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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

LOL, I just remembered how the first novella there was named 'The Princess and the Queen', ending with the princess being eaten and the queen disappearing without a trace. That was about as anti-feminist as you can get. I'd say Rhaenyra's ending is much worse than Dany's - Dany at least accomplishes something, turns herself into a 'great figure' (although, of course, she is an utter and complete failure in the end) from scratch, while Rhaenyra is just her daddy's favorite and cannot really cope with the fact that her stepmother and half-siblings don't want to submit to her. That isn't exactly the setting you want for a heroic or good character.

I would argue that the idea Martin had, to show that women are just as capable, mediocre or complete failures as leaders throughout Westeros history make his stories a bit feminist, without him needing to label his work (which he probably never thought to do or didn’t even think they are). The point is these women characters should have the exact same opportunities to embarrass or distinguish themselves as the men in that world, and Martin’s novella as well as his books and the adaptation of his Asoiaf on screen did just that.

 

It is just unfortunate that sometimes we fail big just like our male counterparts or we turn on ourselves invoking our own sex as a character flaw (?) that somehow impedes one to rule (see Alicent vs Rhaenyra). In the end we show that we are equally brilliant or successful at achieving good or goals we have (see Alysanne or Sansa) or equally insane (see Dany) or simply equally horrible at it (Cersei) as men are. So yes a bit of a feminist streak in his work if you ask me, regardless how the characters end up.

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In re: to the Trailer I am a bit confused about the timelines. Looks like Ser Criston Cole beats the crap out of someone but I wonder if that’s Harwin Strong at Rhaenyra’s wedding. The flashbacks are confusing for me and also they don’t show Ryan Corr’s face but it should be plenty exciting!

Edited by TormundsWoman
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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, TormundsWoman said:

I would argue that the idea Martin had, to show that women are just as capable, mediocre or complete failures as leaders throughout Westeros history make his stories a bit feminist, without him needing to label his work (which he probably never thought to do or didn’t even think they are). The point is these women characters should have the exact same opportunities to embarrass or distinguish themselves as the men in that world, and Martin’s novella as well as his books and the adaptation of his Asoiaf on screen did just that.

 

It is just unfortunate that sometimes we fail big just like our male counterparts or we turn on ourselves invoking our own sex as a character flaw (?) that somehow impedes one to rule (see Alicent vs Rhaenyra). In the end we show that we are equally brilliant or successful at achieving good or goals we have (see Alysanne or Sansa) or equally insane (see Dany) or simply equally horrible at it (Cersei) as men are. So yes a bit of a feminist streak in his work if you ask me, regardless how the characters end up.

I think this is probably what GRRM was going for, and I agree that Alysanne is his idea of a good ruler. (The inclusion of Jonquil Darke—who is basically Brienne—makes me think that Sansa is being primed to be an Alysanne-type figure, especially since her arc has been focused less on politics and more on networking. I think that she’ll probably play a similar role for her brothers when they’re reunited at Winterfell). Then there are some women who men believe have the right temperaments to be good queens—Rhaenys, her granddaughter Rhaena, even Myrcella.

45 minutes ago, TormundsWoman said:

In re: to the Trailer I am a bit confused about the timelines. Looks like Ser Criston Cole beats the crap out of someone but I wonder if that’s Harwin Strong at Rhaenyra’s wedding. The flashbacks are confusing for me and also they don’t show Ryan Corr’s face but it should be plenty exciting!

I hope they explore Rhaenyra and Harwin’s relationship on the show. It’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to. 

Interestingly, I think Criston looks a bit like Robb in his promo poster.

Edited by The Bard of Banefort
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HBO's upcoming prequel to its wildly popular “Game of Thrones” fantasy series — is coming. The series premieres August 21 on HBO Max. Anticipation for “House of the Dragon” has been high since the show was unveiled by WarnerMedia in October 2019. 

Check the new trailer here !!! -> https://shrinke.me/eANPQFo

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I just spent my whole Saturday looking through teaser trailer reaction videos from YouTube channels that ARE NOT hardcore Game of Thrones / ASOIAF channels, and haven't read the books (for the most part). Mainstream channels, not things that usually cover this. 

