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Mark O'Kane

Why didn't Jahaerys make all his kids dragonriders?

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If you mean Jaehaerys I then he had 13 children not 10. And they didn't became dragonriders because 11 of them were killed by the Faceless Men who were wearing identities of this Kingsguards - Gyles Morrigen, Ryam Redwyne, Robin Shaw, Clement Crabb.

1. Aegon - he was either poisoned or smothered with a pillow.

2. Daenerys - she was poisoned by Gyles Morrigen and the Barefoot Girl who joined the kitchen's stuff a day prior Daenerys' death. The poison was in the bread that Daenerys ate at the New Year's Eve dinner.

3. Aemon - he was assassinated by the Faceless Men who were wearing identities of the Myrish scouts. Their target was Aemon, not Cameron Tarth.

4. Baelon - poisoned.

5. Alyssa - slowly poisoned to make it look like a long illness. She died within a year after giving birth to her son Aegon. Little Aegon died soon after his mother. Probably he was smothered with a pillow by one of the Kingsguards/FM.

6. Maegelle - the Faceless Men infected her with greyscale (same as they did to Shireen Baratheon) because she was constantly butting in into their business and mending broken relatioship between her parents. The Faceless Men were working their asses off to get rid of all prospective dragonriders, and when Jaehaerys and Alysanne were quarreling, they weren't making more children, which suited FM just fine. But then came Maegelle and ruined the balance, again and again. So eventually they had to kill her too. Even though originally she wasn't in their death-list, because she wasn't one of the dragonriders, and as a septa she would have never became a dragonrider. Though because she was interfering into her parents' relationship, the Faceless Men eventually decided to kill her too.

7. Vaegon - this one became a maester, which is equal to not ever becoming a dragonrider. That's why he got spared.

8. Daella - supposedly she died from childbed fever, but that's bullshit. Childbed fever or puerperal fever are any bacterial infections of the female reproductive tract following childbirth or miscarriage. Daella was a Targaryen/dragonseed, so she was immune to all viruses and bacterias. Her fever was caused by poison, that after her child's birth was regularly given to her in small doses by the Faceless Men.

9. Saera - this one survived because the Faceless Men had plans to use her as a breeder. They made a deal with Alyssa Farman who stole for them three Targaryen dragon eggs. To hatch those eggs the Sealord required three childen with blood of the dragons (Targaryens), thus the Faceless Men orchestrated Saera's fall out with her family, her going to Essos and becoming a whore. Her three bastards were supposed to hatch those dragon eggs that belonged to the Sealord, though they failed (same as later failed three bastard-children of Bellegere Otherys and Aegon the Unworthy, and same as the three Lyseni bastards of Aerion Brightflame).

10. Viserra - "Near midnight the princess and her remaining companions raced back to the Red Keep. At the foot of Aegon's High Hill, Viserra's palfrey collided with the mare of one of her companions. Viserra was thrown from her saddle into a wall, and she died of a broken neck at the age of fifteen."

Nowadays it's sabotaged cars and faked car accidents, in the past it was done thru horse accidents. Viserra's horse was given something, either poison or narcotics, whatever it was it caused the horse to go wild, which then resulted in the rider's death.

How something like this could be done? Easy-peasy. The Faceless Men applied the drug or poison in a powder form to the underside of a saddle. At this point it wasn't affecting the horse. Then after some time of riding the horse got sweaty. The horses sweat a lot. So some time after the rider and the horse rode out from the point of departure, gradually the horse became sweating, the underside of the saddle became wet, the powder started to dissolve into the sweat and to get thru the horse's skin into its bloodstream. Bit by bit the poison or narcotics gathered in the blood and started to affect the horse. The horse became uncontrollable. In Viserra's case it's collided with the horse of one of her companions, then she was thrown off the horse and broke her neck.

11 & 12. Gaemon (died at the age a bit less than three months old), Valerion (died two weeks prior to his first birthday) - both children were either poisoned or smothered with a pillow. If they had some sort of desease or condition incompatible with life, then they would have died a few hours or days after being born. Though they had lived - the first for nearly three months and the second for nearly a year. And that's without baby-box ICU/life-support system.

13. Gael - "Gael had been seduced and impregnated by a traveling singer. After Gael had given birth to a stillborn son, she had walked into Blackwater Bay and drowned, overwhelmed by her grief".

It's likely that that traveling singer was a Faceless Man and the Sealord was intending to use Gael's child to hatch dragon eggs. That was after Saera's children failed to do so.

 

So Jaehaerys didn't make all his kids dragonriders because the Faceless Men were working hard to prevent it.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Mark O'Kane said:

Only 3 rode dragons but he had 10? Seems like a no brainer

I don't think dragon-riding is something you can force on people.  You have to have it in you.  Jahaerys and Alysanne's children were, as a group, not as impressive and well-rounded as their parents.  Which I guess has something to do with the consequences of sibling incest.

But some specifics:

Danaerys was the youngest to survive infancy, but she still died at 6 or 7.  She did not have much of a chance.

The next 3 in birth order, Aemon, Baelon and Alyssa, all got dragons.Maegelle the pious, Vaegon the maester and Daella the shy & frightened - the next 3 in birth order, do not seem to have had the right temperament.  And Daella, in any event, was only 18 when she died.  

Saera the rebellious tried to steal a dragon, but the guards stopped her and her dad was furious.  I'm not sure he was wrong.

Viserra died at 15.  Which did not give her much of a chance.

Gael died at 19.

With some of those who died fairly young, I'm not sure it's entirely clear that such person never did ride a dragon.  Maybe, since such person died young, nothing came of it, and it was not deemed worth mentioning in the histories.

1 hour ago, Megorova said:

If you mean Jaehaerys I then he had 13 children not 10.

I don't think the OP is counting the 3 who died in infancy.  Which makes sense in this context

Edited by Mister Smikes

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The problem there is that George didn't have enough dragons left for all of them to get some. Or rather: he apparently didn't want to invent more dragons and then explain why they weren't around during the Dance. Although that would have been pretty easily doable. In addition, there were riderless dragons in that era that could have been claimed: Dreamfyre was riderless, apparently, from the death of Queen Rhaena to whenever Helaena claimed her, Balerion was riderless between Aerea and Viserys I.

