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Francisco Araujo da Costa

Reading from The World of Ice and Fire

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I'm really curious about the unusual nature of Aegon's polygamous marriage, as well. Was it unusual for Valryians or unusual universally? Was polygamy usual in certain areas of Westeros and Aegon used polygamy as a way to bridge some sort of cultural gap? It always seemed strange that he didn't keep himself and his sisters available to be married for alliance building but it would make sense if he were doing it as a way of saying "Though I practice incest which is an abomination to your gods, I also practice something you do as well."

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I'm really curious about the unusual nature of Aegon's polygamous marriage, as well. Was it unusual for Valryians or unusual universally? Was polygamy usual in certain areas of Westeros and Aegon used polygamy as a way to bridge some sort of cultural gap? It always seemed strange that he didn't keep himself and his sisters available to be married for alliance building but it would make sense if he were doing it as a way of saying "Though I practice incest which is an abomination to your gods, I also practice something you do as well."

Seems he loved Rhaenys but customs forced him to marry Visenya. So he married them both

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Clearly army sizes were smaller back then. And yet, the North's army back then was massively larger than Robb's army today.

Torrhen had many months to raise his force. Robb did not. Torrhen wasn't worrying about harvests. Robb was.

The logical conclusion is clear.

It is. Torrhen Stark was the king of the last powerful independent kingdom and it was all or nothing. He had time to raise the largest possible force and had no earthly reason to hold back from an all-or-nothing effort, so he did. And then he surrendered when it was thoroughly outnumbered and outpositioned.

It's absolutely true armies were smaller. It is not true that 55,000 represented some sense of the maximum strength of the combined strength of the Reach and the Rock, given the already-stated details.

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I'm really curious about the unusual nature of Aegon's polygamous marriage, as well. Was it unusual for Valryians or unusual universally? Was polygamy usual in certain areas of Westeros and Aegon used polygamy as a way to bridge some sort of cultural gap? It always seemed strange that he didn't keep himself and his sisters available to be married for alliance building but it would make sense if he were doing it as a way of saying "Though I practice incest which is an abomination to your gods, I also practice something you do as well."

Doesn't Tze have an old thread about this? The polygamy as an attempt to intentionally fulfill a prophesy?

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Seems he loved Rhaenys but customs forced him to marry Visenya. So he married them both

Yes, but he could have just as easily have continued a relationship with Rhaenys without having done something 'unusual' like having a polygamous marriage. There's the possibility that it was jealousy or something or even prophecy like Rag mentions below. But it could be more.

Doesn't Tze have an old thread about this? The polygamy as an attempt to intentionally fulfill a prophesy?

I haven't read it. Do you happen to have an idea of the title to the thread? I used a few search options and couldn't find anything.

My curiosity is mostly because in the last day or two I've been in several threads where polygamy is discussed and I've pointed out that polygamy is practiced at least north of the wall and it's not something that is considered an affront to the Old Gods nor something that any northerners have negatively commented on. I've posited that it could be a First Man tradition. After all, many First Men traditions and the number of skirmishes and wars would imbalance the gender ratio making polygamy a natural practice to turn to. I think there may be a possibility that polygamy was a Northern tradition and appeasing the Northerners, a region known to have skinchangers, would have been something that Aegon and co would be invested in doing.

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Here's another post courtesy of LordBloodraven

King (later Lord) Ronnel Arryn did get his dragon ride; so that bit about Dany saying no dragon can have two riders; is there a loophole in that a dragon will allow another to ride it only if the true rider of the dragon is riding it at the same time being the one steering it and the other person being merely a passenger allowed by the rider?

Aegon had secretly visited places in Westeros in secret before conquering. Aegon's plan for conquest was years in the making. Figuratively speaking, he followed Ser Rodrik Cassel's advice "Know your foe." He gathered info on the strength of his foes, and the loyalty of their lords before he went to war.

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Yes, but he could have just as easily have continued a relationship with Rhaenys without having done something 'unusual' like having a polygamous marriage. There's the possibility that it was jealousy or something or even prophecy like Rag mentions below. But it could be more.

I haven't read it. Do you happen to have an idea of the title to the thread? I used a few search options and couldn't find anything.

