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The Secret to how Valyrians were able to Ride Dragons

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Banging this drum again, as it has been a while and it does seem to be catching on. This iteration will be a comprehensive attempt at the theory but one which excludes any predictions, as the predictions have tended to overshadow everything else in the topic. If you're particularly sensitive to potential spoilers then this isn't the topic for you.

How Valyrians were able to ride dragons is a secret, the text makes that clear.

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In such fragments of Barth's Unnatural History as remain, the septon appears to have considered various legends examining the origins of dragons and how they came to be controlled by the Valyrians. The Valyrians themselves claimed that dragons sprang forth as the children of the Fourteen Flames, while in Qarth the tales state that there was once a second moon in the sky. One day this moon was scalded by the sun and cracked like an egg, and a million dragons poured forth. In Asshai, the tales are many and confused, but certain texts—all impossibly ancient—claim that dragons first came from the Shadow, a place where all of our learning fails us. These Asshai'i histories say that a people so ancient they had no name first tamed dragons in the Shadow and brought them to Valyria, teaching the Valyrians their arts before departing from the annals.

Yet if men in the Shadow had tamed dragons first, why did they not conquer as the Valyrians did? It seems likelier that the Valyrian tale is the truest. But there were dragons in Westeros, once, long before the Targaryens came, as our own legends and histories tell us. If dragons did first spring from the Fourteen Flames, they must have been spread across much of the known world before they were tamed. And, in fact, there is evidence for this, as dragonbones have been found as far north as Ib, and even in the jungles of Sothoryos. But the Valyrians harnessed and subjugated them as no one else could.

The great beauty of the Valyrians—with their hair of palest silver or gold and eyes in shades of purple not found amongst any other peoples of the world—is well-known, and often held up as proof that the Valyrians are not entirely of the same blood as other men. Yet there are maesters who point out that, by careful breeding of animals, one can achieve a desirable result, and that populations in isolation can often show quite remarkable variations from what might be regarded as common. This may be a likelier answer to the mystery of the Valyrian origins although it does not explain the affinity with dragons that those with the blood of Valyria clearly had.

It is an in-world mystery green-lit by GRRM for speculating and theorising about.

The answer is that the Valyrians worked out how to second-life dragons. By second-lifing dragons Valyrians created or turned dragons less hostile to such a degree that they could potentially be ridden by family members. The following is the detailing of this theory, the things it explains and fits with, but not those that would lead into predictions.

Second-lifing is a known in-world occurrence introduced to the reader in the prologue to ADWD.

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Haggon's rough voice echoed in his head. "You will die a dozen deaths, boy, and every one will hurt … but when your true death comes, you will live again. The second life is simpler and sweeter, they say."

It is known among skinchangers that when they die their soul can enter into an animal and they can live on in a second-life as that animal. Through the prologue chapter we are given a first hand account of a person dying and beginning a second-life as a wolf.

Valyrians did this with dragons.

Skinchangers are able to slip their soul from their body somewhat at will. Valyrians do not appear to have this ability innately, rather when they second-life dragons they achieve the flight of their souls through their deaths and/or blood magic. I will make the arguments for this farther on in the topic.

If second lifing a dragon was possible one would assume Valyrians could not keep it a secret. Other people would try doing it, and assumedly succeed. It is possible, but there is a further trick to it, a hurdle that no-one else worked out how to get around but the Valyrians.

Dragons are fire made flesh and thus a soul entering a dragon will burn. What will happen when a soul enters a dragon is demonstrated within the Varamyr prologue chapter. Varamyr was skin changing an eagle, and Melisandre magically burned it in flight from the inside, forcing his soul out of it and causing him tremendous pain.

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His last death had been by fire. I burned. At first, in his confusion, he thought some archer on the Wall had pierced him with a flaming arrow … but the fire had been inside him, consuming him. And the pain …

Varamyr had died nine times before. He had died once from a spear thrust, once with a bear's teeth in his throat, and once in a wash of blood as he brought forth a stillborn cub. He died his first death when he was only six, as his father's axe crashed through his skull. Even that had not been so agonizing as the fire in his guts, crackling along his wings, devouring him. When he tried to fly from it, his terror fanned the flames and made them burn hotter. One moment he had been soaring above the Wall, his eagle's eyes marking the movements of the men below. Then the flames had turned his heart into a blackened cinder and sent his spirit screaming back into his own skin, and for a little while he'd gone mad. Even the memory was enough to make him shudder.

This is what will happen to anyone that tries to skin change and/or second-life a dragon.

The trick, that the Valyrians alone worked out how to do, is being able to survive this fire, for the soul to exist and persist within the fire, to become one with it. To become a fiery soul. And doing so required(s) the sacrifice of one of their own children. Again I'll make the case for this below.

So in a basic summary, Valyrian's sacrificed their own children and their own lives so that they may be reborn as dragons, and those dragons could be ridden by their family members. The process creates a blood bond between human families with dragons that persists through generations.

 

The theory fits in with and explains a great deal many things.

- It explains the purpose of the incest within dragon riding families, why the blood of the dragon must remain pure. It is to maintain as much as they can a likeness in the blood to that of the person who second-lifed the dragon.

- It explains the Valyrian's own answers to their mastery of dragons, as they were related to the person who second lifed and became the dragon, many would be descendants from the second lifer or their brother or sister.

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The tales the Valyrians told of themselves claimed they were descended from dragons and were kin to the ones they now controlled.

- Though it doesn't explain where they got the idea from (probably dragon dreams), it does explain specific notions Aerion and Aerys had. 

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Like Aerion Brightfire before him, Aerys thought the fire would transform him . . . that he would rise again, reborn as a dragon, and turn all his enemies to ash.

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"Aerion the Monstrous?" Jon knew that name. "The Prince Who Thought He Was a Dragon" was one of Old Nan's more gruesome tales. His little brother Bran had loved it.

"The very one, though he named himself Aerion Brightflame. One night, in his cups, he drank a jar of wildfire, after telling his friends it would transform him into a dragon, but the gods were kind and it transformed him into a corpse.

