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House of the Dragon Filming in Spain in October

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On 9/15/2021 at 9:15 PM, The Dragon Demands said:

The step stones get hit by hurricanes going to cape wrath

Which is kind of a tropical thing. 

Tarth is basically famous for it's blue tropical shores. It's called the Sapphire Isle. Its forests and jungles are rainforests, alrough it doesn't make sense for them to be there (it really doesn't. Rainforests are supposed to be along the way of the equator, but anyway). The Stepstones are supposed to be dry, hot and infertile, however. Nothing like Cornwall. But as I said, it's okay,just that I would've loved a different vibe for the Stepstones.

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There is no jungle in the stormlands, or indeed in Westeros as Dorne is too arid. It's a temperate rain forest, It's like the Pacific Northwest rain forest. The Pacific Northwest is also known to be subject to cyclones, which is just a different word for hurricanes. There have been cyclones that would be measured as equivalent to category 3 hurricanes if they took place in the Atlantic.

Re: Cornwall, I think it's fine for something that looks like it's just flashback material.

 

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16 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I guess Rhaenyra's fertility dropped as she grew older ... and Daemon wasn't exactly a young man, either. And their marriage doesn't seem to have been that happy, so perhaps intercourse was rather infrequent after Viserys' birth.

I'm not so sure Rhaenyra was that much into Harwin, anyway. He was her third choice, after all. First Daemon, then Criston Cole, then Harwin. He could have just been the guy she chose to be the father of her children, not somebody she was deeply in love with. If that were the case then the whole thing was less romance and more business relationship.

Larys Strong was the guy behind Perkin the Flea - and Perkin put Trystane Truefyre on the Iron Throne. If Trystane was truly a bastard of Viserys I then one could, perhaps, assume another parallel between Larys and Varys: In the main series Varys as Master of Whisperers looks after the royal bastards. Larys Strong may have had a similar task during the reign of Viserys I.

I think she probably did love Harwin. If she just wanted someone to have sex with/father her children, she could have found someone with Valyrian features in order to avoid paternity speculation. Plus, she probably wasn’t getting any sort of emotional fulfillment out of Laenor either, so there also would have been a desire for that in a partner too. 

I don’t think her feelings for Criston went beyond a childhood crush. If we believe Eustace’s story, that Daemon seduced her and was exiled by Viserys, and that she spurned Criston on the eve of her wedding (both of which I think make the most sense given what happened later on), then she had probably lost interest in him—romantically, at least—by the time she was a teenager. They’ll probably change that in the show, but from the time Daemon first returned from the Stepstones onward, there’s no real indication that she wanted him. 

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@The Bard of Banefort

Except that doesn't explain how or why a grown man would fall in love with someone they've known since said someone was a child, which is one of my issues with the theory that Cole was a spurned suitor.

Then again, if the knife fight between Aemond and Lucerys is any indication GRRM really doesn't know what children are actually like.

Edited by The Grey Wolf Strikes Back

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20 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I think she probably did love Harwin. If she just wanted someone to have sex with/father her children, she could have found someone with Valyrian features in order to avoid paternity speculation. Plus, she probably wasn’t getting any sort of emotional fulfillment out of Laenor either, so there also would have been a desire for that in a partner too. 

Could very well be ... but we don't have any indication she mourned him or was interested in/considered marrying Harwin after Laenor's death freed her.

And we have that 'more than fond of Laena' line in the late 110s.

20 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I don’t think her feelings for Criston went beyond a childhood crush. If we believe Eustace’s story, that Daemon seduced her and was exiled by Viserys, and that she spurned Criston on the eve of her wedding (both of which I think make the most sense given what happened later on), then she had probably lost interest in him—romantically, at least—by the time she was a teenager. They’ll probably change that in the show, but from the time Daemon first returned from the Stepstones onward, there’s no real indication that she wanted him. 