I was fascinated when the first teaser came out, and reactions from this kind of source were not only positive, but generally asked intelligent questions. So I wanted to get a "feel" for what kind of reaction this got, and more importantly what kind of questions people unfamiliar with the source material had. Fascinating because I can't "unlearn" that I've read Fire & Blood, sometimes it's hard to tell what might confuse people. Like when we'd examine Google Trends after episodes (what searches spiked on A Wiki of Ice and Fire after this? "Rhaenyra Targaryen" and what else?)

To be honest, though all were positive, the questions they asked ran a spectrum:

  • MAJOR professional TV review channels, even if they read the books, are better informed and asked reasonable questions. Blind Wave is a good example.
  • Smaller channels who haven't been following this asked questions that could easily be answered by a google search, such as "is this based on a book and is that book done?" (yes, Fire & Blood)....which isn't bad on their part, it it's a key takeaway that the "mainstream news sites" are so disinterested in reporting on House of the Dragon after Game of Thrones Season 8 that they're barely reporting on the prequel. The public has been left shamefully uninformed. 
  • There's always fringe reactions that were insultingly ignorant and jumped to bizarre conclusions...thankfully none of the big ones. Nothing over 3,000 views or anything and they might not reflect general trends. One bizarrely insisted, even against current assumptions, that "well this prequel will be good, because it isn't based on a book GRRM wrote, when slavishly following his story from printed books through Season 8 ruined the show; hopefully TV writers can improve this because it's not a book" ...when they famously didn't have finished books for Season 8, and Fire & Blood IS a finished book (albeit a history book outline) (I'm not making this up). Another one struck me in that she kept mockingly saying "this sounds awful...why are they acting like having a woman on the throne can never happen? We already saw Cersei and Daenerys!"...only to then within the video acknowledge it's a PREQUEL by asking how long ago it was (I watched over two dozen reviews, NO ONE ELSE brought this up, she's just an idiot). 

What questions did they ask?

  • THE top question was "is this based on a book? and is that source material finished?" -- they were very nervous about this. Because the news media didn't even try to examine what went wrong with Game of Thrones, a sort of meme or assumption has spread that "the show got bad because they ran out of books, Martin should have finished them, it's his fault"....ignoring that they abandoned finished books from Season 5 onwards. I don't even think this is willful ignorance: I think a LARGE number of casual viewers were...simply never INFORMED about this, by major news sites who just stopped "reporting" on it. They think Game of Thrones failed because the book series was unfinished. This is THE question that gets asked, far above any other recurring question. So we need to stress "Yes, there's this book called Fire & Blood" so that A- they watch the show without fear, B - they buy Fire & Blood.
  • A LOT of people kept asking "how long ago is this?" Even though this FIRST TEASER stated in a titlecard, "200 years ago".  This highlights the importance of slowly and clearly explaining this in every promo material that goes out. As one would to a child.
  • I was worried that because they mention "King Viserys" in dialogue, people would get confused with Daenerys's brother, "Viserys" (Viserys the Third).  Hardly anyone did. A handful, but more than one of the stupid reactions...actually asked "wait, is that the Mad King?" (because they can't tell two white haired kings standing in front of the Iron Throne apart). Then again these were the same people who kept asking "how long ago is this?" Other stupid questions were even "what, they're not starting with the Targaryen Conquest?" and "wait, this isn't Robert's Rebellion?" (I need to stress these were fringe reactions with less than one thousand views, I'm just sharing them out of amusement). 
  • When they quickly namedrop characters named "Stark" and "Baratheon", many quickly remarked that they wondered what this prequel era's Starks and Baratheons are up to; understandable, as they're familiar names.
  • Many people casually remarked on "who are those black Valyrians?" and who are those guys [the Hightowers]?" etc., because they're two Houses that were simply never introduced in Game of Thrones itself. Multiple people didn't even think the TV-Velaryon seahorse sigil looked like a seahorse (it's a heraldic one with a horse head); remarking "why is that lion sigil blue? they're not Lannisters", "why is their dragon sigil drawn weird, is that a wyvern?" etc. etc. It's a god-damned real sea-horse! It introduced these new groups but didn't slowly introduce their names (though this time they DO have him say "I, Corlys Velaryon"...so the VERY casual viewers who kept the subtitles on reacted with, "oh, they're called "House Velaryon"?)...but this is a short teaser just setting up the main Targaryens, much less Velaryons/Hightowers. 
  • The trailer didn't attempt to convey in words the names of many characters so I think we can forgive confusion about who everyone is. Walking in blind. People of course recognized Matt Smith, and quite a few recognized Rhys Ifans, actually. I'm surprised that more than one recognized Olivia Cooke ("hey, she was in Ready Player One"). Result though was that a couple of them assumed Daemon was Rhaenyra's brother or cousin or something (not his uncle) who got passed over for a girl, based on the angry looks he keeps shooting at Young Rhaenyra. 
  • I'm not sure if they understood that the younger and older versions are the same characters before and after time skips. I never saw a video that overtly assumed they were different. 

