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Daenerys Stormborn - A Re-Read Project Part II: ACoK & ASoS

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Welcome to the Daenerys Re-read Project!

Before we get started with our discussion, Id like to take a moment to thank the amazing group of posters who have agreed be part of the team analyzing Danys chapters.

  • Annara Snow
  • Arya kiddin'
  • GoldenFleece2
  • MoIaF
  • PatrickStormborn
  • SeanF
  • Suzanna Stormborn
  • The Good Queen Alysanne
  • TheMysteriousOne

Now lets get down to business:

The aim of the re-read project is to gain a better understanding of Danys character: by analyzing her motivations and her unique prospective. We would also like to gain a better understanding of the (very distinct) environment in which she finds herself. The structure of the re-read will be a chapter by chapter review. Each week one of us will be presenting a chapter for discussion. We will be summarizing / analyzing all of Danys 31 chapters as well as Barristans 4 chapters.

We want to have a clear discussion looking objectively at the text. This isnt a appreciation thread so we ask that posters stay focus on the discussion at hand.

As with most re-reads there are a few ground rules which we would appreciate you follow:

  • Discussion should focus on the chapters of the week (or previous chapters). You can reference future chapters if necessary for the discussion, but please stay on topic.
  • When discussion please refrain from making unsubstantiated comments or be disrespectful towards other posters. We are aiming to do an objective analysis and it would be greatly appreciated if we stay on topic and not argue with each other about our personal feeling about the character.
  • Your observations are very important to our discussion; if you find instances of foreshadowing, interesting symbolisms, important parallels with other characters or other thoughts that can add to our discussion please share them with us. When ever possible quote from the text, itll help enrich the discussion.

Below you will find the schedule for our discussion. We aim to stick to the schedule as closely as possible; however, we ask that you bear with us if there are any delays.

ACoK
Daenerys I 3/23/14 GoldenFleece2
Daenerys II 3/30/14 Queen Alysanne
Daenerys III 4/6/14 SeanF
Daenerys IV 4/13/14 MoIaF
Daenerys V 4/20/14 Suzanna Sromborn

ASoS
Daenerys I 5/4/14 PatrickStormborn
Daenerys II 5/11/14 MoIaF
Daenerys III 5/18/14 Annara Snow
Daenerys IV 5/25/14 GoldenFleece2
Daenerys V 6/1/14 TheMysteriousOne

Daenerys VI 6/8/14 Arya kiddin

Here you'll find our previous discussions of Dany's AGoT chapters:

AGoT

Daenerys I 1/5/14 Queen Alysanne
Daenerys II 1/12/14 MoIaF
Daenerys III 1/19/14 SeanF
Daenerys IV 1/26/14 MoIaF
Daenerys V 2/2/14 MoIaF / GoldenFleece2
Daenerys VI 2/9/14 Annara Snow
Daenerys VII 2/16/14 Suzanna Stormborn
Daenerys VIII 2/23/14 Arya kiddin
Daenerys IX 3/2/14 TheMysteriousOne
Daenerys X 3/9/14 PatrickStormborn


Resources:
There have been a few Daenerys re-reads in the past and I though I'd add links to them as they might be helpful to us in our re-read.

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ACOK: Daenerys I


From the Ash to the Waste


Summary



After the miraculous birth of the three dragons in Drogo’s funeral pyre, Daenerys and her tiny khalasar heads into a grim desert known as the Red Waste following a newly appeared red comet. Daenerys tells herself that the red comet that has appeared is to herald her coming and that she must follow it, however she knows it is the only way she can go as each other way is surrounded by enemies. Her followers had begun to call her “the Unburnt” and “mother of dragons” and obeyed her without question when she led them into the Red waste.



Ser Jorah reminds her that even though she has three dragons, they are weak hatchlings and will be taken from her with ease and that men will lust after them and their potential power. They must find a place of safety.


They rode by night and rested by day. All the beasts they had them were sick, scrawny or lame and they started dying fast. It was the same with the people. Daenerys reminds herself she needs to be their strength, she must show no fear, doubt or weakness. Even so, the old and vulnerable through the days start dying. Everyone starts suffering, including Daenerys herself, but she is more worried about her dragons – they will not eat. Until she remembers something her brother said when they were kids



“Only Dragons and men eat cooked meat”.



Dany never keeps the dragons out her sight and she gives them names; Rhaegal, Viserion and Drogon.


Even though the dragons became stronger and bigger, the khalasar became weaker and less. Doreah, Dany’s handmaiden dies of a fever, even though Daenerys personally takes care of her. It was then that her khalasar began to mutter amongst themselves and not for the first time Daenerys doubts herself.



“Have I crossed half the world and seen the birth of dragons only to die with them in this hard hot desert?”



Finally they come to an abandoned crumbled dead city. Despite Dothraki superstitions they venture into the white city with faded scars of fire and missing gods and Dany concludes it was the Dothraki that destroyed this city. They camp on the remnants of an old palace and they found fruit trees and pure water in a well. They also found lots of human bones and artefacts.



Ser Jorah brings a small and overripe peach to Daenerys and Ser Jorah tells her about his wives. After telling his story Daenerys realises that Ser Jorah wants her. The next day she sends her three bloodriders southwest, south and southeast. The riders sent south and southwest find no people at all, just ruins, a long ago dead dragon and the sea. Jhogo finally came riding from the southeast with three garbed strangers. The three strangers came from the city of Qarth and they were looking for dragons.



