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halfmanhalfwolf

the honeyed locusts...

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Hello friends,

Wrapping up another re-read, and something has been bothering me. Apologies if this has already been discussed.

  • So, Belwas eats all of the locusts. Becomes deathly ill, but survives, reportedly, due to his great size.
  • Dany puts Belwas' weight at 20 stone, or about 280 lbs, and estimates that he is roughly three times her size.
  • So, theoretically, even if Dany ate 1/3 of the bowl of locusts (unlikely), she could have survived.

Why would an assassin use such a weak poison? Perhaps the intent was never to kill her, but just to make her sick and indisposed for a time, a la Tyrion giving Cersei the shits for a few days so he could wheel and deal unopposed. Perhaps Belwas simply has a rare honey allergy? Can cause nausea and vomiting.

Thoughts?

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12 minutes ago, halfmanhalfwolf said:

Hello friends,

Wrapping up another re-read, and something has been bothering me. Apologies if this has already been discussed.

  • So, Belwas eats all of the locusts. Becomes deathly ill, but survives, reportedly, due to his great size.
  • Dany puts Belwas' weight at 20 stone, or about 280 lbs, and estimates that he is roughly three times her size.
  • So, theoretically, even if Dany ate 1/3 of the bowl of locusts (unlikely), she could have survived.

Why would an assassin use such a weak poison? Perhaps the intent was never to kill her, but just to make her sick and indisposed for a time, a la Tyrion giving Cersei the shits for a few days so he could wheel and deal unopposed. Perhaps Belwas simply has a rare honey allergy? Can cause nausea and vomiting.

Thoughts?

The weights are simply estimates.  Belwas being lardy is not going to be as heavy as he looks.  He takes up space but his density is not high.  And Dany's weight is heavier than 1/3 of his.  It is hard to judge weight without a proper scale.  The disparity in weight was not as large as 3-1.  

Was it weak?  I don't know.  You may be right in the intent being to incapacitate.  Possibly cause an abortion if the Harpy suspected her pregnancy.  A preventive measure to avoid her heir having been fathered by any other besides Mr. Zo Loraq.  

 

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Its funny you should say that, I do have an allergy to bee stings. I am much like the Dothraki in that way except they are allergic to flies. My memories are like whispers in my head, drawing me down into the darkness, much like Jon in his crypt dreams. I think he had two of them in AGOT? I'll have to check on that, with all these patterns, its hard to lift the white fog from my brain. Reminds me of Peggy's Cove on Prince Edward Island, there's a beautiful lighthouse there, it's small but these are the kind of attraction you get in Canada's smallest province. Both my father and mother are buried there, but thankful I wasn't born there. I am from the 6ix and my Leafs lost last night. That's reminds what did Ned say of Jon? Not sure why I told you about my allergy, have never carried a Eppy pen so perhaps I'm just inviting Death.

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1 hour ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Was it weak?  I don't know.  You may be right in the intent being to incapacitate.  Possibly cause an abortion if the Harpy suspected her pregnancy.  A preventive measure to avoid her heir having been fathered by any other besides Mr. Zo Loraq.   

Good idea. Maybe they were locustes covered in tansy with the dip of honey?

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Posted (edited)

The abortificans theory has its merit but if the poison was very weak, if it was just an abortificans, why not have Hizdahr eat a locust or two just to avoid suspicion? It's very weird of him to prepare snacks which he doesn't eat

Also: Belwas ate the whole bowl. It was definitely an overdose, but that might actually be what saved him - it might have upset his stomach sooner than it should have (if vomiting was even the typical effect of the poison) and thus partly cleansed his system. 

It has been pointed out that Dany doesn't eat Meereenese specialties, so she couldn't be expected to eat more than one or two locusts, if any. If she was the intended target, poisoning figs or something else that she is known to like  nibbling on would have been a safer bet. The locusts make sense only if they either needed to use a specific poison the taste of which would be difficult to conceal in something else, e.g. if it caused a burning sensation in the mouth, or if it was a sham to frame Hizdahr (but that would require the poisoner making sure that someone else was going to eat the locusts - which is not out of the realm of possibility since Belwas really seemed to have an appetite for them). If they were truly meant for Dany, then the poison must have been either quite potent to kill her, or was designed to have a different effect. Besides the abortificant option, there is the possibility of Dany falling ill and becoming ingratiated to the Green Grace who was going to treat her, or becoming indisposed during some vital event.

