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Fire Eater

The Citadel's Grand Conspiracy

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Archmaester Marwyn revealed it was the maesters of the Citadel who killed off the last dragons of the Targaryens, and are secretly working to eradicate magic. This made me think that when Aegon the Conqueror forged the Iron Throne, the Archmaesters met together and in secret formed a two-part plan.

The first phase of the plan was to eradicate the dragons, possibly through poison and bad advice to the Targaryens on caring for dragons. After phase one was complete, jump to phase two where the Citadel now turns on the Targaryens themselves. To overthrow the Targaryens, they would need combined forces of several regions. Maester Walys, according to Lady Dustin, gave Lord Rickard Stark the idea of marrying his heir to Catelyn Tully to forge an alliance between the North and the Riverlands.

This is just speculation, but maybe Walys even suggested Eddard be sent to foster at the Eyrie with the Lord of Storm's End to create friendship between the Eyrie, Winterfell and Storm's End.

For those who believe R+L=J, I always thought, why didn't Lyanna leave behind a letter to explain everything when decided to run off with Rhaegar? I am thinking maybe she did leave a letter, but she entrusted it to Maester Walys to give it to her father, but instead Walys hid the letter or burned it, knowing that it would lead to her family thinking she was abducted, and could lead to conflict between the Starks along with her bethrothed, Robert Baratheon and the Iron Throne with the Starks and Baratheons having allies in the the Arryns, who out of honor would help the Starks get their sister, like Elbert Arryn proved in going with Brandon to King's Landing, and the Tullys who would be bound to the Starks by marriage. Throw Mad King Aerys into the mix, and you have a recipe for war.

What are your thoughts?

ETA:

The maesters are shown a lot in TPatQ, with the GM going to Rhaenyra, Lord Baratheon's maester whispering something in his ear, and Maester Norren giving Daemon the letter from Rhaenyra demanding the death of Nettles leading to the Daemon/Aemond confrontation where Vhagar and Caraxes were killed. As Daemon said any maester can tell you that dragons can kill dragons and have. The easiest way to have the dragons fight each other is to turn the riders against one another. I think they intended to kill off the adults of breeding age, and then poison the remaining hatchlings.

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Man, these maesters sound so evil, they should be in chains!

Seriously tho, I do believe Marwyn about the dragons part. As for the rest, with no dragons the Targaryens are no different from any other ruling family - they have their good and bad kings. Aerys was obviously a bad one, but he won't last forever and they knew that. For an organization this ancient and patient, rushing a rebellion seems a bit awry. Besides, removing the Targaryens didn't exactly bring about better rulers. We have: Robert, gluttonous and uncontrollable - beggering the realm; Joffrey, mad and cruel, a worthy son of Aerys himself - alienating lords and friends; Tommen - a toddler who likes playing with his seal. Around and in-between these there is Cercei - power hungry and irrational, later paranoic and even more irrational.

I doubt anyone benefits from all of that. You can argue that maesters thrive on chaos, but we see that unpredictability messes up the plans of even veteran schemers such as Varys and Doran.

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Man, these maesters sound so evil, they should be in chains!

Seriously tho, I do believe Marwyn about the dragons part. As for the rest, with no dragons the Targaryens are no different from any other ruling family - they have their good and bad kings. Aerys was obviously a bad one, but he won't last forever and they knew that. For an organization this ancient and patient, rushing a rebellion seems a bit awry. Besides, removing the Targaryens didn't exactly bring about better rulers. We have: Robert, gluttonous and uncontrollable - beggering the realm; Joffrey, mad and cruel, a worthy son of Aerys himself - alienating lords and friends; Tommen - a toddler who likes playing with his seal. Around and in-between these there is Cercei - power hungry and irrational, later paranoic and even more irrational.

I doubt anyone benefits from all of that. You can argue that maesters thrive on chaos, but we see that unpredictability messes up the plans of even veteran schemers such as Varys and Doran.

Good points, though I would say that the Targaryans are a slow poison and eventually there will be a crazy ruler. As in every other king. They are more prone to madness than other houses because of their incestral practices. Same goes for Joffrey.