‘“Seek no more, you have found them,” declared Daenerys Targaryen. '



Observations


  • Her followers have begun to idolise her, giving her grand names.
  • She convinces herself that the red comet is for her, but there is doubt there.
  • We see for the first time what she thinks a leader should be – strong for those weakest. She also declares to herself her time as a girl is over now.
  • Daenerys has no problems taking care of people in a lower order than herself (Doreah, Ser Jorah).
  • Daenerys names her Dragons after the three (only) men dearest in her life (excluding Ser Willem Darry).
  • Looking at Rhaegal she has an urge to fly high, to even touch the red comet.


Analysis



Daenerys the leader



For all her life Daenerys has followed men, first her brother Viserys and second her husband Drogo. This is the first time in her life that Daenerys has been a leader figurehead, a girl of just 14 years of age with no experience of leading or ruling. However she shrugs her age off and embraces the responsibility.



‘She felt older than her fourteen years. If she had ever been a girl, that time was done.’



We also get a glimpse of what she believes a leader should be, which should have resonance later in the books.



‘They are not strong, she told herself, so I must be their strength, I must show no fear, no weakness, no doubt. However frightened my heart, when they look upon my face they must see only Drogo’s Queen.’



Firstly, she believes a leader has to show strength even though he/she could be fearful. Fear, weakness and doubt – traits showed in Meereen. Secondly, I had not noticed this before, she calls herself Drogo’s Queen, not a Queen by herself in her own right. Does she doubt she earned the title of Queen yet? In any case she thinks a leader should show a brave face and confidence (even bravado) in public even though she could be wracked with doubt. This can come off arrogant and being in denial to some people later down the line.


When the Dothraki were quivering at the thought of going into a ruined city, it is easy to dismiss this as backward superstition – probably even Dany thinks so, but she leads first to show example to her people that there is nothing to be frightened off.



‘“Jhiqui shuddered. “When the gods are gone, the evil ghosts feast by night. Such places are best shunned. It is known.”


“It is known,” Irri agreed.


“Not to me.” Dany put her heels into her horse and showed them the way…’



I could be stretching here, but could this be foreshadowing Slaver’s Bay here? Leading people out of the old way of thinking (slavery or in this instance superstition) headfirst into a new way of thinking… into a place of a destroyed civilisation (with evidence of fades scars of fire hint hint) and human bones. Daenerys throughout the books I believe has never had any need of superstition or customs and has not hesitation of changing it.



I will fix Jhiqui’s statement:



‘Jhiqui shuddered. “When the masters are gone, the evil harpies feast by night. Such places are best shunned. It is known.’



Ser Jorah and the Peach



Food in A Song of Ice and Fire is ripe with symbolism, none so much so than the peach. A lot of people think it is a symbol of lustful desire, betrayal or both. Here are threads that have discussed the peach and its meaning.



http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/95101-the-food-code-of-ice-and-fire/



http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/96479-jorahs-peach-symbolism-and-foreshadowing/



Daenerys ate the peach slowly, and the peach was small and overripe. What symbolism does this mean from GRRM?


My first thought was that the peach was a symbol of sexual desire on Ser Jorah’s part, the peach is small because Daenerys does not reciprocate Ser Jorah’s emotions and that is overripe means that she thinks he is too old for her. The way she eats the peach slowly and carefully represents the willingness of Daenerys to spare his feelings and not to hurt him in anyway.



Three Wise Men from the East



I also want to talk about, what I think is the messianic overtones of this chapter. A star (red comet) in the east appears shortly before Daenerys gives herself to the flames into Drogo’s funeral pyre and is reborn in fire and blood.



Right after she is born she wonders in the desert (albeit not alone) and maybe not for 30 days and 30 nights, but we are not told how many days they wander in the Red Waste.



Finally three strangers from the east in strange garments arrive. A merchant, a warlock and a shadow binder each addressing her in three different languages to see three dragons.



The number three is a big part of Daenerys storyline and in Christianity as well.



Also the wise men in the bible are also called magi and in some texts – sorcerers. They do not give gifts to Daenerys – well except a place to stay, but the gifts in the bible to relate to the characters in this chapter.



  • The Merchant (Xaro Xhoan Daxos) – Gold (a symbol of monarchs)
  • The Warlock (Pyat Pree) – Myrrh (a symbol of death)
  • The Shadowbinder (Quaithe) – Frankincense (a symbol of deity – Lord of Light)

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Thanks. That's a fine summary.

1. This chapter shows Dany at her best. Inspiring to her followers, and compassionate to her servants. Catelyn and Edmure are the only other characters I could imagine personally tending a dying servant (perhaps Doran?) Most lords and ladies would have left Doreah behind to take her chances, or else regarded kindness as cutting her throat, so she didn't linger. Dany holds her in arms, while she's dying. Dany didn't save her life, but she must have given her great comfort in her last hours.

2. It's interesting that she should still feel enough love for her awful brother to name a dragon after him.

3. I hadn't thought of the Christian symbolism within this chapter, but it's obvious, now you point it out.

4. Like any good leader, Dany can cope with harsh conditions, and do without creature comforts when necessary.

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snip

Excellent analysis! :thumbsup:

Firstly, she believes a leader has to show strength even though he/she could be fearful. Fear, weakness and doubt traits showed in Meereen. Secondly, I had not noticed this before, she calls herself Drogos Queen, not a Queen by herself in her own right. Does she doubt she earned the title of Queen yet? In any case she thinks a leader should show a brave face and confidence (even bravado) in public even though she could be wracked with doubt. This can come off arrogant and being in denial to some people later down the line.

When the Dothraki were quivering at the thought of going into a ruined city, it is easy to dismiss this as backward superstition probably even Dany thinks so, but she leads first to show example to her people that there is nothing to be frightened off.

