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A specific plot point compromises the potential of the Dance (spoilers)


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37 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

But Viserys WAS NOT the king...once he died. What you're claiming is that law and tradition bound a king in ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, which is well, blatantly false both in Westeros and the real world. Viserys wants people to follow his command even after he dies because it's the law and it's the tradition to follow the previous king's desires...yet he's breaking them both for Rhaenyra and expects everyone to follow.

A king in Westeros isn't really bound by anything, since there are no legal limits to his power. And of course the entire point of naming and grooming an heir is that he or she is crowned monarch after the king's death. If this was an automatism then nobody would name heirs nor prepare people for the role they were supposed to fulfill because people would acknowledge the right person no matter what. But that's clearly not the case here.

And, of course, there is always an interregnum, a power vacuum, when a monarch dies and the new one is not yet proclaimed or installed or crowned (depending how exactly this goes) but that's the nature of a monarchy. This doesn't mean that folks have a right to ignore the late monarch's ruling on his own succession, however, just as they have no right to ignore other laws and decrees the late monarch made while he lived.

37 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

And everything you say about the royal court is exactly the point I made- Viserys could name Rhaenyra his heir, he could marry Alicent and have sons, he could not do both. Specially considering both sides had dragons.

Of course he could do both. That things didn't work out wasn't inevitable or a given. These people could have made it work. They chose not to do this.

37 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

Also, there is no such thing as a "special case" in politics that is forbidden to ever happen again. Once you do something, you set a precedent that others can or will try to follow. Reminds me of Sulla setting himself as a dictator for life in Rome, then abdicating after 6 years and forbidding anyone from ever doing it again- once he set the precedent that it was possible to set yourself as dictator for life, now everyone else would try to follow, and the next guy to do that was exactly the heir of the faction Sulla was trying to destroy in the first place.

Rhaenyra herself and her own followers go with her being a special case, not a general rule. Maegor also set a precedent that a younger brother can seize the throne by force, passing over the late monarch's sons. But that wasn't a strong precedent considering this kind of thing didn't happen ever again after Maegor. Nor did it motivate uncles or younger brothers all over the Realm that they should be king rather than they elder brothers or nephews.

And you have to differentiate between precedents for the succession of the Iron Throne and such for the succession of various lordly seats. They all have their own precedents.

Funnily enough, as per law Rhaenyra actually is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Jaehaerys I issued the Widow's Law early in his reign which stipulates that the children from a first marriage cannot be disinherited in favor of the children from a second marriage. Now, Rhaenyra Targaryen may be a girl but she if formally installed as Heir Apparent as the king's only child. You can thus make the case that her half-brother born by a different mother in a second marriage the king had not yet made when naming Rhaenyra his heir would disinherit a child from an earlier marriage, and that was forbidden by that law.

This is not easy.

37 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

Also, this "if every son was OK with Rhaenyra inheriting, everything would be fine" is just non-sense because first of all in real life (and probably Westeros, assuming Aegon is fake) we have seen people using even long dead monarchs, princes and claimants as pretext to try to gain power.

Sure enough - but that's the dragon age. Nobody would have tried to pull something like this if the dragonriders had all stood behind Rhaenyra.

37 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

Second, it depends on the idea that extremely patriarchal and sexist society in which the lords a few decades ago passed a woman over for the throne so the EXACT SAME GUY that appointed Rhaenyra as heir could become king, in which the founder of the dynasty had an older sister that didn't get the throne for herself, not a single one out of many young princes would entertain the idea of becoming kings themselves, or would have someone trying to make them king

Aegon II apparently didn't want to be king and had to be pushed.

The show simplified and changed the Great Council. It wasn't Rhaenys vs. Viserys, it was Laenor vs. Viserys. And while folks were likely also voting for Viserys because they didn't want to support a claimant through the female line ... it strikes us as obvious that this was just one motivating factor. Laenor also was a seven-year-old boy while Viserys was a grown man in his twenties, married to his cousin, and supported by a martial younger brother. People rarely want child monarchs, since that necessitates a (long) regency government which comes with its own set of problems. If Laenor had been older and already a dragonrider (he had Seasmoke already in 101 AC, but hadn't ridden him so far) at the Great Council more lords may have supported him. After all, Viserys was a dragonless prince.

