The Ravenry: Week of 8/17/2015

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Salutations, lovelies!

As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages).  Even more excitingly, a little while back we here at the blog partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, myself and SomethingLikeaLawyer – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

So every Monday we present to you The Ravenry.  We collect the questions we’ve answered during the previous week over on the Tumblr in post form, with a brief description of each, and publish it here, and link that post on Twitter and Facebook as well. Your beloved Queen Regent has returned to her rightful place on the Tumblr Iron Throne, dispensing wisdom from the high seat built of melted gifs and hashtags.  Of course, our fearless Hand has sat the throne as well, despite also writing several thousand wonderful words on the Young Dragon, the Septon-King, and the Thankless King. (Expose your eyeballs to those Wednesday!)

Here’s The Ravenry for the week of August 17, 2015:

As always, we love to hear your text-based questions, so if you have a burning question about ASOIAF, click this link to send us a raven. The more specific the question, the better text-based answer we can write, although we do our best to answer them all.

Love you lots,

Nfriel

17 Comments

Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF Character Analysis, ASOIAF History, ASOIAF Meta, Ravenry

17 responses to “The Ravenry: Week of 8/17/2015

  1. anne

    I don’t think Daemon had Laenor killed, if he did there’s no way Rhaenys and Corlys would have let it slide if they had even a tiny hint that it was him.

  2. KrimzonStriker

    Seriously, I think I might be the ONLY person who liked Daemon. First off, Otto Hightower DID argue for Rhaenerya prior to Viserys marriage to Alicent, in order to prevent Daemon from being named to the throne. Daemon plotted his -grand-nephews murder after his other grand-nephew and stepson/intended son-in-law Lucerys was also murdered while acting as an emissary. And Daemon did have just cause (AND official sanction from the Iron Throne I might add) to go to war for the Stepstones because of the extortion and outright piracy by the Three Daughters, AND he was a brutal police officer for a brutal area that in the end DID see a reduction of crime and greater efficiency from King’s Landing’s police force. And for Gods sakes we link Daemon with every conspiracy but no ones actually provided definite proof for Laenor (who had a perfectly plausible death I might add) or any of the others.

    • somethinglikealawyer

      No. There is no excusing little Jaehaerys’s murder. There is no free pass to do wrong to another, completely unrelated child because of something that Aemond Targaryen did. That right there, just that, is enough to cement Daemon Targaryen as a terrible person. Murdering a child in front of their equally young siblings, all of whom are too young to even understand what the war is even about? Holding Jaehaerys accountable for the actions of Aemond is the thing a terrible person does. There’s no mitigating factor here…holding a completely uninvolved person responsible is the mark of a brutal thug, not a decent human being.

      As for Qarl, the ‘perfectly plausible’ death is anything but. Why does Qarl disappear from view entirely? Where did he go? This was in Spicetown, i.e. a town that the Velaryons controlled. According to the official story, a quarrel broke out between Laenor and Qarl, so it’s held as a crime of passion. To escape from a Velaryon-controlled island after committing a homicide in front of many, many onlookers at a fair? If it was a crime of passion, he wouldn’t have had an escape plan, and he certainly would have been hard-pressed to find a way off Driftmark before any man wishing to curry favor from the richest man in Westeros could find him. The official story has too many holes, and Daemon is the only candidate put forward by the text to have means, motive, opportunity, and resolve to do such a thing.

      The Rogue Prince explicitly states that Daemon went to war with the Stepstones first, and Viserys provided him support after the fact.

      As for his tenure as Goldcloak commander, I wonder exactly how he managed it. I don’t exactly know what his ‘dark reputation,’ entails, but I’m not willing to believe that all he did was reduce crime to severe beatings. That wouldn’t have given him a dark reputation in the potshops.

      • KrimzonStriker

        I never said that I necessarily AGREED with the decision, only measuring it against the entire Hightower faction which was the original question, so it’s not baby Jahearys being measured here, it’s his entire family. I bring bring up the point about Lucerys because however bad his actions were Daemon DOES have certain limits he abides by in his own twisted sense of honor, like not murdering the entire family when he was in prime position to do so, or enacting similar retaliation again when his other stepson Jacerys went into the grave in actual battle, which Aemond breached .

