Lost Melnibonean

The Three Heads of Rhaegar's Dragon

83 posts in this topic

Here is the passage...

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Viserys, was her first thought the next time she paused, but a second glance told her otherwise. The man had her brother's hair, but he was taller, and his eyes were a dark indigo rather than lilac. "Aegon," he said to a woman nursing a newborn babe in a great wooden bed. "What better name for a king?"

"Will you make a song for him?" the woman asked.

"He has a song," the man replied. "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany's, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. "There must be one more," he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. "The dragon has three heads." He went to the window seat, picked up a harp, and ran his fingers lightly over its silvery strings. Sweet sadness filled the room as man and wife and babe faded like the morning mist, only the music lingering behind to speed her on her way.

Daenerys IV, Clash 48

The eye color, the harp, and the melancholy tone leave no doubt that this vision was of Rhaegar. Since the babe was Aegon, the woman must have been Elia. Aemon tells us later that Rhaegar came to believe his son would be the prince that was promised...

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On Braavos, it had seemed possible that Aemon might recover. Xhondo's talk of dragons had almost seemed to restore the old man to himself. That night he ate every bite Sam put before him. "No one ever looked for a girl," he said. "It was a prince that was promised, not a princess. Rhaegar, I thought ... the smoke was from the fire that devoured Summerhall on the day of his birth, the salt from the tears shed for those who died. He shared my belief when he was young, but later he became persuaded that it was his own son who fulfilled the prophecy, for a comet had been seen above King's Landing on the night Aegon was conceived, and Rhaegar was certain the bleeding star had to be a comet. What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it." Just talking of her seemed to make him stronger. "I must go to her. I must. Would that I was even ten years younger."

Samwell IV, Feast 35

Like so many prophecies we've seen in A Song of Ice and Fire, the visionary got this one slightly wrong. Rhaegar's son is the prince that was promised, but it's Jon Snow, rather than Rhaegar's first born son...

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"Prince Aegon was Rhaegar's heir by Elia of Dorne," Ser Jorah said. "But if he was this prince that was promised, the promise was broken along with his skull when the Lannisters dashed his head against a wall." 

Daenerys V, Storm 57

The vision that was Rhaegar was looking at Daeneys when he said, "There must be one more," and, "The dragon has three heads." As Rhaegar's statement, "His is the song of ice and fire," hinted that his son is the prince that was promised, his statement, "The dragon has three heads," hinted that two more Targaryens would be revealed. Daenerys, then, was the first head of Rhaegar's dragon. The most dramatic introduction of a character since our fair dragon queen visited the House of the Undying Ones was was the reveal of Aegon at the Bridge of Dream. So, Aegon is the second head of Rhaegar's dragon. Aegon, though is actually the Blackfyre, not a Targaryen. And we know who the next big reveal is going to be don't we? Jon Snow, of course, is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. So, Jon will be the third head of Rhaegar's dragon. 

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Three-headed Trios has that tower with three turrets. The first head devours the dying, and the reborn emerge from the third. I don't know what the middle head's supposed to do.

The Ugly Little Girl, Dance 64

The first time were hear about Azor Ahai, Patchface adds a little color commentary...

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"In ancient books of Asshai it is written that there will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire aburning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him." She lifted her voice, so it carried out over the gathered host. "Azor Ahai, beloved of R'hllor! The Warrior of Light, the Son of Fire! Come forth, your sword awaits you! Come forth and take it into your hand!"

Stannis Baratheon strode forward like a soldier marching into battle. ... Behind, Davos heard a faint clank and clatter of bells. "Under the sea, smoke rises in bubbles, and flames burn green and blue and black," Patchface sang somewhere. "I know, I know, oh, oh, oh."

Davos I, Clash 10

Now, why do you suppose that the George stick that in there, in that spot? Not a lot of folks here have tried to answer that question. Before the full title of The Princess and the Queen was released, the best explanation I read was that it was a foreshadowing of Tyrion's wildfire on the Blackwater. 

But then, in late 2013, the George gave us the Rosetta Stone when we learned the full title of the Dance of the Dragons novella: The Princess and the Queen, or, the Blacks and the Greens. And the George told us that there would be a second Dance of Dragons...

