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Daeron the Daring

Why I think (f)Aegon has the blood to ride a Targaryen dragon.

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14 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea just is that the author actually uses deliberate clues so we can figure out when a mysterious character may tell the truth. It is similar with Melisandre - when she talks with Davos off the record in ACoK and ASoS she is also more likely to tell the truth than in other situations.

This all seems very subjective and arbitrary, and if you later find out that Varys deceived Tyrion about some aspect of his background in that little speech, I don't think you will have any reasonable cause to complain that GRRM has dealt with you unfairly.

 

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3 hours ago, Willam Stark said:

The burden of proof is on your side, not mine.

Also, from now on I don't want to hear any "burden of proof" nonsense.   I don't owe you anything, you don't owe me anything, each of us can believe as we please, and each of us can explain ourselves as much or as little as we like, and neither one of us is under any obligation whatsoever to convince or be convinced by the other.

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

I'd be even more skeptical about Betha Blackwood having Targaryen ancestry, though, since Egg's marriage to Betha apparently was a scandal because the bride was beneath the prince who was supposed to marry his elder sister the Targaryen way. But the Blackwoods are a very prominent and prestigious Riverlord house, even with a royal background of their own. Betha should be a nobler match than Jena Dondarrion ... yet so far there is no indication the marriage of Baelor Breakspear caused any kind of scandal or backlash

The potential path for Betha I would suggest also stems from Rhaena. While she did not have any Corbray children, she had deep ties to the Vale and Corbray was the marriage she chose for herself so it does seem probable that even after she became a Hightower she maintained ties to the Vale and particularly House Corbray. Once again we do not know where her six Hightower daughters ended up, and most of them no doubt stayed in the South. However one of them being used for a Vale alliance, given Rhaena's life and history seems in fact quite likely. So say then that one of them married a Corbray or maybe an Arryn. Then THEIR daughter married a First Men house of the Vale, Riverlands or Crownlands . And then THEIR daughter became the mother of Betha (The Blackwoods didn't only inter-marry with First Men houses but it does appear to have been their preference).

I would say far from out of the question given the efforts at the time to knit the Kingdoms together and the personal history of Rhaena. And the mixing with First Men bloodlines, which House Blackwood represents very strongly could easily be why Betha was seen as "beneath" Aegon, especially given how little cultural importance was generally given to who someone's mother was, and the strong lean towards the Faith of the Seven and Andal culture in that time period.

Another factor is the second Laena Velaryon, daughter of Rhaena's twin sister Baela. She is another loose end in that we don't know when she died or who she married. But let's speculate maybe she had a daughter somewhere in the Crownlands, top candidate is probably House Darklyn. Her line too then might have merged with the Blackwoods'. There are hints of historical links. Certainly given how close Rhaena and Baela were it would make sense for there to be ongoing ties of some kind between the cousins who were their descendents.

Furthermore, we can't discount the possibility that Mya or Gwenys Rivers, sisters of Brynden became factors in the future line of House Blackwood. We do know that Aegon IV legitimized his bastards, including Brynden's sisters. So with their legitimacy they may have found good matches, and been reintegrated into House Blackwood's legitimate line.

Edited by Hippocras

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Hippocras said:

And the mixing with First Men bloodlines, which House Blackwood represents very strongly could easily be why Betha was seen as "beneath" Aegon, especially given how little cultural importance was generally given to who someone's mother was, and the strong lean towards the Faith of the Seven and Andal culture in that time period.

There is a religious tolerance of Old Gods in Westeros since thousands years, I don't think it would really matter in this case, besides Egg didn't change his religion from what we know. I agree with @Lord Varys on this one, I don't think Betha had Targaryen ancestry at all, I would go for a recent Andal admixture which gave her the pale blond gene. The other brides from Daeron II's sons and grandsons are Targaryen cousins on female line imo, just like most of previous one outside of incestuous marriages.

Edited by Willam Stark

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Willam Stark said:

There is a religious tolerance of Old Gods in Westeros since thousands years, I don't think it would really matter in this case, besides Egg didn't change his religion from what we know. I agree with @Lord Varys on this one, I don't think Betha had Targaryen ancestry at all, I would go for a recent Andal admixture which gave her the pale blond gene. The other brides are Targaryen cousins on female line imo, just like most of previous one outside of incestuous marriages.

This isn't really true, and the difference was historically most acute in the Vale and Crownlands. The ideas of the times from Aegon III to Baelor the Blessed were not the same as in the current books. Tensions in the Vale between First Men and Andal Houses have been somewhat reduced over the centuries via marriages but is still visible in the animosity between the Hill Tribes and the Knights of the Vale. And the Bracken-Blackwood conflicts are very much related to this ancient hostility. Daella Targaryen refused to marry Royce Blackwood because of his religion.

Until we know more of what became of Aegon IV's Blackwood great bastard daughters as well as the other women I have mentioned, we really can't rule anything out.

