Part 1 of this essay argues that Lewyn Martell (and possibly Rhaegar Targaryen and Jonothor Darry) survives the Trident and is the Elder Brother on the Quiet Isle and, later, Ser Morgarth. Marwyn the Mage is a Martell: Lewyn’s older brother and the Princess of Dorne’s (“tPoD”) younger brother. Plus lots of other stuff.
Part 2 of this essay argues that tPoD is a busy beaver in King’s Landing, giving birth to Jaehaerys II Targenyen’s daughter Elia Martell in 257 and Aerys II Targeryen’s son Oberyn Martell in 258 (before either Targaryen becomes king). She and Aerys have a long-term “thing” and bring Joanna Lannister into their “thing” in 259. At one point Joanna has sex with both Lewyn Martell and Aerys and gives birth to Lewyn & Aerys’s chimera son, Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion’s black hair at birth incenses Tywin, who cuts out Joanna’s tongue and sends her to the Silent Sisters. Plus lots of other stuff.
This picks up right where Part 2 left off.
The ‘Death’ of The Princess of Dorne
Aerys is heartbroken and anguished by Joanna’s ‘death’, and like the Princess of Dorne suspects Tywin of foul play. He is right, and he is right to never again trust Tywin. His mind actually begins to slip — though it ever teeters back and forth.
Then, in 274, three related events occur and Lewyn is plunged into years of depression, drinking and violence.
The key to everything is the ‘death’ of the Princess of Dorne.
Many have assumed she lived until just before Robert’s Rebellion, presumably because of one oddly opaque passage:
“Prince Rhaegar married Elia of Dorne, not Cersei Lannister of Casterly Rock. So it would seem [the Princess of Dorne] won that tilt [against Tywin].”
“She thought so,” Prince Oberyn agreed, “but [Tywin] is not a man to forget such slights. (SOS Tyr X)
If the Princess of Dorne thinks she wins, the logic goes, she must still be alive when Rhaegar and Elia are “formally [!] betrothed” in 279.
In fact, I will show that the Princess of Dorne thinks she “won that tilt” in 273-4 AC, meaning that after Lord Tywin rebuffs whatever offers she actually makes to him (we only know what Oberyn’s belief about those offers is), she immediately shores up an agreement with Aerys to marry (Aerys’s half-sister and her daughter) Elia to Rhaegar (who besides Aerys’s son is Elia’s double-half-nephew). She ‘dies’ without seeing it happen, though.
Let’s deductively prove when the Princess of Dorne ‘dies’. We know she’s dead before Areo Hotah arrives in Dorne:
[Caleotte’s] face was so smooth and fat that it was hard to tell his age, but he had been here before the captain [Hotah], had even served the prince’s mother. (The Captain of Guards)
Not only does Caleotte pre-date Hotah, he even served the Princess of Dorne. Therefore it follows that the Princess’s death pre-dates Hotah.
And we also know Hotah came to Dorne with Mellario, so the Princess of Dorne must die before Mellario arrives, lest Hotah be present when tPoD is present:
Dorne had seemed a queer place to him as well when first he came here with his own princess, many years ago. (The Watcher)
Since Arianne is born in 276, Mellario arrives (with Hotah) by 275 at the latest. She and Doran are already betrothed in 273, when Doran is already 25-years-old , so it’s most likely Mellario is in Dorne by 274, narrowing the window for tPoD’s death to the year after the Casterly Rock excursion. All our ducks are thus in a row.
Elder Brother Lewyn’s Lost Love and Aeyrs & Oberyn’s Concurrent Insanity
Two other sets of events occur for which we now have a crucial piece of context:
- Aerys’s newborn son Jaehaerys dies and Aerys goes on a death orgy, killing a wet nurse and then a mistress and her family.
- 16-year-old Oberyn challenges Lord Edgar Yronwood to a “first blood” honor duel over a woman and inexplicably poisons his sword, resulting in Lord Edgar’s death. (SOS Tyr V)
In other words, both Aerys and Oberyn go temporarily batshit in 274, and now we know why: their madness is precipitated by their grief over the death of Aerys’s long-time lover and Oberyn’s mother, the Princess of Dorne.
When baby Jaehaerys dies, Aerys first blames his wet nurse and beheads her. That’s plenty nuts. But then after a little time passes comes the formative event of young Lewyn’s life, one he would carry with him and reference 26 years later while living as The Elder Brother:
Not long after, in a change of heart, Aerys announced that Jaehaerys had been poisoned by his own mistress, the pretty young daughter of one of his household knights. The king had the girl and all her kin tortured to death. (TWOIAF)
Compare this to Lewyn’s story in the guise of the Elder Brother (keeping the Faceless Men’s “lying game” in mind):
There was a girl I wished to marry, the younger daughter of a petty lord, but I was my father’s thirdborn son and had neither land nor wealth to offer her… only a sword, a horse, a shield.
Lewyn is a Prince of Dorne. His status is not the reason he does not marry, lack of inheritance notwithstanding. And indeed, the Elder Brother doesn’t explicitly say that his birth order is the reason they did not marry: he only leaves Brienne (and the reader) to infer it. The reality is this: the “girl [Lewyn] wished to marry, the younger daughter of a petty lord” and Aerys’s “mistress, the pretty young daughter of one of his household knights” who Aerys tortures to death, are in my opinion one and the same.
The question is: is it merely a tragic coincidence that Aerys’s mistress, whom he comes to believe has poisoned his son, is also Lewyn Martell’s love? Or, given:
- Newborn Tyrion’s black Dornish hair making him look like he’s more Martell than Lannister
- Joanna’s supposed death “because” of a son (i.e. Tyrion) Aerys may be led to believe is Lewyn’s rather than his own
- Lewyn’s probably reciprocated love for Aerys’s young mistress
- Aerys then losing his second great love, confidant and mentor, the Princess of Dorne
…does the jealous and grief-crazed King Aerys lash out in the cruelest fashion to take Lewyn’s happiness away from him, too, publicly blaming baby Jaehaerys’s death on poison to invoke the widespread belief that:
They’re all poisoners, these Dornish. (DWD The Kingbreaker)
I think it’s the latter, and I think Aerys blaming Lewyn for Joanna’s “death” in childbirth probably starts with whispers from Tywin, who in the wake of the Princess of Dorne’s death seeks to swing the pendulum of power from Sunspear to Casterly Rock.
