Jump to content
Aline de Gavrillac

Kraznys mo Naklos - Charming Villain

Recommended Posts

George RR Martin is wonderful at creating charming villains.  The best example of this for me is the slave master, Krazny mo Naklos.  His vulgar charm is great entertainment to read.  I chose Kraznys to write about because I am mainly interested in Essos rather than Westeros.  Perhaps some other forum member will write about Walder Frey, another charmer. 

 

Khaleesi and her party arrive in Astapor to bargain with the slave masters.  The young queen and her subjects are talking with Kraznys.  Daenerys Targaryen and Kraznys mo Naklos play their game of chess through the interpreter, whom we later learn is the girl called Missandei.   Daenerys is staring at the statue of the harpy.

 

Twenty feet tall she reared.  She had a woman’s face, with gilded hair, ivory eyes, and pointed ivory teeth.  Water gushed yellow from her heavy breasts.  But in place of arms she had the wings of a bat or a dragon, her legs were the legs of an eagle, and behind she wore a scorpion’s curled and venomous tail.

The harpy of Ghis had thunderbolt in her claws.  This is the harpy of Astapor.”

 

Tell the Westerosi whore to lower her eyes.  I deal in meat, not metal.  The bronze is not for sale.  Tell her to look at the soldiers.  Even the dim purple eyes of a sunset savage can see how magnificent my creatures are, surely.

 

Dany understood him well enough, but she smiled and looked blankly at the slave girl, as if wondering what he might have said.

 

The Good Master Kraznys asks, are they not magnificent?

 

They might be adequate to my needs.  Tell me of their training.

 

The Westerosi woman is pleased with them, but speaks no praise, to keep the price down.  She wishes to know how they were trained.

 

Are all Westerosi pigs so ignorant?  All the world knows that the Unsullied are masters of spear and shield.  Tell her what she would know, slave, and be quick about it.  The day is hot.

 

They are chosen young, for size and speed and strength.  They begin their training at five.  Every day they train from dawn to dusk, until they have mastered the shortsword, the shield, and the three spears.  The training is most rigorous, Your Grace.  Only one boy in three survives it.  This is well known.  Among the Unsullied it is said that on the day they win their spiked cap, the worst is donw with, for no duty that will ever fall to them could be as hard as their training.”

 

Tell her that these have been standing here for a day and a night, with no food nor water.  Tell her they will stand until they drop if I should command it, and when nine hundren and ninety-nine have collapsed to die upon the bricks, the last will stand there still, and never move until his own death claims him.

 

I call that madness, not courage.

 

“What did the smelly old man say?”

 

A word from me and these sheep would spill his stinking old bowels on the bricks, but do not say that.  Tell them that these creatures are more dogs than sheep.  Do they eat dogs or horse in these Seven Kingdoms?”

 

They prefer pigs and cows, your worship.

 

Beef.  Pfag.  Food for unwashed savages.”

 

Why do you cut them?  Whole men are stronger than eunuchs, I have always heard.

 

A eunuch who is but young will never have the brute strength of one your Westerosi knights, this is true.  A bull is strong as well, but bulls die every day in the fighting pits.  A girl of nine killed one not three days past in Jothiel’s Pit.  The Unsullied have something better than strength, tell her.  They have discipline.  We fight in the fashion of the Old Empire, yes.  They are the lockstep legions of Old Ghis come again, absolutely obedient, absolutely loyal, and utterly without fear.”

 

Even the bravest men fear death and maiming.”

 

Tell the old man that he smells of piss, and needs a stick to hold him up.

 

Truly, your worship?

 

He poked her with his lash.  No, not truly, are you a girl or a goat, to ask such folly?  Say that the Unsullied are not men.  Say that death means nothing to them, and maiming less than nothing.”

 

Kraznys whips one of the Unsullied across the cheeks. 

 

Would you like another?”

 

“If it please your worship.”

 

Tell the Good Master that I see how strong his Unsullied are, and how bravely they suffer pain.

 

“Tell this ignorant whore of a Westerner that courage has nothing to do with it.”

 

“Tell her to open those slut’s eyes of hers.

 

He begs you attend this carefully, Your Grace.”

 

Kraznys cuts the nipple from one of the Unsullied.

 

They feel no pain, you see.

 

How can that be?

 

The wine of courage.  It is no true wine at all, but made from deadly nightshade, bloodfly larva, black lotus roots, and many secret things.  They drink it with every meal from the day they are cut, and with passing year feel less and less.  It makes them fearless in battle.  Tell the savage her secrets are safe with the Unsullied.  She may set them to guard her councils and even her bedchamber, and never worry as to what they might overhear.”

 

In Yunkai and Meereen, eunuchs are often made by removing the boy’s testicles, but leaving the penis.  Such a creature is infertile, yet often still capable of erection.  Only trouble can come of this.  We remove the penis as well, leaving nothing.  The Unsullied are the purest creatures on the earth.”

 

We do not even permit them names.”

 

More madness.  How can any man possibly remember a new name every day?

 

Those who cannot are culled in training, along with those who cannot run all day in full pack, scale a mountain in the black of night, walk across a bed of coals, or slay an infant.

