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El Diego

How much did Bloodraven know about warging/greenseeing before meeting the Children of the Forest??

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Posted (edited)

With Bran having the help of Jojen and the 3EC as sort of mentors, I wondered if Bloodraven had any help with his abilities before meeting the Children of the Forest.

I think we can all agree that it is heavily implied that Bloodraven was warging while living his mortal life. I always assumed he warged into ravens at the Redgrass Field to figure out the best position, and that he used it throughout his reign as Hand and the Master of Whispers. I'm not sure if he ever used his greenseeing. It makes sense that he would have green dreams but unless he knew what they were about I'm not sure we can say he effectively utilized them (and green dreams are tough to interpret anyway, even if you know they're coming). It also doesn't seem like going north to the Wall was some grand plan of his to further his abilities; he seemed pissed at being arrested and sent to the Night's Watch.

This leads me to believe that Bloodraven kind of stumbled his way through his abilities during his mortal life, honing them as much he could by himself as he knew they would be useful. He appears to be a solitary dude; he's weird enough as it is, I'm sure he didn't go around telling people what he could do. Maybe he did research on his own but I don't think he'd talk to anyone about it. I also don't think he had a 3EC telling him to come north based on how he got there. Now, maybe once he got to the Wall he started seeing stuff or communicating with someone, or maybe he just stumbled into the CotF while up there, but my take has always been that he happened to have these abilities rather than some destiny type thing that seems to be happening with Bran.

What are your thoughts?

1. Is there any textual reason to believe that Bloodraven was getting mentorship before meeting the CotF?

2. Is there any speculative reason?

Edited by El Diego

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What textual evidence do you have that BR is the 3EC?

What textual evidence do you have that BR warged into anything prior to living in the cave with the COTF and helping Bran? (I could be wrong on this point, but I do not recall any)

My memory is that BR had greensight while he was the hand as referenced in the Dunk and Egg stories.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, the Other Wolf said:

1. What textual evidence do you have that BR is the 3EC?

2. What textual evidence do you have that BR warged into anything prior to living in the cave with the COTF and helping Bran? (I could be wrong on this point, but I do not recall any)

3. My memory is that BR had greensight while he was the hand as referenced in the Dunk and Egg stories.

1. That he is the guy in the tree? There is plenty. That he is the entity in Bran's dreams? Fair question. Regardless, Bran had someone/something guiding him before and now, and Bloodraven got help with his powers after meeting the CotF. I'm interested to know if Bloodraven had any guidance before getting in that cave.

2. Nothing to confirm it, just that is implied through Bloodraven always knowing what's going on, and people making comments that birds spy for him (literal birds, not little birds like Varys), plus the fact that he should have that ability.

3. Very possible, only read those once a while ago.

Edited by El Diego

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I presumed that was why he was such a good Master of Whisperers, because he was skinchanging into birds and listening in on people. It would explain his whole "A Thousand Eyes, and One" stigma. 

Him and his lover, Shiera Seastar, where also rumored to dabble in sorcery. 

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1 hour ago, Euron III Greyjoy said:

 "A Thousand Eyes, and One"

Right on. I agree that is what that implies. 

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3 hours ago, El Diego said:

That he is the entity in Bran's dreams

When Bran mentions the 3EC to BR he does not respond as if that is him or that BR even knows what Bran is talking about.  Him and then Bran being the 3EC is from the abomination at this point.  This could have just been D&D combining characters like they did for others characters. 

 

3 hours ago, El Diego said:

Bran had someone/something guiding him before and now,

True, but there is nothing written that states BR is the 3EC. The 3EC could very well be someone else.

 

3 hours ago, El Diego said:

. I'm interested to know if Bloodraven had any guidance before getting in that cave.

I think we all are, but again I am not sure there is anything in the text.

I forgot about a thousand eyes and one. So I agree he was warging.

It has been a while since I have done a complete reread as well. Waiting for GRRM to announce he is done with Winds and then I will start at the beginning and read them all in order to be fresh for Winds.

Thanks for your response. 

:cheers:

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11 hours ago, the Other Wolf said:

What textual evidence do you have that BR is the 3EC?

I think we can all agree that the man in the cave, that Bran and the rest meet, is Bloodraven... he’s called Brynden, the birthmark, being a brother of the Watch, thousand eyes and one etc. 

The ADwD appendix describes him thus...

Quote

THE THREE-EYED CROW, also called THE LAST GREENSEER, sorcerer and dreamwalker, once a man of the Night’s Watch named BRYNDEN, now more tree than man.

So, Bloodraven is the Brynden in the cave, and the Brynden in the cave is the Three-eyed Crow.

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Posted (edited)

Bloodraven has a half-sister, who was also his lover - Shiera Seastar. She's one of characters present in ASOIAF. Now she's using an aliase - Quaithe. In the books the Three-Eyed Crow has nothing to do with the Weirwood, or green dreams, and it's not a title or a set of abilities that passes from one person to his/her successor (how it was depicted by D&D). In GRRM's version of ASOIAF's universe, the Three-Eyed Crow is what Shiera Seastar looks like in a spiritual realm (while Bran there looks like a boy with wolf's face, and a winged wolf; and Bloodraven looks like a heart tree (in Bran's coma-dream), and a man with thousands eyes, that Melisandre saw in her vision; and Jon looks like a winged beast and a blue flower - in Dany's visions from the House of the Undying, the third vision in a set slayer of lies, and the third vision in a bride of fire).

The 3EC is Shiera, not Bloodraven. They are GRRM's parallel to Arturian wizard Merlin and his lovers - Morgana le Fay and water fairy Nimue (the Lady of the Lake that gave Excalibur-sword to King Arthur); Shiera is also a parallel to a deity from Irish legends - Morrigan the Queen of Phantoms, because, besides being the 3EC, Shiera is also a shadowbinder Quaithe, and shadows are phantoms; also Shiera is a parallel to Irish war goddess Badb Catha, from Old Irish translates as Battle Crow. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Morrígan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badb

In Westeros there's House Morrigen, whose castle is called the Crow's Nest, and there's a crow on their banner.

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/House_Morrigen

House Morrigen is a clue, a nod towards goddess Morrigan (she had an ability to transform into a crow).

In ASOIAF's universe Bloodraven and Shiera are also parallels to the Lion of Night and his wife the Maiden-made-of-Light from legends of Yi Ti; and a Sun-and-Stars husband and his wife the Moon from Dothraki legends; and the Night's King who was Lord Commander at Nightfort, and his lover Corpse Queen.

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Lion_of_Night

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Maiden-Made-of-Light

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Night's_King

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Night's_King's_corpse_queen

In ADWD Melisandre was using ruby bracelet, with stored in it magical illusion, to make Mance Rayder to look like Rattleshirt. In The Mystery Knight novel Shiera Seastar used moonstone brooch, to make Bloodraven to look like Ser Maynard Plumm. From the very beginning of that story, Maynard was actually Bloodraven in a shadow-glamour.

