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Lost Melnibonean

It's Brienne...

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Recall how we are introduced to Brienne...

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The blue knight pulled a long dirk free and flicked open Tyrell's visor. The roar of the crowd was too loud for Catelyn to hear what Ser Loras said, but she saw the word form on his split, bloody lips. Yield.

The blue knight climbed unsteady to his feet, and raised his dirk in the direction of Renly Baratheon, the salute of a champion to his king. ...

"Approach," King Renly called to the champion.

... A few voices hailed him with cries of "Tarth!" and, oddly, "A Beauty! A Beauty!" but most were silent. ...

The press had begun to open up. "Ser Colen," Catelyn said to her escort, "who is this man, and why do they mislike him so?"

Ser Colen frowned. "Because he is no man, my lady. That's Brienne of Tarth, daughter to Lord Selwyn the Evenstar."

Catelyn II, Clash 22

In an appendix to the Lord of the Rings, Tolkein told the tale of Aragorn and Arwen. Arwen was called "Evenstar" since she was the most beautiful of the remaining High Elves. Evenstar, of course, was a term for the "evening star" of classical astronomy, the planet Venus. Venus, of course, was the goddess of love and beauty.

Brienne’s only beautiful physical feature was her eyes...

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The Beauty raised her eyes, the only part of her that was truly beautiful.

Catelyn V, Clash 39

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Brienne looked at her with those blue and beautiful eyes.

Catelyn VI, Clash 45

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Jaime watched her eyes. Pretty eyes, he thought, and calm.

Jaime I, Storm 1

But the eyes are not only a physical feature; they are windows into the soul...

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Her two blue windows faintly she up-heaveth,

Like the fair sun, when in his fresh array

He cheers the morn, and all the earth relieveth;

And as the bright sun glorifies the sky,

So is her face illumin'd with her eye.

Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare

And Jaime falls right through Brienne’s windows...

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Harrenhal's bathhouse was a dim, steamy, low-ceilinged room filled with great stone tubs. When they led Jaime in, they found Brienne seated in one of them, scrubbing her arm almost angrily.

She jerked to her feet as if he'd struck her, sending a wash of hot water across the tub. Jaime caught a glimpse of the thick blonde bush at the juncture of her thighs as she climbed out. She was much hairier than his sister. Absurdly, he felt his cock stir beneath the bathwater. Now I know I have been too long away from Cersei. He averted his eyes, troubled by his body's response.

Jaime V, Storm 37

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"A sword," Brienne begged, and there it was, scabbard, belt, and all. She buckled it around her thick waist. The light was so dim that Jaime could scarcely see her, though they stood a scant few feet apart. In this light she could almost be a beauty, he thought. In this light she could almost be a knight. Brienne's sword took flame as well, burning silvery blue. The darkness retreated a little more.

...

"Ser Jaime?" Even in soiled pink satin and torn lace, Brienne looked more like a man in a gown than a proper woman. "I am grateful, but . . . you were well away. Why come back?"

A dozen quips came to mind, each crueler than the one before, but Jaime only shrugged. "I dreamed of you," he said.

Jaime VI, Storm 44

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The last of the northmen had dismounted, Jaime saw, and now Loras Tyrell had seen Brienne.

... Ser Loras drew his longsword.

...

"You have no honor. Draw your sword. I won't have it said that I slew you while your hand was empty."

Jaime stepped between them. "Put the sword away, ser."

SerLoras edged around him. "Are you a craven as well as a killer, Brienne? Is that why you ran, with his blood on your hands? Draw your sword, woman!"

"Best hope she doesn't." Jaime blocked his path again. "Or it's like to be your corpse we carry out. The wench is as strong as Gregor Clegane, though not so pretty."

"This is no concern of yours." Ser Loras shoved him aside.

Jaime grabbed the boy with his good hand and yanked him around. "I am the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, you arrogant pup. Your commander, so long as you wear that white cloak. Now sheathe your bloody sword, or I'll take it from you and shove it up some place even Renly never found."

...

"For what it's worth," said Jaime, "the wench does have honor. More than I have seen from you. And it may even be she's telling it true. I'll grant you, she's not what you'd call clever, but even my horse could come up with a better lie, if it was a lie she meant to tell. As you insist, however . . . Ser Balon, escort Lady Brienne to a tower cell and hold her there under guard. And find some suitable quarters for Steelshanks and his men, until such time as my father can see them."

"Yes, my lord."

Brienne's big blue eyes were full of hurt as Balon Swann and a dozen gold cloaks led her away. You ought to be blowing me kisses, wench, he wanted to tell her. Why must they misunderstand every bloody thing he did? Aerys. It all grows from Aerys. Jaime turned his back on the wench and strode across the yard.

Jaime VII, Storm 62

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"Blue is a good color on you, my lady," Jaime observed. "It goes well with your eyes." She does have astonishing eyes.