Her comments about being strong for her people even though she is weak and scared reminds me of what Bran spoke about with Ned. When Bran asked:

"Bran thought about it. 'Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?''That is the only time a man can be brave,' his father told him.'"

I also noticed the bolded sentence about how Dany feels like her power derives from her marriage to Khal Drogo. She has not yet recognized that they are following her for who she is not whom she was married to. We see this in the last chapter of AGOT when she asks her khas to be her bloodriders. Even though she was the khaleesi they weren't willing to follow a woman. It was until after she emerged from the fire with the dragons that they began they pledged themselves to her.

My first thought was that the peach was a symbol of sexual desire on Ser Jorahs part, the peach is small because Daenerys does not reciprocate Ser Jorahs emotions and that is overripe means that she thinks he is too old for her. The way she eats the peach slowly and carefully represents the willingness of Daenerys to spare his feelings and not to hurt him in anyway.

I like this interpretation, it fits well with what we know of the characters.

The number three is a big part of Daenerys storyline and in Christianity as well.

Also the wise men in the bible are also called magi and in some texts sorcerers. They do not give gifts to Daenerys well except a place to stay, but the gifts in the bible to relate to the characters in this chapter.

The Merchant (Xaro Xhoan Daxos) Gold (a symbol of monarchs)

The Warlock (Pyat Pree) Myrrh (a symbol of death)

The Shadowbinder (Quaithe) Frankincense (a symbol of deity Lord of Light)

I had not noticed this, but now that you've pointed it out it seems kind of obvious. :D

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Things that stood out to me



"Dragons fear no ghost"



Jon pretends to be a ghost by covering himself in flour and has a direwolf named ghosts



Quaithe speaks the common tongue flawlessly


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That was a great analysis GoldenFleece!!!

I agree that this chapter is Dany's first role as a leader and I believe also her first time stepping into a role traditionally meant for a male in this series.

This quote is very telling of that.

“Your hair is coming back, Khaleesi,” Jhiqui said as she scraped sand off her back. Dany ran a hand over the top of her head, feeling the new growth. Dothraki men wore their hair in long oiled braids, and cut them only when defeated. Perhaps I should do the same, she thought, to remind them that Drogo’s strength lives within me now. Khal Drogo had died with his hair uncut, a boast few men could make.
In addition to your essay, I think Vaes Tollorro plays a big role in this chapter symbolically.
“A city, Khaleesi,” they cried. “A city pale as the moon and lovely as a maid.
When the city appeared before her, its walls and towers shimmering white behind a veil of heat, it looked so beautiful that Dany was certain it must be a mirage.
How long the city had been deserted she could not know, but the white walls, so beautiful from afar, were cracked and crumbling when seen up close.

Vaes Tolorro plays a role as a symbol of westeros to Dany's arc. Dany believes the seven kingdoms are the most beautiful kingdoms in planetos. However it isn't as pretty as she thinks even before the war and after the war it has gotten worse and I believe by the time she gets there the others will be there alongside winter and it will be at it's worst.
Similarly Vaes Tolorro is beautiful from afar but close up it is a dead city and I have a feeling this is how Dany will meet westeros when she arrives.
I also think Vaes Tolorro hints at a possible bittersweet ending of the series, a dead city but still blooming (spring) and a chance for healing just like Dany's khalasar heals in a city of bones.
And so they went, the bells in their hair ringing softly, while Dany settled down with her small band of survivors in the place they named Vaes Tolorro, the city of bones. Day followed night followed day. Women harvested fruit from the gardens of the dead. Men groomed their mounts and mended saddles, stirrups, and shoes. Children wandered the twisty alleys and found old bronze coins and bits of purple glass and stone flagons with handles carved like snakes. One woman was stung by a red scorpion, but hers was the only death. The horses began to put on some flesh. Dany tended Ser Jorah’s wound herself, and it began to heal.

This chapter is also the first time Dany finds out that Jorah loves her more then just a Queen.
We also see dragon bones which also hints at the Valyrians conquest reaching as far as the red waste or stopping there.
Or it could also mean there was a dragonslayer over here some years ago.
I also noticed Dany has a dream riding a dragon with Drogo rather than horse.

Things that stood out to me

"Dragons fear no ghost"

Jon pretends to be a ghost by covering himself in flour and has a direwolf named ghosts

Quaithe speaks the common tongue flawlessly

I think there is a recurring theme of a connection between ghosts and the others.

Also white wolf symbolises the bridge between life and death.

  • The White Wolf:
    Known as the phantom, the white wolf lives in the spiritual and physical dimensions simultaneously. They teach the lessons which help to bring both these lives into balance. The help us learn how to build the bridge between the two worlds so that we might learn the underlying purpose of events and issues in our life.

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Very nice work, Golden Fleece.

The messianic imagery, especially with the three gifts included is a nice one. I think you could extend it to the trek through the Red Wastes as the Moses trip through the desert to the Promised Land. The birth of the Messiah heralds a New Covenant where the old law is reformed rather than abolished and by the time we get to DwD there is ample material to possibly apply that metaphor.

The dragons are a bit of a virgin birth, certainly as miracle birth. That places Dany as somehow betwixt Maid and Mother which I think fits on some levels. (Archetypal Mother is one thing but holding an child of your own is another.) It is something Dany seems to want on some level:

Mirri Maz Duur had sworn she should never bear a living child, and what man would want a barren wife?

There are other Biblical tale comparisons that can be made with fleeing Robert on Dragonstone to fleeing Herod and Darry as a Joseph figure though I'm not sure that is a primary theme.

