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If the Grand Citadel Conspiracy theory is true, how could the Maesters have killed the last dragons ?


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One of the most famous and often argued theories is the conspiracy against dragons and all of magic in general inside the Citadel and that the maesters are responsible for the death of the last dragons following the Dance under Aegon III's rule.

If this theory turns out to be true, then how could the maesters have proceeded to poison dragons and kill them, the all without being noticed or suspected by Aegon III and his loyal followers ? 

What substances or artifacts could the members of the Citadel have used to kill dragons ?

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I think they probably targeted the eggs rather than the dragons themselves. Dragons are nasty, tough and breath fire and have an unfortunate tendency to eat people. Dragons eggs are mostly harmless until they hatch of course. With the right poison you could in theory exploit eggs need to breathe (assuming dragon eggs work like any other eggs) to allow a poison into them to harm the developing dragons. This could explain the wyrm that hatched to attack Laena Velaryon (the one after the Dance) and why some of the later dragons were so small and stunted. They'd been poisoned while they were embryos until they all died in their eggs once the Maesters finally got the dosage and process just right to kill them in their eggs.

Purely speculation of course. We probably won't get any definitive answers. Unless some Maester was stupid enough to write down everything they'd done.

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This is not a theory (in the sense that it would be a mere fan theory). We got the word of Archmaester Marwyn.

AFFC, Samwell V, p. 975:

Quote

Who do you think killed all the dragons the last time around? Gallant dragonslayers armed with swords? (...) The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons.

He even warns Sam not to mention dragons or prophecies during his time in the Citadel, unless "you fancy poison in your porridge".

For the "grey sheep", like their real-life medieval counterparts, the now-underrated scholastic philosophers, reason is the key to understand the world. For them, rationality shows the way out of the mess magic has done with their world (remember: the seasons have gone awry due to magic!). And obviously magic is connected to the existence of living dragons (when Dany's eggs were hatched, the glass candles began to burn again).

And it's not a conspiracy as well. This is a result of the Citadel maesters' world view. When they want to build a world based on reason, they have to eradicate magic. (and I really hope they'll succeed in this).

How they manged to do this is a mystery, alas. I also suspect that they did something to the eggs, but we will very propably never know for sure. I also don't believe that we will ever be told.

Edited by Shagwell the mad jester
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I'm not sure that I believe in this conspiracy, but in exploring it I wouldn't assume that Aegon III wasn't on board. As Aerys II's alchemists could tell you a lot can be accomplished with the king's blessing.

They used dragon poison. Maesters either discovered or invented it. If the particulars are important we'll get more information about it.

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3 hours ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

This is not a theory (in the sense that it would be a mere fan theory). We got the word of Archmaester Marwyn.

AFFC, Samwell V, p. 975:

Well I think it's definitely still a theory...

Let's look at the text:

Quote

Alleras stepped up next to Sam. "Aemon would have gone to her if he had the strength. He wanted us to send a maester to her, to counsel her and protect her and fetch her safely home."
"Did he?" Archmaester Marwyn shrugged. "Perhaps it's good that he died before he got to Oldtown. Elsewise the grey sheep might have had to kill him, and that would have made the poor old dears wring their wrinkled hands."
"Kill him?" Sam said, shocked. "Why?"
"If I tell you, they may need to kill you too." Marywn smiled a ghastly smile, the juice of the sourleaf running red between his teeth. "Who do you think killed all the dragons the last time around? Gallant dragonslayers armed with swords?" He spat. "The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons. Ask yourself why Aemon Targaryen was allowed to waste his life upon the Wall, when by rights he should have been raised to archmaester. His blood was why. He could not be trusted. No more than I can."

A lot of implications here that are unclear but can lead to startling conclusions depending on how you want to interpret it.

First question is, does Marwyn mean literal Dragons or Targaryens? Aerys was notably killed by a golden sword in what one might characterize as the opposite of "gallant dragonslaying". Rhaegar, "the last dragon", was killed by a hammer.

After all, he just called the Maesters "grey sheep".