Mya Rivers was legitimized when she was 11 or 12 years old, and her sister was just a year younger. So both were considered legitimate daughters of Aegon IV just before being the right age to marry. It is easy then to imagine one of them marrying a son of House Blackwood given the relative desirability of  royal family ties. we don't know if their mother Melissa was from the main branch of House Blackwood and chances are good she was not or her father would be mentioned as Lord Blackwood.

Betha was born a Blackwood in 201. Mya would have been about 29 years old and Gwenys about 28. So either one of those two could have been the mother of Betha (or even the grandmother given how early girls were sometimes married). Having a bastard mother or grandmother, even if it was one who was legitimized, would also have been grounds for considering Betha of relatively low birth even if her father was Lord of Raventree.

Edited by Hippocras

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8 hours ago, Hippocras said:

The potential path for Betha I would suggest also stems from Rhaena. While she did not have any Corbray children, she had deep ties to the Vale and Corbray was the marriage she chose for herself so it does seem probable that even after she became a Hightower she maintained ties to the Vale and particularly House Corbray. Once again we do not know where her six Hightower daughters ended up, and most of them no doubt stayed in the South. However one of them being used for a Vale alliance, given Rhaena's life and history seems in fact quite likely. So say then that one of them married a Corbray or maybe an Arryn. Then THEIR daughter married a First Men house of the Vale, Riverlands or Crownlands . And then THEIR daughter became the mother of Betha (The Blackwoods didn't only inter-marry with First Men houses but it does appear to have been their preference).

I would say far from out of the question given the efforts at the time to knit the Kingdoms together and the personal history of Rhaena. And the mixing with First Men bloodlines, which House Blackwood represents very strongly could easily be why Betha was seen as "beneath" Aegon, especially given how little cultural importance was generally given to who someone's mother was, and the strong lean towards the Faith of the Seven and Andal culture in that time period.

Another factor is the second Laena Velaryon, daughter of Rhaena's twin sister Baela. She is another loose end in that we don't know when she died or who she married. But let's speculate maybe she had a daughter somewhere in the Crownlands, top candidate is probably House Darklyn. Her line too then might have merged with the Blackwoods'. There are hints of historical links. Certainly given how close Rhaena and Baela were it would make sense for there to be ongoing ties of some kind between the cousins who were their descendents.

Furthermore, we can't discount the possibility that Mya or Gwenys Rivers, sisters of Brynden became factors in the future line of House Blackwood. We do know that Aegon IV legitimized his bastards, including Brynden's sisters. So with their legitimacy they may have found good matches, and been reintegrated into House Blackwood's legitimate line.

As I said, the second Laena Velaryon is likely the Penrose/Dondarrion link - she is my best guess fo Jena's and Aelinor's Targaryen ancestors. She wouldn't have married into the Blackwood family.

While the Targaryen-Hightowers are still a possibility, the problem is that Betha-Egg was a scandal and got backlash, whereas the marriages of Daeron II's sons did not. That's very odd since in their own right the Dondarrions and Penroses especially are no fit matches for the first and second in line to the Iron Throne (Baelor and Aerys I) - that should have been a huge scandal back in the day, one the major contributing factors to the Blackfyre Rebellion. But it wasn't, apparently.

So my guess is that Jena in addition to Aelinor was a Targaryen cousin and thus they were the natural brides in absence to a sister. Nobody could really question that. But the Blackwood match was questioned in Egg's case.

Mya and Gwenys Rivers may have ended up with husbands, but most likely not from House Blackwood. If you want to go with Betha having a Targaryen link then a best guess would be one of Elaena's Penrose girls. But I really don't think that's necessary.

4 hours ago, Willam Stark said:

There is a religious tolerance of Old Gods in Westeros since thousands years, I don't think it would really matter in this case, besides Egg didn't change his religion from what we know. I agree with @Lord Varys on this one, I don't think Betha had Targaryen ancestry at all, I would go for a recent Andal admixture which gave her the pale blond gene. The other brides from Daeron II's sons and grandsons are Targaryen cousins on female line imo, just like most of previous one outside of incestuous marriages.

I guess part of the scandal of Egg's marriage might be that he didn't marry Betha in a sept but in front of a heart tree. The Targaryens are rather devout followers of the Seven, for the most part, and they are also Defenders of the Faith since Jaehaerys I.

But then - I'd not be surprised if Aegon V was forced to force his wife to sort of convert to the Faith once he became king. Betha would have to do all the pious stuff with the Faith and the ladies any queen has to do ... and we see how crucial that kind of thing is with Sansa and Margaery and even Cersei (to a point).

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

the problem is that Betha-Egg was a scandal and got backlash

What is your source for this I am curious? There seems to be conflicting information out there. Just a look at the wiki says the following:

"Aegon married Lady Betha Blackwood in 220 AC. The marriage at the time provoked no opposition as Aegon was very low in the line of succession."

It is certainly true that there were later troubles with his sons' marriages but his does not seem to me to have been as controversial as you are saying here.

