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"The Children" Theory


Crona
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6 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

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

The pisswater Pycelle is a uno reverse card on Varys. Pycelle knew Varys was going to do this the whole time 

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This chapter is great!

I love the connection between the deaths of Pycell and Kevin to Aegon and Rhaenys.

I’m inclined to think Varys was being honest when he said he felt remorse for killing Kevin. I liken it to his visit to Ned in the Black Cells, “you know you are a dead man”. I’m not sure Varys gets to talk to many people at this point and seems to enjoy lording secrets over the defeated.

I do find it odd that Varys never calls Young Griff “Aegon Targaryen” and only Aegon. He clearly implies that it’s Rhaegar’s kid, but never explicitly says that… so lots of wiggle room there.

I’m also intrigued by what was chosen to include in the start of this chapter.

We even see Rhaeny’s cat Balerion rear his ugly head. He once scratched Joff (now dead) and is lurking outside of Tommen’s window… ominous to say the least. The same cat Arya followed when she overhead Varys and Illyrio plotting in GoT.

And then there is the tabled talk of the Rosby succession. Where, if you’ll remember, there was a plot to slip Tommen out of the city, dye his hair and pass him off as a hedge knight’s son… which is more than reminiscent of Young Griff.

Edited by Mourning Star
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9 minutes ago, Crona said:

The pisswater Pycelle is a uno reverse card on Varys. Pycelle knew Varys was going to do this the whole time 

This is hysterical…

But, I do like Pycell’s last words being:

“The time to speak of the cold,” said Grand Maester Pycelle, “ is not when we are standing out in it.”

Winter is coming!

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10 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

 

I’m inclined to think Varys was being honest when he said he felt remorse for killing Kevin. I liken it to his visit to Ned in the Black Cells, “you know you are a dead man”. I’m not sure Varys’s gets to talk to many people at this point and seems to enjoy lording secrets over the defeated.

 

I do agree with this assessment, I don't feel like he was telling lies to Ned. I believe in that chapter with Ned, he had talked about how Rhaenys was killed which made Ned think about Sansa's future. 

14 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

 

I do find it odd that Varys’s never calls Young Griff “Aegon Targaryen” and only Aegon. He clearly implies that it’s Rhaegar’s kid, but never explicitly says that… so lots of wiggle room there.

 

There is  a lot of wiggle and GRRM is toying with us. I'm more inclined to believe Aegon is real because of the manner of death for Kevan and Pycelle. But it could still be a fake Aegon. Only time will tell :)

17 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

 

I’m also intrigued by what was chosen to include in the start of this chapter.

We even see Rhaeny’s cat Balerion rear his ugly head. He once scratched Joff (now dead) and is lurking outside of Tommen’s window… ominous to say the least. 

And then there is the tabled talk of the Rosby succession. Where, if you’ll remember, there was a plot to slip Tommen out of the city, dye his hair and pass him off as a hedge knight’s son… which is more than reminiscent of Young Griff.

There is a lot of symbolism of the chapter that reminds me of Aerys' reign. Pycelle remarking that Red Ronnet reminds him of Jon Con. Even before meeting Varys, Kevan had thought about the scene in which he saw Aegon's body and couldn't tell who the baby was. There are icicles that are like spears too (reminds me of Dorne).  

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Quote

I agree that this passage does seem rather ambiguous.

Respectfully, I don't think it's ambiguous. 

Quote

 "... 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. “He is here."

I think we all agree that there's no reason for Varys to lie here.  When Kevan protested that Aegon is dead, if Young Griff is not Rhaegar's son, Varys would naturally have said, "No, that was a different Aegon."  But he just said, "No. He is here."

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This might be off topic or not:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - The Ugly Little Girl

A thousand faces were gazing down on her.

They hung upon the walls, before her and behind her, high and low, everywhere she looked, everywhere she turned. She saw old faces and young faces, pale faces and dark faces, smooth faces and wrinkled faces, freckled faces and scarred faces, handsome faces and homely faces, men and women, boys and girls, even babes, smiling faces, frowning faces, faces full of greed and rage and lust, bald faces and faces bristling with hair. Masks, she told herself, it's only masks, but even as she thought the thought, she knew it wasn't so. They were skins.

 

Why do the FM have faces of babes?

Edited by LynnS
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1 minute ago, LynnS said:

This might be off topic or not:

Why do the FM have faces of babes?

