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Prophecy and the Three Heads of the Dragon

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I'm sure this has come up before so maybe someone can help me out.  I would have put in in Small Questions, but I'm hoping it will generate a bit of discussion. 

I'm only about 49% sold on RLJ, but I think there was likely a child, even if it's not Jon.  I also find the idea that Rhaegar was trying to fulfil prophecy and father a "Visenya" quite intriguing. 

Listening to the Fire and Blood audio book, though, something jumps out at me.  Visenya was the oldest and yet Rhaegar calls his firstborn Rhaenys - why would he start with the youngest?

Does this negate the prophecy theory, or is there some reason I'm not seeing?  Is it simply because it didn't occur to him until after they named Rhaenys and he just liked the name?  I would love to read your thoughts on it.

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I think he wasn't obsessed with the prophecy before his first two children were born. 

Well Rhaenys is dead wouldn't that be a bigger problem then the order of names of his 3 heads, so how could that negate it? 

I don't think heads need to be blood relatives or for prophecy to be even true. That is what Rhaegar believed to be true and lead him to death. So he can't be Prince that was promised and Rhaenys can't be one of the heads. That's all the truth I know. 

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6 hours ago, Tygett Lannister said:

I don't think heads need to be blood relatives or for prophecy to be even true. 

That depends on what the prophesy says, doesn't it.  We know every little about the prophesy except what Rhaegar believed about it.  And Rhaegar believed that the 3 heads of the dragon would be his own 3 children.

It's not impossible he was right about this part.  Rhaegar could well have 3 surviving children.

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7 hours ago, Neddy's Girl said:

Does this negate the prophecy theory, or is there some reason I'm not seeing?  

Rhaegar did not know if he would have 1 boy and 2 girls.  He probably named his first child Rhaenys because he liked the name better than Visenya.  There was no guarantee he would have two girls, and have occasion to use both names.    It's just "The Dragon has 3 heads"; not "The dragon has 1 boy-head and 2 girl-heads"

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I think we have to separate what Rhaegar was intending from what GRRM was conveying here. 

By naming two of Rhaegars children after the conquerors GRRM immediately puts in the readers mind that there should be a third. Then he has Dany have the vision where she see's Rhaegar directly say there must be a third.  Then he plants a third child out there in the form of Jon.  

It isn't about story Rhaegars beliefs or what he should or would name his children. It is about laying the breadcrumbs for R+L=J. The prophesy is not yet revealed to us but the idea of three heads of the dragon has been mentioned by both Rhaegar & Aemon. And of course the Targaryen Sigil is a three headed dragon. A Sigil they created upon conquering Westeros and which is ostensibly representative of Visenya, Aegon, & Rhaenys. But which can also represent the three heads of the dragon of the prophesy.  The prophesy is 5000 years old according to Mellisandre. And Aemon says that the prophesy has misled them all for 1000 years when he comes to realise TPTWP can equally be a princess. So which is it? I think there is a simple solution to this discrepancy; that about a 1000 years ago someone had a dream in which they foresaw the prince would come from the Targaryen line. Mush like the Ghost of High Heart narrowed it down to Rhaella & Aerys II later on. The civilisation of Valyria was said to have been 5000 years old at it's destruction which was about 400 years prior to the point we are at right now and so this fits with Mellisandre's version of the timeline, given that she is going on a manuscript is Asshai which could be much older than whatever version House Targaryen have a copy of. The one Rhaegar read in a book which convinced him he would be TPTWP.  Therefore whilst The World of Ice & Fire records Aegon & his sisters created their sigil to represent the three of them, it is entirely possible that they were in fact illustrating the prophesy which pertains to their blood line.  Either way it is a neat way for the author to ram home the three heads of the dragon concept in order to fit his story which conveniently has at least two and probably three main POV characters who are of the Targaryen blood. Plus one side character who claims to be.

Given that Rhaegar felt he was TPTWP and that we can guess the reason he changed his mind about this was that the comet was in the sky when Aegon was conceived. Well Aemon says the night Aegon was conceived but that's hardly definite given Aemon only knows what Rhaegar wrote in his letters and whilst Rhaegar might have decided the babe was conceived the night it appeared that does not mean he is correct, how would he know? What I think we can infer is that the comet appeared at some point around when she told him of her pregnancy, which was possibly anything up to three to four months gone. Without tests historically a woman tended to wait till she was certain and certain the pregnancy was sticking, to tell her husband. Given how Rhaella was blamed by Aerys for her multiple miscarriages too Elia had every reason to wait to share her news. Maesters might be able to ascertain roughly how far on a woman is through examination but we are a long way from our modern day understanding of the timeline and development of a pregnancy here.  I'd guess Rhaegar felt the appearance of the comet at this time heralded that his child not he would be TPTWP. 

Another option is that Aemon has misremembered what Rhaegar told him and the comet appeared at the time Aegon was born. Please don't forget that GRRM uses unreliable narrator in his story. 

