One of the most infamous villains in Game of Thrones would be Gregor Clegane AKA The Mountain. Despite being a knight, Gregor was a knight in all but name. Instead of being a true knight, Gregor was a cruel and sadistic murderer and war criminal. Because of his brutality, he was one of the Lannisters’ most feared enforcers. Gregor was an eight-foot-tall four hundred pound mass of muscle and when he wore his plate armor and wielded his great sword he was virtually invincible. However, I often wonder would it would have been like if Gregor was a good guy instead of a bad guy and embodied everything that made a true knight. With his strength and skill combined with a true knight’s morality, Gregor would have been the finest knight in Westeros has seen since Ser Duncan the Tall. For my third fantasy book, I am planning to create a character who is just as big and strong as Gregor Clegane but is one of the good guys. In terms of personality, I am thinking of giving my character a mindset similar to a samurai. The word “Samurai” means “To serve the master”. My character will come from a kingdom that is super serious about upholding one’s oaths to their liege lords. In other words, my main protagonist becomes the master and this gentle giant becomes his “samurai”.
As I delve into the history of House Targaryen, I turn my attention to the tragedy of their cadet branch, House Blackfyre. Like many great houses, the Targaryens had their own cadet branches of relatives. House Baratheon was rumored to be a cadet branch of House Targaryen, but this was never confirmed. The only confirmed cadet branch of the red dragon was the black dragon of House Blackfyre, which died out decades before the main story of Game of Thrones.
The story of House Blackfyre began during the reign of Aegon the Unworthy, who was both famous and infamous for his insatiable sexual appetite. Due to his numerous mistresses and affairs, Aegon had a large brood of bastard children. The greatest of these bastards was Daemon Waters, who was his father’s favorite child. Aegon the Unworthy favored Daemon so greatly that he knighted the boy when he was twelve and gifted him Blackfyre, the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Targaryen. When Aegon was on his deathbed, his final command was to legitimize all of his bastards, including Daemon.
With the passing of Aegon the Unworthy, Daemon’s legitimate half-brother Daeron the Good became king. Befitting his title as “The Good”, Daeron tried to be on good terms with Daemon and his other half-siblings. Daeron even gave Daemon an edict on his wedding that permitted him to build his own castle in the Crownlands. Sadly, simply having his own lands and castle was not enough for Daemon.
Since Daemon was legitimized, he had a claim to the Iron Throne. Also, several lords preferred Daemon over Daeron. This was because these lords were unsatisfied by the peace that Daeron promoted and wanted a warrior as their king, which they saw in Daemon. In addition, these lords saw Aegon gifting Blackfyre to Daemon as a sign that Aegon preferred Daemon as his heir despite being illegitimate. With his newly legitimized status, Daemon changed his surname from Waters to Blackfyre after the sword his father gave him.
After rallying his armies, Daemon declared war on his half-brother with the intention to claiming the Iron Throne for himself. Ultimately, Daemon and his two eldest sons were killed on the Redgrass Field while the rest of his children fled into exile. Despite Daemon’s death, his descendants would continue to plague the Targaryens with four more rebellions of fire and blood. The male bloodline of House Blackfyre was severed when Barristan Selmy slew Maelys the Monstrous on the Stepstones during the final Blackfyre Rebellion. What happened to the female bloodline of House Blackfyre is unknown.
I call the fate of House Blackfyre a tragedy because if they had known their place, they would still be alive and enjoying a castle not far from King’s Landing. They could have had the positive relationship with their Targaryen relatives that Daeron the Good wanted. Great houses such as the Starks, Lannisters, Tyrells, and so on had working relationships with their cadet branches that lasted for centuries. Sadly, a dragon’s ambition burns too hot and the Iron Throne is too great a prize to resist.
There is a thought that has been scratching in the back of my mind regarding Gregor Clegane from Game of Thrones. When he was a mortal man, he was an eight foot tall, four hundred pound mass of muscle with near superhuman strength and was surprisingly quick for his size. Because of his size, strength, fighting skills, foul temper, and violent tendencies, Gregor Clegane was the most feared warrior in the Seven Kingdoms. When he was modified by Qyburn’s mad science, Gregor’s mind was all but gone and his physical strength and fighting skills were greatly augmented. In his undead state, Gregor’s strength was comparable to a giant’s (about the combined strength of twelve normal humans), he was immune to pain and injuries that would kill a normal person, he did not tire and could push himself further and harder than any normal human, and he was completely obedient to his master (except when his brother was involved). Gregor was already deceptively fast for his size before his enhancements so it is possible that that agility was increased as well. In the Song of Ice and Fire books, it was revealed that his augmentations altered him to the point in which he did not require sleep, food, drink, and he didn’t even need to use the bathroom. With these enhanced capabilities and characteristics, Gregor Clegane became the ideal medieval warrior. Then I wondered what it would be like if there was an entire army of thousands of soldiers, each one as big, strong, and durable as Gregor in his undead state. That would be an army I would not want to fight.
