Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

For_The_Good_Of_The_Realm

Onto Valyria, again

Recommended Posts

Hello ! I have a few of questions regarding TWoIaF.

The Old Valyria is, beyond any doubts, one of the most intriguing places of the known world. Partly because of the event that is known as 'The Doom of Valyria'. Whether it was a volcanic erruption or some sort of magic or something else, remains unknown. I wonder if TWoIaF shed some light on this matter and provide a glimpse on what really happened there that day.

Another interesting thing that I recall seeing somewhere on the forum is the fact that Targaryens were not among the most powerful and noble houses of Valyrian Freehold. If so, will we get some information about the houses that held sway over the Valyrian lands ? Their names, coat of arms, words ?

I also wonder why only a few houses survived the Doom. The disastorous event destroyed the Valyrian peninsula, but the lands to the north were not affected. The thought that all those powerful dragonlord houses (and there were 40 of them, as far as I remember) resided at the capital city sounds a little.. awkward ? Perhaps, some explanations and details will emerge ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the dragonlords were discouraged from moving away from the capital to avoid them using their dragons to secede parts of the empire from the Valyrian Freehold in an attempt to make their own state.

The noble houses that weren't dragonlords survived as well as cadet branches of the dragonlord families in the Free Cities that didn't have dragons like the main branches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure the Volantese nobility of the tiger variety claims being decendants of lesser Valyrian houses (i.e. houses without dragons). We know the Targaryens had some dragonless client houses that followed them to Dragonstone. The Celtigars and the Velaryons seem to have been most important of theses, since they colonized islands close to Dragonstone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the dragonlords were discouraged from moving away from the capital to avoid them using their dragons to secede parts of the empire from the Valyrian Freehold in an attempt to make their own state.

The noble houses that weren't dragonlords survived as well as cadet branches of the dragonlord families in the Free Cities that didn't have dragons like the main branches.

Well, that's an interesting theory. But we know that the Freehold was not a kingdom and their power was shared between the most noble houses. Each one had his say in governance. So, I assume they were not strictly bound to the capital by some sort of pact.

Perhaps, the explanation is a lot easier. Maybe they did not want to leave the capital, assuming that it was a cultural and financial center of the empire. with all that it implies.

That's just another thought, however.

I'm sure the Volantese nobility of the tiger variety claims being decendants of lesser Valyrian houses (i.e. houses without dragons). We know the Targaryens had some dragonless client houses that followed them to Dragonstone. The Celtigars and the Velaryons seem to have been most important of theses, since they colonized islands close to Dragonstone.

Yes, I also thought about it. I'd really love to know more about the Volantese 'scions of the old blood' and what relations they have to the Freehold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another possibility is that their dragons nested in their natural habitats, the Fourteen Flames. That when not using them militarily, the dragons were returned to their "farms".

That would also explain why not even one of the dragons in the Peninsula survived the Doom. They were right on top of the volcanos when they blew up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another possibility is that their dragons nested in their natural habitats, the Fourteen Flames. That when not using them militarily, the dragons were returned to their "farms".

That would also explain why not even one of the dragons in the Peninsula survived the Doom. They were right on top of the volcanos when they blew up.

I like your explanation. It makes a lot of sense. However, wasn't it said that the fire can't kill a dragon ? Or was it just a common saying ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Euron has lead a crew to Valyria, and he survived. He even reaped wonderful spoils! They say the Doom still haunts Valyria, but I don't think it really does. All dragons and magic coupled with volcanic hotbeds eventually led to just a massive natural destruction obviously. From what I remember, all of the volcanoes went off and and fissures arose, swallowing up everyone and everything, including the dragons in the sky. But to the north of Valyria, there weren't any volcanoes, just mountains, so they would be kinda safe, no? The volcanic ash and lava eventually settled though, and it pollutes the sea. Maybe the volcanoes are still residually active, hence the heating of the sea as well?

If you and your crew are very well seasoned as well as tough with possible magic of your own (EURON), you could probably sail there and back if you're careful...

Personally, I'd wanna throw myself onto Euron and tell him to take me to Valyria...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that's an interesting theory. But we know that the Freehold was not a kingdom and their power was shared between the most noble houses. Each one had his say in governance. So, I assume they were not strictly bound to the capital by some sort of pact.

