Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

LmL

Rhaenys Went to Hell: the Dornish Letter Mystery

Recommended Posts

Queen Rhaenys, younger sister and most beloved of Aegon the Conqueror, famously "died" in Dorne at the Hellholt with her dragon Meraxes in 10 AC. For the next two years, the "Years of the Dragon's Wroth," King Aegon and Queen Visenya "set ablaze every castle, keep, and holdfast in Dorn at least once... save for Sunspear and shadow city." There were countless assassinations and reports of atrocities, including the mysterious deeds of Wyl of Wyl, "whose deeds we need not recount; they are infamous enough and still remembered, especially in Fawnton and Old Oak." That's the same Lord Wyl who captured Orros Baratheon and his army and held them for several years, releasing them only after cutting off their sword hands. King Aegon and Queen Visenya were both attacked in the streets by Dornish assassins. Then, in 13 AC, Meria Martel, "the Yellow toad of Dorne," dies and the throne passes to her son, prince Nymor. Nymor immediately begins negotiating for peace, sending a delegation to Kings Landing led by his daughter Deria. Dorne wanted peace, but as equals. Aegon was determined to refuse, until Deria hands him the infamous "Dornish Letter" from her father. What happens next is really weird - Aegon clutches the letter so tightly, his hands bleed. He immediately flys to Dragonstone, returns the next day, and takes the peace offer. Aegon never again so much as thinks about aggression towards Dorne.

So what the Hellholt was in that letter? I think we are given all the clues we need to suss it out. We need to take a look at the (not so) good folks at the Hellholt, the Ullers, as well as those wascally Wyls, the the Quorgyles of Sandstone, and the Blackmonts of Blackmont, who gave us the Vulture King. There's something infernal going on here with all of these families in near the foothills of Dorne.

The WOIAF gives a big hint that perhaps Rhaenys did not die, saying that "a few accounts claim the queen survived her dragon's fall, only to die a slow death by torment at the hands of the Ullers." The Ullers of Hellholt are not a nice lot. They "raised a grim, stinking seat besides the sulfurous yellow waters of the Brimstone." Elsewhere we are told of the Brimstone and it's sulfurous waters again, and that "the plants that grow along its banks are strange and stunted things. Of the men who live along the selfsame banks we shall not speak." Apparently, something is going on that so foul that it is unspeakable, reminiscent of whatever the Wyl of Wyl did to the Oakhearts. The Hellholt itself gets it's name from another atrocity, where some Lord Uller of the past invited his rivals to the castle, only to lock them in and burn them alive. Cheerful, ay?

The Ullers were Andals, as were the Qorgyles, who fortified the only well for 50 leagues around. (They were the ones who treacherously killed Lord Tyrell in a bed of scorpions in 159 AC). We are told that few Andals decided to make Dorne their home, and those that did chose the choice lands watered by the green blood. From TWOAIF:

"Others established themselves in places where no man had gone before them."

We are told of the Ullers and Qorgyles in the very next sentence - so I think the use of the word "Others" here may be meant to have a double meaning, implying a dark magic or similarity to the Others. Obviously there's no ice in Dorne, so they aren't "The Others," but we are about to hear about sacrificing babies over at nearby Blackmont, so I think there a similarity going on.

The Blackmonts of Blackmont have a curious coat of arms: a giant black vulture on a yellow field, clutching a baby. The Blackmonts are the house which would give us the Vulture King about 25 years later, shortly after Aenys Targaryen took the throne in 37 AC. We are never specifically told that the Vulture King is a Blackmont, but we are told about one of the six petty kings which Nymeria sent to the wall after conquering Dorne, a certain Benedict of House Blackmont, who “worshipped a dark god and was said to have the power to transform himself into a vulture of enormous size." That's quite interesting, because Bendict Blackmont lived long before the Vulture King. Presumably, the coat of arms dates back to before the Vulture King of 37 AC. Unless the stories are totally wrong, the Blackmonts have been worshipping a dark god, transforming into Vultures, and stealing babies for a long time.

We've already talked about the Wyls and their unspeakable acts, as well as their capture and mutilation of Orys Baratheon and his army. The Wyls actually fought beside the Vulture King in his rebellion. Then they pop up again in the story of Baelor the Blessed and the Young Dragon. In 161 AC, the Young Dragon returned to Dorne a second time to put down rebellions, and was eventually murdered under a peace banner somewhere in the Boneway, where the Wyls make their seat. His cousin Aemon the Dragonknight was captured and held by Lord Wyl. When Baelor came through on his walking journey to Dorne, Lord Wyl refused his pleas to release Aemon. On Baelor's way back, after securing a peace and a command from the Dornish prince to Lord Wyl to release the Dragonknight, he came again to the Boneway. Lord Wyl agreed and gave Baelor the keys to free the Dragonknight... but he was, famously, suspended in a cage over a pit of vipers. Baelor freed the Dragonknight but was bitten many times - this gives the Wyls their current coat of arms, a black viper biting a heel.