        Spice town was bustling/busy by that point, and Laenor clearly took no guards with him, which is odd for the son and heir of that places lordship and suggests a more informal/anonymous entry on his and Qarl’s part. Between a sudden murder and a bustling crowd with a LOT of merchant galleys to be smuggled off from, there’s plenty of opportunity provided for an individual to make his escape that don’t involve third party conspiracies. Qarl himself had been Laenor’s lover for years after Joffery’s death, with a very comfy position versus becoming a wanted outlaw for a one time payment that I’m curious how Daemon would have paid for given he has no title/lands/income of his own. If this was some new guy then maybe I would give it a bit more credit, but Qarl was there for years and if he was really in Daemon’s pocket why didn’t he try it sooner? The motive/timing just feels weird to me and once again we don’t have definitive proof one way or the other so just labeling Daemon the culprit is simply premature.

        Gelding the rapists, cutting limbs, and getting into several fatal brawls for his opponents sounds like something to build a dark reputation upon which were stated in the Rogue Prince I believe. And I never said he wasn’t HARSH in his executions as commander of the Gold Cloaks. but where did it say he reduced crime to severe beatings? The way it was worded it was talking about overall crime percentage not necessarily degree.

      • somethinglikealawyer

        The question was why was Daemon held so much worse than the Hightower faction, which I was outlining that Daemon was, pretty much an awful human being.

        If Daemon had taken Aemond to tack on his taking out of Lucerys, I wouldn’t have batted an eye, but Daemon specifically made sure that uninvolved people were punished for the crime. Even if we think that Haelana was an adult and possibly complicit in the matter (she wasn’t, and it’s far-fetched given her personality that Daemon would jump to such a conclusion, but Daenerys believes she can’t get bloody flux either), there’s absolutely no reason to kill Jaehaerys or Maelor except to make Aegon suffer. Lucerys was not a combatant, but he was still a dragonrider and still an adult. There’s no military advantage to taking out Jaehaerys or Maelor, it’s just Daemon twisting the knife.

        See, here’s where I disagree about the Spicetown fair. There had to be watchmen (to prevent theft/drunken brawls as is typical of fairs) and yet none of them were able to catch him? No peasant able to identify where he went? He was able to escape without a trace? All on a crime of passion? No, that beggars belief far too much. Correy had help. There’s no way he’s getting away from that scot-free and disappearing off the face of Westeros entirely without help. And Daemon is the only person we’re given as a possible suspect for the conspirator.

        As for the crimes, that’s a typo on my part. I meant to right he reduced crimes ‘by’ severe beatings. Given that most of the Watch are equipped with cudgels, petty crime probably comes with punitive thrashings. That’s my mistake.

      • KrimzonStriker

        And I’m going to politely disagree. If you want to stack one person’s crimes against an entire factions which Aemond by himself could possibly match given his scorched earth policy of helpless villages in the Riverlands. And for all of Daemons sins I personally respect him more because he did have his own sense of honor that he lived and ultimately died by.

        All of which speaks to a very twisted interpretation of honor/revenge. Nothing Daemon ultimately did was not a response in turn after being provoked in his eyes. And there was plenty of strategic reasoning behind the targeting, the boy was Aegon II’ s heir, it would have undermined the succession the same way Aemond did. Does Aegon II hold back when threatening to cut his nephews ear off in a pointless shout of defiance at the end of the war? But ultimately it had to be a son in Daemons eyes, and however disagreeable that demand may be he also never looked for anything more.

        Watchmen have always been overtaxed looking over something as big as fairs, that’s why crime happens at fairs. And people did try to stop Qarl but they didn’t have weapons and were injured as a result. Spicetown itself is a big, bustling port town by now, it’s not like Qarl is confined to just the fair grounds to escape and not also the back alleys which he knew of given his time in the gambling dens. As he and Laenor anonymously entered the fair so to does Qarl have the necessary covering to escape it and avoid detection. As I said, timing and motive from a person who was Laenors lover for years, and still with a poor purse during all that time, leads me to question it and however opportune for Daemon no one has definite proof while all circumstancial indications have alternative explanations.

        I forgot to address this regarding the Stepstones but that’s neither here nor there, because it doesn’t dispute my points regarding the abuses by the Three Daughters over the Stepstones when Daemon began his campaign, and regardless of when he got sanction he ultimately did get it along with acknowledgment of his title.

        As I said then, however harsh Daemon can be there’s no question he can also be effective.

      • somethinglikealawyer

        Well, heck, I never said he wasn’t effective, merely that he was a pretty awful human being.

        As for Daemon doing things without being provoked, I disagree. His provocation on the Stepstones was clearly because he was so miffed at being passed over for heir. He wanted a crown, that’s it.

        As for killing Jaehaerys being strategic, I strongly disagree. Jaehaerys was six, too young for a marriage. If he had such intrigue superiority, he could have gone for Aemond. He didn’t, because killing a kid for revenge satisfied him. That’s nothing but the mark of a cruel man, not a man with twisted honor.