You know what I read that chapter and it got me thinking about Aegon. But it’s probably just the “inventory” of the Faceless Men and not connected. Or not. :)

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30 minutes ago, Crona said:

You know what I read that chapter and it got me thinking about Aegon. But it’s probably just the “inventory” of the Faceless Men and not connected. Or not. :)

They must have a use for them since an adult FM can't possibly use them. :)

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4 hours ago, Aebram said:

Respectfully, I don't think it's ambiguous. 

Quote

That's fair. I could have reworded that comment better.

I stand by my position that it's a sleight of hand on GRRM's part, but it's a very well done sleight of hand, and so it doesn't actually read as ambiguous on its own. 

The reason I called it ambiguous is because I was able to tease out a plausible alternative interpretation to the exchange, one that is compatible with the Blackfyre Theory. But, sure, I concede that on the face of it, the passage reads simply and naturally like he's correcting Kevan about Rhaegar's son. GRRM can be rather devious when he wants to be.

Why do I seek out an alternative interpretation? Because the face-value interpretation raises major questions for other details in the story. If Aegon is simply Rhaegar's son, then all of the details surrounding Illyrio that are crammed into Tyrion's first three ADWD chapters just amount to one big, obscenely indulgent tangent. To say nothing about the existence of the Blackfyre Rebellion itself. I appreciate that Dunk & Egg is its own series, but there have been several mentions of the Blackfyres and the Golden Company's motives in ASOIAF proper. I think that GRRM is generally quite economical with his worldbuilding. If a worldbuilding tidibit doesn't directly support the scene it's mentioned in, it often serves as foreshadowing for later events. So, if someone doesn't end up trying to further the Blackfyre cause in the present timeline, I will say that GRRM had slopped up his own story.

(EDIT: Similarly, I think R + L = J is a thing, but in-story it hasn't actually been revealed. Having two secret Targaryen princes in the story would be a bad writing choice, particularly since one of the characters was just recently introduced. But, to have the recently introduced hero-interloper announce himself in-story as a secret Targ prince, while ultimately proving to be false, is a good way of getting naive readers to think about this notion of secret Targs, to ramp up the foreshadowing, so the Jon reveal wouldn't feel like it came out of nowhere.)

So, I am convinced that Aegon is a Blackfyre. Based that belief, and on my understanding of GRRM's ambiguous writing of key scenes in past books, I attempted to correct for the sleight of hand, and I provided my interpretation in the comment you quoted.

Edited by Phylum of Alexandria
R+L=J Stuff
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5 hours ago, Aebram said:

Respectfully, I don't think it's ambiguous. 

I think we all agree that there's no reason for Varys to lie here.  When Kevan protested that Aegon is dead, if Young Griff is not Rhaegar's son, Varys would naturally have said, "No, that was a different Aegon."  But he just said, "No. He is here."

You will note that none of Kevin's thoughts are spoken out loud...

 "... whilst Aegon raises his banner above Storm’s End and the lords of the realm gather round him.”

“Aegon?” “Dead. He’s dead.”

“No.” “He is here."

So there was never an Aegon specified, and thus no reason to even suggest "a different Aegon".

This is the ambiguity that leaves GRRM the wiggle room to easily write this either way, and one could argue that the wiggle room itself points to the conclusion that Aegon (Young Griff) is not the son of Rhaegar and Elia.

 

Edited by Mourning Star
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14 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

You will note that none of Kevin's thoughts are spoken out loud...

 "... whilst Aegon raises his banner above Storm’s End and the lords of the realm gather round him.”

“Aegon?” “Dead. He’s dead.”

“No.” “He is here."

So there was never an Aegon specified, and thus no reason to even suggest "a different Aegon".

This is the ambiguity that leaves GRRM the wiggle room to easily write this either way, and one could argue that the wiggle room itself points to the conclusion that Aegon (Young Griff) is not the son of Rhaegar and Elia.

 

 I don't think it goes with the context of the conversation  and GRRM does not put in mystery just for the sake of it, usually the conversations flow. Varys knows which Aegon he is referring to,  what is purpose of it being some kind of inside joke? There is nobody there to understand it. Its just mystery for the sake of it. If he meant the other Aegon, then he wouldn't mention it because Kevan doesn't know of a different Aegon. 

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Posted (edited)
On 1/7/2022 at 3:58 AM, Phylum of Alexandria said:

 

So, I am convinced that Aegon is a Blackfyre. Based that belief, and on my understanding of GRRM's ambiguous writing of key scenes in past books, I attempted to correct for the sleight of hand, and I provided my interpretation in the comment you quoted.