This quote also seems to imply that Marwyn is a Targaryen, or at least has Targaryen blood.

I would also present another alternative, "last time around" is a reference to long before the Targaryens, and referencing the Dragons in Westeros long before the Conquest. 

Quote

The oldest histories we have were written after the Andals came to Westeros. The First Men only left us runes on rocks, so everything we think we know about the Age of Heroes and the Dawn Age and the Long Night comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later. There are archmaesters at the Citadel who question all of it. Those old histories are full of kings who reigned for hundreds of years, and knights riding around a thousand years before there were knights. You know the tales, Brandon the Builder, Symeon Star-Eyes, Night's King . . . we say that you're the nine hundred and ninety-eighth Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, but the oldest list I've found shows six hundred seventy-four commanders, which suggests that it was written during . . ."

Back before the Andals came...

Quote

 How did Serwyn of the Mirror Shield slay the dragon Urrax?"

Even considering these possibilities, I do think that the idea that the Maesters poisoned the Targaryens' dragons is intriguing and probably the most likely possibility, but it's still definitely a theory.

Edited by Mourning Star
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8 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

First question is, does Marwyn mean literal Dragons or Targaryens? Aerys was notably killed by a golden sword in what one might characterize as the opposite of "gallant dragonslaying". Rhaegar, "the last dragon", was killed by a hammer.

I’m going to say actual dragons, since he equates it with sorcery, prophecy and glass candles.

 

9 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

This quote also seems to imply that Marwyn is a Targaryen, or at least has Targaryen blood.

I’m not sure about this.   I think it can only be read that neither Aemon or Marwyn could be trusted.  Aemon couldn’t be trusted because of his blood, but Marwyn doesn’t give the reason why he couldn’t be trusted.

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No. The context is clear. The talk is about obsidian and glass candles are lighting up the room. He is talking about real dragons. Every other interpretation needs assumptions not supported by the text. Yes, the dragons are connected to the Targaryens, and this is where Maester Aemon's blood comes in. But - Marwyn does not state, that he cannot be trusted because of his blood.  Instead it's obvious why he cannot be trusted: his occupation with magic (as seen by the room being lit with glass candles) and dragon science. Remember: this is forbidden knowledge in the Citadel. And probably the precise reason we see the FM with him.

 

That the maesters 'poisoned' the dragons is a theory. But that they work for a world without dragons is an established issue.

As I said: both parts of the headline are wrong: it's not a theory and it's not about a conspiracy.

Edited by Shagwell the mad jester
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27 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I’m going to say actual dragons, since he equates it with sorcery, prophecy and glass candles.

That's fair, I think I'm inclined to agree with you, but I don't think it's clear. After all Targaryens are as tied (if not more so) to sorcery, glass candles, and prophesy than dragons are.

27 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I’m not sure about this.   I think it can only be read that neither Aemon or Marwyn could be trusted.  Aemon couldn’t be trusted because of his blood, but Marwyn doesn’t give the reason why he couldn’t be trusted.

I'm actually much more confident about this one.

 His blood was why. He could not be trusted. No more than I can.

It's very hard for me to interpret these three sentences as anything other than Aemon couldn't be trusted because of his blood and that goes for Marwyn too.

26 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

No. The context is clear.

I disagree.

26 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

The talk is about obsidian and glass candles are lighting up the room. He is talking about real dragons.

I do not understand the leap you are making here...

Valyrians used sorcery and glass candles, dragons didn't.

26 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

Every other interpretation needs assumptions not supported by the text.

No, you seem to be the one making the assumption.

26 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

Yes, the dragons are connected to the Targaryens, and this is where Maester Aemon's blood comes in. But - Marwyn does not state, that he cannot be trusted because of his blood.  Instead it's obvious why he cannot be trusted: his occupation with magic (as seen by the room being lit with glass candles) and dragon science. Remember: this is forbidden knowledge in the Citadel. And probably the precise reason we see the FM with him.

Why do you think he can light the candle? Why do you think the Valyrians cared so much about keeping blood "pure"? The blood of the dragon... Is there any evidence of anyone without "dragon blood" ever using a glass candle?