Another dragon could have been invented to be first ridden by one of Jaehaerys' children to then later become the second dragon of Viserys I - him being a dragonless king is both a joke and, in my opinion, a mistake that undermines the entire concept of the dragons being the source of power of the Targaryen kings since the most powerful Targaryen king is now a man who never rode a dragon while he was king - only to die somehow before the beginning of the Dance.

You also see that George kind of got confused when writing on the reign of Jaehaerys I there with the whole cradle eggs thing. He changed TSotD so that it included the legend about Rhaena putting the dragon eggs into the cradles of Jaehaerys and Alysanne, respectively, thus starting the tradition of the cradle eggs. But his eldest living child, Daenerys, later doesn't have an egg nor a dragon hatched from a cradle egg when she catches the Shivers - because the king has to sent for Dragonstone for a dragon. When Prince Aemon is born Jaehaerys allegedly put an egg in his cradle but it then just disappears. Caraxes, Aemon's dragon, didn't hatch from such an egg, he was much later claimed by the prince in the Dragonpit.

If Jaehaerys' children had all gotten dragon eggs in their cradles most/all of them would have hatched ... and then they would have all been dragonriders. But that's not what he wanted the story to be, so the cradle eggs thing is suddenly dropped.

Instead, there is a scenario where the royal dragons were all jealously guarded by the king in the Dragonpit, apparently as a result of the dragon eggs theft by Elissa Farman and the Aerea debacle, with the princes and princesses needing royal permission to claim a dragon ... and them not exactly have a birthright to a dragon. Especially since none of them (save Aemon) were given dragon eggs or hatchlings like the Targaryens of the past and the future.

That said, all that still doesn't explains why there were only three children of Jaehaerys I who became dragonriders:

49 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

Maegelle the pious, Vaegon the maester and Daella the shy & frightened - the next 3 in birth order, do not seem to have had the right temperament.  And Daella, in any event, was only 18 when she died.  

For Maegelle it makes sense that nobody would offer her a dragon. They announced that she would join the Faith when she was only ten, but one imagines Alysanne had made that plan earlier. Although, strictly speaking, I'm not sure why joining the Faith and being a dragonrider should be mutually exclusive.

Vaegon and Daella were supposed to marry, though. Daella's fear of dragons explains why she never bonded with a dragon, but it doesn't explain the Vaegon situation. Vaegon being forced to go to the Citadel was a very late decision and clearly not the plan the king had for his third son. He was to grow up, become a proper martial Targaryen man, and marry some woman, preferrably one of his sisters. He was nearly a man grown by the time his father followed the Grand Maester's advice and commanded him to go to Oldtown. At that time, Vaegon technically could have already been a dragonrider. It is odd that the king forced the boy to train in the yard while at the same time not also forcing him to claim a dragon.

49 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

Saera the rebellious tried to steal a dragon, but the guards stopped her and her dad was furious.  I'm not sure he was wrong.

It makes sense that Saera would be prevented from claiming a dragon when she tried to sneak into the Pit ... but it is odd that the girl didn't already have a dragon at that time. She very much knew how to manipulate her father earlier ... and there were more than enough dragons at the Dragonpit. And Saera was already seventeen in 84 AC when she was disgraced, older than all her dragonriding siblings when they claimed their dragons.

Saera being a dragonrider could have worked to illustrate what might happen if a dragonrider and his dragon are permanently separated. Saera's story would make it impossible for her to take her dragon with her when she fled into exile, so her dragon could have turned into a foul and evil creature which they had to incarcerate permanently in the Dragonpit.

49 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

Viserra died at 15.  Which did not give her much of a chance.

Viserra did definitely have a chance since one of the stories about her puts her directly at the Dragonpit where she dared young men to put their hands into the mouths of the dragons. She was right there, with the dragons, and could have claimed one. It is very odd that she apparently didn't do this. There isn't really a narrative reason for this. Viserra died early, so she could have been a dragonrider for a day or a fortnight or a couple of months before that. And it could actually have been an interesting way to raise the tension between Alysanne and her daughter over the Manderly marriage some more if Viserra had claimed a dragon shortly before her untimely death.

Also, since Viserra apparently wanted to marry Baelon this desire could have been illustrated further if Viserra had claimed her late sister Alyssa's dragon, Meleys, when she started to hit on Baelon.

49 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

Gael died at 19.

About her we don't really know much. One could argue that her being simple, allegedly, means that she wouldn't have been given a dragon. But then, the other royal simpleton, Jaehaera, also had a dragon, so this wouldn't be a good reason. Gael being a favorite of the queen would also mean that nobody should want to stop her from claiming a dragon.

The deaths of Alyssa and Aemon also freed two dragons to be claimed by other riders - and they were claimed by Jaehaerys' grandchildren - so it is also odd in this context that the children who were still around at the time (which were still Saera and Viserra and Gael when Alyssa died) didn't use those chances.

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3 hours ago, Megorova said:

If you mean Jaehaerys I then he had 13 children not 10. And they didn't became dragonriders because 11 of them were killed by the Faceless Men who were wearing identities of this Kingsguards - Gyles Morrigen, Ryam Redwyne, Robin Shaw, Clement Crabb.

wow I've never read that before. do you have a source or is this more your own theory?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

do you have a source or is this more your own theory?

It's my own theory. I wrote some parts of it here (this is about Daenerys' death)

https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/109496-a-compendium-of-theories-v2/&do=findComment&comment=8659062

 and here (about Baelor Breakspear's death)

https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/109496-a-compendium-of-theories-v2/&do=findComment&comment=8660399

I have read The Hedge Knight twice and haven't noticed there anything suspicious. Though during both of those times I was skipping thru details of Baelor's death, because it was kind of too gory and it was already obvious that he will die, and I liked him as a character so I didn't wanted to read in details about his last moments prior he died. So that's why I haven't noticed that he was killed not by Maekar but by the Faceless Men. This is the scene of his death:

Quote

Dunk saw something red and wet fall out of the helm. Someone was screaming, high and terrible. Against the bleak grey sky swayed a tall tall prince in black armor with only half a skull. He could see red blood and pale bone beneath and something else, something blue-grey and pulpy.

