Lost Melnibonean

The Three Heads of Rhaegar's Dragon

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

While I think we will see more than three dragon riders, so that all dragon riders are not the heads of Rhaegar's dragon, I do think that the three heads of Rhaegar's dragon must be dragon riders. I don't believe Sansa and Arya will be riding dragons. 

Gotcha.

Due to the amount of rule by three or rule by a monarch and a counsel in the series, I'm inclined to think that the three dragon riders may not necessarily = the three heads of the dragons, instead being a rule by three. Dany has just realized that she's a conqueror, not a ruler which means she has some big holes to fill politically. Given that the dragons are presented as WMDs in the series, it might be possible that the dragons may not matter to the endgame as much as we're led to think at this point in the series as it's a bit too close to the message that war and weaponization is the answer. Just me, but I'm hoping for a different message.

Edited by Lollygag

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19 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

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

I'm generally of the opinion that Jon will be dead for most of WoW. His body will come back to life (like Drogo's did) but won't animate.

I don't think Dany killing Aegon will have anything to do with it though. Symbolic timing of the two events maybe, but not a causal connection.

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3 hours ago, Wolf of the Steppes said:

That is virtually all of the text regarding Bonifer Hasty.  Where are the hints?  I'm really curious.

If Bonifer Hasty had slept with Queen Rhaella, and if she had given birth to a son nine months later, I think he would never have pledged loyalty to any Baratheon. He would have been looking for a Varys or other Targ loyalist to whom he could offer his services to get revenge on the usurper.

Instead of being a secret lover of a queen / father of a prince, it's more likely that he plays a symbolic role in the story. Perhaps he is intended to add some detail to Rhaella's story, or to draw a parallel to someone in Westeros history or legend who had an unrequited love but set it aside for duty.

Actually, with his religious fervor, a comparison to Lancel Lannister seems somewhat apt. And Hasty's attitude toward Pia could be compared to Lancel's rejection of Amerei Frey. If he is supposed to be like Lancel, this could also help to explain Jaime's dislike for him.

The name Bonifer Hasty might be part of a group, though: Tristifer Mudd, Ossifer Plumm and Rennifer Longwaters all have the "-ifer" suffix on their names which might show a fire connection. Tristifer Mudd is an ancient king of the First Men, so a fire connection doesn't make sense in terms of being a Targaryen loyalist, so it might have a different meaning. (I suspect King Tristifer is - at least in part - a symbol of King Robert, though, because his tomb shows him with a warhammer. And much is made of the partial-Targ heritage of House Baratheon.) The other three are more clearly associated with Targs in some way.

The attention GRRM has bothered to give this (apparently) minor character could also be foreshadowing: the Lord or castellan of Harrenhal often suffers a violent death. Maybe Jaime's remark about people bursting into flames after looking on the ghost of Harren indicates the fate in store for Hasty. After all, his first name could be "bonfire" . . . (If he is fated to burst into flames, then we might compare him to Quentyn Martell, who also wishes he could marry a Targaryen princess.)

Sorry if this derails the larger point of the thread. I couldn't resist the challenge when I heard that there might be unrevealed hints.

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@Seams

Very nice analysis!  I like your thinking behind the bursting into flames remark by Jaime, "bonfire", and the comparison to Quentyn.  All very interesting and the type of subtlety we have come to expect and love from GRRM.  I think you're definitely on to something.

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Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

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. 

Well let's start with the obvious presumption, that Jon is from the line of Aerys and Rahella. 

But since I really don't feel like fighting this battle here, let us for sake of argument, assume that Jon's father is Rhaegar.   Under the prevailing theory, Jon was born after the death of Aerys, and Rhaegar, and Rhaegar’s children,  which means Jon was born a "king".  And while there is "king" imagery surrounding Jon, there is no imagery, or symbolism of Jon as a Prince.  So if Jon was never in fact a prince, why would he be the Prince that was Promised?

So let's turn to someone who was in fact, born a prince, Rhaegar's son, Aegon.  In fact Aegon was born a prince on both his paternal and maternal side.  He was a Targaryen prince, but on his mother's side he was also born a Dornish prince.  In fact, I think that you can make a decent argument that the Prince that was Promised prophecy is more likely a Dornish or Rhoynish prophecy then a Targaryen or Valyrian one. 

