Author Archives: Militant_Penguin

Skin and Snow: A Character Analysis of Ramsay Bolton

Introduction

Artwork by Tribemun

Hello readers.

This is a piece I’ve had in the back of my mind for sometime now, like at least a year and a bit, and I’ve finally found the time to get around to actually doing it.

I’ve heard a lot of comments about how the character of Ramsay Snow comes across as being a one dimensional horror movie villain. In this piece I want to counter this position and really dig into the character of Ramsay Bolton. I will argue that Ramsay is more than a one note B villain. Instead, Ramsay is  a well developed and multifaceted character in his own right.

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Rags to Riches; How to Make it Big In Westeros

Introduction

N93EaCJImage taken from Game of Thrones

Greetings readers, I know that it has been a while since I’ve published on the blog but hopefully this essay, and the ones to follow, are the end of my writer’s block. This essay is the first in a brand new series that I’ve been working on for a little while and is something that I’m very excited to share with you all. It’s not as dense, extensive, or as layered as our Three Heads of the Dragon series but I hope it will be a fun read regardless.

The series, titled “Rags to Riches; How to Make it Big In Westeros”, will examine characters who have proven to be especially socially mobile in the rather rigid feudal system of Westeros. The series will explore the dynamics of social mobility within Westeros, the themes of Lord Varys’ famous riddle, and how the traditional power structures of Westeros are being unravelled in the face of rising socioeconomic changes.

My first entry in this series will cover fan favourite, Bronn.

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The Three Heads of The Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire: The Dragon Who Burned – Aerion ‘Brightflame’ Targaryen

 

Artwork by Mathia Arkoniel

Introduction

Hello again readers. Today I present you with the final entry in the Three Heads of the Dragon series, Aerion ‘Brightflame’ Targaryen. Prince Aerion Targaryen, also known as Aerion the Monstrous or Aerion Brightflame, born the second son to King Maekar Targaryen, may not be a pretender in the most traditional sense, he still had a role to play under the banner of the pretenders of House Targaryen.

Aerion was an unusual character in the Targaryen dynasty and had distinct ties with both the central kings, princes, and contemporaries of the dynasty, and the various pretenders seeking to oust them. He was a precursor to the Mad King Aerys, he was the despised monster of the family, an enemy of Ser Duncan the Tall, the likely murderer of Haegon Blackfyre, and the drinker of wildfire. Aerion Brightflame was the dragon who burned and his actions still affect Westeros to this day.

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The Three Heads of The Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire: Heirs to the Great Black Dragon and the Man Clothed In the Bittersteel

Introduction

File:Marc Simonetti Bittersteel.jpg

Artwork by Mark Simonetti

Hello again readers. Today I present you with my penultimate entry in the Three Heads of the Dragon series, Aegor ‘Bittersteel’ Rivers. Though not a pretender to the throne, Bittersteel played a central role in the Blackfyre Rebellions that plagued Westeros for decades. He was the left hand of Daemon Blackfyre, and he and his Golden Company would become the sword, armor, and shield of Daemon’s offspring. While the Blackfyre name might be on the name of the war, in many ways it was Bittersteel’s war to wage, and no examination of Targaryen royal pretenders would be complete without the man who drove them.

Aegor Rivers was a bastard born of the adulterous union of King Aegon IV ‘The Unworthy’ Targaryen and Lady Barba Bracken of the Riverlands. Though she was favoured by Aegon IV’s palette for a while, this would not be enough for Barba. When Queen Naerys was rendered infirm after a difficult pregnancy, Barba openly boasted of her desire to replace the Unworthy’s loathed sister-queen. Yet when Naerys recovered her health, Aegon’s favor was insufficient to protect Barba, for soon enough she would find herself exiled from Aegon’s court at the behest of Queen Naerys’s greatest two champions; Crown Prince Daeron II Targaryen and Aemon the Dragonknight. So it would be that the young Aegor would be raised away from the capitol and his father, and grew up in Stone Hedge, the seat of House Bracken.

Not only was he cast out and away from the delights of courtly life and his father’s company, Aegor would have to deal with a dishonour to his mother and her house when Aegon IV replaced Barba Bracken with Melissa Blackwood, a daughter of a house with whom the Bracken’s had been feuding with since time immemorial. Melissa would then go onto give birth to another bastard of Aegon’s, the albino Brynden ‘Bloodraven’ Rivers as well as two other bastard children.

To add more to Aegor’s already-impressive feelings of resentment and anger was the fact that though Aegon IV’s appetites would lead to him continually throwing away mistresses, Brynden Rivers and Melissa Blackwood would still be allowed to remain at court in spite of this, largely due to the popularity of Melissa Blackwood at court.

