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StarkofWinterfell

Zahrina's Purpose: And One

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During ADWD, Tyrion observes a woman called Zahrina who after every bid would say "and one."
 

She bids on lot 97, the one containing Tyrion and the other dwarfs, and again for Jorah on lot 99. Her "and one" always struck me as curious. Why was she interested in Tyrion or Jorah and why would she outbid the previous bid by saying "and one"? Consider this description of her:

Quote

She is old and shriveled. Her face is wrinkled, when she is displeased it puckers. Zahrina's skin is maggot white and her hair so thin that her scalp can be seen beneath it.

Clearly a woman of advanced age by the description. I am reminded of Bloodraven here and his "thousand eyes, and one." While that phrase may have referred to when he was still Hand and had a wide network of informants in addition to his own eye (having lost the other one), it parallels his current ability. As far how Zahrina relates to this, I believe it is no coincidence that she says "and one," or for her to be of an advanced age, with both instead being a subtle reference to Bloodraven.

I think there is a connection here between the two. Zahrina could have been any slaver, but she is an old crone that Tyrion thinks looks like a "prune gone to mold."

Do you agree that there could be a connection? Let me know in the comments below.

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4 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I believe her purpose was comic relief.

Comic relief is not GRRMs modus operandi so this is a very weak argument.

And one.

A thousand eyes and one.

Zahrina is an agent of Bloodraven

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2 hours ago, StarkofWinterfell said:

Comic relief is not GRRMs modus operandi so this is a very weak argument.

Tell that to Hot Pie.

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2 hours ago, StarkofWinterfell said:

Comic relief is not GRRMs modus operandi so this is a very weak argument.

Dolorous Edd and a lot of what Tyrio  says can be viewed as comic relief.

I think that "and one" could likely be a just a reference, a tip towards Bloodraven, nothing more (just like how Lord Jordayne who likes to tell stories is a reference to Robert Jrdan). It doesn't mean that Zahrina is his agent.

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I just thought didnt want to pay too much for those lots, which obviously consisted of, well, dwarves, and a grumpy old man. So she just raised the previous offer by one.

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8 hours ago, StarkofWinterfell said:

Comic relief is not GRRMs modus operandi

Of course it is. Have we read the same books?

In fact I saw it as comic relief because I've seen the very same literary device (laughingly low bidding increments at an auction) somewhere else. Can't remember where though, so feel free to dismiss it. But I believe this may even be a reference to something historical or literary.

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16 hours ago, StarkofWinterfell said:

During ADWD, Tyrion observes a woman called Zahrina who after every bid would say "and one."
 

She bids on lot 97, the one containing Tyrion and the other dwarfs, and again for Jorah on lot 99. Her "and one" always struck me as curious. Why was she interested in Tyrion or Jorah and why would she outbid the previous bid by saying "and one"? Consider this description of her:

Clearly a woman of advanced age by the description. I am reminded of Bloodraven here and his "thousand eyes, and one." While that phrase may have referred to when he was still Hand and had a wide network of informants in addition to his own eye (having lost the other one), it parallels his current ability. As far how Zahrina relates to this, I believe it is no coincidence that she says "and one," or for her to be of an advanced age, with both instead being a subtle reference to Bloodraven.

I think there is a connection here between the two. Zahrina could have been any slaver, but she is an old crone that Tyrion thinks looks like a "prune gone to mold."

Do you agree that there could be a connection? Let me know in the comments below.

Very nice catch! I have no doubt this character is intended to show us that a someone is watching over Tyrion and his companions. There is a connection from crones --> ravens --> Bloodraven, so this little detail with the Zahrina character would seem to imply that Bloodraven is keeping an eye on Tyrion's progress (or - who knows? - he could be interested in Penny or Ser Jorah). Alternatively, if this crone character can peer "through the door of death," maybe the message is that Tyrion and his companions are very close to going through the door of death, if the crone's bid succeeds in the auction.

Prunes came up in a different thread recently, and I'm not 100% sure what to make of them but a few things could be true about their symbolic purpose:

  • Prunes and plums are the same kind of fruit except one is dried and the other is fresh. Doesn't Brown Ben Plumm also bid on Tyrion at this auction? And, later, Tyrion will end up with Plumm and the Second Sons.
  • Prunes and plums contain pits - There are strong symbols around seeds in the books (remember Jon Arryn's, "The seed is strong.") but some fruits grow from pits, not seeds. I think there may be an association with bear pits, dragon pits, fighting pits. The prune reference here might be the author's way of saying, if Zahrina wins this auction, you won't even be good enough for the fighting pits - you'll go straight to moldiness.

I wonder whether the character's name, Zahrina, is intended to allude to a Czarina? GRRM doesn't waste words, so I'm inclined to think that the name was a deliberate choice. A Czarina would be a woman emperor or the wife of an emperor. Hmm.

Thanks for spotting this and for sharing it. Very interesting connection.

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If she had won the bidding or if she comes back into the story I would think she may be part of something more.  But as it stands now I think she's just akin to the ahole on the Price is Right that adds a dollar to someone else's bid. 

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10 hours ago, StarkofWinterfell said:

Comic relief is not GRRMs modus operandi so this is a very weak argument.

Which in turn raises the question, what was the real point of the three Bracken men, Lharys, Kurleket and Mohos? Can't be just the pun.

10 hours ago, StarkofWinterfell said:

And one.

A thousand eyes and one.

Zahrina is an agent of Bloodraven

 

Right you are. There are no coincidences. Not ones involving such unique phrases as "and one". Or, say, "left leg" (I'm still very proud of that catch, since it might just be the last genuinely unique fan discovery before the release of TWOW, gods only know when).