I have watched a lot of medical and crime&law tv-series, those that are well done and are tending to portray a realistical cases, crime csenes, traumas, victims, etc. Such as 911, ER, House M.D., Grey's Anatomy, The Good Doctor, CSI (Las Vegas, New York, Miami), Law & Order, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Hannibal, etc.

I realised that Baelor couldn't have been killed by Maekar, only when I was reading THK for the third time and this time without skipping any details.

So with that kind of brain-damage Baelor wouldn't have lived for more than 5 minutes, and he fought with Maekat 20-30 minutes prior to the moment of his death. Furthermore, head traumas bleed a lot. I know that not only from TV-shows but from real life too. So if Baelor really got hit by Maekar, and by some miracle he would have been still alive 20 minutes later, with his skull broken and piece of his brain detached from the rest of it, then he would have been drowning in his own blood. It would have been gushing from every nook and crevice in his helm and armor, he would have been choking on his own blood that would have been pouring in rivers from his wound to his face and down.

So the reason why more of Jaehaerys' children didn't became dragonriders and why in later generations of Targaryens there was less and less dragonriders amongst them, is because they were eradicated by the Faceless Men. And not only during Jaehaerys' reign but also during the reign of the Targaryen Kings before him and after him. Seems likely that there was at least one Faceless Man in every set of the Kingsguards (the very first was Humfrey the Mummer, the latest one was Mandon Moore, and amongst the current one there's none, because for some reason they were ordered by the Sealord to withdraw from royal court and were given different assignments elsewhere).

Edited by Megorova

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11 minutes ago, Megorova said:

okay these pretty great. do you think Mandon Moore might have been a faceless man then?

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

do you think Mandon Moore might have been a faceless man then?

Yes, though until a few months ago, prior I noticed what's going on in the plot on the Braavos' side of it, I used to think that Mandon Moore was working for Varys. Then, same as now, I thought that he didn't actually died, he just needed to leave King's Landing because he got a different assignment, and that he attacked Tyrion because that's what Varys ordered him to do - not to kill him, just to maim him a bit (to put a wedge between Tyrion and Cersei). There was an obvious parallel between what happened to Tyrion and Myrcella (Tyrion was made to think that the attack on him was Cersei's doing, and Cersei was made to think that the attack on Myrcella was Tyrion's doing). I thought that both of them were attacked on Varys' order and that Mandon was one of Varys' agents, same as Gerold Dayne. Though now to me it seems more likely that Mandon wasn't one of Varys' people, instead he was one of the Faceless Men. Varys just saw what happened to Tyrion and knew about him suspecting that it was done on Cersei's order, so he gave an order to Gerold to maim Myrcella, which made Cersei to think that Tyrion ordered this. 

Edited by Megorova

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

Or rather: he apparently didn't want to invent more dragons and then explain why they weren't around during the Dance. Although that would have been pretty easily doable.

I'm a fan of the "illusion of depth" even though I know it is just an illusion.  I am therefore perfectly willing to assume that there might be more to know, even if GRRM has not had time to write it or even invent it.  I'm not a fan of the idea that nothing ever happens when the camera is not rolling.  So yeah, as far as I'm concerned there could be more dragons we don't know about.

But sure, it could be part of the explanation that the Targs have run out of dragons ... or have run out of easily tractable dragons.  And since bonding with a dragon is not guaranteed, it may be that one has more chance of bonding when there are more potential dragons to choose from.  Like falling in love, or something.

Quote

In addition, there were riderless dragons in that era that could have been claimed: Dreamfyre was riderless, apparently, from the death of Queen Rhaena to whenever Helaena claimed her, Balerion was riderless between Aerea and Viserys I.

Dragons are not robots.  I don't think they can be bonded with upon command.  I see nothing here that requires explanation.

Quote

That said, all that still doesn't explains why there were only three children of Jaehaerys I who became dragonriders:

I see nothing to explain.  Riding dragons is a very odd and seemingly suicidal thing to do.    That it happens as frequently and regularly as it does is odd enough.  I see no need to wonder why it does not happen more regularly.

Quote

For Maegelle it makes sense that nobody would offer her a dragon.

Throwing children at dragons sounds to me like a good way to get them killed.  If Maegelle had no particular desire or affinity for dragons, then I see no reason to push her on them, even if some were available.

Quote

It is odd that the king forced the boy to train in the yard while at the same time not also forcing him to claim a dragon.

Again, forcing someone to claim a dragon sounds to me like a non-workable concept.  .

Quote

It makes sense that Saera would be prevented from claiming a dragon when she tried to sneak into the Pit ... but it is odd that the girl didn't already have a dragon at that time.

I see nothing odd about it.

Quote

Viserra did definitely have a chance since one of the stories about her puts her directly at the Dragonpit where she dared young men to put their hands into the mouths of the dragons. She was right there, with the dragons, and could have claimed one.

Could she?  Having her fearless in the presence of a dragon is odd enough without insisting that she attempt suicide by jumping on their back as well.  Also, it may be the dragons she did not fear were the same ones already bonded with close family, and who were unlikely to hurt her for that reason.

Quote

About her we don't really know much. One could argue that her being simple, allegedly, means that she wouldn't have been given a dragon. But then, the other royal simpleton, Jaehaera, also had a dragon, so this wouldn't be a good reason. Gael being a favorite of the queen would also mean that nobody should want to stop her from claiming a dragon.

I'm not sure why Alyssanne should be particularly eager to see her youngest daughter die horribly.  Once again, you seem to assume too much

Quote

The deaths of Alyssa and Aemon also freed two dragons to be claimed by other riders - and they were claimed by Jaehaerys' grandchildren - so it is also odd in this context that the children who were still around at the time (which were still Saera and Viserra and Gael when Alyssa died) didn't use those chances.

No it isn't odd.  Once again, you assume that such things are completely controllable.  Next you'll be making rules about who people should or should not fall in love with. 

