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Curled Finger

The Prophecy Glitch

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6 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Edric will return at some point, I'm sure. Although, I wouldn't shed a tear if the Baratheon line went bye bye. 

To your question, the thing with the prophecies is that we seem to find out about them when the prophecy has been fulfilled or being fulfilled. Dany hatches the dragons, we find out about Azor Ahai the following book. Cersei has her fortune told when she was ten, we find out about it only after Tyrion has escaped King's Landing. There's the GoHH with her super accurate visions/dreams. We have Maester Aemon telling Sam about his brother's dream that he must have had some 80 years prior but that seems very much relevant to what's going on now in Westeros. 

I think Maggy's words would still be interesting even if she was messing with Cersei because of the way Cersei is handling all of that. Which is very badly. Girl twisted herself in knots for everything to blow up in her face. 

I know you've read F&B, because I saw a couple of your posts. There's a prophecy in there that took me completely by surprise. 

"When the hammer shall fall upon the dragon, a new king shall rise, and none shall stand before him."

I had to read this a couple of times to make sure I read it right. This prophecy was spoken in 130 AC and came to pass in 283 AC, it would seem. 

Honestly, most of the prophecies, I don't think we are meant to understand them or know what they mean, just like the characters. No one has the same answer for what happened in the HotU or Quaithe's warnings to Dany.

I tend to put more stock in people's dreams in the series than say what Mel sees in her flames and chooses to interpret in a way that suits her purpose.

I really appreciate it that you distinguish between dreams and prophecies.    That was a great prophecy find in F&B!   However, isn't the wording a bit of a cheat?   GOHH is clear as a sunny day if you understand these families are distinguished by their sigils.   I did not understand on 1st read.  I understand where folks get the idea based upon GOHH's dreams, that Euron hired the FM to off Balon, but I don't know that's what it means at all.   What was the important take away here?   Euron killed his brother and king or he may have a relationship with the FM?   Given the visions, I tend to lean toward the former here.    I reckon I will find out if there is some relationship with the FM, but I don't need it to be satisfied with GOHH.  In your excellent F&B quote we have a hammer falling upon the dragon--but shouldn't it have been a stag falling upon a dragon if GOHH has set down the rules?   

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Interesting question @Curled Finger

I'm a symbolism nut (am so in most any creative area) and like to take a meta-mythology and literature source angle, but surprisingly the official prophecies are the least of my interest, as far as pondering them or discussing them for too long. This seems weird, because of course the prophecies are of course clear cut symbolism. But for my personal taste it's too much on the nose, overt symbolism, and explicitly written to befuddle the reader. In that sense I'm more into the symbolism as foreshadowing, as it is way more subtle done. George does that greatly: some mundane scene, which was written beautifully and lyrically... like "the Mountain thundering past like an avalanche". Nice description, but what if...? And then when you go check it out, you discover several crucial mentions of avalanches at the right spot. You've read across it several times, never even registering it, until there's a switch. And mostly it's just fun to recognize patterns in this way. Regardless of the interpretation of the possible meaning of that pattern, it's just interesting to notice George using templates to write a duel scene. That template has horses/people shrieking, dogs (or dog person) baying, someone wounds someone else's arm, someone near takes someone's head off, but then the other person's head gets taken in... Catelyn-Catspaw, Jon-wighted Othor, Jorah-Quatho, Mountain-Viper, wighted snow bear-Thoren Smallwood. Maybe it's just a writer trick, a template he uses to write a battle or conflict or even disaster around. But it requires symbolism recognition to discern the pattern, because sometimes it are real dogs baying, the other time it's the Mountain bellowing (who has dogs for a banner), or it are Dothraki dogs (as Viserys calls them). As for the linking to sources. It's fun if you're fond of mythology and want to find out how George uses, but the latter is the most important thing about it. What does George do with it, how does he twist it around. Sometimes, when lucky, along the way you might discover a potential answer to a mystery you didn't consider before.

@Alexis-something-Rose good observation, although some prophecies have not yet come to pass.

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23 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

I really appreciate it that you distinguish between dreams and prophecies.    That was a great prophecy find in F&B!   However, isn't the wording a bit of a cheat?   GOHH is clear as a sunny day if you understand these families are distinguished by their sigils.   I did not understand on 1st read.  I understand where folks get the idea based upon GOHH's dreams, that Euron hired the FM to off Balon, but I don't know that's what it means at all.   What was the important take away here?   Euron killed his brother and king or he may have a relationship with the FM?   Given the visions, I tend to lean toward the former here.    I reckon I will find out if there is some relationship with the FM, but I don't need it to be satisfied with GOHH.  In your excellent F&B quote we have a hammer falling upon the dragon--but shouldn't it have been a stag falling upon a dragon if GOHH has set down the rules?   

Well she talks of poisonous snakes in a maid's hair, alluding to sansa and the poison in her amethysts. It's not as if she had Martell wrapped around her head has she?

So, no, it are not always sigils, not even in GoHH's words. Nor did Robert fall upon Rhaegar, but his hammer hit Rhaegar in the chest. You could argue it should say "the stag's hammer falling upon a dragon", but that wouldn't fit the F&B situation and takes all sort of subtletly out of it. Instead it's in the text seemingly fitting the situation at hand at the time of F&B, but only when you parallel it to other events much later or much earlier do you end up with the AHA moment. By not using the "stag's hammer", George strokes the ego of the reader who stumbles across it, in a good way. And because it's just subtle enough, those who didn't see it yet, won't feel silly either, and still can consider it neat.

