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Greyscale in Season 5 (book spoilers abound)

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Greyscale is shaping up to be a major issue this season - it has been mentioned in detail in at least two of the first three episodes (I don't remember if it was mentioned in 5x01). Having only seen the episodes that HBO has put on the air, I see three possible ways that greyscale could be a plot thread in season 5.



1) Shireen - She's the most prominate character we know that already has greyscale. It's going to factor into her arc somehow. This season, the TV series could decide to adapt Val's threat to kill Shireen because of her greyscale, and pass that story to another character. The TV show has hinted that Shireen will be in danger of some kind with the warning that Selyse gave to her daughter: Stannis is king, and people could decide to strike at Stannis through Shireen. Also, last season Mel definitely wanted Shireen at the wall with her parents, and we have yet to learn why. But so far, we haven't seen a character with such a strong reaction to the greyscale that they would be willing to kill over it, so I don't believe the danger to Shireen will come from that direction.



2) Jon Connington and Tyrion - As we know from the books, one major incident that happens in Essos is that Jon Connington contracts greyscale while rescuing Tyrion from drowning in a river. Given the lack of JonCon in the TV series (thus far), I'm wondering if the writers will give the "catching greyscale" plot element to either Varys or Jorah. If the show were to parallel the books, it would have to be a character near Tyrion, who can be infected while rescuing Tyrion from drowning. Varys seems like a more natural JonCon analog - he is the Targaryen supporter who would then be working against a ticking clock to get his chosen ruler (who appears to be Dany in this case) on the Iron Throne. However, now that Tyrion has been kidnapped, we don't know whether Varys will actually rejoin the Imp and remain part of that storyline. After all, Varys SHOULD have a date in King's Landing with Kevan Lannister. But TV Varys could go after Tyrion instead, and end up being exposed to greyscale in the process.



What I believe is more likely, however, is that Varys actually contacted Jorah and arranged the "kidnapping." I think Varys set it all up so Jorah would take Tyrion to Dany and then Varys could get back to Westeros and continue to work from the shadows. Which leads me to believe Jorah is actually the TV character that will get greyscale. It would be very easy for Tyrion to try and escape his abductor, and end up in a river, with Jorah then diving in to rescue him and catching greyscale in the process. Jorah is less of a fit for the JonCon role, but there are some similarities. They are both fighter types. JonCon is a mentor to Aegon and Jorah is a mentor to Dany. JonCon loves Aegon as a son, and Jorah loves Dany, but in a romantic way. Both JonCon and Jorah are dedicated to seeing their chosen ruler sit the Iron Throne. And if Jorah were the character to get greyscale, there could be a bittersweet angle - imagine if he finally gets the chance to hold Dany in the romantic way he wants, but he can't actually feel her because of stone hands.



Long story short (too late), I think if a character in the TV show is going to catch greyscale like JonCon, the candidates are Varys or Jorah, and that it is most likely going to be Jorah.



3) The sickness in Meereen - one prominent plot thread in the book is the sickness that comes to Meereen. Quaithe has played a very limited role in the TV series, so it seems unlikely, to me, that the show will bring her back just to introduce the idea of the Pale Mare (especially if she is NOT going to introduce a number of plot threads that appear to have been cut from the TV show - "the son's son," most likely Quentyn Martell; anything to do with Krakens, as the Ironborn have pretty much fallen off the map of the TV show; or the mummer's dragon, arguably Aegon). I think if the show decides to bring a sickness to Meereen, the writers would use an illness that they have already introduced to the viewers - greyscale. Dany's in ability to stop the advance of the disease would be a major blow to her ruling power and parallel Pale Mare in a very tidy way.



Thoughts?


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I agree that greyscale is looking to be big. I've been cracking some pots and thinking maybe there is a magical element to greyscale. I think many people (myself included until recently) just thought of it as like the plague. But I'm starting to wonder if there is something more happening there that is important to the endgame with the White Walkers. Maybe they are impervious to dragon fire? Can you imagine - wights with greyscale that can't be burned??

I agree that it will be Jorah bringing it to Westeros.