  

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

As I said, the second Laena Velaryon is likely the Penrose/Dondarrion link - she is my best guess fo Jena's and Aelinor's Targaryen ancestors. She wouldn't have married into the Blackwood family.

Laena was born in 134. Aerys I was born in 174 plus or minus 2. So Laena is not likely to have been the mother of Aerys's queen unless Aelinor was several years older than him because 40ish is very old in such a context for having a child. So if Laena is linked to Aelinor, it is likely as the grandmother, not the mother. And if the grandmother, the question of which family Laena married into and how many children she had remains open. She could easily have married a Darklyn for example (or other House), had two or more children, with one marrying a Blackwood and another marrying a Penrose. 

Edited by Hippocras

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1 hour ago, Hippocras said:

What is your source for this I am curious? There seems to be conflicting information out there. Just a look at the wiki says the following:

"Aegon married Lady Betha Blackwood in 220 AC. The marriage at the time provoked no opposition as Aegon was very low in the line of succession."

It is certainly true that there were later troubles with his sons' marriages but his does not seem to me to have been as controversial as you are saying here.

I'm not sure there was any controversy either.  But I do think the Worldbook made it clear that Aegon V married for love not politics.  And there was a suggestion that he didn't have room to argue when his children did the same.

Because of this I don't think there was any political or cultural arrangement to Aegon's marriage.  He certainly could have married one of his sisters if the concern was to keep the Valyrian bloodline "pure".  And he certainly had at least one that was more than willing.  So I doubt that his choice to marry Betha had anything to do with Valyrian bloodlines.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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8 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I'm not sure there was any controversy either.  But I do think the Worldbook made it clear that Aegon V married for love not politics.  And there was a suggestion that he didn't have room to argue when his children did the same.

Because of this I don't think there was any political or cultural arrangement to Aegon's marriage.  He certainly could have married one of his sisters if the concern was to keep the Valyrian bloodline pure.  And he certainly had at least one that was more than willing.  So I doubt that his choice to marry Betha had anything to do with Valyrian bloodlines.

But we are talking about different things then and you are not reading carefully what i have written.

I am not at all disputing that Aegon V married Betha for love. I am not at all claiming that the marriage was political in any way. But why on earth do you seem to think that the fact that he married her for love means she did NOT have any dragonblood? One does not in any way exclude the other. Targaryen family history distinctly shows those with dragonblood being strongly attracted to partners with dragonblood, regardless of if it is in their best interest politically.

So while the dragonblood is certainly not NECESSARY for Egg and Betha to fall in love, it nevertheless is not EXCLUDED from being a subconscious factor in their attraction. And paths do exist whereby Betha might have come by some dragonblood, or even quite a lot.

Edited by Hippocras

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Hippocras said:

But we are talking about different things then and you are not reading carefully what i have written.

I am not at all disputing that Aegon V married Betha for love. I am not at all claiming that the marriage was political in any way. But why on earth do you seem to think that the fact that he married her for love means she did NOT have any dragonblood? One does not in any way exclude the other. Targaryen family history distinctly shows those with dragonblood being strongly attracted to partners with dragonblood, regardless of if it is in their best interest politically.

So while the dragonblood is certainly not NECESSARY for Egg and Betha to fall in love, it nevertheless is not EXCLUDED from being a subconscious factor in their attraction. And paths do exist whereby Betha might have come by some dragonblood, or even quite a lot.

My issue is we have zero evidence to go on that Betha had a Valyrian bloodline.  Aegon V had already spurned romantic overtures from his sister, and it is mentioned in the Worldbook that he believed that the Targaryen practice of incestuous relations was harmful.  So if there was some type of natural attraction between Valyrian bloodlines, it seems that it might not apply to Aegon.  Now I don't know when he came to that conclusion that Targaryen incest was harmful, but if he came to it before his marriage, it might be evidence that Betha did not have  a valyrian bloodline.

Now it's always possible she did, but as of now we don't any evidence to assume that it to be the case.  If there was than my guess is that one of Bloodraven's sisters may have married back into the Blackwood family despite their illegitimate birth status.  But we haven't been given any info to support it.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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10 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

My issue is we have zero evidence to go on that Betha had a Valyrian bloodline.  Aegon V had already spurned romantic overtures from his sister, and it is mentioned in the Worldbook that he believed that the Targaryen practice of incestuous relations was harmful.  So if there was some type of natural attraction between Valyrian bloodlines, it seems that it might not apply to Aegon.  Now I don't know when he came to that conclusion that Targaryen incest was harmful, but if he came to it before his marriage, it might be evidence that Betha did not have  a valyrian bloodline.

Now it's always possible she did, but as of now we don't any evidence to assume that it to be the case.  If there was than my guess is that one of Bloodraven's sisters may have married back into the Blackwood family despite their illegitimate birth status.  But we haven't been given any info to support it.

oh, I know. The female line is full of holes in the known history. But frankly that is what makes it feel so utterly realistic because real history was written that way too, ignoring who the women were, where they came from etc. So while evidence is scant, possibilities exist, and the notion of all that stuff that history did not bother to write down might prove to be really quite key is fascinating.

