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Rose of Red Lake

Dany's dream about the Trident

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Dany fighting the Others won't go well.

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“That night she dreamt that she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper’s rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent. Some small part of her knew that she was dreaming, but another part exulted. This is how it was meant to be. The other was a nightmare, and I have only now awakened.

She woke suddenly in the darkness of her cabin, still flush with triumph. Balerion seemed to wake with her, and she heard the faint creak of wood, water lapping against the hull, a footfall on the deck above her head. And something else.” (Daenerys ASOS)

She wakes up "exulting." That word tends to be used when the author wants to describe overconfidence before something bad happens, or a darker turn because of too much power. 

Characters use it when they are celebrating too soon:

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“Margaery Tyrell is done, she thought, exulting.” (Cersei AFFC)

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“Your northerners won a crushing victory. We received word only this morning.”Robb will kill you all, she thought, exulting. “It’s … terrible, my lord. My brother is a vile traitor.” (Sansa ACOK)

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“[The Hound is] going to lose, she told herself, exulting, as Lord Beric’s flaming sword whirled and slashed.” (Arya ASOS)

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“This time he took the wight’s head off at the neck, and for half a moment he exulted … until a pair of dead hands came groping blindly for his throat.” (ADWD)

 

And when characters are power crazed:

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“I am the wood, and everything that’s in it, he thought, exulting” (Prologue ADWD)

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“Her jaws locked on his arm as they fell, her teeth sinking through the leather and wool and soft flesh. When they landed she gave a savage jerk with her head and ripped the limb loose from his shoulder. Exulting, she shook it back and forth in her mouth, scattering the warm red droplets amidst the cold black rain.” (Arya ASOS)

 

And with Bran, escaping into his fantasy to ignore the truth:

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“I am walking, he thought, exulting. Part of him knew that it was only a dream, but even the dream of walking was better than the truth of his bedchamber, walls and ceiling and door.” (Bran ACOK)

 

Also, the line "Balerion seemed to wake with her" suggests "waking the dragon." The phrase of her brother's when he got angry. 

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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Yeah I can foresee her at least losing all her dragons by the end. Whether or not she survives is another thing entirely.

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Nice catch. I always had a wild theory that Dany would meet the Others at the Trident for the first engagement. Just like her brother Rhaegar, they probably felt confident about the battle.

After all, initially Rhaegar's army > Robert's army, but Rhaegar lost.

Three Flying Fire Dragons > the Others & ice zombies ... unless the Others have a top secret nightmare weapon that Dany accidentally helped awaken.

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The other was a nightmare, and I have only now awakened.

 

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Could be, that Dany will go into the battle against the Others, believing that she is Azor Ahai (same as Stannis before her), and that, with help of her dragons, she will win. But it will turn out, that dragons can't fight against the Others, they are weak against winter magic. For example, Queen Alysanne's dragon didn't wanted even to fly above The Wall, didn't wanted (or couldn't?) go to enemy's territory. And without dragons, Dany will fail. So later Jon will take over, and win the battle, with his Lightbringer/Dawn of Daynes. It will be interesting to read Dany's POV, when she will realise, that she's not The Chosen One, and not even the next in line of Targaryen inheritance, and that everything she fought for, actually by right of birth belongs to Jon.

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12 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

“That night she dreamt that she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper’s rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent. Some small part of her knew that she was dreaming, but another part exulted. This is how it was meant to be. The other was a nightmare, and I have only now awakened.

She woke suddenly in the darkness of her cabin, still flush with triumph. Balerion seemed to wake with her, and she heard the faint creak of wood, water lapping against the hull, a footfall on the deck above her head. And something else.” (Daenerys ASOS)

Nice catch. In addition to "exulting," the word "torrent" calls attention to itself. This scene seems like a reenactment of Aegon the Conqueror encountering Torrhen Stark on the banks of the Trident.

Balerion in this passage is the name of the ship on which Dany is traveling, but you are right to point out that this is a definite "wake the dragon" message. And not just any dragon: the dragon of Aegon the Conqueror, used to defeat the kings of the First Men and to subdue Westeros. A look at the wiki tells me that Dany will have this ship torn up to build tools (presumably siege engines, trebuchets, etc.) for her attack on Meereen. So "Balerion" is used as a key weapon to build another Targaryen empire. (Aegon attacked Volantis before turning toward the Seven Kingdoms - to go west you must go east?)

On the whole, I would guess that Dany thinks she is Rhaegar, but she is actually Aegon I. The army she sees is not the army of Robert Baratheon, but of Torrhen Stark. Instead of the King who Knelt, Dany apparently creates the King who Melts. The question might be whether melting the army solves the problem, or creates a new one with the flooding of that river.

