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Mourning Star

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  1. Just because it is an excuse to use one of my favorite quotes from the series... You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you … and I need both of you, gods help me.
  2. Fair enough. I would point out that if it's true Weirwoods are particular about the blood sacrificed, that might not stop people from sacrificing "non-special" blood, especially after many generations separated from the lore of the Singers. Plenty of people got sacrificed in real life without there being any magical trees. As for the Arryn's and the Child... I would point to this, and suggest that the House Arryn (Andal) that rules the Vale up to our stories events, and built the Weirless Eyrie, isn't the same bloodline as the one who married a Singer: There is abundant historical evidence for the existence of Ser Artys Arryn, the Falcon Knight, the first Arryn king to rule over Mountain and Vale. His victory over King Robar II at the Battle of the Seven Stars is well attested to, even though the details of that victory might have been somewhat embroidered in the centuries that followed. King Artys was undoubtedly a real man, albeit an extraordinary one. In the Vale, however, the deeds of this real historical personage have become utterly confused with those of his legendary namesake, another Artys Arryn, who lived many thousands of years earlier during the Age of Heroes, and is remembered in song and story as the Winged Knight. The first Ser Artys Arryn supposedly rode upon a huge falcon (possibly a distorted memory of dragonriders seen from afar, Archmaester Perestan suggests). Armies of eagles fought at his command. To win the Vale, he flew to the top of the Giant's Lance and slew the Griffin King. He counted giants and merlings amongst his friends, and wed a woman of the children of the forest, though she died giving birth to his son. And this: The singers say that the Andal hero Ser Artys Arryn rode upon a falcon to slay the Griffon King upon the Giant's Lance, thereby founding the kingly line of House Arryn. This is foolishness, however, a corruption of the true history of the Arryns with legends out of the Age of Heroes. Instead, the Arryn kings supplanted the High Kings of House Royce.
  3. The crystal being part of a glamor is an interesting point and idea to consider. I'm not saying the case is closed on this one, just expressing my opinion on what I can gather from the text.
  4. Side note on Casterly Rock, it may have to do with the Lannisters, namely the eponymous Lann the Clever, taking the castle, and presumably the Weirwood (that may have predated the castle?) from the Casterlys. The Arryns of the Vale are an Andal House. I would suggest this might fit the pattern of who's blood is being "sacrificed" mattering in the planting/growth of Weirwoods.
  5. Cute, but the quote above mentioning Tyrion looking at her eyes has nothing to do with her chest. While it's fun to knock Tyrion's degenerate thoughts, the idea that he never noticed her eye color was purple when her identity is a mystery and eye color is directly relevant, while living on a boat with her, isn't reasonable. Might it be an intentional omission by the author, it's not impossible, but I see no reason to believe this is the case.
  6. Is it such a stretch to think the "Children of the Forest" are part of the seed process for the Weirwoods? And so they did, gathering in their hundreds (some say on the Isle of Faces), and calling on their old gods with song and prayer and grisly sacrifice (a thousand captive men were fed to the weirwood, one version of the tale goes, whilst another claims the children used the blood of their own young). It may even be that men intermarried with the children and it is this "blood" that is needed, rather than just any human sacrifice? I would even suggest that this interbreeding is the origins of people having magic, and perhaps even that we better know this blood as "king's blood". But, obviously I'm speculating wildly.
  7. Dunk the Lunk, thick as a castle wall. There seems a theme of being able to hide ones eye color by dying ones hair, it may stretch credulity but it's part of the story. Other devices are used as well to potentially obscure eye color from the reader, cataracts of old age, small "dark" eyes, etc. I don't think we can extend that to every single character's eye color being indistinguishable. I don't think it's commented on and we assume they are not purple, but Tyrion does look at Lemore's eyes, first thing. An older couple with a Rhoynish cast to their features stood close beside the tiller, whilst a handsome septa in a soft white robe stepped through the cabin door and pushed a lock of dark brown hair from her eyes. Could it just be an intentional omission by the author? It could be, but on a boat of mystery persons where having remarkable purple eyes is absolutely noteworthy it's a big stretch in my mind when we aren't even given an implausible excuse for it.
  8. The fact that we do not see them growing all over the place, rather I would suggest they only grow where blood is spilled, probably with other conditions, leads me to a different conclusion. I like the comparison to the trees of the Undying, although I believe that those are also Weirwoods and the shade of the evening and the paste given to Bran are very similar substances.