Edited by Mister Smikes

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No interest.
You don't have to have a dragon, just to have one.
Jaehaerys, Alysanne, Aemon and Baelon played in politics and war.
So being a dragonrider was a big plus.
But the other children were of no use except to be married.

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13 hours ago, Megorova said:

If you mean Jaehaerys I then he had 13 children not 10. And they didn't became dragonriders because 11 of them were killed by the Faceless Men who were wearing identities of this Kingsguards - Gyles Morrigen, Ryam Redwyne, Robin Shaw, Clement Crabb.

1. Aegon - he was either poisoned or smothered with a pillow.

2. Daenerys - she was poisoned by Gyles Morrigen and the Barefoot Girl who joined the kitchen's stuff a day prior Daenerys' death. The poison was in the bread that Daenerys ate at the New Year's Eve dinner.

3. Aemon - he was assassinated by the Faceless Men who were wearing identities of the Myrish scouts. Their target was Aemon, not Cameron Tarth.

4. Baelon - poisoned.

5. Alyssa - slowly poisoned to make it look like a long illness. She died within a year after giving birth to her son Aegon. Little Aegon died soon after his mother. Probably he was smothered with a pillow by one of the Kingsguards/FM.

6. Maegelle - the Faceless Men infected her with greyscale (same as they did to Shireen Baratheon) because she was constantly butting in into their business and mending broken relatioship between her parents. The Faceless Men were working their asses off to get rid of all prospective dragonriders, and when Jaehaerys and Alysanne were quarreling, they weren't making more children, which suited FM just fine. But then came Maegelle and ruined the balance, again and again. So eventually they had to kill her too. Even though originally she wasn't in their death-list, because she wasn't one of the dragonriders, and as a septa she would have never became a dragonrider. Though because she was interfering into her parents' relationship, the Faceless Men eventually decided to kill her too.

7. Vaegon - this one became a maester, which is equal to not ever becoming a dragonrider. That's why he got spared.

8. Daella - supposedly she died from childbed fever, but that's bullshit. Childbed fever or puerperal fever are any bacterial infections of the female reproductive tract following childbirth or miscarriage. Daella was a Targaryen/dragonseed, so she was immune to all viruses and bacterias. Her fever was caused by poison, that after her child's birth was regularly given to her in small doses by the Faceless Men.

9. Saera - this one survived because the Faceless Men had plans to use her as a breeder. They made a deal with Alyssa Farman who stole for them three Targaryen dragon eggs. To hatch those eggs the Sealord required three childen with blood of the dragons (Targaryens), thus the Faceless Men orchestrated Saera's fall out with her family, her going to Essos and becoming a whore. Her three bastards were supposed to hatch those dragon eggs that belonged to the Sealord, though they failed (same as later failed three bastard-children of Bellegere Otherys and Aegon the Unworthy, and same as the three Lyseni bastards of Aerion Brightflame).

10. Viserra - "Near midnight the princess and her remaining companions raced back to the Red Keep. At the foot of Aegon's High Hill, Viserra's palfrey collided with the mare of one of her companions. Viserra was thrown from her saddle into a wall, and she died of a broken neck at the age of fifteen."

Nowadays it's sabotaged cars and faked car accidents, in the past it was done thru horse accidents. Viserra's horse was given something, either poison or narcotics, whatever it was it caused the horse to go wild, which then resulted in the rider's death.

How something like this could be done? Easy-peasy. The Faceless Men applied the drug or poison in a powder form to the underside of a saddle. At this point it wasn't affecting the horse. Then after some time of riding the horse got sweaty. The horses sweat a lot. So some time after the rider and the horse rode out from the point of departure, gradually the horse became sweating, the underside of the saddle became wet, the powder started to dissolve into the sweat and to get thru the horse's skin into its bloodstream. Bit by bit the poison or narcotics gathered in the blood and started to affect the horse. The horse became uncontrollable. In Viserra's case it's collided with the horse of one of her companions, then she was thrown off the horse and broke her neck.

11 & 12. Gaemon (died at the age a bit less than three months old), Valerion (died two weeks prior to his first birthday) - both children were either poisoned or smothered with a pillow. If they had some sort of desease or condition incompatible with life, then they would have died a few hours or days after being born. Though they had lived - the first for nearly three months and the second for nearly a year. And that's without baby-box ICU/life-support system.

13. Gael - "Gael had been seduced and impregnated by a traveling singer. After Gael had given birth to a stillborn son, she had walked into Blackwater Bay and drowned, overwhelmed by her grief".

It's likely that that traveling singer was a Faceless Man and the Sealord was intending to use Gael's child to hatch dragon eggs. That was after Saera's children failed to do so.

 

So Jaehaerys didn't make all his kids dragonriders because the Faceless Men were working hard to prevent it.

 

What is this pile of nonsense lol

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17 hours ago, Mister Smikes said:

I'm a fan of the "illusion of depth" even though I know it is just an illusion.  I am therefore perfectly willing to assume that there might be more to know, even if GRRM has not had time to write it or even invent it.  I'm not a fan of the idea that nothing ever happens when the camera is not rolling.  So yeah, as far as I'm concerned there could be more dragons we don't know about.

But sure, it could be part of the explanation that the Targs have run out of dragons ... or have run out of easily tractable dragons.  And since bonding with a dragon is not guaranteed, it may be that one has more chance of bonding when there are more potential dragons to choose from.  Like falling in love, or something.

You don't need the illusion of depth for that - such dragons are there, in FaB. There are dozens of nameless and riderless dragons in the books starting with the dozen that hatched in the later reign of the Conqueror, followed by the two hatchlings of 37 AC, the three eggs of Dreamfyre that hatch after her return to Dragonstone, all the dragons and drakes that are on Dragonstone when Aerea is there in addition to Vhagar and Balerion, and the dragons that are in the Dragonpit in addition to those young dragons Aemon and Alyssa claim.

But this doesn't change the fact that George obviously didn't want to invent another named dragon when he wrote the chapters about the reign of Jaehaerys I. Because he didn't do that. The three children of Jaehaerys I who became dragonriders were given dragons which had already been introduced in the already published material.

