Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts

23 hours ago, SeanF said:

I don’t think Robb had any realistic option but to call his banners, and driving the Lannisters out of the Riverlands was entirely legitimate.

I do find it harder to justify the fight for Northern/Riverlands independence, since I see no benefit from it to anyone, apart from the upper ranks of the nobility.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Neither the Riverlanders nor the Northmen feel like a colony needing their independence. It is just their lords who see this as a way to get even with the Lannisters. And it was a very stupid idea.

Maybe the North's declaration of independence was just about nationalism, but the North and the Riverlands declared independence.  Tywin unleashed his monsters to burn every village and murder every commoner in the Riverlands when Robert was still king, but by the time they declared their independence, Tywin was Hand of the King, the Lannisters were in full control, and they were still ravaging the Riverlands for no real reasons except that Tywin is a power-hunger egotistical maniac.  Of course the Riverlands want out if it is the ruling family that is destroying them, and if the North wants to join them too... great.

The North only bowed down due to the threat of dragons (as is publicly known... if Aegon and Torrhen had a secret meeting about the Long Night, those who declared independence did not know about that).  Maybe the commoners shouldn't care about Ned's execution (though it seems they did: see below), but it was an empire that they should never have been forced to join to begin with.  The Iron Throne mostly left the North alone (except when the Blacks wanted support in the Dance), but they neglected the North too.  It seemed like Queen Alysanne cared about the Watch but no ruler on the Iron Throne did since then, as the Night's Watch is in worse shape than ever.  If the Iron Throne doesn't support the Watch, what benefit does the North get from remaining in the realm.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

As a conqueror, Aegon is clearly better than most of the other Westerosi kings since he was successful very quickly and his King's Peace later was actually enforced. And if the whole thing was motivated by a desire to save mankind then it puts everything into a different light and actually makes more sense.

I assume Martin gave his blessing to this new information, so I assume it is a "fictional fact" that Aegon knew about the Long Night.  But I also think this is part of Martin's "gardening" writing style, and this was not in his mind when the story of Aegon's Conquest was first written.  I don't think this information makes sense due to the fact that Aegon seemed to do nothing to actually prepare for the Long Night.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Especially the fact that Torrhen Stark bent the knee. I mean, there are hints that Brandon Snow made weirwood spears to slay the dragons ... yet it didn't even come to blows between the North and the Targaryens. Why is that?

The explanation given is that he didn't want another Field of Fire, which I think is entirely plausible.  Still you might be right, as a "gardening" story change which I don't think was part of the original story.  I don't think it makes sense that Aegon kept the Long Night a secret, but if he shared that information with Torrhen and that's the real reason Torrhen bent the knee, it makes even less sense that Torrhen would keep that a secret.  If these people knew another Long Night is coming, it makes no sense that people kept quiet about it.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Considering the size of the North, and the relative ineffectiveness of the dragons in winter it strikes one as pretty much ridiculous to assume that a King Torrhen wanted to bend the knee without even pushing the issue if this whole thing was strictly about conventional politics.

If Torrhen bent the knee solely because of the threat of the dragons, he was likely thinking about the immediate threat of soldiers right then.  Did anyone know that dragons struggled in winter at the time?  I feel like Alysanne didn't know prior to her flight north.  Since the Long Night also brings the Long Winter... that significantly decreases the effectiveness of the dragons against this looming threat.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Up until Rhaenys' death it was all pretty civil still on the Targaryen side - then it escalated because it got personal. But Aegon saw reason again in the end. If Aegon had been driven by a desire for conquest and glory he would have likely pressed on.

And the main reason why I consider Aegon a villain is because "it got personal".  Rhaenys is my favorite of the three siblings and it is unfortunate that the best of them is the one who died in battle, but I certainly don't fault the Dornish for shooting down the weapon of mass destruction that was burning their home.  It was Aegon's fault Rhaenys died for sending her there, not Dorne's.

And I do credit Aegon for stopping his mass-murder campaign... eventually.  Without knowing what was in the letter to change his mind, I don't know how much credit I give him though.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Dance was bloody but a pretty limited conflict. Only the Crownlands, the Riverlands, the Reach, and the Westerlands were affected, with there being no fighting that we know of in the Stormlands, the Vale, and the North.

That's where the battles took place, yes, but many people outside these locations died fighting there.  The Northmen under the Dustins come to mind, if I remember correctly.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It may be that the War of the Five Kings destroyed more of the Riverlands already than the Dance of the Dragons.

