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2 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

To be fair, GoT was also much less colorful than the books, and it didn't ruin the viewing experience for me. So I won't jump to conclusions based on that.

Oh, it won't ruin the viewing experience for me, either. I just remembered that I actually preferred the version of Shae from the books ... or rather: the story of Tyrion and Shae we get in the books. Shae herself being a more complex, deeper character as such is okay, but it more or less completely changing the relationship dynamics there wasn't that great a plot.

If a more complex Viserys means his entire reign is no longer the golden era of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros then both setting and tone of this show would suffer. The imagery of the teaser-trailer gave the impression these people neither know how to party nor do they have any reason to be happy.

And that's just wrong, at least for the first half of Viserys' reign when there is not much family strife.

What definitely needs more complexity is Viserys' relationship with Daemon. And also his feelings for Rhaenyra, Alicent, and the younger children should be fleshed out.

Good writers could come up with rather interesting scenes there.

And, of course, it might also be interesting to know if Viserys actually ever wanted to be king. Daemon organized his bid for the Iron Throne - but that might be more because he himself coveted the throne and hoped to be named Viserys' heir rather than because Viserys felt he was ideally suited to rule.

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I just read a part of Considine's interview @The Dragon Demands quotes on twitter. There is promising stuff there. The writers apparently decided to have Viserys suffer from a long illness which slowly kills him, and he uses that illness as a kind of shield to hide from the reality of the family strife. That is both very realistic and at the same time a great explanation as to why he wasn't more determined or more decisive to prevent a succession war. It can be a concern that overshadows everything else and also an excuse why one doesn't want to deal with other important issues in one's life.

One imagines that we will see him just enjoying his time with his family when he had the time for that - and being completely unwilling to deal (again) with the family quarrels. In the book we also get an indication that in the later years the royal family did their best to play nice when Viserys was around - which, to their credit, could at least in part be motivated by a general feeling that the old man's sickness would only get worse if he were to get angry and excited, so they may have hid their true feelings from him, and, perhaps in part, from each other.

I think it can be a powerful scene when the old man finally has had enough of that shit and calls for some tongues to be cut out. If played right, Viserys might really be a guy who rarely, if ever, puts his foot down. But when he does folks (including the audience) might be in for a surprise.

The other interesting thing seems to be that they give him quality grandfather time. There are basically two grandfather scenes in the book - first the scene where he takes young Jace up on the Iron Throne telling him that he will sit there one day (and one imagines that we are going to get exactly that scene), and then the scene with Helaena and her kids shortly before he dies. We could also get that scene, but if there are more grandfather scenes there then they will at least get that particular aspect of his character right.

Apparently the actor sees that as a diversion from GoT where we don't get many scenes of affection within a family - or at least the royal family.

But hopefully there will be equally strong scenes with his children, wives, and brother. We should get a clear picture what the old man thinks about Aegon, Aemond, and Daeron, respectively, especially (but not only) in relation to the succession. Because favorite or not, Rhaenyra is just a woman, and Viserys I is a man who ascended the throne more or less just because he was a man, so he must have had some thoughts as to why Rhaenyra should remain his heir even after the birth of his sons.

It can be part 'she is my favorite child, the only surviving child of my first marriage, the one to my Targaryen-blooded cousin', part 'I've already ruled on the succession once with a big ceremony, and revisiting it will only make things more confusing and make me look like a changable moron', and part 'Aegon and Aemond aren't even remotely kingly material - if I make one of them the heir, the throne could just as well go to Daemon'.

There is certainly potential for complexity there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One thing I find funny is all the people online who say they’re disappointed how the blacks seem set to be the heroes of the story. I think FnB makes it pretty clear that we’re supposed to root for the blacks. The green king is a pouty loser crowned by his gold digger mother and an incel kingsguard driven entirely by his desire to destroy a much younger woman who had the audacity to reject him. His brother is a misogynist who murders his nephew for the hell of it and spends the war burning peasants alive. Even the “good” brother, Daeron, has an entire town of innocent people put to the sword because he was angry (not that different from show-Dany’s attack on KL, to be frank). Add to that the Caltrops, Tumbletown, Bitterbridge, etc. and then compare that to the blacks (Corlys and Rhaenys, Baela, Jace, Adam, Nettles, the Starks/Manderlys/Blackwoods, etc.) and one side is clearly painted in a better light than the other. Daemon is the only truly vile black; Rhaenyra, if anything, is more ineffectual than anything else. The only truly sympathetic greens are Helaena and the kids, who are victims with no agency.