Edited by sweetsunray

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3 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Interesting question @Curled Finger

I'm a symbolism nut (am so in most any creative area) and like to take a meta-mythology and literature source angle, but surprisingly the official prophecies are the least of my interest, as far as pondering them or discussing them for too long. This seems weird, because of course the prophecies are of course clear cut symbolism. But for my personal taste it's too much on the nose, overt symbolism, and explicitly written to befuddle the reader. In that sense I'm more into the symbolism as foreshadowing, as it is way more subtle done. George does that greatly: some mundane scene, which was written beautifully and lyrically... like "the Mountain thundering past like an avalanche". Nice description, but what if...? And then when you go check it out, you discover several crucial mentions of avalanches at the right spot. You've read across it several times, never even registering it, until there's a switch. And mostly it's just fun to recognize patterns in this way. Regardless of the interpretation of the possible meaning of that pattern, it's just interesting to notice George using templates to write a duel scene. That template has horses/people shrieking, dogs (or dog person) baying, someone wounds someone else's arm, someone near takes someone's head off, but then the other person's head gets taken in... Catelyn-Catspaw, Jon-wighted Othor, Jorah-Quatho, Mountain-Viper, wighted snow bear-Thoren Smallwood. Maybe it's just a writer trick, a template he uses to write a battle or conflict or even disaster around. But it requires symbolism recognition to discern the pattern, because sometimes it are real dogs baying, the other time it's the Mountain bellowing (who has dogs for a banner), or it are Dothraki dogs (as Viserys calls them). As for the linking to sources. It's fun if you're fond of mythology and want to find out how George uses, but the latter is the most important thing about it. What does George do with it, how does he twist it around. Sometimes, when lucky, along the way you might discover a potential answer to a mystery you didn't consider before.

@Alexis-something-Rose good observation, although some prophecies have not yet come to pass.

Perhaps the most level headed answer yet.   I barely began really noticing things--patterns, historical cycles, allusions to other fantasy stories and even some in-world mystery origins on the 2nd reread.  I hadn't yet begun investigating the forum, so I'm proud of some of my finds.   It is a big story, after all.   Remember when we were talking about the dead or maybe dead a few years back and I asked you outright how you knew that --gads, forgive me if I misremember--how Ned represented the underworld and you took the time to explain the mythological connections to me?   Your love for the mythology led me into a 6 month study of Norse mythology.  Though I really enjoyed learning all this great new stuff and it sure came in handy when Gaimain released his Norse Mythology, I still didn't get enough to put things together like you can.    LML has some great ideas, but they are not necessarily easy for me to get my head around, so I'm listening to him quite a bit these days in hopes of grasping the symbolism better.   This could just be hopeless as so little resonates with my literal understanding.    

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37 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

Ah, thanks, @chrisdaw.  I know you are an avid student of the prophecies.  Your examples are appreciated, if not understood.   I know most of the big "prophecies" around Dany.   Where did you get babies out of any of it?   I'm not being sarcastic, Ser.   I've already got 3 dragons with heads.   Why do we need 3 more heads?   Could any "human" be more important than dragons?   

Targaryens/Valyrians second life dragons, thats how they ride them, a dead family member dies and becomes the dragon and another lives to ride it. To second life a dragon they have to sacrifice their own child. The bloodlines seem to matter, the beast you end up with reflects the bloodline and character of the person, you need a Targ blooded child to get dragons it seems.

Rhaego died, Drogo second lifes Drogon, Dany rides Drogon. Euron knows the process or is figuring it out, that's why he knows he needs Dany, last of her line, the only dragon blooded woman left, to make a heir worth of him (a child to sacrifice worthy of Drogon) so that he can 'fly' (become a dragon). Euron is going to succeed, eventually, not with Dany but with Arianne, and on Drogon. An animal takes on the traits of a human that skinchanges it, same deal with dragons and second lifing, when Euron second lifes Drogon the dragon will become a sea dragon kraken thing and turn to stone (because Euron will have greyscale), the Stone Beast breathing something other than fire of Dany's HOTU vision.

Dany will need to get the dragon back, and at that point all the prophecies make sense. Drogon will be turning to stone, she needs to wake the dragon from stone. The heads of the dragon are those who second lifed it, there will have been two in Drogo and Euron, she'll need to do the process again preferably with a good dragon blooded mate (obvs Jon), so the dragon must have three heads, three heads has the dragon. The stone dragon is stone, not fire, it needs to be second lifed by someone with the fiery heart, hence the AA symbol of the fiery heart that Mel thrusts on her false of AA Stannis. Bride of fire, Drogo, Euron then Jon, the three that will second life her dragon. Three mounts she must ride, love Drogo, dread Euron, bed Jon. It is why Jon's bloodline matters, why the blood of the dragon must remain pure and they thus inbreed. Why Aerys and that other crazy one thought they'd be reborn as dragons.

