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chrisdaw

What Rhaegar believed, why he did what he did and was the way he was

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20 minutes ago, Makk said:

I had to google what this was about. You do have an excellent in depth knowledge of the material. Well you could argue GRRM thinks it is not ok since they killed the other one. Lots of moral stories there as it was also eye for an eye situation. I'm not sure I would describe that as a sacrifice actually, since Blood and Cheese hold both of them, Halaena had nothing to give up.

Anyway, I can see GRRM preaching that it is not OK to sacrifice a child under any circumstances. I can't see him destroying the world because no one did, or saving it because there was.

I've got three of the little buggers. I've grown very fond of each of them. If I had to sacrifice one to save the other...

No wonder Helaena jumped from the tower. 

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2 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

But she didn't really sacrifice him, did she? He was a dead man walking, she tried to revive him, and then put him out of his misery. 

Still, she killed him. Three times in a sense. First with the insistence that Mirri treat his wound (which may have led to her poisoning him). Then with the 'healing spell' that cost Rhaego his life and fried Drogo's mind in the process, killing him in a very real sense. And then when she smothered him with her own hands, killing him for good and all.

If Dany had her own Nissa Nissa it is Drogo, not Rhaego. Rhaego was a sort of unconscious sacrifice to get Drogo back. But he wasn't yet born nor did she kill him with her own hands or gave explicit permission to kill him. 

But Drogo was killed by Dany herself with the intention to burn him in that pyre to get her dragons. He was the crucial sacrifice, the important ingredient for the spell. Had she just burned Mirri Maz Duur she would have gotten nothing.

And who knows, perhaps Egg could have hatched his dragon eggs if he had burned Betha, Dunk, Duncan, or Jaehaerys alive? We don't know. 

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4 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

No wonder Helaena jumped from the tower. 

Sophia's choice. She chose one but lost both, anyway.

I like this explanation of Rhaegar's melancholy, as well as the idea of GRRM placing such a terrible moral dilemma. But I'd like to come back to Rhaegar's original concept that he was going to be both the warrior and the sacrifice - you know, I'm currently re-reading Mary Ransom's King Must Die, and there is a very important idea: a king must be willing to die for the good of his people, and it is the willing sacrifice of oneself that makes it so strong as to compel gods. So, sacrificing another won't work, it must be oneself

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His beliefs were fluid, as Aemon says he changed his mind once and we know he read something that changed his mind again. He could have thought he was to be a warrior and a sacrifice. He might have went between the two at different parts of his life. He might have always been torn between the two. When Aegon came along and there was the apparent comet maybe he thought he would no longer die but he had to sacrifice his children, or that he and them had to die.

The important thing is going to be that he had Jon with at minimum the belief that Jon would die, and probably that he would need to do the sacrifice himself. As that is what is going to play into Jon's and Dany's arcs.

And there is the outside chance Lyanna was on the same prophecy shit as him. I doubt it, but there's no reason it can't be a possibility. And if it is the case there is in her promise to Ned the delivery mechanism for the twist. If she was on the same shit as Rhaegar then the promise she demanded of Ned should have been that Ned kill  Jon, probably burn him.

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18 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

Hmm...interesting, but I'm not sure I agree with the conclusions drawn. It's clear that anyone who knows anything about magic in this universe, knows the value in sacrifices, so it's likely Aemon and Rhaegar believed sacrificial magic of some sort was needed to bring forth dragons. But that's quite a jump to believing TPTWP was going to have to sacrifice himself, particularly when the prophesied 'Prince' is interpreted as the savior. Also, Aemon says he needs to join Dany's side, to advise her on ruling, and be one of her 'three heads'. It didn't sound like he was going to her so he could sacrifice himself.

The ultimate conclusion you make, I have the most trouble with. It seems rather anti-climactic to me to have another set of dragons. What was the point of the existing dragons then, if they're just going to disappear before the climax?

Slightly OT.... but how much of what Mel and Aemon mentions is needed for the prophecy is actually in the prophecy, and how much is just their (probably accurate) educated guesses as to what is needed, based on what they know of magic in general? Like the three heads - I think that is not actually prophesied (or it is, but only Dany has heard it) because Mel never tries to find two other 'heads' for Stannis.

At one point I did some research and I believe that there are either different versions of the prophecy or one additional prophecy. Anyway, the Essosi versions of the prophecy do not have the three dragon heads. This is why Melisandre didn't try to find the other heads for Stannis.

1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

Sophia's choice. She chose one but lost both, anyway.

