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Within universe the Westerosi believe that Targaryens / Valyrians have mystical properties passed down through their bloodlines, that allow them to master Dragons. But I am always surprised that this belief is so accepted on the forums. We know about confirmation bias, we know that bird hatchlings can Impress upon humans, & we know that George is a fan of Pern, where Dragon Impressing is a major theme.

So let's go though some reasons to believe that Targaryen Dragons favour Targaryens because they impressed upon them as Hatchlings.

- The ancient Valyrians didn't have a mystical link to dragons, they tended animals in the lower slopes of the volcanoes, over time some dragons became acclimatised to the humans, which led to the first Dragonriders.
- This dynamic was replicated during the Dance. Sheepstealer was hatched from a wild clutch and did not Impress upon a human. Nettles used sheep carcesses to get the dragon used to her, until she could mount him. There is no direct evidence she is Targ blooded, she is afterwords considered a dragonseed because of the fallacy that only Targaryens can ride dragon.
- The eggs of tame dragons are valuable and given to family of existing Dragonriders. Hatchling dragons form bonds with their regular handlers, allowing them to become Dragonriders in time.
- Dragons will favour people most similar to their original rider. Valyrians & Targaryens practiced incest to keep the bloodlines pure, so looked and smelled alike, which meant dragons would accept them as replacements.
- Controlled supply of eggs to a few families + those families all being incestuously inbred, led to many centuries of only people with those particular traits riding dragons, which created the belief that those bloodlines had an inherent affinity for dragons.
- After dragons went extinct, only  sorcerers and Targs tried to resurrect them from fossilised eggs - to make the attempt required some combination of possessing rare eggs, madness, magic or belief in prophecy. That meant any successful attempt was more like to come from the Targ line (trying) than from non-Targs (not trying).
 Dany succeeded in hatching eggs through some unique combination of magics - sacrifice, kings blood, pregnancy, fire etc. Her being a Targ may not have been an essential ingredient in all that (except for giving her the self-belief it would succeed).
- Targs have a separate (non-dragonish) talent for prophetic dreaming. Daenaerys the Dreamer & Daeron the drunk had the full gift, Aemon & others have a latent form which expresses when they are sick. Prophets most easily see what is closest to them, and so Targ prophets, being linked to dragons both figuratively (their sigil) and literally (the families greatest asset) have dragon dreams.
 


 

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1 minute ago, Carrotecuite said:

Valyria was an ultra advanced magical civilization.
They were not just simple shepherds who met dragons by chance.

The Valyrian Empire was, it dominated a continent for thousands of years.

Dragons were their greatest weapon in forming that Rome-like empire. I'm talking about the pre-empire Valyrians, and how they might have gotten their dragons in order to create that civilisation.

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1 hour ago, Buried Treasure said:

Dany succeeded in hatching eggs through some unique combination of magics - sacrifice, kings blood, pregnancy, fire etc. Her being a Targ may not have been an essential ingredient in all that (except for giving her the self-belief it would succeed).

Daenerys Targaryen succeeded in hatching dragon eggs because it was her destiny to do so.  She is Azor Ahai.  The prophecy is explicit.  She will wake dragons from stone.  That is exactly what happened.  This miracle confirmed her identity as Azor Ahai. 

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2 minutes ago, Roswell said:

Daenerys Targaryen succeeded in hatching dragon eggs because it was her destiny to do so.  She is Azor Ahai.  The prophecy is explicit.  She will wake dragons from stone.  That is exactly what happened.  This miracle confirmed her identity as Azor Ahai. 

I'm not fully convinced on the meaning of destiny & whether prophecy is a shopping list or a weather forecast (can you force an event to happen by having all the prophesised ingredients, or does the prophecy only exist because the event was going to happen anyway?).

 

But to my wider point 'Dany is Azor Ahai' falls under the umbrella of her hatching the eggs due to some unique combination of magics. Her being of the Targaryen bloodline was not sufficient to hatch the eggs.

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3 hours ago, Buried Treasure said:

The Valyrian Empire was, it dominated a continent for thousands of years.

Dragons were their greatest weapon in forming that Rome-like empire. I'm talking about the pre-empire Valyrians, and how they might have gotten their dragons in order to create that civilisation.

What I meant was that the Valyrian shepherds were already using magic, long before the Valyrian empire.