The AA story from Saan to Davos of the forging of Lightbringer is Dany attempting to get pregnant. The first father is Water, Aurane Waters, chosen for his Valyrian blood (and probably cos she finds him attractive). It fails because she'll miscarriage. The second a lion, Tyrion, thought to be the right blood because he'll ride Viserion. It too will miscarriage (and seemingly break Tyrion's heart). The last Nissa Nissa is completely obscured but obvs meant to be Jon.

It's why MMD's statement that is really a prophecy about when Dany will rear a child is so relevant, as the world will seemingly hang on Dany carrying the child far enough to term to sacrifice.

So we will get to a situation where it is going to seem for all money that Jon and Dany must make a child and sacrifice it and Jon die and be reborn as a dragon. It will be a reader expectation, a dreaded one, that GRRM will have created by prophesies, ripe for him to blow everyone away by subverting at the last minute.

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1 minute ago, chrisdaw said:

Targaryens/Valyrians second life dragons, thats how they ride them, a dead family member dies and becomes the dragon and another lives to ride it. To second life a dragon they have to sacrifice their own child. The bloodlines seem to matter, the beast you end up with reflects the bloodline and character of the person, you need a Targ blooded child to get dragons it seems.

Rhaego died, Drogo second lifes Drogon, Dany rides Drogon. Euron knows the process or is figuring it out, that's why he knows he needs Dany, last of her line, the only dragon blooded woman left, to make a heir worth of him (a child to sacrifice worthy of Drogon) so that he can 'fly' (become a dragon). Euron is going to succeed, eventually, not with Dany but with Arianne, and on Drogon. An animal takes on the traits of a human that skinchanges it, same deal with dragons and second lifing, when Euron second lifes Drogon the dragon will become a sea dragon kraken thing and turn to stone (because Euron will have greyscale), the Stone Beast breathing something other than fire of Dany's HOTU vision.

Dany will need to get the dragon back, and at that point all the prophecies make sense. Drogon will be turning to stone, she needs to wake the dragon from stone. The heads of the dragon are those who second lifed it, there will have been two in Drogo and Euron, she'll need to do the process again preferably with a good dragon blooded mate (obvs Jon), so the dragon must have three heads, three heads has the dragon. The stone dragon is stone, not fire, it needs to be second lifed by someone with the fiery heart, hence the AA symbol of the fiery heart that Mel thrusts on her false of AA Stannis. Bride of fire, Drogo, Euron then Jon, the three that will second life her dragon. Three mounts she must ride, love Drogo, dread Euron, bed Jon. It is why Jon's bloodline matters, why the blood of the dragon must remain pure and they thus inbreed. Why Aerys and that other crazy one thought they'd be reborn as dragons.

The AA story from Saan to Davos of the forging of Lightbringer is Dany attempting to get pregnant. The first father is Water, Aurane Waters, chosen for his Valyrian blood (and probably cos she finds him attractive). It fails because she'll miscarriage. The second a lion, Tyrion, thought to be the right blood because he'll ride Viserion. It too will miscarriage (and seemingly break Tyrion's heart). The last Nissa Nissa is completely obscured but obvs meant to be Jon.

It's why MMD's statement that is really a prophecy about when Dany will rear a child is so relevant, as the world will seemingly hang on Dany carrying the child far enough to term to sacrifice.

So we will get to a situation where it is going to seem for all money that Jon and Dany must make a child and sacrifice it and Jon die and be reborn as a dragon. It will be a reader expectation, a dreaded one, that GRRM will have created by prophesies, ripe for him to blow everyone away by subverting at the last minute.

Wow, thanks for the break down.   I did not get it all, but I have a much better understanding now.   I totally get where you are coming from on the babies now.   I would never have got there myself had you not taken the time to explain it.   

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14 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I really appreciate it that you distinguish between dreams and prophecies.    That was a great prophecy find in F&B!   However, isn't the wording a bit of a cheat?      I did not understand on 1st read.  In your excellent F&B quote we have a hammer falling upon the dragon--but shouldn't it have been a stag falling upon a dragon if GOHH has set down the rules?   

I don't think there are set rules to this. The GoHH receives her visions from the old gods, Maggy tastes blood (same as Yna), Moqorro and Melisandre receive visions in the flames, though Moqorro just seems hella better at his job than Mel is. Quaithe seems to borrow some of the GoHH's language when she issues her warnings to Dany.

But that prophecy from F&B and this passage in AGoT seem to go hand in hand (and this is obviously my interpretation of it).

They had come together at the ford of the Trident while the battle crashed around them, Robert with his warhammer and his great antlered helm, the Targaryen prince armored all in black. On his breastplate was the three-headed dragon of his House, wrought all in rubies that flashed like fire in the sunlight. The waters of the Trident ran red around the hooves of their destriers as they circled and clashed, again and again, until at last a crushing blow from Robert's hammer strove the dragon and the chest beneath it. When Ned had finally come on the scene, Rhaegar lay dead in the stream, while men of both armies scrabbled in the swirling waters for rubies knocked free of his armor. (Eddard I, AGOT 4)

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GOHH is clear as a sunny day if you understand these families are distinguished by their sigils.

I don't think her visions are all that clear. Everything she has predicted has come to pass, that's very true, but when we are receiving her visions before the events she mentions take place, we don't really know what she's talking about. 

The GoHH is hindsight. We learn what she's really about after her visions have come to pass. But then, it seems like  one of her visions may have brought about what happened at Summerhall, although I don't think we should dismiss just how very similar the ritual there was to what Dany did in the Red Waste to hatch her dragons. 

