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Ghost+Nymeria4Eva

What is the importance of the Hrakkar, the White Lion?

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I can't help but wonder why the hrakkar, the white lion Drogo killed, keeps appearing in Dany's chapters. We first hear about it in GoT:

Quote

“Yes, my sun-and-stars,” Dany said. Drogo would take his bloodriders and ride in search of hrakkar, the great white lion of the plains. If they returned triumphant, her lord husband’s joy would be fierce, and he might be willing to hear her out.

So Drogo is going on a hunt, it's not that important. He returns triumphant and with a pelt he gifts Dany. What seems like a slice of Dothraki life factoid ends up in an House of the Undying vision:

Quote

Faster and faster the visions came, one after the other, until it seemed as if the very air had come alive. Shadows whirled and danced inside a tent, boneless and terrible. A little girl ran barefoot toward a big house with a red door. Mirri Maz Duur shrieked in the flames, a dragon bursting from her brow. Behind a silver horse the bloody corpse of a naked man bounced and dragged. A white lion ran through grass taller than a man. Beneath the Mother of Mountains, a line of naked crones crept from a great lake and knelt shivering before her, their grey heads bowed.

All the other visions Dany sees in that segment are important in one way or another. There's MMZ doing her blood ritual, Dany's fever dream search for a red door (where she realizes she needs to "wake the dragon"), the dragon birthing ritual, her escaping getting poisoned, and an upcoming event with the dosh khaleen. But why is the lion there? Isn't it something that Drogo killed? Why would it be important enough to be in one of the visions here?

Dany is often clad in this lion pelt too. Like in each book she appears. In GoT, she gets the pelt. In Clash, she wears it when entering Qarth. In ASOS, she curls up inside it to remind her of Drogo. In AdWD, she wears it again on her way to war. It seems like the pelt is one of Dany's last remaining reminders of Drogo (that and the silver mare). While that's important for character development and all, how come the lion is important enough to appear in an Undying vision? 

 

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I bet there are many reasons, buy one that immediately strikes me is A sheep in Lion’s clothing.

Dothraki - Lhazareen

First Men - Valyrians

D and FM both are savage horse riding warrior-folk and L and V both are peaceful shepherds, or rather were in V’s case.

Dany acts a lion now that she wears the pelt of one, but underneath she is and will always be a sheep.

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1 hour ago, Morte said:

The pelt because of this:

coin of Alexander the Great

and on the root this:

Statue of Herakles

Interesting. But I still don't really see the relevance to Dany's arc. Maybe this is foreshadowing that she kills the Lion of Night? But we'll have to see as you said. 

1 hour ago, Morte said:

The vision: May be of the hrakkar, but also may be on of the Lannister brothers. Context?

I've seen posts about the white lion in the vision being Tyrion, or possibly Jaime. But all the visions Dany sees here are directly related to her life. She gets them after asking the Undying for the "truth" and they bombard her with visions. She saw the futures and pasts of other people (like her father's and the Red Wedding) while walking the corridors of the building. Also, I fail to see Lannister "golden lion" bothers' connection to the white lion in the Dothraki sea. I mean, it really did exist, rather than being just a symbol, like blue roses for Jon. 

 

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The wearing of an animal’s pelt is the outward demonstration of victory over that animal.  The Bolton lords who killed Starks skinned them and must have paraded those skins in their halls.  Lord Walder should skin Greywind and use the pelt as his blanket.  The Hrakar and the lion are signs that Daenerys will defeat and slay the bad Lannisters, Jaime and Cersei.  It may also show what will happen to Tyrion if he commits treason.  All will be deserving of execution.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

Interesting. But I still don't really see the relevance to Dany's arc. Maybe this is foreshadowing that she kills the Lion of Night? But we'll have to see as you said. 

Alexander conquered his empire while still being a young man; Dany is still a girl, one could say young woman. (And Dany the girl is riding a white filly/young mare, while the boy Alexander rode a black stallion -

Spoiler

that's why I say: Yes, she will destroy at least one city which doesn't surrender and is defiant, as Alexander did with Tyros

)

Him (Alexander) wearing the lion's pelt of Herakles has to do with the latter's primal nature as a tutelary goddess/saviour and protector of people in need/the helpless.

Both interpretations have connections and relevance to Dany's arc.

2 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

I've seen posts about the white lion in the vision being Tyrion, or possibly Jaime. But all the visions Dany sees here are directly related to her life. She gets them after asking the Undying for the "truth" and they bombard her with visions. She saw the futures and pasts of other people (like her father's and the Red Wedding) while walking the corridors of the building. Also, I fail to see Lannister "golden lion" bothers' connection to the white lion in the Dothraki sea. I mean, it really did exist, rather than being just a symbol, like blue roses for Jon.