At the same time Aerys is going nuts (and being manipulated), his bastard son Oberyn is also out of his mind with grief, poisoning Lord Yronwood in what should have been a “friendly” duel. (Does Yronwood perhaps cast aspersions on Oberyn’s mother the Princess of Dorne, enraging him?) The aftermath proves that the Princess of Dorne is thought dead:
Blood feud and rebellion would surely have followed Lord Edgar’s death [at Oberyn’s hands], had not her father [Doran] acted at once. The Red Viper went to Oldtown, thence across to the narrow sea to Lys, though none dared call it exile. And in due time, Quentyn was given to Lord Anders to foster as a sign of trust. (WOW Ari I)
Notice that it’s Doran who is now the leader of House Martell, not the Princess of Dorne. He is only the castellan of Sunspear in 273 when Elia, Oberyn and their mother go to Casterly Rock (SOS Tyr X), and a castellan doesn’t decide issues like exile. It follows that the Princess of Dorne dies between 273 and Oberyn killing Yronwood in 274.
The only question is, how does the Princess of Dorne die? The answer is, she doesn’t. She fakes her death and is still alive today. To explain that, we need to look at what Aerys does next.
In 275, after murdering his mistress/Lewyn’s lady love and her family, Aerys II does something that at first seems totally out of character:
King Aerys fasted for a fortnight and made a walk of repentance across the city to the Great Sept, to pray with the High Septon. On his return, His Grace announced that henceforth he would sleep only with his lawful wife, Queen Rhaella. If the chronicles can be believed, Aerys remained true to this vow, losing all interest in the charms of women from that day in 275 AC.
WTF happened to make Aerys suddenly find religion and (supposedly) get celibate!? It’s pretty simple: he learns Joanna and the Princess of Dorne are not dead but hiding out in Holy Orders and is thus convinced Tywin manipulated him into pulling some evil shit, and he swears to make amends.
- Say WHAT?
OK, we already know Jaime sees Joanna in a vision. Not a dream — a vision. How does somebody else send such an accurate, seemingly-conscious portrayal of Joanna to Jaime? Somebody else doesn’t. But apparently the Faith, which is being run by a Faceless Man, has a glass candle in the Sept of Baelor. Joanna’s been there a looong time now, and she’s top of the Silent Sister food chain herself. I think she sends it. She’s been a tongueless silent sister since 273. But as 275 begins, she’s pretty fucking appalled with Aerys’s actions. She’s not the only one.
Honey. Can You Pick Up Some Milk? This Shit’s Gone Sour.
I have previously posted the first 2/3s of an analysis about the Three Septas that guard Cersei. Click through to read about why Septa Unella is Maege Mormont and Septa Moelle is Septa Mordane.
Therein I note that Cersei thinks of the three Septas as collectively old:
Septa Unella stood to her right, Septa Moelle to her left, Septa Scolera behind her. If the queen should bolt or balk, the three hags would drag her back inside, and this time they would see to it that she never left her cell. (DWD C II)
Hag: An old woman considered to be ugly or frightening; an unpleasant or ugly old woman; an ugly or slatternly old woman; a witch or sorceress.
Let’s now look at Septa Scolera. Unella (who is the 46-50 year old Maege Mormont) says something telling to Scolera:
“Was there a trial?” [Cersei asked.]
“Soon,” said Septa Scolera, “but her brother—”
“Hush.” Septa Unella turned to glare back over her shoulder at Scolera. “You chatter too much, you foolish old woman. It is not for us to speak of such things.” (DWD C I)
The middle-aged Unella/Maege (old enough for spiteful, vain Cersei to refer to her, at least as part of the trio, as a “hag”) calls Scolera “old woman”, from which we can infer Scolera is truly old. And indeed, Cersei singles out Scolera’s age when she fantasizes about elbowing her in the face:
If the gods were good, the wrinkled old cunt might crash into Septa Unella and take her down with her. (DWD C I)
On Cersei’s walk of contrition:
Septa Unella and Septa Moelle kept pace with her, with Septa Scolera scurrying behind, ringing a bell. “Shame,” the old hag called, “shame upon the sinner, shame, shame.” (DWD C II)
Scolera “scurries” because she’s short, and she’s definitely old. What else? She’s easily the most “chatty” of the three, and at one point even says to Cersei, “It is good to see you smiling again”. (DWD C I) This seems awfully empathetic for a Stark ally. So what’s she look like?
Septa Scolera was thick-waisted and short, with heavy breasts, olive skin, and a sour smell to her, like milk on the verge of going bad. (DWD C I)
Wrinkled old cunt Scolera is way too old to be Maege or her under-26-year-old daughters, and olive skin is wrong for the Mormonts of The North. Indeed, we know they have skin that “reddens” in the sun:
Under a bleached white vest, [Jorah] was bare-chested, skin reddened by the sun. (GOT D VIII)
Yes, Jorah is once described as “swarthy” in juxtaposition to Daario, but this is explicable by his dark eyes and hair and the effect his dense dark stubble has on a face’s apparent complexion. Olive skin simply doesn’t “redden”, per se.
- Thick-waisted and short? Hang on. That sounds familiar. QM. “Short.” “Too thick about the middle.”
- “Olive skin”? Salty Dornish.
- “Heavy Breasts?” AM has “full”, “round ripe breasts” that “filled his hands”. (The Soiled Knight)
- Smells like milk? Google “gout sour milk”.
Sour milk products are pretty much the best thing gout sufferers can consume. In case you forgot, Doran Martell has gout. So “did” his mother, I’m betting:
News flash: Alleras the Sphinx/Sarella Sand is named after her grandmother, Sarella Martell, a.k.a. The Princess of Dorne, who “died” c.274 and is now hanging out bin the Sept of Baelor being “the nice one” to her lover and best friend Joanna Lannister’s daughter Cersei, 26 years later. And “oh-by-the-way”: 65 years old seems about perfect for Scolera/”Sarella”, and indeed that’s the age I postulated for the Princess of Dorne way back when. (For what it’s worth, I didn’t actually ID her as Scolera until after coming up with the age math.)
