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"The Children" Theory


Crona
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There are many like you, good men in service to bad causes"

The Epilogue of ADWD has always fascinated me and I was always confused by the manner of Pycelle and Kevan's death. But I think I have solved the riddle. This is an improved version of an earlier theory I had. I don't know if this is correct or not. Just wanted to share with everyone and I hope everyone enjoys reading it. 

When Kevan is shot by Varys, he asks him why, and Varys refers to him as a “good man” as a supporter for a “bad cause” (the Lannisters). Varys then says he is a supporter of Aegon:

"Doubt, division, and mistrust will eat the very ground beneath your boy king, whilst Aegon raises his banner above Storm's End and the lords of the realm gather round him"

"Aegon?" For a moment he did not understand. Then he remembered. A babe swaddled in a crimson cloak, the cloth stained with his blood and brains. "Dead. He's dead."

"No." The eunuch's voice seemed deeper

The question here is Varys telling the truth? Is he talking about Aegon Targaryen, the child of Rhaegar and Elia? I believe he is, because he changed his voice. I have found one other time Varys talks in a different voice when not in disguise, when he talks about becoming a eunuch:

"Nor do I, but . . ." This pause was longer than the one before, and when Varys spoke again his voice was different somehow. "I was an orphan boy apprenticed to a traveling folly. Our master owned a fat little cog and we sailed up and down the narrow sea performing in all the Free Cities and from time to time in Oldtown and King's Landing.

Varys voice is not the only thing that stood out to me.  It clicked to me that Pycelle’s death description matches Aegon:

Then he saw. Grand Maester Pycelle was seated at his table, his head pillowed on the great leather-bound tome before him. Sleeping, Kevan thought … until he blinked and saw the deep red gash in the old man's spotted skull and the blood pooled beneath his head, staining the pages of his book. All around his candle were bits of bone and brain, islands in a lake of melted wax

Aegon’s death description:

The girl had been recognizably the Princess Rhaenys, but the boy … a faceless horror of bone and brain and gore, a few hanks of fair hair. None of us looked long. Tywin said that it was Prince Aegon, and we took him at his word

Rhaenys death, matches Kevan’s death. Here is a quote of Rhaenys death:

“Ser Amory was almost as bestial with Rhaenys. I asked him afterward why it had required half a hundred thrusts to kill a girl of…two? Three?

Kevan’s death:

Ser Kevan was cold as ice, and every labored breath sent a fresh stab of pain through him. He glimpsed movement, heard the soft scuffling sound of slippered feet on stone. A child emerged from a pool of darkness, a pale boy in a ragged robe, no more than nine or ten. Another rose up behind the Grand Maester's chair. The girl who had opened the door for him was there as well. They were all around him, half a dozen of them, white-faced children with dark eyes, boys and girls together.

And in their hands, the daggers

We also learn when Tywin arrives at King's Landing, Varys had told Aerys to not open the gate. However Pycelle was the one who convinced Aerys to open the gates which lead to the children’s death:

"Ned Stark was racing south with Robert's van, but my father's forces reached the city first. Pycelle convinced the king that his Warden of the West had come to defend him, so he opened the gates. The one time he should have heeded Varys, and he ignored him. 

Kevan was also present at the sack:

"That may be. Or not." Kevan Lannister had been here, in this very hall when Tywin had laid the bodies of Prince Rhaegar's children at the foot of the Iron Throne, wrapped up in crimson cloaks.

While I believe Kevan and Pycelle were killed to further weaken the Lannisters, the manner of their deaths, Pycelle’s head smash and Kevan’s stabbing is connected to “Aegon” s and Rhaenys death because they were present at the sack and enabled it.

Edited by Crona
sorry for the bad format
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That was an interesting read. The parallels of the deaths of Kevan and Pycelle to the Targaryen kids definitely seems to hold some water. 

I'm not sure if Varys changing his voice means anything about his truthfulness though. But if Kevan is dead, I'm not sure why Varys would waste time lying. 

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5 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

That was an interesting read. The parallels of the deaths of Kevan and Pycelle to the Targaryen kids definitely seems to hold some water. 

I'm not sure if Varys changing his voice means anything about his truthfulness though. But if Kevan is dead, I'm not sure why Varys would waste time lying. 

Thank you! Yes, I do wonder too of why he would lie to a dying Kevan, it seems he had already knew who was in the room with him:

There are … there are hundreds of Lannister guardsmen in this castle."
"But none in this room, thankfully. 
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14 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

I'm not sure if Varys changing his voice means anything about his truthfulness though. But if Kevan is dead, I'm not sure why Varys would waste time lying. 