It could be that way. I mean, what's clear is that only the 'Daemon seduced Rhaenyra' version of Eustace's fits the facts. The idea that Rhaenyra first used Daemon to seduce Criston in 111 AC and then tried the same ploy two years later just doesn't make any sense.

But this doesn't mean she couldn't also have liked him to a point ... just not enough to run away with him and give up the Iron Throne.

5 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

@The Bard of Banefort

Except that doesn't explain how or why a grown man would fall in love with someone they've known since they were a child, which is one of my issues with the theory that Cole was a spurned suitor.

That isn't a mystery. Quite a few fathers, uncles, or other men in close contact with little girls start to get the hots for them when they start to look and behave like women. That happens even more often when the little girls also seem to have crushes on them.

The idea that Cole spurned Rhaenyra explains nothing - because Rhaenyra never interacts with him after that nor shows a particular hostility towards him. She doesn't even condemn him as the Kingmaker. She seems to have more issues with Orwyle's betrayal than Criston's.

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12 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

Then again, if the knife fight between Aemond and Lucerys is any indication GRRM really doesn't know what children are actually like.

A quick Google will find any number of things like this.

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9 minutes ago, Ran said:

A quick Google will find any number of things like this.

I think the issue was more with it being unrealistic that a three-year-old would provoke his ten-year-old uncle, trying to prevent him from mounting a dragon. Three-year-olds can barely talk coherently, they are not going to challenge boys over three times their own age.

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14 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Three-year-olds can barely talk coherently, they are not going to challenge boys over three times their own age.

There are videos discussing how to deal with 3 year olds who hit their own parents, and videos of 3 year olds having tantrums lashing out at older siblings and parents with kicks, punches, slaps, and bites.

3.year olds are perfectly able to oppose and “provoke” people more than 10 times their age, in other words.

 

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1 hour ago, Daeron the Daring said:

Which is kind of a tropical thing. 

Tarth is basically famous for it's blue tropical shores. It's called the Sapphire Isle. Its forests and jungles are rainforests, alrough it doesn't make sense for them to be there (it really doesn't. Rainforests are supposed to be along the way of the equator, but anyway). The Stepstones are supposed to be dry, hot and infertile, however. Nothing like Cornwall. But as I said, it's okay,just that I would've loved a different vibe for the Stepstones.

No. The Carolinas aren’t the tropics.

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12 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I think the issue was more with it being unrealistic that a three-year-old would provoke his ten-year-old uncle, trying to prevent him from mounting a dragon. Three-year-olds can barely talk coherently, they are not going to challenge boys over three times their own age.

This.^

As for Criston Cole: The way he talks about Rhaenyra reminds me more of Jaehaerys I and Saera than a spurned suitor. Also, fathers, uncles, and adult male figures developing sexual feelings for women they've known since they were children isn't normal. Finally, the fact we don't get more on Rhaenyra's view of Criston has more to do with GRRM refusing to expand either the Dance or Heirs of the Dragon, which also makes Jaime's line about Criston being "the best and the worst" of the Kingsguard ring incredibly hollow. If the man had a heroic death, won a few meaningful victories, or even switched sides such a reputation would make more sense.

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14 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

@Ran

That isn't the same as carrying a knife or speaking in full sentences.

Joffrey did not have a knife. He did speak one full sentence of 5 words, according to Gyldayn's account, but... uh, 3 year olds can manage simple declarative sentences pretty well. :P

It was Lucerys who did have a dagger... but noble boys at the age of 5 almost certainly did have utility knives or daggers, common implements as they were needed for dining, based on examples from medieval burials with knives being found in the graves of children about that age.

(And FWIW, there's people today who see no problem with giving a 5 or 6 year old a pocket knife.)

Edited by Ran

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1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

This.^

As for Criston Cole: The way he talks about Rhaenyra reminds me more of Jaehaerys I and Saera than a spurned suitor. Also, fathers, uncles, and adult male figures developing sexual feelings for women they've known since they were children isn't normal.

