Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About TheSeason

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Location
    ...looking for my lost shaker of salt...

Recent Profile Visitors

1,820 profile views
  1. TheSeason

    Another Look at Dany's HOTU visions

    Cersei is the beautiful naked woman sprawled on the floor to be ravished. In the House of the Undying Ones, Martin reveals to the reader the details and conclusions of the prophecy of ice and fire, that we might know what happens before it does. The major players in the prophecy of ice and fire are the liondragons/lying dragons (Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion; bastard children of Aerys II and Joanna Lannister, reared by Tywin Lannister and believing him to be their sire) and the true and trueborn dragons (Dany, Aegon, Jon Snow). Therefore, in the House of the Undying Ones, the visions we see pertain to these people, although oftentimes certain events of other characters greatly foreshadow and thereby mirror the prophetic destiny of these six (e.g., Robb Stark at the Red Wedding is often mistaken for Jon Snow at the Feast of the Dead revealed in the House of the Undying Ones because the Red Wedding is foreshadowing for Jon Snow’s upcoming Feast of the Dead). This scene of the beautiful naked woman is a culmination of Cersei’s dragon dreams about her fate, as revealed to her by Maegi Spicer in the “Valonqar” prophecy. During that prophecy, Maegi Spicer is indeed speaking to Cersei as a “child of three,” just as the Undying Ones do to Dany in the House of the Undying Ones; that is, the prophecy given to Cersei equally applies to Jaime and Tyrion (who we see symbolically go with her to the maegi’s tent in the characters of Melara Hetherspoon and Jeyne Farman, who represent Jaime and Tyrion respectively). Jaime and Tyrion also have dragon dreams about their upcoming fateful meetings with their true and trueborn dragons too. The Iron Throne features largely in Cersei’s dragon dream in particular during her Feast/Dance arc. Tyrion provides us some additional information that brings the entire prophecy together for the reader. We learn the fate of the three liondragons/lying dragons in Cersei’s dream of Maegi Spicer prior to the start of the dream at all, in a quote that is often clipped from the remainder of the scene but is just as important, giving quite a bit of expositional foreshadowing: So, herein we find Cersei thinking of her fate and that of her brothers, come unbidden upon her. She will die weeping, locked in a tower cell (the Maidenvault) by a Targaryen king newly come to the throne (Baelor the Blessed=Aegon VI, blessed and anointed by the Faith of the Seven, as Cersei hopes for Tommen to be during her Feast/Dance arc). We have coded references to the reason for Cersei’s demise (according at least to her), Tyrion, her brother. Foremost, we are reminded that Tyrion escaped the Black Cells. He went into the Black Cells convicted of regicide, a kinslaying kingslayer (like his brother Jaime), for the murder of Joffrey. He would have been convicted at a kangaroo court trial, but instead chose single combat, eventually winning Oberyn Martell for a champion because Cersei chooses Ser Gregor Clegane to be her champion (thereby putting in motion both of their fateful arcs). She believes Tyrion poisoned Joffrey, her eldest son and false king, at his own wedding to Margaery Tyrell. Tyrion was claimed at his trial to have done so alongside his wife, Sansa Stark (who he took to wife in hopes to claim Winterfell, which everyone believes to be up for grabs). Joffrey was poisoned because Tyrion married Sansa in some ways (Littlefinger and the Tyrells both hoped to “free” Sansa of Tyrion so as to claim her for bride, for Robert Arryn/Harry the Heir/Baelish himself or for Willas Tyrell, which the Lannister thwarted with their shotgun wedding with Tyrion). He was also poisoned because Joffrey married Margaery Tyrell, however, and the Tyrells likewise wanted to “free” her of a lifetime saddled to that brute (thus, Garlan the Gallant, who does the deed, may feel he is righteous in his act and even in keeping his silence at Tyrion’s trial, by “gallantly” liberating two maidens in dire straits from tyrants; and, remember, Tyrion’s reputation precedes him in Westeros in all the wrong ways, so Garlan would have little reason to believe Tyrion intends to treat Sansa well, let alone that he is another “Lannister tyrant” holding her captive to claim her inheritance!). Then we come upon Maegi Spicer, where we learn that this fate was prophesied. We learn: 01. The liondragons will rule “for a time;” Cersei will be queen and mother only bastards / Jaime will be kingsguard dragonknight but betray his vows to his kings / Tyrion will be Hand of the King but fail in his faith and service 02. “Another” dragon who is “younger and more beautiful” will come to replace them: Aegon is “the younger and more beautiful dragon king” (with Margaery likely his wife and mother of his child!), a true king with trueborn heirs / Jon Snow is “the younger and more beautiful dragon knight,” a true knight who keeps his oaths / Dany is the good egg /the good queen / Nissa Nissa (mother of dragons) who already has her own “bear” Hand of the Queen (Jorah Mormont), a good true Hand and loyal 03. The liondragons will lose “all [they] hold dear,” which means: Cersei will lose her crown and her children / Jaime will lose his sword hand and his freedom /Tyrion will lose his post and his power 04. The liondragons will suffer for the crimes: Cersei will “drown in her tears” for her lost crown and children / Jaime will lose all hope of “honor and glory” and redemption (he breaks his oath to Catelyn Tully never to take up arms against Tully or Stark, which was his “last hope” as he himself notes, and fails to meaningfully aid Sansa in returning home or to safety—he sends Brienne on a wild goose chase), and will lose his freedom, become a captive in the Riverlands yet again / Tyrion will wander in exile a nobody, conniving to return to power and prestige, and become the monster he presumes everyone thinks him to be 05. After suffering their losses and humiliations, the liondragons will die at the hands of the Valonqar (which means Bad(Rotten) Egg/Bad Hand (of the Queen/King)!): Cersei is thrown from a tower window by Jon Connington, Aegon’s Hand of the King; Jaime is cut down by Lady Stoneheart/Brienne in trial by combat, found guilty of all crimes, acting as Hand of the King in the Riverlands for an unwitting King of the North and the Trident, Jon Snow; Tyrion is killed by Jorah Mormont on Dragonstone. Notes: Melara Hetherspoon (Jaime’s stand-in in the dream) inquires about marrying Jaime, but is told that marriage is not in her future (and, indeed, as a kingsguard dragon knight, Jaime takes an oath never to marry; Cersei even has some sort of hand in this arrangement, convincing him to forsake Casterly Rock for her). Cersei tries to control Melara tugging upon her arm (Jaime’s sword arm, which she presumes she can use to fend off any “younger and more beautiful” dragon come to cast her down and take all she holds dear), but is rebuffed (Jaime rebuffs Cersei’s pleas to defend her in Feast) instead. Jaime wriggles free of her (ironic, that he becomes a captive again in doing so) grasps to his arm (his sword arm, which he uses early in Game to “defend” Cersei’s honor by throwing Bran from the Broken Tower of Winterfell, and which he loses in Storm to the Brave Companions, his father’s own wild dogs of war! “Fair” recompense for his crimes, one might think, as he told Bran Stark to “take [his] hand” whilst extending his sword hand, thereby become cripple himself… except he goes on to raise his golden hand against Houses Stark and Tully, breaking his oath to Catelyn Tully Stark in doing so, and losing any hope of redemption thereafter; Melara has a chance to escape Maegi’s tent with her life, after all, but “turns back” as Jaime does—he could keep going forth down that lonely hard dark road, but “turns back” to Cersei in heading into the Riverlands to defend her and her throne, thereby “freeing” himself of her influence by far too late to be of any worth to himself. It's Melara’s inquiry about marrying Jaime what “angers” Cersei, and thereby the reason she kills her, as Maegi Spicer tells her “your death is here tonight… very close” and suggests she can “smell her breath” as if they were to kiss. Jaime “turns back” to his death upon King’s Landing, “wriggles free” of Cersei in the Riverlands too late, and has already set in motion the means by which he will be judged and killed by an “angry” woman, Lady Stoneheart, for “sending” her “his regards” at the Red Wedding, and for continuing to break his oaths to her by “taking up arms” against Tully and Stark for Cersei, his lover and twin sister.) Tyrion, meanwhile, in Jeyne Farman “hangs back” from the twins as always, and never even makes it into the tent to hear his morrows—fleeing instead (to Essos and into exile, chasing after dragons!), whereupon she later marries one of her brother’s bannermen and has many children, living a quiet and peaceful life—which is exactly what Cersei presumes Tyrion to be enjoying in his exile whilst sending his “rats” to her in King’s Landing to make her life miserable, plotting the deaths of her children and her. Tyrion, however, comes to his lowest point in the series—drunken, abusive, raper, suicidal, chaotic and meanspirited in his cunning—although he does many vile things in his reign as acting Hand of the King and since the start of Game. He’s obsessed with the peaceful fortnight he lived with his first wife, Tysha, always wondering “where do whores go” (to brothels, with their daughters, to follow in their wretched footsteps, apparently!) and rejects any sort of happiness that Penny might offer him because she’s an ugly dwarf like him. He becomes a fool, capering for the amusement of others, and seeking vengeance for being made so long hand-in-hand with his escape to power and freedom, trying desperately to climb back to the former heights of his glory… which he thinks was unfairly snatched away from him and without gratitude for his many contributions (although his successes in politics and even his loyalty to his king and queen regent are questionable). He dreams of peace and “eating olives” in Meereen (at Dany’s right hand as her premier advisor) but may die before ever tasting it. He’s too busy chasing frightful dragons and frightful vengeance, fancying himself the “cleverest” one of the three (or of them all) and yet partaking in the same dangerous activities and ambitions, reaching higher and farther than he should to grasp at things what were never meant to be his in the first place. The three liondragons go seeking the sorceress to learn their morrows, promised three questions apiece so as to lay on the line themselves all they hold dear. Cersei gets all three (crown, children, Jaime), Jaime gets one but actions and exposition hint at others (sword, freedom and control of to use it as he will, and Cersei) and Tyrion gets none so his desires must be pieced together elsewise whole cloth (position and power and prestige, ruling Casterly Rock as its rightful lord, wife and children and peace). They each make their own beds to lie wretched upon, but take no responsibility for it, blaming some other. For example: Taena here plays the role of a rat in Cersei’s court pretending to be a mere meek mouse, bowing and scraping to her whim, slavishly devoted to her (as Cersei wishes everyone to be), which is another important facet of Cersei’s damnation arc (out of the three liondragon damnation arcs), as we shall soon see. We learn more of liondragon’s arc through visions and dragon dreams, especially their own, with other tidbits thrown in. For Cersei, her dragon dream sequence is: 01. Cersei dreams of herself seated high upon the Iron Throne, ruling in her own right, with the courtiers but colorful mice in silk below, bowing and scraping to her whim. 02. Suddenly, Cersei realizes she’s naked on her throne (is stripped of power and prestige by the High Sparrow and her own uncle, Kevan, with the walk of atonement!) and the courtiers are all laughing at her. Suddenly, her brother Tyrion is below, a capering court monkey, mocking her nakedness. She tries to cover herself and cannot. She tries to flee and cannot. 