- It explains why the Valyrian dragon riders views on the gods and why they named dragons after the gods.

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Some scholars have suggested that the dragonlords regarded all faiths as equally false, believing themselves to be more powerful than any god or goddess. They looked upon priests and temples as relics of a more primitive time, though useful for placating "slaves, savages, and the poor" with promises of a better life to come.

When you know how to achieve a second life as the most powerful beast on the planet with a lifespan many times that of a human, you have no need for gods. Dragons basically are gods, hence they're named gods. Varamyr says a second-life inside of Ghost, a direwolf, would be a life fit for king, natural progression would have a dragon be a life of a god.

 

Drogo.

We have in Daenerys a main series character who over the course of her story has come to ride a dragon, if my theory is correct it should show up in her story. I will show it does.

Drogo second-lifed Drogon.

Through Mirri Maz Duur's blood magic and the death of Rhaego, Drogo's soul slipped his body, entered the black dragon egg and persists inside the dragon. After MMD's tent of magic horrors Drogo was in a state similar to catatonic. This is the state of a person who has had their soul leave their body. It is the same state as a skin changer when they've slipped their own body.

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"Why is he out here alone, in the sun?" she asked them.

"He seems to like the warmth, Princess," Ser Jorah said. "His eyes follow the sun, though he does not see it. He can walk after a fashion. He will go where you lead him, but no farther. He will eat if you put food in his mouth, drink if you dribble water on his lips."
And a description by Jojen.
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"The wolf dreams are no true dreams. You have your eye closed tight whenever you're awake, but as you drift off it flutters open and your soul seeks out its other half. The power is strong in you."

MMD sent Drogo's soul from his body somewhat knowingly and on purpose.

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Mirri Maz Duur laughed cruelly. "Look to your khal and see what life is worth, when all the rest is gone."

That is what her blood magic did. Obviously she didn't intend on Drogo's soul finding a home within a dragon egg.

Straightforward hints are provided for the second-lifing. The name, one letter different. The dragon's colour, black, aligns with that symbol of Drogo's ferocity and superiority, his black braid. As Drogo is the fierce alpha male who never knew defeat, Drogon is the alpha dragon, boldest and least accepting of capture and captivity. Given free reign Drogon makes his home on the Dothraki plains, roaming and hunting it far and wide, such as a Khal does.

Drogon is present when Dany learns of Robert's death, he responds to the news as one might expect Drogo would have given the assassination attempt on pregnant Dany's life that so enraged him.

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"A gift of news. Dragonmother, Stormborn, I tell you true, Robert Baratheon is dead."

Outside her walls, dusk was settling over Qarth, but a sun had risen in Dany's heart. "Dead?" she repeated. In her lap, black Drogon hissed, and pale smoke rose before her face like a veil. "You are certain? The Usurper is dead?"

The legends/beliefs relayed through Dany's AGOT chapters leading to the dragon's birth signals the occurance of Drogo's second life.

The Dothraki's beliefs concerning the death of a Khal.

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When a horselord dies, his horse is slain with him, so he might ride proud into the night lands. The bodies are burned beneath the open sky, and the khal rises on his fiery steed to take his place among the stars. The more fiercely the man burned in life, the brighter his star will shine in the darkness.

A fiery steed to ride proud in the sky.

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"A trader from Qarth once told me that dragons came from the moon," blond Doreah said as she warmed a towel over the fire. Jhiqui and Irri were of an age with Dany, Dothraki girls taken as slaves when Drogo destroyed their father's khalasar. Doreah was older, almost twenty. Magister Illyrio had found her in a pleasure house in Lys.

Silvery-wet hair tumbled across her eyes as Dany turned her head, curious. "The moon?"

"He told me the moon was an egg, Khaleesi," the Lysene girl said. "Once there were two moons in the sky, but one wandered too close to the sun and cracked from the heat. A thousand thousand dragons poured forth, and drank the fire of the sun. That is why dragons breathe flame. One day the other moon will kiss the sun too, and then it will crack and the dragons will return."

The two Dothraki girls giggled and laughed. "You are foolish strawhead slave," Irri said. "Moon is no egg. Moon is god, woman wife of sun. It is known."

Dany is symbolically the moon, as Drogo calls her, and Drogo the sun as Dany refers to him. From their coupling comes dragons. The dragons drinking from the sun to take their fire is the dragon taking of Drogo's fierce fiery soul.

 

Waking the Dragon

Dany's wake the dragon dream is something of a roadmap for the second-lifing of a dragon, and there's good reason for that. The dream is actually her carrying out the process of second-lifing a dragon too. Recall it was a fevered dream and she was on the verge of death. But she didn't die, she survived and so woke back in her body, but she'd gone almost the whole way.

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Wings shadowed her fever dreams.

"You don't want to wake the dragon, do you?"

She was walking down a long hall beneath high stone arches. She could not look behind her, must not look behind her. There was a door ahead of her, tiny with distance, but even from afar, she saw that it was painted red. She walked faster, and her bare feet left bloody footprints on the stone.

The stone hall she races down with arches overhead is akin to the gullet of a dragon, a dragon made of stone, the red door at the end is where the soul goes, to give it fire and life, to wake it from stone. GRRM phrases it as a precarious question - "You don't want to wake the dragon, do you?" This is because the question is really do you want to die and become a dragon? Do you? And to sacrifice your child?

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"You don't want to wake the dragon, do you?"

She saw sunlight on the Dothraki sea, the living plain, rich with the smells of earth and death. Wind stirred the grasses, and they rippled like water. Drogo held her in strong arms, and his hand stroked her sex and opened her and woke that sweet wetness that was his alone, and the stars smiled down on them, stars in a daylight sky. "Home," she whispered as he entered her and filled her with his seed, but suddenly the stars were gone, and across the blue sky swept the great wings, and the world took flame.

The coupling between herself and Drogo, the conception of Rhaego, is what brings about the fire and dragon.

