What do you think about the lionization of Daeron I & the justification of the Dornish Conquest?
The Conquest of Dorne was blatant imperialism. Dorne did not need the other Kingdoms; they had a flourishing society without their help, their government worked, they didn’t practice slavery, and their economy I assume was also fine without the other Kingdoms. I don’t even think that the other Kingdoms needed Dorne (or maybe they did, since they had resources that couldn’t be found in any other part of the kingdom). The Conquest of Dorne was about Targaryen egos still feeling a little bruised by Dorne’s success in remaining unconquered.
Daeron was a young king who wanted to prove himself, and like many young egoists, decided to take on the biggest task out there. Ultimately, he saw Dorne as “unfinished business” rather than a group of people who are happy being unconquered, with their own culture and economy and government that works well for them. Daeron even writes about the conquest in ways that make him look good, but his losses were astronomical. 50,000-60,000 dead, including himself and two lord paramounts, foreign intervention from Lys and Pentos on Dorne’s behalf, a smallfolk rebellion that nearly undid all of Daeron’s work… I mean, it was a fucking disaster, and it was all for the sake of putting those Big Bad Dornish in their Proper Place which is Submissive To Us, The Targaryens.
I think the lionization of Daeron I is stupid and unjustified. He was inexperienced and his goal in life was to subjugate a huge population of people who were doing just fine without him. Ego and imperialism were the driving factors behind the conquest (and probably a bit of racism too); not moral high ground (as with Daenerys’s conquest) or anything remotely admirable.
If Dorne managed to defeat the Targaryens twice then why did they not rebel after the end of Robert's Rebellion? Why didn't they at least rebel during the WO5K?
It’s a bit more complicated than that, as you have to differentiate between the Dornish nobility and the Dornish smallfolk. The Dornish nobility beat Aegon I, but Daeron I beat them twice over, once in his war of conquest, and once when he came back to put down the rebellion and forced them to surrender both times. It was the Dornish smallfolk who carried on the efforts against the Seven Kingdoms in the time of Daeron I, and the nobility only killed Daeron by violating a severe taboo. But anyway, the reason they didn’t rebel after Robert’s Rebellion is threefold.
The first is that they wouldn’t get very far. The Dornish smallfolk and the other Dornish nobles didn’t feel any real reason to support the Martells. The Martells would have been on their own, and their regional rivals, the Yronwoods, would have loved the chance to become the new Princes of Dorne, and the eastern Dornish houses would all love to get Sunspear and other Martell holdings as a prize when the Martells are ousted as rebels.
The second reason is that as long as there are Targaryen heirs, then the Martells can get a far better prize of tying their house to House Targaryen again and being a part of the rulership of the entire Seven Kingdoms, not just Dorne. Rebelling means giving up ever getting that, and that’s too nice a prize to give up.
The third reason is more visceral, rebellion doesn’t scratch the revenge itch. As we see throughout all the times we see Doran in Arianne’s and Areo’s chapters (the blood oranges are past ripe), vengeance is a key motivator for Doran and forms a cornerstone of the tragedy that is to come at the Great King’s Landing Kerboom. He won’t derive any satisfaction just from throwing off the Iron Throne.
As for the War of the Five Kings, they are waiting for everyone to punch themselves out while they plot for their own ascension.
In regards to Daeron I's conquest of Dorne and taking hostages which Houses do you think they were from and why? Also how would they have been treated in the Red Keep? Thrown in the dungeons or kept in small dark cramped apartments. Cassella Vaithhad palatial living as Aegon IV's lover, but then he threw her back to the hostages when he was done with her.
Thanks for the question, Anon.
Yandel notes that Daeron brought back to King’s Landing “fourteen highborn hostages”, who were "the sons and daughters of almost all the great Houses of Dorne". It’s fortunate (for purposes of this question, though unfortunate in a larger worldbuilding sense) that we have a pretty short list of major Dornish families. There are 13 known major lordly Houses sworn to House Martell - Houses Yronwood, Dayne, Fowler, Allyrion, Vaith, Blackmont, Manwoody, Uller, Wyl, Qorgyle, Jordaye, Toland, and Gargalen - and two landed knightly Houses - Houses Dalt and Santagar. I would guess that a son or daughter from each of those lordly Houses was taken, and then either one from either Dalt or Santagar (depending on which, if either, was the more significant) or from a lordly House we don’t know. (Houses Ladybright and Wells may also be sworn to Sunspear, but we have too little to say on the former to determine whether its scion might have replaced a Santagar or Dalt hostage, and I think the latter is sworn to Yronwood anyway.)
