Lost Melnibonean

The Green Grace was behind the poison in Hizdahr's box

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I have long assumed that Galazza Galare and Hizdahr zo Loraq wanted Daenerys to live, at least until she produced a wee dragonlet for Hizdahr's heir, and that the character behind the poisoned locusts was Skahaz mo Kandaq, who lost considerable position when the dragon wed the harpy.

But after rereading this...

Quote

"Sweetsleep is the gentlest of poisons," the waif told her, as she was grinding some with a mortar and pestle. "A few grains will slow a pounding heart and stop a hand from shaking, and make a man feel calm and strong. A pinch will grant a night of deep and dreamless sleep. Three pinches will produce that sleep that does not end. The taste is very sweet, so it is best used in cakes and pies and honeyed wines. Here, you can smell the sweetness."

Cat of the Canals, Feast 34

I decided to look about for other mentions of “sweetsleep.” By accident, I typed “sweet sleep” into the seach engine, and returned this, and only this...

Quote

"They refused?"

"They did. No amount of gold will buy your people back, I was told. Only the blood of dragons may set them free again."

It was the answer Ser Barristan had expected, if not the one that he had hoped for. His mouth tightened.

"I know these were not the words you wished to hear," said Galazza Galare. "Yet for myself, I understand. These dragons are fell beasts. Yunkai fears them … and with good cause, you cannot deny. Our histories speak of the dragonlords of dread Valyria and the devastation that they wrought upon the peoples of Old Ghis. Even your own young queen, fair Daenerys who called herself the Mother of Dragons … we saw her burning, that day in the pit … even she was not safe from the dragon's wroth."

"Her Grace is not … she …"

"… is dead. May the gods grant her sweet sleep." Tears glistened behind her veils. "Let her dragons die as well."

The Queen's Hand, Dance 70

Now, we know that Hizdahr pushed the locusts on Daenerys...

Quote

"Locusts! " as he seized the bowl and began to crunch them by the handful.

"Those are very tasty," advised Hizdahr. "You ought to try a few yourself, my love. They are rolled in spice before the honey, so they are sweet and hot at once."

Daenerys IX, Dance 52

But Daenerys refrained...

Quote

"That explains the way Belwas is sweating," Dany said. "I believe I will content myself with figs and dates."

Daenerys IX, Dance 52

Belwas gobbled up all of the locusts, though...

Quote

"Bad fighting, good dying," said Strong Belwas. "Strong Belwas hates it when they scream." He had finished all the honeyed locusts. He gave a belch and took a swig of wine.

Daenerys IX, Dance 52

And got very sick, but not from sweetsleep...

Quote

"Fighting pigs is brave, but it is not brave to scream so loud. It hurts Strong Belwas in the ears." The eunuch rubbed his swollen stomach, crisscrossed with old white scars. "It makes Strong Belwas sick in his belly too."

...

"Strong Belwas ate too many locusts." There was a queasy look on Belwas's broad brown face. "Strong Belwas needs milk."

...

Strong Belwas gave a moan, stumbled from his seat, and fell to his knees.

...

Strong Belwas was retching noisily.

...

Strong Belwas was still vomiting.

Daenerys IX, Dance 52

No, the locusts were likely poisoned by the Tears of Lys...

Quote

"This is a crueler poison, but tasteless and odorless, hence easier to hide. The tears of Lys, men call it. Dissolved in wine or water, it eats at a man's bowels and belly, and kills as a sickness of those parts. Smell." Arya sniffed, and smelled nothing.

Cat of the Canals, Feast 34

Perhaps Skahaz truly did not attempt to murder Daenerys. He claimed to have proof against Hizdahr...

Quote

 

The Shavepate's voice was muffled by his mask, but Selmy could hear the anger in it. "I have the poisoner."

"Who?"

"Hizdahr's confectioner. His name would mean nothing to you. The man was just a cats paw. The Sons of the Harpy took his daughter and swore she would be returned unharmed once the queen was dead. Belwas and the dragon saved Daenerys. No one saved the girl. She was returned to her father in the black of night, in nine pieces. One for every year she lived."

 

The Queensguard, Dance 55

Skahaz is nearly convincing here. And here the storyteller gives us the motive of Hizdahr and Galazza...

Quote

 

"Why?" Doubts gnawed at him. "The Sons had stopped their killing. Hizdahr's peace—"

"—is a sham. Not at first, no. The Yunkai'i were afraid of our queen, of her Unsullied, of her dragons. This land has known dragons before. Yurkhaz zo Yunzak had read his histories, he knew. Hizdahr as well. Why not a peace? Daenerys wanted it, they could see that. Wanted it too much. She should have marched to Astapor." Skahaz moved closer.

...

"What of Hizdahr? He is still her consort. Her king. Her husband."

"Her poisoner."

Is he? "Where is your proof?"

"The crown he wears is proof enough. The throne he sits. Open your eyes, old man. That is all he needed from Daenerys, all he ever wanted. Once he had it, why share the rule?"

 

The Queensguard, Dance 55

Nevertheless, the storyteller still gives us reason to doubt that Hizdahr is guilty...

