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Widowmaker 811

Secrets best left buried (Fire & Blood)

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All this has me thinking Aerea, who is really actually Rhaella, definitely formed a dragon-rider bond with Balerion. The tell is by how much control she was able to exert over the dragon, for the length of time (over a year iirc) & the care he has bringing her back all the way to safety despite her beyond-death condition, alongside his wounds.

 

It can be considered weird we hear no sightings of them, but when you go to distant lands who speak different languages you can't expect sheep-herders tales to reach back to Westerosi elites on a different continent. We live in an age of communication / information ourselves, so this is a reason we find it suspect hearing no news of them.

 

On 1/18/2019 at 6:42 AM, Widowmaker 811 said:

Euron says he visited Valyria.  

lol if you think Euron actually went there. Rodrik the Reader points this to very likely being a crock of shit, while the horrors Aerea & Balerion stumbled upon kind of cements this.

 

Whatever monstrosities lay hidden in Valyria, they're at the least passively active and could be why The Others are back in our current story making moves, exerting their power & influence. Who says Ice Demons practicing necromancy have to be "the bad guys"?

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21 minutes ago, lrresistable said:

 

 

 Rodrik the Reader points this to very likely being a crock of shit

 

Well educated Tyrion brutally mocks Thorne and the rotting hand in a jar,  does it make a proof that the Others do not exist? I took impression that Aerea and Balerion were absent for at least several months. We do not know where exactly they were, but the fact the dragon brought her back alive after all that time makes me think the horrors do not have to be evenly distributed over the area and/or may be somehow avoided. BTW I wonder what did they eat while in Valyria, maybe the roasted horrors :-)

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4 hours ago, lrresistable said:

The tell is by how much control she was able to exert over the dragon, for the length of time (over a year iirc) & the care he has bringing her back all the way to safety despite her beyond-death condition, alongside his wounds.

For sure - the fact that she chose the largest dragon as her first mount and was able to safely fly home on his back whilst in such a poor state of physical and mental health, without the benefit of a saddle and chains, suggests a high level of bonding between the Princess and Balerion.

That the old dragon was able to protect Aerea from the mysterious being which caused his own injuries (whatever dealt the scar down his left side would surely have done a lot worse to a 12/13 year old human) should also be considered evidence of a strong bond. 

4 hours ago, lrresistable said:

lol if you think Euron actually went there. Rodrik the Reader points this to very likely being a crock of shit, while the horrors Aerea & Balerion stumbled upon kind of cements this.

While I'm still very open to the idea of the Iron King having actually been to Valyria, I find the idea that he is full of shit equally compelling :P

Jaehaerys' edicts, not long after Aerea's death - commanding that no Westerosi were permitted to travel to the ruins of Valyria, under punishment of death, as well as placing a ban on ships from the smoking sea entering Westerosi ports - are fascinating in themselves, and could serve as proof that it was indeed the shattered peninsula where Aerea and Balerion encountered their horrors. 

If both Aerea and later Euron did indeed visit Valyria, the Crow's Eye must have had some serious sorcery up his sleeve to make it there and back alive without a friend like Balerion.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Where did he get the horn and armor, then?

Somewhere else. It's not unreasonably to presume both items would be elsewhere in what parts of Essos once made up the Valyrian empire other than the Freehold. Even further out.

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7 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Where did he get the horn and armor, then?

From Pyat Pree and the other Qartheen warlocks he captured, of course. From them he also got his stores of shade of the evening.

5 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

For sure - the fact that she chose the largest dragon as her first mount and was able to safely fly home on his back whilst in such a poor state of physical and mental health, without the benefit of a saddle and chains, suggests a high level of bonding between the Princess and Balerion.

That the old dragon was able to protect Aerea from the mysterious being which caused his own injuries (whatever dealt the scar down his left side would surely have done a lot worse to a 12/13 year old human) should also be considered evidence of a strong bond. 