  9. I don't believe this is at all reasonable is the difference in opinion I suppose. It was a wildly surprising and heanous crime killing Elia and her children, not to be expected, and there are no examples I know of of baby doubles lol.
  10. I think it’s a huge assumption to assume this is a vision of Aeron: A corpse stood at the prow of a ship, eyes bright in his dead face, grey lips smiling sadly. Especially given that: "Only by the lights of those who smile at nothing." He thought of his father and his uncle Aeron. And… "The day is won," Dagmer called down. "And yet you do not smile, boy. The living should smile, for the dead cannot." I’ve always disliked the idea that “smiling sadly” represented a Greyjoy, since sad and joy are opposites. When you look at who actually smiles a “sad smile” in the text the possibilities are at least interesting… Arthur Dayne, Jon Snow… and wearing a dead face always screamed Faceless Men to me. But, at this point the best we can do is speculate. "… they lose their ships, oftimes their very lives. The seas are dangerous, and never more so than in autumn. No doubt many a captain sinking in a storm has taken some small solace in his binder back in Braavos, knowing that his widow and children will not want." A sad smile touched his lips. "It is one thing to write such a binder, though, and another to make good on it."
  11. Not a terrible question. First, we see no Weirwood flowers, no pods, no mention of nuts or berries or anything of the sort. So I think one would have to discover how they reproduce, and if it is even like a mundane flora. The one mention of “Weirwood seeds” comes from the explanation of what the paste fed to Bran to “wed him to the tree” by the singers. Can we trust the Singers here? Are these literal seeds? Is there some truth to Jojenpaste? Is human sacrifice (like the oldest vision Bran sees of the Winterfell Weirwood) required for their growth? In fact when Bloodraven describes the Weirwoods to Bran, I find it extremely odd that he suddenly talks about oaks/acorns in the middle, and not about whatever Weirwoods come from. "A man must know how to look before he can hope to see," said Lord Brynden. "Those were shadows of days past that you saw, Bran. You were looking through the eyes of the heart tree in your godswood. Time is different for a tree than for a man. Sun and soil and water, these are the things a weirwood understands, not days and years and centuries. For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction. The lives of trees are different. They root and grow and die in one place, and that river does not move them. The oak is the acorn, the acorn is the oak. And the weirwood … a thousand human years are a moment to a weirwood, and through such gates you and I may gaze into the past."
  12. While certainly possible, I do dislike this theory for one major reason. The single most defining feature of Ashara is her eyes... The Lady Ashara Dayne, tall and fair, with haunting violet eyes. And the eyes are the one feature we see highlighted about Quaithe: Dany had not noticed Quaithe in the crowd, yet there she stood, eyes wet and shiny behind the implacable red lacquer mask. Since purple eyes are so notable in Planetos, and Dany makes particular note of her eyes... we should get some indication if they were the special haunting violet eyes of Ashara Dayne. We don't even get the ambiguous dark eyes used to obfuscate purple eyes in other characters/situations. Watery eyes are a feature themselves we see with Lysa Arryn (Tully), the Freys, and the Weeper. Which I honestly don't know what to make of...
  13. That's fair, it's not hard evidence just the impression I get that the story is unreasonable. Gilley is also not royalty, and Jon has the power in that situation, unlike with Elia and Varys. My point was simply that asking a mother to give up a newborn child is asking a lot. As is asking a mother to die with a decoy baby while her daughter is nearby. Why would she trust the spy master? Does anyone trust Varys? Even Aerys didn't listen to him in the end. This is the part that seems really unreasonable to me. Varys can't have been prepared, not only did they just recently learn the outcome of the battle on the Trident, and Varys was there to advise against opening the gates to the Lannisters, but then finding a replacement baby on ridiculously short notice during a siege stretches credulity beyond belief for me. I disagree. No Tyrion is certainly not omniscient, but the OP claimed no character gave us reason to doubt... I disagree, I think there is clear reason to doubt. Tyrion's theories are not proof positive, just a reason to look closer. But personally, the fact that it's a case of showing us his doubt more than telling us his doubt makes it even more convincing. I guess so, although I don't think this is one of those mysteries that will never be answered like some readers. I think it is more setup, and a foil for the greater babyswap plotline.