Quote

 

Why indeed? It had been so hot down in the pit. He could still see the air shimmering above the scarlet sands, smell the blood spilling from the men who'd died for their amusement. And he could still hear Hizdahr, urging his queen to try the honeyed locusts. Those are very tasty … sweet and hot … yet he never touched so much as one himself … Selmy rubbed his temple. I swore no vows to Hizdahr zo Loraq. And if I had, he has cast me aside, just as Joffrey did. "This … this confectioner, I want to question him myself. Alone."

"Is it that way?" The Shavepate crossed his arms against his chest. "Done, then. Question him as you like."

"If … if what he has to say convinces me … if I join with you in this, this … I would require your word that no harm would come to Hizdahr zo Loraq until … unless … it can be proved that he had some part in this."

...

"All I know for certain is that he is the queen's consort. I want your word on this, or I swear, I shall oppose you."

Skahaz's smile was savage. "My word, then. No harm to Hizdahr till his guilt is proved. But when we have the proof, I mean to kill him with my own hands. I want to pull his entrails out and show them to him before I let him die."

No, the old knight thought. If Hizdahr conspired at my queen's death, I will see to him myself, but his death will be swift and clean.

 

The Queensguard, Dance 55

So, perhaps Hizdahr is not guilty, but perhaps he is a puppet...

Quote

"Why do you care so much for Hizdahr, old man? If he is not the Harpy, he is the Harpy's firstborn son."

The Queensguard, Dance 55

As the storyteller has Skahaz tell us, Hizdahr is the Harpy’s firstborn son, which could be a hint at Galazza.

Quote

 

Hizdahr looked confused. "Why have you come?"

"To ask a question. Magnificence, are you the Harpy?"

Hizdahr's wine cup slipped through his fingers, bounced off the carpet, rolled. "You come to my bedchamber in the black of night and ask me that? Are you mad?" It was only then that the king seemed to notice that Ser Barristan was wearing his plate and mail. "What … why … how dare you …"

"Was the poison your work, Magnificence?"

King Hizdahr backed away a step. "The locusts? That … that was the Dornishman. Quentyn, the so-called prince. Ask Reznak if you doubt me."

"Have you proof of that? Has Reznak?"

"No, else I would have had them seized. Perhaps I should do so in any case. Marghaz will wring a confession out of them, I do not doubt. They're all poisoners, these Dornish. Reznak says they worship snakes."

 

The Kingbreaker, Dance 67

The immediate frame of Quentyn as the patsy, as well as Hizdahr's control over the food in his suite, suggests that Hizdahr was involved in, if not the primary force behind, the attempted murder of Daenerys.

Quote

 

"They eat snakes," said Ser Barristan. "It was your pit, your box, your seats. Sweet wine and soft cushions, figs and melons and honeyed locusts. You provided all. You urged Her Grace to try the locusts but never tasted one yourself."

"I … hot spices do not agree with me. She was my wife. My queen. Why would I want to poison her?"

Was, he says. He believes her dead. "Only you can answer that, Magnificence. It might be that you wished to put another woman in her place." Ser Barristan nodded at the girl peering timidly from the bed-chamber. "That one, perhaps?"

The king looked around wildly. "Her? She's nothing. A bedslave."

He raised his hands. "I misspoke. Not a slave. A free woman. Trained in pleasure. Even a king has needs, she … she is none of your concern, ser. I would never harm Daenerys. Never."

"You urged the queen to try the locusts. I heard you."

"I thought she might enjoy them." Hizdahr retreated another step.

"Hot and sweet at once."

"Hot and sweet and poisoned. With mine own ears I heard you commanding the men in the pit to kill Drogon. Shouting at them."

Hizdahr licked his lips. "The beast devoured Barsena's flesh. Dragons prey on men. It was killing, burning …"

"… burning men who meant harm to your queen. Harpy's Sons, as like as not. Your friends."

"Not my friends."

"You say that, yet when you told them to stop killing they obeyed. Why would they do that if you were not one of them?"

Hizdahr shook his head. This time he did not answer. "Tell me true,"

Ser Barristan said, "did you ever love her, even a little? Or was it just the crown you lusted for?"

"Lust? You dare speak to me of lust?" The king's mouth twisted in anger. "I lusted for the crown, aye … but not half so much as she lusted for her sellsword. Perhaps it was her precious captain who tried to poison her, for putting him aside. And if I had eaten of his locusts too, well, so much the better."

"Daario is a killer but not a poisoner." Ser Barristan moved closer to the king. "Are you the Harpy?" This time he put his hand on the hilt of his longsword. "Tell me true, and I promise you shall have a swift, clean death."

"You presume too much, ser," said Hizdahr. "I am done with these questions, and with you. You are dismissed from my service. Leave Meereen at once and I will let you live."

"If you are not the Harpy, give me his name." Ser Barristan pulled his sword from the scabbard. Its sharp edge caught the light from the brazier, became a line of orange fire.

Hizdahr broke. "Khrazz!" he shrieked, stumbling backwards toward his bedchamber. "Khrazz! Khrazz!"

...

"You will be kept a prisoner until the queen returns. If nothing can be proved against you, you will not come to harm. You have my word as a knight." He took the king's arm and led him from the bedchamber, feeling strangely light-headed, almost drunk.

 

The Kingbreaker, Dance 67

It sure looks like Hizdahr was involved. He believes Daenerys is dead. Yes, a lot of characters believe Daenerys is dead, but characters in the pit see her mount and ride Drogon, and Hizdahr had an excellent view. And even though Daenerys does not partake in the locusts, she does at least call for the sweetwater...

