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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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 Three Heads of the Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and Ladies of Fire: Aegon II and the Greens

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Aegon II, by Amok

“No war was bloodier or crueler than the Dance of Dragons.” –The World of Ice and Fire, Aegon II

The Dance of the Dragons, the two-year civil war from 129 to 131 AC, was a war that devastated the countryside. The Targaryen words, Fire and Blood, tore through the countryside in a way that hadn’t been seen before, even during Aegon’s War of Conquest or the Faith Militant revolt. Brother fought sister in a war rife with battle, intrigue, and brutal murder, and when the fires burned out and the blood dried, a handful of Targaryens would be all that was left. This war, in many ways, was the beginning of the precipitous slide of the Targaryen dynasty, and it’s the topic of our next few essays.

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The Ravenry: Week of 7/20/2015

Hello, scholars of ASOIAF lore!

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 NFriel – 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. Both NFriel and I have been hard at work dissecting the Dance of the Dragons, so we’ve not answered as many questions this week as some might prefer. However, we think the final product will be worth it.

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of 20 July:

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The Three Heads of the Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire: The She-Dragons of the Dance, Part 1

Introduction

Hello and welcome once again to The Three Heads of the Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire, the first multi-author series for Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire.  In this series, we are taking a comprehensive look at the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros, from its rise to power in the Conquest to its fall in Robert’s Rebellion. My pieces, the Ladies of Fire, will examine the queens and princesses of House Targaryen, as well as those ladies who had a substantial impact on the dynasty itself.

By the time of Viserys I’s death in 129 AC, the Targaryen dynasty seemed to have recovered from the instability of the Aenys-Maegor days and the succession crises that plagued the last years of the Old King’s rule; with three sons, two daughters, seven grandsons, one granddaughter, and two nieces (and dragons for nearly everyone), Viserys had admirably ensured the Targaryen line would continue.  Yet this recovery was a sham with only the thinnest veneer of believability, as two rival courts – that of his eldest daughter and officially proclaimed heir and that of his second wife and mother of his sons – both thought themselves the rightful heirs of Viserys’ crown. This simmering conflict exploded upon the king’s death, and the two female leads of each faction – Dowager Queen Alicent and the Princess Rhaenyra – committed everything – wealth, children, and dragons – to the cause of victory.  Only Alicent, Aegon, and a handful of the youngest Targaryen generation survived, but no one could be said to have won.  Indeed, the driving ambitions of both queens brought about the end of the age of the great she-dragons; never again would Targaryen ladies (or any Targaryen) take to the sky on dragonback, and never again would a Targaryen lady claim a crown in her own right (until after the dynasty had fallen).

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The Ravenry: Week of 7/13/2015

Hello, intrepid historians!

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 NFriel – 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. With NFriel crafting a champion-caliber piece for her next installment of the Three Heads of the Dragon series, the Hand sat the Throne yet again to write up some meta on the ASOIAF-universe

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of 13 July:

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The Ravenry: Week of 7/6/2015

Hello, fellow scholars!

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 NFriel – 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. If we were a book section, we’d be that one where you’re pretty sure you saw the undead librarian from Ghostbusters with an authentic Latin copy of Malleus Maleficarum. With the Queen Regent visiting a foreign realm, the Hand of the King had to sit the Throne, and he got the chance to expound on one of his favorite topics: Robert’s Rebellion.

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of 6 July:

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