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Rhae_Valarie

Does this line confirm that TPTWP is three people?

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Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I've never run onto it anywhere and thought it was worth looking into.

 

So a pretty well known line regarding TPTWP comes to us from Maester Aemon:

"What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it."

 

This line is usually discussed because it shows that TPTWP could be a woman, but I think there is hidden significance here. Maester Aemon seems to be saying that the Valyrian word for Prince comes from the Valyrian word for dragon, and that male gender was added in the common tongue but not present in the original Valyrian. So in Valyrian, Prince/Princess and Dragon are equivalent terms. This seems to be supported in universe, as Targaryens are often called Dragons as a title. For instance, Viserys calling himself the dragon in order to prove his claim to the throne, Jorah saying Rhaegar was the last dragon. All the families seem to identify with their sigils, but for Targaryens the significance of being a dragon goes further. Not every Targaryen is worthy of the title, supporting that it kept its original significance from the Valyrian tongue. It would make sense that in a culture built around the power of dragons, the word would come to signify royal power.

 

So if in Valyrian, prince/princess = dragon, the phrase "The dragon has three heads" takes on new significance. Many people have already speculated that this line could pertain to TPTWP, but if prince = dragon, that could prove it. "The dragon has three heads" = "The prince has three heads", or the Prince that Was Promised is three people. It would mean that for centuries they have been searching for one man, or more recently one woman, when they should have been looking for a group of three people. Clearly, this would be similar to the concept of the trinity in Christianity, or the Seven in universe. 

 

So what do you think? Is Maester Aemon saying that in Valyrian, Prince = dragon, and if so, does that support the popular theory that TPTWP is actually three people? Again, sorry if this has been discussed!!

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Jon is the closest thing to TPTWP that we will get in the books. Dany is the closest to Azor Ahai we will get in the books. Bran is the closest thing to the last hero we will get in the books 

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Posted (edited)

A nice idea! However the grammar works against it:

Yes, I think your starting point is correct and the Valyrian word for prince/princess seems to also mean dragon. Based on that 'the dragon has three heads' could mean 'the prince/princess has three heads.' Indeed most of us seem to think that indeed three humans and not three literal dragons are meant.

Here comes the catch though: 'The dragon has three heads' and 'the prince that was promised' are two different sentences. The heads are in plural form, yes but everyone who mentions the prince speaks in singular form. They say 'prince', not 'princes'.

Melisandre talks to Stannis of one prince that was promised, in Dany's HotU vision Rhaegar speaks of but one prince. Likewise maester Aemon talks to Sam about the prophecy being about a prince, (not several princes.) And Barristan tells Dany about the wood's witch prophecy that claims that the prince would come from the line of Aerys and Rhaella.

Conclusion: while there may be three 'heads' only one of those is the promised prince.

Edited by Amris
spelling and added the conclusion sentence

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I think the issue w/ the translation is not so much in the meaning of the words (prince/princess/dragon) but rather the gender. As in the Valyrian word in the original being genderless, and whoever translated it used "prince", implying a male. 

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5 hours ago, Rhae_Valarie said:

Maester Aemon seems to be saying that the Valyrian word for Prince comes from the Valyrian word for dragon, and that male gender was added in the common tongue but not present in the original Valyrian. So in Valyrian, Prince/Princess and Dragon are equivalent terms.

Not necessarily. I thought Maester Aemon meant that Valyrian words, particularity titles, are gender ambiguous or neutral. But the Common Tongue is not. So when someone translated a royal-sounding title to Common, they used the gendered term prince, instead of making it clear as in "prince (or princess)" because Common doesn't have a gender neutral term for royal heir. So as Aemon points out, it was a translation issue. 

But it is an interesting theory that PTWP may not be one person. Actually, PTWP and Azhor Ahai may not be the same person though people like Melisandre seem to use it interchangeably. So some people say Jon is the PTWP (literal "promise me, Ned) but Dany is Azhor Ahai (raising dragons from stone). But we can also argue that some other things may have been lost in translation or lost to history. Weren't Valyrians also recording one of their ancient prophesies? 

 

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The 3-Headed Dragon is House Targaryen.  The dragon must have three heads is Rhaegar's attempts to repeat the trinity of Visenya, Aegon, and Rhaenys.  The Azor Ahai is an Essosi monarch who ruled during the time of the Long Night.  Mellisandre is trying to bring this Essosi legend to the Westerosi like missionaries trying to bring Jesus to the Far East.  AA's work is in Essos and it has to start when the sun sets in the east, meaning the sun goes away and darkness covers the eastern land.  The person who will lead Westeros is the Last Hero. 

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7 hours ago, Rhae_Valarie said:

So a pretty well known line regarding TPTWP comes to us from Maester Aemon:

"What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it."

. . .