 

To win his cap, an Unsullied must go to the slave marts with a silver mark, find some wailing newborn, and kill it before its mother’s eyes.  In this way, we make certain that there is no weakness left in them.

 

The Good Master has said that these eunuchs cannot be tempted with coin or flesh, but if some enemy of mine should offer them freedom for betraying me . . .

 

They would kill him out of hand and bring her his head, tell her that.

 

Good Master Kraznys would be most pleased to show you Astapor while you ponder, Your Grace.

 

I will feed her jellied dog brains, and a fine rich stew of red octopus and unborn puppies.”

 

“Tell her how pretty the pyramids are at night.  Tell her I will lick honey off her breasts, or allow her to lick honey off mine if she prefers.”

 

“Ask her if she wants to view our fighting pits.  Douquour’s Pit has a fine folly scheduled for this evening.  A bear and three small boys.  One boy will be rolled in honey, one in blood, and one in rotting fish, and she may wager on which the bear will eat first.”

Edited by Aline de Gavrillac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

Only trouble can come of this. 

Agreed, this is gold. :D 

But overlooked since he only got one chapter before being torched in a most deserving way, so theres not much to ponder or feel disgruntled about since its a finished matter unlike others like Walder Frey.

Share this post


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

overlooked since he only got one chapter before being torched in a most deserving way, so theres not much to ponder or feel disgruntled about since its a finished matter

I suspect Kraznys and things that were said and done in his chapter are going to prove relevant to matters that are in the process of being unfolded, and will be revealed further in Winds of Winter, like who the harpy is and the difference between a Loraq and a Kandaq.

At least, in my headcanon I have found a lot to ponder in this chapter.  Although it is difficult for the reader to sympathize with such an obvious puppy-kicking villain, his relations might be disgruntled about Daenerys crimes against the citizens of Astapor, her theft of their unsullied, etc. and not consider the matter to be unfinished.

At the moment I'm attempting to put my many thoughts about this in some kind of order for another post (a long one, made longer by my laptop breaking down and by having still more thoughts every time I re-read the chapter while waiting for it to be repaired) but, to give you one example to illustrate why I don't think this chapter is done and dusted, have you considered that Stalwart Shield might have been missing a nipple before he was stabbed to death with his own short sword?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dany's chapters are always written well.  This one doesn't have much action but it is awesome all the same.  Kraznys is an offensive man.  George is very good at making up these characters.  I think he has fun doing these.

I admire Dany for maintaining her composure.  This chapter is a showcase for the keen intelligence of Dany and Missandei.  Both of them were superb in that exchange.  This moment was a turning point for Dany.  She had to rescue the Unsullied from Kraznys after witnessing how they are treated.  This is one of the best setup chapters in all of the five books.  

Share this post


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

Agreed, this is gold. :D 

But overlooked since he only got one chapter before being torched in a most deserving way, so theres not much to ponder or feel disgruntled about since its a finished matter unlike others like Walder Frey.

Makes you admire George even more.  All this effort in writing a two chapter character.  Awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Sire de Maletroit said:

Makes you admire George even more.  All this effort in writing a two chapter character.  Awesome.

Yes! :D He is a truly brilliant dude. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Walda said:

I suspect Kraznys and things that were said and done in his chapter are going to prove relevant to matters that are in the process of being unfolded, and will be revealed further in Winds of Winter, like who the harpy is and the difference between a Loraq and a Kandaq.

At least, in my headcanon I have found a lot to ponder in this chapter.  Although it is difficult for the reader to sympathize with such an obvious puppy-kicking villain, his relations might be disgruntled about Daenerys crimes against the citizens of Astapor, her theft of their unsullied, etc. and not consider the matter to be unfinished.

At the moment I'm attempting to put my many thoughts about this in some kind of order for another post (a long one, made longer by my laptop breaking down and by having still more thoughts every time I re-read the chapter while waiting for it to be repaired) but, to give you one example to illustrate why I don't think this chapter is done and dusted, have you considered that Stalwart Shield might have been missing a nipple before he was stabbed to death with his own short sword?

:o Nope.

Please tag me when you post it, this sounds really good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great topic! Three things have struck me about Kraznys as I have meandered through the books over the years:

1) Similar to the way that he and the other Good Masters "created" the Unsullied, he also created Missandei.

2) The Unsullied are similar in several important ways to Theon / Reek.

3) Kraznys presents Dany with a named weapon, the whip called The Harpy's Fingers.

Missandei and her brothers were all kidnapped from Naath and sold into slavery. The boys were put into the Unsullied training program and Missandei was trained as a scribe. A scribe is a type of storyteller, I would think, and storytellers (often singers or historians) are important in ASOIAF. We see in Missandei's work as an interpreter that she must edit and embellish people's actual remarks to avoid giving offense to the person being addressed. I think this feeds into GRRM's openly acknowledged use of imperfect narrators - POVs with selective memory or historians who record events in a way that will please their audiences.

When Dany buys the Unsullied, she also makes sure that Missandei is included in the deal. She wants this talented interpreter on her team, and Missandei becomes extremely close and useful to Dany right away. In fact, I see GRRM drawing parallels between Dany and Missandei: Dany had to leave her homeland as a young child, she believes that she was "sold" into marriage similar to the way that slaves are sold, she lost at least one brother to violent death.

