11

In A Feast for Crows, Jaime recalls a certain Targaryen King Aenys, second of his name:

Piety and devotion. It was all he could do not to laugh. The walls had been bare on his first visit too. Tyrion had pointed out the squares of darker stone where tapestries had once hung. Ser Raymun could remove the hangings, but not the marks they'd left. Later, the Imp had slipped a handful of stags to one of Darry's serving men for the key to the cellar where the missing tapestries were hidden. He showed them to Jaime by the light of a candle, grinning; woven portraits of all the Targaryen kings, from the first Aegon to the second Aenys. "If I tell Robert, mayhaps he'll make me Lord of Darry," the dwarf said, chortling.
AFFC - Jaime IV

From what I recall, there has never been a second Aenys. Targaryen Kings are:

  1. Aegon I
  2. Aenys I
  3. Maegor
  4. Jaehaerys I
  5. Viserys I
  6. Aegon II
  7. Aegon III
  8. Daeron I
  9. Baelor
  10. Viserys II
  11. Aegon IV
  12. Daeron II
  13. Aerys I
  14. Maekar
  15. Aegon V
  16. Jaehaerys II
  17. Aerys II

So where is the second Aenys? I first thought that it may have been a printing mistake in my edition, making second Aerys into second Aenys. But the quote is available in other editions as well so it may be intentional.

Only explanation I can come up with is that the chapter is in Jaime's POV who is not the most well-versed person in history. So it's Jaime's mistake. But is it?

There was also Aenys Blackfyre who claimed to be King, but it is unlikely that noted Targaryen loyalists such as Darrys would have portrait of a pretender in their castle. That's the only way however there could be portraits of two Kings named Aenys.

  • 1
    "But the quote is available in other editions as well so that definitely is not a printing error." That doesn't prove anything. Second and later printings tend to use the same source as the first printing or the first printing itself as a source. Mistakes can be fixed in later editions, but it's not trivial to do so. See Gordon Dickson's saga of the Part-Maran as Part-Moron in the book Dorsai as an example. And that was an egregious mistake in a chapter title and the author knew about it. Is there any evidence that Martin knows about this line? – Brythan Sep 22 '17 at 11:27
  • 5
    Could someone do a word count of the question, answers and comments on this page? Just so we’ve got an idea of how many words can be inspired by one erroneous letter in A Song of Ice and Fire. – Paul D. Waite Sep 22 '17 at 12:52
  • 1
    @PaulD.Waite Apparently 2157 – Aegon Sep 22 '17 at 12:54
  • 2
    @Aegon: good stuff, although presumably that also counts navigation links and hot network questions and such? – Paul D. Waite Sep 22 '17 at 12:57
  • 2
    No dynasty would choose a homophone like that for a name twice. – tvanc Sep 22 '17 at 20:28
23

It appears to be a typo and that the quote should read:

woven portraits of all the Targaryen kings, from the first Aegon to the second Aerys.

Given the context that it is all the Targaryen kings it makes sense to go from Aegon the Conqueror to The Mad King as that is the first to the last King in the Targaryen dynasty.

Aerys -> Aenys is also an understandable typo, with names so similar mistakes are bound to happen.

Note that it could be that Jaime has made a mistake, as he isn't the smartest, but he did serve Aerys II in the Kingsguard so this seems implausible.


According to this asoiaf.westeros.org post Aerys has been listed as Aenys at least one other time as well:

Lots in the appendix.
Pg. 1016: Daario is "Daaerio"
Pg. 999: Ebben is listed as "Eggen"
Pg. 976: Aerys II Targaryen is listed as "Aenys II Targaryen"

6

This appears as a printing mistake, on a first impression the most obvious interpretation of the sentence is that without the typo it would have been

woven portraits of all the Targaryen kings, from the first Aegon to the second Aerys

this would have meant that the portraits depicted all the lineage of the Targaryen Kings, from Aegon I, the Conqueror to Aerys II, the Mad King

But to me, there are some things that don't cling very well with this interpretation.

First of all, it seems highly unlikely to me that such a typo could have passed unnoticed after all this time, by Martin himself, by his proofreaders and by all the fans that analyze every bit of text in search of clues and references; the novel was published in 2005, I find it hard to believe that after all these years nobody could have discovered such mistake and that, if truly a typo, it was not corrected on the later reprints.

Second, but this could just be nitpicking with semantics, the text does not refer to an Aenys, Second of his Name, but to the second Aenys; the sentence could also be read as

woven portraits of all the Targaryen kings, from the first Aegon {the first King} to the second Aenys {the second King to sit on the Iron Throne}

There is not any logical fault here, Aegon I was in fact the first king, and Aenys I the second one; the odd thing of this interpretation is that it is implied that all the long list of the Targaryen Kings is depicted on these tapestries, so stating that they go just from the first to the second kind of contradicts this.

It is also possible that the tapestries were not ordered chronologically, so maybe the numbers here are just telling how these tapestries were stocked in the cellar, but this really doesn't seem to make sense.

I also think that blaming Jaime for his supposed ignorance doesn't solve the mystery: he served under Aerys II for a long time, he surely knew him enough to not mistake his name with that of a King who lived nearly 300 years before. And, ff there could be some doubt about Jaime's knowledge of history, it should be noted that it was Tyrion who showed the tapestries to him; surely the Imp would not have mistaken one King for another or misspelled their names.

  • 1
    +1, but one thing. Aenys, Second of his name and second Aenys basically amount to the same thing. – Aegon Sep 22 '17 at 10:00
  • +1 for your alternative interpretation of the statement. But typos go unnoticed all the time and one as similar as this is bound to be hard to spot. In books as long and as complicated as these it is even more likely for a typo to go unnoticed. – TheLethalCarrot Sep 22 '17 at 10:00
  • This answer seems to suggest an answer but then strike it down as implausible, I struggle to see your conclusion. – Edlothiad Sep 22 '17 at 10:03
  • 1
    @Aegon not really; Aenys, Second of his Name means that there was another King named Aenys (the First) before him, while Aenys, the Second King merely means that there was another King before him, not necessarily named Aenys (in fact, he was named Aegon). – Sekhemty Sep 22 '17 at 10:04
  • 1
    @Sekhemty It's one letter difference and "r" and "n" aren't too dissimilar. Also most people don't know the history of the worlds, especially if they only read the books once, so it isn't that unlikely it has gone unnoticed. – TheLethalCarrot Sep 22 '17 at 10:31

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