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22 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

One thing I find funny is all the people online who say they’re disappointed how the blacks seem set to be the heroes of the story. I think FnB makes it pretty clear that we’re supposed to root for the blacks. The green king is a pouty loser crowned by his gold digger mother and an incel kingsguard driven entirely by his desire to destroy a much younger woman who had the audacity to reject him. His brother is a misogynist who murders his nephew for the hell of it and spends the war burning peasants alive. Even the “good” brother, Daeron, has an entire town of innocent people put to the sword because he was angry (not that different from show-Dany’s attack on KL, to be frank). Add to that the Caltrops, Tumbletown, Bitterbridge, etc. and then compare that to the blacks (Corlys and Rhaenys, Baela, Jace, Adam, Nettles, the Starks/Manderlys/Blackwoods, etc.) and one side is clearly painted in a better light than the other. Daemon is the only truly vile black; Rhaenyra, if anything, is more ineffectual than anything else. The only truly sympathetic greens are Helaena and the kids, who are victims with no agency.

Daeron may not be scum like Aemond or Aegon II ... but he isn't a hero and he actually does commit what we would consider a war crime. The sack and burning of Bitterbridge might not be as brutal or savage as the multiple sacks of Tumbleton ... but it was a sack and a burning as well. And our sources claim he used his dragon to burn down septs full of refugees, causing thousands to burn or drown in the Mander.

Combine that with his weakness as a leader and his ability to end other atrocities and his participation in the plots against Hugh and Ulf and there is really nothing admirable or noble left. Especially not compared to truly heroic figures on the Black side like Addam Velaryon.

More striking than the characters within the royal family it is very clear that most Green supporters are either ambitious pricks, opportunists, cynics, or outright traitors ... while many lords and common people on the Black side are actually motivated by more idealistic motives.

We also have the Greens escalating the bloodshed. They first imprison and murder people, they first execute people for 'treason', they first attack and sack castles, etc. Decent folk like Tyland Lannister are pretty rare among the Greens.

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

Daeron is unreasonably maligned, as I said years ago.

See, I almost never see anyone criticize Daeron. Most readers seem to consider him an all-around great guy. I’m sure you’ve seen every hot take there is, having run this page for so long, but I’ve rarely ever seen anyone say a word against Daeron.

I think the kicker is that Lady Vance had already hanged all those who were connected to Maelor’s death by the time Daeron showed up. Tywin is (rightly) portrayed as a villain for launching an attack in the Riverlands after his son, the heir to Casterly Rock, was kidnapped and imprisoned by the Hand’s wife without any evidence of wrongdoing, and would have been executed by another high lord’s mother if Tyrion hadn’t had the good fortune to befriend the right sellsword, but burning an entire town of innocent civilians after the proven killers were already brought to justice isn’t villainous? 

Edited by The Bard of Banefort
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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Daeron may not be scum like Aemond or Aegon II ... but he isn't a hero and he actually does commit what we would consider a war crime. The sack and burning of Bitterbridge might not be as brutal or savage as the multiple sacks of Tumbleton ... but it was a sack and a burning as well. And our sources claim he used his dragon to burn down septs full of refugees, causing thousands to burn or drown in the Mander.

Combine that with his weakness as a leader and his ability to end other atrocities and his participation in the plots against Hugh and Ulf and there is really nothing admirable or noble left. Especially not compared to truly heroic figures on the Black side like Addam Velaryon.

More striking than the characters within the royal family it is very clear that most Green supporters are either ambitious pricks, opportunists, cynics, or outright traitors ... while many lords and common people on the Black side are actually motivated by more idealistic motives.

We also have the Greens escalating the bloodshed. They first imprison and murder people, they first execute people for 'treason', they first attack and sack castles, etc. Decent folk like Tyland Lannister are pretty rare among the Greens.

Right. Which brings me back to my original point that the blacks are clearly the side we’re supposed to support. It’s not even an question of the maesters’ bias, since the maesters are a strongly patriarchal order and wouldn’t be predisposed to support Rhaenyra, who technically lost. 

One peculiar thing about Rhaenyra is that I don’t think she ever burned a living person with her dragon, which is notable. And she tried to mediate between Corlys and Daemon, who were the angel and devil on her shoulder. She’s not written as particularly charismatic or kind, but she’s clearly written as less brutal than Aegon.

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40 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

See, I almost never see anyone criticize Daeron. Most readers seem to consider him an all-around great guy. I’m sure you’ve seen every hot take there is, having run this page for so long, but I’ve rarely ever seen anyone say a word against Daeron.

I'd agree with that assessment, especially since the actual description of the sack and burning of Bitterbridge is actually absent from both TPatQ and TWoIaF.

