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Platypus Rex

Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

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Summer allowed his imagination to get wild.  Fire and smoke appear liquid.  They dance and writhe.  Twisting and curling as it rises upwards.  Fire creates dancing shadows.  It is not unlike the animated fire that young Daenerys saw in Drogo's tent during Mirri's ritual.  Those creatures were not really there.  Fire priestesses like Mellissandre can stare at the flames so long that their minds start playing tricks on them.  Fire's hypnotic, undulating movements appear like a living thing.  This is my short way of saying Summer only saw smoke.  

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On 10/29/2018 at 11:04 PM, 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.  

No, he saw a burning castle and GRRM used some poetic licence to make the fire and smoke seem alive.  It's metaphor for dramatic effect, not something you are meant to take literally. 

I mean where was this dragon hiding and where did it go and where has it been since the end of ACOK?  Not a hint of it over the last three books because it was never anything other than a bit of dramatic and descriptive text from a wolf's pov.

On 11/1/2018 at 12:53 AM, Platypus Rex said:

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 agree with the Hairy Bear here.  There are hundreds of witnesses who are looting and sacking Winterfell and rounding up the womenfolk to take back to the Dreadfort.  Why should Summer see something these hundreds of people who have bee scouring WF for plunder and women in hiding didn't?  Answer: because it's convenient for the argument you want to make.  But that does not make it a reasonable line of thought.  A more reasonable line of thought is that everyone saw the castle burn, everyone saw the fire and smoke; no one saw a dragon because there was no dragon.

Why is it remarkable that most people did not agree that a dragon was conjured out of thin air and flew off back into thin air?  We have dragons in the books, no need to look for more where there aren't any.

On 11/3/2018 at 1:19 AM, rustythesmith said:

Honestly the burden of proof is on the non-believers.

It really, really isn't.  You don't prove a negative, that something does not exist, you prove a positive, that something does exist by, you know providing proof that it exists.  That's how proof works.  :dunno:

On 11/3/2018 at 1:57 AM, rustythesmith said:

I'm not sure what you're trying to suggest. You've represented my stance accurately and nothing about it is contradictory.

Likelihood dragon is real >75%

Well that is just what you would like to be true but it seems wishful thinking. 

Likelihood dragon is real < 1%.  

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1 hour ago, the trees have eyes said:

It really, really isn't.  You don't prove a negative, that something does not exist, you prove a positive, that something does exist by, you know providing proof that it exists.  That's how proof works.  :dunno:

You can prove a negative and here is how. First you prove that A and B can not be true at the same time.

A. Summer saw a real dragon.

B. Summer did not see a real dragon.

Then you prove that either A or B is true. As a consequence, its opposite must be false.

In this case we are citing the same quote to evidence our two different interpretations.

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Yet as one smell drew them onward, others warned them back. He sniffed at the drifting smoke. Men, many men, many horses, and fire, fire, fire. No smell was more dangerous, not even the hard cold smell of iron, the stuff of man-claws and hardskin. The smoke and ash clouded his eyes, and in the sky he saw a great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame. He bared his teeth, but then the snake was gone. Behind the cliffs tall fires were eating up the stars.

There is an interpretive element, so there is no way to prove or disprove either point beyond a reasonable doubt, which is why I'm wary of people who exhibit undue certainty. I think that, given the evidence, A is more credible than B.

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Well that is just what you would like to be true but it seems wishful thinking. 

Likelihood dragon is real < 1%. 

While I recognize this kind of retort might be a useful way to discredit somebody you disagree with, in the future please do not presume to know what I wish to happen in the story. I'm perfectly capable of analyzing the text divorced from my wishes for the story. The proof of that is that I often find myself arguing for the validity of things I don't want to happen, when there is compelling support for it. The Quiet Lion theory is one example of that.

Edited by rustythesmith

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14 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

No, he saw a burning castle and GRRM used some poetic licence to make the fire and smoke seem alive.  It's metaphor for dramatic effect, not something you are meant to take literally. 

