GRRM is being very giving lately, so we’ve got a brand-new excerpt below the cut. So, spoilery analysis below the cut, and here’s hoping the World of Ice and Fire book didn’t totally invalidate my Hollow Crowns essay on Aegon.
- It’s good to get an understanding of Targaryen/Dornish relations between the Conquest and Daeron I, as “sporadic attempts to bring the Dornishmen into the realm continued all through King Aegon’s reign and well into the reigns of his sons.” This would also help to explain why the Revolt of the Faithful lasted so long, if the Targaryens were also fighting a war of conquest at the same time.
- Targaryens practiced slavery – I wonder if Daenerys is ever going to find out! Also, I wonder when they gave it up to avoid hostility from the natives.
- Good to get confirmation that the Targs weren’t hugely powerful in Valyria (only 5 dragons) and were seen as weird for moving to the edge of the known world, definitely puts the “Gaemon the Glorious” thing in perspective and shows how Targaryen desire for glory had its roots in an inferiority complex.
- “for the best part of a hundred years after the Doom of Valyria (the rightly named Century of Blood), House Targaryen looked east, not west, and took little interest in the affairs of Westeros.” GAAAH! Tell me more! What was this involvement with Essos? Was Aegons’ attack of Valyria an aberration or part of a pattern?
- The fact that Aegon loved Rhaenys but not Visenya might explain why Aenys got the crown instead of Maegor.
- Really fascinated by Aegon’s pre-conquest interaction with the Reach and the Westerlands.
- The power relations between the Storm Kings and their rivals make a lot of sense – although you wonder what Argilac got out of his war against Volantis; I like him offering Harrenhal as well as his daughter. Interesting that Aegon got some of Argilac’s bannermen to turn against him, despite pretty openly calling for Argilac to cede half his kingdom. Note that Riverlands’ dependency under the Stormlands or the Iron Islands was a fairly recent phenomenon. Also note that the Stormlands used to be a lot bigger Riverlands aside – a big chunk of land, some 45,000 square miles, that are now the eastern Reach were once the Stormlands. Which helps to explain why the Stormlands didn’t get taken by the Reach if they could use the Mander and the Blue Byrne as a defensive barrier in the same way that the Tullys use the Red Fork and the Tumblestone against the Westerlands.
– I am officially fed up between AC and AL. Pick one, damnit!