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3 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

My take on Jaehaerys is that he's a very interesting case of a King viewed as wise and popular that mostly succeeded on the grounds of playing it safe. Enforcing the laws of primogeniture that he did was the path of least resistance for all of the nobility in Westeros to agree with him. It was something his family loathed but was codifying into law what was already precedent.

He's an interesting contrast to Aegon V AKA Egg in that Aegon V wanted to make wise decisions that were genuinely just and noble rather than expedient as well as popular, which resulted in all manner of disasters.

However, I'm not 100% behind Rhaenyra's fury over this because the entire system is bullshit to begin with. Arguing over which sex, man or woman, gets to rule because of their bloodline is already ridiculous so quibbling over fairness is pointless.

But I do think we can all agree this disaster is primarily on Viserys.

Re: Stannis

The more Martin wrote about Stannis, the more I've long since come to the conclusion that Davos utterly misread the man on every single level. Stannis is, in fact, a massive hypocrite and about as "lawful" as those fundamentalists who insist Jesus is behind their every action no matter how contradictory they are. Which is ironic given Stannis is an apostate to his own faith.

Given that kinslaying is considered the ultimate taboo, and that he’s willing to slay kin by sorcery or fire, I suspect you’re right.

Yet Martin says he is “despite everything a righteous man.”

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18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not saying there were armies of female monarchs in those kingdoms, but there must have been ruling queens in some of the older kingdoms or else the legal setup makes no sense.

But that certainly isn't something I can prove.

GRRM goes out of his way to show instances where the lords expressly avoid female succession, e.g., the Lannisters crowning the husband of a king's daughter rather than the daughter.

And TWOIAF, etc. do not lack for mentions of female heads of houses, so the complete absence of queens regnant other than one unnamed Gardener in the pre-Andal period is clearly meant to communicate something about Westeros.

18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

All hereditary monarchies have to include the caveat 'but what when the only claimants are women/men through the female line?' The kingdom won't go away, and usurpation or revolution aside they would have then to deal with a female ruler or a ruler through the female line.

"Ruler through the female line" is a very different matter from a female ruler.

18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I really don't see that. Jaehaerys wants his sons to succeed him. That doesn't mean he has inherent problems with female rule. He just prefers men as rulers. And since he has sons that's not an issue.

F&B is replete with indicators as to Jaehaerys not wanting female rulers. It's a theme meant to build up to the pivotal decisions he makes regarding the succession. GRRM even has Alysanne outright accuse him of this, and she knew him better than anyone.

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49 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

F&B is replete with indicators as to Jaehaerys not wanting female rulers. It's a theme meant to build up to the pivotal decisions he makes regarding the succession. GRRM even has Alysanne outright accuse him of this, and she knew him better than anyone.

My interpretation was that it was the normally accepted practice but tradition vs. strict law of Westeros. Heirs could and were different but it generally was a case of passing from father to firstborn son.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

All hereditary monarchies have to include the caveat 'but what when the only claimants are women/men through the female line?' The kingdom won't go away, and usurpation or revolution aside they would have then to deal with a female ruler or a ruler through the female line.

Not all of them. One of the largest and most successful kingdoms was only ruled by kings and male-line descendants - France.  Salic law said only men could be kings, and that women's descendants didn't count no matter their gender. 

GRRM decided to be difficult / intentional and ensure that every single pre-Dance Targaryen didn't have descendants not involved in the war's family tree in some way. Maegor doesn't have kids; Aegon the Uncrowned has a dead daughter and a septa; Jaehaerys and Alysanne's kids are intermarried, and Saera's kids have their claims considered and thrown out.

For a variety of reasons I won't go into, I would've liked Vaella to marry Rogar Baratheon, rather than Alyssa, but then there's an older generation with a strong male heir who could try to claim the throne, even without the dragons.

This is part of the reason that I think that GRRM chose for the post-Dance generations of Targaryens to intermarry more. There are descendants across Westeros in Houses Hightower, Velaryon, Plumm, Penrose, Longwaters, Tarth, and Baratheon, plus a few scattered other possibilities and whoever their daughters married into. Since the Dance isn't there and set the precedent, things are able to get more complicated.

Edited by StarksInTheNorth
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55 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Given that kinslaying is considered the ultimate taboo, and that he’s willing to slay kin by sorcery or fire, I suspect you’re right.

Yet Martin says he is “despite everything a righteous man.”