Brienne glanced down at herself, flustered. "Septa Donyse padded out the bodice, to give it that shape. She said you sent her to me."

Jaime IX, Storm 72

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"Ser Ronnet," he called, "have you lost your way? It is a large castle, I know."

Red Ronnet raised his lantern. "I wished to see where the bear danced with the maiden not-so-fair." His beard shone in the light as if it were afire. Jaime could smell wine on his breath. "Is it true the wench fought naked?"

"Naked? No." He wondered how that wrinkle had been added to the story. "The Mummers put her in a pink silk gown and shoved a tourney sword into her hand. The Goat wanted her death to be amuthing. Elsewise . . ."

". . . the sight of Brienne naked might have made the bear flee in terror." Connington laughed.

Jaime did not. "You speak as if you know the lady."

"I was betrothed to her."

That took him by surprise. Brienne had never mentioned a betrothal. "Her father made a match for her . . ."

"Thrice," said Connington. "I was the second. My father's notion. I had heard the wench was ugly, and I told him so, but he said all women were the same once you blew the candle out."

...

Ser Ronnet was a landed knight, no more. For any such, the Maid of Tarth would have been a sweet plum indeed. "How is it that you did not wed?" Jaime asked him.

"Why, I went to Tarth and saw her. I had six years on her, yet the wench could look me in the eye. She was a sow in silk, though most sows have bigger teats. When she tried to talk she almost choked on her own tongue. I gave her a rose and told her it was all that she would ever have from me." Connington glanced into the pit. "The bear was less hairy than that freak, I'll—"

Jaime's golden hand cracked him across the mouth so hard the other knight went stumbling down the steps. His lantern fell and smashed, and the oil spread out, burning. "You are speaking of a highborn lady, ser. Call her by her name. Call her Brienne."

Connington edged away from the spreading flames on his hands and knees. "Brienne. If it please my lord." He spat a glob of blood at Jaime's foot. "Brienne the Beauty."

Jaime III, Feast 27

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He was grateful when the bath was deep enough to conceal his arousal. As he lowered himself into the steaming water, he recalled another bath, the one he'd shared with Brienne. He had been feverish and weak from loss of blood, and the heat had made him so dizzy he found himself saying things better left unsaid. This time he had no such excuse.

Jaime IV, Feast 30

Now, consider the prophecy...

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"What a disappointment," Lady Olenna complained loudly. "I was hoping for ‘The Rains of Castamere.'"

Whenever Cersei looked at the old crone, the face of Maggy the Frog seemed to float before her eyes, wrinkled and terrible and wise. All old women look alike, she tried to tell herself, that's all it is. In truth, the bent-back sorceress had looked nothing like the Queen of Thorns, yet somehow the sight of Lady Olenna's nasty little smile was enough to put her back in Maggy's tent again. She could still remember the smell of it, redolent with queer eastern spices, and the softness of Maggy's gums as she sucked the blood from Cersei's finger. Queen you shall be, the old woman had promised, with her lips still wet and red and glistening, until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.

Cersei glanced past Tommen, to where Margaery sat laughing with her father. She is pretty enough, she had to admit, but most of that is youth. Even peasant girls are pretty at a certain age, when they are still fresh and innocent and unspoiled, and most of them have the same brown hair and brown eyes as she does. Only a fool would ever claim she was more beautiful than I.

Cersei III, Feast 12

Cersei thinks the prophecy refers to Margaery, but this is an in-universe red herring. Margaery is beautiful, but is she more beautiful than Cersei? The point is too debatable to be determinative. As the author tells the reader several times, Daenerys is the most beautiful woman in the world of ASOIAF, and she is coming, eventually, for the Iron Throne. But Daenerys is the red herring for the reader.

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"I will be queen, though?" asked the younger her.

"Aye." Malice gleamed in Maggy's yellow eyes. "Queen you shall be . . . until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear."

Anger flashed across the child's face. "If she tries I will have my brother kill her."

...

It is just . . . the maegi knew how many children I would have, and she knew of Robert's bastards. Years before he'd sired even the first of them, she knew. She promised me I should be queen, but said another queen would come . . ." Younger and more beautiful, she said. ". . . another queen, who would take from me all I loved."

"And you wish to forestall this prophecy?"

More than anything, she thought. "Can it be forestalled?"

"Oh, yes. Never doubt that."

"How?"

"I think Your Grace knows how."

She did. I knew it all along, she thought. Even in the tent. "If she tries I will have my brother kill her."

Knowing what needed to be done was one thing, though; knowing how to do it was another. Jaime could no longer be relied on.

Cersei VIII, Feast 36

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It was a pity that Maggy the Frog was dead. Piss on your prophecy, old woman. The little queen may be younger than I, but she has never been more beautiful, and soon she will be dead.

