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

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

One can sail and not be a merchant. Some of Corlys's earliest journeys as a captain of his own are explicitly described as made to "visit" ports, not to trade with them. He is not noted as pursuing any kind of mercantile interest until he goes into the Jade Sea on the Sea Snake.  And then after he stops being master of ships is the first time we're told he and House Velaryon started building merchant ships, and that this led to their briefly controlling much of the shipping. Which he didn't captain, obviously.

Merchant captains in Westeros are common men, either in their own business or perhaps in service to a lord, which I'm guessing is the common way of it in Westeros.

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 It also seems that the lesser Velaryons like Daeron do have their own ships they do business with,

They have war galleys that are part of the Velaryon fleet. Daeron's was the True Heart, a galley lost in the attack on the Braavosi fleet.

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etc. I guess the bulk of the earlier Velaryons would more captain the war ships they have,

That is all the evidence we have for them.

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not so much the trading ships,

Which we have no evidence of them captaining.

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but with there being mainly peace in the first century there wouldn't be that much to do for their war fleet.

Controlling the local waters, intercepting pirate and smugglers,  escorting merchant ships, patrolling as part of the sea watch and so on. Lots of activities they can have in times of peace. That's what we're told explicitly:

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Its location athwart the Gullet gave its lords a stranglehold on Blackwater Bay and enabled both the Targaryens and their close allies, the Velaryons of Driftmark (a lesser house of Valyrian descent) to fill their coffers off the passing trade.

 

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And we get similar things in FaB for the Hightowers, if you remember Donnel's grandsons Eustace and Norman.

Yes, that noble sons of noble houses may command ships is true enough. This does not make them merchants and traders. 

Corlys is the sole mainland nobleman of Westeros in all the texts George has written who explicitly went on a ship for the purpose of trade. After him, the closest you get is poor Quentyn Martell pretending to be a common trader. 

I'm not saying they didn't exist. But I don't think any house in Westeros can be seen as primarily or even substantially mercantile in its interests, except perhaps a family like the Gulltown Arryns... who were sneered about because of having married into a family of wealthy traders, and continuing those activities. No one sneers about the Hightowers or the Velaryons  or the Redwynes being merchants, though... because they aren't. Even at the point where they build merchant ships, they hire common men to captain them, since every merchant captain we've ever met outside of the Free Cities is clearly common.

(Notably, "merchant lord" or "merchant prince" is never used for anyone butpeople from Essos in the novels, F&B, and TWoIaF. It's a foreign thing.)

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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.

I would read it differently, and say that wealth of the Hightowers makes people assume that if they're on board a project that it'll work out and they'll be rewarded generously for taking part. If the Hightowers believed Elissa could find the western shore of the Sunset Sea, and you trusted in them, then of course there was a fortune to be made -- it was a land never before reached, rich with imagined opportunities. 

That said, the Hightowers are an exceptionally different house from everyone else in mainland Westeros in some respects.  If anyone was likely to have lesser sons and cousins take up commanding merchant ships and fleets, it'd be them. We just don't have any explicit evidence for it, and the majority of their wealth is indicated to come because of their great port.

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In light of all that we should imagine the Velaryons and Hightowers and Redwynes as mercantile/merchant lords

I disagree. The Velaryons are not said to build merchant ships until Corlys does it later in his career. The Redwynes own merchant fleets, but their sons command war galleys, not merchanters. Gunthor Hightower is commanding a war galley when Samwell meets him.

I don't mind reading between the lines on occasion, but we have several explicit pieces of information about House Velaryon -- that their wealth was based on trade passing through their waters, that Corlys was an exceptional, brilliant, ambitious, unusual man compared to his forebearers, that merchant ships were built by Corlys only after he was master of ships -- that tell us this idea that the house should be considered merchant lords is clearly not correct, at least up to and into the time of Corlys Velaryon, and also not at the time of ASoIaF.

 

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Corlys Velaryon just took the trading enterprise of House Velaryon much further.

Again, the "trading enterprise" of House Velaryon is explicitly stated to be off "passing trade", not from themselves being merchants.

51 minutes ago, Thomaerys Velaryon said:

Lord Paxter Redwyne is present in the room but what does he want ?

I mean, that's the unique good (Arbor wine) that the Arbor has, and it is taxed as part of wine taxes. Remission of that tax is a boon to his family's wealth, since that wine is grown from grapes grown on their lands. That's a far cry from saying he's a merchant. 

