ravenous reader

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About ravenous reader

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  1. I agree. I think 'the three queens' is one of GRRM's chess analogies. Every chess game starts out with two queens -- one 'black' and one 'white' -- however, it's possible ironically for the game to acquire a third, should a pawn cross the board, when it can be exchanged for another piece, such as a queen! Sansa is Littlefinger's pawn, whom he intends to 'cross the board' and become queen.
  2. I already addressed this earlier when you brought it up. I will copy and paste my earlier response: Hi sweet peter -- obviously, your previous response failed to satisfy me, so here we are again... You presume too much, daring to insinuate I do not understand direwolf behavior (have you looked at my avatar pic..? ...the 'ravenous' part does not only refer to ravens... ). Great. We'll always have that 'telepathic' connection, you and I... I disagree. This is not totally correct. OK, I'll give you that one. Hmm... Now that's not 'totally correct' either. Let me explain: Right at the start of the conversation, Robb's tone is 'sharp,' betraying that he's feeling rather testy and irritable with his mother, basically not in the mood for her characteristic brand of self-righteous nonsense (not really feeling conducive to making her his heir...but I suppose you will assert -- just to 'win' an argument, or failing that, as you're bound to do here, thwarting mine at every turn -- that this is dramatic flair of the highest order, worthy of Charles Dance, Judy Dench, and Varys...). Robb's 'sharpness' at the beginning of the conversation is in synch with the sharp teeth of his direwolf bared against Cat at the end of the conversation, which can be interpreted as a palpable tension simmering between Robb and his mother throughout the conversation, which, however, erupts into an open display of aggression via the wolf, when Cat goes too far. It's clear Cat sees Jon and any future offspring of his as strangers and potentially deadly enemies to the Starks, whereas Robb sees Jon as one of his own. When Grey Wind finally leaps onto the tomb of the king, baring his teeth at her, this is an indication that Robb has had enough of his mother's hostility and seeks to swiftly put her in her place (by assuming that elevated position atop the tomb, the direwolf would be taller than her and quite intimidating; the elevated position also indicates Robb assuming the moral high ground with respect to his mother). On a symbolic level, as I explained to you previously, this gesture or pose has striking echoes of the Stark family crypt tableau, in which the direwolf sits at the foot of the Kings of the North / Kings of Winter, guarding them. The sharp, bared teeth of the wolf is similar to the bared steel of the sword, also displayed as a warning to a stranger that they are not welcome in 'a Stark place,' as Bran refers to the crypts. The upshot is that Cat in this moment is not only behaving as a stranger (also foreshadowing her Lady Stoneheart transformation!) but also perceived as a stranger to Stark interests, and accordingly the Starks, represented here by Robb and Grey Wolf, are not feeling very 'warm and fuzzy' towards her; in fact, they jointly reject her lame protestations. Has Robb the 'kingly-trapper', 'hare-snarer,' 'master-mummer,' 'disingenuous-dazzler' extraordinaire fooled the direwolf as well?! Jon is no Theon. And Catelyn is no Stark.