Cersei IX, Feast 39

Here, then, are the elements... “’Queen you shall be . . . until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.’” Many readers assume that the prophecy refers to another queen, but I do not see how that is an element. And although the prophecy could be gender neutral, the term beautiful suggests that it refers to a woman. So, I submit that the first element is a younger, more beautiful woman. We could line up all of the hottest women in ASOIAF, and we could argue about which description is more pleasing to our mind’s eye. As suggested above, from what the author tells us, only Daenerys could be found to be objectively more beautiful than Cersei. So, I submit that the George is misleading the reader just a bit to produce a surprise. The younger and more beautiful woman will be more beautiful on the inside, like Brienne.

While it is easy to see how Margaery or Daenerys might fit the remainder of the prophecy, since Margaery is embroiled in a power struggle with Cersei in King’s Landing, and Daenerys will eventually come to claim the throne, Brienne appears to be more of a square peg. She must cast Cersei down and take all that Cersei holds dear. Well, what does Cersei hold dear? Cersei loves her children, but she is a terrible mother, and it seems to me that what she really loves is the power she derives from her children. And then there is Jaime, whom she loves as much as, if not more than, her children. And Cersei needs Jaime...

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Even in her exhausted, frightened state, the queen knew she dare not trust her fate to a court of sparrows. Nor could she count on Ser Kevan to intervene, after the words that had passed between them at their last meeting. It will have to be a trial by battle. There is no other way. "Qyburn, for the love you bear me, I beg you, send a message for me. A raven if you can. A rider, if not. You must send to Riverrun, to my brother. Tell him what has happened, and write . . . write . . ."

"Yes, Your Grace?"

She licked her lips, shivering. "Come at once. Help me. Save me. I need you now as I have never needed you before. I love you. I love you. I love you. Come at once."

"As you command. ‘I love you' thrice?"

"Thrice." She had to reach him. "He will come. I know he will. He must. Jaime is my only hope."

"My queen," said Qyburn, "have you . . . forgotten? Ser Jaime has no sword hand. If he should champion you and lose . . ."

We will leave this world together, as we once came into it. "He will not lose. Not Jaime. Not with my life at stake."

Cersei X, Feast 43

But Brienne takes Jaime from Cersei...

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There was a rap upon his door. "See who that is, Peck."

It was Riverrun's old maester, with a message clutched in his lined and wrinkled hand. Vyman's face was as pale as the new-fallen snow. "I know," Jaime said, "there has been a white raven from the Citadel. Winter has come."

"No, my lord. The bird was from King's Landing. I took the liberty . . . I did not know . . ." He held the letter out.

Jaime read it in the window seat, bathed in the light of that cold white morning. Qyburn's words were terse and to the point, Cersei's fevered and fervent. Come at once, she said. Help me. Save me. I need you now as I have never needed you before. I love you. I love you. I love you. Come at once.

Vyman was hovering by the door, waiting, and Jaime sensed that Peck was watching too. "Does my lord wish to answer?" the maester asked, after a long silence.

A snowflake landed on the letter. As it melted, the ink began to blur. Jaime rolled the parchment up again, as tight as one hand would allow, and handed it to Peck. "No," he said. "Put this in the fire."

Jaime VII, Feast 44

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He posted sentries to see that no one left the confines of the village. He sent out scouts as well, to make certain no enemy took them unawares. It was near midnight when two came riding back with a woman they had taken captive. "She rode up bold as you please, m'lord, demanding words with you."

Jaime scrambled to his feet. "My lady. I had not thought to see you again so soon." Gods be good, she looks ten years older than when I saw her last. And what' s happened to her face? "That bandage … you've been wounded …"

"A bite." She touched the hilt of her sword, the sword that he had given her. Oathkeeper. "My lord, you gave me a quest."

"The girl. Have you found her?"

"I have," said Brienne, Maid of Tarth. "Where is she?"

"A day's ride. I can take you to her, ser … but you will need to come alone. Elsewise, the Hound will kill her."

Jaime, Dance 48

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"Jaime, then? Is it Jaime?"

"No. Jaime is still in the riverlands, somewhere."

"Somewhere?" She did not like the sound of that. "He took Raventree and accepted Lord Blackwood's surrender," said her uncle, "but on his way back to Riverrun he left his tail and went off with a woman."

"A woman?" Cersei stared at him, uncomprehending. "What woman? Why? Where did they go?"

"No one knows. We've had no further word of him. The woman may have been the Evenstar's daughter, Lady Brienne."

Her. The queen remembered the Maid of Tarth, a huge, ugly, shambling thing who dressed in man's mail. Jaime would never abandon me for such a creature. My raven never reached him, elsewise he would have come.

Cersei I, Dance 54

And Cersei is cast down...

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"No harm will come to me today," Cersei said when the day's first light brushed her window. "Only my pride will suffer." The words rang hollow in her ears. Jaime may yet come. She pictured him riding through the morning mists, his golden armor bright in the light of the rising sun. Jaime, if you ever loved me …

...

