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Lost Melnibonean

Peeling Another Egg

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If we peel the eggs, we'll find the three heads of Rhaegar's dragon . . .

(Quotes are in spoiler tags for length.)

There are four scenes in the first five ASOIAF novels where boiled eggs are served for breakfast, and where The George weaves the character's eating of the eggs into the narrative. But before looking at each of those instances, note that the first time we read about any eggs in ASOIAF is early in Game, during Daenerys's wedding . . .

Daenerys Mother of Dragons

Spoiler

Magister Illyrio murmured a command, and four burly slaves hurried forward, bearing between them a great cedar chest bound in bronze. When she opened it, she found piles of the finest velvets and damasks the Free Cities could produce . . . and resting on top, nestled in the soft cloth, three huge eggs.

Daenerys II, Game 11

And of course, we find out what happens with those three eggs at the end of Game.

Later, we get a foreshadowing of this in the legend of the two moons . . .

Spoiler

"He told me the moon was an egg, Khaleesi," the Lysene girl said. "Once there were two moons in the sky, but one wandered too close to the sun and cracked from the heat. A thousand thousand dragons poured forth, and drank the fire of the sun. That is why dragons breathe flame. One day the other moon will kiss the sun too, and then it will crack and the dragons will return."

Daenerys III, Game 23

So now, we can begin looking for Targaryens and dragons whenever we read about an egg. However, not every egg we read about appears to refer to a hidden Targaryen or to dragons, or even to a mystery. Some eggs are just eggs. But, when they get cracked and peeled and eaten during breakfast, we seem to have something special.

Jon and the Three Heads of the Dragon

These three eggs after Jon's moonlight ride at the end of Game really stand out . . .

Spoiler

When day broke, Jon walked to the kitchens as he did every dawn. Three-Finger Hobb said nothing as he gave him the Old Bear's breakfast. Today it was three brown eggs boiled hard, with fried bread and ham steak and a bowl of wrinkled plums. . . .

. . .

"Doubtless you loved your father," Mormont said when Jon brought him his horn. "The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember when I told you that?"

. . .

Jon stood tall. He told himself that he would die well; that much he could do, at the least. "I know the penalty for desertion, my lord. I'm not afraid to die."

"Die!" the raven cried.

"Nor live, I hope," Mormont said, cutting his ham with a dagger and feeding a bite to the bird. "You have not deserted yet. Here you stand. If we beheaded every boy who rode to Moles Town in the night, only ghosts would guard the Wall. Yet maybe you mean to flee again on the morrow, or a fortnight from now. Is that it? Is that your hope, boy?"

Jon kept silent.

"I thought so." Mormont peeled the shell off a boiled egg. "Your father is dead, lad. Do you think you can bring him back?"

"No," he answered, sullen.

"Good," Mormont said. "We've seen the dead come back, you and me, and it's not something I care to see again." He ate the egg in two bites and flicked a bit of shell out from between his teeth. "Your brother is in the field with all the power of the north behind him. Any one of his lords bannermen commands more swords than you'll find in all the Night's Watch. Why do you imagine that they need your help? Are you such a mighty warrior, or do you carry a grumkin in your pocket to magic up your sword?"

Jon had no answer for him. The raven was pecking at an egg, breaking the shell. Pushing his beak through the hole, he pulled out morsels of white and yoke.

The Old Bear sighed. "You are not the only one touched by this war. Like as not, my sister is marching in your brother's host, her and those daughters of hers, dressed in men's mail. Maege is a hoary old snark, stubborn, short-tempered, and willful. Truth be told, I can hardly stand to be around the wretched woman, but that does not mean my love for her is any less than the love you bear your half sisters." Frowning, Mormont took his last egg and squeezed it in his fist until the shell crunched. "Or perhaps it does. Be that as it may, I'd still grieve if she were slain, yet you don't see me running off. I said the words, just as you did. My place is here . . . where is yours, boy?"

I have no place, Jon wanted to say, I'm a bastard, I have no rights, no name, no mother, and now not even a father. The words would not come. "I don't know."