Edited by Seams

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The armies of ice that she will burn are northmen and rivermen turned to wights.  The Starks will be among those ice zombies.  I think it will go well.  

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This is from Sansa's escape from Kings Landing...

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The eastern sky was vague with the first hint of dawn when Sansa finally saw a ghostly shape in the darkness ahead; a trading galley, her sails furled, moving slowly on a single bank of oars. As they drew closer, she saw the ship's figurehead, a merman with a golden crown blowing on a great seashell horn. She heard a voice cry out, and the galley swung slowly about.

Sansa V, Storm

I believe there is a reason the George described the ship's figurehead so clearly, a merman with a golden crown blowing on a great seashell horn. Seashells are very closely associated with House Westerling. But I don't see any connection there. Davos at one points describes a sound like the faint whisper of the sea in seashell. Now, I tend to think that the George at least tries to write very carefully, with many phrases and passages relating to others. But in this instance, I think the George merely chose a poetic phrase to describe what Davos was hearing. But seashells were used back in Game to describe Stannis's activity on Draganstone...

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A boy with an army, Varys said. Yet only a boy, as you say. The kings brothers are the ones giving Cersei sleepless nights . . . Lord Stannis in particular. His claim is the true one, he is known for his prowess as a battle commander, and he is utterly without mercy. There is no creature on earth half so terrifying as a truly just man. No one knows what Stannis has been doing on Dragonstone, but I will wager you that hexs gathered more swords than seashells. So here is Cersei's nightmare: while her father and brother spend their power battling Starks and Tullys, Lord Stannis will land, proclaim himself king, and lop off her sons curly blond head . . . and her own in the bargain, though I truly believe she cares more about the boy.

Eddard XV, Game

So outside of House Westerling we see seashells associated with Davos and Stannis, but really, what do we have? Not much, if anything, at all. But in Dance, we struck a lode, first when Asha is taken by Stannis outside Deepwood Motte...

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A trumpet blew.

That' s wrong, she thought. There are no trumpets in the Drowned God' s watery halls.Below the waves the merlings hail their lord by blowing into seashells.

She dreamt of red hearts burning, and a black stag in a golden wood with flame streaming from his antlers.

The Wayward Bride, Dance 26

And then we hear from Patchface shortly before Jon is attacked by Bowen Marsh...

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Patchface jumped up. I will lead it! His bells rang merrily. We will march into the sea and out again. Under the waves we will ride seahorses, and mermaids will blow seashells to announce our coming, oh, oh, oh.

Jon XIII, Dance

These two uses paint pictures nearly identical to the figurehead observed by Sansa, merlings or mermaids blowing seashells. Sansa's merman was the figurehead of a ship, a sort of herald, and Asha's merlings and Patchface's mermaids were clearly heralds. If you think this is all coincidental, you can stop reading now.

The principal practice of the Drowned God religion referenced by Asha is to drown people in the sea and then resurrect them so they can rise harder and stronger. Patchface himself apparently drowned but washed ashore and was resurrected (albeit softer and dumber). But in both cases we have people drowning under the waves, in the Drowned God’s watery halls. And Sansa's ship, well that's a Braavosi trading galley. Petyr, whose family originally hailed from Braavos, hired it to go to Gulltown, when the Lord of Harrenhal was dispatched to woo Lady Lysa in the Vale. It's also the ship Petyr uses to smuggle Sansa out of King's Landing, and later, it returns to Gulltown from Braavos, and Petyr's man Oswell learns some interesting news.

Most crowns, like the one that adorns the Merling King's figurehead, are golden, including Stannis's.

Spoiler

Stannis has just obtained the backing of the Iron Bank of Braavos, and we have reason to suspect he intends to effect a ruse in the battle against Houses Bolton and Frey.

Moreover, we know that House Manderly, which has completed a small armada, has pledged to aid Stannis if Stannis's man Davos recovers Rickon, and we know that Manderly is associated with mermen. 

Now, here's what I suspect will happen. Word of Stannis's defeat and death will spread (marching into the sea), but Manderly will triumph over Bolton. Stannis will then join with Manderly's naval power (riding seahorses with mermen blowing seashells) to threaten Aegon and/or Daenerys, and possibly even Euron as the Second Dance of the Dragons reaches its crescendo. 

And they'll be joined by the river lords still allied with North...

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"Under the sea, men marry fishes." Patchface did a little dance step, jingling his bells. "They do, they do, they do."

