the first Massey to marry a Velaryon, just as Hazel Harte may have had Celtigar or Velaryon ancestors.

I also feel that, for the sake of Daenaera Velaryon's stunning Valyrian looks, we should tentatively assume that Daenaera's father Daeron, her grandfather Vaemond, and her great-grandfather who was Corlys' younger brother all married within the extended Velaryon family. This way her special 'royal looks' do not just come 'automatically' with the Velaryon name but rather make sense in the context of the setting where the Targaryen incest and artificial breeding in Lys preserve those distinct looks.

The implication is not that one or two Valyrians in your sprawling family tree give you those distinct looks, but rather that you really need this contant inbreeding thing to maintain them, else we should expect the Plumms and Penroses and Martells and even Brienne, perhaps, to have very distinct Valyrian features. And that's not the case for the Martells we know, nor for Cortnay Penrose, Brienne, Brown Ben Plumm, etc.

Not to mention that both Jon Snow and Rhaegar's Rhaenys early established that the Valyrian looks do not dominate in a union where the spouse doesn't have them.

In that sense I also find it kind of curious that the show goes with Alicent and Otto being dark-haired. We don't have canonical descriptions of either, although they are not blond in any of the illustrations of them in TWoIaF and FaB. And in light of that we also have to consider that we only have descriptions of Aegon II - who very much resembled his father, Viserys I. Aemond seems to have had the purple eyes, since Daemon puts Dark Sister in the one eye left, but Helaena and Daeron the Daring are never actually described in detail unless I'm misremembering. And neither are Aegon II's children.

With Alicent having no Valyrian ancestors that we know of chances are not that great that all her descendants should have distinct Valyrian features ... especially not in light of the variation we see among the children of the incest couple Jaehaerys/Alysanne. Not in the books and not in the show, for that matter.

1 hour ago, Ran said:

As to the Velaryons being merchants, that's a strange one. They profited from having a port and for demanding customs and duties from ships passing their waters, but the first Velaryon to ever show mercantile interest was Corlys, who is explicitly described as exceptional and unique:

I don't think that's what the text says here. We do hear repeatedly that the Velaryons prior to Corlys were mariners and sea captains themselves - in fact, Corlys' training involves him serving on the ship of one of his uncles. It also seems that the lesser Velaryons like Daeron do have their own ships they do business with, etc. I guess the bulk of the earlier Velaryons would more captain the war ships they have, not so much the trading ships, but with there being mainly peace in the first century there wouldn't be that much to do for their war fleet.

And we get similar things in FaB for the Hightowers, if you remember Donnel's grandsons Eustace and Norman. Not to mention the entire setting there of Gyldayn claiming that folks fell over themselves joining Elissa after the Hightowers had pledged themselves to her enterprise - because if the Hightowers are invested in something there is money to be had. That paints the picture of members of Hightower not just sitting on their asses expecting people bring money to them, but them actually searching it out with ships, etc.

In light of all that we should imagine the Velaryons and Hightowers and Redwynes as mercantile/merchant lords, who, while also profiting from the trade done in their cities/towns/harbors/waters - and from that done with ships they own -, also actually do trading on said ships and make contracts with other merchant lords, etc. They don't seem to be that different from the Ironborn captains in this regard.

Corlys Velaryon just took the trading enterprise of House Velaryon much further. Especially since he actually doesn't seem to have done that much trade himself - he just was able to buy and sell goods that are exceedingly rare in Westeros without any intermediaries.

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Posted (edited)

My points basically boil down to "they haven't explicitly done anything I consider a drastic change...yet". 

1 - Medieval people didn't have our concept of race, and the Valyrians even moreso - all foreigners were different regardless of skin color, yet we have cited cases of Targaryens and Velaryons marrying Andals, resulting in Alysanne and Rhaenys-wife-of-Corlys not even looking Valyrian

2 - If ONLY Corlys's mother, or even his father Daemon's mother, was a Summer Islander, this doesn't change much - and I believe this is what they're doing...for now. It wouldn't affect their predecessors who produced Valaena Velaryon, mother of the Conquest trio. And as for Daenaera, wife of Aegon III.....future generations of Targaryen descend from Viserys II's line, not Aegon III's, and even then...we'd be saying that Daenera's grandfather's grandmother was black...diluting things considerably. By that logic Daenerys should look Dornish due to Daeron II's wife.