  3. Yes, I think that's what happened, but I can't prove the logistics of how -- perhaps someone else is motivated? Inevitably, there are those who will reply to your thread flatly ruling out Littlefinger's involvement on the basis that he 'couldn't possibly' have been in Brandon's vicinity at the time, or crossed paths with either him or Lyanna. It certainly fits, however, with Littlefinger's modus operandi for him to have interfered with the message and/or the messenger. In fact, the very first time we are introduced to him is not in King's Landing when we meet him in the flesh, but already at Winterfell when Cat receives the letter which she thinks originates with her sister, but, unbeknownst to her and us, actually bears the trace of Littlefinger's devious brain infiltrating Winterfell. Having lost the duel with swords, he turned to duelling with words, hence his chosen moniker 'Mockingbird'! In this passage, with the 'below the neck' reference (alluding to Brandon's death by strangulation) as well as the reference to 'melting' (Rickard's mode of death in which his armor melted off him as he burned), Littlefinger can be seen to be gloating in satisfaction at the deaths of Ned's relatives (for which he perhaps proudly feels responsible for having precipitated in some way?), in addition to betraying his desire to also have Ned decapitated and/or burned. On a side note, I don't believe for a moment that Joffrey ordered Ned's beheading on his own steam; I think a little bird whispered in his ear... So what happens when you toss Brandon Stark, Lyanna Stark and Aerys/Rhaegar Targaryen into a pot? It's interesting how Littlefinger, understanding the Starks' fierce loyalty to their own, preys on Ned's weakness to uphold the honor of the 'pack', advising him against pursuing the issue of Bran's would-be assassin, knowing full well a Stark would never be able to 'drop' the case, in the event of someone having insulted or harmed another Stark, thus manipulating Ned and Catelyn into open enmity against the Lannisters. Perhaps, similarly, he played the same trick on Brandon Stark, informing him about Lyanna (giving false or skewed info, of course) and then in the same breath advising him to 'drop' it, understanding that Brandon would not be able to resist haring off to defend his sister, thus manipulating him into open enmity against the Targaryens. 'That', my dears, 'is how the game is played'! As one forum user pointed out (sorry I can't recall who! ), there is an additional connotation to Brandon being a 'gallant fool,' the implication perhaps being that he was played by and therefore was made a fool of and fooled by another, who is the trickster archetype in the equation. While you all formulate your theses as to the logistics for and against, bear in mind that nothing travels faster than the word, nor does it require the physical presence of the one sending it-- words can travel via raven or travelling singers, maesters or other servant-messengers, etc., as Littlefinger himself points out in the quote above, and as demonstrated with Dontos and Kettleblack operating as his proxies in King's Landing, even when he isn't around.
  4. Yes, Bran's exchanged one dream for another... but both revolve around magic. Whether he becomes an amoral or evil character remains to be seen, for me, but I have my doubts. Notice even there, in his most recent chapter, it is with considerable regret that he lets go of the idea of being a great knight, and we know what he has in mind when it comes to great knights. If Dayne was dark in any sense, Ned sure doesn't seem to have thought so, and I doubt Bran does either. Ned's actual word for Dayne was And Bran knew that. So, as far as I can see, Bran's morality is intact -- at this point in the story, anyway. It all revolves around this bit of foreshadowing: I think Bran is the holy trinity -- father (judge), son (sacrifice) and holy ghost (sword) all in one -- the three-headed promised prince. He is the one who speaks the word, the one who swings the sword, as well as the sword, and the man on trial, all in one. The death he must bravely face without flinching is his own. What will he decide? Will he scapegoat someone else (his brother or another) or will he choose to sacrifice himself...on account of 'the things I do for love'..?
  5. This really doesn't make sense. It would be a triumph, not a defeat! Once Robb dies, she would be able to name an heir of her choosing -- a dream come true! She loves making unilateral decisions (e.g. taking Tyrion hostage without consultation). THERE IS NO NEED TO 'TRAP' CAT INTO BEING ROBB'S HEIR -- Though you pursue it relentlessly, this is the principal flaw of your argument! No, it's not 'ridiculous.' Robb makes emotional decisions, or he wouldn't have married the first girl with whom he had a campaign romance. Let's return to the direwolf, Grey Wind, as a barometer of Robb's true intentions. Are you suggesting the direwolf is also being 'disingenuous' -- a 'master mummer' -- when he bares his teeth to Cat in displeasure? If he hadn't approved of what Robb was saying (namely that Jon should be the heir), he would have snarled at Robb and licked Cat's fingers in appreciation, instead. Wolves are not good liars.