For those with a foreshadowing interest this may be an important list:

I won joust after joust. Lord Jason Mallister fell before me, and Bronze Yohn Royce. Ser Ryman Frey, his brother Ser Hosteen, Lord Whent, Strongboar, even Ser Boros Blount of the Kingsguard, I unhorsed them all. In the last match, I broke nine lances against Jaime Lannister to no result, and King Robert gave me the champion’s laurel. I crowned Lynesse queen of love and beauty, and that very night went to her father and asked for her hand.

This has potential too:

The cream-colored dragon sunk sharp black claws into the lion’s mane and coiled its tail around her arm, while Ser Jorah took his accustomed place by her side.

Yet even as her dragons prospered, her khalasar withered and died.

This seems to go with Dany's internal conflict represented by Mother/Dragon Planting Trees/Conquering.

In hindsight I've always wondered whether or not Dany would have been happier had she stayed here. The answer I suspect is yes and no. No she wouldn't have been happier staying here until she had learned what she did on the road she took leaving the place. The task her heart really wants to accomplish in Meereen could just as well have been done here and now, but there is also a strong desire to build strength to defend herself and her people. I don't think she gets that impulse satisfied internally until after Slavers Bay. She still has something to prove to herself before she can settle down (as does virtually every young adult.)

In the coolness of her tent, Dany blackened horsemeat over a brazier and reflected on her choices. There was food and water here to sustain them, and enough grass for the horses to regain their strength. How pleasant it would be to wake every day in the same place, to linger among shady gardens, eat figs, and drink cool water, as much as she might desire.

These are simple desires that grow more important once we've spent some of our youthful energy and sated our wanderlust. After we've journeyed through our own metaphorical Red Waste we come to appreciate these little things as treasures. It makes me think of Barristan's thoughts:

She wants fire, and Dorne sent her mud.
You could make a poultice out of mud to cool a fever. You could plant seeds in mud and grow a crop to feed your children. Mud would nourish you, where fire would only consume you, but fools and children and young girls would choose fire every time.

Vaes Tolorro is mud and Dany still wants fire, but perhaps this is an indication that at some she will again get the chance to choose mud. Jorah's tale of his wife strikes me as similar to Dany's current circumstances. She's found a place that is essentially like Bear Island-- rich in mud but poor in fire. Her imagining trying to be with Jorah fits the same pattern-- all mud, no fire. Lynesse had the fire but couldn't embrace the mud. Perhaps this hints at something in Dany's future where she'll have the fire and be able to embrace the mud.

Not really sure how to read these tea leaves, but I do suspect this is a rather important chapter for Dany. In some ways it is her first chapter. On a first read of GoT we have Ned being very dismissive of the Dothraki threat and Robert sending an assassin to kill Dany anyway. The anticipated irony of the assassin failing and causing an invasion that would never otherwise have happened is steeped in a narrative tradition going back to the ancient Greeks. We're naturally led along to anticipate this twist for Dany only to have it shattered in her penultimate chapter with a whole new mysterious potential introduced in her last with dragons. This chapter really serves as the beginning of Dany's story in certain ways since it picks up where the false expectations of her anticipated arc have been destroyed and a new set of expectations are being established.

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Nice job, GoldenFleece2. Out of curiostiy, what happened to GoldenFleece1?

Due south of the red waste stretched on and on, he reported . . . Between here and there lay only swirling sand, wind-scoured rocks, and plants bristly with sharp thorns. He had passed the bones of a dragon he swore, so immense that he had ridden his horse through its great black jaws.

hot red Dornish sands . . . soon they [Arianne and Co] came upon a tree. It was a gnarled and twisted thing with many thorns as leaves,

One was warded by a ring of skulls mounted on rusted iron spears

surrounded by a ring of pikes topped with gilded skulls [GC camp]

He showed Dany an iron bracelet he found, set with a uncut fire opal

blue jade falcon, opal sun, pearl direwolf

I think this is foreshadowing for fAegon. The description of the landscape from Rakharo's trip sounds like Dorne, and a black dragon's jaws could point to Aegon getting support form Dorne. The ring of skulls on iron spears could be a reference to the GC who backs Aegon. The Blackfyres are connected to iron with the iron dragon at the inn, and the opal could also refer to Dorne's support.

The first one speaks to Dany in Dothraki, the second in Valyrian of the Free Cities, and the final in the Common Tongue of Westeros. I think that will be Dany's jounrey to Westeros since ADwD. She starts at VD, then goes from Meereen to the Free Cities, Volantis and Lys, and finally lands in Westeros.

Ser Jorah told her of the tree it [peach] had been plucked from, in a garden near the western wall.

The wall in the West that comes to mind is the Wall, and with peaches being somewhat used as a symbol of death, this could foreshadow Dany dying at the Wall. Renly eats a peach in the same book and dies. A dead Willem Lannister is described with peach fuzz, and Arya is called a "pretty little peach." I think peaches are to ASOIAF what the oranges are to The Godfather.

I think Dany will bump into Lynesse in Lys on her way to Westeros in TWoW. I think Jorah will have died in Meereen, and Dany will feel obligated to tell Lynesse about Jorah's death. Of course, if Lynesse is like we have heard her, she will likely give a callous response that shows how little she cares, or her contempt. Dany would become pissed, and I think she would likely give Lynesse the walk of shame.

Warning incoming pot shrapnel:

stone flagons with handles carved like snakes. One woman was stung by a red scorpion, but hers was the only death.

Scorpions are associated with Dorne along with snakes, and the Sand Snakes. I think there will be one important casualty on Dany's side in the Dance of Dragons, and the only woman that comes to mind is Penny, who is possibly Tyrion's daughter. I think this could point to a Dornishman/woman, likely one of the Sand Snakes, killing Penny. They aren't above killing innocents as shown with their talks about killing Tommen and the young squires of Balon's party.