Then it was the soap again, the warm water, and the razor. The hair beneath her arms went next, then her legs, and last of all the fine golden down that covered her mound. When the silent sister crept between her legs with the razor, Cersei found herself remembering all the times that Jaime had knelt where she was kneeling now, planting kisses on the inside of her thighs, making her wet. His kisses were always warm. The razor was ice-cold.

...

Part of her still yearned for Jaime to appear and rescue her from this humiliation, but her twin was nowhere to be seen.

...

Cersei had been a year old when her grandfather died. The first thing her father had done on his ascension was to expel his own father's grasping, lowborn mistress from Casterly Rock. The silks and velvets Lord Tytos had lavished on her and the jewelry she had taken for herself had been stripped from her, and she had been sent forth naked to walk through the streets of Lannisport, so the west could see her for what she was.

Though she had been too young to witness the spectacle herself, Cersei had heard the stories growing up from the mouths of washerwomen and guardsmen who had been there. They spoke of how the woman had wept and begged, of the desperate way she clung to her garments when she was commanded to disrobe, of her futile efforts to cover her breasts and her sex with her hands as she hobbled barefoot and naked through the streets to exile. "Vain and proud she was, before," she remembered one guard saying, "so haughty you'd think she'd forgot she come from dirt. Once we got her clothes off her, though, she was just another whore."

If Ser Kevan and the High Sparrow thought that it would be the same with her, they were very much mistaken. Lord Tywin's blood was in her. I am a lioness. I will not cringe for them.

...

I am beautiful, she reminded himself. How many times had Jaime told her that?

...

"Your Grace." The captain of her escort stepped up beside her. Cersei had forgotten his name. "You must continue. The crowd is growing unruly."

Yes, she thought. Unruly. "I am not afraid—"

"You should be." He yanked at her arm, pulling her along beside him. She staggered down the hill—downward, ever downward—wincing with every step, letting him support her. It should be Jaime beside me. He would draw his golden sword and slash a path right through the mob, carving the eyes out of the head of every man who dared to look at her.

...

I am beautiful, the most beautiful woman in all Westeros, Jaime says so, Jaime would never lie to me. ... I should not have done this. I was their queen, but now they' ve seen, they' ve seen, they've seen. I should never have let them see. Gowned and crowned, she was a queen. Naked, bloody, limping, she was only a woman, not so very different from their wives, more like their mothers than their pretty little maiden daughters. What have I done?

Cersei II, Dance 65

And then, at that precise moment, she recalls (actually, the author reminds the reader of) the prophecy...

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There was something in her eyes, stinging, blurring her sight. She could not cry, she would not cry, the worms must never see her weep. Cersei rubbed her eyes with the heels of her hands. A gust of cold wind made her shiver violently.

And suddenly the hag was there, standing in the crowd with her pendulous teats and her warty greenish skin, leering with the rest, with malice shining from her crusty yellow eyes. "Queen you shall be, " she hissed, "until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all you hold most dear. "

And then there was no stopping the tears. They burned down the queen's cheeks like acid. Cersei gave a sharp cry, covered her nipples with one arm, slid her other hand down to hide her slit, and began to run, shoving her way past the line of Poor Fellows, crouching as she scrambled crab-legged up the hill. Partway up she stumbled and fell, rose, then fell again ten yards farther on. The next thing she knew she was crawling, scrambling uphill on all fours like a dog as the good folks of King's Landing made way for her, laughing and jeering and applauding her.

Cersei II, Dance 65

ETA

Around the middle of Game, we learned that Tyrion’s true love, Tysha, sang a song to him...

"Do you know this song?" he asked.

"You hear it here and there, in inns and whorehouses."

"Myrish. ‘The Seasons of My Love.' Sweet and sad, if you understand the words. The first girl I ever bedded used to sing it, and I've never been able to put it out of my head."

Tyrion VI, Game 42

As Tyrion lied near death after the Battle of the Blackwater, we learned a line from the song...

They would kiss for hours, and spend whole days doing no more than lolling in bed, listening to the waves, and touching each other. Her body was a wonder to him, and she seemed to find delight in his. Sometimes she would sing to him. I loved a maid as fair as summer, with sunlight in her hair. "I love you, Tyrion," she would whisper before they went to sleep at night. "I love your lips. I love your voice, and the words you say to me, and how you treat me gentle. I love your face."

Tyrion XV, Clash 67

This was reiterated early in Storm...

"No. If I've given offense, forgive me. I had my own love once, and we had a song as well." I loved a maid as fair as summer, with sunlight in her hair.

Tyrion II, Storm 12

And we recalled Lancel singing the song to Cersei...

Through the door came the soft sound of the high harp, mingled with a trilling of pipes. The singer's voice was muffled by the thick walls, yet Tyrion knew the verse. I loved a maid as fair as summer, he remembered, with sunlight in her hair . . .