In The Sworn Sword novel it was said (by Aegon V) that Shiera Seastar is a sorceress, and that she bathes in blood. She's still alive in 300 AC, even though she's approximately 115 years old, because making blood sacrifices, gives her nearly eternal youth, so she looks much younger than her actual age. Also, it was hinted in that book, that Shiera is a shadowbinder, and that she's able to prepare love potions.

I doubt, that prior coming to the Children's cave, Bloodraven was a skinchanger, able to warg into birds, or any other creatures. Also it's highly likely, that it was Shiera Seastar, who lured Bloodraven to go beyond The Wall (like Corpse Queen did to the 13th Lord Commander), into that cave, and made him to eat a weirwood seed paste, so the Weirwood tree grew out of those seeds, from inside of Bloodravens body, and binded him with roots to that cave. It's a parallel to Merlin's death - he was lured in a cave by his lover Nimue, and she used magic to bind him to a tree, and left him there.

So, my guess, is that, before Bloodraven came into that cave, and was "wedded to a tree" he had no magic abilities (prior the Children made Bran to eat a weirwood seed paste, they told him that it will wed him to a tree, so when Bran will wake up, the tree will be growing from inside of his body, thru his internal organs, muscles and bones, binding him with roots to that cave). Bloodraven was a very sucessful Master of Whispers, but only because he was assisted by Shiera Seastar, and she was a highly skilled sorceress, so she was using various forms of magic, to find out whatever she wanted.

5 hours ago, Unacosamedarisa said:
Quote

THE THREE-EYED CROW, also called THE LAST GREENSEER, sorcerer and dreamwalker, once a man of the Night’s Watch named BRYNDEN, now more tree than man.

So, Bloodraven is the Brynden in the cave, and the Brynden in the cave is the Three-eyed Crow.

[Edit below about this part] Is it known, who wrote those appendices? Because if it wasn't written by GRRM, then whoever else was writing them, made a mistake, by writing that Brynden is The Three-Eyed Crow. So that appendix is not an evidence.

Furthermore, it seems to me, that those appendices are written based on what characters in the books know. If Bran thinks that Brynden is the Three-Eyed Crow, then that's what got written in appendix.

For example in appendix of AGOT it is written:

"KING ROBERT BARATHEON, the First of His Name,

— his wife, QUEEN CERSEI, of House Lannister,

their children:

— PRINCE JOFFREY, heir to the Iron Throne, twelve,

— PRINCESS MYRCELLA, a girl of eight,

— PRINCE TOMMEN, a boy of seven,"

"EDDARD STARK, Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North,

....

his bastard son, JON SNOW, a boy of fourteen,"

So, if Bloodraven is the Three-Eyed Crow, then Jon Snow is a bastard-son of Ned Stark, and Cersei's children are legitimate Baratheons. And we know that that's not true.

Edit: I asked in Small Questions section, and Ran wrote that appendices are written by George himself. So, if there's written information, that is not exactly correct (such as Cersei's and Jaime's children are posed there as children of Robert Baratheon, etc.), then it's not a mistake, it is intentional. And it seems, that my guess, that what's written there, is actually based, on what is known by characters, was indeed correct. Which also means, that even though it is written there, that the Three-Eyed Crow is Brynden, it doesn't mean, that that is so.

Edited by Megorova

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Unacosamedarisa said:

I think we can all agree that the man in the cave, that Bran and the rest meet, is Bloodraven... he’s called Brynden, the birthmark, being a brother of the Watch, thousand eyes and one 

This is true, but does NOT prove BR is the 3EC. 

The appendices can be and are misleading at times in order to not give away future events.

Edited by the Other Wolf

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Dear lord you guys are missing the point in carrying this far fetched theory even further...

 

Considering BR's ability to use glamours, which is something never even mentioned by anyone else as an Old Gods power, I'd say hes done some studying somewhere and had some sort of mentor, yes. His abilities seem to have been very advanced, beyond Bran and Jojen's to be sure.

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1 hour ago, Leonardo said:

Considering BR's ability to use glamours

That's not exactly correct. It's the same kind of mistake, as saying that Mance Rayder has an ability to use glamours. BR is able to use glamours, same as anyone else. Though the fact that he can "wear" them, doesn't mean that he's the one who "made" them.

Melisandre's ability/shadow magic + ruby bracelet + Rattleshirt's "components" (could be bones, or nails, or hair, or a drop of blood - that's how magic works in that world) + Mance Rayder = when Mance is wearing that bracelet, he looks like Rattleshirt.

Same sceme in The Mystery Knight: Shiera's ability/shadow magic + moonstone brooch + either lock of hair or drop of blood of real Maynard + Bloodraven = when BR was wearing that brooch, he looked like Maynard.

GRRM is very often using patterns, parallels, repeats. So, based on info, that he gave to us in ADWD, the one who glamoured Bloodraven in TMK was Shiera, and BR himself has no ability to change his looks, same as Mance Rayder doesn't have that sort of ability.

1 hour ago, Leonardo said:

which is something never even mentioned by anyone else as an Old Gods power

Magical glamouring is not a power of Old Gods, it's a power of R'hllor, from Asshai (R'hllor is a light and a shadow). It's a part of shadowbinding magic.

I'm fairly certain, that mother of Shiera Seastar, Serenei of Lys, was actually Larra Rogare + blood magic, to look younger than her real age + a bit of shadow-glamour, not to be recognized by people of 7K, when she returned to the Red Keep, many years after her departure to Lys, and her faked death.

Maybe I'm wrong, and Serenei is not Larra, but what is obvious (though not from the first read) from Fire&Blood book, is that Larra DEFINITELY was a shadowbinder.

I think, that in this scene, King Aegon III was actually Larra in shadow-glamour, and that it was Larra and Viserys, who poisoned Gaemon Palehair and Queen Daenaera Velaryon:

Quote

When the septon had completed his recitation, Ser Marston Waters said, “Lord Rowan has confessed to all these crimes,” and beckoned to the Lord Confessor, George Graceford, to bring the prisoner forward. Manacled at ankle with heavy chains, his face so bruised and swollen as to be unrecognizable, Lord Thaddeus did not move at first, until Lord Graceford pricked him with the point of his dagger, whereupon he said in a thick voice, “Ser Marston speaks truly, Your Grace. I have confessed to all. Lotho promised me fifty thousand dragons when the deed was done, and another fifty when Viserys took the throne. The poison was given to me by Roggerio.” So halting was this speech, so slurred the words, that some upon the battlements thought his lordship must be drunk, until Mushroom pointed out that all his teeth were missing.

The confession left King Aegon III bereft of speech. All that the boy could do was stand and stare, with such despair upon his face that Mushroom feared His Grace might be about to leap from the battlements onto the spikes below, to rejoin his first queen.