03. As she tries to flee, the Iron Throne begins “eating” her alive, “rejecting” her (according to the legend) and bites her in the breasts and the legs, tearing away chunks of her flesh as she yanks and yanks to free herself. Tyrion is still capering below and the “mice” are still laughing with him during her torment. Is it not possible, then, that what we see in the House of the Undying Ones is the culmination of this dragon dream sequence? Cersei does manage to yank herself free of the Iron Throne’s twisted barbs, but topples naked from the throne as she does and sprawls about on the floor, whereupon Tyrion and his “rats” what once pretended to be meek mice in silk, bowing and scraping, descend upon her to have their vengeance, ravishing her. We do know Tyrion dreams of “raping his sister” and has done so for a long time. We do know that Tyrion is capable of rape, even of those he ought to be protecting from harm—we have Tysha, his own wife, who he rapes in vengeance when thinking her a lying “whore” who tricked him into marriage and humiliated him; we see him rape a whore in Essos, vomit because he’s so drunkenly distraught and yet then proceed to do it again. We’re seeing Cersei fallen from her throne and ravished by the consequences that Tyrion set in motion for her. The “servitor” who brings Dany shade is a dwarf, like Tyrion (Cersei’s capering monkey fool brother, who she presumes to be the Valonqar). But why are they rattish? Well, we do know that throughout Feast/Dance, Cersei grows paranoid of Tyrion on the loose in the walls of the Red Keep. She claims to hear “rats” scrabbling in the walls day and night. She’s so distraught by these rats (who are actually Varys’s “mice;” more on this later) that she burns down the Tower of the Hand, where once Tyrion ruled as Hand of the King for King Joffrey, the king she believes he killed! During the burning, she has tears on her cheeks (Jaime notes) and watches the fire as adoringly as Aerys II once did (Jaime notes). Yet, she still hears the “rats” in her walls following the burning. Furthermore, she suspects Tyrion might be or have agents in Dorne, where Myrcella is currently in danger—in a strange land amongst enemies, where Tyrion sent her, ostensibly to protect her! Myrcella, we know, is nearly crowned in Dorne (To crown her is to kill her, Illyrio tells Tyrion, when he considers plotting this very thing.) and certainly is maimed (by Gerold Dayne, who may have poisoned his blade, just as Oberyn poisoned his spear in the trial by combat against Gregor Clegane; is it not possible Gerold Dayne is “the most dangerous man in Dorne” because he’s just triggered warfare by slaying Myrcella even with a half-fallen strike?) Finally, there is Tommen, married to Margaery Tyrell, Joffrey’s widow. This would not have happened without Tyrion’s courtly intrigues, either. Tyrion failed to dispatch with Petyr Baelish when acting as Hand of the King despite knowing him to be treacherous and spreading corruption in the court of his king. Instead, he actually empowers Littlefinger even more. Although the Myrcella-Robert Arryn betrothal falls through (because Littlefinger keeps the secret, unlike Pycelle), Tyrion gives Petyr Baelish other opportunities to win favor at court, which he succeeds at doing by negotiating the Joffrey-Margaery marriage alliance (which saves King’s Landing from Stannis’s invasion on the Blackwater, when Lord Renly/Garlan the Gallant rides to route the Lannister enemies alongside Loras Tyrell (Renly’s lover) and Tywin Lannister, making Margaery Queen in want of a new king!). Baelish becomes Lord of Harrenhal and High Lord of the Riverlands due to Tyrion’s empowerment, which then enables him to marry Lysa Arryn and gives him power in the Vale. From the Vale and with his allies, the Tyrells, Baelish plots the murder of Joffrey (for which Tyrion takes the blame, requesting the trial by combat, bringing us back again to the quotation above involving Sansa Stark and Margaery Tyrell), absconding with Sansa in the process (the Lannisters’ only true hope to hold and control the North, as they fully intend to take it back from the Boltons and fArya). Because Joffrey is murdered at his wedding to Margaery (facilitated by Tyrion!), Tommen becomes king and marries her in his place. Cersei does everything in her power to protect Tommen from the Tyrells as she failed to do Joffrey, shattering their already fractured alliance. He’s vulnerable to the Tyrells (when Aegon lands) and has not even been anointed by the Faith of the Seven (which Aegon shall be) to empower him amongst the smallfolk (who adore House Tyrell but loathe House Lannister); the High Sparrow further imperils Tommen when he takes Kevan’s advice on how to break Cersei’s already limited power as queen regent (the walk of atonement, leaving her “naked” upon her throne—gowned and crowned, she was a queen; and my crown, Cersei thinks when the septas shave her head for the walk, watching her golden hair fall to her feet, just as Tommen’s crown rolled from his head at Tommen’s funeral in the Great Sept of Baelor!). Let us not forget, the reason there is a High Sparrow at all is because Cersei dispatched with the High Septon that Tyrion appointed, distrusting his faithfulness to the crown, suspecting him to be another of Tyrion’s rats. Who else might be one of Tyrion’s “rats” pretending to be meek “mice” bowing and scraping before her at court until her comeuppance comes in full? Who are the “servitors” or Tyrion’s vengeance upon his sister? It’s important to note that in Cersei’s prophecy dream given by Maegi Spicer above, the hands, “thick hands, and strong” choking the life from her and the floating face of Tyrion Lannister are not attached to each other. The hands strangle her from the mists, Tyrion’s face floats leering above them. The hands are reaching out to her through him, but they are not literally his hands. Varys Varys testified at Tyrion’s first trial for regicide, helping to convict him of Joffrey’s murder, but he also (with Jaime’s “threat” as “motivation” and excuse) freed him from the Black Cells after he was found guilty of Joffrey’s death in trial by combat (perhaps rightly, ironically, via dereliction of duty!). Varys aids and abets in his escape across the Narrow Sea to Illyrio’s manse, where he meets the man who sends him onward to young Aegon, so as to aid in effecting the Targaryen Restoration, throwing down the usurping House of Lannister, on the promise of Casterly Rock and ruling power, which he covets and craves, having felt weak, worthless, unwanted, and utterly powerless most all of his life. Meanwhile, back in King’s Landing, Varys dwells at the bottom of a well and still skulks in the tunnels, sending his “mice” to “scrabble” in Cersei’s walls day and night (contributing to her paranoia and delusions), whilst doing everything in his power to sow discord and chaos in her camp, killing important people holding the Lannister dynasty up on its usurped throne, hoping to effect a power struggle and political and social situation beneficial to Aegon and the death of House Lannister. Aegon Tyrion swiftly “discovers” Aegon’s identity on the Shy Maid when sailing the Sorrows. He then convinces Aegon that ought to sail straight to Westeros to raise himself up by his bootstraps (giving him what he believes is bad advice) that he might meet Dany as a King and an equal, a true dragon, instead of as a beggar and a boy. He furthermore saves the boy’s life from Stone Men what otherwise would have killed him. Jon Connington Tyrion nearly drowned on the Sorrows, but was saved by Jon Connington solely because he’d just saved Aegon’s life from the Stone Men. This rescue gives Jon Connington greyscale and an unprecedented urgency to see Aegon placed upon the Iron Throne and secure in it from any and all threats. Thus, he’s happy to sail straight to Westeros without Dany and her dragons, with only the Golden Company to support them, and seek Westerosi friends in Dany’s place (House Martell and Dorne, who have and may have gotten killed Myrcella; House Tyrell and the Reach who will turn on Tommen to have Margaery become a Targaryen Queen on the Iron Throne; the Faith of the Seven, who will anoint him king, giving him the support of the smallfolk—who have recently been armed by Cersei as the Faith Militant—warrior knights and smallfolk both included—so will be capable to participate in a riot with unprecedented violence (unlike the riot against Joffrey on the day Myrcella sailed for Dorne on Tyrion’s command)). Furthermore, he’s anxious to see Aegon secure in that throne no matter the cost (the Lannister children), having “learned” from Tywin Lannister himself how thrones are won (on the backs of women and children—Elia Martell, Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaenys, raped and murdered; Rhaella and Viserys plus unborn Dany, forced to flee into exile on pain of death). What’s more, he’s keen to prove he’s “matured” since his rash and “idealistic” days of youth, when he failed to burn the entire town during the Battle of the Bells, thereby killing Robert Baratheon and the rebellion, which is what Tywin Lannister would have done (according to Toyne and Tyrion, both in conversation with JonCon). He will not be “foolishly” merciful this time around, but stern and successful (and war criminal too, if that’s what it takes). Others: Margaery and House Tyrell House Tyrell, empowered by Tyrion during his reign