If Kraznys "created" Missandei, and Missandei is like Dany, are we supposed to look at ways that Kraznys symbolically created Dany? He couldn't have literally created Dany, because the two characters have just met. But is there a man we could credit with "creating" Dany? Perhaps that would be her reputed father, King Aerys. Is Kraznys like Aerys in any ways? Both seem ruthless and mad. Both want dragons. Aerys had an iron throne; the excerpt you cite says that Kraznys has a magnificent bronze statue of the Harpy that rivets Dany's attention:

14 hours ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

Tell the Westerosi whore to lower her eyes.  I deal in meat, not metal.  The bronze is not for sale. 

The iron throne is made of thousands of swords, fused together. The statue of the harpy depicts a creature comprised of pieces of different animals, drawing on their various weapons - claws, sharp teeth, a poisoned tail, etc.

The comparison between Theon and the Unsullied may take us in different directions in gaining deeper insights from Kraznys. The castration is an obvious parallel between Theon / Reek and the Unsullied, but there is also the detail about killing dogs - each boy being trained as a member of the Unsullied raises a dog and then is expected to kill it. The parallels with Theon begin when Robb finds the direwolf pups in the snow and Theon suggests that the puppies be killed. The motif continues when Theon become Reek and participates in Ramsay's pastime of hunting women with his pack of dogs and then naming the dogs after the women he has tortured and killed.

You also cite a line from (I believe) Arstan Whitebeard / Ser Barristan in response to Kraznys:

14 hours ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

We do not even permit them names.”

More madness.  How can any man possibly remember a new name every day?

Part of Theon's enslavement by Ramsay involves changing his name and we often hear Theon / Reek reminding himself, "You have to remember your name."

Perhaps also relevant: Missandei remembers the names of her brothers, even though they are part of the Unsullied and have to lose their names during their training. Dany remembers the names of her dead husband, son and brothers and she uses variations on the names when she names her newly-hatched dragons.

If Theon is like the Unsullied, then GRRM may be suggesting that Kraznys should be compared to Ramsay Snow / Bolton. As @Sigella points out, Kraznys is not a major, ongoing character, so what would be the point of gaining insights about him? I believe the comparison to Ramsay is intended to open rich new possibilities for understanding Aerys, based on the previous comparison (Missandei = Dany). Both Ramsay and Aerys rape their wives. Both seem comfortable with slaughter and oppression. Both are paranoid about hanging onto power. Both unexpectedly lose their loyal warriors - Kraznys loses the Unsullied, Ramsay loses Reek, Aerys loses - Jaime? Tywin? House Darklyn?

Aerys "kills" dogs, too, if you count the deaths of Rickard and Brandon Stark. They are direwolves, of course, but there may be a parallel there. I expect there will be additional tiny hints about Aerys in details of the Ramsay arc, if a careful rereading is undertaken.

Finally, the whip. From the wiki:

Quote

The harpy's fingers is the name of a whip used to scourge slaves in Astapor. The handle is made of black dragonbone elaborately carved and inlaid with gold. Nine long leather lashes trail from it, each tipped by a gilded claw. The gold pommel is a woman's head with pointed ivory teeth. The whip is given to new masters of Unsullied as a mark of payment.

Usually in ASOIAF, named weapons are swords. Traditionally, Valyrian steel swords are handed down from father to oldest son - we see important plot twists when Aegon IV gives Blackfyre to Daemon instead of his heir, Daeron; or when the Corbray lord gives Just Maid to a younger son instead of the heir to the Lordship.

We have seen other exceptions to the father/oldest son pattern, when Lord Commander Mormont gives Long Claw to Jon Snow; when Jon Snow gives Needle to Arya; when Tywin gives Widow's Wail to Joffrey; when Jaime gives Oathkeeper to Brienne. Randall Tarly wants his second son to have Heartsbane. But each of those exchanges is extremely significant in creating a bond between the giver and the receiver, or in making it clear to the son who does not receive a sword (Tyrion and Sam Tarly) that their reputed fathers do not acknowledge or value the connection between them.

The weapon handed to Dany by Kraznys is not a sword, but it is named. Based on the other Aerys allusions in the details of the Kraznys character, I think the moment of handing over the whip is a symbolic recognition by a father of his acknowledged heir. In a "be careful what you wish for" twist, however, Dany hands over the dragon that Kraznys coveted, and the dragon then roasts the man holding the leash. In one of the direwolf re-read threads, I speculated that the Stark child bonded with a direwolf takes on some of the qualities associated with people bitten by that direwolf. I wonder whether the same thing applies here, with Dany taking on characteristics associated with Kraznys / Aerys at the moment she takes ownership of an army of tortured-enslaved-inhumane soldiers?

If these convoluted comparisons are correct, a number of other details of ASOIAF may be worth considering in a new light.