Males are passed over for such reasons, too, as the other Great Council illustrates. When King Maekar died in 233 AC, Aerion's son Prince Maegor had the best blood claim. He was of the elder Targaryen line, was Targaryen on both sides (his mother Daenora was the last surviving daughter of Maekar's elder brother, Prince Rhaegel), yet they passed him over all the same because he was an infant at the time.

In context it is also important that Jaehaerys I himself had named Baelon rather than Rhaenys his heir in 92 AC. That also weakened her claim and the claim of her children in 101 AC.

37 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

Tywin thought he could disinherit Tyrion...yet he didn't. We don't even heard of a will in which he does so.

Tyrion was never Tywin's heir. The appendix of AGoT states clearly that Jaime is still Tywin's heir - presumably because he never acknowledged that he technically couldn't inherit as a KG.

Tyrion would only be the heir to Casterly Rock if his father names or acknowledges him as heir. Which he never does. Else Tyrion would never be forced to ask his father to be named heir - which he does in ASoS.

37 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

It's not a mere law, it's a law of SUCCESSION. Many, many wars in the real world or ASOIAF started for less. Just by changing the law, Viserys already makes the claim of every lord he has that has an older sister, or every first born son that stands to inherit, weaker.

There is no law of succession for the Iron Throne. There are just precedents. And those are not binding. And there are precedents to be cited in support of the idea that a woman could succeed. In absence of a (suitable) male heir King Maegor named his niece Aerea his heir 'until such a time as a son is born to him' (which curiously enough means he put her before his own daughters), King Jaehaerys acknowledged both his niece Aerea and later his daughter Daenerys as his heir while he had no son of his own body.

The case for Rhaenyra is thus not that weak in 105 AC where the only alternative heirs are Daemon, Rhaenys, or her children. She is the king's only child. Once Viserys has sons things get confused, of course, but she is formally installed as heir and people have sworn vows to defend her rights. Her brother Aegon is ten years younger than she is in the book and 15+ years younger in the show. That's a big age gap. Viserys could have changed the succession again, of course, but it would have been stupid to do this shortly after Aegon's birth because the lad could die early ... but you want to hand the kingdom to an adult heir who can rule in his or her own right, not to a toddler who needs a regent and wetnurse.

This is why I think the second episode has Rhaenys make a good point when she says that the challenge for Rhaenyra will come if her father's second wife has a son and he comes of age. The idea that the king would just suddenly make a big ritual to name a baby his new heir is pretty far-fetched. Jaehaerys I also waited until his eldest son was seven years old before he formally anointed him Prince of Dragonstone and Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne - presumably because the lad could have died early like Daenerys.

In the book Rhaenyra and Alicent also only start to get real trouble after Aemond is born. Two sons double the chance that one of them lives through infancy and childhood, increasing the pressure on Rhaenyra.

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1 hour ago, Denam_Pavel said:

This idea that a dead king's will has no power is only on the back of it being such in GoT. Robert's will had no power because insufficient men were willing to enforce it. But that's not the case here. People ARE willing to fight for this will here. The Greens undergo great subterfuge from the moment of Viserys' passing and immediately murder a guy for exactly that reason. And there is no thousands of years of precedent. There have been all of five people on the Iron Throne. Any king before then was only as good as the swords that put them there and if those swords decide to not support his daughter they'll find whatever alternative they want. But as long as dragons are around, it's a Targaryan or dragonfire, they don't get to pick another option. Those thousands of years of pre-Targaryans kings where they can pick literally any guy off the street over a female inheritor without needing to worry about dragonfire are irrelevant.

...That also doesn't work if the other claimant(s) to the throne also has(ve) dragons.

 

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

But, there is no fixed law of succession in this world, any more than in real world history.  What there are, are precedents.  And, usually, one can find a precedent that favours one's cause.  

It was thought that a woman could not inherit the Hapsburg dominions, until Charles VI designated his daughter, Maria Theresa as his heir.  And, she had to fight for her inheritance, in the face of any number of people who insisted that a woman could not inherit.  But, what mattered to her supporters was the Will of Charles VI, as well as Maria Theresa's own personal qualities.   

The right of a monarch to choose his successor has always been a factor of immense importance in determining the succession.  That Will can be set aside if a pretender has sufficient military muscle to do do so, but to do so always requires force.  That's why the Greens resorted to force, rather than call a Great Council to rule on the issue.  And, in the end, more Great Houses supported the Blacks than the Greens.  So among the nobility, there were many who also viewed the Will of the outgoing king as conferring legitimacy on Rhaenyra.