as acting Hand of the King, will continue their conniving for the Iron Throne, no matter who sits it, even if it means killing kings and children (child kings: Joffrey and Tommen) in order to achieve that goal, just as Tywin Lannister removed the threat to Robert Baratheon in order to prove his loyalty to the new king and win a crown for his daughter. Petyr Baelish Also empowered by Tyrion during his reign as acting Hand of the King, who was rewarded for bringing House Tyrell and the Reach into the fold, although both these factions later conspired to kill the king they’d saved (Joffrey) for their own reasons (including Sansa Stark, Tyrion’s wife by shotgun wedding in order to steal her inheritance for himself as a consolation prize, having been denied Casterly Rock in no uncertain terms). House Martell and Sand Snakes (Oberyn’s Avengers) Also empowered by Tyrion during his reign as acting Hand of the King, which ultimately brought Myrcella to Dorne to be Trystane’s bride (where Arianne crowned her and killed her), and which ultimately brought Oberyn to King’s Landing in return to secure a place on the Small Council for House Martell (which a Sand Snake is due to fill now Oberyn had died and cannot do so in Doran’s place), whereupon he participated in both Tyrion’s kangaroo court trial (as a judge and expert on poisons) and trial by combat (as a failed champion and expert on poisons). Along the way, he suggested crowning Myrcella to cause strife with House Lannister (which Arianne eventually ran with, likely informed of her father and uncle’s prior conversations by a Sand Snake cousin) and Tywin Lannister’s death and humiliation (getting justice for Elia and her children), as well as Tyrion taking refuge in Dorne. The avenging Sand Snakes, his children, are so “appalled” to learn of Cersei’s plot to kill Trystane (crying “Halfman! Halfman!” to signify Tyrion’s involvement, since Cersei believes simultaneously that Tyrion has taken refuge both in Dorne and as a rat in the Red Keep’s walls!) that they want to kill Tommen instead. One of them, sent to King’s Landing as a Small Council member and a septa in hiding with the Faith of the Seven, may succeed in doing so or taking part in a plot to do so, or may simply contribute in convincing House Tyrell and the Faith of the Seven/High Sparrow to abandon the sinking Lannister flagship for Aegon’s (with whom House Martell has implanted Arianne so as to verify identities and determine whether war is warranted). The Golden Company Tyrion, in giving Aegon his “bad” advice to fly straight to Westeros to claim it as king without his dragon, that Dany might come chasing after with all her dragons to aid him in his hour of need in the restoration of their dynasty, empowers Aegon to claim the Golden Company from Varys and Illyrio’s control, where he lands them in the Stormlands on Cersei’s doorstep (and Tommen’s claimed ancestral seat! It cannot be understated the importance of the loss of Storm’s End for House Lannister, as was the loss of Winterfell, the Stark ancestral seat, during Robb’s campaign). At Storm’s End, Arianne and the Dornish will come into play in camp Aegon, sealing Myrcella’s fate if her coffin has not already been nailed shut by Gerold Dayne, and eventually Tommen’s too. Maegi Spicer’s prophecy for the liondragons is in keeping with the legend of Azor Ahai and the forging of Lightbringer (its three attempted forgings including the slaying of a lion) and the slaughter of the beast, as well as the prophecy of ice and fire, which includes “a white lion ran through grass taller than a man” revealed in the House of the Undying Ones when Dany asks for further clarification to understand the prophecy given to her (and is awarded with more visions to make sense of the prophecy, giving the reader a chance to decipher the chapter and all its foreshadowing). The prophecies in a song of ice and fire are all iterations or elaborations of the same prophecy—the prophecy of ice and fire, which the reader is following unfold in real time.
  2. The problem with Bran comes in at his inception, I think. His story in the books is both a horror story based upon a misunderstanding (the three-eyed crow, a white crow with red eyes is his brother, not Bloodraven, and this misidentification leads him down a dark and "abominable" path, so I don't see any good coming of it) and a poor juggling act done by D&D [Bran is given Jon Snow's role, renamed three-eyed raven to distinguish their abomination from the original, which means Jon Snow is given Stannis's role in the later seasons and his three ressurrections (stabbed at the Wall, suffocated at Bastardbowl, drowned by wights) become meaningless and anticlimactic and confusingly unimpressive, which means Stannis has to be offed before he reaches the Trident, which means the prophecy of ice and fire needs to be re-written which means the House of the Undying Ones, wherein it is revealed in its entirety, so readers might know what happens before it happens, if they so choose, the rule all good and capable writers must adhere to!, must be redone senselessly and poorly too, etc. ad nauseum]. Because Bran's character was an integral character and yet his story a foreshadowing device--and, of course, lest we should forget, because D&D hate the magic and the courtly intrigues and the wit and love the battles and the spectacles and the tits!--it could only be handled on screen by competent writers with a clear and meaningful overarching plan. D&D did not showcase either. They eliminated the Direwolves, for goodness's sake, which was not only an integral element of the overarching plot and the Starks' character development but also the lens by which viewers can understand the dragons they love oh-so-much (although they do little for most of the series and, in the show, don't even properly showcase the skinchange soul-mating bond as well as the Direwolves do in the books; the best they showcased this--foolishly, without making clear to viewers that Dany was speaking of herself as well as her beast!--was when she tried to chain her dragons, grew fearful of her dragons and their song of fire and blood, experimented with "feeding" her dragons her (presumed but actually innocent) enemies so as to indulge herself in that frightful song of fire and blood, and then decided to "break their chains" no matter the cost to any because "a dragon is not a slave" (and are thus more important than slaves) and "do not do well in captivity" (unlike worthless slaves, apparently!) and "grow small" and "unimpressive" when they worry themselves about "what they eat" when they should be eating "whatever they want" (because, ya know, they're only slaves after all!); which is, unfortunately, why so many of Dany's fans feel blindsided by the culmination of her arc in its full irony (because dragons do "plant trees" as the books shall reveal, if ever they get around to it). [As an aside: I do/did believe it to be Dragonstone that Dany burns in the books, so as to "have the greatest funeral pyre of them all" and "become a dragon," Drogon, "the big house with the red door," as prophesied and as showcased to us in the House of the Undying Ones, and in Rhaego's "birth" and Drogo's pyre, etc.. Have I misread, or is this another clumsy shuffle? It was my understanding Cersei and Aegon, the younger and more beautiful king, might destroy King's Landing somehow, or maybe Euron coming after them, following his Oldtown entropic soliloquy.] D&D failed to meaningfully plan ahead--as evidenced to the world brilliantly by their genius idea to adapt a series that is only halfway published and only halfway written besides, and with no sign of getting written either!--and it shows again and again. Worse, they simplify ideas, concepts, characterization, plot, theme and symbolism to the lowest common denominator so as to elicit the lowest-brow response from the least mature viewers--oh, cool! (themselves, to be clear, lest someone mistake me for thumbing my nose at the audience; unlike D&D, I tend to presume audiences are cleverer than a writer's instinct to give them credit for; but... I happen to be part of those audiences in most part!)--and flout the rest. That's why the heartbroken and vengeful goddess [the moon goddess was initially the earth goddess, party to the dragon with three heads: an earth deity with three heads that "orbit" it sun/moon/moon; as well as the three-eyed crow and the sphinx and the harpy... etc. all the gods are cultural evolutions and re-interpretations of the true one god, Mother Nature, the first god of Eden: Yss Yss/Ygg Ygg (Nyssa Nyssa="good egg"; Valon Qar="bad egg"/"bad hand" who are her "three quarrelsome brothers" in orbit around her, wanting her throne, plotting to usurp her, each in turn)] became for D&D a 70s-style arcade villain "Night King" with no motive and no purpose and no origin story either, at the heart of it, so easily defeated in a single night it's a wonder the Children of the Forest, their creators, who sing the song of earth and stone (the song of ice and fire, what so belongs to the prince that was promised: the dragon with three heads, Yss Yss/Ygg Ygg!) needed mankind to assist in his destruction at all, even genociding themselves into extinction in the process! D&D really do think it is acceptable to so reorganize the sense and the musicality out of another man's tale and score. They really do think it is acceptable to stiff their audiences--and even their adoring audiences--whilst laughing themselves to the bank. They really do think it is brilliant that they eliminated the mystery and the fantasy--that non-existent immemorial "old yore" golden age that so fascinates mankind to this day we continue killing for it--and focused upon our unconquerable division and othering instead of our hope for unity and humanity, our death instead of our rebirth... they let their puppet snip his strings (too easily!) and then bizarrely they made him keep on dancing to that same-old tired tune; the title they chose for their epic magnum opus ought to give the audience a clue as to why. They lacked the vision and the clarity--and the skill--to do the tale good service in the first place. Which is unfortunate. Martin isn't the best writer out there and his epic could use some improvements and tidying-up, naturally, but he did pass them some comely fine china from which to sip their rose punch--and surely had a heart attack when they dropped it; another tragedy, I fear, since I do believe Martin agreed to this venture at all in part because he wanted to give his faithful readers some sort of ending and closure to this tale he's so struggling to complete after they followed him in anticipation for two decades, doubting he'd manage to do it himself at all, and did not merely come to the feast for the food and drink (golden platters and golden goblets, y'all!). Pity, he failed to pass that cup to defter hands.
  3. TheSeason