Quote

 

Hizdahr had stocked their box with flagons of chilled wine and sweetwater, with figs, dates, melons, and pomegranates, with pecans and peppers and a big bowl of honeyed locusts.

...

Their box was in the shade, but her head was pounding. "Jhiqui," she called, "sweet water, if you would. My throat is very dry."

 

Daenerys IX, Dance 52

And note that there was no indication that she actually drank the sweetwater, thus avoiding that poison. It sure seems like Galzza believes she did, though...

Quote

 

"And murder. The Sons of the Harpy slew thirty in the night."

"I grieve to hear this. All the more reason to free the noble Hizdahr zo Loraq, who stopped such killings once."

And how did he accomplish that, unless he is himself the Harpy?

"Her Grace gave her hand to Hizdahr zo Loraq, made him her king and consort, restored the mortal art as he beseeched her. In return he gave her poisoned locusts."

"In return he gave her peace. Do not cast it away, ser, I beg you. Peace is the pearl beyond price. Hizdahr is of Loraq. Never would he soil his hands with poison. He is innocent."

"How can you be certain?" Unless you know the poisoner.

"The gods of Ghis have told me."

 

The Queen's Hand, Dance 70

Yeah, right.

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Interesting analysis. I've long thought the Green Grace was the Harpy. And GRRM has had several characters mention poison as a woman's weapon (which is a sexist but historically accurate view for the setting). 

I'm not entirely convinced that anyone thinks Dany is dead just based on what she did or didn't drink, but you've laid out a fair case.

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Your sweet sleep catch was awesome very impressive. I'm also on board with this theory as I find it makes the sense regarding motive. (And that she knows she could easily do it and get away with it 2)

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Just now, One-eyed Misbehavin said:

Your sweet sleep catch was awesome very impressive. I'm also on board with this theory as I find it makes the sense regarding motive. (And that she knows she could easily do it and get away with it 2)

Yeah i agree.

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That is pretty much what I've been saying for years on the matter. The best take on Galazza's involvement comes from Dany's first chapter and the fact that weavers who once worked for Galazza's cousins fell later victim to the Sons of the Harpy. That makes it very likely indeed that she is 'the Harpy', and the crucial person coordinating the attacks.

But there are tons of other hints besides the ones you cited (she effectively rubs it in Barristan's - and the reader's - face what she truly wants). The fact that she learns that Dany is not going to harm the hostages she collected. Not to mention the fact that she is the only Meereenese character daring to contradict on challenge Daenerys. That shows the depth of her resolve and the strength of her conviction. She is also a very old woman. She has nothing to gain but her legacy and way of life to protect. The idea that such a woman likes change or looks in favor of barbaric adolescent conqueror is, frankly, not very likely.

Hizdahr is her man, and Skahaz's analysis of the political situation is mostly correct. Reznak is either also with the Harpy, or representing the interests of the old guard without being directly involved in the plots against Daenerys.

Anything else makes things too complicated.

They wanted Dany gone because with Hizdahr as Dany's King Consort and peace with the Yunkai they no longer needed her nor her dragons or Unsullied. In fact, they were just an obstacle now preventing the reintroduction of slavery.

What complicates things after Daznak's Pit is the death of Yurkhaz which results in the Yunkish allies giving up their peace policy in favor of a more war-like approach. Hizdahr and Reznak have trouble dealing with that but are still reasonably confident that they can prevent a war and get rid of the dragons in the process. However, with Yezzan dying, too, and Bloodbeard pushing for war to get himself some spoils, and the Yunkai'i learning that the Volantenes are on the way peace begins to slip away again.

The Yunkai'i were too effective with their war-mongering. Too effective for their own good.

This doesn't mean Skahaz is not also playing his own game. His Brazen Beasts now manning the walls of the city is potentially very dangerous should the battle turn against Barristan. It won't, of course, but if it did the man is not unlikely to refuse to open the gates to let them back in.

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18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That is pretty much what I've been saying for years on the matter. The best take on Galazza's involvement comes from Dany's first chapter and the fact that weavers who once worked for Galazza's cousins fell later victim to the Sons of the Harpy. That makes it very likely indeed that she is 'the Harpy', and the crucial person coordinating the attacks.

But there are tons of other hints besides the ones you cited (she effectively rubs it in Barristan's - and the reader's - face what she truly wants). The fact that she learns that Dany is not going to harm the hostages she collected. Not to mention the fact that she is the only Meereenese character daring to contradict on challenge Daenerys. That shows the depth of her resolve and the strength of her conviction. She is also a very old woman. She has nothing to gain but her legacy and way of life to protect. The idea that such a woman likes change or looks in favor of barbaric adolescent conqueror is, frankly, not very likely.

Hizdahr is her man, and Skahaz's analysis of the political situation is mostly correct. Reznak is either also with the Harpy, or representing the interests of the old guard without being directly involved in the plots against Daenerys.

Anything else makes things too complicated.

They wanted Dany gone because with Hizdahr as Dany's King Consort and peace with the Yunkai they no longer needed her nor her dragons or Unsullied. In fact, they were just an obstacle now preventing the reintroduction of slavery.