        As for Qarl, I point again to his disappearance. No way he gets off Driftmark without help. And the watch being taxed I don’t buy. For a sudden crime of passion to be so successful at the seat of Velaryon power, with Corlys as rich as he is, no, someone powerful helped out in some fashion.

      • KrimzonStriker

        We’re stacking him up against the Hightowers though, and my main point about his Goldcloak effectiveness is that he balanced out his brutal application of the law with an overall benefit for Kings Landing itself.

        Being passed over as heir isn’t not a provocation. Given his support of his brother and that his brother specifically overturned the precedent that put him on the throne in the first place just to deny making Daemon his heir, which I should add he put off for several years even before the one-day Prince joke by Daemon.

        And whatever Daemons reasons that still doesn’t change that he had justification to wage the war in the first place. I’m pretty sure Justinian didn’t care all that much about the deposed monarchs he was fighting for so much as his dream to reunify the Roman Empire.

        Which he would remedy in personal combat against Aemond, call Daemon what you will but he was never a coward, murdering children just because he can. I once again point to how none of Aegon II’s other brood got the same treatment if that was all Daemon truly cared about doing. And marriage thing isn’t really the issue, but instead mucking up the succession. Even Steven in Daemons mind, I might not agree with it but given everything else in Game of Thrones, including the murder of children, I can at least say Daemon HAS a code that restrains his brutality.

        If they’d been genuinely aware of what happened and who it happened too I might concede that point, but just as I’ve leaned heavily on Laenor and Qarl arriving anonymously to the fair we must also use that consideration in any immediate response to capture Qarl afterwards. If they don’t immediately know Laenor was the one killed then there’s a definite window between how much of and how soon the Velaryons dedicate their full authority to near and lock the town down before Qarl can hop on a boat and get out.

      • somethinglikealawyer

        Now that I’m actually back at my computer, and I can read this comment in its entirety without scrolling and losing my progress on my tiny mobile phone, I can actually address it.

        Stacking him up against the Hightowers, though, we see that he’s done all the awful things that they have. Like Otto, he was greedy and grasping, attempting to steal Runestone from the Royces. Like Aemond, he murdered a non-combatant and set fields on fire to deprive rebels of foodstuffs and peasantry. Like Aegon the Elder, he could be gratuitously cruel, making Haelana watch as her son was murdered.

        The thing is with the provocation, is that nowhere were the Stepstones involved in that provocation. He was bitter and angry at Viserys (who I do criticize for ignoring the legal precedent of the Great Councils), but it was Daemon who made the decision to just attack the Stepstones. He was the one who initiated the meeting with the Sea Snake, so it was his idea, not Corlys (who might have brought up the trade hardships). He was angry and wanted a crown of his own, so he attacked to take one. That’s not bound by any legal or honor code. When Daemon is denied something that he believes is his, he takes it by any means necessary. And the justification absolutely matters when it comes to judging the type of person that they are. If someone were to kill a man because he doesn’t like his face, that first man is a not an ethical type. If it turns out his victim was a serial child-murderer about to kill again, it does not change the characterization of the first man. The why is just as important as the what, when it comes to ethics.

        As for mucking up the succession, Maelor is still alive, and by rights the heir to Aegon II. If Daemon’s true desire was to hurt the succession, he would have either taken them both out, or abducted one of the boys and slain the other. He had Jaehaerys killed to twist the knife against his hated nephew, no more. And saying that at least Daemon couldn’t have been worse isn’t a very compelling argument. After all, Jace Velaryon and Daeron the Daring both lost young family members, and both decided to settle things on the field, against adults and rational actors, rather than Daemon’s thuggish murder of a young boy. He gets no free pass here.

        And heck, Aegon II wasn’t a coward either. Both engagements he was present for, he fought.

        As for Qarl, I’m sorry, but Laenor Velaryon was heir to Driftmark. Even if he wore a helmet to conceal himself, the second someone takes that helmet off (which they almost certainly would in the event of a murder), he’s recognizable to everyone. There’s no way people can’t recognize the heir to the island, especially one as scandal-touched as Laenor. We can’t use it in consideration because Laenor is just too well-known around those parts, and a good part of maintaining anonymity is being able to get people not to look too closely, which Laenor can’t do, being dead.