  14. I'm not saying I disagree with the conclusion, but this is not a convincing case, especially given that Septa Lemore changes her disguise into Lady Lemore on page... what is the distinction between calling her Lemore and Connington calling himself Griff? And why can't she be both a lady be a septa? Why do we think Connington knows her real identity? I've always liked the Idea that Lemore is the Mad Maid, Malora Hightower daughter of Leyton Hightower and growing up in Oldtown meant she knows how to be a Septa (the church is based in Oldtown) and things like washing Greyscale in vinegar (the Citadel is in Oldtown). Also, on the topic of being dressed up like royalty (by Illyrio in these cases), I like this parallel to Dany's first chapter. When the lad emerged from the cabin with Lemore by his side, Griff looked him over carefully from head to heel. The prince wore sword and dagger, black boots polished to a high sheen, a black cloak lined with blood-red silk. With his hair washed and cut and freshly dyed a deep, dark blue, his eyes looked blue as well. At his throat he wore three huge square-cut rubies on a chain of black iron, a gift from Magister Illyrio. Red and black. Dragon colors. That was good. "You look a proper prince," he told the boy Young Griff looking like a prince but still with a chain about his neck... They dressed her in the wisps that Magister Illyrio had sent up, and then the gown, a deep plum silk to bring out the violet in her eyes. The girl slid the gilded sandals onto her feet, while the old woman fixed the tiara in her hair, and slid golden bracelets crusted with amethysts around her wrists. Last of all came the collar, a heavy golden torc emblazoned with ancient Valyrian glyphs. "Now you look all a princess," the girl said breathlessly when they were done. Dany glanced at her image in the silvered looking glass that Illyrio had so thoughtfully provided. A princess, she thought, but she remembered what the girl had said, how Khal Drogo was so rich even his slaves wore golden collars. She felt a sudden chill, and gooseflesh pimpled her bare arms. Ah gee, thanks! All the little details I've found, or others have found and shared, become jumbled in my head. But, sometimes I can ask a question, dive down a rabbit hole (making liberal use of asearchoficeandfire), and coherent thoughts tumble out. Other times, not so much... but I still enjoy the pastime.
  15. It's a great topic and I would argue that the text begs us to ask the question, who is Young Griff really? Hell, who is Varys? Who is Illyrio? I think we have strong reason to suspect all three have a drop of dragon blood, but in my mind there is little doubt that Young Griff is not the child of Rhaegar and Elia Martell. Tyrion kind of does though... "A true friend, our Lord Connington. He must be, to remain so fiercely loyal to the grandson of the king who took his lands and titles and sent him into exile. A pity about that. Elsewise Prince Rhaegar's friend might have been on hand when my father sacked King's Landing, to save Prince Rhaegar's precious little son from getting his royal brains dashed out against a wall." The lad flushed. "That was not me. I told you. That was some tanner's son from Pisswater Bend whose mother died birthing him. His father sold him to Lord Varys for a jug of Arbor gold. He had other sons but had never tasted Arbor gold. Varys gave the Pisswater boy to my lady mother and carried me away." "Aye." Tyrion moved his elephants. "And when the pisswater prince was safely dead, the eunuch smuggled you across the narrow sea to his fat friend the cheesemonger, who hid you on a poleboat and found an exile lord willing to call himself your father. It does make for a splendid story, and the singers will make much of your escape once you take the Iron Throne … assuming that our fair Daenerys takes you for her consort." And I think the underlined section is a gapping hole in the story. We are to believe that the pisswater boy was sold by a drunk father (and the mother being dead is even part of the story). I find it hard to believe that Elia gave up her son for an imposter and died with it in the nursery while her daughter was on the floor above hiding alone under a bed. Look how hard it was for Jon to convince Gilley to swap her child, and he was the one in power. Not proof, but highly suspect. Why would Elia even trust Varys with her child? They didn't know the Lannisters would betray Aerys and sack King's Landing in advance, Varys was there advising Aerys not to open the gates, but I'm to believe he strolled down to the Pisswater Bend for a tanner's son mid siege? You quoted Varys calling him Aegon, but this means little and less. Daemon Blackfyre's own firstborn son and heir was named Aegon. Aegon, Daemon, and Aegon's twin Aemon all died upon the Redgrass Field. Varys is explaining to Kevan that it isn't about being born with a right to the throne but