I don't  believe the Blackfyre theory holds a lot of weight when looked at in scrutiny. It appears Illyrio and Varys are for the dornish. 

The Blackfyres would not care for Rhaenys or Aegon. Nor even Dany or Viserys' claim, yet their plans were to crown Viserys then Dany. It was Aegon himself that chose to go. Also, if you look at the language they use, "bad" cause for Lannisters, Illyrio calling Tywin arrogant and over proud. Why would the Blackfyres make any distinctions between the families.  And they are both trying to delay the war as much as possible. 

Prince Doran took a jagged breath. "Dorne still has friends at court. Friends who tell us things we were not meant to know.

"She will, or she will not." Illyrio bit the egg in half. "I told you, my little friend, not all that a man does is done for gain. Believe as you wish, but even fat old fools like me have friends, and debts of affection to repay."

"Very little of what the fat man has anticipated has come to pass. I have danced to the fat man's pipes for years, Lemore"

How many days until we reach the river?" he asked Illyrio that evening. "At this pace, your queen's dragons will be larger than Aegon's three before I can lay eyes upon them."
"Would it were so. A large dragon is more fearsome than a small one." The magister shrugged.
 
"My father is very good at doing nothing. He calls it thinking" - Arianne

"You mistake patience for forbearance. I have worked at the downfall of Tywin Lannister since the day they told me of Elia and her children. 

"Vengeance." His voice was soft, as if he were afraid that someone might be listening. "Justice." Prince Doran pressed the onyx dragon into her palm with his swollen, gouty fingers, and whispered, "Fire and blood."

 

 

Edited by Crona
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On 1/6/2022 at 11:51 AM, Crona said:

The pisswater Pycelle is a uno reverse card on Varys. Pycelle knew Varys was going to do this the whole time  I never played that if it’s a separate thing. 

edit: nevermind same game different name

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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On 1/7/2022 at 1:37 PM, LynnS said:

This might be off topic or not:

Why do the FM have faces of babes?

maybe that's something Martin put in for the sake of making it a more horrifying scene and didn't think it thorough. It's not like babes can learn to change their faces! right?!

 

Aegon's story can play out either way according to the text. honestly , giving Illyrio and Varys a family related agenda may be the easiest explanation for their motives. however, the books are already filled with families trying to get back to their glory or taking revenge . though, there are still characters with more unique agendas like members of BwB , FM , Melisandre , Mance Rayder and even Jon Snow. I'm personally looking forward to a more interesting and twisted agenda for the Spider and the Cheese Monger. besides, if the mummer's dragon is fake (which is the first thing that comes to Dany's and our mind), it might be a bit boring. it would have been a tragedy if the pretender were the perfect prince /king but he seems as flawed as Jon or Robb when we first meet them ... maybe even more. what @Phylum of Alexandria said made the Blackfyre plot better in my mind but when it comes to reader engagement, what's the point of a fake dragon who the reader has no reason to  root for against the main dragon in whatever way you look at the events? you have to feel for the character in some way ... right? 

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3 hours ago, EggBlue said:

but when it comes to reader engagement, what's the point of a fake dragon who the reader has no reason to  root for against the main dragon in whatever way you look at the events? you have to feel for the character in some way ... right? 

My guess is that the Aegon plot is ultimately in service to tragedy. I don't think Dany will go full villain like in the show. However, I do think the aftermath of the Dance of the Dragons will likely be her lowest point right at the brink, from which she will finally pull away.

Given that we have already been following Arienne on her way to Aegon, she will likely provide us an inside view of his team as Dany comes crashing down (if the overall structure of the event mirrors the Battle of the Blackwater, all the better). I certainly already get the feeling that both Arienne and Aegon are out of their depths as players--I think Aegon especially will culminate as another Quentyn: he hoped and hoped that the song he was moving through was his own hero narrative, but alas, he was just a pawn.

That doesn't make his death any less tragic. I think we need a human connection to the costs that Dany's actions will incur, particularly since we probably won't get too much of that on the Mereen side of things. Dany the Conqueror needs a reckoning, not just in terms of plot and her character, but from us readers. My take is that the tragic end of a wannabe interloper who is nevertheless relatable will be key in that emotional shift.