I think George has a soft spot for the guy because he actually thinks it is better to slay one guy to prevent a battle than actually fight and a battle (or storm a castle) and get hundreds or more killed.

Of course, Stannis himself insists on the battle, so he isn't an innocent there, but you can make a case that careful assassination is better than fighting it out the battlefield.

34 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

GRRM goes out of his way to show instances where the lords expressly avoid female succession, e.g., the Lannisters crowning the husband of a king's daughter rather than the daughter.

This is another instance which we should not interpret in gendered terms. Joffrey Lydden's kinship is the Andal power grab in the Westerlands. This happened, presumably, because Andal power have become so strong in the West that the Andal lords and knights there could push through an Andal king.

George really dropped the ball there by only giving one such instance where a husband ruled in name or in place of his wife. That should be much more common as it is in the real world.

34 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

And TWOIAF, etc. do not lack for mentions of female heads of houses, so the complete absence of queens regnant other than one unnamed Gardener in the pre-Andal period is clearly meant to communicate something about Westeros.

Well, it is written by a maester. How many medieval or early modern historians highlighted female rulers in popular histories?

34 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

F&B is replete with indicators as to Jaehaerys not wanting female rulers. It's a theme meant to build up to the pivotal decisions he makes regarding the succession. GRRM even has Alysanne outright accuse him of this, and she knew him better than anyone.

Well, you can just as well say Alysanne was kind of warped in her mindset thinking she could establish equal primogeniture. Jaehaerys favors Baelon, who also happens to be Alysanne's son. And unless Gyldayn was pulling stuff out of ass in the end she thought Baelon would make a great king. She seemed to have loathed the idea that Rhaenys as Aemon's only child would not succeed to the throne now that Aemon had died ... but the idea that Jaehaerys chose Baelon for his cock sounds more like an angry outburst than a proper argument. One imagines that it had been more or less settled that Rhaenys and her children would one day follow King Aemon after it became more and more likely that Jocelyn would never give Rhaenys any little brothers. This wouldn't have been their most pressing concern. But it would have come up.

I mean, if they had been concerned about Aemon's succession then they would have married Rhaenys to Viserys to ensure that they would never be any quarrel between the two branches. But that didn't happen, wasn't even suggested or considered as far as we know.

Instead it looks like Jaehaerys was favoring Baelon because he was his son. Because, again, Viserys and Laenor both seem to have cocks ... yet when Baelon died Jaehaerys' first idea was apparently the weirdo celibate archmaester, not Baelon's eldest son.

And if you look through the Targaryen succession then sons usually come before grandchildren if the eldest son dies prematurely. Not just with a usurpation like with Maegor, but also at the Great Councils and also with Aerys II's decision for Viserys rather than Aegon after the Trident.

3 minutes ago, StarksInTheNorth said:

Not all of them. One of the largest and most successful kingdoms was only ruled by kings and male-line descendants - France.  Salic law said only men could be kings, and that women's descendants didn't count no matter their gender. 

That was also only precedent-based. And it only came up when a king's brother wanted to take the throne in place of his niece. Not a kind of absolute rule. If a later king had decided on a whim that his only child, a daughter, should succeed to the throne rather than his second or third cousin then this would have most likely happened. Especially once they were proper absolutist kings.

But even if push had come to shove earlier and the royal bloodline had died out completely in the male line they would have been forced to make due with what they had. Because all the French and European nobles who had French royal blood through the female line wouldn't have viewed themselves as having no claim to the throne of France. They would have said: "The male line is extinct, so it is our turn now. We do have better claims than those who have no royal blood at all."

 

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8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This is another instance which we should not interpret in gendered terms.

Except that it was gendered. You seem intent on interpreting sexism completely out of the text even though it is one of GRRM’s most prominent themes.

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, it is written by a maester. How many medieval or early modern historians highlighted female rulers in popular histories?

It wasn’t written by a maester, it was written by GRRM, and it is his vehicle for conveying information about the history of the world. Moreover, there is quite a bit of backstory delivered via other means in ASOIAF, and no queens.

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, you can just as well say Alysanne was kind of warped in her mindset thinking she could establish equal primogeniture.

You could say that, but you’d be ignoring the themes of the text and all the incident that GRRM includes to build up to this moment.

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1 hour ago, Colonel Green said:

Except that it was gendered. You seem intent on interpreting sexism completely out of the text even though it is one of GRRM’s most prominent themes.