growing up knowing it's a duty. Nothing about this indicates to me that Aegon is legitimate, or that Varys thinks that is even important. We again see below from the way Tyrion talks/thinks, that while he may believe Young Griff has Targaryen blood, I think he clearly doubts he is Aegon. "Perhaps I overstated. She may take pity on you when you come begging for her hand." The dwarf shrugged. "Do you want to wager your throne upon a woman's whim? Go to Westeros, though … ah, then you are a rebel, not a beggar. Bold, reckless, a true scion of House Targaryen, walking in the footsteps of Aegon the Conqueror. A dragon. "I told you, I know our little queen. Let her hear that her brother Rhaegar's murdered son is still alive, that this brave boy has raised the dragon standard of her forebears in Westeros once more, that he is fighting a desperate war to avenge his father and reclaim the Iron Throne for House Targaryen, hard-pressed on every side … and she will fly to your side as fast as wind and water can carry her. You are the last of her line, and this Mother of Dragons, this Breaker of Chains, is above all a rescuer. The girl who drowned the slaver cities in blood rather than leave strangers to their chains can scarcely abandon her own brother's son in his hour of peril. And when she reaches Westeros, and meets you for the first time, you will meet as equals, man and woman, not queen and supplicant. How can she help but love you then, I ask you?" Smiling, he seized his dragon, flew it across the board. "I hope Your Grace will pardon me. Your king is trapped. Death in four." The prince stared at the playing board. "My dragon—" "—is too far away to save you. You should have moved her to the center of the battle." "But you said—" "I lied. Trust no one. And keep your dragon close." Young Griff jerked to his feet and kicked over the board. Cyvasse pieces flew in all directions, bouncing and rolling across the deck of the Shy Maid. "Pick those up," the boy commanded. He may well be a Targaryen after all. "If it please Your Grace." Tyrion got down on his hands and knees and began to crawl about the deck, gathering up pieces. I think this whole sequence is great. And I think it's likely that Young Griff is a true scion of House Targaryen, but it seems clear to me that Tyrion is telling the reader he does not believe Young Griff is Aegon son of Rhaegar. I would also suggest that this scene is likely prophetic, and would ask how meeting as man and woman would be equals, or how one claimant with a dragon meeting another claimant without a dragon is equal, but I think it's pretty clear from the subtext that Tyrion is leading Young Griff astray here and it doesn't take a lot of foresight to see Young Griff's death in the not to distant future. For fun, I would point out the fun theme of royal dressup that runs through Dance, Prince Q being the Frog makes me smile, and then there is this: The floppy ears she chose today were made of sheer white linen, with a fringe of golden tassels. With Jhiqui's help, she wound the tokar about herself correctly on her third attempt. Irri fetched her crown, wrought in the shape of the three-headed dragon of her House. Its coils were gold, its wings silver, its three heads ivory, onyx, and jade. Dany's neck and shoulders would be stiff and sore from the weight of it before the day was done. A crown should not sit easy on the head. One of her royal forebears had said that, once. Some Aegon, but which one? Five Aegons had ruled the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. There would have been a sixth, but the Usurper's dogs had murdered her brother's son when he was still a babe at the breast. If he had lived, I might have married him. Aegon would have been closer to my age than Viserys. Dany had only been conceived when Aegon and his sister were murdered. Their father, her brother Rhaegar, perished even earlier, slain by the Usurper on the Trident. Her brother Viserys had died screaming in Vaes Dothrak with a crown of molten gold upon his head. They will kill me too if I allow it. The knives that slew my Stalwart Shield were meant for me. We could go on at length analyzing Dany's floppy ears, but I want to contrast it to a different tale: Queen Selyse had feasted Salla and his captains, the night before the fleet had set sail. Cotter Pyke had joined them, and four other high officers of the Night's Watch. Princess Shireen had been allowed to attend as well. As the salmon was being served, Ser Axell Florent had entertained the table with the tale of a Targaryen princeling who kept an ape as a pet. This prince liked to dress the creature in his dead son's clothes and pretend he was a child, Ser Axell claimed, and from time to time he would propose marriages for him. The lords so honored always declined politely, but of course they did decline. "Even dressed in silk and velvet, an ape remains an ape," Ser Axell said. "A wiser