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Could Rhaego be Alive?


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#1 Damon_Tor

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:23 AM

“I drew him forth myself. He was scaled like a lizard, blind, with the stub of a tail and small leather wings like the wings of a bat. When I touched him, the flesh sloughed off the bone, and inside he was full of graveworms and the stink of corruption. He had been dead for years.”

-Mirri Maz Duur, describing Rhaego


How very convinient that the infant's flesh began to fall apart right as Mirri touched it, and before anybody else could see it. Did anyone else actually see the child emerge from Dany's womb? We presume Jorah was in the tent, but was he watching the actual birth? He was grievously wounded at the time as well: how much blood does one lose from a gash to the bone in one's leg? Was he concious at all? All Jorah has to say on the matter is what "the women" say. What women? The Dothraki healers were afraid to even come near the tent, remember? How long after the birth did "the women" see the child? Were they preparing the corpse for burning? Or is "what they say" just gossip?

In other words, whose word do we have on the state of the child besides Mirri Maz Duur's?

Even if we assume someone else has seen the body, how hard would it have been for Mirri Maz Duur to take the child and hand it off to some of the other lamb-people, who later escaped during the chaos of Drogo's illness and death? If compelled to produce a corpse, her story of a twisted misshapen thing "dead for years" and stank like death could have been just about anything. Some creature she had kept preserved in a jar in that chest of hers, perhaps.

Mostly, I suspect this because we saw no body, we only heard of the event second-hand. Also, of all the prophecies in the novels, the ones concerning Rhaego are the only ones that simply CANNOT come true. No other visions are "what might have been" except those about Rhaego... why? Other visions have been MISINTERPRETED, sure, but with every one we could later go back and say "Okay, so Renly's ghost didn't ACTUALLY lead the army, the vision was of someone else in his armor" and so on. There are, as far as I can tell, ZERO other prophecies which are flat out wrong. Why? As a writer, why would Martin do this, make every other prophecy, (and prophets in ASoIaF are a dime a dozen, from fools to warlocks to fiddlers to priests) come true, but leave only the ones concerning a single individual unable to come to pass?

Also, for what it's worth, Duur seems to cleverly avoid confirming the death:

“You cheated me. You murdered my child within me.”
“The stallion who mounts the world will burn no cities now. His khalasar shall trample no nations into dust, “


Which she might really believe, if he's being raised by the lamb-men.

Thoughts?

EDIT: I wrote, later, a longer post detailing several things with the given narrative that don't make sense re: the actions of MMD, as well as a more concrete and narrative description of what exactly I hypothesize occurred.

Q: If Mirri Maz Duur's treatment was to kill Drogo, then why did it do so, if he neglected the treatment?

Despite his bluster, Drogo's wound was terrbible, a cut all the way to the muscle. By all appearances, Mirri Maz Duur appeared to treat Khal Drogo's wound faithfully. He neglected her precise instructions, refusing to use the ointments she gave him and taking opiates and drinking alcohol. If her treatment was to blame for his illness later, why did it not take effect until 6 days after he had stopped following it? Surely she could have easily given him a faster acting poison. On a narrative level, why would the author tell us, the readers, that Drogo had neglected the treatment if we are meant to believe the treatment is what made him ill?

She is a healer, a woman of faith, and a bringer of life into the world. She explains her willingness to treat the Khal thusly: “All men are one flock, or so we are taught. The Great Shepherd sent me to earth to heal his lambs, wherever I might find them.” It is entirely possible, despite the grim take on humanity found in these novels, that Mirri Maz Duur is a good person. A Maester will council and serve and heal an enemy of his lord if he takes the castle: MMD's oath to her god seems to be in the same vein, akin to the Hippocratic oath of our world's healers.

A: Maybe she let Khal live in the short-term so she could kill Rhaego later

Dany had already agreed to have Mirri Maz Duur act as midwife. If she had wanted to kill Rhaego that could have easily been accomplished then. It is a simple matter for a midwife to kill an infant in childbirth: strangle it to cut off blood to the brain, snap it's neck, or pinch off the umbilical cord to withhold blood from the baby, and all of these would appear to be entirely normal birth complications. No need for theatrics and dark magics, dark magics which insured the Maegi would be killed by the superstitious Dothraki. She could have posed as a healer of no arcane talents, still impressed Dany/Jorah into midwifing for her by dropping Marwyn's name, and killed BOTH the Khal and the young stallion and (possibly) lived to tell about it.

The only death her magics ensured was her own.


Q: Why warn Dany at all bout the price, if the purpose of the spell was to kill Rhaego?