"I do," said Lord Commander Mormont. "The cold winds are rising, Snow. Beyond the Wall, the shadows lengthen. Cotter Pyke writes of vast herds of elk, streaming south and east toward the sea, and mammoths as well. He says one of his men discovered huge, misshapen footprints not three leagues from Eastwatch. Rangers from the Shadow Tower have found whole villages abandoned, and at night Ser Denys says they see fires in the mountains, huge blazes that burn from dusk till dawn. Qhorin Halfhand took a captive in the depths of the Gorge, and the man swears that Mance Rayder is massing all his people in some new, secret stronghold he's found, to what end the gods only know. Do you think your uncle Benjen was the only ranger weve lost this past year?"

"Ben Jen," the raven squawked, bobbing its head, bits of egg dribbling from its beak. "Ben Jen. Ben Jen."

"No," Jon said. There had been others. Too many.

"Do you think your brother's war is more important than ours?" the old man barked.

Jon chewed his lip. The raven flapped its wings at him. "War, war, war, war," it sang.

"It's not," Mormont told him. "Gods save us, boy, you're not blind and you're not stupid. When dead men come hunting in the night, do you think it matters who sits the Iron Throne?"

"No." Jon had not thought of it that way.

"Your lord father sent you to us, Jon. Why, who can say?"

"Why? Why? Why?" the raven called.

"All I know is that the blood of the First Men flows in the veins of the Starks. The First Men built the Wall, and its said they remember things otherwise forgotten. And that beast of yours . . . he led us to the wights, warned you of the dead man on the steps. Ser Jaremy would doubtless call that happenstance, yet Ser Jaremy is dead and I'm not." Lord Mormont stabbed a chunk of ham with the point of his dagger. "I think you were meant to be here, and I want you and that wolf of yours with us when we go beyond the Wall."

His words sent a chill of excitement down Jon's back. "Beyond the Wall?"

"You heard me. I mean to find Ben Stark, alive or dead." He chewed and swallowed. "I will not sit here meekly and wait for the snows and the ice winds. We must know what is happening. This time the Night's Watch will ride in force, against the King-beyond-the-Wall, the Others, and anything else that may be out there. I mean to command them myself." He pointed his dagger at Jon's chest. "By custom, the Lord Commander's steward is his squire as well . . . but I do not care to wake every dawn wondering if you've run off again. So I will have an answer from you, Lord Snow, and I will have it now. Are you a brother of the Night's Watch . . . or only a bastard boy who wants to play at war?"

Jon Snow straightened himself and took a long deep breath. Forgive me, Father. Robb, Arya, Bran . . . forgive me, I cannot help you. He has the truth of it. This is my place. "I am . . . yours, my lord. Your man. I swear it. I will not run again."

The Old Bear snorted. "Good. Now go put on your sword."

Jon IX, Game 70

We find out how significant it might be that Jeor's breakfast consists of three eggs when we read Daenerys's vision of Rhaegar in the House of the Undying Ones in Clash. Notice that Jeor eats two of the eggs . . . "He ate the egg in two bites and flicked a bit of shell out from between his teeth," and "Frowning, Mormont took his last egg and squeezed it in his fist until the shell crunched." Compare that imagery to the description of Trios, particularly the third head . . .

Spoiler

Three-headed Trios has the tower with the three turrets. The first head devours the dying, and the reborn emerge from the third. I don't know what the middle head's supposed to do.

The Ugly Little Girl, Dance 64

The reborn emerge from the third head. But to be reborn, you have to die. "Die! the raven cried." . . . "Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born."

Jeor did not eat the third egg. Bloodraven's bird claimed it.

Also, notice that Jeor asked Jon if he had a grumpkin to magic up his sword. We learn about Lightbringer in Clash. Jeor tells us that the cold winds are rising, which turns out to be one of the elements of the prince that was promised prophecy. He also tells us that Jon's father (Jeor may not know who that is, but we do) sent Jon to the Night's Watch, and suggests that Jon's father had some purpose for doing so. Bloodraven's bird asks why, and Jeor notes that Jon is a Stark with the blood of the First Men, and he tells us that Jon is meant to be there. Then Jeor tells him to bring his sword, the Valyrian steel blade that Jon won after he burned his hand setting a wight on fire, in a sense, pulling the sword from the fire. Beyond the Wall, Jon would meet the love of his life, and then he would betray her, causing her death.