Aemon laments that they have been struggling over the translation of this prophecy for a thousand years.  A thousand years ago, the dragon riders were part of a Freehold, not a monarchy.  There would not have been dragon kings or dragon princes back then.  But the Rhoynes' principal sovereign was a Prince.  And as a beleaguered culture, they may have had more of a reason to believe in a future messiah.  We also don't have an evidence that the Targaryens associated themselves with the Prince that was Promised prophecy until the reign of Aegon V.  And Aegon's mother was a Dayne, and his grandmother was a Martell.  So this prophecy could have just as easily been introduced into House Targareyn through their Dornish ancestry.

So Rhaegar may have had a very good rationale for believing that his half Dornish son was the fulfillment of the prophecy. 

So the next issue is whether Rhaegar's theory was bashed, along with the head of the infant killed by Ser Gregor.  There is a possibility that Varys is at least partially correct, and that the infant who's head was bashed in was in fact an imposter, a pisswater prince.  So perhaps Young Griff does indeed fit the bill.  Or perhaps Young Griff is also an imposter, and the actual Aegon is still alive and perhaps hidden (perhaps in plain view to the reader).

We also can’t assume that the role of the Prince that was Promised is fulfilled through the life of the Prince.  It very well may be the case that the role of the Prince that was Promised is fulfilled through the death, or the sacrifice, of the character, and not through his life.  In fact Elia asking Rhaegar if he will make a song for their son, makes me raise my eyebrow a bit.  It appears that people are usually celebrated through song after their death, as a type of eulogy.

 

Quote

The young knight in the blue cloak was nothing to her, some stranger from the Vale of Arryn whose name she had forgotten as soon as she heard it.  And now the world would forget his name too, Sansa realized; there would be no songs sung for him.  That was sad.

Quote

They do not understand.  They may be Dornish, but I am Dorne.  Years from now, when I am dead, this will be the song they sing of me.

  Perhaps the Prince that was Promised is a sacrifice akin to the Prince of Pentos.

 

Quote

“In Pentos we have a prince, my friend… “ Illyrio leaned forward, elbows on the table.  “Yet should a crop fail or a war be lost, we cut his throat to appease the gods and choose a new prince from amongst the forty families.”

“Remind me never to become the Prince of Pentos.”

 

Now if we include characters who have met their untimely demise, our list of candidates grows.  This makes me think about Viserys and Rhaego.  Rhaego is the most interesting possibility.  His death, or miscarriage, occurs while his father, the Khal, is still alive.  So technically Rhaego “dies” a prince.  His death also occurs in the tent when and where Mirri is performing her blood magic ritual, whose purpose is to transfer the “spirit” of Drogo’s horse into Drogo.  Dany’s dragon eggs also sit within this same tent.  It is possible that during this ritual Rhaego’s “spirit” or life force is transferred into one of Dany’s eggs, and Rhaego is in fact is born not directly from Dany, but as one of her dragon’s in the funeral pyre. 

Rhaego was prophesized to be the the Stallion that mounts the world.  So either GRRM was “trolling” us through the Old Dotraki Crone’s prophecy, or else Rhaego fulfills this prophecy in an unexpected way.  Rhaego living on as an actual fire breathing dragon would certainly be a unique way of fulfilling the Dothraki prophecy.

So perhaps Rhaego fulfills the prophecy of the Prince that was Promised in the same unexpected way.  And in fact we have some evidence that both Aemon and Rhaegar may equate the Prince that was Promised prophecy with actual dragons:

 

Quote

“No one ever looked for a girl,” he said.  “It was a prince that was promised, not a princess…. “  “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 the salt and smoke.  The dragons prove it.”

 

Quote

“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.”

So the question is what does it mean to be the head of a dragon?  Is it symbolic or something more?  When the Freys cut off Robb’s head and replaced it with the head of the wolf, many see it as symbolic of what Robb was in life, a warg.  The consciousness transferring from man to wolf, and vice versa. 

We have the inverse of this symbol with a Valyrian dragon.

 

Quote

The next evening they came upon a huge Valyrian sphinx crouched beside the road.  It had a dragon’s body and a woman’s face.

With that image in mind, it may give an explanation to Aemon’s cryptic words to Sam:

 

Quote

He spoke of dreams and never named the dreamer, of a glass candle that could not be lit and eggs that would not hatch.  He said the sphinx was the riddle not the riddler, whatever that meant.

