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rotting sea cow

Reznak mo Reznak

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The thread about the "perfumed seneschal" brought to my mind some old thoughts about Reznak mo Reznak, the seneschal in Daenerys court in Meeren.

First, I must say I don't think the man is the "perfumed seneschal" of Quaithe  's 's prophesy. It is quite clear that it's a herring planted for us and to Daenerys to increase her paranoia.

However, I don't think the man should be dismissed right away as completely harmless. Let's look to what we know about him.

1) After Daenerys takes Meeren, Reznak should have done some deeds that earned the trust of Daenerys. He very likely renegaded from his slaver's past, but he doesn't seem so deeply invested in the new regime as the Shavepate. There are a few instances where he speaks when he shouldn't, weakening Dany's stance.

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"In the pit, in chains," wailed Reznak mo Reznak. "What good are dragons that cannot be controlled? Even the Unsullied grow fearful when they must open the doors to feed them."
 
"What, o' the queen's little pets?" Brown Ben's eyes crinkled in amusement. The grizzled captain of the Second Sons was a creature of the free companies, a mongrel with the blood of a dozen different
peoples flowing through his veins, but he had always been fond of the dragons, and them of him.
 
"Pets?" screeched Reznak. "Monsters, rather. Monsters that feed on children. We cannot—"
 
"Silence," said Daenerys. "We will not speak of that."
 
- Daenerys V, ADWD

Etc.

Nevertheless, he seems to be genuinely  afraid of the prospect of Dany leaving Meeren
 

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"Those left behind in Meereen would envy them their easy deaths," moaned Reznak. "They will make slaves of us, or throw us in the pits. All will be as it was, or worse."

Daenerys III, ADWD


 

 

2) After Daby flees Meeren on Drogo's back, Hizdahr as her king consort, reforms Meeren's court dismissing all Daenerys counsellors, all except Reznak who continues to fulfill his role. He is even in charge of dismissing Barristan, although the later is still allowed to attend the court. 

3) And see what happens during the Shavepate/Barristan coup to remove Hizdahr.

 

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Skahaz was supposed to take Reznak into custody until we could be certain of his loyalty. Had something gone awry?

 

The Kingbreaker - ADWD

 

It is unclear what happened after, Barristan only mentions him in "The Queen's Hand" and muses whether he is doing the correct thing, but apparently Reznak survived the coup although he is not present at the war council.

Bottom line, Reznak is more than he seems and has been able to worm his way around all these changes.  Opinions? Thoughts?

 

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I think both Reznak and Hizdahr are examples of the noble families trying to play both sides of this war. They send favorite sons to Dany as courtiers even as they provide warships to blockade Meereen. In this way, they have someone on the winning side so that their house will live on.

 

 

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15 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

ottom line, Reznak is more than he seems and has been able to worm his way around all these changes.  Opinions? Thoughts?

Indeed he may be the perfumed seneschal.  Most likely he is the perfumed seneschal in the warnings from Qaithe.  The man is a survivor.  He knows how to pick the winning side.  He even knows how to make himself valuable to the winning side.  A threat to no one and a friend to everyone.  Sounds like two other people that we know. Littlefinger and Varys.  

Reznak is a man caught up in something bigger than himself and he found a way to adapt.  He's a survivor.  The warning from Qaithe means be suspicious.  Something smells awfully fishy.  But smelling fishy is not an absolute sign that the man is a threat.  Qaithe is delivering a warning.  A warning about something that could happen and it means be prepared.  It is not written that Reznak will do something against his queen.  Daenerys is wise enough to recognize this.  Take note of the difference between how Daenerys reacts to the prophecy (for lack of a better word!) and compare to Cersei.  Cersei mistreated her little brother because of the prophecy.  Damn, she even twisted his dingaling when he was a baby.  Then she tried to have him killed.  Stannis was about to burn his nephew.  Daenerys takes a wise response compared to Cersei and Stannis.  She is aware of the possibility for betrayal but she doesn't over react.  Which is admirable judgment on the part of young Daenerys.  

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17 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

However, I don't think the man should be dismissed right away as completely harmless. Let's look to what we know about him.

I think it is pretty clear that Reznak works with the Green Grace and is a crucial player behind the whole Hizdahr plan - which basically was the have the Harpy ride the dragon to power and cut her throat once a certain group within the weakened Meereenese slaver oligarchy has amassed enough power to restore a Ghiscari monarchy.

17 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Nevertheless, he seems to be genuinely  afraid of the prospect of Dany leaving Meeren

That is because back then there is no King Hizdahr yet, and Reznak and Skahaz and any other Meereenese working with Dany is going to face the severest of repercussions once the Pahls and the other old families regain power - which they would immediately if Dany left the city when it is first discussed in ADwD.

When Hizdahr zo Loraq is Dany's king consort things are completely different, for obvious reasons.

Reznak effectively heading Hizdahr's government shows who is holding the reins there. Hizdahr is the puppet of Galazza Galare and Reznak mo Reznak. He has no goals of his own, and he may have played a very crucial part in the attempt on Dany's life. Hizdahr only knows of it, he wasn't the one arranging it.

