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Lucky Like A Targaryen

Exploring “The World of Ice and Fire” One Chapter at a Time

Right Name, Right Time, Right Place…Plus Dragons (HBO)

Last year I started to do a deep-dive into the book “The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and The Game of Thrones” until I quit for no particularly good reason. So, now that Season 7 is over, I am starting the series back up. This week I am covering the “Doom of Valyria” chapter.

My Copy of TWOIAF

This series is for people who enjoy a deeper-dive into the ASOIAF books. If you have not read the books or are behind on the television series *Spoiler Alert*

So, How Did The Targaryen’s Become The Ruling Family of Westeros Again?

Let Me Tell You A Story (HBO)

Well before the Targaryen’s fell after Robert’s rebellion, they ruled Westeros for a very long time. But, how exactly did one Valyrian family, among an empire full of Valyrian’s, end up large and in charge? The answer comes down to these two words:

“The Doom”

Right about when the Valyrian’s had taken over the entire known world, 99% of all of the Dragon Lord’s were all hanging out together in the Freehold at the exact moment when the volcanoes known as the “14 Flames” erupted all at once killing all of them and most of their dragons (and reducing the Freehold to ash in minutes).

But guess who just happened NOT to be at that big Valyrian party?

Aenar Targaryen, his kids, and the dragons they controlled (and some dragons that escaped the Doom, there were a few other Valerian’s who escaped but they got involved in silly conflicts and died).

Yup, the Targaryen dynasty was started by pure and unadulterated luck (Aenar’s daughter had a premonition, so they did not go to the Freehold).

Oh, and the Targaryen’s also had Dragonstone, so they could hang out on an island and not get drawn into needless conflict before they were ready to make their play for world domination.

Don’t get me wrong, they still had to retake the world but they were gifted a huge advantage when the vast majority of the rest of their kind perished.

Once the rest of the Valerian leadership was gone, the Targaryen’s no longer had to compete with other Dragon owners, which was like being gifted the only weapons of mass destruction on earth.

What Caused “The Doom?”

Burn Baby Burn (HBO)

Nobody has a definitive answer to this question, but here are the different options that the book offered up for our perusal:

  • Sinfulness (yup the same thing our leaders sometimes say when tragedies occur)
  • Weakened spells or weakened mages (the mages used spells to control the volcanoes)
  • The Priests of R’hllor called the fire
  • The Curse of Garin the Great (see ‘Nymeria and the Ten Thousand Ships’)

One other thing, the area where the Freehold used to exist is now called the ‘Smoking Sea’ and generally the people who visit the ‘Smoking Sea’ tend not to return. And, just as a contemporary reference point, one of the only people who ever has been rumored to have returned from the ‘Smoking Sea’ is one Euron Greyjoy.

Josh is a blogger and freelance writer who writes about television, movies, music, politics, race, ethics, and whatever else seems interesting at the time.

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