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I understand where folks get the idea based upon GOHH's dreams, that Euron hired the FM to off Balon, but I don't know that's what it means at all.   What was the important take away here?   Euron killed his brother and king or he may have a relationship with the FM?   Given the visions, I tend to lean toward the former here.    I reckon I will find out if there is some relationship with the FM, but I don't need it to be satisfied with GOHH. 

I think this highlights the problem with visions/prophecies/dreams. They are open to interpretation. For instance, I don't think the cloth dragon swaying on a pole and the mummer's dragon are Aegon. I think he's a red herring for someone else. No thread I have ever seen about the visions in the HotU have reached any sort of consensus about what any of that means. 

Prophecies confuse things and the more a character thinks about them, the less they trust the people around them. And I think it goes double for me as a reader because I tend to put a lot of weight in them.

Believing in these prophecies wholeheartedly does go back your quote in the OP. 

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Did Benerro see this in his fires? Tyrion wondered, when he realized the huge red priest was gone. Did Moqorro?
"Prophecy is like a half-trained mule," he complained to Jorah Mormont. "It looks as though it might be useful, but the moment you trust in it, it kicks you in the head. That bloody widow knew the ship would never reach her destination, she warned us of that, said Benerro saw it in his fires, only I took that to mean . . . well, what does it matter?"  (Tyrion IX, ADWD 40)

 

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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21 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

Symbolism is another thing I'm just not good with.   I'm a literal reader and this story has more than enough blood and guts and mystery to satisfy my criteria.   So X character is a throw back to some long forgotten Norse god or Aztec king?   Although very interesting and educational, I'm not invested in these sorts of parallels.  They don't matter in my understanding of the story or its unraveling.   

Each to their own.  This story can be accessed on many different levels.  However, I would be cautious before issuing such an overly-confident, dismissive proclamation that "these sorts of parallels don't matter"...

You may not be a symbolic reader, but GRRM is most definitely a symbolic writer!

:cheers:

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“You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

 

Edited by ravenous reader

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10 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

Each to their own.  This story can be accessed on many different levels.  However, I would be cautious before issuing such an overly-confident, dismissive proclamation that "these sorts of parallels don't matter"...

You may not be a symbolic reader, but GRRM is most definitely a symbolic writer!

:cheers:

 

Good point about Martin being a symbolic writer.  As an authority on symbolism do you think I'm really missing anything in not understanding? On a side note, I've tried very hard not to make declarative statements herein.  The object is not to dismiss or discount anyone's reading of ASOAIF, only to determine if it's essential to understand the prophecies.  Hence all the "in my estimation" disclaimers.  

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2 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

Good point about Martin being a symbolic writer.  As an authority on symbolism do you think I'm really missing anything in not understanding?

We are probably all missing something, although I couldn't tell you what that is, as it eludes also me!

2 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

On a side note, I've tried very hard not to make declarative statements herein.  The object is not to dismiss or discount anyone's reading of ASOAIF, only to determine if it's essential to understand the prophecies.    

No, it's not essential. They are like teasers, the full significance of which one only really understands after the fact of their coming to fruition.

Nevertheless, I find it fun to endlessly speculate on the meaning of a 'nennymoan' (please enlighten me, @By Odin's Beard...), although I'd be daft to presume it's 'essential'!

Most of the time, I can see that Martin is doing something, although I don't know why!  He repeats himself a lot (symbolically, that is), for example.

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It all seemed so familiar, like a mummer show that he had seen before. Only the mummers had changed.

ADWD A Ghost In Winterfell

This curious kaleidoscopic reiteration has been picked up by various readers, e.g. @Kingmonkey, @Feather Crystal, @LmL or @Rusted Revolver and me, etc. We all have different hypotheses, as diverse as 'puppets of ice and fire,' 'moon meteor fractals,' 'inversion of history,' and GRRM's real-life love triangle 'Me-LISA-(a)ndre', respectively!

In the end, I'm more of a literal reader than you might think, in that the equivocation game eventually becomes tiresome, and I desire satisfying resolutions.

Spoiler

Thank goodness DnD will be providing one next year!

 

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13 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

OK, but I don't think I even understood that some of the prophecies were actually prophecy.   I thought Mirri was just really ticked off at the entire world and took it all out on Dany.   I thought Maggy the Frog was just trying to scare Cersei.  For a long time I thought Mel was playing her own game of thrones, but now I understand that she doesn't really understand what she's doing.   I thought the visions with the warlocks were hallucinations.  Ghost of High Heart?   Rhaegar & Aemon?  Patchface?  Quaithe?  I mean Dany is obviously critical to the unfolding of pretty much everything.   Do we need to understand all this stuff to get that? 

@Curled Finger

I don't think there is only one way to experience and enjoy these books.

We each experience and enjoy these books in our own way. We each have the things we like and dislike. We each have the things that interest us and don't interest us. We each have unconfirmed theories we think are true, and unconfirmed theories we think are ridiculous, and everything in between.

Some people want to figure out the explanation for everything before it is confirmed, others just want to enjoy the ride. I don't think a reader is required to be obsessed with trying to figure out what prophecies in the books means, or how they will be fulfilled. A reader pays their money for their copy, and their experience with it is up to them.