Dance of the Dragons - A Wiki of Ice and Fire (westeros.org)

This link shows almost twice as many Houses supporting Rhaenyra as supported Aegon.

Again, even your example also led to a war of succession. Wars of succession can happen even in the best of times, with the most legitimate heirs- if you are a weak king who only got the throne because you have a penis and your cousin, who's older and daughter of an older son of the king does not, and then you go and choose a woman as your heir when you have many sons to chose from, you're creating a war of succession because you're ignoring the precedent that put you in the throne in the first place.

This is a point I see the apparent Rhanyra supporters here ignoring- surely, one can always find a precedent that legitimizes her, but her entire claim is that she was chosen by Viserys, who is only on the throne because the lords decided women can't inherit over men in the first place. And on the top of that she's married to guy that alienated half the lords before by being a dick, which doesn't help any.

So, if the argument for Rhaenyra is precedent, there's a very clear one against her. If the argument is pure power, the other side also has dragons and can fight- and did.

Many, many wars, in Westeros and the real world were caused by much, much smaller motives. Even if not a single one of Viserys' sons wanted to claim the throne, and not a single one of the lords of Westeros wanted to use them against Rhaenira, which is literally unbelievable, then some grandson or great-grandson could still use it as a pretext for war decades later, and we're back in square one.

Again, even if Rhaenyra was the nicest, and smartest, and wisest potential ruler ever, and she was most certainly not, merely the fact that Viserys named her AND chose to remarry and have sons made a war of succession inevitable. Viserys either had to stay single or name Aegon as the heir, not both.

Edited by Winterfell is Burning
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5 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

...That also doesn't work if the other claimant(s) to the throne also has(ve) dragons.

 

Again, even your example also led to a war of succession. Wars of succession can happen even in the best of times, with the most legitimate heirs- if you are a weak king who only got the throne because you have a penis and your cousin, who's older and daughter of an older son of the king does not, and then you go and choose a woman as your heir when you have many sons to chose from, you're creating a war of succession because you're ignoring the precedent that put you in the throne in the first place.

This is a point I see the apparent Rhanyra supporters here ignoring- surely, one can always find a precedent that legitimizes her, but her entire claim is that she was chosen by Viserys, who is only on the throne because the lords decided women can't inherit over men in the first place. And on the top of that she's married to guy that alienated half the lords before by being a dick, which doesn't help any.

So, if the argument for Rhaenyra is precedent, there's a very clear one against her. If the argument is pure power, the other side also has dragons and can fight- and did.

Many, many wars, in Westeros and the real world were caused by much, much smaller motives. Even if not a single one of Viserys' sons wanted to claim the throne, and not a single one of the lords of Westeros wanted to use them against Rhaenira, which is literally unbelievable, then some grandson or great-grandson could still use it as a pretext for war decades later, and we're back in square one.

Again, even if Rhaenyra was the nicest, and smartest, and wisest potential ruler ever, and she was most certainly not, merely the fact that Viserys named her AND chose to remarry and have sons made a war of succession inevitable. Viserys either had to stay single or name Aegon as the heir, not both.

Yet, most of the movers and shakers of Westerosi politics sided with the Blacks, not the Greens, so they at least, were not outraged by the idea of Rhaenyra becoming Queen.  The Greens were fighting not just against the late King's heir, but most of nobility, too.

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2 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Yet, most of the movers and shakers of Westerosi politics sided with the Blacks, not the Greens, so they at least, were not outraged by the idea of Rhaenyra becoming Queen.  The Greens were fighting not just against the late King's heir, but most of nobility, too.

The point is that a significant amount of Westeros still sided with the Greens, despite the fact they had less money, troops, dragons, and the King had named Rhaenys as successor.

Once again, if Viserys had not re-married and had sons, there probably would be no war, because there would no other heirs to dispute, specially male ones. If Viserys had named Aegon as his heir, there probably would be no war, because then Rhaenyra couldn't claim she was his chosen heir in the first place, and would just be a woman with a weak claim.

As it stood, there's two sides with a claim to the Iron Throne that absolutely hate each other. Even if everyone in Westeros and in the green side accepted Rhaenyra as the legitimate heir, then there would still be a case to taking the Iron Throne simply as a preventive measure because someone like Daemon could decide everyone on the other side should be dead because they're too much of a threat.