It depends. The connections with the Lannister brothers is made

a) for Tyrion because his hair is a very bright blond,

b) for Jaime because being a KG makes him a "white lion".

At least this are the hints I am more willing to accept, but I'm by far not in the camp of either of both possibilities, for this we would have to see interactions between Dany and the brothers.

And as you say: As it really did exist, it may also just be that: the hrakkar - but then: why is he in her visions? That's what I can't say at this moment.

 

Edited by Morte

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2 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

The Hrakar and the lion are signs that Daenerys will defeat and slay the bad Lannisters

And this could be also true, of course.

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I once used the white lion in an explorative essay about Varys's origin. In the Qarth section I explore leukism, which is another cause of having pale skin than albinism for example. George uses several "white" animals, and all these normally are not because of albinism, but leukism. The white lion is one such animal, as are the white ravens, the white heart, etc... Usually leukism is a dominant trait, whereas albinism usually is a recessive trait, except for the white lion.

https://sweeticeandfiresunray.com/2017/11/03/the-spiders-origin-part-i/#Qarth

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Posted (edited)

The hrakkar (Hrangan) for Dany signifies her as the Lion of Night (In the Lost Lands). 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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On 6/7/2019 at 3:43 PM, Widowmaker 811 said:

The wearing of an animal’s pelt is the outward demonstration of victory over that animal.  The Bolton lords who killed Starks skinned them and must have paraded those skins in their halls.  Lord Walder should skin Greywind and use the pelt as his blanket.  The Hrakar and the lion are signs that Daenerys will defeat and slay the bad Lannisters, Jaime and Cersei.  It may also show what will happen to Tyrion if he commits treason.  All will be deserving of execution. 

I agree.

A lot of people still see Tyrion as the whitewashed saintly caricature in the fanfiction that was the TV show. But the real Tyrion is not that person.

I think the hrakkar pelt symbolizes the love between Drogo and Daenerys, the Lion of Night (as in the Great Other, the evil progenitor of the Long Night) and the Lannisters. Daenerys was given a gift by her warlord husband and she uses the power of that gift, that legacy to bring destruction to House Lannister and to the Lion of Night.

On 6/7/2019 at 2:23 PM, Morte said:

The pelt because of this:

coin of Alexander the Great

and on the root this:

Statue of Herakles

The vision: May be of the hrakkar, but also may be on of the Lannister brothers. Context? :dunno: We'll see.

It's funny that you brought up Alexander the Great and Hercules.

I've always been of the thought that Daenerys Targaryen is the result of George R.R. Martin asking "what if Alexander the Great was female," "what if Alexander the Great was anti-slavery," "what if Alexander the Great had weapons of mass destruction" and put those questions in a high fantasy setting with dragons, wizards, zombies and magic trees.

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If there is one person Dany really ought to want to seek revenge on, it is Jaime, but he is almost totally absent from her internal dialogue, which suggests to me that GRRM has never intended that they should meet.

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14 minutes ago, Lord Browndodd said:

If there is one person Dany really ought to want to seek revenge on, it is Jaime, but he is almost totally absent from her internal dialogue, which suggests to me that GRRM has never intended that they should meet.

Dany doesn't really think about getting revenge for her family. She rarely thinks of her father and never really about her mother. She's only taken with Rhaegar, her "splendid" brother. She hates Robert and Ned because they led the rebellion that killed Rhaegar and his children. As far as I know, that's the only point she gets mad about, not of the death of her father. 

I think she now realizes that her father was not a good king or even a person. So she doesn't sweat over it. Dany also sees Aerys's final moments with Jaime in HotU.

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The hrakkar pelt is a gift from the Khal to Daenerys Targaryen.  Khal Drogo is the Dothraki people.  The Dothraki will deliver the Lannisters (lions) to Daenerys.  It's a battle victory for Khaleesi and her khalasar.

The short lion is obviously Tyrion.  This vision immediately follows the vision of the man who tried to poison Daenerys.  It looks like Tyrion's future is to die.  

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Posted (edited)

How would Ghost react to the hrakkar pelt?   Lots of wildlings wore pelts and Ghost was fine with it so nevermind.   But if he recognizes it as from another sovereign beast, could tip his reaction one way or the other, doubly wide bared teeth or big kitty fascination.

The promise to deliver Lannisters to her seems most apt as a the pelt's meaning, and I was hoping the absence of Jaime from her thoughts was to not tip us off about how they will have a strange encounter.  :drool:

Edited by The Mother of The Others

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22 hours ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

I agree.

A lot of people still see Tyrion as the whitewashed saintly caricature in the fanfiction that was the TV show. But the real Tyrion is not that person.

I think the hrakkar pelt symbolizes the love between Drogo and Daenerys, the Lion of Night (as in the Great Other, the evil progenitor of the Long Night) and the Lannisters. Daenerys was given a gift by her warlord husband and she uses the power of that gift, that legacy to bring destruction to House Lannister and to the Lion of Night.