Bonus Crackpot: Who is Septa Mordane, originally? There are no “similarly patterned” first names, which makes me wonder whether it’s an assumed name. The fake name Morgarth is as close as any. House Jordayne rhymes, and points to Dorne. Mors Martell is the founder of House Nymeros-Martell. “Dane” is a homonym for Dayne. The names Morgarth and Mordane each put Mor[s] Martell next to Arth[ur] Da[y]ne. Sansa gets her love of (Dorne-associated) lemon cakes from somewhere. If Mordane is a “Stony” Dornish operator, her taking refuge with Scolera in the Sept of Baelor as Septa Moelle may have an interesting explanation, as might her two curious absences from court in AGOT. And her presence in Winterfell is probably not coincidental. She is likely sent by someone with knowledge that Jon Snow is (close Martell ally) Ashara Dayne’s son. Okay, fine, ignore that last bit if you must.
The Princess of Dorne is Alive! How does that Happen?
Given that “Princess Sarella Martell” is alive in 300 but thought dead by 274, she must fake her death and go underground shortly after visiting Casterly Rock. I think it’s quite possible that Tywin poisons her while she’s visiting him, and her “dying” could be a strategic response to his treachery. Notice that Oberyn says:
“Cersei promised Elia to show you to us. The day before we were to sail, whilst my mother and your father were closeted together, she and Jaime took us down to your nursery.” (SOS Ty V)
Read literally, this implies they did not sail the next day as planned. Why not? Remember that the Princess of Dorne is certainly “dead” within a year of this.
Circumstances make me think that the Princess figures out what happened to Joanna, possibly drawing her conclusions from Cersei’s loose lips, given (a) Cersei’s threatening Tyrion’s wet nurse with tongue-ripping and (b) her telling Oberyn:
“‘Everyone says he’s like to die soon. He shouldn’t even have lived this long.'” (SOS Tyr V)
Why does Cersei think Tyrion is “like to die soon”? He’s not sickly, just “a hideous red infant with stunted legs” and a head “perhaps… larger than most”. But he sounds healthy:
“You did have a monstrous great voice, I must grant you that. You would wail for hours, and nothing would quiet you but a woman’s teat.”
The obvious explanation for Cersei’s belief is that the household is whispering that Tywin will kill Tyrion given his black hair. The eventual growth of some blond hair likely saves Chimera Tyrion from death. If Cersei (or anyone else in Casterly Rock) says these things to the Princess of Dorne, or if Elia or Oberyn tell her what Cersei says and what Tyrion looks like, she can certainly put two and two together, decide Lewyn is Tyrion’s father and thus find Joanna’s death even more suspicious.
Tywin might well fear his ruse with Joanna will be uncovered and seek to silence the Princess by means that can’t be definitely traced back to him: i.e. certain poisons. We actually have circumstantial evidence that Tywin poisons her and that she (or Joanna) informs Aerys of this: GRRM instructed artist Amok to make Aerys “very thin” because “he was afraid of being poisoned”. Afraid in part because he knows Tywin pulled this shit on his mentor/lover the Princess of Dorne, perhaps?
If Princess Scolera/Sarella realizes Tywin has poisoned her, it would only confirm her suspicions regarding Joanna. And if anyone knows antidotes, it’s the Red Viper’s mother.
Having ‘died’ sometime after ‘falling sick’ at Casterly Rock, the Princess of Dorne seeks out and eventually finds Joanna in the Silent Sisters. She becomes a Septa to be near her mutilated friend and Longtime Companion… and to plot revenge with her. When Aerys falls immediately under Tywin’s spell and kills Lewyn’s young lover and her family, the Princess of Dorne and/or Joanna somehow contact him and alert him to Tywin’s schemes, and suddenly his inexplicable ‘Come To Gods’ moment makes all the sense in the world.
Despairing at learning what really happened to Joanna (and to the Princess of Dorne) at Tywin’s hands, probably blaming himself and his licentiousness for involving Lewyn in the trio’s sexual activities and thereby endangering Joanna (and his maybe-son Tyrion), and deeply shamed by his ‘dead’ lovers for assenting to torturing Lewyn’s love and her family, Aerys is once and for all steeled against Tywin’s machinations. He abides by the “keep your enemies closer” maxim, however, and does not dismiss Tywin, perhaps partially for fear of outing Joanna and the Princess of Dorne.
Meanwhile, exiled Oberyn begets his second Sand Snake, Nym (probably at the time of his duel with Lord Yronwood by the mistress in question) and travels to Oldtown, where he knocks up Tyene’s mother in 274-275. Shortly thereafter he travels to the Disputed Lands via Lys.
I submit that in Essos Oberyn has another “secret” daughter, possibly legitimate from an unknown-in-Westeros marriage to a Myrish woman. Having just had Tyene, he names this one Taena. Taena Merryweather is a decade younger than Cersei and thus fits this timeline perfectly. And she sounds exactly like Oberyn’s daughter by way of a Myrish woman. She even answers the age old question: “What the fuck is up with all the nipple talk in AFFC?”
The Myrish share the Rhoynar’s olive skin and dark hair, so Dornish blood as such would be difficult to isolate in a “Myrish” woman.
Taena is “a sultry black-eyed Myrish beauty”. She has “black hair and big dark eyes,” is “as tall as the queen,” “long-legged and full-breasted, with smooth olive skin, ripe lips, huge dark eyes, and thick black hair that always looked as if she’d just come from bed.” “Her lips [are] full and dark.” She’s a “sloe-eyed beauty,” “a serpent.”
She’s at least able to act like she’s into fucking Cersei, while Cersei finds her “too beautiful by half,” smelling “of sin, like some exotic lotus.” Cersei fucks her despite having no previous interest in women. (SOS San I & III, FFC C II)
Taena laughs loudly and often, just like her father Oberyn, and she has a Martell’s love of wine:
That night the queen summoned Lady Merryweather to her bedchamber. “Will you take a cup of wine?” she asked her.