However: why bother with some mild poisons when you can take the foreign bitch out? The Sons of the Harpy hate her with a passion and that should be a preferred solution to some long-term master plans

Or: if you'd like the old orders overturned but would like to become the top dog yourself, Dany needs to die, as well. And if you manage to frame Hizdahr and the old families, you might have her army at your disposal to avenge her.

The way I see it, either Dany was meant to die, or it was a sham by the Shavepate. It is curious that Dany specifically notices the Pahls as the first to quickly abandon the Pit when Drogon turns up - bad conscience? Had they been forewarned that things were going to get messy?

ETA: forgot to mention: Belwas washed the locusts down with wine and the alcohol may have reacted with the poison in some way.

Edited by Ygrain

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Some who will not be named propose Belwas as the target and the zo Phals are behind the deed.  It's not complicated to me.  The harpies did it.  Locusts are a delicacy to them and it never crossed their minds that someone would find them unappetizing.  Belwas has a taste for the snack because he grew up in Slaver's Bay.  

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9 hours ago, halfmanhalfwolf said:

Why would an assassin use such a weak poison? Perhaps the intent was never to kill her, but just to make her sick and indisposed for a time, a la Tyrion giving Cersei the shits for a few days so he could wheel and deal unopposed. Perhaps Belwas simply has a rare honey allergy? Can cause nausea and vomiting.

Thoughts?

Belwas lived in Meereen for a time.  He was a hero of the fighting pits.  Are we to think this was his first taste of sweet locusts?  That bowl was poisoned.  Poison is a woman's weapon.  The Green Grace set it all up.

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What I find the most compelling theory regarding the whole incident suggests that the Shavepate was behind it with the goal of disrupting the peace and overthrowing Hizdar. As Dany's death is not necessary for either of those goals and would jeopardise his own position in many ways, it makes sense that the poison was not meant to kill. The fact that Belwas ate a whole bowl and managed to survive supports that. 

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1 hour ago, The Sleeper said:

What I find the most compelling theory regarding the whole incident suggests that the Shavepate was behind it with the goal of disrupting the peace and overthrowing Hizdar. As Dany's death is not necessary for either of those goals and would jeopardise his own position in many ways, it makes sense that the poison was not meant to kill. The fact that Belwas ate a whole bowl and managed to survive supports that. 

I tend to agree

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I don't think the poison was meant for Dany or Hizdhar. I think the person who was supposed to eat them ate them. The purpose of the locusts, I think, was to sow hostility and distrust on Dany's part toward Hizdhar. He encourages her to eat while he doesn't (he tells us why later). The Sons of the Harpy get the blame for it, which may have brought a breakdown in this fragile alliance. 

We don't know how Dany would have handled it, but Barristan handled it the way the Shavepate wanted him to handle it. Hizdhar has been removed and Ser Barry is about to go out and fight the armies outside the walls of Meereen. 

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I like the theory, let me offer another possibility 

Hizdahr is the target.

He provided the locusts and he is from Mereen makes perfect sense that he should either like locusts or feel obliged to eat some since they where his.

Kill Hizdahr, increase Danearys distrust/hate of the harpy.

This would create war between Danearys and the harpy families and Danearys might look for a new husband to help her deal with the harpy.

Who would gain?

The commander of the Brazen Beasts. The shavepate.

He knows Danearys doesn't eat Mereen delicates. 

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It was definitely poisoned.  Perhaps the poison was supposed to act slowly but because Belwas ate the whole bowl quickly, it made him vomit most of it

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Belwas was not the target else the concentration would have been higher to compensate for his bulk.  It was an assassination plot by the former slavers and their allies.  Belwas and his enormous appetite saved the day.

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Belwas retched up the entire meal long before his body would have absorbed all the poison contained in all the locusts. Every biologist is going to tell you that poison rarely kills you seconds or minutes after administering it, especially not poison used in a medieval/ancient environment (in that sense George is actually stretching things rather highly with the Strangler, but this might actually be a poison working because it triggers some kind of allergic reaction - it can definitely not work by being absorbed in the stomach). On that basis we have no reason to believe that the majority of the poison in the locusts was already absorbed by Belwas' stomach when he got rid of the contents of his stomach. In fact, you can apparently heal poisoning from the Tears of Lys as far as a day after the poison has been administered if you purge the body if the victim.