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GoldenFleece2 said:



"Secondly, I had not noticed this before, she calls herself Drogo’s Queen, not a Queen by herself in her own right. Does she doubt she earned the title of Queen yet?"




To me, this is one of many examples of the uncertainty and variability of important factors in ASoIaF. Dany, for instance, often goes back and forth on things. She doesn't change her mind on an issue and then stick with her new idea or feeling. I noted in an earlier post that she didn't just think out the matter of the dragon eggs and come to the conclusion that they were viable. She feels something moving in them, then thinks that this can't be true. She feels warmth, then decides it was just because the rocks were in the sun. Generally, it seems that, in her more rational, everyday mode, she tends toward the opinion that the fossils are fossils, nothing more. However, she keeps coming back to her dreams and hopes.



The business about being a queen shows some similarity. Earlier, she had asserted herself quite powerfully. The Dothraki were taken aback when she claimed that she would get revenge on men like Ko Jhaqo. They pointed out that Jhaqo was now a khal with thousands of followers. Dany replied--



"And I am Daenerys Stirmborn, Daenerys of House Targaryen, of the blood of Aegon the Conquerer and Maegor the Cruel..."



It doesn't sound like she's depending on her husband's authority there. Later though, as you say, she gives some indication that she doesn't quite think of herself as a queen in her own right yet. A number of other similar matters will come up later. For example, Dany's meaning of terms like "my city" and "my people" is not always the same.



Daenerys is not the only character that shows this variability. And, in a way, it is appropriate for her. She is involved in the business of magic and prophecy. These things are powerful factors in ASoIaF. Unfortunately, they are very slippery uncertain things.

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3. I hadn't thought of the Christian symbolism within this chapter, but it's obvious, now you point it out..

Idk if any of you remember the poster gash, but he'd have a field day with that stuff, lol.

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Idk if any of you remember the poster gash, but he'd have a field day with that stuff, lol.

I was never sure if gash was just trolling. If so, it was trolling of a high order.

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Due south of the red waste stretched on and on, he reported . . . Between here and there lay only swirling sand, wind-scoured rocks, and plants bristly with sharp thorns. He had passed the bones of a dragon he swore, so immense that he had ridden his horse through its great black jaws.

I think this is foreshadowing for fAegon. The description of the landscape from Rakharo's trip sounds like Dorne, and a black dragon's jaws could point to Aegon getting support form Dorne. The ring of skulls on iron spears could be a reference to the GC who backs Aegon. The Blackfyres are connected to iron with the iron dragon at the inn, and the opal could also refer to Dorne's support.

“Death comes out of the dragon’s mouth,” Septon Barth had written in his Unnatural History, “but death does not go in that way."

Death rides with every khalasar.

Since Rakharo (representing a khalasar with death riding beside him) rode his horse through the jaws of the black dragon and came back alive to tell the story, does that foreshadow the eventual victory of Dany against fAegon and the end of the Black Dragon?

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Vaes Tolorro is mud and Dany still wants fire, but perhaps this is an indication that at some she will again get the chance to choose mud. Jorah's tale of his wife strikes me as similar to Dany's current circumstances. She's found a place that is essentially like Bear Island-- rich in mud but poor in fire. Her imagining trying to be with Jorah fits the same pattern-- all mud, no fire. Lynesse had the fire but couldn't embrace the mud. Perhaps this hints at something in Dany's future where she'll have the fire and be able to embrace the mud.

I think the white dragon holding on to white lion could be another hint at Tyrion becoming Viserion's rider or Tyrion being a Targ (I'm not a big fan of that theory but I wouldn't be shocked if it happens)

I also like your idea that Dany will have to choose mud one day , and I think that symbolism is similar to the bear and the maiden fair where the maiden disliked the bear initially but eventually she just accepted him.

We also see similar parallels in other character's arcs like Jaime and Brienne, Sansa and Sandor. Interestingly Jorah is also a bear.

The bear and the maiden fair for reference:

· A bear there was

· a bear, a bear

· all black and brown

· and covered with hair

· Oh come they said

· oh come to the fair

· the fair? said he

· but I'm a bear

· all black and brown

· and covered in hair!

· And down the road

· from here to there

· from here, to there

· three boys, a goat

· and a dancing bear

· they danced and spun

· all the way to the fair!

· Oh, sweet she was

· and pure and fair

· the maid with honey

· in her hair, her hair

· the maid with honey

· in her hair

· The bear smelled the scent

· on the summer air

· the bear, the bear

· all black and brown

· and covered with hair

· he smelled the scent

· on the summer air

· he sniffed and roared

· and smelled it there

· honey on the summer air

· Oh I'm a maid

· and I'm pure and fair

· I'll never dance

· with a hairy bear

· a bear, a bear

· I'll never dance

· with a hairy bear

· The bear, the bear

· lifted her high

· into the air

· the bear, the bear

· I called for a knight

· but you're a bear

· a bear, a bear

· all black and brown

· and covered in hair

· She kicked and wailed

· the maid so fair

· but he licked the honey

· from her hair

· her hair, her hair

· he licked the honey

· from her hair

· Then she sighed and squealed

· and kicked the air

· she sang: my bear so fair

· and off they went

· the bear, the bear

· and the maiden fair

GoldenFleece2 said:

"Secondly, I had not noticed this before, she calls herself Drogo’s Queen, not a Queen by herself in her own right. Does she doubt she earned the title of Queen yet?"