Yeah, if they hadn't had a strong bond then why on earth did Balerion bring Aerea back to Westeros? If the dragon had taken her to Valyria against her will - or flown with her to places she did not want to go - then why didn't she abandon him during one of the stops they must have made before reaching Valyria? Why didn't she abandon him there?

And vice versa - if Balerion did not care about Aerea, if there was no strong bond between them, why didn't he abandon her? They must have separated whenever Aerea was looking for water and whatever meager food she subsisted on? Why didn't he fly away?

It seems as if the bond between Aerea and Balerion was as strong as that between Drogon and Daenerys is after she had mounted him in ADwD. And it is quite clear there that Dany has difficulties directing Drogon, but they still have a strong and powerful connection. And just as Dany does not *really want* to return to Meereen after Drogon carried her away, it seems very, very likely that Aerea didn't want to go to KL or Oldtown or Fair Isle or any place in Westeros. Perhaps she wanted to look for Elissa Farman, but she had no idea where she was and the fact that Elissa abandoned her might also have caused her to not really searching for her.

The fact that Aerea chose to mount Balerion and not one of the younger, weaker dragons implies that what she wanted most of all was to be not dependent on anybody else. It would be she and her dragon against the rest of the world.

That she and Balerion later avoided human settlements, etc. also makes sense if we assume that she had no interest in being found by her mother or her uncle and aunt. Reports about Balerion would inevitably cause Dreamfyre and Vermithor and Silverwing to come after her.

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18 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Have they been to Valyria, then? :D

Perhaps the Undying were there - before the Doom struck Valyria. Or, more likely, the Undying captured Dragonbinder during a war between Valyria and Qarth (or some dragonlord families) prior to the Doom.

It is even possible that one of the Undying was an exiled dragonlord from Valyria, taking all his possessions with him when he moved from Valyria to Qarth.

The idea that an artifact as fragile as that horn actually survived the Doom of Valyria is completely preposterous, too, if you think about that for a moment. Dragons burned in that fire, how should that horn have survived that inferno intact? And how on earth should have Euron stumbled on it?

We have a much better scenario to explain him having the horn - especially since he fails to mention his Qartheen prisoners in his conversations with his Ironborn in AFfC. Why do you think is that?

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7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, if they hadn't had a strong bond then why on earth did Balerion bring Aerea back to Westeros? If the dragon had taken her to Valyria against her will - or flown with her to places she did not want to go - then why didn't she abandon him during one of the stops they must have made before reaching Valyria? Why didn't she abandon him there?

Great point - I doubt this was like an Anne Darrow trying to escape Kong situation (minus the marriage), where Balerion would chase an easily find Aerea, forcing her to stay with him; under threat of becoming dinner.  (although that could make for some fun reading)

8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 And it is quite clear there that Dany has difficulties directing Drogon, but they still have a strong and powerful connection. And just as Dany does not *really want* to return to Meereen after Drogon carried her away, it seems very, very likely that Aerea didn't want to go to KL or Oldtown or Fair Isle or any place in Westeros.

I'm with you on this one, LV.

I find the part in bold to be very astute. Dany pretty much detests the nature of her life in Mereen, while Aerea apparently disliked life in both the Red Keep and Dragonstone.  Balerion and Drogon seemingly not allowing their riders to go back to these places/taking their time about it - even though said riders were both starving and exhausted - really does hint towards the mental rapport between dragons and riders being a complex deal. 

Considering that before Aerea, Balerion had at least 4 riders that we know of, I have to wonder how the number of mental bonds he shared might have affected/enhanced his mind. While I doubt the Black Dread (and other dragons with multiple riders) would have gained the ability to manufacture goods, write a thesis or talk politics, it's possible that older, more experienced dragons have a better understanding of the human psyche, due to the longer time spent being telepathically linked to a wider variety of minds. 

This whole F&B Aerea revelation has been tremendous fun, trying to work out what the hell went on. I also appreciate that we get a good Balerion story to sink our teeth into - always wanted to read more about the big man's behaviour.