Perhaps, the explanation is a lot easier. Maybe they did not want to leave the capital, assuming that it was a cultural and financial center of the empire. with all that it implies.

That's just another thought, however.

The Freehold was a republic, but dragons are the ultimate weapons and only a few houses had them. By keeping the dragonlords in the Freehold one was able to check any military commanders in any of the colonies who might think of seceding knowing that they couldn't stand against the dragons of the Freehold. The Roman Republic had a few generals who tried to secede from Rome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what we know of Old Valyria, its civilization was closer to that of ancient Rome or Carthage than to medieval Europe. Thus, it would sense that the high nobility were rooted in the capital-if not by a ruling family's decree, then because the capital would have been the nodal point of the whole empire. Anything worth doing would have been done in the capital, and it wouldn't make sense in a highly centralized state (think of the legions, the roads, infrastructure, etc.) for members of the ruling elite to live out in the provinces. That's more typical of fragmented polities like the kingdoms of Westeros.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Freehold was a republic, but dragons are the ultimate weapons and only a few houses had them. By keeping the dragonlords in the Freehold one was able to check any military commanders in any of the colonies who might think of seceding knowing that they couldn't stand against the dragons of the Freehold. The Roman Republic had a few generals who tried to secede from Rome.

Still the Targs were able to go to Dragonstone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still the Targs were able to go to Dragonstone.

And they were the only ones who did. That's saying something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously, the Valyrian dragonlords did not want to leave Valyria. It was the center of the civilized world, so they saw no need. It's likely they spent their times in the field and in public service (if Valyria does resemble the Roman Republic then the members of the noble families would have served their terms as governors of the colonies and conquered provinces, i.e. in Volantis, Lys, Myr, Astapor, Meereen, and so on).

But Aenar Targaryen relocated his whole family from Valyria to Dragonstone permanently. This is why the Targaryen family dragons went with him.

Valyria was a Freehold in pretty much the same way Volantis still is. Power is collectively hold and shared by the aristocratic elite from whose members the Ruling Triarchs and other officials are elected. Whereas the main criteria for nobility in Volantis is whether or not you are descended from Valyrians, the criteria in Valyria would be different. My guess is that dragons and the ability to use and practice magic would be a deciding factor.

If the Doom of Valyria was caused by an intelligent faction (i.e. the Faceless Men), if it was not just a natural disaster, then it would make sense to assume that they would only move against the Valyrians when they had the chance to get rid of all of them. And getting rid of them means they had to destroy all their dragons. They could not get the Targaryens but they got all the other Dragonlords.

The nobility of Volantis seems to be descended of mid-level Valyrian aristocracy, or of cadet branches or the Valyrian Dragonlords who left Valyria for Volantis. They obviously took no dragons with them. Most likely because they were not allowed to do this, or they never had any dragons to begin with (if they were mid-level aristocrats they would have had none, I guess - surely having dragons was a deciding factor to join the Valyrian elite). Volantis only considered itself the center of the world after Valyria was taken by the Doom. But they had not the strength to back this claim. They had no dragons.

A last word on Aenar and Daenys the Dreamer:

There story pretty much resembles Cassandra foretelling the downfall of Troy. Aenar and his daughter most certainly tried to convince their fellow dragonlords to prepare for the inevitable. If Aenar was ridiculed for this whole thing it would make no sense that his fellow dragonlords would try to prevent his exodus to Dragonstone. It was a small island at the very end of the world. They could never hope to threaten the Valyrian Freehold with merely five dragons. But I guess the relocation of dragons into booming colony like Volantis or Lys, or into a province they had conquered (i.e. Ghiscar) would be considered to be much more dangerous. Finally, we have to consider the fact that Dragonstone is a volcanic island. Perhaps the explanation is simply that dragons naturally dwell in a volcanic habitat, and would not flourish for a longer period of time in any other habitat. That could explain why the Targaryen dragons did not flourish all that well in King's Landing. We know that the last Targaryen eggs hatched on Dragonstone, most likely near/within the Dragonmount, and it's not unlikely that Dragonstone continued to be the place where the dragons returned to mate and breed even after the Conquest.

If that was the case it's not impossible that the Valyrians tried to settle dragons in Volantis, Lys, Tyrosh, and Myr but stop trying after they realized that it didn't work. Those experiments would have taken place centuries or millennia before the Doom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×