Out of all the generations of House Targaryen, the one I find most intriguing would be the generation that lived before and during the Dance of the Dragons. Before the Dance of the Dragons, this generation represented House Targaryen at the height of its power over the Seven Kingdoms. Not only were there plenty of heirs that would secure the dynasty, but there were over twenty dragons, which were the most dragons seen since the glory days of Valyria. Sadly, despite the power they represented, this generation had one fatal weakness: they despised one another with a passion. This hatred started when King Viserys I remarried to Alicent Hightower, who produced several legitimate male heirs. These heirs undermined Princess Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne since she was named the designated heir apparent by her father, which was a decision he stood by until the day he died. Unfortunately, Alicent and her children failed to honor their patriarch’s dying wish and usurped the throne for themselves. This led to the bloodiest and most devastating Westerosi civil war in history: the Dance of the Dragons. Throughout the war, this generation of Targaryens gradually killed each other and their dragons until there were only two Targaryens and two dragons left. Shortly after the war, the last dragons eventually died out completely. This marked the start of the long term decline of House Targaryen. This generation had so much potential and they squandered it because they despised and coveted one another. I often think about what could have happened if this generation of Targaryens were not so dysfunctional. If they didn’t kill each other, would they still have their dragons and the Iron Throne? So many questions that will never be answered. All I can do is imagine and brainstorm this scenario.
As a dragon fanatic, I have enjoyed and sympathized with the dragons in Game of Thrones. Dragons were the linchpin to House Targaryen’s long term hold to the Iron Throne. Instead of being preserved as the last of their kind, the Targaryen dragons were used as living weapons of mass destruction. One of the saddest of these cases was the dragon known as Sunfyre, the dragon bonded to King Aegon II. Before the Dance of the Dragons, Sunfyre was the most beautiful of all the Targaryen dragons with golden scales that made him look like a living gilded statue. After the Dance of the Dragons, Sunfyre became a ruined and scarred creature that would never fly again. Such a beautiful animal became a ravaged shadow of its former self because of the ambitions of its masters. I frequently wonder what it would have been like if Sunfyre had the chance to live out his existence in peace and die of old age like Balerion the Black Dread did. If Sunfyre reached maturity, I think it would be hard to tell if he was a dragon or an angel.
I discovered this article that talked about how Game of Thrones creator, George R. R. Martin, is spending his Coronavirus self-quarantine. Apparently, he has been writing daily during his social distancing, which includes finishing The Winds of Winter. George has the right idea about spending time during self-quarantine. I think I will do the same with my writing. With no job to go to and school shut down, I have a lot of time to kill. I just published Cosmic Genten so I think I will concentrate on writing my new superhero book. Based on how much time I have on my hands, I think I might get my new superhero book done by the end of the year. Wish me luck!
For over two and a half years, I have been trying to justify and rationalize the last two seasons of Game of Thrones. Now, I realize that I cannot and it is time for me to be brutally honest with how the show ended. Both seasons were VERY poorly written and executed. They were rushed, recycled classic quotes from previous seasons instead of coming up with something new, and destroyed all the main character arcs. For example, they ruined Jaime Lannister’s redemption story by giving him some redeeming qualities but those qualities were not enough to truly redeem him. With Tyrion Lannister, they dumbed him down compared to how he was in earlier seasons. With Cersei Lannister, she did lose everything to a younger and more beautiful queen but wasn’t killed by a “younger brother” and her death was nowhere near satisfying. With Jon Snow, he died so he could leave the Night’s Watch only to be sent back in the end, which made his sacrifice meaningless. With Daenerys Targaryen, the whole Mad Queen change was too sudden and not believable because she may have been ruthless throughout the series but ruthless does not necessarily lead to madness. Even the war with the White Walkers was a complete disappointment. This list of destroyed character arcs goes on and on. There were also several scenes that were a complete waste of film without meaning or purpose. I can’t even stomach watching these seasons again. I have read fan fiction that was better written than the last two seasons. Due to this, I am going to pretend the last two seasons don’t exist and choose my favorite fan fiction as the ending. I am also worried about how the last two seasons will affect fans of the books because some think the books’ ending will be just as bad as the show or worse. This could potentially kill the books and that makes me worry.