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1 hour ago, Hippocras said:

What is your source for this I am curious? There seems to be conflicting information out there. Just a look at the wiki says the following:

"Aegon married Lady Betha Blackwood in 220 AC. The marriage at the time provoked no opposition as Aegon was very low in the line of succession."

It is certainly true that there were later troubles with his sons' marriages but his does not seem to me to have been as controversial as you are saying here.

The indication is that there would have been opposition if Egg wouldn't have been at the very end of the line of succession. Whereas there is no indication that Baelor-Jena caused any trouble at all.

1 hour ago, Hippocras said:

Laena was born in 134. Aerys I was born in 174 plus or minus 2. So Laena is not likely to have been the mother of Aerys's queen unless Aelinor was several years older than him because 40ish is very old in such a context for having a child. So if Laena is linked to Aelinor, it is likely as the grandmother, not the mother. And if the grandmother, the question of which family Laena married into and how many children she had remains open. She could easily have married a Darklyn for example (or other House), had two or more children, with one marrying a Blackwood and another marrying a Penrose. 

Did you read what I wrote? The idea isn't that the second Laena Velaryon is the mother of Aelinor Penrose, the idea is that she is her grandmother.

The idea is that Laena married into House Penrose, producing the son named Ronnel who would become the second husband of Elaena Targaryen. Before Ronnel married Elaena (at some point after 184 AC, since that match was brokered by Daeron II as king) he would have had another wife with whom he would have had at least one child, Aelinor Penrose, but possibly more.

At the same time my idea is that Laena Velaryon didn't just have Ronnel Penrose as a child but also at least one daughter who married into House Dondarrion and is the mother of Baelor's bride, Jena Dondarrion.

This kind of thing makes more sense than the assumption that two Targaryens through the female line ended up marrying into minor Stormlander houses independently of each other. Although that's certainly also possible. After all, there are enough loose ends left at that point.

The reason why we should focus on Ronnel Penrose being of Targaryen descent is also subtly indicated in TWoIaF. For one, we hear that he married Elaena to that guy so she could basically serve in his stead as Master of Coin ... but why would a king as smart as Daeron II name an incomptent Master of Coin in the first place? The answer would be that Ronnel Penrose was a loyal supporter and friend of Daeron II.

The crucial quote here is that sentence from TWoIaF:

Quote

Perhaps it was for this reason that Aegon turned his attention to Dorne, using the hatred for the Dornishmen that still burned in the marches, the stormlands, and the Reach to suborn some of Daeron’s allies and use them against his most powerful supporters.

The very interesting implication here is that Daeron II, while still Heir Apparent, had allies in the Marches, the Stormlands, and the Reach in addition to his most powerful supporters which were the Martells of Dorne due to his marriage to Myriah - allies the Unworthy tried to turn against his heir by using the hatred for Dorne that was still strong with most of the lords from those regions.

But in light of Daeron's marriage and his peaceloving nature and most of the Blackfyre partisans from 196 AC coming from exactly the regions mentioned up there it is very odd that Daeron II actually did have any allies in those regions Aegon IV could try to suborn.

The idea thus is that some (not necessarily all) of those allies were Targaryen cousins - the children and grandchildren of Baela and Rhaena who may have grown up with Daeron II at court, serving together as pages and squires, etc., very much like Aerys II and Steffon Baratheon, say.

Ronnel Penrose would have been one such friend, and the Dondarrion who would become the father of Jena Dondarrion another. It would have been both Ronnel's loyalty as well as his Targaryen ancestry that caused Daeron II to reward him with a position on the council, a royal match in Elaena, and another great honor by marrying his second son to Ronnel's daughter Aelinor. All of that would have happened prior to the Blackfyre Rebellion in 196 AC. Aerys I should have been married around the time Baelor and Maekar married. It would be pretty odd if Daeron II pushed Aerys and Rhaegel into marriages after Baelor and Maekar already started to have the sons they had. In the early 200s they start to have to many Targaryen princes with Baelor's two sons, Rhaegel's son Aelor, and Maekar's four sons.

Timeline-wise it doesn't make sense that Jena Dondarrion and Aelinor Penrose were married to their husbands only after the Blackfyre Rebellion - sort of as a reward for remaining loyal during the war. Thus we would expect that those matches were not meant as rewards for service in war but to strengthen existing ties/friendships between the families.

As for Bloodraven's sisters - here I think chances are not that bad that one of them was married into House Baratheon shortly before the Blackfyre Rebellion. Thus ensuring that the Baratheons remained in the Targaryen camp during the war.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea is that Laena married into House Penrose, producing the son named Ronnel who would become the second husband of Elaena Targaryen. Before Ronnel married Elaena (at some point after 184 AC, since that match was brokered by Daeron II as king) he would have had another wife with whom he would have had at least one child, Aelinor Penrose, but possibly more.