I thought there would be more questions. But then again, it's just a teaser. 

My major takeaway is that any attempt at doing videos talking to non book readers about this needs to start with slowly and clearly saying "This is the story of a major civil war within two rival branches of House Targaryen, 200 years before Game of Thrones, as told in the finished book Fire & Blood".

Edited by The Dragon Demands
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4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

 Rhaenyra’s really only a pampered princess in TPATQ. George played down this persona in FnB, and she’s noticeably less vicious than the men around her. Rhaenyra doesn’t even execute Alicent, and unlike 14-year-old Dany, she never feeds anyone to her dragon.

i feel like I really should read this "the princess and the queen"!lol.. I mean , I certainly did not get the pampered princess vibe from FnB Rhaenyra . she wasn't a good ruler or an aspiring female lead but she was arguably one of the more lenient and decent characters in the course of the Dance. 

4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Aegon’s brokenness is another reason why I think it would be a good idea to end with the return of Viserys—the fiesty, clever brother who preserved his family as they stumbled from one idiocy to another. Or maybe they could have Baela and Rhaena taking Aegon under their wing, helping him rule. That could be a bit more of a “girl power” ending.

agreed . I think the best way to deal with the ending is to show Aegon III as a tragically depressed kid but never show anything about the horrors of regency era . I also think it would be a good idea to put some focus on what Aegon III and his sisters go through throughout the series . Baella and Rhaena would be by his side at the hour of the wolf having his back and the series would end with their reunion with their little brother . I don't expect any of Viserys II 's characteristics to be hinted at the show since he's barely in the story . he'll be like Rickon Stark of GoT , you don't necessary care about him but it would have been nice to see him survive , reunite with Bran who would've been especially close to Rickon after all their troubles  ; that is if they hadn't destroyed Bran's character.

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35 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

A LOT of people kept asking "how long ago is this?" Even though this FIRST TEASER stated in a titlecard, "200 years ago".  This highlights the importance of slowly and clearly explaining this in every promo material that goes out. As one would to a child.

One thing you have to keep in mind is that unlike the poeple in this forum, those reactors (for the most part) have not read the books and do not remember what the first teaser from 7 months ago contained. But your remarq is valid and I think the "200 years ago" titlecard should be back again for the next teaser/trailer (that I'm guessing will drop around the week-end of Comic Con). Or the first episode could have a title card at the beginning to avoid any confusion for the casual audience, kind like the first episode of GOT had a text mentioning the different places: "Winterfell", "King's Landing, capital of the Seven Kingdoms" and "Pentos, across the Narrow Sea".

Also I really like the idea of having a Targaryen family tree as the intro. That would be helpful for the casual audience. Especially since the Targaryen and Velaryon names are very similar and they all have the same hair color. This tree would evolve throughout the series once a new character is born or someone is getting married or dies.

Edited by Thomaerys Velaryon
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5 hours ago, TormundsWoman said:

I would argue that the idea Martin had, to show that women are just as capable, mediocre or complete failures as leaders throughout Westeros history make his stories a bit feminist, without him needing to label his work (which he probably never thought to do or didn’t even think they are). The point is these women characters should have the exact same opportunities to embarrass or distinguish themselves as the men in that world, and Martin’s novella as well as his books and the adaptation of his Asoiaf on screen did just that.

While that certainly is true, George certainly has a tendency to have a broader variety among men than among women. It is good, for instance, that Aegon II is petulant, incompetent man-child and not some kind of awesome warrior-king. But for variety we do have Aemond and Daeron at his side, just as we have Daemon.

And if you look at all the princes in the books it is a kind of letdown that both Aenys' sons and Jaehaerys I's elder sons are all great and perfect princes. Aemon and Baelon are super guys, and Aegon the Uncrowned and his brother Viserys are also all fine warriors and knights-to-be. There are no eccentricities there, not even so much a hint of 'Targaryen madness' nor of the physical and mental frailties they could have suffered from.

