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[TWoW Spoilers] Aeron I (Balticon)

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Just now, Lord Varys said:

Come on, that woman was apparently treated like shit by her half-siblings and family.

Being made to work as a servant was demeaning.  But, the revenge she took was far worse.

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She didn't take any revenge. She played along in Euron's game. You would have done the same in her position, I guess. Especially if you knew the choice was between playing along and enjoying some sort of triumph over your fucked-up family or being raped/forced to serve men naked, too. 

She might have been guilty of being naive, of not being able to see through Euron's facade, but the man can be nice, apparently. And one assumes she was as afraid as the other family members, too, in the beginning. She would only have ended up trusting Euron after he had convinced her that he meant her no harm. And that he did.

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4 minutes ago, SeanF said:

In my view, Euron is possessed.  Only a complete fool could wish to be an enemy of every single god and system of magic in this world - or else someone who is possessed.

My impression is that Euron hardly cares if he achieves his ostensible goals;  he just likes to make the world burn.

In all seriousness, while I wouldn't say he's possessed or even dancing on the puppet strings of the shadow woman, I do think he is at least following guidance from someone out there. I doubt he just happened on the suit of armour by chance, or the warlock ship, or that he's pulling shit like (even if it is in his dream form) 'the comet heralds the end, that the world needs to be destroyed and made anew' from his own mind. I think someone is 'with' him, pushing an agenda.

And he needs Dany, apparently. Meanwhile Dany has been toing and froing between her bunny ears or fire and blood. Bunny ears Dany could not take Euron, as bunny ears Dany had to reject Daario. Fire and blood Dany though, she's more like to take to Euron, as if she'd not cared about her bunny eared peace she could have taken Daario. Convenient then, that every so often comes a magical visitor to remind Dany she's a dragon and that her ways are fire and blood.

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2 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

In all seriousness, while I wouldn't say he's possessed or even dancing on the puppet strings of the shadow woman, I do think he is at least following guidance from someone out there. I doubt he just happened on the suit of armour by chance, or the warlock ship, or that he's pulling shit like (even if it is in his dream form) 'the comet heralds the end, that the world needs to be destroyed and made anew' from his own mind. I think someone is 'with' him, pushing an agenda.

And he needs Dany, apparently. Meanwhile Dany has been toing and froing between her bunny ears or fire and blood. Bunny ears Dany could not take Euron, as bunny ears Dany had to reject Daario. Fire and blood Dany though, she's more like to take to Euron, as if she'd not cared about her bunny eared peace she could have taken Daario. Convenient then, that every so often comes a magical visitor to remind Dany she's a dragon and that her ways are fire and blood.

There's a widespread view that Euron would just treat Dany as a chattel if they married (I'm not actually sure how you could treat a dragonlord as a chattel).  My impression is that on the contrary, Dany is one of the very few people in the World that Euron respects.  He's got to be impressed by someone who's brought dragons back into the World. He might well be a good husband to her. 

On the basis that my enemy's enemy is my friend, they might very well forge an alliance.

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6 minutes ago, SeanF said:

There's a widespread view that Euron would just treat Dany as a chattel if they married (I'm not actually sure how you could treat a dragonlord as a chattel).  My impression is that on the contrary, Dany is one of the very few people in the World that Euron respects.  He's got to be impressed by someone who's brought dragons back into the World. He might well be a good husband to her. 

On the basis that my enemy's enemy is my friend, they might very well forge an alliance.

Successful yeah, in an extremely bloody and costly way to Westeros.

But he's going to betray her eventually. The Bloodstone Emperor who is so obviously a parallel for Euron betrayed the Amethyst Empress (Euron refers to Dany by her amethyst eyes), it was called the Blood Betrayal, treason for blood.

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28 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

She didn't take any revenge. She played along in Euron's game. You would have done the same in her position, I guess. Especially if you knew the choice was between playing along and enjoying some sort of triumph over your fucked-up family or being raped/forced to serve men naked, too. 

She might have been guilty of being naive, of not being able to see through Euron's facade, but the man can be nice, apparently. And one assumes she was as afraid as the other family members, too, in the beginning. She would only have ended up trusting Euron after he had convinced her that he meant her no harm. And that he did.

IIRC she was the one who suggested that her siblings and step-mother be stripped naked.

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He sat upon a mound of blackened skulls, as dwarves capered round his feet and a forest burned behind him.

I don't remember the forest part from when the first descriptions were coming out.  I wonder what it means.

Quote

“No. I’m not killing you tonight, a holy man with holy blood. I may have need of that blood later. For now, you are condemned to live.”