Of course, we are all on a discussion board, which entails putting our individual experiences with the books into words, and subjecting them to what others have come up with through their own individual experiences with the books.

My personal take is that the author has made it a point to make predictive dreams, visions, and prophecies, as well as self-fulfilling prophecy, real things in this series. But more important than that, IMO, is that different characters have varying levels of belief or disbelief in them, which has effects on them and the people around them.

They may be misread, misunderstood, misinterpreted, or misapplied. They may be averted by taking one path instead of another. They may be fulfilled in a completely unexpected way that is only apparent after it has been fulfilled. They may be fulfilled in a self-fulfilling way by a person allowing them to shape his or her beliefs and decisions and the people and places they and their beliefs and decisions influence.

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Prophecy is one of those tropes of Fantasy that is fun to play with, but it can easily turn into a straightjacket if you're not careful. One of the themes of my fiction, since the very beginning, is that the characters must make their choices, for good or ill. And making choices is hard. There are prophecies in my Seven Kingdoms, but their meanings are often murky and misleading, and they seldom offer the characters much in the way of useful guidance. (GRRM September 2000)

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1427

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[Laughs] Prophecies are, you know, a double edge sword. You have to handle them very carefully; I mean, they can add depth and interest to a book, but you don’t want to be too literal or too easy... In the Wars of the Roses, that you mentioned, there was one Lord who had been prophesied he would die beneath the walls of a certain castle and he was superstitious at that sort of walls, so he never came anyway near that castle. He stayed thousands of leagues away from that particular castle because of the prophecy. However, he was killed in the first battle of St. Paul de Vence and when they found him dead he was outside of an inn whose sign was the picture of that castle! [Laughs] So you know? That’s the way prophecies come true in unexpected ways. The more you try to avoid them, the more you are making them true, and I make a little fun with that. (GRRM October 2012)

http://www.adriasnews.com/2012/10/george-r-r-martin-interview.html

Ultimately, I think one of the most important things about prophecies in the series is that characters make decisions based on them, based on believing them, or not believing them, or believing or not believing this or that interpretation of them. They are another thing that people make decisions based on, and it is decisions by people that take things down one path or another.

In that they are not entirely different than other significant things that people make decisions based on, like the reality of Jon Arryn's death and the attempts to kill Bran. With the help of Lysa's message, this contributed to the beliefs of Catelyn and Ned that the Lannisters were behind them, and to the decision of Catelyn to capture and accuse Tyrion, and of Ned to accuse Cersei, among other things.

We don't necessarily need to figure out how, if at all, the prophecies Dany has heard and believes will come true or be fulfilled, to see how her belief or consideration of them have affected her decisions up to now.

But like I said, we all experience and enjoy the series in different ways. Not everything about the story is subjective., but you don't need to tailor yours to the experience or enjoyment of others, nor do they need to tailor theirs to how others experience or enjoy it.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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54 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Some people want to figure out the explanation for everything before it is confirmed, others just want to enjoy the ride. I don't think a reader is required to be obsessed with trying to figure out what prophecies in the books means, or how they will be fulfilled. A reader pays their money for their copy, and their experience with it is up to them.

Agreed. In fact, I think GRRM is issuing a warning not only not to get too obsessed with unraveling the prophecies, but on a meta- level not to get too obsessed with trying to 'crack the code' of his books, for which the prophecies, like the weirnet, are a metaphor.  

If I've gleaned anything from these evaporated years examining his prose  -- as slippery as the changing reflections of an Other's armor -- it's the subliminal challenge he lays down to the reader, to extricate oneself from this ultimately maddeningly open-ended activity, before it consumes one!  Like Bran, we must pull ourselves together and leap -- out of, instead of into, the text.  

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

That was just another silly dream, though. Some days Bran wondered if all of this wasn't just some dream. Maybe he had fallen asleep out in the snows and dreamed himself a safe, warm place. You have to wake, he would tell himself, you have to wake right now, or you'll go dreaming into death. Once or twice he pinched his arm with his fingers, really hard, but the only thing that did was make his arm hurt. In the beginning he had tried to count the days by making note of when he woke and slept, but down here sleeping and waking had a way of melting into one another. Dreams became lessons, lessons became dreams, things happened all at once or not at all. Had he done that or only dreamed it?

GRRM abandoned this text a long time ago. I don't know what we, myself included, are still doing here?!  :rolleyes:

Some like @Unchained, my missed partner in 'countermockery,' succeed in escaping GRRM's weir of words (™); others do not.

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Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said, 'we are all just prisoners here, of our own device'
And in the master's chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can't kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
'Relax' said the night man,
'We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!'

Eagles, Songwriters: Don Felder / Don Henley / Glenn Frey

I know @Lost Melnibonean will understand.  B)

Edited by ravenous reader

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2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

It all seemed so familiar, like a mummer show that he had seen before. Only the mummers had changed.

ADWD A Ghost In Winterfell

 

2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

This curious kaleidoscopic reiteration has been picked up by various readers, e.g. @Kingmonkey, @Feather Crystal, @LmL or @Rusted Revolver and me, etc. We all have different hypotheses, as diverse as 'puppets of ice and fire,' 'moon meteor fractals,' 'inversion of history,' and GRRM's real-life love triangle 'Me-LISA-(a)ndre', respectively!

