Now that we’ve devoured some ancient history, let’s get into the Targaryen rise to power!
Let’s see how much of Hollow Crowns, Part II is still viable, shall we?
- Aegon the Fortunate – ouch, right in the feels.
- Yay, Archmaester Gyldayn!
- 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 on Volantis 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.
- Argilac seems like one of those badass generals who got his people into more wars than they could afford.
- 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.
- Duskendale and Rosby were pretty strong once, even as Ironborn vassals. The Darklyns have no luck.
- Aegon really liked crowning by acclamation.
- The First Small Council:
- Orys Baratheon, Hand of the King (man, I feel for Orys, he gets the most hard work of any of them)
- Daemon Velaryon, Master of Ships (maybe not the best pick)
- Triston Massey, Master of Laws (the Masseys did well out of their treachery it appears; still no clear idea on the extent of royal law)
- Crispian Celtigar, Master of Coins
- No Kingsguard, no Grandmaester, no Whisperer?
- Aegon attacks simultaneously in three directions at once; ballsy, but costly, as we see with the Battle of the Wailing Willows, Gulltown (BTW, note the Braavosi assistance there), and Orys’ ambush in the Kingswood. Then again, if you have dragons…
- Aegon also got lucky – the Dornish and the Storm Kings going to war, the Arryns facing a rebellion, ditto with Harren. On the other hand, given how much time Aegon and Sisters spent touring the Seven Kingdoms, maybe this is a case of the Seven Ps?
- Harren was a goddamn moron, but at least he tried, but you can’t fight a divebomb.
- Orys holding the line at the Last Storm. See what I mean about giving him the tough jobs? And I haven’t even gotten to the First Dornish War yet.
- “In her youth Queen Sharra has been lauded as the Flower of the Mountain, the fairest maid in all the Seven Kingdoms. Perhaps hoping to sway Aegon with her beauty, she sent him a portrait of herself and offered herself to him in marriage…though the portrait did finally reach him, it is not known whether Aegon Targaryen ever replied…Sharra was by then a faded flower, ten years his elder.” Ouch.
- Wow, King Mern IX really went all in. “Sons, grandsons, brothers, cousins, and other kin” all went up in smoke. Also, no wonder there’s bad blood in the Reach if the Oakhearts fought at the Field of Fire while the Tyrells bent the knee without a fight.
- Torrhen Stark was a very smart man. Even without the dragons, 35,000 vs. 53,000 is a really bad idea.
Well, that mostly held up. Phew. On to the Targaryen Monarchy!