I think there is a strong case to be made that all magic in ASoIaF is tied to blood.

Magic is not forbidden knowledge in the Citadel. Necromancy is.

In fact the opposite appears to be true. There is even a Valkyrian Steel link for the Higher Mysteries, meaning that, at least at one time, they could even work Valyrian Steel. Every Maester is set into a room with a glass candle as part of the ceremony. There is even an Archmaester with Valyrian rod and mask, Marwyn.

26 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

That the maesters 'poisoned' the dragons is a theory. But that they work for a world without dragons is an established issue.

Some of the Maesters seem to be trying to build a world without magic. This is a very long way from some of the claims you are falsely stating as fact.

26 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

As I said: both parts of the headline are wrong: it's not a theory and it's not about a conspiracy.

It's a theory, and if true it constitutes a conspiracy by definition.

Edited by Mourning Star
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 Okay. I may have been too fast in one point. Obsidian is called dragonglass "by the smallfolk" (Prologue AFFC, p. 14). Obsidian is connected to dragons (and obviously to fire) - shown by the fact that it kills Others. Why did they talk about dragons? Because Sam told about his adventures at the wall and mentioned his killing of an Other with his obsidian dagger. So the context is indeed clear, and there is no Targaryen even remotely mentioned.

Marwyn does not state that he cannot be trusted because of his blood. He says this about Maester Aemon. And then he says, that he cannot be trusted as well. That's all. Everything else is mere speculation. He might or might not have Targaryen blood, but this is not the point here. (btw: there is a strange tendency is this forum to explain everything and anything by the kinship of the characters).

And yes, some of the maesters study magic, the "Higher Mysteries". But these are just a few and all books about dragons and magic are locked away (especially the still-existing fragments of the famous "Unnatural history", which is quoted by Tyrion somewhere in ADWD, I'd have to look up where). It's not wanted for the average maester to come close to such things.

So there is no point in not trusting Archmaester Marwyn on this issue or twisting his words.

And as I said: they didn't conspire to kill the dragons. That's simplicist. It is their rational worldview that doesn't allow dragons and what they represent. And before the events of the books they seem to have been on the winning side ("Valyria was the last ember and Valyria is gone.") Once we accept that, we're already past something as simplifying as a conspiracy theory.

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58 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

 Okay. I may have been too fast in one point. Obsidian is called dragonglass "by the smallfolk" (Prologue AFFC, p. 14). Obsidian is connected to dragons (and obviously to fire) - shown by the fact that it kills Others. Why did they talk about dragons? Because Sam told about his adventures at the wall and mentioned his killing of an Other with his obsidian dagger. So the context is indeed clear, and there is no Targaryen even remotely mentioned.

What? This is comically obviously wrong... are we discussing different sections of the text?

They are discussing sending a Maester to bring Daenerys Targaryen to Westeros... and keep her safe. A Targaryen is the subject of the discussion.

Aemon, a Targaryen, wanted to go himself, but couldn't so he tells Sam to get the Citadel to send a different Maester. Marwyn says that's a bad idea and says he'll go himself, while seeming to imply that he also has Targaryen blood. 

Marwyn says the Maesters would have tried to kill Aemon, a Targaryen.

It's almost entirely all about Targaryens... lol

58 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

Marwyn does not state that he cannot be trusted because of his blood. He says this about Maester Aemon. And then he says, that he cannot be trusted as well. That's all. Everything else is mere speculation. He might or might not have Targaryen blood, but this is not the point here. (btw: there is a strange tendency is this forum to explain everything and anything by the kinship of the characters).

Except that he literally compares the Maesters not trusting Aemon because of his blood to himself.

The book is full of hidden parentages, identities, and mystery characters, so I mean ya it's a very reasonable thing to speculate about. One could easily argue it is the crux of the entire plot.

58 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

And yes, some of the maesters study magic, the "Higher Mysteries". But these are just a few and all books about dragons and magic are locked away (especially the still-existing fragments of the famous "Unnatural history", which is quoted by Tyrion somewhere in ADWD, I'd have to look up where). It's not wanted for the average maester to come close to such things.