Tyrion VI, Clash 25

Interestingly, Tyrion wonders whether Jaime thinks of Cersei with this first verse in mind...

Is this the Cersei that Jaime sees? When she smiled, you saw how beautiful she was, truly. I loved a maid as fair as summer, with sunlight in her hair.

Tyrion VI, Clash 25

We also recalled that he learned what must be the third line of the song...

Shae stood in the door behind him, dressed in the silvery robe he'd given her. I loved a maid as white as winter, with moonglow in her hair.

Tyrion X, Clash 44

Since winter is opposite to summer, Shae is opposite to Tysha. While that caught my eye, it was the second line that made my head turn...

After a time the candle guttered and went out. Moonlight slanted between the slats of the shutters, laying pale silvery bars across her father's face. She could hear the soft whisper of his labored breathing, the endless rush of waters, the faint chords of some love song drifting up from the yard, so sad and sweet. "I loved a maid as red as autumn," Rymund sang, "with sunset in her hair."

Catelyn VII, Clash 55

This was right before Catelyn played matchmaker with Jaime and Brienne the Beauty. So, we have Tyrion and Tysha followed by Tyrion and Shae, and we have Jaime and Cersei followed by Jaime and Brienne. 

We can associate Brienne and Sansa to the maiden fair. What about the fair maid?

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“Off to Gulltown to see the fair maid, heigh-ho, heigh-ho . . . "

...

"I'll steal a sweet kiss with the point of my blade, heigh-ho, heigh-ho."

...

"I'll make her my love and we'll rest in the shade, heigh-ho, heigh-ho." The song swelled louder with every word.

Arya II, Storm 13

This sure sounds like a murder ballad. So, who gets whacked? Brienne, Sansa, or Arya?

The first time we hear about Off to Gulltown, is at the very beginning of The Hedge Knight...

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The spring rains had softened the ground, so Dunk had no trouble digging the grave. He chose a spot on the western slope of a low hill, for the old man had always loved to watch the sunset. “Another day done,” he would sigh, “and who knows what the morrow will bring us, eh, Dunk?” Well, one morrow had brought rains that soaked them to the bones, and the one after had brought wet gusty winds, and the next a chill. By the fourth day the old man was too weak to ride. And now he was gone. Only a few days past, he had been singing as they rode, the old song about going to Gulltownto see a fair maid, but instead of Gulltown he’d sung of Ashford. Off to Ashford to see the fair maid, heigh-ho, heigh-ho, Dunk thought miserably as he dug.

When Ser Duncan the Tall arrived at Ashford, "it seemed as though every lordly house of the west and south had sent a knight or three to Ashford to see the fair maid and brave the lists in her honor." She was "a short girl with yellow hair and a round pink face." She did not seem so fair to Dunk, though. "The puppet girl was prettier." 

Now, here's what I am digging...

The fair maid reigned as Queen of Love and Beauty. 

A Beauty! A Beauty! 

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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Interesting take on the prophecy, and very well thought out.  This is what makes ASOIAF so great, the speculation and possibilities are endless.   Cersei is her own worst enemy, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy as well.  The "younger and more beautiful" may refer to a less linear-timed person...her younger self.  The actions she takes as a result of hearing the prophecy as a child will ultimately destroy herself in the end.  Everyone's younger self is "more beautiful".

Ok, that may be a little "tinfoil hat" but still possible!

DB

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I've always opposed the "more beautiful on the inside" line of thought - because, seriously, if it's Cersei we're talking about, then the list of people "more beautiful on the inside" is long AF. Including, arguably, Janos Slynt, Walder Frey, Boros Blount, Roose Bolton, Amory Lorch, Symon Silvertongue, Bowen Marsh, Lyn Corbray... Shit, I could go on and on, there are very few selected characters who don't fit that description. Ramsay, Ser Gregor, the Bloody Mummers and some worst shitheads from around the Slaver Bay area.

If Maggy intended to say "more beautiful on the inside than Cersei of House Lannister", then she intended to convey no information whatsoever. It's only marginally more informative than "a person with less than six legs", it's talking just for the sake of talking. While my impression of Maggy the Frog is opposite: for a prophet/fortune teller, she's remarkably informative, bullshit-free and low on fluff.

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33 minutes ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

I've always opposed the "more beautiful on the inside" line of thought - because, seriously, if it's Cersei we're talking about, then the list of people "more beautiful on the inside" is long AF. Including, arguably, Janos Slynt, Walder Frey, Boros Blount, Roose Bolton, Amory Lorch, Symon Silvertongue, Bowen Marsh, Lyn Corbray... Shit, I could go on and on, there are very few selected characters who don't fit that description. Ramsay, Ser Gregor, the Bloody Mummers and some worst shitheads from around the Slaver Bay area.

If Maggy intended to say "more beautiful on the inside than Cersei of House Lannister", then she intended to convey no information whatsoever. It's only marginally more informative than "a person with less than six legs", it's talking just for the sake of talking. While my impression of Maggy the Frog is opposite: for a prophet/fortune teller, she's remarkably informative, bullshit-free and low on fluff.