As for accommodations … definitely not dungeons. Yandel writes that “[a]t the command of the King’s Hand, Prince Viserys, [the hostages] were thrown into the dungeons to await hanging” following news of King Daeron’s death; it wouldn’t make any sense to throw them in dungeons if they were, you know, already IN dungeons. I would guess their lodgings were very secure - plenty of guardsmen, albeit not ones who wanted to defy a member of the royal family from entering when he pleased and taking out a pretty hostage for his mistress - but comfortable, in testament to their high birth.
Oh. Fuck. So Dany kills the religious and political heads of the dothraki and is immediately queen with no problems. Cersei kills the religious and political heads of much of southern westeros. And is immediately queen. So that's SERIOUSLY how D&D think it works! It's a parallel between characters! Now they really are 8th grade book report-ers! (now I'm adding to that ellaria's murderously easy conquest of dorne, and jon failing his way into kingofthenorthdom... all coming together. ugh...)
“The princess refused to be cowed.” Fire and Blood, line by line - a line-by-line analysis of Arianne and Doran’s conversation in “The Princess in the Tower” with special attention to the development of their relationship
How much do we know about House Velaryon. Are they and their customs still kind of Valyrian?
House Velaryon is an old house of Valyrian origin, who came to Westeros before the Doom – before the Targaryens arrived, even – and settled on the island of Driftmark. (Located in Blackwater Bay, west of Dragonstone.) The Velaryons have a legend that they made a pact with the Merling King, and received the Driftwood Throne to conclude this godly pact. Many Velaryons have been noted sailors and traders, and their ships have often dominated the Narrow Sea. But it seems that the Velaryons did not bring any dragons to Westeros, and though they are of Valyrian origin they may not have been dragonlords.
Are their customs still kind of Valyrian? Well, they don’t seem to worship the old Valyrian gods any more than the Targaryens do these days. If you mean, do they practice incest, marrying brother to sister? We don’t know, but there does not seem to be much evidence of that in the Velaryon family members we know of. (Alyn Velaryon and Baela Targaryen were nominally first cousins, but probably more likely uncle and niece.) Velaryons do however frequently have the silver hair and purple eyes of Valyria, and have often provided Valyrian-blooded spouses for Targaryen princes and princesses.
Notable Velaryons include Valaena, the mother of Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters. There have been two Velaryon queens of Westeros – Alyssa (queen of Aenys I) and Daenaera (queen of Aegon III). Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (the queen who never was) married Lord Corlys Velaryon, and their dragonrider children Laenor and Laena married Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Prince Daemon Targaryen. (And after Laenor and Laena died, Rhaenyra and Daemon married each other, but that’s not important right now.) Alyn Velaryon married Princess Baela Targaryen and was the lover of Princess Elaena Targaryen. (The descendants of their bastard son, Jon Waters, still live in King’s Landing today, under the name Longwaters.)
Many Velaryons have also served as Master of Ships for Targaryen kings. House Velaryon was one of the first to swear to Aegon the Conqueror, and his first two m.o.s. were Velaryons, as was the first Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Corlys Velaryon, the Sea Snake and Lord of the Tides, had at least 10 great voyages (once in an attempt to find a northern passage around Westeros and nine to Essos), and served as Hand of the Queen to Rhaenyra Targaryen and as one of the regents of Aegon III. Lord Alyn Velaryon, the legitimized dragonseed who became the great admiral Oakenfist, had 6 great voyages, rescued Aegon’s brother Viserys from Lys, and was an essential part of Daeron I Targaryen’s conquest of Dorne. And Alyn’s brother Addam Velaryon, another legitimized dragonseed, though never a lord nor master of ships, was a dragonrider and hero of the Dance of the Dragons.