Perhaps the riddle is how to transfer a human consciousness into a dragon.  The Prince that was Promised literally becomes the “head of a dragon”.

With that in mind, the next assumption that I’m not comfortable with is the idea that Rhaegar believes that the Prince that was Promised is some sort of union between ice and fire.  Since we don’t know what the Song of Ice and Fire is, it seems presumptuous to assume that the Prince that was Promised is the only character of the song.  In fact it’s equally plausible, that the Song of Ice and Fire foretells a war between Ice and Fire, and the Prince that was Promised, is the champion of fire.

In fact it seems that this is the more likely explanation.  Aemon seems to believe that the Prince that was Promised is a major figure in the War of the Dawn.

 

Quote

But all of them seemed surprised to hear Maester Aemon murmur, “It is the war for the dawn you speak of, my lady.  But where is the prince that was promised?”

And Aemon identifies the cold based creatures north of the wall as the enemy.

 

Quote

“You must convince them, where I could not.  Tell them, Sam … tell them how it is upon the Wall … the wights and the white walkers, the creeping cold … “

So if Aemon equates the Prince (or Princess) that was Promised with dragons (fire made flesh) and if he equates the threat as a “creeping cold”, then it seems that Aemon may see the War for the Dawn as Fire vs Ice.  And if Aemon believes that, then it is likely that Rhaegar may believe that as well.  In which case, Rhaegar’s reference to A Song of Ice and Fire is unlikely a reference to the union of Ice and Fire, but a battle between the two forces, with Rhaegar’s son as the Prince that was Promised as being the champion of fire.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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Honestly why is Stannis never considered as a possible dragon rider? He's 1/4 Targaryen and bonded with his goshawk proudwing. I mean some people believe Quentyn was on the verge of taming a dragon successfully and Stannis has way more Targaryen blood then him.

Why not Stannis? 

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Posted (edited)

42 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Well let's start with the obvious presumption, that Jon is from the line of Aerys and Rahella. 

Oh, I see...

42 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

So if Aemon equates the Prince (or Princess) that was Promised with dragons (fire made flesh) and if he equates the threat as a “creeping cold”, then it seems that Aemon may see the War for the Dawn as Fire vs Ice.  And if Aemon believes that, then it is likely that Rhaegar may believe that as well.  In which case, Rhaegar’s reference to A Song of Ice and Fire is unlikely a reference to the union of Ice and Fire, but a battle between the two forces, with Rhaegar’s son as the Prince that was Promised as being the champion of fire.

OK, so Aegon is who he thinks he is, and he is the prince that was promised? Sure, I can accept that. I don't believe it, but I can accept it.

But I don't understand why it is presumptuous to believe that one of the main characters of this saga--one of, if not the, protagonists--who arguably meets all of the elements of the prophecy, is the prince that was promised? 

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Honestly why is Stannis never considered as a possible dragon rider? He's 1/4 Targaryen and bonded with his goshawk proudwing. I mean some people believe Quentyn was on the verge of taming a dragon successfully and Stannis has way more Targaryen blood then him.

Why not Stannis? 

Before Dance, a lot of folks believed he was. After 

Spoiler

he was killed off on the show,

though, most of his fans abandoned ship. But it is likely not Stannis. In Dance, we learned that the prince that was promised will be born of the line of Aerys and Rhaella. That limits the field to Daenerys, Aegon, and Jon. But even before Dance, we should have realized that Stannis was set up as Melisandre's red herring to Daenerys. Stannis was Lord of Dragonstone, but he was not actually born on the island of smoke and salt, whereas Daenerys was. And Daenerys was kinda reborn on the Dothraki Sea (salt) when she emerged from Drogo's funeral pyre as the mother of dragons (smoke). She did wake the dragons from stone since the eggs were petrified, and that's when we first saw the comet. All she lacked was Lightbringer...

Quote

"When your dragons were small they were a wonder. Grown, they are death and devastation, a flaming sword above the world."

Daenerys III, Dance 16

Ironically, though, Daenerys is the red herring to Jon Snow. Never suspect the obvious suspect. 

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Oh, I see...

OK, so Aegon is who he thinks he is, and he is the prince that was promised? Sure, I can accept that. I don't believe it, but I can accept it.

