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Heresy 218 a brief walk on the dark side

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2 hours ago, Tucu said:

It is a parallel to the hard-core Puritans leaving for the Americas after the tolerance in England became intolerable to them.

Interesting - since I don't know much about English history or Puritans I can't comment much but I know "tolerant" countries are rarely tolerant. 

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7 hours ago, JNR said:

True, but since the Valyrian gods do have names, they can't be the old gods:

Which means you're right; the Valyrians did not worship the old gods.

Here is the best argument that the original religion of the Targaryens were not the old gods. 

15 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I strenuously disagree with the premise that Rhaegar is Jon’s father

Rhaegar could not have abducted Lyanna. After the tourney at Harrenhal, he and Elia went to Dragonstone to birth Aegon. Once she was well enough to travel they sailed south to Dorne to request the 10,000 Dornishmen - and perhaps swap out Aegon for another babe, allowing Doran to raise Aegon in the Water Gardens. When Rhaegar returned from the south he had Elia with him.

8 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Quaithe has a Westerosi accent; she treats Dany differently than we see Mel or Moqorro treat those they "help;"her eyes are bright (wet???) when she warns Dany; she appears in dreams--gotta be via glass candle--and we know a Westerosi might have access to a glass candle via the Citadel. 

Quaithe is introduced as a shadowbinder from Asshai. She also resides in Qarth. She is one of three representatives that came back with Jhogo after Dany had sent out from the waste her blood riders in three different directions. How would Quaithe also be located at the Citadel? Or were you implying she took one? Because I do believe she has one in her possession, and that it's how she appears to Dany.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Or, perhaps Rhaegar had a Melisandre figure in his life? A Night's Queen figure who believed in the prophecies and was willing to encourage sacrifices?

We've got Mel with Stannis--that's easy to see. Even kind of echoes with Dalla's warning against sorcery, but Val's being willing to kill/cleanse Shireen to save them all.

But we also have other potential sacrificial echoes: Lysa with Sansa at the Moon Door. Yes, her willingness to chuck Sansa into oblivion isn't "prophetic"--it's jealousy and disappointment. But that Moon Door is clearly tied to sacrificial imagery with weirwood and the moon face. 

Did Rhaegar have a woman other than Elia who was interested in magic and prophecy and willing to sacrifice? Willing to talk Rhaegar into sacrifice? Possibly even in love with him as Lysa is with Baelish?

Yes--my money would be on Ashara for this, since I think she is Quaithe.

 But I'm wondering if Rhaegar had "encouragement"--as we see with Mel. And somewhat with Lysa. And even a bit  with Val. 

I  think this is a distinct possibility.  Just like we have some oblique hints that there may be a maternal line of witches in the Spicer - Westerling family, we may have a hint of this possibility through the female Dayne line as well.

While it’s easy to forget about Egg’s (Aegon V) maternal line, his mother was a Dayne.  And Egg’s sister apparently tried to slip Egg a love potion.  Now where would Egg’s sister have learned to dabble in such things?  What I gather through the books is that witchcraft may be passed on from mother to daughter.

Now this doesn’t mean that this maternal line of witches would still be present at the time of Ashara Dayne, but since House Dayne is a Dornish house, and the Dornish houses are inherited through the oldest child, not the oldest male child, it’s very possible that a maternal line was maintained in House Dayne from the time of Aegon V.  Which in turn means that a knowledge of witchcraft may have been passed down from mother to daughter all the way to Ashara Dayne.  It’s also not unheard of to marry daughters back to the house of their mothers.  (We see an example of this with House Redwyne, where Olenna Redwyne’s Martell daughter was married back into House Redwyne).  

Now if Ashara was part of a conspiracy to wake a dragon through sacrifice (or sacrifices), and if Ashara is Quaithe, then this could lead to an easy explanation for her leaving Westeros for Essos.  If Eddard put a stop to this plan at the tower of joy, he may have uncovered Ashara’s part in this and gave her the same option he gave Cersei, exile.  