And as I laid out both Balerion and, especially, Dreamfyre could have had had more riders since they were riderless for decades.

17 hours ago, Mister Smikes said:

Dragons are not robots.  I don't think they can be bonded with upon command.  I see nothing here that requires explanation.

I see nothing to explain.  Riding dragons is a very odd and seemingly suicidal thing to do.    That it happens as frequently and regularly as it does is odd enough.  I see no need to wonder why it does not happen more regularly.

There you are obviously mistaken. Claiming a dragon isn't 'suicidal' for a Targaryen ... since, to our knowledge, no Targaryen was ever killed or even injured when he tried to claim a dragon. That only happened to the obscure dragonseed dragonriders during the Dance.

All we hear is that it is risky to mount a large and foul-tempered dragon like old Vhagar. But even she was claimed successfully by ten-year-old Aemond and before that by a Laena Velaryon who was twelve when she is first mentioned as Vhagar's rider - which indicates she may have been still younger when she claimed her. Also, the Targaryens were throwing hatchlings at toddlers and preteen children, basically, if you consider how old Aenys, Rhaena, Jaehaerys, Alysanne, Laenor, Rhaenyra, and all her children were when they got their dragons.

In that sense, the Targaryens are as weird as Eddard Stark who also thinks it is a great idea that preteen children (the youngest being three at the time) can and should train direwolf pups all by themselves. And unlike the Targaryens - who know they are the magical blood of the dragon - Ned had no clue all his children were skinchangers who would magically bond and master their pups.

Also, Jaehaerys' children become dragonriders at a rather old age - Rhaena, Jaehaerys, Alysanne, Laena, Rhaenyra, Rhaenyra's sons, Daeron the Daring, Baela, etc. all became dragonriders at a younger age than Aemon, Baelon, and Alyssa.

Your argument that the children of Jaehaerys who didn't become dragonriders were too young to be dragonriders when they died or left court for good is thus not convincing. It doesn't explain anything.

As I said, it could explain why no one bothered giving Maegelle a dragon. She was given to the Faith at the age of ten. But Vaegon, Saera, Viserra, and Gael were old enough to claim dragons of their own ... and there is no reason given why they didn't do this. Daella is the only child of Jaehaerys I where there is real explanation why she didn't claim a dragon - she was afraid of them.

In a similar sense it is also quite weird that Aegon the Uncrowned and his brother Viserys didn't claim any dragons during the reign of their father. They were the elder sons of King Aenys, after all. One can, perhaps, assume that Aegon was waiting to claim Vhagar after Visenya's eventual death, but if Rhaena and Jaehaerys and Alysanne were given eggs or hatchlings it's quite odd that nobody ever gave a dragon to Viserys.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

You don't need the illusion of depth for that -

Matter of taste.  

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such dragons are there, in FaB.

No matter how many dragons he makes, there will always be blank spaces at the borders of his maps and accounts.

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But this doesn't change the fact that George obviously didn't want to invent another named dragon when he wrote the chapters about the reign of Jaehaerys I. Because he didn't do that.

I can still be open to the idea that such creatures existed, and maybe even had names.

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There you are obviously mistaken. Claiming a dragon isn't 'suicidal' for a Targaryen ... since, to our knowledge, no Targaryen was ever killed or even injured when he tried to claim a dragon. That only happened to the obscure dragonseed dragonriders during the Dance.

I did not say it was 'suicidal".  You are ignoring what I actually did say in your overeagerness to tell me I a wrong.  It may be perfectly safe to approach a dragon, depending on the magical psychic affinity the human and the dragon have for each other.  All I am saying is that the oddness lies in the safety, not in the danger.

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Your argument that the children of Jaehaerys who didn't become dragonriders were too young to be dragonriders when they died or left court for good is thus not convincing. It doesn't explain anything.

I never made took such a position or made such an argument.  I merely pointed out that dying young deprives one of opportuntities to bond with dragons later in life, just as dying young deprives one of opportunities of falling in love later in life.

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In a similar sense it is also quite weird that Aegon the Uncrowned and his brother Viserys didn't claim any dragons during the reign of their father. 

I see nothing odd about it, and am challenging your assumption that this sort of thing can be ordered on demand.  That it happens semi-regularly does not prove it should happen more regularly.

Edited by Mister Smikes

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43 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

Matter of taste.  

No matter how many dragons he makes, there will always be blank spaces at the borders of his maps and accounts.

I can still be open to the idea that such creatures existed, and maybe even had names.

That's an irrelevant point since such creatures are actually mentioned in the text, meaning there is no reason for you to assume they may have existed because they actually did exist. And the number of Targaryen dragons living in the Dragonpit and on Dragonstone is definitely limited.

43 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

I never made took such a position or made such an argument.  I merely pointed out that dying young deprives one of opportuntities to bond with dragons later in life, just as dying young deprives one of opportunities of falling in love later in life.

Your point is irrelevant to the question at hand since the people we talk about didn't die at an age where most Targaryens who became dragonriders weren't already dragonriders.

The assumption that Targaryens bond with dragons 'late in life' is kind of odd, too. Targaryens claim dragons young in life or not at all. Maegor was the oldest Targaryen dragonrider when he claimed Balerion at the age of 25 - and that was not for lack of opportunity to claim other dragons (many were offered to him) but because he was waiting for his father to die so he could claim Balerion. All other Targaryen dragonriders either claimed their dragons in childhood and early youth. And most of them had bonded with their dragons much earlier since they were given to them in infancy or childhood.

There is also no indication that a dragon ever rejected a Targaryen or that a special link had to be established to claim a dragon. All a Targaryen needs to do is mount a dragon and they are linked for life.

43 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

I see nothing odd about it, and am challenging your assumption that this sort of thing can be ordered on demand.  That it happens semi-regularly does not prove it should happen more regularly.

Of course this can be ordered on demand. No Targaryen was ever rejected by a dragon, and since they are the backbone of Targaryen power any Targaryen king or heir would have a vested interest in making his elder sons dragonriders. A Targaryen prince without a dragon is just a guy.