“A small one.” The Myrish woman laughed. “A big one.” (FFC IV)
Then she gets “quite drunk,” or so Cersei believes.
Taena practically screams “I’m Oberyn’s daughter!” at us, beginning with the “serpent” reference. Oberyn’s most striking feature is his big-ass black-Targ eyes, which she shares (hers slanted because of her mother), and Cersei’s Targ blood is attracted to Taena’s. Her preternatural sexuality is straight out of the Oberyn playbook, and that serpent comment is LOL referential shit. Oberyn is long-legged too (given his “long strides”) and both are tall.
And all that nipple talk finally pays off!
Arianne (i.e. Oberyn’s half-niece) has:
Round ripe breasts with their huge dark nipples. (The Soiled Knight)
Was there ever a woman with nipples so large or so responsive?(The Soiled Knight)
Taena actually answers that until now much-laughed-at question!
Her breasts were larger than the queen’s and tipped with huge nipples, black as horn…. (FFC C IV)
So, yes, “so large.” And…
Cersei cupped [Taena’s] breast. Softly at first, hardly touching, feeling the warmth of it beneath her palm, the skin as smooth as satin. She gave it a gentle squeeze, then ran her thumbnail lightly across the big dark nipple, back and forth and back and forth until she felt it stiffen…. There was no pleasure in it, not for her. For Taena, yes. Her nipples were two black diamonds, her sex slick and steamy. (FFC C IV)
Yes! So responsive! Taena’s nipples are like Arianne’s because they’re fucking (not like that… well… probably they would be like that) cousins!
Knowing Taena’s identity, there’s some fun irony when Taena’s husband tells Cersei:
“We have Dornish red and Arbor gold, and a fine sweet hippocras from Highgarden.”
“The gold, I think. I find Dornish wines as sour as the Dornish.” As Merryweather filled her cup, Cersei said, “I suppose we had as well begin with them.” (FFC C IV)
If only Cersei knew how sweet she actually finds the Dornish…
Obviously, then, if Taena a “Water Snake”, she is Doran’s agent at court:
“Dorne still has friends at court. Friends who tell us things we were not meant to know. This invitation Cersei sent us is a ruse. Trystane is never meant to reach King’s Landing.” (DWD The Watcher)
Oberyn’s daughter Taena is the reason Doran stays informed and knows Cersei intends to assassinate him if he makes the journey to King’s Landing.
In 276, with the Princess of Dorne dead, Tywin pulls out all the stops. He stages a tournament at Lannisport in 276 to honor Viserys’s birth, hoping to get Aerys to betroth Rhaegar to “his” 10 year-old daughter Cersei, thereby honoring the agreement they had made 14 years before to marry Aerys’s trueborn son to Joanna’s firstborn daughter. (Tywin at least knows Cersei is Joanna’s, which may be the best he can do.)
“Your father proposed the match,” Lady Genna told [Cersei], “but Aerys refused to hear of it. ‘You are my most able servant, Tywin,’ the king said, ‘but a man does not marry his heir to his servant’s daughter.'” (FFC C V)
This is a delicious dig since Aerys knows very well it’s bullshit.
During the tournament, Cersei and her friend Melara go to see Maggy the Frog, who foretells Cersei’s doom and Melara’s imminent death. Cersei kills Melara by drowning her in a well. It’s interesting that Maggy’s appearance is like a grotesque version of the Princess of Dorne/Septa Scolera:
She was short, squat, and warty, with pebbly greenish jowls. Her teeth were gone and her dugs hung down to her knees. You could smell sickness on her if you stood too close, and when she spoke her breath was strange and strong and foul. (FFC C VIII)
The parallels — short, squat, heavy breasts, odor of sickness, to say nothing of Quentyn Martell being “Frog” as well — seem clear. For now, I read this as a “mere” literary allusion: the two women are Cersei’s black and white angels, so to speak. Even c.300, with Cersei half-mad and fucking up everything, tPoD feels personal empathy for her despite being a political foe, whereas Maggy is a Lannister ally yet despises Cersei. At least that’s my present reading. But Maggy may make another appearance in…
The Defiance At Duskendale
After the Lannisport tournament, Aerys again does the smart, not-at-all insane thing and appoints loyal, true men as Rhaegar’s squires (Myles Mooton and Richard Lonmouth) instead of Tywin’s choice of “his” son, Jaime Lannister. (TWOIAF) He is probably “praying” regularly, thereby consulting with his mentor/lover, the Princess of Dorne.
Tywin gets pissed and in 277 pulls his coldest shit since the Reynes and Tarbecks: The Defiance At Duskendale. I think he covertly orchestrates the whole thing. Lord Denys Darklyn is perceived in Duskendale as having been a “sweet young fool,” and it’s widely believed his Myrish wife Serala, called the Lace Serpent, plays a key role in manipulating him into his hopeless gambit. It’s likely she’s Tywin’s catspaw, and it’s probably Tywin who in the aftermath ensures that her tongue is quickly torn out before she can reveal Tywin’s role to someone who will listen.
Tywin plays Aerys II like a fiddle, advising him not to go to Duskendale in order to get the distrustful king to do just the opposite. When he does, Ser Gwayne Gaunt of the Kingsguard is killed and Aerys is captured by the Darklyns. Wanting him dead or broken, Tywin ignores calls for a parlay and Aerys’s imprisonment drags on for 6 months.
Tywin issues an ultimatum which is rightly decried as imperiling Aerys’s life. Tywin points out that Rhaegar will be a better king anyway, hoping to ingratiate himself with the man he believes is about to “owe” him his crown. His plan to see Aerys II killed is undone when Barristan Selmy miraculously rescues the king. Tywin hoped Selmy would be killed along with Aerys, but a half-victory of a broken, PTSD-addled Aerys is still a Lannister win.