Hey - thanks for the shout out! 

My "inversion of history" theory is always evolving as I get more adept at deciphering the jabberwocky of the titled chapters. For those unfamiliar with my theory, in a nutshell, I believe the titled chapters tell two stories: the current one, and then a second hidden one of the past. In addition, time has been placed into a continual loop ala Dr Strange style, but is also looping in reverse. Notable timeline events are replaying, but since the events are showing up in a mirrored location from the past, the events turn out differently. For example the Greyjoys of the Iron Islands are mirroring the events and actions that the Targaryens and Blackfyres took in the past. Another example is that Jon Snow, Ramsay Snow Bolton, and Mance Raydar are reprising the roles of the Nights King, the Lord of Winterfell, and the King Beyond the Wall. West is now east, and the north is upside down and under water. The north is under water, because events are being affected by the Drowned God and the Storm God - the two gods of the Ironborn. The Wall, which is a dam of frozen water, is also a giant mirror causing the mirrored reflections.

I am currently deep into an exploration of AFFC chapter 34 Cat of the Canals, but your quote from A Ghost in Winterfell makes me want to skip ahead! I'll explain in just a bit.

After graciously reading some of my essays, some readers have gone away scratching their heads. They're not quite sure what I'm seeing and what I'm trying to say. I hope to rectify that with my latest exploration. In Cat of the Canals I provide a more thorough and detailed explanation for selected passages that explain my conclusions and how I got there. Here's a link to the thread. I've got seven parts completed so far with more coming, but I think having it broken down into several segments makes it easier to digest. 

In the Cat of the Canals chapter I identified "the mummers" as being anyone playing the Game of Thrones. To expand and place mummers into context, Arya as Cat discusses various ships that the mummers "play" on, the harbors where they can be found, and the prostitutes that hold court on which ship. I believe ships are places, the mummers are the players seeking courtly favors, and the prostitutes are the daughters of the lord mummers, with harbors indicating actions took. For example. The color purple is linked to death. We know this, because of the purple jewels on Sansa's hairnet used to kill Joffrey, and the purple sails of the Faceless Men's ships. Therefore if someone goes to the Purple Harbor then we can expect a kill. 

Arya also talks a lot about cats. Cats that liked the smell of Cat. Cats are known for their strong flexible bodies, quick reflexes, sharp teeth, and retractable claws adapted to killing small prey. They can hear sounds too faint or high in frequency for humans. They can see in near total darkness, and have a keen sense of smell. People sometimes think cats have nine lives. In other words, these cats have superpowers, so "cats" are people who are exceptionally skilled, but are secret players of the Game of Thrones.

Now back to why the short passage from A Ghost in Winterfell has got me so excited...it mentions mummers again. I can't wait to find out who was the Ghost in Winterfell in the past, and who sought courtly favors. I'm thinking it has something to do with "southron ambitions".

Edited by Feather Crystal

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1 hour ago, ravenous reader said:

Agreed. In fact, I think GRRM is issuing a warning not only not to get too obsessed with unraveling the prophecies, but on a meta- level not to get too obsessed with trying to 'crack the code' of his books, for which the prophecies, like the weirnet, are a metaphor.  

If I've gleaned anything from these evaporated years examining his prose  -- as slippery as the changing reflections of an Other's armor -- it's the subliminal challenge he lays down to the reader, to extricate oneself from this ultimately maddeningly open-ended activity, before it consumes one!  Like Bran, we must pull ourselves together and leap -- out of, instead of into, the text.  

GRRM abandoned this text a long time ago. I don't know what we, myself included, are still doing here?!  :rolleyes:

Some like @Unchained, my missed partner in 'countermockery,' succeed in escaping GRRM's weir of words (™); others do not.

I know @Lost Melnibonean will understand.  B)

:)

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On 12/9/2018 at 9:21 AM, Curled Finger said:

"Born amidst salt and smoke, beneath a bleeding star. I know the prophecy." Marwyn turned his head and spat a gob of red phlegm onto the floor. "Not that I would trust it. Gorghan of Old Ghis once wrote that a prophecy is like a treacherous woman. She takes your member in her mouth, and you moan with the pleasure of it and think, how sweet, how fine, how good this is . . . and then her teeth snap shut and your moans turn to screams. That is the nature of prophecy, said Gorghan. Prophecy will bite your prick off every time." He chewed a bit. "Still . . ."  AFFC Samwell V

Martin himself tells a story about a king who avoided a castle due to prophecy only to die at an inn with an image of the castle as its sign.  How much importance should actually be placed upon prophecy in a tale rife with symbolism and foreshadowing?   Admittedly, I didn't catch most of any of it on my 1st and even 2nd read.   What kept me coming back is knowing that there were mysteries I hadn't discovered and of course, magic swords.   I'm good with the swords and their fascinating potential in ASOIAF.   I don't need foreshadowing, because, well, the story unfolds and it doesn't matter if I catch a hint about this in the first place.   Symbolism is another thing I'm just not good with.   I'm a literal reader and this story has more than enough blood and guts and mystery to satisfy my criteria.   So X character is a throw back to some long forgotten Norse god or Aztec king?   Although very interesting and educational, I'm not invested in these sorts of parallels.  They don't matter in my understanding of the story or its unraveling.   It's far more satisfying when I can identify an historical ASOIAF character or event in the current tale.   For my time and effort, Brienne is far more interesting than Lyanna.   Brienne is alive and kicking and I can pick up on real intel regarding her adventures far better than whatever Lyanna had going.   Doesn't mean Lyanna isn't interesting, she just resides in a place I can't really put the effort in for.   Her story will be told if Martin deems it so.   He has given me Brienne and she is fascinating on a level Lyanna just can't be to me.   