That would explain why Ronnel would name one of his daughter with Elaena, Laena.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The reason why we should focus on Ronnel Penrose being of Targaryen descent is also subtly indicated in TWoIaF. For one, we hear that he married Elaena to that guy so she could basically serve in his stead as Master of Coin ... but why would a king as smart as Daeron II name an incomptent Master of Coin in the first place? The answer would be that Ronnel Penrose was a loyal supporter and friend of Daeron I

Yes, nepotism would help explain it.  But I suppose it could also be argued that Elaena wanted the job and the only way she could have served is have her husband appointed in name only.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

As for Bloodraven's sisters - here I think chances are not that bad that one of them was married into House Baratheon shortly before the Blackfyre Rebellion. Thus ensuring that the Baratheons remained in the Targaryen camp during the war.

Maybe but I'm not convinced.  Even though they were legitimized, there was probably still a bit of scarlet letter regarding their birth status.  If one of them remarried into a noble family,  my guess it may have been to one of their first cousin Blackwoods who would have been more accepting of them.  And my guess is the Blackwoods like the Starks may have had a history of marrying first cousins back into the main branch.

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3 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

That would explain why Ronnel would name one of his daughter with Elaena, Laena.

Yes, the existence of the second Laena Velaryon were one of the big positive surprises in FaB. Before that, we usually assumed that Laena and Jocelyn were both named after the first Laena Velaryon and Jocelyn Baratheon, respectively, also indicating that Ronnel was descended from the elder Targaryen-Velaryon branch of the royal family, but with the second Laena this seems even more likely.

And Jocelyn is a pretty common name, all things considered, could be name of Ronnel's paternal grandmother or something.

The youngest daughter, Joy, may turn out to be actually Michael Manwoody's child, considering this particular name. He and Elaena seemed to have been a thing before Ronnel's death.

And completely arbitrary, if they ever do something where an aged Elaena Targaryen shows up - and she could show up in Dunk & Egg since she grew to the age of seventy at least (meaning she was still around in 220 AC, for Egg's wedding) - then I'd really like to see Gillian Anderson in that role, a woman who embodies the concept of growing hotter with every year.

3 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Yes, nepotism would help explain it.  But I suppose it could also be argued that Elaena wanted the job and the only way she could have served is have her husband appointed in name only.

That is possible, too, but one imagines Daeron II could have still found a more prestigious lord in such a case. Or he could have just said - bugger it, I will have a woman on my council. Or he could have named no Master of Coin at all having Elaena serve in that capacity informally.

I'd expect that Myriah Martell also sat on Daeron's council in a similar way as Alysanne did (although not necessarily with the same amount of power). As Dornishwoman she wouldn't have just been a queen consort.

3 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Maybe but I'm not convinced.  Even though they were legitimized, there was probably still a bit of scarlet letter regarding their birth status.  If one of them remarried into a noble family,  my guess it may have been to one of their first cousin Blackwoods who would have been more accepting of them.  And my guess is the Blackwoods like the Starks may have had a history of marrying first cousins back into the main branch.

Oh, I provide some reason for that idea here:

Renly talks specifically about elder sons and second daughters - meaning, we must assume, second sons of the Baratheons and elder daughters of the Targaryens since there is so far no indication there was ever an elder Baratheon daughter from whom the main branch of House Baratheon is descended.

Mya Rivers as the eldest full sister of Bloodraven would sort of fit that bill. I give other potential candidates in the linked positing. but a legitimized Targaryen bastard with close ties to the king via Bloodraven could be prestigious enough for a younger son of House Baratheon. And if his elder brother died - say, on the Redgrass Field or in another battle of the Blackfyre Rebellion - then Storm's End would eventually go to Mya and her hypothetical Baratheon husband.

The Blackwoods marrying those bastards themselves would be very weird. Both in light of the fact that marrying your own cousins is something for a family in power who wants to keep the property and wealth in the family - and not a mid-tier house which has to keep ahead of the other houses in the game of shifting marriage alliances. That the Lannisters and Starks do that is hardly surprising - they can only profit if there aren't that many claimants to their lordship out there - but the Blackwoods would have less incentive.

But then - there were two girls, Mya and Gwenys. So who knows, perhaps the younger sister ended up with a Blackwood husband.