I'm guessing it probably did.

19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Robb's Kingdom of the North and the Trident is just the stillborn brainchild of a war council which didn't know what to do. At best it expresses the opinion of the nobility, but hardly the people.

The text doesn't really support that.  The North (nobles and commoners alike) seem to be extremely loyal to the Starks.  Examples include the Flint who sheltered Bran and his companions in ASOS, and the general banter amongst the soldiers in Asha's chapters in ADWD.  Maybe that's contrived writing... or maybe it's a realistic representation of national pride.  If the Starks declare independence (after the king executed the head Stark), I think most of the commoners would support that too.  Whether independence supports their interests or not, people often "vote against their best interests".

Edited by StarkTullies
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/17/2022 at 1:59 PM, StarkTullies said:

Maybe the North's declaration of independence was just about nationalism, but the North and the Riverlands declared independence.  Tywin unleashed his monsters to burn every village and murder every commoner in the Riverlands when Robert was still king, but by the time they declared their independence, Tywin was Hand of the King, the Lannisters were in full control, and they were still ravaging the Riverlands for no real reasons except that Tywin is a power-hunger egotistical maniac.  Of course the Riverlands want out if it is the ruling family that is destroying them, and if the North wants to join them too... great.

Tywin targeted a specific region in the Riverlands, and that only started to high a high degree after the Green Fork when Tywin took possession of Harrenhal.

The people proclaiming Robb king are all members of the nobility, there is no indication that the smallfolk wanted either the North or the Riverlands to be independent.

On 9/17/2022 at 1:59 PM, StarkTullies said:

The North only bowed down due to the threat of dragons (as is publicly known... if Aegon and Torrhen had a secret meeting about the Long Night, those who declared independence did not know about that).  Maybe the commoners shouldn't care about Ned's execution (though it seems they did: see below), but it was an empire that they should never have been forced to join to begin with.  The Iron Throne mostly left the North alone (except when the Blacks wanted support in the Dance), but they neglected the North too.  It seemed like Queen Alysanne cared about the Watch but no ruler on the Iron Throne did since then, as the Night's Watch is in worse shape than ever.  If the Iron Throne doesn't support the Watch, what benefit does the North get from remaining in the realm.

The Northmen themselves abandoned the Watch, no? If 1,000 Northmen took the black each year there would have been no decline at all - considering that at the point of the main series there were only about a thousand black brothers left. The NW is an order every man can join of his own free will ... all throughout Westeros. It is not an order you can be forced to join, however. Even for criminals the Watch is a choice, not a punishment.

Targaryen rule in the North eventually led to the end of the First Night, which was a tremendous step forward for the smallfolk, especially, of course, the women but not only them.

On 9/17/2022 at 1:59 PM, StarkTullies said:

I assume Martin gave his blessing to this new information, so I assume it is a "fictional fact" that Aegon knew about the Long Night.  But I also think this is part of Martin's "gardening" writing style, and this was not in his mind when the story of Aegon's Conquest was first written.  I don't think this information makes sense due to the fact that Aegon seemed to do nothing to actually prepare for the Long Night.

Actually, one imagines that if this thing comes from George - as it seems to do - then it was there from the start and is the missing link that explains why the hell Rhaegar talks about 'the dragon has three heads' and 'the song of ice and fire' in relation to the promised prince. I mean, if, as the show has it, Aegon the Conqueror named his dream about Westeros 'the song of ice and fire' then this would have been there from the very beginning since we should assume that George always knew what the title of his book series was supposed to be about.

On 9/17/2022 at 1:59 PM, StarkTullies said:

The explanation given is that he didn't want another Field of Fire, which I think is entirely plausible.  Still you might be right, as a "gardening" story change which I don't think was part of the original story.  I don't think it makes sense that Aegon kept the Long Night a secret, but if he shared that information with Torrhen and that's the real reason Torrhen bent the knee, it makes even less sense that Torrhen would keep that a secret.  If these people knew another Long Night is coming, it makes no sense that people kept quiet about it.

The whole thing is just some mystic superstition stuff. The Starks of the main series no longer believe in the Others ... and 300 years earlier most of the Northmen may have been similarly skeptical about this. Torrhen and Brandon Snow may have been exceptions ... while Torrhen's sons - who were pissed about Torrhen's submission - were more conventional.