“Do it,” Dany blurted. She must not be afraid; she was the blood of the dragon. “Save him.”
“There is a price,” the godswife warned her.
“You’ll have gold, horses, whatever you like.”
“It is not a matter of gold or horses. This is bloodmagic, lady. Only death may pay for life.”
“Death?” Dany wrapped her arms around herself protectively, rocked back and forth on her heels. “My death?” She told herself she would die for him, if she must. She was the blood of the dragon, she would not be afraid. Her brother Rhaegar had died for the woman he loved.
“No,” Mirri Maz Duur promised. “Not your death, Khaleesi.”
Dany trembled with relief. “Do it.”
The maegi nodded solemnly. “As you speak, so it shall be done. Call your servants.”
Khal Drogo writhed feebly as Rakharo and Quaro lowered him into the bath. “No,” he muttered, “no. Must ride.” Once in the water, all the strength seemed to leak out of him.
“Bring his horse,” Mirri Maz Duur commanded, and so it was done.


"Sure, I can save him, no prob. Just sit right there and watch, okay?" Why warn Dany at all about the price, if the price was her child, and not the horse?


Q: If we are to believe that Mirri Maz Duur wanted Daenarys' baby to be destroyed by the spell, why did she explicitly command her to exit the tent, and not reenter?

“Go with them, Silver Lady,” Mirri Maz Duur told her.
“I will stay,” Dany said. “The man took me under the stars and gave life to the child inside me. I will not leave him.”
“You must. Once I begin to sing, no one must enter this tent. My song will wake powers old and dark. The dead will dance here this night. No living man must look on them.”


"Yeah, okay" said Mirri Maz Duur. "Stick around, this is really cool." That's all she had to say, if the death of Rhaego were her goal. Why would she instruct her, in no uncertain terms, to leave and not come back?


Q: Why heal Drogo at all?

So she performs what appears to be a very dangerous and difficult spell to partially ressurect Khal Drogo, knowing that it will not do so satisfactorily, and knowing that it will kill Rhaego. Why would she bother ACTUALLY healing Drogo? Why not just cast a "make baby die" spell? She had to know she would have been murdered by the Dothraki either way. So why bother healing the Khal at all, even to his mindless comatose state? Why bother?


Q: Why were the Llazareen in Dothraki territory?

Ser Jorah said the people of this country named themselves the Lhazareen, but the Dothraki called them haesh rakhi, the Lamb Men. They were herders of sheep and eaters of vegetables, and Khal Drogo said they belonged south of the river bend. The grass of the Dothraki sea was not meant for sheep.


So then why were they there? Why build a settlement right where they knew marauding barbarians like to come and murder people? This seems rather foolish, for what appears to be a peaceful people. Further, why would GRRM tell us they were out of place? What narrative purpose does that serve?


Hypothesis: Mirri Maz Duur is a prophet, who has recieved visions of the future. She has been acknowledged to have had contact with Maester Marwyn, the only Maester who seems to care about prophecy, and many readers have already interpreted her statement to Dany about Drogo's return as prophetic: “When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. Then he will return, and not before.” and Maegis have been shown to be prophetic in the past. She knows the importance of Rhaego to the future of the world, and puts her people into harms way. They build the settlement north of the river, where they know the Dothraki will raid, because MMD knows with them will be the woman who carries Azor Ahai reborn, and that it is her fate to bring him into the world.

Mirr Maz Duur knows Khal Drogo's protection is the child's best chance at safety growing into adulthood: she she sees the wound she does her utmost to save him, and treats him as well as she can. However, because Drogo ignores her advice the wound festers and he becomes very ill. Still holding on to hope that Drogo will survive to raise Rhaego, she attempts her blood magic in an earnest attempt to save him. However, her bloodmagic fails, perhaps because (once again) her explicit instructions were not followed, and the tent was breached, and she had to interrupt her spell to deliver Rhaego.

“Princess, hear me. The Dothraki will not follow a suckling babe. Drogo’s strength was what they bowed to, and only that. When he is gone, Jhaqo and Pono and the other kos will fight for his place, and this khalasar will devour itself. The winner will want no more rivals. The boy will be taken from your breast the moment he is born. They will give him to the dogs...”


Jorah Mormont saw this, surely Duur would have as well. Her only chance at saving the life of this all-important child would be to smuggle it out of the Dothraki camp. At this point she is alone in the tent: Mormont is almost certainly passed out or delirious from the massive wound on his thigh, and no Dothraki is willing to come near the tent. Once she delivered the baby her plan had to change: to save Rhaego she would have to lie, say the baby died. But she would have no corpse, no evidence, and the lie might not be believed. She didn't have much to work with, but her chest contained a large variety of unknown elements. I hypothesize one of the items contained in that chest was the preserved body of some creature of about the right size, something scaly and with wings, matching how the child would later be described. She also added maggots ("grave worms") which would be a staple in any medieval healer's chest to help obscure the inhuman nature of the body.