I agree that this passage does seem rather ambiguous. This is Varys' grand reveal to a dead man, and yet if he's conceding that lil Aegon has grown to become Young Griff, what about his plots with Illyrio?

I happen to think that Varys is only giving a partial reveal here. He's revealing the why of his cause to Kevan. "My perfectly cultivated prince is going to overthrow your house and bring the peace that was denied the land under your spoiled Lannister brats."

I think he was still withholding the what of it, though. Varys mentions Aegon, and Kevan thinks of Rhaegar's son, but Varys remains fixated on his glorious perfect-prince narrative; to justify his years of feigned obsequiousness. It sounds like he's correcting Kevan on the state of Rhaegar's son, but I think it's a sleight of hand on GRRM's part. The Blackfyre reveal is yet to come. My guess is that it will come from Tyrion to Dany, in an effort to demonstrate how astute, and loyal, he can be as an advisor.

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47 minutes ago, Crona said:

The question here is Varys telling the truth? Is he talking about Aegon Targaryen, the child of Rhaegar and Elia? I believe he is, because he changed his voice.

There is no reason for Varys to lie to someone that he is about to kill.

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12 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I agree that this passage does seem rather ambiguous. This is Varys' grand reveal to a dead man, and yet if he's conceding that lil Aegon has grown to become Young Griff, what about his plots with Illyrio?

I happen to think that Varys is only giving a partial reveal here. He's revealing the why of his cause to Kevan. "My perfectly cultivated prince is going to overthrow your house and bring the peace that was denied the land under your spoiled Lannister brats."

I think he was still withholding the what of it, though. Varys mentions Aegon, and Kevan thinks of Rhaegar's son, but Varys remains fixated on his glorious perfect-prince narrative; to justify his years of feigned obsequiousness. It sounds like he's correcting Kevan on the state of Rhaegar's son, but I think it's a sleight of hand on GRRM's part. The Blackfyre reveal is yet to come. My guess is that it will come from Tyrion to Dany, in an effort to demonstrate how astute, and loyal, he can be as an advisor.

Yup, this is a better explanation.

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20 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I agree that this passage does seem rather ambiguous. This is Varys' grand reveal to a dead man, and yet if he's conceding that lil Aegon has grown to become Young Griff, what about his plots with Illyrio?

I happen to think that Varys is only giving a partial reveal here. He's revealing the why of his cause to Kevan. "My perfectly cultivated prince is going to overthrow your house and bring the peace that was denied the land under your spoiled Lannister brats."

I think he was still withholding the what of it, though. Varys mentions Aegon, and Kevan thinks of Rhaegar's son, but Varys remains fixated on his glorious perfect-prince narrative; to justify his years of feigned obsequiousness. It sounds like he's correcting Kevan on the state of Rhaegar's son, but I think it's a sleight of hand on GRRM's part. The Blackfyre reveal is yet to come. My guess is that it will come from Tyrion to Dany, in an effort to demonstrate how astute, and loyal, he can be as an advisor.

While his voice may not be indication of truthfulness (although I do believe there has to be pattern for Varys).  He does reveal that he is doing his work for "the children" which are Rhaenys and Aegon and seating Aegon upon the throne.  The manner of death (imo) for Rhaenys and Aegon parallel both Kevan and Pycelle's death. I just don't see why would Blackfyre supporters would care about Rhaenys and Aegon? And view the Lannister regime as a bad cause as opposed to any other cause. This is of course my own opinion on it though. 

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17 minutes ago, LynnS said:

There is no reason for Varys to lie to someone that he is about to kill.

Honestly there's not much of a reason for Varys to pontificate to someone he's about to kill at all. So he's either putting on a show for those kids or it's a minor 4th wall lean. 

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33 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

The Blackfyre reveal is yet to come. My guess is that it will come from Tyrion to Dany, in an effort to demonstrate how astute, and loyal, he can be as an advisor.

My opinion there is there won't be a Blackfyre reveal and (f)Aegon's story will run it's course with the fans still debating if he was legit or not. 

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5 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

Honestly there's not much of a reason for Varys to pontificate to someone he's about to kill at all. So he's either putting on a show for those kids or it's a minor 4th wall lean. 

Yup there is no reason for this. The only thing I could think of is that he wants Kevan to know that Aegon is alive when he dies. Varys had tried to stop the Lannisters from KL which resulted in the kids dying and Kevan had enabled it. This is the only thing I could come up with when reading the passage.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

My opinion there is there won't be a Blackfyre reveal and (f)Aegon's story will run it's course with the fans still debating if he was legit or not.