    For the record... and posterity!

    What fun! I'm going on the record too, then, with my thoughts: 01. R+L=J, definitely. (Still a little confused how so many people still resist and/or debate this one. I thought Martin was heavy-handed with the clues in Game on the first read!) 02. Tyrion is a bastard of Aerys and Joanna. So are Jaime and Cersei. Mighty Tywin "My Legacy!" Lannister did not succeed to father any children on his wife whatsoever! No need for factions to debate endlessly whether the twins or Tyrion are the dragonseed bastards, because all are. They're Liondragons="lyin' dragons"! This is actually plot relevant. So much so, it's written into the prophecy of ice and fire. (Most convincing proofs I've found--although it's all over--would be a reread of House of the Undying chapter. Start to finish. It's all important. Maegi Spicer's prophecy is another iteration, which pertains not only to Cersei's fate. Again, a re-read of that chapter is crucial, with details of how those fates play out given in surrounding paragraphs, etc. There's also Azor Ahai's lion--they each get one! Jaime's descent into the tunnels of the Red Keep chapter, following Tywin's slaying. Jaime's bowels of Casterly Rock dream. Quaithe's warning. Even Jon's description of the direwolf pups--"once they were six," with five whimpering in the snow trying to drink their dead mother's milk whilst he crawled off alone, with Nymeria+pack=Dany+freedmen, Summer=Aegon, "one he could no longer sense," etc.) So... yeah, they are Lannisters only through the "female" line. Which is how Tywin isn't really contradicting himself when he says things like "you are no son of mine" and yet it would be kinslaying to do harm to Tyrion, or when he insists Tyrion is not entitled to Casterly Rock (technically he is, but technically he isn't!), and not speaking to Genna for (half?) a year for saying Tyrion is his "son" and not Jaime. Tyrion's birth (he being a dwarf) made him suspect something possibly, and yet he cannot prove it (especially with Joanna dying in childbirth). Whether he admits to himself that Cersei and Jaime mightn't be his either is a curiosity to ponder, as pertains the nuance of his relationships with all his children. And, of course, there was Joanna's threat to tell some unpleasant truth to Lord Tywin when a maid caught her twins doing incestuous things together--what truths? Was it possible even she did not know the twins weren't Tywin's until they started to display a "distinctly" Targ behavior? Another curiosity to ponder. 03. Bran consumed a human sacrifice to be wedded to the trees. Cannibalism is a huge part of how this is carried out now--because the marriage with the trees has been corrupted; this is why it's so important when the three-eyed crow (Jon Snow, a white crow with red eyes) "wakes the stone dragon" (for his prophetic triplet), which is the earth itself (which is the dragon with three heads). That's why he's a corn king, presiding over the feast of the dead. (Bonus: the crypts of Winterfell--and Jon Snow--are what's downstairs in the House of the Undying Ones when Dany faces the "first door on the right is the last door on the left" trick, a place in which she can only go up! Like the moon goddess mother of dragons that she is! He goes down into the earth and the realm of the dead, to become the "ghost" in the wood, like the corn king stone dragon prince that he is!). Bran's story is not only a horror story but also major foreshadowing of Jon Snow's story. That's why he constantly roleplays as a greenseer (the princes/princess that were promised are all greenseer gods--the true kind) and the "prince of Winterfell" (Jon Snow is a much more legitimate son of Rhaegar than one might expect, even with Aerys II's support--because he'd turned on the Dornish for their treasons by the time Rhaegar and Lyanna wanted to marry; Rhaegar publicly set his Dornish wife aside and proclaimed his intent to wed at Harrenhal with that gesture, Aerys was cool with it because he fancied Lyanna would bring a much larger army than the lying treasonous Dornish--he'd found out their 50k Dornish spears were really only 10k--and Rickard "Southron Ambitions" Stark went along with it, maybe ruefully, maybe gladly--his grandson would be king, he might have thought, since he'd have Aerys's support ("She smells Dornish" = she stinks of perfume to hide the corruption--of poisons, lies, and treasons--beneath!) and could sway or earn or command Rhaegar's--until Brandon "Wild Wolf" went off half-cocked and committed treason calling for Rhaegar to "come out and die." Aerys, though paranoid, tends to be much more coherent in his thought processes than his ignominious title "Mad King" would suggest; he overreacted to the Stark treason because he thought he'd found a true ally following the disaster of the Dornish treason by which they stole his son, heir, and throne for generations to come). 04. Haven't given Pink Letter much thought or attention. Read lots of theories. Yet to make my own conclusions. 05. Red door=DROGON! Lemon tree=sourness required to become "bride of fire" and "wed" her dragon. It's a metaphor of skinchanging and "going home to god." That is the big house with the red door = Dany dying (burning Dragonstone + Dothraki/Freedmen by fire and having "the greatest funeral pyre of them all" and "becoming a dragon" to "burn her enemies (the Others) to ash" and turn the 'Trident' into "a torrent.") Varamyr tells us that skinchanging is "a marriage." And Dany became a "bride of fire" before: a. when she dreamed of Drogon burning her and leaving her "strong and new and fierce," b. when she burned Drogo and became the mother of dragons, c. when she gave birth and died and bled bloody footprints on the stone as she raced to the red door--that is, when she DIED THE FIRST TIME.) Aerion Brightflame and Aerys II's wildfire plot foreshadow Dany's ultimate fate. Dany dies, becomes Drogon, where she reunites with Drogo+Rhaego. She isn't the only one. Aegon/Young Griff+Rhaegal, Jon Snow+Viserion--but Jon Snow dies three different times, which one of Bran's chapters tells us is something special. (Bonus: the Trident becoming a torrent is both foreshadowing and a play on words. First, Dany is only at Dragonstone because of her army breaking and running from the Trident, at which time Jorah/her Hand carry her "home" to Dragonstone to await the arrival of the victors. Dany faces Stannis's forces on the Trident. But Aegon's forces are there too. And Jon Snow helps Stannis fight. He and Aegon kill each other in dragonback duel, like Daemon Targaryen and Aemond One-Eye, like Ser Arryk and Ser Erryk and some other kinslayer brothers I've forgotten, which is what causes Dany's forces to break and run--Dothraki horses might spook, or maybe just they mutiny, as Patchface's prophecy predicts: I will lead it (the army)! We will march into the sea (I'll die) and out again (and be "reborn" or arrive upon a "second life" in a second skin) and mermaids will blow seashells to announce our coming, oh, oh, oh (and a herald will sound, like the three blows of the NW horn to announce the Others; like the three "cracks" of "thunder" when the three moon rocks slammed into the earth amidst the meteor shower of a "thousand dragons", like the three cracks of the dragons hatching, with the last one sounding like "the breaking of the world"). The Trident is also significant to Dany as the battle Viserys/she wish desperately to re-fight and win, as it was Rhaegar's battle, and they choose to mold themselves upon Rhaegar. The Trident is where we will see Stannis's vision of the king with the flaming crown--Dany will kill Stannis on the Trident, I think, but then when Jon Snow arrives--in hammer and anvil maneuver?--and fights Aegon, her victory goes south and sour and ish hits the fan, forcing her to flee back south.) 06. Lanna is Tyrion's daughter by Tysha, probably. She's the answer to the question plaguing him "Wherever whores go"/"Where do whores go?" To a brothel. To bed. To the bloody bed, even (as consequence of going to bed). That Tysha's brothel is in Braavos, beneath the Titan of Braavos is reference to a. Littlefinger, a known whoremonger, whose grandsire was Braavosi, b. Tyrion, the "giant of Lannister" who is "come among us here at the end of the world" and c. the disputed lands, the three quarrelsome daughters (of Valyria, mother of dragons; Lys/lies, Myr/(quag)mire, Tyrosh/tear-ish)/three quarrelsome brothers = the three-headed dragon, the earth goddess and her brothers the sun=Titan/giant, eldest, brute/torturer, tyrant, warrior/sellsword, bastard, average intelligence, producer of weapons and dyes; large moon=average in size, middle child, cleverest child but often disguises himself as a fool, eunuch, sneak/spy, magician/magic-user, uses trickery and deception to lead people into "quagmires", producer of poisons; small moon=smallest, youngest, stupidest/fool but most beautiful, fertile and father of dragons, whore, liar, poisoner, producer of perfumes. 07. No conclusions drawn. Theon is a Grey King figure, so I do believe it is possible he returns to the Iron Islands at some point. However, the Grey King, having slain his brother (the First King, the King of Spring, the Corn King, Garth the Green) is killed by his brother, who avenges him, the Garth the Red, the King of Summer (who dons his brother's armor, turning it fiery, like Renly's Ghost at the Battle of Blackwater Bay--and thus is mistaken for his brother, Garth the Green), and it is this vengeance which turns him from Garth the Blue(/White) to Garth the Grey (like Theon is flayed and "grayed" by Ramsay's "vengeance" for his taking of Winterfell, slaying the Stark boys, his "brothers," and slaying the farmer's boys, the younger of which was his own son, thus becoming Theon Turncloak--turning his cloak from Blue of Winter/from team Winterfell and Stark, to gray of death and decay, as if the "dark" color leeched out of him--and Theon Kinslayer). So, for Theon to be "killed" by a fiery stag king (e.g. who dons his earthy stag king brother's armor to assume his role as king/heir--Robert/Renly--and turns it fiery and red!), Stannis, is actually quite a fitting end for him, and does not bode well for his arc continuing. (Bonus: the three Garths have a female iteration in the song "Seasons of My Love." Known verses are: I loved a maid as fair as summer with sunshine in her hair. I loved a maid as red as autumn with sunset in her hair. I loved a maid as white winter with moonglow in her hair. My best guess for the unknown first verse: I loved a maid as green as spring with flowers in her hair. )
  4. TheSeason

