PLEASE NOTE: The following essay contains many excerpts from Aeron's chapter in The Winds of Winter. In order to fully understand the point I'm trying to make, please make sure you have read this chapter before moving forward. My apologies if this was not clear from the beginning.
From what I've read so far, I've come to a conclusion that most of you will agree with: Euron Greyjoy is an EVIL motherfucker. There is no redeeming quality about him because even of his finest qualities go into doing some of the worst things imaginable. He uses his charm, wit, and intelligence to draw people in and when he has you, that's when he slices your tongue out, for The Silence must always be crewed. In this essay, I will attempt to shed light on the man, his motives, his mindset, and how those mechanisms are the catalyst for a future world changing event.
By now, we know the power of prophecies and they can be extremely fickle and not at all clear. A perfect example of a prophecy viewed wrong comes from Mother Mole who implored wildlings to gather and travel to Hardhome, insisting she had a vision where Hardhome would be their salvation.
Of course this vision turns out to be their misery rather than their salvation as we later learn that the wildlings who made it to Hardhome were enslaved by 2 Lyseni pirate ships and brought back to the Free Cities. This prophecy is proof that even when something is viewed in one light, it can turn dark without proper understanding.
Another example of misunderstood prophecies is that of Rhaego which comes from the Dosh Khaleen after Daenerys consumes the stallion heart in Vaes Dothrak.
The above quote in its entirety speaks of someone (Rhaego) who has yet to be born and, as we find out near the end of A Game of Thrones, died at childbirth. Such is the way of prophecies in that even when they speak true, they may not always come to fruition.
And yet, when we look at the bold text, we may see the actual truth behind the prophecy. It is not the 'prince' who will have the fierce storm and enemies tremble before him, but the 'princess'. Much like the translation for the PtwP prophecy was inaccurate; I see the old woman shaking and looking at Dany afraid in a sense, that she knows its not her son who will be the Stallion but Dany herself, a woman. The Dosh Khaleen are afraid that a woman, a princess, would be able to lead all the khalasars of the Dothraki given they view women as inferior. They tremble at this fact and what would happen to them should they dare speak of this to anyone but themselves. We later get this same vision of how scared the Dosh Khaleen are of Dany when she sees this vision in the House of the Undying.
AZOR AHAI, FRIEND OR FOE?
So now that I've established that prophecies are fickle little fuckers, let us look into the legend surrounding the character in the Far East and thousands of years past known as the Bloodstone Emperor.
Let us explore his names and where they might be associated with.
He is referred to as Neferion. This name likely originates from the Jogos Nhai and their chief city, Nefer, which is described as
The only port city of the once powerful kingdom, the Jogos Nhai now have but the one primary city, and its description is one that would be best left unexplored.
He is referred to as Hyrkoon the Hero. This name most likely originated from the former Patrimony of Hyrkoon, located east of the Bone Mountains. Here is a description of the Hyrkoon who fought border wars with the Jogos Nhai
What kind of god requires sacrifices in the tens of thousands? Not exactly the best place to visit.
He is referred to as Azor Ahai. We come upon the most sinister of places that associates with him, Asshai.
So we have a character who is known in the worst places possible and among the worst people; and these people refer to this character as a "hero". Azor Ahai is not the hero that the legends say he is but actually the villain who is responsible for bringing about the Long Night. This one thought by LmL is what destroyed everything I thought I know about ASOIAF and made me re-read and re-look into this legendary hero/villian. In order to have an understanding of the theory I propose, it is necessary to believe the wise wisdom of LmL It is, by far, one of the most well-researched essays I've ever had the opportunity to read. It is worth its weight in gold. (Lucifer Means Lightbringer).
MIND OF THE CROW'S EYE
He realized the truth long ago, that perhaps not everything they say about the Drowned God is true. If that were the case, maybe everything else he 'knew' wasn't always set in stone. He had contemplated this thought before; this idea that not everything we're told by others is necessarily true or even accurate.
The point Euron is trying to make is that he didn't necessarily not believe the maester in terms of human flying but simply challenging some of the world's most "known" facts. It was the first thought that questioned everything that is taught or known. Euron's mind seems to think in this manner:
I was told I can't fly...but what if I could?
Everyone knows that Valyria is a smoking, haunted ruin...but what if it isn't, what if it could be sailed to and perhaps, find a port?