It fell to Prince Viserys to make answer. “And my wife, Lady Larra,” he shouted down, “was she a part of this plot too, my lord?” Lord Rowan gave a heavy nod. “She was,” he said. “And what of me?” asked the prince. “Aye, you as well,” his lordship answered dully…an answer that seemed to surprise Marston Waters, whilst greatly displeasing Lord George Graceford. “And Gaemon Palehair, ’twas he who put the poison in the tart, I’ll venture,” Viserys went on glibly. “If it please my prince,” mumbled Thaddeus Rowan. Whereupon the prince turned to the king his brother and said, “Gaemon was as guilty as the rest of us…of nothing,” and the dwarf Mushroom called down, “Lord Rowan, was it you who poisoned King Viserys?” To which the old Hand nodded, saying, “It was, my lord. I do confess it.”

Viserys had nerves of steel. He was able even under duress, to turn around all of the evidences, that were incriminating him and his wife, and to make it look, as if though those evidences, and the one who gave them, are precarious and absurd.

Name of Larra's bodyguard was a hint, that she's was a shadowbinder - Sandoq the Shadow. Same as her cats, and the gods that she worshiped. And she was a user of blood-magic. Same as Serenei, same as Shiera Seastar.

Quote

Her worship was reserved for certain of the manifold gods of Lys: the six-breasted cat goddess Pantera, Yndros of the Twilight who was male by day and female by night, the pale child Bakkalon of the Sword, faceless Saagael, the giver of pain.

Her ladies, her servants, and her guards would join Lady Larra at certain times in performing obeisances to these queer, ancient deities. Cats were seen coming and going from her chambers so often that men began to say they were her spies, purring at her in soft voices of all the doings of the Red Keep. It was even said that Larra herself could transform into a cat, to prowl the gutters and rooftops of the city. Darker rumors soon arose. The acolytes of Yndros could supposedly transform themselves from male to female and female to male through the act of love, and whispers went about that her ladyship oft availed herself of this ability at twilight orgies, so she might visit the brothels on the Street of Silk as a man. And every time a child went missing, the ignorant would look at one another and talk of Saagael’s insatiable thirst for blood.

"The Lord of Light in his wisdom made us male and female, two parts of a greater whole. In our joining there is power. Power to make life. Power to make light. Power to cast shadows." - ADWD, Jon VI

"Yndros of the Twilight who was male by day and female by night" - F&B.

"Moon is no egg. Moon is god, woman wife of sun. It is known." - AGOT, Dany III.

Basically it's the same concept as Yin and Yang, female-male, dark-light. So, Dothraki beliefs, R'hllor's religion, Yndros, Saagael (who takes blood sacrifices), The Lord of the Seven Hells ("Whenever she gives birth, a demon comes by night to carry off the issue. Sam Stoops' wife says she sold her babes unborn to the Lord of the Seven Hells, so he'd teach her his black arts.") - same thing.

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Edited the topic to avoid getting into off topic discussions about whether or not Bloodraven is actually the 3EC. Original question was about whether he had any mentorship before the CotF.

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42 minutes ago, El Diego said:

Edited the topic to avoid getting into off topic discussions about whether or not Bloodraven is actually the 3EC. Original question was about whether he had any mentorship before the CotF.

It is difficult to form an opinion whether Bloodraven had an mentor. A person versed in Blackwood & Targ, and Blackfrye rebellions would need to chime in.

If mr. one thousand & one eyes had a teacher it would most likely be mentioned in the incomplete Dunk and Egg tales.

In the five ASOIAF published books the references to Bloodraven, Brynden Rivers are few.

There is a searchable site,

https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q=bloodraven

Perhaps someone who has read WOIAF, KotSK and F&B has the information you seek.

 

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1 minute ago, Clegane'sPup said:

It is difficult to form an opinion whether Bloodraven had an mentor. A person versed in Blackwood & Targ, and Blackfrye rebellions would need to chime in.

If mr. one thousand & one eyes had a teacher it would most likely be mentioned in the incomplete Dunk and Egg tales.

In the five ASOIAF published books the references to Bloodraven, Brynden Rivers are few.

There is a searchable site,

https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q=bloodraven

Perhaps someone who has read WOIAF, KotSK and F&B has the information you seek.

 

I think that's fair to say, but I also don't mind us completely speculating.

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4 minutes ago, El Diego said:

I think that's fair to say, but I also don't mind us completely speculating.

 

56 minutes ago, El Diego said:

Edited the topic to avoid getting into off topic discussions about whether or not Bloodraven is actually the 3EC. Original question was about whether he had any mentorship before the CotF.

I do not have a problem with speculation.

I could not in good conscience try to bs an answer to your question.

:cheers:

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Posted (edited)

Here I have collated all the mentions of Bloodraven or Lord Brynden Rivers. As you can see he was not named prior to TSS in 2003 &  AFFC in 2005, which rather implies that GRRM only firmed up who the 3EC was as a character around then, I hope these quotes help assess who he is, what kind of man he was prior to entering the weirwood cave and what abilities he may or may not have had. But please note the ones from TMK are not in precisely correct order as I searched separately for all his aliases. 

 

AFFC Samwell II

My honor guard, he called them. One was no less a man than Brynden Rivers. Later he was chosen lord commander."

"Bloodraven?" said Dareon. "I know a song about him. 'A Thousand Eyes, and One,' it's called. But I thought he lived a hundred years ago."

ADWD Bran III

"You saw what you wished to see. Your heart yearns for your father and your home, so that is what you saw."
"A man must know how to look before he can hope to see," said Lord Brynden. "Those were shadows of days past that you saw, Bran. You were looking through the eyes of the heart tree in your godswood.

ADWD The Turncloak. 

"Lord Beron Stark, who made common cause with Casterly Rock to war against Dagon Greyjoy, Lord of Pyke, in the days when the Seven Kingdoms were ruled in all but name by the bastard sorcerer men called Bloodraven. "

ADWD The Kingbreaker

"Bittersteel and Bloodraven both loved Shiera Seastar, and the Seven Kingdoms bled."

The Sworn Sword

"Lord Bloodraven had commanded them to return to their own lands and lords, but few obeyed. Many blamed Bloodraven and King Aerys for the drought. It was a judgment from the gods, they said, for the kinslayer is accursed. If they were wise, though, they did not say it loudly. How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? ran the riddle Egg had heard in Oldtown. A thousand eyes, and one. Six years ago in King's Landing, Dunk had seen him with his own two eyes, as he rode a pale horse up the Street of Steel with fifty Raven's Teeth behind him. That was before King Aerys had ascended to the Iron Throne and made him the Hand, but even so he cut a striking figure, garbed in smoke and scarlet with Dark Sister on his hip. His pallid skin and bone-white hair made him look a living corpse. Across his cheek and chin spread a wine-stain birthmark that was supposed to resemble a red raven, though Dunk only saw an odd-shaped blotch of discolored skin. He stared so hard that Bloodraven felt it. The king's sorcerer had turned to study him as he went by. He had one eye, and that one red. The other was an empty socket, the gift Bittersteel had given him upon the Redgrass Field. Yet it seemed to Dunk that both eyes had looked right through his skin, down to his very soul. "

*****

"No, I said. Do you need a clout in the ear to help you hear better?" He unlaced his breeches.