I just realized something significant about House Targaryen! Even though Daenerys is dead and “Jon Snow” is exiled, they are not the last of the Targaryens; far from it! Allow me to explain. Over a hundred years before the main story of Game of Thrones, Aegon the Unworthy legitimized ALL of his bastards on his deathbed. This led to the five Blackfyre Rebellions. However, Daemon Blackfyre, Aegor “Bittersteel” Rivers, and Brynden “Bloodraven” Rivers were not Aegon’s only bastards of noble birth and not all of Aegon’s bastards of noble birth were acknowledged. Also, even though Aegon had nine prominent mistresses, the exact number of women he had children with are unknown even to him. He definitely had more bastards than even Walder Frey or Robert Baratheon and he legitimized ALL of his bastards including the ones who were unacknowledged or of low birth. The only catch is that these legitimized bastards and their descendants don’t know who or what they are. Even though most of Aegon the Unworthy’s noble bastards mostly killed each other off, his unacknowledged and low birth bastards and their descendants still live. With no one knowing who they are, they will not be hunted and killed like their known relatives. Because they were legitimized, they and their descendants are not bastards anymore. Due to this House Targaryen still lives, but only in secret.
After watching the series finale of Game of Thrones, I spent a great deal of time contemplating what Jon Snow’s ultimate fate was after he went Beyond the Wall with the remaining wildlings. Personally, I don’t think he stayed with the Night’s Watch or the Wall. There are too many painful memories for Jon at the Night’s Watch such as Jeor Mormont’s death, Benjen Stark’s death, Ygritte’s death, and Jon’s murder at the hands of his own men. Even though Jon Snow is a man of honor who tries to uphold his oaths whenever he can, he already broke his oath of fealty to Daenerys Targaryen so I think he would have a more flexible and open mind when it comes to oathbreaking.
Besides, with the White Walkers permanently defeated, the Wall breached, and the wildlings no longer seen as an enemy, the Night’s Watch will be rendered obsolete and will no longer exist for much longer. Their “oath” will now be viewed as loose guidelines.
Instead, he stayed with the wildlings to become the new King Beyond the Wall. After everything he did for them and after witnessing everything he did, the wildings won’t accept anyone else to be their king. There are less than three thousand surviving wildlings and due to my medieval research I know for a fact that great kingdoms have started with far less.
The wildlings revered Jon as their savior when he saved them from the White Walkers at Hardhome. They worshipped him as a god when he died and rose from the dead. They respected him as a warrior and leader after fighting alongside him in the Battle of the Bastards. Now they idolize him as a king when they saw him ride a dragon. Due to all these factors, Jon seen as a legendary figure to the wildlings for generations to come. They will sing songs and tell tales about him for a thousand years.
This would be similar to how legendary figures such as Bran the Builder, Lann the Clever, and Garth Greenhand were revered by the First Men during the Age of Heroes. Normally, wildlings only name leaders based on strength and character instead of by blood and inheritance. However, future generations of wildlings will name Jon Snow’s descendants Kings and Queens Beyond the Wall because of their ancestor’s legendary status. This is similar to how the First Men eventually swore fealty to House Stark over the centuries. Thus, Jon Snow would found the wildlings’ first dynasty of rulers.
With this in mind, the Targaryen Dynasty will survive as Kings Beyond the Wall instead of Kings of the Iron Throne. Jon’s descendants would have a mixture between Stark and Targaryen features. Some will have the Stark features of black hair, dark eyes, and long faces. Some will have the beauty of Old Valyria with silver-gold hair and violet eyes. Because of their superstitious nature, the wildlings could see Jon’s Targaryen-looking descendants as divine.
With Bran Stark ruling the south and Sansa Stark ruling the North, they may change some of the punishments so that exile beyond the Wall will become more common. Since the Wall is breached, it will no longer serve as a viable penal colony like it used to. So in the future convicts would be banished Beyond the Wall. If they do not like the elected monarchs of the south or the Stark monarchs of the North, there would be another monarchy and kingdom who would have them. As the all-seeing and all-knowing three-eyed raven, Bran would subtly help Jon Snow build his kingdom Beyond the Wall. He would know that since the day he was born Jon Snow was destined to lead and rule and therefore cannot escape his fate as a king. The Iron Throne may no longer exist, but Bran would know that there are still people who need Jon to lead and rule them.