I mean where was this dragon hiding and where did it go and where has it been since the end of ACOK?  Not a hint of it over the last three books because it was never anything other than a bit of dramatic and descriptive text from a wolf's pov.

I agree with the Hairy Bear here.  There are hundreds of witnesses who are looting and sacking Winterfell and rounding up the womenfolk to take back to the Dreadfort.  Why should Summer see something these hundreds of people who have bee scouring WF for plunder and women in hiding didn't?  Answer: because it's convenient for the argument you want to make.  But that does not make it a reasonable line of thought.  A more reasonable line of thought is that everyone saw the castle burn, everyone saw the fire and smoke; no one saw a dragon because there was no dragon.

What you call "poetic license", "metaphor" and "dramatic effect", I call "trolling the reader".  I see no poetry, and no metaphor,and if any such is intended it is an utter failure of communication, as shown by a zillion different interpretations of this "metaphor" by every reader who refuses to believe what the text says.  The only "dramatic effect" it has it to make the reader say to himself "Holy shit! That's a dragon!"  I guess the joke's on him.

Where was the dragon hiding and where did it go?  How the hell should I know.  Maybe it was flying into that giant uninhabited forest.  Maybe it flew to an island off Sea Dragon Point.  Maybe it crept into that endless system of underground caverns connected to the crypts, to hunt those rats who are as big as dogs.  We only have about 25 POVs, and there is no particular need to suppose any of them went anywhere near this dragon.  Wherever it was, it was not hanging out with Sansa or Cersei or Arianne or Dany or Jaime or Brienne or Quentyn or Areo Hotah etc..  And if any other people happened to see it, they probably did not immediately dispatch ravens to Sansa or Cersei or Arianne or Dany or Jaime or Brienne or Quentyn or Areo Hotah, etc., telling them all about it.  

Why should "hundreds of witnesses" see the dragon?  They can't see Summer, and Summer cannot see them.  So why should they see what Summer sees?  You must be a city person, who does not realize that the night is DARK, and when it is night, and you are in the vicinity of a GIGANTIC FIRE, it is pretty damned hard to see anything but the fire.  And yet, the funny thing is, a dozen of them could have seen the dragon, and you would not necessarily know about it, because you don't have access to any of their POVs.

Accepting basic sensory data is not only "convenient".  It is a mandatory starting point for rational thought.  If we cannot accept direct sensory data, then we have no data to work with.  You are doing the equivalent of arguing "would haves", "should haves" and "could haves", in order to refuse to accept the evidence of your own (wolf) eyes.  If you saw a bear in your back yard, eating your dog, you would probably call the neighbors to make sure they saw it too.  And if they said no, you would tell your spouse that the dog ran away.

Edited by Platypus Rex

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On 11/16/2018 at 3:49 PM, rustythesmith said:

You can prove a negative and here is how. First you prove that A and B can not be true at the same time.

A. Summer saw a real dragon.

B. Summer did not see a real dragon.

Then you prove that either A or B is true. As a consequence, its opposite must be false.

In this case we are citing the same quote to evidence our two different interpretations.

Not so.  Prove that God does not exist.  You simply can't.  All you can conclude is that you have not yet found proof that he does exist which is why religion is and always will be based on faith, not proof.  Or why people still like to believe in the Loch Ness Monster.  Or Bigfoot.  Or a Dragon in Winterfell.

The burden of proof is on you to show that Summer saw a real dragon, not the other way round in the same way that the burden of proof is not on me to disprove that Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster exist.

On 11/16/2018 at 3:49 PM, rustythesmith said:

There is an interpretive element, so there is no way to prove or disprove either point beyond a reasonable doubt, which is why I'm wary of people who exhibit undue certainty. I think that, given the evidence, A is more credible than B.