Tyrion and Brown Ben

In Clash, we see another breakfast of boiled eggs . . .

Spoiler

In the airy chambers beneath the rookery, his girl served them boiled eggs, stewed plums, and porridge, while Pycelle served the pontifications. "In these sad times, when so many hunger, I think it only fitting to keep my table spare."

"Commendable," Tyrion admitted, breaking a large brown egg that reminded him unduly of the Grand Maester's bald spotted head. "I take a different view. If there is food I eat it, in case there is none on the morrow." He smiled.

. . .

Tyrion laid the letters on the table beside his porridge, twin parchments tightly rolled and sealed with wax at both ends.

. . .

"These letters, now . . ."

"For the eyes of Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne." Tyrion peeled the cracked shell away from his egg and took a bite. It wanted salt. "One letter, in two copies. Send your swiftest birds. The matter is of great import."

"I shall dispatch them as soon as we have broken our fast."

"Dispatch them now. Stewed plums will keep. The realm may not. Lord Renly is leading his host up the roseroad, and no one can say when Lord Stannis will sail from Dragonstone."

. . .

Pycelle moved so slowly that Tyrion had time to finish his egg and taste the plums--overcooked and watery, to his taste--before the sound of wings prompted him to rise.

. . .

He was back at the table peeling another egg when Grand Maester Pycelle came creeping down the stairs. "It is done, my lord." . . .

Tyrion IV, Clash 17

Notice that Pycelle's eggs, like Jeor's, were served with plums. Of course, Tyrion and Brown Ben Plumm, with his salt and pepper beard, would meet much later outside the gates of Meereen. We know that Ben has at least a couple of drops of dragon blood. We know that Viserion likes him, and we recall that Nettles, a foul-mouth girl with brown skin, managed to tame a dragon during the Dance of the Dragons.

Notice here that Tyrion's egg was not satisfactory, it wanted salt. If Tyrion has a drop of dragon blood, he is the bastard son of Aerys and Johanna Lannister, so this could be a hint at that relationship. It also might suggest that while Tyrion might be a dragon, he might not be one of the three heads that Rhaegar told us about in Daenerys's vision. And the plums are overcooked and watery. One or both of these two will tame a dragon, but I don't think either is one of the three heads of Rhaegar's dragon.

Jon and the Prince that was Promised

Jon sits in on another breakfast of hardboiled eggs with Qhorin . . .

Spoiler

They found Dolorous Edd frying a rasher of bacon and boiling a dozen eggs in a kettle over the Old Bear's cookfire.

. . .

"Best talk of this inside. Jon will fetch you a horn of ale. Or would you prefer hot spiced wine?"

"Boiled water will suffice. An egg and a bite of bacon."

"As you wish." Mormont lifted the flap of the tent and Qhorin Halfhand stooped and stepped through.

Edd stood over the kettle swishing the eggs about with a spoon. "I envy those eggs," he said. "I could do with a bit of boiling about now. If the kettle were larger, I might jump in. Though I would sooner it were wine than water. There are worse ways to die than warm and drunk. I knew a brother drowned himself in wine once. It was a poor vintage, though, and his corpse did not improve it."

"You drank the wine?"

"It's an awful thing to find a brother dead. Youd have need of a drink as well, Lord Snow." Edd stirred the kettle and added a pinch more nutmeg.

. . .

Edd cut three thick slices off a stale round of oat bread, stacked them on a wooden platter, covered them with bacon and bacon drippings, and filled a bowl with hard-cooked eggs. Jon took the bowl in one hand and the platter in the other and backed into the Lord Commander's tent.

Qhorin was seated cross-legged on the floor, his spine as straight as a spear. Candlelight flickered against the hard flat planes of his cheeks as he spoke. " . . . Rattleshirt, the Weeping Man, and every other chief great and small," he was saying. "They have wargs as well, and mammoths, and more strength than we would have dreamed. Or so he claimed. I will not swear as to the truth of it. Ebben believes the man was telling us tales to make his life last a little longer."

