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Dragonseed

Born of dragonseed or seeds is a term to describe some bastards of House Targaryen as well as House Velaryon. [1]

Contents

  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Origins
    • 1.2 The Dance of the Dragons
  • 2 Named Dragonseeds
  • 3 References

History

Origins

The custom of the first night had been greatly resented in the Seven Kingdoms. However, it was less protested on Dragonstone, where the Targaryens had ruled for centuries, because there the common folk viewed their beautiful, foreign rulers almost as gods. [1] [2] When a Lord of Dragonstone took his rights according to the first night custom, the brides were seen as “blessed”, and the children born of such unions were often given lavish gifts by their father. These bastards were born of “dragonseed”, and in time, became known as “seeds”. [1]

Though the right of the first night ended when it was outlawed by King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, some Targaryens continued to carry on relationships with the daughters of innkeeps and the wives of fishermen. Seeds and the sons of seeds thus remained plentiful on Dragonstone and surrounding areas, [1] and there were many on Dragonstone who could rightly claim — or at least suspect — that some Targaryen blood ran in their veins. [2]

The Dance of the Dragons

During the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon realised that his mother Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen’s faction, the blacks, had many dragons but was in need of dragonriders. He offered lands, riches, and knighthood to any such man that could master a dragon; his sons would be ennobled, his daughters wed to lords. [3] According to The Testimony of Mushroom, the eponymous fool had prompted Jacaerys to do so. [2]

Jacaerys’s offer gained the attention of more than just dragonseeds. Most candidates failed and were either killed or burned by the dragons. (These included Rhaenyra’s Lord Commander Ser Steffon Darklyn, and Lord Gormon Massey.) [1] Grand Maester Munkun dubbed this event “the Sowing of the Seeds”, whilst others “the Red Sowing”. [3]

It is unconfirmed if the successful candidates truly had Targaryen blood, or if they did, if that ancestry is what allowed them to master the dragons. But whatever their origin in truth, the successful baseborn dragonriders were referred to as dragonseeds for the remainder of the war and within historical records. [1] [2]

After the betrayal of Hugh Hammer and Ulf the White at the First Battle of Tumbleton, Queen Rhaenyra and most of her council believed none of the other dragonseeds could be trusted, and ordered their arrest. Addam Velaryon escaped upon his dragon Seasmoke, but later proved his loyalty at the Second Battle of Tumbleton. In the case of Nettles, it was not only arrest that was ordered, but also execution, because she had become the lover of Rhaenyra’s husband Daemon Targaryen; however, the girl fled upon Sheepstealer and was never seen again “at court or castle”. [1] [2]

Born of dragonseed or seeds is a term to describe some bastards of House Targaryen as well as House Velaryon.[1]

Dragon Seed (1944)

Passed | 148 min | Drama , History , War

The lives of a small Chinese village are turned upside down when the Japanese invade it. And a heroic young Chinese woman leads her fellow villagers in an uprising against Japanese Invaders.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars.

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While trying hard not to be too condescending to Americans of today who somehow think the world was always as they now see it around them — this movie was made in 1943, in the darkest midst of the horrific World War II, when America was engaged in a global struggle of epic proportions against the mighty Japanese Empire (and other very powerful allied nations all over the world), and when Manchuria, China and most of Asia were occupied by the very brutal Japanese invaders. The film was released to the public more than a year before that terrible war began to reach a conclusion.

In 1944 America’s victory in the Second World War was by no means assured, yet the US was trying to do whatever it could to assist the Chinese against the Japanese while the main US military forces fought the Japanese directly island by island westward across the Pacific. Of particular note is the fact that Japan had invaded Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937, and that both suffered under merciless Japanese occupation for years before America formally entered the war following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The Japanese forces committed brutal atrocities against Chinese civilians and prisoners of war in the Rape of Nanking, slaughtering as many as 300,000 civilians within a month. Before it was over more than 10 million Chinese were mobilized by the Japanese army and enslaved for slave labor and at least 2,700,000 Chinese died. Japanese occupation atrocities against the Chinese included mass killings by airborne gasses on hundreds of separate occasions.

The film, which was being made while all this was going on, but before most of the details were fully known, therefore reflects the American (and western) thinking at the time, as depicted through the keen expert eyes of the great China observer, American Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Pearl S. Buck. It also reflects what was available to Hollywood film-makers at that desperate moment. Given the time and the circumstances, the movie does quite an adequate job – all of which undoubtedly explains the involvement in it of the great American actress Katharine Hepburn. The film helped Americans at that time to understand China’s desperate situation, why the Chinese were worth assisting, and why the US military, and most Americans at home, were trying hard to do just that at truly great cost. Hepburn’s name on theater marquees also ensured that many more people would see the film than otherwise.

Americans in 1944 didn’t care one bit that the Chinese characters were being played by Americans; audiences could easily imagine, empathize and understand. Very many of them had already read Buck’s novel with the same title, published in 1942, and knew that the famous author, who had written many novels about China, had been a very vocal proponent of American understanding and support of China in her struggle with the Japanese. Pearl S. Buck had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938, mainly on the basis of her great China trilogy “The House Of Earth”, including its first part, “The Good Earth”.

The Japanese surrendered unconditionally to the US on August 14, 1945, and Japanese troops in China formally surrendered to the Chinese a month later, but by then most of Manchuria and China had been destroyed. The people portrayed in the film had seen what the Japanese had done in Manchuria over the previous six years, and then experienced Japanese brutality directly for another eight years. The 14 years of China’s monumental struggles in World War II were a pivotal point in China’s history. Before the Japanese invasion, China had suffered nearly a century of humiliation at the hands of various imperialist powers and was relegated to a semi-colonial status. However, the war greatly enhanced China’s resolve, strength and international status. After the war, the Republic of China became a founding member of the United Nations and a permanent member in the Security Council. China also reclaimed Manchuria.

The movie therefore helps Americans today to understand a most critical moment in China’s, and their own, common history, and why it all was, and remains, important.

Directed by Harold S. Bucquet, Jack Conway. With Katharine Hepburn, Walter Huston, Aline MacMahon, Akim Tamiroff. The lives of a small Chinese village are turned upside down when the Japanese invade it. And a heroic young Chinese woman leads her fellow villagers in an uprising against Japanese Invaders.