It is not uncommon. It happens. And it seems to have happened in this case.

Criston Cole has no right to view Rhaenyra as a father would a daughter, he has no right to complain about how she conducts herself. If he had been her father or brother this might some sense, but he was just her servant. He had no such rights.

Quote

Finally, the fact we don't get more on Rhaenyra's view of Criston has more to do with GRRM refusing to expand either the Dance or Heirs of the Dragon, which also makes Jaime's line about Criston being "the best and the worst" of the Kingsguard ring incredibly hollow. If the man had a heroic death, won a few meaningful victories, or even switched sides such a reputation would make more sense.

No, we do have sufficient motivation in the scenario where Criston was the one being spurned. That's why he beat up Harwin Strong and Joffrey Lonmouth (he would have beaten up Laenor, too, if Laenor had entered the lists), and that's why he joined Alicent's party. Reputation-wise Alicent isn't less a slut than Rhaenyra - she may have fucked the Old King and she may have fucked Viserys I while Queen Aemma was still alive.

1 hour ago, Ran said:

There are videos discussing how to deal with 3 year olds who hit their own parents, and videos of 3 year olds having tantrums lashing out at older siblings and parents with kicks, punches, slaps, and bites.

3.year olds are perfectly able to oppose and “provoke” people more than 10 times their age, in other words.

Joffrey is described as a full person in the history - a boy who usually gets up early and spends time with his dragon. That's not something three-year-olds do.

I can buy it that Joff and Aemond might clash over something ... but not over a dragon. The idea that a three-year-old was familiar with his family's deep-seated animosities is just not very likely. Even more so in light of the fact that Joff cannot be imagined as being particularly familiar with Uncle Aemond - our sources tell us that Rhaenyra removed herself and her children permanently to Dragonstone after Luke's birth in 115 AC, meaning that Joffrey may not have even known Aemond by sight in 120 AC, seeing him only for whatever feasts and ceremonies the king might invite Rhaenyra and her family to KL. Could you tell apart all your uncles and aunts and cousins at the age of three, especially such relations you only met for feasts and funerals? I don't think so.

In fact, the entire narrative of the rivalry between Alicent's and Rhaenyra's sons is internally contradictory - if they lived apart from 115 AC on, how on earth can this paragraph be true:

Quote

The sins of the fathers are oft visited on the sons, wise men have said; and so it is for the sins of mothers as well. The enmity between Queen Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra was passed on to their sons, and the queen’s three boys, the Princes Aegon, Aemond, and Daeron, grew to be bitter rivals of their Velaryon nephews, resentful of them for having stolen what they regarded as their birthright: the Iron Throne itself. Though all six boys attended the same feasts, balls, and revels, and sometimes trained together in the yard under the same master-at-arms and studied under the same maesters, this enforced closeness only served to feed their mutual mislike, rather than binding them together as brothers.

Either they lived apart and met only infrequently - then there is little to no opportunity for them to develop a strong rivalry. This kind of thing would make sense if Jacaerys Velaryon and his brothers were clearly put before Alicent's children in day-to-day court life, hammering home the fact that they would one day succeed to the Iron Throne while Aegon and his siblings were just spares and placeholders the king completely ignored.

Instead, though, Rhaenyra and her family lived on distant Dragonstone while Aegon and his siblings were with their royal parents, physically close to the Iron Throne and attending more feasts and revels, etc. than Rhaenyra and her sons.

Edited by Lord Varys

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2 hours ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

@The Bard of Banefort

Except that doesn't explain how or why a grown man would fall in love with someone they've known since said someone was a child, which is one of my issues with the theory that Cole was a spurned suitor.

Then again, if the knife fight between Aemond and Lucerys is any indication GRRM really doesn't know what children are actually like.