Even educated skeptics like Tyrion start to pause and think about the old stories when they are actually at the Wall. If Torrhen was one such then the prospect of having gigantic dragons on your side vs. the idea to make them your enemies would have been a rather easy choice. Especially since submission to the Targaryens meant little and less to the Starks. They lost their crown, but gained allies and protectors in the Targaryens ... while losing more or less nothing of their traditional authority in the North.

On 9/17/2022 at 1:59 PM, StarkTullies said:

If Torrhen bent the knee solely because of the threat of the dragons, he was likely thinking about the immediate threat of soldiers right then.  Did anyone know that dragons struggled in winter at the time?  I feel like Alysanne didn't know prior to her flight north.  Since the Long Night also brings the Long Winter... that significantly decreases the effectiveness of the dragons against this looming threat.

Sure, Torrhen could have kind of bend the knee to save his soldiers ... although he could have also just marched away in the middle of night. Would the Targaryens truly have pursued an enemy who wasn't willing to give battle?

Also, he could have feigned submission only to rise again after he had returned back home.

On 9/17/2022 at 1:59 PM, StarkTullies said:

And the main reason why I consider Aegon a villain is because "it got personal".  Rhaenys is my favorite of the three siblings and it is unfortunate that the best of them is the one who died in battle, but I certainly don't fault the Dornish for shooting down the weapon of mass destruction that was burning their home.  It was Aegon's fault Rhaenys died for sending her there, not Dorne's.

Well, Aegon is a historical figure, so I'd really not go with 'hero' or 'villain' there. To judge that, we have far too little information.

On 9/17/2022 at 1:59 PM, StarkTullies said:

That's where the battles took place, yes, but many people outside these locations died fighting there.  The Northmen under the Dustins come to mind, if I remember correctly.

They were old men who rode to battle to die there. They killed people living in other places, while their own lands were not disturbed at all.

On 9/17/2022 at 1:59 PM, StarkTullies said:

The text doesn't really support that.  The North (nobles and commoners alike) seem to be extremely loyal to the Starks.  Examples include the Flint who sheltered Bran and his companions in ASOS, and the general banter amongst the soldiers in Asha's chapters in ADWD.  Maybe that's contrived writing... or maybe it's a realistic representation of national pride.  If the Starks declare independence (after the king executed the head Stark), I think most of the commoners would support that too.  Whether independence supports their interests or not, people often "vote against their best interests".

The Northmen are loyal to the Starks, yes, but that's not the same as them wanting an independent kingdom or dying over the issue whether the Stark in charge wears a crown or not.

Edited by Lord Varys
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never actually felt Aegon the Conqueor needed a moral justification for his actions because this is just what Medieval lords DID. Every single one of the Lords of Westeros were constantly feuding and warring on one another because of land, revenge, or so on. It's just like what history says because, well, that's the nature of the system. The fact Aegon won is merely an extension of the way that Westeros is.

DORNE is actually the odd man out because the Dornish have a nationalist character that was more or less wholly absent from the Medieval era. For the vast majority of people in the world, who exactly was your lord and master doesn't really matter. Maybe if they speak your language, that's good but there's never been a resistance based on something more than "they're going to kill and loot us because they're invaders." Not until the Modern Era really. Maybe if they're heathens of a different faith but for the majority of people, it's same shit, different toilet.

Aegon was continually frustrated with his failure to conquer Dorne because they refused to submit as a matter of PRINCIPLE from the Smallfolk to the Princes. They were descendants of refugees from Old Valyria and willing to make great sacrifices to avoid dishonoring their ancestors by submitting to Valyria's kings.

As The Prince by Machiavelli said, a lord should try to be loved and feared (or feared if not both) but above all should avoid being HATED. Aegon and his sister-wives flat out could not and never could convince Dorne to submit so it was a waste of lives.

Every other Lord was just happy to have the wars between them ended or just dealt with the matter practically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Tywin targeted a specific region in the Riverlands, and that only started to high a high degree after the Green Fork when Tywin took possession of Harrenhal.

The decimation of Riverlands was only going to keep spreading.  The Lannisters already took their acting lord captive and named the Tullies, etc., enemies of the Iron Throne before independence.  Tywin, the Hand of the King, had a well-earned reputation; when he annihilated the Reynes, he took out all the commonfolk with the ruling class.  The commoners were hurt by Tywin's actions more than the nobles (beforehand, and during this war).  That fact that Tywin murdered everyone in just a "small region" isn't justification for the still-untouched regions of the Riverlands to sit idly.