What complicates things after Daznak's Pit is the death of Yurkhaz which results in the Yunkish allies giving up their peace policy in favor of a more war-like approach. Hizdahr and Reznak have trouble dealing with that but are still reasonably confident that they can prevent a war and get rid of the dragons in the process. However, with Yezzan dying, too, and Bloodbeard pushing for war to get himself some spoils, and the Yunkai'i learning that the Volantenes are on the way peace begins to slip away again.

The Yunkai'i were too effective with their war-mongering. Too effective for their own good.

This doesn't mean Skahaz is not also playing his own game. His Brazen Beasts now manning the walls of the city is potentially very dangerous should the battle turn against Barristan. It won't, of course, but if it did the man is not unlikely to refuse to open the gates to let them back in.

Reznak. Mo Reznak is complicated. In fact, he's the reason I suspected Skahaz, assuming Reznak is in league with Galazza and Hizdahr. Here is the quote that bugs me about Reznak...

Quote

Reznak mo Reznak gave a piteous moan. "Then it is true. Your Worship means to abandon us." He wrung his hands. "The Yunkai'i will restore the Great Masters the instant you are gone, and we who have so faithfully served your cause will be put to the sword, our sweet wives and maiden daughters raped and enslaved."

Daenerys III, Dance 16

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Just now, Lost Melnibonean said:

Reznak. Mo Reznak is complicated. In fact, he's the reason I suspected Skahaz, assuming Reznak is in league with Galazza and Hizdahr. Here is the quote that bugs me about Reznak...

Daenerys III, Dance 16

At first when you typed like that i was confused thinking that you were saying that there was a guy named Reznak and another guy named mo Reznak. I was pretty sure there was only one.

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1 hour ago, Wrl6199 said:

At first when you typed like that i was confused thinking that you were saying that there was a guy named Reznak and another guy named mo Reznak. I was pretty sure there was only one.

Sorry, Reznak mo Reznak. 

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A good catch with sweetsleep.

Hizdahr was definitely on it, one doesn't have his confectioner prepare sweets which don't sit well with his stomach. He knew not to eat.

The sweet water as a contingency plan makes sense, there was no guarantee Dany would eat the locusts.

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On 1/11/2017 at 8:07 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:

I have long assumed that Galazza Galare and Hizdahr zo Loraq wanted Daenerys to live, at least until she produced a wee dragonlet for Hizdahr's heir, and that the character behind the poisoned locusts was Skahaz mo Kandaq, who lost considerable position when the dragon wed the harpy.

But after rereading this...

Cat of the Canals, Feast 34

I decided to look about for other mentions of “sweetsleep.” By accident, I typed “sweet sleep” into the seach engine, and returned this, and only this...

<snip>

No, the locusts were likely poisoned by the Tears of Lys...

 

I'm unconvinced.

The Green Grace is the Harpy, that's for sure. No discussion here. But...

1) If it's Tears of Lys, why poison the locusts, which have a strong taste and never ever Dany was inclined to eat them, unlike figs and dates and wine.  They could have easily poison any of these things and Dany wouldn't have noticed.

2) The poison was rather mild. Belwas ate a whole bowl and didn't die. To be sure, Belwas is a massive guy, but how many locusts did they expect Dany to eat? One, two or three? Would have been enough? I doubt it.

No... they didn't intend to kill Dany, not yet. There are two theories I find more convincing.

1) It was the Shavepate wanting to drive a drift between Dany and the Hizdahr, without hurting her. If he knew that Belwas was fond of the locusts and die for it, the better. Belwas although dear to Dany, was easy to spare (same conclusion that Dany reaches in aSoS). Missandei would have been an overkill. Barristan, Grey Worm, etc are too important. If nobody dies but few get sick, same effect is achieved. Dany gets angry and division in the marriage grows.

2) It was an abortive provided by the Green Grace, because there were concerns she was pregnant of Daario (and she was). Unlike poisons were many possibilities exists, there are a handful of abortives, and maybe only one available in Meeren. It is possible that particular substance has an strong flavor that need to be hidden if provided to an unsuspecting woman. Hence sweet and spicy. Abortives are dangerous substances nevertheless and they didn't expect Dany to eat more than a couple of locusts, but eating a bowl would make any person sick.  We learn that Moon Tea can be dangerous too.

On 1/11/2017 at 8:07 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:

And note that there was no indication that she actually drank the sweetwater, thus avoiding that poison. It sure seems like Galzza believes she did, though...

Interesting catch however. What about two overlapping plots? One with the locusts and another with sweetwater? I have similar suspicions regarding the Pink Letter.

 

 

 

Edited by rotting sea cow

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This was what convinced me the GG was the Harpy, I think:

Quote

Dany walked out onto the terrace. To the west sunlight blazed off the golden domes of the Temple of Graces, and etched deep shadows behind the stepped pyramids of the mighty. In some of the pyramids, the Sons of the Harpy are plotting new murders even now

(...)

You have no lack of enemies, Your Grace. You can see their pyramids from your terrace. Zhak, Hazkar, Ghazeen, Merreq, Lorraq, all the old slaving families. Pahl. Pahl most of all. [And Gazzare?] A house of women now. Bitter old women with a taste for blood. Women do not forget. Women do not forgive.