I mean, look at Sansa and the Hound. The official ASOIAF app describes him as being "infatuated" with her from the first day they met, when she was 11. Their relationship is portrayed as a bit dark, but not necessarily bad. Age is somewhat relative in this series. (Now, her and Littlefinger is portrayed as creepy and uncomfortable, but that's less because of his age and more because of how his leering makes Sansa feel).

Men don't generally fly into rages when they have to turn down an attractive woman who wants to have sex with them. That's especially true if she already tried it in the past and he didn't fly off the handle then. If anything, Criston would be more likely to blame Daemon in this situation for "corrupting" Rhaenyra if he still saw her as a child. Unfortunately, there are men who will never forgive a woman for turning them down, however, and this explains both why he was hellbent on destroying her life and on punishing Laenor by killing his paramour. 

Pour one out for tumblr, my friends. If they stay faithful to the books and this premiered a few years ago, the tumblr feminists would have had a field day psychoanalyzing Criston Cole's toxic male entitlement ;)

Edited by The Bard of Banefort

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

Joffrey did not have a knife. He did speak one full sentence of 5 words, according to Gyldayn's account, but... uh, 3 year olds can manage simple declarative sentences pretty well. :P

It was Lucerys who did have a dagger... but noble boys at the age of 5 almost certainly did have utility knives or daggers, common implements as they were needed for dining, based on examples from medieval burials with knives being found in the graves of children about that age.

(And FWIW, there's people today who see no problem with giving a 5 or 6 year old a pocket knife.)

I'm completely with you that within the framework of this story it makes sense that the elder boys would have knifes at that age. Joff wouldn't, but Luke and Jace would.

What is kind of weird, though, is the idea that 4-5-year-olds (and age-wise Luke was still four and Jace still five early in 120 AC) would actually think they could attack and overwhelm a ten-year-old. Also, that they would be able to view Aemond mounting Vhagar as something they have to prevent or punish their uncle for. Those things are far too complex and subtle for such young children ... even more so in light of the fact that their mother most definitely wouldn't have told them all day long that 'Aemond must never allowed to mount Vhagar'. Nobody would have thought that the boy might do this and his royal father would have never allowed it, apparently.

Timeline-wise this quarrel takes place far too early - it may have made more sense if it had happened at the wedding of Aegon and Helaena, say.

Edited by Lord Varys

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@The Bard of Banefort

Sandor is mentally unwell and Sansa was the first person to treat him with decency in probably a long time. Anyway, I honestly don't think any one source has the full picture. In my opinion, either both had feelings but rejected the other's offer or Daemon groomed Rhaenyra under the guise of helping her seduce Criston but when she actually tried to put her lessons into practice got shut down, thus causing her to seek out Harwin for comfort. Also, men can be a bit touchy about matters of honor, especially in medieval times, and even more so if they have a traditional view of sexuality, which is another reason why Criston reads less to me like a jilted lover and more like, for example, a teacher from the 50s railing against the licentiousness of his students after they hit puberty in the 60s. Having said all that, we'll see how the show plays things out. No harm in disagreeing about a fictional character's motives after all.

@Lord Varys

A big part of that problem comes from the timeline. There are simply too many children and too few cadet branches. The "Strong" boys should be closer in age to Aegon II and Aemond, with Joffrey being around Daeron's age. Also, Aegon II's children should be around Aegon III's age, in part so that them having dragons of their own actually matters. In fact, it might have been a good idea if GRRM had kept Aegon II one year younger than Rhaenyra the way he originally was meant to be. Unfortunately, that would then run into the problem of Aemma and Daella's dating, which frankly make little sense. Why on earth would Jaehaerys, Baelon, Alysanne, or even Viserys consent to him deflowering Aemma when she was just thirteen? The maesters know better and its not like there was a war or plague with which to justify the haste. Honestly, things would work better if everyone was moved two years back (Daella born in 61 AC, Aemma in 79 AC, Rhaenyra in 94 or 95 AC, Aegon II in 104 or 105 AC, etc.). Its not like Aemma Arryn is all that important to GRRM anyway given the fact he couldn't be bothered to write literally anything about her. Also, I absolutely hate how he uses children dying as a way to sideline only female characters (Rhaenyra, Helaena, etc.). And even that doesn't explain why Jaehaerys insisted on seeing his physically and mentally disabled daughter wed by sixteen when the freaking Hightowers have no trouble with spinsters or marrying at an older age (e.g. Patrice Hightower, Ceryse Hightower).