  • Is the fate of the Harpy statue on the great pyramid in Meereen a prediction of the fate in store for the Iron Throne? Drogon takes the place of the toppled statue. A sculptor proposes to impose Dany's face on one of the major Harpy statues in a plaza, but she politely declines.
  • Jaime killed Aerys. Dany (through Drogon) killed Kraznys. Are we supposed to compare Jaime and Dany?
  • The Rains of Castamere song has a line about long and sharp claws, a feature of the whip Dany receives. Jon Snow's sword is called Long Claw. What are the ties between or among these claws? How do they relate to Crackclaw Point, if at all? What about the relation between the whip and the land form known as The Fingers, held by House Baelish?
  • The secret organization known as the Sons of the Harpy attack the Unsullied and Dany's allies. Although they make concerted efforts, Dany and her minions cannot discover the identity of the Harpy to put a stop to the murders. As the bloodshed continues, Dany is drawn into behaviors that contradict her own values and ideals as a way to appease the mysterious opponent. She marries Hizdahr, even though he is a likely candidate to be the Harpy and even though Dany does not love him. Through this marriage, she allows resumption of the deadly sporting events at the fighting pits, even though she had previously banned them. Is GRRM's point that Dany IS the Harpy? She has the whip, the monster(s), the husband, the pyramid, the slave army, the blood sports. . . . Until she leaves them behind and becomes a dragon rider.
  • What does the hybrid nature of a harpy tell us about Dany or about what it takes to rule Meereen?
Quote

The harpy is said to have a woman's torso, the wings of a bat instead of arms, the legs of an eagle, and a scorpion's curled and venomous tail.

Sounds a little like the description of Dany's baby, reported to have died at birth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That chapter was pure treasure.  The dialogue was a delight.  However, I don't think there are deeper meanings to be had.  The chapter merely told us how bad ass the Unsullied are and how morally screwed up the Astapori are.  Dany was now obligated to save the Unsullied from this hell.  

Quote

Your Grace," said Jorah Mormont, "I saw King's Landing after the Sack.  Babes were butchered that day as well, and old men, and children at play.  More women were raped than you can count.  There is a savage beast in every man, and when you hand that man a sword or spear and send him forth to war, the beast stirs.  The scent of blood is all it takes to wake him.  Yet I have never heard of these Unsullied raping, nor putting a city to the sword, nor even plundering, save at the express command of those who lead them.  Brick they may be, as you say, but if you buy them henceforth the only dogs they'll kill are those you want dead.  And you do have some dogs you want dead, as I recall."

If you're a city on the losing die, you better hope it's to the Unsullied.  They are completely professional.  

Quote

Dusk had begun to settle over the waters of Slaver's Bay before Dany returned to the deck.  She stood by the rail and looked out over Astapor.  From here it looks almost beautiful, she thought.  The stars were coming out above, and the silk lanterns below, just as Kraznys's translator had promised.  The brick pyramids were all glimmery with light.  But it is dark below, in the streets and plazas and fighting pits.  And it is darkest of all in the barracks, where some little boy is feeding scraps to the puppy they gave him when they took away his manhood.

That sealed the deal.  The Unsullied had to be saved from the cruelty of the Astapori.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

George RR Martin is wonderful at creating charming villains.  The best example of this for me is the slave master, Krazny mo Naklos.  His vulgar charm is great entertainment to read.  I chose Kraznys to write about because I am mainly interested in Essos rather than Westeros.  Perhaps some other forum member will write about Walder Frey, another charmer. 

 

Khaleesi and her party arrive in Astapor to bargain with the slave masters.  The young queen and her subjects are talking with Kraznys.  Daenerys Targaryen and Kraznys mo Naklos play their game of chess through the interpreter, whom we later learn is the girl called Missandei.   Daenerys is staring at the statue of the harpy.

 

Twenty feet tall she reared.  She had a woman’s face, with gilded hair, ivory eyes, and pointed ivory teeth.  Water gushed yellow from her heavy breasts.  But in place of arms she had the wings of a bat or a dragon, her legs were the legs of an eagle, and behind she wore a scorpion’s curled and venomous tail.

The harpy of Ghis had thunderbolt in her claws.  This is the harpy of Astapor.”

 

Tell the Westerosi whore to lower her eyes.  I deal in meat, not metal.  The bronze is not for sale.  Tell her to look at the soldiers.  Even the dim purple eyes of a sunset savage can see how magnificent my creatures are, surely.

 

Dany understood him well enough, but she smiled and looked blankly at the slave girl, as if wondering what he might have said.

 

The Good Master Kraznys asks, are they not magnificent?

 

They might be adequate to my needs.  Tell me of their training.

 

The Westerosi woman is pleased with them, but speaks no praise, to keep the price down.  She wishes to know how they were trained.

 

Are all Westerosi pigs so ignorant?  All the world knows that the Unsullied are masters of spear and shield.  Tell her what she would know, slave, and be quick about it.  The day is hot.

 

They are chosen young, for size and speed and strength.  They begin their training at five.  Every day they train from dawn to dusk, until they have mastered the shortsword, the shield, and the three spears.  The training is most rigorous, Your Grace.  Only one boy in three survives it.  This is well known.  Among the Unsullied it is said that on the day they win their spiked cap, the worst is donw with, for no duty that will ever fall to them could be as hard as their training.”

 

Tell her that these have been standing here for a day and a night, with no food nor water.  Tell her they will stand until they drop if I should command it, and when nine hundren and ninety-nine have collapsed to die upon the bricks, the last will stand there still, and never move until his own death claims him.

