- Base-Breaking Character:
- Daemon Targaryen is either cool despite his flaws or a unforgivable Jerkass with no morals. Though he's still better liked then his psychotic nephew Aemond, partially because he gets a more awesome death (possibly) than Aemond, performing a Mutual Kill. The differing accounts certainly assist this.
- Some people despise Rhaenyra, see her as a proto-Cersei example of a Small Name, Big Ego queen and even believe she got what was coming to her. More sympathetic fans think she deserved better and see her as a flawed Tragic Hero who caved in to horrible betrayals and impossible pressures and condemn her enemies as opportunists who stole her birthright.
- Broken Base:
- Much like the people of Westeros, the fandom is split on whether Rhaenyra or Aegon II was the rightful heir. A lot of people think they both had valid reasons for claiming the Iron Throne,note but were both terrible and vindictive rulers.
- The fandom is also divided on who committed worse atrocities, the Blacks or the Greens. Objectively, the Greens used dragons to burn the smallfolk in the Riverlands, while the Blacks sent assassins after children and later became paranoid and turned on each other in a self-destructive spiral. Something that everybody can agree on is that Aemond and the Two Betrayers were particularly nasty characters.
- Complete Monster: See here.
- Contested Sequel: The overall quality of the two novellas within the wider lore of ASOIAF is much debated, especially compared to the widely liked Tales of Dunk and Egg. Some liked the characters (Daemon, Nettles, Roddy the Ruin, Baela Targaryen, Rhaenys, Addam Velaryon) and events and memorable moments (mainly the dragon battles and the duel over Harrenhal) and felt it was an unique approach to Expanded Universe, but others argued that the "Rashomon"-Style approach with multiple writers offering their views on events and characters is interesting as a short work but is infuriating when used as a form for lore because almost anything that can be said about the characters and events registers as some form of hearsay, and likewise, many felt that some of the scenes were terribly anti-climactic and the fact that the dragon battles and war scenes were incredibly lop-sided when it happened. There's also debate on whether the story is effective as an overall explanation for how the Targaryens lost the Dragons and people won't put a woman on the Iron Throne.
- Ensemble Dark Horse:
- Rhaenys, the Queen Who Never Was, getting one of the most awesome deaths in the genre: even though she knows she can't win she faces two dragons and brings down one.
- Nettles, the fearless teenage girl who managed to tame a wild dragon and became a force to be reckoned with. Her tragic relationship with Daemon also helps.
- Addam Velaryon and Prince Daeron the Daring are quite well-liked despite being on opposite sides. Addam for helping Rhaenyra's cause even after she tries to have him arrested and dying in the process. Daeron for being the Token Good Teammate of the Greens, and an all-round Nice Guy.
- Jacaerys Velaryon has his fans for his Big Brother Instinct and diplomatic skills.
- Baela, Daemon's Spanner in the Works Little Miss Badass daughter, is immensely memorable due to the nature and impact of her fight against Aegon II, even though she loses that battle and spends the rest of the story in the dungeon.
- Moral Event Horizon:
- Everyone agrees that the Blood and Cheese incident — the assassination of Prince Jaehaerys in front of his mother and siblings, ordered by Daemon Targaryen in retaliation for the death of Prince Lucerys — cannot be excused or forgiven, even people who like Daemon. Many other fans cite it as the reason they hate him.
- Aemond's murder of his nephew Lucerys is considered this by the Blacks, who denounced Aemond as a kinslayer for this, especially since the attack was unprovoked and Lucerys had come as a peace envoy. (This also led the MEH mentioned above.) The Greens, while initially annoyed over Aemond breaking any chance for a peace, didn't see it this way, as they viewed it as "bastard blood, shed in war."
- To the Greens, Lucerys cutting out Aemond's eye was this, to the point where Alicent cited it as one of the reasons why Rhaenyra and her sons could never be allowed near the throne.
- The Woobie: Rhaenyra's mother died when she was very young. She gets slutshamed and her claim is contested because of her gender and the Hightowers' ambition. Her father died, her daughter was stillborn, her three eldest sons died one after another, her youngest son was taken hostage, she saw her dragon die, her second husband might have been cheating on her, she loses control of King's Landing, she's betrayed by her own men, then she's burned alive and fed to her brother's dragon. All that in the span of less than two years. She can't even catch a break posthumously, since everyone still considers her a usurper and terrible queen despite her being the mother of the current line of Targaryens and having her own justifiable reason to consider herself the rightful heir.
- One character that everyone feels bad for: Helaena. The Blood and Cheese incident was just horrific and it led to her committing suicide (allegedly).
- Prince Aegon the Younger, Rhaenyra's son. Most of his family members die or go missing one by one. Most notably, his mother was burned and eaten by his uncle's dragon right in front of him, an incident that emotionally scarred him for life and left him terrified of dragons.
YMMV / Archmaester Gyldayn's Histories