The problem with the question at hand - and that's why it is a question that's asked here - is that the author didn't give an explanation why most of Jaehaerys I's children didn't claim dragons. We have sort of answers for Maegelle and Daella, but that's it. For the others there are no answers given.

Speculation doesn't really help here, because the only guy who could answer that question is George. And refused to do that, just as he did for Prince Viserys and Viserys I during his reign. It just doesn't make any sense that those people did not want to be dragonriders.

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That's an irrelevant point since such creatures are actually mentioned in the text, meaning there is no reason for you to assume they may have existed because they actually did exist. And the number of Targaryen dragons living in the Dragonpit and on Dragonstone is definitely limited.

It's not an irrelevant point.  I am open to the existence of more dragons than we know of, and specifically, at specific points in time.   I do not assume these things, I am merely open to them.  My position is that there is alot we do not know.

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Your point is irrelevant to the question at hand since the people we talk about didn't die at an age where most Targaryens who became dragonriders weren't already dragonriders.

In order for my point to be irrelevant, you would have to change the word "most" to "all".

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The assumption that Targaryens bond with dragons 'late in life' is kind of odd, too.

I made no such assumption.  I merely assumed that dying young is a factor that limits one's life opportunities.

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Targaryens claim dragons young in life or not at all. Maegor was the oldest Targaryen dragonrider when he claimed Balerion at the age of 25

Well then, obviously, if he had died at 7, or 15, or 18 or 19, he would not, in this case, have claimed a dragon.

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There is also no indication that a dragon ever rejected a Targaryen or that a special link had to be established to claim a dragon. All a Targaryen needs to do is mount a dragon and they are linked for life.

I don't assume it is that simple.  If I did, I might find the evidence is as odd as you claim it is.  Perhaps the problem is with your assumptions.

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Of course this can be ordered on demand. No Targaryen was ever rejected by a dragon, and since they are the backbone of Targaryen power any Targaryen king or heir would have a vested interest in making his elder sons dragonriders. A Targaryen prince without a dragon is just a guy.

The problem with the question at hand - and that's why it is a question that's asked here - is that the author didn't give an explanation why most of Jaehaerys I's children didn't claim dragons. We have sort of answers for Maegelle and Daella, but that's it. For the others there are no answers given.

Perhaps his ideas on this topic are different than yours and he saw nothing that needed any particular explanation.

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It just doesn't make any sense that those people did not want to be dragonriders.

Not wanting to die makes perfect sense to me.  And most people  on this forum call Quentyn a fool for tackling Viserion and Rhaegal.

Many of the dragonseeds ran into difficulties and dangers.  Adam Velaryon succeeded with Seasmoke, but his brother Alyn failed with Sheepstealer, suffered life-long burn scars, and I guess would have died had Seasmoke not driven Sheepstealer off.  And I am reluctant to assume that legitimacy of birth, or the Targaryen name, has some magical power.

Edited by Mister Smikes

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44 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

It's not an irrelevant point.  I am open to the existence of more dragons than we know of, and specifically, at specific points in time.   I do not assume these things, I am merely open to them.  My position is that there is alot we do not know.

But this is an irrelevant point in this context since we know that there more dragons in the era we are talking who are not named in FaB.

The fact that those dragons are mentioned in passing in the text is important because a lack of such dragons could have explained why certain Targaryens didn't claim dragons. You can only ride existing dragons, after all. But since such dragons are mentioned there clearly were dragons the younger children of Jaehaerys I could have claimed. In addition to the riderless dragons that we know were available, too.

44 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

I made no such assumption.  I merely assumed that dying young is a factor that limits one's life opportunities.

Well then, obviously, if he had died at 7, or 15, or 18 or 19, he would not, in this case, have claimed a dragon.

It is a factor for the four children who died in infancy/early childhood. The others clearly could have been dragonriders since many other Targaryens - including Alysanne and Jaehaerys themselves - were already dragonriders at a very young age.

In fact, strictly speaking, we don't even know that Maegelle and Viserra and Gael weren't dragonriders. We can assume Vaegon wasn't a dragonrider because he is named 'the Dragonless' whereas Daella's fear indicates she never mounted a dragon, either. And for Saera it's confirmed that she wanted to claim a dragon when her father had her imprisoned and failed, so she never was a dragonrider, either.

But Maegelle, Viserra, and Gael are never implied to not have ridden dragons so they might have. We cannot pretend to know they did not.

44 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

I don't assume it is that simple.  If I did, I might find the evidence is as odd as you claim it is.  Perhaps the problem is with your assumptions.

Those are not assumptions, they are facts given in the novels we read. The way you become a dragonrider is to successfully ride a dragon once. That's it.

44 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

Perhaps his ideas on this topic are different than yours and he saw nothing that needed any particular explanation.

That he would still have to explain this in the books he writes, no? It is not my fault when things do not make much sense ... that's the problem of the author. I don't have to care about things not making much sense, of course ... but I can. And I do.

44 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

Not wanting to die makes perfect sense to me.  And most people  on this forum call Quentyn a fool for tackling Viserion and Rhaegal.

Quentyn isn't a Targaryen and he wasn't killed by the dragon he tried to tackle - Viserion. His failure was that he ignored Rhaegal too long.

The characters of the people we talk about here do not indicate that we should imagine them as cowards or people afraid that a dragon would kill them. They grew up around dragons, seeing the dragons of their parents everyday since they were kept in the Red Keep and not the Dragonpit. Neither Maegelle nor Vaegon are described as cowards. Gael may have been, but we know too little about her to know. And Saera and Viserra are pretty much described as headstrong people who weren't afraid of anything.

The idea that either of those didn't claim a dragon because they feared one of the beasts could kill them isn't implied in the text. George also clearly marked both Daella and Aegon III as 'weirdo Targaryens' by explicitly mentioning that they were afraid of dragons. This is not something one should presuppose without good reason when talking about a family whose members are famed for riding dragons. If Maegelle, Vaegon, Saera, Viserra, or Gael didn't claim a dragon because they feared for their lives if they tried then the author should have mentioned that.