Well this is just back to saying you can't prove that it isn't so it's legit to say it is, an argument used for everything from Howland Reed is the High Septon to Old Nan is the Three Eyed Crow.  If you are truly of the mind that it is a dragon that Summer saw, the obvious questions are where it came from, where it went, how it hatched, where the egg came from, how it fed and grew to be "giant" without anyone having any idea about it, why none of the hundreds of men at Winterfell noticed it, why no one has heard or seen it since and what possible significance introducing a dragon in the North in ACOK has had over the last three books other than none.  It's an awful lot of stuff that has no foundation in the books and just leaves you needing to explain a lot of things that don't stack up...unless you take it as it's intended, a bit of descriptive text.

On 11/16/2018 at 3:49 PM, rustythesmith said:

While I recognize this kind of retort might be a useful way to discredit somebody you disagree with, in the future please do not presume to know what I wish to happen in the story. 

Oh, it was more the way you thew out a high % for an extraordinarily unlikely event that I was responding to.  I hereby acknowledge that you have no particular desire for a dragon to have been hidden under WF (or wherever) and will simply disagree with your assessment of likelihood.

On 11/17/2018 at 4:54 AM, Platypus Rex said:

What you call "poetic license", "metaphor" and "dramatic effect", I call "trolling the reader".  

This is an internet phenomenon that belongs more on youtube videos or one of those awful shows where an unsuspecting person has a prank played on them for our entertainment.  I'll go with this being a symbolic reference to Jon Snow being the son of Rhaegar and a metaphorical dragon who was hidden at WF but has now left.  That's his message.  Those who have not ventured onto these forums (or since watched the Show) won't necessarily know Jon's parentage or what this scene is showing until they reread later.  But an actual live dragon conjured out of thin air?  Nah.

On 11/17/2018 at 4:54 AM, Platypus Rex said:

Where was the dragon hiding and where did it go?  How the hell should I know. 

I almost stopped reading there.  If you drop something big like this you must have thought ahead a little about some of the practicalities given there are three books since the sack of Winterfell.  In ADWD in particular we get to see a lot of action in the North from the Wall to Winterfell, White Harbour, Deepwood Mottte and meet dozens of characters from bear Island to the Dreadfort and Karhold , the mountain clans and the Wolfswood and no one has any hint of a rumour about a bloody big dragon because there isn't one.

On 11/17/2018 at 4:54 AM, Platypus Rex said:

Why should "hundreds of witnesses" see the dragon?  They can't see Summer, and Summer cannot see them.  So why should they see what Summer sees?  You must be a city person, who does not realize that the night is DARK, and when it is night, and you are in the vicinity of a GIGANTIC FIRE, it is pretty damned hard to see anything but the fire.  And yet, the funny thing is, a dozen of them could have seen the dragon, and you would not necessarily know about it, because you don't have access to any of their POVs.

Because there are hundreds of them and not all of them need to see it, just some of them for it to be credible.  Because according to you the dragon rose from WF breathing fire rather than being on a stealth flight over with cabin lights dimmed.  Breathing fire creates light, you know?  Quite a lot of it too.  A river of fire in the sky.  We see Ramsay and Roose in several chapters, we see the Bastard's boys in Theon's chapters in ADWD.  there is plenty of opportunity to convey to the reader the presence of something strange or unusual that night, even if the claimant is laughed off as an idiot and liar (like Gared by Ned) but nope, nothing that GRRM wants to convey at all.  Nothing in three books.

On 11/17/2018 at 4:54 AM, Platypus Rex said:

Accepting basic sensory data is not only "convenient".  It is a mandatory starting point for rational thought.  If we cannot accept direct sensory data, then we have no data to work with. 

Ironic given I'm asking why we have no witnesses to the "dragon".  If we did we would not be having this conversation as the existence of the "dragon" would at least have a foundation.  Sadly Summer is not the best witness here and is not a noted dragon expert.

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15 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

[snip]

You are evidently an epistemological nihilist.  If I told you I saw bear with my own eyes, you would still tell me that the burden was on me to prove that what I saw was real, and not a dream, vision, or hallucination (metaphorical or otherwise).   Perhaps the bear was a metaphorical symbol and psychological manifestation of my fear of Russian interference in US elections?  And if you saw the bear with your own eyes (which we all as readers effectively did, through Summer) you would still say that the burden is on me to prove that what YOU saw was real.   

