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Lord Varys

[spoilers] Aerea

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9 hours ago, HamSandLich said:

Given that...unwholesome experiments involving human reproduction are referenced occurring in both Valyria and Gogossos, I think they're attempts by the dragonlords to fuse men and fireworms, for what purpose I don't know (given what we know of them, they could have done it for the lulz). Hell, the concentrated bad juju in Valyria could have warped previously mundane creatures into monstrosities.

Perhaps it was a similar sort of experiment that led them to bind and control dragons. The purpose could have been to bind and control firewyrms.

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2 hours ago, BrainFireBob said:

Maybe BR and Bran are viewing Mel, not vice versa.

 

Mel sees them in her flames in her POV, and thinks they're the enemy. If you have an opinion of an image, you saw the image, right?

Quote

A face took shape within the hearth. Stannis? she thought, for just a moment … but no, these were not his features. A wooden face, corpse white. Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me. Beside him, a boy with a wolf's face threw back his head and howled. (aDwD, Melisandre I)

She sees them, they see her.

Edited by sweetsunray

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You didn't follow.

 

If she has her radio on, and they're broadcasting, of course she can pick them up. Doesn't mean she reached into their station.

She could, of course; I am proposing an alternative. She's catching them in flight instead of viewing into the cave.

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15 minutes ago, BrainFireBob said:

You didn't follow.

 

If she has her radio on, and they're broadcasting, of course she can pick them up. Doesn't mean she reached into their station.

She could, of course; I am proposing an alternative. She's catching them in flight instead of viewing into the cave.

You mean as they skinchange ravens in the rookery or something? Except she sees him with summer's head. Regardless, they are bodily inside the cave, and she sees them as the greenseers, not as ravens or something. She can even hear Bran howl with Summer.

The reason imo isn't so much because they are broadcasting and she picks it up (despite the wall between her and them). Weirwoods and fire are different elements used for essentially the same thing: divination, to look in the past, present and future. We see the same thing with the BwB: Thoros checks the fires, but at High Heart the divination is done by GoHH without a fire (she's a greendreamer like Jojen). Different elements to do the same magic, and as proposed, greenseeing (and in Jojen's case greendreaming) can be done with the Wall in between diviner and the divined basically because it's a magic that is not bound by the present: it can go into the past as well as the future, and sometime in the past there once was a time that there wasn't a wall, and thus no magic-blockage. If the greenseeing is not bound by timespace, then it's free from any type of blockage in a certain location. But divination is done with fire as well, so fire is basically not bound by timespace either, and thus free from any type of blockage in a certain location.

So, both team-BR as well as Mel can see one another via different elements/means, beyond timespace, and therefore the wall can't block the divination.

Important here is that Mel actually can hear Bran howling too, and thus theoretically these could try and communicate with one another. And if they can do that, then Varys' sorcerer could communicate through flames with an entity north of the Wall fine.

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Three questions: 

Firstly, what immediately jumps out is that GRRM has deliberately made the name AEREA a palindrome. He likes Alice-Through-The-Looking-Glass-type games, so this mirror reflection is significant for some reason. What is the deeper significance? Any ideas?

Secondly, why the 'baby swap' motif cropping up everywhere, of which this fits the pattern? Think, for example, of the case of Monster, Gilly and Craster's child, swapped by Jon for Aemon Steelsong, Mance and Dalla's baby, his milk brother. Because of the switch, one child is destined to be burned, while another escapes under an alias. Aerea is not really Aerea, but in actual fact her twin sister Rhaella, who gets burnt by Valyrian sorcery.

Finally, it's obvious GRRM is comparing these worms, whatever they are physically, to weirwoods symbolically. Snakes with faces, worms with hands, squishy and wriggly etc., like magical parasites, described as possessing the victim much in the same way we see Bloodraven's body rather obscenely riddled through, and reduced to a corpse by the nest of roots compared to milk snakes and graveworms. The invasion of one species, as it were, by another, is a skinchanger metaphor. Mysteriously, the victim in the end is compelled to utter terrifying words, or 'speak in (unspeakable) tongues', which has echoes of a greenseer painfully acquiring the True Tongue, by sacrifice. So, what is the author telling us about the relationship, if any, between Valyria and 'Old Gods' skinchanging/greenseeing magic?