 

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10 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Reznak. Mo Reznak is complicated. In fact, he's the reason I suspected Skahaz, assuming Reznak is in league with Galazza and Hizdahr. Here is the quote that bugs me about Reznak...

Daenerys III, Dance 16

The quote you give here is from very early in the book. Reznak was publicly seen as a collaborator and while he is clearly the voice of the old guard on Dany's councils, he is still a collaborator. The Great Masters are no monolithic bloc, it seems (else there would have been a monarch ruling Meereen, not a number of rivaling noble families), and Reznak may have been very aware that, say, the surviving members of House Pahl would see little to no difference between Daenerys, Skahaz, and him.

Galazza's plans also changed over time. She crept closer to Dany, considered her options, using her and Hizdahr to bring about a peace with the Yunkai'i, and the marriage between Dany and Hizdahr reestablished a monarchy in Meereen, changing the political landscape. If Galazza is the power behind Hizdahr - and that very much seems to be the case - then she would also be the true/secret ruler of Meereen behind him after Daenerys is gone.

The fact that Hizdahr was not only in on the plot about the poisoned locusts is nothing new, by the way. We know that he lied to Selmy about 'hot spices not agreeing with him' because Daenerys had prepare her cook his favorite meals for him earlier in the books (during their marriage negotiation talks) and those are rather hot and spicy. You really have to read those chapters very carefully. They are, at times, even more subtle than some of the AFfC chapters. 

The fact that Hizdahr points to Reznak knowing that Quentyn was behind the poisoning attempt suggests that Reznak is more important in the government than Hizdahr himself. Which fits fine with the fact that both Reznak and Galazza are the ones urging Dany to marry Hizdahr in the first place.

I'm not sure the poisoned locusts did contain the Tears of Lys. It is possible, certainly, but my take on that poison always was that it was rather deadly, making it unlikely that Belwas would have survived if he had gotten so much in his system as he did, considering that he pretty much ate all of the locusts. One also wonders whether Belwas had to vomit because of the poison or because so many sweet-and-spicy locusts are bad for your stomach whether they are poisoned or not. The Tears of Lys cause pain in the intestinal tract quickly enough, but as far as we know the people treating you have to make you vomit in time, the poison itself doesn't cause it (else it wouldn't be very effective since getting it out of your system is the only way to prevent the death of the poisoned person).

In addition, just as @rotting sea cow has said, the Tears of Lys are essentially tasteless, which would have allowed the poisoners to poison other foods Dany might most certainly eat.

17 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

2) The poison was rather mild. Belwas ate a whole bowl and didn't die. To be sure, Belwas is a massive guy, but how many locusts did they expect Dany to eat? One, two or three? Would have been enough? I doubt it.

The poison actually wasn't all that mild. Belwas most likely only survived because (1) he was a very massive guy, as you pointed out but also (2) retched up all the poison that was still in his stomach and the as of yet undigested locusts (that way only a small portion of the poison might actually have gotten permanently into his system), and (3) because the Blue Graces treated him thereafter, possibly administering the correct antidote.

The idea that the locusts actually contained an abortifacient isn't supported by the text. One would really wonders whether such a substance would have led to Belwas losing as much weight as he did.

17 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

No... they didn't intend to kill Dany, not yet.

Why? They no longer had any need of her. They could deal with the Unsullied and the freedmen in due time now that there was peace with Yunkai. And the Yunkai'i actually might have insisted on watching the beginning of Daenerys' death during the opening of Daznak's Pit. That might have been part of the peace contract. Dany's death could also have opened the way for the death of the two remaining dragons, something they would be very keen to turn to next (as they do after Dany's disappearance).

The idea that Hizdahr had any inclination to ever father a child on Daenerys or raise such an abomination as his son is, quite frankly, not very convincing. The man clearly doesn't enjoy being intimate with her.

17 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

1) It was the Shavepate wanting to drive a drift between Dany and the Hizdahr, without hurting her. If he knew that Belwas was fond of the locusts and die for it, the better. Belwas although dear to Dany, was easy to spare (same conclusion that Dany reaches in aSoS). Missandei would have been an overkill. Barristan, Grey Worm, etc are too important. If nobody dies but few get sick, same effect is achieved. Dany gets angry and division in the marriage grows.

That makes no sense because it is Hizdahr who urges Dany to eat the locusts, and also Hizdahr who later lies and claims that 'hot spices don't agree with him' while at the same time telling Dany they are good food (and earlier on in the book actually enjoying spicy food). He clearly had an interest in her eating them. The idea that he (or anyone, really) tried to poison Belwas through a poisoned meal prepared for Hizdahr which he then offered to Daenerys makes no sense whatsoever. Not to mention that is is very far-fetched indeed to assume that anybody knew or cared what kind of food Belwas liked. Him eating all the locusts clearly was an accident. An accident that actually revealed that the locusts were poisoned. Presumably Daenerys would only have eaten a few, and those would have been enough to kill her slowly, making it appear that she had a sudden illness, collapsed in the heat, whatever.

17 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

2) It was an abortive provided by the Green Grace, because there were concerns she was pregnant of Daario (and she was).

That is actually not confirmed. Assuming she was pregnant at all, she could have been pregnant with Hizdahr's child, too. The idea that cared about her dragon spawn one bit is pretty ridiculous. These people hate her and everything she stands for. They want her gone, not conceive a proper dragon-harpy child. But even if they would care about that the idea that they could know for sure whether it was Hizdahr's or Daario's child is ridiculous.