We know from the best timeline we have : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZsY3lcDDtTdBWp1Gx6mfkdtZT6-Gk0kdTGeSC_Dj7WM/edit#gid=8 

the order chapters appear in along the timeline. And we can search the books for information about when the comet appeared and how long it hung around for. It appear on or slightly before the 17th day of the 1st month of 299 and disappears at some point between the 11th day of the 9th month and the 7th day of the 11th month of that same year.  Which means that it stays in the sky for between 8 and 10 months. give or take.  

We also know that the red comet may have been in the sky when Ned fought Arthur Dayne and the other KG at the Tower of Joy, because of his fever dream in which he describes the sky as blood streaked. 

AGOT Eddard X: 

Quote

"No," Ned said with sadness in his voice. "Now it ends." As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. "Eddard!" she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.

This is very loose and deliberately vague but what the author is concocting here is an image in which there is a streak; comets tail, of red in the sky.

But the war lasted around a year with Aegon having been born shortly before it's start; the world book tells us Rhaegar was not in Dragonstone with his wife and new born son at the close of the year 281.  And Jon was born according to the timeline which may be wrong on the 8th day of the 2nd month of 282. So in order to be there the comet needs to last over a year.

If we say the comet was there at Aegon's birth not conception and that the book's don't allow for as precise a timeline as we the fans have pinned down that works rather well though.  And feels very like GRRM's style of ambiguous clues which can be loosely interpreted. Remember an author does not write anticipating the taking off of the internet, a fan base of millions, and  a dedication to the details worthy of a PHD.  

An even better way to interpret it though would be Rhaegar's own wishful interpretation of the appearance of the comet leading to a misleading letter to his great great uncle where by he says the comet appeared at the boys birth when in fact it was a month or so later, and that after personal acknowledgment of this fact he decides that the comet in fact means he needs to conceive TPTWP now whilst it is in the sky but uh oh! his wife can not conceive again......so he sets out to meet a woman who can. 

Of course the comet is far from our only clue here. But I'd say that Rhaegars naming of his first born had nothing at all to do with the prophesy and was just a literary device by the author to get us the readers thinking in three's. 

The scene in which Dany see's Rhaegar and Elia with Aegon is a shade of the evening induced trip so like Ned's fever dream should not be interpreted as literal but as a means to convey information and clues to us the readers. Just as the ghosts is, and Jaime's and Brans or Jojen's visions are. 

ACOK Danaerys IV

Quote

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

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

There is a break in his words to Elia declaring Aegon TPTWP in which he seems to see something else, or realise something else. Danys feels he is looking at her. the next statement is that there must be one more, the dragon has three heads. this could be him coming to see that he was wrong about Aegon who is a child of two not three and that as I suggested the comet means there must be one more. Sweet sadness fills the room and that is interpretive of the love that he had for Lyanna & all his children and the sadness of all those involveds deaths. 

The prophesy has been kept deliberately vague but what we know of it is that the red comet heralds TPTWP. Now is that at Aegon's conception or birth? At Jon's Conception or birth? At Dany's hatching of the dragons? who knows? Not us. But it is likely something to do with all three of the heads of the dragon if as some of us feel the comet has a magical power of it's own perhaps it itself influenced events such as the dragons hatching? Or the possibility of a child being created who had the capacity to be AAR?  

Here is what we know of the prophesy. Mellisandre says:

Quote

 

"In ancient books of Asshai it is written that there will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him."

"It is written in prophecy as well. When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone." 

 "You are he who must stand against the Other. The one whose coming was prophesied five thousand years ago. The red comet was your herald. You are the prince that was promised, and if you fail the world fails with you."

"He is not dead. Stannis is the Lord's chosen, destined to lead the fight against the dark. I have seen it in the flames, read of it in ancient prophecy. When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone. Dragonstone is the place of smoke and salt."

 

Aemon says:

Quote

 

 "I see them in my dreams, Sam. I see a red star bleeding in the sky. I still remember red. I see their shadows on the snow, hear the crack of leathern wings, feel their hot breath. My brothers dreamed of dragons too, and the dreams killed them, every one. Sam, we tremble on the cusp of half-remembered prophecies, of wonders and terrors that no man now living could hope to comprehend . . . or . . ."

"No one ever looked for a girl," he said. "It was a prince that was promised, not a princess. Rhaegar, I thought . . . the smoke was from the fire that devoured Summerhall on the day of his birth, the salt from the tears shed for those who died. He shared my belief when he was young, but later he became persuaded that it was his own son who fulfilled the prophecy, for a comet had been seen above King's Landing on the night Aegon was conceived, and Rhaegar was certain the bleeding star had to be a comet. What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it."

 

Marwyn says: 

Quote

"Born amidst salt and smoke, beneath a bleeding star. I know the prophecy."

Benerro says

Quote

"Benerro has sent forth the word from Volantis. Her coming is the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. From smoke and salt was she born to make the world anew. She is Azor Ahai returned … and her triumph over darkness will bring a summer that will never end … death itself will bend its knee, and all those who die fighting in her cause shall be reborn …"

And the world book tells us: 

Quote

It is also written that there are annals in Asshai of such a darkness, and of a hero who fought against it with a red sword. His deeds are said to have been performed before the rise of Valyria, in the earliest age when Old Ghis was first forming its empire. This legend has spread west from Asshai, and the followers of R'hllor claim that this hero was named Azor Ahai, and prophesy his return.