I think Shireen is either going to burn or will be about to burn this season. I think we already saw a huge hint last season with Mel showing Selyse the fire and saying "The lord needs her" to convince Selyse to bring her to the wall. Also

ever since seeing the first trailer with Selyse on the ground in the snow, I thought she looked like she had been thrown there, like in front of Stannis for judgment, or maybe is on the ground begging mercy.

I don't think it will factor in in Meereen in any way though. They've already got enough going on there and it looks like the Yunkai sub-plot is being cut too.

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Yeah, Jorah getting greyscale has been on my mind for quite some time.



In any case, it's obvious someone is gonna be confronted with the disease with all that build-up.


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Jorah will get Grayscale, I had this theory since I saw the screeners.


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I quite like the idea of greyscale replacing the bloody flux. Although, have they talked about the difference between the adult and child version (can't remember if that was in the scene with Shireen and Gilly or if it was just in ADWD since I'm doing a reread atm. Did Tyrion talk to Varys about it? Or am I superimposing Tyrion's section in the books onto the show?). Because the whole point of the bloody flux was how fast it spread and how quickly people died from it. But the greyscale they've shown in-show seems to be very slow progressing, taking months/years to kill someone, so that wouldn't really fit into the Meereen story I guess.


Either way, something is definitely up with greyscale this season? Maybe Mel is gonna try and burn Shireen since they've cut Mance's son?


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I quite like the idea of greyscale replacing the bloody flux. Although, have they talked about the difference between the adult and child version (can't remember if that was in the scene with Shireen and Gilly or if it was just in ADWD since I'm doing a reread atm. Did Tyrion talk to Varys about it? Or am I superimposing Tyrion's section in the books onto the show?). Because the whole point of the bloody flux was how fast it spread and how quickly people died from it. But the greyscale they've shown in-show seems to be very slow progressing, taking months/years to kill someone, so that wouldn't really fit into the Meereen story I guess.

Either way, something is definitely up with greyscale this season? Maybe Mel is gonna try and burn Shireen since they've cut Mance's son?

Poor Shireen. She is so going to burn. I hope she is saved first.

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Because the whole point of the bloody flux was how fast it spread and how quickly people died from it. But the greyscale they've shown in-show seems to be very slow progressing, taking months/years to kill someone, so that wouldn't really fit into the Meereen story I guess.

Very good point about the time it takes to die from greyscale compared to the Pale Mare in the books. However, Gilly mentioned her sister(s) catching greyscale and having to live out in the woods - it seemed to me like a very compressed time scale from contraction of the disease to death - maybe a month. So maybe the writers are going to shorten the length of time it takes to expire from greyscale to match the compressed timing of the TV show. Edit to add: I think months would be fast enough to still create panic and dread in the city, and that's enough of a failure of Dany's rule for the writers to work with.

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I actually considered the possibility that those whith Greyscale are immune to fire altogether (maybe even Dragonfire).



I thought that maybe Shireen's possible burning won't work, that she will be saved by her desease.


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I actually considered the possibility that those whith Greyscale are immune to fire altogether (maybe even Dragonfire).

I thought that maybe Shireen's possible burning won't work, that she will be saved by her desease.

Oh I never thought about that!! I had been kicking around that maybe they are immune to dragon fire too but hadn't really thought about what would happen when they burn Shireen. Mostly because in my head I am still hoping she is rescued before they actually burn her so I hadn't even thought about alternate outcomes, such as Shireen being fire immune. I like it!

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I don't think it will be a big deal in the show. From what I've seen so far I'm guessing they're just using it to introduce a scene with the stonemen, then we won't hear much about it again.


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Jorah will get Grayscale, I had this theory since I saw the screeners.

I've had it since it became obvious Jon Connington was cut ! ^^

And it will be interesting actually... Jorah is already at the bottom, normally he should be quite suicidal and careless with his life by this point, and adding the greyscale to his plagues is, although quite cruel, an interesting way of eventually merging the palemare and the greyscale in the show.

Maybe an epidemy of greyscale will, as did the palemare in the books, add more chaos and confusion in Meereen and will be brought back to Westeros eventually at some point if Jon Connington is the patient zero of a greyscale epidemy in Westeros.