17 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

Unlike poisons were many possibilities exists, there are a handful of abortives, and maybe only one available in Meeren. It is possible that particular substance has an strong flavor that need to be hidden if provided to an unsuspecting woman. Hence sweet and spicy. Abortives are dangerous substances nevertheless and they didn't expect Dany to eat more than a couple of locusts, but eating a bowl would make any person sick.  We learn that Moon Tea can be dangerous too.

That is certainly possible insofar as the abortifacient is concerned, yet we have no reason to assume whoever poisoned the locusts had any such motives. That's an overcomplicated and contrived explanation for a rather obvious attempt at poisoning Daenerys.

Again, it is Hizdahr who is giving away the truth. He is not afraid/aghast that he was the target of the poisoner despite the fact that his locusts were actually poisoned. Any truly innocent person would first have thought somebody was out there to kill him. But that never crosses his mind.

He could have eaten them, too, and if the whole thing would have been some kind of weirdo abortion plan then Hizdahr could (and would) have revealed that when Barristan arrested him. I mean, you could say he thought he would have thought that nobody would ever believe such a contrived and ridiculous story (and you would be right there) but it would have still been the truth, and he would have thought that the truth could save him, right?

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On the potency of the tears of Lys, keep in mind that even an old man like Jon Arryn might have recovered with good care...

Quote

"Yes," he wimpered, "yes, Colemon was purging, so I sent him away. The queen needed Lord Arryn dead, she did not say so, could not, Varys was listening, always listening, but when I looked at her I knew. It was not me who gave him the poison, though, I swear it."

Tyrion VI, Clash 25

And I would submit that Tyrion poisoned Cersei with the tears of Lys without killing her, and having no intention of killing her. 

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

One also wonders whether Belwas had to vomit because of the poison or because so many sweet-and-spicy locusts are bad for your stomach whether they are poisoned or not.

Once I ate a bowl of spicy shrimps and didn't vomit. I'd guess locusts are not so different. B)

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The poison actually wasn't all that mild. Belwas most likely only survived because (1) he was a very massive guy, as you pointed out but also (2) retched up all the poison that was still in his stomach and the as of yet undigested locusts (that way only a small portion of the poison might actually have gotten permanently into his system), and (3) because the Blue Graces treated him thereafter, possibly administering the correct antidote.

The last is a possibility if they are in the loop too so to administer the proper antidote, if it's exists. At risk of splitting the hairs in four, a lot of poisons are quite quick in crossing organic barriers, so even he retched a lot of locusts, he should have still ingested a good quantity of the poison.  If one or two locusts are sufficient to kill a 55kg Daenerys, how many are necessary to kill a 150kg Belwas?

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that the locusts actually contained an abortifacient isn't supported by the text. One would really wonders whether such a substance would have led to Belwas losing as much weight as he did.

The first is true, except that GG does know about Dany-Daario and expresses that openly. The second may be possible or not unless we know the substance. Remember that after eating the wild berries Dany lost a lot of liquid through her back side. It is speculated that it also induce an miscarriage.

 

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea that Hizdahr had any inclination to ever father a child on Daenerys or raise such an abomination as his son is, quite frankly, not very convincing. The man clearly doesn't enjoy being intimate with her.

Which doesn't mean much. Marriages at that age, was hardly because of love. Consummation  is part of the formalities and since he knew she was with Daario....

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That makes no sense because it is Hizdahr who urges Dany to eat the locusts, and also Hizdahr who later lies and claims that 'hot spices don't agree with him' while at the same time telling Dany they are good food (and earlier on in the book actually enjoying spicy food). He clearly had an interest in her eating them.

Which would make sense if it was an abortive. The problem of having poisoned the locusts, in particular the locusts is still an unanswered question. It means that the substance was likely to be detected in another type of food, which raises questions about the capabilities of the conspirators.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is actually not confirmed. Assuming she was pregnant at all, she could have been pregnant with Hizdahr's child, too. The idea that cared about her dragon spawn one bit is pretty ridiculous. These people hate her and everything she stands for. They want her gone, not conceive a proper dragon-harpy child. But even if they would care about that the idea that they could know for sure whether it was Hizdahr's or Daario's child is ridiculous.

She was fucking Daario for weeks already (?) and certainly the cupbears are informing GG, maybe even whether she got her period. A possible pregnancy is certainly a risk. Remember Jaime forbidding Jeyne Westerling of marrying for two years.

 

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Partly just playing devil's advocate here, but the description of sweetsleep's effect reminds a lot of various medicinal drugs - a small dose helps, an overdose kills. A sleep you don't wake from is very much like overdosing with sleeping pills - which, as we know from RL, can cause the person throw up, and pumping out the content of stomach is the infamous part of treatment, as well. The onset is not rapid, either.

Furthermore, if you need to eat three pinches to be overdosed, that's not awfully many locusts...

But there is another aspect which comes in play with the locusts: eating something spicy makes you want to drink. So even if Dany doesn't eat enough to be poisoned, she was bound to want to drink. 

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14 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

On the potency of the tears of Lys, keep in mind that even an old man like Jon Arryn might have recovered with good care...