I think That Robert Baratheon was a caretaker of the throne, a steward. If Ned Stark wouldve claimed it, it wouldve been different but he didnt so we were left with Robert Baratheon, Tha Lannisters and small council because this is supposed to represent a time in chaos and transition before the new 'Dynasty' emerges. Whether thats Starks, Blackfyre, Targaryan, or Baelish, whos to say.

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The reason to rid the realm of Targaryens could also have been to prevent the return of dragons.

The maesters knew about the prophecies better than anyone, probably even better than the Targs themselves.

They studied astrology and the sky for signs, I assume they do that because they believe in the prophecies about the waking of dragons.

I don't think they want chaos.

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I believe in what Marwyn said too.

Now why would the maesters want to rid the world of dragons?

  • For men to be in total control over the world. Less magic. More science. Maybe they saw Valyria as competition and helped bring about the Doom (no idea when the maesters' organization has been founded).
  • Or maybe the citadel's leaders are in league with the Great Other.
  • Or they wanna be seen as heroes by solving the white walker problem without the use of such fire-breathing creatures, which could make 'em be hailed as godsend or even be viewed as gods themselves.

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The reason to rid the realm of Targaryens could also have been to prevent the return of dragons.

The maesters knew about the prophecies better than anyone, probably even better than the Targs themselves.

They studied astrology and the sky for signs, I assume they do that because they believe in the prophecies about the waking of dragons.

I don't think they want chaos.

Well, its hard to 'control' magic, let alone dragons.

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Yes it is, but that is their motive, they want the magic gone from the world, and in extension the dragons, others, bloodsacrifice, necromancy and all that. They probably think wargs are an abomination too.

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Being the scholars that they are, i find it hard to accept that they consider some fields of research as crap. Magic works in their world, most of the maesters should be curious and eager to learn it, like Qyburn and Marwyn, the citadel even have chain links to award for such. Yes it's hard to control, but if they manage to do that they could do wonders.

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It's not unlikely that the Septons are involved too. Given how non-existant the Faith of the Seven is in the supernatural, as opposed to R'hllor, The Old Gods, the Many Faced God, and even the Drowned God. All have more supernatural truth to their religion than the 7 which seems like an Earthly religion, with no actual meat behind it, just faith.

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:agree:

The Faith's fishy, especially the HIgh Sparrow and now it's a military force too.

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I had a theory, which may or may not be crazy, but here it goes:

We know:

-Maesters have an obsession with eradicating dragons.

-Dragons are powerful and dangerous.

-Dragons hard hard to tame.

-Dragon Eggs are rare, valuable, and can be hatched (which specific methods work we do not yet know)

-Euron Greyjoy is obsessed with dragons

-Euron Greyjoy left his post on the Shield Islands to head to Oldtown.

We suspect:

-According to the popular opinion the faceless man Jaqen H'ghar was the Alchemist in Old Town in the prologue of book three, and thusly assumed Pate's identitiy in Sam's last chapter. Jaqen (if it is indeed him) therefore is in posession of a secret key.

-Balon Greyjoy died quite suddenly, and some suggest Euron hired a FM to take him out to pave his way to kinghood.

Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, heres my theory:

The Citadel has a stash of something wich they need to keep under lock and key. It is so secretive that only the Archmaesters have a key to open it. I think that their great secret is a hidden cache of dragon eggs. They have probably hunted down all the dragon eggs they could get their hands on, so they could not be hatched. Euron, through his great travels has heard tales of this, and concocts a plan to raise a fleet of dragons. To do this he contacts the greatest assassins in the land: the Faceless Men. Therefore, Jaqen will pilfer the key (as he has), stay undercover until Euron arrives, and then give him the key. The result? Euron Greyjoy owns a bunch of eggs which he may be able to actually hatch.

Sorry the post is so long, and is sort of off topic, but I think it sort of applies here. Please discuss.