I was under the impression Euron meant to kill Aeron by lashing him to the prow, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  He intends to use Aeron's blood for something.  King's blood sacrifice?  He also mentioned the blood of the other holy men though, so it could be some sort of mass sacrifice of holy men.  

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17 minutes ago, SeanF said:

IIRC she was the one who suggested that her siblings and step-mother be stripped naked.

It has been too long for me, too. However, even if she was we don't know how justified she was in wanting to see them punished this way. Perhaps they have been really nasty to her? We didn't get her entire biography.

And making a bastard daughter your official servant in the household suggests some twisted sort of family dynamics. That is not common among the noble houses we have seen so far. 

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Moqorro says he sails on a sea of blood. If he slits the throats of those tied to the prow, while they're tied there, then he'd literally be sailing on their blood as it gushes into the ocean in front of his ship. But that wouldn't make for much of a chapter if we're going to get to see the battle.

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7 hours ago, LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse said:

 

that leaves, theon. aeron doesn´t think of him, because theon is dead as far as he knows..

whose name means Godly. and only a Godly man may sit the seastone chair. he also has the legal precedent to overthrow Eurons kingsmoot..

sure Euron seems invincible right now.. but i doubt he will win in the end. his quest is folly.

Great observation :)

4 hours ago, arya_underfoot said:

Any theories on why Euron is obsessed with cutting out tongues? I understand that he needs silence from some of his servants (dusky woman etc). But why Hewett's bastard? He doesn't need her silence. She's about to be sacrificed in whatever sorcerous assault Euron is hoping to inflict upon Oldtown.

As someone suggested up thread, he might be trying to make his own wights :) 

 

59 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And in general I really think the warlocks and the shade of the evening were the things that opened the necessary doors for Euron. He may have dreamed of flying as a child but those days were, presumably, long over. But we know from Dany how shade of the evening can affect you, it can trigger visions and perhaps unlock hidden memories and make yourself aware of any magical powers and talents you might possess.

The Shade of the Evening probably greatly excellareted his skills and progress, but I think he's been obsessed with all of this ever since he left the Iron Islands. The man has galavanted all around the world, he even went to Asshai by the shadows and he did associate with mages before (e.g. that guy who couldn't hatch his dragon egg). I think his dreams of flying have never left him.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

@LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse

I just don't buy the idea that some small horn supposedly hidden by some NW man not so long ago (you know, because else the black cloth would have been rotted away) is the big magical horn.

Well, not necessarily, the cold could have protected that the cloth from rotting away. When they dig up inca mummies in the Andes, they always find clothes that are quite well preserved. (Not that I think it's been a long while, just saying)

1 hour ago, Maia said:

 

@Lord Varys:

IMHO, a far simpler explanation for Targaryen inability to produce Valyrian steel after their exile was not scarcity of potential sacrifices - criminals, pirates, etc. certainly could have been used for that purpose even after the exiles had abjured slavery, but that they never knew the secret of producing it in the first place - that it was an incredibly valuable technology hoarded by one or more of the most powerful families in Valyria

Yeah, that seems like the most logical explanation. Aenar was a sorcerer, but given the advanced nature of Valyrian magic, they probably had specialties as well. And seeing how this was a collective of powerful families, there probably wasn't much incentive to share such secrets amongst one another.

 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The woman is just a shadow in woman's shape in the actual wording of the chapter. That makes it more likely that this is just some sort of allusion to some concept or principle rather than an actual person. One should assume that any direct allusion to the Others would be less subtle at this time in the series. If George was teaming up Euron and the Others or drop direct hints that this is going to happen he could have made the shadow-woman a living corpse queen with blue eyes or an ice queen or something of that sort.

If this is a reference to the Night's Queen, than I have to point out we haven't actually seen her. Nor has Aeron any idea about how such a creature would look (he doesn't even know it exists), so I wouldn't draw conclusions from the simple description alone.

 

9 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

What happens after loving, nobleborn father is dead?  Is there any guarantee that her siblings or other relatives would care for her?  Marriage prospects would be bleak, she wouldn't have a job because nobleborn women don't.  It's not about hopes and dreams and who is thrilled with what. Her being given to them is not a tragedy. No it's not a cushy wonderland, but it's a life and it's a safe one. If her father had refused, she might have ended up dead as her step-mother continued to poison her, or an orphan if her father killed his wife himself. This is a Martin series. There wasn't going to be a happy ending to that situation.
 

If you're loaded, than marriage prospects are easy to come by. Her father was a fabulously weathy nobleman of a very ancient lineage. And she clearly was his heir, because that was the stepmother's motivation for trying to kill her. Sure, she might not have gotten the greatest scions of the greatest noble house for a match, but there would have been plenty of people willing to marry her for the financial gains alone.