So if in Valyrian, prince/princess = dragon, the phrase "The dragon has three heads" takes on new significance. Many people have already speculated that this line could pertain to TPTWP, but if prince = dragon, that could prove it. "The dragon has three heads" = "The prince has three heads", or the Prince that Was Promised is three people. It would mean that for centuries they have been searching for one man, or more recently one woman, when they should have been looking for a group of three people.

This is interesting to me because I have been focused lately on the Stranger imagery, particularly in connection to Brienne. The Stranger of the seven gods is neither male nor female. Brienne is often referred to as "Ser. My Lady," and is mistaken for a man because of her size and her armor.

An early Sansa chapter introduces three "strangers" through her eyes: Lord Renly, Ser Barristan and Ser Ilyn. Brienne is connected to all three of these characters. Renly gives her a cloak he had saved for Ser Barristan, making her a member of his rainbow guard but also symbolically marrying her, based on Westeros custom. Ser Barristan seems to represent the Perfect Knight, who is part of the lore and legend of Tarth. Ser Ilyn was the last person to use the sword Ice, which is now part of Brienne's sword, Oathkeeper. And she is traveling with his relative, Podrick.

I don't know that GRRM is trying to tell us that TPTWP is the same as The Stranger, or that Brienne and the other characters linked to the Stranger will fill that role. If this "Stranger has three heads" notion is correct, though, it may support your "TPTWP has three heads." Maybe GRRM uses that male / female ambiguity to show us that someone has potential to be part of an important trio character. Maybe the Stranger will turn out to be the nemesis of TPTWP and must have three heads in order to properly come into conflict with the three-headed "prince".

As I was reading your post, it also occurred to me that the monarch of Dorne always uses the title of Prince or Princess. The throne can be inherited by a woman as easily as a man in the Martell family, unlike the Targaryen tradition giving preference to male descendants. I wonder whether this will turn out to be significant in fulfillment of the prophecy?

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I think the novels are going to play themselves out the way they do without spelling anything out and people will still be hashing out and arguing over who the chosen ones were even after Dream is published.

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kissedbyfire got it right.

8 hours ago, Rhae_Valarie said:

"What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it."

Looking at the quote we see that Aemon says the prophecy was translated a thousand years ago. This makes it difficult to judge if Valyrian was the language it was being translated into or out of. Therefore, the only thing we can be certain of is that the original word in the prophecy was dragon. When it was translated, it was mistranslated as prince, a gendered word. As dragons are neither one nor the other, or rather one then the other, it was a mistake to translate the prophecy as a prince or as a male. Therefore, if the prophecy had been translated correctly as "the dragon that was promised" the gender ambiguity would have been retained.

This does indeed raise the question as to whether the "dragon has three heads" is referring to this dragon and does this mean three people or one. The answer to this hinges on whether the Targaryen sigil was base on a prophecy about "the dragon has three heads" or if "the dragon has three heads" prophecy was made after the sigil was adopted. If it is the first, there will be three people as "the dragon". If it is the second it will be one individual Targaryen.

This is the only thing I really want to know from the first Volume of Targaryen history that GRRM is intending to publish sometime soon (I hope).

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4 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

Weren't Valyrians also recording one of their ancient prophesies? 

They were. There was a whole book of them, written by Daenys the Dreamer, ancestor of House Targaryen, that saw in one of her visions the Doom of Valyria. It seems that Rhaegar was reading this book, and based on it, he thought that he has to become a warrior, because TPTWP supposed to be a warrior. Maester Marwyn has read three pages from that book, that were kept in the Citadel.

58 minutes ago, bent branch said:

This does indeed raise the question as to whether the "dragon has three heads" is referring to this dragon and does this mean three people or one.

Three people, descendants of Aerys and Rhaella - Jon (Azor Ahai, because in his dream, he had blazing sword, Lightbringer), Dany (born second out of three of them, became first dragonrider, hatched dragon eggs, thus she is the central head of the dragon, the Princess that was promised), and Rhaego (the Last Hero, because he will be still fighting against the Others, when nearly all the rest of characters will already die, either in a battles or from old age).

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Rhae_Valarie said:

"What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it."

 

This line is usually discussed because it shows that TPTWP could be a woman, but I think there is hidden significance here.

Are they ? Barth is the only reference to this. Is is discussed here and there but never really explored. The most important information here is that dragons are genderless. Not that some dragon prince is of this or that gender. and of course that the prophecy can be full or wrong translations. 

example: Why did someone translate dragon to prince. When we read the prophecy without our error, it is not the prince that was promised, it is the dragon that was promised. 

 

20 minutes ago, Megorova said:

It seems that Rhaegar was reading this book, and based on it, he thought that he has to become a warrior, because TPTWP supposed to be a warrior.