My position is that Summer saw a dragon; because the text says so. 

I do not believe that GRRM was trolling his readers.  This is a theoretical possibility, but not worth considering.  Similarly, the idea that everything I see is a hallucination is also a theoretical possibility, but not worth considering.  A willingness to adopt "first principles" and assume the reasonable reliability of sensory data, is the starting point for rational thought.  It is reasonable to apply the same principle to data given directly to the reader in a work of fiction.  It is, at the very least, a "first principle", without which it is pointless to even try to discuss the evidence presented in a work of fiction.

"I don't know" is a perfectly rational, and honest, answer to certain questions.  Your refusal to accept this is your problem, and not anyone else's.  We could discuss theories, and there is evidence from which theories could be discussed.  But there is no point in discussing such things with an epistemological nihilist.  There could be any number of plausible explanations as to where it came from, where it went, or how it fed.  I did suggest some of these, and you ignored them.  So what do you want from me now?

According to the text, the caverns beneath Winterfell are endless.  Nobody know where they lead.  They are haunted by rats as big as dogs.  Curious details those.  But I don't want to necessarily commit myself to the theory that the dragon lived in the endless caverns beneath Winterfell and ate dog-sized rats.  That's just theory.  All I really KNOW is that Summer saw a dragon.

Other of your questions assume facts not in evidence.  You ask how the dragon grew to be giant without anyone knowing anything about it.  But you cannot prove that nobody knew about it.  Ned died with some of his secrets.  Hodor saw something in the crypts that frightened him, and the smallfolk of Winterfell have indeed (according to the World Book) reported stories of a dragon at Winterfell.  The maesters don't believe the smallfolk, and obviously you don't believe them either.  Why would you? 

"... there are three books since the sack of Winterfell"

Yes, and GRRM obviously has gotten stuck in his middle story.  Probably, GRRM should have followed up on this by now, just as Dany probably ought to have reached Westeros by now.  But he did throw some additional hints to us in the World Book, just to make sure we don't forget about the "Dragon of Winterfell".

"... according to you the dragon rose from WF breathing fire"

No.  I did not say that, and the text does not say that.   "In the sky" implies it is above Summer, at the edge of the Wood, not above Winterfell.

"Breathing fire creates light you know"

Sure.  But it is not surprising to see a brief burst of flame during a GIANT FIRE.  Especially when the dragon is on the other side of a GIANT FIRE.   When Summer sees the dragon, he cannot see any human beings, presumably because they are all on the other side of Winterfell, whose forest-side walls Summer CAN see.

"A river of fire in the sky".

From Summer's POV, not necessarily from anyone else's.  The dragon is presumably passing above Summer, which may mean it is passing into the forest (Summer is on the edge of the forest).  Humans are far away, out of sight, and apparently on the other side of a giant burning compound.

"in the sky" implies it is above Summer, on the edge of the giant forest, not above Winterfell.

"there is plenty of opportunity ... even if the claimant is passed off as an idiot or a liar"

So you admit, there could have been witnesses, and they could have been passed off as liars.  But your complaint is that GRRM did not go out of his way to tell you about it.  But why should he?  He gave you the direct evidence of your own (wolf) senses, and you rejected that.  He gave you the rumors of smallfolk at Winterfell, and you rejected that.  Surely, you would also reject the report of an idiot and a liar.

If nobody told Theon about the dragon of Winterfell, it may well have been because Theon never asked.   None of the Burned Men ever told Tyrion the stories of the dragon of the Mountains of the Moon, did they?  I guess Tyrion never asked for such rumors, and neither did Theon.  Of course even if Theon had asked, there is no evidence that anyone saw anything, other than the weirdly burned man with his hands raised in a defensive posture.

