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2) Do any of the other houses of Westeros claim Targaryen descent, other than the Baratheons? It seemed like the Targaryens weren't as concerned with intermarriage later in their dynasty; did any other Targaryen daughters end up marrying into other families?

The only other house I know of that claims descent from Targaryens is House Martell.

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1) I was watching a couple episodes of the series, and a couple lines popped up out at me, both dealing with succession. One is the shaving scene with Renly and Loras; when Loras begins intimating that Renly should try to claim the throne, he scoffs at the idea, stating something along the lines of "I'm fourth in line." The other scene is Sansa and Septa Mordane in the throne room, discussing Sansa and Joffrey's future children. Sansa worries what will happen if she produces only girls, and though the Septa assures her that's highly unlikely, she does concede that if it happens, "Then the throne will pass to Joffrey's younger brother Tommen."

Am I mistaken, or is it different in the books? I was under the impression that Myrcella has a claim, and it supersedes either Stannis or Renly. The order, as I understood it, was Joffrey -- Tommen -- Myrcella -- Stannis -- Shireen -- Renly. That was certainly the impression I got, particularly from the Dornish chapters of Feast; Myrcella was surprised that they were trying to put her claim before her younger brother's, not that they were stating that she has a claim.

There has already been a comprehensive discussion on this.

I think it is basically means you exhaust all male possibilities in the line first before going to the female. There is precedent for the Renly over Myrcella order, when Daeron I and Baelor I died the crown went to their uncle Viserys II instead of their eldest sister and Baelor's queen Daena.

2) Do any of the other houses of Westeros claim Targaryen descent, other than the Baratheons? It seemed like the Targaryens weren't as concerned with intermarriage later in their dynasty; did any other Targaryen daughters end up marrying into other families?

Houses who claim Targaryen descent:

House Baratheon (via Rhaelle Targaryen + Steffon's father)

House Martell (via Daenerys Targaryen + Maron Martell)

House Plumm (via Elaena Targaryen + Ossifer Plumm)

House Longwaters (via Jon Waters bastard son of Elaena Targaryen + Alyn Velaryon)

Aside from Ossifer Plumm Elaena is married twice more, and had 4 other legitimate children. So there are still some unknown Houses with Targ descent.

There are still some daughters in the Targ family Tree whose husbands are not specified yet so we don't know the full list yet, we may when the World of Ice and Fire is released.

The Black Pearl line of courtesans in Braavos could be descended from Aegon IV if he had a daughter with his mistress the original Black Pearl who was a pirate queen. EDIT: From the wiki they did have a daughter who became the next Black Pearl.

Descendants of Aegon IV's many bastards.

There are probably still descendants of the bastard lines and exiled lines, Blackfyre (possibly in the female line), Bittersteel's descendants, and Aerion Brightflame's.

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1) I was watching a couple episodes of the series, and a couple lines popped up out at me, both dealing with succession. One is the shaving scene with Renly and Loras; when Loras begins intimating that Renly should try to claim the throne, he scoffs at the idea, stating something along the lines of "I'm fourth in line." The other scene is Sansa and Septa Mordane in the throne room, discussing Sansa and Joffrey's future children. Sansa worries what will happen if she produces only girls, and though the Septa assures her that's highly unlikely, she does concede that if it happens, "Then the throne will pass to Joffrey's younger brother Tommen."

Both of these lines show that, in the TV series at least, women seem to have no claim whatsoever. The order of succession after Robert, apparently, is Joffrey -- Tommen -- Stannis -- Renly.

Am I mistaken, or is it different in the books? I was under the impression that Myrcella has a claim, and it supersedes either Stannis or Renly. The order, as I understood it, was Joffrey -- Tommen -- Myrcella -- Stannis -- Shireen -- Renly. That was certainly the impression I got, particularly from the Dornish chapters of Feast; Myrcella was surprised that they were trying to put her claim before her younger brother's, not that they were stating that she has a claim.

If correct, this is different to the books...sort of. Sons take precedence, and then usually daughters, but at that point uncles/brothers of the lord might try to take over the succession, depending on the family. Looks like in this case they've decided that strict male inheritance will be the go in the series, which may be interesting when we get to the question of Kevan or Cersei inheriting Casterly Rock.

This talks a bit about GRRM's attitude. http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1053/

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That makes sense. So it could be that Myrcella still has a claim in the show, it's just that Renly is assuming he and Stannis would come before her.

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well, the Iron Throne has annointed him Lord Paramount of the Trident.

Maybe his plan is for Sansa to have a son by Harry the Heir, then have Harry killed and marry Sansa himself. Then he somehow eliminates Edmure and the Boltons and gets control of:

- Winterfell through Sansa

- The Eeyrie through Sansa's child by Harry

- The Riverlands through his appointment as Lord Paramount, strengthened by his marriage to Hoster Tully's granddaughter.

