Surely the plot is very unpredictable despite all the prophecies you give to help us...
[Laughs] Prophecies are, you know, a double edge sword. You have to handle them very carefully; I mean, they can add depth and interest to a book, but you don’t want to be too literal or too easy... In the Wars of the Roses, that you mentioned, there was one Lord who had been prophesied he would die beneath the walls of a certain castle and he was superstitious at that sort of walls, so he never came anyway near that castle. He stayed thousands of leagues away from that particular castle because of the prophecy. However, he was killed in the first battle of St. Paul de Vence and when they found him dead he was outside of an inn whose sign was the picture of that castle! [Laughs] So you know? That’s the way prophecies come true in unexpected ways. The more you try to avoid them, the more you are making them true, and I make a little fun with that.
I think we should keep this in mind when speculating about especially the prophecies.
He was not a man to be refused. Sam hesitated a moment, then told his tale again as Marywn, Alleras, and the other novice listened. “Maester Aemon believed that Daenerys Targaryen was the fulfillment of a prophecy . . . her, not Stannis, nor Prince Rhaegar, nor the princeling whose head was dashed against the wall.”
“Born amidst salt and smoke, beneath a bleeding star. I know the prophecy.” Marwyn turned his head and spat a gob of red phlegm onto the floor. “Not that I would trust it. Gorghan of Old Ghis once wrote that a prophecy is like a treacherous woman. She takes your member in her mouth, and you moan with the pleasure of it and think, how sweet, how fine, how good this is . . . and then her teeth snap shut and your moans turn to screams. That is the nature of prophecy, said Gorghan. Prophecy will bite your prick off every time.” He chewed a bit. “Still . . .”
Marwyn did not share the blind faith of Aemon (no pun intended) that Dany is the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy. Marwyn is probably not privy to the private Targaryen lore such as Daeron’s dream or the prophecy of GHH that tPtwP would come from Aerys-Rhaella’s line. It may or may not be that he read the prophecy Aerys I had read. Aemon mentioned both of these to Sam. Still, Marwyn went to see Dany himself and check the validity of Aemon’s claim closely. That is better than believing that Dany is the one before seeing her or the dragons.
“Prophecy is like a half-trained mule,” he complained to Jorah Mormont. “It looks as though it might be useful, but the moment you trust in it, it kicks you in the head. That bloody widow knew the ship would never reach her destination, she warned us of that, said Benerro saw it in his fires, only I took that to mean … well, what does it matter?”
Tyrion told this after the mast of Selaesori Qhoran was broken in the strange storm. The ship was drifting aimlessly in the Gulf of Grief. At that time, he did not believe that the vision of Benerro would come true because they would obviously not reach Meereen under those circumstances. He thought that they would drift until they starve and eat each other. But in the end, both Benerro’s and Moqorro’s visions proved to be true.
Still, Tyrion seemed to be quoting something he had read about the nature of the prophecies while he was talking to Jorah. I think regardless of the context, what he said is true and in line with Gorghan’s Rule.
“We’ve had a raven from Ser Denys Mallister at the Shadow Tower,” Jon Snow told her. “His men have seen fires in the mountains on the far side of the Gorge. Wildlings massing, Ser Denys believes. He thinks they are going to try to force the Bridge of Skulls again.”
“Some may.” Could the skulls in her vision have signified this bridge? Somehow Melisandre did not think so. “If it comes, that attack will be no more than a diversion. I saw towers by the sea, submerged beneath a black and bloody tide. That is where the heaviest blow will fall.”
Was it? Melisandre had seen Eastwatch-by-the-Sea with King Stannis. That was where His Grace left Queen Selyse and their daughter Shireen when he assembled his knights for the march to Castle Black. The towers in her fire had been different, but that was oft the way with visions. “Yes. Eastwatch, my lord.”
She spread her hands. “On the morrow. In a moon’s turn. In a year. And it may be that if you act, you may avert what I have seen entirely.” Else what would be the point of visions?
Oh Mel, you are thick. …that was oft the way with visions. What does this mean? I think it is clear that she oft takes her visions literally whereas they should be interpreted symbolically.
And it may be that if you act, you may avert what I have seen entirely. Really? SSM above disagrees. The things that are done to avert a vision make them come true eventually.
“There will be no combat of champions. Ser Cortnay was dead before he ever threw that glove. The flames do not lie, Davos.”
Yet they require me to make them true, he thought.
What about free will? Agency? Cortnay would not die had Davos not taken Mel inside the magic ward at Storm’s End. Mel implied that she saw the death of Cortnay but I don’t think she did because that kills the agency of Davos there.
She [Mel] laughed. “Is it me you fear? Or what we do?”
“What you do. I’ll have no part of it.”
“Your hand raised the sail. Your hand holds the tiller.”
This is the agency I am talking about. Davos subconsciously knows that he is almost guilty as Mel in the events leading to the defeat at Blackwater and the death of his sons. That knowledge surfaced up during his dehydrated state on the Spears.
“Stubborn or craven, what does it matter? Ser Cortnay Penrose seemed hale and hearty to me.”