And if Reznak mo Reznak was the one arranging it, then he was, in that sense at least, the perfumed seneschal. The poison nearly killed Daenerys, after all. What else do we expect the perfumed seneschal to do?

This doesn't mean the ship cannot also be the perfumed seneschal nor that it would be stupid of Dany to beware of its passengers - Tyrion, Jorah, Moqorro. I don't think that Penny is a threat, though, but what do I know? If she turned out to be a Faceless Woman George would have very effectively fooled me...

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5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I think it is pretty clear that Reznak works with the Green Grace and is a crucial player behind the whole Hizdahr plan - which basically was the have the Harpy ride the dragon to power and cut her throat once a certain group within the weakened Meereenese slaver oligarchy has amassed enough power to restore a Ghiscari monarchy.

The problem I see here is that Reznak was able to weather all changes in the court. We see Hizdahr rise and fall, same with the Shavepate, even with Barristan, but Reznak survived, somehow. The Shavepate for instance is not fooled by the Green Grace, but somehow Reznak "fooled him" (or not?)

 

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Reznak effectively heading Hizdahr's government shows who is holding the reins there. Hizdahr is the puppet of Galazza Galare and Reznak mo Reznak. He has no goals of his own, and he may have played a very crucial part in the attempt on Dany's life. Hizdahr only knows of it, he wasn't the one arranging it.

And if Reznak mo Reznak was the one arranging it, then he was, in that sense at least, the perfumed seneschal. The poison nearly killed Daenerys, after all. What else do we expect the perfumed seneschal to do?

It is a possibility, although the whole poisoned locusts affair is still very strange. I'm unsure if the intention was to kill Dany.

 

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This doesn't mean the ship cannot also be the perfumed seneschal nor that it would be stupid of Dany to beware of its passengers - Tyrion, Jorah, Moqorro.

Of Tyrion and Moqorro she was warned already, there is no need to double down. Of Jorah, there is no mention of a bear. Was there something important in the ship?

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

I don't think that Penny is a threat, though, but what do I know? If she turned out to be a Faceless Woman George would have very effectively fooled me...

That would be even more convoluted than the whole Jaqen's plot.

 

 

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4 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

The problem I see here is that Reznak was able to weather all changes in the court. We see Hizdahr rise and fall, same with the Shavepate, even with Barristan, but Reznak survived, somehow. The Shavepate for instance is not fooled by the Green Grace, but somehow Reznak "fooled him" (or not?)

He is not killed, but we don't know what happened to him, no? Where he is and what he does...

And Skahaz doesn't know what the Green Grace does, no? He never demands her head, or does he?

4 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

It is a possibility, although the whole poisoned locusts affair is still very strange. I'm unsure if the intention was to kill Dany.

I'm pretty sure it was. If it wasn't Hizdahr wouldn't have acted differently, and echoed exactly the cover story/excuse Skahaz was expecting him to use. This makes only sense if Hizdahr knew about the plot - or if Skahaz and Hizdahr were working together. And nothing indicates the latter at this point. It seems to me that Reznak - who knows of this Dorne - made Quentyn the scapegoat because of Oberyn Martell.

4 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Of Tyrion and Moqorro she was warned already, there is no need to double down. Of Jorah, there is no mention of a bear. Was there something important in the ship?

Not that I know of. But it is quite clear that the ship also fits the prophecy there.

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20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm pretty sure it was. If it wasn't Hizdahr wouldn't have acted differently, and echoed exactly the cover story/excuse Skahaz was expecting him to use. This makes only sense if Hizdahr knew about the plot - or if Skahaz and Hizdahr were working together. And nothing indicates the latter at this point. It seems to me that Reznak - who knows of this Dorne - made Quentyn the scapegoat because of Oberyn Martell. 

 

The acting of Hizdahr is beyond suspicious (and the Harpy Green Grace is not stupid)  , however there are still the two main issues the poisoned locusts is 1) Dany never had any taste for that kind of food. Any half a competent assassin would have poisoned the figs, wine, olives, etc. no the dog's tail soup or the spiced locusts. 2) The poison failed to kill Belwas after eating the whole damn bowl. Yes Belwas is big and strong, but but how many locusts they expected that Dany would eat?

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3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

The acting of Hizdahr is beyond suspicious (and the Harpy Green Grace is not stupid)  , however there are still the two main issues the poisoned locusts is 1) Dany never had any taste for that kind of food. Any half a competent assassin would have poisoned the figs, wine, olives, etc. no the dog's tail soup or the spiced locusts. 2) The poison failed to kill Belwas after eating the whole damn bowl. Yes Belwas is big and strong, but but how many locusts they expected that Dany would eat?

Hizdahr also does have a taste for spiced food which is told to Dany and her cooks when he is hosted by her - yet later he lies to Barristan that spiced food like the locusts don't agree with him.

Those people do not necessarily think all things through ;-).

My guess is that they chose an exquisite, tasty, and special dish to be poisoned simply so that Hizdahr knew most definitely what to avoid and to ensure that only the queen would eat from that dish. The best way to ensure that is to make it a gift. It also seems quite clear that they either do not dare or cannot go through Dany's own cooking and serving staff to poison her. They use outside food brought in by Hizdahr.

