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Anthony Appleyard

Points about Jaehaerys I's emergency flight to Alyssa

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Posted (edited)

Ref. https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Jaehaerys_I_Targaryen ::  In Fire & Blood, King Jaehaerys I and Queen Alysanne were flying back on their dragons (Vermithor and Silverwing) home from Oldtown to King's Landing, with 3 planned night stops (Horn Hill, Nightsong, Blackhaven). On the way they got a message that their mother Queen Alyssa was dangerously ill at Storm's End. They fly there, with night stops as needed, and reach her bedside in time.

The time from when the childbirth emergency arose to their arrival, would include the time that it took the message to get from Storm's End to wherever Jaehaerys was en route. If it was by raven, presumably a message raven could not fly faster than a dragon, and it would have had to stop to find food and to perch to sleep overnight. Plus the already-discussed problem of a message raven finding a moving message-recipient. That is several days for Jaehaerys and Alysanne to reach their mother's bedside; that seems a very long time for Alyssa to have survived a very prolonged labour with medical knowledge and technology as it was then.

To shorten that time, we could assume that:

(1) The message raven, and then the king's dragon (Vermithor), continued to fly for part of each night. That depends on how much better than men, ravens and dragons can see by night, and how much the night seeing was helped by moonlight or hindered by dull heavy cloud cover, and in its turn, for the dragon flight, by whether Vermithor could fly high enough to get above overcast cloud, and if so, by whether his riders had a source of high-altitude oxygen, a substance which is not stated in the books to have been known of back then.

(2) The message was not carried by a raven, but travelled instantaneously (or at the speed of light) by some magical or technological means which is not stated anywhere else in the books, unless "glass candles" are meant here.

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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On 6/28/2021 at 3:39 PM, Anthony Appleyard said:

That is several days for Jaehaerys and Alysanne to reach their mother's bedside; that seems a very long time for Alyssa to have survived a very prolonged labour with medical knowledge and technology as it was then.

It was not unusual to have women die for childbirth complications several days after the delivery, due to post-partum infections. For instance, Elizabeth of York died nine days after giving birth, or Lucrecia Borgia died ten days afterward.

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There is nothing weird there. One expects that the king had made the details of his stays clear before leaving Oldtown, and if the the king decides to visit with crucial bannermen of Storm's End then the Lord of Storm's End - who also happens to be the king's stepfather - would be informed about that, too.

Then the maester of Storm's End would have sent ravens to the castles on the king's itinerary, meaning they would have received the news pretty fast.

And Queen Alyssa was in very bad health for quite some time in the late stages of the pregnancy, and Jaehaerys and Alysanne almost didn't make it. Rhaena didn't make it, after all.

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