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16 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

The point is that a significant amount of Westeros still sided with the Greens, despite the fact they had less money, troops, dragons, and the King had named Rhaenys as successor.

Once again, if Viserys had not re-married and had sons, there probably would be no war, because there would no other heirs to dispute, specially male ones. If Viserys had named Aegon as his heir, there probably would be no war, because then Rhaenyra couldn't claim she was his chosen heir in the first place, and would just be a woman with a weak claim.

As it stood, there's two sides with a claim to the Iron Throne that absolutely hate each other. Even if everyone in Westeros and in the green side accepted Rhaenyra as the legitimate heir, then there would still be a case to taking the Iron Throne simply as a preventive measure because someone like Daemon could decide everyone on the other side should be dead because they're too much of a threat.

Rhaenyra and her children would surely have been put to death, had she simply allowed the Greens to take power.

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9 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Rhaenyra and her children would surely have been put to death, had she simply allowed the Greens to take power.

Ehhh, I actually believe that the Green offer of peace was sincere when it was from Alicent and Otto. They believed they could possibly negotiate Driftmark and Dragonstone as a peace offering (not realizing those, by themselves, are the roots of an uprising). It's only when Aemond murders her son that they realize there's no chance of a peaceful resolution.

The offer of Driftmark is also something that shows how hypocritical they are as they are fully willing to ignore their own bastardry claims.

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5 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Notably, Rhaenyra never executes Alicent.

They had no guarantees she or someone on her side wouldn't, whether it's Alicent, Otto, Aegon, or someone else- considering the horrible stuff that happened during the Dance, nobody can guarantee the other side wouldn't do horrible stuff. It's once again Viserys by naming Rhaenyra as heir AND marrying Alicent that made sure they were two families rather than one

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14 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

They had no guarantees she or someone on her side wouldn't, whether it's Alicent, Otto, Aegon, or someone else- considering the horrible stuff that happened during the Dance, nobody can guarantee the other side wouldn't do horrible stuff. It's once again Viserys by naming Rhaenyra as heir AND marrying Alicent that made sure they were two families rather than one

I mean, no one has any guarantees but kinslaying and execution was something they had no reason to do until the Hightowers committed treason.

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33 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I mean, no one has any guarantees but kinslaying and execution was something they had no reason to do until the Hightowers committed treason.

The fact they have dragons and wealth and a more than reasonable claim to the throne- many would argue better than Rhaenyra's- is more than enough. For far less than that, Tywin had Rhaenys and Aegon murdered,  Robert ordered Dany killed, Bloodraven had the Blackfyre claimant that came to the Grand Council killed, etc. Hell, Daemon Blackfyre managed to get half the realm on his side with just a sword.

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9 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Eh, the accused bastardry of Rhaenyra's sons I don't believe is anything remotely important to the treason of the Hightower scum. After all, Viserys made a ruling on the legitimacy of the children and publicly removed tongues of the people who EVEN KNOWING that he'd already made such a ruling, dared bring it to his face. Legally and beyond THE SUN style gossip, the children are trueborn of Laenor Velaryon.

The usurpation of Aegon II requires overturning a 20 year precedent that every Lord in Westeros has already known. The Great Council is certainly something they can cite, except the thing is that was called by the King in the first place.

It wasnt treason for the Lords that cared for tradition and didnt want their seats taken by their powerful brother in laws. There will be lot of power play and conflict. 

Being a male line Targaryen is a big deal. Its the line of conquerer. Her elder children carry Velaryon name and dont look remotely Targ whose whole claim to incest was being closer to gods than men and not having plainer features of House Strong. In this series Corlys doesnt care their not being his blood cause "History remembers name". Even from books i felt it was clearly expected that it would be Jacaerys I of House Velaryon not Targaryen. And its very funny you refer green side Hightowers while they guarantee Targ name, look like Targ & have more Targ blood than Strong boys. 

Even if Rhaenyra could be allowed to succeed there will be bloody conflict after her passing with three way power struggle between her two different sets of childrens and Aegon II descendants( if they survive Daemon) & Aemond with Vaghar would be force onto himself. . 

This conflict has no right side.Both sides of argument were good. Conflict was on cards in family already after Maegor from Rhaena & her two daughters on but always avioded by GRRM by getting rid of so many of them very early without any children.