Even Aerys II Targaryen’s Master of Ships was a Velaryon, and the house provided much support to the Targaryens during Robert’s Rebellion. Unfortunately much of the Velaryon fleet was destroyed in the giant storm that heralded Daenerys Targaryen’s birth on Dragonstone, and that plus Robert Baratheon’s ascension to the throne has led to a great decrease in their fortunes since then.
Nevertheless, House Velaryon supported Stannis Baratheon’s claim to the throne, although that did lead to the death of Lord Monford Velaryon in the Battle of the Blackwater. His bastard brother, Aurane Waters, was captured in the battle and bent the knee to Joffrey, and eventually was appointed by Cersei Lannister as King Tommen’s master of ships / grand admiral. (Cersei believed that the silver-haired green-eyed Aurane looked a bit like Rhaegar, and was flattered by his attentions.) He proposed that the Baratheon regime rebuild its fleet, and was granted the money to build 10 dromonds, huge three-decked warships, and hire captains of his choosing. But when Cersei was arrested by the Faith, Aurane fled King’s Landing, taking the dromonds with him. And according to a TWOW preview chapter, a new pirate king who calls himself “the Lord of the Waters” has set himself up in the Stepstones with a fleet of huge warships… so it seems that House Velaryon will continue to be a major force in the Narrow Sea, and perhaps again affect the fate of House Targaryen.
hey! so I read your post about Dany not being queen, who do you think will be on the iron throne at the end? (Sorry if you've already answered this)
Hi! I actually don’t think there’s going to be an Iron Throne at the end of the series. I think the physical metal chair and the Westerosi central government which the chair symbolizes will both be destroyed before the end of the series.
I think the physical chair is going to be destroyed by chekhov’s wildfire, an event I’m sure Dany is going to play a part in, inadvertently helping destroy the thing she’s been seeking since book 1.
And I think the destruction of King’s Landing, the greyscale plague, the possible Eldritch Apocalypse / Euron in the south, the massive social upheaval caused by the War for the Dawn, and the death of the dragons … all of these things together are going to create a new geopolitical landscape in Westeros. We’re already seeing the Seven Kingdoms breaking up, with the North, the Vale, Dorne, and the Iron Islands barely recognizing the legitimacy of the Iron Throne. I think Cersei is going to set up a court-in-exile in Casterly Rock because she’ll never recognize either Aegon or Dany, so there’s the Westerlands broken away in TWOW. The Realm as a single entity will cease to exist.
Humanity is going to be decimated by the War for the Dawn, and I don’t think any one person or political group is going to be powerful enough to seize control of the continent. Instead they’ll go back to being 7+ kingdoms, and honestly I think that’s better from a sociopolitical / economic standpoint.
Aegon the Unworthy was the eleventh king to sit the iron throne, and he was considered one of the worst kings in Westerosi history, he had numerous mistresses and many bastards all of whom he legitimised on his death bed, which lead to several rebellions
1. Falena Stokeworth was Aegon’s first mistress when he was 14 and she was 24, after their affair was discovered she was married to Lucas Lothston lord of Harrenhall in order to remove her from King’s Landing.
2. Megette, also called Merry Meg,met Prince Aegon in, when he was in need of a smith she was married to the smith, and seven gold dragons and a threat of Ser Joffrey Staunton of the Kingsguard “persuaded” the man to let Aegon “buy” his wife. Megette was placed in a mansion in King’s Landing, and “wed” Aegon in a secret ceremony by a mummer playing a septon. Prince Viserys returned Megette to her husband after four years, who beat her to death within a year.
3. Cassella Vaith was Aegon’s 3rd mistress she was dornish however had green eyes and white blonde hair. After the Submission of Sunspear during the Conquest of Dorne,being daughter of lord Vaith shewas one of the hostages sent to King’s Landing Prince Aegon escorted her and kept her as a “hostage” in his own chambers. After the Dornishmen revolted and killed King Daeron I Targaryen, all the hostages were to be killed. Aegon, by then bored of her, returned Cassella to her place with the other prisoners. The new king, Baelor I Targaryen, pardoned all the hostages and personally took them back to Dorne. Cassella never wed or had children, and in her old age she was consumed by the delusion that she had been Aegon’s one true love and that he would soon send for her.