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16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The indication is that there would have been opposition if Egg wouldn't have been at the very end of the line of succession. Whereas there is no indication that Baelor-Jena caused any trouble at all

I understand your logic on Laena, yes. It is speculative but makes some sense. I disagree though that Mya or Gwenys Rivers would have been used for a Baratheon alliance. Even legitimized they were still bastards, and Aegon IV's bastards were the source of a great deal of trouble. While certainly those who were part Blackwood were never going to side with those who were part Bracken, a marriage alliance with a Great House of a different region would take more than a bastard which would just as likely be interpreted as an insult. So far more likely that Mya and Gwenys had decent but more modest matches than with a Paramount family of a different region. My guess is they stayed closer to home, where they were needed to also secure House Blackwood and the Riverlands. After all, there were other families whose loyalties needed securing. Also they would likely have been betrothed and married long before Brynden gained prominence, because they were his older sisters and girls were often married very early. Elaena's 3 Penrose daughters were available for betrothals and better matches for Baratheons - they were of similar age to Lyonel Baratheon. Elaena appears to have remained loyal to the crown during the rebellions.

I think it should be noted that it is not actually known how many children Alyn Velaryon and Baela Targaryen had. Laena may not have been the only one. At least that is what Alyn's bio mentions. Also Daena herself is a bit of a loose end. Her story basically seems to stop after Baelor's death and the birth of Daemon. Where did she go? What did she do after leaving the Maidenvault? Did she die before or after her son began fighting for the throne? Did she have more children?

As for Aegon's marriage, I do not interpret it the same way. Yes there is a slight degree of potential but unrealized controversy implied in the description, however that is simply to do with the fact that he was a Prince, and Princes are required to make political marriages that help build alliances, particularly in times of war. So there is no indication at all that anyone had a problem with Betha in particular, it is simply that he made a marriage that did not "help" secure the Kingdoms, and that was for love not for an alliance (which again doesn not actually say either way whether Betha carried the female line dragonblood). This was not really a problem when he was not likely to be King which is why it was worded the way it was.

Edited by Hippocras

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10 hours ago, Hippocras said:

I understand your logic on Laena, yes. It is speculative but makes some sense. I disagree though that Mya or Gwenys Rivers would have been used for a Baratheon alliance. Even legitimized they were still bastards, and Aegon IV's bastards were the source of a great deal of trouble. While certainly those who were part Blackwood were never going to side with those who were part Bracken, a marriage alliance with a Great House of a different region would take more than a bastard which would just as likely be interpreted as an insult. So far more likely that Mya and Gwenys had decent but more modest matches than with a Paramount family of a different region. My guess is they stayed closer to home, where they were needed to also secure House Blackwood and the Riverlands. After all, there were other families whose loyalties needed securing. Also they would likely have been betrothed and married long before Brynden gained prominence, because they were his older sisters and girls were often married very early. Elaena's 3 Penrose daughters were available for betrothals and better matches for Baratheons - they were of similar age to Lyonel Baratheon. Elaena appears to have remained loyal to the crown during the rebellions.

The Blackwoods would have never married their own bastards while they were not yet legitimized, and that only happened in in 184 AC and wasn't something anyone could foresee happening.

If Mya and Gwenys were married of or betrothed prior to 184 AC they would have been married to commoners or minor knights, not into a proper noble family. Such people do not intermarry with bastards, not even royal bastards, as, for instance, the bastard children of Elaena and Alyn Velaryon show.

Also, King Aegon IV and after him Daeron II would have had a word in the marital affairs of those bastards. The Blackwoods couldn't just arrange marriages for them, just as they couldn't - and didn't - for Brynden Rivers. And after the legitimization decree they were effectively all princes and princesses, no longer bastards de iure. So they were entitled to different matches than before and with the Great Bastards that would have shown.

And as far as we know so far Brynden's Blackwood link is what ensured the loyalty of that house to the Iron Throne - as well as to Bloodraven, personally, after he became Hand of the King.

10 hours ago, Hippocras said:

I think it should be noted that it is not actually known how many children Alyn Velaryon and Baela Targaryen had. Laena may not have been the only one. At least that is what Alyn's bio mentions. Also Daena herself is a bit of a loose end. Her story basically seems to stop after Baelor's death and the birth of Daemon. Where did she go? What did she do after leaving the Maidenvault? Did she die before or after her son began fighting for the throne? Did she have more children?

Baela is pregnant with their second child at the end of FaB. We can expect them to have a number of children, yes, although we have no idea how many daughters they will have. Presumably there will be sons as well, since we should expect that Baela and Alyn continue the main male branch of House Velaryon.

Daena died early ... but we don't know if she was married again or not. It would be odd if she never took another husband, though, unless she died so early that there was no time for another match.

It seems Daena was already dead in 182 AC when Daemon was given Blackfyre.

10 hours ago, Hippocras said:

As for Aegon's marriage, I do not interpret it the same way. Yes there is a slight degree of potential but unrealized controversy implied in the description, however that is simply to do with the fact that he was a Prince, and Princes are required to make political marriages that help build alliances, particularly in times of war. So there is no indication at all that anyone had a problem with Betha in particular, it is simply that he made a marriage that did not "help" secure the Kingdoms, and that was for love not for an alliance (which again doesn not actually say either way whether Betha carried the female line dragonblood). This was not really a problem when he was not likely to be King which is why it was worded the way it was.