:rofl:  

1 hour ago, DarkBastard said:

Interesting take on the prophecy, and very well thought out.  This is what makes ASOIAF so great, the speculation and possibilities are endless.   Cersei is her own worst enemy, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy as well.  The "younger and more beautiful" may refer to a less linear-timed person...her younger self.  The actions she takes as a result of hearing the prophecy as a child will ultimately destroy herself in the end.  Everyone's younger self is "more beautiful".

Ok, that may be a little "tinfoil hat" but still possible!

DB

A reverse Dorian Gray for Cersei could be fun but something along the lines of seeing an old portrait next to reflection of self seems a little bit too on the nose maybe.

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1 minute ago, Sigella said:

:rofl:  

A reverse Dorian Gray for Cersei could be fun but something along the lines of seeing an old portrait next to reflection of self seems a little bit too on the nose maybe.

Probably right! lol

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It would be just like Martin to lead readers by the nose only to subvert expectations.  I think the same will hold true for the identity of Cersei's valonqar as well.  Maggy's tone is mocking Cersei, just as Brienne is mocked for her beauty. 

Edited by LynnS

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52 minutes ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

I've always opposed the "more beautiful on the inside" line of thought - because, seriously, if it's Cersei we're talking about, then the list of people "more beautiful on the inside" is long AF. Including, arguably, Janos Slynt, Walder Frey, Boros Blount, Roose Bolton, Amory Lorch, Symon Silvertongue, Bowen Marsh, Lyn Corbray... Shit, I could go on and on, there are very few selected characters who don't fit that description. Ramsay, Ser Gregor, the Bloody Mummers and some worst shitheads from around the Slaver Bay area.

If Maggy intended to say "more beautiful on the inside than Cersei of House Lannister", then she intended to convey no information whatsoever. It's only marginally more informative than "a person with less than six legs", it's talking just for the sake of talking. While my impression of Maggy the Frog is opposite: for a prophet/fortune teller, she's remarkably informative, bullshit-free and low on fluff.

More beautiful is only one element. We also have younger, and female (in my opinion), and she must cast Cersei down, and take all Cersei holds dear. 

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3 minutes ago, LynnS said:

It would be just like Martin to lead readers by the nose only to subvert expectations.  I think the same will hold true for the identity of Cersei's valonqar as well.

If the valonqar is Jaime, the two prophecies would likely fit... er, hand-in-glove. 

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4 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

More beautiful is only one element. We also have younger, and female (in my opinion), and she must cast Cersei down, and take all Cersei holds dear. 

Yes, but I maintain that this little bit also contains some non-trivial information, like everything else Maggy has said.

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3 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

More beautiful is only one element. We also have younger, and female (in my opinion), and she must cast Cersei down, and take all Cersei holds dear. 

Arya's list is getting shorter and shorter.  Look who's last...

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - The Ugly Little Girl

When at last day came to Braavos, it came grey and dark and overcast. The girl had hoped for fog, but the gods ignored her prayers as gods so often did. The air was clear and cold, and the wind had a nasty bite to it. A good day for a death, she thought. Unbidden, her prayer came to her lips. Ser Gregor, Dunsen, Raff the Sweetling. Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, Queen Cersei. She mouthed the names silently. In the House of Black and White, you never knew who might be listening.

 

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1 minute ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

If the valonqar is Jaime, the two prophecies would likely fit... er, hand-in-glove. 

Little brother... could be anyone who is short in stature and belongs to a brotherhood.  I don't think Cersei will see Jaime again.
 

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Jaime I

Past time this was ended, thought Jaime Lannister. With Riverrun now safely in Lannister hands, Raventree was the remnant of the Young Wolf's short-lived kingdom. Once it yielded, his work along the Trident would be done, and he would be free to return to King's Landing. To the king, he told himself, but another part of him whispered, to Cersei.

He would have to face her, he supposed. Assuming the High Septon had not put her to death by the time he got back to the city. "Come at once," she had written, in the letter he'd had Peck burn at Riverrun. "Help me. Save me. I need you now as I have never needed you before. I love you. I love you. I love you. Come at once." Her need was real enough, Jaime did not doubt. As for the rest … she's been fucking Lancel and Osmund Kettleblack and Moon Boy for all I know … Even if he had gone back, he could not hope to save her. She was guilty of every treason laid against her, and he was short a sword hand.

 

This doesn't sound like a man who wants to kill her in a fit of rage.

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8 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Little brother... could be anyone who is short in stature and belongs to a brotherhood.  I don't think Cersei will see Jaime again.
 

This doesn't sound like a man who wants to kill her in a fit of rage.

I think the author is preparing Jaime to remove his sister so as to pave the way for Rhaegar's son. 