Regarding the Lace Serpent, I think there’s something very odd going on here: Serala and Melara (Cersei’s drowned “friend”) are very similar names. Drowning is frequently a fishy matter. See: Patchface, the Ironborn, etc. And we know Maggy uses blood magic. Might it be possible that Serala is Maggy, rejuvenated with the youth of Melara’s life? This is pure speculation, but it smells funny.
Lewyn and Elia Come To Court
At some point around this time, Elia and Lewyn are summoned to court. It could take place any time after the Princess of Dorne’s death up through 279, making Elia 17-22 and her uncle Prince Lewyn 18-23. Because we know Ser Gwayne Gaunt of the Kingsguard dies in 277 at the beginning of Duskendale, my guess is they come to court late that year, with Lewyn appointed to replace Ser Gwayne.
Note that after his older sister’s “death” (which he believes, at least initially) and the murder of his love by Aerys in 273/4, Prince Lewyn becomes the “sad” man the Elder Brother describes himself having been, despondently using and abusing women and alcohol. His family (and perhaps a guilt-ridden King Aerys) may hope his appointment to the Kingsguard will resuscitate him, and perhaps it does. Perhaps he even becomes aware that his sister and/or Joanna yet live. The idea that he is still a lecherous drunk with nothing to live for by the time of The Trident may well be part of his own “lying game”. Or not.
Meanwhile, after Duskendale, Aerys now has PTSD exacerbating his underlying mental health issues. Still, he knows enough to suspect Tywin’s treachery at Duskendale and makes plans to replace him with his own double-first-cousin, Steffon Baratheon. While there is no doubt that the public purpose of Steffon’s mission to Essos in 278 is to find a bride for Prince Rhaegar, “of noble birth from an old Valyrian bloodline,” here’s my question: How the fuck do you fail at that mission?
What, there’s no noble Valyrian lady within a ten year age span whose father wants her to marry the future king of the Seven Kingdoms? That is preposterous.
Steffon’s mission looks like it’s probably (at least in part) political cover for Aerys to follow through on his long-time plan (with tPoD) to marry Rhaegar to Aerys II’s half-sister (and Aerys’s lover’s daughter), Elia Martell. Whatever else is going on, it’s not somehow failing to find Rhaegar a wife.
Given Steffon’s experience fighting the Blackfyres in The War of the Ninepenny Kings, I think any secret mission is likely tied to Targ exiles — the Golden Company, the Blackfyres, or the Brightflames. Note that immediately afterward, Varys is brought to court.
The pregnant question, then, is this: What does Steffon half-Targaryen/Baratheon accomplish on his trip, and who doesn’t want Steffon landing and might have the means to make that happen?
Steffon’s death (yet in 278) enrages King Aerys (who Cressen remembers still “had not been quite so mad” at this time), who blames Tywin but fears to dismiss him.
Aerys Keeps It Up
SOS Jaime II might be some revelatory shit if you assume there’s more we’re not being told. Tywin summons 12 year-old Cersei to court in 278 or early 279. Perhaps he yet hopes for a match with Rhaegar. If not, Viserys is only 10 years Cersei’s junior, and Elia certainly isn’t healthy. He denies suitors for Cersei, as Aerys justifiably no longer trusts Tywin at all and begins to slip into madness.
After the defeat of the Kingswood Brotherhood in early/mid 281, now-Ser Jaime calls on Cersei in the capitol. She tells him Tywin is planning to wed him to Lysa Tully, but points out that “if Jaime takes the white [replacing the recently deceased Harlan Grandison], he could be near her always.” (SOS Jai II)
“Father will never consent,” Jaime objected.
“The king won’t ask him. And once it’s done, Father can’t object, not openly….”
“But,” Jaime said, “there’s Casterly Rock…”
“Is it a rock you want? Or me?”
He remembered that night as if it were yesterday. They spent it in an old inn on Eel Alley, well away from watchful eyes. Cersei had come to him dressed as a simple serving wench, which somehow excited him all the more. Jaime had never seen her more passionate. Every time he went to sleep, she woke him again. By morning Casterly Rock seemed a small price to pay to be near her always. He gave his consent, and Cersei promised to do the rest.(SOS Jai II)
- He consents to her. And her supreme confidence that she’ll be able to “do the rest” comes from where? Just WTF does Cersei think she’s doing here?
- Does Jaime magically get to appoint himself to the Kingsguard? No.
- Does Cersei? No. She’s a 14-15 year old girl.
- So how does she expect to get this idea to Aerys and convince him it’s not some dastardly plot of Tywin’s he can’t see through? (The last part is key: Aerys is paranoid as hell of Tywin’s schemes.)
I think her supreme confidence and her ability to go straight to King Aerys come from the only place a woman’s power comes from, as far as most of Westeros is concerned: her sex. I’m guessing 14-year-old Cersei fucks her dad Aerys. She knows she can exploit his (to her) odd (paternal) affection for and (typical Targaryen) attraction to her to get Jaime appointed. That is the one way she can be sure of getting access to Aerys and making him believe (at least for now) this isn’t some scheme of Tywin’s.
Note that Cersei screwing Aerys exploits the exact same thing the Jamie-for-Kingsguard plot itself exploits: the king’s hatred for Tywin Lannister and desire to see him laid low.
Cersei succeeds. And no wonder:
Whatever else one might say about [Cersei], she did know how to make men love her when she cared enough to try. (FFC Ja II)
Just as she will later fuck Lancel and Osney
Whent Kettleblack to advance her cause, so she fucks Aerys and thereby fucks over Tywin and gets what she wants.
A moon’s turn later, a royal raven arrived at Casterly Rock to inform him that he had been chosen for the Kingsguard. He was commanded to present himself to the king during the great tourney at Harrenhal to say his vows and don his cloak. (SOS Jai II)
Make no mistake: of course the king views Jaime’s investiture as a blow against Lord Tywin, particularly in light of their knowledge of Jaime’s real paternity. But Aerys does it because Cersei has his ear via his cock.
- Granted it’s possible Cersei simply convinces him. But notice that Tywin immediately removes her from court. He doesn’t leave her as a lady-in-waiting to Rhaella; he doesn’t leave her to be near Rhaegar and Viserys. He takes her home.