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She could feel the heat inside her, a terrible burning in her womb. Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo's copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, violet eyes shaped like almonds. And he smiled for her and began to lift his hand toward hers, but when he opened his mouth the fire poured out. She saw his heart burning through his chest, and in an instant he was gone, consumed like a moth by a candle, turned to ash. She wept for her child, the promise of a sweet mouth on her breast, but her tears turned to steam as they touched her skin.

"… want to wake the dragon …"

Rhaego is devoured by fire. He turns into fire and Dany can feel him burning in her womb. Note the burning heart in his chest. It is echoed in what happened to Varamyr.

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Then the flames had turned his heart into a blackened cinder and sent his spirit screaming back into his own skin, and for a little while he'd gone mad. Even the memory was enough to make him shudder.

And Melisandre's (R'hllor's) symbolism that becomes Arms, a flaming heart.

It is this sacrifice of Rhaego, the turning of the child to fire within the womb that allows the whole process with a dragon. Without it Drogo's soul would have simply burned up within the dragon. It doesn't particularly need more explanation other than "magic", but it would seem something of a soul swap occurs, the child's soul goes into the dragon/egg, and the dragon goes into the child within the womb. Hence human Rhaego ends up dead with dragon features. And as a mother and child in the womb share blood, the mother, Dany in this case, becomes "infected" by dragon blood, but really the infection is a blessing that allows her to survive a night in a funeral pyre.

It is thematically a perfect convenience. The ultimate power, that of a dragon, comes at the cost of the ultimate sacrifice, your own blood and children. And this theme runs strong through the series, from Ned not will to sacrifice Jon himself, Craster, Ned with Jaime's children, Stannis and Edric, Hazzea, etc

Note how GRRM manipulates the language to corner Dany into making Rhaego a willing sacrifice rather than an unintended consequence.

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Ser Jorah had killed her son, Dany knew. He had done what he did for love and loyalty, yet he had carried her into a place no living man should go and fed her baby to the darkness. He knew it too; the grey face, the hollow eyes, the limp. "The shadows have touched you too, Ser Jorah," she told him. The knight made no reply. Dany turned to the godswife. "You warned me that only death could pay for life. I thought you meant the horse."

"No," Mirri Maz Duur said. "That was a lie you told yourself. You knew the price."

Had she? Had she? If I look back I am lost. "The price was paid," Dany said. "The horse, my child, Quaro and Qotho, Haggo and Cohollo. The price was paid and paid and paid." She rose from her cushions. "Where is Khal Drogo? Show him to me, godswife, maegi, bloodmage, whatever you are. Show me Khal Drogo. Show me what I bought with my son's life."

If a sacrifice has to be made for every second-lifing I suggest not, but certainly to kick things off and begin the blood bond. And the blood bond is with the sacrificed child as much as with the father, I would suggest, as Dany doesn't actually share Drogo's blood.

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"… want to wake the dragon …"

Ghosts lined the hallway, dressed in the faded raiment of kings. In their hands were swords of pale fire. They had hair of silver and hair of gold and hair of platinum white, and their eyes were opal and amethyst, tourmaline and jade. "Faster," they cried, "faster, faster." She raced, her feet melting the stone wherever they touched. "Faster!" the ghosts cried as one, and she screamed and threw herself forward. A great knife of pain ripped down her back, and she felt her skin tear open and smelled the stench of burning blood and saw the shadow of wings. And Daenerys Targaryen flew.

The stones of the faded king's eyes are all stones that have shades of purple. These are Targaryens/Valyrians, Dany's ancestors who have all done what she is on the verge of doing here. They've all second-lifed a dragon, but they're old, their fire has burned out and faded. Dragons live long but not forever. These are ghosts of Dany's ancestors urging her forward to second-life the dragon as they had.

And so she does, very almost. See her turning into a dragon, not a third party so that she may ride, but a transformation of her human self into a dragon.

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"… wake the dragon …"

The door loomed before her, the red door, so close, so close, the hall was a blur around her, the cold receding behind. And now the stone was gone and she flew across the Dothraki sea, high and higher, the green rippling beneath, and all that lived and breathed fled in terror from the shadow of her wings. She could smell home, she could see it, there, just beyond that door, green fields and great stone houses and arms to keep her warm, there. She threw open the door.

She becomes a dragon.

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"… the dragon …"

And saw her brother Rhaegar, mounted on a stallion as black as his armor. Fire glimmered red through the narrow eye slit of his helm. "The last dragon," Ser Jorah's voice whispered faintly. "The last, the last." Dany lifted his polished black visor. The face within was her own.

And the last one is her taking Rhaegar's place as the last dragon. She's done what Rhaegar was trying to do, as I'll explain.

But she wakes up, survives as a human, and so doesn't complete the whole process herself. But her having been 99% of the way to second-lifing a dragon and having dragon tainted blood is the explanation for these lines.

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The heat beat at the air with great red wings, driving the Dothraki back, driving off even Mormont, but Dany stood her ground. She was the blood of the dragon, and the fire was in her.

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"Remember who you are, Daenerys," the stars whispered in a woman's voice. "The dragons know. Do you?"

The answer to what Dany is, is a dragon. The dragons know. At least she was, and is supposed to be.

 

Rhaegar

If Rhaegar knew about the second-lifing portion of the process I can not say with the little information the text gives us at this time. But Rhaegar understanding something of the sacrifice component of the process explains basically every piece of information we are given about him.

Maester Aemon is our closest source for Rhaegar.

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The officers did not know how to take that, Sam could see. Bowen Marsh and Othell Yarwyck exchanged a doubtful look, Janos Slynt was fuming, and Three-Finger Hobb looked as though he would sooner be back chopping carrots. But all of them seemed surprised to hear Maester Aemon murmur, "It is the war for the dawn you speak of, my lady. But where is the prince that was promised?"

Aemon knows about the prince that was promised and war for the dawn.