The real Rhago she hid inside her chest, likely mildly drugged to keep him from wailing. She later took the chest to the other Llazareen slaves: how isn't clear, but it's also not terribly important, nor is it implausible; she may have instructed Dany's khas to fetch her some assistants from wherever the slaves were; they had proven willing to fight to the death to protect MMD on Dany's orders, and Aggo was the one who suggested she be taken to the Maegi in the first place, so it seems unlikely he would object to the request or question it. Later the slaves would take the chest away. In the coming hours (or days) they would escape as the chaos surrounding Drogo's illness splits apart the Khalasar.


Q: So why did Mirri Maz Duur act like she had done all this on purpose?

She was a prophet, and she so she knew what she had to do, and she was willing to die for the sake of the world. Dany had to have her dragons, and Mirri Maz Duur knew how to give them to her. Mirri knew that she had to die to give the dragons life, and so she said what she said to provoke Dany into sacrificing her upon Drogo's altar. From there, her spell would be seen as nothing more than the dying wails of a woman burning to death. The dragons would be seen as a divine gift, not the product of the magic the Dothraki revile so thuroughly. Mirri's magic hatched the dragons and protected Dany, though the Maegi died in the fire, sacrificing herself so the world would know dragons once more.

Edited by Damon_Tor, 04 February 2013 - 07:15 AM.


#2 Lady Sansa Stark

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:54 AM

There are some theories that Rhaego is alive. Theories differ in where he is now, or who has him, the Lamb Men and Khal Jhaqo are named for example. I myself do not believe he's alive and I'd like it if he just stayed dead. Wasn't he also quite premature, as well?

Besides, why should MMD let him live? She should know that Rhaego might find out someday what really happened and who he really is, and no one could stop his fury right then - so there would've been a big chance he'd become the Stallion Who Mounts the World regardless. If MMD really thought Rhaego would become the Stallion who mounts the world, she wouldn't let him live.

#3 danm_999

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:08 AM

If not Rhaego's lifeforce, what fuelled MMD's spell and kept Khal Drogo alive?

#4 The Titan's Legitimate Son

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:11 AM

Even if he is alive, I do not think he would have an immediate impact on the series as we know it; he won't be mounting any worlds until he is all grown up and has got his diploma in it. He is but a child (and knows nothing of the world) and is like Edmure's child and Robb's crackpot child, they won't have much affect themselves within the timeline of the series.

Point 2, is it possible the Stallion prophecy was mixed up and was for Dany not Rhaego, but since one was growing inside the other, it was an easy mistake?

#5 The Doctor's Consort

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:14 AM

I don't think so. Why the Lhazarenes or anyone else would want raise him, sinse his power would be the one he would win, not his father...

#6 Ser Ennepe

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:14 AM

If not Rhaego's lifeforce, what fuelled MMD's spell and kept Khal Drogo alive?

the Horse I think, sure she could have been pretty bad at Blood magic and wasted a lot of Rhaegos mojo, but wouldn´t Rhaegos Lifeforce create more than "Braindead Drogo" ?

#7 danm_999

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:23 AM

the Horse I think, sure she could have been pretty bad at Blood magic and wasted a lot of Rhaegos mojo, but wouldn´t Rhaegos Lifeforce create more than "Braindead Drogo" ?


The horse was killed outside the tent before the ritual began, for it's blood according to MMD.

And I think the "braindead" issue is kind of the point; MMD warns here beforehand "some would say that death is cleaner."

#8 Ser Ennepe

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:30 AM

The horse was killed outside the tent before the ritual began, for it's blood according to MMD.

And I think the "braindead" issue is kind of the point; MMD warns here beforehand "some would say that death is cleaner."

Ah okay, then i misremembered that bit about the horse /blushing.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':blushing:' />

#9 therealbando

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:31 AM

He`s not dead, he`s either a FM or was sent by Varys to help Aegon/ Dany just like everybody else who died in the series...
Seriously now why should MMD let him live? Or if she let him how did she take him to her people? I think Jorah would have noticed her leaving with a perfectly healthy baby. Or if one of the other Khals took him why should they let him live? He`s Dany`s son, and a potential future Khal, so why risk letting him alive?

Edited by therealbando, 25 January 2013 - 08:32 AM.


#10 Real Heir of Bear Island

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:48 AM

Point 2, is it possible the Stallion prophecy was mixed up and was for Dany not Rhaego, but since one was growing inside the other, it was an easy mistake?


Where does it say that every prophecy from every culture in the book must come true? The prophecy could just be a false one, or come ture 1000 years after the events of the book. I think the Dothraki prophecy is false, just like almost everything they think "is known".