Underneath was only him; it was too hot for smallclothes. "It's good that you're concerned for Wat and Wat and Wat and the rest of them, but the boot is only meant for dire need." How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? A thousand eyes, and one. "What did your father tell you, when he sent you off to squire for me?"

"To keep my hair shaved or dyed, and tell no man my true name," the boy said, with obvious reluctance."

*****

"A great battle is a terrible thing," the old knight said "but in the midst of blood and carnage, there is sometimes also beauty, beauty that could break your heart. I will never forget the way the sun looked when it set upon the Redgrass Field . . . ten thousand men had died, and the air was thick with moans and lamentations, but above us the sky turned gold and red and orange, so beautiful it made me weep to know that my sons would never see it." He sighed. "It was a closer thing than they would have you believe, these days. If not for Bloodraven . . ."

"I'd always heard that it was Baelor Breakspear who won the battle," said Dunk. "Him and Prince Maekar."

"The hammer and the anvil?" The old man's mustache gave a twitch. "The singers leave out much and more. Daemon was the Warrior himself that day. No man could stand before him. He broke Lord Arryn's van to pieces and slew the Knight of Ninestars and Wild Wyl Waynwood before coming up against Ser Gwayne Corbray of the Kingsguard. For near an hour they danced together on their horses, wheeling and circling and slashing as men died all around them. It's said that whenever Blackfyre and Lady Forlorn clashed, you could hear the sound for a league around. It was half a song and half a scream, they say. But when at last the Lady faltered, Blackfyre clove through Ser Gwayne's helm and left him blind and bleeding. Daemon dismounted to see that his fallen foe was not trampled, and commanded Redtusk to carry him back to the maesters in the rear. And there was his mortal error, for the Raven's Teeth had gained the top of Weeping Ridge, and Bloodraven saw his half brother's royal standard three hundred yards away, and Daemon and his sons beneath it. He slew Aegon first, the elder of the twins, for he knew that Daemon would never leave the boy whilst warmth lingered in his body, though white shafts fell like rain. Nor did he, though seven arrows pierced him, driven as much by sorcery as by Bloodraven's bow. Young Aemon took up Blackfyre when the blade slipped from his dying father's fingers, so Bloodraven slew him, too, the younger of the twins. Thus perished the black dragon and his sons.

"There was much and more afterward, I know. I saw a bit of it myself . . . the rebels running, Bittersteel turning the rout and leading his mad charge . . . his battle with Bloodraven, second only to the one Daemon fought with Gwayne Corbray . . . Prince Baelor's hammerblow against the rebel rear, the Dornishmen all screaming as they filled the air with spears . . . but at the end of the day, it made no matter. The war was done when Daemon died.

"So close a thing . . . if Daemon had ridden over Gwayne Corbray and left him to his fate, he might have broken Maekar's left before Bloodraven could take the ridge. The day would have belonged to the black dragons then, with the Hand slain and the road to King's Landing open before them. Daemon might have been sitting on the Iron Throne by the time Prince Baelor could come up with his stormlords and his Dornishmen.

"The singers can go on about their hammer and their anvil, ser, but it was the kinslayer who turned the tide with a white arrow and a black spell. He rules us now as well, make no mistake. King Aerys is his creature. It would not surprise to learn that Bloodraven had ensorceled His Grace, to bend him to his will. Small wonder we are cursed." Ser Eustace shook his head and lapsed into a brooding silence. Dunk wondered how much Egg had overheard, but there was no way to ask him. How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? he thought.

*****

"Or pretty eyes. Tell her that her gown brings out the color of her eyes." The lad reflected for a moment.

"Unless she only has the one eye, like Lord Bloodraven."

*****

That was insolent, but true. "Might be I don't know any highborn ladies, but I know a boy who's asking for a good clout in the ear." Dunk rubbed the back of his neck. A day in chainmail always left it hard as wood. "You've known queens and princesses. Did they dance with demons and practice the black arts?"

"Lady Shiera does. Lord Bloodraven's paramour. She bathes in blood to keep her beauty. And once my sister Rhae put a love potion in my drink, so I'd marry her instead of my sister Daella."

Egg spoke as if such incest was the most natural thing in the world. For him it is. The Targaryens had been marrying brother to sister for hundreds of years, to keep the blood of the dragon pure. Though the last actual dragon had died before Dunk was born, the dragonkings went on. Maybe the gods don't mind them marrying their sisters. "Did the potion work?" Dunk asked.

*****

Lord Rivers is not like to let any Brackens in to see him. Pray recall, our Hand was born half Blackwood. If he acts at all, it will be only to help his cousins bring the Brute to bay. The Mother marked Lord Rivers on the day that he was born, and Bittersteel marked him once again upon the Redgrass Field."

Dunk knew he meant Bloodraven. Brynden Rivers was the Hand's true name. His mother had been a Blackwood, his father King Aegon the Fourth.

"Make no mistake, 'tis Lord Rivers who rules us, with his spells and spies. There is no one to oppose him. Prince Maekar sulks at Summerhall, nursing his grievances against his royal brother. Prince Rhaegal is as meek as he is mad, and his children are . . . well, children. Friends and favorites of Lord Rivers fill every office, the lords of the small council lick his hand, and this new Grand Maester is as steeped in sorcery as he is. The Red Keep is garrisoned by Raven's Teeth, and no man sees the king without his leave."

Dunk shifted uncomfortably in his seat. How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? A thousand eyes, and one. He hoped the King's Hand did not have a thousand ears and one as well. Some of what Septon Sefton was saying sounded treasonous. He glanced at Egg, to see how he was taking all of this. The boy was struggling with all his might to hold his tongue.

*****

Uncle Baelor said that clemency was best when dealing with an honorable foe. If a defeated man believes he will be pardoned, he may lay down his sword and bend the knee. Elsewise he will fight on to the death, and slay more loyal men and innocents. But Lord Bloodraven said that when you pardon rebels, you only plant the seeds of the next rebellion."

*****

No one ever clouted your father in the ear, though. Maybe that's why Prince Maekar is the way he is. "When the king named Lord Bloodraven his Hand, your lord father refused to be part of his council and departed King's Landing for his own seat," he reminded Egg. "He has been at Summerhall for a year, and half of another. What do you call that, if not sulking?"

"I call it being wroth," Egg declared loftily. "His Grace should have made my father Hand. He's his brother , and the finest battle commander in the realm since Uncle Baelor died. Lord Bloodraven's not even a real lord, that's just some stupid courtesy . He's a sorcerer, and baseborn besides."