I'm sure if other houses had particularly unique goods that only their lands provide,remission of taxes would be of interest. 

To be sure, remission of taxes = more money. But more  lands = more money. You can see why the Redwynes didn't care for lands when presumably all lands that they presently rule are spoken for, so it's not like they can expand the Arbor. It'd have to be lands on the mainland, probably far from sea, and probably far from the Arbor for that matter, so what's the point for Lord Redwyne?

Edited by Ran

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53 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

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

The latter isn't actually true. Rhaenys Targaryen lacked the Valyrian hair but she did have the Valyrian purple eyes. And regardless of looks, Rhaenys's mother Jocelyn was of Valyrian descent herself - both through her mother Alyssa Velaryon as well as through her father Rogar Baratheon, who, apparently, was the great-grandson of Lord Aerion Targaryen.

53 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

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.

Technically there is something to this. You can make it work that way. For instance, in the case of Daenaera they could just tweak the family to make Corlys and Daenaera's great-grandfather half-brothers with different mothers - Corlys' mother could be black whereas Daenaera's great-grandfather could have a non-black mother.

But this confuses things unnecessarily.

And if you look at how George imagines black Valyrian lines we do have one such in the Black Pearls - and about 140 years after Aegon IV and Bellegere Otherys the present Black Pearl still shows her ancestry in her skin color. And that despite the fact that the original Bellegere Otherys herself was only half-black, apparently, considering her mother was a Summer Islander princess whereas her father was the son of a Sealord (who could have had a mixed ancestry of some sort, as many Braavosi would, but who, most likely, didn't have as dark a skin as Bellegere's mother).

53 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.

Pentos is a Valyrian colony. It tells us nothing about Valyrian nobility back in Valyria.

And to be sure - Valyria as a city most likely was a melting pot insofar as the lower classes were concerned. But the existence of New York doesn't mean that the American living in the vicinity intermarried with immigrants and have-nots ... and they, historically, weren't obsessed with the purity of blood to the degree the Valyrians were (although cousin marriages were quite common in those circles up until the 20th century and may still be today).

The way we should imagine the Velaryons prior to their close ties with the Targaryens in the wake of Aenar moving to Dragonstone is as non-dragonlord Valyrian nobility - which means they may have practiced the traditional incest, too, up until the point they permanently settled on Driftmark about 200 years before the Conquest. Rank-wise I'd imagine the Velaryons to be the same as the Old Blood of Valyria or the ruling houses of Lys. Some Volantene noble houses may have been dragonless cadet branches of dragonlord houses, others might not. The Velaryons seem to fall in the latter category.

But afterwards they show a clear preference for cousin marriages in all the Targaryen matches they make - they are mostly more closely related on the Velaryon side than the Targaryen side.

And considering how large a family the Velaryons seem to be it stands to reason that whatever Westerosi houses they intermarried with at the time of the Conquest and later did have more than a drop of Valyrian blood themselves by that point.

It is hardly imaginable that Aethan-Alarra were the first Velaryon-Massey match ever, for instance. Not with the Velaryons being on Driftmark for 200 years at that time.

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4 hours ago, Ran said:

They have war galleys that are part of the Velaryon fleet. Daeron's was the True Heart, a galley lost in the attack on the Braavosi fleet.

 

Daeron and Daemion had more than one ship. "Lord Alyn rewarded them with lands on Driftmark on the condition that they contribute ships to his fleet." I don't know about you, but that kinda implies multiple ships. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:
 

Daeron and Daemion had more than one ship. "Lord Alyn rewarded them with lands on Driftmark on the condition that they contribute ships to his fleet." I don't know about you, but that kinda implies multiple ships. 

Sure, but most coastal houses have multiple ships. But you can only captain one at a time, and sp in general you’ll have hired men or knights command the other ships for you. Daeron’s ship that he personally commanded was a warship, not a merchanter.

Edited by Ran

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Just now, Ran said:

Sure, but most coastal houses have multiple ships. But you can only captain one at a time, and in general you’ll have hired men or knights command them for you. Daeron’s ship that he personally commanded was a warship, not a merchanter.

Maybe not knights.....but OK. 

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@Ran

My impression of the Velaryons and other lords I dubbed 'merchant lords' isn't (necessarily) that they trade themselves, but that their run merchant enterprises. If you take the Redwynes as examples then you the impression one gets with the Arbor gold thing that this is basically a Redwyne trademark. Folks do not buy Arbor gold from this or that rich wine seller from the Arbor, but from House Redwyne, basically.

