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Damon, Daemon, Daemion, Damion


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This is an important name group. It highlights details about the royal line, while also having tantalizing connections to other name groups I have been investigating. I believe it is important, ultimately, for understanding the twists and turns of GRRM's choices when constructing his histories, which we must always keep in mind are generally written after, not before, he has made decisions on key parts of the main series.

1. The first character in this group, chronologically, is Damon Hightower, who was the first Hightower to convert to the Faith of the Seven. Given Oldtown's eventual centrality to the Faith in Westeros this certainly counts as a key character and we must wonder why GRRM chose to name him Damon, a version of this name later becoming so central to the conflicts of Westeros. He was the grandson of Dorian, who married an Andal princess, after setting aside his first wife. My bet would be that this unnamed Andal woman and probable grandmother of Damon was a very close relative of Roland I Arryn, whose visit to the Hightower helped inspire him to order the construction of the Eyrie. Roland I Arryn's wife Teora Hunter came from a First Men House which had submitted to House Arryn 2 generations before after the Battle of the Seven Stars. House Hunter may have therefore been the original link that brough Houses Hightower and Arryn together at this point in time.

2. The next in line chronologically is Damon Teague, the last monarch of House Teague; an unpopular dynasty that likely originated outside of the Vale (the founder, Torrence, is described as an adventurer, and his name suggests he came from the Torrentine region). Teagues repressed worship of the Old Gods in the Riverlands and were tight with the Faith Militant. We can begin to suspect a Bracken connection to this House, given that they targeted the Blackwoods in particular, and that Brackens were later involved with the Faith Militant. Indeed they may have come to the Riverlands in a similar way to House Hoare, who were initially allied with House Bracken. Alternately, or simultaneously, there may be a connection to House Vypren, who are linked to House Dayne of the Torrentine (High Hermitage?) via the only two uses of the name "Vorian".

 

Continuing first with only the examples of "Damon" before going back in time to cover other versions of this name:

3. Damon Morrigen continues the early link between the name Damon and Fot7 zealotry - possibly of the kind practiced by converts. He was the Grand Captain of the Warrior's Sons who disputed Maegor's right to rule. He was killed by Blackfyre at the end of Maegor's trial of seven. House Morrigen's location in the Stormlands hints at some difficult internal dynamics within the domain of the Storm Kings, who did not follow the Fot7 but who, by the time of the conquest, clearly had many vassals that did. I highlight this fact because it is linked to longer term undercurrents that my name analyses are slowly bringing to the surface.

4. Damon Darry was a knight during Aegon III's regency. He joined Regis Groves to confront Alys Rivers at Harrenhal, and afterwards was witness to her messenger choking to death when a Darry man laughed at the message. As the story of Alys Rivers and her rebellion (and of Damon Darry's subsequent actions) has yet to be fleshed out it is hard to conclude much from his story. However the location of Darry does at least connect him vaguely to House Teague, to Harrenhal's influence and dark undercurrents.

5. Damon Lannister was a Lord of Casterly Rock during the reign of Daeron II. The reason for his moniker "The Grey Lion" has not yet been explained. Lannister connections to the Reach remain vague, however a path of descend by at least 1 route over the generations between Damon Hightower and Damon Lannister is all but certain, and this might be the only explanation needed for the appearance of this name in the Lannister family, However connections to Houses Darry and/or Morrigen are far from being impossible.

6. The rest of the Damons are all characters in the main series: Damon Marbrand is the Lord of Ashemark, Damon Lannister is the uncle of Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion on their mother's side and the father of Damion Lannister, Damon Vypren and Damon Paege are knights from the Riverlands and so connected by history  and region to several families already described here, and Damon Dance-for-me is our only example of this name in the North, which might mean we are in for a bit of a reveal if and when we learn his family name.

Edited by Hippocras
Corrected for Dorian
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The name Daemion appears to be a version of the name Daemon and its twin Damon which was discussed in the OP. Other possibilities exist however, which complicate the picture significantly and require analysis before I continue:

Daemion Targaryen was the grandfather of the conquerors. Unlike most of the Lords of Dragonstone who came before him he would have been considered unlikely, at the time of his birth, to inherit the seat; he was the third son of a second son. While his uncle Maegon may have had a sister-wife in keeping with the Targaryen tradition, the availability of a second sister for Aerys (Daemion’s father) to marry is more doubtful. We can therefore consider it reasonably likely that Daemion’s mother was a cousin of his father and not a sister. That cousin would have been born into a family that made use of the “ion” suffix, and probably an ally of House Bar Emmon (founded by Togarion)

Daemion’s older brother’s name is worth a glance at this point. Baelon appears to be a version of Balon. All known pre-conquest examples of this name are found on the Iron Islands. At the time of Lord Baelon Targaryen’s birth, Ironborn dominion over the Riverlands was established. The Hoares were rivals of the Storm Kings and (until their defeat and integration) of House Darklyn. House Darklyn historically sought to control Crackclaw Point, which House Celtigar also has had a long interest in. We can safely assume that some animosity existed between House Celtigar and House Darklyn. Finally, we know that House Darklyn were the ones to force House Bar Emmon to relocate to Massey’s Hook, meaning that House Bar Emmon also could be considered pre-conquest rivals of House Darklyn.

A picture begins to form. We know that both Houses Celtigar and Bar Emmon were close allies of the Targaryens at the time of the conquest. House Celtigar, while being proud of its Valyrian ancestry, also appears to have vaguely ironborn traits. Their location on Claw Isle would have made them interesting allies for Ironborn seeking access to trade across the Narrow Sea, while frequent inter-marriage with other naval powers along the coast, House Velaryon in particular, would have been necessary for House Celtigar to maintain that access. Daemion Targaryen’s mother, then, was very likely a Targaryen cousin of his father with Bar Emmon, Celtigar and Ironborn lineage coming from an alliance that was made against House Darklyn.

