Tag Archives: Targaryen

The Ravenry: Week of 7/27/2015

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Hello, you fellow votaries of A Song of Ice and Fire!

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. We’re like that Tom Hanks movie where he was the historian and spent like 65% of his time in a library trying to solve a mystery, except without all the running and Hans Zimmer music.

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of 27 July:

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The Ravenry: Week of 6/22/2015

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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. It’s like Best Week Ever, except with fewer bright flashy graphics and probably no Paul F. Tompkins (not that he’s not welcome).

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of 22 June:

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The Ravenry: Week of 5/25/2015

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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, but they’re not important right now. I mean, they are, but not in this post).  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.

This is all well and good, but we wanted to make sure all our lovely fans were included in the fun. That’s why this week I’m starting a new feature on the blog: The Ravenry.  Every Monday, I will 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. It’ll be like Best Week Ever, except with fewer bright flashy graphics and probably no Paul F. Tompkins.

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of 25 May:

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,

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

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The Dragon’s Mercy: The Violent Future Path of Daenerys Targaryen, Part 4: The Embers of Essos

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for The Winds of Winter. If you haven’t already, please check out the first 3 parts prior to reading this part, check ‘em out! (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

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Mercy, thought Dany, They shall have the dragon’s mercy (ADWD, Daenerys II

Artwork by Tomasz Jedruszek

Introduction

Fire and blood. Dany’s arc in A Dance with Dragons ends with her recognition that dragons plant no trees and that her words are “fire and blood” – not just as the house words of her dynasty, but as her personal motto validating her rediscovered turn towards the mother of dragons and a violent vision of prophecy.

In The Winds of Winter, that recognition and acknowledgement of her true self will morph into action. Early through her Winds of Winter arc, she’ll bring her mother of dragons persona and vengeance to Khal Jhaqo & the Dothraki. But after she unites a giant khalasar by fire and blood, she’ll turn her dragon’s mercy to Meereen. Nor will her full wrath end at the pyramids of Meereen. Instead, I believe that the city  will be a mere stepping stone to the full expression of the dragon’s mercy.

Aiding Daenerys in her conquest will be new advisers and groups whose personalities and aims look to keep Daenerys’ footing firmly tied to her identity as the mother of dragons.

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The Dragon’s Ladies: The Queens of Rhaegar Targaryen: Part 1: A Bride for a Prince

Introduction

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Rhaegar Targaryen (Image credit to duhi – DeviantArt here)

Rhaegar Targaryen. A name spoken with reverence by some and abhorrence by others, a man without whom much of the action of A Song of Ice and Fire would not exist.  His abduction of Lyanna Stark helped spur a rebellion that toppled a near three-century-strong dynasty.  In the east, both his posthumous sister and a boy claiming to be his supposedly murdered son draw upon his legacy in their bids for the seat that, by birth, should have been his.  At the Wall and beyond, a boy who may very well be his other son unconsciously follows his character and personality as he rises to leadership of the Night’s Watch.

Yet Rhaegar would not have had so great an impact on the political stage of Westeros (and Essos too) without the women of his life: his wife Elia Martell, the Queen Who Never Was; Lyanna Stark, his Queen of Love and Beauty; and Cersei Lannister, the Queen Who Was (and Might Have Been).

This series will examine those ladies, and Rhaegar’s relationships with them, in the context of Westerosi politics.  Why did Rhaegar marry Elia (and not Cersei)? What drew the Prince of Dragonstone to the wild Lady of Winterfell? How did these relationship result in the political reality of the current age in Westeros (and partly Essos)?  These will be the questions I’ll be exploring in this multi-part series that is part character analysis, part exploration of meta-thematic impulses in George R.R. Martin’s writing and part chronicling of the turbulent times of the women whose impact on Westeros was greater than any sword swung or army marched. 