I honestly don't think that's such a situation. And since it is not explicit framed as a decision against the woman I don't think we have to interpret it that way.

1 hour ago, Colonel Green said:

It wasn’t written by a maester, it was written by GRRM, and it is his vehicle for conveying information about the history of the world. Moreover, there is quite a bit of backstory delivered via other means in ASOIAF, and no queens.

Biased history. George, not being a sexist, would have given us the name and the reign of the Gardener queen ... but Yandel did not.

1 hour ago, Colonel Green said:

You could say that, but you’d be ignoring the themes of the text and all the incident that GRRM includes to build up to this moment.

I don't think there is any buildup for this, and I literally don't see where folks find Jaehaerys' evil sexism.

He is conservative in his view what a royal woman has to do, expecting his daughters to marry. But that's also something he forced on his sons. Jaehaerys didn't want any of his sons to become a maester. He wanted him to be as martial a prince as Aemon and Baelon. Vaegon had to fight to not to be forced to marry ... Daella would have been spared that fate, too, if she had had a talent that qualified her to become a septa.

Jaehaerys did not only have a queen who was his closest advisor ... but also a council which included one female member. And he granted his wife a bodyguard who was effectively a female knight.

It doesn't strike me as particular sexist that Jaehaerys would favor his son over his granddaughter.

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20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That was also only precedent-based. And it only came up when a king's brother wanted to take the throne in place of his niece. Not a kind of absolute rule.

The fact remains that the Salic law was complied in the fifth century by the very first king of the Franks, and from then until the 19th century when the last king of France was ousted, France hasn't had a single female monarch.

If it only came up when Philip the Tall was crowned instead of princess Joan, it's because until then  no French king had lacked male sons.

The argument that "it's not an absolute rule" because if at some point there had been a consensus in favor of changing the law, then it would have been changed, is not particularly sound. With this kind of reasoning, every single law in history can be considered "only-precedent based".

20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But even if push had come to shove earlier and the royal bloodline had died out completely in the male line they would have been forced to make due with what they had. Because all the French and European nobles who had French royal blood through the female line wouldn't have viewed themselves as having no claim to the throne of France. They would have said: "The male line is extinct, so it is our turn now. We do have better claims than those who have no royal blood at all."

But at this point, the future monarch would be determined by force, not by the laws of succession. So it wouldn't be a matter of claims or genealogies.

Pippin the Brief descended from the Merovingians through female line, but he never used this argument when he took the throne. He justified his ascension only on the basis of his power.

Edited by The hairy bear
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34 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

The fact remains that the Salic law was complied in the fifth century by the very first king of the Franks, and from there until the 19th century when the last king of France was ousted, France hasn't had a single female monarch.

Salic Law doesn't address whether there can be a female king or not. It is about women not owning property ... which they did before and after the ad hoc justification that it supposedly bars women from the royal succession.

Also, French monarchy was never entirely hereditary. Hugh Capet was elected king and throughout the most of the middle ages the successor king was elected while his father yet lived. If the royal bloodline had died out chances are not that bad that they would have gone back to electing a king.

(No monarchy is Westeros is elective aside from a long-dead kind of First Men kingdom in Dorne. The Ironborn monarchy retains some elective elements but it is so hereditary at this point that only Greyjoys can realistically get elected ... just like eventually only Hapsburgs could be elected Holy Roman Emperor.)

If you check the end of the Valois dynasty, it is not suprising that the last king, Henry III, died childless, and Henry IV, the first Bourbon king, was actually married to Henry III's sister Margot. We also have something like that happening earlier within House Valois when the main line dies out and, for instance, Francis I married Louis XII's daughter Claude, while Louis XII himself had taken the throne as husband of Jeanne of France, only surviving child of Louis XI (although that marriage was annulled because Jeanne was apparently unable to conceive children).

If we had a scenario there were a king had had only daughters they might have been inclined to make one of them their successors, never mind what the old kings, especially if they had good reasons not to want their presumptive heirs to to succeed them.

How easy that is you can see with Maria Theresa of Austria ... whose father Charles VI decided that he wanted his daughter to succeed her to all his titles sans the elective Emperorship (which Maria Theresa didn't actively persue and eventually secured for her husband, although de iure a woman wasn't barred from trying to get elected) and ensured that by means of the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713. The Hapsburgs also followed the Lex Salica ... until they no longer felt like it.