The only non-conforming Targaryen woman is Visenya. All the others could just as well be common noblewomen - that their are royalty or even dragonriders doesn't change anything.

In context, though, the character of Rhaenyra certainly had the potential of being exceptional simply because of the framework of the plot (which originally, in the appendix of AGoT, indicated that she was the usurper, the one who couldn't suffer the idea that Aegon was following their father). She is defying the rules and leads one faction in a devastating civil war. One can make a case that she should have been more like a female version or Daeron I, Aegon I, or perhaps even Maegor the Cruel than just a normal/average woman. Rhaenyra could have had female warriors in her employ (like Alysanne had a female bodyguard), she could have had women on her council, etc. And while it is good to see the likes of Rhaena, Aerea, Alyssa, and Baela (even Saera) in the book they are all failures who cannot be warriors or really openly defy gender rules or take their lives into their own hands. I mean, we have another character like that with Daena the Defiant (and perhaps other Targaryen women further down the road) and folks certainly had good reasons to imagine that a dragonrider would have had more freedoms and more ways to express herself and influence politics than a dragonless princess.

And the problem with title of 'The Princess and the Queen' just is that it doesn't finish the story of the queen nor is it, in the end, really a conflict between the two women. That's just a small part of the larger story and their story isn't even at the heart of the novella.

5 hours ago, TormundsWoman said:

In re: to the Trailer I am a bit confused about the timelines. Looks like Ser Criston Cole beats the crap out of someone but I wonder if that’s Harwin Strong at Rhaenyra’s wedding. The flashbacks are confusing for me and also they don’t show Ryan Corr’s face but it should be plenty exciting!

If that's Criston Cole and Harwin or Joffrey - and I'm not really bothering with the actors these days - then the setting was changed, since this really seems to be indoors rather than on the tourney ground out in the open.

Another instance of overdramatisation, since tourney injuries can be ignored or explained away more easily (think of Gregor's madness during the Tourney of the Hand which had no consequences) than a brawl or outright attack in the throne room or wherever that scene takes place.

4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I think this is probably what GRRM was going for, and I agree that Alysanne is his idea of a good ruler. (The inclusion of Jonquil Darke—who is basically Brienne—makes me think that Sansa is being primed to be an Alysanne-type figure, especially since her arc has been focused less on politics and more on networking. I think that she’ll probably play a similar role for her brothers when they’re reunited at Winterfell). Then there are some women who men believe have the right temperaments to be good queens—Rhaenys, her granddaughter Rhaena, even Myrcella.

Alysanne isn't so much a ruler but a ruler's consort and first/principal adviser. She certainly shapes policy to a very large degree ... but mostly behind the scenes as the person who either puts an idea in Jaehaerys' head or the person who forces him to go through with something.

How little actual power she had can, I think, best be drawn from the rather pitiful scene where she speaks to the Archmaesters of the Citadel and they all nod and smile and then basically tell the queen to go fuck herself because they won't change anything.

If she had had real power there, then there would have been female students at the Citadel - and eventually female maesters in Westeros. And it context it is a pity that this didn't actually happen for a time. If Rhaenys/Visenya or Alysanne had insisted that a daughter or other close female relation of theirs wanted to be a maester ... then, well, this should have happened. That is the power of royalty. In fact, one imagines that even Alicent Hightower could have pulled that one off - combining in her person the power of House Targaryen as well as the power of the Hightowers of Oldtown.

2 hours ago, EggBlue said:

i feel like I really should read this "the princess and the queen"!lol.. I mean , I certainly did not get the pampered princess vibe from FnB Rhaenyra . she wasn't a good ruler or an aspiring female lead but she was arguably one of the more lenient and decent characters in the course of the Dance. 

'Pampered princess' to me means in this context that Rhaenyra never had to fight for anything (until she had). She was her daddy's favorite and he spoiled her, much more, one imagines, than Jaehaerys spoiled Saera, and that shaped her personality. She should be portrayed and act as if the world revolved around her, belonged to her, and nothing would ever change that. When her father forces her to marry Laenor, for instance, the way to depict her wouldn't be to show her being afraid but very angry that her father dared to take something away from her she viewed as her own.