My idea there is that the mercantile business there is more akin to a modern set of rich folks controlling assets than that those lords just profit from taxes and tariffs and rents, etc. The Redwyne enterprise makes more sense as the Redwynes themselves having their smallfolk work on Redwyne vineyards, creating Redwyne wine, which is then exported to half the world aboard Redwyne ships than with us imagining the Redwynes just tax individual peasants and charge them for using the Redwyne merchant fleet to exports their goods. Of course, we would assume that not all vineyards on the Arbor are directly or indirectly controlled by the Redwynes, but the lion's share would be.

The same idea I'd have with the gold trade at Lannisport being mostly in the hands of the Lannisters (those of Lannisport and Casterly Rock) as well as the trade in Gulltown and Oldtown. In the case of White Harbor I guess the fact that the Manderlys do not own large merchant fleets would mean their control of the trade done in their city wouldn't be as thorough as in the other cities.

In relation to the Velaryons specifically, we should take their Valyrian background into account. They are not Westerosi nobility originally, and might, along with the Celtigars and Targaryens themselves, have less trouble appearing like merchant lords the way the rulers of the Free Cities do. The standing of the Velaryons after the Conquest as the second house in the Realm has nothing to do with aristocratic values or demeanor but simply with their connection to the Targaryens which, in part to the deeds of Corlys, turned them into another royal house by the time of the Dance.

But if we look at the 'city lords' of Westeros then it is quite clear they are not aloof or not involved with the trade that's going on in their cities. They profit from it directly, by owning shares, ships, etc. If it was merely indirect profit then they would basically be like impoverished late medieval nobility always depended on loans from wealthy bankers and trading cartels and stuff. Think of how Littlefinger makes his money - he doesn't do it in a manner that goes against aristocratic values. Buying shares in ships and brothels isn't beneath a proper lord in Westeros. And neither is selling exotic spices and other goods from the Jade Sea as Corlys Velaryon proved during his career.

That said - my point never was that the average Lord or heir of Driftmark was acted himself as a merchant captain - rather that the ships they captained would have also been involved in things like that, especially in peace times.

9 hours ago, Ran said:

One can sail and not be a merchant. Some of Corlys's earliest journeys as a captain of his own are explicitly described as made to "visit" ports, not to trade with them. He is not noted as pursuing any kind of mercantile interest until he goes into the Jade Sea on the Sea Snake.  And then after he stops being master of ships is the first time we're told he and House Velaryon started building merchant ships, and that this led to their briefly controlling much of the shipping. Which he didn't captain, obviously.

In a sense, I'd say what Corlys did after he acquired his vast wealth and Hull and Spicetown started to prosper is do basically the same thing the Redwynes and Hightowers and Graftons, etc. do ... and the Darklyns did in the past. Do a lot of trade themselves via the ships they had, and control the trade that's going on by providing the necessary infrastructure for it - ships, ports, etc.

9 hours ago, Ran said:

Merchant captains in Westeros are common men, either in their own business or perhaps in service to a lord, which I'm guessing is the common way of it in Westeros.

It seems that we have it that way with the Hightowers and Redwynes - and I'd expect with the Shetts and Graftons of Gulltown as well. We hear how Littlefinger and his Gulltown buddies plan to hoard grain, meaning they are involved in the food trade in a direct capacity, not merely by having their smallfolk do it.

9 hours ago, Ran said:

They have war galleys that are part of the Velaryon fleet. Daeron's was the True Heart, a galley lost in the attack on the Braavosi fleet.

Yes, but the point was more that the lesser Velaryons also do own ships. I know that Daeron had to send warships to Alyn, but the guy wasn't a lord - and could never truly expect to become a lord considering being born to a minor cadet branch of the Velaryon family. Yet he still had the money to maintain and man a couple of warships - that's something you can only do if you live on a minor island if you have a considerable income. And that income would likely come from you having merchant ships as well as warships rather than, say, from the minor holdings a landed Velaryon knight may have on Driftmark.

Hugh and Ulf also got minor holdings on Driftmark from Rhaenyra and apparently weren't that happy with those.

And if we put the Velaryon wealth from Corlys' era into perspective then the money a nobleman can make by doing trade - especially the kind of exotic goods trade the Velaryons were doing - is completely beyond the kind of money a lord on the mainland can make from their smallfolk alone, even if they have large holdings.