"Bastard born, not baseborn." Bloodraven might not be a real lord, but he was noble on both sides. His mother had been one of the many mistresses of King Aegon the Unworthy. Aegon's bastards had been the bane of the Seven Kingdoms ever since the old king died. He had legitimized the lot upon his deathbed; not only the Great Bastards like Bloodraven, Bittersteel, and Daemon Blackfyre, whose mothers had been ladies, but even the lesser ones he'd fathered on whores and tavern wenches, merchant's daughters, mummer's maidens, and every pretty peasant girl who chanced to catch his eye.

Fire and Blood were the words of House Targaryen, but Dunk once heard Ser Arlan say that Aegon's should have been Wash Her and Bring Her to My Bed.

"King Aegon washed Bloodraven clean of bastardy," he reminded Egg, "the same as he did the rest of them."

"The old High Septon told my father that king's laws are one thing, and the laws of the gods another," the boy said stubbornly. "Trueborn children are made in a marriage bed and blessed by the Father and the Mother, but bastards are born of lust and weakness, he said. King Aegon decreed that his bastards were not bastards, but he could not change their nature. The High Septon said all bastards are born to betrayal . . . Daemon Blackfyre, Bittersteel, even Bloodraven. Lord Rivers was more cunning than the other two, he said, but in the end he would prove himself a traitor, too. The High Septon counseled my father never to put any trust in him, nor in any other bastards, great or small."

*****

Or more like, Lord Bloodraven and his Raven's Teeth have put the fear in them. They cannot all be dead."

It would suit Lord Bloodraven if their names were all forgotten, so he has forbidden us to sing of them, but I remember. Robb Reyne, Gareth the Grey, Ser Aubrey Ambrose, Lord Gormon Peake, Black Byren Flowers, Redtusk, Fireball . . . Bittersteel! I ask you, has there ever been such a noble company, such a roll of heroes?

The Mystery Knight

"The crows always go for the eyes," he told Egg. "Then the cheeks cave in, the flesh turns green…" He squinted. "Wait. I know that face."

"You do, ser," said Egg. "Three days ago. The hunchbacked septon we heard preaching against Lord Bloodraven."

He remembered then. He was a holy man sworn to the Seven, even if he did preach treason.

"His hands are scarlet with a brother's blood, and the blood of his young nephews too," the hunchback had declared to the crowd that had gathered in the market square. "A shadow came at his command to strangle brave Prince Valarr's sons in their mother's womb. Where is our Young Prince now? Where is his brother, sweet Matarys? Where has Good King Daeron gone, and fearless Baelor Breakspear? The grave has claimed them, every one, yet he endures, this pale bird with bloody beak who perches on King Aerys's shoulder and caws into his ear. The mark of hell is on his face and in his empty eye, and he has brought us drought and pestilence and murder. Rise up, I say, and remember our true king across the water. Seven gods there are, and seven kingdoms, and the Black Dragon sired seven sons! Rise up, my lords and ladies. Rise up, you brave knights and sturdy yeomen, and cast down Bloodraven, that foul sorcerer, lest your children and your children's children be cursed forever-more." Every word was treason. Even so, it was a shock to see him here, with holes where his eyes had been. "That's him, aye," Dunk said, "and another good reason to put this town behind us." He gave Thunder a touch of the spur, and he and Egg rode through the gates of Stoney Sept, listening to the soft sound of the rain. How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? the riddle ran. A thousand eyes, and one. Some claimed the King's Hand was a student of the dark arts who could change his face, put on the likeness of a one-eyed dog, even turn into a mist. Packs of gaunt gray wolves hunted down his foes, men said, and carrion crows spied for him and whispered secrets in his ear. Most of the tales were only tales, Dunk did not doubt, but no one could doubt that Bloodraven had informers everywhere.

*****

He had seen the man once with his own two eyes, back in King's Landing. White as bone were the skin and hair of Brynden Rivers, and his eye—he had only the one, the other having been lost to his half brother Bittersteel on the Redgrass Field—was red as blood. On cheek and neck he bore the winestain birthmark that had given him his name.

*****

"A noble vow. I am Ser Kyle, the Cat of Misty Moor. Under yonder chestnut sits Ser Glendon, ah, Ball. And here you have the good Ser Maynard Plumm."
Egg's ears pricked up at that name. "Plumm… are you kin to Lord Viserys Plumm, ser?"
"Distantly," confessed Ser Maynard, a tall, thin, stoop-shouldered man with long straight flaxen hair, "though I doubt that His Lordship would admit to it. One might say that he is of the sweet Plumms, whilst I am of the sour." Plumm's cloak was as purple as name, though frayed about the edges and badly dyed. A moonstone brooch big as a hen's egg fastened it at the shoulder. Elsewise he wore dun-colored roughspun and stained brown leather.
****
Only when the animals had been fed and watered and hobbled for the night did Dunk accept the wineskin that Ser Maynard offered him. "Even sour wine is better than none," said Kyle the Cat. "We'll drink finer vintages at Whitewalls. Lord Butterwell is said to have the best wines north of the Arbor. He was once the King's Hand, as his father's father was before him, and he is said to be a pious man besides, and very rich."
"His wealth is all from cows," said Maynard Plumm. "He ought to take a swollen udder for his arms. These Butterwells have milk running in their veins, and the Freys are no better. This will be a marriage of cattle thieves and toll collectors, one lot of coin clinkers joining with another. When the Black Dragon rose, this lord of cows sent one son to Daemon and one to Daeron, to make certain there was a Butterwell on the winning side. Both perished on the Redgrass Field, and his youngest died in the spring. That's why he's making this new marriage. Unless this new wife gives him a son, Butterwell's name will die with him."

****

lf a century ago. Ser Arlan had once seen a clutch of her eggs, though. They were hard as stone, he said, but beautiful to look upon, the old man had told Dunk. "How could Lord Butterwell come by a dragon's egg?"
"King Aegon presented the egg to his father's father after guesting for a night at his old castle," said Ser Maynard Plumm.
"Was it a reward for some act of valor?" asked Dunk.
*****
lf a century ago. Ser Arlan had once seen a clutch of her eggs, though. They were hard as stone, he said, but beautiful to look upon, the old man had told Dunk. "How could Lord Butterwell come by a dragon's egg?"
"King Aegon presented the egg to his father's father after guesting for a night at his old castle," said Ser Maynard Plumm.
"Was it a reward for some act of valor?" asked Dunk.
*****
The hall was not so large as some others he had known, though. At least we were allowed beneath the roof, Dunk thought as he took his place on the bench between Ser Maynard Plumm and Kyle the Cat. Though uninvited, the three of them had been welcomed to the feast quick enough; it was ill luck to refuse a knight hospitality on your wedding day.
*****
By the time he found his way back to the hall, only Maynard Plumm remained of his companions. "Was there any flour on her teats when you got the smallclothes off her?" he wanted to know.
*****
A passing groom told him where to find the nearest well. It was there that he discovered Kyle the Cat, talking quietly with Maynard Plumm. Ser Kyle's shoulders were slumped in dejection, but he looked up at Dunk's approach. "Ser Duncan? We had heard that you were dead, or dying."
*****
Would that He had been the one to unhorse me. He refuses to take ransoms. He wants no more than the dragon's egg, he says… that, and the friendship of his fallen foes. The flower of Maynard Plumm gave a laugh. "The fiddle of chivalry, you mean. That boy is fiddling up a storm, and all of us would do well to be gone from here before it breaks."
*****
"I just… I have a feeling."
"So do I," said Maynard Plumm. "A bad feeling, for any man or boy unwise enough to stand in our Fiddler's way."
*****
Dunk whirled. Through the rain, all he could make out was a hooded shape and a single pale white eye. It was only when the man came forward that the shadowed face beneath the cowl took on the familiar features of Ser Maynard Plumm, the pale eye no more than the moonstone brooch that pinned his cloak at the shoulder.
*****
"Hedge knights."
"Aye, m'lord. Ser Kyle the Cat, and Maynard Plumm. And Ser Glendon Ball. It was him unhorsed the Fidd… the pretender."
"Yes, I've heard that tale from half a hundred lips already. The Bastard of the Pussywillows. Born of a whore and a traitor."
*****