 

I call that madness, not courage.

 

“What did the smelly old man say?”

 

A word from me and these sheep would spill his stinking old bowels on the bricks, but do not say that.  Tell them that these creatures are more dogs than sheep.  Do they eat dogs or horse in these Seven Kingdoms?”

 

They prefer pigs and cows, your worship.

 

Beef.  Pfag.  Food for unwashed savages.”

 

Why do you cut them?  Whole men are stronger than eunuchs, I have always heard.

 

A eunuch who is but young will never have the brute strength of one your Westerosi knights, this is true.  A bull is strong as well, but bulls die every day in the fighting pits.  A girl of nine killed one not three days past in Jothiel’s Pit.  The Unsullied have something better than strength, tell her.  They have discipline.  We fight in the fashion of the Old Empire, yes.  They are the lockstep legions of Old Ghis come again, absolutely obedient, absolutely loyal, and utterly without fear.”

 

Even the bravest men fear death and maiming.”

 

Tell the old man that he smells of piss, and needs a stick to hold him up.

 

Truly, your worship?

 

He poked her with his lash.  No, not truly, are you a girl or a goat, to ask such folly?  Say that the Unsullied are not men.  Say that death means nothing to them, and maiming less than nothing.”

 

Kraznys whips one of the Unsullied across the cheeks. 

 

Would you like another?”

 

“If it please your worship.”

 

Tell the Good Master that I see how strong his Unsullied are, and how bravely they suffer pain.

 

“Tell this ignorant whore of a Westerner that courage has nothing to do with it.”

 

“Tell her to open those slut’s eyes of hers.

 

He begs you attend this carefully, Your Grace.”

 

Kraznys cuts the nipple from one of the Unsullied.

 

They feel no pain, you see.

 

How can that be?

 

The wine of courage.  It is no true wine at all, but made from deadly nightshade, bloodfly larva, black lotus roots, and many secret things.  They drink it with every meal from the day they are cut, and with passing year feel less and less.  It makes them fearless in battle.  Tell the savage her secrets are safe with the Unsullied.  She may set them to guard her councils and even her bedchamber, and never worry as to what they might overhear.”

 

In Yunkai and Meereen, eunuchs are often made by removing the boy’s testicles, but leaving the penis.  Such a creature is infertile, yet often still capable of erection.  Only trouble can come of this.  We remove the penis as well, leaving nothing.  The Unsullied are the purest creatures on the earth.”

 

We do not even permit them names.”

 

More madness.  How can any man possibly remember a new name every day?

 

Those who cannot are culled in training, along with those who cannot run all day in full pack, scale a mountain in the black of night, walk across a bed of coals, or slay an infant.

 

To win his cap, an Unsullied must go to the slave marts with a silver mark, find some wailing newborn, and kill it before its mother’s eyes.  In this way, we make certain that there is no weakness left in them.

 

The Good Master has said that these eunuchs cannot be tempted with coin or flesh, but if some enemy of mine should offer them freedom for betraying me . . .

 

They would kill him out of hand and bring her his head, tell her that.

 

Good Master Kraznys would be most pleased to show you Astapor while you ponder, Your Grace.

 

I will feed her jellied dog brains, and a fine rich stew of red octopus and unborn puppies.”

 

“Tell her how pretty the pyramids are at night.  Tell her I will lick honey off her breasts, or allow her to lick honey off mine if she prefers.”

 

“Ask her if she wants to view our fighting pits.  Douquour’s Pit has a fine folly scheduled for this evening.  A bear and three small boys.  One boy will be rolled in honey, one in blood, and one in rotting fish, and she may wager on which the bear will eat first.”

 

21 hours ago, Sigella said:

Agreed, this is gold. :D 

But overlooked since he only got one chapter before being torched in a most deserving way, so theres not much to ponder or feel disgruntled about since its a finished matter unlike others like Walder Frey.

Absolutely.  His arc is done.  I don't think there's anything to ponder here.  But it is still a damn entertaining chapter.  It served the purpose of conveying the brutality of slavery.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/9/2018 at 3:13 AM, Sire de Maletroit said:

Dany's chapters are always written well.  This one doesn't have much action but it is awesome all the same.  Kraznys is an offensive man.  George is very good at making up these characters.  I think he has fun doing these.

I admire Dany for maintaining her composure.  This chapter is a showcase for the keen intelligence of Dany and Missandei.  Both of them were superb in that exchange.  This moment was a turning point for Dany.  She had to rescue the Unsullied from Kraznys after witnessing how they are treated.  This is one of the best setup chapters in all of the five books.  

I loved how skillfully Missandei edited everything Kraznys was saying to better represent his best interest.  That is what a good subordinate will do.  Save the boss from his mistakes.  It's what Davos does for Stannis.  I admire Daenerys for picking up on this and realizing the brilliance of Missandei.  I wish Missandei will become the second dragon rider.  Missandei on Rhaegal.  She would make for a fine wing person for Dany and Drogon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/8/2018 at 6:42 PM, Aline de Gavrillac said:

George RR Martin is wonderful at creating charming villains.  The best example of this for me is the slave master, Krazny mo Naklos.  His vulgar charm is great entertainment to read.  I chose Kraznys to write about because I am mainly interested in Essos rather than Westeros.  Perhaps some other forum member will write about Walder Frey, another charmer. 