I like this explanation of Rhaegar's melancholy, as well as the idea of GRRM placing such a terrible moral dilemma. But I'd like to come back to Rhaegar's original concept that he was going to be both the warrior and the sacrifice - you know, I'm currently re-reading Mary Ransom's King Must Die, and there is a very important idea: a king must be willing to die for the good of his people, and it is the willing sacrifice of oneself that makes it so strong as to compel gods. So, sacrificing another won't work, it must be oneself

In the ancient eastern Mediterranean, community leaders were expected to sacrifice their own children in times of crisis. This was considered a much greater sacrifice than their own lives. This idea is touched upon in Agamemnon's sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia at the start of the Trojan War and Abraham's aborted sacrifice of his son Isaac. Of course, sacrificing someone else's child wouldn't work.

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8 minutes ago, bent branch said:

In the ancient eastern Mediterranean, community leaders were expected to sacrifice their own children in times of crisis. This was considered a much greater sacrifice than their own lives. This idea is touched upon in Agamemnon's sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia at the start of the Trojan War and Abraham's aborted sacrifice of his son Isaac. Of course, sacrificing someone else's child wouldn't work.

And Jephtah and his daughter. This motive appears throughout many fairy tales where the price for a victory/rescue and the like is a promise to sacrifice /give "the first person you encounter", or "what you don't know about". It is also used in Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher series where, however, it is the consent of the promised one that seals the deal. Hm... promised. Funny.

The novel I mentioned previously is actually set in ancient Greece, with Theseus as its protagonist, and I thought that the idea of a willing royal sacrifice carrying special power might be an interesting parallel. Has GRRM read it, I wonder?

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17 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

Aemon doesn't believe it, he believes in the prophecies but he never knew of the sacrifice requirement like Rhaegar did. Like Jon was Ned's, that there must be a sacrifice was Rhaegar's cross to bear, and he did it alone.

The point of the dragons is that they're going to be lost fighting for the iron throne when they should have been used to save it.

It's still all very anti-climactic to me. I mean, this series has been building up to a giant battle between Azor Ahai & friends and the very flammable Others. It's going to be quite a let down to not see the already established dragons melting the ice-zombies, because the audience hasn't been given enough time to build an emotional connection with this new dragon. It's just not good storytelling. And I know I'm treating the dragons as if they were characters in their own right, but I feel's what all the magical animal in this series are.

Re:sacrifice. Here is another part of the prophecy:

There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.

According to this, Azor Ahai, the one who has woken stone dragons, IS the savior ("darkness shall flee before him").

Also, if the overarching theme is 'human lives are not worth sacrificing, even for other humans', the only way to convey that is to have our protagonists not do any sacrificial magic, which, according your theory, means no saviour is borne and the world is doomed. Though, I suppose you can also do a cautionary tale, where they do make human sacrifices but ends up being not worth it. Both endings seems more bitter than bittersweet, though.

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He's drawn from Isaac/Abraham most obviously. Two wives, a son to each, both leaders/kings, one quarrelsome and banished to dwell in the east, Aegon his wives and sons. Vhagar derived from Hagar. Twins born holding the other's foot.

The Binding of Isaac is what has stuck with him and he's channelling.

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3 minutes ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

It's still all very anti-climactic to me. I mean, this series has been building up to a giant battle between Azor Ahai & friends and the very flammable Others.

There will be a dragon. An ice dragon too for it to fight. It is just not going to be arrived at by sacrificing the child which is what it will appear has to happen. He just has to sell the idea to the reader and the characters for the rejection of it to be truly meaningful and heroic.

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21 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

There will be a dragon. An ice dragon too for it to fight. It is just not going to be arrived at by sacrificing the child which is what it will appear has to happen. He just has to sell the idea to the reader and the characters for the rejection of it to be truly meaningful and heroic.

Ehhh...I've never been a fan of the ice dragon theory. There's no foreshadowing for it that I can see. I'm sure people will point to this and that and say "see, proof!", but the set up for something as big (as in importance, not size) as an ice-dragon should not be obscure imo.

If the final dragon will not come through sacrifice, then how? Isn't your premise based on the saviour also being the sacrifice?

1 hour ago, bent branch said:

At one point I did some research and I believe that there are either different versions of the prophecy or one additional prophecy. Anyway, the Essosi versions of the prophecy do not have the three dragon heads. This is why Melisandre didn't try to find the other heads for Stannis.

I thought the same thing at one point. But right now, I'm of the opinion that "three heads of the dragon" is just intuition, like how Dany "knew" what to do with the dragon eggs, and not actually part of the prophecy. I don't really have any hard evidence for this, though. It's just a gut feeling.

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In general it seems plausible, though I don't see the point of a new dragon. The problem is not the Others. It is the winter itself which promises to be apocalyptic. And it is the winter that allowes the Others to come out and play.