12 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Right. Which brings me back to my original point that the blacks are clearly the side we’re supposed to support. It’s not even an question of the maesters’ bias, since the maesters are a strongly patriarchal order and wouldn’t be predisposed to support Rhaenyra, who technically lost. 

Well, Rhaenyra technically didn't lose. She was effectively deposed by a bunch of rioteers and she was killed, but her cause survived and her people did win the war. So if you break it down on the basic level then she is like FDR 'winning' World War II despite the fact that he didn't live to see it.

And dynastically she won without a doubt - her bloodline prevailed, Aegon II's and Alicent's bloodline died out. It is just a technicality that she isn't counted as a proper monarch. The fact that all Targaryen kings after Rhaenyra are her direct descendants makes her victory crystal clear. Just as Stannis would be victorious if he died in the fighting but Shireen lived and continued the royal branch of House Baratheon.

12 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

One peculiar thing about Rhaenyra is that I don’t think she ever burned a living person with her dragon, which is notable. And she tried to mediate between Corlys and Daemon, who were the angel and devil on her shoulder. She’s not written as particularly charismatic or kind, but she’s clearly written as less brutal than Aegon.

Rhaenyra's flaw is that she wasn't decisive and brutal enough - rather than not defending the dragons and fleeing the capital, for instance, she and Joff should have mounted their dragons to burn the rioteers while her loyalists laid defensive fires to ensure the Red Keep wouldn't catch fire. Something like that was doable ... and it would have sent the message that the dragon does not back down. It could have saved her reign even if it had killed thousands.

Whenever she commanded or did something questionable then her advisers and family put her up to this - she isn't like Aegon II and Aemond who seem to just sit on their asses thinking 'what ugly thing can I do (or publicly celebrate) now?'

Aegon II is almost like a caricature in this regard as it is clearly he himself who comes up with things like throwing a party to celebrate Luke's death, murder Rhaenyra, or build those silly statues of his dead brothers.

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1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

See, I almost never see anyone criticize Daeron. Most readers seem to consider him an all-around great guy. I’m sure you’ve seen every hot take there is, having run this page for so long, but I’ve rarely ever seen anyone say a word against Daeron.

I think he's a youth forced into a wildly violent and challenging situation, who when faced with an atrocity -- the murder of his infant nephew -- he lost his head. His attempt to stop what happened at Tumbleton, OTOH, speaks to the fact that he seems to have regretted the atrocity.

And again, I have to point to that "flower of chivalry", the Black Prince, who ordered the brutal sack of Limoges which was criticized by the very same people who thought him the noblest and most honorable knight that ever was. There is a dichotomy in Westeros that reflects something of the medieval mindset, where one can be noble and good and honorable, and also be fully capable of immense inhumanity and brutality.

Hoster Tully sacked a riverlands village because its lord stuck to the royalists, but other than the brotherhood without banners frowning about it, people like Catelyn and people who knew and respected Hoster don't think ill of him over it. That's just war in the Seven Kingdoms.

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5 hours ago, Ran said:

I think he's a youth forced into a wildly violent and challenging situation, who when faced with an atrocity -- the murder of his infant nephew -- he lost his head. His attempt to stop what happened at Tumbleton, OTOH, speaks to the fact that he seems to have regretted the atrocity.

One can interpret it like that ... or go with the idea that what happened at Tumbleton was so beyond anything what was considered decent or acceptable behavior that folks looked at it quite differently. There is no indication in the text that Daeron came to regret what had happened at Bitterbridge - instead we read about him not being able to stand what transpired at Tumbleton.

I mean, sacking a place isn't particularly bad by medieval standards - it is the right of the fighting men to capture some spoils - but Tumbleton wasn't just a sack, it was a collapse of proper behavior and conduct even after the sack was over (as shown by Peake murdering a co-commander/brother-at-arms at the council table).

But Bitterbridge was also not just a sack - it was a sack and a dragon attack. The kind of inferno one can unleash as a dragonrider goes well beyond even an ugly medieval sack. People can still try to fight back when they are attacked in a sack. They can try to run away. If fire rains down from the sky you cannot get away.

And Daeron specifically attacked the sept of Bitterbridge, a place full of refugees. We don't know if Lord Hightower would have spared the sept in a dragonless sack, but there would have at least been the possibility that he would try to do that - just as the people inside may have then had a chance to get away.

5 hours ago, Ran said:

And again, I have to point to that "flower of chivalry", the Black Prince, who ordered the brutal sack of Limoges which was criticized by the very same people who thought him the noblest and most honorable knight that ever was. There is a dichotomy in Westeros that reflects something of the medieval mindset, where one can be noble and good and honorable, and also be fully capable of immense inhumanity and brutality.