But I don't understand why it is presumptuous to believe that one of the main characters of this saga--one of, if not the, protagonists--who arguably meets all of the elements of the prophecy, is the prince that was promised? 

But herein lies the problem.  We don't know what the prophecy is that surrounds the Prince that was Promised.  Nor do we know what the Song of Ice and Fire is.  Aemon seems fixated on The Prince that was Promised, and Melisandre is fixated on the return of Azor Ahai, and to a certain extent they seem to conflate the two concepts, but we don't know why.  Perhaps it is simply because both are prophecised to be a major player in the War for the Dawn.  But at this point we have a lot more info on Azor Ahai than we do the Prince that was Promised.

And while we can try to shoehorn some of the Azor Ahai prophecies into Jon's storyline, they don't really fit very well.  At least not yet.  What many assume about Jon's birth doesn't really lend to him being born amongst salt and smoke.  And while we can try and contort the events of his death into some sort of quasi smoke, salt scenario, these details concern Jon's death, not his rebirth.

In addition to Dany, there are other characters who have had something much more akin to a baptism via smoke and salt.  Both Tyrion and Davos were plunged into a salt water bay which was literally lit on fire.  Stannis had a baptism by smoke when Melisandre burned the statues of the Seven on Dragonstone, while Theon was baptized by salt when he was baptized by the Damphair.  

Now obviously Jon has been set up as a major player in the final events of the book.  But to assume he is going to be the Prince that is Promised because he is one of the major protagonists in the series seems a bit presumptuous.  Especially since at this time we really don't know what role the Prince is supposed to play.  If the Prince that was Promised is supposed to be firmly on one side of the conflict, and Jon is supposed to be some sort of unifier, then it very well may be the case, that Jon's role is not as the Prince that Was Promised.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

But herein lies the problem.  We don't know what the prophecy is that surrounds the Prince that was Promised.  Nor do we know what the Song of Ice and Fire is.  Aemon seems fixated on The Prince that was Promised, and Melisandre is fixated on the return of Azor Ahai, and to a certain extent they seem to conflate the two concepts, but we don't know why.  Perhaps it is simply because both are prophecised to be a major player in the War for the Dawn.  But at this point we have a lot more info on Azor Ahai than we do the Prince that was Promised.

And while we can try to shoehorn some of the Azor Ahai prophecies into Jon's storyline, they don't really fit very well.  At least not yet.  What many assume about Jon's birth doesn't really lend to him being born amongst salt and smoke.  And while we can try and contort the events of his death into some sort of quasi smoke, salt scenario, these details concern Jon's death, not his rebirth.

In addition to Dany, there are other characters who have had something much more akin to a baptism via smoke and salt.  Both Tyrion and Davos were plunged into a salt water bay which was literally lit on fire.  Stannis had a baptism by smoke when Melisandre burned the statues of the Seven on Dragonstone, while Theon was baptized by salt when he was baptized by the Damphair.  

Now obviously Jon has been set up as a major player in the final events of the book.  But to assume he is going to be the Prince that is Promised because he is one of the major protagonists in the series seems a bit presumptuous.  Especially since at this time we really don't know what role the Prince is supposed to play.  If the Prince that was Promised is supposed to be firmly on one side of the conflict, and Jon is supposed to be some sort of unifier, then it very well may be the case, that Jon's role is not as the Prince that Was Promised.

I do believe Jon is the prince that was promised, and the principal protagonist that will survive the story, but I am not really a fan of the special snowflake. The first time I read the novel I was all about The Ned, until he lost his head, and then I was all about Robb, but that didna end to well either, So I turned to Beric Dondarrion, And I was quite convinced that Beric was the prince that was promised until I met Lady Stoneheart. C'est la vie, or un-vie, I guess. And before Dance, we could make the arguments for several characters to be the hidden Azor Ahai reborn including Davos, as you say, and Bran, which I found very intriguing. But with the line of Aerys and Rhaella element given to us in Dance, were are left with only three possibilities: Daenerys (whose blood no man can question), Aegon (assuming he is who he thinks he is), and Jon Snow (assuming he is who we think he is). I am assuming, of course, that 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. Perhaps he was just trolling us, in which case we can continue to consider all of the other candidates (except Beric :(). But I don't think so. The field is limited to three candidates. 

In Davos I, Clash 10, we first learned about Azor Ahai reborn...

