Aegon’s Epic Loot

Varys faces a problem in TWOW with his plan to put Young Griff, whom he calls Aegon VI son of Rhaegar, on the Iron Throne. Griff is almost certainly not the son of Rhaegar. Any real examination of the story that Varys swapped a baby for the real Aegon IV is going to raise many eyebrows on the likelihood that Varys foresaw the killing of the children and that Elia would be willing to save one child. This gives Varys an optics problem, he doesn’t want anyone looking beyond superficial examination and just believe that Young Griff is who he says as shown by Tyrion’s unmasking of the boy



It is almost as if someone wanted to keep you hidden whilst still preparing you for … what? Now, there’s a puzzlement, but I’m sure that in time it will come to me. I must admit, you have noble features for a dead boy.”

The boy flushed. “I am not dead.”

“How not? My lord father wrapped your corpse in a crimson cloak and laid you down beside your sister at the foot of the Iron Throne, his gift to the new king. Those who had the stomach to lift the cloak said that half your head was gone.”

The lad backed off a step, confused. “Your—?”

“—father, aye. Tywin of House Lannister. Perhaps you may have heard of him.”

Young Griff hesitated. “Lannister? Your father—”

“—is dead. At my hand. If it please Your Grace to call me Yollo or Hugor, so be it, but know that I was born Tyrion of House Lannister, trueborn son of Tywin and Joanna, both of whom I slew. Men will tell you that I am a kingslayer, a kinslayer, and a liar, and all of that is true … but then, we are a company of liars, are we not? Take your feigned father. Griff, is it?” The dwarf sniggered. “You should thank the gods that Varys the Spider is a part of this plot of yours. Griff would not have fooled the cockless wonder for an instant, no more than it did me. No lord, my lordship says, no knight. And I’m no dwarf. Just saying a thing does not make it true. Who better to raise Prince Rhaegar’s infant son than Prince Rhaegar’s dear friend Jon Connington, once Lord of Griffin’s Roost and Hand of the King?” – ADWD Tyrion V

How can Varys avoid a repeat of this in Westeros?

One way is after Young Griff lands in Westeros and declares himself as Rhaegar’s son, they make him look the part as much as possible. Tyrion sees Young Griff before he has removed his hair dye and begun wearing the colors of his “father”. However Griff’s facial features will go a long way for convincing casual observers with his Valyrian model good looks


and deep blue/purpleish eyes.

The lad was shorter than Duck, but his lanky build suggested that he had not yet come into his full growth. This beardless boy could have any maiden in the Seven Kingdoms, blue hair or no. Those eyes of his would melt them. Like his sire, Young Griff had blue eyes, but where the father’s eyes were pale, the son’s were dark. By lamplight they turned black, and in the light of dusk they seemed purple. His eyelashes were as long as any woman’s. – ADWD Tyrion IV


Griff gave his consent. “But remember, so far as the company is concerned, he must remain Young Griff until we cross the narrow sea. In Westeros we’ll wash his hair and let him don his armor.” – ADWD The Lost Lord

Wearing the Targaryen colors and having Valyrian looks will certainly be helpful in optics but there are a few relics that could do a lot for their cause. When Aegon rides through towns, approaches the gates of King’s Landing, presents himself in front of his army, he should remind people of Rhaegar, Aegon the Conqueror, Daemon Blackfyre at an instant. Varys could accomplish this very effectively with the help of a few props.

First, the sword of Aegon the Conqueror Blackfyre. It was lost after Bittersteel fled to Essos with it and the Blackfyres however in cut material there’s hints that Illyrio and Varys have gotten their hands on the sword. In an early reading by George of a draft of ADWD Tyrion II].

“Illyrio says he wants to give Young Griff his blessings and has a gift for him in the chests. Haldon tells him there is no time for the litter. Illyrio gets angry and says there are things Griff must know.

Haldon eyes Tyrion and then begins to speak in another language. Tyrion cannot tell what it is but think it might be Volantene. He catches a few words that come close to High Valyrian. The words he catches are, queen, dragon, and sword.”

Aegon with Blackfyre in his hand would be a powerful image, but they can do more. In TWOW, Arianne Martell is heading North to visit Young Griff and see if there can be a re-uniting of their families.