Jon XIII, Dance

Stannis's host of Nothmen and Rivermen will array for battle at the Trident. Their numbers will be swollen by Northern childless and homeless men, unwed men, old men, and younger sons coming for war, for adventure and plunder, and for a glorious death to spare their kin beyond the Neck one more mouth to feed (just like Creegan Stark's host in the Dance of the Dragons). Daenerys will meet them...

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That night she dreamt she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurpers rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent.

However, I think rather than burn this host she will take it for her own to fight Aegon. Recall how Stannis took Renly's power for his own...

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"I beg you in the name of the Mother," Catelyn began when a sudden gust of wind flung open the door of the tent. She thought she glimpsed movement, but when she turned her head, it was only the king's shadow shifting against the silken walls. She heard Renly begin a jest, his shadow moving, lifting its sword, black on green, candles guttering, shivering, something was queer, wrong, and then she saw Renly's sword still in its scabbard, sheathed still, but the shadowsword . . .

"Cold," said Renly in a small puzzled voice, a heartbeat before the steel of his gorget parted like cheesecloth beneath the shadow of a blade that was not there. He had time to make a small thick gasp before the blood came gushing out of his throat.

Catelyn IV, Clash

We know that the North fought on the black side in the Dance of Dragons. And I seem to recall an old SSM where the George said the North tended to be loyalist after Torrhen knelt (or perhaps it was a post by Ran). We know that Daenerys is going to slay the lie that is Stannis or his claim. Perhaps Drogon, the shadow, will remove Stannis and Daenerys will claim Stannis's forces the way Stannis claimed Renly's.

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It were the black one, the man said, in a Ghiscari growl, the winged shadow. He come down from the sky and and...

Daenerys I, Dance 2

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"I know the cost! Last night, gazing into that hearth, I saw things in the flames as well. I saw a king, a crown of fire on his brows, burning . . . burning, Davos. His own crown consumed his flesh and turned him into ash. Do you think I need Melisandre to tell me what that means? Or you?"

Davos V, Storm 54

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The passage is foreshadowing for her second lifing a dragon. Her human life is the real dream, the real nightmare she must wake from, the second life as a dragon is her true life, what she truly is and was always supposed to be. The exultation is simply having realised that, having found her home behind the red door, finding the answer to Quaithe's question about does she remember what she is.

She wakes up inside Balerion, and Balerion wakes with her - as when she second lifes the dragon her soul will go inside of the dragon and bring it to life. The people kicking over her head is foreshadowing someone mounting her, riding the dragon she becomes.

It is a three phase foreshadowing of which the first isn't quoted in the OP. The war for the dawn is the middle part, her destroying an ice army on the trident. Her second life, becoming a dragon the size of Balerion, is the third part of her waking in the ship Balerion.

The first part is about her death/execution. She talks about how Robert was no true king because he didn't protect the Targ children or do them justice. That is what kings are for she says. Dany will at the end of the series seek to sacrifice her child to wake the dragon, making her no fit queen the same as Robert. For her attempt to sacrifice the child Jon will justly execute her, proving himself to be a king.

Edited by chrisdaw

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There is also a theory I'm exploring that it's not the Others "armored all in ice" but a host of living Northmen, lead by Jon. The phrase "armored in" or "armored all in," seems to have a pattern in relation to Jon:

Rhaegar:

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“They had come together at the ford of the Trident while the battle crashed around them, Robert with his warhammer and his great antlered helm, the Targaryen prince armored all in black” (Ned AGOT)

Then the Kingsguard that appear with Rhaegar: 

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“He saw them too. They were armored all in snow, it seemed to him, and ribbons of mist swirled back from their shoulders." (Jaime ASOS)

Since GRRM is reversing the black/white trope, Snow/white suggests the darker side of humanity.

Varamyr describing winter with the land being protected by it (like the Wall of ice protects the realm):

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“He could see the humped shapes of other huts buried beneath drifts of snow, and beyond them the pale shadow of a weirwood armored in ice. To the south and west the hills were a vast white wilderness where nothing moved except the blowing snow.”