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Q: Hi, short question. Will we find out more about the Dance of the Dragons in future books?

A: The first dance or the second? The second will be the subject of a book. The first will be mentioned from time to time, I'm sure. 

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Concerning_the_Dance_of_the_Dragons

And the people will die...

Spoiler
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It was then that pasty, pudgy Teora raised her eyes from the creamcakes on her plate. "It is dragons."

"Dragons?" said her mother. "Teora, dont be mad."

"I'm not. They're coming."

"How could you possibly know that?" her sister asked, with a note of scorn in her voice. "One of your little dreams?"

Teora gave a tiny nod, chin trembling.

"They were dancing. In my dream. And everywhere the dragons danced the people died."

Arianne I, Winds

An Aegon was the leader of the greens in the first Dance of Dragons, so it stands to reason that our wee Aegon (there never was a nobler lad) can be associated with green. And, well, the babe was the leader of the blacks, right? So it stands to reason that our babe, the hot chick on the black dragon, can be associated with black. If you search a bit, you'll find all kinds of green and black contrasts and combinations throughout ASOIAF. Perhaps it's nothing more than coincidence, but I highly doubt that. There was a reason for all those green and black color references. 

And we already knew about Jon being associated with blue...

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A blue flower grew from a chink in a wall of ice, and filled the air with sweetness.

Daenerys IV, Clash 48

So, when we see black and green together, we can associate Daenerys with black and Aegon with green. Here's my favorite combination of green and black, and it has Jon's blue, too... As Daenerys enters Qarth, she passes under an arch of green, black, and blue snakes...

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All the colors that had been missing from Vaes Tolorro had found their way to Qarth; buildings crowded about her fantastical as a fever dream in shades of rose, violet, and umber. She passed under a bronze arch fashioned in the likeness of two snakes mating, their scales delicate flakes of jade, obsidian, and lapis lazuli. Slim towers stood taller than any Dany had ever seen, and elaborate fountains filled every square, wrought in the shapes of griffins and dragons and manticores.

Daenerys II, Clash 27

Daenerys's dragons have been described as snakes...

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When she had her handmaids char the horsemeat black, the dragons ripped at it eagerly, their heads striking like snakes.

Daenerys I, Clash 12

Getting back to Qarth, notice that Daenerys observes fountains wrought in the shapes of griffins and dragons and manticores as well. The griffin and dragon allusions are easy, of course, Jon Connington and Aegon. But the manticore allusion is much more elusive. In case you don't know, the manticore is a chimera, a fantastical beast comprised of the body parts of more than one animal or other mythical beast. The manticore most commonly consisted of a human head, a lion's body, a bat's wings, and a scorpion's tail, but there were other variations. In A Song of Ice and Fire, the manticore was much smaller, with a malign, black face and an arched, venomous tail, with the ability to fold itself into a scarab. In the real world, the manticore and chimeras were depicted in the art of the Romanesque and Renaissance periods to symbolize fraud. So, we have Jon Connington, Aegon, and fraud.

Aegon, of course, is the mummer's dragon...

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A cloth dragon swayed on poles amidst a cheering crowd. ... mother of dragons, slayer of lies ...

Daenerys IV, Clash 48

And the George introduced Aegon to fight Daenerys...

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A mummer's dragon, you said. What is a mummer's dragon, pray?"

"A cloth dragon on poles," Dany explained. "Mummers use them in their follies, to give the heroes something to fight."

Daenerys V, Clash 63

But Daenerys will win. Like three-headed Trios, the first head will devour the dying, and the second head has no other purpose. The reborn, though, will emerge from the third head. 

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Posted (edited)

Rhaegar believed, and the traditional symbolism of Aegon & his sisters supports, that the 3-headed dragon refers to 3 siblings, who Rhaegar believed would be his own children.

Anything else is a poor fit.  Otherwise, the dragon can have any number of heads, depending on the period of history and the number of dragon-riders who happen to be flying about.

