Doom of Valyria: what destroyed Daenerys and Jon’s ancestors?

Doom of Valyria: what destroyed Daenerys and Jon’s ancestors?


In Game of Thrones Season 7, we learn that
Jon Snow’s real name is Aegon Targaryen . He’s the son of Rhaegar Targaryen , which
means Daenerys is Jon’s aunt – yes, Jon has sex with his aunt. Rhaegar’s dead now. So’s Viserys Targaryen, and Aerys and Aemon
Targaryen. In the books, there’s still Bloodraven,
a Targaryen bastard, and Young Griff, who claims to be Targaryen. But Brynden’s a tree , and Griff might be
fake – go watch those videos. So really, Daenerys and Jon are the last Targaryens
– last of the dynasty that ruled Westeros for centuries, and last of the dragonlords
of Valyria . Valyria was an empire that ruled half the
world for thousands of years, until, four hundred years ago, it exploded. This was the Doom of Valyria, and it’s a
mystery, connecting to magic, Faceless Men, Lannister gold, and the legacy of Daenerys
and Jon’s family. So Valyria was a peninsula to the east of
Westeros. Thousands of years ago , the Valyrians were
shepherds among volcanic mountains called the Fourteen Flames – until they discovered
dragons, and trained them as weapons of war . At the time, the area was dominated by geese
– by Old Ghis, an empire built on slavery . So the Valyrians and their dragons conquered
the Ghiscari , and took them as their own slaves . The Valyrians expanded , building
an empire across most the known world . They called themselves the Freehold, cause all
landowners had a say in government – but wherever they conquered, the Freehold took
slaves , sending thousands down the Fourteen Flames to mine for gold and silver . Valyria
had advanced technology and magic . They used dragonflame to shape stone into beautiful
towers . They made Valyrian steel swords , long roads , and colonies – Valyria’s like
ancient Rome, just with dragons . And with incest – the dragonlords traditionally married
their own siblings. They believed they were “descended from
dragons” , and wanted to keep their “blood” “pure” . The dragonlords lived in the
capital city of Valyria, using magic and politics in an endless struggle for “power and glory”. Valyria was the “center of civilization”
– until the Doom came. Every hill in Valyria erupted with fire, smoke
and lava, so hot that dragons were burned from the sky. The earth cracked open and swallowed whole
towns. Lakes boiled and the sea flooded in. The clouds rained obsidian and “black blood”. Within hours, the whole peninsula was “shattered”
, the empire gone . All Valyria’s knowledge and technology, like how to make Valyrian
steel, was lost . The only dragonlords to survive this Doom were the Targaryens, who
had left Valyria years earlier, because Daenys Targaryen foresaw the Doom in a dream . So
these Targaryens, the ancestors of Daenerys and Jon, settled on Dragonstone, and would
later conquer Westeros. Now, four hundred years after the Doom, Valyria
is a “smoking ruin” , “accursed” , and “demon-haunted” . In the show, Tyrion
and Jorah visit the ruins and survive, but in the books – no one returns from Valyria. Whole fleets and armies have disappeared there,
including Tyrion’s uncle, Gerion Lannister . Euron Greyjoy claims to have been there
, but he might be lying . Whether the danger is demons, or toxic volcanic fumes, the place
is dangerous – the Doom still rules Valyria . But what was the Doom, and what caused it? The Doom might have been a natural volcanic
eruption – author George Martin compared the Doom to the eruption of Krakatoa, and
the fall of Pompeii. But Valyria, he says, involved magic . Valyria
is a place of fire magic – it’s got dragons, and volcanoes, it’s called the “Lands
of the Long Summer” . Compare that with far north Westeros, called the Lands of Always
Winter – which has white walkers, and ice magic. These two places seem like centres of ice
and fire in this world – maybe they’re connected to the irregular seasons. The north had an icy disaster in the Long
Night, and Valyria had a fiery disaster in the Doom – and this affected the world’s
magic. “when the Doom fell on Valyria”, “Magic
… died in the west” – it’s only recently returning . So the point is that Valyria had
some serious cosmic elemental magick happening – and the Valyrians fucked with it. The Valyrians were sorcerers , and for thousands
of years, they used “spells” to “tame” the Fourteen Flames . But at the same time,
they mined the Flames for gold and silver . These were volcanoes full of magma and “firewyrms”,
and slaves were killed by the hundreds. And yet they kept mining, deeper and deeper
, like some Khazad-Dûm shit – in Lord of the Rings, the dwarves of Moria “delved
too greedily and too deep”, and they awoke the fiery balrog . Maybe Valyria is similar
– they got too greedy, “delved too deep”, and set off the Fourteen Flames . Cause that’s
what happens when you mess with magic in this world – we’re told over and over that
magic’s dangerous . The Valyrians in their arrogance thought they could control it, but
it blew up in their face. So now their ruins stand like Ozymandias or
Atlantis – a warning against hubris, and the mining of magic volcanoes. But there’s still more to the story. In Book 4, Arya joins the Faceless Men – a
cult of assassins who worship death . She’s trained by “the kindly man”, who tells