The vibe you get from the girl in the teaser is that she is pretty little doll which is used as a pawn.

2 hours ago, EggBlue said:

agreed . I think the best way to deal with the ending is to show Aegon III as a tragically depressed kid but never show anything about the horrors of regency era . I also think it would be a good idea to put some focus on what Aegon III and his sisters go through throughout the series . Baella and Rhaena would be by his side at the hour of the wolf having his back and the series would end with their reunion with their little brother . I don't expect any of Viserys II 's characteristics to be hinted at the show since he's barely in the story . he'll be like Rickon Stark of GoT , you don't necessary care about him but it would have been nice to see him survive , reunite with Bran who would've been especially close to Rickon after all their troubles  ; that is if they hadn't destroyed Bran's character.

How to deal with Viserys' story is one of the big mysteries in the show. The other is the disappearance of Aegon II. If they show what he does on Dragonstone then they spoil the surprise. If he is absent all that time he is simply not really an important character.

But they should take the risk of turning him mostly into a puppet/absent guy, so that the focus can remain on Alicent.

They also could show Viserys' survival and give him a story of his own in Essos, creating tension about if and how he is going to be united with his family. It would also need only minor tweaks in the plot to help him make an impact in the Dance, say, by moving the role the Arryn navy plays at the end of the war to Viserys and Alyn.

They could also give him an interesting love story with Larra and have him show his political talents by convincing the Rogares to enter into the war on his mother's side and perhaps even sway the rulers of Lys in some public speech to follow their example. Since that would all happen in the wake of the Gullet this would be no small feat at all.

Originally, I thought George wanted Viserys to be the Arya of the Dance era - that he would have a pretty big journey all on his own until he was reunited with his brother. That is something the show could do easily enough without much changes - say, by having disguise himself in Lys and having some adventures of his own before he ends up with the Rogares. Hell, one could even turn this into a rather interesting courtship scenario where a disguised Viserys meets and befriends the most beautiful Larra Rogare before she actually knows who he is.

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1 hour ago, Thomaerys Velaryon said:

Also I really like the idea of having a Targaryen family tree as the intro. That would be helpful for the casual audience. Especially since the Targaryen and Velaryon names are very similar and they all have the same hair color. This tree would evolve throughout the series once a new character is born or someone is getting married or dies.

If they were to include Valaena and Alyssa Velaryon in such a family tree they would really have some explaining to do ;-). But given the title of the show it would make sense to actually depict a Targaryen family tree in the intro.

The idea isn't bad, though. Although I'm sure the setting will be explained - there could be a Prologue in the first episodes giving us a voiceover narration of some Targaryen history, or we could have dialogue explaining the background. Harrold Westerling was described as a man of the old guard in the promo material, a man who still remembers stuff from the times of the Old King, etc. Since they have the Great Council there will be a Jaehaerys I in that show - and he, too, could be used as somebody who establishes certain things for the general audience by talking to young Alicent, say. In fact, one would expect them include nursemaid Alicent or references to her in the show in light of that.

I'd imagine that they also go with text giving years (101 AC, 103 AC, 105 AC, etc.) whenever necessary. If they establish that this means 'after Aegon's Conquest' early in the show, then it certainly should work and it would be a better solution than having them text telling 'two years earlier' or 'three years later'. And they are also likely to go with place name text in the first episode(s).

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

If they were to include Valaena and Alyssa Velaryon in such a family tree they would really have some explaining to do ;-). But given the title of the show it would make sense to actually depict a Targaryen family tree in the intro.

I wasn’t thinking of going that far. Since the different branches of the family tree goes back to Jaehaerys I and Alysanne, they could be the starting point. Although the general audience is not very familiar with those two, starting with Aegon the Conqueror might be better.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Thomaerys Velaryon said:

kind of like the first episode of GOT had a text mentioning the different places: "Winterfell", "King's Landing, capital of the Seven Kingdoms" and "Pentos, across the Narrow Sea".

they never should have stopped doing those. 

Maybe they got rid of them because it highlighted just how ridiculous the fast-travel was becoming

Edited by The Dragon Demands
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3 minutes ago, Thomaerys Velaryon said:

I wasn’t thinking of going that far. Since the different branches of the family tree goes back to Jaehaerys I and Alysanne, they could be the starting point. Although the general audience is not very familiar with those two, starting with Aegon the Conqueror might be better.