 

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16 hours ago, Faera said:

Somewhere else. It's not unreasonably to presume both items would be elsewhere in what parts of Essos once made up the Valyrian empire other than the Freehold. Even further out.

Well, Euron likely lied about throwing his dragon egg away, so he could be lying about having been to Valyria as well. But there is no denying that he has been to a lot of strange places. 

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15 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Well, Euron likely lied about throwing his dragon egg away, so he could be lying about having been to Valyria as well. But there is no denying that he has been to a lot of strange places. 

Euron may also have lied about having a dragon egg. Nobody has independently confirmed that claim, no?

19 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

Great point - I doubt this was like an Anne Darrow trying to escape Kong situation (minus the marriage), where Balerion would chase an easily find Aerea, forcing her to stay with him; under threat of becoming dinner.  (although that could make for some fun reading)

In addition, one also has to ask the question why Balerion should have wanted to stay with Aerea for as long as he did? He should have had countless opportunities to just fly away and abandon her, right? Not to mention devouring/killing her if he had had enough of her and felt annoyed by her presence...

19 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

Balerion and Drogon seemingly not allowing their riders to go back to these places/taking their time about it - even though said riders were both starving and exhausted - really does hint towards the mental rapport between dragons and riders being a complex deal.

Oh, well, we don't know how it came that Aerea/Balerion left Valyria. She must have had access to food there, or else she would have been long dead.

19 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

Considering that before Aerea, Balerion had at least 4 riders that we know of, I have to wonder how the number of mental bonds he shared might have affected/enhanced his mind. While I doubt the Black Dread (and other dragons with multiple riders) would have gained the ability to manufacture goods, write a thesis or talk politics, it's possible that older, more experienced dragons have a better understanding of the human psyche, due to the longer time spent being telepathically linked to a wider variety of minds.

The fact that he allowed Viserys on his back puts this really into perspective. Aerea was much more strong-willed than this guy, so even if we take into account that the Black Dread seems to have been already dying at that time, it is still odd to assume he should have bowed down to Viserys and not Aerea. And with Aegon and Maegor apparently never having any problems with Balerion - and neither young Laena nor young Aemond with Vhagar - I don't really think it makes much sense to assume that Balerion's bond with Aerea was much different.

19 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

This whole F&B Aerea revelation has been tremendous fun, trying to work out what the hell went on. I also appreciate that we get a good Balerion story to sink our teeth into - always wanted to read more about the big man's behaviour.

It is a pity that we didn't get another rider for Dreamfyre.

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On 1/20/2019 at 2:22 PM, Lord Varys said:

Perhaps the Undying were there - before the Doom struck Valyria. Or, more likely, the Undying captured Dragonbinder during a war between Valyria and Qarth (or some dragonlord families) prior to the Doom.

It is even possible that one of the Undying was an exiled dragonlord from Valyria, taking all his possessions with him when he moved from Valyria to Qarth.

The idea that an artifact as fragile as that horn actually survived the Doom of Valyria is completely preposterous, too, if you think about that for a moment. Dragons burned in that fire, how should that horn have survived that inferno intact? And how on earth should have Euron stumbled on it?

We have a much better scenario to explain him having the horn - especially since he fails to mention his Qartheen prisoners in his conversations with his Ironborn in AFfC. Why do you think is that?

All valid points, but if there's anyone who is crazy enough to actually go to Valyria, it would be Euron.

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4 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

All valid points, but if there's anyone who is crazy enough to actually go to Valyria, it would be Euron.

Not really. The man is not suicidal.

And he is no great genius, either. He great plan is something grown entirely out of chance. Had he not chanced on the ship carrying Pyat Pree and the other Qartheen he wouldn't have returned to Pyke. He would still be nothing but a pirate.