her that the Faceless Men began in Valyria, among the slaves who mined the Fourteen Flames
. He says the slaves suffered so badly in the mines that they wished for death . [] The
first Faceless Man gave the “gift” of death to a slave . Arya argues that the man
“should have killed the” Valyrian slave masters instead . And he replies that the
Faceless “would bring the gift to them as well … but that is a tale for another day”
. [] So this is a hint that the Faceless Men caused the Doom of Valyria . Which makes sense
– the Men arose from Valyrian slaves, and they’re now based in Braavos, which was
founded by ex-slaves escaping Valyria . And the Faceless worship death, so killing thousands
in a Doom is probably their idea of a good time. But how could the Faceless cause the Doom? One theory is that they used dragon eggs – at
Summerhall, it seems that dragon eggs caused a deadly fire . Maybe the Faceless used lots
of eggs to set off the Fourteen Flames. But there’s another possibility that ties
in to a prophecy. The worldbook says that Valyrian “sorcerers
foretold that the gold of Casterly Rock would destroy them”. Casterly Rock is home to the Lannisters, who
were famous for their gold mines , even in Valyrian times. [] But for some reason, the Valyrians never
contacted the rich Lannisters, even though they were so hungry for gold that they were
mining volcanoes. Maybe the Valyrians avoided the Lannisters
because of this prophecy . [] But the Lannisters back then really wanted a Valyrian steel sword
– all the cool Westerosi families had one, like Stark’s Ice, and Tarly’s Heartsbane. [] So “in the century before the Doom”
the Lannisters bought the Valyrian sword Brightroar for a huge amount of “gold” . We don’t
know who sold Brightroar to the Lannisters, but if this gold went to Valyria it could’ve
fulfilled the prophecy of Valyria’s destruction. How could gold cause the Doom? The great families of Valyria were in “constant”
“conflict” . Sometimes they assassinated each other – which was a problem, cause
some of these Valyrians were sorcerers whose spells held back the Fourteen Flames . The
worldbook suggests that too many sorcerers were assassinated, so the spells failed, and
that’s why the Doom happened . Maybe these assassinations were carried out by the assassins
of the Faceless Men . But the Faceless don’t kill for free – they charge a high price
. So maybe they were paid with that Lannister gold that a Valyrian got by selling Brightroar. So the Valyrians were so caught up in their
petty political conflicts that they paid for their own destruction, giving prophecy gold
to the death cult that arose from their slavery and oppression. As Tyrion says, Valyria was built on blood
and fire – and they reaped what they’d sown .
So that theory brings together all the hints from the text – Lannister gold paid for
Faceless assassinations that destabilised magic and caused the Doom . But you can add
some tinfoil on top. Cause it may be that the Valyrians ordered
these assassinations not knowing they’d cause the Doom. But maybe it was deliberate. Maybe one of these warring families wanted
to wipe out the competition – and be the last dragonlords standing. We know the Targaryens were a fairly minor
house in Valyria – when they left for Dragonstone, their rivals thought them cowards . But maybe
the Targaryens ordered these assassinations to cause the Doom to destroy their enemies
– made up some excuse about a dream, went to Dragonstone, and watched their homeland
burn, leaving them the only dragonlords in the world , free to be the unopposed rulers
of whatever realm they chose. Maybe House Targaryen, Daenerys and Jon’s
family, is founded on a terrible, genocidal betrayal. But that’s just speculation. Whatever caused the Doom, Valyria has lessons
for its descendants, Daenerys and Jon. Because the Valyrians were assholes. They seemed to think that just cause they
were magic and pretty, they could enslave the world. They conquered peaceful peoples, and worked
thousands of slaves to death . With their theories of racial superiority, they’re
basically Nazis with dragons. So when they destroyed themselves with their
own “fire and blood”, it’s kinda hard to feel sorry for them. Valyrian blood gives Dany and Jon the power
of dragons, magic and prophecy. But the ruins of Valyria should remind them
to use their power with humility and compassion. The Doom of Valyria destroyed a whole civilisation’s
knowledge. Skills like the forging of Valyrian steel
were lost forever. Luckily, our world’s knowledge and skills
are available on Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning site with
thousands of classes in design, business, writing, and forging steel . So if you want
your own family sword, check out this course. We’ve used Skillshare to learn some After
Effects techniques, and they’ve got some really high quality courses. If you want to learn how to start a business,
edit video, produce music, or found a continent-spanning empire of blood and fire, sign up for Skillshare
today – get a two month free trial at the link below. Thank you to History of Westeros for scripting
help. And thanks to the Patrons, including Zach
Whiteman, Thony Ekström, Gannon McDonald, Leslie Mercado, Tristan Sather, Natasha Lea,
and zezibesh. Cheers.