Quote

Melisandre was robed all in scarlet satin and blood velvet, her eyes as red as the great ruby that glistened at her throat as if it too were afire. "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 a burning 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!"

So, we have the following elements:

1) After a long summer

2) When the stars bleed

3) The cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world

4) A warrior

5) Draw a burning sword from the fire

A bit later in the chapter, we learn about Lightbringer...

Quote

"That sword was not Lightbringer, my friend."

The sudden shift in subject left Davos uneasy. "Sword?"

"A sword plucked from fire, yes. Men tell me things, it is my pleasant smile. How shall a burnt sword serve Stannis?"

"A burning sword," corrected Davos.

"Burnt," said Salladhor Saan, "and be glad of that, my friend. Do you know the tale of the forging of Lightbringer? I shall tell it to you. It was a time when darkness lay heavy on the world. To oppose it, the hero must have a hero's blade, oh, like none that had ever been. And so for thirty days and thirty nights Azor Ahai labored sleepless in the temple, forging a blade in the sacred fires. Heat and hammer and fold, heat and hammer and fold, oh, yes, until the sword was done. Yet when he plunged it into water to temper the steel it burst asunder.

"Being a hero, it was not for him to shrug and go in search of excellent grapes such as these, so again he began. The second time it took him fifty days and fifty nights, and this sword seemed even finer than the first. Azor Ahai captured a lion, to temper the blade by plunging it through the beast's red heart, but once more the steel shattered and split. Great was his woe and great was his sorrow then, for he knew what he must do.

"A hundred days and a hundred nights he labored on the third blade, and as it glowed white-hot in the sacred fires, he summoned his wife. ‘Nissa Nissa' he said to her, for that was her name, ‘bare your breast, and know that I love you best of all that is in this world.' She did this thing, why I cannot say, and Azor Ahai thrust the smoking sword through her living heart. It is said that her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon, but her blood and her soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steel. Such is the tale of the forging of Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes.

"Now do you see my meaning? Be glad that it is just a burnt sword that His Grace pulled from that fire. Too much light can hurt the eyes, my friend, and fire burns."

There is a lot we can do with the imagery presented with the original forging of Lightbringer, but the essential element is that Azor Ahai reborn must 6) sacrifice that which he loves best of all that is in this world. 

In Davos III, Storm 25, we learn a few more elements...

Quote

"It is night in your Seven Kingdoms now," the red woman went on, "but soon the sun will rise again. The war continues, Davos Seaworth, and some will soon learn that even an ember in the ashes can still ignite a great blaze. The old maester looked at Stannis and saw only a man. You see a king. You are both wrong. He is the Lord's chosen, the warrior of fire. I have seen him leading the fight against the dark, I have seen it in the flames. The flames do not lie, else you would not be here. It is written in prophecy as well. When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone. The bleeding star has come and gone, and Dragonstone is the place of smoke and salt. Stannis Baratheon is Azor Ahai reborn!

That' more elements:

7) Born again amidst smoke

8) Born again amidst salt

9) Wake dragons from stone

In Samwell V, Storm 78, we see Maester Aemon and Melisandre conflate Azor Ahai reborn with the prince that was promised...

Quote

"Swords alone cannot hold this darkness back. Only the light of the Lord can do that. Make no mistake, good sers and valiant brothers, the war we've come to fight is no petty squabble over lands and honors. Ours is a war for life itself, and should we fail the world dies with us."

The officers did not know how to take that, Sam could see. Bowen Marsh and Othell Yarwyck exchanged a doubtful look, Janos Slynt was fuming, and Three-Finger Hobb looked as though he would sooner be back chopping carrots. But all of them seemed surprised to hear Maester Aemon murmur, "It is the war for the dawn you speak of, my lady. But where is the prince that was promised?"

"He stands before you," Melisandre declared, "though you do not have the eyes to see. Stannis Baratheon is Azor Ahai come again, the warrior of fire. In him the prophecies are fulfilled. The red comet blazed across the sky to herald his coming, and he bears Lightbringer, the red sword of heroes."

I know that some readers still argue that the prophecies are two distinct prophecies, but after that passage, I cannot agree. This, from Davos IV, Storm 36...