I don't think Rhaego was alive. How would she have snuck him away with all the Kalasar and Jorah so close? I would be upset if he was as it would cheapen Dany's arch. Losing the child was a pivotal moment for her. Without that happening she would never have hatched the eggs.

ETA: grammer

Edited by Real Heir of Bear Island, 25 January 2013 - 09:50 AM.


#11 Bear Island Bruiser

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:18 AM

Even if he is alive, I do not think he would have an immediate impact on the series as we know it; he won't be mounting any worlds until he is all grown up and has got his diploma in it. He is but a child (and knows nothing of the world) and is like Edmure's child and Robb's crackpot child, they won't have much affect themselves within the timeline of the series.

Point 2, is it possible the Stallion prophecy was mixed up and was for Dany not Rhaego, but since one was growing inside the other, it was an easy mistake?


I'd say no, he's dead. The palming off of the child would be too convoluted and to what end?

Personally I'd say the stallion prophecy is mixed up and that it was meant for the dragons that Dany would give 'birth' to. I mean you can't deny that they will burn cities to the ground. They're doing it already.

#12 Full-Faced Braavosi

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:02 PM

Semi-random question: would Dany be lactating?

#13 RhaenysBalerion

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

No.
No matter how happy I would be if he was, he isn't. And Mance Rayder is probably not Rhaegar either. /sad.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':(' />

#14 Lau-la Mora

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:08 PM

What would be the point? She moved on, he is really not that relevant to the main plot anymore and he is less relevant if he is just being raised by the Lamb people

#15 dreamprfct

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

Semi-random question: would Dany be lactating?

yes--if she gave birth (even to a stillborn baby) -most women will produce milk--however without a baby nursing or pumping the milk would dry up.

Edited by dreamprfct, 25 January 2013 - 01:12 PM.


#16 rmholt

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

I think he could be. I think he could be with Jhaqo. I dont believe a word that came out of Mirri's mouth as she had already "died" in her mind and hated Dany and wanted to mess with her mind. No one else saw the evidence. And you know how GRRM is about dead people. You cant assume anything unless you see the body. And even then...

#17 rmholt

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

yes--if she gave birth (even to a stillborn baby) -most women will produce milk--however without a baby nursing or pumping the milk would dry up.


SHe was out of it for several days with a fever. That would put the breasts out of commission.

#18 rmholt

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

What would be the point? She moved on, he is really not that relevant to the main plot anymore and he is less relevant if he is just being raised by the Lamb people


What's the point? He has been in dreams and prophecies that have been trustworthy. Dany has not moved on, she is with Jhaqo in the Dothraki sea when we last saw her. He is her heir. His pop was a great captain. Why would the Lhazarenes have him? They werent there when he was born.

Jhaqo would have a great reason for holding onto him, maybe adopting him. He would make a great hostage if the occasion arrived. Like Theon who should have taken the Stark boys instead of killing them. It's hard to see a downside for the other khals to snatch him. Dany was out of it for several days - long enough for the baby to be squirreled away, perhaps with Mirri's help. I dont see a downside, in the plot or in the telling of the story, for Rhaego to be alive.

Edited by rmholt, 25 January 2013 - 02:11 PM.


#19 Lau-la Mora

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:30 PM

What's the point? He has been in dreams and prophecies that have been trustworthy. Dany has not moved on, she is with Jhaqo in the Dothraki sea when we last saw her. He is her heir. His pop was a great captain. Why would the Lhazarenes have him? They werent there when he was born.

Jhaqo would have a great reason for holding onto him, maybe adopting him. He would make a great hostage if the occasion arrived. Like Theon who should have taken the Stark boys instead of killing them. It's hard to see a downside for the other khals to snatch him. Dany was out of it for several days - long enough for the baby to be squirreled away, perhaps with Mirri's help. I dont see a downside, in the plot or in the telling of the story, for Rhaego to be alive.


If Jhaqo is with him, then he might be important. I was talking about an earlier suggestion of him being raised by the Lamb people. But I think you are right about him being a good hostage/adopted kid for Jhaqo.
But I really hope he is dead. George said Gandalf should have died for real but he keeps bringing people back, and even if JonCon was not really dead I'm starting to dislike them coming back

Edited by Lau-la Mora, 25 January 2013 - 02:31 PM.


#20 rmholt

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:38 PM

If Jhaqo is with him, then he might be important. I was talking about an earlier suggestion of him being raised by the Lamb people. But I think you are right about him being a good hostage/adopted kid for Jhaqo.
But I really hope he is dead. George said Gandalf should have died for real but he keeps bringing people back, and even if JonCon was not really dead I'm starting to dislike them coming back


Those undead are really bugging me.

I have been told that some of my enemies were saying I died in a car accident and I said COOL dont snitch on me. So it happens in RL.

Edited by rmholt, 25 January 2013 - 02:39 PM.