Their magic was rooted in fire and blood.
The destruction of the Ghis empire and the royhnar, may have amplified this magic because they had access to a lot of slaves, so no more human sacrifice, even if the slaves were mainly used to extract precious minerals inside the volcanoes.
But the ancient Valyrians already had an affinity for a particular type of magic that was unique to them.  Just like the Rhoynar with water magic or the wildlings with skinchangers. 

Otherwise, before the Valyrians and dragons came to the peninsula, the volcanoes were populated by firewyrm who seem to have many dragon-like characteristics.
Like the fact that they breathe fire, or prefer to live in a volcanic area, and the tunneling behavior that dragons have.

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5 hours ago, Buried Treasure said:

The Valyrian Empire was, it dominated a continent for thousands of years.

Dragons were their greatest weapon in forming that Rome-like empire. I'm talking about the pre-empire Valyrians, and how they might have gotten their dragons in order to create that civilisation.

From elsewhere. Their is clear evidence of dragons prior to the Valyrian Empire in the form of the fused stone Five Forts and the lower levels of the Hightower, examples spanning the known East/West extents of the world. Their "we were mere shepards" line in my mind whitewhashes the fact the dragon binding practice was imported.

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The fact that the Targaryens give birth to monstrous children.
Shows that the Valyrians have done more than become friends with the dragon.
There is something about genetic manipulation and blood magic that could explain it.

In Gogossos the blood mages mate women with animals. 
To give birth to chimeras 

The Valyrians probably did something similar but on a much more sophisticated level to get that "dragon blood".

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8 hours ago, Buried Treasure said:

Within universe the Westerosi believe that Targaryens / Valyrians have mystical properties passed down through their bloodlines, that allow them to master Dragons

The belief is strong - Tyrion predicts Dany's dragons liked Brown Ben, and, coincidence or not, he's right.

I waver between the fact that dragon blood must be pretty widespread by now, and the opposing fact that Targs have a strong tradition of concentrating the 'dragon' bloodlines. I feel I have to connect the dreaming in here, because of the example of greenseers, and because Targs who have never seen dragons still dream about them. And obsess about them.

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This idea still doesn't explain why a dragon only accepts one rider and why a dragonrider cannot ride multiple dragons at any given time.

Smell and looks cannot explain this mystical bond. You can shower and get rid of the smell of another dragon, but you still cannot ride more than one dragon at any given time.

There is also no indication that any of the wild dragons from the Dance era were truly wild dragons in the sense that they hatched in the wild. Instead, the impression we get, is that they hatched in the hatcheries and pits of the Dragonstone citadel and eventually left the premises and became wild. As hatchlings they would have been cared for by the Dragonkeepers and other servants like all the Targaryen dragons were.

This indicates that all it takes for a dragon to grow wild is to be separated from humans for a short period of time and/or them not bonding with future dragonriders at an early age.

Dany's dragons grow wild, too, in ADwD. Drogon nearly kills Daenerys, and Viserion and Rhaegal do not take kindly to their imprisonment and after Quentyn released them they are basically as wild as the Cannibal, Sheepstealer, and Grey Ghost were on Dragonstone - and it is the same with Drogon in the Dothraki Sea. They even created their own lairs.

This is far more complex than dragons becoming docile and receptive because of some imprinting. We even see how this kind of thing fails with Dany's dragons - they only defer to Daenerys to a point (and they like Brown Ben Plumm who has more than just a drop of Targaryen blood but looks nothing like Daenerys), whereas they snapp and hiss at Irri and Jhiqui who spent as much time with them - or more - than Dany did.

If there was no magical blood quality to the dragonriding thing then the natural riders of Viserion and Rhaegal would be Irri and Jhiqui, respectively, because they raised those dragons together with Dany. They were the humans closest to them, the humans the dragons would trust the most.

In the same way the natural riders of the Targaryen dragons would be the servants and grooms who tended the dragons on Dragonstone and in the Dragonpit. It is not that most Targaryens didn't care much for their dragons or spent much time with them - especially the kings and queens had better things to do than waste their precious times with the animals which, to them, were mainly weapons of war and a means for fly to another place.

Yet the dragons still bonded with those aloof folks they would have rarely interacted with, and not the men and women who took care of their needs every day.

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Imprinting works for ducks and geese. The bond is created very early in the life of the bird. Dragons can bond later in life. The Valyrians went to a lot of trouble to keep their blood pure to make this happen.  The doctrine of exceptionalism is clear, the Targaryens are special. The stone eggs hatched for Dany because she’s the Promised One.  She’s the Targaryen that her family has waited for.  She’s the reincarnation of Azor Azai.  