      • KrimzonStriker

        So, barring that his previous inheritance of Dragonstone was taken/denied him I’m not going to judge the Runestone attempt because then we’d have to dissect the failures of his marriage, which really wouldn’t be fair since we only have bits and pieces with each blaming the other, but that being said a divorce lawyer would probably call it alimony for a long suffering husband who probably did try initially if for no other reason then to get a son and heir, and who was previously willing to forgo said lands and titles near the beginning of their marriage when he requested an annulment from his brother and didn’t get it, having to endure their barren union for around half his life at the time. Also, Daemon set what now on fire? I’m skimming through Princess and the Queen again and I so far I’ve got that he took Harrenhal and gathered lords, abandoned Harrenhal to take King’s Landing, then went hunting for Aemond, I’m not reading about any burnt villages except the ones he and Nettle found by Aemond so you’ll need to give my a quote here. And I’m going to assert regarding Heleana that Blood and Cheese were certainly cruel and wily enough to interpret their directive from Daemon in their own fashion. But in any event, my point stands, where the Hightowes initiate Daemon can always at least fall back on the fact that he was retaliating in turn.

        And just HOW many people does that description fit exactly? How many other people, in both the real world and ASOIAF, have done exactly that and worse for their own ambition WITHOUT having been directly provoked the way Daemon was? And for Daemon being denied what he thought was rightfully his despite his service to his brother IS a violation of the honor code he abides by along with the feudal code Westeros operates on if I recall correctly. If Daemon was as capricious as you’re making him out to be he wouldn’t have bothered with a target that would have given him any justification in the first place then. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to say he wasn’t primarily motivated by self-interest, but I’m also not going to insult his intelligence in how and why he picked his target. Thus your example is out of context because in this case Daemon specifically went looking for a serial-killer so he could shoot them and get a nice bounty for it. It’s self-motivated but it’s not illegal or irrational and provides a net-benefit for everyone.

        And that’s my point as well, yet he wanted to hurt the succession but only in so far as he felt it was in equal measure for the damage the greens did to the blacks. Thus his RESTRAINT in lieu of expediency like similar child killers such as oh, Tywin Lannister, leads me to believe he does have certain boundaries he abides by, which is a net plus in an otherwise awful setting, hence why I bring up how he could have done FAR worse if he was the monster everyone wants to make him out to be, considering the world they all live in. Look, I’m not going to say one bad act necessarily justifies the other, and that I once again disagree with the decision, at least in so far as I think he should have kidnapped the children instead and used them as hostages, balancing out practical and moral considerations. But that’s not my point, my point is that he answered in what he felt was equal measure, and there’s at least an underlying if frightening fairness in his eye for an eye mentality I can at least understand it even as I don’t agree with it in all cases.

        I wasn’t calling anyone a coward, I’m merely pointing out that child mortality isn’t something that’s necessarily sacred, look at Hostage taking as an example, but in this case with Aegon II regarding his threat against Aegon III, he did what the green’s have done since the beginning, once again initiating and needlessly provoking conflict, and this time in a futile gesture.

        I’m going to disagree there precisely because of his tastes, however well-known his affairs may have been even he could never put them into actual practice without some discretion. Plus Laenor never struck me as a guy who took his responsibilities seriously, so neglecting to meet or getting to know his people would be quite common for a person of his station and such a personality. Engaging in jaunts unguarded and anonymous (and a hood would work just as well or better then a helment just fyi) only reinforces that image of a a frivolous and spoiled lord who indulged in the benefits of his titles without paying attention to its duties, and it’s not as if there aren’t silver-haired commoners on Driftmarks given the Dragonseeds. Certainly identification has been a problem for a LOT of characters in this series wouldn’t you agree?

      • somethinglikealawyer

        No, we really don’t need to worry about the particulars of the Royce marriage, we just need to look at inheritance laws. Daemon isn’t eligible to inherit Runestone, only a child through Rhea Royce is. Like a child, he throws a temper tantrum and tries to take what isn’t his, and he’ll be damned if lets something as silly as inheritance laws stand in his way. Daemon didn’t have that child, but he wanted Runestone anyway. Just like everything else he does, he gets slighted and feels it’s perfectly justified to take it out on someone completely unrelated. Like Jaehaerys, Rhea and the Royces are simply unwitting victims of Daemon’s greed because he’s feels short-changed. He bitches and moans about how he’s denied what was his (Crown Prince status) under inheritance laws, but he just shrugs and tries to ignore inheritance laws when they don’t benefit him. The pattern fits, so Daemon is totally held as the hypocrite he is.

        As for setting villages on fire, the Battle of Burning Mill. Second move he makes in the Dance, after Harrenhal.