9 hours ago, Ran said:

That is all the evidence we have for them.

Which we have no evidence of them captaining.

Controlling the local waters, intercepting pirate and smugglers,  escorting merchant ships, patrolling as part of the sea watch and so on. Lots of activities they can have in times of peace.

But wouldn't that be something that fell explicitly to the Master of Ships, not House Velaryon as such? Throughout most of the reign of Jaehaerys I the Velaryons neither served as Masters of Ships, nor did they serve under the Manfryd Redwyne in any capacity that we know of.

Corlys did his great voyages basically as a private citizen, and his father and uncles and grandfather and cousins would have done whatever they wanted with no connection to the Iron Throne while they were not running the royal fleet.

And we see in 129 AC that, even after the Lord of Driftmark wasn't Master of Ships for nearly forty years, the Targaryens weren't able to build a war fleet of their own.

We can assume that the Velaryon warship protected the Velaryon trade fleet in that era - very much like the Redwyne warships seem to mainly protect the Redwyne merchant fleet, but while the Velaryons weren't running the royal fleet their ships were not part of the royal fleet.

Or do you think it makes sense that Corlys and his grandfather would have build a huge fleet of warships without them having a clear purpose?

9 hours ago, Ran said:

Notably, "merchant lord" or "merchant prince" is never used for anyone butpeople from Essos in the novels, F&B, and TWoIaF. It's a foreign thing.

I'd expect that's part snobism (which we basically get from Tywin via Tyrion) and part a real difference between Free City nobility compared to Westerosi feudal lords. And while all the lords I'd describe as merchant lords (Hightowers, Redwynes, etc.) are getting rich because they are involved in trade, they are all also feudal lords who control vast reaches of land through bannermen and vassals. And in that sense they are different from the Free City nobility.

The Pentoshi, for instance, do seem to have serfs and peasants in the Flatlands, but they lack the feudal system with bannermen and vassals and retainers that's common in Westeros. In addition, you have the fact that the Free Cities lack chivalric culture of Westeros - meaning rich men of good breeding are not also raised and groomed to be warriors, unlike in Westeros, where every nobleman pretty much has to become a knight if he wants to make a name for himself.

9 hours ago, Ran said:

That said, the Hightowers are an exceptionally different house from everyone else in mainland Westeros in some respects.  If anyone was likely to have lesser sons and cousins take up commanding merchant ships and fleets, it'd be them. We just don't have any explicit evidence for it, and the majority of their wealth is indicated to come because of their great port.

The point here is that it isn't indicated that Eustace and Norman are confirmed to be captains of warships. Just that their are experienced captains and mariners. They could do captain ships for all kinds of reasons.

9 hours ago, Ran said:

I disagree. The Velaryons are not said to build merchant ships until Corlys does it later in his career. The Redwynes own merchant fleets, but their sons command war galleys, not merchanters. Gunthor Hightower is commanding a war galley when Samwell meets him.

Well, the context there is that Oldtown is threatened by an Ironborn war fleet ... so it kind of makes sense that the sons of the Lord of Oldtown try to defend their home from such an attack. But this doesn't mean the Hightowers routinely do this - or have to do this.

We do know that they mainly focus on trade and rarely involve themselves in war. This would indicate that their waters are rarely troubled by pirates and the like, and the position of Oldtown allows them to trade directly with the east and the Summer Isles without having to pass through the often dangerous waters of the Stepstones.

9 hours ago, Ran said:

I don't mind reading between the lines on occasion, but we have several explicit pieces of information about House Velaryon -- that their wealth was based on trade passing through their waters, that Corlys was an exceptional, brilliant, ambitious, unusual man compared to his forebearers, that merchant ships were built by Corlys only after he was master of ships -- that tell us this idea that the house should be considered merchant lords is clearly not correct, at least up to and into the time of Corlys Velaryon, and also not at the time of ASoIaF.

Of later days we know much less, but even during the War of the Five Kings both the Velaryons and Celtigars are said to be very rich. Where does that wealth come from if not from trade?

9 hours ago, Ran said:

To be sure, remission of taxes = more money. But more  lands = more money. You can see why the Redwynes didn't care for lands when presumably all lands that they presently rule are spoken for, so it's not like they can expand the Arbor. It'd have to be lands on the mainland, probably far from sea, and probably far from the Arbor for that matter, so what's the point for Lord Redwyne?