prince would have known that you cannot send an ape to do a man's work." The queen's men laughed, and several grinned at Davos. I am no ape, he'd thought. I am as much a lord as you, and a better man. But the memory still stung. I'm not sure I have a brilliant conclusion here except to say that if royalty is playing dress up, we can expect someone to dress up as royalty, and in this case Young Griff is the prime suspect. If we are going to try and figure out what is going on with these Essos plots, I think it all comes back to the cheesmonger. "Regal," Magister Illyrio said, stepping through an archway. He moved with surprising delicacy for such a massive man. Beneath loose garments of flame-colored silk, rolls of fat jiggled as he walked. Gemstones glittered on every finger, and his man had oiled his forked yellow beard until it shone like real gold. But I think the connection between him and "false gold", or lies, is a nice thematic one, especially as we see it presented next to the "mummer's dragon", Illyrio and Varys being the mummers! "There was a fat one with rings and a forked yellow beard, and another in mail and a steel cap, and the fat one said they had to delay but the other one told him he couldn't keep juggling and the wolf and the lion were going to eat each other and it was a mummer's farce." You mentioned the vision but never the connection to Illyrio and Varys, which I think is worth pointing out (Varys also tells his childhood tale of time spent with mummers). "A cloth dragon on poles," Dany explained. "Mummers use them in their follies, to give the heroes something to fight." Tyrion finds himself drunk in Illyrio's Mance and get's dressed in old clothes: "You mentioned a bath? We must not keep the great cheesemonger waiting." As he bathed, the girl washed his feet, scrubbed his back, and brushed his hair. Afterward she rubbed sweet-smelling ointment into his calves to ease the aches, and dressed him once again in boy's clothing, a musty pair of burgundy breeches and a blue velvet doublet lined with cloth-of-gold. "Will my lord want me after he has eaten?" she asked as she was lacing up his boots. I would point out that these are the colors of House Redwyn, of the Arbor. With the false gold of Illyrio, and the connection to the Arbor in mind, I would come back to Young Griff and the pisswater prince who was traded for "Arbor Gold". Because there seems a strong connection between Arbor Gold and lies. "We shall serve him lies and Arbor gold, and he'll drink them down and ask for more, I promise you." ... "You see the wonders that can be worked with lies and Arbor gold?" The theme of Arbor Gold being connected to lies and deception is repeated. "Do not discount this man Luceon," Qyburn said. "Last night he feted thirty of the Most Devout on suckling pig and Arbor gold, and by day he hands out hardbread to the poor to prove his piety." Good enough for The Princess and the Queen: The next morning, Ser Hobert Hightower called upon him, to thrash out the details of their assault upon King’s Landing. He brought with him two casks of wine as a gift, one of Dornish red and one of Arbor gold. Though Ulf the Sot had never tasted a wine he did not like, he was known to be partial to the sweeter vintages. No doubt Ser Hobert hoped to sip the sour red whilst Lord Ulf quaffed down the Arbor gold. Yet something about Hightower’s manner—he was sweating and stammering and too hearty by half, the squire who served them testified later—pricked White’s suspicions. Wary, he commanded that the Dornish red be set aside for later, and insisted Ser Hobert share the Arbor gold with him. History has little good to say about Ser Hobert Hightower, but no man can question the manner of his death. Rather than betray his fellow Caltrops, he let the squire fill his cup, drank deep, and asked for more. And, it goes nicely with Frey Pie: Ramsay hacked off slices with his falchion and Wyman Manderly himself served, presenting the first steaming portions to Roose Bolton and his fat Frey wife, the next to Ser Hosteen and Ser Aenys, the sons of Walder Frey. "The best pie you have ever tasted, my lords," the fat lord declared. "Wash it down with Arbor gold and savor every bite. I know I shall." And maybe my favorite: "Compliments of our captain. Closer to piss than Arbor gold, if truth be told, but even piss tastes better than the black tar rum the sailors drink. I could continue to ramble about this almost forever, go on about a cup of ice and a cup of fire, the bitter truth or sweet lies. About how I suspect Illyrio is the heir to Bittersteel, his Serra to be Serra Saan, the connection between mummers and the Faceless Men, or about lemon trees and how Dany herself is not the daughter of Aerys and Rhaella, but enough for one post! "You are blood of the dragon," he had screamed at her. "A dragon, not some smelly fish."
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