99 thoughts on “Doom of Valyria: what destroyed Daenerys and Jon’s ancestors?

  • Segway should sponsor you because that segue to your sponsor was just so smooth and well-balanced…

  • I usually listen to these videos in the background on my phone while I play minesweeper, so I didn't see the text on the screen when you said "the area was dominated by Ghis.". Thus, I heard "the area was dominated by geese, or old geese."

    Now I'm imagining five successive wars between dragons and these demonic elderly geese that somehow got a hold of southern Essos. So thank you for unintentionally giving me that mental image 😁

  • I found the myths and legends in the book far more interesting….if you think about westros is pretty boring compared to the rest of it's world.

  • 3:03 God Damn It! Stop showing that picture! That's not Valyria!!!!!! It's a giant middle finger to every book reader who dared to criticize the show. p.s. You've shown it too much and I can't watch you anymore.

  • But why did Rhaegar marry Elia Martell ?
    She wasn't a Targaryen🤔
    Don't want to keep blood lines pure anymore ?

  • valyria is not nazis with dragons wtf,is rome with dragons and they didnt enslaved peaceful people,they enslaved their enemies

  • "A terrible, genocidal, betrayal"
    Alt Shift X unknowingly predicts Daenerys in Season 8 nearly a year ago.

  • Spoiler:
    In the show Tyrian begs Jon Snow to kill Dany. Jon does so knowing it would mean the end of his own life. In a sense, the Lannisters ended Valyria by destroying the last of the Valyrian houses. Yet another event is Jamie killing the mad king during Roberts Rebellion which helped result in the last of the Targaryens fleeing their kingdom. Maybe the prophesy is metaphorical for the end of the Targaryens, the last of the Valyrians.

  • Valeria was a place where the people got too caught up in their politics to stop a natural disaster of fire. Now Westeros seems to be on that same path, but with ice instead of fire… kind of like the title of the series…

  • The skillshare might have been the single greatest and well-though-out and well placed sponsorship I've ever fucking seen

  • If no one has visited Valyria and lived to tell the tale, how can we know it has even fallen in the first place? What if all the dragonlords and dragons are still there, killing all intruders so no one knows?

  • Alt Shift X: the area was dominated by geese. By old geese.
    Me, listening instead of looking at the screen: What?
    Alt Shift X: An Empire built on slavery.
    Me, still not having looked at the screen: WHAT

  • A good reference to the doom of Pompei in 79 d.C. (another similarity with Rome) or even to the krakatoa eruption that occured in 536 rather than 1883 (the 536 one was so bad the caused one sort of long night because of Volcano's debris polluting atmosphere for 2 years all around the world)

  • Daenerys never goes mad.