- A third possibility is that Aerys and/or Varys know about Cersei and Jaime’s incestuous infatuation and are using Cersei to lay the groundwork for Jaime’s acceptance. This would account for Tywin removing her and never trusting her again.
Marei the Whore
It might occur to careful readers that Marei at Chataya’s could be Aerys and Cersei’s daughter. However, Tyrion notes that Shae is “younger than Marei”, and since Shae is 18 in 299 AC, this means Marei is too old to have been born during Cersei’s time off stage in 282 and 283. But this doessn’t mean she’s not related to Cersei.
I submit that Marei is Joanna Lannister’s “post-mortem” daughter with Aerys, conceived after he realizes she is alive in 275. Let’s take a look:
Marei was a cool, pale, delicate girl Tyrion had noticed once or twice. Green eyes and porcelain skin, long straight silvery hair, very lovely, but too solemn by half. (COK Ty VII)
- Marei’s skin is “pale” and “porcelain”. Joanna herself has “pale soft hand[s]”. Cersei has “pale smooth skin”, “fair skin”, her daughter (with Jaime) Myrcella’s “pale as milk”. (GOT E X; FFC Jai VII, C II & SK)
- Marei’s eyes are green, as are Joanna’s her daughter Cersei’s. Marei’s hair is Targaryen silver.
- Marei is a reader, like Tyrion and the “bookish to a fault” Rhaegar. (SOS Dae I)
- Marei is “too solemn by half,” just as Rhaegar “took no interest in the play of other children” and is “determined, deliberate, dutiful, single-minded.” Selmy doesn’t think “it was in Rhaegar to be happy,” and that “there was a melancholy” and a “sense of doom” hanging over him. (SOS Dae IV)
Marei’s aforementioned qualities mirror those of Joanna, Joanna’s daughter Cersei, Aerys’s trueborn son Rhaegar, and Joanna & Aerys’s bastard son (with Lewyn) Tyrion. And her name is a perfect combination of “Cersei” and “Marla,” Joanna’s mother.
Harrenhal: Lewyn’s Shame?
I find it most likely that Lewyn’s coupling with Joanna Lannister is consensual. So is there any “payoff” for the Elder Brother’s comment that he took some women “by force”, or is this just evidence of a period of unknown depravities? One possible answer is Harrenhal.
Ashara Dayne dances “with a white sword, a red snake, and the lord of griffins, and lastly with the quiet wolf.” (SOS Bran II) Oberyn, Jon Connington, and Ned Stark, but most people assume the “white sword” is Selmy or her brother Ser Arthur. What if it’s Prince Lewyn of the Kingsguard, and what if this is important?
Selmy makes no mention of dancing with her in The Kingbreaker, and his memories are consistent with being a distant admirer. He also remembers that Ashara
…had thrown herself from a tower soon after, mad with grief for the child she had lost, and perhaps for the man who had dishonored her at Harrenhal as well.
Grieving for a man who dishonors you seems odd, unless the dishonor is forgiven, or pro forma. We know this man dies, else why is he grieved? Selmy also thinks:
If I had unhorsed Rhaegar and crowned Ashara queen of love and beauty, might she have looked to me instead of Stark? (DWD The Kingbreaker)
It can be argued that “looking to” Stark instead of Selmy implies something dictates her looking to someone for help/succor. An event like being “dishonored”. Might this be an assault by Lewyn, in keeping with the Elder Brother’s statement:
“I had women too, and there I did disgrace myself, for some I took by force.”
The trouble is, Selmy doesn’t seem to view Lewyn as loathesome pond scum, as you’d think he might if Lewyn literally rapes Ashara. He says “Prince Lewyn was as valiant a brother-in-arms as any man could wish for” by way of endorsing Quentyn Martell to Dany. (DWD Dae VIII)
True, this statement is only about valor in battle. Might there be a hint of discord tucked away in this passage?
I swore no oath to Dorne, Ser Barristan told himself. But Lewyn Martell had been his Sworn Brother, back in the days when the bonds between the Kingsguard still went deep. I could not help Prince Lewyn on the Trident, but I can help his nephew now. (The Discarded Knight)
It might be argued that one only knows bonds run deep if they are sorely tested. Do Lewyn’s actions threaten to sever the bonds between Selmy and Lewyn?
Suppose a drunk Prince Lewyn has sex with young Ashara Dayne (perhaps in light of the lustful Oberyn’s potential attraction to her). Might he coerce her enough that the Elder Brother later rues it, while doing nothing unconscionable by back-ass-wards Westerosi standards? Or does he black-out and assume he coerced her because of her subsequent reaction, which is fact a product of her realizing he doesn’t care/is a dead end/etc. The stinkeye Stark would be giving him would fuel his doubt and regret. Wholly consensual sex is of course possible, and Selmy might see this as dishonoring Ashara but not irreparably impeaching Lewyn. (In this case, the Elder Brother’s talk of taking women by force refers to something else.)
Whatever the circumstances of any Lewyn/Ashara sex, if she doesn’t hate him afterward, would Selmy? Ashara may forgive a contrite sober Lewyn, or there may be nothing to forgive. And what about when she’s pregnant? If she puts it out that Lewyn is responsible yet seems okay with him, might Selmy not grit his jealous teeth and keep their bonds intact. Selmy isn’t the brightest bulb, so while he may view sex as dishonoring he may be ignorant of the use of “force”. Finally, Lewyn’s heroic, dutiful “death” at the Trident (and the passage of time) might serve to wash away any grudge Selmy bears him after anything he knows or suspects happens at Harrenhal.
These ideas make more sense if B+A=J, which would necessitate a conspiracy of silence regarding Brandon’s paternity to protect Ashara, her child, and House Stark’s alliance with the Tullys, a conspiracy in which she’d need to adduce someone else as the father. In this case, there is a motive to forgive Lewyn for rapey-ness in order to use him as the “public father” of her unborn baby.
