Jump to content
Platypus Rex

Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

Recommended Posts

16 hours ago, Platypus Rex said:

Okay I guess you all remember the scene where Summer sees, in the vicinity of Winterfell, a winged snake whose roar was a river of flame.  

This "dragon" has been called the "Dragon of Winterfell" by some fans, and has been associated with theories that a dragon is or was hiding in the crypts of Winterfell ... but I don't want to get into any such specifics.  

I just want to ask, how many of you believe that Summer saw an actual, literal, dragon?

Thanks in advance.

Edit:  (11 to 0 in favor of "No", so far).

It's difficult to say.  I think it is probably symbolic for the coming future.  Winterfell will become the haven for the Others and their wights.  It will become necessary for the dragons to put the castle to the flames.  

We know how much work it takes to nurse dragons.  A newly-hatched dragon is unlikely to survive on its own.  There are dogs, rats, and other predators in the ruins of Winterfell.  A hatchling dragon that will only eat cooked meat is not going to survive.  A dragon of sufficient size to fly would have attracted a lot of human attention.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Platypus Rex said:

To be fair, giant gouts of flame have never been described as winged snakes either, at least afaik.  And of course, dragons ARE compared to snakes or serpents in the text.  That dragons also have wings, is surely beyond dispute.

Then whip it out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Valyrian Lance said:

And swords are only described as man claws by Wolves. Same as armor being described as hardskin. It seems as though a direwolf could describe a dragon or a burning banner or a plume of flame or a burning tower or flaming merlon as a winged snake roaring fire.

Large wood structure fires produce flame gouts that appear to reach for the sky. And since there was no mention of a dragon in the north in the latter books, well /thread

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

That scene has always confused me a lot. I even stopped thinking about it, but now I have the mind a bit clearer.

First, at the symbolic level the dragon that Summer saw represents Jon. A dragon hidden in Winterfell.

Now. I think the egg hatched, at least metaphysically, but because there was nobody to claim the dragon, its fiery spirit flew away. And that is what Summer saw. The egg is physically undamaged but it's now a dud.

This should play a role once Stannis gets hands on that egg and attempts to hatch the dragon by burning Shireen and nothing happens.

Apparently I'm the only one saying that Summer saw a dragon, just not a physical one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Dorian Martell's son said:
6 hours ago, Platypus Rex said:

To be fair, giant gouts of flame have never been described as winged snakes either, at least afaik.  And of course, dragons ARE compared to snakes or serpents in the text.  That dragons also have wings, is surely beyond dispute.

Then whip it out. 

 

Here's direct mentions, but there's indirect mentions where the dragons behave in ways one might associate with snakes like hissing and being coiled around shoulders and neck.

ACOK Daenerys IV

Drogon's long neck snaked out and he opened his mouth to scream, steam rising from between his teeth.

 

 

ACOK Daenerys I

When she had her handmaids char the horsemeat black, the dragons ripped at it eagerly, their heads striking like snakes.

 

AGOT Daenerys X

The black-and-scarlet beast was draped across her shoulders, its long sinuous neck coiled under her chin.

 

Full-grown dragons being like snakes is more of a stretch as they've fill out, but here we find out that dragons are born very, very skinny. Makes me think what Bran saw maybe was specifically a young dragon thus the winged snake part. 

 

ACOK Daenerys I

The dragons were no larger than the scrawny cats she had once seen skulking along the walls of Magister Illyrio's estate in Pentos . . . until they unfolded their wings. Their span was three times their length, each wing a delicate fan of translucent skin, gorgeously colored, stretched taut between long thin bones. When you looked hard, you could see that most of their body was neck, tail, and wing. Such little things, she thought as she fed them by hand. Or rather, tried to feed them, for the dragons would not eat. They would hiss and spit at each bloody morsel of horsemeat, steam rising from their nostrils, yet they would not take the food . . . until Dany recalled something Viserys had told her when they were children.

For the poll, the dragon is figurative.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll go with genetic memory.  Animals know their natural enemy and associate them with symbols.  Elements in this case.  Summer saw the future.  The Dragons are coming.  The Starks and their dogs are ice.  The ice elementals are trying to destroy the living.  Which Arya is already working hard at doing.  The Dragons are coming to stop them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uhhh, he sees with magical ice elemental eyes, right?  So Summer saw something aligned with the essence of dragons: heat.  Heat coming off of a fire.  So you can say there was nothing magical about the steam and smoke in the sky, and Summer merely saw it through a filter of magical awareness.   Or you can try to say Summer saw that smoke as a dragon because fire magic had literally been the source of winterfell's hot springs, so when the buildings burned down the magic 'wiring' melted down as well and the Real dragon essence escaped that had been bound into winterfell's walls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lollygag said:

For the poll, the dragon is figurative.

Thank you.  And thanks for the quotes.

In addition, GRRM implicitly compared snakes and dragons when he declared that Viserys was "less than the shadow of a snake"; the core idea being that snakes and dragons are analogous types of creatures, one being much more impressive than the other.  Also Rhaegal, or a least his neck, is described as uncoiling like a "serpent", in Quentyn's last chapter in ADWD.

Not that this really matters.  How often is armor described as "hardskin"; or swords as "man-claws" or castle walls as "cliffs"? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I say yes. Magic is alive again. Dragons are magic.