"True or false, the Wall must be warned," the Old Bear said as Jon placed the platter between them. "And the king."

"Which king?"

"All of them. The true and the false alike. If they would claim the realm, let them defend it."

The Halfhand helped himself to an egg and cracked it on the edge of the bowl. "These kings will do what they will," he said, peeling away the shell. "Likely it will be little enough. The best hope is Winterfell. The Starks must rally the north."

. . .

"They do not plan to climb the Wall nor to burrow beneath it, my lord. They plan to break it."

. . .

Mormont plucked at his beard, frowning. "How?"

"How else? Sorcery." Qhorin bit the egg in half. "Why else would Mance choose to gather his strength in the Frostfangs? Bleak and hard they are, and a long weary march from the Wall."

"I'd hoped he chose the mountains to hide his muster from the eyes of my rangers."

"Perhaps," said Qhorin, finishing the egg, "but there is more, I think. He is seeking something in the high cold places. He is searching for something he needs."

. . .

"We can only die. Why else do we don these black cloaks, but to die in defense of the realm? I would send fifteen men, in three parties of five. One to probe the Milkwater, one the Skirling Pass, one to climb the Giant's Stair. Jarman Buckwell, Thoren Smallwood, and myself to command. To learn what waits in those mountains."

. . .

"May the gods forgive me. Choose your men."

Qhorin Halfhand turned his head. His eyes met Jons, and held them for a long moment. "Very well. I choose Jon Snow."

Mormont blinked. "He is hardly more than a boy. And my steward besides. Not even a ranger."

"Tollett can care for you as well, my lord." Qhorin lifted his maimed, two-fingered hand. "The old gods are still strong beyond the Wall. The gods of the First Men . . . and the Starks."

. . .

Dawn had broken when Jon stepped from the tent beside Qhorin Halfhand. The wind swirled around them, stirring their black cloaks and sending a scatter of red cinders flying from the fire.

Jon V, Clash 43

First, we have Edd comparing the preparation of the eggs to drowning in water that he turned to wine in his little tale. And then Edd admits to drinking the wine after he found his brother dead. Does that remind you of a famous last supper? After that little echo of the Savior began the scene, the scene ended as Jon stepped out into the dawn, with an image of red cinders on black cloaks, the colors of the true dragon. "Why else do we don these black cloaks, but to die in defense of the realm?"

The talk between Qhorin and Mormont turns to what the king−the true and the false−must do for the "realm," that is, to defend it at the Wall. And then Qhorin helps himself to an egg and peels it, noting that their best hope is Winterfell. And after the decision is made for Qhorin to scout the Skirling Pass, he chooses Jon to go with him, noting that Jon's heritage will help.

Aegon

Then we finally get to Dance, when Illyrio tells Tyrion about his mission with Griff . . .

Spoiler

. . . Something was awry here. Even with half a nose, he could smell it. "It's said there are five slaves for every free man in Volantis. Why would the triarchs assist a queen who smashed the slave trade?" He pointed at Illyrio. "For that matter, why would you? Slavery may be forbidden by the laws of Pentos, yet you have a finger in that trade as well, and maybe a whole hand. And yet you conspire for the dragon queen, and not against her. Why? What do you hope to gain from Queen Daenerys?"

"Are we back to that again? You are a persistent little man." Illyrio gave a laugh and slapped his belly. "As you will. The Beggar King swore that I should be his master of coin, and a lordly lord as well. Once he wore his golden crown, I should have my choice of castles . . . even Casterly Rock, if I desired."

Tyrion snorted wine back up the scarred stump that had been his nose.

"My father would have loved to hear that."

"Your lord father had no cause for concern. Why would I want a rock? My manse is large enough for any man, and more comfortable than your drafty Westerosi castles. Master of coin, though . . ." The fat man peeled another egg. "I am fond of coins. Is there any sound as sweet as the clink of gold on gold?"

A sisters screams. "Are you quite certain that Daenerys will make good her brothers promises?"

"She will, or she will not." Illyrio bit the egg in half. "I told you, my little friend, not all that a man does is done for gain. Believe as you wish, but even fat old fools like me have friends, and debts of affection to repay."