Because of their interactions at Winterfell, the wildlings may undergo several societal changes. They claim that they need room to roam, but that might change after they experienced the comforts of living in a castle. Frankly, a castle would be warmer and safer than the cold wilderness. Like the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, the first wildling castles may be wooden motte-and-bailey fortresses. They may rebuild Hardhome into a more fortified walled city with its own castle and make it the capital of their new kingdom. Thanks to the breach in the Wall, a new trade route can be established that would link the lands Beyond the Wall to the Seven Kingdoms. Due to this, the economy of Jon Snow’s new kingdom may revolve around trade instead gold. Tormmund Giantsbane showed an interest in the concept of knighthood when Brienne of Tarth was knighted so the wildlings may adopt knighthood into their new kingdom.
Finally, with the White Walkers permanently defeated, the surviving giants and Children of the Forest will come out of hiding. We do not know for sure if the White Walkers truly hunted them into extinction. If there are survivors and they come out of hiding, Jon Snow’s new kingdom Beyond the Wall may resemble what the North looked like before the Andal Invasion when giants and the Children of the Forest were everywhere.
Most fascinating of all would be the climate of the Kingdom Beyond the Wall. For over eight thousand years, the White Walkers threw the seasons out of balance. Seasons would last years instead of months. Now that the White Walkers are permanently defeated, the seasons will stabilize after the land Beyond the Wall experiences a spring that will last for a very long time in order to compensate for being frozen for millennia. This means more game to hunt and more fertile land for crops. Wildlings are not know for being farmers, but as trade grows through the breach in the Wall they may learn to develop their own agriculture.
Overall, I think Jon Snow, his bloodline, and the wildlings have a bright future ahead of them after so much hardship. Considering the circumstances, this would be the ending to Jon Snow’s story I would accept. The blood of the dragon will live on Beyond the Wall.
Allow me to address some of the many flaws in House Targaryen. Even though I will always be a fan of this infamous family, I cannot shake off their flaws. Among those flaws was the fact that they were very careless and irresponsible with their heirlooms compared to other noble houses.
To begin with, the Targaryens lost the Valyrian steel crown of Aegon the Conqueror when Daeron the Young Dragon attempted to conquer Dorne. Since then, Targaryen kings replaced it with inferior crowns that any normal king would wear. Because Valyrian steel is so rare and impossible to make from scratch, that crown was irreplaceable. When House Arryn ruled as Kings of the Vale, they had a collection of crowns they had worn for thousands of years until Visenya Targaryen took them away.
While we are on the subject of Valyrian steel, let’s turn our attention to the two Valyrian steel ancestral swords of House Targaryen: Blackfyre and Dark Sister. Most noble families were super lucky if they even had one Valyrian steel sword, but the Targaryens had TWO!!! Then they squandered both swords at the start and end of the five Blackfyre Rebellions. The noble families who had Valyrian steel swords such as the Starks, Mormonts, and Tarlys took great care of their ancestral blades and had them for five hundred years. With the Targaryen Dynasty, they lost both of their ancestral blades after having them for less than two hundred years.
Thanks to the Mad King’s insanity and tyranny, the Targaryen Dynasty lost the Iron Throne; the seat of absolute power that they held for almost three hundred years. If it wasn’t for the Targaryen family curse of madness and had the sense of giving up their practice of incest, the Targaryens could have ruled Westeros until the end of time.
However, even though the Iron Throne served as a symbol of the Targaryen’s power, the true source of their power came in the form of their greatest weapons: DRAGONS!!! For over a century, the Targaryen Dynasty were able to hold onto their power thanks to their dragons. With the exception of the Dornishmen and the zealots of the Faith Militant, no one was crazy enough to wage war against dragons. Then the Dance of the Dragons came along and the Targaryens lost their dragons along with the long term lynchpin to their hold to the Iron Throne. Instead of being responsible with their dragons, the Targaryens regarded them as weapons and they paid the price for this neglect.
I breaks my heart that the Targaryens did not take better care with all of their heirlooms. They truly had it in them to rule Westeros forever if they had taken the proper steps to prevent their downfall.