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Maybe not much like ducks and geese, but the likeness to the dragons in the Pern stories is definitely there (interesting that grrm has read them). The Pern people had similar problems with dragons (hatchlngs) attacking candidates, and used similar strategies to deal with it: in earlier times throwing extra candidates at the problem to allow for wastage, and later allowing candidates to handle eggs.

It is amazing really how much dragon-lore has been lost in Westeros. It's not that long ago.

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5 hours ago, Springwatch said:

Maybe not much like ducks and geese, but the likeness to the dragons in the Pern stories is definitely there (interesting that grrm has read them). The Pern people had similar problems with dragons (hatchlngs) attacking candidates, and used similar strategies to deal with it: in earlier times throwing extra candidates at the problem to allow for wastage, and later allowing candidates to handle eggs.

It is amazing really how much dragon-lore has been lost in Westeros. It's not that long ago.

With the cradle eggs thing something like that is clearly there in the story. But the Targaryens never had problems bonding with young and previously unclaimed hatchlings or drakes - the dangerous thing is claiming an older dragon who had previous riders. Or a wild dragon who was neither accustomed to humans nor previously ridden.

But the problem with the imprint idea is that the dragons in Martinworld just don't give a damn about the people who handle their eggs or feed or care for them while they are hatchlings. They only do bond with the blood of the dragon, not other people. That much is clear.

If this wasn't the case then dragon grooms and stableboys would have taken over the Targaryen dragons a long time ago, especially back in the first century where there were apparently dozens of riderless dragons on Dragonstone.

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5 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

What's the point of remembering if the knowledge is useless?

Targs love their dragon heritage, that's the point. But I'm guessing they trusted the maesters to handle absolutely every kind of knowledge (like all Westerosi) - even this.

56 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

With the cradle eggs thing something like that is clearly there in the story. But the Targaryens never had problems bonding with young and previously unclaimed hatchlings or drakes - the dangerous thing is claiming an older dragon who had previous riders. Or a wild dragon who was neither accustomed to humans nor previously ridden.

I'll take your word for it. No problems with hatchlings does leave open the possibility of some kind of impression effect - if the Targs took care that only they tried to bond, and stableboys etc kept their distance.

56 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But the problem with the imprint idea is that the dragons in Martinworld just don't give a damn about the people who handle their eggs or feed or care for them while they are hatchlings. They only do bond with the blood of the dragon, not other people. That much is clear.

Dany did get contact from the unhatched dragons - so the ability is there in the eggs. We can't really know if only Targs can feel it. Dany's people didn't feel anything, but maybe it's a rare talent. Maybe only Dany touched the eggs for any length of time - we know she like to hold the eggs, and it seems the others touched them only to take them in and out of their box.

 

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11 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

I'll take your word for it. No problems with hatchlings does leave open the possibility of some kind of impression effect - if the Targs took care that only they tried to bond, and stableboys etc kept their distance.

But this is clearly not the case. Two of the dragonriding children of Jaehaerys I - Aemon and Alyssa - claimed dragons that had previously not been ridden before. And Caraxes and Meleys both were dragons who had no contact with either Aemon or Alyssa before they were claimed by their riders when they were in their mid-teens.

And earlier Aenys and Rhaena were given hatchlings which hadn't been handled by Targaryens before. Also, when Jaehaerys' daughter Daenerys is dying he calls on other people to give his daughter a dragon. He doesn't care for them, personally, nor do other (nonexisting) Targaryens this for him.

11 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

Dany did get contact from the unhatched dragons - so the ability is there in the eggs. We can't really know if only Targs can feel it. Dany's people didn't feel anything, but maybe it's a rare talent. Maybe only Dany touched the eggs for any length of time - we know she like to hold the eggs, and it seems the others touched them only to take them in and out of their box.

Daenerys is a very special case since her eggs had turned to stone ... meaning they were technically no longer viable. Her connection with the eggs was really magical and beyond anything that happened before (to our knowledge). In a sense Dany's spell revives dead fossils.

Also, as I said, Drogon nearly killed Daenerys. She did claim him, but it was a close thing, never mind that Dany handled his egg or even brought him to life.