The Belwas thing is hardly surprising. We don't know how quickly that poison is absorbed by the stomach. Belwas ate all the locusts in a very short amount of time, causing him to retch them all up shortly thereafter. If the poison used is absorbed slowly he may have absorbed only a tiny fraction of the poison he actually ate.

Even a deadly poison like the Tears of Lys - which is administered in liquid form - can be cleansed from the body if the poisoned person is made to vomit after he or she has the first symptoms. Jon Arryn could have been saved, after all.

Dany was the target of that poison, there is no good doubt about that.

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On 10/17/2018 at 8:17 PM, Lord Varys said:

I think it is pretty clear that Reznak works with the Green Grace and is a crucial player behind the whole Hizdahr plan - which basically was the have the Harpy ride the dragon to power and cut her throat once a certain group within the weakened Meereenese slaver oligarchy has amassed enough power to restore a Ghiscari monarchy.

@rotting sea cow ...  Gee, I find myself on a very similar page to Lord Varys, even though we've been at odds before...

I see Reznak as the GG's man, implanted in Dany's court as a spy from the outset. (Skahaz OTOH, is a sincere Dany partisan) I differ slightly with Lord Varys' statement above , in that the GG and Hizdahr wanted to have at least on heir (and maybe a spare) from Dany before they  would have wanted to do her in. There were other Great Houses that thought they had candidates for Dany's hand equal in nobility to Hizdahr. If Dany died childless, everything could collapse into squabbling, murders, a series of coups.. with Dany's (Mysha's) heir, it would be hoped the common people, the unsullied, Mothers Men, etc., would stand behind Hizdahr. (He starts mentioning children before she even agrees to marry him). 

This means the locusts were not meant to kill but to cause Dany to abort if she was pregnant by Daario. I'm going to cut and paste from another thread I posted on recently, (on what caused "Dany's Diarrhea" ) to save my fingers...  

 

It was definitely the berries, I think, and definitely a miscarriage... Dany thinks they may have been used by the Dothraki to season meat... the locusts were spiced... The GG and Reznak pushed Dany to be examined by Hizdahr's female relations and afterwards eat a special women's cake (only for the prospective bride) .. What do you think all that was for? They already knew Dany had been married previously, so it wasn't to ascertain virginity. It was to make sure she wasn't pregnant before wedding the noble Hizdahr - who had dynastic ambitions and said he wanted heirs...(of his blood, of course, not Daario's) .

First Dany refused the examination and the cake ... Then her affair with Daario, right up until her wedding eve, was common knowledge in the court ... Next the locusts... many abortifacients cause nausea and diarhhea as well as causing miscarriage, which can seem like a very heavy period ...(The symptoms Belwas suffered were those of a strong abortifacient ... but he wasn't pregnant);) ... Last, Dany eats the berries (even gobbling them by handfuls, like Belwas) and begins reacting in about the same length of time it took for Belwas to react.

Dany can't remember when she had her last period.

Really..  We need look no further.

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21 hours ago, bemused said:

@rotting sea cow ...  Gee, I find myself on a very similar page to Lord Varys, even though we've been at odds before...

I see Reznak as the GG's man, implanted in Dany's court as a spy from the outset.

That is too much. Reznak is a man representing the old guard in the new regime. He isn't a spy, since in the beginning there is no clear opposition movement.

The whole Meereen story is very complex. The consort plan isn't there from the start, nor is the 'we'll cut the dragon girl down to size and then we'll eat her alive'. That slowly builds when Dany shows more and more weaknesses. When she imprisons her dragons and Drogon flies away it becomes clear to anyone with a brain that her most terrible weapons might not be able to be used the way her enemies feared.

Reznak is very sincere insofar as he knows he'll be killed by the old guard had done gone as early as she intended. But after Hizdahr and Galazza have effectively taken over the opposition movement and made him the king at Dany's side things are completely different. After all, this also helped to make peace with Yunkai - which is also the reason why Hizdahr is chosen. He has contacts in the other slaver cities and beyond, something that makes him crucial in making a peace. It wouldn't do if they removed Dany and the Yunkish Allies would continue their war against Meereen.

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(Skahaz OTOH, is a sincere Dany partisan) I differ slightly with Lord Varys' statement above , in that the GG and Hizdahr wanted to have at least on heir (and maybe a spare) from Dany before they  would have wanted to do her in. There were other Great Houses that thought they had candidates for Dany's hand equal in nobility to Hizdahr.

Have you a quote for that? No other Ghiscari of note aside from Skahaz ever presents himself as consort to Daenerys, and he is not from a great house as such.

The idea that anyone wanted an heir from Dany isn't very likely in my opinion. It would have been nice, but the crucial faction to consider here is not so much Hizdahr and the Green Grace but the Yunkai'i, especially Yurkhaz zo Yunzak. They have a dagger at Meereen's throat with their army, and it might very well be that Dany's head was the price of this 'peace' the Yunkai'i gave Hizdahr.

And once the dragons are dead the Unsullied and freedmen should be dealt rather easily. They will lack their leader, and could be dealt with with the help of the companies - perhaps even in a Red Wedding like fashion. Assuming something like that would even be necessary.