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Being the scholars that they are, i find it hard to accept that they consider some fields of research as crap. Magic works in their world, most of the maesters should be curious and eager to learn it, like Qyburn and Marwyn, the citadel even have chain links to award for such. Yes it's hard to control, but if they manage to do that they could do wonders.

But as you say in your previous post, it is hard to control.

Also the primary reason they want magic to go away I think has to do with the known fluctuations that works the seasons, like we see currently in Westeros and Essos. The magic can not be "hidden" from everybody else, it's there for the taking for those who know how to do it.

I think they are correct in their belief that magic is too dangerous, their methods are cruel but serve a higher purpose. The R'hllor maniacs and the Others are products of magic, they wield the magic of fire and ice respectively (that is my opinion) and they are not serving humanity. Magic is a source of power that no one person or group should wield, or civilization will continue as it is, with the game of politics and the war for the throne, only the horrors that come of it will be enhanced to a level that risks the entire world. I think that is what we are seeing at the moment in Westeros.

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In my view, the mæsters are probably (emphasis on "probably") doing the right thing. It's all about the balance of power.

Someone asked, why would learned mæsters want to destroy magic, since it is real and works in their world?

Consider, in our world, E=MC2 is real, and definitely works, but does that mean nuclear proliferation is a good thing?

Magic, and dragons in Westeros have the ability (theoretically) to destroy the world. If Aegon the Conqueror, for example, had been a raving lunatic, he could've (theoretically) obliterated humanity. Similarly, if a powerful sorcerer just so happens to be nuts (*cough* Bloodraven *cough*), mankind would be in serious trouble.

By destroying magic and dragons, the mæsters would be taking power out of the hands of individuals and placing it back into consensus.

You might ask, can't a crazy king do just as much damage as a psychopath with a dragon? And the answer is an emphatic "NO" (compare Aerys to Aegon, who was more dangerous?). No matter how powerful, or crazy, a single king or commander is, armies rely on teamwork and compromise to achieve success. There is a chain of command, and plenty of room for checks and balances to one man's power. That's not to say that armies don't do bad things, because they most certainly do, but no single man holds all the power; meaning, it is much easier to stop an army than a single individual. That might make you scratch your head for a minute, but it is true. Think about it. Even if a king doesn't do the right thing, there's at least a chance one of his generals, or commanders, or foot soldiers will (consider Ned's influence on King Robert, for example). Conversely, if Aegon the Conqueror and Balerion the Black Dread don't do the right thing, everyone is fucked.

To put it simply; what's more dangerous? A nation of many millions of people possessing a nuclear arsenal, or a single individual possessing one?

It is far less dangerous to be at the mercy of millions of people, than to be at the mercy of a single one. The more people are involved, the more the power is diluted.

But, on the flip side, there is also an elitist/Darwinian aspect to it as well. Magic (theoretically) can empower the weak. Even a slave like Moqorro has access to it. It is much like firepower in today's world. One small man with a gun has the ability to kill one large man with a sword. The Children of the Forest, for example, were able to combat the First Men and Andals, who were not only larger and stronger than they were, but also more technologically advanced, with magic. Destroying magic, therefore, would take power away from the "weak" and place it back into the hands of the "strong", i.e. brawn over brain. Magic, in that sense, has the potential to subvert "survival of the fittest".

But why would the learned mæsters want to do that (brawn over brain)? Because they're part of the club. They themselves are not "weak", nor do they serve the "weak". The mæsters serve the nobility, and the nobility wields power through physical strength and intimidation, therefore making the destruction of magic (i.e. a counter to physical strength and intimidation) in their interests.

However, it can also be said that the triumph of magic over technology is "brawn over brain", rather than the other way around. If magic has the ability to not only subvert strength, but also technological progress, the mæsters likely wouldn't view that as a good thing, given their profession.

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Brosbeforesnows

Excellent post!

I have to note that everybody having the power of magic, in my view, would be like everybody owning their own nuclear arsenal though :)

It is better that everyone have their fists, than everyone having guns... And ultimately it is better that no one have the gun.