I don't think such a small family tree would make much sense as an intro, even more so since most of Jaehaerys' children are dead ends.

If they were to do that one would expect that they highlight the kings, specifically, and that would mean to start with Aegon the Conqueror and his sister-wives (they could drop their parents, of course).

And thinking about this - so far no indication that there will be cameos of the obscure Targaryens who might still be alive in the era? Archmaester Vaegon should be at the Great Council, at least, as should be Saera's sons. All of them, including Saera, could pop up later during the show for some reason. That kind of thing could be fun.

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Alysanne isn't so much a ruler but a ruler's consort and first/principal adviser. She certainly shapes policy to a very large degree ... but mostly behind the scenes as the person who either puts an idea in Jaehaerys' head or the person who forces him to go through with something.

When you say it like that, she sounds like a more ethical Varys or Littlefinger, which kind of reinforces what I was saying about Sansa. That's one relatively recent interpretation I've seen that I've come to agree with: LF isn't really teaching Sansa how to rule. She isn't learning about policy or trade. What he's teaching her are more diplomatic skills--which, under the sinister tutelage of Littlefinger, means manipulation as much as persuasion. 

It's uncertain who will rule Winterfell in the immediate future, but it probably won't be Sansa. Maybe Jon with be King in the North, but if Bran is eventually chosen as king (which I think he will be), then he'll all but certainly take on a leadership role beforehand, since there will need to be some reason why the other lords would think he'd be a good king. In that sense, I could see Sansa assisting him by taking on a kind of diplomatic/advisory role. (I've also theorized that this might be where the show got their terrible season seven Winterfell plot from. In the show, LF tries to get Arya killed, which proves to be his downfall when Sansa turns on him. I could see a similar scheme in the books where LF tries to remove Bran and install Sansa in his place, leading to his execution. 'The pack survives' and all that).

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The vibe you get from the girl in the teaser is that she is pretty little doll which is used as a pawn.

One of the reasons why I never read Septon Eustace as being anti-Rhaenyra is because he consistently portrays her as being manipulated by egotistical men (first Daemon, then Criston). He says that Daemon seduced her, and that she turned Criston Cole down for very sensible reasons, only for him to harbor an obsessive grudge to destroy her as revenge. So maybe that's the version of Rhaenyra they're going with here.

There'll also clearly trying to make viewers nostalgic for season one Dany--that shot of her with Rhaenys is very reminiscent of when we first meet Dany in Pentos. Which, again, is a. . . weird choice. It almost feels like they're trying to market this as a do-over for Daenerys, with a similar-looking Targaryen princess accomplishing what she couldn't. Except that's not what happens.

On the subject of this, I do find it strange how, in-universe, Rhaenyra is considered a usurper and not an official monarch, but Maegor isn't, despite him clearly having stolen the throne and being reviled for it. It's weird that his reign is still considered legitimate. 

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I was about to complain about them randomly aging characters up or down  and somehow not doing it to Rhaenyra, then I saw her young actress is actually 22, but just looks 12 , LOL

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If they were to include Valaena and Alyssa Velaryon in such a family tree they would really have some explaining to do ;-). But given the title of the show it would make sense to actually depict a Targaryen family tree in the intro.

 

Not really. 


Daemon and Alyssa are brother and sister.  and both could be 100% white

Daemon could have married a black women, and his son Corwyn could have as well. Creating Corlys.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

When you say it like that, she sounds like a more ethical Varys or Littlefinger, which kind of reinforces what I was saying about Sansa. That's one relatively recent interpretation I've seen that I've come to agree with: LF isn't really teaching Sansa how to rule. She isn't learning about policy or trade. What he's teaching her are more diplomatic skills--which, under the sinister tutelage of Littlefinger, means manipulation as much as persuasion. 

A consort to a monarch - especially a woman - can and often is her spouse's most important adviser. That isn't a given if the marriage is just arranged and the spouses don't get along, but in a working marriage that's often how it goes.

And Sansa clearly is groomed for that role - the role of a queen consort or a lady consort. But both things also prepare her to rule in her own right, in the name of an absent husband, or a minor child. Once you understand how power works, you can use female coded power to also rule on your own.