That things don't go down like that is due to the fact that Yurkhaz dies in the pit, and Yezzan mounts the Pale Mare shortly thereafter. The other Yunkai'i don't favor peace, especially in light of the approaching Volantene armada. And Bloodbeard and his men want to raid the city, too.

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If Dany died childless, everything could collapse into squabbling, murders, a series of coups.. with Dany's (Mysha's) heir, it would be hoped the common people, the unsullied, Mothers Men, etc., would stand behind Hizdahr. (He starts mentioning children before she even agrees to marry him). 

I don't think there would be all that many coups. Without Dany the Meereenese could actually deal with Dany's people simply by throwing them out of their city. Selmy and the Unsullied and Dothraki are not Meereenese. And even the freedmen might prefer to not live in a city which is going to restore slavery.

And the old guard of Meereen seems to be on board with the Hizdahr plan. They don't stage any coups with Dany believed to be dead - why should they stage such coups if they know the plan to poison her had been successful?

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This means the locusts were not meant to kill but to cause Dany to abort if she was pregnant by Daario. I'm going to cut and paste from another thread I posted on recently, (on what caused "Dany's Diarrhea" ) to save my fingers...  

For that to be convincing we would have to have evidence that Dany was known to be pregnant by Daario for a certainty at this point (Hizdahr himself could be the father as well) and that this poison actually worked as an abortifacient - which we really don't know.

Belwas looks like a man who should have died - but if you take in poison orally it really takes time to be absorbed. Belwas retching up all his stomach contents thanks to eating all the locusts may have prevented him from taking in a lethal dose - or rather: as high a lethal dose that the Blue Graces could not save him. Belwas isn't Daenerys. If the Blue Graces knew or recognized the poison they may have been able to administer an antidote in time to save the man. Something they may not have done for Daenerys.

But I think we don't need the antidote idea as an explanation. The overdose of poison itself causing Belwas to rid himself of most of it is explanation enough.

That's not really a mystery.

Edited by Lord Varys

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And Reznak also suggested that the murders were caused by lowborn scum.  Everyone knows this is bull.  It was Reznak who protested the strongest when Skahaz suggested killing the cup bearers.  Reznak is the seneschal from Quaithe's message.  This guy is working for the harpy and he's a political enemy of the Mo Kandaqs.  

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The other problem with this 'abortion theory' there is that Dany would have interpreted any such attempt as an attempt on her life. Considering how quickly Belwas reacted to the poison, chances are that it would have taken effect while she still was in the pit. Let us imagine she an abortion then and there. Don't we think she would have wanted to know how this happened? She didn't know she was pregnant and would thus not assume this thing was natural miscarriage - especially not if somebody else (like Belwas) - had also eaten a few of the locusts.

Instead, she would suspect an attempt to poison her - like she also does in ADwD. And that would mean she'd deal very harshly with the people she suspected of being behind the attempt. 

The way to get rid of Dany's child would have been much easier - confront her about her pregnancy, find out whether the child is Hizdahr's or Daario's. And if the it is the latter's force her to abort it - or ensure it is declared a bastard later on. One could also always poison the newborn child in the cradle.

But in the end we have no evidence whatsoever that Hizdahr or any Ghiscari actually wants a filthy half-Targaryen succeed Dany/Hizdahr as the rulers of Meereen. They want to rid themselves of Daenerys and her dragons, they do not want to integrate them in their society.

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17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Have you a quote for that? No other Ghiscari of note aside from Skahaz ever presents himself as consort to Daenerys, and he is not from a great house as such.

Yes, I do ...   

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Hizdahr zo Loraq sat uneasily on his new throne. It had been a thousand years since Meereen last had a king, and there were some even amongst the old blood who thought they might have made a better choice than him. Outside the city sat the Yunkai'i with their sellswords and their allies; inside were the Sons of the Harpy.

And the king's protectors grew fewer every day. Hizdahr's blunder with Grey Worm had cost him the Unsullied. When His Grace had tried to put them under the command of a cousin, as he had the Brazen Beasts, Grey Worm had informed the king that they were free men who took commands only from their mother. As for the Brazen Beasts, half were freedmen and the rest shavepates, whose true loyalty might still be to Skahaz mo Kandaq. The pit fighters were King Hizdahr's only reliable support, against a sea of enemies.   ... ADWD, The Queensguard

 

So there are others who felt their own blood was every bit as noble a Hizdahr's, and perhaps the reason they have not had a king is that no single one had enough power to overcome the claims of the others ... until opportunity  arrived in the form of husbandless Dany and her dragons.

But that's not the only clue. Looking back to Daenerys IV, there are numerous little hints to the GG'S, Hizdahr's and Reznak's motivations..

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Dany did not trouble to feign surprise. "Why Hizdahr? Skahaz is noble born as well."

"Skahaz is Kandaq, Hizdahr Loraq. Your Radiance will forgive me, but only one who is not herself Ghiscari would not understand the difference. Oft have I heard that yours is the blood of Aegon the Conqueror, Jaehaerys the Wise, and Daeron the Dragon. The noble Hizdahr is of the blood of Mazdhan the Magnificent, Hazrak the Handsome, and Zharaq the Liberator."  ... Dany IV

 

I think the two lineages are a straightforward comparison of like to like - each a dynasty founded in conquest... And the GG continues...