Edited by Platypus Rex

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5 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Not so.  Prove that God does not exist.  You simply can't.  All you can conclude is that you have not yet found proof that he does exist which is why religion is and always will be based on faith, not proof.  Or why people still like to believe in the Loch Ness Monster.  Or Bigfoot.  Or a Dragon in Winterfell.

The burden of proof is on you to show that Summer saw a real dragon, not the other way round in the same way that the burden of proof is not on me to disprove that Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster exist.

A. God does not exist.

B. God exists.

Both cannot be true at the same time. Therefore proof of A disproves B and proof of B disproves A. All you've done is select a question for which there is disagreement on the credibility of the evidence. There is evidence that god exists and there is evidence that god doesn't exist. Just like there is evidence that Summer saw a real dragon and there is evidence that Summer didn't see a real dragon.

The evidence is overwhelmingly in support of the dragon being a real dragon. It's in the text in clearly defined terms using a literal interpretation.

Quote

The smoke and ash clouded his eyes, and in the sky he saw a great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame. He bared his teeth, but then the snake was gone.

It also uses the same format of wolf-think that the wolf uses to describe everything else: In terms of things the wolf would encounter normally in the wild. IE man claws, man rock and hard skin. Do you think hard skin does not refer to real, literal armor? Do you think man claws is in reference to swords made out of smoke and flame? Or is it more likely that a man claw refers to a literal sword made of steel? Does a man rock not refer to a literal castle? Why would the author establish this pattern of description only to betray it by creating a fake-out dragon that serves no purpose to the future of the story?

The creative advantages to having a spare dragon subtly roaming around the story are obvious.

Narrative possibilities before the dragon: X

Narrative possibilities after the dragon: X * Dragon

There is no downside to subtly adding a wild dragon to the story. The author always has the freedom to leave it unused. Not all seeds grow into something.

I can support the dragon is real position across several dimensions of analysis that are aligned with the literal interpretation of the text, that is aligned with the author's style of hiding mystery in the POV's missing information, that doesn't leave full lines ignored or unexplained as if Martin didn't think very carefully about each and every sentence in this series as he wrote it, and that provides a whole array of compelling possibilities for the future of the story going forward.

The dragon is not real position does the opposite of all of that. It requires a non-literal interpretation that serves no discernible symbolic, thematic or prophetic purpose. It does not jive with the perceptive relativity in the POV structure and mystery style. It leaves full lines ignored and unexplained as if Martin was trying to fill a word count rather than writing a compelling fantasy story. And it doesn't expand the possibilities of the future of the story whatsoever.

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Well this is just back to saying you can't prove that it isn't so it's legit to say it is, an argument used for everything from Howland Reed is the High Septon to Old Nan is the Three Eyed Crow. 

Refer to either of the two examples of disproof I provided. "You can't prove a negative" is just plainly wrong. Unless you want to quibble about the definition of proof / true / real, which I don't think is necessary or appropriate here. The only things we can say are definitively true are the exact words used in the book. As soon as one of us interprets the words, which our brains do automatically when we look at them, then we are no longer interacting with the "truth." Like silence, you break "canonical truth" by interacting with it. That's why the only way to have a civil discussion about our interpretations is to concede that we are both providing an interpretation, not some representation of truth. We are arguing for credibility, not truth.

Given the points I laid out, I think it is more credible that the dragon is real than fake. I don't mind that you disagree. I'm perfectly content to agree to disagree. I do mind when you try to discredit my perfectly sound line of reasoning by associating it with other theories that have no bearing on the topic and provide no comparison to the lines of reasoning I'm using to make my points.

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so it's legit to say it is

This is what I'm talking about. I'm not saying that anything is anything. I'm saying that it's irrefutably plausible that the dragon could be real and subjectively likely the dragon is real. Given the text, there is room to refute the latter but not the former.

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The smoke and ash clouded his eyes, and in the sky he saw a great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame. He bared his teeth, but then the snake was gone.