Obviously, her life wouldn't have been a fairy tale. Even in this scenario, she had been treated with that vile poison, but she would have had a world of choice left open to her. Now she can never be anything but the property of the FM, forever stuck in a cultish world of death and killing. 

9 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

So far as we know. I mean we know there doesn't seem to be a consciousness, but we don't know that they can't feel pain.

I think we can be as clear on that as that as we possibly can. We have seen wights riddled with arrows, ripped apart by direwolfs and crows, chopped into little peaces, burned, dismembered and exposed to extreme subzero temperatures. And yet, we have never heard a single complaint come from their lips and as far as I can recall, no one has ever described them as having an expression of pain or anything like that while they were getting killed for a second time. 

Given the way we have seen them act, it also makes sense for them not to feel any pain whatsoever. Pain is a mechanism of self-preservation, but that's an instinct that is entirely lost on the wights. They just keep gnawing and pushing until they reach their intended target. 

9 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Without a wight POV our knowledge is somewhat limited.

A PoV which is never going to come about, since these things lack consciousness, which has been a prerequisite for a PoV in this series. 

9 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

It's still a defiling of death. So I still think the FM would have a problem with it. 

Tell me, what exactly is the difference between the FM magically using dead people's faces as a tool and the Others magically using dead peoples bodies to achieve their goals? Both are a clear sign of disrespect for the remains of the deceased,  if you believe the sanctity of death is tied to what happens with a person's remains after they died (like for example religions where people aren't allowed to be cremated). On the other hand, if you view dead as fundamentally being about the consciousness of a person, than the bags of meat that remain behind are fair game to serve as a resource. I believe the FM are clearly in the latter camp and therefore have no qualms about using dead people's faces and identities. Therefore, they would also not care if other people used the remains of the dead as tools. They would, on the other hand, really hate what the Red Priests do, because they force a person's consciousness back in, condemming the revived to endure more earthly hardships. 

10 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Precisely. An end to suffering. Not everyone is suffering.  

That is what you say. I believe a FM would give a completely different answer if you asked him/her about the nature of suffering. It's a fundamental difference in our views, but it seems to me that FM consider all life to be suffering. After all, the waif wasn't suffering when her stepmother came to the order. And yet, if the stepmother had been prepared to pay what they asked, they would have carried out the hit. 

10 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

 And they couldn't possibly argue that death by poison or other forms of assassination is natural, even though death in general is. They're messing with nature by offing people, so there's something else going on. 

Their creed is "all men must die" not "all men must die a natural death at the age of eighty, with wine in their belly and a pretty girl in their bed" that shows you were the priorities lie.

10 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

 If their goal was really to kill everyone on Planetos, how come they haven't managed to accomplish that in the thousands of years they've been in existence? They're older than Braavos, going back to before the Doom. You'd think between dragons and poisons they could have knocked everybody out by now. 

Have you ever planned genocide on a planetary scale? It's not as easy as it looks you know :P And don't forget, the FM seem tied to the Doom somehow. Perhaps that was their first great attempt, which didn't exactly do the trick, but now they are back with a new plan. 

10 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

And how come they charge so much? If death is natural and a gift, it should technically be free. The money angle muddies the waters.

Imo, it's a combination of two factors:

The mundane answer? Trying to bring about a worldwide apocalypse is rather expensive. Plus, you need good soldiers to carry out the order's business. Setting such a high price allows you to attract the necessary resources, provides training opportunity for your assassins and bolster your reputation, while also fitting in with the FM's egalitarian  outlook on death (death is an end to suffering for kings and peasants alike, ergo the price is relative so both can call upon their services).

The magical answer? I can't be the only one to have noticed that, while all other forms have magic seem to have pettered out after the Doom (and finally been done in after the death of the last Targaryen dragons), the FM curiously never seem to have lost their magical abilities to change their faces and possible other shennanigans. How can we explain that? Well, throughout the series the idea of sacrifice and the role it plays in magic is brought up. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the magical power that can be harnassed from it. And as the story of AA shows, the greatest sacrifice is made when people offer up things they love. I'm assuming that the steady trickle of heavy sacrifices from people petitioning  the FM's assistance (note, the Waif's father wasn't just asked to give up most of his wealth, he also had to part ways with his daughter, whom he presumably loved quite dearly) has kept the order's magic alive and strong while that of others has disappeared from this world. 

