The Ravenry: Week of 8/24/2015

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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,  we here at the blog have 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 were both busy answering a whole bunch of different questions this week, from explaining the Conqueror’s Dornish letter to looking at a Stark victory on the Green Fork to – ugh, R+L=J&M. Look, we here at Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire love to asnwer your questions. We strive to provide thoughtful, researched answers to your FOR THE LOVE OF R’HLLOR THAT THEORY NEEDS TO DIE AND THEN GET REVIVED BY BLOOD MAGIC JUST SO I CAN KILL IT AGAIN.

It’s fine. I’m fine.

Here’s The Ravenry for the week of August 24:

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War and Peace: A Political Analysis of Daeron I, Baelor I, and Viserys II

After Aegon II died, his nephew, Rhaenyra’s son Aegon took the throne. Aegon III did a good job considering the civil war had left the Seven Kingdoms in chaos. However, it was under his reign that the Targaryens lost their greatest strength. The Dance had killed off most of the dragons and the last surviving few died during his time as king (which might not have been an accident.) Aegon had an intense hatred and fear of the creatures, stemming from the trauma of watching his mother eaten alive by his uncle’s dragon.After Aegon passed away, his oldest son Daeron I took the throne. Although he was only 14 when he became king, Daeron had already distinguished himself as a brave and fierce warrior. Daeron’s reign was defined by the Conquest of Dorne. Dorne was the only kingdom to repel Aegon the Conqueror over a century earlier. Avoiding the mistakes of his ancestors, Daeron successfully invaded and conquered Dorne. Unfortunately, holding it was another matter, as the Dornish insurgency cost Daeron and 50,000 soldiers their lives.Since Daeron died without any sons, his younger brother Baelor succeeded him. Baelor the Blessed, as he was commonly known, was devoutly religious. Depending on who you ask he was either a pious saint or a delusional fool. He was loved by the commoners for his charity and piety and he ended his brother’s war with Dorne by brokering a political marriage. However, he refused to consummate his marriage to his sister Daena, locking her and his other two sisters in a tower in the Red Keep so they couldn’t tempt him with “sinful thoughts.” He appointed unqualified individuals to official positions for various religious reasons. In the end, his constant fasting led to his premature death. (Also that flower crown just seems like it belongs on Tumblr, right?)After his death, Baelor’s uncle Viserys II took the throne. Viserys was an old man and his reign only lasted a year but he had effectively ruled the Seven Kingdoms as Hand to his two nephews Daeron and Baelor. Shrewd and calculating, while he was never loved like his nephew, he was an economic genius and had a very progressive agenda that would have benefited Westeros greatly.

Aegon, Daeron, Baelor, and Viserys, by Hubsher

“The melancholy king is not remembered fondly, and his legacy would pale before that of his sons.” -The World of Ice and Fire, Aegon III

The Broken King led his broken realm as an adult for 21 years. Despite the difficult hand he had been dealt, Aegon III did remarkably well during his tenure, keeping his realm relatively free from conflict, kept the treasury afloat, and knit the realm back together –  a remarkable accomplishment in the face of grasping vassals, wealthy interlopers, and the extinction of the dragons. However, Aegon III won no love among his subjects for his distant and depressive nature. He was competent, but not inspiring the way his storied namesake had been. That Targaryen charisma would fall to his sons, two of the most colorful individuals to sit the Iron Throne.

Welcome to the next installment of The Three Heads of the Dragon, the first multi-author essay series for Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire, examining the kings, pretenders, and women of the storied Targaryen dynasty, from fiery beginnings to bloody end. For my part, I will be discussing the monarchs of the Targaryen reign, their policies, their historical analogues, and how they measure up to history.

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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:

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Taming the She-Dragons: The Ladies of Aegon III

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, SomethingLikeaLawyer, MilitantPenguin, and I will explore the Targaryen dynasty from its rise in the Conquest to its fall in Robert’s Rebellion.  My pieces, the Ladies of Fire, will analyze the queens and princesses of House Targaryen, as well as those ladies who had a substantial impact on the dynasty itself.