A single brave soul, who is not intimidated by the scoffing of the maesters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

It's difficult to say.  I think it is probably symbolic for the coming future.  Winterfell will become the haven for the Others and their wights.  It will become necessary for the dragons to put the castle to the flames.  

We know how much work it takes to nurse dragons.  A newly-hatched dragon is unlikely to survive on its own.  There are dogs, rats, and other predators in the ruins of Winterfell.  A hatchling dragon that will only eat cooked meat is not going to survive.  A dragon of sufficient size to fly would have attracted a lot of human attention.  

Winterfell will fall to the white walkers.  Otherwise there is no threat to the rest of the kingdom.  Winterfell has to fall because it's in their path.  The logical way to deal with an infested castle is to burn it down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 7:39 AM, The hairy bear said:

Clearly not. It's just George trying to describe how a wolf that has never witnessed a fire of this magnitude would see it.

In the same paragraph that the "winged snake" is described, Summer also sees "men, many men". 

Actually, he does not see the men.  And they, as far as we know, do not see Summer.  Why people assume that the men would necessarily see something that Summer saw -- and saw only for a moment - when the men are somewhere on the other side of a giant burning compound, is an argument I have never understood.  I have also never understood the argument that we would necessarily know, if anyone else saw anything.  We did not find out for 2 whole books that Theon was still alive (though I'm sure many people at Winterfell saw him).  Why would we necessarily find out in 3 whole books that Ramsay, or Beth Cassell, (or whoever) glimpsed something weird in the sky.  Theon is our only POV at Winterfell, and he was probably unconscious at this time.

16 to 1 against.  That's remarkable.  I wonder if readers on this forum are typical of readers generally; or if this is something specific to the culture here.

I'll venture my own opinion now.  To me, it is not even a close question.  It's a blink-and-miss-it moment, but once you do notice the passage, only one reasonable conclusion is possible:  Summer saw a dragon.   The only other reasonable conclusion is that GRRM is trolling his readers.  And that's just another way of saying ... the author meant to say "Summer saw a dragon", but the author was lying.  

But for what purpose?  If it is a misperception, it does not mislead any characters, because no characters seem to remember it.  You cannot call it a red herring.  Red herrings are made to be obvious; and this was a "blink-and-miss-it" moment.

Refusing to accept that Summer saw a dragon is, to me, the equivalent of refusing to believe the evidence of one's own senses, ... or in this case (what is closest thing to direct sensory evidence for any book reader), the borrowed eyes of his POV character --- here, his borrowed wolf's eyes. 

If we refuse to accept direct evidence, how can we discuss any evidence?  Surely, direct sensory evidence trumps "would haves", "should haves" and "could haves".  What is the point of arguing "If a dragon was in the North we would know".  The North is a HUGE and sparsely-habited place, but never mind that.  We DO know!  We were in the North, with Summer, and we saw the damned thing with our own wolf-eyes.

The idea that Summer saw a bout of flame is re-writing the text.  The snake's roar was a river of flame, not its body.  And if it was the comet, how did it roar? and where did it go?  Summer bared his teeth at it; he obviously thought it was a creature.   

The idea that this was a vision or hallucination does not fit the text.  There is no dream transition.  It's a raw sensory description sandwiched between a bunch of other raw sensory descriptions.  If it is a dream or vision, it is one without discernable meaning or significance.  Sure, in theory the wolf could have hallucinated or misperceived.  Such things happen in the real world.  But what possible literary purpose would GRRM have to describe a random hallucinatory experience that no-one remembers?  A literary work needs to focus on what is relevant to the story.  If GRRM is going to do that sort of thing, just for the heck of it, he might as well spend his time describing all the shits people take.

Admittedly, it COULD have been a new creature somehow even rarer and more fantastic than a dragon.  But that just means we should assume it is a dragon, until further evidence forces us to accept theories that are even less likely.  

Edited by Platypus Rex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Imagine how much frustration and confusion could have been avoided if we had just quoted the passage in the first post. That should honestly be a rule around here. People are misquoting it and misrepresenting the text. I don't trust that each and every one of you have bothered to go find it individually and read it, or that you all have even read it within the last 3 years, but that's easily cleared up with 1 minute of effort in the first post.

I think it's a real dragon for a lot of the same reasons as Platypus Rex. My primary reason is this. If you're the author and you want to have a secret dragon flying around in this story, how do you show it to the reader but hide it at the same time?

You have precisely one gimmick established in this story that will allow you to pull off that magic trick, and it's warged POV. A wolf doesn't know what a dragon is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Summer is just a wolf.  He doesn't know any other way to describe the smoke curling up from the burning rabble that was winterfell.  It's long and sinuous.  It's going up, therefore, to his simpleton eyes, the smoke is flying.  No. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to imagine a real dragon, but the language doesn't imply that Summer is seeing something he doesn't understand to the best of his ability.

It's always given me pause to think about it. My main hesitation in believing it really is a dragon is that Bran didn't wake up and start in talking about it. 

I mean, you'd be talking about the dragon you just saw outside Winterfell all the way to the Wall, right? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, TPTWP Timett said:

Yep a dragon hatched right along with Danys

Dany's dragons hatched amid flames and blood magic.  What do think lead to a dragon hatching at Winterfell?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×