More lands doesn't necessarily equal more money. That fact is hammered home in FaB, specifically, when House Peake is discussed - which most definitely controlled much more land than House Velaryon ever did, yet the Peakes are known to lack coin.

We also see that in the main series that Littlefinger is apparently much more wealthy than ancient and proud noble houses in the Vale ... something he accomplished by investing money in profitable enterprises in KL and, presumably, other places like Gulltown. That is rather interesting considering both the Reach and the Vale are the breadbaskets of Westeros - which means technically any lord controlling the food grown on his lands should be able to make a fortune each winter when people begin to starve.

Yet neither the Peakes nor the Waynwoods and Corbrays seems to be able to use that to their advantage.

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Posted (edited)

Spy photo teams are back in place now that lockdown has gone down a tier...

we're getting surprising reports of increased activity.....at Titanic Studios, Belfast.

Massive full scale construction....and *WB trucks*.   If this is an unrelated project, why would they have WB trucks?  

EDIT:  crewmen on location are saying the sets are for a Dungeons & Dragons movie which...seems to match up with public statements from months ago about Dungeons and Dragons filming at Titanic Studios.

Edited by The Dragon Demands

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@Ran

*****Graham McTavish just publicly confirmed in an interview with Stylist magazine that he has indeed joined the cast of House of the Dragon, though he didn't specify who he is playing:

https://www.stylist.co.uk/entertainment/tv/outlander-graham-mctavish-game-of-thrones-prequel/521155

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Posted (edited)

I'm still puzzling over when Season 1 will end, and what will Season 2 cover.

We THINK we're going to see Laena and Laenor's combined funeral, based on spy photos.

But why were there so many smoke machines? But even mounted on boats in the bay? Why was there a big shipwreck built at Holywell Bay? Is this happening at "Driftmark" or are they subbing it in for the Stepstones?

There probably will be a time skip at some point, as the casting sheets refer to 20-something Rhaenyra as "Young Rhaenyra", and "Young Alicent". So we'll get a time skip and recasting like the Crown. 

Also reasonably sure that we'll see Laena's funeral because we've spotted what seems to be Aemond on the beach.

I think the season will START with the Great Council at Harrenhal (or perhaps, the death of Queen Aemma, then showing that in flashback?) because they mention Harrenhal and Jaehaerys in the bio for Viserys.

Not much happens in the text after 120 AC, the year of the Red Spring. The only thing of note is that Corlys got very sick once and almost died, but later made a full recovery, and in the meantime the younger branches of the Velaryons came forward and challenged that Rhaenyra's sons couldn't be his heirs because they are allegedly bastards - resulting in Daemon killing Vaemond Velaryon, and five younger cousins challenging it at the royal court, resulting in Viserys reluctantly following through on his earlier threat to cut out all the tongues of those who repeated this rumor (making them "The Silent Five".  

It's POSSIBLE that they might push the death of Lyonel and Harwin strong to Season 2, though it's brief enough (show them in a fiery room set) that we'll probably get that soon after Laena's funeral.

A curious point is that in the promo photo of Alicent & Otto show Otto wearing the Hand of the King pin....but if this was from the last week of filming in Cornwall, the Driftmark set for Laena's funeral....Otto wasn't Hand of the King at the funeral. He was Hand in the first decade of Otto's reign, then got dismissed and replaced with Lyonel Strong, but then Lyonel died in the fire at Harrenhal and Otto was reinstated.

So is that photo of Otto as Hand from the EARLY or LATE reign of Viserys? Or was it just a promo photo with no particular context?

Some have pointed out that they haven't even cast an older Aegon II yet, but I think they've cast Season 1 Aegon II yet and just haven't announced him yet.  Or that we haven't heard of "Older Rhaenyra" or "Older Aegon II" being cast yet...but based on the casting timeline for Season 1, we wouldn't expect to hear that yet anyway. We only heard about the core cast for House of the Dragon this past December, for filming in Summer. 

There are three scenarios:

  • Season 1 will cover all of the Rogue Prince novella, and Season 2 will have a ten year time skip, starting at the beginning of The Princess and the Queen with King Viserys's death.
  • Season 2 will cover the decade between Laena's funeral and Viserys's death.
  • Variant on scenario 2, they END Season 2 with Viserys's death as a cliffhanger, instead of starting a season with it like how the chapter starts in Fire & Blood.