Isn't there some kind of dichotomy in the Black Prince in general, him committing atrocities in what was basically very far away from the home turf of the Plantagenets (it was in France and in domains he controlled via his wife or because of ancestral claims via Eleanor?)?

In any case, though, Daeron 'the Daring' is clearly not the flower of chivalry, never doing anything particularly noteworthy or chivalric aside from being a nice guy, failing to put a stop to the atrocities at Tumbleton, and conspiring to murder his brothers-at-arms.

In fact, George seems to send the message that the lad was average to lesser material considering he has him be a follower under the thumb of his elder brothers. You can contrast this with the fact that neither Aegon III nor Viserys II had a similar weakness despite being younger sons, too. Aegon III and Viserys both rose to the challenge the Dance and its aftermath laid at their feet - Daeron tried and failed. He wasn't kingly material.

5 hours ago, Ran said:

Hoster Tully sacked a riverlands village because its lord stuck to the royalists, but other than the brotherhood without banners frowning about it, people like Catelyn and people who knew and respected Hoster don't think ill of him over it. That's just war in the Seven Kingdoms.

I don't think Hoster is heard to have slaughtered lots of refugees who took shelter in those villages ... he may have even offered terms which were not met.

Whereas the Bitterbridge incident clearly has Lady Caswell accept all terms offered to her and has her take her own life for an incident she had nothing to do with.

I mean, put it in context - an infant died in what was basically an accident (even if you view it as a crime, it wasn't done at anybody's behest or command) and for that an entire town and the people inside have to pay for?

That kind savagery we have yet to see in the main series. Nobody so far has said all the Frey or Bolton smallfolk have to die for the Red Wedding, nor has anyone stated that all the Bolton towns and villages and farms have to put to the torch. Nobody wants to kill all the Cleganes and Lannisters and all their people for the murder of Elia and her children, etc.

I think it is rather obvious that insofar as 'the innocent body count' is concerned Bitterbridge comes directly behind Tumbleton and the sacks in the aftermath of the Battle in the Gullet.

Here is the passage in question again, and I daresay that the actual flowers of chivalry in Westeros - Arthur Dayne, Barristan Selmy, Prince Aemon, possibly even Jaime Lannister (in his present state of mind) - wouldn't command such a thing.

Quote
When Lady Caswell appeared on the ramparts of her castle to ask for the same terms Lady Merryweather had received, Hightower let Prince Daeron give the answer: “You shall receive the same terms you gave my nephew Maelor.” Her ladyship could only watch as Bitterbridge was sacked. The Hogs Head was the first building put to the torch. Inns, guild halls, storehouses, the homes of the mean and the mighty, dragonflame consumed them all. Even the sept was burned, with hundreds of wounded still within. Only the bridge remained untouched, as it was required to cross the Mander. The people of the town were put to the sword if they tried to fight or flee, or were driven into the river to drown.
Lady Caswell watched from her walls, then commanded that her gates be thrown open. “No castle can be held against a dragon,” she told her garrison. When Lord Hightower rode up, he found her standing atop the gatehouse with a noose about her neck. “Have mercy on my children, lord,” she begged, before throwing herself down to hang. Mayhaps that moved Lord Ormund, for her ladyship’s young sons and daughter were spared and sent in chains to Oldtown. The men of the castle garrison received no mercy but the sword.

I think the fact that we read here that Ormund and Daeron actually had the entire garrison killed after they had already sacked and burned the entire town and watched a woman hang herself from her own gatehouse paints a very ugly picture of the general situation. It means that neither man could summon enough mercy or compassion even after they had made a lot of corpses.

Edited by Lord Varys
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Will the mods be adding a HOTD subforum soon, now that the show is only a few months away?


I was thinking about what a Jaehaerys & Alysanne spin-off would be like, even though I don’t think it would get the green light, since their reign didn’t really have a central conflict like GOT and HOTD did (maybe an animated show could work, since animation fans are more open to unconventional stories). One big drawback is that they would probably would cut most of their kids. Aegon and the other infants who didn’t make it would probably be cut. Daenerys seemingly only exists to foreshadow whatever George has planned for our Dany, having died from the Shivers (maybe in this instance, an adult Alyssa would die from the Shivers instead, since it is a bit overkill for two daughters to die in childbirth), so there isn’t much point in including her. Maegelle and Vaegon would probably be in an episode or two before getting shipped off, and then would be mentioned in passing from time to time. Saddest of all, they’d probably cut Viserra too, since she has more of a “bottle” plot. So we’d have Aemon the golden heir, Baelon and Alyssa the comedic duo, tragic Daella to initiate the rift between J&A, and Saera, who would probably be given a much larger role (they might even give her some of Viserra’s traits). Five main children, just like the original Stark kids (discounting Rickon, since he was barely in it).