Liar, thought Tyrion. There is something in this venture worth more to you than coin or castles. "You meet so few men who value friendship over gold these days."

"Too true," the fat man said, deaf to the irony.

Tyrion II, Dance V

The fat man peeled another egg. We knew they had boiled eggs among other foods for the meal, but we never saw Illyrio or Tyrion peel the first or successive eggs, just this egg, another egg, as Tyrion questioned Illyrio about his very suspicious motives in helping Daenerys.

This was a signal to the reader that we would be meeting a secret Targaryen, or at least another dragon. And black or red, a dragon is still a dragon.

ETA

Damn it! I found another scene that I overlooked, and although it’s not fatal to the theory, it sure does weaken it. . .

Spoiler

She knew the way to the kitchens, but her nose would have led her there even if she hadn't. Hot peppers and fried fish, she decided, sniffing down the hall, and bread fresh from Umma' s oven. The smells made her belly rumble. The night wolf had feasted, but that would not fill the blind girl's belly. Dream meat could not nourish her, she had learned that early on.

She broke her fast on sardines, fried crisp in pepper oil and served so hot they burned her fingers. She mopped up the leftover oil with a chunk of bread torn off the end of Umma's morning loaf and washed it all down with a cup of watered wine, savoring the tastes and the smells, the rough feel of the crust beneath her fingers, the slickness of the oil, the sting of the hot pepper when it got into the half-healed scrape on the back of the hand. Hear, smell, taste, feel, she reminded herself. There are many ways to know the world for those who cannot see.

Someone had entered the room behind her, moving on soft padded slippers quiet as a mouse. Her nostrils flared. The kindly man. Men had a different smell than women, and there was a hint of orange in the air as well. The priest was fond of chewing orange rinds to sweeten his breath, whenever he could get them.

"And who are you this morning?" she heard him ask, as he took his seat at the head of the table. Tap, tap, she heard, then a tiny crackling sound. Breaking his first egg.

"No one," she replied. "A lie. I know you. You are that blind beggar girl."

"Beth." She had known a Beth once, back at Winterfell when she was Arya Stark. Maybe that was why she'd picked the name. Or maybe it was just because it went so well with blind.

"Poor child," said the kindly man. "Would you like to have your eyes back? Ask, and you shall see."

He asked the same question every morning. "I may want them on the morrow. Not today." Her face was still water, hiding all, revealing nothing.

"As you will." {b}She could hear him peeling the egg, then a faint silvery clink as he picked up the salt spoon. He liked his eggs well salted.

"Where did my poor blind girl go begging last night?"

"The Inn of the Green Eel."

"And what three new things do you know that you did not know when last you left us?"

"The Sealord is still sick."

"This is no new thing. The Sealord was sick yesterday, and he will still be sick upon the morrow."

"Or dead."

"When he is dead, that will be a new thing."

When he is dead, there will be a choosing, and the knives will come out. That was the way of it in Braavos. In Westeros, a dead king was followed by his eldest son, but the Braavosi had no kings. "Tormo Fregar will be the new sealord."

"Is that what they are saying at the Inn of the Green Eel?"

"Yes."

The kindly man took a bite of his egg. The girl heard him chewing. He never spoke with his mouth full. He swallowed, and said, "Some men say there is wisdom in wine. Such men are fools. At other inns other names are being bruited about, never doubt." He took another bite of egg, chewed, swallowed. "What three new things do you know, that you did not know before?"

"I know that some men are saying that Tormo Fregar will surely be the new sealord," she answered. "Some drunken men."

"Better. And what else do you know?"

It is snowing in the riverlands, in Westeros, she almost said. But he would have asked her how she knew that, and she did not think that he would like her answer. She chewed her lip, thinking back to last night. "The whore S'vrone is with child. She is not certain of the father, but thinks it might have been that Tyroshi sellsword that she killed."

"This is good to know. What else?"

"The Merling Queen has chosen a new Mermaid to take the place of the one that drowned. She is the daughter of a Prestayn serving maid, thirteen and penniless, but lovely."

"So are they all, at the beginning," said the priest, "but you cannot know that she is lovely unless you have seen her with your own eyes, and you have none. Who are you, child?"