“So did my brother, the day before his death. The night is dark and full of terrors, Davos.”
Davos Seaworth felt the small hairs rising on the back of his neck. “My lord, I do not understand you.”
“I do not require your understanding. Only your service. Ser Cortnay will be dead within the day. Melisandre has seen it in the flames of the future. His death and the manner of it. He will not die in knightly combat, needless to say.” Stannis held out his cup, and Devan filled it again from the flagon. “Her flames do not lie. She saw Renly’s doom as well. On Dragonstone she saw it, and told Selyse. Lord Velaryon and your friend Salladhor Saan would have had me sail against Joffrey, but Melisandre told me that if I went to Storm’s End, I would win the best part of my brother’s power, and she was right.”
“B-but,” Davos stammered, “Lord Renly only came here because you had laid siege to the castle. He was marching toward King’s Landing before, against the Lannisters, he would have—”
The agency of Stannis (in the form of his seeds) is required in both Renly’s and Cortnay’s death. It is also basic logic that once Renly died, some of his forces would join Stannis because there would be no other option for them.
Therefore, I do not think Mel saw Cortnay’s or Renly’s death in a vision or the fact that Stannis would get the best part of Renly’s power. In fact, he did not get the best part of Renly’s power.
Mel decided to kill Renly and then she decided to kill Cortnay as well. That she saw these in flames was a lie.
Let us continue from the quote above.
Stannis shifted in his seat, frowning. “Was, would have, what is that? He did what he did. He came here with his banners and his peaches, to his doom . . . and it was well for me he did. Melisandre saw another day in her flames as well. A morrow where Renly rode out of the south in his green armor to smash my host beneath the walls of King’s Landing. Had I met my brother there, it might have been me who died in place of him.”
Now this was the vision Mel saw in the flames, i.e. the host of Stannis being smashed against the walls of KL by Renly’s host. The vision was fulfilled similar to the SSM at the start. Garlan wearing Renly’s armor smashed Stannis against the walls.
“Or you might have joined your strength to his to bring down the Lannisters,” Davos protested. “Why not that? If she saw two futures, well . . . both cannot be true.”
King Stannis pointed a finger. “There you err, Onion Knight. Some lights cast more than one shadow. Stand before the nightfire and you’ll see for yourself. The flames shift and dance, never still. The shadows grow tall and short, and every man casts a dozen. Some are fainter than others, that’s all. Well, men cast their shadows across the future as well. One shadow or many. Melisandre sees them all.”
Davos pointed that Mel seeing the death of Renly in a vision and his victory against Stannis in another vision was a complete BS. Stannis answered like a parrot repeating Mel’s feeble lies.
Therefore, it seems like the only vision Mel saw was the defeat of Stannis, which happened as she saw, and she lied about Renly and Cortnay.
One can say that her feeble maneuvers to avert the vision of the defeat of Stannis made that vision come true. This is in complete agreement with the SSM at the start.
Maggy and Cersei
So, what can we conclude for Maggy’s prophecy?
Cersei believes that Tyrion is the valonqar and Margaery is the younger and more beautiful queen in the prophecy of Maggy. She is obviously wrong because all the hints show that Jaime will be the valonqar and there are some really good candidates for the queen to undo Cersei (Sansa, Dany, Arianne etc.)
“It is just . . . the maegi knew how many children I would have, and she knew of Robert’s bastards. Years before he’d sired even the first of them, she knew. She promised me I should be queen, but said another queen would come . . .” Younger and more beautiful, she said. “. . . another queen, who would take from me all I loved.”
“And you wish to forestall this prophecy?”
More than anything, she thought. “Can it be forestalled?”
“Oh, yes. Never doubt that.”
“I think Your Grace knows how.”
She did. I knew it all along, she thought. Even in the tent. “If she tries I will have my brother kill her.”
Cersei told (almost) everything to Qyburn and she asked him whether the prophecy can be forestalled. I think it is very unlikely that Qyburn does not know anything about prophecies and Gorghan’s Rule. So, why did Qyburn tell her that it was possible and trick her into scheming to kill Margaery, which turned out to be a disaster?
According to the SSM, Cersei’s feeble attempts to kill the would-be younger and more beautiful queen should end up making the prophecy come true. In fact, her machinations to kill Margaery led to the Walk of Shame, which took away her beauty, something she held dear. The small folk mocked her body and she realized that she was no longer the beauty she had been. She is now soiled goods as Kevan put it.
If Maggy’s prophecy will proceed like this, what about Joffrey’s death? It looks like Cersei did not do anything (to stop the prophecy) before the death of Joffrey to cause it (according to the SSM at the start). It might be argued that her accusation of Tyrion (the would-be valonqar according to her) led to the death of her father. He can be said to be something she held dear as well.
I think there is a good possibility that Cersei tried to poison Tyrion in the purple wedding to get rid of the valonqar for good and the poison meant for Tyrion ended up killing Joffrey, something that is in complete accordance with the notion of GRRM at the SSM given above.
Edited by Paper Waver, 28 July 2014 - 12:07 AM.