It's funny that you brought up Alexander the Great and Hercules.

I've always been of the thought that Daenerys Targaryen is the result of George R.R. Martin asking "what if Alexander the Great was female," "what if Alexander the Great was anti-slavery," "what if Alexander the Great had weapons of mass destruction" and put those questions in a high fantasy setting with dragons, wizards, zombies and magic trees.

Every character in the show is whitewashed Daenerys included despite her end. Dany is more of a mix between Ivan the Terrible and Napoleon. She’s much more ruthless than most of this fandom acknowledges and the sudden flip in the show didn’t help whereas the books will more thoroughly depict her growing ruthlessness and madness. The pelt is nothing more than a remainder of her past despite the fact that she says “If I look back, I am lost”, more often than not she looks to the past namely Viserys which should be foreshadowing enough of what’s to come. It’s one of the many examples of Daenerys hypocrisy in the books which is going to come into play later on when she finally mixes with other POV characters and we are explicitly shown this.

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20 hours ago, Annalee said:

The hrakkar pelt is a gift from the Khal to Daenerys Targaryen.  Khal Drogo is the Dothraki people.  The Dothraki will deliver the Lannisters (lions) to Daenerys.  It's a battle victory for Khaleesi and her khalasar.

The short lion is obviously Tyrion.  This vision immediately follows the vision of the man who tried to poison Daenerys.  It looks like Tyrion's future is to die.  

I hope so.  I very badly hope so.  It's time for Jaime Lannisters to die for his role in taking down Aerys and his family.  The Hrakkar fur and the lion in the grass are the Lannisters.  

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On 6/11/2019 at 1:41 PM, Jabar of House Titan said:

I agree.

A lot of people still see Tyrion as the whitewashed saintly caricature in the fanfiction that was the TV show. But the real Tyrion is not that person.

I think the hrakkar pelt symbolizes the love between Drogo and Daenerys, the Lion of Night (as in the Great Other, the evil progenitor of the Long Night) and the Lannisters. Daenerys was given a gift by her warlord husband and she uses the power of that gift, that legacy to bring destruction to House Lannister and to the Lion of Night.

It's funny that you brought up Alexander the Great and Hercules.

I've always been of the thought that Daenerys Targaryen is the result of George R.R. Martin asking "what if Alexander the Great was female," "what if Alexander the Great was anti-slavery," "what if Alexander the Great had weapons of mass destruction" and put those questions in a high fantasy setting with dragons, wizards, zombies and magic trees.

Interesting take on the pelt.  Another way to look at it is through the legend of Azor Ahai forging the "sword."  AA sheathed the sword in the body of a lion (Lannister, Hrakkar).  A reread of the Dany chapters in aGoT shows her getting "tempered."  The cycle of sleeping/dreaming/waking/stronger is exactly tempering.  She wraps herself in the Hrakkar pelt, the lion pelt, is similar to pushing a sword through the body of a lion.   Her being the sword.  She wakes up stronger after the cycle of tempering.  She even thinks so to herself.  All the tears, which is weakness, have been burned away.  That is tempering.  

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I'm curious to read what Tyrion ever thinks if he sees it. He is the only Lannister with his half white hair that matches but it doesn't sit perfect since the hrakkar fur is only described as white. I'm sure he will read a lot into it, being a "lion" and considering himself to be very unique and special, he'll totally want to identify himself with it.

Blonde people often have white hair when they are kids with the tone darkening until it lights up with white at older age, so it could belong to a child or old person - if hair colour worked the same in aSoIaF which they don't. In this story people are born with their colouring but do get grey and white hair with age, so I suppose it could mean an old Lannister.

 

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2 hours ago, Sigella said:

I'm curious to read what Tyrion ever thinks if he sees it. He is the only Lannister with his half white hair that matches but it doesn't sit perfect since the hrakkar fur is only described as white. I'm sure he will read a lot into it, being a "lion" and considering himself to be very unique and special, he'll totally want to identify himself with it.

Blonde people often have white hair when they are kids with the tone darkening until it lights up with white at older age, so it could belong to a child or old person - if hair colour worked the same in aSoIaF which they don't. In this story people are born with their colouring but do get grey and white hair with age, so I suppose it could mean an old Lannister.

 

The color white is the symbol of the Kingsguard.  Who do we know who is both lion and kingsguard?  Jaime Lannister.  Mirri Maz Duur betrayed Prince Rhaego Targaryen.  Maybe burning MMD is the first tempering that Daenerys needed to become stronger.  It gave her the dragons.  How's that for strong!  The second tempering is the execution of Jaime Lannister.  He did betray House Targaryen.  Jaime should have saved Aerys Targaryen and asked for a trial by combat to try to save his king.  

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