        And no, my example is not out of context. As I’ve said multiple times, nowhere does it say Daemon act against the Three Daughters for the benefit of the realm. Daemon makes it explicit in the Rogue Prince: He wants to wear a crown and be a king, and since his brother won’t name him heir, he’ll just find his own kingdom. The Sea Snake brought Daemon aboard for the economic and trade benefits, but Daemon wanted a kingdom, the end. That Westeros didn’t mind is irrelevant. After all, Daemon never cared what Westeros thought.

        You can’t just use: ‘he could have been a whole lot worse,’ as a defense. There are plenty of people who don’t stoop to child murder to get what they want. Even in the setting, murdering children (aside from a twice-rebel losing a son in the standard hostage tactic) is seen as pretty horrific, and not just by morally upstanding people like Eddard, Jon Arryn, or Davos. Theon is traumatized by his killing of the miller’s boys, Robert even views the murder of Daenerys as a hideous, dishonorable thing (he’s willing to carry the stigma, but he acknowledges how vile the deed), and this is Bobby B and the Targaryens, a blood-feud if ever there was one!

        The point that it’s an eye-for-an-eye, or that Daemon was provoked, all are attempts to wash his hands of guilt, and they don’t work. Daemon’s an adult, he has options available to him, and he knows what he’s doing, and he knowingly picks his path. If Robert acknowledges that the killing of an uninvolved child is a disgusting task void of honor, we give the same dark brand to Daemon. The conduct of someone doesn’t give someone else free reign to do evil. There was no greater good that Daemon was seeking, no innocent to protect, no high-minded concept to pursue. He was a selfish and egotistical asshole who kept seething and making excuses for his bad behavior. There wasn’t a gun to his head; he wasn’t under any duress. He chose his path of his own free will. Let us assign blame where it belongs.

        I’m sorry, you can’t just make the assumption that Laenor didn’t care about his duties without evidence from the text. Even if there were, it’d be hard to prove that someone at a busy fair wouldn’t recognize the heir to Driftmark, especially one with silver-white hair and purple eyes. He’s a public figure, he’s important. Commons wants patronage, guards need to know who’s who, even bandits would want to rob someone with actual money. No, Qarl’s escape is just too clean for a spur-of-the-moment quarrel, and Daemon’s pick-up of Rhaenyra too timely. The evidence leans toward premeditation, and Daemon has been presented to us as having means, motive, and opportunity to arrange the deed.

      • KrimzonStriker

        Given how people revised the inheritance laws AGAINST him I’d say he was simply doing what he always does, which was retaliating in kind from his point of view. As I made a point earlier it’s not as if he planned to always take Runestone away given that he wanted an annulment, part of the problem was the fact that they DIDN’T produce a child which given how much Daemon wanted one points to a failure on Rhea’s part. I also might make a point about inheritance laws to you, regarding the fact that despite potential inheritors with blood ties to the title Lady Hornwood/Manderly was in charge of the Hornwood Lands, so it’s not like Daemon has no precedent of spouses taking ownership of the title once the main family/direct bloodline is extinguished. I’m not going to deny Daemon wasn’t greedy or selfish, but I’m also not going to say he wasn’t partially justified for it either.

        What the…? There’s no details about that battle other then Daemon and the Blackwoods beat the Brackens and its name, no indication of a deliberate strategy on Daemon’s part or who burned the mill in the first place, that this was a legitimate military battle against a legitimate military target and not indiscriminate slaughter against civilians like Aemond did.

        No, the example doesn’t work because the targeting of the victim wasn’t so ill-thought out, thus my bounty hunter example works better because there’s a deliberation in the target while a clear gain for everyone, or do you think the bounty hunter did it out of the goodness of their heart? So he’s not altruistic, I’d say that was the case for the vast majority of the people in this world/Westeros. Whatever his personal motivations might have been his method was not something I think that should be criticized, he made it a benefit for the realm in order to justify and gain support for going to war or was Corys just there for no reason? I don’t see why we’re holding it against Daemon for having his own interests, that’s basically the norm for this society, or were we not under a feudal caste system last time I read the books?

        Which I once again point out, Daemon didn’t start, and had he had the boy as a hostage then we’re basically saying it would have been alright for Daemon to kill him in retaliation at that time. But he didn’t have Jacherys as a hostage, so he contrived to find a way to extract the blood price by other means. For all Eddard’s abhorrence about children we both know, as did Theon, that he would have taken his head for his father’s crimes if he felt it necessary. And Robert sure as heck wasn’t spewing these regrets when the broken bodies of Rhaegar’s children were brought before him. I’m not going to ever claim Daemon’s a saint but this world doesn’t make saints of anyone, and yet still we afford them respect and admiration.