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 "We are an old people. Ancestors are important to us. Wed Hizdahr zo Loraq and make a son with him, a son whose father is the harpy, whose mother is the dragon. In him the prophecies shall be fulfilled, and your enemies will melt away like snow."

This tells us that while Dany just wants to shut down the SotH and have peace inside the city.  The GG and Hizzy want more, and making a son seems of primary importance .. (I hope we get to know exactly what the Ghiscari prophecies predict. Could they be similar to the Dothraki "the stallion who mounts the world" ? )

In the same chapter, Hizdahr puts it this way... 

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"Drink with me." Dany filled his cup herself. "You know why you are here. The Green Grace seems to feel that if I take you for my husband, all my woes will vanish."

"I would never make so bold a claim. Men are born to strive and suffer. Our woes only vanish when we die. I can be of help to you, however. I have gold and friends and influence, and the blood of Old Ghis flows in my veins. Though I have never wed, I have two natural children, a boy and a girl, so I can give you heirs. I can reconcile the city to your rule and put an end to this nightly slaughter in the streets."

When trying to talk Dany into their wedding arrangements, children/heirs keep coming up...   

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"The pearls symbolize fertility. The more pearls Your Worship wears, the more healthy children she will bear."

"Why would I want a hundred children?" Dany turned to the Green Grace. "If we should wed by Westerosi rites …"

"The gods of Ghis would deem it no true union." Galazza Galare's face was hidden behind a veil of green silk. Only her eyes showed, green and wise and sad. "In the eyes of the city you would be the noble Hizdahr's concubine, not his lawful wedded wife. Your children would be bastards. Your Worship must marry Hizdahr in the Temple of the Graces, with all the nobility of Meereen on hand to bear witness to your union."

... Dany VI

And moving on to the examination...

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"But," said Reznak mo Reznak, blinking, "but you must, Your Worship. Before a marriage it is traditional for the women of the man's house to examine the bride's womb and, ah … her female parts. To ascertain that they are well formed and, ah …"

"… fertile," finished Galazza Galare. "An ancient ritual, Your Radiance. Three Graces shall be present to witness the examination and say the proper prayers."

"Yes," said Reznak, "and afterward there is a special cake. A women's cake, baked only for betrothals. Men are not allowed to taste it. I am told it is delicious. Magical."

And if my womb is withered and my female parts accursed, is there a special cake for that as well? "Hizdahr zo Loraq may inspect my women's parts after we are wed." Khal Drogo found no fault with them, why should he? "Let his mother and his sisters examine one another and share the special cake. I shall not be eating it. Nor shall I wash the noble Hizdahr's noble feet."  ... Dany VI 

 

So the GG has to interrupt before Reznak tips their hand. It can't be that he was searching for the word "fertile" , because he just used it in regard to wearing pearls. I believe he was searching for a delicate way to explain the ritual or searching for a plausible lie... How could he dare to tell Dany it was to ensure the bride wasn't pregnant. ...The special cake is baked only for betrothals. Men are "not allowed" to eat it , but women must (and again, I'd bet only the prospective bride). It's delicious. Magical. (magically eliminating any interloping fetus).

Dany wasn't husband hunting and has voiced no desire for heirs ... but Hizdahr and the  GG  seem preoccupied with idea, and Reznak (called Dany's seneschal by Hizdahr) actually represents them, promoting their ideas, in this and all else, to Dany at every turn.

On their wedding night, after a less than stellar coupling... 

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Afterward he nuzzled at her ear and whispered, "Gods grant that we have made a son tonight."

The words of Mirri Maz Duur rang in her head. When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. Then he will return, and not before. The meaning was plain enough; Khal Drogo was as like to return from the dead as she was to bear a living child. But there are some secrets she could not bring herself to share, even with a husband, so she let Hizdahr zo Loraq keep his hopes.   .... Dany VIII

 

Dany recognises Hizdahr's hopes and MMD's curse/prophecy is brought back to our attention.

And there's a last hint at the dynastic aspirations of Hizdahr in ADWD The Kingbreaker..  

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On the walls were priceless tapestries, ancient and much faded, depicting the glory of the Old Empire of Ghis. The largest of them showed the last survivors of a defeated Valyrian army passing beneath the yoke and being chained.

 

14 hours ago, Mordred said:

And Reznak also suggested that the murders were caused by lowborn scum.  Everyone knows this is bull.  It was Reznak who protested the strongest when Skahaz suggested killing the cup bearers.  Reznak is the seneschal from Quaithe's message.  This guy is working for the harpy and he's a political enemy of the Mo Kandaqs.

I agree with this. Even if Reznak may not turn out to be the seneschal, he is a perfumed seneschal and he is working against Dany.

Skahaz is the first Shavepate. His kin follow him and others follow after that. Although we meet the two men at the same time Skahaz definitely came to Dany first.

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By shaving, Skahaz had put old Meereen behind him to accept the new, and his kin had done the same after his example. Others followed, though whether from fear, fashion, or ambition, Dany could not say; shavepates, they were called. Skahaz was the Shavepate … and the vilest of traitors to the Sons of the Harpy and their ilk. .... Dany I

Reznak ....