This is where the young Aegor’s rage and bitterness would begin to form. He was exiled, his mother was dishonoured, he was replaced by what he saw as a lesser freak, and neither his replacement nor his replacement’s mother were cast out by Prince Daeron and Prince Aemon like Aegor and his mother were. Aegor seethed at the perceived unfairness, at his exile for something he didn’t do. Making matters worse, when Aegor was but six, King Aegon found his new lover, Aegor’s aunt Bethany, abed with Terrence Toyne of the Kingsguard, and had both Bethany and her father executed, killing any chance of Aegor being welcomed back at court. Herself having lost a father and sister as well as royal favor, Barba Bracken would no doubt do little to curb her son’s rage during his youth at Stone Hedge.

Thus, in a bed of adultery, betrayal, and bloodshed, the start of Aegor’s lifelong vendetta against both the Targaryens and Bloodraven would begin and Bittersteel would carry that bile with him almost from the cradle to the grave.

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The Three Heads of The Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire: Heirs to the Great Black Dragon

Hello again, readers. After our previous discussion on Daemon Blackfyre a couple of weeks ago it should come as no surprise that we’ve finally reached the descendants of Daemon Blackfyre; Daemon II, Haegon, Aenys, Daemon III, and Maelys the Monstrous Blackfyre. As there is not a great deal of information on all of the Blackfyre Descendants, this installment of the Three Heads of the Dragon; Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire will be incorporating all of the heirs of the Great Black Dragon into this one essay.

Happy Reading!

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The Three Heads of the Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire – The Great Black Dragon – Daemon Blackfyre

Hey everyone. Now, as I’m sure you all know now, SomethingLikeALawyer, Nfriel, and I are doing an extensive essay series on the Targaryen Dynasty and the many kings, ladies, and pretenders that have influenced House Targaryen to this day. By now I’m sure that most, if not all of you, have read the posts by both SomethingLikeALawyer and Nfriel about the Targaryen Dynasty, on the kings and ladies of the dynasty. I highly recommend reading them before getting started on my essay as it will give you a greater grasp of the essay series as a whole. Plus, they are pretty awesome reads too.

Today I’ll be covering the most infamous pretender to the throne, the sire of House Blackfyre, and Great Black Dragon himself: Daemon Blackfyre.

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The Three Heads of the Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and Ladies of Fire: Rhaenyra and the Blacks

Overview

Welcome to the next instalment of Three Heads of the Dragon, and the third in our essay series discussing the Dance of the Dragons. We previously discussed Rhaenyra and Alicent, the two ambitious women at the core of the conflict, as well as their political moves to shore up support for their faction, and then we hit Aegon II and the military campaign of the greens campaign. Now, we turn ourselves to the blacks faction and their military campaign, as well as their top commander and the first true ‘pretender’ to the Iron Throne, a mantle that would take seventy years and another Daemon to be taken up again.

The Blacks were the faction of House Targaryen and their loyalists who supported the ascent of Rhaenyra Targaryen as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms during the Dance of the Dragons. For reasons of royal edict they marched, for alliance, for vengeance and personal satisfaction they marched. They were opposed by the greens for reasons of law, for reasons of ambition, and for reasons of hate.

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Of Flayed Men and Mermen: A Comparison of Roose Bolton and Wyman Manderly

Very few non-POV characters incite a visceral reaction quite like Roose Bolton and Wyman Manderly. But these reactions come as a result of very opposing reasons. Roose incites rage, hatred, a begrudging respect for political manoeuvring, and fear from most characters in the series, save for Fat Walda, as well as from the  fan base itself. On the other side of the coin we have beloved Lord Large, Wyman Manderly, a man who makes speeches as good as his famous pies. Wyman inspires love, praise, and loyalty from his fans but scorn and mockery from most of the in-universe characters within A Song of Ice and Fire series.

This particular essay is intended to show both the similarities and differences between the two men and highlight how the North’s finest political operators are in fact two sides of a very similar coin.

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Interviews of Ice and Fire by Thomas Malone – Militant_Penguin

Season five might be over, but I’m excited to keep the Interviews of Ice and Fire going with our next guest. Hamish Duncan, known throughout the ASOIAF community as Militant Penguin is a contributor to Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire. He is also one of the moderators for the ASOIAF subreddit. 

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The Three Heads of the Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire: The Great Council of 101

Introduction

https://i2.wp.com/awoiaf.westeros.org/images/thumb/0/0f/Marc_Simonetti_RoyalP.jpg/800px-Marc_Simonetti_RoyalP.jpg

Artwork by Marc Simonetti

Hey guys and welcome once again to “Three Heads of the Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire”, our multi-author series exploring the Targaryen dynasty. As stated in my last post about Orys Baratheon, I will be covering the various pretenders of the dynasty, each of whom had their own parts to play within the family. In my first post, I discussed Orys Baratheon, the possible bastard half brother and best friend of Aegon the Conqueror.

However, in this post we will be discussing a rather unique pretender, or pretenders, this time around – The Great Council of 101.

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