Quote

The smoke and ash clouded his eyes, and in the sky he saw a great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame. He bared his teeth, but then the snake was gone.

Quote

The smoke and ash clouded his eyes, and in the sky he saw a great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame. He bared his teeth, but then the snake was gone.

You keep implying that I'm refuting the plausibility that the dragon is not real when that's simply false. I've said many times that it's possible that it is not a real dragon regardless how unlikely I think that possibility is.

Thankfully, like gravity, there are things in the book that are solid. Things that cannot reasonably be interpreted more than one way. When the book says "crow" we can pretty safely conclude that the author means to refer to a bird. Likewise, when the book says "great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame" we can safely conclude that the author means to refer to precisely that. I don't need to provide any other evidence that Summer saw a great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame because the book explicitly says it. That's why if you want to suggest that Summer didn't see a great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame, or that a great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame is not a description of a dragon, then you need to provide some reasons why. Questions like the following do not evidence your point or weigh against the line in the book.

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where it came from, where it went, how it hatched, where the egg came from, how it fed and grew to be "giant" without anyone having any idea about it, why none of the hundreds of men at Winterfell noticed it

The line exists in the book regardless of the answers to these questions. The presence of the line suggests that the answers to these questions exist, even though we don't know them yet. It does not suggest that there are no answers.

The exceptions to simple interpretations are demonstrated throughout the story, and it's our job to use the books as a reference to define the words in the books. For example when Ygritte calls Jon Snow a crow then suddenly the bird interpretation is no longer the only valid interpretation of the word crow. Apparently, in this story, the word crow can also refer to a human being, particularly a man of the Night's Watch.

Likewise, when Summer calls a sword a Man Claw, it provides the reader with a valid alternate interpretation of "claw." Claws are biological weaponry of animals. A man claw is the weaponry of the animal known to the wolf as "man". The fact that the wolf recognizes the prevalence of this weaponry among men demonstrates that the wolf understands what it is seeing at a fundamental level despite being unable to articulate its name. Therefore a man claw is a sword. When we apply that interpretive framework to the winged snake it reveals that the dragon, like the sword, is understood at a fundamental level by the wolf to be real despite the wolf being unable to articulate the name "dragon".

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why none of the hundreds of men at Winterfell noticed it, why no one has heard or seen it since and what possible significance introducing a dragon in the North in ACOK has had over the last three books other than none.  It's an awful lot of stuff that has no foundation in the books and just leaves you needing to explain a lot of things that don't stack up...unless you take it as it's intended, a bit of descriptive text.

Try to apply that reasoning to any other creature. What significance have krakens had over the last three books? Absolutely none. They didn't even appear in the story until recently. Would you suggest that the reports of kraken attacks on the ships near the Fingers and the kraken near the Broken Arm are not real because they didn't shape the story before they appeared? How exactly can anything have an active hand in shaping a story before it appears? That doesn't make sense. It's entirely possible that the dragon, like the kraken, will shape the future of the story after it appeared. And there is no reason whatsoever to assume that it will shape the future of the story soon after it appeared.

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Oh, it was more the way you thew out a high % for an extraordinarily unlikely event that I was responding to.  I hereby acknowledge that you have no particular desire for a dragon to have been hidden under WF (or wherever) and will simply disagree with your assessment of likelihood.

I estimated my degree of certainty with percentages simply to demonstrate my degree of certainty, which is not 100%, because you very irritatingly insist that my degree of certainty is 100% when I've made it clear multiple times that it isn't.

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This is an internet phenomenon that belongs more on youtube videos or one of those awful shows where an unsuspecting person has a prank played on them for our entertainment.  I'll go with this being a symbolic reference to Jon Snow being the son of Rhaegar and a metaphorical dragon who was hidden at WF but has now left.  That's his message.  Those who have not ventured onto these forums (or since watched the Show) won't necessarily know Jon's parentage or what this scene is showing until they reread later.  But an actual live dragon conjured out of thin air?  Nah.

