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If King Aerys I Had Children...and other things


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I am guessing that this topic may have been raised before, as part of the "If this changed, then what would have happened" kind of thing. Nevertheless, since my account name is Maekar, and since anyone who knows Targ history knows that Baelor and his sons died before their time, I think that we need to dwell on the reign of Aerys I. We know that Bloodraven/Bryden Rivers of course was "the Hand" and Maekar greatly mistrusted him. So of course this leads me to believe that there was a major rift between the brothers following Daeron the Good's demise. Perhaps even Aerys I may have blamed Maekar for Baelor's untimely demise, and thus saddling Aerys with unbelievable responsibility? 

Nevertheless, it remains extremely ironic that had King Aerys I had at least one legitimate son of his own, Maekar I and Egg would have never sat on the Iron Throne, and so there never would have been the Mad King Aerys II. In fact, in an alternate reality, Aerys I may have had a son named after him or a grandson named after him, and that grandson would have likely been very capable and would have possibly be a "good King Aerys II." Funny huh? A whole different line of House Targaryen would have progressed in the series, and who knows, they may have given up inbreeding and would have gone on to rule Westeros for centuries?

This brings to bear the question of Bloodraven and why he may have wanted Aerys I to stay away from Queen Aelinor Penrose. Did Bloodraven, even in these very younger years of his life, see what would happen had Aerys I had had children? Would history have actually ended up being much worse for the Targaryens had Aerys had a son? Perhaps a great-grandson of his would have ended up like Egg and become consumed by fire? Except maybe Aerys I's whole family would end up dead instead of just a few people, as was the case with Egg's family line? Who can say for sure? But one has to wonder...if Bloodraven is such a powerful greenseer/"magic" man, why could he have not foreseen a future where/when the Targaryens would get to keep their throne and the world would still be saved? If Bloodraven was so loyal to Daeron, wouldn't he have wanted that end for his family? 

I remain very skeptical about Bloodraven's real intentions in the story. If Bloodraven, with his dragon and Blackwood blood is supposed to be a champion of Rhollar and the Old Gods, and so anti-maester by his very existence, then why is the secret role of maesters never alluded to in the Dunk and Egg stories? Why did Bloodraven never warn Daeron or his sons about the maester's and what they had planned for House Targaryen? And...why did Bittersteel hate Bloodraven so much? Just because of Bracken V. Blackwood enmity? Just because of the Sheira Seastar thing? Those two things alone don't scream to me a reason for kinslaying. But hey, maybe it's just me? 

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There is a theory that Bloodraven deliberately engineered the succession to get Egg on the throne.

It would be interesting to know what the beef between Maekar and Bloodraven was, but it might simply be the Stannis thing: Maekar, a straightforward man, disliking Bloodraven's association with sorcery and spycraft, etc. and also feeling aggrieved that after the death of Baelor it was Bloodraven who was promoted to Hand, rather than him. I don't necessarily see anything sinister in the appointment under Aerys, though: rather, I assumed that Aerys simply couldn't be bothered, and given that Bloodraven was his father's most trusted companion and had been effectively running the country in Daeron's last months, left him in post.

Whatever the grievance, it seems to have abated somewhat by the time Maekar actually took the throne, since he also left Bloodraven in position as Hand rather than taking the opportunity to oust him.

 

Bittersteel and Bloodraven... it's not just the standard Bracken v Blackwood thing, of course. Bloodraven's mother replaced Bittersteel's as Aegon's mistress, and the Brackens were desperate to get that position back (as well as the land which Aegon had transferred from the Brackens to the Blackwoods when Melissa became his mistress). So Bittersteel was raised from a very young age to see Bloodraven as his mortal rival and enemy. That both of them wanted Shiera will obviously have made things worse... but most of all, by the time that we know for sure Bittersteel actually tries to kill Bloodraven, at the Red Grass Field, Bloodraven has already started the kinslaying by shooting Daemon and his sons.

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If we check TMK and assume Maynard Plumm is Bloodraven or does at least represent his views then it seems clear he wanted to go with Rhaegel and his descendants then.

Bloodraven's own power would have been boosted greatly if Aerys I did have a son of his own as this would have both secured the succession and put the king's brothers into their place.

Whatever beef Aerys and Bloodraven had with Maekar - and it seems clear that Aerys may have been very pissed that Maekar killed their elder brother, causing him to eventual be king - something he most likely never wanted. Also, having Maekar as a crucial figure at court - Hand or anything of similar prominence - this early after Ashford and in the wake of the calamity of the Great Spring Sickness might have further destabilized the Targaryen reign. After all, Bloodraven may be a kinslayer who slew some half-brother and half-nephews ... but Maekar was Baelor's full brother who slew a beloved prince and Heir Apparent to the throne over a trivial issue. He may not have Bloodraven's evil reputation and freakish looks ... but he may have been even less popular than him, for a time.

It seems that they will overcome their issues not in the wake of Rhaegel's and Aelor's death (else Aelora would never be named Heir Apparent to the throne) but only in the wake of the Third Blackfyre Rebellion where Maekar and some of his sons might play crucial roles to save the dynasty. That could convince both Aerys I and Bloodraven to subsequently go with Maekar as heir rather than Aelora's younger sister Daenora.

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