        And as you’ve pointed out Robert was willing to uphold that stigma. I once again didn’t say I agreed with the decision, nor am I trying to wash away Daemon’s ultimate responsibility in making that choice. My whole point in bringing these considerations of Daemon up is precisely for that reason, to assign the blame fairly and evenly because as I previously stated many hold characters who HAVE done worse in high esteem and I simply find it hypocritical to label Daemon so low in comparison.

        Indulging in one gay lover after another while not really caring about his own succession/being cuckold speaks to a lack of interest and sense of responsibility to me. You’ve done more then a few articles here about remote/absentee lords/heirs who didn’t interact with their vassals of the common people, why is it so difficult for you to believe that didn’t apply to Laenor and not for me? I did make the point about the dragonseeds specifically to counter his silver hair and purple eyes, they wouldn’t be uncommon on a place like Driftmark. The timing is exactly the problem, because once again Qarl has been with Laenor for years, even before Daemon’s marriage to Laena when he was free of Rhea so why enact some plot now after missing that window of opportunity? I’m never going to accuse Daemon of not being opportunistic, but as his failed attempt at Runestone suggests he can’t always be behind every sudden death to reap the reward.

      • somethinglikealawyer

        Retaliating in kind? The Royces and Arryns didn’t screw him out of Dragonstone! That’s the key problem with the ‘provoked’ argument: Daemon doesn’t go after the people responsible. When he doesn’t get what he wants, he feels justified in vengeance on anyone. How can that be justified except by a massive egomaniac? Just like with Luke Velaryon. Daemon could have gone after Aemond directly, or fight for his legal succession with words against Viserys, but he didn’t. He punished a completely unrelated person, whether it be little Jaehaerys or House Royce. To Daemon, what matters isn’t who denied him something, it’s that something was denied to him, so he’ll take whatever he wants from whoever he wants to even out his own scales, without regard for the other person’s guilt or innocence. So no, he’s never justified or provoked, because he never even touches the provocateur. He’s a bully who preys on the weak. Daemon isn’t cut from a better sort of cloth. Daemon isn’t provoked by his victims. The end.

        For Laenor, it’s simple. The reason I don’t believe it is because each person that doesn’t interact with vassals and commoners are explicitly noted by the text to have done so. Laenor is known to have been public, attending tournaments as the guest of honor and publicly honoring his male lovers with his favor as one big joke. So, without anything to explicitly lead me otherwise, I’m not going to make the assumption, because it flies in the face of book evidence. So, really, the dragonseed argument doesn’t work, because he’s rather public, and so his face can be recognized. Without explicit evidence that he shied away from public appearances, I can’t believe the argument. The text supports that he was a public figure.

        As for the timing, it makes perfect sense. Daemon doesn’t believe he can get Rhaenyra once Viserys forces her to marry Laenor (and believe me, Daemon wanted Rhaenyra to refuse it, since Viserys promised to revisit the succession if she refused). Driftmark is still open though, and Corlys is 52 at 115 AC, so succession will start to become an issue. Laenor is wed to Rhaenyra, heiress of Westeros, which means Laenor, and Jace after him, won’t inherit Driftmark (and Corlys’s vast fortune), since the lesser title is usually passed to another claimant, as we see when Meriah, Princess of Dorne, abdicates Dorne to her next-in-line sibling since she becomes Queen of Westeros. Laena and possibly Luke are the only other claimants, since Addam of Hull is about one at this point, Alyn is born around the time of Daemon’s marriage to Laena, but both are unacknowledged. So it’s Laena vs. Luke (assuming he’s born, since both of these events happen in the same year, but Rhaenyra is pregnant, at the very least).

        Daemon is pulling another Runestone gambit here for Driftmark, but he’s learned his lesson from last time. While Jeyne was cold to him because of how he treated Rhea, Corlys is his friend, and Daemon is most certainly not treating Laena poorly, so he can win it this time. But after Lucerys and Joffrey are born, Daemon has to compete against two kids with better claims than he by 118 AC. He might be able to persuade Corlys to give Laena Dragonstone over Lucerys or Joffrey, but that’s not a sure thing and the royal princes would have a better claim, which would almost certainly be a headache for Daemon once Corlys kicks it (and Daemon has to be delicate, since squaring off against Rhaenyra’s kids invites possible opposition by Rhaenyra and Viserys). So, when Laena dies in childbirth and his chances of getting Driftmark drop drastically (it’d be tough for Baela to win out over Lucerys, that’s why Daemon really wanted that son off of Laena), he conspires to free up Rhaenyra, that way he can take all of Westeros, and finally get Westeros, the thing he wanted from the very beginning. One murder later, Rhaenyra is free, Daemon swoops in to pick her up. Perfect timing, and it fits with his pattern.