So, dark gods and burning people alive, murderous treachery, scorpion and viper poisoning, warging and stealing babies, unspeakable acts and unspeakable people, and sulfurous waters which stunts the growth of plants. Pretty grim stuff. But let's return to 10 AC and the Hellholt, where the dark Lord Uller, quite possibly some kind of necromancer or black sorcerer, suddenly find himself in possession of Kings blood (Rhaenys) and a dead dragon. Ask yourself - if you're a dark sorcerer of Westeros, what do you do with such gifts? Probably some blood magic, right? Your country is being scourged by dragon fire, going on several years now, and your countrymen have no way to stop them. Was there a way for Lord Uller to cause some kind of mischief with Rhaenys' kings blood?

Well, of course there was. Melisandre seems to have caused or partially caused the deaths of Robb, Joffrey, and Balon Greyjoy with only the leech blood, and says she can do more with king's blood. The central mystery of the Dornish letter revolves around Aegon's trip to Dragonstone. What could he have been hoping to verify there? TWOIAF gives us a clue, suggesting three possibilities:

- perhaps Rhaenys still lived, broken and mutilated, in Uller's dungeon, and Nymor promised to end her suffering
- the letter was ensorceled
- Nymor threatened to hire faceless men to kill Aegon's son, Aenys

I am proposing that that all three reasons have part of the truth. Rhaenys was to tortured and held captive, with Lord Uller collecting her blood, or possibly killing her before he sent the letter to perform sorcery. Either way, Uller used her blood to strike out in some way at either young Aenys (six at the time) or newborn prince Maegor on Dragonstone. Perhaps a small wound, or just some bloody sign that Uller did in fact have the power to strike at Aenys or Maegor in the future. Perhaps Lord Uller murdered a different babe on Dragonstone, to prove that he could. In any case, Aenys was a sickly babe and child, and although he did better after bonding with his dragon Quicksilver, he suffered poor health through his life, dying at age 35 but "looking like a man of 60," and Maesters despaired at their inability to improve his health. Maegor, meanwhile, was Maegor the Cruel, and insane psychopath. Could the blood magic performed by Lord Uller have something to do with either?

As for Aegon gripping the letter so tightly that his hand bled, let's think about that. Unless you have long, sharp nails, like mad King Aerys, I cannot fathom a way for this to occur. Go ahead - give it a try at home. Doesn't work. So, either the letter was ensorceled, perhaps to release a bit of Rhaenys' blood for, you know, impact; or the letter contained a small, sharp object capable of cutting Aegon's hands when he gripped it - perhaps tricking Aegon into more bloodmagic. As to what that object would be, I do not know. It would have had to be small, to hide inconspicuously in the folds of a letter. I think sorcery is more likely.

So that's it. I don't know exactly what Lord Uller caused to happen at Dragonstone, but by studying the dark nature of the houses in this area of Dorne, I think it's pretty apparent that he used Rhaenys' blood to perform dark sorcery. Really, it's harder to think a person like Lord Uller WOULDN'T try to do something nefarious with Rhaenys' king's blood, seeing as how the Targaryen dragons were laying waste to Dorne.

I don't think the letter was simply a promise to end Rhaenys' suffering - how would Aegon know if Uller kept his word? How would he verify that on Dragonstone? We aren't given any magical way for Targaryens to know from afar when another Targ is dead - there's no precedent for that. As for hiring faceless men... They were already sending boatloads of assassins, and I don't see Aegon being afraid of the FM. He would think that he can protect against assassins, even skilled ones like the FM. It took awhile for Visenya to even convince Aegon that he needed a Kingsguard. Remote blood magic though - how do you stop that? It must have been a chilling threat indeed, coming from the only person in Westeros at this point who's killed a dragon. Imagine reading a letter from a dark sorcerer threatening blood magic harm to your children, who are on an island somewhere else. What would you do? Fly your ass back to Dragonstone ASAP, with all alacrity. Whatever he found proved the threat credible - and Aegon agreed to peace the next day and left Dorne alone.