    After the Night King died (but in a more baddas and logical way) and Cersei collapsed (Dany never destroyed King's Landing if she neverwent mad) Dany and Jon realise that their place is not in westeros at all.Daenerys was never loved by Westerosi folk,and Jon is the righfull King of the Seven Kingdoms.Northeners would want to put him on the Iron Throne,but Southeners would never accept to be led by a Northen bastard(they will always see Jon as Ned's Bastard no matter what).They return in their ancestral home,Valyria with the purpose of rebuilding it.(Thus fullfilling the "prince that was promised will bring the dawn" profecy.The Valyrian Night lasted 400 years,but Jon ends it).Dany and Jon become King and Queen of Valyria.Dany could conceuve children all the time,Miiri maz Duur just lied about it.The Valyrian Freehold reaches it's old greatness again.
    Ghost is crowned king of the north,and HotPie is crowned King of the South.
    This is how the story ends in my mind.How about you?

  • If you think about it, Valyria could have been on top of a supervolcano just as Yellowstone Park and Campi Flegri in Italy. it explains the scenario very well as the mountains and hills erupted and the fact that it split the peninsula into pieces is similar to the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 as it destroyed two thirds of the island.

    Edit: Ok so it was definitely a volcanic event as described by my friend (I have only read the first book) and this is definitely the cause but the Fourteen Flames are definitely a supervolcano

  • I have a crazy theory that the children of the forests destroyed valyria. We are told of 2 other cataclysms caused by the children. First, was when they destroyed the arm of dorne with a massive earthquake. Second, was when they unleashed a flood to try and separate the north of Westeros from the rest. I believe that the faceless men helped the children cause the doom by giving them hundreds of sacrifices since the children's magic required great cost of life. If this is true, then the children used earth, water, and fire to cause great destruction and the next book is called the winds of winter. Maybe there is one more cataclysm that the world has waiting for it, maybe a great wind will blow down the wall and unleash the others on the world.

  • As cool as it is to command dragons and use them in battle and have a very advanced civilization the more and more I think about it, the Valyrians deserved to perish for the atrocities they committed like insane blood sacrifice and working slaves to death… fire and blood were how they earned their power and fire and blood were their doom… I kinda think the FM were the good guys if they brought the doom to the Freehold, I like them for that

  • There were mages who knew spells on how to tame the fourteen flames but too many of them were assassinated by the great houses or the faceless men which led to the doom

  • That bit about Lannister prophecy is nonsense, doesnt reconcile with timeline….. Casterly Rock belonged to the Casterlys until Aegon's conquest, specifically after the Field of Fire when the last Casterly King died and Lannisters were raised from stewards to Lordship and granted Casterly Rock as their seat (similarly to how Tyrell's replaced the Gardener line at Highgarden)

  • I would love a Dunk and Egg style short that takes place over the course of a day or two and is from the perspective of a person who is one of the last to die in the Doom. Maybe they escaped on a dragon and got knocked of the sky, survived, and then, from the pollution or just straight up murder, that's how the story ends.

  • "Bran is a tree" lol. One of Alt Shift X's best lines. Between many tremendous let downs in the final season and books that most likely will never be finished kinda doubt this will ever become a spin off series. Though I think it would be kind of an interesting one.

  • Do the Baratheons also have Targaryen blood??? I heard this claim somewhere but I am not sure whether it's true.

  • Honestly, I’m sure some Targaryen’s cheated and had secret bastards over the centuries, there’s most probably others out there with Valyrian blood who have no clue.

  • Haha
    Use your power with humility.
    The north: hey the whole world is gonna end can we have help.
    Dany: I AM DAENARYS TARGAREAN, QUEEN OF THE ANDALS AND THE FIRST MEN AND THE…..(insert even more boastful and overconfident titles here)

  • Area Targeryen stole balerion and it is believed he took her to valyria. If you haven't read fire and blood i highly suggest it. She came back about a year later with creatures under her skin and balerion was injured as well. Its all very interesting its my favorite part of the book

  • I have a theory that the children of the forest where involved. Children are hinted to have lived under valyria and were enslaved. This is very tin foil, but it involves the 4 forces of nature, earth, water, fire and wind. The theory is that the children are capable of causing a disaster with one of these forces after a great sacrifice. First, was the breaking of the land bridge that connected dorne and essos. Second, when they flooded the neck. Third, would be the doom. And the final, well the next book is called the Winds of winter

  • Arya: "He should've slayed the masters instead".
    This is one of the reasons I believe Arya will like Dany. Nothing like the show.

  • Im thinking a super volcano exploded!🌋Then people started getting greyscale!😷 Because magic🌈and Cult of the faceless god! And general betral

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