Edited by ravenous reader

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13 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

Secondly, why the 'baby swap' motif cropping up everywhere, of which this fits the pattern? Think, for example, of the case of Monster, Gilly and Craster's child, swapped by Jon for Aemon Steelsong, Mance and Dalla's baby, his milk brother. Because of the switch, one child is destined to be burned, while another escapes under an alias. Aerea is not really Aerea, but in actual fact her twin sister Rhaella, who gets burnt by Valyrian sorcery.

Also, does it mean fAegon is going to be burned as well?

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1 hour ago, ravenous reader said:

Finally, it's obvious GRRM is comparing these worms, whatever they are physically, to weirwoods symbolically. Snakes with faces, worms with hands, squishy and wriggly etc., like magical parasites, described as possessing the victim much in the same way we see Bloodraven's body rather obscenely riddled through, and reduced to a corpse by the nest of roots compared to milk snakes and graveworms. The invasion of one species, as it were, by another, is a skinchanger metaphor. Mysteriously, the victim in the end is compelled to utter terrifying words, or 'speak in (unspeakable) tongues', which has echoes of a greenseer painfully acquiring the True Tongue, by sacrifice. So, what is the author telling us about the relationship, if any, between Valyria and 'Old Gods' skinchanging/greenseeing magic?

I'm wondering if it is a hint at BR's finale.

Edit: not so much the death specifically, but the idea of him not being able to communicate anymore. 

Edited by OtherFromAnotherMother

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58 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

Three questions: 

Firstly, what immediately jumps out is that GRRM has deliberately made the name AEREA a palindrome. He likes Alice-Through-The-Looking-Glass-type games, so this mirror reflection is significant for some reason. What is the deeper significance? Any ideas?

Secondly, why the 'baby swap' motif cropping up everywhere, of which this fits the pattern? Think, for example, of the case of Monster, Gilly and Craster's child, swapped by Jon for Aemon Steelsong, Mance and Dalla's baby, his milk brother. Because of the switch, one child is destined to be burned, while another escapes under an alias. Aerea is not really Aerea, but in actual fact her twin sister Rhaella, who gets burnt by Valyrian sorcery.

Finally, it's obvious GRRM is comparing these worms, whatever they are physically, to weirwoods symbolically. Snakes with faces, worms with hands, squishy and wriggly etc., like magical parasites, described as possessing the victim much in the same way we see Bloodraven's body rather obscenely riddled through, and reduced to a corpse by the nest of roots compared to milk snakes and graveworms. The invasion of one species, as it were, by another, is a skinchanger metaphor. Mysteriously, the victim in the end is compelled to utter terrifying words, or 'speak in (unspeakable) tongues', which has echoes of a greenseer painfully acquiring the True Tongue, by sacrifice. So, what is the author telling us about the relationship, if any, between Valyria and 'Old Gods' skinchanging/greenseeing magic?

Funny you mention the palindrome of the name Aerea. I noticed that as well and brought it up in a chat. So we have a (potential, and simplified) reverse of the fiery hand of R'hllor consuming tree-people, to now the wormy hand of the trees consuming fire-people. Hmmm... (and now I'm back to Bowen Marsh)

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2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Secondly, why the 'baby swap' motif cropping up everywhere, of which this fits the pattern? Think, for example, of the case of Monster, Gilly and Craster's child, swapped by Jon for Aemon Steelsong, Mance and Dalla's baby, his milk brother. Because of the switch, one child is destined to be burned, while another escapes under an alias. Aerea is not really Aerea, but in actual fact her twin sister Rhaella, who gets burnt by Valyrian sorcery.

Well, I don't think this counts as a question when you yourself answer it, but yeah good call, makes a lot of sense.  Or, mayhaps, this belongs in the Red Herring thread.

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Now have a look at what we don´t know - and what Barth did not know.

What Aerea specifically said in public, page 246:

Quote

Please! I never,

But she spoke more, page 248:

Quote

I pray that I shall soon forget some of the thinIgs she whispered... I cannot forget how often she begged for death

Aerea spoke things besides begging for death. Barth is not specifying, but we can infer:

Quote

If we put aside such distractions, however, the mystery remains.

Namely:

Quote

Though I can offer no certain proof, I can suggest an answer...

...From the very start, we have asked, Where did Aerea take Balerion? We should have been asking, Where did Balerion take Aerea? Only one answer makes sense...