Ashara fakes her death and leaves for Essos, ultimately ending up in Asshai.

It might also explain Ned’s fury about Cat asking him about Ashara.  It may have less to do with Ned trying to change the subject about Jon’s mother and more to do about Ned’s anger towards Ashara.

Also if Lyanna somehow willingly became a participant in Rhaegar’s clique, the one person from Rhaegar’s inner circle who could have drawn Lyanna in, is probably Ashara.  Especially if Ashara started a relationship with Eddard at Harrenhal.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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If there isn't ice magic and fire magic but only magic, maybe there aren't old gods and new gods but only gods as well?

Just as the seasons are out of synch, the title of the saga is out of synch as well. Usually, the opposite of fire is water, not ice.

Assuming the COTF created the White Wakers, did they anger the Old Gods by doing so? And did the Old Gods then select the Targaryens to come to Westeros, because their dragons were needed to deal with the White Walkers?

IIRC the origin of the dragons are firewyrms. Who live in the ground like the COTF.

Apologies for the confusing post, but I feel we are being presented a lot of Ying and Yang to cloud our minds from seeing the bigger picture.

 

 

 

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I can't find the SSM, but GRRM talked about how Aegon the conqueror had a pragmatic view of religion, similar to ruling families of ancient Rome. He accepted the Valyrian gods before he invaded and then adopted the Seven after as that helped him rule. 

While we can't rule it out, I don't picture wierwoods in Valyria. 

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I am amazed how many people connect Quaithe to Ashara. 

While it is fun to speculate about Ashara not being dead, I can't see GRRM resolving a mysterious suicide by saying she lived happily ever after in another place. 

These 2 characters have literally nothing in common other than both being female. 

I don't trust Quaithe, but mainly because of SSMs.  Quaithe is clearly trying to convince Dany to go to Asshai, and we know she never goes there because GRRM said so.  That doesn't mean she is trying to lead Dany astray, but that is the most straightforward explanation. 

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18 hours ago, Sly Wren said:
22 hours ago, St Daga said:

I am not sure that I really see much of an old gods connection to the Targaryen's. We never hear of a godswood at Dragonstone, and the Sept at Dragonstone has seven gods carved from the masts of the ships that brought the Targaryen's to Dragonstone

Agreed--and the Stranger from Aegon's sept has a face "carved to look more animal than human." So far, that's the only Stranger image in the novels that is animalistic.

Given the skin changers in Westeros--and the possibility that the skin changing is similar to the children going into the trees and stones--seems like there's a chance Aegon and Co. feared whatever they knew about Westerosi gods--an opposition, not a "connection."

You make a very good point about the Stranger from Dragonstone, which might indicate a fear or wariness toward skinchangers. Are all skinchagers tied to the old gods, however? It certainly seems like the idea of souls or spirits going into the weirnet are part of the old gods, but are individual skinchangers? Although, skinchanging and the CotF seemed tied together, and the CotF seem tied to the old gods, so that might be the connection that we are looking for.

In Dany's HotU visions, one vision she had reminds me of the representatives of the Faith of the Seven. 

Quote

Finally the stair opened. To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid. Dany said a quick prayer, begging the Warrior for courage and the Dothraki horse god for strength. She made herself walk forward.

Beyond the doors was a great hall and a splendor of wizards. Some wore sumptuous robes of ermine, ruby velvet, and cloth of gold. Others fancied elaborate armor studded with gemstones, or tall pointed hats speckled with stars. There were women among them, dressed in gowns of surpassing loveliness. Shafts of sunlight slanted through windows of stained glass, and the air was alive with the most beautiful music she had ever heard.
 
A kingly man in rich robes rose when he saw her, and smiled. "Daenerys of House Targaryen, be welcome. Come and share the food of forever. We are the Undying of Qarth."
 
"Long have we awaited you," said a woman beside him, clad in rose and silver. The breast she had left bare in the Qartheen fashion was as perfect as a breast could be.
 
"We knew you were to come to us," the wizard king said. "A thousand years ago we knew, and have been waiting all this time. We sent the comet to show you the way."
 