Similarly, on the way to swear vows for the new recruits, a mix of ice and earth, again signifying protection:

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“The riders crossed a frozen stream, between two jagged rocks armored in ice, then followed a twisting game trail to the northeast” (Jon ADWD)

But things take a darker turn:

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“The paths were treacherous with black ice, and hoarfrost sparkled in the moonlight on the broken panes of the Glass Gardens.” (Reek, ADWD)

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“Jon Snow turned away. The last light of the sun had begun to fade. He watched the cracks along the Wall go from red to grey to black, from streaks of fire to rivers of black ice.” (Jon ADWD)

Finally, toward the end of ADWD, we get “Jon was armored in black ice," which could be a culmination of all of this:

- Jon's name and the snow-white armor of the kingsguard (morally black)

- The Night's Watch colors and the black wall of ice (morally white) 

- "Ice," the armor of the Starks (cold judgement/protection)

- Rhaegar's black armor (noble)

- Treacherous black ice (possibly betrayal; lies for a noble purpose)

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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Rhaegar thought he was the dragon.  He was mistaken.  Being a Targaryen is not enough to make him a dragon.  Rhaegar and Viserys were no dragons.  Opening that visor and seeing herself confirmed her own identity as the dragon.   Seeing herself instead of Rhaegar also confirmed her own right to the throne.  She took his place as the rightful heir of their father.  

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On 2/23/2019 at 10:55 PM, The Map Guy said:

Nice catch. I always had a wild theory that Dany would meet the Others at the Trident for the first engagement. Just like her brother Rhaegar, they probably felt confident about the battle.

After all, initially Rhaegar's army > Robert's army, but Rhaegar lost.

Three Flying Fire Dragons > the Others & ice zombies ... unless the Others have a top secret nightmare weapon that Dany accidentally helped awaken.

 

Especially if the usurper this time around is stannis, as nights king 2.0

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12 hours ago, Aegon VII said:

Especially if the usurper this time around is stannis, as nights king 2.0

Oooo nice twist.

But I think Stannis will probably be an re-animated wight, leading the ice zombie vanguard on a dead horse at the Trident, with his "Lightbringer", a frozen ice sword now. I wonder which ASOIAF character would meet him in single combat if this was to happen? Darn, this kinda makes me want fAegon to be the real Aegon now, just so he can get his ass kicked by zombie Stannis.

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On 2/25/2019 at 10:36 PM, U. B. Cool said:

Rhaegar thought he was the dragon.  He was mistaken.  Being a Targaryen is not enough to make him a dragon.  Rhaegar and Viserys were no dragons.  Opening that visor and seeing herself confirmed her own identity as the dragon.   Seeing herself instead of Rhaegar also confirmed her own right to the throne.  She took his place as the rightful heir of their father.  

This.  All those prophecies are about her, the prince who war promised, AA, etc.  It wasn't about Rhaegar and Viserys.  

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On 2/25/2019 at 10:36 PM, U. B. Cool said:

Rhaegar thought he was the dragon.  He was mistaken.  Being a Targaryen is not enough to make him a dragon.  Rhaegar and Viserys were no dragons.  Opening that visor and seeing herself confirmed her own identity as the dragon.   Seeing herself instead of Rhaegar also confirmed her own right to the throne.  She took his place as the rightful heir of their father.  

:agree:

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On 2/25/2019 at 10:36 PM, U. B. Cool said:

Rhaegar thought he was the dragon.  He was mistaken.  Being a Targaryen is not enough to make him a dragon.  Rhaegar and Viserys were no dragons.  Opening that visor and seeing herself confirmed her own identity as the dragon.   Seeing herself instead of Rhaegar also confirmed her own right to the throne.  She took his place as the rightful heir of their father.  

Rhaegar was already disinherited but the point is still valid.  That's why the deaths of Aerys, Rhaegar,and Viserys figure so prominently in her visions even though she never met the first two.  Daenerys inherited Westeros from Viserys, who inherited from Aerys when he was crowned at Dragonstone.  

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17 hours ago, Quoth the raven, said:

Rhaegar was already disinherited but the point is still valid

Quote? Or is it just delusional fan fic? 

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On 2/26/2019 at 4:36 PM, U. B. Cool said:

Rhaegar thought he was the dragon.  He was mistaken.  Being a Targaryen is not enough to make him a dragon.  Rhaegar and Viserys were no dragons.  Opening that visor and seeing herself confirmed her own identity as the dragon.   Seeing herself instead of Rhaegar also confirmed her own right to the throne.  She took his place as the rightful heir of their father.  

Rhaegar thought he was the prince that was promised. Then he realised he was wrong and thought it would be his first son Aegon. It is then likely Imo that he realised he was wrong again and that it would be his son with lyana. Anyway, when he road to the trident he was not under that belief. 

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18 hours ago, Makk said:

Rhaegar thought he was the prince that was promised. Then he realised he was wrong and thought it would be his first son Aegon. It is then likely Imo that he realised he was wrong again and that it would be his son with lyana. Anyway, when he road to the trident he was not under that belief. 

I disagree.  Jon is not Azor Ahai.  Daenerys is Azor Ahai.  Rhaegar was wrong about a lot of things and he is very likely wrong about his son, if he even had one besides Aegon.  

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