My curiosity is mostly because in the last day or two I've been in several threads where polygamy is discussed and I've pointed out that polygamy is practiced at least north of the wall and it's not something that is considered an affront to the Old Gods nor something that any northerners have negatively commented on. I've posited that it could be a First Man tradition. After all, many First Men traditions and the number of skirmishes and wars would imbalance the gender ratio making polygamy a natural practice to turn to. I think there may be a possibility that polygamy was a Northern tradition and appeasing the Northerners, a region known to have skinchangers, would have been something that Aegon and co would be invested in doing.

Here it is Unrevealed Prophecies

Damn prescient if true...

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Interesting that Aegon chose to invade when Dorne was ruled by an 80-year-old and the Vale by a child. I doubt that was coincidental.

Here's another post courtesy of Lord Bloodraven

Two interesting parts there that I didn't see in the first write-up: first, that there was a literal storm during the battle in which Argilac the Arrogant died. Interesting connections there with the Targs' escape from Westeros: the last Storm King was killed by Orys Baratheon (with aid from Rhaenys Targaryen) during an actual storm, and Dany was born (and the last Targ queen died) during a storm. And Dany says the Dragonstone garrison was planning on turning the Targs over to the Baratheons, and the garrison of Storm's End actually did turn Argella over to Orys Baratheon.

Second, that Brandon Snow apparently tried to convince Torrhen Stark to let him sneak in and try to kill the dragons. If Brandon Snow was the youth Bran saw cutting three weirwood branches from the Winterfell heart tree, it would make a lot of sense. (And might also explain why Torrhen sent three maesters with him instead of a contingent of Northern lords: if Brandon was a kid, then perhaps Torrhen structured his envoy to be as absolutely nonthreatening as possible, on the assumption that there was no way for Aegon to harm or insult a contingent consisting of a kid and three maesters without looking like a giant asshole?)

Also, it's interesting that Aegon had to choose between heading south to get control of the Dornishmen and north to get control of the Northmen, and he chose the latter. Given the way history tends to repeat itself (just with a different outcome), who wants to bet that Dany lands, faces the same choice (Dorne or the North?) and does the opposite?

I'm really curious about the unusual nature of Aegon's polygamous marriage, as well.

It's also possible that Aegon made sure to marry Visenya because, honestly, he really really needed her help for his conquest to have a prayer of success, and he couldn't risk alienating her by just marrying Rhaenys, cause apparently Visenya was already a dragonrider when the marriage took place. Looking at these descriptions of Aegon's Conquest, it's striking to see how intrinsic Rhaenys/Visenya (and Orys) actually were to Aegon's success. Aegon apparently took no personal part in the physical conquest of the Vale, the Stormlands (outside of what would eventually become the Crownlands), or Dorne (he was going to go, but from this description, didn't actually go). Without the help of his sisters and bastard brother, Aegon might very easily have died Aegon the Pretender. There are heavy implications there for the attempted conquests of Dany and Aegon, and even for the future fate of the Starks (simply because the Starks seem like the only family left in Westeros capable of working in tandem the way the Targ family apparently did during the Conquest).

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Interesting that Aegon chose to invade when Dorne was ruled by an 80-year-old and the Vale by a child. I doubt that was coincidental.

Two interesting parts there that I didn't see in the first write-up: first, that there was a literal storm during the battle in which Argilac the Arrogant died. Interesting connections there with the Targs' escape from Westeros: the last Storm King was killed by Orys Baratheon (with aid from Rhaenys Targaryen) during an actual storm, and Dany was born (and the last Targ queen died) during a storm. And Dany says the Dragonstone garrison was planning on turning the Targs over to the Baratheons, and the garrison of Storm's End actually did turn Argella over to Orys Baratheon.

Second, that Brandon Snow apparently tried to convince Torrhen Stark to let him sneak in and try to kill the dragons. If Brandon Snow was the youth Bran saw cutting three weirwood branches from the Winterfell heart tree, it would make a lot of sense. (And might also explain why Torrhen sent three maesters with him instead of a contingent of Northern lords: if Brandon was a kid, then perhaps Torrhen structured his envoy to be as absolutely nonthreatening as possible, on the assumption that there was no way for Aegon to harm or insult a contingent consisting of a kid and three maesters without looking like a giant asshole?)