...If she went willingly I would be most surprised, but she had neither the knowledge nor the force of will to turn him. What befell her on Valyria I cannot surmise. Judging from the condition in which she returned to us, I do not even care to contemplate it...

The lack of surmise, the lack of certain proof strongly indicates that whatever Aerea said besides begging for death, including some of the things Barth wished to forget, did not clearly confirm or deny any of the above or other things Barth is describing as surmise and speculation.

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I think she was raped

Several times George showed us that every time a targaryen pregnancy goes wrong the child is monstrous, the same description, in dany's baby and Maegor stillbirths, leathery skin/wings, reptile-like features, not only on targaryen women, but normal women with impregnated by targaryens males.

i believe the "blood of the dragon" is maybe result of humans mating with dragons, seems like something the valyrians would do, and fits the lovecraftian "vibe" they have, when it works, we have the quasi-magical human beigns, the dragon lords, but when it fails we have some kind of monstrous chimera.

 

i believe the nature of dragon lords are fare more "Monstrous" and grotesque than just fire biding spells and other more "fantasy" like tropes, i think actually human reprodution with dragon like beasts, or even dragons themselves  fits more into a blood magic ritual.

the way Aerea was. with her clothes tattered, in rags, looks like a sexual assault victim, and shows that she was in some kind of fight, she was attacked not just infected, and the time she spend there, more than a year, is enough time to a pregnancy, and the way it came down after she was dead it look like a stillbirth, and the fact that the stillbirth had human faces, and hands, looks like it malformed  fetus/baby, like dany's and maegor's, its was trying to form a human baby, but failed, if was just a parasite, nurturing from her body, i think it would burst open from her body like a xenomorph when it was done, and in far less time, no, the thing inside her was far more sinister, it was her child.

Edited by BlueNightzx

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I am definitely more inclined towards the “rape” type scenario. Sadly, I think that is hinted at when we read “thin tendrils of smoke issued from her mouth, her nose, even, most obscenely, from her nether lips.”

For me, amoungst all of the aw and disgust, the end of that sentence is when I truly felt sick. My mind instantly jumped too - well I know how this began.

-A rape by a similar, much larger creature to those that poured out of her. The assumption for the larger creature, is that is why it was able to injure belarion. My next point could also stem from larger creatures.

-A rape or ingestation, by creatures of similar size to those that came out. Really loved the theory that balerions wound would be from suffering the same fate, but it could survive it. I’d like to offer up in support of this theory - Dragons blood in fact runs extensively hot, helping to survive the effects of the gestation/infection, that is heating the host.

Dance (drogon) - “his head turned. Smoke rose between his teeth. His blood was smoking too, where it dripped upon the ground.”

-A rape by a creature we can’t even fucking imagine and this was just the warped result. Lending this to the point made about the Targaryen gestation process, being able produce some warped results on its own, regardless.

-Could always just be the result of a small parasitic infection. Still as disturbing in it’s own ways.

 

Anyway, loved that we got this potential insight to Valaryia, from George. The potential for creatures to be attempting to reprocreate, with things not of their species knowingly, lends to something very sinister. As opposed to a creature that reproduces parasitically. (Still disturbing).

 

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On 11/22/2018 at 11:26 PM, Lord Varys said:

Let's talk about the brave girl here.

And no, the creatures are not firewyrms in my opinion. They are something different. Firewyrms are mundane things known to hang out in the Fourteen Flames before the Doom. What Aerea encountered was post-Doom and deliberately Lovecractian weirdness. I don't think we should try to attach a common name to that.

They are firewyrms.  The larvae of the firewyrms.  Martin got his inspiration from "Aliens."

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6 hours ago, 867-5309 said:

They are firewyrms.  The larvae of the firewyrms.  Martin got his inspiration from "Aliens."

If this were the case then Barth would know this and would have said so. He wrote a book which focuses in no small part on firewyrms. The full title of his great work is: Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns: Their Unnatural History.

Yet it is made clear that neither he nor Benifer had any idea what the creatures in Aerea were. Firewyrms were, apparently, very common in the Fourteen Flames, and there is no indication whatsoever that the slaves working down there had any issues of the sort Aerea had. It is the heat and the work that's killing them in the tale of the kindly man, not abominable infections. And firewyrms are dangerous because they are hot and breathe fire, not because of aspects of their reproductive cycle.