In all these scenarios, Selmy might indeed wonder whether Ashara grieved Lewyn, even while thinking Lewyn “dishonored her” via sex at Harrenhal. So it’s possible Ashara Dayne and Harrenhal is what the Elder Brother is talking about when referring to forcible sex, but I’m unconvinced.
Something just clicked: The Queen Of Thrones and Maegor Brightflame
By the way, we can now sketch an explanation for Oberyn’s relationship with Willas Tyrell: Oberyn’s mother and Willas’s grandmother are strong-willed libertines who shared experiences bedding or attempting to bed Targaryen men in King’s Landing, right? Recall that in 246 (the year before the Princess of Dorne conceived Doran) 18 year old Olenna Redwyne was spurned in her betrothal to Jaehaerys II’s younger brother Daeron. It is possible that she lingered at court for the better part of a decade (Mace being born in 256 or later). It’s doubtful she also hooks up with Jaehaerys, given his love for his still young wife, but…
- Is she paramour to Maegor “Brightflame” Targaryen, about whom we know pregnantly nothing beyond his birth in 232, 4 years after Olenna is born?
Given that Daeron is gay, Olenna probably spends her teenage years twiddling her sexual thumbs. Meanwhile Maegor is growing up big, strong, and Targ-hot, possibly under the same castle roof. Keep in mind he’s the rightful king when his grandfather Maekar dies in 233, but is passed over for Egg (Aegon V) because he’s an infant and it’s feared he would be insane like his father Aerion.
If Olenna lingers at court (and looks anything like her hottie granddaughter Margaery), she and Maegor are sexual time bombs waiting to go off. What’s more, both she and her father, Runceford Redwyne, are undoubtedly pissed that she isn’t marrying a Targaryen Prince anymore, and would entertain a different route to the same end.
- But is there any evidence this happened?
In fact there is. Assuming you’re familiar with the basics of Blackfyre/Brightflame theories, you know many believe Illyrio is a maternal Blackfyre who was married to the bastard Va(e)rys (probably intentionally castrated by Egg’s agents) Brightflame’s bastard sister
Saera Serra Brightflame, begetting Aegon “VI” Mopatis-Blackfyre-Brightflame.
- And what does Tyrion find when he goes booze hunting in Illyrio’s house?
Tyrion chose a cask of strongwine marked as the private stock of Lord Runceford Redwyne, the grandfather of the present Lord of the Arbor. (DWD Tyr I)
Not only that, but he dresses in Redwyne-colored children’s clothes:
a musty pair of burgundy breeches and a blue velvet doublet lined with cloth-of-gold.
An Olenna/Maegor romance is the missing link in the Redwyne-Illyrio connection.
- So what happened to them and how did the clothing and wine get there?
It’s murky, but one key event emerges from this quote, which people love to use to suggest she was Lewyn Martell’s paramour:
Lady Olenna sounded annoyed. “Don’t be foolish, child. Kingsguard never wed. Didn’t they teach you anything in Winterfell?” (SOS Sansa I)
It has nothing to do with Lewyn, who is decades too young, as we’ve seen, but we just learned what becomes of Maegor Targaryen and any chance of him marrying Olenna: a white cloak and a white shield would be honorable service for a man who could have been king, and also would guarantee he could not sire legitimate heirs. Aegon V probably commands his nephew Maegor’s posting, thereby forestalling the legitimate Brightflame line, which threatened his own.
Suddenly everything about Olenna’s bitterness and motivation to put Margaery on the throne falls perfectly into place, as does her nickname. Not only is she denied the man she probably loves, but twice she could have been a heartbeat away from being queen or mother to a king, were history to play out differently. She wants her granddaughter to have what she was denied. After all, nobody calls her “Lady Paramount of Thorns”, do they?
- OK. Maegor is Kingsguard, Olenna is denied. How did the rest of this play out?
Here’s my best guess: Olenna has two bastard children (twins?) with Maegor. Fearing for their safety because Maegor’s claim is better than Aegon’s and also needing to preserve Olenna as a marriable asset for House Redwyne, her father and/or Maegor place the boy with a group of mummers and the girl with Brightflame bastards in Lys. Aegon tracks Maegor’s bastard Varys down and has him castrated both to fuel The Summerhall Project and to end Aerion/Maegor’s line. Maegor the Kingsguard likely dies at Summerhall (but I’ll listen if you wanna talk Tattered Prince). I assume the Redwyne-Illyrio connection ignites when it’s learned (via House Hightower?) that Serra/Saera and Illyrio have a son circa 284-5. A visit is made and/or gifts are sent, etc.
By the way, I think Vaerys slyly references his honorable Knight father Maegor once in a comment commonly and rightly cited as evidence that the eunuch believes Tyrion’s father is Aerys:
Tyrion sighed. “Who’s the traitor today?”
The eunuch handed him a scroll. “So much villainy, it sings a sad song for our age. Did honor die with our fathers?”
“My father is not dead yet.” (COK Tyrion XI)
The only question is: how much does Olenna know about the fates of her children? Once she marries a Tyrell, it’s likely she’s kept in the dark about developments. But I don’t think it’s an accident that GRRM has her making pithy remarks about her likely son:
“Lemon cakes are my favorite,” Sansa admitted.
“So we have been told,” declared Lady Olenna, who obviously had no intention of being hushed. “That Varys creature seemed to think we should be grateful for the information. I’ve never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they’re only men with the useful bits cut off. (SOS San I)
In any case, Olenna and the Princess of Dorne are at court together and understand one another very well, and this eventually leads to the friendship between Oberyn and Willas.
A Second Something: Aegon VI
If there is a real son of Rhaegar and Elia, that child just got a lot more Targaryen — now far moreso than Rhaegar’s child with Lyanna.