Any man foolish enough to even gaze upon Valyria's shores would be driven to madness and insanity...but what if he had protected himself with magic, say blood magic that required a sacrifice, an offering,...a Crow's Eye?
Any man guilty of kinslaying is accursed by the Gods and all the Laws of Men...but what if he isn't and nothing falls upon him?
No godless man may sit upon the Seastone Chair...but what if I sat upon the Iron Throne?
This is where he gets his determination from, his drive, his necessity to do things that "no man dare". Let us look at what else Euron Greyjoy, King of the Iron Islands, has dared to do.
THE REAVER'S MARK
Euron claims to have sailed the world, to have gone to ports no man dare go, to dare walk through the haunted, smoking ruins of Valyria. In his travels, he has likely come across this information regarding the Bloodstone Emperor and the age of darkness that he brought to the world. Such a man would be admired by a man as Euron, since it is not riches and gold he fights for, but absolute power. Not only does he want to be King, he wants the entire world to bow before him. Let us look at the similar characteristics between both of these monstrous personalities.
He is known to practice the dark arts. He is one of the very few people in the world (that we know of) that understands magic and the price that must be paid for it...and it is not the Iron Price.
After reading (and re-reading) AFFC, I noticed a particular act that highlighted the power of his Crow's Eye, the eye he keeps hidden under an eyepatch. That is no ordinary eye. It is an evil thing that he can use to manipulate and bend others to his will. We see how he controls his crew of mutes after Euron returns for the Kingsmoot.
Euron's eye is capable of controlling those he enslaves, particularly the mutes who man The Silence. This could allow him to be served by his mutes at all times without ever having to utter a single command.
Regarding torture, Euron is quite efficient in a sense that, while he is known to rip tongues out, it is the psychological warfare that cripples those he torments. We see this explicitly in the veiled references Aeron gives about Euron; how he could always remember the sound of the screaming hinge on the door to his room, a room Euron would visit on nights he had drunk too much and heard Aeron praying. Aeron is clearly traumatized by this as a child and he tries to suppress this memory of Euron every time it surfaces and yet, when his resolve falters, Aeron always remembers the hinge.
Again, this time, tying it to Euron
He remembers the hinge whenever he gets scared. This fear is paramount during the Kingsmoot as Aeron watches in shock as the lords proclaim Euron as their King
I AM THE STORM
By now, we've established that Euron is a man that is cruel, insane, is knowledgeable in magic and dark arts, and is not above to slaying his family for his own gain. Up until this moment, it could be inferred that Euron just wants to torment his brother for his own amusement. But Euron is not like the other sadistic killers the books have given us. He's not like Joffrey, who tortured and terrified simply because he was bored. He' not like Ramsay either, who tortured and wreaked havoc to have dominance over all.
Euron's cruelty is calculated. He is a seasoned killer and thinks only he knows why he is committing these vile atrocities. He is one of the few who stands true to their threats and statements. He sees himself as more than a man, but as a drive, a vessel moving ever onward towards a dark goal.
Aeron believes a Iron Island's King can be killed only through divine intervention from the gods, as seen in the quote above. But we all now know that is was Euron who caused his death via The Faceless Men. It's to emphasize Aeron's belief that no man could ever have that power to cast down a true King and yet, we know a brother is all it takes to do it; and because of the King's death, more dark times are ahead. Euron embraces the darkness Aeron describes.
He is readying himself, to undertake the next change in his transformation, but Euron is not the only one who is known to this power. Something big and terrible is to happen. Indeed, a least one other person has seen a glimpse of what Euron is about to do; fulfilling his destiny of death and destruction.
By chance, Moqorro is saved by Victarion's Iron Fleet as it sails for Meereen. And yet, why is that Moqorro envisions Euron, a man he, as far as we know, has never met? Also bizarre, is that he states it is Euron who is seeking Daenerys...but it is Victarion who is actually sailing there!
THE REAVER'S KRAKEN
It is likely Victarion is just a pawn in the grand scheme of things. There are various references to Victarion's role as simply a means to an end.
Here, Moqorro references how Euron has made Victarion his bitch. Not only is Euron his king, but he then commands his brother to sail across the world to bring back Daenerys and her dragons so the Ironborn can claim Westeros. I don't know how oblivious these two are, for they think they can just sail right up to the Great Pyramid, take Daenerys without any resistance, and sail her back to Westeros, all while ensuring they aren't chased by the Dothraki, the Unsullied, the Second Sons, the Stalwart Shields, the Mother's Men, the Free Brothers, and 3 FUCKING DRAGONS. And lest not forget the Ghiscari, the Mantari, the Yunkish, the Qartheen, the Company of the Cat, and the Long Lances who have all laid siege to Meereen and want the Dragon Queen just as much.