To me, this is one of many examples of the uncertainty and variability of important factors in ASoIaF. Dany, for instance, often goes back and forth on things. She doesn't change her mind on an issue and then stick with her new idea or feeling. I noted in an earlier post that she didn't just think out the matter of the dragon eggs and come to the conclusion that they were viable. She feels something moving in them, then thinks that this can't be true. She feels warmth, then decides it was just because the rocks were in the sun. Generally, it seems that, in her more rational, everyday mode, she tends toward the opinion that the fossils are fossils, nothing more. However, she keeps coming back to her dreams and hopes.

The business about being a queen shows some similarity. Earlier, she had asserted herself quite powerfully. The Dothraki were taken aback when she claimed that she would get revenge on men like Ko Jhaqo. They pointed out that Jhaqo was now a khal with thousands of followers. Dany replied--

"And I am Daenerys Stirmborn, Daenerys of House Targaryen, of the blood of Aegon the Conquerer and Maegor the Cruel..."

It doesn't sound like she's depending on her husband's authority there. Later though, as you say, she gives some indication that she doesn't quite think of herself as a queen in her own right yet. A number of other similar matters will come up later. For example, Dany's meaning of terms like "my city" and "my people" is not always the same.

Daenerys is not the only character that shows this variability. And, in a way, it is appropriate for her. She is involved in the business of magic and prophecy. These things are powerful factors in ASoIaF. Unfortunately, they are very slippery uncertain things.

This is a good point because people often say Daenerys is delusional.

But she seems more like a realist, thinking of the more "real" explanation rather than anything else. Another good example to add to yours is in when she denies that westeros will raise their banners for her when Barristan says they will rise for their rightful queen.

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...

This is a good point because people often say Daenerys is delusional.

But she seems more like a realist, thinking of the more "real" explanation rather than anything else. Another good example to add to yours is in when she denies that westeros will raise their banners for her when Barristan says they will rise for their rightful queen.

I don't think one can legitimately say that Daenerys is delusional. However, this goes back to the short exchange SeanF and I had in the first thread. What does it mean to say someone is mad or delusional, or realistic for that matter, in a world like the one GRRM has given us? The issues are complicated and interesting. That's one of the reasons why Dany is interesting.

Some people say that Dany is stupid. I definitely do not believe this. She has above average intelligence, but we will see her do some stupid things. Many people think that the young queen is an entitled little bitch. This makes no sense to me. She's an aristocrat; she has titles, many of them given to her by others. It is natural, and advisable, for her to make use of what she is given.

Is Dany just? Is she wise? It depends on what these words mean. For now, I'll say this--

The pyre event can be seen as just, in a strange and twisted way. Mirri Maz Duur signed her own death warrant. She agreed with Qotho that her fate would be the same as the khals. She volunteered as healer, and she knew what the Dothraki are. She could not have expected a quick and easy death. Also, she told Dany that life for her was essentially worth nothing. If her life was worth nothing, then Dany took nothing from her. Was the pyre then justice? By my standards, no, by the standards established by MMD herself, probably yes.

In the last few POVs, we've seen basic developments in Dany that will be important in coming chapters. There is all kind of discussion on these threads concerning the dragon queen as a leader and a ruler. Does she not, like many characters in the story, have many fundamentally tribal ideas and attitudes? The common (perhaps a bit cliche, but still accurate I say) view of a tribal leader's outlook is--love for your family, help for your friends, no mercy to your enemies. The queen makes no distinction between justice and revenge. This means she'd fit in pretty well in many places, Dorne especially.

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Parwan, I think that's a fair summary of Dany's character. The compassion she shows Doreah (way beyond what most nobles would show to a dying servant) and the cruelty she displays towards enemies are two sides of the same coin. Like Sulla, her philosophy is "No better friend. No worse enemy."

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So I was reading this chapter last night and I noticed something we have to discuss here. Please everyone tell me what you think this means. I plan on doing some research today. But I am 100% sure this is important.



Ok, Dany arrives at Vaes Tolorro 'City of Bones'. Upon inspecting the city she comes to;



"Everything was white, as if the people who lived here had known nothing of color. They rode past heaps of sunwashed rubble where houses had fallen in, and elsewhere saw the faded scars of fire. At a place where six alleys came together, Dany passed an empty marble plinth. Dothraki had visited this place before it would seem. Perhaps the missing statue stood among the other stolen gods in Vaes Dothrak."



So then I went back to the Vaes Dothrak chapter in GOT and found this;



"Dany rode her Silver past their feet. Stone kings looked down on her from their thrones, their faces chipped and stained, even their names lost in the mists of time. Lithe young maidens danced on marble plinths draped only in flowers, or poured air from shattered jars."



This 'lithe young maiden' is the missing statue from Vaes Tolorro, I am sure of that. Who was she? This place is a bit of a sanctuary. There are beautiful fruit trees and gardens and everything is white. Someone important lived here, and at the biggest intersection in the city is a statue of a 'Lithe young maidens draped only in flowers'..... OK now there are also burns scars around the city, big enough to notice. There is also an enormous dragon skeleton a days ride away from the city.



lithe


līT͟H/


adjective



  1. 1.


    (esp. of a person's body) thin, supple, and graceful.








My deduction is that someone important lived here (not sure who, I wanted to hear everyones ideas) a young royal perhaps? And this town was then at some point attacked by a dragon (with or without a rider). Then that dragon apparently died relatively near by. There are a few other small cities like this one, which her scouts found.....I am sure that all this points to something, but not sure what it is. But I do know that the fact that Dany noticed the missing statue here and saw the actual statue in Vaes Dothrak and the fact that there is a giant dead dragon near by is important and is in the books for a reason. The first character that comes to my mind in reference to this is fAegon. Here is the description of the marble statue in Illyrio's yard.