"The throne should take a lesson from Stark and Lannister," declared Ser Kyle the Cat. "At least they fight. What do the Targaryens do? King Aerys hides amongst his books, Prince Rhaegel prances naked through the Red Keep's halls, and Prince Maekar broods at Summerhall." Egg was prodding at the fire with a stick, to send sparks floating up into the night. Dunk was pleased to see him ignoring the mention of his father's name. Perhaps he's finally learned to hold that tongue of his.

"Myself, I blame Bloodraven," Ser Kyle went on. "He is the King's Hand, yet he does nothing, whilst the krakens spread flame and terror up and down the sunset sea." Ser Maynard gave a shrug. "His eye is fixed on Tyrosh, where Bittersteel sits in exile, plotting with the sons of Daemon Blackfyre. So he keeps the king's ships close at hand, lest they attempt to cross."

"Aye, that may well be," Ser Kyle said, "but many would welcome the return of Bittersteel. Bloodraven is the root of all our woes, the white worm gnawing at the heart of the realm." Dunk frowned, remembering the hunchbacked septon at Stoney Sept. "Words like that can cost a man his head. Some might say you're talking treason."

"How can the truth be treason?" asked Kyle the Cat. "In King Daeron's day, a man did not have to fear to speak his mind, but now?" He made a rude noise. "Bloodraven put King Aerys on the Iron Throne, but for how long? Aerys is weak, and when he dies, it will be bloody war between Lord Rivers and Prince Maekar for the crown, the Hand against the heir."

"You have forgotten Prince Rhaegel, my friend," Ser Maynard objected, in a mild tone. "He comes next in line to Aerys, not Maekar, and his children after him."

*****

"A sad waste of good wine," said Maynard Plumm.

"I do not drink to kinslayers," said Ser Glendon. "Lord Bloodraven is a sorcerer and a bastard."

"Born bastard," Ser Uthor agreed mildly, "but his royal father made him legitimate as he lay dying." He drank deep, as did Ser Maynard and many others in the hall. Near as many lowered their cups, or turned them upside down as Ball had done. Dunk's own cup was heavy in his hand. How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? the riddle went. A thousand eyes, and one. Toast followed toast, some proposed by Lord Frey and some by others. They drank to young Lord Tully, Lord Butterwell's liege lord, who had begged off from the wedding. They drank to the health of Leo Longthorn, Lord of Highgarden, who was rumored to be ailing. They drank to the memory of their gallant dead. Aye, thought Dunk, remembering. I'll gladly drink to them. Ser John the Fiddler proposed the final toast. "To my brave brothers! I know that they are smiling tonight!"

*****

A dragon is one thing, a dream's another. I promise you, Bloodraven is not off dreaming. We need a warrior, not a dreamer. Is the boy his father's son?"

*****

"It was red, mostly. Does Lord Bloodraven own a dragon's egg as well?" Egg lowered his book. "Why would he? He's baseborn." "Bastard born, not baseborn." Bloodraven had been born on the wrong side of the blanket, but he was noble on both sides. Dunk was about to tell Egg about the men he'd overhead when he noticed his face. "What happened to your lip?"

*****

A jumble of words came rushing back to him: beggar's feast you've laid before us… is the boy his father's son… Bittersteel… need the sword… Old Milkblood expects… is the boy his father's son… I promise you, Bloodraven is not off dreaming… is the boy his father's son?

*****

"There is Bloodraven," he said. "He is not weak."

"No," Lord Peake allowed, "but no man loves a sorcerer, and kinslayers are accursed in the sight of gods and men. At the first sign of weakness or defeat, Bloodraven's men will melt away like summer snows. And if the dream the prince has dreamed comes true, and a living dragon comes forth here at Whitewalls—"

*****

"So I surmise. He showed the ring to Maester Lothar, who delivered him to Butterwell, who no doubt pissed his breeches at the sight of it and started wondering if he had chosen the wrong side and how much Bloodraven knows of this conspiracy. The answer to that last is 'quite a lot.'

" Plumm chuckled.

*****

Egg shook his head. "No, ser. I knew I was in trouble when the maester showed Lord Butterwell my ring. I thought about saying that I'd stolen it, but I didn't think he would believe me. Then I remembered this one time I heard my father talking about something Lord Bloodraven said, about how it was better to be frightening than frightened, so I told them that my father had sent us here to spy for him, that he was on his way here with an army, that His Lordship had best release me and give up this treason, or it would mean his head." He smiled a shy smile. "It worked better than I thought it would, ser."

*****

"Piss on that, fiddle boy," a grizzled squire shouted back at him. "I'd sooner live." In the end, the second Daemon Blackfyre rode forth alone, reined up before the royal host, and challenged Lord Bloodraven to single combat. "I will fight you, or the coward Aerys, or any champion you care to name." Instead, Lord Bloodraven's men surrounded him, pulled him off his horse, and clasped him into golden fetters. The banner he had carried was planted in the muddy ground and set afire. It burned for a long time, sending up a twisted plume of smoke that could be seen for leagues around.

*****

"Some will be pardoned, so long as they tell the truth of what they know and give up a son or daughter to vouchsafe their future loyalty. It will go harder for those who took pardons after the Redgrass Field. They'll be imprisoned or attainted. The worst will lose their heads." Bloodraven had made a start on that already, Dunk saw when they came up on his pavilion. Flanking the entrance, the severed heads of Gormon Peake and Black Torn Heddle had been impaled on spears, with their shields displayed beneath them. Three castles, black on orange. The man who slew Roger of Pennytree.

*****

He was older than Dunk remembered him, with a lined hard face, but his skin was still as pale as bone, and his cheek and neck still bore the ugly winestain birthmark that some people thought looked like a raven. His boots were black, his tunic scarlet. Over it he wore a cloak the color of smoke, fastened with a brooch in the shape of an iron hand. His hair fell to his shoulders, long and white and straight, brushed forward so as to conceal his missing eye, the one that Bittersteel had plucked from him on the Redgrass Field. The eye that remained was very red. How many eyes has Bloodraven? A thousand eyes, and one.