If anyone has further ideas about the specifics of the blood magic Lord Uller may have performed.... well I'm sure you'll comment, this being the Westeros forums and all. Thanks for reading everyone :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading your post just makes me more interested in learning more about the Houses in Dorne. The fact that there are Houses of First Men, Andals, and Rhoynar descent in Dorne makes the region very intriguing for me. What you say about the Ullers is interesting, since it can't be proven or or disproved I like it and it makes for some good reasons as to why Aegon made a peace with Dorne right after his sister was killed. Hopefully in the WOW we see a much larger part of Dorne and get to meet more characters (specifically some House Dayne action would please me).


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I saw the topic, I wondered if Rhaenys got reek'ed.



Its totally likely, and I'm pretty sure magic was more common in those days anyways.



I think we can say that it wasn't because Rhaenys was alive-if she was, and Nymor just revealed she was alive, tortured in Uller's dungeon, then Aegon and Balerion would have gone straight there and wiped out that house.



And maybe a few others.



Even if it resulted in Rhaenys's death, I think Aegon would be so angry at her torture, that Dorne would have been wiped out. Marttel, Dayne...I think there'd be a lot more Harrenhals. Even if you can escape to the mountains, if you suddenly lose all your wells, irrigation, and fortifications in the desert you are screwed


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a pretty cool tinfoilhat theory to keep in mind until or if we ever find out what the letter was about. Good job.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I saw the topic, I wondered if Rhaenys got reek'ed.

Its totally likely, and I'm pretty sure magic was more common in those days anyways.

I think we can say that it wasn't because Rhaenys was alive-if she was, and Nymor just revealed she was alive, tortured in Uller's dungeon, then Aegon and Balerion would have gone straight there and wiped out that house.

And maybe a few others.

Even if it resulted in Rhaenys's death, I think Aegon would be so angry at her torture, that Dorne would have been wiped out. Marttel, Dayne...I think there'd be a lot more Harrenhals. Even if you can escape to the mountains, if you suddenly lose all your wells, irrigation, and fortifications in the desert you are screwed

Exactly. I agree with that logic 100%. The fact that Aegon didn't go even think about attacking Dorne ever again indicates they had him by the balls - it's the only thing that makes sense. Rhaenys was dead, but they extracted A LOT of blood... Oh god it sounds so awful. I guess it doesn't have to be that way, necessarily - they could have just drained her corpse... And her dragon's corpse.... Oh god. That's some powerful shit. I wonder if this actually goes further... You could just do so much bad stuff with dragons and kings blood of it's bonded rider....holy shit what does that mean for the end of the story?!? George could be foreshadowing something truly dastardly here. Who do we know that might want to imprison, say, Dany, and use her blood? Kind if like the Warlocks in Quarth wanted to do? Perhaps.... Euron, drinker of Warlock purple drank, and possessor of a dragon horn? (I personally think Moqorro is in league with Euron, and the Dusky women is a red herring, which means Euron and Moqorro are using Victarion).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I imagine that Euron might drink Dany's blood, and use the horn to bind a dragon to her will.



I wonder if we get a different story of the King who Knelt though-here we do get the bastard brother (cousin I guess) who assassinates the dragons.



I do personally think theres a chance that Dany will enter Westeros as Euron's slave, and get freed by someone else. That could also be her death, like she chooses to sacrifice herself, freeing her dragon(s) from Euron's control. They end up with Jon and gang (Bran? Tyrion? Theres definitely a Jon/Tyrion reunion coming up. Even fAegon/Rhaegon), who turn the tables on Euron with them. Theres a lot of foreshadowing that Tyrion will ride Rhaegel, and Dany is linked with Drogon the most obviously, but I don't see a Jon-Viserion link, except maybe that Ghost and Viserion are white.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I imagine that Euron might drink Dany's blood, and use the horn to bind a dragon to her will.

I wonder if we get a different story of the King who Knelt though-here we do get the bastard brother (cousin I guess) who assassinates the dragons.

I do personally think theres a chance that Dany will enter Westeros as Euron's slave, and get freed by someone else. That could also be her death, like she chooses to sacrifice herself, freeing her dragon(s) from Euron's control. They end up with Jon and gang (Bran? Tyrion? Theres definitely a Jon/Tyrion reunion coming up. Even fAegon/Rhaegon), who turn the tables on Euron with them. Theres a lot of foreshadowing that Tyrion will ride Rhaegel, and Dany is linked with Drogon the most obviously, but I don't see a Jon-Viserion link, except maybe that Ghost and Viserion are white.