Now if that is true, TPTWP can be very different from "AA come again". Because the warrior from Mel's prophecy does not have to be "he who clasps it". But prophecy is a tricky thing. This is shown in Mel's mummer version of AA, where Stannis draws the sword from the statue and drops it immediately. Two of his squires have to "clasp" the sword. 

Edited by SirArthur

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Rhae_Valarie said:

So if in Valyrian, prince/princess = dragon, the phrase "The dragon has three heads" takes on new significance. Many people have already speculated that this line could pertain to TPTWP, but if prince = dragon, that could prove it. "The dragon has three heads" = "The prince has three heads", or the Prince that Was Promised is three people. It would mean that for centuries they have been searching for one man, or more recently one woman, when they should have been looking for a group of three people. Clearly, this would be similar to the concept of the trinity in Christianity, or the Seven in universe. 

 

So what do you think? Is Maester Aemon saying that in Valyrian, Prince = dragon, and if so, does that support the popular theory that TPTWP is actually three people? Again, sorry if this has been discussed!!

Don't worry about bringing up the topic again. It's been discussed ad nauseum by people who consider themselves eminently qualified to determine such things, yet to date no-one has yet presented a satisfying solution to the riddle.  My two cents: The dragon is not 3 people per se; the 'three' refers to the 3 'riders' of the last dragon, as it were; and one of them -- specifically, the very last rider of the very last dragon -- is a skinchanger (and not a Targaryen).  In fact, one might say: the very last rider of the very last dragon is the last greenseer.  

Edited by ravenous reader

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

Don't worry about bringing up the topic again. It's been discussed ad nauseum by people who consider themselves eminently qualified to determine such things, yet to date no-one has yet presented a satisfying solution to the riddle.  My two cents: The dragon is not 3 people per se; the 'three' refers to the 3 'riders' of the last dragon, as it were; and one of them -- specifically, the very last rider of the very last dragon -- is a skinchanger (and not a Targaryen).  In fact, one might say: the very last rider of the very last dragon is the last greenseer.  

Yes, more than one 'prince' has been promised in some way.  Aegon is declared the pwip; Dany appears to be the dragon princess who is foretold and Bran has been promised to the cotf for a long time. Not to forget that all the line of Aerys and Rhaella have been promised to the Prince of Dorne at one point or another.

Edited by LynnS

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14 hours ago, Rhae_Valarie said:

Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I've never run onto it anywhere and thought it was worth looking into.

 

So a pretty well known line regarding TPTWP comes to us from Maester Aemon:

"What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it."

 

This line is usually discussed because it shows that TPTWP could be a woman, but I think there is hidden significance here. Maester Aemon seems to be saying that the Valyrian word for Prince comes from the Valyrian word for dragon, and that male gender was added in the common tongue but not present in the original Valyrian. So in Valyrian, Prince/Princess and Dragon are equivalent terms. This seems to be supported in universe, as Targaryens are often called Dragons as a title. For instance, Viserys calling himself the dragon in order to prove his claim to the throne, Jorah saying Rhaegar was the last dragon. All the families seem to identify with their sigils, but for Targaryens the significance of being a dragon goes further. Not every Targaryen is worthy of the title, supporting that it kept its original significance from the Valyrian tongue. It would make sense that in a culture built around the power of dragons, the word would come to signify royal power.

 

So if in Valyrian, prince/princess = dragon, the phrase "The dragon has three heads" takes on new significance. Many people have already speculated that this line could pertain to TPTWP, but if prince = dragon, that could prove it. "The dragon has three heads" = "The prince has three heads", or the Prince that Was Promised is three people. It would mean that for centuries they have been searching for one man, or more recently one woman, when they should have been looking for a group of three people. Clearly, this would be similar to the concept of the trinity in Christianity, or the Seven in universe. 

 

So what do you think? Is Maester Aemon saying that in Valyrian, Prince = dragon, and if so, does that support the popular theory that TPTWP is actually three people? Again, sorry if this has been discussed!!

Or, we need to wait for a three-headed Targaryen to show up. Maelys the Monstrous had two, so maybe a little more incest or some blood magic will produce three.

I wonder what Freud would make of that? :)

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The Prince that Was Promised or the Dragon that was promised was supposedly of the line of Rhaella and Aerys.

And it had to do with the return of Dragons... which we’ve already seen happen.

"I'm not stupid, ser." Egg lowered his voice. "Someday the dragons will return. My brother Daeron's dreamed of it, and King Aerys read it in a prophecy. Maybe it will be my egg that hatches. That would be splendid." 
"Would it?" Dunk had his doubts.

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14 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

The Prince that Was Promised or the Dragon that was promised was supposedly of the line of Rhaella and Aerys.

And it had to do with the return of Dragons... which we’ve already seen happen.

"I'm not stupid, ser." Egg lowered his voice. "Someday the dragons will return. My brother Daeron's dreamed of it, and King Aerys read it in a prophecy. Maybe it will be my egg that hatches. That would be splendid." 
"Would it?" Dunk had his doubts.