*****

"I've tried, m'lord. He's a prince, though."

"What he is," said Bloodraven, "is a dragon. Rise, ser." Dunk rose.

"There have always been Targaryens who dreamed of things to come, since long before the Conquest," Bloodraven said, "so we should not be surprised if from time to time a Blackfyre displays the gift as well. Daemon dreamed that a dragon would be born at Whitewalls, and it was. The fool just got the color wrong."

*****

"We will," said Egg, "but first we need some gold. Ser Duncan needs to pay the Snail his ransom."

Bloodraven laughed. "What happened to the modest boy I once met at King's Landing? As you say, my prince. I will instruct my paymaster to give you as much gold as you wish. Within reason."

*****

"When you learn to joust, no doubt." Lord Rivers flicked them away with his fingers, unrolled a parchment, and began to tick off names with a quill.

He is marking down the men to die, Dunk realized. "My lord," he said, "we saw the heads outside. Is that… will the Fiddler… Daemon… will you have his head as well?" Lord Bloodraven looked up from his parchment. "That is for King Aerys to decide… but Daemon has four younger brothers, and sisters as well. Should I be so foolish as to remove his pretty head, his mother will mourn, his friends will curse me for a kinslayer, and Bittersteel will crown his brother Haegon. Dead, young Daemon is a hero. Alive, he is an obstacle in my half brother's path. He can hardly make a third Blackfyre king whilst the second remains so inconveniently alive. Besides, such a noble captive will be an ornament to our court, and a living testament to the mercy and benevolence of His Grace King Aerys."

Quote

The World of Ice & Fire Daeron II. 

The rebellion ended at the Redgrass Field, nigh on a year later. Some have written of the boldness of the men who fought with Daemon, and others of their treason. But for all their valor in the field and their enmity against Daeron, theirs was a lost cause. Daemon and his eldest sons, Aegon and Aemon, were brought down beneath the withering fall of arrows sent by Brynden Rivers and his private guards, the Raven's Teeth. This was followed by Bittersteel's mad charge, with Blackfyre in his hand, as he attempted to rally Daemon's forces. Meeting with Bloodraven in the midst of the charge, a mighty duel ensued, which left Bloodraven blinded in one eye and sent Bittersteel fleeing.

But then the Great Spring Sickness swept the Seven Kingdoms, affecting all save the Vale and Dorne, where they closed the ports and mountain passes. Worst hit of all was King's Landing. The High Septon, the Seven's voice on earth, died, as did a third of the Most Devout, and nearly all the silent sisters in the city. Corpses were piled in the ruins of the Dragonpit until they stood ten feet high and, in the end, Bloodraven had the pyromancers burn the corpses where they lay. A quarter of the city went up in flames along with them, but there was nothing else to be done.

The World of Ice & Fire Aerys I

Donning the crown during the Great Spring Sickness, Aerys I faced a realm in turmoil from the first. Hardly had the plague begun to ebb when Dagon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands, sent ironborn ships reaving all up and down the shores of the Sunset Sea, whilst across the narrow sea Bittersteel plotted with the sons of Daemon Blackfyre. Perhaps it was because of these difficulties that Aerys turned to Brynden Rivers to serve as his Hand.

It has been suggested by some that a likelier cause for Bloodraven's rise to power was the fact that Aerys's interest in arcane lore and ancient history matched that of Rivers, whose studies of the higher mysteries were an open secret at the time. Bloodraven had already risen to prominence at the court, but few expected that Aerys would name him Hand. When he did, it kindled a quarrel between the king and his brother, Prince Maekar, who had expected the Handship to come to him. Thereafter Prince Maekar departed King's Landing for Summerhall for years to come.

Bloodraven proved to be a capable Hand, but also a master of whisperers who rivaled Lady Misery, and there were those who thought he and his half sister and paramour, Shiera Seastar, used sorcery to ferret out secrets. It became common to refer to his "thousand eyes and one," and men both high and low began to distrust their neighbor for fear of their being a spy in Bloodraven's employ. Yet Aerys had need of spies, given the trouble that followed the Great Spring Sickness. Summer came, and with it a drought that lasted more than two years. Many blamed the king, and many more accused Bloodraven. There were poor brothers who preached treason, and knights and lords as well. And amongst those were some who whispered a specific treason: that the Black Dragon must return from across the narrow sea and take his rightful place.

The conspiracy came to a head in 211 AC at the wedding tourney at Whitewalls, the great seat that Lord Butterwell had raised near the Gods Eye. This was the same Butterwell who had once been Daeron's Hand, until the king had dismissed him in favor of Lord Hayford because of his suspicious failure to act successfully against Daemon Blackfyre in the early days of his rebellion. At Whitewalls, under pretense of celebrating Lord Butterwell's marriage and competing in the tournament, many lords and knights had gathered, all of whom shared a desire to place a Blackfyre on the throne.

Were it not for the fact that Bloodraven had informants among the conspirators, Daemon the Younger could have launched a troubling rebellion from within the heart of the riverlands, but even before the tourney had concluded, the Hand turned up outside Whitewalls with a host of his own, and the Second Blackfyre Rebellion ended before it could truly be said to have begun. Gormon Peake was among the conspirators executed in the wake of the thwarted rebellion, while others such as Lord Butterwell suffered the loss of land and seats. As for Daemon, he lived on for several more years, a hostage in the Red Keep. Some wondered at his imprisonment, but the wisdom of it was plain: his next eldest brother, Haegon, could not claim the throne if Daemon were still alive.

The Second Blackfyre Rebellion proved a debacle, but that was not always to be the case. In 219 AC, Haegon Blackfyre and Bittersteel launched the Third Blackfyre Rebellion. Of the deeds done then, both good and ill—of the leadership of Maekar, the actions of Aerion Brightflame, the courage of Maekar's youngest son, and the second duel between Bloodraven and Bittersteel—we know well. The pretender Haegon I Blackfyre died in the aftermath of battle, slain treacherously after he had given up his sword, but Ser Aegor Rivers, Bittersteel, was taken alive and returned to the Red Keep in chains. Many still insist that if he had been put to the sword then and there, as Prince Aerion and Bloodraven urged, it might have meant an early end to the Blackfyre ambitions.

the World of Ice & Fire Maekor I

 

When King Maekar died in battle in 233 AC, whilst leading his army against a rebellious lord on the Dornish Marches, considerable confusion arose as to the succession. Rather than risk another Dance of the Dragons, the King's Hand, Bloodraven, elected to call a Great Council to decide the matter.

Even as the Great Council was debating, however, another claimant appeared in King's Landing: none other than Aenys Blackfyre, the fifth of the Black Dragon's seven sons. When the Great Council had first been announced, Aenys had written from exile in Tyrosh, putting forward his case in the hope that his words might win him the Iron Throne that his forebears had thrice failed to win with their swords. Bloodraven, the King's Hand, had responded by offering him a safe conduct, so the pretender might come to King's Landing and present his claim in person.