How arbitrary that kind of thing was can be seen from the fact that Charles VI himself only succeeded to his titles because his elder brother Joseph I died without a son - but he did have two daughters whose claims were apparently not worth as much as that of Maria Theresa.

34 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

If it only came up when Philip the Tall was crowned instead of princess Joan, it's because until then all no French king had lacked male sons.

Yes, and that's basically what I mean by 'precedent-based'. In the middle ages there just were no binding succession laws ... nor even a clear line of succession. You had a common practice and folks were only looking for legal justifications, etc. when there was no clear heir and you needed to explain why your claim was better than that of the other person.

34 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

The argument that "it's not an absolute rule" because if at some point there had been a consensus in favor of changing the law, then it would have been changed, is not particularly sound. With this kind of reasoning, every single law in history can be considered "only-precedent based".

Not really, since a royal succession doesn't happen all that often. Every single case has significance and changes how this can be done. For instance, when Prince Charles takes the British crown and he changes certain things during the coronation ceremony then this will set a new precedent for how a British monarch is crowned.

34 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

But at this point, the future monarch would be determined by force, not by the laws of succession. So it wouldn't be a matter of claims or genealogies.

It could be decided by force ... or by taking a look at the geneologies. In fact, in France the geneologies always triumphed when branches of House Valois died out and also when the Bourbons took power.

34 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Pippin the Brief descended from the Merovingians through female line, but he never used this argument when he took the throne. He justified his ascension only on the basis of his power.

Well, back that early royal power was hardly hereditary. The Merovingians were the royal family, but there was neither a proper kingdom, only private property split among the sons upon the fathers death, nor a succession where primogeniture was even remotely the standard practice.

As I said, France was effectively an elective monarchy until Philip II Augustus, who was the last co-regent king, chosen while his father yet lived. And Philip II died in 1223, not exactly at the beginning of the middle ages. They could turn it into a hereditary monarchy because the Capetians produced sons for such a long time that no childless king rocked the boat and allowed another family to take possession of the French crown. Which likely would have happened if a king hadn't hadn't been able to present a suitable successor from his own family for election.

In the HRE you never had that ideal situation for a dynasty, which is why the German king/Holy Roman Emperor never became a hereditary monarch.

In context to Westeros and the Targaryens and this show it is too modernistic for my taste to make Rhaenys-Baelon and Daemon-Rhaenyra a really big gender/sex issue.

It was part of the whole thing ... but really important conflict only begins when Rhaenyra is the Heir Apparent and Viserys I fathers three legitimate sons. At that point the whole thing starts to defy the 'proper order of things'.

But Rhaenyra become queen instead of Daemon or Rhaenys being queen instead of Baelon isn't even remotely that revolutionary.

And you can easily say that the more important role in 92 AC was Baelon's experience and age, and the fact that he had already begun shouldering the burden of rule with his father and Aemon (Jaehaerys gives that speech after the Fourth Dornish War that his sons would have to fight any future wars which might come) whilst Rhaenys wasn't ready yet. Ditto with the decision for Viserys rather than Laenor in 101 AC. Viserys means stability and continuity, Laenor most likely a pretty long regency government. And the decision for Rhaenyra in 105 AC was also a pretty wise choice. Daemon was viewed as a loose cannon, as a man who would better not become king, so the girl was chosen there.

What I loathe about the dialogue we got so far is this framing of the Westerosi as sexist zealots who would actually take up arms and fight to get rid of a female monarch. And that's just too much.

Rhaenyra instead of her brother Aegon is a scandal because the son is treated kind of badly in that scenario ... but even that wasn't enough that the entire Realm rose up and unanimously crowned Aegon II. Meaning the Westerosi are not that bad as Rhaenys paints them in her lines there. If Viserys I had had only daughters, chances are very low that in 129 AC there would have been a rebellion to put Daemon or a son of Daemon's on the throne instead of Rhaenyra.

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As much as I love Medieval history, it's a tapestry where you unravel the whole thing if you continue pulling the thread of it. In this case, the Targaryens being a royal dynasty that practices dynastic incest, the fact that Westeros is a united empire with no borders except Dorne (for a time), is ambivalent to the role of religion in politics, and fact it seems impossible to hold property across multiple territories makes it as unrelated as Ptolemic Egypt to Medieval European law. Which is not to say it is not a beautiful consistent construction of fantasy but it may be attempting to apply overmore.