I know, but we don't know when exactly Jon was poisoned. Let's say Lysa learned of Jon's plans to send Robert to Dragonstone as Stannis' ward during the talk with Lord Walder. They quarreled in front of him and later on, possibly in the evening, Lysa met with Petyr (possibly in the godswood) to ask him for help. He gave her the Tears and suggested she put them in Jon's morning tea, beer, coffee, whatever. She did that.

Jon showed the first symptoms of a serious illness a short time later, and Colemon treated him. Once Robert learned that his old friend was sick (one assumes that word spread quickly considering that the Hand would have a full schedule in light of an absentee king) Pycelle received the news as well, immediately taking care over the care of the old man, already knowing that Cersei wanted him dead.

Colemon may only have treated Lord Jon a few hours, and his first guess most likely wasn't poison. Just that he ate the wrong food or something of that sort. The Tears of Lys are deadly but they are not necessarily a poison that kills quickly. Quite the opposite, actually.

14 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Tyrion VI, Clash 25

And I would submit that Tyrion poisoned Cersei with the tears of Lys without killing her, and having no intention of killing her. 

I don't think that's the case. Cersei was suffering diarrhea and there is no reason to believe that the Tears of Lys appear as a severe case of diarrhea, being mistaking for a sickness like the bloody flux or cholera, or something of that sort.

And doesn't Pycelle have some powders/poison which actually act as a laxative?

55 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

Once I ate a bowl of spicy shrimps and didn't vomit. I'd guess locusts are not so different. B)

Well, locusts are insects. Shrimps are crustaceans.

55 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

The last is a possibility if they are in the loop too so to administer the proper antidote, if it's exists.

They could also have recognized the poison from the symptoms. They don't have to be in on the plan. But they certainly could have been. And even if there is no proper antidote, treating Belwas symptoms correctly and helping him through the ordeal most likely is what saved his life.

55 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

At risk of splitting the hairs in four, a lot of poisons are quite quick in crossing organic barriers, so even he retched a lot of locusts, he should have still ingested a good quantity of the poison.  If one or two locusts are sufficient to kill a 55kg Daenerys, how many are necessary to kill a 150kg Belwas?

Well, there is also the chance that not all the locusts were poisoned. In case Hizdahr had to eat some of them to keep up appearances they might have decided to only poisoned those near the bottom of the bowl. For the same reason ten or so could only have been a lethal dosage. Then Hizdahr could have eaten a few of them regardless whether they were poisoned or not.

There are also poisons who work rather slowly. If the poison in the locusts was one such it would make sense for Belwas to get a lot of the poison out of his system by retching. That would all depend on George's own knowledge on poisons which doesn't seem to be all that good. The Tears of Lys being a liquid should be absorbed very quickly. Any person poisoned that way should be well beyond rescue when he or she feels the first symptoms yet George tells us that Colemon could have saved Jon Arryn had Pycelle not prevented that.

55 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

The first is true, except that GG does know about Dany-Daario and expresses that openly. The second may be possible or not unless we know the substance. Remember that after eating the wild berries Dany lost a lot of liquid through her back side. It is speculated that it also induce an miscarriage.

Sure, I also find it not unlikely at all that Dany may have been pregnant and lost the child. However, it is stretch to assert that the Green Grace might have known or cared about that, and might have intended to abort the child in such a way. If she had known and cared she could actually have confronted Daenerys about that. If she didn't want to kill her (yet) that would have been the proper way to do it. But if Dany had no idea that she might have been pregnant I'm pretty sure nobody else suspected such a thing.

And the idea that the hostages were allowed to handle the bloody sheets of the queen is way too far-fetched for my taste while we have no evidence that this is the case. Dany's inner circle of trusted servants are Irri, Jhiqui, and Missandei, not those children she took into her household.

Dany herself doesn't remember when she had her last period, suggesting that she still had them after her stillbirth. But if her last period was halfway through her affair with Daario and before she had married Hizdahr she should have realized that she might be pregnant around the time of Daznak's Pit. At least if she had a normal menstrual cycle which we should assume for now.

55 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

Which doesn't mean much. Marriages at that age, was hardly because of love. Consummation  is part of the formalities and since he knew she was with Daario....

Everybody knew she had been with Daario. That was hardly a secret. The question of him possibly fathering her child should have come up before the wedding. But it never did, suggesting that neither Galazza nor Hizdahr cared.

We see Hizdahr's true face shortly during Daznak's Pit when he gets excited at the prospect of Drogon's death. That shows how much he must hate and despise Daenerys. Usually he is a pretty good actor, though.

55 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

Which would make sense if it was an abortive. The problem of having poisoned the locusts, in particular the locusts is still an unanswered question. It means that the substance was likely to be detected in another type of food, which raises questions about the capabilities of the conspirators.

Well, we don't know if the Tears of Lys are thing in Slaver's Bay. There is no reason to believe every substance is known and used everywhere. And it is actually not necessary to believe that the locusts were chosen to hide the taste of the poison. Those Ghiscari are not really willing to think outside the box culturally, sort of like Americans are. If those locusts are a delicacy as Hizdahr claims (and probably indeed one of his favorite foods) they might consider it the proper way to kill an evil queen.