Edited by Lew Theobald

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I always enjoy reading these, but I'm one who usually just absorbs the info and doesn't quite draw conclusions.  Mostly, this reminded me of a question I've always had about the vision in the HofU concerning Rhaegar, the babe, and all that was said there.  I cannot fathom WHY Rhaegar would think a child of Elia would be the song of ice and fire?  Are we to believe the vision is really Rhaegar and all he thought, or a combo of that and what Dany thinks and a bit of the truth as well?  Are we to believe Dany doesn't understand which child this vision is referring to.....and Rhaegar in the vision already knows that he is dead and was wrong about lots of things?  Is this part of Rhaegar stuck somewhere and unable to even tell all he had wrong and he's sad about it, but only has the power to show some scenes of what did happen.  Did it take all is effort to turn to her and tell her that there must be one more?  I can never get past why Rhaegar would ever think an Aegon born to Elia was a song of ice and fire.  It's also hard to believe that Rheagar ever saw Jon, because.......it's hard to believe that Lyanna lasted so long in her bed of blood.  I'm confused on it all, in some respects. 

LOL  Anyway, I do appreciate all the thought you put into these things.  I'm just always stuck on these questions about the first scenario of the visions of Rhaegar and all he says. 

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39 minutes ago, Lady Fevre Dream said:

I cannot fathom WHY Rhaegar would think a child of Elia would be the song of ice and fire?

I don't get it.  What do you have against Elia?

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8 minutes ago, Lew Theobald said:

I don't get it.  What do you have against Elia?

She lacks the "ice" element?

Must resist jokes ...

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, Lew Theobald said:

 don't get it.  What do you have against Elia?

Ice and Fire.  She doesn't have to have anything against her to simply note that she has no ice symbolism.  You could say he could represent fire as Dorne's symbol is a sun which is a giant ball of fire, but the Targs represent fire also, so that's just fire and fire.

 

@Lost Melnibonean What do you think of the concept of Aegons death at Danys hand somehow playing into Jons resurrection? 

Edited by aryagonnakill#2

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Posted (edited)

15 minutes ago, Lew Theobald said:

I don't get it.  What do you have against Elia?

Why must I have something against her?

 

9 minutes ago, TMIFairy said:

She lacks the "ice" element?

Must resist jokes ...

EXACTLY!!  Thank you.

6 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Ice and Fire.  He doesn't have to have anything against her to simply note that she has no ice symbolism.  You could say he could represent fire as Dorne's symbol is a sun which is a giant ball of fire, but the Targs represent fire also, so that's just fire and fire.

 

@Lost Melnibonean What do you think of the concept of Aegons death at Danys hand somehow playing into Jons resurrection? 

Right.  I don't see the Dornish Martell's banners, myths, or climate to have anything to do with ICE in any way.  If anything, as you point out, plus with some of their own Targ blood added in ancestory, Fire and Fire is what I come up with as well.  Nothing in the joining of Targ and Martell speaks of ICE.  The idea of Rhaegar suggesting such to me, even in a vision, has always been confusing.

By the way, I'm a she, like the boat, er ship? er.....steamboat  of GRRM's creation, Fevre Dream.  We are both Ladies, LOL  Or at least, shes?

Edited by Lady Fevre Dream

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6 minutes ago, Lady Fevre Dream said:

Why must I have something against her?

 

EXACTLY!!  Thank you.

Right.  I don't see the Dornish Martell's banners, myths, or climate to have anything to do with ICE in any way.  If anything, as you point out, plus with some of their own Targ blood added in ancestory, Fire and Fire is what I come up with as well.  Nothing in the joining of Targ and Martell speaks of ICE.  The idea of Rhaegar suggesting such to me, even in a vision, has always been confusing.

By the way, I'm a she, like the boat, er ship? er.....steamboat  of GRRM's creation, Fevre Dream.  We are both Ladies, LOL  Or at least, shes?

fixed

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4 minutes ago, Lady Fevre Dream said:

Why must I have something against her?

In Context:  What do you have against the idea of Elia as the mother of TPTWP?

10 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Ice and Fire.  He doesn't have to have anything against her to simply note that she has no ice symbolism. 

Fair enough.  The only problem with this objection is that we know nothing about the "Song of Ice and Fire" that Rhaegar is referring to, or what he thinks it means.

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4 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

fixed

?

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8 minutes ago, Lady Fevre Dream said:

?

I changed the he in my comment to she.

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34 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Ice and Fire.  She doesn't have to have anything against her to simply note that she has no ice symbolism.  You could say he could represent fire as Dorne's symbol is a sun which is a giant ball of fire, but the Targs represent fire also, so that's just fire and fire.