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On Braavos, it had seemed possible that Aemon might recover. Xhondo's talk of dragons had almost seemed to restore the old man to himself. That night he ate every bite Sam put before him. "No one ever looked for a girl," he said. "It was a prince that was promised, not a princess. Rhaegar, I thought . . . the smoke was from the fire that devoured Summerhall on the day of his birth, the salt from the tears shed for those who died. He shared my belief when he was young, but later he became persuaded that it was his own son who fulfilled the prophecy, for a comet had been seen above King's Landing on the night Aegon was conceived, and Rhaegar was certain the bleeding star had to be a comet. What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it." Just talking of her seemed to make him stronger. "I must go to her. I must. Would that I was even ten years younger."

He's read about it. And Rhaegar seemingly has too. And they seem to believe it.

Rhaegar thought at first it was him. Then Rhaegar thought it must be Aegon.

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That had been one of his last good days. After that the old man spent more time sleeping than awake, curled up beneath a pile of furs in the captain's cabin. Sometimes he would mutter in his sleep. When he woke he'd call for Sam, insisting that he had to tell him something, but oft as not he would have forgotten what he meant to say by the time that Sam arrived. Even when he did recall, his talk was all a jumble. He spoke of dreams and never named the dreamer, of a glass candle that could not be lit and eggs that would not hatch. He said the sphinx was the riddle, not the riddler, whatever that meant. He asked Sam to read for him from a book by Septon Barth, whose writings had been burned during the reign of Baelor the Blessed. Once he woke up weeping. "The dragon must have three heads," he wailed, "but I am too old and frail to be one of them. I should be with her, showing her the way, but my body has betrayed me."

And we are talking about dragons here, the dragon must have three heads and eggs that won't hatch.

From seemingly having read the same things as Aemon and Rhaegar, Melisandre has arrived at this conclusion.

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Burning dead children had ceased to trouble Jon Snow; live ones were another matter. Two kings to wake the dragon. The father first and then the son, so both die kings. The words had been murmured by one of the queen's men as Maester Aemon had cleaned his wounds. Jon had tried to dismiss them as his fever talking. Aemon had demurred. "There is power in a king's blood," the old maester had warned, "and better men than Stannis have done worse things than this." The king can be harsh and unforgiving, aye, but a babe still on the breast? Only a monster would give a living child to the flames.

Aemon doesn't deny the possibility of a sacrifice bringing results. He's not down with it, but he's not ruling it out.

And it isn't far from being right is it?

The point here his that the sacrifice component is very real, and Rhaegar knew it. He thought a sacrifice would need to be made, and at first he thought it was himself.

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"No one ever looked for a girl," he said. "It was a prince that was promised, not a princess. Rhaegar, I thought . . . the smoke was from the fire that devoured Summerhall on the day of his birth, the salt from the tears shed for those who died. He shared my belief when he was young,

He thought he would have to die to wake dragons and save the world.

But then he thought it was Aegon.

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but later he became persuaded that it was his own son who fulfilled the prophecy, for a comet had been seen above King's Landing on the night Aegon was conceived, and Rhaegar was certain the bleeding star had to be a comet.

But later because the dragons must have three heads he thought it must be the sacrifice of three of his children, hence why he had to have Jon.

And this explains Rhaegar's nature. Rhaegar was melancholy because he thought he was destined to die a sacrifice. GRRM gives us a parallel character, Jojen. Jojen has the same character traits as Rhaegar, because Jojen too believes he has foreseen his own death.

It is why there is a sense of doom over Rhaegar.

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"Perhaps so, Your Grace." Whitebeard paused a moment. "But I am not certain it was in Rhaegar to be happy."

"You make him sound so sour," Dany protested.

"Not sour, no, but . . . there was a melancholy to Prince Rhaegar, a sense . . ." The old man hesitated again.

"Say it," she urged. "A sense . . . ?"

". . . of doom. He was born in grief, my queen, and that shadow hung over him all his days."

It explains why the birth of Aegon is a bitter-sweet occasion for Rhaegar.

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Viserys, was her first thought the next time she paused, but a second glance told her otherwise. The man had her brother's hair, but he was taller, and his eyes were a dark indigo rather than lilac. "Aegon," he said to a woman nursing a newborn babe in a great wooden bed. "What better name for a king?"

"Will you make a song for him?" the woman asked.

"He has a song," the man replied. "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany's, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. "There must be one more," he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. "The dragon has three heads." He went to the window seat, picked up a harp, and ran his fingers lightly over its silvery strings. Sweet sadness filled the room as man and wife and babe faded like the morning mist, only the music lingering behind to speed her on her way.

At first Rhaegar thought it was himself, but then he thought it was Aegon. So instead of being overjoyed by the birth of a heir, as a father should be, he is melancholy and the mood is a sweet sadness. This is because he thinks he is going to have to sacrifice the child.

It is why he makes music like this.

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When you heard him play his high harp with the silver strings and sing of twilights and tears and the death of kings, you could not but feel that he was singing of himself and those he loved."

He is singing about his own death and the those he loved because he believed himself first but then they would have to be sacrificed.

And that's why Dany takes his place in the last portion of the wake the dragon dream, because she made the sacrifice and woke the dragons that he spent his life dreading having to do, but ultimately failing.

 

Euron

Euron knows. Or is on the brink of understanding. It is what his horn does. And it provides an explanation for his actions and everything in his cryptic conversation with Victarion.

Euron's horn is (allegedly) a literal dragon's horn, infused with magic by Valyrians, used to bind dragons. It has an inscription that reads;

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I am Dragonbinder ... No mortal man should sound me and live ... Blood for fire, fire for blood.

That the horn tells you that it will kill you if you blow it raises the obvious question of why anyone would blow it, and therefor what use is it? The answer is the most simple and logical, it provides the blower a second-life. What the horn will do is set the blower's soul to flight, slip it from their skin, like Bran has done on occasion and Varamyr did in the prologue. The blood for fire line refers to the trade of the blower's own blood, a child of their blood, for which they will receive fire, that is their soul will be made fire so that they can enter a dragon/egg and persist there.

Skinchangers call it second-lifing, Valyrians seem to refer to it as binding. What the horn will do is what MMD did incidentally in her messy tent of sacrifice. The Valyrians have streamlined the blood magic second-lifing dragon process into a clean blow of a horn. BUT, you have to provide the other elements, one needs to have on hand a child of their own blood for sacrificing and a dragon/egg for their soul to enter.