55 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

She was fucking Daario for weeks already (?) and certainly the cupbears are informing GG, maybe even whether she got her period. A possible pregnancy is certainly a risk. Remember Jaime forbidding Jeyne Westerling of marrying for two years.

Sure, but we are not in Westeros here, and there is no reason whatsoever to actually believe Hizdahr and the Green Grace, and the other people who want Dany dead and gone actually care about her having any legitimate children with Hizdahr.

If Hizdahr and the Green Grace had (repeatedly) talked with Dany about their future children or stressed the fact that it was important they were definitely fathered by Hizdahr we could reasonably assume that they cared about this kind of thing. But they do nothing of this sort. In fact, it is Dany who thinks about her being barren and thus possibly being unable to give Hizdahr any children but she never mentions any of this to either him or Galazza.

The Harpy and her cronies might instead have been more than confident that having a Meereenese King Consort of Meereen would enable them to take the reins of government into their hands one way or another.

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13 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

Partly just playing devil's advocate here, but the description of sweetsleep's effect reminds a lot of various medicinal drugs - a small dose helps, an overdose kills. A sleep you don't wake from is very much like overdosing with sleeping pills - which, as we know from RL, can cause the person throw up, and pumping out the content of stomach is the infamous part of treatment, as well. The onset is not rapid, either.

Furthermore, if you need to eat three pinches to be overdosed, that's not awfully many locusts...

But there is another aspect which comes in play with the locusts: eating something spicy makes you want to drink. So even if Dany doesn't eat enough to be poisoned, she was bound to want to drink. 

Nice. 

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The problem with sweetsleep isn't an overdose. It is that the drug remains in the system for quite a while, possibly akin to some drugs who a accumulate in fat, bones, or other body structures (there are quite some people who suddenly went on some rather dangerous trips after losing weight...).

Thus you can only take a very strict maximum dosage of sweetsleep over a certain period of time. Say such and such amount of grams over a period of six months. If you take more than that you die. You might also die when you take the maximum dosage all at once, of course, but the hideousness of sweetsleep is that it might kill you even if you begin with a high dosage and then take less and less. If you have taken too much two months ago and don't stop you might die.

This is actually the reason why Robert Arryn is essentially pretty much dead. He might already be one small dosage away from never waking up again, even more so if Littlefinger had arranged things so that he has secretly drunken more of the poisoned milk than Sansa or Colemon know. The only that could save the boy know is if Littlefinger changes his mind on the plan or if Colemon is actually secretly administering an antidote to sweetsleep (there are certain hints in that direction in the last AFfC Alayne chapter where Colemon is asking Sansa questions about Robert's symptoms that don't seem to be connected to either sweetsleep or his regular afflictions, not to mention the fact that Robert is complaining about how his milk has recently been tasting).

I actually doubt that the Green Grace had a back up plan to kill Daenerys. That's overcomplicated overkill. However, the words the Green Grace are using there very much underline her intentions and wishes that Daenerys might die and stay dead, reinforcing the fact that she was behind the poisoning attempt.

I doubt that sweetsleep would be a good way to poison sweetwater with unless sweetwater is very sweet indeed. The impression we get in AFfC is that it is syrupy sweet, and Robert still lives despite the fact that he has drunken a lot of milk that contained sweetsleep. Unless Dany's sweetwater is very sweet indeed, it is unlikely that she could have drunken a lethal dosage in Daznak's Pit.

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35 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The problem with sweetsleep isn't an overdose. It is that the drug remains in the system for quite a while, possibly akin to some drugs who a accumulate in fat, bones, or other body structures (there are quite some people who suddenly went on some rather dangerous trips after losing weight...).

Thus you can only take a very strict maximum dosage of sweetsleep over a certain period of time. Say such and such amount of grams over a period of six months. If you take more than that you die. You might also die when you take the maximum dosage all at once, of course, but the hideousness of sweetsleep is that it might kill you even if you begin with a high dosage and then take less and less. If you have taken too much two months ago and don't stop you might die.

This is actually the reason why Robert Arryn is essentially pretty much dead. He might already be one small dosage away from never waking up again, even more so if Littlefinger had arranged things so that he has secretly drunken more of the poisoned milk than Sansa or Colemon know. The only that could save the boy know is if Littlefinger changes his mind on the plan or if Colemon is actually secretly administering an antidote to sweetsleep (there are certain hints in that direction in the last AFfC Alayne chapter where Colemon is asking Sansa questions about Robert's symptoms that don't seem to be connected to either sweetsleep or his regular afflictions, not to mention the fact that Robert is complaining about how his milk has recently been tasting).

I actually doubt that the Green Grace had a back up plan to kill Daenerys. That's overcomplicated overkill. However, the words the Green Grace are using there very much underline her intentions and wishes that Daenerys might die and stay dead, reinforcing the fact that she was behind the poisoning attempt.

I doubt that sweetsleep would be a good way to poison sweetwater with unless sweetwater is very sweet indeed. The impression we get in AFfC is that it is syrupy sweet, and Robert still lives despite the fact that he has drunken a lot of milk that contained sweetsleep. Unless Dany's sweetwater is very sweet indeed, it is unlikely that she could have drunken a lethal dosage in Daznak's Pit.

I wasn't sure how to read that.  My first thought was that Coleman stopped putting sweatsleep in it so it no longer tasted as sweat and he was just getting regular milk.

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