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I imagine Aera’s food source was just like Dany’s in the Dothraki sea, picking charred scraps off meat from Balerion’s kills. Unless she developed greater control over Balerion than Dany currently has over Drogon of course (not unlikely, given the length of time they are together), in which case she was probably able to hunt with him and gets certain kills for herself.

Its hard to not draw comparisons to Dany’s situation here imo. I doubt they are one-to-one comparisons but I suspect there are a lot of similarities between the two, and I also think GRRM probably deliberately did this

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1 hour ago, HelenaExMachina said:

I imagine Aera’s food source was just like Dany’s in the Dothraki sea, picking charred scraps off meat from Balerion’s kills. Unless she developed greater control over Balerion than Dany currently has over Drogon of course (not unlikely, given the length of time they are together), in which case she was probably able to hunt with him and gets certain kills for herself.

Its hard to not draw comparisons to Dany’s situation here imo. I doubt they are one-to-one comparisons but I suspect there are a lot of similarities between the two, and I also think GRRM probably deliberately did this

The difficult thing is that we know essentially nothing about Aerea's time in Valyria? Did she interact with other people there? If so, where they humans, monstrosities, demons, etc.? Was she part of a group of individuals there or completely on her own? Valyria is not Dany's 'Dragonstone' in the Dothraki Sea...

Also, considering the destruction in Valyria Balerion would likely have to fly very far across the Lands of the Long Summer to hunt down food for himself, I don't think it is a given he (or they, if Aerea routinely accompanied him on hunting trips) was stuck in Valyria the entire time.

But this is all a complete void we cannot really fill. All I think we can do is to sift the less likely from the more likely scenarios. And both Balerion's wounds and Aerea's infection/possession implies they were doing more than just subsisting in the middle of nowhere. We have no clues where in Valyria or the Lands of the Long Summer you get what killed Aerea or where there are monsters large enough to injure Balerion pretty severely, but chances are pretty high, I'd think, that this doesn't happen out in the open at pretty every place...

In that sense, I think these two - or at least Aerea - did some exploring - and Balerion then had to deal with the monsters Aerea roused...

But if Aerea chanced upon a community of beings in Valyria/the lands around Valyria she and Balerion might actually have been separated for a time.

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On 1/19/2019 at 9:55 PM, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Where did he get the horn and armor, then?

He is a pirate so he can have stole it everywhere, but my guess is claw isle.

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12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The fact that he allowed Viserys on his back puts this really into perspective. Aerea was much more strong-willed than this guy, so even if we take into account that the Black Dread seems to have been already dying at that time, it is still odd to assume he should have bowed down to Viserys and not Aerea. And with Aegon and Maegor apparently never having any problems with Balerion - and neither young Laena nor young Aemond with Vhagar - I don't really think it makes much sense to assume that Balerion's bond with Aerea was much different.

Now that you mention it, I do find it odd that Balerion bent the neck to Viserys I. From what we know about the fourth Targaryen King, he seemed to be rather weak willed (other than maybe his position on Rhaenyra's inheritance). Certainly, his character differs greatly from Balerion's previous known riders, Aegon I, Maegor and Aerea, so one has to wonder why the Black Dread might have found Prince Viserys "worthy" of a bond?

One thing I have to ponder, which could play into the above, is the time elapsed between Aerea's death and Prince Viserys claiming Balerion. Some 37 years elapse between the two riders, with the Black Dread seemingly confined to the Dragon Pit for the duration. Could be that the Black Dread's long imprisonment and advanced age caused him to eventually bend the neck to Viserys as he simply wanted to stretch his wings more often.

Furthermore, if Balerion did indeed spend nearly 4 decades hauled up in the Pit, riderless, I wonder if Jaehaerys' knowledge of the Aerea situation played a part? While we don't know how much info Septon Barth shared with his King regarding what went on during the Princess' death throws, the ban on travel to and from the Valyrian Peninsula suggests that Barth clued Jaehaerys in pretty well. If the Young King believed that contact with the lands around the Smoking Sea could put Westeros at risk of Aerea's "firewyrm infection", perhaps such fears also caused him to keep the Black Dread confined for so long.