And he pretty much confirmed that Saera wasn't afraid of that since she actually tried to claim a dragon.

44 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

Many of the dragonseeds ran into difficulties and dangers.  Adam Velaryon succeeded with Seasmoke, but his brother Alyn failed with Sheepstealer, suffered life-long burn scars, and I guess would have died had Seasmoke not driven Sheepstealer off.  And I am reluctant to assume that legitimacy of birth, or the Targaryen name, has some magical power.

Of course the name has nothing to do with that. But Addam and Alyn are very distantly related to the Targaryens if they are the children of Corlys (which seems to be the origin story most likely to be true). And there you also have to differentiate between wild dragons who are not accustomed to humans and castle dragons who are pampered and cared for by humans. Sheepstealer was very dangerous because he was a wild dragon who pretty much attacked any human approaching him. Chances are pretty good that Alyn could have claimed him if he had tried a second or third time ... especially if he had combined that with Nettles' approach to get the dragon accept his presence before trying to jump on his back.

No Targaryen we know of ever tried to claim a wild dragon like Sheepstealer before Alyn. Although Dany's dragons now also sort of fall in that category - they were raised and cared for by Dany but then she turned against them, drove Drogon off into the wilderness and imprisoned Viserion and Rhaegal. The latter clearly are more wary of humans now than they were before and behave like wild dragons when they make their lairs in the pyramids. And Drogon is pretty much a wild dragon when Dany claims him, too. He still sort of remembers her but they didn't separate on good terms and Drogon nearly killed Daenerys when she mounted him ... although part of the reason there also is that Drogon was attacked by various people when Dany mounted him.

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

But this is an irrelevant point in this context since we know that there more dragons in the era we are talking who are not named in FaB.

It's not irrelevant to me, because, as I already explained, I don't assume that specific dragons can be claimed on a whim or that the number of available dragons to potentially bond with is irrelevant to one's chances of success.

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The fact that those dragons are mentioned in passing in the text is important because a lack of such dragons could have explained why certain Targaryens didn't claim dragons.

It still could be an explanation, for all I know.  There are all kinds of reasons why a dragon available at one point might be unavailable at another point, or to a specific person, even if still alive.

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But since such dragons are mentioned there clearly were dragons the younger children of Jaehaerys I could have claimed.

I don't agree that this is "clear" at all.  There are all kinds of potential reasons why this might have been impossible.

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The others clearly could have been dragonriders since many other Targaryens - including Alysanne and Jaehaerys themselves - were already dragonriders at a very young age.

Not clear at all.  Different Targaryens.  Different dragons.  I have no idea why you are trying to lay down hard and fast rules.  It makes no sense to me at all.   Jahaerys's son Aemon flew Caraxes for the first time at 17; and you are taking a hard line that other children dying at 15, 18 or 19 can have no possible relevance to whether they are mentioned as dragonriders in the histories.

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In fact, strictly speaking, we don't even know that Maegelle and Viserra and Gael weren't dragonriders.

Yes, I already pointed that out above.  It is among the many, many things we do not know.

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We can assume Vaegon wasn't a dragonrider because he is named 'the Dragonless' whereas Daella's fear indicates she never mounted a dragon, either. And for Saera it's confirmed that she wanted to claim a dragon when her father had her imprisoned and failed, so she never was a dragonrider, either.

I'm not sure we can be 100% sure in their cases either.  They could have had dragons that died.

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Those are not assumptions, they are facts given in the novels we read. The way you become a dragonrider is to successfully ride a dragon once. That's it.

Lol.  Easier said than done, I guess, as Alyn Velarion learned.

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That he would still have to explain this in the books he writes, no? It is not my fault when things do not make much sense ... that's the problem of the author. I don't have to care about things not making much sense, of course ... but I can. And I do.

The problem is with your assumptions.  If you did not insist on making unproven assumptions, you would not have this excuse to preach to the author.  GRRM needs to be writing WINDS, not explaining in excruciating detail why every single Targaryen ever born was not also a dragonrider.

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The idea that either of those didn't claim a dragon because they feared one of the beasts could kill them isn't implied in the text.

It isn't ruled out either.  Good grief!  Are you really going to argue that dragons are not dangerous?

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If Maegelle, Vaegon, Saera, Viserra, or Gael didn't claim a dragon because they feared for their lives if they tried then the author should have mentioned that.

I see no mystery.  I can think of a dozen possible reasons why they did not ride dragons.  Possibly including this one.  

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And he pretty much confirmed that Saera wasn't afraid of that since she actually tried to claim a dragon.

Overcoming one's fear, and for a strong motive too, in no way implies lack of fear.  Did not Ned Stark explain that in Book 1?

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Of course the name has nothing to do with that. But Addam and Alyn are very distantly related to the Targaryens if they are the children of Corlys (which seems to be the origin story most likely to be true).

If genetics matters, then no Targaryen need be genetically identical to any other Targaryen.  Any child of Jahaerys and Alysanne may take after its Valyrian grandparent (who did not ride a dragon), rather than its Targaryen grandparent (who rode a dragon).  And the full-sibling incest means each child is getting roughly half his/her heritage from that Valyrian grandparent.

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And there you also have to differentiate between wild dragons who are not accustomed to humans and castle dragons who are pampered and cared for by humans.

I have already argued that different dragons have different personalities, are not robots, and cannot necessarily be claimed on demand.  But sure, a "tame" dragon, that maybe has a relationship with the family already, and maybe was already ridden by your recently-deceased dad, might give you enhanced chances of success.  But of course, there are going to be a limited number of such tried-and-true family-bonded dragons.

Edited by Mister Smikes

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

It is a factor for the four children who died in infancy/early childhood. The others clearly could have been dragonriders since many other Targaryens - including Alysanne and Jaehaerys themselves - were already dragonriders at a very young age.

Are you the same Lord Varys who posed similar concerns to GRRM on his 4/25/2018 Not-A-Blog?  If so, it looks like you are having a bit of trouble accepting the answer he gave you.