 

Khaleesi and her party arrive in Astapor to bargain with the slave masters.  The young queen and her subjects are talking with Kraznys.  Daenerys Targaryen and Kraznys mo Naklos play their game of chess through the interpreter, whom we later learn is the girl called Missandei.   Daenerys is staring at the statue of the harpy.

 

Twenty feet tall she reared.  She had a woman’s face, with gilded hair, ivory eyes, and pointed ivory teeth.  Water gushed yellow from her heavy breasts.  But in place of arms she had the wings of a bat or a dragon, her legs were the legs of an eagle, and behind she wore a scorpion’s curled and venomous tail.

The harpy of Ghis had thunderbolt in her claws.  This is the harpy of Astapor.”

 

Tell the Westerosi whore to lower her eyes.  I deal in meat, not metal.  The bronze is not for sale.  Tell her to look at the soldiers.  Even the dim purple eyes of a sunset savage can see how magnificent my creatures are, surely.

 

Dany understood him well enough, but she smiled and looked blankly at the slave girl, as if wondering what he might have said.

 

The Good Master Kraznys asks, are they not magnificent?

 

They might be adequate to my needs.  Tell me of their training.

 

The Westerosi woman is pleased with them, but speaks no praise, to keep the price down.  She wishes to know how they were trained.

 

Are all Westerosi pigs so ignorant?  All the world knows that the Unsullied are masters of spear and shield.  Tell her what she would know, slave, and be quick about it.  The day is hot.

 

They are chosen young, for size and speed and strength.  They begin their training at five.  Every day they train from dawn to dusk, until they have mastered the shortsword, the shield, and the three spears.  The training is most rigorous, Your Grace.  Only one boy in three survives it.  This is well known.  Among the Unsullied it is said that on the day they win their spiked cap, the worst is donw with, for no duty that will ever fall to them could be as hard as their training.”

 

Tell her that these have been standing here for a day and a night, with no food nor water.  Tell her they will stand until they drop if I should command it, and when nine hundren and ninety-nine have collapsed to die upon the bricks, the last will stand there still, and never move until his own death claims him.

 

I call that madness, not courage.

 

“What did the smelly old man say?”

 

A word from me and these sheep would spill his stinking old bowels on the bricks, but do not say that.  Tell them that these creatures are more dogs than sheep.  Do they eat dogs or horse in these Seven Kingdoms?”

 

They prefer pigs and cows, your worship.

 

Beef.  Pfag.  Food for unwashed savages.”

 

Why do you cut them?  Whole men are stronger than eunuchs, I have always heard.

 

A eunuch who is but young will never have the brute strength of one your Westerosi knights, this is true.  A bull is strong as well, but bulls die every day in the fighting pits.  A girl of nine killed one not three days past in Jothiel’s Pit.  The Unsullied have something better than strength, tell her.  They have discipline.  We fight in the fashion of the Old Empire, yes.  They are the lockstep legions of Old Ghis come again, absolutely obedient, absolutely loyal, and utterly without fear.”

 

Even the bravest men fear death and maiming.”

 

Tell the old man that he smells of piss, and needs a stick to hold him up.

 

Truly, your worship?

 

He poked her with his lash.  No, not truly, are you a girl or a goat, to ask such folly?  Say that the Unsullied are not men.  Say that death means nothing to them, and maiming less than nothing.”

 

Kraznys whips one of the Unsullied across the cheeks. 

 

Would you like another?”

 

“If it please your worship.”

 

Tell the Good Master that I see how strong his Unsullied are, and how bravely they suffer pain.

 

“Tell this ignorant whore of a Westerner that courage has nothing to do with it.”

 

“Tell her to open those slut’s eyes of hers.

 

He begs you attend this carefully, Your Grace.”

 

Kraznys cuts the nipple from one of the Unsullied.

 

They feel no pain, you see.

 

How can that be?

 

The wine of courage.  It is no true wine at all, but made from deadly nightshade, bloodfly larva, black lotus roots, and many secret things.  They drink it with every meal from the day they are cut, and with passing year feel less and less.  It makes them fearless in battle.  Tell the savage her secrets are safe with the Unsullied.  She may set them to guard her councils and even her bedchamber, and never worry as to what they might overhear.”

 

In Yunkai and Meereen, eunuchs are often made by removing the boy’s testicles, but leaving the penis.  Such a creature is infertile, yet often still capable of erection.  Only trouble can come of this.  We remove the penis as well, leaving nothing.  The Unsullied are the purest creatures on the earth.”

 

We do not even permit them names.”

 

More madness.  How can any man possibly remember a new name every day?

 

Those who cannot are culled in training, along with those who cannot run all day in full pack, scale a mountain in the black of night, walk across a bed of coals, or slay an infant.

 

To win his cap, an Unsullied must go to the slave marts with a silver mark, find some wailing newborn, and kill it before its mother’s eyes.  In this way, we make certain that there is no weakness left in them.

 

The Good Master has said that these eunuchs cannot be tempted with coin or flesh, but if some enemy of mine should offer them freedom for betraying me . . .