 

@Lost Melnibonean What do you think of the concept of Aegons death at Danys hand somehow playing into Jons resurrection? 

Hadn't thought about it until now. That would leave Jon on ice for a long time. 

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10 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

I changed the he in my comment to she.

LOL  That's what I was trying to figure out, and no big deal, but thank you.  I just like saying that The Fevre Dream is a she, LOL 

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2 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Hadn't thought about it until now. That would leave Jon on ice for a long time. 

Hope my observation didn't derail the thread.  I was really curious on your thoughts about a Rhaegar, even vision Rhaegar, thinking an Aegon born of Elia would symbolize Ice and Fire. 

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1 hour ago, Lew Theobald said:

In Context:  What do you have against the idea of Elia as the mother of TPTWP?

Fair enough.  The only problem with this objection is that we know nothing about the "Song of Ice and Fire" that Rhaegar is referring to, or what he thinks it means.

I agree, we also know nothing about the meaning of the Prince that was Promised, other than Aemon believes that it will be a central component of the War of the Dawn.  It seems a tad presumptuous to assume that this is Jon's role in the story.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

. . . you will see many things that disturb you. Visions of loveliness and visions of horror, wonders and terrors. Sights and sounds of days gone by and days to come and days that never were. (ACoK, Daenerys IV)

The visions and prophecies in the House of the Undying weren't just home movies: they could reflect Dany's imagination or wishes; they could be things that have not yet happened; they could be things intended to mislead her. The interpretation in the OP is logical and well-supported and could be right on the money. I'm guessing that GRRM will be more creative, though, and will surprise us in the way that the visions or prophecies come to fruition.

For instance, here's a scene that's not part of the three heads prophecy (as far as I know):

Farther on she came upon a feast of corpses. Savagely slaughtered, the feasters lay strewn across overturned chairs and hacked trestle tables, asprawl in pools of congealing blood. Some had lost limbs, even heads. Severed hands clutched bloody cups, wooden spoons, roast fowl, heels of bread. In a throne above them sat a dead man with the head of a wolf. He wore an iron crown and held a leg of lamb in one hand as a king might hold a scepter, and his eyes followed Dany with mute appeal. (ACoK, Daenerys IV)

Almost every interpretation I have seen concludes that this is a vision of the Red Wedding and that Robb Stark's body is seen with the head of his direwolf, Grey Wind, sewn to his neck. That is logical and could be true. But Robb Stark is not a character with much depth - I can't remember him showing inner turmoil or wordlessly connecting with another character. Why would he be appealing to Dany, anyway? Are there other possible interpretations for the dead man with the wolf's head?

If you re-read the description, note that "lost heads" are among the debris scattered around the feast. Then we hear of a dead man "with the head of a wolf." It's not unreasonable to assume that the dead man's head is the head of a wolf, but the loose heads in this feast of corpses open the possibility of other interpretations. Since there are heads scattered around, the dead man might be holding one of the severed heads. Ned Stark beheaded Sansa's direwolf, Lady. So he is a man with a head of a wolf at that point. Alternatively, Bran at the Winterfell Harvest Feast and Joffrey at his wedding feast both remark on the chalices they are using, each of which bears the head of a wolf. We also know that Starks and their bannermen are referred to metaphorically as wolves: Janos Slynt picks up Ned Stark's head after he is beheaded - could he be described as a dead man with the head of a wolf?

There are at least as many possible variations on the "dragon has three heads" statement. For instance, Daario Naharis kills two fellow sellsword captains and brings their heads to Daenerys when he decides to join forces with her and turn on the Yunkai. We don't know that he is a dragon, but he arrives with three heads (if you count his own as one of the three). Similarly, Daario is frequently described as rubbing his thumbs over the hilts of his two weapons, which are shaped like naked women. So he has three heads on his person at all times if the knives and his own head are counted.

It also seems too pat if Dany, fAegon and Jon are the three heads of the Rhaegar-related dragon who will somehow restore Targaryen rule. I suspect that Tyrion would be one of the three (as an Aerys descendant) and possibly Davos. One of my crackpot guesses for a late plot twist is that Dany will discover that she is not really a Targaryen. She was certainly raised to think that she was, as was fAegon. It will all become clearer when she finds that red door and the lemon trees . . .