10 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

The Waif's story is the Waif's story. It doesn't tell us everything. It tells us what happened in that instance. And from what the Waif says in that chapter it sounds like her father offered her and his wealth freely. She doesn't say that the FM demanded that. It specifically says "...he came here and made sacrifice, offering up all his wealth and me. Him of Many-Faces heard his prayer. I was brought to the temple to serve, and my father's wife received the gift." The ALL of his wealth being a lie, because it was only two-thirds that he offered...but the rest was true.

And earlier it said ' ... stepmother approached the Many-Faced God, but could not bear the sacrifice he asked of her. ' As to the father's situation, if he came and immediately offered what they wanted to get from him, there would be no need for haggling about a price. Clearly, what the father's action show is that the FM always demand a steep tribute from any person coming to their door. He knew that, so he came prepared. Keep in mind that he has to give up a loved one and a big portion of his wealth and this for a hit that is justified (the stepmother being an attempted childmurderer) and should be easy to carry out (if her own husband wants her dead, not to many tricky questions or securities should stand in their way). 

10 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Not the same thing. You're talking about disobeying a direct order. Arya was never told not to kill Daeron. But Arya's killing of Daeron was an indication that she's still Arya Stark. So I'll agree that the punishment might not have been about killing a non-mark. After all, Pate was obviously not a mark and he got liquidated to facilitate a job. In general it seems like the FM are allowed a great deal of creative freedom. Doesn't seem like the Kindly Man or anyone else is micromanaging the fully-trained operatives. Then again, their discipline is already unquestioned.

It's about more than that. Every member of the crew on the ship that took Arya to Braavos made sure she knew their names. They aren't loved ones, and she has no reason to be particularly loyal to them, yet she could refuse an assignment to kill anyone on that boat. If she's truly become "no one" crew members on ships should not bring up loyalty issues.  I'd agree completely if it were just about loved ones, but clearly it isn't. 

You could broaden the scope and make it about emotional resonance for sure. Loved ones, hated foes, that random guy who saved your life during a storm, best not to remember your soldiers of their previous lifes. It might cause loyalty conflicts and might render their judgement less pure.

10 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

And the FM curiously don't seem to desire death for themselves. Most real-life death cults end up nowhere...because they kill themselves and no one is left to carry on the message.

Not all death cults are like the peoples temple. IS, Al Quade, etc. all fit the bill when it comes to describing destructive/death cults. And they don't necessarily want to die immediately, they want their death to further their cause. Similarly here, the FM would like the mercy of death, but they have a job to do first, they have to "liberate" as many people as possible and do their part in constructing a final end to the suffering of man.

 

6 hours ago, The Scabbard Of the Morning said:

Honestly reading this chapter has made me really like Aeron Damphair.  I mean the guy suffered a lot, abused by Euron as a child, spent a long time in Casterly Rock as a prisoner, but still pretty much a decent guy.  He serves his god, didn't harm any one. And really from his internal thoughts bore no one ill will other than his intense hatred of Euron  which is completely justified.

You can call him a misogynst but he's just a product of his culture, he doesn't seem to hate any specific woman, he even appreciates Asha's qualities and wants her to rule together with Victarion.  He also is a lot kinder to the Flowers girl than I expected, first he tries to warn her than Euron will hurt her in a way that made me thing he cared about her and didn't want to see Euron hurt her. Then even when they are tied to the ship he bore her no ill will, instead even tries to comfort her and gave her courage, telling her hang in there and that they will soon be in the watery halls.

Yeah, that was oddly sweet. I always liked the Damphair. He isn't my favourite Greyjoy by any stretch, but I always found him more interesting than most people around here (than again, I really like most of the House so there is a certain Greyjoy bias).

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

As to any Horn of Winter stuff:

Come on, the idea that a horn blown down in the South will have any effect up at the Wall is just nonsense. We know from TWoIaF that the Horn of Joramun is causing an earthquake, presumably in the region in which its magical sound is actually heard. That means the Horn of Winter will have to be blown near the Wall and presumably by some guy who wants to bring down the Wall. It could turn out to be the Weeper or one of the Others. After all, they might have secured that horn long ago for their own ends.

Who says it will be blown in the south? I speculated before that Samwell might loose the horn in case of an attack on Oldtown, but that doesn't mean that Euron or Jaqen is going to use it straight away, it's just a way for it to change hands and perhaps it will be blown on a later day :) 

 

 

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This is mindblowing stuff. The best TWOW chapter we've seen so far and one that really should have been included at the end of AFFC.

