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Ellaria Sand explains the shame cast upon bastards throughout much of Westeros, and how these unwanted children can tear families and kingdoms apart.
Ellaria Sand: "Sex". A simple word for a simple act. And so, of course, men complicate it. A child born to a wife is a gift from the gods. A child born to a mistress or an obedient servant girl is a "bastard", unworthy of its father's name. So instead they call the children after the land where they were born: "Flowers" in the Reach and "Hill" in the Westerlands, "Stone" in the Vale and "Storm" in the Stormlands, "Rivers" in the Riverlands and "Waters" in the Crownlands, "Pyke" in the Iron Islands, "Snow" in The North, and in Dorne "Sand".
By these names, everyone can recognise a bastard, even if his own father won't. Though sometimes a father with too much gold and daughters will ask the king to legitimize a bastard son and give him his family name. If his wife objects, the next one does not. But sometimes the gods play their jokes and later his wife will give him a trueborn son of their own. When this happens, well... children die all the time, so do fathers.
Even the beautiful Targaryens had bastards when brothers tired of their sisters. Many took the name Blackfyre after the Conqueror's own sword. When Aegon the Unworthy legitimized all his bastards on his deathbed, they rose up against his trueborn heir. Westeros bled, Dorne yawned.
For most of Westeros, the Blackfyre Rebellion only proved what they already knew: bastards are treacherous, born of lust and shame. But in Dorne lust is not shameful. They know that bastardy does not make a man more treacherous than another; man does not need the help.
- King Aegon I Targaryen, the "Conquerer"
- King Aegon IV Targaryen, the "Unworthy" (mentioned)
- Daemon Blackfyre (indirectly mentioned)
- Aegor Rivers (indirectly mentioned)
- King Daeron II Targaryen, the "Good" (indirectly mentioned)
- Blackfyre (mentioned)