    [Spoilers] E801 Discussion

    The astrolabe is a review of the history, as always. In the first seven seasons, it was a review of the backstory (for those who mightn't have read the books) leading up to the show. In the final season, it's a recap of the War for the Iron Throne--now that they're fighting the War for the Dawn (at least alongside it). History in the making, kiddies!
  5. TheSeason

    [Spoilers] E801 Discussion

    That's not a White Walker. That's the Flayed Man holding up a severed direwolf head in one hand and a dagger in the other.
  6. TheSeason

    [Spoilers] E801 Discussion

    That's a fricking hanging direwolf pierced with arrows/crossbow bolts! And a lion with a fish in its mouth! NOTE: Hanging from The Twin Towers. The RED WEDDING. (And foreshadowing?)* *Book verse: definitely foreshadowing! The three-eyed crow's feast of the dead. Show verse: ???
  7. TheSeason

    [Spoilers] E801 Discussion

    Well... IDK off the top of my head, but... I talk a bit about the Winter Sun (The Winter Sun is Azor Ahai) in my essay series (warning: most people find it too long, apologies).
  8. TheSeason

    [Spoilers] E801 Discussion

    Oh. Meant to add that it's also a depiction of the tree upon which the Children of the Forest made the first White Walker (show verse*). Symbol was there too. (Also they made the same symbol at the Fist of the First Men. Remember Jon, Mance, Tormund, Orrell, and Ygritte's scene in Season 03?) *Book verse, we must ask ourselves why they're called both "Children of the Forest" (children have parents; the Mother is in the Wood) and "those who sing the song of earth and stone" (the Mother in the Wood is also the earth and stone--the earth deity--whose song they "sing" being, of course, also "the song of ice and fire"). $0.02. Edit: Just watched the scene again and, although it isn't a perfect parallel of Azor Ahai slaying Nissa Nissa and the cycle of Trios the Three-Headed Dragon/Three-Eyed Crow/Sphinx triune deity (the sun slaying the moon, but also the sun slaying the earth, since she's both), you even see Azor Ahai/Last Hero figure Beric Dondarrion slay the Umber child wight with his flaming sword--the red comet). So, reiterating again the Winter Sun/Azor Ahai doing his icky villainous thing. However, as J. Stargaryen mentions, the Winter Sun is also a symbol of death (the seasons of the sun corresponding to the other aspects of the deity -- Spring/birth, Summer/growth, Autumn/decay/aging, Winter/death) and the sun/son play on words, you're brought back to Azor Ahai's/the Father's slaying of his own son (who is the sun's son) and solar figure himself, the Green Giant (the earth--earth being mother followed by son; queen followed by prince; that is: king's blood to wake the stone dragon, the (mother) first and then the son, so both die kings(regents), etc.) and thereby we do indeed see that double symbol of winter sun accounts for both the murderer and his victim (the father first and then the son, so both die kings--which is sort of fudged in that the father kills his son but then the mother--the ghost weeping tears of blood crying out from the grave for a son to avenge her--resurrects him to kill the father, the reverse of the situation with the stone dragon being "born with the dead" like the other Mother/Son symbol, the direwolf pups, are.). And that brings us to Last Hearth and their sigil (giant breaking free of his chains: the green giant, the stone dragon, the prince that was promised, breaking free of his mother's chains--as he's "a puppet dancing on a string," the wight carrying out her bidding, turning against her to slay her--Winter--as well, becoming THE LAST HERO). A hearth is a place where we burn wood to keep warm, of course, so the sun's son takes upon his fiery persona of the deity (becoming, in effect, a burning tree himself as well as a burning sword) to burn the trees (white and black both, symbols of the mother), slay his own mother, and bring back the sun--spring--dawn. As Tywin likes to say of one of our six dragon children, Tyrion: you, who killed your mother to come into the world! There's so much reiteration of symbols, I could go on forever, but that would be cruel, so I won't. Lol.
  9. TheSeason

    [Spoilers] E801 Discussion

    Looked to me like The Winter Sun (a huge part of ASoIaF mythos); note the prior(?) scene of the arrival of Alys Karstark and the emphasis upon her ancestral device (the white winter sun, "better than an onion" is in fact a similar depiction to Davos's device of the black ship--the void of space--carrying the white onion on its banner. It's The Red Comet come again.) My guess.
  10. TheSeason