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I had a theory, which may or may not be crazy, but here it goes:

We know:

-Maesters have an obsession with eradicating dragons.

-Dragons are powerful and dangerous.

-Dragons hard hard to tame.

-Dragon Eggs are rare, valuable, and can be hatched (which specific methods work we do not yet know)

-Euron Greyjoy is obsessed with dragons

-Euron Greyjoy left his post on the Shield Islands to head to Oldtown.

We suspect:

-According to the popular opinion the faceless man Jaqen H'ghar was the Alchemist in Old Town in the prologue of book three, and thusly assumed Pate's identitiy in Sam's last chapter. Jaqen (if it is indeed him) therefore is in posession of a secret key.

-Balon Greyjoy died quite suddenly, and some suggest Euron hired a FM to take him out to pave his way to kinghood.

Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, heres my theory:

The Citadel has a stash of something wich they need to keep under lock and key. It is so secretive that only the Archmaesters have a key to open it. I think that their great secret is a hidden cache of dragon eggs. They have probably hunted down all the dragon eggs they could get their hands on, so they could not be hatched. Euron, through his great travels has heard tales of this, and concocts a plan to raise a fleet of dragons. To do this he contacts the greatest assassins in the land: the Faceless Men. Therefore, Jaqen will pilfer the key (as he has), stay undercover until Euron arrives, and then give him the key. The result? Euron Greyjoy owns a bunch of eggs which he may be able to actually hatch.

Sorry the post is so long, and is sort of off topic, but I think it sort of applies here. Please discuss.

Its an interesting thought, Euron seems nothing if not calculating & clever and to promise taking over the whole of Westeros seem like he is playing the game with a stronger hand than he actually has.

Dragon binder horn + 1 dragon = Ironborn now a legit but still very beatable force

Dragon binder horn + army of dragons = Eurons dark shadow across the whole of everywhere!

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@Eira

Thanks!

Reading my post a second time, I see that I might have rambled on a bit, but I think I got the point across.

In regards to the Targs, I don't think there was any master plan to destroy the family, especially given the connection with Mæster Aemon... although it could explain why he was sent to the Wall. Because Aemon, at least, seemed to be quite enthusiastic about the reemergence of dragons in the world.

Although... that could help to explain why Aemon never mentioned Bloodraven to Jon or Sam. If he didn't approve of Bloodraven's sorcery, they may not have parted ways on the best of terms.

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So the maesters would be the opposites of the red priest then. They seem to value magic above everything so they can fight the Others

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Being the scholars that they are, i find it hard to accept that they consider some fields of research as crap. Magic works in their world, most of the maesters should be curious and eager to learn it, like Qyburn and Marwyn, the citadel even have chain links to award for such. Yes it's hard to control, but if they manage to do that they could do wonders.

I'd agree with your post if you didn't include Qyburn in the "curious and eager to learn" category. True, the man wants to learn, no doubt about it. That leaves out far too much though. Little boys who torture puppies are often eager to learn. Nazi scientists were eager to learn. One should not classify them with, say, today's university professors. It seems to me that you are doing this when you say, "...even have chain links to award for such."

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According to Marwyn, The Citidel will be sending someone to kill Dany and her dragons as soon as they learn of it because in the world they are building, magic has no place.

I think Lady Dustin speaking of Maesters being the true masters of some great house and lords was significant. I wonder what role they will play in the battle of with the Others? I see them plotting out matters of Empire to suit them or what they think is best but they seem as corrupted an organization as any others we've seen so maybe they aren't as smart as they think they are. By discounting magic and shunning it's use they could be endangering the Realm they mean to rule over.

And is it only me or does the fact the Qyburn mentions Marwyn kind of give you the creeps. I don't think they ever hung out ( hope not) but they do have similar areas of interest. I want Marwyn to be a good guy and help Dany.

Could Qyburn have been sent to Westeros (being chainless is a good cover story) and attached himself to a group associated with the Lannisters so that the Maesters of the Citadel could have a true inside man in KL? Maybe someone to watch Varys?

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