"We have knowledge to share with you," said a warrior in shining emerald armor, "and magic weapons to arm you with. You have passed every trial. Now come and sit with us, and all your questions shall be answered."
 
She took a step forward. But then Drogon leapt from her shoulder. He flew to the top of the ebony-and-weirwood door, perched there, and began to bite at the carved wood.
 
"A willful beast" laughed a handsome young man. "Shall we teach you the secret speech of dragonkind? Come, come."
 
Doubt seized her. The great door was so heavy it took all of Dany's strength to budge it, but finally it began to move. Behind was another door, hidden. It was old grey wood, splintery and plain . . . but it stood to the right of the door through which she'd entered. The wizards were beckoning her with voices sweeter than song. She ran from them, Drogon flying back down to her. Through the narrow door she passed, into a chamber awash in gloom. ACOK-Daenerys IV

 

 
I have considered that this imagery might have been Dany dreaming of the inside of a sept, which the light flooding through stained-glass windows and beautiful music and voices sweeter than song reminds me of. I have even wondered if this is Dany connected to the Sept at Dragonstone (Stannis had burned the statues on the beach by this time, giving them to the fire and making them ash and air), or the Great Sept of Baelor, but perhaps it's another Sept in another place, or a broader image of the representatives of the Seven.
 
The imagery of some of these persons that Dany refers to as "wizards" seems to fit the idea of the Seven. We have the father, the warrior, the smith, which could be represented in a "kingly man in rich robes" who might also be the "wizard king", a "warrior in shining emerald armor", and "a handsome young man". We also are told in this room "there were women among them" although a number is never given, and only one is described in any detail, the women beside the "kingly man" who is dressed in rose and silver. I feel like she is probably representing the mother, so perhaps the other women are representing the maiden and the crone. Nothing seems to remind me specifically of the stranger, but I still get a vibe of the Faith of the Seven from this. I also wonder that the idea of a wizard hat could fit the imagery of the hat that the High Septon might wear!
 
The warrior representation even talks about wishing to arm her with a magic weapon, which reminds me of the story of Ser Galladon of Morne who was given an enchanted sword, the Just Maid, by "the Maiden" when she fell in love with him. This story is tied to the Faith of the Seven, although it's possible that the tale has been adapted to fit the idea of the Faith over the years.
 
Even if this is just a trick image of the Undying, why seem to represent the Faith unless the Targaryen's are tied to the Faith in some way? If there is some tie to the old gods for the Targaryen's, why not the image of a white tree with a face? Or even a forest? The closest thing we get to the weirwood is the door to this chamber I just described has doors of ebony and weirwood, which Dany thinks are beautiful but she is frightened by them more than anything. Frightened of weirwood and ebony? Perhaps it's the images that frighten her?
 
Edited by St Daga
formatting

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10 hours ago, TheMiddleHero said:

It does to me as well. Have to agree with this a great deal. Even to the point that Ashara seems out of the question as well because her traits may throw a problem into the gene pool. Why not Whylla? Maybe she was of the North?....Or maybe she was Salty Dornish?.... Maybe Ned fell into a situation like his son did. Wounded and fell in love with the woman who cared for him?

Ned lying all in all is not a common thing, so maybe Wylla is the truth all along.Personally I believe Ned's one lie is being the KotLT, and due to the situation and anguish it caused, made Ned more Ned than he was already.

I agree that I think that what we are seeing in Jon's story is representative of what happened to Jon's father in the past. I do think this is Ned (but I could see this as Arthur Dayne in several ways, as well), but an inconsistency that I see is that Jon and Ygritte did not have a child together, so I am not sure about Ned/Arthur being forced to stumble AND having a bastard from that same union. It would not surprise me at all if Wylla was Jon's mother, I just think it's a pseudonym for Lyanna, like we see Sansa having Alayne (which if you jumble the letters spells Lyaena :o) or the many identities that Arya is assuming in the course of her story.