    There must Always be a Stark at Winterfell

    Yes, the rust is extremely important... I just checked the search engine, and there are actually very few instances of this saying, and they are all clearly prophetic in some capacity: I'm thinking it's tied to the (original) Night's Watch oaths, as it was Brandon the Builder (legend claimed) who built the Wall of Ice, with oaths witnessed by the weirwood trees to mark their sacred content. So, we get: There must always be a Stark in Winterfell, watching, waiting, learning to rule and to lead... for when the gods will that the time has come (Heart of Winter). The saying reminds the Starks that Winter is coming, and they must prepare themselves even as they run mortal errands in other times. This next one is not a true instance of the saying, but curiously the words are hidden in there: The Starks do have good reason for producing bastards and shipping them off to the Wall (First Night Custom and Night's Watch custom married together). There must always be a Stark in Winterfell... and there must always be a "Snow" on the Wall. These duties were meant to go hand-in-hand. The Stark in Winterfell accepts evidence of suspicious activity from the Snow Upon the Wall, and then s/he fulfills the Stark duty to sound the war cry: Winter is Coming!!! for the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. It must be a "Stark" envoy, so that the arrival of the Others is not greeted with suspicion. They're essentially sounding the horn (the HOWL) of Winter. Three Blasts for The Great Other (Winter's Ice Dragon). The Stark in Winterfell is playing a role: the promised prince, to whom all must hearken and kneel "when the time comes," and Winter with it. Notice that Bran "plays the prince in his father's solar" (the divine celestial war of the triune deity, the Sun, Azor Ahai, slaying mother and son; the mother seeking vengeance, raising her son from the dead to seek it, dancing him like a puppet on a string; the four "Bad Hands" of the Valonqar: red (Azor Ahai, Father Smith Warrior, SUMMER), blue (Mother, Maiden, Crone, WINTER), green ( the promised prince and corn king, living, SPRING) black and "grey" (the promised prince and corn king, dead, at the feast of the dead, the pigeon in the pie, AUTUMN). Bran (like the promised prince) doesn't want to be a prince, but a knight (but the knight must lead when he takes up his father's sword on his mother's command), and he's an innocent dragged into the wars of older people, ignorant of the true meaning or significance of it all, forced to play a part he despises (the promised prince turns against his mother in order to end the divine perversion of a deity at war with itself). In playing the role of the promised prince, the Stark in Winterfell rallies the troops in "that dread hour" when Azor Ahai Come Again (Jon Snow, distinct from Dany's Azor Ahai Reborn!) draws his sword from the fire (of his mother's breast) and wields it to send the darkness fleeing (The Mother/Crone wants vengeance, sending the darkness and the cold, crying The Others take you! her curse, and "All men must die. All men must serve." which means all men must die to serve her purpose, which is why die comes first... but the promised prince eventually grows fed up with this treatment and seeks to liberate himself even from her, breaking the "thread" between them--eyes like blue stars; skinchanging--and reclaiming his sight--like Coldhands!). Which all brings me to: This is not a true telling of the phrase, either, but the words are hidden within too, and it bespeaks more of the Starks current circumstances; they can no longer "proudly command" men come and kneel and obey (the promised prince seated on high) but instead must "beg graciously" for that aid. Playing hopfrog (the frog prince): Aegon "Young Griff" Spin-the-Sword (Warrior Draws from the Fire): Jon Snow Come-Into-My-Castle (The House With the Red Door=Drogon!): Daenerys Lord of the Eyrie (Nest): Jon Snow, the Three-Eyed Crow (white with red eyes) and the pigeon in the pie at the feast of the dead "A grateful and obedient wife" is THE THREE MOUNTS (spoke of in House of the Undying) for Aegon (Rhaegal), Dany (Drogon), and Jon Snow (Viserys, Ghost), that the promised princes/ess all ride "under the sea" (Patchface) when they've died, SKINCHANGING, that they might be REBORN to lead their armies into battle: Begging might not get much done, though (it didn't for the Night's Watch) and at times other weapons will serve better, including: a sword and armor... a harp... a howl or horn (as opposed to "silence" which is Jon Snow's "begging graciously" to make all the war stop from beyond the grave: see below): This is Jon Snow's attempt to reason with these people at the FEAST OF THE DEAD, and failing. Mute appeal mightn't get him anywhere, but his sword may do better. This is not the Red Wedding. The Red Wedding foreshadows this event! Theon dreams of it as well, but he mistakes the king who enters late, bleeding from half a hundred savage wounds (it should be Jon Snow, the three-eyed crow, not Robb Stark). The proof in the pudding is the particular use of three key phrases: bloody cups and wooden spoons, and roast fowl, and heels of bread. These usages are actually very rare in ASoIaF. Let's take "roast fowl" (the three-eyed crow corn king) for instance: All of this brings me to the Azor Ahai confusion. Highlighted RED are mistakes being made in interpretation of the prophecies. Emphasized BLACK are clues to the prophecies. [Note, this part is super long, but explains the prophecies of ice and fire and the role of the promised princes in much more detail.] And (finally!) back to "rust" and the "Stark in Winterfell:" Why is it so important that the iron swords rust away? These people hope and pray that the gods will be "good" but the gods have lost sight of their original meaning and purpose, and have fallen. As such, the gods will be "bad" and "cruel" instead of good (The Father is NOT Just; The Smith is NOT Industrious; The Warrior is NOT Noble and Brave; the Maiden is NOT Chaste; the Mother is NOT Merciful; the Crone is NOT Wise). As a result, Winter will eventually come, no matter how long the preceding summer. The Iron Swords keep the spirits from wandering when they aren't yet needed, but by rusting away, they also allow those spirits that have been resting too long to awaken from sleep again to heed the call to arms. This brings us to Jon Snow's crypt dream, the House of the Undying Ones, the removal of rusted swords, and the Night's Watch Oath (which are all connected). Those who sleep must be awakened during the Long Night, from men to gods themselves and even dead men and ghosts.... The Stark in Winterfell has one specific duty: to say his words. Winter is coming! Catelyn I, Game "A little," she admitted. "He is only three." Ned frowned. "He must learn to face his fears. He will not be three forever. And winter is coming." "Yes," Catelyn agreed. The words gave her a chill, as they always did. The Stark words. Every noble house had its words. Family mottoes, touchstones, prayers of sorts, they boasted of honor and glory, promised loyalty and truth, swore faith and courage. All but the Starks. Winter is coming, said the Stark words. Not for the first time, she reflected on what a strange people these northerners were. "The man died well, I'll give him that," Ned said. He had a swatch of oiled leather in one hand. He ran it lightly up the greatsword as he spoke, polishing the metal to a dark glow. "I was glad for Bran's sake. You would have been proud of Bran." Eddard I, Game "Yes, yes, of course, tell Catelyn, sleep on it if you must." The king reached down, clasped Ned by the hand, and pulled him roughly to his feet. "Just don't keep me waiting too long. I am not the most patient of men." For a moment Eddard Stark was filled with a terrible sense of foreboding. This was his place, here in the north. He looked at the stone figures all around them, breathed deep in the chill silence of the crypt. He could feel the eyes of the dead. They were all listening, he knew. And winter was coming. Catelyn II, Game "Gods will, not for many years," Maester Luwin murmured. "Maester Luwin, I trust you as I would my own blood. Give my wife your voice in all things great and small. Teach my son the things he needs to know. Winter is coming." Maester Luwin nodded gravely. Then silence fell, until Catelyn found her courage and asked the question whose answer she most dreaded. "What of the other children?" Bran III, Game "Why?" Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling. Because winter is coming. Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back. It had three eyes, and the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge. Bran looked down. There was nothing below him now but snow and cold and death, a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires of ice waited to embrace him. They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled upon their points. He was desperately afraid. The Three-Eyed Crow (The Black Bastard of the Wall) learns a terrible knowledge north of the wall--the true meaning of his words.... ...which he then runs and tells his brother, the Stark in Winterfell, just like he was meant to do. The Stark must muster, having those words--and it is ironically important that the Stark have the right "look" (which, queerly, Bran doesn't, but Jon and Arya do) so he will be believed (i.e., believed to be a Stark with the right to say the words and thereby rally the host). Everybody must rally in the Long Night to the Stark in Winterfell who says the words, because by night all cloaks are black and all sleepers awaken and all horns blow and all men watch from their walls for the Other to fight with shield and fire and sword.