Quote

"It means that the battle is begun," said Melisandre. "The sand is running through the glass more quickly now, and man's hour on earth is almost done. We must act boldly, or all hope is lost. Westeros must unite beneath her one true king, the prince that was promised, Lord of Dragonstone and chosen of R'hllor."

This, from Davos VI, Storm 63...

Quote

"You are he who must stand against the Other. The one whose coming was prophesied five thousand years ago. The red comet was your herald. You are the prince that was promised, and if you fail the world fails with you." Melisandre went to him, her red lips parted, her ruby throbbing.

And this, from Jon, XIII, Dance 69...

Quote

"A grey girl on a dying horse. Daggers in the dark. A promised prince, born in smoke and salt. It seems to me that you make nothing but mistakes, my lady. Where is Stannis? What of Rattleshirt and his spearwives? Where is my sister?"

Show that the prophecies are one and the same, perhaps told from different traditions. 

We first learned of the promised prince in Daenerys IV, Clash 48...

Quote

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.

But that promise was broken...

Quote

She nodded. "There was a woman in a bed with a babe at her breast. My brother said the babe was the prince that was promised and told her to name him Aegon."

"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, Clash 63

Now, obviously, there are little hints all along the way to show that Stannis is the promised Azor Ahai reborn, but Daenerys does seem to fulfill many of the elements. and then Maester Aemon tells us it is her in Samwell IV, Feast 35...

Quote

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."

But then, we meet Aegon in Dance, and we wonder whether the promise really was broken. 

A Song of Ice and Fire is not a mystery, it's a fantasy, but it has a some mystery characteristics, especially in Game, when Eddard and Catelyn were trying to prove that the Lannisters murdered Jon Arryn, but then we learn at the end of Storm, that it was Petyr. Well, a common trope in a mystery is that the culprit is never the obvious suspect. The least obvious of the three suspects here is Jon Snow. 

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On 8/10/2017 at 1:48 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:

though, most of his fans abandoned ship. But it is likely not Stannis. In Dance, we learned that the prince that was promised will be born of the line of Aerys and Rhaella. That limits the field to Daenerys, Aegon, and Jon. But even before Dance, we should have realized that Stannis was set up as Melisandre's red herring to Daenerys. Stannis was Lord of Dragonstone,

Sure, but I'm not saying Stannis has to be AA or TPtwP. Just that he could possibly be a dragon rider. If (f)Aegon is fake and neither Tyrion nor anyone else is a secret Targaryen, besides Jon, I think it's possible Stannis could be the third dragon rider. 

Spoiler

I don't put much stock about what happens in the show when it specifically regards Stannis. I'm of the opinion that they killed off Stannis when they did so they could give a large part of his story arc to Jon Snow as I believe Jon will spend some time in Ghost before he returns to his body. For many reasons the show couldn't pull this off. Just my opinion though. 

 

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5 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Sure, but I'm not saying Stannis has to be AA or TPtwP. Just that he could possibly be a dragon rider. If (f)Aegon is fake and neither Tyrion nor anyone else is a secret Targaryen, besides Jon, I think it's possible Stannis could be the third dragon rider. 

  Hide contents

I don't put much stock about what happens in the show when it specifically regards Stannis. I'm of the opinion that they killed off Stannis when they did so they could give a large part of his story arc to Jon Snow as I believe Jon will spend some time in Ghost before he returns to his body. For many reasons the show couldn't pull this off. Just my opinion though. 

 

I suspect Drogo will melt Stannis's face, but Jon will ride the beast. 

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On 8/9/2017 at 11:07 AM, Lost Melnibonean said:

<snip

All nicely put together. I only have one problem.

Rhaegar seems to think that the dragon has to have three heads per the prophecy. The point of the prophecy is about saving Westeros. It rather naturally follows that the reason the dragon has to have three heads is because the dragon needs those other two heads in order to save Westeros. So if one of them dies, then it's only two dragon heads fighting off total destruction. While I know Rhaegar is wrong about who TDtwP is, that doesn't necessarily mean he's wrong about the dragon heads. One thing he was really good at even from a young age was reading, so it's a cinch he got that "three heads" thing from reading about the prophecy, or reading the prophecy itself.