 

They would kill him out of hand and bring her his head, tell her that.

 

Good Master Kraznys would be most pleased to show you Astapor while you ponder, Your Grace.

 

I will feed her jellied dog brains, and a fine rich stew of red octopus and unborn puppies.”

 

“Tell her how pretty the pyramids are at night.  Tell her I will lick honey off her breasts, or allow her to lick honey off mine if she prefers.”

 

“Ask her if she wants to view our fighting pits.  Douquour’s Pit has a fine folly scheduled for this evening.  A bear and three small boys.  One boy will be rolled in honey, one in blood, and one in rotting fish, and she may wager on which the bear will eat first.”

Volkswagen and General Motors could learn a thing or two about quality control from Kraznys mo Naklos.  The man is evil but you can never accuse him of taking shortcuts in the making of his product. 

:)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/8/2018 at 7:26 PM, Sigella said:

Agreed, this is gold. :D 

But overlooked since he only got one chapter before being torched in a most deserving way, so theres not much to ponder or feel disgruntled about since its a finished matter unlike others like Walder Frey.

 

On 12/9/2018 at 3:22 AM, Sire de Maletroit said:

Makes you admire George even more.  All this effort in writing a two chapter character.  Awesome.

A villain like KmN is better than the over-the-top violent bad guys like Gregor, Arya, Manderly, and Ramsay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/10/2018 at 12:33 PM, Moiraine Sedai said:

I loved how skillfully Missandei edited everything Kraznys was saying to better represent his best interest.  That is what a good subordinate will do.  Save the boss from his mistakes.  It's what Davos does for Stannis.  I admire Daenerys for picking up on this and realizing the brilliance of Missandei.  I wish Missandei will become the second dragon rider.  Missandei on Rhaegal.  She would make for a fine wing person for Dany and Drogon.

The good servant anticipates.  

I hope this puts to bed the "Missandei is a psychic" idea.  She never caught on to Dany's well-played game.  I know she has golden eyes but that's not proof of being psychic.  Different book.  Different story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kraznys is just a jerk.  He doesn't have Walder's wit.  That he doesn't know she understood his every word is the comedy.  

On 12/11/2018 at 6:49 PM, The Transporter said:

The good servant anticipates.  

I hope this puts to bed the "Missandei is a psychic" idea.  She never caught on to Dany's well-played game.  I know she has golden eyes but that's not proof of being psychic.  Different book.  Different story.

She has an uncanny ability to sense how the other person is feeling.  That is empathy.  She picks up on emotions.  Supernatural skills aren't needed.  The perfect service person is observant and Missandei is like that.  Kraznys doesn't know her true value.  Where did she learn the common tongue?  Who taught her High Valyrian?  Intriguing.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/8/2018 at 6:42 PM, Aline de Gavrillac said:

A word from me and these sheep would spill his stinking old bowels on the bricks, but do not say that.  Tell them that these creatures are more dogs than sheep.  Do they eat dogs or horse in these Seven Kingdoms?”

 

They prefer pigs and cows, your worship.

 

Beef.  Pfag.  Food for unwashed savages.”

I'd love to know who taught Missandei?  She didn't learn this from the master.  

Edited by Bowen Marsh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/10/2018 at 1:49 AM, Seams said:

When Dany buys the Unsullied, she also makes sure that Missandei is included in the deal.

Just a small quibble about an excellent post: in the show Dany makes sure that Missandei is included in the deal. In the book Kraznys spontaneously gifts her Missandei, believing she has no other way to communicate with her Unsullied.

Quote

“The Unsullied will learn your savage tongue quick enough,” added Kraznys mo Nakloz, when all the arrangements had been made, “but until such time you will need a slave to speak to them. Take this one as our gift to you, a token of a bargain well struck.”
“I shall,” said Dany.
The slave girl rendered his words to her, and hers to him. If she had feelings about being given for a token, she took care not to let them show.

(ASoS, Ch.27 Daenerys III)

Of course, giving her away shows us Kraznys does not appreciate the extent of Missandei's talents. I'm wondering if that is under-valuing is market-driven, if because Kraznys is a slaver, he values slaves in terms like 'income per unit' and ten-year-old girl scribe-slaves sell at a much lower price than forty-year-old man scribe-slaves, or ten-year-old girl sex-slaves bring in more money for their owners than ten-year-old girl scribe-slaves.

Or perhaps the Astapori train scribes the way they train unsullied, starting with a lot of children of diverse background and ages, training them rigorously and culling out the ones that can't keep up. That would mean that pretty much everyone in Missandei's cohort would be as fluent in languages, and some perhaps even younger than her. So while Missandei's precocity is a marvel to us, it might be expected among the scribe-slaves of Astapor.

Missandei is quite calculating in her own way - in the same way as Tyrion manipulated his slave duties so he could escape with Penny and Jorah, getting employment with Kraznys might have been her way of staying with her brothers.

While Missandei's tutors would have to know her intelligence and diplomacy were extraordinary even if her language skills were only as unexceptional as required, Kraznys does not seem to have the education to judge even Missandei's linguistic abilities. Not being bilingual, he could only judge on how readily a translator understands him, and how smoothly the sale went. He might well suppose that, if the sale went through, he could spare himself the upkeep of a translator for ten years while he trained the next cohort of unsullied, and when the time comes he can get another child-scribe who will do the job just as well, or well enough. He might even have become aware of that while he was ordering his current child-scribe around.