Combine all that with Belwas' weight and him being attended by medics who might have known the poison and may have administered an antidote in time and you get why he survived.

 

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On 4/18/2019 at 2:06 PM, halfmanhalfwolf said:

Hello friends,

Wrapping up another re-read, and something has been bothering me. Apologies if this has already been discussed.

  • So, Belwas eats all of the locusts. Becomes deathly ill, but survives, reportedly, due to his great size.
  • Dany puts Belwas' weight at 20 stone, or about 280 lbs, and estimates that he is roughly three times her size.
  • So, theoretically, even if Dany ate 1/3 of the bowl of locusts (unlikely), she could have survived.

Why would an assassin use such a weak poison? Perhaps the intent was never to kill her, but just to make her sick and indisposed for a time, a la Tyrion giving Cersei the shits for a few days so he could wheel and deal unopposed. Perhaps Belwas simply has a rare honey allergy? Can cause nausea and vomiting.

Thoughts?

Honestly my main thoughts from this is the mathematical conversion in the first half of your post...

If 20 stone=280 pounds that mean that...

At 40 stone, The mountain weighs in at 560 pounds...

Holy fuck

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Belwas retched up the entire meal long before his body would have absorbed all the poison contained in all the locusts. Every biologist is going to tell you that poison rarely kills you seconds or minutes after administering it, especially not poison used in a medieval/ancient environment (in that sense George is actually stretching things rather highly with the Strangler, but this might actually be a poison working because it triggers some kind of allergic reaction - it can definitely not work by being absorbed in the stomach). On that basis we have no reason to believe that the majority of the poison in the locusts was already absorbed by Belwas' stomach when he got rid of the contents of his stomach. In fact, you can apparently heal poisoning from the Tears of Lys as far as a day after the poison has been administered if you purge the body if the victim.

Combine all that with Belwas' weight and him being attended by medics who might have known the poison and may have administered an antidote in time and you get why he survived.

 

Charcoal.  Milk.  Bread. Clay.  Something to absorb the poison might work.  Then there is good old fashioned vomiting.  

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10 hours ago, The Gizzard of Oz said:

Charcoal.  Milk.  Bread. Clay.  Something to absorb the poison might work.  Then there is good old fashioned vomiting.  

Yeah, and Belwas came up with the vomiting part all by himself. I'm not sure an abortifacient would have caused Belwas to vomit this quickly. After all, whatever moon tea, etc. is supposed to do in this world - and it is more effective than natural abortifacients in our world as per George - would not so much be connected with causing the subject to vomit. Sure, an overdose of such a substance could, perhaps, also result in vomiting, but I very much doubt a substance supposed to abort Dany's child would be put in dozens of honeyed locusts rather than being administered in a single dose (to ensure she got the right dose). After all, surely Dany would have died had she eaten more than a couple of the locusts, no?

And the state Belwas is in after he recovers strongly implies he was stricken by an actual poison supposed the call the person it was administered to. I also still think that the Blue Graces recognized the poison used and administered the correct antidote (or at least used a treatment that helped neutralize or weaken the poison).

This entire obsession with the Shavepate having his own twisted agenda doesn't hold much water in my opinion. I believe the guy. He may still betray Dany and/or Selmy, but I doubt he had any such plans why Dany was still there.

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Strong Belwas was previously a pit fighter in Meereen. He has one rather peculiar personality trait that is amply demonstrated throughout the series - he loudly proclaims what his favorite foods are. Any native of Meereen familiar with pit fighting would likely know that Belwas loved spicy honeyed locusts.

Any native of Meereen would also know that Daenerys despised Slaver's Bay cuisine. If someone was truly trying to poison Dany, locusts would be the last dish they would try.

Belwas was the target of the poisoner(s). The likely perpetrators were the women of House Pahl, which is now extinct in the male line, partly due to Belwas. It is well known that poison is a woman's weapon, after all.

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It was poison but given the lack of sanitary food handling __ food borne illness is possible.  Grasshoppers don't have to pass the commission of agriculture's food safety inspections.  

Reznak might do something like this but Skahaz would not.  Skahaz would not risk the one person who protects his kin.  The mo Kandaqs threw in with the liberators.  They were considered traitors to the slaving class.  The other slave owning families would have no kind feelings for him and his.  

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