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21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

One can interpret it like that ... or go with the idea that what happened at Tumbleton was so beyond anything what was considered decent or acceptable behavior that folks looked at it quite differently. There is no indication in the text that Daeron came to regret what had happened at Bitterbridge - instead we read about him not being able to stand what transpired at Tumbleton.

I mean, sacking a place isn't particularly bad by medieval standards - it is the right of the fighting men to capture some spoils - but Tumbleton wasn't just a sack, it was a collapse of proper behavior and conduct even after the sack was over (as shown by Peake murdering a co-commander/brother-at-arms at the council table).

But Bitterbridge was also not just a sack - it was a sack and a dragon attack. The kind of inferno one can unleash as a dragonrider goes well beyond even an ugly medieval sack. People can still try to fight back when they are attacked in a sack. They can try to run away. If fire rains down from the sky you cannot get away.

And Daeron specifically attacked the sept of Bitterbridge, a place full of refugees. We don't know if Lord Hightower would have spared the sept in a dragonless sack, but there would have at least been the possibility that he would try to do that - just as the people inside may have then had a chance to get away.

Isn't there some kind of dichotomy in the Black Prince in general, him committing atrocities in what was basically very far away from the home turf of the Plantagenets (it was in France and in domains he controlled via his wife or because of ancestral claims via Eleanor?)?

In any case, though, Daeron 'the Daring' is clearly not the flower of chivalry, never doing anything particularly noteworthy or chivalric aside from being a nice guy, failing to put a stop to the atrocities at Tumbleton, and conspiring to murder his brothers-at-arms.

In fact, George seems to send the message that the lad was average to lesser material considering he has him be a follower under the thumb of his elder brothers. You can contrast this with the fact that neither Aegon III nor Viserys II had a similar weakness despite being younger sons, too. Aegon III and Viserys both rose to the challenge the Dance and its aftermath laid at their feet - Daeron tried and failed. He wasn't kingly material.

I don't think Hoster is heard to have slaughtered lots of refugees who took shelter in those villages ... he may have even offered terms which were not met.

Whereas the Bitterbridge incident clearly has Lady Caswell accept all terms offered to her and has her take her own life for an incident she had nothing to do with.

I mean, put it in context - an infant died in what was basically an accident (even if you view it as a crime, it wasn't done at anybody's behest or command) and for that an entire town and the people inside have to pay for?

That kind savagery we have yet to see in the main series. Nobody so far has said all the Frey or Bolton smallfolk have to die for the Red Wedding, nor has anyone stated that all the Bolton towns and villages and farms have to put to the torch. Nobody wants to kill all the Cleganes and Lannisters and all their people for the murder of Elia and her children, etc.

I think it is rather obvious that insofar as 'the innocent body count' is concerned Bitterbridge comes directly behind Tumbleton and the sacks in the aftermath of the Battle in the Gullet.

Here is the passage in question again, and I daresay that the actual flowers of chivalry in Westeros - Arthur Dayne, Barristan Selmy, Prince Aemon, possibly even Jaime Lannister (in his present state of mind) - wouldn't command such a thing.

I think the fact that we read here that Ormund and Daeron actually had the entire garrison killed after they had already sacked and burned the entire town and watched a woman hang herself from her own gatehouse paints a very ugly picture of the general situation. It means that neither man could summon enough mercy or compassion even after they had made a lot of corpses.

Actually, my reading of the War of the Five Kings is very much that the smallfolk of the enemy are considered to be an entirely legitimate target.  Lord Tywin and Ser Kevan have no qualms about inflicting horrors on the peasants of the Riverlands.  And Robb Stark, who is sympathetic and chivalrous, inflicts the same on Lannister peasants and suspected collaborators.

Bitterbridge was horrific, but not outside the norms of medieval warfare.  A town in which a royal prince was torn to pieces could expect complete extermination at the hands of his fellows.  

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7 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Actually, my reading of the War of the Five Kings is very much that the smallfolk of the enemy are considered to be an entirely legitimate target.  Lord Tywin and Ser Kevan have no qualms about inflicting horrors on the peasants of the Riverlands.  And Robb Stark, who is sympathetic and chivalrous, inflicts the same on Lannister peasants and suspected collaborators.