I don't dislike that interpretation and I think it's reasonable enough. However for me there are some problems with it. If this dragon is meant to be a symbolic representation of Jon leaving Winterfell, why is it happening long after Jon has left Winterfell? Wouldn't this symbolism have made more sense to occur within the same book, at least, when Jon left Winterfell? If this is a metaphorical dragon that is meant to hint to the reader that Jon is the son of Rhaegar and thus a Targaryen, in what way is the reader supposed to make that connection? Many characters other than Jon have left Winterfell before and since Jon left Winterfell. The context of the scene does not reference Jon or seem to connect to Jon in any way. Additionally, Jon's departure from Winterfell was not comparable to a fire. Jon departed from Winterfell filled with a sense of adventure and perhaps some sadness. Jon does not have fantasies of destroying Winterfell. Jon is never foreshadowed to be involved in the destruction of Winterfell. These are all ways that might connect Jon to a symbolic dragon escaping Winterfell, but the connections simply are not present.

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I almost stopped reading there.  If you drop something big like this you must have thought ahead a little about some of the practicalities given there are three books since the sack of Winterfell.  In ADWD in particular we get to see a lot of action in the North from the Wall to Winterfell, White Harbour, Deepwood Mottte and meet dozens of characters from bear Island to the Dreadfort and Karhold , the mountain clans and the Wolfswood and no one has any hint of a rumour about a bloody big dragon because there isn't one.

History is rife with dragons disappearing in the world without a trace. Just because people do not report seeing the dragon does not mean the dragon does not exist. Dragons fly fast, far, and quietly. Sheepstealer's body was never found and legend says he flew off and was never seen again. Same deal with Cannibal. He survived the Dance and mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again. The Winterfell dragon can easily and plausibly go unseen until Martin decides to do something with it.

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Because there are hundreds of them and not all of them need to see it, just some of them for it to be credible.  Because according to you the dragon rose from WF breathing fire rather than being on a stealth flight over with cabin lights dimmed.  Breathing fire creates light, you know?  Quite a lot of it too.  A river of fire in the sky.  We see Ramsay and Roose in several chapters, we see the Bastard's boys in Theon's chapters in ADWD.  there is plenty of opportunity to convey to the reader the presence of something strange or unusual that night, even if the claimant is laughed off as an idiot and liar (like Gared by Ned) but nope, nothing that GRRM wants to convey at all.  Nothing in three books.

Dragonfire would not sound any different than the fire that is currently burning down all of Winterfell in this scene. Winterfell is an enormous castle. The people on the ground, who are fighting for their lives, have no reason to look up at the fire and smoke filled sky. Movement in the smoke filled sky probably would not even draw their attention under these circumstances. Their lives are at immediate risk to threats on the ground. Additionally, the view of the sky might be completely obscured by anybody beneath the dragon, and it's possible that the only reason Summer can see the dragon is because he is further away from the castle with a clearer overview of the scene. It is also clearly established in this story that men see what they expect to see. It is possible that a man can look directly at a dragon among fire and smoke and not even see it. The same way people look directly at Arya and do not see that Arya is a girl, that the Sealord's cat is ordinary, and that Rugen is Varys. Everyone knows that dragons have been dead for a long time, and no living person has seen a living dragon anyway.

Furthermore, the fact that word of the dragon has not reached our POV characters does not prove or convincingly evidence that nobody saw the dragon or that nobody is talking about it.

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"Men see what they expect to see," Varys said as he fussed and pulled. "Dwarfs are not so common a sight as children, so a child is what they will see. A boy in an old cloak on his father's horse, going about his father's business. Though it would be best if you came most often by night." (ACOK Tyrion III)

A precedent established in the same book in which the dragon appears. Go figure.

Edited by rustythesmith

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I was researching Old Nan and I came across this passage where the Winterfell dragon may have been seeded at the beginning of ACOK.