Edited by The Grey Wolf Strikes Back

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1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

tumblr feminists would have had a field day psychoanalyzing Criston Cole's toxic male entitlement

Say it again sis! Cole really does come off as an incel who tries to destroy a woman because she chose power and her future over him. 

Edited by Sotan

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1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

@The Bard of Banefort

Sandor is mentally unwell and Sansa was the first person to treat him with decency in probably a long time. Anyway, I honestly don't think any one source has the full picture. In my opinion, either both had feelings but rejected the other's offer or Daemon groomed Rhaenyra under the guise of helping her seduce Criston but when she actually tried to put her lessons into practice got shut down, thus causing her to seek out Harwin for comfort. Also, men can be a bit touchy about matters of honor, especially in medieval times, and even more so if they have a traditional view of sexuality, which is another reason why Criston reads less to me like a jilted lover and more like, for example, a teacher from the 50s railing against the licentiousness of his students after they hit puberty in the 60s. Having said all that, we'll see how the show plays things out. No harm in disagreeing about a fictional character's motives after all.

The entire Daemon-Rhaenyra episode in 111 AC as seduction lessons make no sense in context, since Mushrooms claims the story got out, which would mean that the king would have heard of this. And Viserys I wouldn't have allowed Criston to continue as Rhaenyra's sworn shield if his daughter had been making out with her uncle to seduce this Kingsguard. In addition to the scandal he already had on his hand - and which allegedly led to Daemon's exile - he would have also had a scandal in the making with his daughter trying to seduce a knight of the Kingsguard.

In addition, it makes no sense at all that a proud princess who was already rejected by the guy once would try the same silly scheme two years later.

1 hour ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

@Lord Varys

A big part of that problem comes from the timeline. There are simply too many children and too few cadet branches. The "Strong" boys should be closer in age to Aegon II and Aemond, with Joffrey being around Daeron's age. Also, Aegon II's children should be around Aegon III's age, in part so that them having dragons of their own actually matters. In fact, it might have been a good idea if GRRM had kept Aegon II one year younger than Rhaenyra the way he originally was meant to be. Unfortunately, that would then run into the problem of Aemma and Daella's dating, which frankly make little sense. Why on earth would Jaehaerys, Baelon, Alysanne, or even Viserys consent to him deflowering Aemma when she was just thirteen? The maesters know better and its not like there was a war or plague with which to justify the haste. Honestly, things would work better if everyone was moved two years back (Daella born in 61 AC, Aemma in 79 AC, Rhaenyra in 94 or 95 AC, Aegon II in 104 or 105 AC, etc.). Its not like Aemma Arryn is all that important to GRRM anyway given the fact he couldn't be bothered to write literally anything about her. Also, I absolutely hate how he uses children dying as a way to sideline only female characters (Rhaenyra, Helaena, etc.). And even that doesn't explain why Jaehaerys insisted on seeing his physically and mentally disabled daughter wed by sixteen when the freaking Hightowers have no trouble with spinsters or marrying at an older age (e.g. Patrice Hightower, Ceryse Hightower).

I don't think the quarrel of the boys is that complicated. I just think it takes place when the younger boys are too young. A couple of years later it would make more sense.

And if we are going to get that in the show - which we likely will - then nobody in that scene is going to be three years old - nor four or five. They will be old enough to understand what they are doing and why they are fighting.

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