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23 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

But herein lies the problem.  We don't know what the prophecy is that surrounds the Prince that was Promised.  Nor do we know what the Song of Ice and Fire is.  Aemon seems fixated on The Prince that was Promised, and Melisandre is fixated on the return of Azor Ahai, and to a certain extent they seem to conflate the two concepts, but we don't know why.  Perhaps it is simply because both are prophecised to be a major player in the War for the Dawn.  But at this point we have a lot more info on Azor Ahai than we do the Prince that was Promised.

And while we can try to shoehorn some of the Azor Ahai prophecies into Jon's storyline, they don't really fit very well.  At least not yet.  What many assume about Jon's birth doesn't really lend to him being born amongst salt and smoke.  And while we can try and contort the events of his death into some sort of quasi smoke, salt scenario, these details concern Jon's death, not his rebirth.

In addition to Dany, there are other characters who have had something much more akin to a baptism via smoke and salt.  Both Tyrion and Davos were plunged into a salt water bay which was literally lit on fire.  Stannis had a baptism by smoke when Melisandre burned the statues of the Seven on Dragonstone, while Theon was baptized by salt when he was baptized by the Damphair.  

Now obviously Jon has been set up as a major player in the final events of the book.  But to assume he is going to be the Prince that is Promised because he is one of the major protagonists in the series seems a bit presumptuous.  Especially since at this time we really don't know what role the Prince is supposed to play.  If the Prince that was Promised is supposed to be firmly on one side of the conflict, and Jon is supposed to be some sort of unifier, then it very well may be the case, that Jon's role is not as the Prince that Was Promised.

I like your theory - but for some reason, Jon seems to fulfil the the prophecy more than Dany or any of the other characters. Reading his stabbing scene in ADWD, there is great, subtle foreshadowing of Jon fulfilling the prophecy...unlike Dany who definitely seems to be a red herring. I think if we ever get the next book ('if'), reading his resurrection will be very interesting in regards to both the Azor Ahai and TPTWP prophecies.

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7 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

All nicely put together. I only have one problem.

Rhaegar seems to think that the dragon has to have three heads per the prophecy. The point of the prophecy is about saving Westeros. It rather naturally follows that the reason the dragon has to have three heads is because the dragon needs those other two heads in order to save Westeros. So if one of them dies, then it's only two dragon heads fighting off total destruction. While I know Rhaegar is wrong about who TDtwP is, that doesn't necessarily mean he's wrong about the dragon heads. One thing he was really good at even from a young age was reading, so it's a cinch he got that "three heads" thing from reading about the prophecy, or reading the prophecy itself.

That Maester Aemon also says the Dragon must have three heads  suggests that there is some prophecy about it. However, it could also be that Rhaegar and Aemon reason that the Dragon would need three heads, like Aegon and his sisters, to win the War for the Dawn. At this point, I think all we can do is speculate. 

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On 8/9/2017 at 5:10 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:

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. 

 

On 8/10/2017 at 1:08 AM, bent branch said:

 

Just one small suggestion. Could it be a reference to his destiny rather than his heritage?

I think you have a point here.........perhaps Vision Rhaegar, or Real Rhaegar LOL, thought at first that Aegon's destiny could lead to the Fire and Ice thing somehow.  Maybe it took seeing Lyanna, among other things, for him to rethink that part of it, especially considering it was said Elia either couldn't or shouldn't have another child.  By then, Rhaegar did seem to be looking for three of them.  It really is maddening that GRRM throws the Ice and Fire symbolism at that vision, with that child, though.  I guess it was a good call, how many years later, and we are still working on that vision, those words. 

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14 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Rhaegar seems to think that the dragon has to have three heads per the prophecy.

 

6 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

That Maester Aemon also says the Dragon must have three heads  suggests that there is some prophecy about it. However, it could also be that Rhaegar and Aemon reason that the Dragon would need three heads, like Aegon and his sisters, to win the War for the Dawn. At this point, I think all we can do is speculate. 

The Targaryen and Blackfyre dragon sigils also have three heads, so there may have been some family lore that was passed down about the three heads. Aemon and Rhaegar probably weren't the only ones to think this was significant or necessary.