"No one."

"Blind Beth the beggar girl is who I see. She is a wretched liar, that one. See to your duties. Valar morghulis. "

"Valar dohaeris. " She gathered up her bowl and cup, knife and spoon, and pushed to her feet. Last of all she grasped her stick. It was five feet long, slender and supple, thick as her thumb, with leather wrapped around the shaft a foot from the top. Better than eyes, once you learn how to use it, the waif had told her.

The Blind Girl, Dance 45

Well, at least the Kindly Man likes his eggs well salted, as does Tyrion. None of Jeor’s three eggs, nor Qhorin’s egg (Jon), nor Illyiro’s “another” egg (Aegon) needed any salt. But Tyrion’s egg (Brown Ben), and the Kindly Man’s egg (Arya) needed salt.

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This feels to obvious and makes me nervous.

You may be onto something.

Apparently you're the only one. :)

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Apparently you're the only one. :)

Ah well, there is plenty of views, so I don't think I am :)

Theories do tend to disappear in this place, we have so many of them!

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Ah well, there is plenty of views, so I don't think I am :)

Theories do tend to disappear in this place, we have so many of them!

Mine seem to disappear faster than the others :D

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Tried to post earlier and it didn't work, hope it works now. What do you think about the scene where Cersei cracks an egg but instead of an unfertilized egg like humans eat she got a bloody semi formed chick?


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Tried to post earlier and it didn't work, hope it works now. What do you think about the scene where Cersei cracks an egg but instead of an unfertilized egg like humans eat she got a bloody semi formed chick?

That only half formed bloody chicks will ever hatch from her schemes. The eggs in the other four scenes were good enough to eat, even if Tyrion's wanted salt.

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Well spotted, the peeled eggs might indeed symbolise something - there's all the theories about how Dornish red means poison and Arbor gold means lies, so the eggs could be in a similar vein. But I'm not sure if it's necessarily about dragons.

An egg would normally hatch, but what else is "hatched"? Plans and schemes. It might be that whenever eggs are peeled, it's a hint about a secret scheme (maybe even secret from the reader, not just from a character):

- Tyrion's scheme to expose Pycelle as Cersei's spy with the Dornish letter

- Illyrio's scheme to place Aegon on the throne, not Daenerys (but also perhaps a hint to the deeper scheme within a scheme to place a Blackfyre on the throne, over a Targaryen)

- Mormont scene: a bit harder to say as there's so much going on. I suppose Mormont is just revealing his plan to go beyond the Wall and take Jon along. But we might need to focus on the (Blood)raven, and what schemes he might be hatching, as the raven cracked one egg; the raven cracking the egg (in the sense of a "shell") might also suggest Bloodraven will give Jon the first crucial clue to his parentage (after, both of his other egg peelers, Mormont and Qhorin, are dead, not that they're likely to have known anything ;)).

- Halfhand: he's peeling and eating the egg while he's talking about Mance's plan... A plan which involved a scheme to lie about bringing down the Wall, so here George may be hinting at a scheme that Qhorin is unaware of.

I wonder if a reread of all scenes where eggs are cracked would be fruitful. Might even suggest if there's a difference between cracking raw eggs (plans not ready) and cracking cooked ones (plans ready / unfolding)? Just a thought.

Also, Mormont has plums for breakfast too, so I'm not sure if there's anything about Brown Ben there.

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^The secret Targaryen (dragon) hatching from an egg is clearly established as a theme of ASOIAF in the D&E stories. But your observation about hatching plans is duly noted. There's also the possibility it has something to do with mysteries since Catelyn is served (but doesn't peel or eat) hardboiled egs when she's discussing the Lannister involvement in Bran's fall with Robb et al.

I spent a couple of weeks examining each instance of the word egg in all five of the novels. These are the only scenes where hardboiled eggs are cracked and peeled and eaten as described for the reader.

Mormont has three eggs which is very significant, especially since this is the first of these scenes. Since Brown Ben might be riding a dragon without being one of the heads of the dragon, that might be why the plums were included.

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Well spotted, the peeled eggs might indeed symbolise something - there's all the theories about how Dornish red means poison and Arbor gold means lies, so the eggs could be in a similar vein. But I'm not sure if it's necessarily about dragons.