I don't think Jon is going to ride one of those. Jon is waiting for the Ice Dragon, IMO. I had thought Vic would steal Viserion, given the Rhaegel / Tyrion connection, but maybe he's going to steal Dany and her dragon... In any case Jon gets the Ice Dragon... I believe in the Ice Dragon...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, Jon IS the Ice Dragon. If he ends up becoming the Nights King 2.0 (theres some foreshadowing for Stannis, but also lots of similarities with Jon. Also, Last Hero=Nights King so), I could see Jon riding a Ice Dragon, and the final battle at the Trident involving Jon and his Ice Dragon (supposedly, they are many times the size of the Valyrian dragons) against the other 3.



Maybe, the true heroism will be Jon sacrificing his dragon, so its not an absolute monarchy, one king ruling the entire world through the power of his dragons, in return for normal seasons and balance.



Who knows.




At any rate, stealing Viserion would make sense, but it always seemed like if they were going to steal a dragon, it'd be Dany.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've kind of been wondering about Euron's plans ever since he was introduced. I was thinking use the horn to steal a dragon, like a literal dragon, but using Dany's blood to control her or something... That's more fitting of an evil genius like I think Euron is. I've also had that lingering suspicion that Dany may return to Westeros in chains somehow in the back of my head for a while now, as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rhaenys didn't have king's blood. Unless being sister of a king counts. Does it? It seems to me like it wouldn't, but maybe I'm mistaken.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rhaenys didn't have king's blood. Unless being sister of a king counts. Does it? It seems to me like it wouldn't, but maybe I'm mistaken.

If a bastard of King Robert is kings blood, then I would think the sister of the dragon would count also. I agree with those who think "blood of the dragon" can be any immediate relative, as when Ned says of Jon, his secret nephew, "he is of my blood." We are also told by poor dying Maestar Aemon that the Valyrian term for prince is gender neutral, so there's that. Plus it was DRAGONRIDER kings blood, that's probably the jam if you're a dark sorcerer like Lord Ullor.

I mean if Dany is blood of the dragon and the heir to the Valyrian magical legacy, I don't see why Rhaenys, dragonrider and officially queen, wouldn't be kings blood. I don't think gender is a barrier here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole thing begs the question of why didn't they try to use her before when they had her? There is absolutely no evidence pointing to the Ullers being sorcerers. The Ullers are Andals, and the Andals came after the Long Night.

What is more likely, IMO, is that the letter was from Rhaenys herself. She was badly wounded when Meraxes fell, and they put her to bed with a maester to attend her thinking when she got better they would tell Aegon they had her. However, her health deteriorated and she grew worse. On her death bed she asked to write a letter to be given to Aegon. Her body wasn't returned likely, because she was cremated as all Targaryens are. She may have asked for her ashes to be sent to Dragonstone, her home, which may have been the reason why Aegon went back to Dragonstone. The Dornish clearly didn't play nice in the war, and the one honorable act they performed ended the war.

If a bastard of King Robert is kings blood, then I would think the sister of the dragon would count also. I agree with those who think "blood of the dragon" can be any immediate relative, as when Ned says of Jon, his secret nephew, "he is of my blood." We are also told by poor dying Maestar Aemon that the Valyrian term for prince is gender neutral, so there's that. Plus it was DRAGONRIDER kings blood, that's probably the jam if you're a dark sorcerer like Lord Ullor.

I mean if Dany is blood of the dragon and the heir to the Valyrian magical legacy, I don't see why Rhaenys, dragonrider and officially queen, wouldn't be kings blood. I don't think gender is a barrier here.

Except Edric's father was a king, and has the blood of a king in him while Rhaenys's ancestors were never kings. Whether or not a child's parents are married, the child has the parent's blood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a bastard of King Robert is kings blood, then I would think the sister of the dragon would count also. I agree with those who think "blood of the dragon" can be any immediate relative, as when Ned says of Jon, his secret nephew, "he is of my blood." We are also told by poor dying Maestar Aemon that the Valyrian term for prince is gender neutral, so there's that. Plus it was DRAGONRIDER kings blood, that's probably the jam if you're a dark sorcerer like Lord Ullor.

Why?

ETA:

I see you added this bit after I already responded:

I mean if Dany is blood of the dragon and the heir to the Valyrian magical legacy, I don't see why Rhaenys, dragonrider and officially queen, wouldn't be kings blood. I don't think gender is a barrier here.

The answer to which is, Dany is descended from Aegon the Conqueror. Rhaenys was not.

If you want to argue that Rhaenys's queen's blood was worth the same as Aegon's king's blood, then that it is fine. However, that is a different argument than the one you were making.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Initially, I thought that Nymorr's letter was like Ramsay Bolton's letter to Asha. Gloating, mocking, threatening, and containing " a piece of Queen."

But, that would go completely against the spirit of sending back Meraxes' skull, and sending his own daughter and heir to offer peace. Those are important gestures of goodwill.