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9 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

I don't think Valyrians worshipped old gods - it is frustrating we don't know anything about their own religion except they named their dragons after their gods. 

You make a great point here! The Valyrian did have gods with names since they named their dragons after them (Balerion, Vhager, Meraxes, Syrax, etc) but we know that the old gods are the "nameless and faceless" gods, so the olds gods having no name doesn't fit the idea of the gods of Valyria very well at all.

ETA: as I continued down the thread, I see that @JNR made this very same point! :ninja: Sorry for the repeat in ideas.

Edited by St Daga
ETA

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1 hour ago, alienarea said:

Usually, the opposite of fire is water, not ice.

It is interesting that the first weapon that the Children reached for to fight human invaders was water. It might be a hint that the original religion of the First Men was the fiery R'hllor.

I view ice as the same as water, because it is - it's just frozen water. It became frozen by applying icy cold air.

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1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

Now this doesn’t mean that this maternal line of witches would still be present at the time of Ashara Dayne, but since House Dayne is a Dornish house, and the Dornish houses are inherited through the oldest child, not the oldest male child, it’s very possible that a maternal line was maintained in House Dayne from the time of Aegon V.  Which in turn means that a knowledge of witchcraft may have been passed down from mother to daughter all the way to Ashara Dayne.

I like this path of thought. I also wonder if it could apply to Lyarra and Lyanna, as well? Going back generations possibly, including the pregnant woman who emerges from the black pool at Winterfell, calling for the gods to give her a son who will avenge his father. A history of Stark female who practice magic?

 

1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

Now if Ashara was part of a conspiracy to wake a dragon through sacrifice (or sacrifices), and if Ashara is Quaithe, then this could lead to an easy explanation for her leaving Westeros for Essos.  If Eddard put a stop to this plan at the tower of joy, he may have uncovered Ashara’s part in this and gave her the same option he gave Cersei, exile.  

Ashara fakes her death and leaves for Essos, ultimately ending up in Asshai.

It might also explain Ned’s fury about Cat asking him about Ashara.  It may have less to do with Ned trying to change the subject about Jon’s mother and more to do about Ned’s anger towards Ashara.

I do think that there is a great chance that Ashara is Quaithe and she is Daenerys' mother. Exile would work, except some niggling little suspicion that Ned was part of Ashara's fall from a tower, which could mirror the fall of Bran from a tower. I think Ned could have pushed Ashara (for knowledge she had or just discovered) and she then was forced to take a dive from a tower. I just don't think she died from that fall, although the Neddard might think she did. It would fit some of the parallel's that we see in the text.

Quote

"She killed herself, though," said Arya uncertainly. "Ned says she jumped from a tower into the sea." ASOS-Arya VIII

I feel there is irony in this story, because Arya hears this story of Ashara's death from Ned Dayne, but I think the original tale of jumping from the tower into the sea because of grief was started by another Ned, Eddard Stark. 

Quote

Ned thought, If it came to that, the life of some child I did not know, against Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon, what would I do? Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon's life, against the children of her body? He did not know. He prayed he never would. AGOT-Eddard XII

Just rereading this the other day and it suddenly seemed completely possible to me that Ned doesn't name Jon in this question about what he personally would do if someone threatened the life of a child he didn't know against Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon, is that Ned knows exactly what he would do if someone threatened Jon's life. Ned already lived that moment! He would do what Jaime did, which was put an end to that person who had the knowledge that could cause harm. Just like Jaime pushed Bran to protect his own children, I think Ned pushed Ashara from a tower to protect his son Jon (this could work for any version of Starkcest, but with Ned as the father it's the most direct parallel). This would tie Jaime/Cersei incest to Ned/Lyanna incest, with a terrible discovery, leading to a fall/push, and the goal of protection of the child at risk! It would also work with the parallels in the story, as a form of telling us what happened in the past but looking at what is happening in the present.

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1 hour ago, alienarea said:

If there isn't ice magic and fire magic but only magic, maybe there aren't old gods and new gods but only gods as well?