I know others have already looked at the inn at the crossroads, with the black, three-headed dragon sign that was hacked to pieces by Lord Darry. The story that Septon Meribald tells about the history of the inn really does seem to be an allegory for parts of the history of the royal family of Westeros since the conquest. I know that people think fAegon is represented by the single black dragon head that has turned red with rust and washed up on the Quiet Isle. I think rust represents Targ red on one level, but blood on another level, though - I'm thinking of Elmar Frey cleaning the rust off Roose Bolton's mail, but not quite getting it clean. fAegon hasn't spilled any blood at the time Meribald is telling the story of the one "Blackfyre" head, now rusty, that has reemerged. I think it could represent Dany instead. She is believed to be Targaryen, but what if she is really from the Blackfyre line? She was under the protection of House Darry, but seems to have lost her protector along the way somehow.

Other things that have washed up on the Quiet Isle might provide clues about a Targaryen restoration. I would look at the details of the inn and of the island for clues about the three heads.

A different interpretation: I am really interested in the three sisters of Baelor the Blessed, locked up together in the Maidenvault. Rhaena hatches the last dragon ("Morning"), Daena becomes the matriarch of the Blackfyre line, and Elaena becomes a power behind the throne and matriarch of the Velaryon line. What if these are the three heads of the dragon, and Aemon and Rhaegar and the Ghost of High Heart were all wrong?

The islands that House Stark and House Arryn fought over for 1000 years are called the Three Sisters. I wonder whether there is symbolism in those islands that would help us to sort out the three princesses in the Maidenvault, where they had years to work out a takeover plan together. Sister stew, anyone?

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6 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

That Maester Aemon also says the Dragon must have three heads  suggests that there is some prophecy about it. However, it could also be that Rhaegar and Aemon reason that the Dragon would need three heads, like Aegon and his sisters, to win the War for the Dawn. At this point, I think all we can do is speculate. 

Fair point. I could see Rhaegar coming up with it on his own, but Aemon is older and steadier so I would think he's more likely to be quoting. Still as you point out, all we can do is speculate.

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29 minutes ago, Seams said:

<snip

A different interpretation: I am really interested in the three sisters of Baelor the Blessed, locked up together in the Maidenvault. Rhaena hatches the last dragon ("Morning"), Daena becomes the matriarch of the Blackfyre line, and Elaena becomes a power behind the throne and matriarch of the Velaryon line. What if these are the three heads of the dragon, and Aemon and Rhaegar and the Ghost of High Heart were all wrong?

<snip

You've got your Rhaenas and dragons mixed up. Lady Rhaena, daughter of Prince Daemon and Laena Velaryon hatched Morning. And Morning was not the last dragon. The last dragon was green, sickly, and has no name that we know of.

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40 minutes ago, Seams said:

 

The Targaryen and Blackfyre dragon sigils also have three heads, so there may have been some family lore that was passed down about the three heads. Aemon and Rhaegar probably weren't the only ones to think this was significant or necessary.

I know others have already looked at the inn at the crossroads, with the black, three-headed dragon sign that was hacked to pieces by Lord Darry. The story that Septon Meribald tells about the history of the inn really does seem to be an allegory for parts of the history of the royal family of Westeros since the conquest. I know that people think fAegon is represented by the single black dragon head that has turned red with rust and washed up on the Quiet Isle. I think rust represents Targ red on one level, but blood on another level, though - I'm thinking of Elmar Frey cleaning the rust off Roose Bolton's mail, but not quite getting it clean. fAegon hasn't spilled any blood at the time Meribald is telling the story of the one "Blackfyre" head, now rusty, that has reemerged. I think it could represent Dany instead. She is believed to be Targaryen, but what if she is really from the Blackfyre line? She was under the protection of House Darry, but seems to have lost her protector along the way somehow.

Other things that have washed up on the Quiet Isle might provide clues about a Targaryen restoration. I would look at the details of the inn and of the island for clues about the three heads.

A different interpretation: I am really interested in the three sisters of Baelor the Blessed, locked up together in the Maidenvault. Rhaena hatches the last dragon ("Morning"), Daena becomes the matriarch of the Blackfyre line, and Elaena becomes a power behind the throne and matriarch of the Velaryon line. What if these are the three heads of the dragon, and Aemon and Rhaegar and the Ghost of High Heart were all wrong?

The islands that House Stark and House Arryn fought over for 1000 years are called the Three Sisters. I wonder whether there is symbolism in those islands that would help us to sort out the three princesses in the Maidenvault, where they had years to work out a takeover plan together. Sister stew, anyone?

But the sigil was only created when Aegon and his two sister-wives invaded with their three dragons, so it could have just been meant to represent them. 

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