It's also possible that Aegon made sure to marry Visenya because, honestly, he really really needed her help for his conquest to have a prayer of success, and he couldn't risk alienating her by just marrying Rhaenys, cause apparently Visenya was already a dragonrider when the marriage took place. Looking at these descriptions of Aegon's Conquest, it's striking to see how intrinsic Rhaenys/Visenya (and Orys) actually were to Aegon's success. Aegon apparently took no personal part in the physical conquest of the Vale, the Stormlands (outside of what would eventually become the Crownlands), or Dorne (he was going to go, but from this description, didn't actually go). Without the help of his sisters and bastard brother, Aegon might very easily have died Aegon the Pretender. There are heavy implications there for the attempted conquests of Dany and Aegon, and even for the future fate of the Starks (simply because the Starks seem like the only family left in Westeros capable of working in tandem the way the Targ family apparently did during the Conquest).

I think the Maesters and the Starks together conspired to kill the dragons. Seems odd that the Maesters went with Brandon Snow (who wanted to kill the dragons )and later it turns out that the maesters were the ones who killed off the dragons.

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I'm really curious about the unusual nature of Aegon's polygamous marriage, as well.

I'd also add that Aegon probably wanted to keep the dragons in the Targaryen family. If Visenya married someone else, let's say one of the new lords paramount, than that family might someday challenge the Targaryens for control of the Iron Throne.

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I think the Maesters and the Starks together conspired to kill the dragons. Seems odd that the Maesters went with Brandon Snow (who wanted to kill the dragons )and later it turns out that the maesters were the ones who killed off the dragons.

That is a very interesting thought....either that of the Maesters did it by themselves.

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My notes from GRRM's reading and Q&A from yesterday:

Before the reading he talked about all the things he has going on. There is a new Wild Card book in the works as well as an "Old Mars" anthology. The latter will contain stories about Mars with the canals and Martians and such. He also talked about the ASoIaF Map book and the perils therein. He was initially told he wouldn't have to do any work on it but when the maps were blown up there was too much open space that needed to be filled. He also had to "head East" and create some terrain as well as cities. He indicated that it goes Far East but not to the Uttermost East. He imagined he would hear complaints about that.

Lastly he talked about the Worldbook that he has been working on with Elio and Linda. He's always wanted to explore the history of the world but it can't always come up in the narrative of the books, such as Littlefinger's interest of Aegon II's trade policy. This book can fix that and he has Elio and Linda who know more about Westeros as anyone. The Worldbook will be told by different maesters and will reflect their personality. Info that would be major spoilerish will be someone how blocked out. Something like a large ink stain covering up the events at Summerhall. With that, explaining that he doesn't want to read too many chapters from Winds, he had something else and we would be the first people to hear it. Or not...

-----

The History of Aegon's Conquest

The history begins by explaining that there is controversy about the beginning of Aegon's reign. The years before are slated as BC= Before Conquest and the ones after are AC= After Conquest. However, there is a 2 year span from when Aegon landed in Westeros at the Blackwater and when he was crowned in Oldtown by the High Septon. Debate continues as to when the new calendar should begin.

In Valyria, there were two great houses that contested for power. House Targaryen, however, was not considered a powerful house. Daenerys the Dreamer, the daughter of the head of House Targaryen, foresaw the Doom and convinced her father to leave Valyria. Her father, Aenar, took his family to Dragonstone along with 5 dragons. In Valyria, this was seen as weakness. The Doom happened 12 years after Aenar left for Dragonstone.

The Targaryens ruled Dragonstone for the next 100 years, which were called the Years of Blood.. 4 of the dragons died on Dragonstone leaving only Balerion. However two eggs hatched and Vhagar and Meraxes were born. "Gaimon" the Glorious ruled after Aenar and was followed by Maegon, Aerys, Ailex and Aerion. In 27 BC, Aegon the Conqueror was born. He later married both his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys. This was considered unusual although there was precedent for it. The histories often said that Aegon had never stepped foot on Westeros before the Landing but there is evidence that he traveled to the south and may have even visited Lannisport.