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On 5/16/2021 at 6:10 AM, Buried Treasure said:

Within universe the Westerosi believe that Targaryens / Valyrians have mystical properties passed down through their bloodlines, that allow them to master Dragons. But I am always surprised that this belief is so accepted on the forums. We know about confirmation bias, we know that bird hatchlings can Impress upon humans, & we know that George is a fan of Pern, where Dragon Impressing is a major theme.

So let's go though some reasons to believe that Targaryen Dragons favour Targaryens because they impressed upon them as Hatchlings.

- The ancient Valyrians didn't have a mystical link to dragons, they tended animals in the lower slopes of the volcanoes, over time some dragons became acclimatised to the humans, which led to the first Dragonriders.
- This dynamic was replicated during the Dance. Sheepstealer was hatched from a wild clutch and did not Impress upon a human. Nettles used sheep carcesses to get the dragon used to her, until she could mount him. There is no direct evidence she is Targ blooded, she is afterwords considered a dragonseed because of the fallacy that only Targaryens can ride dragon.
- The eggs of tame dragons are valuable and given to family of existing Dragonriders. Hatchling dragons form bonds with their regular handlers, allowing them to become Dragonriders in time.
- Dragons will favour people most similar to their original rider. Valyrians & Targaryens practiced incest to keep the bloodlines pure, so looked and smelled alike, which meant dragons would accept them as replacements.
- Controlled supply of eggs to a few families + those families all being incestuously inbred, led to many centuries of only people with those particular traits riding dragons, which created the belief that those bloodlines had an inherent affinity for dragons.
- After dragons went extinct, only  sorcerers and Targs tried to resurrect them from fossilised eggs - to make the attempt required some combination of possessing rare eggs, madness, magic or belief in prophecy. That meant any successful attempt was more like to come from the Targ line (trying) than from non-Targs (not trying).
 Dany succeeded in hatching eggs through some unique combination of magics - sacrifice, kings blood, pregnancy, fire etc. Her being a Targ may not have been an essential ingredient in all that (except for giving her the self-belief it would succeed).
- Targs have a separate (non-dragonish) talent for prophetic dreaming. Daenaerys the Dreamer & Daeron the drunk had the full gift, Aemon & others have a latent form which expresses when they are sick. Prophets most easily see what is closest to them, and so Targ prophets, being linked to dragons both figuratively (their sigil) and literally (the families greatest asset) have dragon dreams.
 


 

Aegon V had more of the required materials and his eggs failed to hatch.  Dany is the one Targaryen who comes along at the appropriate time to bring back the dragons.  The dragon species goes through a period of dying out and like the Phoenix, are reborn from the flames by this very special Targaryen.  Dany is the only one who can access the magic to cause the reincarnation of the dragons.  The Red Comet announced the return of the dragons and the rebirth of Dany into Azor Ahai.  

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On 5/16/2021 at 4:10 AM, Buried Treasure said:

Within universe the Westerosi believe that Targaryens / Valyrians have mystical properties passed down through their bloodlines, that allow them to master Dragons. But I am always surprised that this belief is so accepted on the forums. We know about confirmation bias, we know that bird hatchlings can Impress upon humans, & we know that George is a fan of Pern, where Dragon Impressing is a major theme.

So let's go though some reasons to believe that Targaryen Dragons favour Targaryens because they impressed upon them as Hatchlings.

- The ancient Valyrians didn't have a mystical link to dragons, they tended animals in the lower slopes of the volcanoes, over time some dragons became acclimatised to the humans, which led to the first Dragonriders.
- This dynamic was replicated during the Dance. Sheepstealer was hatched from a wild clutch and did not Impress upon a human. Nettles used sheep carcesses to get the dragon used to her, until she could mount him. There is no direct evidence she is Targ blooded, she is afterwords considered a dragonseed because of the fallacy that only Targaryens can ride dragon.
- The eggs of tame dragons are valuable and given to family of existing Dragonriders. Hatchling dragons form bonds with their regular handlers, allowing them to become Dragonriders in time.
- Dragons will favour people most similar to their original rider. Valyrians & Targaryens practiced incest to keep the bloodlines pure, so looked and smelled alike, which meant dragons would accept them as replacements.
- Controlled supply of eggs to a few families + those families all being incestuously inbred, led to many centuries of only people with those particular traits riding dragons, which created the belief that those bloodlines had an inherent affinity for dragons.
- After dragons went extinct, only  sorcerers and Targs tried to resurrect them from fossilised eggs - to make the attempt required some combination of possessing rare eggs, madness, magic or belief in prophecy. That meant any successful attempt was more like to come from the Targ line (trying) than from non-Targs (not trying).
 Dany succeeded in hatching eggs through some unique combination of magics - sacrifice, kings blood, pregnancy, fire etc. Her being a Targ may not have been an essential ingredient in all that (except for giving her the self-belief it would succeed).
- Targs have a separate (non-dragonish) talent for prophetic dreaming. Daenaerys the Dreamer & Daeron the drunk had the full gift, Aemon & others have a latent form which expresses when they are sick. Prophets most easily see what is closest to them, and so Targ prophets, being linked to dragons both figuratively (their sigil) and literally (the families greatest asset) have dragon dreams.
 