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Wouldn't people living in a world where grayscale is a known disease know that it makes people fireproof?


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Wouldn't people living in a world where grayscale is a known disease know that it makes people fireproof?

Maybe. Maybe not. But maybe it is just fireproof to dragon fire (I know - I'm getting out the tinfoil here!).

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Greyscale is playing a role in the show, believe me. And it is not for nothing that Shireen of all people survived it, and


that her role is kept in the show. There is no coincidence. And even if you look at the books, GRRM wouldn't have introduced


yet another killing plague. Nope. This ones gonna play a role.


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I've had it since it became obvious Jon Connington was cut ! ^^

And it will be interesting actually... Jorah is already at the bottom, normally he should be quite suicidal and careless with his life by this point, and adding the greyscale to his plagues is, although quite cruel, an interesting way of eventually merging the palemare and the greyscale in the show.

Maybe an epidemy of greyscale will, as did the palemare in the books, add more chaos and confusion in Meereen and will be brought back to Westeros eventually at some point if Jon Connington is the patient zero of a greyscale epidemy in Westeros.

I think they will make it so Jorah pressures Dany to go back to Westeros sooner rather than later(kind of like Jon Connington wanting to go to Westeros now) if he discovers he has Greyscale. He will hide it, but we will also see episode 10 that its starting to form on his fingertips.

This will change things horrendously ofcourse, as it might be either Dany getting her revenge on people she wants to, or going to Westeros. And Jorah will be the one voice telling her to go to Westeros now(Tyrion aswell) and then she will do it, just like Aegon just different. Cutting all of her Winds of Winter storyline in Essos probably while they're at it. Though the Red priests will have to influence Dany in some way since the show already foreshadowed it, so she might go straight o Volantis then to Westeros season 6.

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The Greyscale angle got me wondering if the White walkers have a form of it, yet tried to use Old Gods/blood magic to stop its full progression - hense why the cold doesn't bother them or why they hang out north of Wall (quarantine). (Or crackpot - why they now are trying to advance on Westeros - maybe the return of dragons/magical forces in the World has allowed them not to die of Greyscale as they did before.)



I wondered about this when Gilly said her sisters were cast out into the forest and she never saw them again (reminded me of the craster baby grab/turning a child into a White Walker. We are told in the books that children don't seem to have the same effect from it as adults do. Could they have been taken by the White Walkers?




I agree - Jorah is the most likely candidate to get greyscale.


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I agree that greyscale has been really emphasized in Season 5 to date. It could just be to set up Tyrion and Jorah's encounter with the Stone Men, but I do think that it could have something to do with Tyrion (eventually) getting greyscale after Season 5. Even if Tyrion were to develop greyscale down the road, Jorah could still be the one who takes greyscale to Westeros, so Jorah might show symptoms earlier than Tyrion. With that said, the trailers indicate Jorah is still fighting, so he would have to be in sufficiently good health to fight for Season 5 at least.



I do think Tyrion joking about praying away greyscale in 5x03 is a nasty bit of foreshadowing. Even if he doesn't actually show signs of the disease, he'll be sufficiently paranoid about it for the rest of his days, since no one is ever 100% "safe" from greyscale once exposed.


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I agree that greyscale has been really emphasized in Season 5 to date. It could just be to set up Tyrion and Jorah's encounter with the Stone Men, but I do think that it could have something to do with Tyrion (eventually) getting greyscale after Season 5. Even if Tyrion were to develop greyscale down the road, Jorah could still be the one who takes greyscale to Westeros, so Jorah might show symptoms earlier than Tyrion. With that said, the trailers indicate Jorah is still fighting, so he would have to be in sufficiently good health to fight for Season 5 at least.

I do think Tyrion joking about praying away greyscale in 5x03 is a nasty bit of foreshadowing. Even if he doesn't actually show signs of the disease, he'll be sufficiently paranoid about it for the rest of his days, since no one is ever 100% "safe" from greyscale once exposed.

Greyscale is already in Westeros. People are afflicted with it all the time.

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It seems likely that he'll be the person that catches a hot dose. A shame. Jorah's good intentions blow up in his face. Every. Single. Time.


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