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A small, damp man, he smelled as if he had bathed in perfume and spoke a bastard form of High Valyrian, much corrupted and flavored with a thick Ghiscari growl.

....<snip>.....

The seneschal was as bald as Skahaz, though in his case the gods were responsible. "Should any hair be so insolent as to appear, my barber stands with razor ready," he had assured her when she raised him up. There were times when Dany wondered if that razor might not be better saved for Reznak's throat. He was a useful man, but she liked him little and trusted him less. .... Dany I

It appears that Reznak was a plant from the first. He's already bald so he can fit in with the shavepates without disgracing himself in the family's eyes. But we know he's not Skahaz' kin and is not at all like minded (Skahaz is sure there's a noble mastermind behind the SotH, Reznak says they're "baseborn filth")  

Dany's evolving evaluations in ADWD.... 

Quote

Reznak and the Green Grace had been urging Dany to take a Meereenese noble for her husband, to reconcile the city to her rule. Hizdahr zo Loraq might be worth a careful look. Sooner him than Skahaz. The Shavepate had offered to set aside his wife for her, but the notion made her shudder. Hizdahr at least knew how to smile.

It's my bet that Skahaz only offered himself to counter the initial urgings of Reznak and the GG... Before agreeing to marry Hizzy, she thinks... 

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If I wed Hizdahr, will that turn Skahaz against me? She trusted Skahaz more than she trusted Hizdahr, but the Shavepate would be a disaster as a king. He was too quick to anger, too slow to forgive. She saw no gain in wedding a man as hated as herself. Hizdahr was well respected, so far as she could see. ... Dany IV

After agreeing, Hizzy tells her...

Quote

Best tell your seneschal to begin making preparations for our wedding."

"Nothing would please the noble Reznak more." If Meereen knew that a wedding was in the offing, that alone might buy her a few nights' respite, even if Hizdahr's efforts came to naught. The Shavepate will not be happy with me, but Reznak mo Reznak will dance for joy. Dany did not know which of those concerned her more. She needed Skahaz and the Brazen Beasts, and she had come to mistrust all of Reznak's counsel. Beware the perfumed seneschal. Has Reznak made common cause with Hizdahr and the Green Grace and set some trap to snare me? ... Dany IV

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 :blush:  I was almost finished but couldn't go on (is there a cut off ?) That sort of grew  because I had to do it by bits and snatches through the day, and I didn't realise how 'U-u-uge' it was becoming. Anyway,

5 minutes ago, bemused said:

Has Reznak made common cause with Hizdahr and the Green Grace and set some trap to snare me?

Yes, Dany ... you're right.

Re: the OP.. I imagine that Reznak has been arrested by Skahaz unless he managed to scuttle away and hide when the dragons were loosed. But I thinkSkahaz would know where to look for him.

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10 hours ago, bemused said:

Yes, I do ...   

So there are others who felt their own blood was every bit as noble a Hizdahr's, and perhaps the reason they have not had a king is that no single one had enough power to overcome the claims of the others ... until opportunity  arrived in the form of husbandless Dany and her dragons.

It is obvious that the newly established Meereenese monarchy is somewhat shaky due to the fact that it has been recently established by a foreign invader. What is crucial, though, is that none of those alleged rivals of Hizdahr - who was apparently chosen as Dany's consort by the opposition movement/the old guard - actually do show up in the book. Not even a name is mentioned. That doesn't make it likely this is all that important.

I'd say the culling of the Great Masters by Dany ensured that leadership past from the old houses to the informal leadership of the Green Grace (who also grew to prominence in Astapor before Yunkai'i sacked it), and she chose Hizdahr. How strong her hold is over the old guard in Meereen is unclear at this point, but I assume she really holds the reins - which also implies that Hizdahr is not in as bad a position as Selmy believes.

10 hours ago, bemused said:

But that's not the only clue. Looking back to Daenerys IV, there are numerous little hints to the GG'S, Hizdahr's and Reznak's motivations..

I think the two lineages are a straightforward comparison of like to like - each a dynasty founded in conquest... And the GG continues...

This tells us that while Dany just wants to shut down the SotH and have peace inside the city.  The GG and Hizzy want more, and making a son seems of primary importance .. (I hope we get to know exactly what the Ghiscari prophecies predict. Could they be similar to the Dothraki "the stallion who mounts the world" ? )

In the same chapter, Hizdahr puts it this way... 

When trying to talk Dany into their wedding arrangements, children/heirs keep coming up...

That is all part of the sales pitch, though. They know Dany comes from a famous dynasty so they do play up Hizdahr's own lineage. They expect Dany to want to be the mother of a new dynasty and therefore they talk about children. That's not evidence that they, too, want Dany to have children with Hizdahr. They do lie to her a lot to get her on board.

10 hours ago, bemused said:

And moving on to the examination...

So the GG has to interrupt before Reznak tips their hand. It can't be that he was searching for the word "fertile" , because he just used it in regard to wearing pearls. I believe he was searching for a delicate way to explain the ritual or searching for a plausible lie... How could he dare to tell Dany it was to ensure the bride wasn't pregnant. ...The special cake is baked only for betrothals. Men are "not allowed" to eat it , but women must (and again, I'd bet only the prospective bride). It's delicious. Magical. (magically eliminating any interloping fetus).