      • KrimzonStriker

        I’m not necessarily talking about losing Dragonstone, at least not in so far as what he felt the Vale owed him, I’m talking about how he endured and got nothing from a marriage he never wanted in the first place. No heir, no title, no lands, and certainly no love or affection. At that isn’t me casting blame on anyone as to how the relationship fell apart, only that it did and whether now or back in the history you’d see people try to push a legal land grab for many fewer reasons. Why should we cast aspersion on Daemon for trying when MANY other people do so on a daily basis for much less cause, or did I just miss all the alturism people had for pushing a claim on the Hornwood lands? And I’m going to keep bringing up the Hornwood lands regarding the matter of inheritance laws in terms of debunking there was no legal basis for Daemon’s attempt given Lady Manderly was still Lady Hornwood. Also the PRIMARY reason they refuted his claim, the reason explicitly given in the source material, was because they didn’t like him personally.

        Said tournaments (one of which was his wedding and would exclude any commoners to begin with) being all on the mainland last I checked. How often are the commoners of Driftmark attending those or even getting off the Island? Certainly there isn’t enough room on Driftmark itself to hold a tournament, at least one of any repute that would incline highborne attendance. And I think based on how foppish and uncaring about one of his responsibilities (being a husband and producing an heir) and that we certainly don’t hear about him actually doing anything besides attending parties (highborn parties) and taking male lovers, is a clear indication from the source material as to how he behaved in general I would think. He was irresponsible and un-serious, and everything I’ve read doesn’t suggest someone who went out of his way to actually meet/introduce himself to the common people.

        First off, there’s no point in revisiting the succession because Visery’s son’s have already been born, second having Rhaenary’s refuse the marriage makes her politically worthless and unable to advance Daemon’s own agenda. Next, the succession process, that’s a false assumption about Laenor not being in the succession, because as I recall his death along with Laena’s was specifically quoted as being part of the reason why a succession issue arose when Corys fell ill, and there’s absolutely NO legal reason why he can’t succeed Driftmark in his own right, as being married to a queen/being prince consort doesn’t suddenly give Laenor actual lands or an official position unlike his ‘son’ who was set to succeed the Iron Throne itself. Dispersing of ones inheritance titles is a political choice, not a legal one as far as I can tell or did Wyman Manderly give up White Harbor upon proposing marriage to Lady Hornwood, or Ramsey his inheritance to the Dreadfort while also being Lord of Hornwood? And in this case Laenor doesn’t HAVE a conflict of titles unlike the previous two, nor is he in line anymore to inherit the Iron Throne unless some drastic catasraphoe happened and even then it’d be disputed. He’s just the consort prince, period, and as I point back to the issue around Cory’s illness no indication is made that Laenor was removed from Driftmark’s succession in his own right.

        Except that’s all an assumption that has a bunch of contradictions. One, he’s never going to be able to claim that title/lordship outright, it’ll always be his son’s or Laena’s, not any other, so HE’s not competing against anyone. Two, Lucery’s was only just proposed when Corys had his fever and was never set to inherit Driftmark in the first place until the issue arose. Three, given Corys chose to make two legitimized bastards his heirs I’m pretty sure inheritance laws grant him some leeway in ultimately deciding who got his title, hence once again inheritance laws are more about political decisions then legal ones even if precedent is considered. Next, Lucery’s was already betrothed TO Baela so even if he did get it Daemon’s blood was already set to rule Driftmark regardless in that scenario. I’m sorry, I’m just seeing the same attempt to paint Daemon with as black a portrait as possible because of personal dislike of him rather then an actual solid basis. Most of these conspiracy plots have so many convoluted paths along with a lot of holes in them that I just don’t see why we should assume they’re correct without actual evidence. I might have conceded some merit behind them if I also didn’t see an attempt to link Daemon to EVERY conspiracy theory, which goes to prove my point that personal bias has a LOT to do with associating him with said conspiracies both within and without the books.

      • somethinglikealawyer

        I’m really not sure why you’re attempting to bring up the Hornwood dispute. Most of the people involved (save little Larence Snow) aren’t nice people. Even Manderly, who we have a nice essay on, is selfish. No one claims the Hornwood inheritance is altruism at all.

        Actually, Jeyne Arryn says that his claim was denied, and that he wasn’t welcome in the Vale. It’s not explicit that it’s personal dislike. If anything, it was his treatment of his wife and his serving staff.