4. Bellegere Otherys also known as the Black Pearl of Braavos, a smuggler, trader, sometime pirate, captain of the Widow Wind, born of a union between a Braavosi merchant’s daughter and an envoy from the Summer Isles. After Naerys Targaryen fell pregnant and almost died in 161 AC, King Baelor I Targaryen sent Aegon to Braavos on a diplomatic mission. There he met Bellegere. His affair with the Black Pearl continued for ten years though it was said that Bellegere had a husband in every port and that Aegon was but one of many. Bellegere’s great grand daughter is also called Bellegere and is a famous Braavosi courtesan.
5. Lady Barba Bracken was the daughter of Lord Bracken, who had been a companion to the Princesses Daena, Rhaena and Elaena in the Maidenvault. She caught Aegon’s attention in 171 AC, when all were free to leave the Maidenvault again following King Baelor’s death. When Aegon became king in 172 AC, Barba openly became his mistress. She gave birth to a son that same year, two weeks before Queen Naerys gave birth to a daughter - a childbirth that nearly killed her. Hoping that Naerys would die and he could make his daughter a queen, Lord Bracken spoke openly of wedding Barba to Aegon. When Naerys eventually recovered, Prince Daeron and Prince Aemon forced Aegon to send the Brackens away from court. Barba birthed Aegon one son in 172 AC: Aegor Rivers, later in life known as Bittersteel.
6. Lady Melissa Blackwood, also known as Missy, was a kind girl who befriended Queen Naerys and Princes Daeron and Aemon. She “reigned” for five years as Aegon’s mistress, before being set aside. She was the sixth of Aegon’s nine mistress and the best loved of them. Both younger and prettier than Lady Barba Bracken (albeit far less buxom), as well as more modest, Missy had a kind heart and generous nature that led Queen Naerys Targaryen, Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, and Prince Daeron to befriend her. While Barba was buxom, Melissa had a slender frame. When Barba joked that Melissa was flat as a board, Aegon had the Teats (hills which both House Bracken and House Blackwood claim is thier’s by right) renamed from Barba’s Teats to Missy’s Teats to honor his new mistress. By replacing a Bracken, with a Blackwood the feud between the two houses grew even more. Lord Bracken and Barba groomed Bethany Bracken to replace Missy, which occurred when Aegon visited his bastard son Aegor Rivers at Stone Hedge and met Bethany. Because Lady Melissa was well loved, however, her son Brynden Rivers was able to maintain close relations at court even after his mother’s dismissal.
7. Lady Bethany Bracken, the younger sister of Lady Barba, had been trained by her sister and father to seduce Aegon and replace Melissa Blackwood. She caught Aegon’s eye, when he came to visit his bastard son by Barba, and was taken back to King’s Landing. Aegon had grown fat by then, and Bethany did not feel comfortable with this relationship. She found comfort in the arms of Ser Terrence Toyne. The king discovered them and had Bethany and her father executed and Terrence tortured to death.
8. Jeyne Lothston was a member of House Lothston and was the daughter of Lord Lucas Lothston and Lady Falena Stokeworth. She was King Aegon IV Targaryen’s eighth mistress, and rumoured to have been possibly fathered by the king himself. Jeyne was brought to court by her mother, Falena Stokeworth, when she was fourteen. King Aegon IV Targaryen made Lord Lucas Lothston his new Hand, and it was said (but never proved) that he enjoyed mother and daughter together in the same bed. Aegon soon gave Jeyne a pox he had caught from the whores he had seen after Lady Bethany Bracken’s execution, and the Lothstons were then all sent from court.