It's interesting that no-one really saw this coming, even though it seems quite obvious in hindsight. I started a topic a couple of years ago called "What is the Damphair up to?" and no-one suggested that he might be on board the Silence. The closest anyone got was someone who said: "Nevertheless, I'd say that whatever Damphair is up to, Euron is one step ahead. Therefore, I would predict that Damphair won't last for long in the next installment." It just goes to show how hard it is to predict where the story is going to go.

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12 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

Moqorro says he sails on a sea of blood. If he slits the throats of those tied to the prow, while they're tied there, then he'd literally be sailing on their blood as it gushes into the ocean in front of his ship. But that wouldn't make for much of a chapter if we're going to get to see the battle.

That does make sense and fits the vision.  Maybe he waits till the battle is over and he's in the Narrow Sea on his way to Dany before he starts with the throat cutting.  Blood sacrifices to get him good winds or something like that.   

Edited by Ser Wun Wun

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1 minute ago, Ser Wun Wun said:

That does make sense and fits the vision.  Maybe he waits till the battle is over and he's in the Narrow Sea on his way to Dany before he starts with the throat cutting.  Blood sacrifices to get him good winds or something like that.   

Or maybe he cuts Falia but just doesn't get around to Damphair, doesn't need him or the battle gets too hectic.

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Clad head to heel in scale as dark as onyx, he sat upon a mound of blackened skulls as dwarfs capered round his feet and a forest burned behind him.

And ideas what the forest refers to? Could it be a sign that Euron gets hold of a dragon?

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The thing is even though there is no one who is purely good or bad and that everyone is grey, people like Tywin and Ramsay exist in our world. Someone who is willing to commit heinous action for selfish desire and those who done it purely out of sadism, and that what GRMM trying to reflect (even though I felt that his writings of the Brave Companion and Euron is cartoonish).

Edited by The Arthur Smith

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28 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

It has been too long for me, too. However, even if she was we don't know how justified she was in wanting to see them punished this way. Perhaps they have been really nasty to her? We didn't get her entire biography.

And making a bastard daughter your official servant in the household suggests some twisted sort of family dynamics. That is not common among the noble houses we have seen so far. 

If she was badly abused, then I would have a good deal more sympathy for her.

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9 minutes ago, northernmonkey said:

And ideas what the forest refers to?

The destruction made in glorious summer by this sun of York.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Come on, that woman was apparently treated like shit by her half-siblings and family.

We don't know how reliable Falia was. Yes, she was mistreated by her family, but to what extend? Mistreated as "not having the same rights as her noble family" (like Jon's case), force to work in Cinderella fashion, or was abused by them? Judging by her naivety, it seems like she doesn't know the situation better and takes it pitifully.

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12 minutes ago, The Arthur Smith said:

We don't know how reliable Falia was. Yes, she was mistreated by her family, but to what extend? Mistreated as "not having the same rights as her noble family" (like Jon's case), force to work in Cinderella fashion, or was abused by them? Judging by her naivety, it seems like she doesn't know the situation better and takes it pitifully.

My guess is that everyone in the Hewett family treated her like crap (hence, her desire for revenge on them), and when Euron showed up she really wanted to believe this was her fairy tale deliverance, because of how appealing the idea of being loved is.  It seems like she has compassionate qualities too, since she's being quite nice to Aeron, who it should be pretty obvious to her that Euron doesn't like him.

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With the more detailed transcriptions, we now know that Euron's Valyian steel armor is scale armor.

(from AngryGotFan's transcription)

Quote

Euron Crow’s Eye stood upon the deck of Silence clad in a suit of black-scaled armor like nothing Aeron had ever seen before. Dark as smoke it was, but Euron wore it as easy as if it was the thinnest silk. The scales were edged in red gold that gleamed and shimmered when he moved. Patterns could be seen within the metal. Whorls and glyphs and arcane symbols molded into steel. Valyrian steel, the Damphair knew. His armor is Valyrian steel.

This immediately reminded me of this -

(AGoT, Eddard IV)

Quote

Hesitantly, Ned followed. Littlefinger led him into a tower, down a stair, across a small sunken courtyard, and along a deserted corridor where empty suits of armor stood sentinel along the walls. They were relics of the Targaryens, black steel with dragon scales cresting their helms, now dusty and forgotten.

and this -

(ASoS, Sansa V)

Quote

They continued down the serpentine and across a small sunken courtyard. Ser Dontos shoved open a heavy door and lit a taper. They were inside a long gallery. Along the walls stood empty suits of armor, dark and dusty, their helms crested with rows of scales that continued down their backs. As they hurried past, the taper's light made the shadows of each scale stretch and twist. The hollow knights are turning into dragons, she thought.

Similar stuff, perhaps?

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