Egg was supposed to marry his sister Daella, not 'to make a marriage alliance'. The Targaryens never really tried to do that until Aegon V's children. They married their siblings or other relations when no siblings were available. The one big exception were the Dornish marriages of Daeron II and his sister.

The point is that if Betha had had some dragon blood it would have been like (we assume) it was with the Dondarrion and Penrose and, perhaps, the Dayne match then there would have been no reason of opposition to the marriage even if Egg had been the Heir Apparent - like Baelor was - when he married Betha. But apparently the Betha match was only ignored because Egg was viewed as an irrelevant claimant to the Iron Throne at the very end of the line of succession.

It is also pretty clear that there are somewhat different standards for princes than princesses. Princes should definitely keep their blood pure and marry within the family ... whereas spare daughters - like the many daughters of Jaehaerys I - can be married to almost anyone if there are no princes around for them. It is the male line of House Targaryen who continues the royal bloodline, not the female branches. The women are tools for the men to keep their blood pure, not (mainly) assets the family has to control. Especially if they don't have dragons.

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

The Blackwoods would have never married their own bastards while they were not yet legitimized, and that only happened in in 184 AC and wasn't something anyone could foresee happening.

If Mya and Gwenys were married of or betrothed prior to 184 AC they would have been married to commoners or minor knights, not into a proper noble family. Such people do not intermarry with bastards, not even royal bastards, as, for instance, the bastard children of Elaena and Alyn Velaryon show.

Also, King Aegon IV and after him Daeron II would have had a word in the marital affairs of those bastards. The Blackwoods couldn't just arrange marriages for them, just as they couldn't - and didn't - for Brynden Rivers. And after the legitimization decree they were effectively all princes and princesses, no longer bastards de iure. So they were entitled to different matches than before and with the Great Bastards that would have shown.

And as far as we know so far Brynden's Blackwood link is what ensured the loyalty of that house to the Iron Throne - as well as to Bloodraven, personally, after he became Hand of the King.

Mya and Gwenys were 11 or 12 when they were legitimized. They would not have been married yet. Too young. So Daeron II may have had a hand in who they married, but not Aegon IV. I agree the Blackwoods would not have been into Targ-style incest, but cousins were considered acceptable matches by many First Men Houses. As I already said, Melissa is not written as being a daughter of Lord Blackwood of Raventree, so she may have been from an offshoot, perhaps the daughter of Lord Blackwood's younger brother, or his sister. If so, it seems like something that would have been considered to the advantage of House Blackwood to reintegrate one of those girls into their family after they were legitimized as, even if they were initially bastards, after being legitimized they were helpful in giving House Blackwood and the Riverlands better royal ties.

Of course all of this happened before Brynden Rivers reached adulthood. Likely his sisters were married when he was about 12 years old. Because Brynden was so young, not yet who he became, and the trouble with Daemon Blackfyre was clearly already brewing from the moment Aegon IV gave him the sword (when the girls were 10), I would say that at the time the girls were married the allegiance of House Blackwood and most of the Riverlands was by no means certain for Daeron II.

  

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Egg was supposed to marry his sister Daella, not 'to make a marriage alliance'. The Targaryens never really tried to do that until Aegon V's children. They married their siblings or other relations when no siblings were available. The one big exception were the Dornish marriages of Daeron II and his sister.

Yes, but in the case of Targs, marrying siblings does in fact count as a political alliance and marriage. It would have been done for political reasons. Whenever their family began to sprawl in different branches, trouble ensued. As long as they had dragons they had power without alliances and spreading dragonblood around was dangerous. So they married each other. They only started needing broader marriage alliances after the dragons were gone but even then spreading royal claims around was still dangerous.

 

Edited by Hippocras

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3 hours ago, Hippocras said:

Mya and Gwenys were 11 or 12 when they were legitimized. They would not have been married yet. Too young.

Doesn't mean he couldn't have chosen their future husbands for them. He also chose Rohanne of Tyrosh for Daemon Blackfyre, after all.

3 hours ago, Hippocras said:

So Daeron II may have had a hand in who they married, but not Aegon IV. I agree the Blackwoods would not have been into Targ-style incest, but cousins were considered acceptable matches by many First Men Houses.

The only First Men house we have for that are the Starks, actually.

3 hours ago, Hippocras said:

As I already said, Melissa is not written as being a daughter of Lord Blackwood of Raventree, so she may have been from an offshoot, perhaps the daughter of Lord Blackwood's younger brother, or his sister. If so, it seems like something that would have been considered to the advantage of House Blackwood to reintegrate one of those girls into their family after they were legitimized as, even if they were initially bastards, after being legitimized they were helpful in giving House Blackwood and the Riverlands better royal ties.

That's all pretty far-fetched if you ask me, and for what it's worth, the MUSH has Melissa Blackwood as a younger daughter of Bloody Ben Blackwood.

And the Blackwoods don't really need better royal ties - they do have them both in Brynden Rivers and the two girls who by their very existence provide ties to the royal family.