9. Lady Serenei of Lys, also called Sweet Serenei, was the ninth and last mistress of Aegon IV Targaryen. There was one child of their union, Shiera Seastar - the last of the king’s Great Bastards. Serenei was considered by many to be the most lovely of Aegon’s mistresses, however by this stage Aegon was grossly overweight and many could not understand how serenei could stand him. Lady Serenei was the last daughter from an ancient but impoverished Valyrian noble family. She was cold and haughty towards others at court. Rumors spread that that she was much older than the king, practicing dark arts to retain her youth and beauty. She died in childbed bringing forth Shiera, the child’s name meaning “Star of the Sea.
There may be more to follow at some point, but while I’m stuck on a train, here have some thoughts:
Only Princess Nymeria of Ny Sar spoke against him [Garin of Chroyane]. “This is a war we cannot hope to win,” she warned, but the other princes shouted her down and pledged their swords to Garin. Even the warriors of her own Ny Sar were eager to fight, and Nymeria had no choice but to join the great alliance. (Ten Thousand Ships, TWOIAF)
I’m looking here at forethought. Nymeria is someone who clearly has a handle on what the damage of war may hold for her people. In this case, she’s right as fuck, given the destruction that the Valyrians bring to the Rhoyne. But there are a few things that I feel like bringing up.
I know I sent you an ask just a couple of hours ago, but I really hope you don't mind me asking another one. (I'm trying to figure out the Stark family tree, and you're really amazing at all things ASOIAF.) What's the deal with Serena and Sansa Stark? Why did they marry their half-uncles? (Do the old gods only prohibit incest between siblings unlike the Faith?) And why did they not inherit Winterfell, and Serena's daughters and lines neither?
This is a little complicated, but basically I think Serena and Sansa Stark’s rights may have been stolen by their uncles.
OK. Here’s the Stark family tree, please follow along and see. Cregan Stark’s eldest son and heir Rickon Stark fought in Daeron I Targaryen’s attempted conquest of Dorne. And per TWOIAF, “Rickon’s death outside of Sunspear in one of the final battles was lamented in
the North for years to come because of the troubles that dogged the
reigns of his half brothers.”
Rickon had two daughters before he died, Serena and Sansa. By the laws of Westeros, the inheritance of House Stark should have gone to Serena. But instead, we know that the Lord of Winterfell after Cregan was his second son (first by his third wife) Jonnel. Jonnel, who was married to his half-niece Sansa. And Edric (Cregan’s third son) married Serena. (Why the younger brother married the older sister and vice versa, I don’t know.) A marriage between niece and half-uncle may be somewhat frowned upon, but is apparently not considered incestuous in the North… or these marriages happened despite any nominal rules against them.
Now, did these marriages happen when the girls were too young to assert their rights? The fact that Serena was also married to Jon Umber could mean that she was already an adult when it happened… or that could be her second marriage, after Edric died, the tree (and TWOIAF) doesn’t say. Either way, a marriage between these two lines could have been something ordered by Cregan, because he didn’t believe the North would follow a woman (or a girl, depending on how old they were when this happened). (Note that GRRM has stated there has never been a ruling Lady of Winterfell or Queen of Winter.) Or it could have been something less than legal, as in the case of Alys Karstark and her uncles.
Note I shouldn’t rule out that it might have been that there was love between Serena and Sansa and their half-uncles. If there was a large age difference between Rickon and his half brothers (as Cregan had four daughters by his second wife Alysanne Blackwood), S&S and Jonnel and Edric might have been raised like cousins. So these marriages might not necessarily have been forced (or that unwelcome), despite the legal questions of inheritance surrounding them. But Rickon’s death being “lamented” and the “troubles” afterwards suggests to me things were not necessarily as friendly as all that.
Also, the inheritance problems get worse. Serena and Edric had several children, but Edric evidently died before Jonnel did, as his name is not in bold as a Lord of Winterfell. Per cognatic succession, Edric and Serena’s children should have inherited after Jonnel died (since he had no children with Sansa or with his other wife). However, instead we see the next lord was Barthogan Stark, Cregan’s fourth son. Why were Edric and Serena’s children passed over? It’s probable that the twins Cregard and Torrhen died young, before their father or before Jonnel, and that just leaves girls… again, whose rights were very likely stolen, though no marriage was involved this time.