Dany wasn't husband hunting and has voiced no desire for heirs ... but Hizdahr and the  GG  seem preoccupied with idea, and Reznak (called Dany's seneschal by Hizdahr) actually represents them, promoting their ideas, in this and all else, to Dany at every turn.

On their wedding night, after a less than stellar coupling... 

I view all that as symbolic ways to dominate Daenerys, to make her their little Harpy puppet as they did when they made her wear the tokar.

And I'm not sure these people would be able to realize that Dany has just gotten pregnant just by examining her private parts.

If Hizdahr and Galazza had had issue with a pregnancy they could simply have demanded that Dany and Daario split up weeks or months before the wedding. But there is no indication that they did even try her to force to do this.

Again - if you care about a child you could kill a bastard in the cradle. It makes no sense to risk the life or the fertility of the mother you actually need to produce a child. And just as any pregnancy is a major health and an abortion done via poison is an even larger health risk. I mean, if we look at Belwas Dany certainly could have died if she had eaten a quarter or half the locusts. And even she did not die - the miscarriage/abortion could have killed her.

A stupid move for smart people who supposedly need her for dynastic reasons.

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14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I view all that as symbolic ways to dominate Daenerys, to make her their little Harpy puppet as they did when they made her wear the tokar.

And I'm not sure these people would be able to realize that Dany has just gotten pregnant just by examining her private parts.

If Hizdahr and Galazza had had issue with a pregnancy they could simply have demanded that Dany and Daario split up weeks or months before the wedding. But there is no indication that they did even try her to force to do this.

Again - if you care about a child you could kill a bastard in the cradle. It makes no sense to risk the life or the fertility of the mother you actually need to produce a child. And just as any pregnancy is a major health and an abortion done via poison is an even larger health risk. I mean, if we look at Belwas Dany certainly could have died if she had eaten a quarter or half the locusts. And even she did not die - the miscarriage/abortion could have killed her.

A stupid move for smart people who supposedly need her for dynastic reasons.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is all part of the sales pitch, though. They know Dany comes from a famous dynasty so they do play up Hizdahr's own lineage. They expect Dany to want to be the mother of a new dynasty and therefore they talk about children. That's not evidence that they, too, want Dany to have children with Hizdahr. They do lie to her a lot to get her on board.

 

I never know for sure if you're honestly misunderstanding some things that have been said or willfully misunderstanding so that you can twist it about to make an opposing argument.(sometimes it seems simply wanting to be in opposition)

However...

Of course the examination of Dany - unless she was noticeably pregnant - would be to ensure that she wasn't deformed, diseased (you name it) - in cultures where this sort of thing is done, this is to judge whether the woman/girl is a virgin, and/or is fit for child bearing. (just as we see Catelyn judging Jeyne's hips.)

 

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She was pretty, undeniably, with her chestnut curls and heart-shaped face, and that shy smile. Slender, but with good hips, Catelyn noted. She should have no trouble bearing children, at least. ..AsoS, Cat II

As the sound of the rain on the roof mingled with her father's breathing, she thought about Jeyne. The girl did seem to have a good heart, just as Robb had said. And good hips, which might be more important....AsoS, Cat III

 

Here, Cat is thinking dynastically for Robb and there are two more similar quotes just from her POVs about Roslin (re: Edmure's future successors)

It's known Dany was married to Drogo, so virginity is not an issue. Child bearing is.... It's the "special cake " that's the insurance policy against pregnancy by anyone other than her betrothed..

Another misunderstanding, willful or no - When a woman has been pregnant a very short time she can miscarry without ever knowing she was pregnant - it just seems like it's a heavy period maybe with more cramps than usual, maybe a little off schedule. And Dany doesn't think she can get pregnant so she has obviously been lax about keeping track.

It's been pointed out so often that I hate having to repeat it. Dany has been observed to have a dainty appetite. No one would have thought she'd have more than a few of the locusts and no one would have thought she'd be the only one to nibble. They probably were very hot by the way Belwas was sweating... But like so many other substances in our story, in small doses it's not poison, it has some medicinal uses.. it's only in large doses that it becomes poison. ... In small doses, it's probably the equivalent of Moon Tea. (No risk to life or fertility)

If other people had nibbled, it would have seemed that the group came down with common food poisoning (it was a hot day). They would all have had headache, nausea, diarrhea and would have felt better in a day or two... but if any of them were pregnant, they too would have miscarried.

After her terrible bout of diarrhea, she sleeps and wakes up bleeding... 

Quote

 

If she had not been so sick and scared, that might have come as a relief. Instead she began to shiver violently. She rubbed her fingers through the dirt, and grabbed a handful of grass to wipe between her legs. The dragon does not weep. She was bleeding, but it was only woman's blood. The moon is still a crescent, though. How can that be? She tried to remember the last time she had bled. The last full moon? The one before? The one before that? No, it cannot have been so long as that.