        The wedding feast between Laenor and Rhaenyra happened on Driftmark. That’s where he favored Lonmouth. That is explicit in the text. She sailed for Driftmark and in 114, she was wed. There is no room for debate on this.

        I’ve already given the proof that consorts to the throne itself give up their lesser titles. Your examples are of decidedly lower ranking matters.

        You do know Corlys named Alyn of Hull the heir because pretty much every other male heir was dead right? Seriously, every one. It was either Alyn, who was a fresh hero at that point, or Baela. As luck would have it, the two were married, so it didn’t matter. But you get a lot of leeway in deciding the heir when all of your trueborn heirs die.

        Dude? Luke was a newborn (at best) during Daemon’s Driftmark gambit. He wasn’t betrothed to Baela. You are mistaking two different time periods. By the time Corlys got really ill and Luke was considered for succession to Driftmark, Daemon had already wed Rhaenyra years past, and had his eyes set on King-Consort of Westeros.

        So I’m sorry, but these theories are quite logical, fitting in kind with the character Daemon is.

        Without more information on Daemon (which may show up in the future, Aegon III and the Dance apparently had a good 30k words written about them), I do not believe we can resolve this dispute.

      • KrimzonStriker

        Then why are we using this to cast aspersion on Daemon specifically, or making it out like he’s some exception when Hornwood means that attitude is more the norm then the exception? And primarily I bring up Hornwood as an example for Daemon’s legal basis, which he actually has based on it. Now that I think about it Barrowtown is another example that works in his favor on the legal side of things.

        Treatment of his wife and his staff is a basis for personally disliking him, not a legal argument against his claim. Lady Vale in turn just used her arbitrary political authority as Lady Paramount to bar Daemon, not make some sort of actual ruling.

        Doesn’t state they got married at Driftmark, could have been her just going there to initiate the proposal. And I CAN dispute that because right after the tournament it explicitly stated that Laenor left for Driftmark. If he’s already at Driftmark how is he also still going there?

        Funny you should mention that. I was thinking back/over that aspect actually and examining each consort and what titles they held. Isn’t Cersei currently Lady of Casterly Rock? So wouldn’t that mean that giving up lesser titles from consorts is a political decision rather then a legally binding one? And we have NO indication that Laenor did remove himself while having an indication that Laenor WAS still in the succession when it mentioned his and Laena’s death mucking up Driftmark’s inheritance when Corys turned ill.

        First off, Addam was named heir. Second Jacaerys and Joffery were still alive when Corys had the Hull brothers legitimized and made his successors. So legally speaking Joffery should have gotten the title, but he didn’t. So my point about ultimate power in naming a successor lies in the political authority of the respective Lord and the King/Lord Paramounts versus being actually legally bound in the process still stands.

        And that gambit takes a turn once Baela is betrothed to Luke, so Daemon’s definitely not getting Driftmark now, scuttling the gambit well before Corys goes ill or Laena dies if that was actually his intention, which once again seems a might contradictory as a lot of these conspiracy theories about Daemon end up becoming.

        And I’m going to disagree, I think too many people are allowing Daemon’s character, and that alone, to form the basis. Could Daemon have had Laenor killed? It may shock you but I’m actually inclined to think he could. DID Daemon have Laenor killed though, is a separate question and one that has yet to be conclusively answered, because for every plausible theory I can come up with an equally plausible circumstance, and because of that I’m not going to simply make a guilty assumption without definitive proof that he did do it.

        Granted, so let’s shelve this for now if anything new comes up we can pick up where we left off. I don’t think anything will come of the Laenor conspiracy though because it was pretty definitively stated no proof thing linking Daemon to what happened. But the rest we can go over if needed at a later date.

  3. Ser Biffy Clegane

    Nice work as always. I was the secret tunnels anon, and here’s what I was getting at:

    After Tywin’s death, Jaime takes pickaxes to the walls, finds some passages, and has them explored. Why not sooner, or at least why not renovate the Band’s bed chamber and solar so that those rooms are safe. Otherwise, Tywin, Jon Ayrrn and Tyrion spent all those years in rooms that they know cannot be guarded, where unknown parties can spot on them or even murder them at will.

    The room where Prince Jaherys died would make for a good ghost story, but the room where he was killed after rebels entered through a secret passage, the location of which you don’t know, is a death trap. Readers could imagine that the residents found a passage or two and thought they had found them all, but they all seem to know that Varys is in their walls.

    Maybe Tyrion is the only one Varys showed off to, and Tyrion can’t resist trying to outwit Varys.

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