By contrast, I actually think it's interesting to explore the misogyny of the decision but also the fact that Rhaenyra views it is a slight on her by her gender yet there are if's, and's, or but's. For me, what makes the Princess and the Queen story so grandiose is that it is not a conflict between Rhaenyra and Aegon II. It is a conflict between Rhaenyra and Alicent Hightower with the man playing their own roles.

You can get a lot of mileage out of the fact Rhaenyra views herself as breaking the glass ceiling but is as tyrannical and controlling as any other Targ (better establishing it than Daenerys) while Alicent could well be about trying to work within the system.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
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23 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

By contrast, I actually think it's interesting to explore the misogyny of the decision but also the fact that Rhaenyra views it is a slight on her by her gender yet there are if's, and's, or but's. For me, what makes the Princess and the Queen story so grandiose is that it is not a conflict between Rhaenyra and Aegon II. It is a conflict between Rhaenyra and Alicent Hightower with the man playing their own roles.

It begins as such a conflict ... but it gets its own dynamic and in the end - in the book at least, no idea how the show is going to spin it - Aegon II is Rhaenyra's mortal enemy, not Alicent.

23 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

You can get a lot of mileage out of the fact Rhaenyra views herself as breaking the glass ceiling but is as tyrannical and controlling as any other Targ (better establishing it than Daenerys) while Alicent could well be about trying to work within the system.

I'm sorry, but Rhaenyra isn't as tyrannical or controlling as any other Targ ... she is much better than Aegon II and Aemond. She makes some poor choices, but tyranny really isn't her main flaw. She is too weak and too merciful towards her enemies. She didn't execute Alicent nor Helaena, she didn't torch Storm's End or Oldtown for their betrayal (both could have stopped the war before it escalated further), and she failed to prevent the Storming of the Dragonpit. Not because she is tough-talking girl boss ... but because she is hysterical and incompetent and stupid.

In the end Rhaenyra is another version of Aenys, with an added tendency to make poor decisions when she worked herself into a frenzy. She has literally nothing in common with the likes of Maegor, never mind how the smallfolk called her.

Alicent can never sit the Iron Throne herself, so she has to act through her children. And in a faithful adaptation she and Otto are out of the game pretty quickly, because neither Aegon nor Aemond do listen to their elders. They do what they want.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

.Biased history. George, not being a sexist, would have given us the name and the reign of the Gardener queen ... but Yandel did not.

I mean, GRRM hasn't even named Doran's mom, but that's another matter.

Authorial intent matters. This is the vehicle GRRM chose to help the readers better understand the history of this world; if we're supposed to understand Westeros as a place with a history of queens, there has to be, well, some actual history of queens.

 

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When it comes to women, I am most bothered by there not being any named female Ironborn beyond Asha, her mother, and her aunt (two-thirds of whom are “mad”). Throughout FnB and TWOIAF we never get a single historical Ironborn woman. It’s so frustrating.

I think Westeros never having a queen regnant by the end of the series is probably supposed to be part of the “grim reality” that GRRM set out to show with ASOIAF. Using the France analogy, in this case that reality would be that the medieval world of Westeros (France) never had a female monarch even though ancient Egypt (Meereen) did. (There are a lot of parallels between Dany and Cleopatra that I’m surprised aren’t talked about more). The problem is, while that may have been novel in the 1990s, grimdark has lost a lot of its appeal in the 2020s, even when it’s more realistic. Maybe Dream will take so long that it’ll be back in fashion by the time it’s published.

In the Hollywood Reporter piece, one of the showrunners claimed that women in the Middle Ages had a 50/50 shot of surviving childbirth. This was kind of hilarious to read, considering just how contentious the books’ high childbirth mortality is among fans, with so many arguing passionately that it’s not based on real statistics. As I’ve said before, this show has the potential to piss off every faction within the culture war, and I don’t think the showrunners have any idea yet.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Salic Law doesn't address whether there can be a female king or not. It is about women not owning property ... which they did before and after the ad hoc justification that it supposedly bars women from the royal succession.

The actual text is "But of Salic land no portion of the inheritance shall come to a woman: but the whole inheritance of the land shall come to the male sex. " It specifically adresses that while women can inherit property, they can't inherit 'Salic' land. It's pretty straightforward to interpret that this excludes females from inheriting the throne, I think.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If you check the end of the Valois dynasty, it is not suprising that the last king, Henry III, died childless, and Henry IV, the first Bourbon king, was actually married to Henry III's sister Margot. We also have something like that happening earlier within House Valois when the main line dies out and, for instance, Francis I married Louis XII's daughter Claude, while Louis XII himself had taken the throne as husband of Jeanne of France, only surviving child of Louis XI (although that marriage was annulled because Jeanne was apparently unable to conceive children).