five Lady Starks running Winterfell … with four of them widows of a bunch of fairly recent former Lord
Starks, and the current Lady Stark, whose 30-something husband is
fading fast from a wound taken from fighting the Ironborn. –source
There is a lot of Stark kids around though, so ending the line wasn’t a
problem. I think he said 10 children, from various Starks members. – source
So in the Dunk and Egg story (not actually going to be titled “The She-Wolves of Winterfell”, though it was going to be in Dangerous Women before it was replaced by “The Princess and the Queen”), we’re evidentially going to see some kind of succession crisis due to Beron Stark’s illness, with all these Stark heirs running around. And the She-Wolves will be Lorra Royce, and probably Myriame Manderly, Alys Karstark, and Serena and Sansa Stark. (Perhaps Serena’s daughters Aregelle and Arrana will be involved too, as well as the lords’ sisters Arsa and Lyanna, and perhaps the Blackwood daughters or even Lynara Stark if any of them still live.) And we’re going to find out exactly why all these girls were passed over, which of them still hold grudges about it, and which are going to argue that their child should become Lord of Winterfell instead of Beron’s children.
Of course we do know that Beron’s son Willam eventually does become Lord of Winterfell… but the whys and the hows should be interesting indeed, as well as all the historical Stark and Winterfell information we’ll get via Dunk. And if any of these Stark ladies act as regent during Beron’s illness, or if it’s a group regency (like for Aegon III)… well, that info should be very interesting to learn too.
Stannis reading the Conquest of Dorne for the first time
Err this somehow turned into Stannis and Robert taking their lesson with Maester Cressen, but Conquest of Dorne is still there. Hope it’s okay :D
“The arms of House Martell,” Robert read, “display the sun and the spear, the Dor … Dor ..”
“-the Dornishman’s,” Maester Cressen interjected.
-“the Dornisman … the Dornishman’s two favorite weapons,” Robert paused, taking a breath.
-“but of the two,” he continued, “the sun is the more deadly.” Robert paused again, fidgeting and looking out the window towards the courtyard, where the men-at-arms and Lord Steffon’s household knights were training with their swords and their lances.
“Well, go on then, read the rest of the page,” Stannis said, impatient. Robert had insisted on being the first one to read out loud during every lesson, not because he had any particular love for books and reading, but because as he was constantly reminding Stannis,“I’m the oldest!” and therefore he should come first in everything.
Robert closed the book in front of him with a thud. In a sweet, charming voice he asked, “May I be excused, please, Maester? Before he left for King’s Landing, Father told Donal Noye to forge a new sword for me. A real sword, not a wooden one. I think I see Ser Gawen holding my sword now.”
“How do you know that is your new sword?” Stannis asked, suspicious. “It could be any old sword Ser Gawen is holding.”
“You’re just jealous because you still have to practice with a wooden sword,” Robert’s sweetness quickly turned into venom, angry that his words were being challenged by his little brother.
“Boys, please, you must not quarrel. Remember your lord father’s instructions before he left,” Maester Cressen said with consternation. Cressen was a wise and learned maester, but discipline had never been his strong suit, and quarrelling boys more often than not left him feeling helpless and disconcerted. Lady Cassana would have been able to stop Robert and Stannis arguing merely with the raising of her eyebrow and the narrowing of her eyes, but alas, Cressen did not share that talent.
Robert turned to Cressen, the smile back on his face. “Please, Maester, may I be excused? Father will be ever so happy if I can show him how good I am with a real sword. But I have to practice constantly to be good at something, that’s what you told us.”
“Well, now …” Cressen hesitated. “Only if you promise to read the rest of the chapter in your own time before our next lesson, Robert.”
“Oh thank you, Maester. Thank you so much,” Robert said effusively, bestowing a hug on Cressen. “I promise I will,” he declared as he was walking out the door. Almost in an instant, he was gone, lured away from books and lessons by the sight of men with arms.
Cressen turned around to see Stannis regarding him with something approaching disappointment. “He won’t do it, you know. Robert will not read the rest of the chapter like he promised you.” You should have known better, was the unspoken rebuke from the serious, solemn boy sitting in front of Cressen.