Could be. I agree that not every mystery will be revealed by story's end (assuming we ever get to the story's end).

 

10 minutes ago, Crona said:

I just don't see why would Blackfyre supporters would care about Rhaenys and Aegon?

I don't think they would actually care about Rhaenys and Aegon, except to use claim of being Rhaegar's son as Young Griff's ticket to the throne and to gather allies in Westeros. If what you propose about Kevan and Pycelle's death is true, perhaps it would just mean Varys wanted an ambiguous murder scene that will divide the court as to who did it. I don't know. I like the observation though.

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4 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Could be. I agree that not every mystery will be revealed by story's end (assuming we ever get to the story's end).

 

I don't think they would actually care about Rhaenys and Aegon, except to use claim of being Rhaegar's son as Young Griff's ticket to the throne and to gather allies in Westeros. If what you propose about Kevan and Pycelle's death is true, perhaps it would just mean Varys wanted an ambiguous murder scene that will divide the court as to who did it. I don't know. I like the observation though.

If we ever do get to the end, yeah. :(

And yeah, the few Blackfyre supporters left will just be nudge, nudge, wink, wink our guy's using the enemy's name to get to the top. Everyone else will just see the rightful heir to the throne or another false claimant as their interest dictates the same with Stannis, Joffrey and Tommen. 

Edited by Lord Lannister
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@Crona Nice observation. Do you propose that Varys killed them in such a manner to send an in universe message or just that GRRM made the deaths that way as a wink at the readers?

45 minutes ago, LynnS said:

There is no reason for Varys to lie to someone that he is about to kill.

GRRM has a reason to make Varys lie to deceive the reader, but yes, Varys has no reason to lie to Kevan who is about to die...

But then there's the whole stone giant breathing shadow fire thing. Would unleashing GC, which has it's origins in Blackfyre rebellions, upon Westeros count as breathing shadow fire even though they are not supporting a Blackfyre?

 

:P

Edited by Corvo the Crow
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4 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

@Crona Nice observation. Do you propose that Varys killed them in such a manner to send an in universe message or just that GRRM made the deaths that way as a wink at the readers?

 

I think it was a message to the readers about Varys' true motives. At least that's how I read it. But, in universe I think Varys wanted Kevan to know that his regime (the Lannisters) had failed to kill Aegon before killing him.

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52 minutes ago, Crona said:

While I believe Kevan and Pycelle were killed to further weaken the Lannisters, the manner of their deaths, Pycelle’s head smash and Kevan’s stabbing is connected to “Aegon” s and Rhaenys death because they were present at the sack and enabled it.

I wonder.  If these are actually representative of the fates of the Targ kids, then the implication would be that like Pycelle and Kevan, Rhaenys and Aegon both died would it not? Pycelle doesn't look like he's in for a miraculous recovery in WInds and there's no question of him being switched with anyone else.

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7 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

I wonder.  If these are actually representative of the fates of the Targ kids, then the implication would be that like Pycelle and Kevan, Rhaenys and Aegon both died would it not? Pycelle doesn't look like he's in for a miraculous recovery in WInds and there's no question of him being switched with anyone else.

If Pycelle is also bones, brains and hairs then there could have been a switch.

We see a Davos switch after all.

Not that it's necessary, but, leaving the body of a pisswater Pycelle would be saying to Lannisters "hey, remember killing Aegon? Yeah it was a fake"

Edited by Corvo the Crow
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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

I wonder.  If these are actually representative of the fates of the Targ kids, then the implication would be that like Pycelle and Kevan, Rhaenys and Aegon both died would it not? Pycelle doesn't look like he's in for a miraculous recovery in WInds and there's no question of him being switched with anyone else.

Well Pycelle's death is reflection of the baby's death. If it is not the real Aegon,then its the Pisswater Prince. But he was still an innocent child that died. I am pretty sure Varys got the real Pycelle there :)

Edited by Crona
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40 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Not that it's necessary, but, leaving the body of a pisswater Pycelle would be saying to Lannisters "hey, remember killing Aegon? Yeah it was a fake"

Man I hope they do now, just so we can see the broader dissemination of the term 'Pisswater Pycelle'

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1 hour ago, Lord Lannister said:

My opinion there is there won't be a Blackfyre reveal and (f)Aegon's story will run it's course with the fans still debating if he was legit or not. 

I like this idea. Well, I hate it, but I think it's as likely as not that we'll never be given a definitive determination on the legitimacy of Faegon.  I would like to know, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's never made clear.

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