....but to stress, I have a "wait and see" attitude, because if they say Velaryons were ALWAYS a "black" family on a scale of centuries, this will be a problem. If it's Corlys's specific mother, I don't.

3 - There are some lines indicating that in the multi-continental Valyrian empire, there was some more racial mixing with the low-ranking Valyrians out in the provinces. Or that the ones out in the provinces didn't tend to feel as strictly about it.  Based on that quote about Pentos.

But on the other hand. Elio brings up a great point with that quote saying "most" Valyrians were strict about it, PARTICULARLY the dragonlords. 

But most is not all.  And we have contradictory statements about Pentos.

Fundamentally, the point about just how strict the Valyrians were about blood purity....is we never got a really thorough description of Valyria's society as a whole.  We're grasping at straws here.

Max Borenstein's pitched Old Valyria prequel may have been trying to give more context for this...but did the notes for that come straight from Martin?  All of this could be settled if Martin just made a short essay about Valyria in the style of his "History of the Westerlands" excerpt.

If our theory holds true that it's ONLY Corlys's own mother....would Daemon Velaryon, born a century AFTER the Doom, in a minor trade outpost at the fringe of Valyria's intercontinental domains....feel totally strict about blood purity? When his own grandfather married an Andal woman - also a "foreigner"?

Heck, if ONLY Corlys or even Daemon Velaryon's mother is black, this might not even reflect much on pre-Doom Valyria. 

But that's the crux of the matter - are they saying all Velaryons are like this or only the main branch in the recent generation? Spy photos from Cornwall show a mix of white and black people in Velaryon garb. 

I'll judge more when we have more information....but for the moment...seeing the glass as half-full, they've done nothing to create a huge contradiction. Not yet anyway.

Edited by The Dragon Demands

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5 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

3 - There are some lines indicating that in the multi-continental Valyrian empire, there was some more racial mixing with the low-ranking Valyrians out in the provinces. Or that the ones out in the provinces didn't tend to feel as strictly about it.  Based on that quote about Pentos.

But on the other hand. Elio brings up a great point with that quote saying "most" Valyrians were strict about it, PARTICULARLY the dragonlords. 

But most is not all.  And we have contradictory statements about Pentos.

Fundamentally, the point about just how strict the Valyrians were about blood purity....is we never got a really thorough description of Valyria's society as a whole.  We're grasping at straws here.

Max Borenstein's pitched Old Valyria prequel may have been trying to give more context for this...but did the notes for that come straight from Martin?  All of this could be settled if Martin just made a short essay about Valyria in the style of his "History of the Westerlands" excerpt.

If our theory holds true that it's ONLY Corlys's own mother....would Daemon Velaryon, born a century AFTER the Doom, in a minor trade outpost at the fringe of Valyria's intercontinental domains....feel totally strict about blood purity? When his own father married an Andal woman - also a "foreigner"?

No, Daemon wouldn't feel strict about blood purity. But the Pentos quote sates that the low class Valyrian founders mixed with the local population. In the case of the Velaryons that means the Crownlands primarily, so another Valyrian house in the Celtigars and a whole bunch of Andal houses. Daemon wouldn't want to find a bride whose family lives a thousand leagues away if he cares about gaining political influence where the Velaryons are.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

In light of all that we should imagine the Velaryons and Hightowers and Redwynes as mercantile/merchant lords, who, while also profiting from the trade done in their cities/towns/harbors/waters - and from that done with ships they own -, also actually do trading on said ships and make contracts with other merchant lords, etc. They don't seem to be that different from the Ironborn captains in this regard.

I agree with you. In the aftermath of the Battle of the Blackwater, the small council and advisors share among themselves confiscated lands from the losers. Lord Paxter Redwyne is present in the room but what does he want ?

Quote

Lesser tracts were granted to Lord Rowan, and set aside for Lord Tarly, Lady Oakheart, Lord Hightower, and other worthies not present. Lord Redwyne asked only for thirty years' remission of the taxes that Littlefinger and his wine factors had levied on certain of the Arbor's finest vintages. When that was granted, he pronounced himself well satisfied and suggested that they send for a cask of Arbor gold, to toast good King Joffrey and his wise and benevolent Hand.

A Storm of Swords, Tyrion III

Simply put, not all lords in Westeros are bad with money and/or don't want to invest in mercantile affairs. I suspect the Graftons of Gulltown and the Manderlys of White Harbor also belong in that category.

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