Considering all of Jae's kin born between 56AC and 93AC, it could be called odd that none of them (that we know of) were ever "pushed towards" claiming The Conqueror's old mount, until Viserys came along. While he was no doubt old, hoary and slow, this is still the largest creature on Planetos we are talking about, one with a deep symbolic meaning to the rest of the country - one would think Jaehaerys, Alysanne and the good Septon might see the political/military value in having the Black Dread flying above the Red Keep whilst ridden by a loyal Targaryen once more. 

That Balerion went riderless for the next 37 years could suggest that Jaehaerys and co. were worried about either the dragon flying back to Valyria or Black Dread himself being infected with the firewyrms. If this were to be the case, I can't imagine Balerion would be allowed off his chains to exercise whilst confined to the Pit, which wouldn't have been great for the big guy's psyche.

I do wonder how Alysanne felt when comparing Balerion's flight to Valyria with her three attempts to fly Silverwing beyond the Wall. Barth seemed to hypothesise that the Black Dread's will had overpowered that of his rider when he flew her to Valyria, whilst the Good Queen had first hand experience of her own dragon refusing to do as told, one has to imagine she and her closest allies would have pondered on the similarities. Both Valyria and the Wall are ancient, magic related places, something that may also have helped them connect the Balerion and Silverwing situations. The Fire and Ice nature of both locations could also give Alysanne, Jae and Barth pause.

12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is a pity that we didn't get another rider for Dreamfyre.

Agreed - I find Rhaena and Dreamfyre pretty fascinating. Some of the Queen in The East/West's actions give me almost mystical vibes, and the Dreamfyre name is very suggestive, considering the dreams associated with Dany, Bran and others.

Edited by Leo of House Cartel

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The difficult thing is that we know essentially nothing about Aerea's time in Valyria? Did she interact with other people there? If so, where they humans, monstrosities, demons, etc.? Was she part of a group of individuals there or completely on her own? Valyria is not Dany's 'Dragonstone' in the Dothraki Sea...

Also, considering the destruction in Valyria Balerion would likely have to fly very far across the Lands of the Long Summer to hunt down food for himself, I don't think it is a given he (or they, if Aerea routinely accompanied him on hunting trips) was stuck in Valyria the entire time.

But this is all a complete void we cannot really fill. All I think we can do is to sift the less likely from the more likely scenarios. And both Balerion's wounds and Aerea's infection/possession implies they were doing more than just subsisting in the middle of nowhere. We have no clues where in Valyria or the Lands of the Long Summer you get what killed Aerea or where there are monsters large enough to injure Balerion pretty severely, but chances are pretty high, I'd think, that this doesn't happen out in the open at pretty every place...

In that sense, I think these two - or at least Aerea - did some exploring - and Balerion then had to deal with the monsters Aerea roused...

But if Aerea chanced upon a community of beings in Valyria/the lands around Valyria she and Balerion might actually have been separated for a time.

me thinks there are a lot of sorcerers still alive in Valyria. Food there still and perhaps a lotw of dragons. 

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People are afraid of the unknown.  The maester wants to keep what they saw a secret from the public because it is something they cannot explain.  I don't think it means there are secrets in Valyria.  The disease has frightening symptoms and they saw no need to alarm the public.  

Aerea most probably ate something that gave her the infection.  Dragons cook their meat before they eat and so would have no problem with parasites.  Aerea ate something raw.  Firewyrms have no love for humans.  I believe that came from WoIaF.  Understandable if they were creatures bred with humans in order to tunnel through the rock of the mines.   Genetic experiments to make the human slaves more resistant to the heat.  

Aerea took Balerion but it's not exactly stealing.  She was high up in the rankings and might have bonded him in the future.  Foolish for sure.  Thievery no.  

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