  11. Why? You're saying that because this united war effort took place near Dorne that Dorne needs must field the bulk of their forces when other kingdoms don't, who are all facing the same existential threat (as you said, if they make it to Dorne, they're coming for the other kingdoms next; just like the wildlings during the Battle for the Wall would steamroll from north to south before meeting an army that could stop them; if Westeros weren't in-fighting, they'd have taken that threat of 100k wildlings seriously, as they did in the Ninepenny Kings' war or the Ironborn war and all ridden north to crush them), and that's not necessarily true. And even if they did, your argument runs into two problems: 1. Say the Dornish are fielding 15k alone (which, I think is by far too much) and Aerys II sees their banners. When the Dornish are deliberately pushing the 50k lie, please tell me why he should presume they've fielded most of their army? 2. The Dornish are still promoting this lie even to royalty as of Dance. How are we to understand that they stopped for Aerys II and Jaehaerys II (randomly) but have started up again after their lie was publicly busted (remember, Barristan Selmy is with Dany when this lie was pushed upon her and he did not object that 50k wasn't possible either)? The Dornish continuously promote this lie, and, as king, Aerys II had a good reason to expect truthful answers (high treason; heads, spikes, walls!). Suggesting that he was at fault for someone else's high treasonous lie because he did not make observation xyz in his youth is absurd. When a monarch asks how many are you able to field, or any other question for that matter, you answer truthfully. Furthermore, I do think it also absurd to think Aerys II never inquired with his allies in wartime (or anticipating of wartime) of military matters; that's part of raising allies and raising armies (e.g. Hoster Tully, Ned Stark and Jon Arryn). Not to mention, the number a kingdom can field fluctuates over years; in hard times (say, a plague is on or the economy is recessed), they field fewer soldiers; in good times (prosperity and a population boom), they field more soldiers. There's nothing wrong with asking this question; what's wrong is perjuring oneself to a king. And if Aerys had failed to ask such an important question, relying upon an old misquoted book or memories from his youth of what the Dornish did before instead of asking the Dornish princess herself, wouldn't we think him inept or give this as further evidence of his "madness" or "erratic behavior" for which he needed Tywin Lannister to tell him what to do? As for the "primary reason" for betrothing Elia and Rhaegar--I no longer think it is, but is at most a minor consideration or an excuse (House Martell is better than House Lannister for "this" reason), or more likely a misunderstanding. The primary reason for this betrothal on both ends (Aerys II, Princess of Dorne) was vengeance against Tywin Lannister (Elia is only a part of this deal, and the other parts of this deal reveal its truer nature). They even rub his nose in it at the Tourney of Lannisport, where Tywin plotted to have Cersei betrothed to Rhaegar and received only insults as answers. Even Oberyn speaks of Elia's betrothal to Rhaegar in terms of his mother's (and Aerys's) "tilt" against Tywin Lannister (with Rhaegar as the prize, or "the king of love and beauty"). Then we have Rhaegar, who married for "duty," (although this is in no way unusual for a prince or high lord), for which the "duty" has multiple elements and not all of them worthy. I'm happy to put forth my evidence for my theory, and I do think there is a preponderance of it, but I haven't completed editing it yet. I said above that I don't even know how this topic came to be (I was working in the text box when it submitted itself when I pressed the enter key to move to another paragraph). That said, although there is a preponderance of evidence to suggest what happened, if you're looking for a single direct quote that says they corresponded on this matter, you're not going to get it. It's compelling evidence built upon compelling evidence built upon compelling evidence that brings the theory together. Prince Lewyn and Prince Quentyn Nymeros Martell (and the deliberate parallels made between them) are a great starting place, though; although Lewyn is a "prince," he's not the same kind of prince that Quentyn is (nor serving a similar role), so that parallel is interpreted in this essay as Martin saying "pay attention here." It's a bit like an R+L=J theory, solving a mystery, with no single direct quote saying "xyz," but with sufficient evidence at least to make such a conclusion; and, in fact, a Dany-Quentyn parallel excerpt (I'd be happy to include in a PM) is the closest you'll get to that single direct quote revealing the reason for Aerys's changing opinions on Dorne and Rhaegar. I'm happy to tell you more about it in a PM, if you're trying to determine whether or not you're interested. But, I'm afraid, there are so many quotes in this essay that it might take me a little time to pull it all together properly edited and formatted for the forum. I understand it's impossible to judge something I haven't put forth yet, so I'm definitely not trying to debate its merits at this point; I just ask that you keep an open mind. I'm working hard to get it out since my oopsie showed my hand. Yikes!
  12. Ah, yeah, that's what I meant when I mentioned her hypocrisy. Her children are "children" too, and deserving of safety and security and her protection, and she's putting them in grave danger with her decisions and desire for vengeance. Those overripe blood oranges splat-splat-splatting were hers to start with. If she can't manage to remember her best advice and most important lesson where her own children are concerned, why should we have any faith that she remembered it where other people's children are concerned. And, of course, she didn't, because she got them all involved in a gruesome war for sake of personal vengeance for a mere insult (being told "no" for Cersei and Jaime, that Tywin had other plans for them and Joanna had failed to consult him about those plans she made, making them more a "scheme" in his mind, doubtless, and being offered Tyrion in place)! There are some just causes to want to go to war as last resort, but an insult that wounded her pride is not one of them. Prince Doran actually had much more causus belli than his mother ever did to seek vengeance upon Tywin Lannister and lead his family into a Targaryen's war; of course, Dorne should have sent troops to defend Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon once they were already there and endangered, but there really was no need for them to be there in the first place if it is almost all about getting back at a rival rather than arranging a good betrothal for her daughter. It's the difference between having a king exercising his entitlement to demand a bannerman's troops and that bannerman volunteering those troops well in advance, no matter the cost, for petty reasons that make this hypocrisy so poignant. She put herself (and Prince Doran), her child (and future grandchildren), and her people between a rock and a hard place for a momentary smug smile and the satisfaction to "win that tilt." Also, as to that conversation that may or may not have happened and the number of troops quoted, two things: the number of troops wasn't the only issue in this scheme, but the one for which Aerys II rightly decries them traitors, and even if it were--when a betrothal is being arranged for her daughter that sends her child into a warzone (or warzone erupting, because the crown was definitely anticipating high treason and all-out war) and the question is, "If I marry my child to yours, how many troops will you be able to field for the defense of her life and our dynasty?" the mother needs to take a deep breath and a good long look at just what she's doing and what she's plotting to get her children and her country involved in! That she doesn't is alarming; that she continues to lie about it is mind-boggling! Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon were not the only Dornish innocents that Princess of Dorne's vengeful "tilt" got killed. And since the question would have been asked up-front and in all seriousness by the king in question in this hypothetical conversation or correspondence, the Princess of Dorne has little reason to downplay the likelihood that she's involving everyone in a devastating war and sabotaging her own (and her chosen king's!) war engine in the process to do it! She's gambling on "best case" results to tell that lie in a zero sum game ("win or die"). It's bewildering. Take, for example, Robb Stark, who at least had the foresight to name a successor to muddle the succession for Winterfell and possibly rejuvenate his cause after his death (and, indeed, the Lannisters and Freys even help on that end, by giving him a martyr's death in midst of their divine abomination!), thereby betting on "worst case" results in his zero sum game ("win or die"); yet an older and more cunning and more politically experienced actor in the Princess of Dorne is really making a strange choice to lie to her king about their joint war machine in any scenario that might overthrow their joint dynasty. If the question of troop numbers boils down to: if I marry my child to yours, will we all win or will we all die? I find it quite senselessly queer that the Princess of Dorne chooses to lie "We'll win for sure!" on those odds (because she's implying with those numbers that the loyalists in all probability will have overwhelming force against the rebels).
  13. I used to think it bizarre too, until I realized the game that was played, and then it started making a lot more sense as to the choice of Dorne for Rhaegar's bride and ally. Aerys II definitely thought he was strengthening his house and creating a counter-power bloc of his own. The tell is the complete 180 he does on Rhaegar, and the reason for it. He thought the Dornish were successful in their scheming goal... until Rhaegar proved him otherwise. Wasn't this a united effort, though, and not a civil war? Everyone mustering together to throw off the yoke of a would-be invading force? Dorne would not be expected to make as great a contribution when the whole of Westeros was fighting together, nor any other kingdom, for that matter. In a civil war and fractured kingdom, however, allies need to band together a goodly part of their strength to rally against kingdoms with similar strength on the opposite end of the field. There's no unifying enemy to bring everyone together for the war effort from all corners of the continent, and that's a huge difference; civil war is a war for survival in more ways than one. The nature of the existential threat is quite different here. Lying to your king is high treason, not answering him truthfully when he asks how many soldiers he can expect you to muster and rally to his cause. Princess of Dorne did not fear punishment for treason. If she did, she would not have lied to her king. Fearing of punishment for treason--don't commit high treason! Second of all, Aerys II would not be the one passing this lie, he's the victim of it. He did not say, I'll give you this betrothal if you muster an impossible number of soldiers for me--and even if he did, it was the Princess of Dorne's duty to tell him that she would not be able to make that muster. Telling a king wholly truthful, "I am incapable," is not treason; telling a king, wholly untruthful, "I am capable," is high treason. Telling a king a book has quoted a number that is not factual is not treason; telling him that you are quite capable in fact to muster that impossible (not even improbable, but downright impossible!) number he may or may not have read about in a book is high treason. Princess of Dorne is entitled to keep this boastful and dangerous secret from everybody *but* Aerys II, her king, and from Rhaegar after him (or any agent currently speaking on his behalf)! Thirdly (lastly!), the Princess of Dorne is a cunning and capable political actor, who knew exactly what she was doing in this negotiation and in making this deal, and as a cunning and capable political actor, she deliberately committed high treason (just as Doran is doing now, via his son Quentyn) because she judged two things: the benefits outweighed the risks of doing so, and that once the deal was made, her king would be largely incapable to punish her for her high treasons, especially with her blood destined to inherit his throne, especially with a war on. As a bonus, in committing high treason, she gets her vengeance, too. She thinks it's a win-win-win situation, this commission of high treason. She was wrong. It was zero sum, and she bet the zeros. She's in fact a hypocrite, as she forgets her most important lesson in seeking of vengeance; just like Doran "Where is my son?" Martell.
  14. I'm aware of this. But does this absolve the Princess of Dorne of perpetuating this lie to her king? The evidence suggests that there was a clear conversation about what Aerys II could expect from Dorne in exchange for the actions he takes as part of their deal. It's gnarly. She lied. Lying to a king is treason. Splitting hairs to absolve the Princess of Dorne (oh, someone else started that lie, so it's acceptable for her to commit this treason) is unfair and disingenuous to Aerys II and to the Princess of Dorne, who knew exactly what she was doing when she lied and who would be outraged if a bannerman served her that same treatment. The same conversation that takes place between Dany and Quentyn parallels the conversation that took place between Aerys II and the Princess of Dorne. Quentyn lies knowingly to his queen (in her city). Lying to a queen is treason. Dany escapes the trap her father fell into. For both of them, Aerys and Dany, however, there are grave consequences--damned if you do (treason done against you: lies that cripple you and sabotage your war machine in wartime), damned if you don't (treason done against you: lies and thefts that cripple you and sabotage your war machine in wartime). I'm happy to post the evidence when it's completed. This was an accidental post (don't ask me how, I don't know; I was typing, and then randomly I wasn't. The forums are always wonky for me, much to my chagrin). But you cannot judge evidence that I've yet to present, so, if you're interested in what this analysis is all about, please try to keep an open mind.
  15. I do not know whether Doran intentionally misrepresented his strength to Aerys II, or whether he perpetuated his mother's lie (which, I believe, was passed down to her too), or whether he felt trapped by his mother's lie (although, given his actions in Feast/Dance, I do not believe this to be the case, since he willfully uses it again, thinking himself so clever to do so), but I do posit that the Princess of Dorne deliberately misrepresented the strength of Dorne (even on the cusp of all-out warfare erupting) in order to win her betrothal and her "tilt" with Tywin Lannister, amongst other things, for which Aerys II had legitimate grievances against her and her realm. With the actions that led him to take (for political course correction and for pure spite), Aerys II was also being politically coherent and politically astute when he took Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon hostage against Dorne to force those ten thousand spears up the kingsroad. Writing and editing this essay, I cannot help but think, though, just how pitiful it is and just how wrong of Martin, not to give this wretched lady a name! Any name! A Dornishwoman by any other name would smell as sweet! She's a major player in the game, the only reigning lady of a major kingdom, a cunning snake in the grass, and yet, we're stuck calling the poor woman Princess of Dorne or (Man's) mother, as if she were utterly insignificant!