GRRM:  "As to when and how various Targaryens have become dragonriders... well, it varies.  And I think that is realistic, based on what I have seen and learned from my real world friends who ride horses.  Some begin to ride when they are very young, some as teenagers, some not until adulthood.  There are even cases of riders who don't get on a horse till retirement.  Horses vary, people vary, and so do dragons and their riders."

 

 

Edited by Mister Smikes

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Posted (edited)

There's one factor that we should always have present when discussing about this topic. Jaehaerys surely always had at the forefront of his mind the dangers of a civil war between branches of his family, since his two elder brothers had been killed by an uncle just because he had the bigger dragon.

As the Conquest or the Fourth Dornish War proved, three dragonriders is enough for an uncontested rule of the realm. You don't really need more. Meanwhile, marrying Vaella to Rodrik Arryn or Viserra to Theomore Manderly would have converted those families in rival dragonriders if the girls had owned dragons at the time.

So, even if there are plenty of eggs available, Jaehaerys would want to avoid that there were too many Targaryen branches with dragons. And most of all, he'd go to any lengths to prevent any other family to obtain dragons through marriage.

Daenerys is born year 53 AC, but Jaehaerys doesn't consider her his heir and she isn't given an egg. Aemon is born at 55 AC, and he's given an egg because he was the heir that Jaehaerys wanted. None of the children born afterwards (starting with Baelon at 57 AC) had eggs placed at their cradles.

The maesters at court would surely agree with Jaehaerys on that matter, and would help him with his goal when educating the royal children. Only two lines with dragons could be allowed (a heir and a spare), so after Aemon+Jocelyn and Baelon+Alyssa, no one else could have dragons. Maegelle, Vaegon and Daella all had different personalities, but they all had in common that they were completely uninterested in dragons. They also tried to bring up Saera and Viserra that way, but they rebelled against that. (Saera tried to steal the dragon herself, Viserra tried to marry Baelon).

Edited by The hairy bear

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3 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

There's one factor that we should always have present when discussing about this topic. Jaehaerys surely always had at the forefront of his mind the dangers of a civil war between branches of his family, since his two elder brothers had been killed by an uncle just because he had the bigger dragon.

As the Conquest or the Fourth Dornish War proved, three dragonriders is enough for an uncontested rule of the realm. You don't really need more. Meanwhile, marrying Vaella to Rodrik Arryn or Viserra to Theomore Manderly would have converted those families in rival dragonriders if the girls had owned dragons at the time.

So, even if there are plenty of eggs available, Jaehaerys would want to avoid that there were too many Targaryen branches with dragons. And most of all, he'd go to any lengths to prevent any other family to obtain dragons through marriage.

Daenerys is born year 53 AC, but Jaehaerys doesn't consider her his heir and she isn't given an egg. Aemon is born at 55 AC, and he's given an egg because he was the heir that Jaehaerys wanted. None of the children born afterwards (starting with Baelon at 57 AC) had eggs placed at their cradles.

The maesters at court would surely agree with Jaehaerys on that matter, and would help him with his goal when educating the royal children. Only two lines with dragons could be allowed (a heir and a spare), so after Aemon+Jocelyn and Baelon+Alyssa, no one else could have dragons. Maegelle, Vaegon and Daella all had different personalities, but they all had in common that they were completely uninterested in dragons. They also tried to bring up Saera and Viserra that way, but they rebelled against that. (Saera tried to steal the dragon herself, Viserra tried to marry Baelon).

That is a nice speculation, but Jaehaerys doesn't seem to be concerned much with civil war, especially not with a civil war which might be started by a woman. After all, he doesn't really care about Rhaenys having a dragon when he passes her over in the succession. And later still he allows Rhaenys and her son Laenor dragons. Laenor has a dragon already in 101 AC. If the king had been wary of civil war - which he should have been after 92 AC - then he should have not permitted Rhaenys' children dragons. We don't know when Laena claimed Vhagar, but it could have happened before the death of the Old King, too.

The only civil war scenario that is considered at court is considered by the Grand Maester and not the king and it involves the fear that Aemon and Baelon might rip the Realm to pieces just like Aenys' sons and Maegor did.

And, no, female dragonriders marrying outsiders would not make those families dragonriders in their own right. That would only happen if the king allowed them to (1) take their dragons with them when they moved to the castles of their husbands (not a given), and (2) if he allowed the children of those Targaryen women access to dragons (not a given, either). After all, the daughters we are talking about were Targaryens who weren't dragonriders ... meaning that it is possible that the children of a dragonrider - Jaehaerys I, in this case - are not given dragons themselves.

If you look at things it makes no sense that Jaehaerys would not want Vaegon to ride a dragon. He is his son and there is no indication he wasn't interested in dragons. The plan Jaehaerys had for his third son was to marry his sister Daella (and another woman after it became clear Vaegon and Daella didn't get along) and continue the Targaryen bloodline ... meaning he had exactly the same plan for him he had for Aemon and Baelon. The idea to send Vaegon to the Citadel wasn't an idea of either the king or the queen. It is a very late solution to the problem he posed ... and it is basically dependent on Vaegon becoming an Archmaester. Because it is quite clear from the start he isn't suited to become a maester. If Vaegon had been sent to the Citadel as a preteen boy - like Maester Aemon was and we assumed prior to the publication of FaB - then the question why he doesn't have a dragon wouldn't come up. But it comes up for a boy raised to be the same kind of prince his brothers were - and his father expecting the same of him as he expected of Aemon and Baelon.

As I said, for Maegelle and Daella it is clear why they wouldn't have dragons - the former was given to the Faith before she was old enough to claim a dragon and the latter was afraid of dragons. But the other children are neither confirmed to be afraid of dragons nor do their personalities suggest they are uninterested in dragons.

In fact, it makes no sense that anyone who is a Targaryen and has access to dragons would not claim one. Not every Targaryen has to like dragons or animals in general ... but being a dragonrider is just practical. It allows you to fly and means you don't have to drag through the countryside on horseback or take a ship if you go to Dragonstone. That alone should be enough to claim a dragon. And to want one. Some dragonriders really like their dragons and they also like to fly ... but others use them just as the tools they are.

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