Feeling disconcerted once again, Cressen cleared his throat and said, “Will you read the rest of the chapter out loud, Stannis?”
“Can I ask you a question first, Maester?”
“Of course, of course.”
“What did the Young Dragon mean when he said the sun is a more deadly weapon than the spear? The Dornishmen cannot take the sun and wield it in their hand as a weapon to kill someone, like they could with a spear.”
Cressen did not laugh at the question, the way some might have done. He knew Stannis well enough to know that the boy meant the question entirely sincerely and earnestly. “King Daeron did not mean it in quite such a literal way. The sun is not a weapon a Dornishman can wield in his hand, that is true; but the extreme heat has been known to kill many enemies before they could draw the blood of even one Dornishman.”
“The sun is the Dornishmen’s natural weapon then, not a man-made one. The same way the storm would hurt our enemies, if they try to take Storm’s End.”
Cressen nodded, smiling with approval at the boy’s quick understanding. Of course, the ferocious storms frequently assailing Shipbreaker Bay could hurt friends as well as foes, but Cressen did not think it the right time yet to alarm Stannis about that. He was still only a boy, no matter how strangely un-childlike he might seem at times.
“What about the goat track, Maester?” Stannis piped up with another question.
“The goat track?” Cressen searched his recollection. They had not reached that part in the book as yet, if he was not mistaken. Stannis must have been reading ahead, impatient with the rate they were going during his shared lessons with Robert.
“Did the Young Dragon really win the war because he used goat tracks to get to Dorne? And no one else thought of that before? How clever of him.”
“It is not as simple as that,” Cressen replied, and went on to explain about ships and naval battles and the role played by Oakenfist.
“So the Young Dragon lied in his book?” Stannis asked, looking shocked. And very disappointed.
“Not lied … exactly. He was trying to make things simpler, less complicated. It is an elegantly-written book, very concise and –“
Stannis interrupted. “Why should it matter that it’s a well-written book if the writer is not telling the truth, Maester? He lied to make it seem like he was the only reason they won, like the victory was only because of his doing, and no one else’s.”
“Well, perhaps King Daeron did somewhat exaggerate his own role,” Cressen conceded, “but it was still a glorious deed, for someone so young to accomplish.”
“I should have known,” Stannis grumbled. “He sounds like Robert. When he’s writing about this great thing or that great thing he did, the Young Dragon sounds just like Robert boasting about every little thing he does.”
If more realms than just the Reach and the Westerlands had fought at the Field of Fire do you think it might have gone differently, that they might have been successful in stopping the Targaryen invasion?
Hell no. That just ups the body count. If you’re trying to defeat Aegon’s Conquest you don’t do it with large-scale field battles, because that’s just a target for dragonfire.
You do it with Dornish tactics. Split up your armies, abandon most of your castles (Casterly Rock being a noted exception) hide in wildernesses and inside populations, ambush his armies and then vanish rather than try to hold territory, stretch his forces out and then strike where the dragons are not. Wear him down and pick off Targaryens where you can.
I was wondering your thoughts on why Doran is pro-Targaryen (at least in the books; who knows what the hell he's up to in the show..)? The anti-Lannister and Baratheon stances make sense given what happened to Elia, but it wasn't as if the Targaryens were treating her well, both with Rhaegar leaving her to go after Lyanna Stark and Aerys forcing her to stay at King's Landing to ensure their continued support. Yet he's pro-Viserys and pro-Daenerys, even though there isn't a connection to Elia.
Well, this is all rather speculative, if truth be told, but it’s how I see it.
Let’s look at the history of the relationship between Dorne and the Iron Throne.
When Aegon and his sisters invaded Westeros and claimed overlordship over everything, Dorne was the one kingdom that was able to resist. And at huge cost. Eventually, they settled into an uneasy peace. It ended up lasting 150 years, but in those 150 years, the Targaryens never stopped claiming to be “Lords of the Seven Kingdoms” and never stopped seeing their conquest as incomplete while Dorne was still free.
Daeron kind of proved that when he threw away that 150 year peace for little to no reason. (Geographical completeness, “finishing Aegon the Conquerer’s work” seems to be the extent of it.) They resisted them again, at even greater cost and in a way that proved just how unacceptable this military conquest + submission thing was to them.