I think you are speculating and presenting it as fact. But, if you have support for your suppositions do share.

58 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

So there is no point in not trusting Archmaester Marwyn on this issue or twisting his words.

I have no idea what you are trying to say here... no point in not trusting him? what?

58 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

And as I said: they didn't conspire to kill the dragons. That's simplicist. It is their rational worldview that doesn't allow dragons and what they represent. And before the events of the books they seem to have been on the winning side ("Valyria was the last ember and Valyria is gone.") Once we accept that, we're already past something as simplifying as a conspiracy theory.

Ok, so you are just wrong. (and I don't even know what "simplicist" was meant to say)

There is nothing rational about denying magic in a world with magic.

A conspiracy is defined as a secret plan to preform an illegal or harmful act.

If the Maesters are trying to kill Dragons, or did it in the past, and it isn't common knowledge (something we know), it is/was, by definition, a conspiracy.

Edited by Mourning Star
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7 hours ago, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

One of the most famous and often argued theories is the conspiracy against dragons and all of magic in general inside the Citadel and that the maesters are responsible for the death of the last dragons following the Dance under Aegon III's rule.

If this theory turns out to be true, then how could the maesters have proceeded to poison dragons and kill them, the all without being noticed or suspected by Aegon III and his loyal followers ? 

What substances or artifacts could the members of the Citadel have used to kill dragons ?

I don’t think the maesters were attacking the dragons directly. They were poisoning the Targaryens and causing a miscarriage. MIrri Max Duur, the evil witch, did something similar to Rhaego. I hope the maesters will suffer the same fate as MIrri Maz Duur.  Burn all of the anti dragon maesters on low heat. Any family who aided the maesters  should also get the Sous Vide punishment. 

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7 hours ago, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

One of the most famous and often argued theories is the conspiracy against dragons and all of magic in general inside the Citadel and that the maesters are responsible for the death of the last dragons following the Dance under Aegon III's rule.

dragons didn't just start dying after the dance. first, the eggs stopped hatching in the cradles. Viserys II, unlike his siblings' , never had a dragon. and Rhaena's egg hatched years later when she was in Vale.  therefore, I doubt the dragons' weakening has anything to do with the maesters ; especially that the one maester at the Dragonstone (where I assume the eggs were kept) in that time was more than loyal to Rhaenaera .

I suspect what Marwyn said might be more about Targaryen dynasty , a magical bloodline that was feared to possess the might of dragons once more,  than the actual dragons.

Edited by EggBlue
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I got a similar impression.  You obviously have an understanding of the text I do not share. Nothing of what I read in this chapter leads to the conclusions you draw. Sam isn't talking about Danaerys. I really don't know where you got that from. Marwyn doesn't speak about his blood. This is purely your speculation. Take off the glasses you view it through and read the chapter.

And all this thing about "hidden parantage" - I don't even know where to begin with that. To put it shortly: 90% of this is made up by fans without any meaning for the real story. Did somebody talk about presenting speculations as fact?

We have Marwyn's word what the Citadel is up to in his opinion. Is there any reason to doubt this? Of course not. His warnings to Sam don't sound like a joke.

Ah yes, if you are content with simple and shallow explanations, you may call it "conspiracy" if you like. Because, yes, it involves illegal actions.

Edited by Shagwell the mad jester
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7 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

I got a similar impression.  You obviously have an understanding of the text I do not share. Nothing of what I read in this chapter leads to the conclusions you draw. Sam isn't talking about Danaerys. I really don't know where you got that from. Marwyn doesn't speak about his blood. This is purely your speculation. Take off the glasses you view it through and read the chapter.

Come on... read the text.