Edited by Phylum of Alexandria
"any more tragic" -> "any less tragic" :)
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7 hours ago, Crona said:

I don't  believe the Blackfyre theory holds a lot of weight when looked at in scrutiny. It appears Illyrio and Varys are for the dornish. 

I'm happy to share my speculation for those who want to know, but I don't have too much interest in arguing in favor of my take over others. I think there's a lot of evidence in favor of the Blackfyre content, but it takes effort to build up, and people tend to remain locked onto their pet theory anyway. So it's not something I'm invested in. :)

As I said, if no one ends up furthering the Blackfyre cause by the end of the ASOIAF story, GRRM will have proved to be very sloppy with his storytelling. For me, Aegon has the most evidence pointing his way, but feel free to disagree. Maybe the person proven to be incorrect can buy the winner some toaster strudel?

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50 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

My guess is that the Aegon plot is ultimately in service to tragedy. I don't think Dany will go full villain like in the show. However, I do think the aftermath of the Dance of the Dragons will likely be her lowest point right at the brink, from which she will finally pull away.

Given that we have already been following Arienne on her way to Aegon, she will likely provide us an inside view of his team as Dany comes crashing down (if the overall structure of the event mirrors the Battle of the Blackwater, all the better). I certainly already get the feeling that both Arienne and Aegon are out of their depths as players--I think Aegon especially will culminate as another Quentyn: he hoped and hoped that the song he was moving through was his own hero narrative, but alas, he was just a pawn.

That doesn't make his death any more tragic. I think we need a human connection to the costs that Dany's actions will incur, particularly since we probably won't get too much of that on the Mereen side of things. Dany the Conqueror needs a reckoning, not just in terms of plot and her character, but from us readers. My take is that the tragic end of a wannabe interloper who is nevertheless relatable will be key in that emotional shift.

my point is that in the supposed Dance , there will be Dany/Barry/Tyrion vs. Aegon/Arianne/JonCon/Varys . the former have a huge fandom that's been building up since GoT , whereas we are just introduced to most of the later and the one we know from the GoT is constantly introduced as an untrustworthy person. how much of a chance will they have in reader's interest? and how can it affect the loyal Dany fans even if she goes full villain? after all , she'd be "right" in the sense of opposing a liar and a deceiver. on the other hand , if the guy's the real deal , there will be a greater tragedy - for both him and Dany-  after she realizes for the first time she  has been on the wrong side. that she has killed the last family she had. 

while I mostly agree with the Blackfyre payoff issue ; I think it might be preferable if the good queen won't just execute wrong actions for lawful reasons, but that she does them for something that turns out to be hollow and pointless.. even wrong. 

of course all that depends on how Martin tells either of these possible plots. both could turn out enjoyable :) we should just wait and see! 

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43 minutes ago, EggBlue said:

my point is that in the supposed Dance , there will be Dany/Barry/Tyrion vs. Aegon/Arianne/JonCon/Varys . the former have a huge fandom that's been building up since GoT , whereas we are just introduced to most of the later and the one we know from the GoT is constantly introduced as an untrustworthy person. how much of a chance will they have in reader's interest?

Again: speculation, but I think GRRM's purpose here is twofold. First, by having these interlopers arrive on the scene in Act Two, seizing the hero's narrative and looking (as Tyrion cynically notes) as if they came straight out of a story, GRRM wants to juxtapose the imitation heroes with the characters we've been following, whose successes feel much more earned. He seems to be making a genre commentary, in a sense. Hidden Prince Aegon is the fairytale hero come alive, and yet something doesn't smell right. Given that he's trying to seize both Jon and Dany's respective narratives, readers come to appreciate how Jon and Dany don't quite follow those tropes, and so of course many root for this mummer's dragon to be taken down.

And yet, I think GRRM's second purpose will be to subvert our sense of rooting for the hero. Aegon's success is unearned, and he's in over his head, but still, Dany's actions as a dragonriding conqueror shouldn't be cheered. With great power comes great responsibility, and with great dragonfire comes untold carnage and desolation. People in over their heads shouldn't be burned alive.

 

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1 hour ago, EggBlue said:

I think it might be preferable if the good queen won't just execute wrong actions for lawful reasons, but that she does them for something that turns out to be hollow and pointless.. even wrong. 

Well, we know that GRRM has something in mind with those lemons in Braavos. Maybe Dany's claim isn't what she thinks it is? I don't know. I guess we'll have to see how it shakes out!

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