GRRM provides more clues as to what the horn does.

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aaaaRREEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

All eyes turned toward the sound. It was one of Euron's mongrels winding the call, a monstrous man with a shaved head. Rings of gold and jade and jet glistened on his arms, and on his broad chest was tattooed some bird of prey, talons dripping blood.

aaaaRRREEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

. . .

It was a terrible sound, a wail of pain and fury that seemed to burn the ears. Aeron Damphair covered his, and prayed for the Drowned God to raise a mighty wave and smash the horn to silence, yet still the shriek went on and on. It is the horn of hell, he wanted to scream, though no man would have heard him. The cheeks of the tattooed man were so puffed out they looked about to burst, and the muscles in his chest twitched in a way that it made it seem as if the bird were about to rip free of his flesh and take wing. And now the glyphs were burning brightly, every line and letter shimmering with white fire. On and on and on the sound went, echoing amongst the howling hills behind them and across the waters of Nagga's Cradle to ring against the mountains of Great Wyk, on and on and on until it filled the whole wet world.

The bird tattoo on Cragorn's chest seemingly trying to rip free and fly while the horn is being sounded is imagery used to signal how the horn is trying to slip (or perhaps successfully slipping, it could have happened as we are not provided information to say otherwise) Cragorn's soul from his body.

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He laughed. "Cragorn's died, you know."

"Who?"

"The man who blew my dragon horn. When the maester cut him open, his lungs were charred as black as soot."

The horn microwaves Cragorn from the inside, as it is trying to set his soul to fire so that it can persist within an egg/dragon.

 

The below is spoiler tagged where I quote from or reference sample chapter material.

Spoiler

Euron does not want only, or perhaps at all, to sit the IT and ride a dragon. Euron is going for more, he is going for ascendancy, Euron intends to become a god. And he at the very least suspects how to do it.

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“The bleeding star bespoke the end,” he said to Aeron. “These are the last days, when the world shall be broken and remade. A new god shall be born from the graves and charnel pits.”

Then Euron lifted a great horn to his lips and blew, and dragons and krakens and sphinxes came at his command and bowed before him. “Kneel, brother,” the Crow’s Eye commanded. “I am your king, I am your god. Worship me, and I will raise you up to be my priest.”

And as I explained above, second-lifing a dragon is basically godhood, that's the angle the text is taking towards it, and where Euron is headed with his horn.

Euron wants to slip his skin and fly and become a dragon. That is his goal, ascendancy, godhood, and he suspects or knows that his horn does it. But he didn't know or wasn't sure that he would have to die to do it. And he does have to die, the setting of the soul on fire is a one way thing, for regular people at least. When Vic is summoned by Euron to the bedchambers Euron has freshly come to the realisation that he's going to have to kill himself if he wants to try and fly and become a dragon, he's realised this because his horn blower Cragorn just died. That's why he blurts it out to Vic, seemingly without reason.

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"Woe." The Crow's Eye sipped from his silver cup. "I once held a dragon's egg in this hand, brother. This Myrish wizard swore he could hatch it if I gave him a year and all the gold that he required. When I grew bored with his excuses, I slew him. As he watched his entrails sliding through his fingers he said, 'But it has not been a year.'" He laughed. "Cragorn's died, you know."

"Who?"

"The man who blew my dragon horn. When the maester cut him open, his lungs were charred as black as soot."

It is playing on his mind. And it is what he means by;

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The Crow's Eye had taken Lord Hewett's bedchamber along with his bastard daughter. When he entered, the girl was sprawled naked on the bed, snoring softly. Euron stood by the window, drinking from a silver cup. He wore the sable cloak he took from Blacktyde, his red leather eye patch, and nothing else. "When I was a boy, I dreamt that I could fly," he announced. "When I woke, I couldn't . . . or so the maester said. But what if he lied?"

Victarion could smell the sea through the open window, though the room stank of wine and blood and sex. The cold salt air helped to clear his head. "What do you mean?"

Euron turned to face him, his bruised blue lips curled in a half smile. "Perhaps we can fly. All of us. How will we ever know unless we leap from some tall tower?" The wind came gusting through the window and stirred his sable cloak. There was something obscene and disturbing about his nakedness. "No man ever truly knows what he can do unless he dares to leap."

The leaping from a tall tower is a euphemism for suicide, for killing himself, blowing his horn. The flying is taking a dragon. Euron will never know if he can take a dragon unless he is willing to kill himself by blowing his horn.

But as has been explained above, one needs more than just the horn. He needs a child of his own blood and a dragon/egg on hand. Euron seems to know this, and so he sends Vic to go get him Dany.

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Balon was mad, Aeron is madder, and Euron is maddest of them all. Victarion was turning to go when the Crow's Eye said, "A king must have a wife, to give him heirs. Brother, I have need of you. Will you go to Slaver's Bay and bring my love to me?"

I had a love once too. Victarion's hands coiled into fists, and a drop of blood fell to patter on the floor. I should beat you raw and red and feed you to the crabs, the same as I did her. "You have sons," he told his brother.

"Baseborn mongrels, born of whores and weepers."

"They are of your body."

"So are the contents of my chamber pot. None is fit to sit the Seastone Chair, much less the Iron Throne. No, to make an heir that's worthy of him, I need a different woman. When the kraken weds the dragon, brother, let all the world beware."

"What dragon?" said Victarion, frowning.

"The last of her line. They say she is the fairest woman in the world. Her hair is silver-gold, and her eyes are amethysts . . . but you need not take my word for it, brother. Go to Slaver's Bay, behold her beauty, and bring her back to me."

He specifically needs Dany to make a child with. This is because he needs the child to sacrifice. The him he refers to, that the child is to be worthy of, is the dragon, Drogon. Euron needs Dany, the last dragon blooded womb in the world, to make a child with both dragon blood and his own. He is trying to recreate the circumstances that allowed Drogo to second-life a dragon. He is trying to follow exactly in Drogo's footsteps.