...<snip>... (she walks on)

Her belly was empty, her feet sore and blistered, and it seemed to her that the cramping had grown worse.Her guts were full of writhing snakes biting at her bowels. She scooped up a handful of mud and water in trembling hands. By midday the water would be tepid, but in the chill of dawn it was almost cool and helped her keep her eyes open. As she splashed her face, she saw fresh blood on her thighs. The ragged hem of her undertunic was stained with it. The sight of so much red frightened her. Moon blood, it's only my moon blood, but she did not remember ever having such a heavy flow. ... Dany X

 

 

You have to ignore or otherwise explain away a lot of  textual examples to deny that there's a very good chance that this is a miscarriage.

I agree that the GG is running the show and Hizdahr is her choice, but we're explicitly told there are others who think they'd be as good or a better choice. Without Dany herself, and Dany's military, how secure would Hizdahr be against his rivals ? The GG won't live forever - she's at least in her eighties.

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"As you wish." He beckoned to Kezmya and had her fetch the priestess a goblet of lemon juice, sweetened with honey. To drink it, the priestess had to remove her veil, and Selmy was reminded of just how old she was. Twenty years my elder, or more. "If the queen were here, I know she would join me in thanking you for all that you have done for us." ... The Queen's Hand

But you're right that his rivals names don't matter, because it's never going to come to that. Don't you think Dany's coming back ? 

HIzzy and the GG were in no position to force Dany to do anything They daren't confront her over Daario. The GG hints at it in open court 

Quote

 

"I would speak to you about the presumption of a certain sellsword captain."

She dares say that in open court? Dany felt a blaze of anger. She has courage, I grant that, but if she thinks I am about to suffer another scolding, she could not be more wrong. "The treachery of Brown Ben Plumm has shocked us all," she said, "but your warning comes too late. And now I know you will want to return to your temple to pray for peace."

 

Don't imagine that they don't have dynastic ambitions. Here's how Hizzy has himself announced ... 

Quote

"All kneel for His Magnificence Hizdahr zo Loraq, Fourteenth of That Ancient Name, King of Meereen, Scion of Ghis, Octarch of the Old Empire, Master of the Skahazadhan, Consort to Dragons and Blood of the Harpy," the herald shouted. ... The Discarded Knight

Of course you're welcome to ignore all of it, or offer some alternative scenario of your own invention (as above), but I feel pretty confident about it

Edited by bemused

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@bemused

It is actually pretty easy. If Hizdahr had had just the intention to abort Dany's unborn child, then he could and would have said so when confronted about it by Ser Barristan Selmy. He wouldn't have used the very prefabricated excuse Skahaz said the poisoners would use - blaming poor Quentyn Martell. That whole thing indicates that this was actual poisoning plot with Dany as its target unless one assumes Skahaz is on on the entire plot.

Hizdahr also shows his own ignorance about people's food preferences when lying about his own food habits - claiming hot spices do not agree with him when he actually prefers them, and should know that Dany's people should know that he likes them. This is most definitely done deliberately on the author's part, and a hint from him that Hizdahr was part of an actual poisoning plot, not some abortion plan.

I mean, Hizdahr could have tried to talk with Selmy face to face, one man to another, pointing out that it is intolerable for a man of rank and title to raise another man's bastard as his own child. Especially not a child born to royalty. It wouldn't have made Hizdahr Selmy's best friend, but it could have resulted in Hizdahr not being deposed by Selmy because it would have revealed that nobody actually tried to poison Daenerys. After all, Selmy wasn't Daario's friend, either. He didn't approve of Dany whoring around with that man.

Hizdahr possibly wanting to continue his own bloodline doesn't mean he wanted to do that with the dragon whore. It is clear the man wanted to kill Drogon while Dany was still alive and there. He obviously had no intention to sire dragonriders. And even if he did - there in no hint he knew or believed Dany's hypothetical child was Daario's and not his.

And moon tea is actually not harmless when used as a abortifacient. Lysa wasn't in good shape after Hoster aborted her child, and it is not unlikely that her fertility and overall health suffered from this ordeal. It works pretty good as a birth control means, but an actual abortion is more difficult.

The poison as such is interpreted as poison by both Daenerys and Selmy. The risk that this would happen if Dany had had eaten only a few of the locusts - which would supposedly have been not enough to kill her - would have been very large, and that could and would most likely have resulted in severe consequences for Hizdahr who gave the locusts to Dany.

The fact that they are in considerable trouble after the pit thing is because Drogon had returned and Yurkhaz has been trampled. And we do not know if only the Meereenese stand behind the poisoning attempt. The fact that the locusts are given to Dany when the Yunkai'i are watching shouldn't be dismissed or ignored.

As for the special cake - that was not supposed to be only for Daenerys. Men were not allowed to eat it, but there is no hint that Dany's female companions and courtiers wouldn't have been allowed to eat it, no?

Overall, it seems to me you ignore basic facts about food poisoning. It takes time for the body to absorb it. Belwas saved himself by retching up all the half-digested locusts after a non-lethal dose of the poison had been absorbed. This is way you can save yourself from poison, both in the real world and ASoIaF.

If the poison had been just an abortifacient then this substance shouldn't have affected Belwas as much as it did because he was much larger and stronger than Dany - and he got a lot of the substance out of his system before it could have taken hold.

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