18 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

One of the reasons why I never read Septon Eustace as being anti-Rhaenyra is because he consistently portrays her as being manipulated by egotistical men (first Daemon, then Criston). He says that Daemon seduced her, and that she turned Criston Cole down for very sensible reasons, only for him to harbor an obsessive grudge to destroy her as revenge. So maybe that's the version of Rhaenyra they're going with here.

We have to wait and see - I just find it sad that Rhaenyra either doesn't have a lively, happy side in the show or they chose to not show that at a moment when she should be very happy. In addition, she doesn't seem particularly angry at her own wedding when this clearly should have been the case. Rhaenyra would be a person who doesn't bite her tongue, who doesn't control her face or her emotion so that people see her as a dutiful and obedient daughter. She would have shown to everyone that she didn't like Laenor and didn't like it that they forced her to marry him.

As for Eustace: Folks who view him as a Green partisan are, in my opinion, dead wrong. Gyldayn only tells us that he allegedly didn't like Rhaenyra, personally, while Mushroom supposedly did like her (although that affection didn't stop Mushroom from spreading and inventing ugly tales about Rhaenyra, so one cannot say that Mushroom liking somebody resulted in him not throwing dirt at them) but that isn't the same as Eustace being a Green partisan. Him exonerating Aegon II by claiming he did not want to be king turns Aegon into a better person, but isn't a statement that he should have been king. And the story about Rhaenyra bleeding on the Iron Throne is a classic symbol/plot device of doom in Westeros, which may have more to do with the fact that her rule was indeed short and she was killed, not so much a statement that she had no right to sit there.

18 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

There'll also clearly trying to make viewers nostalgic for season one Dany--that shot of her with Rhaenys is very reminiscent of when we first meet Dany in Pentos. Which, again, is a. . . weird choice. It almost feels like they're trying to market this as a do-over for Daenerys, with a similar-looking Targaryen princess accomplishing what she couldn't. Except that's not what happens.

Well, they certainly are free to change the ending if they so choose. I think they should be faithful to the source material, but I'd not complain all that loudly if they changed Rhaenyra's death from the pitiful thing we get in the book to a more heroic death scene and/or turn the rise of Aegon III into something that's clearly Rhaenyra being triumphant in death - which she pretty much is in the book but it is not emphasized all that much. The war is continued and won in Rhaenyra's name (e.g. the Lads fighting under Rhaenyra's banner on the Kingsroad) and the war effort continued because of the letters Rhaenyra wrote and received at Duskendale. Cregan and Jeyne raised their last armies on behalf of Rhaenyra, not in the name of Aegon III, nor did they only raise those armies once Aegon II didn't offer them favorable terms.

18 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

On the subject of this, I do find it strange how, in-universe, Rhaenyra is considered a usurper and not an official monarch, but Maegor isn't, despite him clearly having stolen the throne and being reviled for it. It's weird that his reign is still considered legitimate. 

I wrote a long post in the past about how no real world historian would consider Rhaenyra a pretender if she was a real world medieval monarch. She was crowned and she actually commanded all the necessary trappings of power (sat on the Iron Throne). The decrees and laws she made during her reign survived her downfall (she legitimized the Hull boys, her tax laws were only overturned by Tyland Lannister as Hand of Aegon III, she named new Lords of Stokeworth and Rosby, etc.) She is based on Empress Matilda - but Matilda is not considered the first post-Conquest English queen regnant because she was never properly crowned queen, so the parallel doesn't really fit. The original AGoT appendix implies that Aegon II was the rightful/chosen heir of his father, and Rhaenyra was a kind of Daemon Blackfyre who challenged Aegon because she felt she should be queen - there is no indication there that she was her father's chosen heir nor that she actually sat the Iron Throne and ruled the Realm for a time.

Even more so, Aegon II is formally deposed when Rhaenyra takes the capital in 130 AC and is only formally restored to the throne at the end of that year. No real world historian would say Aegon II reigned or ruled while Rhaenyra sat on the Iron Throne nor during the interregnum between Rhaenyra's flight and Aegon's formal restoration.