  6. Dany wants night to last forever so she and Daario can be one for eternity. When Dawn comes dreams end. Catelyn is similar. Cat and Dany just want to dream of their loved ones, but Dawn takes that away. Dreaming is done at night. What do you think of the Long Night being two lover's minds together as one? They just want to be together, but the consequences for the living are terrible so they must be kept apart. The Wall blocks skinchanging magic. One mind is north of it trying to get south to reunite with its other half and when it succeeds in reaching its mate LN 2.0 begins. I love the idea, @Unchained ! The 'cruel dagger of light' extinguishes our illusions, fantasies, magic itself! About the 'soul seeking out its other half' at 'night': You introduce an interesting angle to the whole concept of the 'darkling plain' -- the tragic irony that one couple's fulfilment may be another person's or people's 'darkling plain' (this was indeed the case in 'real life' for our poor author left by his lover, who had chosen instead to join in blissful union with the Greeshka his best friend! One (wo)man's treachery is another's salvation). Who would you envision these two star-crossed lovers are, and where are they located (the heart of winter and summer, perhaps...)? Ultimately, 'The Song of Ice and Fire' is a love story...well, of love interwoven with war, love frequently precipitating war: Supporting your thesis, in this passage it is love that is responsible for bringing on the 'night'...'bitter[ness]...treason...turmoil...sorcery, fire and grief.' 'Westeros paid the bride price in corpses.' I take you a bet he's singing 'the song of ice and fire' (full of sound and fury, agony and ecstasy, and a good deal of mocking and counter-mocking to keep the whole thing moving along swimmingly...)! Two other pairs of famous star-crossed lovers which might provide some inspiration are Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' and the story of the 'Weaver Girl and the Cowherd' of Chinese mythology (courtesy @Pain killer Jane for bringing the latter to my attention; perhaps PK can add some further insights): Romeo and Juliet ACT III, SCENE V. Capulet's orchard. Enter ROMEO and JULIET above, at the window JULIET Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day: It was the nightingale, and not the lark, That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear; Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree: Believe me, love, it was the nightingale. ROMEO It was the lark, the herald of the morn, No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east: Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops. I must be gone and live, or stay and die. JULIET Yon light is not day-light, I know it, I: It is some meteor that the sun exhales, To be to thee this night a torch-bearer, And light thee on thy way to Mantua: Therefore stay yet; thou need'st not to be gone. [ @LmL tell me again that you hate Shakespeare...] ROMEO Let me be ta'en, let me be put to death; I am content, so thou wilt have it so. I'll say yon grey is not the morning's eye, 'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow; Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat The vaulty heaven so high above our heads: I have more care to stay than will to go: Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so. How is't, my soul? let's talk; it is not day. JULIET It is, it is: hie hence, be gone, away! It is the lark that sings so out of tune, Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps. Some say the lark makes sweet division; This doth not so, for she divideth us: Some say the lark and loathed toad change eyes, O, now I would they had changed voices too! Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray, Hunting thee hence with hunt's-up to the day, O, now be gone; more light and light it grows. ROMEO More light and light; more dark and dark our woes! Enter Nurse, to the chamber NURSE Madam! JULIET Nurse? NURSE Your lady mother is coming to your chamber: The day is broke; be wary, look about. Exit JULIET Then, window, let day in, and let life out. ROMEO Farewell, farewell! one kiss, and I'll descend. He goeth down JULIET Art thou gone so? love, lord, ay, husband, friend! I must hear from thee every day in the hour, For in a minute there are many days: O, by this count I shall be much in years Ere I again behold my Romeo! ROMEO Farewell! I will omit no opportunity That may convey my greetings, love, to thee. JULIET O think'st thou we shall ever meet again? ROMEO I doubt it not; and all these woes shall serve For sweet discourses in our time to come. JULIET O God, I have an ill-divining soul! Methinks I see thee, now thou art below, As one dead in the bottom of a tomb: Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale. ROMEO And trust me, love, in my eye so do you: Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu! Exit JULIET O fortune, fortune! all men call thee fickle: If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him. That is renown'd for faith? Be fickle, fortune; For then, I hope, thou wilt not keep him long, But send him back. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE From: Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 5 (See the following links for a modern language version and an annotated version) Vega and Altair (the Weaver Girl and the Cowherd) From wikipedia: “鵲橋仙 纖雲弄巧,飛星傳恨,銀漢迢迢暗渡。 金風玉露一相逢,便勝卻人間無數。 柔情似水,佳期如夢,忍顧鵲橋歸路。 兩情若是久長時,又豈在朝朝暮暮。 Meeting across the Milky way Through the varying shapes of the delicate clouds, the sad message of the shooting stars, a silent journey across the Milky Way, one meeting of the Cowherd and Weaver amidst the golden autumn wind and jade-glistening dew, eclipses the countless meetings in the mundane world. The feelings soft as water, the ecstatic moment unreal as a dream, how can one have the heart to go back on the bridge made of magpies? If the two hearts are united forever, why do the two persons need to stay together—day after day, night after night? The Herd-Boy and the Weaver-Girl This story, of which there are many versions, goes back to the sixth century BC and can be found in the first known book of Chinese poetry, The Book of Songs (Shijing 诗经). A very long time ago, when the King of the Sky created the heavens, he decorated it with stars and asked his beautiful daughter to help him by weaving the clouds and mists. It was a long task and when the king noticed his daughter looking tired and drawn, he ordered her to take a break and go out to play among the stars. The princess headed down towards the Milky Way to bathe, whereupon she came across a handsome herd-boy grazing his water buffalo by the banks of the stream. Distracted by the boy the princess lost track of time and returned home to her work long after the curfew her father had set. The King, upon discovering the reason for her late return was very angry and forbade her to visit the boy again. In case she disobeyed him, the King poured thousands more stars into the Milky Way until it was no longer a stream but a flowing river that the princess and the herd-boy could not cross. Without a bridge, the two were stranded on opposite sides of the Milky Way forever more. The Princess, who had fallen in love with the herd-boy, was distraught, and cried until her father relented. The King and his daughter reached an agreement that he would allow her to spend one day of each year with her herd-boy if she worked hard all year round. To this day, on the seventh day of the seventh month of every year the King sends a flock of magpies over the Milky Way to form a bridge. The weather must be clear on this evening or the lovers cannot cross the celestial river to meet each other. If it rains the pair must wait another year. On a clear night you can see their two bright stars together in the sky. If it rains it is said that the drops falling to earth are the tears of the Weaver-Girl Princess. From: Astronomy and Myth Another version, in which 'skinchanging' seems to feature
  7. The 'third (born) dragon' is Drogon. The one who 'broke the world'.
  8. Hi @Weirwood Ghost, welcome to our poetry-etc. thread -- I'm glad you're enjoying it -- and thank you for your contribution! Those are all very relevant references. Particularly, I'm intrigued by the last one. In which context and by/to whom was 'You know nothing...your words are like wind' said in 'Mists of Avalon'?
  9. That's a good quote, which I forgot to include: The crow chipping at the stone with its beak is very evocative of someone carving a runestone! ETA: Crows use their beaks to break eggshells, and birds and dragons hatch from eggs (there's even the example of the raven at the Wall breaking into and eating an egg that way 'The raven was pecking at an egg, breaking the shell. Pushing his beak through the hole, he pulled out morsels of white and yoke.' AGOT -- Jon IX ) Famously, a crow used its beak to open Bran's third eye. Symbolically, therefore, Bran has already been 'woken from stone.' While I'm being whimsical, it occurs to me that knowing 'the song of stone' might come in handy if one wishes to 'wake dragons from stone'... No, I don't think Dany's instance qualifies for that part of the prophecy (is it part of the prophecy?). Whichever 'instance' one uses, the son technically died before the father -- in the case of Rhaegar and Aerys; and Rhaego and Drogo, respectively. In Bran's instance however, Ned died before Robb (both with kingsblood -- King of the North, King of Winter).
  10. Check out the poems on our poetry thread, alluding to the Cersei-Jaime and Brienne-Jaime relationships! My reworking of the latter is quite amusing. I love the idea of Jaime being a secret Targ, particularly with reference to this passage, in which I like to imagine Jaime misheard the dragon saying 'I know you kingslayer...'; I think the dragon may have addressed him directly as a prodigal son, saying 'I know you, kinslayer'...!
  11. I'm more interested in why Tyrion is described as 'snarling.' Although his status as a 'secret Targ' bastard is inching into 'canonical' (have I told you lately how much I despise that word..?) territory, I hate to break it to you, dragons do not 'snarl'! It's been discredited, based on Joanna's 'seldom' presence in King's Landing (but 'seldom' is not equal to 'never', just saying...); but I'm still partial to the Lannister twins as secret Targs... Jaime as bright...golden Blackfyre Cersei as dark sister...