The world of Ice & Fire Aegon V

The first act of Aegon's reign was the arrest of Brynden Rivers, the King's Hand, for the murder of Aenys Blackfyre. Bloodraven did not deny that he had lured the pretender into his power by the offer of a safe conduct, but contended that he had sacrificed his own personal honor for the good of the realm.

Though many agreed, and were pleased to see another Blackfyre pretender removed, King Aegon felt he had no choice but to condemn the Hand, lest the word of the Iron Throne be seen as worthless. Yet after the sentence of death was pronounced, Aegon offered Bloodraven the chance to take the black and join the Night's Watch. This he did. Ser Brynden Rivers set sail for the Wall late in the year of 233 AC. (No one intercepted his ship). Two hundred men went with him, many of them archers from Bloodraven's personal guard, the Raven's Teeth. The king's brother, Maester Aemon, was also amongst them.
Bloodraven would rise to become Lord Commander of the Night's Watch in 239 AC, serving until his disappearance during a ranging beyond the Wall in 252 AC.
 
Edited by The Weirwoods Eyes

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@The Weirwoods Eyes

You missed one, but it's a very important one:

" "Just how many husbands has she had, do you know?"

"Four," said Egg, "but no children. Whenever she gives birth, a demon comes by night to carry off the issue. Sam Stoops' wife says she sold her babes unborn to the Lord of the Seven Hells, so he'd teach her his black arts."

"Highborn ladies don't meddle with the black arts. They dance and sing and do embroidery."

"Maybe she dances with demons and embroiders evil spells," Egg said with relish. "And how would you know what highborn ladies do, ser? Lady Vaith is the only one you ever knew."

That was insolent, but true. "Might be I don't know any highborn ladies, but I know a boy who's asking for a good clout in the ear." Dunk rubbed the back of his neck. A day in chainmail always left it hard as wood. "You've known queens and princesses. Did they dance with demons and practice the black arts?"

"Lady Shiera does. Lord Bloodraven's paramour. She bathes in blood to keep her beauty. And once my sister Rhae put a love potion in my drink, so I'd marry her instead of my sister Daella."

Egg spoke as if such incest was the most natural thing in the world. For him it is. The Targaryens had been marrying brother to sister for hundreds of years, to keep the blood of the dragon pure. Though the last actual dragon had died before Dunk was born, the dragonkings went on. Maybe the gods don't mind them marrying their sisters. "Did the potion work?" Dunk asked.

"It would have," said Egg, "but I spit it out. I don't want a wife, I want to be a knight of the Kingsguard, and live only to serve and defend the king. The Kingsguard are sworn not to wed." "

 

 

And I think, that nearly all information (about Bloodraven) from those other books, should be taken with a grain of salt. Because:

1. The World Book was written by maester Yandel, who was born 39 years after Bloodraven was sent to join Night's Watch, and 20 years after Bloodraven dissapeared beyond The Wall. So, he never met Bloodraven, and all information about him in the World Book is based on damaged and incomplete manuscript of maester Gyldayn (who died at Summerhall?).

Summerhall burned in 259, Bloodraven went to The Wall in 233, 26 years before that. Bloodraven served as the King's Hand at King's Landing, Gyldayn was Targaryen maester at Summerhall. Different times, different castles. So, there's close to zero possibility, that Gyldayn personally knew, or ever met Bloodraven. By the time Gyldayn came to serve to Targaryens, Bloodraven was already long time gone.

And not everything, that is written in that book, is true. For example, in The Glorious Reign: "Moreover, the king and his beloved queen have given the realm three golden heirs to ensure that House Baratheon will long reign supreme." And it was also written there, that the Children of the Forest, the giants, and mammoths are all extinct. And we do know, that Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen were not children of Robert and Cersei; and that Cersei and Robert hated each other, so she was far far far away from being his "beloved queen". And Wun Wun and Leaf may disagree, that they are extinct. Etc.

2. Let's take for example that guy, who was a septon of Lady Webber. He had a lot to say about Bloodraven, and King Aerys, and what is going on in their family, and at court. Even though, it's unlikely, that he ever visited King's Landing, or have personally met either of them - the King, or Bloodraven. Everything, that he was saying, was based on rumors, lies, and speculations of those, who hated Bloodraven, even though majority of them, never even met Bloodraven.

3. Ser Eustas Osgrey didn't saw personally that duel between Daemon and Corbray, didn't saw how did Daemon and his sons died. Out of that story, about the Battle at the Redgrass Field, he himself saw very little. Mostly that story was based, on what he heard from other people.

4. Nearly all the people at Whitewalls were Blackfyre-loyalists, so they were anti-Targaryen, and they all hated Bloodraven, and were weary of him. So they had reasons to badmouth him, and tell lies about him. Even though majority of them also have never met Bloodraven personally. Let's take for example those squires, that said to Egg, that Maekar loved his brother to death. None of them, unlike Dunk and Egg, were present at Ashford, when Baelor died in an accident. But they say things about royal family, as if though they personally know them, and were all present there, when were supposedly happening all those things, about which they were talking.

5. Out of all those characters, that provided us with information about Bloodraven, only Egg (and maester Aemon) - 1. knew Bloodraven personally, 2. was bloodrelated to him, so was from the same close circle, 3. had no reason to lie about him.

So, if in The World Book it is written, that Bloodraven was a sorcerer, and if various characters were also saying so, it still doesn't mean, that that was true, and that Bloodraven himself was able to make magic (prior he got wedded to a tree), and wasn't only using assistance of his sister Shiera, who was the only actual magician of their family. She was the real thing, and he was a coattail rider.

 

So if Blodraven ever had a master, then that master was Shiera.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Megorova said:

I do apologise for missing that one. I recall reading whilst I was searching but must have forgotten to C&P it. There were a lot and one got missed. 

I've told you before I'm not interested in debating this theory of yours with you. You never provide any evidence from the text. And here you are telling us to completely discount the text. The words written down are not real peoples accounts they are what the author wishes to tell us. Sometimes he uses unreliable narrators and sometimes he uses biased resources secondary resources etc. It is up to us to discern which is which. But non of that means we should begin theories by completely dismissing the text. 

I don't doubt for one second that Sheira was also a sorceress she may even be Quaithe. But nothing you have said so far on any of the multiple threads I have seen you pushing this theory on uses the text to  back up what you claim. 

eta. I have added the missed quote to my previous post. Though I have cut off the part pertaining to wat Egg has heard of Rohanna Webber. Because it is irrelevant to Bloodraven or even Shiera. Though she is not the subject of this thread. 

Edited by The Weirwoods Eyes

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He seems like someone who has a conclusion in mind and then finds post-hoc explanations to confirm it.

Anyway, I'm not that interested in debating this topic either (at least, not here). I was hoping to get other view points on Bloodraven's magical ability/knowledge during his mortal span. 

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