The appendix of AGoT is wrong when it claims Aegon II was king from 129-131 AC. A correct list would go like that:

Viserys I (103-129 AC)

Aegon II (129-130 AC; deposed)

Rhaenyra (130 AC)

[Interregum, 'Moon of Madness' (130 AC; three rival pretenders)]

Aegon II (restored; 130-131 AC)

Aegon III (131-157 AC)

That is even more the case since George actually dropped/cut the sentence from TPatQ claiming that Aegon II had formally decreed that Rhaenyra never was a queen. Something like that certainly could have unmade Rhaenyra's queenship in the eyes of the general public. We don't know why that is the case, folks did point it out during the editing process. I guess one reason could be that George feels that neither Aegon III nor Viserys II or their descendants would allow such a decree to stand. Even if both brothers ended up loathing their mother and father for the war they had to suffer through - both would have hated their step-grandmother Alicent and her ilk much more - and Aegon III desperately tried to defend his mother against his evil uncle, so it is pretty much out of the question that he wouldn't clear her name and honor her memory if he had to do that due to a decree made by Aegon II.

As you say, if Maegor isn't a mere pretender, then Rhaenyra shouldn't be, either. Just because her reign was much shorter doesn't change the fact that she did rule - and her claim was certainly much better than Maegor's ever was since he was neither the chosen heir of the Conqueror nor the heir of King Aenys.

And when George created his new big pretender in FaB with Aenys' eldest son, Aegon, then the youth's moniker 'Aegon the Uncrowned' and 'Aegon the Pretender' reflects the fact that, unlike Maegor or Rhaenyra, Aegon was never actually crowned king. That is a big part of the reason why he isn't counted as an official monarch, either. The other is that he never actually ruled, never sat on the Iron Throne, but was basically just a rebel with a not-so-large army. That is usually not enough to be counted as a monarch even if you are the rightful heir.

12 hours ago, dsjj251 said:

Not really. 


Daemon and Alyssa are brother and sister.  and both could be 100% white

Daemon could have married a black women, and his son Corwyn could have as well. Creating Corlys.

I'm going with the idea that all Velaryons are black - which is what I think is implied by the fact that there are much more black Velaryons to be seen in the mass scenes in the teaser trailer than just the immediate descendants of Corlys.

Certainly, they could go with the second Daemon and Corlys' father (who is not confirmed to be Corwyn so far) having married black women and I'd appreciate it if they did that - but I'm not holding my breath.

Edited by Lord Varys
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After seeing a closer still of this Iron Throne, I actually think it looks pretty goofy and prefer the original.

I was hoping that there’d be more fan art  by now, but surprisingly there isn’t much at this point. That’s honestly what excites me most about HOTD, the fan art (and the Funk Pops ;)).

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6 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

surprisingly

There was practically none before GoT actually aired. People make fan art for characters they connect with, and most people don't really know anything about the characters. I expet after the first season there'll be plenty.

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On 5/7/2022 at 7:48 AM, TormundsWoman said:

Lol sounds like you like chaos! ☺️I personally think you’ll be pleased as punch. The show runners don’t need to explain the change from books to show. It’s a whole new family being introduced to TV viewers.

The last trace of Valeryon blood trace I know of is Aurane Waters in Dany’s time and he’s been cut from GOT if I’m not mistaken.

Basically nothing in GoT for the previously casual viewer suggests that people with roots in Essos cannot be black. So the most they’ll probably say (if that) is that they come from Essos, from old Valyria before the Doom(?) Casual viewers of Thrones have seen it enough in Dany’s travels for six seasons to know that diversity was real in Essos. It would be just weird the ask themselves why are they black and not white?

I haven't read the source material. I know from the original series that the Targaryens originate from Valyria, and are white with distinct platinum hair. We go back a couple of hundred years and see most of the other Valyrians with distinct platinum hair. Makes sense, since this phenotype had already been established for Valyrians.

But then we randomly see a few black people with platinum hair. To me, this seems pretty conspicuous. Even in real life, it's very unusual for a black person to have platinum hair. I had to look it up, but apparently, the Melanesians are the only group of black people in the world born with blond hair. This is a distinctive feature.

To just have some black Valyrians show up with no explanation given would certainly draw attention to itself for me, and be distracting.

And since you mention this is a change from the books, it's pretty clear the intention behind the change was not motivated principally for the purposes of story, but to add diversity. Now if the writers can use this change to better the story in interesting ways, maybe add richness to the lore (as someone already mentioned), then that's a welcome change. But to just randomly have this kind of deviation and leave it to the viewers that they better provide their own explanation or they're being racist is lazy and presumptuous and I would say shoddy writing.

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