Spoiler

Falia Flowers is a prototype for what Euron is intending to do with Dany. It is happy family while he gets her pregnant and his child is growing in her belly.

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“Falia Flowers, Lord Hewett’s natural daughter. I am to be King Euron’s salt wife. You and I will be kin, then.”

Aeron Damphair raised his eyes to hers. His scabbed lips were crusted with wet porridge. “Woman.” His chains clinked when he moved. “Run. He will hurt you. He will kill you.”

She laughed. “Silly, he won’t. I’m his love, his lady. He gives me gifts, so many gifts. Silks and furs and jewels. Rags and rocks, he calls them.”

The Crow’s Eye puts no value in such things. That was one of the things that drew men to his service. Most captains kept the lion’s share of their plunder but Euron took almost nothing for himself.

“He gives me any gown I want,” the girl was prattling happily.  “My sisters used to make me wait on them at table, but Euron made them serve the whole hall  naked! Why should he do that, except for love of me?” She put a hand on her belly and  smoothed down the fabric of her gown.

“I’m going to give him sons. So many sons...”

“He has sons.”

“Baseborn boys and mongrels, Euron says. My sons will come before them, he has sworn, sworn by your own Drowned God!”

Aeron would’ve wept for her. Tears of blood, he thought. “You must bear a message to my brother. Not Euron, but Victarion, Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet. Do you know the man I mean?”

Falia sat back from him. “Yes,” she said. “But I couldn’t bring him any messages. He’s gone.”

“Gone?” That was the cruelest blow of all. “Gone where?”

“East,” she said, “with all his ships. He’s to bring the dragon queen to Westeros. I’m to be Euron’s salt wife, but he must have a rock wife too, a queen to rule all Westeros at his side. They say she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, and she has dragons. The two of us will be as close as sisters!”

Note that GRRM even has Falia compare herself with Dany.

But then when the time is ripe and child is far enough along;

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When they were well out to sea, Euron returned to him. “Brother,” he said, “you look forlorn. I have a gift for you.” He beckoned, and two of his bastard sons dragged the woman forward and bound her to the prow on the other side of the figurehead. Naked as the mouthless maiden, her smooth belly just beginning to swell with the child she was carrying, her cheeks red with tears, she did not struggle as the boys tightened her bonds. Her hair hung down in front of her face, but Aeron knew her all the same.  

“Falia Flowers,” he called. “Have courage, girl! All this will be over soon, and we will feast together in the Drowned God’s watery halls.”

The girl raised up her head, but made no answer. She has no tongue to answer with, Damphair knew. He licked his lips, and tasted salt.

It is sacrifice time.

Euron is probably expecting to get Krakens from her, probably because of his own blood and not hers. Maybe its all just more experimentation. My theory states that the sacrifice is required to turn the soul to fire and thus survive the fire inside a dragon. I would theorise (due to a line in TWOIAF regarding the grey king taking a mermaid wife so that he and his children may breathe underwater) that a sacrifice to second-life or skin change a kraken may be required to allow the person to breathe under water. But I stray from the topic here.

 

Summerhall

Applying the theory or even just what happened with Dany/Drogo/Rhaego to Summerhall sets up a twist I think is very fitting and becoming of GRRM.

All the elements were in place at Summerhall for someone second-lifing a dragon egg the same as happened to Dany/Drogo/Rhaego as my theory described, but for the one element, and that element is most crowed about. A child didn't die in the womb at Summerhall, one just very very nearly did. Rhaegar was seemingly only barely saved from fire by the heroic actions of Dunk. Had Dunk not saved Rhaegar he would have burned in the womb, and we'd have exceedingly similar circumstances to that in which Dany birthed her dragons.

My theory is this. The saboteur at Summerhall wasn't someone trying to prevent the birth of dragons. No-one was needed to try and prevent the birth of dragons, nothing Egg was going to do was going to work. You don't get dragons by praying over them and other such nonsense, we've had plenty of stories to back this up. That the saboteurs were trying to prevent the birth of dragons is senseless. Rather, the saboteur knew or had an idea, a suspicion, about how to birth the dragons in the way Dany did, by second lifing, but it would require deaths, sacrifices, and there's no way Egg or anyone else would consent to that. So the saboteur turned saboteur, and went secretly about trying to make the sacrifices happen. And it probably would have worked, but for the valor of the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

 

Tidbits.

I've not addressed the comet. It probably plays a role, perhaps it needs to be around for the soul to go to flight. An extra complication.

I do believe most anything can be second lifed, and that is what Valyrian steel is, steel with souls within it.

I believe the souls can split, portions of it go into one thing and other portions of it into another. Jojen basically says as much in the line I quoted of his far above.

I do believe that there are inherent or historic properties in the bloodlines of some, and that these properties will reflect in a second-lifed creature. As well as a person's character. That is to say if Euron second lifes a dragon, it is going to become a sea dragon (kraken) due to his bloodline. And that to second life a dragon one needs to sacrifice a child with some degree of dragon blood (Targ/Old Valyrian). And it should be noted that Euron is wrong, Dany is the purest dragon blooded womb for sure, but not the only dragon blooded womb around, Arianne is a glaring possibility.

A thing can have more than one soul in it. And a soul can be more dominant than another within that thing. That's not a theory as we are shown this first hand by Bran skin changing in Hodor, pushing Hodor's soul down so that he may have take control. And two soul's can fight within a thing and force another soul out, we see this with Varamyr and Thistle. So accordingly, that Drogo has second-lifed Drogon already doesn't mean that Euron can not do it too/again.

I believe Rhaego actually exists within Drogon, with Drogo. Consider the scene the TV Show gave us instead of Dany's HOTU. It does lessen the "sacrifice" portion a great deal, but I still think it to be true given how it will line up with future elements I'm steering away from in this topic. And that the dominant soul or souls within the dragon can allow other souls to enter as well, making a dragon a heavenly vessel for the second life of many, the dominant soul(s) like a god passing judgement on who is allowed in. And that this adding of souls is why dragons continue growing.