 

This is interesting. Its cool for some reason to imagine humble people becoming dragon riders

On 5/16/2021 at 6:13 AM, Buried Treasure said:

I'm not fully convinced on the meaning of destiny & whether prophecy is a shopping list or a weather forecast (can you force an event to happen by having all the prophesised ingredients, or does the prophecy only exist because the event was going to happen anyway?).

 

But to my wider point 'Dany is Azor Ahai' falls under the umbrella of her hatching the eggs due to some unique combination of magics. Her being of the Targaryen bloodline was not sufficient to hatch the eggs.

+1

On 5/16/2021 at 9:43 AM, Carrotecuite said:

What I meant was that the Valyrian shepherds were already using magic, long before the Valyrian empire.

Their magic was rooted in fire and blood.
The destruction of the Ghis empire and the royhnar, may have amplified this magic because they had access to a lot of slaves, so no more human sacrifice, even if the slaves were mainly used to extract precious minerals inside the volcanoes.
But the ancient Valyrians already had an affinity for a particular type of magic that was unique to them.  Just like the Rhoynar with water magic or the wildlings with skinchangers. 

Otherwise, before the Valyrians and dragons came to the peninsula, the volcanoes were populated by firewyrm who seem to have many dragon-like characteristics.
Like the fact that they breathe fire, or prefer to live in a volcanic area, and the tunneling behavior that dragons have.

I think this is a great take. It is really cool that there are different magics rooted in different areas, and the character of the area corresponds to the character of the magic. The Wyrms  make me wonder if perhaps the targaryans created dragons? man that'd be horrifying and cool. Like what if dragons are some sort of magicked up wyrm. But hopefully in a really horrifying and cool way. 

On 5/16/2021 at 12:21 PM, Hug-hammer said:

The fact that the Targaryens give birth to monstrous children.
Shows that the Valyrians have done more than become friends with the dragon.
There is something about genetic manipulation and blood magic that could explain it.

In Gogossos the blood mages mate women with animals. 
To give birth to chimeras 

The Valyrians probably did something similar but on a much more sophisticated level to get that "dragon blood".

This doesn't exclusively mean that the initial taming happened in a way other than being friends, it could, but it also mightn't. But it does show that the Valyrian's have some sort of additional connection to dragons. I mean honestly they're creepy. I don't remember the quote but when Arianne sees the Lyseni spy master she thinks something like, "Hes beautiful but there's something profoundly unsettling about him and if Viserys looked like this perhaps its a good thing hes dead." For some reason I find I more comfortable for the Valyrians to have messed them selves up than to have just come into existence messed up. I feel like people ignore the fact that the Valyrians are creepy way too much. Like damn. They have purple eyes and sacrifice people and give birth to half dragon monsters? They're kinda lovecraftian tbh. But so is all the magic in asoiaf. Sorry for the dump. 

Still cool tho

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3 minutes ago, Rondo said:

Aegon V had more of the required materials and his eggs failed to hatch.  Dany is the one Targaryen who comes along at the appropriate time to bring back the dragons.  The dragon species goes through a period of dying out and like the Phoenix, are reborn from the flames by this very special Targaryen.  Dany is the only one who can access the magic to cause the reincarnation of the dragons.  The Red Comet announced the return of the dragons and the rebirth of Dany into Azor Ahai.  

mate I think they just require blood sacrifice on a semi regular basis and the targaryans didn't do that so the dragons got sick and died. 

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7 minutes ago, Orion2 said:

mate I think they just require blood sacrifice on a semi regular basis and the targaryans didn't do that so the dragons got sick and died. 

I don't think so, mate.  In my opinion, it is part of nature's cycle.  Humans fail to see it because we live very short lives.  

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