And if my suspicion that Arthur Dayne and Elia Martell fall in love and Ser Arthur is the father of Aegon BastarDayne is correct, such a child is awfully fucking Targaryen, too. In the future I will argue that I think it’s likely there have been additional injections of Targ blood into Dorne via House Dayne since the first Princess Daenerys married Prince Maron, but that aside, Elia is now probably 3/4 as Targaryen as Jaehaerys II, Aerys and Rhaegar: her mother the Princess of Dorne is probably 1/2 as Targ as all of them (Targ Kings prior to Jaehaerys having all married non-Targs since the generation when King Daeron and Prince Maron each took the other’s sister to wife, but two Targ generations being so “long” [4th sons inheriting] that there might be an additional generation between the Princess of Dorne and Maron vs. Jaehaerys II and Daeron). Thus Elia’s son with Ser Arthur would be 3/4 as Targaryen as Rhaegar’s child with Lyanna. And if the Daynes have recent Targ blood that math changes (as does the math for Ashara’s child).
This is interesting in light of how difficult it is to believe both (1) that Tyrion is wrong about Young Griff’s age…
“The dwarf put his age at fifteen, sixteen, or near enough to make no matter.” (DWD Tyr VI)
…and (2) that all the signs pointing to Illyrio being a Blackfyre mean nothing. We can of course take the possibility the text explicitly offers us: that Aegon is indeed killed and that the story of a switch is a cover story to advance Illyrio’s Blackfire-Brightflame son. That feels like a trap.
Instead, I propose that perhaps two swaps are made. Aegon is indeed saved, but when Illyrio’s son is born a year or two later Aegon became superfluous. The (potential) fact that he isn’t Rhaegar’s son may be discovered. Who knows? In any case, the child is abandoned, probably in Pentos.
Pentos, from whence hails Daario Naharis. Daario, whose eyes are said three times to be Dayne purple. Daario, who seems to embody Targaryen lust for war, fire and blood and who draws Dany to him like a moth to flame.
Wait, was this essay about the Quiet Isle? Oh well, gotta go where the shit takes you.
Sorry, no grand predictive conclusion.
Barebones review of all the nonsense: Prince Lewyn Martell is alive and working with a faction of Faceless Men (or something very similar) at The Quiet Isle in the guise of The Elder Brother. He hits the road as Ser Morgarth (a tribute to Arthur Dayne). Rhaegar is probably there as the Harpist, and Jonothor Darry may be Brother Narbert (a name with all kinds of allusions of its own). Prince Lewyn’s sister and Doran’s, Elia’s and Oberyn’s mother The Princess of Dorne, probably named Sarella, is living as Sister Scolera (alongside Maege Mormont aka Unella and Septa Mordane aka Moelle). 8 years after giving birth to Doran at age 13/14, tPoD seduces Jaehaerys II and bears him a daughter, Elia. Jaehaerys’s son Aerys is pissed at being forced to marry his sister Rhaella and seeks to show up his dad by sleeping with the Princess of Dorne, too. He does so as a 13-14 year old prince. She bears him a son, Oberyn, and remains a great love and mentor to him throughout his days. Still young and Dornish to the bone, the Princess of Dorne also beds the young Joanna Lannister, introduces her to Aerys and the three of them have a sexual thing going for a number of years. Joanna and the Princess are as in love as Joanna and Aerys. Meanwhile, Olenna Redwyne, spurned by a gay Targaryen, gets it on with Maegor Brightflame Targaryen and probably has a couple secret kids. King Egg puts Maegor in the Kingsguard so he can’t have legitimate kids and tracks down Maegor’s male son, Varys, and castrates him. Tywin’s marriage to Joanna was part of a deal with Aerys to make Tywin hand, keep Aerys’s dick happy and give impotent Tywin heirs. After things get out of hand at the wedding, Joanna is “exiled” by Rhaella (whose marriage was tragically doomed from the start) and returns to Casterly Rock. The Princess of Dorne takes her children back to Dorne shortly thereafter. Joanna either visits King’s Landing or is visited by Aerys, who impregnates her with Jaime and Cersei. Aerys visits Joanna and his children with his whole court when Tywin returns to Casterly Rock in 267. In 270, he visits the Princess of Dorne, Elia and Oberyn in Dorne. In 272 the lovers get the band back together, bringing in Lewyn Martell, Sarella’s much younger (half?) brother. Tywin loses his shit and tries to resign. Joanna and tPoD make plans to marry their kids to each other and for toD to visit Joanna at Casterly Rock. Joanna gets pregnant via both Aerys and Lewyn (chimera!) and gives birth to Tyrion. His black hair at birth causes Tywin to cut out Joanna’s tongue and stick her in the silent sisters, claiming she’s died. The Princess of Dorne arrives a month later and is suspicious, largely because of what she hears via Cersei. Tywin decides he can’t afford to take any risks and poisons her. She falls ill and ships out, but being Dornish knows what’s up and takes an antidote. She fakes her death and Doran takes over the family. Oberyn thinks his mom is dead and goes crazy, killing Lord Yronwood (probably in response to an insult directed at tPoD). Aerys thinks his lover is dead and has Tywin in his ear and loses his mind, too, killing Lewyn’s love, the daughter of one of his household knights. Lewyn, already sick because his sister “died”, is plunged into despair and depression. Lewyn becomes a sad piece of shit. At some point Joanna and/or the Princess of Dorne emerge from hiding out in the Faith to let Aerys know what’s up and cause his “come to god” moment. Tywin schemes, Aerys rejects his schemes, Rhaella probably sleeps with Lucerys Velaryon and finally successfully gives birth to Viserys. Tywin engineers the Defiance at Duskendale, possibly using Maggy the Frog rejuvenated by the “blood” of Cersei’s friend Melara, and drives Aerys crazy, but he still appoints Lewyn to replace Gwayne Gaunt and plans to appoint Steffon Baratheon as Hand and to marry Rhaegar to Elia. Cersei fucks him to get him to appoint Jaime to the King’s Guard (or is used by Aerys and/or Varys to prime Jaime to join the Kingsguard and fuck over Tywin). At some point Joanna bears Aerys’s daughter Marei. Regardless of his paternity, rAegon is a lot more Targ than we thought he was. And maybe he’s Daario. At Harrenhal, Lewyn possibly dances with and possibly has sex with and possibly gets rapey with Ashara Dayne, possibly accounting for his later lament (as the Elder Brother) that he took women by force. But I’m not at all convinced of this. And stuff.