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The people proclaiming Robb king are all members of the nobility, there is no indication that the smallfolk wanted either the North or the Riverlands to be independent.

Yes, when they declared Robb the King in the North only nobles were present.  Events that happened later on (which I mentioned earlier) indicates the North's general utmost loyalty to the Starks.  That's not the same as proving that they wanted independence, but it sure hints that they want nothing to do with the Iron Throne that twice in the past 20 years (first Aerys, then Joffrey) murdered their liege lord.

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Northmen themselves abandoned the Watch, no?

Everyone did, North included.  I'm saying that the only benefit the North would get out of remaining in the realm is the Iron Throne's support of the Watch, and they weren't even doing that.  And if the Targaryens had secret knowledge of the Long Night that they explicably didn't share, the Targaryens should have been supporting the Watch most of all.  They didn't.

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Targaryen rule in the North eventually led to the end of the First Night, which was a tremendous step forward for the smallfolk, especially, of course, the women but not only them.

That was Queen Alyssane more specifically than "the Targaryens".  As I said previously, she is my favorite Targaryen ruler (by far), and she also seemed to actually care about the Watch.  But that was over 150 years earlier.  My comments in this thread are about Aegon's invasion and how Aegon's invasion was not justified.  He himself did not end the First Night, and "the Targaryens" as a whole don't get credit for it, since according to Fire & Blood, the Targaryens were as guilty of that custom as anyone else in Westeros.  Hence the dragonseeds.

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Actually, one imagines that if this thing comes from George - as it seems to do - then it was there from the start and is the missing link that explains why the hell Rhaegar talks about 'the dragon has three heads' and 'the song of ice and fire' in relation to the promised prince. I mean, if, as the show has it, Aegon the Conqueror named his dream about Westeros 'the song of ice and fire' then this would have been there from the very beginning since we should assume that George always knew what the title of his book series was supposed to be about.

Of course "a song of ice and fire" was part of the story from the beginning.  That's the name of the series.  Rhaegar was obsessed with the prophecy, as shown in the House of the Undying and implied elsewhere.  King Jaehaerys II was told about it from a woods witch (presumably the Ghost of High Heart).  The book implies it was new information to Jaehaerys: why would Aegon's original dream be kept "secret" but the wood witch's prophecy not?  Jaehaerys learning about the prophecy is a lot different than Aegon invading the continent hundreds of years earlier because he himself dreamed about it (and kept it secret).

 

13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

They were old men who rode to battle to die there. They killed people living in other places, while their own lands were not disturbed at all.

World War II was one of the deadliest wars in the United States history, and yet no battles were fought on the continental US soil.  The fact that American soldiers died fighting off their soil doesn't discount the devastation WWII brought to Americans.  Same applies to the Dance.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Northmen are loyal to the Starks, yes, but that's not the same as them wanting an independent kingdom or dying over the issue whether the Stark in charge wears a crown or not.

True, there were a lot of extrapolations in my head I didn't fully write out.  The commoners didn't explicitly state they wanted independence.  But they generally love the Starks, generally hate the Lannisters, took it personally when their lords were executed, and people in real life often act like sheep.  Whether it benefits their best interest or not, doesn't mean the commoners don't support their lords' wishes.  I admit this is extrapolation with no actual proof of the commoners wanting independence.

We can discuss about the potential benefits Targaryen rule brought to the North, but the North declared independence when the Lannisters were ruling, and I cannot think of any valid argument that the Lannisters were good rulers to the North.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I've never actually felt Aegon the Conqueor needed a moral justification for his actions because this is just what Medieval lords DID. Every single one of the Lords of Westeros were constantly feuding and warring on one another because of land, revenge, or so on. It's just like what history says because, well, that's the nature of the system. The fact Aegon won is merely an extension of the way that Westeros is.

DORNE is actually the odd man out because the Dornish have a nationalist character that was more or less wholly absent from the Medieval era. For the vast majority of people in the world, who exactly was your lord and master doesn't really matter. Maybe if they speak your language, that's good but there's never been a resistance based on something more than "they're going to kill and loot us because they're invaders." Not until the Modern Era really. Maybe if they're heathens of a different faith but for the majority of people, it's same shit, different toilet.

Aegon was continually frustrated with his failure to conquer Dorne because they refused to submit as a matter of PRINCIPLE from the Smallfolk to the Princes. They were descendants of refugees from Old Valyria and willing to make great sacrifices to avoid dishonoring their ancestors by submitting to Valyria's kings.