Around that time there had been wars in the Riverlands and the Reach. The two most belligerent rulers were Black Harren, ruler of the Iron isles and Argilac the Arrogant. Harren was nearing completion of his vast castle and was said to be looking for more conquests. Argilac had grown afraid of Harren and so proposed an alliance with Aegon. It is believed he wanted to create a buffer zone between him and Harren. He offered the hand of his daughter in marriage as well as dowry lands. However, many of those lands were in fact in the possession of Harren the Black. Aegon refused and instead offered the hand of his best friend and bastard brother, Orys Baratheon. Argilac took this as a grave insult and had the hands of the envoy cut off. He sent them to Aegon with a message of "These are the only hands you will receive". Aegon called his banners and took counsel with them and his sisters. When they were done ravens flew to every ruler in the 7 Kingdoms. He informed them that "There will be only one king" and that those who bent the knee would keep their lands and titles. But those that did not he would destroy.

The size of the force that departed Dragonstone is belived to have been 3,000. Others believe it could have only a few hundred. They landed at the Blackwater, a place where a hundred kings of old had lain claim to. No kings ruled from there now, only a few petty lords lived nearby who were ruled by Harren and they loved him little. Aegon sent his sisters to nearby Rosby and Stokeworth and the castles surrendered without bloodshed. Darklyn of Duskendale and Mooton of Maidenpool did fight. Orys led the army while Aegon rode Balerion high in the sky. They won an easy victory.

Aegon's eldest sister was a warrior more comfortable in ringmail than in silk. She wielded a Valyrian steel sword called Dark Sister. She was described as having a harsh beauty and was reputed to have dabbled in sorcery. His younger sister Rhaenys was all that Visenya was not. Playful and curious, interested in music and poetry. However, she loved to ride her dragon Meraxes and spent twice as much time riding than her siblings. She surrounded herself with comely young men and there were whispers that she entertained men while Aegon was with Visenya. Yet Aegon spent ten nights with Rhaenys for every one with Visenya.

Aegon himself was seen as an enigma. He was a solitary person whose only friend was Orys. He was a great warrior who wielded a sword called Blackfire but only rode his dragon for battle or travel and never entered tourneys, He remained faithful to his sisters and left governance in their hands and only took command when necessary . While he was harsh with those who defied him, he was generous to those that bent the knee.

After the Landing, a wooden motte and bailey was built on one of the hills overlooking the Blackwater. He named Daemon Velaryon Master of Ships, Tristan Massey Master of Laws, and a Celtigar as Master of Coin (Thank you Boiled Leather for remembering that for me!). Orys Barathon he called "My shield, my stalwart, my strong right hand" and Orys became the first Hand of the King. Visenya would crown Aegon and Rhaenys hailed him as king. The lords and knights cheered him but the small folk cheered the loudest.

In the Seven Kingdoms, the kings raised their banners and made alliances. Dorne would offer an alliance to the Targaryens but only as equals. Little King Ronnel Arryn also offered an alliance. Aegon did not reply to either. All waited to see where the Targaryens would march. Daemon Veraryon would lead the fleet north and were met in battle by the Arryns. He would die in battle. (This portion was like a fog of war, so much info that it was hard to write it all down. I know I missed some). Orys Baratheon would be battered in battle. Aegon and Balerion burned Harren's sons in their longships and they would all die. Rebellions began to spring up. The Sistermen rebelled, followed by then by Riverlords. Edmyn Tully of Riverrun led his forces to Aegon and other greater houses followed: Mallisters, Brackens, Blackwoods, Freys among others. They all marched to Harrenhall and it was besieged. The walls were enormous and it was to have an unlimited supply of water and vast stores of provisions.

Aegon arrived and proposed a parley with Harren. Maesters were present and recorded the conversation.

Aegon:" Yield now and I will name you Lord of the Iron Isles. I have 8,000 men here"

Harren: "What are 8,000 men? I have walls!"

Aegon: "I have dragons."

Harren: "Stone will not burn"

Aegon: "At nightfall, your line will end"

Harren offered a vast reward to the man who slew the dragon. Aegon climbed onto Balerion and flew high into the sky. He descended with great speed and landed behind the walls. Balerion unleashed his fire. Stone may not burn but wood, thatch, and MEN did. Stone did crack, though, and the great towers soon looked like candles. Harren and his line did indeed end. Swords, blackened and bent were sent by cartloads to the Landing.