Quote

Alleras stepped up next to Sam. "Aemon would have gone to her if he had the strength. He wanted us to send a maester to her, to counsel her and protect her and fetch her safely home."
"Did he?" Archmaester Marwyn shrugged. "Perhaps it's good that he died before he got to Oldtown. Elsewise the grey sheep might have had to kill him, and that would have made the poor old dears wring their wrinkled hands."
"Kill him?" Sam said, shocked. "Why?"
"If I tell you, they may need to kill you too." Marywn smiled a ghastly smile, the juice of the sourleaf running red between his teeth. "Who do you think killed all the dragons the last time around? Gallant dragonslayers armed with swords?" He spat. "The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons. Ask yourself why Aemon Targaryen was allowed to waste his life upon the Wall, when by rights he should have been raised to archmaester. His blood was why. He could not be trusted. No more than I can."

You are either wildly mistaken or being willfully dishonest.

7 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

And all this thing about "hidden parantage" - I don't even know where to begin with that. To put it shortly: 90% of this is made up by fans without any meaning for the real story. Did somebody talk about presenting speculations as fact?

Say what you want but parentage questions, hidden identities, and secret bloodlines are what the story is all about.

You are just in the wrong place if you don't want to speculate about the actual story here.

7 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

We have Marwyn's word what the Citadel is up to in his opinion. Is there any reason to doubt this? Of course not. His warnings to Sam don't sound like a joke.

Why is there no reason to doubt Marwyn?

What is the Citadel up to?

You have provided no reason to think either of these is clear.

7 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

Ah yes, if you are content with simplicist and shallow explanations, you may call it "conspiracy" if you like. Because, yes, it involves illegal actions.

I still have no idea what you are trying to say... I'm correct? If so, then thank you.

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And why do they talk about dragons? Because of the obsidian. Sam's adventures beyond the  wall. That is the point. Not the Targaryen blood of somebody's. I am beginning to suspect that you misunderstand me on purpose. But of course you hold on to my rhetoric (which may be flawed or not), because you cannot disprove the main point.

But you may be right and I am wrong here. For me the story is not reduced to "hidden parentage" and "conspiracy" and other pulp fiction elements like that. There is much more depth here, and that is the reason I love it btw. And one aspect of the story is the conflict between magic (or magical thinking) and reason (or rationality), where the maesters of the Citadel play a certain part and which mirrors actual historical developments.

54 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

here is nothing rational about denying magic in a world with magic.

Well - magic is ruining that world. And it used to be declining before the events of the books. Even in this narrow understanding of rationality, it is not irrational to "deny magic".

But it's fine. We don't need to argue about that. My point was simply, that there is not such thing as a "conspiracy theory" here. There is a statement of a character in the book supporting this (therefore it is not a "theory") and it is a conspiracy only in a very broad sense (it's not about a group of people plotting something like a bankrobbery).

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1 hour ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

Marwyn does not state that he cannot be trusted because of his blood. He says this about Maester Aemon. And then he says, that he cannot be trusted as well.

I tend to agree.  It isn't in Marwyn's nature to operate within the strict philosophy of the grey sheep.  He can't be trusted to steer clear of the mysteries around sorcery.

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25 minutes ago, Shagwell the mad jester said:

Right. He is something of a dissident within the Citadel. That's why he defects (?) to Danaerys.

It's been suggested that he is the maester who served at Dragonstone before Stannis and Cressen show up and that he may have attended Dany's birth.. That would be an interesting reveal.  Aside from advising her on dragons and who knows what else.  

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The Targaryen bloodline just got weaker over time.  The mingling with non-Valyrian stock weakened the Targaryens and in turn passed the weakness to their line.  The Promised Targaryen who would bring the dragons back had to come from Targaryen parents, who in turn came from the same family.  It also works with the Azor Ahai legend.  Targaryen grandparents and Targaryen parents created the Promised Targaryen who would bring the dragons back.  Grandparent, parent, and finally the daughter.  

I am not saying the Maesters were innocent.  I am sure they were aborting or causing the miscarriage of some of the Targaryen babies.  But that cannot cause the dragons to dwindle. The first Maester to try to poison a dragon would have ended up as a pile of charcoal.  It is difficult to poison a dragon because they cook their meat thoroughly.  Poisons were of organic origin and will not survive the heat.  The legend of the phoenix goes like this. The birds are periodically reborn from fire.  The dragons as a species go through periods of rebirth when the right person comes along.   

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