This reminds me,

Quote

“I must have gold, and another fifty birds.”
... “So many?” The voices were fainter as the light dwindled ahead of her. “The ones you need are hard to find … so young, to know their letters … perhaps older … not die so easy …”
“No. The younger are safer … treat them gently …”
“… if they kept their tongues …”
“… the risk …”

(AGoT, Ch.32 Arya III)

Illyrio was getting Varys tens of little birds at a time from somewhere, it seems to me that these children were not going home to their parents ever, and the gold was not making up their pay. And this talk of tongues - it doesn't sound consensual.

It seems unlikely Illyrio was sourcing these children from Westeros, which means there is a high probability that the Common Tongue is just one of the languages these children understand ... there is a bit of overlap between the skill set of a little bird and that of a child scribe-slave. So perhaps Astapor trains scribe-slaves too, but not as extensively, expensively or prestigiously as they do the Unsullied. We know the Unsullied are necessarily more expensive, because they are sold in groups of a hundred at a time...which also makes me wonder, as the most we see in Illyrio's household is four that accompany him and Tyrion into Andalos, and he could not have purchased less than ten - so it looks like a person can break them up into smaller units than ten once they have purchased them, and probably on-sell them as well. 

Also,  I'd like to add to your insightful point about the similarities between the Harpy and the dragon:

when we first see the Harpy statue in the book we are told

Quote

in place of arms she had the wings of a bat or a dragon

and

Quote

this bronze monster had a heavy chain dangling from her talons, an open manacle at either end. The harpy of Ghis had a thunderbolt in her claws. This is the harpy of Astapor.

(ASoS, Ch.23 Daenerys II)

the Harpy of Astapor is also a breaker of chains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 1:20 AM, Walda said:

I suspect Kraznys and things that were said and done in his chapter are going to prove relevant to matters that are in the process of being unfolded, and will be revealed further in Winds of Winter, like who the harpy is and the difference between a Loraq and a Kandaq.

At least, in my headcanon I have found a lot to ponder in this chapter.  Although it is difficult for the reader to sympathize with such an obvious puppy-kicking villain, his relations might be disgruntled about Daenerys crimes against the citizens of Astapor, her theft of their unsullied, etc. and not consider the matter to be unfinished.

At the moment I'm attempting to put my many thoughts about this in some kind of order for another post (a long one, made longer by my laptop breaking down and by having still more thoughts every time I re-read the chapter while waiting for it to be repaired) but, to give you one example to illustrate why I don't think this chapter is done and dusted, have you considered that Stalwart Shield might have been missing a nipple before he was stabbed to death with his own short sword?

All the slavers of Astapor were killed.  Then the city was left to freed slaves who killed their former masters, then sacked.  Kraznys has no family left alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Kraznys has no family left alive.

That might be so - although I'm not certain the massacre of the Good Masters was as exhaustive as you imply.  If Kraznys had relatives under the age of twelve, the unsullied would not have killed them, for example.

The books suggest some of the Good Masters survived

Quote

Dany stiffened. “I left a council to rule Astapor. A healer, a scholar, and a priest.”
“Your Worship, those sly rogues betrayed your trust. It was revealed that they were scheming to restore the Good Masters to power and the people to chains.

(ASoS, Ch.71 Daenerys VI) 

Later,  when Astapor is under siege by the Yunkai'i

Quote

The pyramid of Nakloz was despoiled and set aflame by those who claimed that Kraznys mo Nakloz was to blame for all our woes.

(ADwD,Ch.30 Daenerys V)

This might have been an utterly futile and irrational gesture, that only dispossessed the unfortunate freedmen who were squatting there, or it could have been that some of Kraznys' people had held the pyramid right up until then.

We don't know how long Daenarys' unsullied spent freeing slaves and massacring Good Masters. Did they have time to search all the houses of Astapor, all the islands of the Worm, all the ships on its docks? Pyramids are defensively build structures, well guarded, huge and labyrinthine with multiple exits, difficult to search completely. Difficult to despoil completely, for that matter.

Maybe they were not searched at all. Maybe the Unsullied only cleared the soldiers and Masters that had gathered in the Plaza of Punishment...there seemed enough key people there at the time to disrupt the rule of the city for a time. 

We do know that Cleon I turned back Astapor back into a slaver city in short order after Dany and the Unsullied left.

Quote

The Butcher King had restored slavery to Astapor, the only change being that the former slaves were now the masters and the former masters were now the slaves.

(ADwD, Ch.02 Daenerys I)

While Kraznys mo Nakloz is obviously not one of the enslaved survivors, this does not mean that the things that happened in his chapters will have no bearing on future events, or that he has no supporters.

It doesn't even mean that his part in the story is over - there are a lot of dead people still having their say in this story.  Viserys also died wreathed in a burning crown, and that didn't stop him Kingsplaining to Dany in the final chapter of Dance. Lyanna Stark was dead and gone fifteen years before the story started, but we haven't heard the last of her yet.

 

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

×