Selmy gives us this odd bit of overheard conversation:

- that the prince was promised (something)

- from the line of Aerys and Rhaella

Does this not seem to fit with Prince Doran who has managed to tie up all the known offspring of Aerys/Rhaella in marriage contracts including Dany who isn't mentioned by name in the contract that Oberyn signs with Willem Derry?

So was it Prince Doran who was promised a dragon from the line of Aerys and Rhaella?  What does this have to do with the pwip/AA legend?  Since Rhaegar does marry Elia and then produce a prince whom he names the pwip; could it be that prophecy refers to the Targ/Dorne bloodline?  Does this explain why Rhaegar married Elia?  If Aerys doesn't like Dorne; why did he allow it unless the contract was made by Jahaerys?

Why is Doran sending his relatives  to study at the Citadel?  He's waiting for Sarella to discover something.  Oberyn also studied at the Citadel.  Could it be that Doran is searching for information regarding the prophecy at the Citadel? 

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28 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Selmy gives us this odd bit of overheard conversation:

- that the prince was promised (something)

- from the line of Aerys and Rhaella

Does this not seem to fit with Prince Doran who has managed to tie up all the known offspring of Aerys/Rhaella in marriage contracts including Dany who isn't mentioned by name in the contract that Oberyn signs with Willem Derry?

So was it Prince Doran who was promised a dragon from the line of Aerys and Rhaella?  What does this have to do with the pwip/AA legend?  Since Rhaegar does marry Elia and then produce a prince whom he names the pwip; could it be that prophecy refers to the Targ/Dorne bloodline?  Does this explain why Rhaegar married Elia?  If Aerys doesn't like Dorne; why did he allow it unless the contract was made by Jahaerys?

Why is Doran sending his relatives  to study at the Citadel?  He's waiting for Sarella to discover something.  Oberyn also studied at the Citadel.  Could it be that Doran is searching for information regarding the prophecy at the Citadel? 

I don’t know what you are referring to with Selmy...

We do know that the prophesy has to do with the return of Dragons. Something we have already seen take place.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I don’t know what you are referring to with Selmy...

We do know that the prophesy has to do with the return of Dragons. Something we have already seen take place.

This is what Selmy tells Dany:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Daenerys IV

"Why did they wed if they did not love each other?"

"Your grandsire commanded it. A woods witch had told him that the prince was promised would be born of their line."

"A woods witch?" Dany was astonished.

- that the prince was promised...

- born of the line of Aerys and Rhaella

This is different from 'the prince that was promised'.

So I wonder if the first statement refers to Prince Doran and the second the offspring of Targ/Dorne bloodline.

Edited by LynnS

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, LynnS said:

This is what Selmy tells Dany:

- that the prince was promised...

- born of the line of Aerys and Rhaella

This is different from 'the prince that was promised'.

So I wonder if the first statement refers to Prince Doran and the second the offspring of Targ/Dorne bloodline.

Why do you think it’s different? 

How are you reading it other than “the prince who was promised”... I get it could be either the prince is the promise or the prince received a promise...

But what about Selmy’s line can you interpret differently?

Doran is most certainly not of the line of Aerys and Rhaella...

Tatters equally fits but isn’t of the line...

He got no answer. Ser Gerris looked at Ser Archibald. Ser Archibald looked at his hands, the floor, the door.
"Pentos," said Ser Barristan. "He promised him Pentos. Say it. No words of yours can help or harm Prince Quentyn now." 
"Aye," said Ser Archibald unhappily. "It was Pentos. They made marks on a paper, the two of them."
Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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1 minute ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Why do you think it’s different? 

How are you reading it other than “the prince who was promised”... I get it could be either the prince is the promise or the prince received a promise...

But what about Selmy’s line can you interpret differently?

Doran is most certainly not of the line of Avery’s and Rhaella...

No, but Rhaegar, Viserys and Dany are from the line of Aerys and Rhaella and Doran has tied all of them up in marriage contracts.

The syntax of 'that the prince was promised' and 'the prince who is promised' have different meanings of outcomes to me.  It gets down to the business of Martin fudging his words.  For example:

- when the stars bleed

- the bleeding star 

or

- reborn from salt tears and smoke

- born from salt and smoke

The prophecy of the pwip is mixed up with the prophecy about AA as well; at least according to Melisandre.

So yes, Dany fits the bill for some of this prophecy since she wakes dragons from stone.  However, Rhaegar is certain that Aegon is the pwip.  So I wonder if he thinks the pwip comes from the Targ/Dorne bloodline and if this also something that Prince Doran thinks  -- the reason that the has tied up the line of Aerys/Rhaella in marriage contracts.  

And of course, I wonder why Oberyn spent time at the Citadel and now Sarella.  Were they looking for information about the prophecy?  

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