If they really wanted Kings word to remain firm should have never given dragons to everyone. Especially not to Rhaenys's children. It would have cut the need to placate the Velaryons with marriage in first place. 

 

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There is no textual evidence nor any indication that Alicent's children would have been in danger if Rhaenyra had ruled. Otto would have been dismissed, of course, and Alicent may also have been forced to leave court, but that's not a catastrophe.

Aegon may have been forced to change his conduct since Rhaenyra may not have been willing to feed and clothe a lazy and drunken prince at her court, and they would have had to find something to do for Aemond. But there is no indication that anyone there planned murder.

On the other side, though, the Greens couldn't really afford to let Rhaenyra live. She was her father's chosen and anointed heir. It would be hard to forget that ... but they definitely were quite accustomed to overlooking the male sex of Aegon, Aemond, and Daeron for about twenty years.

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Whether Rhaenyra intended to kill Alicent's children and family is irrelevant; there's no textual evidence Robert or any of the leaders of the Rebellion planned to murder Elia and her children, yet they were brutally slaughtered. And we know many people on her side are not above murdering children.

As long as they live, Aegon and his brothers have a claim to the throne at least as good as Rhaenyra's, dragons, wealth and support among the nobility. Daemon Blackfyre didn't have the first two and had probably less of last couple, yet still took more than 60 years of rebellions to destroy the Blackfyre threat (hell, if the theory that Varys is a Blackfyre is correct, they still didn't).

Even if no one meant anyone any harm (which is doubtful enough), with the way tensions were high, it's very easy to see a disagreement or some perceived threat becoming a massacre or full-scale war quickly. 

Once again, I see no scenario in which Viserys getting married and having sons AND still insisting on Rhaenyra doesn't become a war, and with all due respect to divergent opinions, seems to me that people reading this as a good vs evil battle- "poor Rhaenyra had the indisputable right to rule, and if only those dastardly Greens weren't trying to usurp her, she would become the best ruler of the land and prove woman can rule after all, and there would be peace forever" or something like that- are reading the wrong series.

Edited by Winterfell is Burning
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1 hour ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

Whether Rhaenyra intended to kill Alicent's children and family is irrelevant; there's no textual evidence Robert or any of the leaders of the Rebellion planned to murder Elia and her children, yet they were brutally slaughtered. And we know many people on her side are not above murdering children.

Yeah, that was Tywin's action that Robert was quite pleased by.

We also DO know that Alicent's daughter was almost certainly murdered by Unwin Peake.

However, it says everything you need to know about her side that he was a GREEN.

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1 hour ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Yeah, that was Tywin's action that Robert was quite pleased by.

We also DO know that Alicent's daughter was almost certainly murdered by Unwin Peake.

However, it says everything you need to know about her side that he was a GREEN.

I don’t know about Elia, but Aegon and Rhaenys were surely marked for death once Robert’s rebellion shifted from self-defence, to claiming the crown.  He would not have allowed children to live, who were ahead of him in the succession.

That’s aside from his being a man-child, who was furious that Lyanna preferred Rhaegar to him.

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17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There is no textual evidence nor any indication that Alicent's children would have been in danger if Rhaenyra had ruled. Otto would have been dismissed, of course, and Alicent may also have been forced to leave court, but that's not a catastrophe.

Aegon may have been forced to change his conduct since Rhaenyra may not have been willing to feed and clothe a lazy and drunken prince at her court, and they would have had to find something to do for Aemond. But there is no indication that anyone there planned murder.

On the other side, though, the Greens couldn't really afford to let Rhaenyra live. She was her father's chosen and anointed heir. It would be hard to forget that ... but they definitely were quite accustomed to overlooking the male sex of Aegon, Aemond, and Daeron for about twenty years.

Yes, when the heir is disinherited (or a king deposed) there’s only going to be one outcome.

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3 hours ago, SeanF said:

I don’t know about Elia, but Aegon and Rhaenys were surely marked for death once Robert’s rebellion shifted from self-defence, to claiming the crown.  He would not have allowed children to live, who were ahead of him in the succession.

That’s aside from his being a man-child, who was furious that Lyanna preferred Rhaegar to him.

Brandon coming screaming to King's Landing for Rhaegar's head tells us that it genuinely looked like Rhaegar had kidnapped her for some period of time. 

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