As a weapon of terror, yes, but not to exact vengeance for a crime. Bitterbridge is sacked and burned specifically because Maelor Targaryen was killed, not because the people/smallfolk there are followers of the enemy. Lady Caswell intends to yield and/or switch from Rhaenyra to Aegon II.

The Dance is a succession war, not a war between different peoples or countries, unlike the War of the Five Kings were we have both a succession war between various branches of House Baratheon as well as a specific war between particular noble families and their respective 'kingdoms'.

The blood feud between the Lannisters and Starks - or the Lannisters and the Martells - might very well not be over even if both ended up to declare for the same pretender.

But this kind of strife between noble families seems to be absent during the Dance.

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17 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

As a weapon of terror, yes, but not to exact vengeance for a crime. Bitterbridge is sacked and burned specifically because Maelor Targaryen was killed, not because the people/smallfolk there are followers of the enemy. Lady Caswell intends to yield and/or switch from Rhaenyra to Aegon II.

The Dance is a succession war, not a war between different peoples or countries, unlike the War of the Five Kings were we have both a succession war between various branches of House Baratheon as well as a specific war between particular noble families and their respective 'kingdoms'.

The blood feud between the Lannisters and Starks - or the Lannisters and the Martells - might very well not be over even if both ended up to declare for the same pretender.

But this kind of strife between noble families seems to be absent during the Dance.

I think in general, warfare in Westeros is at the top end of brutality. It’s what medieval theorists called Bellum Romanum, war against people who have placed themselves beyond any right to humane treatment.  It more resembles wars of religion than the more restrained warfare of the Wars of the Roses.

But, the murder of a prince of the blood by the commons would have been considered a horrific crime in any medieval setting, more than justifying the massacre of every man, woman, and child in the guilty town.  Killing royalty would be like killing God.  And just as crusaders could justify the slaughter of Jews as punishing the impious race that killed Christ, so would Daeron and his men justify the slaughter at Bitterbridge.

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Just now, SeanF said:

But, the murder of a prince of the blood by the commons would have been considered a horrific crime in any medieval setting, more than justifying the massacre of every man, woman, and child in the guilty town.

True enough, and nobody said that Daeron or Ormund Hightower are particularly vilified by the Westerosi for the Sack of Bitterbridge - although we have to be honest enough to admit that we don't have sufficient information to assess how this sack was viewed by historians or the general public since we only have a rather brief account (by comparison, we also have no clue how the Westerosi view the War of the Hundred Candles - was that a great preemptive strike or a very ugly massacre?).

But the crucial part of this discussion is not so much how the Westerosi view Daeron the Daring but rather whether he was a good guy from our point of view. And there I maintain that due to his actions at Bitterbridge and Tumbleton he clearly is neither particularly good nor particularly chivalric. At Tumbleton he may have been well-intentioned when he wanted to stop the atrocities. But siding with scum like the Caltrops - Peake himself was a main perpetrator of the atrocities at Tumbleton, ditto the rapist Roxton, etc. - to betray and murder your own allies was just deplorable. The Two Betrayers may have been scum, but they were bought by the Greens and they helped them to defeat the Black army at Tumbleton. If you lower yourself to the level that you buy off people to burn an entire town with dragonfire then you lose all right to nobility or chivalry.

I mean, we can understand why Hugh and Ulf were dismissed as scum by the Caltrops and their allies ... but that's the thing I think George is criticizing there - the aristocratic double standard that's okay to suck up to platinum-blonde pricks born on the right side of the blanket, but not to lowborn bastards who claim Jaehaerys' Vermithor ... or men-at-arms with silver hair who have a drinking problem.

Hugh and Ulf do suck ... but the guys who conspired against them suck even more.

1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Will the mods be adding a HOTD subforum soon, now that the show is only a few months away?


I was thinking about what a Jaehaerys & Alysanne spin-off would be like, even though I don’t think it would get the green light, since their reign didn’t really have a central conflict like GOT and HOTD did (maybe an animated show could work, since animation fans are more open to unconventional stories). One big drawback is that they would probably would cut most of their kids. Aegon and the other infants who didn’t make it would probably be cut. Daenerys seemingly only exists to foreshadow whatever George has planned for our Dany, having died from the Shivers (maybe in this instance, an adult Alyssa would die from the Shivers instead, since it is a bit overkill for two daughters to die in childbirth), so there isn’t much point in including her. Maegelle and Vaegon would probably be in an episode or two before getting shipped off, and then would be mentioned in passing from time to time. Saddest of all, they’d probably cut Viserra too, since she has more of a “bottle” plot. So we’d have Aemon the golden heir, Baelon and Alyssa the comedic duo, tragic Daella to initiate the rift between J&A, and Saera, who would probably be given a much larger role (they might even give her some of Viserra’s traits). Five main children, just like the original Stark kids (discounting Rickon, since he was barely in it).