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From the bottom of my heart, I hope it is just comic relief. Having everything foreshadow or hint at something else is.... I don't know, a bit too much.

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7 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

From the bottom of my heart, I hope it is just comic relief. Having everything foreshadow or hint at something else is.... I don't know, a bit too much.

It wasn't very funny, though. I like to think he was alluding to something I am not familiar with. 

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1 hour ago, Seams said:

Very nice catch! I have no doubt this character is intended to show us that a someone is watching over Tyrion and his companions. There is a connection from crones --> ravens --> Bloodraven, so this little detail with the Zahrina character would seem to imply that Bloodraven is keeping an eye on Tyrion's progress (or - who knows? - he could be interested in Penny or Ser Jorah). Alternatively, if this crone character can peer "through the door of death," maybe the message is that Tyrion and his companions are very close to going through the door of death, if the crone's bid succeeds in the auction.

Prunes came up in a different thread recently, and I'm not 100% sure what to make of them but a few things could be true about their symbolic purpose:

  • Prunes and plums are the same kind of fruit except one is dried and the other is fresh. Doesn't Brown Ben Plumm also bid on Tyrion at this auction? And, later, Tyrion will end up with Plumm and the Second Sons.
  • Prunes and plums contain pits - There are strong symbols around seeds in the books (remember Jon Arryn's, "The seed is strong.") but some fruits grow from pits, not seeds. I think there may be an association with bear pits, dragon pits, fighting pits. The prune reference here might be the author's way of saying, if Zahrina wins this auction, you won't even be good enough for the fighting pits - you'll go straight to moldiness.

I wonder whether the character's name, Zahrina, is intended to allude to a Czarina? GRRM doesn't waste words, so I'm inclined to think that the name was a deliberate choice. A Czarina would be a woman emperor or the wife of an emperor. Hmm.

Thanks for spotting this and for sharing it. Very interesting connection.

Is this ironic or not? I can't tell any more...

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1 hour ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

It wasn't very funny, though. I like to think he was alluding to something I am not familiar with. 

He was alluding to the game show the Price is Right.

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3 hours ago, DarkSister1001 said:

If she had won the bidding or if she comes back into the story I would think she may be part of something more.  But as it stands now I think she's just akin to the ahole on the Price is Right that adds a dollar to someone else's bid. 

She is in the tavern where Quentyn meets the Tattered Prince, iirc. It's a subtle indication that the "no slavery in this city, nuh uh, the markets are outside!" Is all a load of bs and the Meereenese are still trading in slaves

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6 hours ago, Seams said:

Very nice catch! I have no doubt this character is intended to show us that a someone is watching over Tyrion and his companions. There is a connection from crones --> ravens --> Bloodraven, so this little detail with the Zahrina character would seem to imply that Bloodraven is keeping an eye on Tyrion's progress (or - who knows? - he could be interested in Penny or Ser Jorah). Alternatively, if this crone character can peer "through the door of death," maybe the message is that Tyrion and his companions are very close to going through the door of death, if the crone's bid succeeds in the auction.

Prunes came up in a different thread recently, and I'm not 100% sure what to make of them but a few things could be true about their symbolic purpose:

  • Prunes and plums are the same kind of fruit except one is dried and the other is fresh. Doesn't Brown Ben Plumm also bid on Tyrion at this auction? And, later, Tyrion will end up with Plumm and the Second Sons.
  • Prunes and plums contain pits - There are strong symbols around seeds in the books (remember Jon Arryn's, "The seed is strong.") but some fruits grow from pits, not seeds. I think there may be an association with bear pits, dragon pits, fighting pits. The prune reference here might be the author's way of saying, if Zahrina wins this auction, you won't even be good enough for the fighting pits - you'll go straight to moldiness.

I wonder whether the character's name, Zahrina, is intended to allude to a Czarina? GRRM doesn't waste words, so I'm inclined to think that the name was a deliberate choice. A Czarina would be a woman emperor or the wife of an emperor. Hmm.

Thanks for spotting this and for sharing it. Very interesting connection.

Thank you for this post and for drawing some additional connections. It stood out to me that the language would be this way and how GRRM would place so much focus on this seemingly insignificant character. I don't think he wasted words here either.

It could turn out she's not so insignificant after all. I do think we'll see her again in TWOW.

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22 hours ago, StarkofWinterfell said:

Comic relief is not GRRMs modus operandi so this is a very weak argument.

And one.

A thousand eyes and one.

Zahrina is an agent of Bloodraven

That'd be a good TL;DR.

I think her "and one" means she wanted the slaves but didn't want to pay any more for them than necessary. She probably saw who was bidding at them (Ben Plumm, for one) and wanted a piece of the cake they were slicing. She is old; ergo, she's smart. GRRM rules.

Also, I propose you a question: Let's assume she's Bloodraven's agent, on the other side of the narrow sea, with no weirwoods around for BR to make contact, no ravens described, and absolutely 0 other signs that'd point us in the CotF direction. She is BR's agent, against all odds, and she is bidding on Tyrion. 

Why? Story-wise. What in the seven bloody hells does BR gain from having Tyrion "in his hands" 2000 miles away? And, looking at it through GRRM's glasses, 1. How to explain it? 2. To what avail? 3. How would this help advance the story in any way? and 4. Why?

I leave you with these questions.

BTW:

Dolorous Edd lost his horse and a lot (12+) friends.

Dolorous Edd is Azor Ahai. 

/thread.

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