The stars, particularly those that whisper, symbolically represent lost/fallen/waiting souls, they are in the darkness and need a light to lead them to a home wherein they can live their second life.

The more the person achieves in life, the greater their life, the bigger and better their creature will be in their second life. It is what is meant by this line,

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The more fiercely the man burned in life, the brighter his star will shine in the darkness.

In regards to a dragon, it impacts not only its size but how hot the fire they breathe burns. And the bigger the creature the more souls it can allow within to share in a second-life with them.

Edited by chrisdaw

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7 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

Euron knows. Or is on the brink of understanding. It is what his horn does. And it provides an explanation for everything in his cryptic conversation with Victarion and his actions.

 

Very well put together. The bit at the end end about Euron and the Dragonbinder horn I find very interesting. What are your thoughts on his dropping the egg in to the sea and how does this link in, if at all.

Perhaps an attempt to harness the power of the Kraken using the same Valyrian second life magic?

I also recall at the very beginning of AGOT, when Bran first encounters the 3EC there is mention of Dragons in Asshai.

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He lifted his eyes and saw clear across the narrow sea, to the Free Cities and the green Dothraki sea and beyond, to Vaes Dothrak under its mountain, to the fabled lands of the Jade Sea, to Asshai by the Shadow, where dragons stirred beneath the sunrise.

AGOT Bran III

What do you take this to mean? If there are Dragons in Asshai, how does that fit in with your theory? Perhaps a continuation of Valyrian bloodlines farther east? I would love to know what you think.

 

 

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Not bad, very well researched and definitely can explain how dani hatched her dragons.

After reading fire and blood though it seems that dragon eggs can simply hatch on thier own in the right environment, and even with house targaryens high infant mortality rate, I'm not sure if there are enough baby souls to go into dragons or if said deceased(and/or still born) infants line up chronologically with dragon hatchings. To be clear I don't think anything in the text(FaB) flat out disproves your theory either.

Have you read Fab? And have you considered it in regards to your theory?

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31 minutes ago, Back door hodor said:

Not bad, very well researched and definitely can explain how dani hatched her dragons.

After reading fire and blood though it seems that dragon eggs can simply hatch on thier own in the right environment, and even with house targaryens high infant mortality rate, I'm not sure if there are enough baby souls to go into dragons or if said deceased(and/or still born) infants line up chronologically with dragon hatchings. To be clear I don't think anything in the text(FaB) flat out disproves your theory either.

Have you read Fab? And have you considered it in regards to your theory?

Well the theory is about how Valyrians mastered and rode dragons, not how dragons are hatched or came into existence. If a dragon is only ever a second life of a human or not isn't really a question the theory needs to answer. And I'm not too keen to go definitively down that path as I'm not sure GRRM plans an answer to the question of the origin of all dragons. The stuff in TWOIAF about it all seems so very contradictory that I don't know there can be a clean single solution that fits all.

But, remember when a person skin changes some beast they bring back part of that beast with them int heir blood when hey return to their body. And consider the blood contamination in the womb that I theorise about above. Through both or one of those processes, and given what is written in TWOIAF, it does seem to be very likely to me that in Ashai at least, that people are experimenting to create cross species, abominations, sphinxes, by having humans skin change/second life beasts and mating them. And I believe that Euron is going to eventually do this proper in the series and we'll get a first hand account of how it is done.

And so arises the obvious possibility that this is how dragons were created. Someone blood mingled and spliced a winged beast with a wyvern and set its soul on fire.

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11 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Very well put together. The bit at the end end about Euron and the Dragonbinder horn I find very interesting. What are your thoughts on his dropping the egg in to the sea and how does this link in, if at all.

Perhaps an attempt to harness the power of the Kraken using the same Valyrian second life magic?

I also recall at the very beginning of AGOT, when Bran first encounters the 3EC there is mention of Dragons in Asshai.

What do you take this to mean? If there are Dragons in Asshai, how does that fit in with your theory? Perhaps a continuation of Valyrian bloodlines farther east? I would love to know what you think.

I think Euron either gave his egg to the FM as payment for them to assassinate Balon or he really did throw it away in frustration.

Spoiler

I think he plans to use Falia and child to skin change krakens. I think unlike dragons he will be able to skin change krakens and return to his body. I don't know if it will work, but I do think there will be unexpected consequences. Falia's child is Euron's is Aeron's nephew/niece (Falia points out how she and Aeron are now family). The child is a sacrifice of Aeron's blood, and that sacrifice is going to allow Aeron to second life a Leviathan. That's what the drowned god is/represents, a mash up of a human and whale, a second lifing of a Leviathan. Aeron's whole arc has been a test of his faith, and in the final line of that chapter we have the answer, he has proven worthy.

I speculate a bit in a reply above about Asshai, I don't really have any more thoughts on it.

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13 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

I think Euron either gave his egg to the FM as payment for them to assassinate Balon or he really did throw it away in frustration.

I speculate a bit in a reply above about Asshai, I don't really have any more thoughts on it.

Awesome ideas man. Would love to see it come to pass.

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On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 8:49 PM, chrisdaw said:

Lots of interesting stuff...

 

Gee, and here I thought all along it was that they carried bacon treats in their pockets!

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On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 11:49 PM, chrisdaw said:

 it , that the child is to be worthy of, is the dragon, Drogon. Euron needs Dany, the last dragon

These are great points.  but you saying Viserys who died from a golden crown soul lingered around Dany from some time then enter Viseron and Rhaegar's soul also wait for 14 years in enter in the Rhaegal?.   

ps I just add few points in the books version Dany is the daughter of Rhaegar and Lyanna. Jon Snow is son Brandon Stark and Ashara Dayne.

 

Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow are cousins

Rheagar was trying for the 3 riders like his sigil  He was able to get Elia Martell pregnant twice once with Rhanys and the Other Aegon Targaryen. Lyanna Stark maybe was warg was able to produce a third head the plan was to have both women as wives. Rheagar was only a prince not King he couldn't "setside" his wife. Rhanys maybe warg into cat theory only Aegon maybe espace but my only theorize that Varys did save him but later into his childhood he caught a childhood disease like the pox and died.  Varys was able to find next heir NOT Blackfyre but Aegon the Unlikely's sisters that both marry to Nobel Men a little  boy was is Grandnephew of Aegon the Unlikely.