“Some were not. And those who die near things are no less dead than those who die in routs. Prince Doran my father is a wise man, and fights only wars that he can win. If the tide of war turns against your dragon, the Golden Company will no doubt flee back across the narrow sea, as it has done before. As Lord Connington himself did, after Robert defeated him at the Battle of the Bells. Dorne has no such refuge. Why should we lend our swords and spears to your uncertain cause?”

“Prince Aegon is of your own blood, princess. Son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia of Dorne, your father’s sister.” – TWOW Arianne sample chapter

The Dornish likely have another relic of Aegon the Conqueror that they have been holding in secret. It’s previous owner was mentioned in the sample chapter as well,

All along the south coast of Cape Wrath rose crumbling stone watchtowers, raised in ancient days to give warning of Dornish raiders stealing in across the sea. Villages had grown up about the towers. A few had flowered into towns.

The Peregrine made port at the Weeping Town, where the corpse of the Young Dragon had once lingered for three days on its journey home from Dorne. – TWOW Arianne sample chapter

King Daeron I, the Young Dragon, was famous for his conquest of Dorne at such a young age that has made his famous among young boys playing at conqueror the realm over. The Dornish resisted his rule and eventually overthrew him, killing the King in cold blood under banners of peace.DAERON_I

In a bloody betrayal, the Dornish attacked the Young Dragon and his retinue beneath the peace banner. Three knights of the Kingsguard were slain attempting to protect the king (a fourth, to his eternal shame, threw down his sword and yielded). Prince Aemon the Dragonknight was wounded and captured, but not before cutting down two of the betrayers. The Young Dragon himself died with Blackfyre in his hand, surrounded by a dozen enemies. – TWOIAF

The item in question? Not the sword Blackfyre which was sent back. What the Dornish kept was the crown of Aegon the Conqueror.


He even donned his brother’s crown—Aegon the Conqueror’s crown of rubies and Valyrian steel—though he did not call himself king. – TWOIAF


Few foresaw that Daeron, the First of His Name, would cover himself in glory as did his ancestor Aegon the Conqueror, whose crown he wore. (His father had preferred a simple circlet.) – TWOIAF


Such was his desire to split from the past that he had a new crown made—a warlike crown with black iron points in a band of red gold, since Aegon the Conqueror’s crown had been lost after Daeron I’s death in Dorne. – TWOIAF


Varys, Jon Connington, and Young Griff himself will be hungry for anything that can lend more Targaryen imagery and legitimacy. A gift of Aegon I’s crown would be the perfect item to help seal a pact between the two families again. There are other theories that the crown is in Lyanna’s tomb waiting for Jon or simply lost to time, but with George name dropping the Young Dragon early in TWOW from Arianne’s perspective the Dornish may well have a fabulous gift ready for the right price. The crown of the Conqueror for the children of Arianne to wear for generations to come.

The last piece of adornment that Varys may target for Young Griff to wear is mentioned by Jon Connington.


Griff gave his consent. “But remember, so far as the company is concerned, he must remain Young Griff until we cross the narrow sea. In Westeros we’ll wash his hair and let him don his armor.” – ADWD The Lost Lord




For this armor, there’s another intriguing possibility of lost armor. The distinctive and well-known armor of the slain Rhaegar Targaryen.

They had come together at the ford of the Trident while the battle crashed around them, Robert with his warhammer and his great antlered helm, the Targaryen prince armored all in black. On his breastplate was the three-headed dragon of his House, wrought all in rubies that flashed like fire in the sunlight. The waters of the Trident ran red around the hooves of their destriers as they circled and clashed, again and again, until at last a crushing blow from Robert’s hammer stove in the dragon and the chest beneath it. When Ned had finally come on the scene, Rhaegar lay dead in the stream, while men of both armies scrabbled in the swirling waters for rubies knocked free of his armor. – AGOT Eddard I


the day belonged to Rhaegar Targaryen. The crown prince wore the armor he would die in: gleaming black plate with the three-headed dragon of his House wrought in rubies on the breast. A plume of scarlet silk streamed behind him when he rode, and it seemed no lance could touch him. Brandon fell to him, and Bronze Yohn Royce, and even the splendid Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. – AGOT Eddard XV

The day had been windy when he said farewell to Rhaegar, in the yard of the Red Keep. The prince had donned his night-black armor, with the three-headed dragon picked out in rubies on his breastplate. “Your Grace,” Jaime had pleaded, “let Darry stay to guard the king this once, or Ser Barristan. Their cloaks are as white as mine.” – AFFC Jaime I


After Rhaegar was slain on the Trident, the Royal Forces surrendered and the crows descended on the bodies. However, according to George, Rhaegar’s body was removed and cremated as was the tradition of House Targaryen.