An egg would normally hatch, but what else is "hatched"? Plans and schemes. It might be that whenever eggs are peeled, it's a hint about a secret scheme (maybe even secret from the reader, not just from a character):

- Tyrion's scheme to expose Pycelle as Cersei's spy with the Dornish letter

- Illyrio's scheme to place Aegon on the throne, not Daenerys (but also perhaps a hint to the deeper scheme within a scheme to place a Blackfyre on the throne, over a Targaryen)

- Mormont scene: a bit harder to say as there's so much going on. I suppose Mormont is just revealing his plan to go beyond the Wall and take Jon along. But we might need to focus on the (Blood)raven, and what schemes he might be hatching, as the raven cracked one egg; the raven cracking the egg (in the sense of a "shell") might also suggest Bloodraven will give Jon the first crucial clue to his parentage (after, both of his other egg peelers, Mormont and Qhorin, are dead, not that they're likely to have known anything ;)).

- Halfhand: he's peeling and eating the egg while he's talking about Mance's plan... A plan which involved a scheme to lie about bringing down the Wall, so here George may be hinting at a scheme that Qhorin is unaware of.

I wonder if a reread of all scenes where eggs are cracked would be fruitful. Might even suggest if there's a difference between cracking raw eggs (plans not ready) and cracking cooked ones (plans ready / unfolding)? Just a thought.

Also, Mormont has plums for breakfast too, so I'm not sure if there's anything about Brown Ben there.

I also found a similar scene in AFFC concerning Cersei which might allude to "plans" or "schemes":

AFFC, Cersei III:

To break her fast the queen sent to the kitchens for two boiled eggs, a loaf of bread, and a pot of honey. But when she cracked the first egg and found a bloody-half formed chick inside, her stomach roiled.

Cersei's scheming against Margaery evolves into something she regrets, turning around to bite her in the ass, as we see in ADwD.

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I also found a similar scene in AFFC concerning Cersei which might allude to "plans" or "schemes":

Cersei's scheming against Margaery evolves into something she regrets, turning around to bite her in the ass, as we see in ADwD.

I agree, as stated about five posts up thread.

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Not sure about Brown Ben still, not least because it would require GRRM to have already worked out the Plumm / "two drops" story way back before 1996 - which is possible of course I guess, but something to keep in mind.

As for the eggs in general, It's a pretty interesting trick on GRRM's part, if true, because the imagery is so useful. A boiled egg is something that's done and ready, something you are served, something with a shell you crack to get to "what's underneath". Very useful analogy/metaphor in this story.

Depending on how the scene is set up (eg who boils the egg, who offers it, who eats or doesn't eat it), it might be a secret, a mystery, a plan, a decision... Whether believed or not believed, known or unknown, taken or untaken.

Mormont's scene is interesting, because it happens in Game, and before Dany cracks her three eggs. So I agree you're probably right about the significance of the three boiled eggs, but again I wonder if it's not just all to do with Jon.

Let's see:

- one egg is peeled and eaten in two bites by Mormont. It's a very "done and dusted" image, especially with flicking a bit of shell from his teeth. Probably not a coincidence that this happens right as Mormont "clears up" with Jon that he can't bring Ned back (using this as a proxy for running from the Watch again), because that part of Jon's life is over. A nice link with the first head of Trios, as per your quote.

- one egg is cracked and sucked out by the raven. As i said, this might be a little hint that Bloodraven will give Jon the crucial clue he'll need to work out his parentage. The egg is cracked when Mormont mentions grumkins and a magic sword (as you pointed out), but also consider that Bloodraven has Dark Sister, and he will definitely be giving it to his champion, Jon; Bloodraven will be the grumkin that will magic up Jon's sword. And, if we're sticking with Trios, "no one knows what the second head does" is apt here, because Jon is fundamentally a mystery: including to us. We don't know how his story will go. And that leads us to:

- one egg is squeezed until it cracks by Mormont, but we don't see it eaten. It's an unfinished meal, or an unfinished story, if you will.