If we had a scenario there were a king had had only daughters they might have been inclined to make one of them their successors, never mind what the old kings, especially if they had good reasons not to want their presumptive heirs to to succeed them.

You seem to be providing arguments against you own point here. If one wants to know what would happen in a scenario there were a king had only daughters... well, you should only look at Margot or Claude: no one would take them under consideration, and the closest male relative would be crowned king instead. Then, perhaps, they'd become queen consort.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Merovingians were the royal family, but there was neither a proper kingdom, only private property split among the sons upon the fathers death, nor a succession where primogeniture was even remotely the standard practice.yra.

You keep bringing up points about issues that are unrelated what's being discussed here. Whether the monarchy was hereditary or whether the Merovingian lands were not a kingdom but just some parcels of private property ruled by a king is not the point of contention here. The fact that women were barred from the throne is. The Merovingian kings split their lands among the sons, and excluded the daughters.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

What I loathe about the dialogue we got so far is this framing of the Westerosi as sexist zealots who would actually take up arms and fight to get rid of a female monarch. And that's just too much.

Why do you think that some sexist zealotry is out of place among the male aristocracy from a Medieval-like setting?

In our Middle Ages, one of the most influential authors was Aristotle ("as regards the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject"). Another was Agustine of Hippo (“Women should not be enlightened or educated in any way. They should, in fact, be segregated as they are the cause of hideous and involuntary erections in holy men.” )

I would be disappointed if the show portrayed sexism as the only possible motivation to oppose Rhaenyra. But I'd also wouldn't like that this aspect was absent.

 

 

 

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Rhaenyra is Queen of Westeros, she's just written out of the annals because of the patriarchy. We also do have multiple other queens of Westeros if they follow the show's logic. Cersei is Queen after her coup and Daenerys after her defeat (however short reigned) with Yara and Sansa thereafter. But part of what is used against female rulers is Rhaenyra as she's such a terrifying person that she's used as fuel for the misogyny of the land.

1. The brutality of her reign over Kings landing

2. Her execution of the bastards in her service

3. Her part in the murder of her nephews

4. Her son's questionable parentage (despite all of her children being Targaryens)

5. Sending Alicent and her daughter to be brutalized in a brothel

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21 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

The actual text is "But of Salic land no portion of the inheritance shall come to a woman: but the whole inheritance of the land shall come to the male sex. " It specifically adresses that while women can inherit property, they can't inherit 'Salic' land. It's pretty straightforward to interpret that this excludes females from inheriting the throne, I think.

My point here was that the Salic Law doesn't say that a woman cannot be king. It was used as a legal pretext centuries later to bar women from various thrones but that is not what it originally stated.

I mean back then there were no 'thrones' as legal entities, nor kingdoms. Folks were kings of peoples, not nations or states. At least not in the Germanic tradition.

21 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

You seem to be providing arguments against you own point here. If one wants to know what would happen in a scenario there were a king had only daughters... well, you should only look at Margot or Claude: no one would take them under consideration, and the closest male relative would be crowned king instead. Then, perhaps, they'd become queen consort.

I never said the kings I mentioned there wanted their daughters to inherit ... just that they could have pushed something like that through if they had wanted to. Like Charles VI later did.

The point here, though, was the women were given claims and importance in the royal succession or else they would have never been married to presumptive heirs (although I admit that Louis XI apparently tried to use Jeanne to ensure that his uncle couldn't continue his branch of the family because it was clear that she could not bear children).

21 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

You keep bringing up points about issues that are unrelated what's being discussed here. Whether the monarchy was hereditary or whether the Merovingian lands were not a kingdom but just some parcels of private property ruled by a king is not the point of contention here. The fact that women were barred from the throne is. The Merovingian kings split their lands among the sons, and excluded the daughters.

That is correct. You got me there. But there is no straight line from a system where 'kingdoms' are split up among the male descendants to a hereditary monarchy with only male primogeniture.

Because I'd freely admit that the female claim would only come up in such systems when there are no (suitable/capable) men to be found.

21 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Why do you think that some sexist zealotry is out of place among the male aristocracy from a Medieval-like setting?