It is the cycle of the seasons that needs to be fixed.

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20 minutes ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

Ehhh...I've never been a fan of the ice dragon theory. There's no foreshadowing for it that I can see. I'm sure people will point to this and that and say "see, proof!", but the set up for something as big (as in importance, not size) as an ice-dragon should not be obscure imo.

Dany will want to make the sacrifice, Jon will refuse. Dany will try to make the sacrifice, Jon will stop her. Jon will execute her for the attempt, by Dany's words that is what kings are for, defending those who can not defend themselves and doing justice. Dany will serve as the sacrifice and become the dragon. The sword Jon executes her with will take flame, that is what a flaming sword is, the symbolic representation of god's justice. But this strays from the purpose of this topic, if you care for the rest including the ice dragon read the first link in my sig, just know by the broad strokes I'm not wrong and you'll be reading what basically amounts to spoilers for one half the series.

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Just now, chrisdaw said:

Dany will want to make the sacrifice, Jon will refuse. Dany will try to make the sacrifice, Jon will stop her. Jon will execute her for the attempt, by Dany's words that is what kings are for, defending those who can not defend themselves and doing justice. Dany will serve as the sacrifice and become the dragon. The sword Jon executes her with will take flame, that is what a flaming sword is, the symbolic representation of god's justice. But this strays from the purpose of this topic, if you care for the rest including the ice dragon read the first link in my sig, just know by the broad strokes I'm not wrong and you'll be reading what basically amounts to spoilers for one half the series.

Dany, the girl who couldn't bear to kill her hostages to shut down her enemies, who is enraged every time children are harmed, who has this whole motherhood arc... is going to sacrifice her own child?

This ending seems less "don't sacrifice kids" and more "bitches be cray, misogyny saves the day!" Safe to say, I don't like theories that involve the main heroine dying from sexist tropes.

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28 minutes ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

Dany, the girl who couldn't bear to kill her hostages to shut down her enemies, who is enraged every time children are harmed, who has this whole motherhood arc... is going to sacrifice her own child?

Yeah that Dany.

This one.

Quote

You warned me that only death could pay for life. I thought you meant the horse."

"No," Mirri Maz Duur said. "That was a lie you told yourself. You knew the price."

Had she? Had she? If I look back I am lost. "The price was paid," Dany said. "The horse, my child,

And this one.

Quote

No queen has clean hands, Dany told herself. She thought of Doreah, of Quaro, of Eroeh … of a little girl she had never met, whose name had been Hazzea. Better a few should die in the pit than thousands at the gates. This is the price of peace, I pay it willingly. If I look back, I am lost.

This same one.

Quote

Once, the grass whispered back, until you chained your dragons in the dark.

"Drogon killed a little girl. Her name was … her name …" Dany could not recall the child's name. That made her so sad that she would have cried if all her tears had not been burned away. "I will never have a little girl. I was the Mother of Dragons."

Aye, the grass said, but you turned against your children.

 

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14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not even sure Rhaego was ever an important sacrifice.

I'm reasonably certain that Rhaego was never sacrificed at all. But again, I'm aware that I'm in a minority on that point.

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5 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

Yeah that Dany.

This one.

And this one.

This same one.

 

How bout the one that burned up Krazy me Dragonchow and that crucified a hundred an something slavers. 

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Just now, Lost Melnibonean said:

How bout the one that burned up Krazy me Dragon how and that crucified a hundred an something slavers. 

She is a dragon first and saviour second, those above all else. Whatever it takes, if she looks back she is lost.

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7 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

She is a dragon first and saviour second, those above all else. Whatever it takes, if she looks back she is lost.

The Mad King's daughter? 

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2 hours ago, Damon_Tor said:

I'm reasonably certain that Rhaego was never sacrificed at all. But again, I'm aware that I'm in a minority on that point.

That isn't really open to interpretation. Mirri Maz Duur's makes it clear that he was. The question is merely whether Dany consciously or unconsciously agreed to the sacrifice. It is difficult to say, but it seems to me that getting Drogo back was all she thought about when she commanded Mirri to bring him back so she may have been willing to sacrifice Rhaego for that on some level.

Or not. It is not clear.

You can even argue that the unborn Rhaego - his spirit/essence - became Drogo in the process of the spell. After all, he is still an unborn child and Drogo is very much like an unborn child after the spell. Chances are that you have to kill a fully developed human being to work a resurrection or healing spell via blood magic if it is supposed to defeat certain death. Unborn children may not be worth all that much in this regard.

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38 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That isn't really open to interpretation. Mirri Maz Duur's makes it clear that he was.


And she's so reliable.

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