Edited by Seams

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1 hour ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Hadn't thought about it until now. That would leave Jon on ice for a long time. 

Yes that would be the issue, I only thought of it based on the dragon quotes, and the assumption that the 3 characters you named are correct.  We have a dragon heard symbolizing rebirth, and a dragon in need of resurrection.

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2 hours ago, Lady Fevre Dream said:

Hope my observation didn't derail the thread.  I was really curious on your thoughts about a Rhaegar, even vision Rhaegar, thinking an Aegon born of Elia would symbolize Ice and Fire. 

The thing is, we're dealing with two separate, but related, concepts: the three heads of Rhaegar's dragon, and the prince that was promised. I think the latter must be one of the former. But whereas we know a bit about the elements prince that was promised and the conflated Azor Ahai reborn prophecies, our knowledge of the-vision-that-was-Rhaegar's idea that the "dragon," whatever that is, "has three heads," is limited to what we see in this vision. What I am trying to suggest in the OP is that Rhaegar's statements about the "dragon" having three heads is more a hint from the author that two more "Targaryens" will be revealed. Ironically, I think the one who believes himself to be a Targaryen is a Blackfyre, and the one who believes he is Ned Stark's bastard is the son of Rhaegar. 

Rhaegar's son Aegon was conceived under a comet above King's Landing and born from the line of Aerys and Rhaella on the Island of Dragonstone amidst smoke and salt. All the wee lad had left to do was wake a dragon and draw a burning sword from the fire. So, it's easy to see why Rhaegar (the Rhaegar that corresponded with Maester Aemon, not the vision that was Rhaegar) believed his son was the prince that was promised. Now, if one believes Vary's tale about the pisswater switcheroo, then we have to go in different directions. But, assuming that our wee Aegon, the noblest lad that ever lived, is the Blackfyre, we can see that Rhaegar was right about his son, and like all of the George's prophecies, visions, and foreshadowings, this one comes with a twist. The prince that was promised is not Aegon, but Rhaegar's other son, called Jon Snow. And the George has the vision that was Rhaegar tell the reader through Daenerys's point of view, that the prince that was promised has a song, a song unheard of in our fictional world, the song of ice and fire. 

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1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

I agree, we also know nothing about the meaning of the Prince that was Promised, other than Aemon believes that it will be a central component of the War of the Dawn.  It seems a tad presumptuous to assume that this is Jon's role in the story.

Why would it be presumptuous? Whether you're a fan of the hot dragon chick, the special snowflake, the blue eyed king grinding his teeth, the noblest lad that ever lived, the twisted little monkey demon, the lemon head, the murderous little girl in Braavos, or the cripple with the third eye, you have to acknowledge that Jon Snow is one of the central characters in the saga. Assuming the George had Barristan tell the reader through Daenerys's point of view that the prince that was promised would come from the line of Aerys and Rhaella for a reason, and that the author wasn't just trolling us, there are only three possible candidates: Daenerys, Aegon, and Jon. 

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5 hours ago, Lew Theobald said:

Rhaegar believed, and the traditional symbolism of Aegon & his sisters supports, that the 3-headed dragon refers to 3 siblings, who Rhaegar believed would be his own children.

Anything else is a poor fit.  Otherwise, the dragon can have any number of heads, depending on the period of history and the number of dragon-riders who happen to be flying about.

This. Rhaegar thought his son Aegon was the second head, his daughter Rhaenys was the first, and both of those were wrong. I love this vision actually because it tells us so much. It shows us how easy it is to misread prophecy as Aegon is clearly not the prince that was promised, nor is his song is the song of ice and fire. It goes some way to explaining why he thought it was so vital to have another child and "kidnap" Lyana. It points to Jon Snows parentage.

It also points to the importance of another main character besides Daenerys and Jon who will likely ride a dragon. I personally don't think this will be fAegon, and I don't think a Blackfyre invasion counts as a Dance of Dragons, there have been heaps of those. This means that there will be conflict between either Jon vs Daenerys or whoever the third head is. It's entirely possible Jon will side with fAegon, and Daenerys will then invade. We'll see.

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