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As far as fluff goes, Maggy was already being fairly poetic (or vague) with "gold will be their crowns." Unless Myrcella outlives her brother and is crowned queen, I'm guessing this refers to the "crown of the head" or hair. Maggy is foretelling the incest. 

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21 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

I think the author is preparing Jaime to remove his sister so as to pave the way for Rhaegar's son. 

I think Jaime will end up at the Wall with Jon and take up his place as "the shield and the light", to Jon's sword and fire, Sam's horn and watcher on the wall.   It's a curious thing that the table in the Lord Commander's chambers is a shield made of weirwood.  A search of Jaime's pov turns up many and more references to shields, just as it does for Jon and the sword, Sam and the horn. 

The confrontation with Lady Stoneheart will determine what path he has to take and I don't think it will take him back to Cersei.  

Of course, if Cersei can bag Euron and become his Casterly Rock wife; then his second wife, might be younger and more beautiful.

It would be quite a twist if that turns out to be Melisandre in her glamor.
 

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

His words fell on deaf ears. Stannis had remained unmoved. The law was plain; a deserter's life was forfeit.Beneath the weeping Wall, Lady Melisandre raised her pale white hands. "We all must choose," she proclaimed. "Man or woman, young or old, lord or peasant, our choices are the same." Her voice made Jon Snow think of anise and nutmeg and cloves. She stood at the king's side on a wooden scaffold raised above the pit. "We choose light or we choose darkness. We choose good or we choose evil. We choose the true god or the false."

 

 

Edited by LynnS

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I always adamantly believe Brienne is the one here. Otherwise why GRRM bother to name her as "the Beauty"?

BTW she is technically the the Next Evenstar of Westeros. We know in LOTR, Evenstar is the most beautiful woman on earth. 

 

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17 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

As far as fluff goes, Maggy was already being fairly poetic (or vague) with "gold will be their crowns." Unless Myrcella outlives her brother and is crowned queen, I'm guessing this refers to the "crown of the head" or hair. Maggy is foretelling the incest. 

No, I think she was quite literal there, as well.

Myrcella outliving her brother isn't the only way she gets a crown on her head. That almost happened already (Arianne's plot). Another possibility, she could, willing or not, become another claimant's wife. At least Aegon and Euron are single, and another surprise claimant can pop out.

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28 minutes ago, purple-eyes said:

I always adamantly believe Brienne is the one here. Otherwise why GRRM bother to name her as "the Beauty"?

BTW she is technically the the Next Evenstar of Westeros. We know in LOTR, Evenstar is the most beautiful woman on earth. 

 

Give the number of beasts in this story; I'll have to go with the twisted fairy tale, where the beauty slays the beast.

The evening star and the morning star are both venus seen at sunset and sunrise at different times of the year. Venus is the  goddess of love and beauty.   Brienne, the beauty is a true knight worthy of the dawn sword/sword of the morning.

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

I think Jaime will end up at the Wall with Jon and take up his place as "the shield and the light", to Jon's sword and fire, Sam's horn and watcher on the wall.   It's a curious thing that the table in the Lord Commander's chambers is a shield made of weirwood.  A search of Jaime's pov turns up many and more references to shields, just as it does for Jon and the sword, Sam and the horn. 

The confrontation with Lady Stoneheart will determine what path he has to take and I don't think it will take him back to Cersei.  

Of course, if Cersei can bag Euron and become his Casterly Rock wife; then his second wife, might be younger and more beautiful.

It would be quite a twist if that turns out to be Melisandre in her glamor.

Me too. Rhaegar's presumed son will send the kingslayer turned kingmaker to the Wall after he offs his sister. 

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6 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

But the eyes are not only a physical feature; they are windows into the soul...

Quote

Her two blue windows faintly she up-heaveth,

Like the fair sun, when in his fresh array

He cheers the morn, and all the earth relieveth;

And as the bright sun glorifies the sky,

So is her face illumin'd with her eye.

Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare

And Jaime falls right through Brienne’s windows...

Lovely poem (I thought you said you didn't know much about poetry...;))!

I wasn't aware of that one of Shakespeare's.  Although it seems the poet is comparing her to the sun, 'like the fair sun', that doesn't make her equivalent to the sun astrologically speaking, nor in the context of this poem, in which there is confusion about the time of day, shortly following that stanza:

Quote
'O! where am I?' quoth she, 'in earth or heaven,
Or in the ocean drench'd, or in the fire?
What hour is this? or morn or weary even?
Do I delight to die, or life desire?                 496
  But now I liv'd, and life was death's annoy;
  But now I died, and death was lively joy.