This will probably turn out to be the case. Most of what we know about gods (or magic) in the story is based on the believers. It's the believers who create the narrative around their own religion. So, perhaps it doesn't come down to what gods the Targaryen's believe in/worship versus the gods of the Starks and Blackwoods and First Men or the Tully's and the Seven. It's all the same thing, with different mythos built up around them!

However, it's possible in GRRM's world, he is creating a sort of yin and yang, push and pull, with two completely different sources for magic and spirituality. 

Edited by St Daga
clarification and spelling

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Grrm said that it is left up to readers whether the gods exist.  Magic clearly does exist, therefore the gods are not the source of magic, unless this is also left undefined. 

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10 hours ago, JNR said:

What's the text on this?  She does speak Common -- it's how she introduces herself to Dany -- but I didn't remember the accent part.

It’s a valid point, and the context of text probably should lead us to the conclusion that she simply chooses to use the common tongue with Dany:

Quote

Dany stared down at the strangers. “Here I stand. Look, if that is your pleasure … but first tell me your names.”


The pale man with the blue lips replied in guttural Dothraki, “I am Pyat Pree, the great warlock.”


The bald man with the jewels in his nose answered in the Valyrian of the Free Cities, “I am Xaro Xhoan Daxos of the Thirteen, a merchant prince of Qarth.”


The woman in the lacquered wooden mask said in the Common Tongue of the Seven Kingdoms, “I am Quaithe of the Shadow. We come seeking dragons.”

In other words each of the three emissaries seem to be choosing which language would be best to greet Dany.  This probably tells us less about the nationality of the emissaries and more about their beliefs on how to best influence Dany.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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9 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

Is it possible Old Gods were animism/nature itself compared to Weirwoods of CotF? I always thought FM adapted the beliefs of Children after the Pact?

It seems the old gods and weirwoods are very closely related concepts for both the CotF and First Men, as Jojen spells out:

Quote

"It is given to a few to drink of that green fountain whilst still in mortal flesh, to hear the whisperings of the leaves and see as the trees see, as the gods see," said Jojen.

Quote

Maesters will tell you that the weirwoods are sacred to the old gods. The singers believe they are the old gods. When singers die they become part of that godhood

I think the weirwoods are particularly sacred because they serve as the living memory of the above-mentioned godhood.  They "are" the gods almost in the sense that our brains "are" us. 

When Bran skinchanges the weirnet in ADWD, he is essentially becoming a part of that living collective mind.  He can access its memories and gradually learn what it knows.  No one but greenseers can do that; it's what it means to be a greenseer.

However, this also means Bloodraven is correct when he tells Bran not to be fooled into thinking he can communicate with the historical people he perceives in weirwood memories.  You cannot change the past, as a greenseer, just as we cannot change the past by remembering things.

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2 hours ago, alienarea said:

If there isn't ice magic and fire magic but only magic, maybe there aren't old gods and new gods but only gods as well?

To the latter point, because the "gods" of the weirwood are essentially the lingering consciousness/spirits of the formerly living, it may be that there are more spirits than just those held in the weirwood; there's the Winterfell crypts, the Others, the possibility that Rhaego (or others) were transferred into Dany's stone eggs, (speculatively) the heart in the HoTU, and Melisandre's claim that she can commune with "kings long dead." Just as fire and ice might just be two different manifestations of the same force, it may also be that some of the gods/forces being worshiped are really just the lingering dead.

Edit: In relation to the thread topic, while the Valyrians do not appear to have worshiped the old gods specifically, the magic that inspired their form of worship (whatever it was) might overlap with the magic of Westeros; in addition to the aforementioned awakening of stone eggs, both the CotF and the Valyrians utilized dragonglass, and there's the open question of the Last Hero's "dragonsteel."

If I'm not mistaken, the text's premise is that the Targaryens escaped the Doom because of Daenys the Dreamer's visions, so to run with the premise raised in the OP, it may be worth wondering whether or not Daenys' dreams were sent--a thing explicitly said to be possible with a glass candle, but which might also be theoretically possible with weirnet (eg, the way the 3EC visits Bran).