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Though Old Nan did not think so, and she'd lived longer than any of them. "Dragons," she said, lifting her head and sniffing. She was near blind and could not see the comet, yet she claimed she could smell it. "It be dragons, boy," she insisted. Bran got no princes from Nan, no more than he ever had. (ACOK Bran I)

What do you think? Does Nan smell a dragon? Is it possible that the comet brought back more than Dany's dragons?

Edited by rustythesmith

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No. Summer didn't see a Dragon. If he had, Bran would also have seen the Dragon (Bran was warging Summer at the time, it's Bran's POV chapter), and Bran would have rather excitedly told the others (Meera, Jojen etc.) about the Dragon he had just seen. We've seen previously with the Bran-in-Summer POV passages the personification of inanimate objects (the chains being seen as a snake for example). This is just a further example of that... the burning of Winterfell produces something Summer/Bran sees as a winged snake.  

Also, we have no mention of anyone else in the North seeing this mystery Dragon, at any time. And, I find it quite difficult to believe that this Dragon was living under Winterfell for how ever many years, but wasn't known about... what was it eating? Where was it sleeping? Why wasn't it trying to escape and making a noise?  

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On 10/29/2018 at 7:04 PM, 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:  (16 to 1 in favor of "No", so far).

No.

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18 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

Not counting answers that seem too ambiguous, I think it is something like 25 to 5 now, against the idea of a real dragon.

And that gives us all hope. Right?

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1 minute ago, Platypus Rex said:

I don't think you answered the poll, so I don't know who "us" is.

My bad, I thought I had. No, Summer did not see a dragon, Hence “us” is the people who are still reading the novels as the author wrote them and not as they wished he wrote them. :)

 

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5 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

My bad, I thought I had. No, Summer did not see a dragon, Hence “us” is the people who are still reading the novels as the author wrote them and not as they wished he wrote them. :)

26 to 5 then.  

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I don't think there was a dragon but it is a really weird scene which I can't explain. I think it even less likely that it was merely flames and smoke and Summer being mistaken. Grrm meant something by the words. It's possible it is tied up to Bran and Summers link and Brans third eye. In some ways it reminds me of the scene on the pole boat when they sail past the same bridge twice. I also wonder if old Nan is tied up with it in some way. 

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30 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

26 to 5 then.  

26 against and 5 for.  But what percentage would you put on who is right?  I voted against but I was told that I am likely only 25% likely to be right.  So adjusted for random accuracy prediction, 26 votes against is still 6.5 votes whereas 5 votes for becomes 3.75.  No dragon wins, even with randomly generated odds generation logic. 

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16 minutes ago, White Ravens said:

"and 5 for.  But what percentage would you put on who is right?  I voted against but I was told that I am likely only 25% likely to be right."  

I don't really do percentages.  

I think you are probably wrong.  Because that's what usually happens when you disregard direct evidence in favor of indirect evidence and speculative logic.  But nothing human is infallible, including good logic and rational method.  So it is possible you are right.

"So adjusted for random accuracy prediction, 26 votes against is still 6.5 votes whereas 5 votes for becomes 3.75.  No dragon wins, even with randomly generated odds generation logic. "

If that sounds rational to you, then go with it.

Edited by Platypus Rex

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In ACoK John wargs ghost in a dream
shaggy lumbering beast with a snake for a nose and tusks larger than those of the greatest boar that had ever lived. And the thing riding it was huge as well, and his shape was wrong, too thick in the leg and hips to be a man

This is a mammoth and it is inclined to say Bran has more power then Jon as a warg or whatever and has a clear view of the thing before he was attack by the warg eagle 

The smoke and ash clouded his eyes, and in the sky he saw a great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame. He bared his teeth, but then the snake was gone

So it could be possible but Summers vision was clouded and then there is Hardhome to consider.

But also in dance 

Ser Barristan might have said. The noise will bring them, the shouts and screams, the scent of blood. That will draw them to the battlefield, just as the roar from Daznak’s Pit drew Drogon to the scarlet sands

So more then likely its false it can not be said it is unfalse during the sack of WF 

 

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