I actually really hope that we don't get to the Dance of the Dragons until Season 3, but take time in Season 2 to round out all these characters.

Would this really be "padding out" Season 2? With "Filler"? Because while there isn't much source material for it...it's skipping over 10 years of internal storyline.

The big thing that got me wondering they might expand this is...what if all those smoke machines around the Driftmark set in Cornwall are an invented subplot of a battle off Driftmark from an attack by the Triarchy? As an extention of the war in the Stepstones? (which never really ended but kept going on in the background).

So what could Season 2 actually include, to put off rushing to the civil war itself in 130 AC and recasting the lead roles?

Invented subplots showing more of the ongoing war in the Stepstones, and some side subplots actually setting up secondary characters from the other Great Houses. I can see this actually working as more than "padding", but giving these characters more setup - a book can introduce a character mid-war with a long page summarizing their backstory, but a TV show usually does that chronologically. So subplots we could see:

  • The Velaryon "Silent Five" subplot, a bit more setup for Aegon II marrying Helaena, children of his own, and Rhaenyra's two sons with Daemon.
  • Actually show how, returned as Hand of the King, Otto Hightower stacked the Small Council with Larry Clubfoot Strong as Master of Whisperers, and Tyland Lannister as Master of Ships. The Lannisters were aloof from the story until now, and a TV show would want the name recognition of setting them up. And establishing Clubfoot as a force to be feared. Also that after Grand Maester Mellos passed way, Rhaenyra and Alicent both actively pushed for rival candidates to replace him: Rhaenyra wanted Gerardys, Alicent wanted Alfador, but Viserys pointed out it wasn't his choice but the Citadel's, so they sent Orwyle.
  • Actually show Cregan Stark's conflict with his uncle Bernard, who refused to yield his regency over Cregan. Again, name recognition, people like Starks.
  • The rise of the Red Kraken; show Dalton Greyjoy fighting in the ongoing wars of the Stepstones, just to set him up as a force to be feared.
  • A largely invented subplot (for like 1 episode) showing the conflict between Jeyne Arryn and her first cousin Arnold Arryn

That's five-six events to be rounded out for a full episode's focus out of a ten episode season. I can see this happening. The other four Great Houses had less going on in the 120s: Martell, Tully, Tyrell, and Baratheon. They MIGHT show fighting another Vulture King in Dorne, just to set up Borros Baratheon (mentioned as "fighting Dornish" for a while). Perhaps linking to how Lyonel Tyrell's father died?  Possibly also some brief setup for Ormund Hightower's second wife Samantha Tarly? Maybe even an episode where Daemon and Rhaenyra go to the Riverlands, trying (and failing) to mediate the revived rift between the Blackwoods and Brackens as the peace forged by Jaehaerys breaks down? (Game of Thrones never actually explained who the Blackwoods or Brackens are, they just appeared in the background)

Possibly. Given a choice between "rushing to get to the ending" and "taking the time to round out the character", I think far more viewers these days are afraid of rushing it.

Edited by The Dragon Demands

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On 5/15/2021 at 3:47 PM, The Dragon Demands said:

Spy photo teams are back in place now that lockdown has gone down a tier...

we're getting surprising reports of increased activity.....at Titanic Studios, Belfast.

Massive full scale construction....and *WB trucks*.   If this is an unrelated project, why would they have WB trucks?  

EDIT:  crewmen on location are saying the sets are for a Dungeons & Dragons movie which...seems to match up with public statements from months ago about Dungeons and Dragons filming at Titanic Studios.

The D&D movie started shooting a few weeks ago and is based in the Titanic Studios. They even did some location and background plate photography in Iceland, so they seem to be following the GoT team around.

However, the D&D movie is being filmed by Paramount, not Warner Brothers. Unless Paramount had to borrow some WB vans that HBO had left behind (unlikely), it would appear to be a different project to D&D. I also saw some suggestions that HBO let their claim to the soundstages lapse but held onto the exterior space outside for the KL set for some reason, but that's unconfirmed (mind you, that might explain the vans; if HBO still own the KL sets and Paramount have leased them, WB personnel might be going in and cleaning them up before letting the Paramount team take over for shooting).

I saw some photographs of the scorched KL set and they noted it wouldn't take much to return them to pristine status, and then you have a ready-made medieval standing city that can be used for different projects at a reduced cost (a bit like how projects set in ancient Rome still use the HBO Rome sets, which are still standing and still in use in Italy).