Martin has cautioned his readers about the nature of prophecy, as noted in the text above and paraphrase of a story he's told more than once in interviews.    As a literal reader who really just doesn't get all the cool behind the world stuff so many of my fellow fans are so very good at, I don't understand why so much importance is placed upon prophecy.   Dany's experience in the House of the Undying seemed like a drug trip to me.   I would have never in a million years have put the vision of the ravaged woman together with the WOT5K.    Dany was tripping and that's sort of where all that is in my estimation.   Maybe all that stuff really means something as many have put together very nicely.   Maybe it was all just the dope.    Quaithe and Mel?   Good grief, all that beware of and born of--what's the point?   It was clear to me on the 1st read that Dany has some greater destiny than being her bother's victim.    She's a queen and she's got dragons.   Some wicked bad destruction is in the little queen's hands.  I don't know why we need Quaithe to pop in for a visit to tell her the dragons know what they are and make Dany question her own identity.  Even I know who Dany is and I never doubted Dany knows who she is.   Mirri Maz Dur liked to spout off at Dany, too.  She also had an axe to grind.   Jon?   Yah, Jon could use a friend like Quaithe to help him sort things out.    Poor guy only had a Red Priestess to give her confusing warnings that she may not even understand.   It's like reading most of Patchface--WTH?    Jon isn't a particularly psychic sensitive.    How is he supposed to make sense of Mel's confusing predictions?  More importantly, how am I?   Does anyone trust anything that comes out of Moqorro's mouth?   Why would he be more reliable than Melisandre?   The dragon must have 3 heads--duh, Dany's got 3 dragons.   Do I really need more than that?  

 ASOIAF makes a great deal of sense to me without knowing or understanding all the literary devices some folks find so important.   The story is full to the brim with subtlety and overt declarations.   I don't think and never have thought that Quaithe was Dany's friend, where maybe Mel actually will have a chance to be Jon's friend.   The great prophecies of both Patchface and the Ghost of High Heart are nice, but gads, a little clarity would have gone much further in my book.  I don't feel particularly stupid for not picking up on all the predictions of the Red Wedding.   Even if I had, it still would have been an awful thing to read, and is.   It's not hard to form ideas about the progression of ASOIAF without the finer nuances of symbolism, foreshadowing and this prophecy GRRM warns everyone not to trust any way.   Why is prophecy such a big deal among readers?   

 

I feel exactly the same about prophecies, dreams and attempts to interpret them.  In addition to Marwyn's quote from Gorghan of Old Ghis there is also this one from Tyrion:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Tyrion IX

Did Benerro see this in his fires? Tyrion wondered, when he realized the huge red priest was gone. Did Moqorro?
"Prophecy is like a half-trained mule," he complained to Jorah Mormont. "It looks as though it might be useful, but the moment you trust in it, it kicks you in the head.

If the characters in the books can't accurately read the prophecies what chance do readers have of pulling it off?

 

On 12/9/2018 at 10:02 AM, The Lord of the Crossing said:

The only thing Quaithe and Mel have in common are being Shadowbinders from Asshai.  I would not assume Mel is a friend to Snowhead.  A deeply religious person is only loyal to her god and never to a man.   The same can be said for Moqorro.  Mo is not loyal to Captain Victarion.  He serves R'hllor.  Mel serves R'hllor.  She's not loyal to Stannis and she is not going to be loyal to Snowflake.  

Right.  They both serve R'hllor but they interact with important characters who are concerned with different pivotal events in the world and their interpretations are influenced by those interactions.  Melisandre even seems to convince herself that Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn.  She concerns herself with the war of the five kings and the threat of the Others.  Meanwhile, Moqorro feels that Danaerys and her dragons are the key to reading the prophecies and most important thing he needs to get involved with. 

I don't try very hard to read where the prophecies and dreams presented in the books are going to take the story but I am interested in seeing where characters like these two are going to get it wrong as the story moves to a conclusion and how they are going to get kicked in the head for their efforts. 

Edited by White Ravens

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16 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

Targaryens/Valyrians second life dragons, thats how they ride them, a dead family member dies and becomes the dragon and another lives to ride it. To second life a dragon they have to sacrifice their own child. The bloodlines seem to matter, the beast you end up with reflects the bloodline and character of the person, you need a Targ blooded child to get dragons it seems.

Rhaego died, Drogo second lifes Drogon, Dany rides Drogon. Euron knows the process or is figuring it out, that's why he knows he needs Dany, last of her line, the only dragon blooded woman left, to make a heir worth of him (a child to sacrifice worthy of Drogon) so that he can 'fly' (become a dragon). Euron is going to succeed, eventually, not with Dany but with Arianne, and on Drogon. An animal takes on the traits of a human that skinchanges it, same deal with dragons and second lifing, when Euron second lifes Drogon the dragon will become a sea dragon kraken thing and turn to stone (because Euron will have greyscale), the Stone Beast breathing something other than fire of Dany's HOTU vision.