 

Varys is the son of Aerion Bright flame or Bright fire who born in Lys as a bastard.

 

 Jon Snow is a warg himself his "brother" Who is a Wilding himself recognize him and call him brother.  The Daynes are not Valyrians, but I believe they from the Great Empire and when Dany enter the house of Undying she saw the Kings/Lords of The Great Empire.  Maybe it the scene second before she running from " her ancestors" is the second part of vision.

 

At one time The Three Eyes Raven was trying connected to Euron Greyjoy but maybe lack of Weir Trees it he couldn't reach him.  Euron Greyjoy wicked a MF  Books Readers believe he trying to be the Next Bloodstone Emperor ( He Dream once that he could fly) 

Edited by Sophia [email protected]
adding

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26 minutes ago, Sophia [email protected] said:

These are great points.  but you saying Viserys who died from a golden crown soul lingered around Dany from some time then enter Viseron and Rhaegar's soul also wait for 14 years in enter in the Rhaegal?.

Possibly Viserys went straight into the egg after his death but the child sacrifice was needed to bring him to life.

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Sir these are great points!!!! I would never have think of this. I have three question does this act have be done on pure Targaryens? remember during last 300 years Targaryens have marry into Velryons, Blackwoods, Daynes, Martells, Arrys the Brakkens, Hightowers, the Baratherons etc.  I believe you wrote that Euron Greyjoy is thinking about Arrianne Martell she  also have Targaryen blood too. Quentyn Martell was thinking that his blood will let him allow to ride a dragon too.  Question 2 Summerhall what really happen? I was thinking that the Masters didn't wanted Aegon (Egg) to release new dragons into the world and that why they send a saboteur to stop Aegon and his court. But how did Duncan the Knight save the world? all them did die in the fire? include Duncan himself.  Note GRRM never told us how many Targaryens were in Summerhall at the great burning. I believe (Aegon the Egg) his two sisters did survive the fire by not going to it.  Question 3 If Rhaegar need a warg to pass in his second life why didn't he marry Lyanna first?  I believe he wanted to bring 3 riders of his sigil that why he name them Rhanys, Aegon the third one Visenya. I understand why he wanted a second wife because Elia Martell couldn't have any more.

 

Daenerys is really is Visenya Targaryen read about the switch theory by Preston on youtube

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I think its more magic and less science, in that the rules are not quite as rigid as I portray. I think as Drogon reflects Drogo, if Euron is to succeed in second lifing a dragon, that dragon will reflect his character and his ocean blood line, meaning it will become something like a corrupted sea dragon. And if Euron contracts greyscale then anything he second lifes will reflect that too.

I think Falia is Euron experimenting.

What I think happened at Summerhall is this. Someone (Shiera) suspected Targaryens are able to second life dragons and the sacrifice requirement. So that someone sabotaged Summerhall in the hope that it would result in baby Rhaegar's and other Targaryen's deaths, and that would birth the dragons. It didn't end up working because Dunk managed to save Rhaegar.

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On 3/18/2019 at 9:52 PM, Three-Fingered Pete said:

Gee, and here I thought all along it was that they carried bacon treats in their pockets!

Cheese. It's always cheese, works much better than bacon. ;)

 

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8 hours ago, Morte said:

Cheese. It's always cheese, works much better than bacon. ;)

 

No way. I have to believe that dragon flatulence is bad enough already! :ack:

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10 hours ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

No way. I have to believe that dragon flatulence is bad enough already! :ack:

Dogs don't care, dragons would neither. :P

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On 3/18/2019 at 5:59 PM, chrisdaw said:

Possibly Viserys went straight into the egg after his death but the child sacrifice was needed to bring him to life.

Thanks for answering

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On ‎3‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 9:51 PM, chrisdaw said:

I think its more magic and less science, in that the rules are not quite as rigid as I portray. I think as Drogon reflects Drogo, if Euron is to succeed in second lifing a dragon, that dragon will reflect his character and his ocean blood line, meaning it will become something like a corrupted sea dragon. And if Euron contracts greyscale then anything he second lifes will reflect that too.

I think Falia is Euron experimenting.

What I think happened at Summerhall is this. Someone (Shiera) suspected Targaryens are able to second life dragons and the sacrifice requirement. So that someone sabotaged Summerhall in the hope that it would result in baby Rhaegar's and other Targaryen's deaths, and that would birth the dragons. It didn't end up working because Dunk managed to save Rhaegar.

Oh wow I never thought about that so Rhaegar was mean to be sacrifice but Dunk save from him death?.      Wait minute you think the spy/saboteur during the burring of the eggs was Shiera Seastar? 

 

Sir there are rumor that Duncan Targaryen and his wife Jenny Oldstones had children? what are you thoughts on that?  Thanks for answering

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I came up with nearly the exact same idea a few years back—That Valyrians blood-sacrificed family members and shadowbinded them to dragons. This is why Targaryen blood is required to ride Targaryen dragons. And this is the true secret meaning behind the phrase "blood of the dragon." "Blood" meaning family as often as not. Targaryens are probably literally related to the spirits that inhabit their dragons, by blood if not marriage, and often enough both. Yep. Possible bonus points for incest.

As you did, @chrisdaw, I noted the beliefs of Aerys II and Aerion, but I was first inspired to this idea by the description of lemurs in AGoT, Daenerys III, as silver-furred (haired) and purple-eyed. Oh, like Valyrians? So I googled lemurs and found something else interesting. Lemures is a Latin word that means souls of the dead, ghosts, spirits, shades, etc. These spirits can also be vengeful and/or wandering because they did not get a proper burial. Which is when I started to construct the above idea in my head. Needless to say I wasn't disappointed when the WoIaF came out and read that lemurs are sometimes referred to as "little Valyrians."

I don't remember any other details at the moment, but maybe I'll search for my old posts and see what I can find.

 

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