  12. A dog can smell a lie. Tyrion is a bullshit artist. And, of course, then there's Sansa:
  13. Hi Leech, thank you for your thoughtful and helpful responses, as always! In your opinion, why does he refuse the 'bittersweet chocolate'? Does the refusal represent a greater acceptance or denial/avoidance of reality? Is it a bit like Robb abstaining from the Greeshka in 'A Song for Lya'...? (The outcome seems 'bittersweet', whichever way you look at it...regardless of what he chooses, he loses something...) . You may have mentioned it before, but I never get tired of that poem! Although I don't think Jon will be king -- at least not of any mundane realm... That heroic spirit embodied in the Tolkien verse finds an echo in the brave climax of Tennyson's poem 'Ulysses': Death closes all: but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, 'T is not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho' We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. I wasn't aware of that one. It's from a poem 'The Law for the Wolves'! (are there any actual wolves in that story?) The Law for the Wolves NOW this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back — For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep.The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own.Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair.When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar,Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come.The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay,Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away.Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride;Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies;And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will;But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill.Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claimFull-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claimOne haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own:He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone.Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law.Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they; But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey! Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) Indeed, GRRM appears to have a great appreciation for poetry! @Wizz-The-Smith also recently brought to my attention that GRRM frequently references Matthew Arnold's poem, 'Dover Beach,' in 'A Song for Lya' (we've been discussing the correlations to ASOIAF, with particular reference to the weirnet hivemind vs. individual ego dynamic GRRM is exploring): The line about 'Men are always here, but for brief moments' reminds me of Mya Stone's speech: P.S. @Wizz-The-Smith also cleverly pointed out that 'Dino' is an anagram of 'Odin' (for all 'anagram-skeptics' out there -- yes, @LmL, I'm looking at you, my dear! -- and others who might have reservations as to the extent of GRRM's wordplay...). When Robb refers to 'mixing up the two poems' with one another, he's referencing Arnold's 'Dover Beach' and Longfellow's 'The Theologian's Tale: Elizabeth', as follows: Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another, Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence. HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW From: The Theologian's Tale; Elizabeth Dover Beach The sea is calm tonight. The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits; on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! Only, from the long line of spray Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land, Listen! you hear the grating roar Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, At their return, up the high strand, Begin, and cease, and then again begin, With tremulous cadence slow, and bring The eternal note of sadness in. Sophocles long ago Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow Of human misery; we Find also in the sound a thought, Hearing it by this distant northern sea. The Sea of Faith Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world. Ah, love, let us be true To one another! for the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night. MATTHEW ARNOLD
  14. That would be very ironic! If the 'prince that was promised' is composed of more than one consciousness, then the stipulation that the prince that was promised would be born of the line of the Targaryens might just account for one of the consciousnesses making up the hybrid; and does not rule out other non-Targaryen consciousnesses being involved. Should Bran, for example, succeed in skinchanging a dragon, he could very well be the promised prince. In fact, Meera and Jojen frequently refer to him as their 'prince' after swearing an oath, or in other words, having 'promised' their allegiance to him: Compare to this Dany paragraph: Thanks for the link, wolfmaid -- nice thread! @Frey family reunion In wolfmaid's thread you said: Can you explain how you came to this reasoning? It seems to be along the lines of what I suggested above that Rhaegar may have had in store for the wolfblooded one. Should the sacrifice of 'first man' blood be required for the dragon hatching, perhaps it was actually Drogo or Rhaego via Drogo's blood that provided the magical 'skinchanging' ingredient, not Dany's Targaryen blood, as is commonly presumed!
  15. It's a popular misconception that his body was burnt on the funeral pyre. That is never confirmed, nor is it definitive even as to whether it was a live birth or stillbirth (Jorah seems very cagey about what actually occurred), nor what happened to his remains. Despite her request, I don't think Dany ever got to see his body. Thus, we are left with maths that doesn't quite add up: 2 live people = Mirri and Dany 1 dead person = Drogo 1 dead horse go into the pyre, from which we get: 3 dragons hatching 1 person who outwits death = Dany So I ask you -- given the economic dictum, 'only death pays for life,' whose sacrifice paid for what? I read and understood your post just fine. Perhaps the subtlety of mine escaped you! The more pressing wrong she has to right is that committed by her father against the Starks, when Aerys by burning Rickard Stark and torturing his son Brandon to death, broke the pact with the north established by Aegon the Conqueror with Torrhen the King who Knelt. In order to make reparations, the dragon must now kneel to the wolf!