As The Prince by Machiavelli said, a lord should try to be loved and feared (or feared if not both) but above all should avoid being HATED. Aegon and his sister-wives flat out could not and never could convince Dorne to submit so it was a waste of lives.

Every other Lord was just happy to have the wars between them ended or just dealt with the matter practically.

Sure.  Most English kings and queens were foreigners, along with most of the nobility, yet the commons were not especially bothered.  They might rise up against misgovernment or heresy, but no one rebelled because their rulers spoke French and Latin.

In the 19th century, English nationalists loved to speak of “the Norman Yoke”, imposed upon freeborn Englishmen, but that was a classic example of projecting their values back on to people who thought very differently.

I guess Dorne could be compared to Scotland, which had a very unusual sense of nationhood.

Edited by SeanF
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, SeanF said:

Sure.  Most English kings and queens were foreigners, along with most of the nobility, yet the commons were not especially bothered.  They might rise up against misgovernment or heresy, but no one rebelled because their rulers spoke French and Latin.

In the 19th century, English nationalists loved to speak of “the Norman Yoke”, imposed upon freeborn Englishmen, but that was a classic example of projecting their values back on to people who thought very differently.

I guess Dorne could be compared to Scotland, which had a very unusual sense of nationhood.

Ivanhoe had a lot to make up for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/15/2022 at 1:39 AM, ClaraMIa said:

The 'good of humanity angle' is bit of a Hollywood copout but I do like the scene later where Vicerys tells Rhaenyra about 'the Prince that was promised' The scene is ott but funny for 2 reasons, the first obviously is that GoT royally messed up that story and the second, if it is true, then it is Daemon's blood as well as Rhaenyra's and Vicerys is telling her this while trying to keep Daemon far away. The angle that worries me is the idea of setting up Rhaenyra as too much of a hero, I wonder if they will blacken Daemen even more so as to lessen her major failings as a leader and perhaps make the Greens even more monstrous with the anti woman angle. They keep having reference to Vicerys cutting himself on the throne, when in fact its Rhaenyra who it 'rejects'  ( I think in the book it is just that one time that Vicerys cuts his finger when he exiles Daemon ??could be wrong) The whole 'women should rule cause men suck' messaging in some media is not the message of the book, which is, as you say, far more complicated and full of gloriously grey characters who often do unspeakable things due to the situation they are placed in. Of course misogyny plays a part in the story but the women in the story are just as grey as the men. 

Regarding the Greens and the civil war. It is quite hard to make them sympathetic ( they hide a body, defy the Kings wishes, slaughter those who keep their vows and take advantage of a woman having a terrible birthing ordeal to steal her crown, and that is before the war starts)  I think the show IS trying. They make Alicent younger, make no suggestion of any possible relationship with Vicerys before Aemma's death, concentrate on how trapped she is etc, They also make Daemon even more irrational and remove anything that makes him more human in the early years ( no miscarriage for Misaria and him claiming he will marry her rather than just taking the egg, making the egg Baelon's etc) I suspect that the series knows Daemon will be a fan favourite and think they can take a few liberties with his character without diminishing that. Criston Cole has also been given the perfect excuse to despise Rhaenyra- his vow obviously means something to him and I suspect if he ever found out that Rhaenyra seduced him about an hour after her uncle, who he hates, seduced and then left her hangin, he will feel rather used. Even Otto has been written with restraint, as his main motive is that only a boy heir can keep the Kingdom from civil war, which is valid and reasonable (ironic considering it was him who had Rhaenyra named heir in the first place)

Sorry for writing an essay. I guess my point is that the Black's will also be more sympathetic on a modern TV show because they are fighting for a woman's right to be seen as equal to men. They also are just cooler! More of the epic moments belong to them- Rhaenys not trying to flee and fighting 2 on 1, the dragonseeds, Nettles, Daemon v Aemond at the godseye, Aegon's flight as a 9 year old, taking Kings landing etc etc. They are the underdogs with no money, far less men and many other disadvantages.. Don't get me wrong, awful things are done by the Blacks, some of the worst,  but the kinslaying is begun by the Greens and the treachery begins with them too. Sorry again for the essay. I just hope all the awesome characters in the story are depicted right as the show looks and feels great and the actors have all been flawless so far 

I loved the post, welcome to the forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...