I think Jaehaerys-Alysanne could work as a historical drama à la 'The Tudors', although I certainly think that the reign of Aenys, the usurpation of Maegor, and the early reign of Jaehaerys I do have more potential as a show. Especially if one were to put quite a bit of focus on Jaehaerys and Alysanne (which one certainly could do later in Maegor's reign or even earlier if one aged them up a bit).

The point to start such a thing could be in the second half of the Conqueror's reign or something like that.

But it would then just be yet another succession war, so no idea if that would be a great show.

Jaehaerys I's later reign certainly had potential for a show, especially if people were to focus on the grandchildren and their relationship to each other as well as crucial members of the court - Barth, Ryam Redwyne, Jonquil Darke. And then there are the half-siblings of the king and queen which were, unfortunately, completely glossed over in FaB. Boremund Baratheon would be the most important lord in the Realm as the king's half-brother, and the fact that he didn't end up with a Targaryen wife is very hard to swallow in light of the usual marriage policy - but even more important is his absence from court and council. Jocelyn and Aemon are equally underveloped as is Jocelyn's eventual fate.

In fact, something I'd elaborate on if I were writing on such a show were how Septon Barth's high office allowed him advance his immediate and extended family. He was of very humble origins, but serving as Hand of the King under Jaehaerys I for forty years should have allowed him to arrange advantageous marriages for whatever siblings and nieces and nephews he had. And he could have also put his kin into the orders meaning that, say, Runciter or Mellos could be nephews or grandnephews of Barth.

One could even see friendships made at the Small Council table resulting in very surprising and unheard of marriages - say, a female relation of Barth's marrying one of Martyn Tyrell's younger sons.

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3 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Will the mods be adding a HOTD subforum soon, now that the show is only a few months away?

I'd second that wish. Not that many folks are likely to read or care for my diatribes, anyway, but in this thread a completely offtopic discussion like that is completely misplaced. But we really don't have a place for this at that point.

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5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

True enough, and nobody said that Daeron or Ormund Hightower are particularly vilified by the Westerosi for the Sack of Bitterbridge - although we have to be honest enough to admit that we don't have sufficient information to assess how this sack was viewed by historians or the general public since we only have a rather brief account (by comparison, we also have no clue how the Westerosi view the War of the Hundred Candles - was that a great preemptive strike or a very ugly massacre?).

But the crucial part of this discussion is not so much how the Westerosi view Daeron the Daring but rather whether he was a good guy from our point of view. And there I maintain that due to his actions at Bitterbridge and Tumbleton he clearly is neither particularly good nor particularly chivalric. At Tumbleton he may have been well-intentioned when he wanted to stop the atrocities. But siding with scum like the Caltrops - Peake himself was a main perpetrator of the atrocities at Tumbleton, ditto the rapist Roxton, etc. - to betray and murder your own allies was just deplorable. The Two Betrayers may have been scum, but they were bought by the Greens and they helped them to defeat the Black army at Tumbleton. If you lower yourself to the level that you buy off people to burn an entire town with dragonfire then you lose all right to nobility or chivalry.

I mean, we can understand why Hugh and Ulf were dismissed as scum by the Caltrops and their allies ... but that's the thing I think George is criticizing there - the aristocratic double standard that's okay to suck up to platinum-blonde pricks born on the right side of the blanket, but not to lowborn bastards who claim Jaehaerys' Vermithor ... or men-at-arms with silver hair who have a drinking problem.

Hugh and Ulf do suck ... but the guys who conspired against them suck even more.

 

The treatment of Bitterbridge was certainly appalling in our terms.  And, yes, one can't just say, "it was different in those days."   We shouldn't just uncritically accept the values by which this world's nobles operate.  But there's no one in this story, however sympathetic, who does not do things we would view as bad.  Even Jon Snow, who's often viewed as a boy scout, willingly resorts to torture, and his treatment of Gilly and her child was horrid by any measure.

The murder of Elia and her children was appalling, and is presented as such in the narrative.  And, I expect there will be plenty of Dornish and Targaryen loyalists who would consider the murder of Tommen and Myrcella and Margaery to be entirely legitimate revenge for that.  Likewise, if an army marched on the Twins from the Vale, I expect that they would view the murder of every man woman and child connected to the Freys as legitimate retaliation for the Red Wedding.  This is a horribly cruel world, and the characters act accordingly.