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Taking the Throne – A Military Analysis of Aegon’s Conquest

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Image by Amok

 “Aegon saw that three hundred years ago when he stood where we are standing. They painted this table at his command. Rivers and bays they painted, hills and mountains, castles and cities and market towns, lakes and swamps and forests… but no borders. It is all one. One realm, for one king to rule alone.”A Storm of Swords, Davos IV

Aegon Targaryen. Aegon the Conqueror. Aegon the Dragon. Few men changed Westerosi history as much as the dragonlord with the dramatic vision: one continent, one realm, one king. In a continent marked with wars from Dorne to the Wall, the notion that one man could control all of Westeros was nothing short of a fantasy. There are three major ethnic groups, three dominant religions, at least eight distinct regions each with their own cultures and subcultures littering a continent roughly the size of South America. Holding such territory under a single authority would be almost impossible without a way to project the authority needed, though this did not stop kings from trying. Arlan III Durrandon, the Storm King of that time, extended his reach to  the Riverlands, though every generation a Riverlander would attempt to overthrow him. The Hoare kings of the Iron Islands would do the same three centuries after the Stormlander conquest, invading the territory with the help of Riverlander infighting, defeating the overeager Arrec Durrandon (who marched ahead of his baggage train, a disaster that spelled doom for many generals both in A Song of Ice and Fire’s world and our own), and placing himself as King of the Riverlands, subjecting the Riverlanders to thralldom for three generations.

The Hoare kings could boast that they controlled the largest swath of territory in Westeros, but a new invader was rising in the east, and would conquer almost the entire kingdom, in fire and blood.

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The Dragon’s Mercy: The Violent Future Path of Daenerys Targaryen: Part 1: Children and Prophecy

Editor’s Note: This essay contains very minor spoilers for The Winds of Winter.  Here’s the audio recording!

Introduction

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Daenerys Targaryen will make a momentous return in The Winds of Winter, but her return will be not be the stuff of triumph that many fans expect. Many fans believe that Dany will return to Meereen, collect her army and sail for Westeros. But all signs point to George RR Martin defying fan-expectations and following a different course. What course might that be? Only George and his editors know for certain, but I believe a careful reading of the first five books of A Song of Ice and Fire coupled with information collected from interviews and the sample chapters from The Winds of Winter give broad strokes on Dany’s future themes and plot points.

Recently, when asked about The Winds of Winter, George RR Martin offered this nugget:

“Well, Tyrion and Dany will intersect, in a way, but for much of the book they’re still apart. They both have quite large roles to play here. Tyrion has decided that he actually would like to live, for one thing, which he wasn’t entirely sure of during the last book, and he’s now working toward that end—if he can survive the battle that’s breaking out all around him. And Dany has embraced her heritage as a Targaryen and embraced the Targaryen words. So they’re both coming home.” – EW Shelf Life, June 26, 2014

From this very small but significant quote, I surmise the following:

  • Dany’s will spend a significant amount of time apart from any of the characters tied into the Meereenese Knot.
  • The long-awaited intersection between Tyrion & Dany will take place towards the middle to late portion of The Winds of Winter.
  • Daenerys will eventually make her way to Westeros…
  • … But not before Dany spends the majority if not the entirety, of her Winds of Winter arc in Essos.

Wait, Essos!? How could George RR Martin inflict us with another pointless, meaningless character arc in Essos? Isn’t it time that Daenerys triumphantly return to Westeros where she’ll defeat the Others with her dragons, marry Jon Snow and reclaim her father’s crown from the hated Lannisters? Well, maybe, but I don’t think that’s how GRRM will structure Dany’s storyline at least in TWOW.

In these essays, I want to show that Dany’s extended stay in Essos is congruent with how Dany’s arc was developed in the first five books, and how her arc will be tied to how George RR Martin’s writes plot-tension that encapsulates triumph, tragedy and realism.

But more important than the plot-points is the thematic impulse behind Dany’s future in The Winds of Winter. As GRRM (quoting Falkner) likes to put it: “The human heart in conflict with itself is the only thing worth writing about.”

Dany’s future in The Winds of Winter will be tied to her past, routed through dangerous, fickle prophecy, drenched in warfare but most importantly, bound to internal, human struggle. Continue reading

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