Tag Archives: Viserys Targaryen

The Windblown Grass: Doran Martell

Introduction

Doran Martell has been often hailed as one of the great strategic plotters of A Song of Ice and Fire. His final lines to his daughter at the end of A Feast for Crows – “Justice. Vengeance. Fire and Blood” have been not merely cited as some of the most stirring in the series, but equated with the political brilliance and rhetorical masterstroke of Wyman Manderly’s “The North remembers” declaration. His words seemingly indicate a deep knowledge of how to play the game of thrones – a dedication to a long, carefully planned scheme in which the errors of Robert’s Rebellion are reversed and House Targaryen – with Martell support – once again rules the Seven Kingdoms.

However, is this a fair assessment of the Prince of Dorne? Or is it more the case that Doran has categorically failed to effect his ultimate goal – the restoration of House Targaryen to the Iron Throne – at every stage? Have Doran Martell’s schemes actually resulted in any gains toward that end, or any real change in House Martell’s fortunes? Indeed not, and nor should the Prince of Dorne be considered a strategic genius. Doran is not merely perceived as weak and ineffective, the grass that hides the viper – he is the grass, blown by passionate winds but unable in its own right to do anything but remain firmly planted in the ground. Continue reading

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The Dragon’s Shadow: Viserys Targaryen

Introduction

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Viserys Targaryen (image credit to Duhi)

Ser Jorah snorted. “Can you wake the dead, girl? Your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon, and he died on the Trident. Viserys is less than the shadow of a snake.” (“Daenerys III”, A Game of Thrones)

Viserys Targaryen is perhaps the only character more loathed in the early acts of A Song of Ice and Fire than Joffrey Baratheon.  Though only ‘on-screen’ for A Game of Thrones (and even dying partly through that book), Viserys is remembered – by the characters in the universe and readers alike – long after his ignoble death on the Dothraki Sea. He was “the last son of Mad King Aerys”, an “utter fool”, “stupid and vicious”, the man who had tortured and abused his young sister Daenerys and rightly earned his death among the horselords of Vaes Dothrak.

These are not altogether incorrect evaluations of the last surviving prince of House Targaryen. Yet these descriptions do not fully capture the nuanced tragedy which was Viserys’ life.  He had been the late-born hope of his parents’ failing marriage, a probable tool in his father’s power struggle with his chivalrous but flawed elder brother.  As a little boy, he was spirited to a foreign land, never again to see the only home he had ever known. Invested with the title of pretender to a throne he had never been prepared to claim and only barely understood, Viserys wandered Essos, carefully watched but never aided, even by those who wished to use him. He ended his life in a place both spatially and psychologically alien to the splendor of the Red Keep under Targaryen rule; virtually alone among “savage” strangers, mocked and killed with the golden crown for which he had begged virtually his entire life, and finally crying out without mercy to the last of the Targaryen line.

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The Ravenry: Week of 10/19/2015

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Hello, 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,  we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, SomethingLikeaLawyer and I – 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. This was another productive week for the Lord Hand and me, including several long analysis pieces on Renly, Rhaenyra, and Robert’s Rebellion (alliteration is amazingly addictive). There were also a few meta questions, from answering questions to modernizing the series.

Before we start, I want to speak a little about question-asking. This is something the Hand talked about last week, but I wanted to bring it up again. “What if” questions are very difficult for us to answer, particularly the broader these questions get. We only have access to the same materials as the rest of the fandom; some of the hypothetical questions we get involve rewriting entire storylines, including a great many jumps and guesses. As much as we can, we like to stick to what we can pull out of the materials, so as much as you can, we ask that you narrow your hypos as much as possible. Asking who Robb might have betrothed Sansa to had she been returned according to his terms is fine. Asking how a living Laena Velaryon would have affected the entire Dance of the Dragons is too difficult to us for answer without essentially writing an entirely new story.

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of October 19:

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Blood of the Conqueror, Part 3: The Conspiracies

Introduction

Disaster. Aerys and Rhaegar Targaryen were dead, Viserys and Daenerys were fled, a new powerful Baratheon regime was in power in King’s Landing and – most importantly for our purposes – Varys and Illyrio’s first conspiracy against the Targaryens had catastrophically failed. This failure could be partially attributed to Varys overplaying his hand by pushing Aerys too far towards paranoia and rash action, but the greater part of this failure was Varys’ inability to take the human element into account.

As we’ll see in Part 3, however, this was a failure that was not unique to Varys. Varys and Illyrio would engineer new schemes in Essos to elevate Aegon, the Bright-Black Dragon, onto the Iron Throne during the main timeline of A Song of Ice and Fire. Fearsome sellswords, known as the Golden Company, would be the cornerstone of Illyrio’s efforts. Prince Viserys Targaryen would also feature prominently early on, but as Illyrio’s conspiracies evolved, his attention would shift to Daenerys and her three adolescent dragons. But above them all was the boy and the conspiracy to put this dragon onto the Iron Throne. 

But as Varys discovered in Westeros, Illyrio would find the human element interfering with his well-laid plans time after time.

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The Ravenry: Week of 10/5/2015

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Good morning (or afternoon, or evening, or whenever you are in the time-space continuum), 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,  we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, SomethingLikeaLawyer and I – 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. This week was a busy time for the Ravenry (especially for the Lord Hand), with 48 questions answered (the most we’ve ever done here). We traveled all around Westeros and Essos, forward and back in wibbly wobbly spacetime, from individual characters to meta-thematic questions.

A note about question answering. We here at the Ravenry do our best to answer every question we get, but it’s a, well, Sisyphean task. We do, however, reserve the right not to answer rude comments. Demanding to have a question answered will not get the questioned answered more quickly. This is not usually a problem, of course; the vast majority of the questions we get are well-meaning and respectful.

Without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of October 5:

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