It is quite clear that George is inspired by 'Alien' here, but that tells us nothing about the species of those creatures.

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I haven’t found yet a thread concerning this issue: Septon Barth and GM Benifer used ice in Aerea’s bath. It wasn’t winter yet, they had a freezer somewhere in the Red Keep?

Ice and fire are the main topics of the saga, is it just an inconsistency or something else I’m not seeing? (As far as I know the trade of ice begins in the 19th century in the real world, a bit far from medieval times.)

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1 hour ago, juanbruce.w said:

I haven’t found yet a thread concerning this issue: Septon Barth and GM Benifer used ice in Aerea’s bath. It wasn’t winter yet, they had a freezer somewhere in the Red Keep?

Ice and fire are the main topics of the saga, is it just an inconsistency or something else I’m not seeing? (As far as I know the trade of ice begins in the 19th century in the real world, a bit far from medieval times.)

In ancient times, they stored ice and snow in cellars and the like, to have something to cool in summer.

No idea whether they do that in Westeros, too, but they also have iced milked in AGoT during very long summer - Pycelle is offering it to Ned - so we just have to live with that kind of thing.

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Do you think it was stupid, even malpractice, to put her in ice bath?

They had some time. The whole day. She arrived in the morning, and they announced her death the following night. Barth confirms she spoke and begged for death "many times".

In the event, putting her in ice bath was a shock that instantly stopped her heart.

An obvious explanation in hindsight. But might be a foreseeable risk, even if it was an ordinary high fever.

What would have happened if they had put her in a lukewarm bath early on, preparing cold water and ice in case this wasn´t enough?

It would not have dealt with firewyrms inside.  How about nether lips? Would the internal heat have caused smoke to bubble out of her nether lips and arse through lukewarm and then cool water?

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On 11/23/2018 at 6:27 AM, The Sleeper said:

So I also think that whatever is there in Valyria now is their experiments and magic gone rampant

 

On 11/23/2018 at 1:19 PM, Fire Eater said:

In other words, Valyrian sorcerers were the magical equivalent of mad scientists. 

 

I agree with these ideas. Valyria likely has a form of magical pollution, similar to radioactive fallout from Chernobyl. Death by radiation exposure is just taking the form of magical curses (greyscale) and whatever Aerea had. A similar form of magical pollution could be happening in Asshai as well. Its another way to illustrate the disturbing/dangerous aspects mad scientists/magicians in the past, with humans having to live with the consequences. Yes, there is Lovecraft, but it's also Tales of a Dying Earth which is weird but which also contains a moral lesson. It's not just weird for the sake of it.

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On 11/23/2018 at 9:02 AM, Lord Varys said:

Guys, the implications are that the sorcerer (princes) at Valyria did things that were infinitely more powerful and twisted than anything the dragonlords did. The dragonlords were the swords of Valyria, but not necessarily the guys most powerful or most twisted. There was always talk about demons there, and dreadful experiments and the like.

Sure, there may be living things at Valyria again - but are they human? Or completely human? We don't know. And we are not really supposed to find out.

If those firewyrms the slaves had issues with did to people what the things did to Aerea they wouldn't have lasted more than a day in the mines. 

Not to mention that 9 foot gash in the side of her dragon.  I wonder what came crawling out of that one.  Is there something about dragons and dragon-riders that can be used in sorcery.  What might we find along the Demon Road?

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Posted (edited)

I think these were firewyrm larvae. The firewyrm did prey on slaves... they may have captured them and injected their eggs inside them, the way Ichneumon wasps do to caterpillars and spiders...

If those firewyrms the slaves had issues with did to people what the things did to Aerea they wouldn't have lasted more than a day in the mines. 

Well, Ichneumon wasps haven't driven caterpillars and spiders to extinction. It is in the best interest of a predator to not destroy their prey completely: They probably only captured humans when they needed to lay their eggs, leaving them alone the rest of the time...

On 4/17/2019 at 4:17 AM, LynnS said:

Not to mention that 9 foot gash in the side of her dragon.  I wonder what came crawling out of that one.  Is there something about dragons and dragon-riders that can be used in sorcery.  What might we find along the Demon Road?

An old, giant firewyrm?

Edited by Ser Lepus

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