Dany will need to get the dragon back, and at that point all the prophecies make sense. Drogon will be turning to stone, she needs to wake the dragon from stone. The heads of the dragon are those who second lifed it, there will have been two in Drogo and Euron, she'll need to do the process again preferably with a good dragon blooded mate (obvs Jon), so the dragon must have three heads, three heads has the dragon. The stone dragon is stone, not fire, it needs to be second lifed by someone with the fiery heart, hence the AA symbol of the fiery heart that Mel thrusts on her false of AA Stannis. Bride of fire, Drogo, Euron then Jon, the three that will second life her dragon. Three mounts she must ride, love Drogo, dread Euron, bed Jon. It is why Jon's bloodline matters, why the blood of the dragon must remain pure and they thus inbreed. Why Aerys and that other crazy one thought they'd be reborn as dragons.

The AA story from Saan to Davos of the forging of Lightbringer is Dany attempting to get pregnant. The first father is Water, Aurane Waters, chosen for his Valyrian blood (and probably cos she finds him attractive). It fails because she'll miscarriage. The second a lion, Tyrion, thought to be the right blood because he'll ride Viserion. It too will miscarriage (and seemingly break Tyrion's heart). The last Nissa Nissa is completely obscured but obvs meant to be Jon.

It's why MMD's statement that is really a prophecy about when Dany will rear a child is so relevant, as the world will seemingly hang on Dany carrying the child far enough to term to sacrifice.

So we will get to a situation where it is going to seem for all money that Jon and Dany must make a child and sacrifice it and Jon die and be reborn as a dragon. It will be a reader expectation, a dreaded one, that GRRM will have created by prophesies, ripe for him to blow everyone away by subverting at the last minute.

Ha ha ha!  Well done for laying out some huge assumptions and interpretations of prophecy in a thread discussing the validity of prophecy interpretation. 

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4 hours ago, White Ravens said:

Ha ha ha!  Well done for laying out some huge assumptions and interpretations of prophecy in a thread discussing the validity of prophecy interpretation. 

The topic asks how how could a reader or a character make sense of the vague nature and symbolism used in prophesies. I argue that they're context sensitive, and both the reader and character(s) will make easy sense of them in the future when events occur that provide context.The topic is about the use and purpose of prophesy. I'm stating and explaining how it will be used to ferment reader's expectations and guide characters.

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48 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

The topic asks how how could a reader or a character make sense of the vague nature and symbolism used in prophesies. I argue that they're context sensitive, and both the reader and character(s) will make easy sense of them in the future when events occur that provide context.The topic is about the use and purpose of prophesy. I'm stating and explaining how it will be used to ferment reader's expectations and guide characters.

I don't think it's that complex. GRRM toys with prophecy, because it's a way of seducing the reader's interest and creating suspense, which he then delights in keeping perennially unsatisfied.  

While I like your idea of second-lifing dragons, your presentation of the 'solutions' to the prophecies has always been a tad forthright, admitting of no alternative, and therefore likely to be wrong.  Remember GRRM's warning to the 'cocky' in this respect!

Edited by ravenous reader

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2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Nevertheless, I find it fun to endlessly speculate on the meaning of a 'nennymoan' (please enlighten me, @By Odin's Beard...), although I'd be daft to presume it's 'essential'! 

 "nennymoan" is just "anemone" slightly garbled and rearranged, it is a tip off that some names are anagrams or word scrambles.  For example, I think the historical character Yin-Tar, who was a woman with a monkey's tail, is actually Tar-Yin--Tyrion, a evil-demon monkey who was supposed to have been born a hermaphrodite and with a tail.  And bloodstone is called heliotrope, and there is a heliotrope plant called monkey tail, and therefore Tyrion will get his hands on the bloodstone.  Time is a circle after all, a dragon eating its own tail, and everything is happening again. The name got garbled over the millenia.  If Tyrion is a Targ, and Dany is his sister, then he will usurp her and he will be one of the Bloodstone Emperor RebornTM characters (along with Euron, and Jon). 

Also, Yin is associated with darkness, night time, cold, shadow, and the moon--sounds like he helps cause the Long Night rather than end it.

 

Speaking of prophecies:

"The wealth of the westerlands was matched, in ancient times, with the hunger of the Freehold of Valyria for precious metals, yet there seems no evidence that the dragonlords ever made contact with the lords of the Rock, Casterly or Lannister. Septon Barth speculated on the matter, referring to a Valyrian text that has since been lost, suggesting that the Freehold's sorcerers foretold that the gold of Casterly Rock would destroy them."

Tyrion might be that gold that will destroy the last of the Valyrians.  And/or it might have something to do with Tyrion getting deep in hock with the Second Sons.  Either way I think this foreshadows that Dany will die, and the dragons with her and it will be because of the Lannisters.

 

 

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On 12/9/2018 at 9:50 PM, kissdbyfire said:

ETA: where is @Faera? She might like this thread... :)

 

Oooo someone saw this topic and thought of me! Thanks, @kissdbyfire, m'dear. :D

Currently buried up to the eyeballs in RL work but I'll be taking a look and probably sticking my oar in no later than Friday (my last day before my Christmas hols starts!) Anything to do with prophecies and I'm in!

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