While Harren's men had rebelled, Argilac's men stayed loyal. He would vow that he would not die in his castle like a suckling pig with an apple in his mouth, but in battle. He led his army out into the field. Visenya scouted from the sky and informed Orys of Argilac's movements. As the armies drew close, a great storm came upon them. His men advised him to wait but he had the advantage of two to one and the rain was blowing into the faces of the Targaryens. Argilac advanced and began the Battle of the Last Storm. Argilac's knights charged but were slowed by the mud. They finally broke though but faced Visenya on Meraxes. The dragon was just as deadly on the ground as in the air. In the confusion, Argilac was thrown from his horse and found himself face to face with Orys Baratheon. Both took a wound but soon Argilac would get his wish and would die in battle. His death would signify the end of the battle.

At Storm's End, Argilac's daughter Argella would declared herself Storm Queen and defiantly barred the gates. However, her men were not so eager to die and presented her to Orys chained and naked. Orys treated her gently. He removed the chains and gave her his cloak as well as food and wine. He would take her House words and later marry her.

In the Vale, Queen Sharra Arryn plotted her next move, She was said to be beautiful and sent her portrait to Aegon with talks of marriage. Her only demand was that her son Ronnel would be named Aegon's heir. Aegon did not reply. King Torrhen Stark also called his banners.

King Meryn Gardener and King Lorren Lannister assembled a huge army of 55,000 and marched towards Aegon. The three dragons gathered at Stoney Sept. The allies had 5 times as many men as Aegon did, including many more lords and knights. Meryn Gardener commanded the most men so he demanded command of the vanguard. Jon Wooten Mooten of Maidenpool, the first lord to come over, was given command of the Targaryen army. The narrative comments more than once that the field was quite dry that day. The allies charged and started to break the Targaryen lines. The dragons took to the air and began to set the field aflame on all sides, especially downwind of the allies while Wooten was upwind. Of the allies, 4,000 died in the fire while 10,000 men suffered burns. Other thousands suffered wounds. Of the Targaryens less than 100 were lost while Visenya took an arrow to the shoulder. King Meryn of Highgarden and his sons died in the battle but King Lorren Lannister escaped. He was caught the next day and so bent the knee. Aegon kept his promise and raised Lorren up and named him Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West. Aegon flew to Highgarden and the castle was surrended by Steward Harlen Tyrell. Aegon named him Lord of the Reach and Warden of the South. They began to journey to Oldtown when news came from the North.

Torrhen Stark had raised a large army and had crossed the Neck. Aegon marched with an army half half again the size. The Starks waited at Moat Cailin and took counsel. Torrhen's bastard brother, Brandon Snow, offered to sneak into the Targaryen camp and kill the three dragons. Instead, Torrhen sent three maesters to meet Aegon across the Trident. Torrhen would bend the knee and would be forever nown as "The King Who Knelt".

The siblings would split up with Visenya flying to the Vale. She would land in the Eyrie's inner courtyard. Queen Sharra would come out to find her son Ronnel with Visenya and he would ask her, "Mother, can I go fly with the lady?" Sharra would yield and Ronnel would get to fly with the lady twice.

Rhaneys would journey to Dorne but would find keep after keep empty except for women and children. When asked where the men went, the Dornish would just reply "away". She would finally journey to Sunspear and would only find the Princess of Dorne, Mirram Martell. She was 80, fat, blind, and almost bald. Argilac the Arrogant would call her the "Yellow Toad of Dorne". Mirram would tell Rhaenys that she would not fight nor kneel. She told her to leave and return at her peril. Rhaenys warned that if she left, she would return with fire and blood. Mirram answered with words of House Martell.

Aegon had gone to the greatest city in Westeros, Oldtown. There the High Septon resided. He prayed for seven days and was answered by the Crone. He was warned that if they fought, Oldtown would fall. The ruler of Oldtown, Banfred Hightower, was a cautious man. He listened to the High Septon and soon Oldtown yielded. In the Starry Sept, Aegon was annointed in oil and proclaimed Aegon, First of His Name, King of the First Men, the Andals, and the Rhoynar. Because the maesters were there at the coronation, this date is considered the correct date. Many thought that Aegon would choose Oldtown as his capitol or perhaps Dragonstone. He surprised them by choosing his small fort as his new capitol, King's Landing. And from there he would rule from an uncomfortable seat called the Iron Throne.