Threats to torture Rhaenys to death, or the revelation that she had been tortured for three years, but could be given a quick death, would surely provoke retaliation against Princess Deria. If she were still alive, the offer would surely be that she could live out her days in reasonable captivity, which would also give the Dornish a valuable hostage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I saw the topic, I wondered if Rhaenys got reek'ed.

Its totally likely, and I'm pretty sure magic was more common in those days anyways.

I think we can say that it wasn't because Rhaenys was alive-if she was, and Nymor just revealed she was alive, tortured in Uller's dungeon, then Aegon and Balerion would have gone straight there and wiped out that house.

And maybe a few others.

Even if it resulted in Rhaenys's death, I think Aegon would be so angry at her torture, that Dorne would have been wiped out. Marttel, Dayne...I think there'd be a lot more Harrenhals. Even if you can escape to the mountains, if you suddenly lose all your wells, irrigation, and fortifications in the desert you are screwed

Maybe she hadn't been Reek'ed yet, but there was the threat of doing so. Remember that the first time Rhaenys went to Dorne, most of the castles were empty and people gone. They must have had several good hiding spots. How long would it have taken Aegon to find his sister, and all the while she's being Reekified? The letter would need to contain information that proved Rhaenys was alive (some husband-wife or sister-brother secret.) Would this have been enough to stay Aegon's hand? How about a promise that she would be treated well? There's no way Aegon could confirm it, but what choice did he have?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing that make sense as a reason for Aegon to instantly agree to peace and never attack Dorne, either in vengeance or to rescue his sister, is they had him by the balls. The only thing I can figure is using Rhaenys' blood to strike at Aenys.

Setting aside the issue of what is technically "king's blood," you can do blood magic with any blood, and I maintain that with the Targaryen royalty dragon rider blood along with the blood of the dead dragon itself, a dark sorcerer worth his salt could wreak mischief. To strike at Aenys with his mother's blood makes a certain amount of sense, doesn't it?

A threat that Aegon takes VERY seriously is the only explanation that makes logical sense. Otherwise, it's revenge if Rhaenys is dead, or a rescue mission if she's alive. Of course, they've been burning all of Dorne for two years, but probably with the assumption that Rhaenys was dead. If she was alive in on lee way Aegon the supremely confident conqueror would be going down to rescue. She was dead. The letter was a threat, verified on Dragonstone. Does anyone else have a plausible idea for what Aegon could have verified on Dragonstone? I couldn't think of anything else, but that doesn't mean there isn't another possibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe she hadn't been Reek'ed yet, but there was the threat of doing so. Remember that the first time Rhaenys went to Dorne, most of the castles were empty and people gone. They must have had several good hiding spots. How long would it have taken Aegon to find his sister, and all the while she's being Reekified? The letter would need to contain information that proved Rhaenys was alive (some husband-wife or sister-brother secret.) Would this have been enough to stay Aegon's hand? How about a promise that she would be treated well? There's no way Aegon could confirm it, but what choice did he have?

That's how I see it. A letter along the lines of "how she's treated depends on how you behave. You've seen what we can do." Nymorr might have offered a process of verification, to confirm that she was being decently treated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's how I see it. A letter along the lines of "how she's treated depends on how you behave. You've seen what we can do." Nymorr might have offered a process of verification, to confirm that she was being decently treated.

Ok, I'm following your line of thought, but how could Aegon verify that Rhaenys was alive and ok by flying to Dragonstone? And if she was still alive, I absolutely cannot fathom Aegon not trying SOMETHING to rescue her. He would never have let her rot in Dorne. He loved her madly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I'm following your line of thought, but how could Aegon verify that Rhaenys was alive and ok by flying to Dragonstone? And if she was still alive, I absolutely cannot fathom Aegon not trying SOMETHING to rescue her. He would never have let her rot in Dorne. He loved her madly.

She might have been able to communicate with him by means of obsidian candle; or Nymorr might have offered to let him send an envoy from time to time to check that she was well-treated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She might have been able to communicate with him by means of obsidian candle; or Nymorr might have offered to let him send an envoy from time to time to check that she was well-treated.

Ok, obsidian candle - that's the first credible alternate idea I've heard. In fact, it's pretty good. I don't think the envoy thing would cut it, and wouldn't explain the rush to Dragonstone. The glass candle would. Still, I like my "threatening to do messed up blood magic to Aenys" idea, especially because it foreshadows something that I think would make a whole lot of sense - a Daenerys abduction by team Euron. I think there's one more clue out there, somewhere, that will give us an indication. Search is on!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...