There is one further observation that needs to be made before continuing. It is difficult not to notice the similarity between the words “Velaryon” and “Valyrian”. We know of course that the Velaryons settled on Driftmark long before the Targaryens exiled themselves there. The similarity of the two words is very unlikely to be accidental, making the Velaryon family name is a direct reference to their distant place of origin.

What is more likely to have flown under the radar with fans, however, is the similarity between the names “Togarion” and “Targaryen”. Togarion Bar Emmon was an Andal adventurer and the founder of House Bar Emmon a very long time before the arrival of Aenar Targaryen and his family. This name similarity may provide a hint of an explanation for WHY Aenar chose to flee to Dragonstone when he could have chosen nearly anywhere in the world. This name similarity suggests that a distant relative of Targaryen descent (probably a bastard if I am interpreting the Bar prefix correctly) was given a first name in reference to his ancestry and went on to establish a cadet branch of Targaryen distant relatives in Westeros during the Andal invasions, a very long time before the official Targaryen resettlement in 114 BC.

We can now look at Daemion’s name from a new perspective. It may indeed be a reference to the name Damon, established above as an ancient one in Westeros connected to Fot7 converts and zealotry. At the same time it might also be a merger of the prefix “Dae” from Daenys (probably Daemion’s great-grandmother on his mother’s as well as his father’s sides) and the suffix “ion” in reference to his distant ancestor Togarion Bar Emmon.

 

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Posted (edited)

cont'd

Coming now to the remainder of the names in this group:

1. Daemion Targaryen was the 3rd son of Lord Aerys, and the grandfather of the 3 conquerors. His name appears to be a merging of the name Daenys with a suffix "ion" found in the Bar Emmon family, who were known allies of the Targaryens at the time of the conquest. This suffix is also frequent on the Iron Islands and in the Lannister family.

2. Daemon Velaryon was the Master of Ships for Aegon I, and probably the uncle of the Conquerors. His name is a clear merger of a prefix and a suffix both present in the Targaryen family so there is no real need to look further for the roots of the name, EXCEPT that it is so strikingly  similar to the name Damon which I discussed in the previous post. The appearance of this name in the Velaryon and then Targaryen trees certainly does force one to consider what it might mean for pre-conquest links between Houses Targaryen, Velaryon, and the rest of Westeros; Houses Hightower and Teague in particular.

3. Another Daemon Velaryon, grandson of the previous one and grandfather of Corlys the Sea Snake, served as Maegor's master of ships before backing Jaehaerys. This is a clear case of a name being repeated in a direct line of descent - a patten we can suspect, but not confirm for most of the names I have been investigating. I made the case elsewhere that he likely had a wife from the Vale and probably from House Corbray.

4. Daemon Targaryen, brother of Viserys I was also a direct descendant of a namesake, being the 3x great-grandson of the first Daemon Velaryon. He too had loose Vale connections with the wife of his brother being an Arryn, he himself married to a Royce, and his mother bearing the name "Alyssa" which appears to be of Vale origin.

5. In the next generation we find Daemion Velaryon, son of Vaemond. He is unlikely to have a direct line of descent from Daemion Targaryen. However it remains likely that the name Daemion was a merger of other names which are associated with the Velaryon family, making a direct line of descent from the first known Daemion unnecessary. 

6. The remaining Daemons are nearly all members of the Blackfyre line, each named after the founder of House Blackfyre. We can and should wonder why GRRM chose this name in particular to associate with a bastard, but arguably more rightful branch of the royal line (if one assumes that Daena should have been her brother's heir and not Viserys II). The only non-Blackfyre Daemon subsequently is Daemon Sand, whose name is certainly a reference to the Blackfyres all the same.

Edited by Hippocras
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Posted (edited)

Posting a link to this wonderful suffix summary by @Springwatch of _ion, very relevant and intriguing in the context of this discussion.

 

  

On 5/28/2024 at 3:04 PM, Springwatch said:

Fill your boots :)

Aurion, self-proclaimed Emperor of Valyria after the Doom.
Marillion, a singer
Merion
Quillion
Sybassion, the Eater of Eyes.
Lord Dondarrion (father of Simon)
Lord Dondarrion (father of Manfred)
Togarion Bar Emmon, called Togarion the Terrible
Bennarion Botley, younger son of Lord Sawane Botley.
Sebastion Errol
Tion Frey, son of Emmon Frey and Genna Lannister.
Victarion Greyjoy, brother of Lord Balon, Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet.
Victarion Greyjoy's third wife
Tyrion II Lannister
Tyrion III Lannister
Harrion Karstark, eldest son and heir of Lord Rickard Karstark.
Cerion Lannister, a King of the Rock.
Damion Lannister, appointed castellan of Casterly Rock.
Gerion Lannister, youngest son of Lord Tytos Lannister.
Lucion Lannister
Tion Lannister
Tyrion Lannister, called "The Imp".
Morion Martell
Balerion Otherys, a bastard son of King Aegon IV Targaryen.
Steffarion Sparr
Edderion Stark
Tyrion Tanner
Tion Tarbeck
Aerion Targaryen, called Brightflame.
Aerion Targaryen, father of Aegon the Conqueror.
Daemion Targaryen, a Lord of Dragonstone during the Century of Blood.
Valerion Targaryen
Daemion Velaryon

ETA

The search method has a few problems, e.g. Victarion's wife, and Dondarrion is not a first name, but those are best sorted out by eye.

 

Edited by Hippocras
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