So Maron probably looked at this history and thought that there was no way it would not repeat itself. Even if it took another 150 years, there would eventually be some other punk who looked at a map of Westeros and got all compulsive about it.
If we accept this image of Dorne as a proto-Nation State, we should assume that it has the same primary goal as all Nation States do: to continue to exist. They showed that they were willing pay a very heavy price to do this, in lives, property, and even honour, (sticking Daeron with the pointy end of a peace banner was dirty pool, to say the least) but as long as the Targaryen were on the Iron Throne, claiming to rule all of Westeros, it would be a price they would be obliged to keep paying.
So Maron resolved the situation by making himself a vassal to the Iron Throne, but it a way that was entirely on Dornish terms. They were able to maintain everything that was important to them, their laws, their culture, their autonomy that is so extensive that one wonders what vassalage even means, and they removed any possibility of a future conquest that would take those things away from them.
But than didn’t seem to be enough for the Martells, their philosophy since Maron seems to have been “the only good Targaryen is a Targaryen we have but he balls”. And if that’s literally, then even better. The Dornish seem to have had a ridiculously disproportionally large influence in King’s Landing during the late Targaryen period. Like, especially considering that they the least populous of the kingdoms and there’s little reason for them to want stuff from the king, since he seems to have rather little power over Dornish matters anyway. The Dornish influence at court was one of the grievances mentioned in relation to the Balckfyre Rebellions, and it doesn’t seem like it went away by the time of Aerys II. At that point, not only the Crown Princess, but also two knight of the Kingsguard were Dornish. The Martells seemed to feel that, as long as they had this disproportionate influence, it was unlikely that the king would threaten their autonomy.
But then Robert Rebellion happened and they lost everything. All the work they had been doing for the past hundred years was down the toilet.
And was Dorne legal status during this time ever clear? They owed fealty to the Targaryens, but did they owe anything to the Barannisters? As far as I can tell, Jon Arryn chose to deal with this ambiguity by ignoring it, his visit to Sunspear “ended all talk of war” but nothing more. And it seems to me to be the implication that the toast that was made to Tommen in “The Watcher” was the first toast to a king in Sunspear in seventeen years. And the amount of ass Tyrion felt he had to kiss in order to extract assurances of simply not opposing Joffrey’s claim tends to support this as well.
Anyway, to actually answer your question anon, by marrying his daughter to Viserys and being absolutely instrumental to his regaining the throne, Doran could reasonably expect to regain the influence that the Dornish had lost thanks to Robert’s Rebellion, and with it put Dorne in a better position to be able to maintain it’s de facto independence without violence. And if Viserys is a moron who they can control, even better.
So I don’t think Doran’s support of the Targaryens is personal, it’s all business.
Concerning Dorne's Export Commodities: What's the deal with Sandsilk? Why are they the only westerosi nation in the silk fabric sector? They obviously don't grow the raw silk themselves, meaning they have to import it from the east. This puts them in competition with the 3 Daughters, yet we never hear of the Dornish being pulled into their endless trade wars. Could you please give your thoughts on the matter? Thank you.
Why do you assume the Dornish don’t produce their own silk? If mulberry can grow in India, South Africa, Iran, etc. it can probably grow in Dorne. Given that Dornish silk techniques are distinctive enough to be recognized on sight - “painted, not sewn. The Dornish paint their silks, I’ve heard” - and have their own distinct name, I’d lean towards them producing it.
So I don’t think they’re competitors with the Free Cities, I think they’re business partners. Dorne sells wine, peppers, citrus fruit, and sand-silk and they buy dyes, spices, textiles, etc. from the Free Cities.
As to why the Dornish are the only Westerosi who have a silk industry, my guess would be that, as silk is otherwise found in Essos (it can be bought in Qarth but given the city’s commercial focus is likely a middleman, it’s manufactured in Naath, and given that the Silk Road is one of the roads that connect western Essos with Yi Ti is likely also manufactured there), it was brought over by those Rhoynar artisans we hear of from Nymeria’s Conquest.