In our Middle Ages, one of the most influential authors was Aristotle ("as regards the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject"). Another was Agustine of Hippo (“Women should not be enlightened or educated in any way. They should, in fact, be segregated as they are the cause of hideous and involuntary erections in holy men.” )

Simply because Westeros isn't our world. We cannot imagine that Aristotle or Augustine-like writings were part of the cutural framework of Westeros. The society is patriarchal, yes, but so far nobody ever rants about woman's innate inferiority, stupidity, etc. The High Septon goes on about the wantonness of widows and stuff, but we don't have to fill the blank spaces with (medieval) Christianity's misogyny.

21 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

I would be disappointed if the show portrayed sexism as the only possible motivation to oppose Rhaenyra. But I'd also wouldn't like that this aspect was absent.

There we definitely agree. My main issue here is with Rhaenys' nearly absolutist takes on 'women cannot possibly rule'. In her case basically the only reason why she didn't become queen is that her father died before her grandfather. It is pretty much that simple. And there is not the slightest reason to assume that if King Jaehaerys or King Aemon had named her his successor that there would have been rebellions.

And as I said ... folks should also have been fine with Rhaenyra as Heir Apparent if Daemon and his hypothetical children would have been the only rival claimants. Because Daemon wasn't seen as kingly material. And he was not the son of a king.

14 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

But part of what is used against female rulers is Rhaenyra as she's such a terrifying person that she's used as fuel for the misogyny of the land.

1. The brutality of her reign over Kings landing

2. Her execution of the bastards in her service

3. Her part in the murder of her nephews

4. Her son's questionable parentage (despite all of her children being Targaryens)

5. Sending Alicent and her daughter to be brutalized in a brothel

I'm not sure where you are getting all of this. Nowhere in the books do we get any such things. There is a quote by George which said that there was a very broad consensus after the Dance of the Dragons that women should not inherit. But there is no indication that this was because of Rhaenyra as a person or her reign. Rather because 'the woman' in general was blamed for the succession war. If King Viserys had never named his daughter his heir then the war wouldn't have happened.

(And, let's not forget, if evil, scheming Queen Alicent had never crowned her son Aegon, the war wouldn't have happened either. One imagines that played a role there as well.)

Rhaenyra's rule over KL wasn't particularly brutal. Taxing and unpleasant, yes, but not more brutal than Aegon's or any other monarch lacking cash. She was about as popular as Joffrey's government was during the War of the Five Kings because of the tax policy of the Iron Throne (the fee to be paid to enter the city when you were fleeing the war; later the Dwarf's Penny as a tax on whoring, etc.). What made people rebel in masses was propaganda ... and the very real fear of a dragonfire holocaust combined with a sack as brutal as that of Tumbleton.

Rhaenyra didn't execute any bastards in her service ... she commanded that, but it didn't happen. And there is no indication that this blackened her reputation in any meanigful way. It cost her crucial support in the hour of need ... but it didn't destroy her cause or cause most of her followers to abandon her. Various lords still raised armies in her name after she had been hounded out of KL.

Rhaenyra had no hand in the deaths of her nephews (only Jaehaerys was murdered, Maelor died was merely killed although in a very gruesome fashion) and while those deaths certainly wouldn't have bettered her reputation, there is no indication that folks blamed her for those deaths. The death she got blamed for was Helaena's apparent suicide. That really blackened her reputation.

Only Rhaenyra's enemies seemed to talk about the parentage of her children. This seems to have been a non-issue for most people.

And the Brothel Queens is an episode that almost certainly never happened. And it clearly was spread as a story only after Rhaenyra's death.

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I assume since, well, it's A Song of Ice and Fire that all of Mushroom's supposed libel is actually just objectively factual.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
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Seeing as Rhaenyra didn’t execute Alicent despite having good reason to, I doubt she’d sell her into sexual slavery, which is arguably more sinister. There’s also no way it would have stayed a secret.

I wonder if the show will provide a reason for why Mysaria betrayed Daemon. Rhaenyra didn’t want to execute Nettles at first, so she asked Mysaria for advice, who came in dressed like Bloodraven and said Nettles was pregnant with Daemon’s bastard. Then when Daemon learned what happened, he called it “a whore’s work.” There’s something more going on here.

George sort of undermined himself by having Rhaenyra crowned and then sit the Iron Throne for half a year. If Maegor’s still considered a legitimate king by historians, then Rhaenyra absolutely should be too. 

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