 

Edited by SeanF
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11 hours ago, SeanF said:

The treatment of Bitterbridge was certainly appalling in our terms.  And, yes, one can't just say, "it was different in those days."   We shouldn't just uncritically accept the values by which this world's nobles operate.  But there's no one in this story, however sympathetic, who does not do things we would view as bad.  Even Jon Snow, who's often viewed as a boy scout, willingly resorts to torture, and his treatment of Gilly and her child was horrid by any measure.

True enough, but we would also say that's not those actions that make him a good guy. The issue with Daeron 'the Daring' (and I think we should put that in quotation marks unlike with Baelon the Bold who eventually earned that moniker while Daeron did not) just is that we have average good actions in combination with pretty bad things and the inability to prevent really shitty things.

11 hours ago, SeanF said:

The murder of Elia and her children was appalling, and is presented as such in the narrative.  And, I expect there will be plenty of Dornish and Targaryen loyalists who would consider the murder of Tommen and Myrcella and Margaery to be entirely legitimate revenge for that.  Likewise, if an army marched on the Twins from the Vale, I expect that they would view the murder of every man woman and child connected to the Freys as legitimate retaliation for the Red Wedding.  This is a horribly cruel world, and the characters act accordingly.

We have to wait and see. I mean, I agree with you about part of this as you well know, but so far even Lady Stoneheart targets only Freys she views as guilty in the Red Wedding. What could get kind of close to the Sack of Bitterbridge might be the impending fall of Riverrun to the Brotherhood without Banners. There we could see Stoneheart do away with Emmon and Genna and executing the entire garrison. But we would also view this as a further escalation of the war ... and it might be even seen this way in-universe considering that Emmon and Genna were actually not directly involved in the fighting so far. But at this point it isn't a given that Emmon and Genna are going to be killed even if Riverrun falls.

But as I said - unlike the Dance we do have a kind of proper war setting in ASoIaF where people from different 'kingdoms' attack each other. For a Westermen army the Riverlands aren't their home, especially as the central rule disintegrates/is questioned. I guess that accounts in part of the savagery in the War of the Five Kings. A Green Westerman general during the Dance would have likely not similarly ravaged the lands of a Black Westerman unless we imagine them to be Bracken-Blackwood style enemies.

And, yes, there is an army sent out to specifically 'avenge' something then they are likely to kill indiscriminately if they fail to accomplish their actual goal - as it happened at Tumbleton. But that's clearly extreme stuff folks do not count among 'general chivalric behavior'.

 

Edited by Lord Varys
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17 hours ago, SeanF said:

Actually, my reading of the War of the Five Kings is very much that the smallfolk of the enemy are considered to be an entirely legitimate target.  Lord Tywin and Ser Kevan have no qualms about inflicting horrors on the peasants of the Riverlands.  And Robb Stark, who is sympathetic and chivalrous, inflicts the same on Lannister peasants and suspected collaborators.

I'm not sure it's fair at all to claim that Robb Stark inflicted "the same" horrors to the peasants of the West than Tywin did on the Riverlands. At all. The fact is that we never see Robb ordering raids primarily targeting common people.

You are right that many lords in Westeros consider the smallfolk of the enemy a legitimate target. But there are also many lords that do not. I don't think Martin depicts an scenario where "everyone is just as bad".

9 hours ago, SeanF said:

The murder of Elia and her children was appalling, and is presented as such in the narrative.  And, I expect there will be plenty of Dornish and Targaryen loyalists who would consider the murder of Tommen and Myrcella and Margaery to be entirely legitimate revenge for that.

There'll always be bloodthirsty savages on any side, but none of them are people that we are supposed to sympathize with as readers. Instead, we got Doran Martell opposing Lady Nym's proposal to poison Myrcella, Tommen and even Joffrey (“The boy has never wronged us.”), and Arianne claiming she's no murderer of children (“Put that away. Myrcella is under my protection.").

And then there's Eddard Stark. He had his whole family gruesomely murdered by the Targaryens, and still preferred to resign as Hand before condoning a murder attempt on Daenerys.

17 hours ago, SeanF said:

Bitterbridge was horrific, but not outside the norms of medieval warfare.  A town in which a royal prince was torn to pieces could expect complete extermination at the hands of his fellows.  

And still, we never see Rhaenyra taking Syrax to the Stormlands to indiscriminately murder any innocent civilian as a retribution for Luke's death. And when Aegon III becomes king he doesn't have Oldown burned to avenge her mother.

What happened at Bitterbridge may not be something extraordinary, but it wasn't the norm either. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that good people just doesn't do that.

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