The Dance of the Dragons had closed the first great chapter of the she-dragons during the dynasty’s reign in Westeros. Rhaenyra’s vaulting ambition had been crushed; the dragons, her means of asserting that ambition, were hurtling toward extinction.  The Dance had scarred its survivors, literally and psychologically, and the ladies who remained would need to reconcile the tragedies of their past with the new world order.  For the princesses of the next generation, however, the Dance was not a tragic memory but a crisis of identity. Left only with the Westerosi model of innocent maidenhood and dynastically advantageous marriage, but possessing all the fire of their predecessors, these women would attempt to maintain that spirit in a newly dragonless age.

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The Ravenry: Week of 8/10/2015

Hello, seekers!

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. The Queen Regent wrote a lot of words this week on the women in Aegon IV’s life, and put the finishing touches on her Ladies of Fire piece detailing Aegon III’s two wives and the three ladies of the Maidenvault. I mean, we’re talking in the five-digit mark here, so the Hand sat the Throne again. Anyway, I could say that if we were something, we’d be something strange, esoteric, and intriguing, but you’ve come for the peculiar blend of multiple sciences that our team has knowledge of applied to a book series, not for my metaphors and similes!

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of 10 August:

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Blood of the Conqueror, Part 1: A Winds of Winter Mystery in the Stormlands

Spoilers Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Winds of Winter

Introduction

Prince Aegon spoke. “Then put your hopes on me,” he said. “Daenerys is Prince Rhaegar’s sister, but I am Rhaegar’s son. I am the only dragon that you need.” (ADWD, The Lost Lord)

Aegon Targaryen, the purported son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia of Dorne, is set to have a fateful impact on Westeros in The Winds of Winter. His landing in the Stormlands sets Westeros on a path that brings more war, and Aegon’s future promises more suffering, and more destruction for an already war-ravaged kingdom. But that reality will be offset by a public perception that will likely view Aegon as the conquering hero and liberator of Westeros. But who is Aegon? Who are his supporters? What are his and their goals? And what exactly will that fateful impact look like?

Welcome to Part 1 of Blood of the Conqueror, a speculative analysis of the coming Winds of Winter arc of the Young Dragon, Aegon Targaryen. In this essay series, we’ll examine  Aegon’s impact on Westeros. To do so, we’ll examine the background, conspiracies, alliances and battles that look to dominate Aegon’s arc in The Winds of Winter.

In a later installment, I’ll do in-depth battle analysis of the Battle of Griffin’s Roost and the Golden Company’s landing in the Stormlands, but in today’s essay, I thought it might be fun to examine this event in the meta-venue of how A Dance with Dragons and The Winds of Winter were written and re-written. And I thought it might be fun to do so by examining a minor mystery that I came across while reading George RR Martin’s notablog. It’s a mystery that takes place in the Stormlands around the time that Griffin’s Roost fell, and it involves how George RR Martin originally structured this event in A Dance with Dragons and why one of Martin’s famous restructurings of A Dance with Dragons might reveal how GRRM originally planned Aegon’s invasion of Westeros and why a key rewrite makes Aegon’s invasion and the involvement of a major player in the game of thrones that much more poignant.

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Gorged on Grief: A Political Analysis of Aegon III Targaryen

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Aegon the Dragonbane, by Amok

Under Viserys I, Westeros turned into a powder keg as the blacks and the greens vied for power with one another. After Viserys died and his son Aegon II took the Iron Throne, that powder keg exploded into the Dance of Dragons: a two-year civil war characterized by high casualty counts and royal murder. When the smoke finally settled, Aegon’s half-sister and rival Rhaenyra had been devoured by Sunfyre, Aegon II poisoned shortly thereafter by his own courtiers, and Rhaenyra’s son Aegon the Younger, a boy of eleven, had become Aegon III, the seventh king on the Iron Throne.

For 26 years, Aegon III would lead Westeros through political instability and the death of the last dragon. Aegon is not remembered fondly by Westerosi, either for his personal shyness and somber attitude or for his refusal to treat with his vassals and generally broken reign. Yet oddly enough, during his majority, there were no foreign or civil wars and no rebellions. Could this merely be chalked up to war fatigue after the Dance? Or was there something to Aegon the Unlucky after all?

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