But as we find out later, Victarion may not make it back to Westeros. Moqorro is a red priest of R'hollor who, like all that share his beliefs, offer their sacrifices to the fire. In more brutal terms, whoever they give as an offering, they burn them alive. It's viewed as a cleansing, the most beautiful cleansing, as fire can cleanse all the wickedness in a persons heart. It's viewed as a glorious way to die and the red priests go forth throughout the world trying to convince men that this is the best way to go and purify themselves. Perhaps this was again, the Reaver's calculated doing. For when Victarion assures Moqorro he will have his red god's due, Moqorro responds in a way to suggest benefit for Victarion but with greater knowledge and understanding of the followers of R'hollor, we can deduce Victarion will be offered to the fire, be it willingly or forced, and through dragonflame.
THE DOOM OF VALYRIA
Getting back to Moqorro's prophecy, what struck out in that chapter's reading is right before this vision is revealed, Tyrion and Moqorro are having a conversation about the Doom of Valyria.
The red clouds and black blood of demons stood out to me when I read that. I pictured how it must've looked to be at Ground Zero for the Doom. I would imagine everything to be on fire, to be engulfed in a red, fiery hue to reflect the flames and molten lava being thrown and spewing everywhere. Dark, ominous red clouds invade the sky and cast down black rain. The very air itself is alight and filled with ash and smoke. Upon looking at the sea, it is boiling and thrashing, begging to be let in until finally the landmass calves and breaks and the tide comes rushing in. The ash, the smoke, the molten lava, and fire everywhere could cause the sea itself to turn to the color of red like everything else around it. Symbolically, it could also mean the sea turned red by the blood of all the slain men, women, children, and dragons. Every conversation in a book is structured so that ideas flow. The idea flowing here is the association between the Doom of Valyria and Moqorro seeing Euron preparing himself...as he sets sail for Oldtown.
Oldtown is, dare I say it, a very old town. Maesters themselves cannot put a definitive date on its founding. Yet they know that men lived here since the Dawn Age as they left behind their runic records. And no tale of Oldtown can be complete without the mentioning of the Hightower, the great lighthouse that stands at the center on its own. But it is Battle Isle, its base, that is the source of the enigma.
The black stone theories are abundant for they are found elsewhere in the world and predate Valyrian dragon-fused stone. Similarly, the black stone is found in places we know for a fact to have never been settled by or founded by dragonlords.
The Bloodstone Emperor cast down the true gods to worship a "black stone that had fallen from the sky." It's important to note the language here as it says the Emperor cast down the "true gods" but who exactly are the true gods? In the maester's sense, it would be the Seven. In the YiTish, the Maiden-Made-of-Light and the Lion of Night. In the Starks, the Old Gods. So who exactly are the true gods? Could it be that this black stone was magical in nature? So much so, that the Bloodstone Emperor realized that all the gods have no true power. True might rested in the power of this magical, black stone. I suspect he killed his sister, The Amethyst Empress, as a kind of blood sacrifice in order to release/control the magic of the black stone; thereafter granting him the power to enslave and torture on a much broader scale.
The Emperors and Empresses of the Great Empire of the Dawn were referred to as "god-emperors" in a sense they believe their rulers to be the embodiment or actual physical representation of the dominion of God. It can be said, with confidence, that to the small folk, their rulers were more godly in nature than man and their presence of that of the divine. So when the Bloodstone Emperor slayed his sister, he spilled the blood of the divine, of the holy, of...god.
The most shocking evidence I've found of my theory was after re-reading A Clash of Kings. We've been given a glimpse of this apotheosis and of Euron's grand plan back in the House of the Undying. At first, I thought the vision referred to Jon Connington as he suffered from greyscale. When I read the word 'prow', I didn't know what it meant until I googled it. It is the part of the ship that cuts through the water. There is no way anyone is capable of 'standing' on a prow, unless you are of course, tied to it. Now that this chapter from TWOW has come out, it gives conclusive evidence that the vision was speaking of Aeron, of Euron's attempt at apotheosis, of the darkness that is about to enter the world.