To which Adonis replies, assuring her it's evening:

Quote
'Look! the world's comforter, with weary gait
His day's hot task hath ended in the west;
The owl, night's herald, shrieks, 'tis very late;
The sheep are gone to fold, birds to their nest,     532
  And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven's light
  Do summon us to part, and bid good night.
'Now let me say good night, and so say you;
If you will say so, you shall have a kiss.'          536
'Good night,' quoth she; and ere he says adieu,
The honey fee of parting tender'd is:
  Her arms do lend his neck a sweet embrace;
  Incorporate then they seem, face grows to face.    540
Till, breathless, he disjoin'd, and backward drew
The heavenly moisture, that sweet coral mouth,
Whose precious taste her thirsty lips well knew,
Whereon they surfeit, yet complain on drouth:        544
  He with her plenty press'd, she faint with dearth,
  Their lips together glu'd, fall to the earth.

Therefore, the light emanating from the blue windows of her eyes is a light shining in the darkness -- the evening star, Venus; not the sun.  

That she is a light in the darkness is also suggested by the lines prefacing the ones you quoted, implying the lady's eyes alleviate the night's sorrow, like a star coming out:

Quote
The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day:
Her two blue windows faintly she up-heaveth,
Like the fair sun

This relationship between sun, star, and Adonis is paralleled in ASOIAF by Cersei, Brienne and Jaime, respectively.  Cersei is directly compared to the sun; and by implication her downfall as represented by the walk of atonement is figuratively 'the end of the road' for her, and therefore a 'sunset' for her specifically, as well as for House Lannister more generally:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Epilogue

The fire soon thawed him, and the wine warmed his insides nicely. It also made him sleepy, so he dare not drink another cup. His day was far from done. He had reports to read, letters to write. And supper with Cersei and the king. His niece had been subdued and submissive since her walk of atonement, thank the gods. The novices who attended her reported that she spent a third of her waking hours with her son, another third in prayer, and the rest in her tub. She was bathing four or five times a day, scrubbing herself with horsehair brushes and strong lye soap, as if she meant to scrape her skin off.

She will never wash the stain away, no matter how hard she scrubs. Ser Kevan remembered the girl she once had been, so full of life and mischief. And when she'd flowered, ahhhh … had there ever been a maid so sweet to look upon? If Aerys had agreed to marry her to Rhaegar, how many deaths might have been avoided? Cersei could have given the prince the sons he wanted, lions with purple eyes and silver manes … and with such a wife, Rhaegar might never have looked twice at Lyanna Stark. The northern girl had a wild beauty, as he recalled, though however bright a torch might burn it could never match the rising sun.

But it did no good to brood on lost battles and roads not taken. That was a vice of old done men. Rhaegar had wed Elia of Dorne, Lyanna Stark had died, Robert Baratheon had taken Cersei to bride, and here they were. And tonight his own road would take him to his niece's chambers and face-to-face with Cersei.

Except, as we know, Kevan did not find the sun waiting for him in his chambers, but the end of his road, his sunset (heralded by a white raven)!  In fact, one might say it's nearing the end of the road or sunset time more broadly for House Lannister, as I mentioned.

Quote

Winter is coming, warned the Stark words, and truly it had come for them with a vengeance. But it is high summer for House Lannister. So why am I so bloody cold? (ASOS - Tyrion VII)

This is an allusion to the opening passage of the play Richard III also by Shakespeare, as discussed on the poetry thread.  In any case, we can safely say by the ADWD Epilogue that Winter has come in earnest for House Lannister.

As the sun sets, Venus rises.  In other words, Venus the Evenstar  i.e. Brienne (she also rises out of the Harrenhal bathtub like Venus in classical myth) -- casts down the Sun -- i.e. Cersei -- at sunset.

Further, it's clear Jaime does not agree with the sentiment expressed above, namely that 'however bright a torch might burn it could never match the rising sun'.  He seems quite taken with the beauty of her 'burning torch' here:

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Jaime VI

From behind came a great splash. Jaime whirled toward the sound . . . but the faint light revealed only Brienne of Tarth, her hands bound in heavy chains. "I swore to keep you safe," the wench said stubbornly. "I swore an oath." Naked, she raised her hands to Jaime. "Ser. Please. If you would be so good."

The steel links parted like silk. "A sword," Brienne begged, and there it was, scabbard, belt, and all. She buckled it around her thick waist. The light was so dim that Jaime could scarcely see her, though they stood a scant few feet apart. In this light she could almost be a beauty, he thought. In this light she could almost be a knight. Brienne's sword took flame as well, burning silvery blue. The darkness retreated a little more.

With Brienne's advent, Jaime's darkness retreats.

 

2 hours ago, LynnS said:

Give the number of beasts in this story; I'll have to go with the twisted fairy tale, where the beauty slays the beast.

The evening star and the morning star are both venus seen at sunset and sunrise at different times of the year. Venus is the  goddess of love and beauty.   Brienne, the beauty is a true knight worthy of the dawn sword/sword of the morning.

As @purple-eyes pointed out, Brienne is the next Evenstar.  The evening star appears in the sky following sunset, so can be seen poetically to have cast down the sun (for more, see my explanation to LM above). 

Edited by ravenous reader

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