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On Twitter someone clarified that Warner Brothers has a UK lightning and equipment setup service that uses those vans and is used by most big American productions in the UK regardless of studio, since the WB studio is the biggest US-owned facility in the country and it's not cost-effective for Paramount, Universal etc to all own their own services, so it's possible they are using the exterior sets for D&D and Paramount have leased WB's lighting setup.

It could be that it is for HotD, but with another big medieval fantasy project taking place right in the studio next door, that might be a better bet.

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On 5/15/2021 at 4:39 PM, The Dragon Demands said:

I think the season will START with the Great Council at Harrenhal (or perhaps, the death of Queen Aemma, then showing that in flashback?) because they mention Harrenhal and Jaehaerys in the bio for Viserys.

 

How would you go from the death of a queen to a Great Council? 

On 5/15/2021 at 4:39 PM, The Dragon Demands said:

We THINK we're going to see Laena and Laenor's combined funeral, based on spy photos.

 

Didn't Laenor die after Laena? Are they just going to leave Lady Laena's body out to rot?

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33 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

How would you go from the death of a queen to a Great Council? 

I think what @The Dragon Demands has in mind is the death of Queen Aemma and Baelon "Heir for a day" leading to Viserys officially naming Rhaenyra his heir and his small council reminding him of the decision of the Great Council and a brief discussion of succession follows before Viserys puts his foot down on the question.

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32 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Didn't Laenor die after Laena? Are they just going to leave Lady Laena's body out to rot?

Leanor was killed after the death of his sister. The time frame is not noted in the book. It was just noted that both Corlys and Rhaenys were still in mourning when he was killed. It was still in the year 120 AC however. 

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Just now, Thomaerys Velaryon said:

I think what @The Dragon Demands has in mind is the death of Queen Aemma and Baelon "Heir for a day" leading to Viserys officially naming Rhaenyra his heir and his small council reminding him of the decision of the Great Council and a brief discussion of succession follows before Viserys puts his foot down on the question.

Makes sense. 

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Posted (edited)

Depending on how faithful they remain to the books, I’m thinking season one will end right around Rhaenyra’s marriage to Laenor and her falling out with Criston. If they ended later than that, then they would have to cram three potential romances (Daemon/Criston/Harwin) into one season. 

Edited by The Bard of Banefort

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2 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Depending on how faithful they remain to the books, I’m thinking season one will end right around Rhaenyra’s marriage to Laenor and her falling out with Criston. If they ended later than that, then they would half to cram three potential romances (Daemon/Criston/Harwin) into one season. 

Yeah, that was my take as well.

If the scene from the reports is truly a funeral and if it is Laena's funeral then we might have scenario where Laena dies early because the character is sort of merged with Rhea Royce and Daemon might end up being forced to leave Westeros/Driftmark because his ties with the Velaryons are severed.

But in any case, I don't see the story progressing to what's 120 AC in the books in the first season.

I cannot really see them not using Laenor as a central character. He is a very prominent gay character and him being stuck in an arranged royal marriage certainly provides background for a number of interesting scenes.

They could drop Harwin Strong, though, and make the boys Laenor's, after all, or the children of either Criston Cole or Daemon.

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9 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

How would you go from the death of a queen to a Great Council? 

Didn't Laenor die after Laena? Are they just going to leave Lady Laena's body out to rot?

I checked. Laena and Laenor died in such rapid succession that they had a combined funeral, apparently. People traveled to Driftmark for "funerals" plural in one trip.

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, that was my take as well.

If the scene from the reports is truly a funeral and if it is Laena's funeral then we might have scenario where Laena dies early because the character is sort of merged with Rhea Royce and Daemon might end up being forced to leave Westeros/Driftmark because his ties with the Velaryons are severed.

But in any case, I don't see the story progressing to what's 120 AC in the books in the first season.

I cannot really see them not using Laenor as a central character. He is a very prominent gay character and him being stuck in an arranged royal marriage certainly provides background for a number of interesting scenes.

They could drop Harwin Strong, though, and make the boys Laenor's, after all, or the children of either Criston Cole or Daemon.

I hope they don’t drop Harwin. I don’t think the kids being Criston’s would work, since he turns on her so dramatically. Them continuing their affair after her marriage to Laenor would sort of negate that. 

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