Here we see that there is indeed a common theme in the various snippets we've had. That the red star bleeds - which we have universally accepted to mean the comet. That the PTWP will be born amongst smoke and salt - but this one is debated. Is it on DS a place of smoke amongst the salty sea?Home of Stannis, birth place of Dany & Aegon? is it amongst the ruins of Summerhall where the smoke is from the fire and the salt from the tears?  or is it something we don't know yet about the circumstances of Jon's birth? Or even the whacked out theory that it is the salt pork and tears at CB when Jon is stabbed? 

 

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Aegon I Targaryen was a middle child, Visenya was his older sister, and Rhaenys was his younger sister. In Dany's case we have Jon, whom Rhaegar was expecting to be born a girl, and was going to name Visenya, and we have Rhaego, who is Dany's child, and is Dany's "Rhaenys". Both of them will eventually become dragonriders - Rhaego will be next, his dragon will be Rhaegal, who had hatched second out of three dragons, and then Jon will become a dragonrider, his dragon is going to be Viserion; out of the three of them, Jon will become dragonrider the last one, even though he is the oldest out of the three of them (Dany and Rhaego), and his dragon had also hatched the first out of three; but the order, in which they will become dragonriders, is reversed, to the order, in which hatched their dragons. Probably Rhaegar has intentionally reversed order of naming for his kids, but that was a wrong decision, because the order of three heads of the dragon, was supposed to be the same, as in case of Aegon I and his sisters. So Rhaegar made a mistake. But Gods intervened and fixed that - Visenya/Jon, Aegon/Dany, Rhaenys/Rhaego.

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I'm not sure if the dragon has three heads is exactly a prophesy. We get this from Dany seeing Rhaegar at the House of Undying. He tells Elia Martell that "there must be one more" and the dragon has three heads to either directly at Dany or someone else in the room. This just could be something symbolic considering the history of Targs. It could relate to the old prophetic visions Daenys the Dreamer had. 

I think GRRM is hinting that there should be another child of Rhaegar's, meaning Jon. I'm not sure if it means Dany needs to pair up with two other Targs. Moquorro in an ADWD chapter refers to six dragons: dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark. If fAegon is truly false, there would be only two dragons left: Dany and Jon. 

It could also speak to the nature of the three-headed dragon on the sigil. We don't know how dragons work, like their origin or magic. It's possible that the "three heads" refer to something mystical about dragons. I mean, the dragon has its own head, then the rider's head that controls it, and also possible a "head" as in a sacrifice or a soul that goes into it when a dragon is made. The Starks say "winter is coming," it means literal winter and also an ominous warning about WW as well. So this Targ saying might have some double meaning like that. 

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On 5/20/2019 at 4:46 PM, Neddy's Girl said:

I'm sure this has come up before so maybe someone can help me out.  I would have put in in Small Questions, but I'm hoping it will generate a bit of discussion. 

I'm only about 49% sold on RLJ, but I think there was likely a child, even if it's not Jon.  I also find the idea that Rhaegar was trying to fulfil prophecy and father a "Visenya" quite intriguing. 

Listening to the Fire and Blood audio book, though, something jumps out at me.  Visenya was the oldest and yet Rhaegar calls his firstborn Rhaenys - why would he start with the youngest?

Does this negate the prophecy theory, or is there some reason I'm not seeing?  Is it simply because it didn't occur to him until after they named Rhaenys and he just liked the name?  I would love to read your thoughts on it.

Are you proposing a new theory?  Rhaegar had a daughter prior to Rhaenys.  With whom, I might wonder.  Ashara.  But we not met a girl of the right age.  She would be close to 20 at end of the Dance.  

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15 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

I'm not sure if the dragon has three heads is exactly a prophesy. We get this from Dany seeing Rhaegar at the House of Undying. He tells Elia Martell that "there must be one more" and the dragon has three heads to either directly at Dany or someone else in the room. This just could be something symbolic considering the history of Targs. It could relate to the old prophetic visions Daenys the Dreamer had. 

I think GRRM is hinting that there should be another child of Rhaegar's, meaning Jon. I'm not sure if it means Dany needs to pair up with two other Targs. Moquorro in an ADWD chapter refers to six dragons: dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark. If fAegon is truly false, there would be only two dragons left: Dany and Jon. 

It could also speak to the nature of the three-headed dragon on the sigil. We don't know how dragons work, like their origin or magic. It's possible that the "three heads" refer to something mystical about dragons. I mean, the dragon has its own head, then the rider's head that controls it, and also possible a "head" as in a sacrifice or a soul that goes into it when a dragon is made. The Starks say "winter is coming," it means literal winter and also an ominous warning about WW as well. So this Targ saying might have some double meaning like that. 

There are still six dragons 3 Rhaegar offspring (Aegon by elia, Jon and Meera by Lyanna) and 3 Aerys offspring (Danerys by Rhenaya, Cersci and Jamie by Joanna)

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