Edited by Matthew.

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16 minutes ago, JNR said:

However, this also means Bloodraven is correct when he tells Bran not to be fooled into thinking he can communicate with the historical people he perceives in weirwood memories.  You cannot change the past, as a greenseer, just as we cannot change the past by remembering things.

In his sci-fi work GRRM has included inhuman organisms capable of allowing interactions with people from alternative timelines. The interactions make some people think that they are talking to ghosts. Timeline jumping is also possible, thus creating a new timeline (or altering the two affected by the jump; this is not clear)

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7 minutes ago, Tucu said:

In his sci-fi work GRRM has included inhuman organisms capable of allowing interactions with people from alternative timelines. The interactions make some people think that they are talking to ghosts. Timeline jumping is also possible, thus creating a new timeline (or altering the two affected by the jump; this is not clear)

Yes, and causal loops (eg, Bran isn't changing the past as written, he's discovering that he 'caused' it) feel just "GRRMy" enough that I don't think it's out of the question, even though I don't think that would be a good route to take Bran's magic. I just can't shake my uneasiness toward the way GRRM chose to write the passage where Bran is trying to speak to Eddard in the past--he doesn't shut the door outright, he leaves it ambiguous; that's enough to leave me worried.

Edited by Matthew.

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

It seems the old gods and weirwoods are very closely related concepts for both the CotF and First Men, as Jojen spells out:

I think the weirwoods are particularly sacred because they serve as the living memory of the above-mentioned godhood.  They "are" the gods almost in the sense that our brains "are" us. 

When Bran skinchanges the weirnet in ADWD, he is essentially becoming a part of that living collective mind.  He can access its memories and gradually learn what it knows.  No one but greenseers can do that; it's what it means to be a greenseer.

However, this also means Bloodraven is correct when he tells Bran not to be fooled into thinking he can communicate with the historical people he perceives in weirwood memories.  You cannot change the past, as a greenseer, just as we cannot change the past by remembering things.

Interesting, why do you think Bran doesn't like the fact Weirwoods leaves look like bloody hands or the fact they have eyes? Are we supposed to learn Old Gods has an unavoidable connection to darkness and death? 

I saw a mention of Rhllor could be original religion of FM and I kinda agree because FM originally migrated from Essos and maybe the original war started because they were burning Weirwoods? And when it comes to Shade of the Evening - is it possible shade of the evening is the GRRM equal of Khat/Qat of Yemen? 

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12 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

That "star" association seems key to understanding some of Dany's dreams:

  • Dany's vision/dream after the disastrous ritual where she loses her child: she sees stars in a daylight sky and thinks "home"--stars = safety and home. Then the dragon comes and the whole world, including the stars, turns to ash. When the dream is over, all she can hear are the whisperings of stars. 
  • Then when Quaithe comes to Dany in her dreams at the end of Dance, Dany hears the stars whispering in Quaithe's voice (a reference back to the whispering stars at the end of Game); And in that dream, all her cares slip away and she flies among the stars that whisper to her.

That moment in AGOT always stands out to me as well, as it follows on Dany's prolonged series of dreams, and immediately precedes the chapter with the pyre--throughout which Dany is clearly confident that she's not about to self-immolate. The way the structure of the pyre is described is interesting:

 

Quote

Over the carcass of the horse, they built a platform of hewn logs; trunks of smaller trees and limbs from the greater, and the thickest straightest branches they could find. They laid the wood east to west, from sunrise to sunset

...

The third level of the platform was woven of branches no thicker than a finger, and covered with dry leaves and twigs. They laid them north to south, from ice to fire, and piled them high with soft cushions and sleeping silks. 


I wonder whether or not this is a typical Targaryen funerary right - GRRM says they burnt their dead -, random improvisation on Dany's part, or something else entirely; maybe the "whispering of the stars" hints that Quaithe may have been reaching out as far back as AGOT.

Edited by Matthew.

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