-------

GRRM stated that there will be different narratives in the Worldbook. He mentioned a dwarf jester of Viserys I named Mushroom who was around for some mayhem. There will also be a septon who will angrily refute many of Mushroom's wild claims. "Poison!? He didn't die of poison, he died in his sleep!"

In the Q&A he said he's not sure if he will expand the history of ASoIaF once the books are complete. He's not sure what he will want to do by then.

He said that LOVES to write about Arya's adventures in Braavos. He said he could write whole novels about it. That received a huge applause until he joked that maybe he could put off Winds to do so.

He WILL collect the stories of Dunk and Egg into one book. I then asked if the story of Maekar's death (Egg's father) against an outlaw lord would be found in the Worldbook. He replied no, that will eventually make it into the Dunk and Egg stories. In the Worldbook the story of Maekar's death would be a SPOILER!!!

He doesn't think there is enough material to make a book with all the songs from the novels.

And no, LF will not ever be a POV.

Edit: corrected size of Aegon's forces against Torrhen Stark, Thanks, Ran! Also corrected name of Jon Mooten. Thanks, Hairy Bear!

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Thanks, Trebla! My one little correction is that Aegon had half again Torrhen's force, not half (so 45k again 30k :)

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On the Lannister-Gardener-army-thing:

My guess is we should assume that during the time of eternal war between the Seven Kingdoms even the fertile Reach and the prosperous West could not feed as many men as they could later, during the peace and plenty times of the Targaryen rule (especially the reigns of Jaehaerys I and Viserys I should have greatly increased the population in the South).

In a united Realm, it's much more easier to buy food in the South. But back in the Seven Kingdoms Harren Hoare or Ronnel Arryn would have little reason to support Argilac or the North during winter.

Since the North most likely was rather seldom attacked by the Southern Kingdoms (there was war with the Arryns oder the Sisters, but that seems to have been the major issue), and since the Northerners have learned to live with winter, its actually not that unlikely that back then they were much more powerful than during later years.

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Thanks,OP!

One interesting bit - how would Brandon know the way to kill the dragons? Where that in-knowledge came from? We know Brandon Snow was right,the only way to kill dragon,instantly,therefore effectively,was to use arrows. (Poison takes a lot of time,it weakens them which ulitimately leads them to death)

Oh,there is more sorcery to North :D

Ran,can you confirm as to the spelling - Durrendon?

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An extremely detailed report from the reading.

Includes the name of Argilac's house and his daughter, the names of the Targaryens preceding Aegon and much of the detail of the Conquest and how it unfolded.

Now it's out in the wild (from that and other reports, being reported through Tower of the Hand and other sites), I guess it's okay to talk about that stuff?

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Thanks,OP!

One interesting bit - how would Brandon know the way to kill the dragons? Where that in-knowledge came from? We know Brandon Snow was right,the only way to kill dragon,instantly,therefore effectively,was to use arrows. (Poison takes a lot of time,it weakens them which ulitimately leads them to death)

Oh,there is more sorcery to North :D

Ran,can you confirm as to the spelling - Durrendon?

It has been thrown out that Brandon Snow was the one Bran saw in ADWD fletching arrows from Winterfell's heart tree. ^_^

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Many thanks for posting this!!!

I like the part about how the Vale submitted. I personally had envisioned a very similar scene with Tyrion riding a dragon to the Vale and announcing to Robert, "I have returned as you requested!"

Robert: "Huh?"

Tyrion: "You said you wanted to see me fly." And Robert eventually gets a dragon ride with Tyrion. Does anyone else think history will repeat itself?

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"12 years before the Doom of Valyria, Aenar (Aenar the Exile) Targaryen relocated his family to Dragonstone.

His daughter, Daenys the Dreamer, foresaw the Doom by fire."

Dammit! The "targaryen special race" feeling is back. I hoped a little history would shake dany for good but no. Oh well......

Would have never suspected House Celtigar would be that important wow. Nothing says if Velaryons were here before the targs....

The whole start of the Conquest is a big lol moment.

ETA: Don't bother, I didn't notice a thread chatting about that.

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