3 hours ago, Hippocras said:

Of course all of this happened before Brynden Rivers reached adulthood. Likely his sisters were married when he was about 12 years old. Because Brynden was so young, not yet who he became, and the trouble with Daemon Blackfyre was clearly already brewing from the moment Aegon IV gave him the sword (when the girls were 10), I would say that at the time the girls were married the allegiance of House Blackwood and most of the Riverlands was by no means certain for Daeron II.

Brynden and sisters were not dependent on Brynden being a special guy to have close ties to Daeron II. Bloodraven didn't rise of his own merit but because Daeron II advanced him. And that was because Melissa was liked and kept ties with Queen Naerys, the Dragonknight, and Daeron II even after she no longer was the king's mistress. We can reasonably expect that Brynden's sisters profited from Melissa's special connections as well, especially in the marriage department - which is pretty much the only way women can advance, anyway.

I mean, as things stand it is almost certain that Daeron II gave Dark Sister to Bloodraven (Brynden was eight when his father died, not exactly the age you would be given a sword). And that would have happened before the Blackfyre Rebellion.

3 hours ago, Hippocras said:

Yes, but in the case of Targs, marrying siblings does in fact count as a political alliance and marriage. It would have been done for political reasons. Whenever their family began to sprawl in different branches, trouble ensued. As long as they had dragons they had power without alliances and spreading dragonblood around was dangerous. So they married each other. They only started needing broader marriage alliances after the dragons were gone but even then spreading royal claims around was still dangerous.

Not really. There is something to do the idea that a female dragonrider with a really big dragon shouldn't marry into a different family ... but even that happened with Queen Rhaena. But dragonless girls like the daughters of Jaehaerys I were clearly thrown at every possible husband there was ... and there was no indication that anybody feared this would become a political problem. Especially since the king controlled access to the dragons, meaning Targaryens through the female line might not receive dragon eggs nor be given access to the Dragonpit or Dragonstone to try to claim dragons for themselves. Their dragon blood wouldn't be worth anything if they were not allowed to become dragonriders.

And politically you really gain nothing by marrying your own sister or a first cousin. That is pointless.

For a house like the Blackwoods this would be especially pointless since their constant feud with the Brackens should increase the pressure to always stay ahead of the traditional enemy in the marriage game department. If the Brackens were to forge a powerful marriage alliance with a powerful Riverlord house - the Lords of Harrenhal, say, or the Tullys, Mootons, Vances, etc. - this could really cause a big problem for them if there was another open feud or war between the two houses.

In that sense it strikes me as increasingly odd that the Blackwoods would have married their own bastard cousins. It wouldn't be all that likely that they would marry noble cousins on a regular basis - only if they were from another house and would bring something more than just Blackwood blood.

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

Doesn't mean he couldn't have chosen their future husbands for them. He also chose Rohanne of Tyrosh for Daemon Blackfyre, after all.

fine, he could have. But Daemon was different from the girls. He behaved as if Daemon was his heir and took quite a bit of interest. There is no indication he was similarly involved with the girls. You are simply speculating on this.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And the Blackwoods don't really need better royal ties - they do have them both in Brynden Rivers and the two girls who by their very existence provide ties to the royal family.

Bastards are not the same. Even legitimized ones. But having the blood of the dragon as part of the main Blackwood family line was priceless given how rare the Targaryens made it, and only would have happened via an actual marriage transforming a bastard girl into the lady of their House. Which is why Mya and Gwenys were more valuable as marriage candidates to some families than others. Baratheons did not need this kind of boost having already deep ties to the royal House, and would have seen such a match as beneath them. But for the Blackwoods it was key to getting a leg up over the Brackens. After all, these girls did not come with lands of their own. They had no seat to offer a second Baratheon son or similar.

Without reintegration into the family the girls were a link, yes, but that link would have ended with them. House Blackwood only got future benefit from it with reintegration.

We can even speculate that a great bastard marrying into House Blackwood and her sister making another advantageous match for House Blackwood was a motivating factor (of course not the only factor) in Aegor Rivers getting involved with the Blackfyres. He had no sisters and could not himself help House Bracken much via marriage, but if he was a primary supporter of a rival king and that King won, the rewards would have been spectacular and given them the advantage once again over the Blackwoods. It was the only way basically for him to get a similarly advantageous marriage - with Shiera of course clearly not making herself a candidate.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The only First Men house we have for that are the Starks, actually.

Lannisters may have become more Andal than First Men over time but they do trace back. There is no indication that the Stark or Lannister cousin marriages were a problem. Baratheons married cousins as well. You have no grounds at all for saying cousin marriages were frowned upon.

look clearly, neither of us actually knows what happened with any of these ladies because it just is not written. But it would be helpful for the sake of discussion if you would be a bit more humble and acknowledge that what I am saying is perfectly possible and does have logic. Otherwise you are just picking a fight over speculative stuff for which there is not actually any solid evidence.

Edited by Hippocras

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