[What happened to Rhaegar’s body?]

Rhaegar was cremated, as is traditional for fallen Targaryens.

What’s unknown is what happened to the distinctive armor. If Robert Baratheon had it, you’d think he would display it proudly in the Red Keep as a token of his victory. Somewhere he could see it constantly as a reminder of his defeated enemy. He’d love showing off the caved in breastplate. Since that hasn’t happened, there’s the possibility that someone like Varys and other loyalists squirreled away the pieces somewhere hidden waiting for Prince Viserys to grow into it when he crosses the narrow sea. Or, Young Griff when Viserys proved a shadow of the dragon.

Imagine the impact it would have if Young Griff rode up to King’s Landing with the crown and sword of the conqueror and wearing the iconic ruby armor of his father. It would be another legendary moment for the ages like Renly’s Ghost. Rhaegar’s Ghost trying to take back the Hall of his ancestors. For Varys, this would be the masterstroke that would convince the rank and file soldiers and skeptical lords of the legitimacy. From the Sworn Sword, we can see just how important the imagery and symbolism of looking like a King can be to the soldiers and lords Varys and Connington hope to win to their side.

“You told me your sons died fighting for the king.”

“And so they did. The rightful king, Daemon Blackfyre. The King Who Bore the Sword.” The old man’s mustache quivered. “The men of the red dragon call themselves the loyalists , but we who chose the black were just as loyal, once.

“Daeron . . .” Ser Eustace almost slurred the word, and Dunk realized he was half drunk. “Daeron was spindly and round of shoulder, with a little belly that wobbled when he walked. Daemon stood straight and proud, and his stomach was flat and hard as an oaken shield. And he could fight . With ax or lance or flail, he was as good as any knight I ever saw, but with the sword he was the Warrior himself. When Prince Daemon had Blackfyre in his hand, there was not a man to equal him . . . not Ulrick Dayne with Dawn, no, nor even the Dragonknight with Dark Sister. – The Sworn Sword

Valyrian, handsome, with the trappings of the still popular Rhaegar and the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, Young Griff will convince a lot of people of being a true dragon before he ever steps on a battlefield. However, there is a definite way the Targaryens of the past have determined who is their true blood or not: what happens when you face a dragon. Quite a high number of pretenders have found themselves devoured by dragons and roasted alive when they are rejected by their living sigils. All the metal and rubies in the world won’t protect Young Griff from Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal if they see through the Mummer’s Dragon.

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2 Responses to Aegon’s Epic Loot

  1. LadyKnitsALot says:

    What always gets me with people who insist that Aegon and the pisswater prince swap is legit…

    “but his lanky build suggested that he had not yet come into his full growth. This beardless boy could have any maiden in the Seven Kingdoms,”

    The real Aegon should be 18. He should be full grown, and having to shave some kind of blonde bumfluff off those beautiful cheeks. He should not be a lanky teenager, but a young man.

    fAegon is too young, considerably too young. The kind of too young that suggests Varys came up with the pisswater prince swap story after the fact, as the opportunity presented by the state of Aegon’s corpse gave him a clue for how to advance… whatever plot it is he has going.


    • picard578 says:

      1) People insist that the swap is legit because, frankly, swap *not* being legit can be seen from a mile off – it is an old and tired trope. Swap being legit would actually be something new.
      2) People are not the same, and you cannot compare people as they were in Middle Ages to people today when food is full of hormones and shit. Some boys may be full grown at 16, some may not stop growing until 25 or so. If Aegon is 18, there is indeed possibility that he is not yet fully grown. Likewise, him being 18 does not mean he should have a beard yet. I have known a few 20-year-olds without a beard. And he may just be naturally lanky and already fully grown, who knows.


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