"A naked boy stood on the water, poised to duel with a bravo’s blade in hand. He was lithe and handsome, no older than sixteen, with straight blond hair that brushed his shoulders. So lifelike did he seem that it took the dwarf a long moment to realize he was made of painted marble, though his sword shimmered like true steel."



I think Vaes Tolorro will at some point be important again before the books are over. Anyone have any ideas? I am going to try and look up who the statue girl could be...........................





Edit: Also there is mention 2 or 3 times in the chapter that there are ghosts in the city. The Dothraki also believe that the solid white 'Ghost Grass' will eventually cover the whole planet and that will be the end of the world (or something). So the city is white, the dragon skeleton is white, the ghost grass is white, there are ghosts in this city (ghosts are usually white)........


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<snip>

:bowdown: This is a perfect summary of Dany's arc so far, and I agree with every part of it.

<snip>

Those are some interesting observation, I had to look at the maps of the East and I came up with a few possibilities.

So Dany sent Aggo southwest, Rakaro south and Jhogo south east.

Aggo found two ruined cities and according to the Lands of ice and fire maps these two citites were Vaes Orvik and Vaes Shirosi. These two cities according to the world of ice and fire app were former Qartheen colonies and were sacked and pillaged by the Dothraki during the bleeding years.

Rakaro went directly south of Vaes Tolorro and found a shore which leads to the summer sea and the dragon bones according to the maps the location of this should be between Qarkash (Another Qartheen colony but not in ruins, people still live there) and Vaes Shirosi (one of the ruins Aggo found).

There is also another Qartheen colony which isn't in ruins and it is west of Vaes Orvik according to the maps.

So based on these it seems most of the cities at this area are Qartheen colonies and it seems possible that Vaes Tolorro was also a former Qartheen colony like the other two ruined cities. And from the statue you connected from Vaes Dothrak to Vaes Tolorro seems likely that the Dothraki also sacked and pillaged here during the Bleeding years.

The last mystery is the dragon and the flame marks on the buildings. GRRM said the Targaryens were the only dragonlords that survived the doom and Aenys took the five dragons with him west. So the possibilities are that the dragon is from the days of old Valyria or from the east.

But according to the maps Valyria didn't go as far east as the red waste so it cant be them (I ainitially thought they did in my earlier post above), unless they tried to conquer here and failed and the death of a dragon stopped them from going further east. Another possibility is that maybe the dothraki had control of a dragon at one point? Since they sacked the cities maybe they had one? (Probably crackpot territory)

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I don't think one can legitimately say that Daenerys is delusional. However, this goes back to the short exchange SeanF and I had in the first thread. What does it mean to say someone is mad or delusional, or realistic for that matter, in a world like the one GRRM has given us? The issues are complicated and interesting. That's one of the reasons why Dany is interesting.

Some people say that Dany is stupid. I definitely do not believe this. She has above average intelligence, but we will see her do some stupid things. Many people think that the young queen is an entitled little bitch. This makes no sense to me. She's an aristocrat; she has titles, many of them given to her by others. It is natural, and advisable, for her to make use of what she is given.

Is Dany just? Is she wise? It depends on what these words mean. For now, I'll say this--

The pyre event can be seen as just, in a strange and twisted way. Mirri Maz Duur signed her own death warrant. She agreed with Qotho that her fate would be the same as the khals. She volunteered as healer, and she knew what the Dothraki are. She could not have expected a quick and easy death. Also, she told Dany that life for her was essentially worth nothing. If her life was worth nothing, then Dany took nothing from her. Was the pyre then justice? By my standards, no, by the standards established by MMD herself, probably yes.

In the last few POVs, we've seen basic developments in Dany that will be important in coming chapters. There is all kind of discussion on these threads concerning the dragon queen as a leader and a ruler. Does she not, like many characters in the story, have many fundamentally tribal ideas and attitudes? The common (perhaps a bit cliche, but still accurate I say) view of a tribal leader's outlook is--love for your family, help for your friends, no mercy to your enemies. The queen makes no distinction between justice and revenge. This means she'd fit in pretty well in many places, Dorne especially.

I agree with your thoughts, especially that things are supposed to be complicated and interesting and Dany's POV fits in well with the themes Martin presents that are not supposed to be simple.

On Dany's intelligence I think she is presented as quite the bright character who has been burdened by a lack or training/education and inexperience. Meereen is quite a distance away in the reread, but one of the things I found frustrating in her time there was that she didn't seem to be applying her mind there in the same way she does on her road to get there-- my point being that I definitely picked up that she was intelligent (even if inexperienced) during these chapters on my first read.

So I was reading this chapter last night and I noticed something we have to discuss here. Please everyone tell me what you think this means. I plan on doing some research today. But I am 100% sure this is important.

Ok, Dany arrives at Vaes Tolorro 'City of Bones'. Upon inspecting the city she comes to;

"Everything was white, as if the people who lived here had known nothing of color. They rode past heaps of sunwashed rubble where houses had fallen in, and elsewhere saw the faded scars of fire. At a place where six alleys came together, Dany passed an empty marble plinth. Dothraki had visited this place before it would seem. Perhaps the missing statue stood among the other stolen gods in Vaes Dothrak."

So then I went back to the Vaes Dothrak chapter in GOT and found this;

"Dany rode her Silver past their feet. Stone kings looked down on her from their thrones, their faces chipped and stained, even their names lost in the mists of time. Lithe young maidens danced on marble plinths draped only in flowers, or poured air from shattered jars."