He might not even need to kill Edmure's child by Roslin. The rest of the Riverlords all despise the Freys, it wouldn't be too hard to get them to set aside a half-Frey heir, if Edmure isn't around to defend its claim.

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That makes sense. So it could be that Myrcella still has a claim in the show, it's just that Renly is assuming he and Stannis would come before her.

In Targaryen succession (on which the King's succession is based) all men come before all women after the Dance with Dragons (when the elder daughter was crowned but the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard crowned the younger son). There is even a precedent - Viserys I is uncle to Daena, who was daughter of the King, but he becomes King.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Comic_Con_San_Diego_CA_July_20_232/

I told George that when he changed Viserys I from a son to a brother he created an error in that Baelor's sisters did not inherit the throne after him, George replied that women came after all men in the Targaryen succession after TDWD. Something interesting and neatly explains Daena and the rest not becoming queen.

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Quite true, but that's still just speculation and we haven't seen any crannogmen other than Reeds, so we don't know if it's a racial trait or

just the signature family trait ala Lannister blonde, brunette and long faced Starks, or Targ-like Daynes, tall and dark Baratheons.

Small Question: Do you think the skills Meera claimed the bold crannogman (in KotLT story) possessed was magical in nature or just crannogmen-specific wilderness skills?

Good chance there was some sort of minor magic involved, I'd say. Would be hard for the jousts to be won by Reed without such (assuming it was him, which it very well may not have been).

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breathe mud - maybe they can hold their breath for a long time or they know how to improvise snorkels?

run on leaves - I think just means he is a sure-footed and quiet tree climber ala Tarzan and Giant of the NW.

talk to trees - good with plants:dunno:

weave words - maybe a story-teller? like some tribes with a highly developed oral tradition of telling stories?

make castles appear and disappear - definitely a reference to the mobile nature of Graywater Watch.

change earth to water and water to earth - this does sound like magic, but it could be he knows how to extract water from soil (like how elephants can get water from dry river beds?) or he knows how to deceive outsiders into the swamp's quicksands because he knows where to step it seems what was previously solid ground is now liquid or he knows how to traverse the marshes - that he can walk in what to the uninitiated seems like water.

Very well explained. I love how George lets non-magical things seem magical to some/most characters. Really shows you how some real life legends/myths may have come to be.

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If not through Robb's blood, then through Stark's blood. The Starks have been king for thousand of years if stories are to be believed.

If simply being a Stark is enough to have King's blood, then half the nobility of Westeros should qualify, since in the times after the Andal conquest there were dozends if not hundreds of petty kingdoms in Westeros. Many families trail their ancestry from this ages.

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I can't remember if we're told who the "mace and dagger Hand" is/was, but my question is why he was called that. Did he literally favour rhose weapons, or was it a phrase used to describe his peronality in the role?

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It's his coat of arms, a crossed spiked mace and silver dagger. His name is Qarlton Chelsted. IIRC he's only thought of as the mace and dagger Hand by Jaime, who remembers the heraldry of Aerys' last Hands better than their names.

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It's his coat of arms, a crossed spiked mace and silver dagger. His name is Qarlton Chelsted. IIRC he's only thought of as the mace and dagger Hand by Jaime, who remembers the heraldry of Aerys' last Hands better than their names.

ahhhh, cheers. totally makes sense.

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I just bought a copy of A Dance with Dragons at my local bookstore, and now I am confused. I thought the publishing date July 12th was global? Is this some kind of leaked copy, pirate or otherwise?

It's the hard cover, grey wrap, Harper / Voyager about 959 pages (without appendix), cost 239 SEK (~ 38 USD, 26 EURO).

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A few copies have slipped out early, against the wishes of GRRM and his publishers. Enjoy it, but be aware of the rules regarding this:

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A few copies have slipped out early, against the wishes of GRRM and his publishers. Enjoy it, but be aware of the rules regarding this:

http://asoiaf.wester...rs-prohibition/

That's weird. I was concerned I would not be able to find a copy due to high demand, and instead I find a rare version *before* publication date.

Now, I shall withdraw to my reading spot, and enjoy my vacation.

Thanks for the info.

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Maybe, who knows. Did Black Tom had children?

Well he was married so maybe. His part in the Blackfyre rebellion could have resulted in his families' loss of lands and as a result now have to make it as tavernkeepers

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Well he was married so maybe. His part in the Blackfyre rebellion could have resulted in his families' loss of lands and as a result now have to make it as tavernkeepers

No, Long Jon Heddle was the knight who bought the inn: we're told that he died even before the first Blackfyre Rebellion, let alone the events of The Mystery Knight.

It's much more likely that Masha is of a different branch of the Heddles.

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Was there ever any actual evidence that The Hound actually killed Micah (the butcher's boy) other than the Hound claiming it had happened. He seems to react very strongly whenever Arya mentioned it in ASOS and it doesn't seem to fit with his personality as he seems averse to hurting children and innocents.

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