Putting the three together: Jon leaves his old life behind; Jon has a destiny (a magic sword / hero's work of some kind ahead of him); but the final chapter, his third act, is a mystery. What will happen??

Find out in A Dream of Spring in 2025!

PS I agree this scene would be a likely place for a significant foreshadowing, because it happens in Game before Dany cracks her three eggs. Parallels between Dany and Jon are many, and as she is the known Targ and he the hidden one (at that point, even from most readers), it's a nice mirror scene.

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^Why would Jon wield Darksister, its a less apt sword for him, and would not be a magically superior sword to Longclaw? Mormont already magiced up his sword so to speak.


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^Why would Jon wield Darksister, its a less apt sword for him, and would not be a magically superior sword to Longclaw? Mormont already magiced up his sword so to speak.

Discard the "bastard sword" for a fabled Targaryen relic, when he discovers he is not a bastard after all, but a Targaryen?

There are many factors to consider, and I don't like ignoring poetic/literary ones for the sake of being literal. In a literal sense, a Valyrian steel sword is a Valyrian steel sword. In a deeper sense, what could be more different than the sword he is entitled to by birth (Dark Sister, as a younger Targaryen son) versus another family's sword (and a "bastard" sword at that)?

If we assume Bloodraven has Dark Sister with him or knows where it is (which I'm not even going to bother debating - there's no reason to have the sword disappear with BR, then have BR appear 50 years later, unless the sword was also coming back), then it's a pretty safe assumption he intends it for Jon. That alone might satisfy the "grumkin Magic sword" point, because BR was actually in the room, in the form of the raven, when Mormont said this.

Going further though, it seems BR is heavily involved with the CotF, suggesting his end game isn't getting Jon on the IT, but prepping him for the war with the Others. He is also heavily into magic, and was so even before he spent 50 years learning tricks from the singers. Who's to say he can't magic Dark Sister into the new Lightbringer? I imagine this would involve the process of turning Valyrian steel into dragonsteel.

This may seem far fetched, but the Last Hero obtained either a sword or the knowledge of how to make one from the CotF (as per Old Nan's stories). If BR gives Jon Dark Sister that's been "magicked-up" by him and the CotF into a dragonsteel blade, there's your potential new Lightbringer right there.

Radio Westeros (the podcast) has a good episode theorising on dragonsteel and what Lightbringer was made of - that its ability to cast light and burn without being consumed suggests it was a magical alloy of common or Valyrian steel and obsidian (because it shares properties with obsidian candles). Obsidian is known as dragonglass, and is intimately tied with the CotF.

Anyway, lots of digression there, but my main points on why Jon might take up Dark Sister:

(1) Longclaw is a "placeholder" sword; powerful, but a bastard sword Jon was given by another family. Fit for a bastard without a place in the world.

(2) Dark Sister is the only remaining Targ sword in Westeros, much more apt for someone who's just discovered he's not a bastard but a Targ.

(3) the Bloodraven connection: (i) BR is focused on the Others, (ii) has a fabled sword in his possession (Dark Sister), (iv) has the means to make it even more powerful (CotF magic / dragonglass), and (v) has a champion he's been watching over (Jon). Connecting the dots...

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^Well I guess we are not going to agree on this but I have to comment on a few of your points. Darksister is not the only Targ sword in Westeros, Blackfyre is with Jon Con and Aegon, and Jon is not the younger Targ son, he is the only Targ son. If he is entitled to a Targ sword, its Blackfyre.



Also, if BR is going to give the sword to someone, it is going to be Meera, as it would look ridiculous is Hodor had it, and Hodor can chop wights in half with his iron sword. Meera would then I suppose give the sword to Jon, but I personally think Arya will end up with it.


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<snip>

While I don't completely disagree with the theory that Jon ends up with Dark Sister, I feel that there is a reason that Ice was melted down and given what the book describes as having "red and black ripples through the steel." It would be very appropriate if Jon were to end up with Widow's Wail or Oathkeeper: a Stark sword (mother) with Targaryen (father) coloring.

ETA: I'm keen on the idea of Blackfyre and Dark Sister - if they appear in the story - as being melted into Widow's Wail and Oathkeeper, symbolically representing the union of Stark and Targaryen.

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