This 'lithe young maiden' is the missing statue from Vaes Tolorro, I am sure of that. Who was she? This place is a bit of a sanctuary. There are beautiful fruit trees and gardens and everything is white. Someone important lived here, and at the biggest intersection in the city is a statue of a 'Lithe young maidens draped only in flowers'..... OK now there are also burns scars around the city, big enough to notice. There is also an enormous dragon skeleton a days ride away from the city.

lithe

līT͟H/

adjective

  1. 1.

    (esp. of a person's body) thin, supple, and graceful.

My deduction is that someone important lived here (not sure who, I wanted to hear everyones ideas) a young royal perhaps? And this town was then at some point attacked by a dragon (with or without a rider). Then that dragon apparently died relatively near by. There are a few other small cities like this one, which her scouts found.....I am sure that all this points to something, but not sure what it is. But I do know that the fact that Dany noticed the missing statue here and saw the actual statue in Vaes Dothrak and the fact that there is a giant dead dragon near by is important and is in the books for a reason. The first character that comes to my mind in reference to this is fAegon. Here is the description of the marble statue in Illyrio's yard.

"A naked boy stood on the water, poised to duel with a bravo’s blade in hand. He was lithe and handsome, no older than sixteen, with straight blond hair that brushed his shoulders. So lifelike did he seem that it took the dwarf a long moment to realize he was made of painted marble, though his sword shimmered like true steel."

I think Vaes Tolorro will at some point be important again before the books are over. Anyone have any ideas? I am going to try and look up who the statue girl could be...........................

Edit: Also there is mention 2 or 3 times in the chapter that there are ghosts in the city. The Dothraki also believe that the solid white 'Ghost Grass' will eventually cover the whole planet and that will be the end of the world (or something). So the city is white, the dragon skeleton is white, the ghost grass is white, there are ghosts in this city (ghosts are usually white)........

I definitely got the sense that this was implying or deliberately causing readers to wonder about some historical battle involving dragons. I even wondered if the Red Waste might have been caused by the Old Valyrian Freehold in one of their conquests. Just speculation and musings but I think we're nudged into such musings.

The empty plinth and colorless world you pointed out made me think of Sansa.

A godswood without gods, as empty as me.

All color had fled the world outside. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here.

Bran also notes the colorless world as he descends into the CotF cave though I'm not sure where to connect that other than a generic return to innocence theme. Tyrion also has some colorless world observations after the Blackwater but I think that is mostly self contained to contrast to his earlier wonderment at the beautiful colors of the banners before the battle.

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:bowdown: This is a perfect summary of Dany's arc so far, and I agree with every part of it.

Those are some interesting observation, I had to look at the maps of the East and I came up with a few possibilities.

So Dany sent Aggo southwest, Rakaro south and Jhogo south east.

Aggo found two ruined cities and according to the Lands of ice and fire maps these two citites were Vaes Orvik and Vaes Shirosi. These two cities according to the world of ice and fire app were former Qartheen colonies and were sacked and pillaged by the Dothraki during the bleeding years.

Rakaro went directly south of Vaes Tolorro and found a shore which leads to the summer sea and the dragon bones according to the maps the location of this should be between Qarkash (Another Qartheen colony but not in ruins, people still live there) and Vaes Shirosi (one of the ruins Aggo found).

There is also another Qartheen colony which isn't in ruins and it is west of Vaes Orvik according to the maps.

So based on these it seems most of the cities at this area are Qartheen colonies and it seems possible that Vaes Tolorro was also a former Qartheen colony like the other two ruined cities. And from the statue you connected from Vaes Dothrak to Vaes Tolorro seems likely that the Dothraki also sacked and pillaged here during the Bleeding years.

The last mystery is the dragon and the flame marks on the buildings. GRRM said the Targaryens were the only dragonlords that survived the doom and Aenys took the five dragons with him west. So the possibilities are that the dragon is from the days of old Valyria or from the east.

But according to the maps Valyria didn't go as far east as the red waste so it cant be them (I ainitially thought they did in my earlier post above), unless they tried to conquer here and failed and the death of a dragon stopped them from going further east. Another possibility is that maybe the dothraki had control of a dragon at one point? Since they sacked the cities maybe they had one? (Probably crackpot territory)

I found the fire cut opal very interesting as well from one of the other Qartheen outposts. I was wondering if fire opals were mentioned anywhere else in the books. I dont them have on digital so I can't do a search. Thanks for researching some on it. Vaes Tolorro just struck me as important. I think it is definitely possible That is an Old Valyrian dragon.

I definitely got the sense that this was implying or deliberately causing readers to wonder about some historical battle involving dragons. I even wondered if the Red Waste might have been caused by the Old Valyrian Freehold in one of their conquests. Just speculation and musings but I think we're nudged into such musings.

The empty plinth and colorless world you pointed out made me think of Sansa.

Bran also notes the colorless world as he descends into the CotF cave though I'm not sure where to connect that other than a generic return to innocence theme. Tyrion also has some colorless world observations after the Blackwater but I think that is mostly self contained to contrast to his earlier wonderment at the beautiful colors of the banners before the battle.

Well the Vale is a great possibility for a connection. I still think Dany will land in the vale when she goes to Westeros. The Vale and Vaes Tolorro do seem to have a lot of similarities, they both seem like serene white palaces that stand alone.

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Parwan, I think that's a fair summary of Dany's character. The compassion she shows Doreah (way beyond what most nobles would show to a dying servant) and the cruelty she displays towards enemies are two sides of the same coin. Like Sulla, her philosophy is "No better friend. No worse enemy."

Would you call Sulla a good ruler?

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