Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
sweetsunray

Balon Swann as valonqar?

Recommended Posts

I am inclined to believe that the identity of the valonqar is connected to the prophecy or to Cersei herself.  If the prophecy, it would be something to do with the "younger, more beautiful', who will cast her down.  Balon Swann fits neither of these bills.

If it's to do with Cersei herself, it is either Tyrion or Jaime.  If the ymb, then I would expect it to have to do with Cersei's treatment of that woman.  The most likely suspects for that honor are Margaery, Daenerys, and Sansa.   Daenerys has no living siblngs.  I don't see Arya doing anything, and if she did, it wouldn't have anything to do with Ssansa.  Margaery has brothers, but they are all older.  Loras is the "little brother" of the bunch, so could be an outside choice.

Essentially, for me it is Tyrion, Jaime, and  Loras (as a way outside choice).  Balon Swann isn't even on the radar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

It's a fun post to read, but I don't know. I'm not prepared to believe anything out of Doran Martell's mouth because the man lies. We know that. He already scapegoated one man for one thing he did not do (and maybe even a second), what's to stop him from doing the same with Balon Swann? Doran will lie where it suits him. His ass has been scheming for 16 years. Do we know that this is any different?

I think that GRRM wants us to connect this so-called Cersei plot that she keeps to herself to Balon who is supposed to carry it out to Trystane through Hotah's observations of Balon's body language. 

But Balon Swann is the son of a Marcher Lord and a Kingsguard to boot in a land that is neither a fan of Marchers or Kingsguard. It's been a while since I read that chapter and my books are packed, so I can't verify this, but aren't these Hotah observations happening after that half-assed toast and Obara upturning her cup of wine and marching herself out of the hall and other people refusing to drink?

All the observations by Hotah are from start to finish in the chapter, and yes it includes the toast, with Obara pouring the wine onto the floor.

Hotah makes a special note of who doesn't drink... And it all boils down to this: aside from Arianne, anyone who drank was excluded from learning the reveal or from knowing anything beyond need to know basis. But all those who did not drink is eventually recruited by Doran to help him with his plans:

the 3 eldest Sand Snakes learn all that night. But not after Ellaria sand leaves with Doran's blessing.

Daemon Sand is informed once he recruits him as Arianne's shield.

Armies have ammassed in the Boneway and the Prince's Pass. The host is formed by all sort of houses, but Lord Fowler (his twins did not drink), Mandwoody (did not drink), the Wyls (did not drink) and Yronwood (wasn't present) are the houses of those passes and will lead and direct the hosts.

I suspect that two of the houses that did not drink were with Doran all along and trusted by him. They simply did not drink to gain the trust of the Ullers (who are either mad or worse), sort of like what Corbray did for LF with the Lords Declarant. One of them was the Lord for whom Doran once squired. And while the Wyls did not drink they did entertain Balon for 8 days, taking him hunting and hawking in the Boneway to delay his arrival to Sunspear.

And then there's Hotah who also learns all the same night: he didn't drink or eat.

I think you need to reread Jaime's exchange with Balon Swann in aSoS to assess how devoted he becomes to being a KG.

Yes, Doran lies. Hotah in thought calls him out on it, when Doran blames Gerold Dayne for killing Ser Arys. And he wears a Myrish blanket for cover. All things Myrish always have to do with lies. Except, the Myrish cover slips from his lap during his reveals. So, he isn't lying to Hotah and the Sand Snakes. And Balon does behave suspicious. The others don't notice it. But Hotah does and is on him like a hawk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Megorova said:

Though what his family did, is very similar to what some other Houses were doing during Blackfyre Rebellions.

House Swann divided support, which adds up to a form of neutrality, like the Night Watch. By serving all sides (Balon as KG, Donnel for Stannis until he got captured, Ravenna for the BwB) they do not choose, and thus the sum of it is neutrality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Cross my fingers I have time to sit and respond better later...)

just a quick and basic impression I am picking up here is a “fiery hand” theme playing out. A fiery hand as in an actual position of ‘hand’, and seneschal, someone acting upon the word of a fiery figure. Quite the theme among GRRM works. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Nevets said:

I am inclined to believe that the identity of the valonqar is connected to the prophecy or to Cersei herself.  If the prophecy, it would be something to do with the "younger, more beautiful', who will cast her down.  Balon Swann fits neither of these bills.

If it's to do with Cersei herself, it is either Tyrion or Jaime.  If the ymb, then I would expect it to have to do with Cersei's treatment of that woman.  The most likely suspects for that honor are Margaery, Daenerys, and Sansa.   Daenerys has no living siblngs.  I don't see Arya doing anything, and if she did, it wouldn't have anything to do with Ssansa.  Margaery has brothers, but they are all older.  Loras is the "little brother" of the bunch, so could be an outside choice.

Essentially, for me it is Tyrion, Jaime, and  Loras (as a way outside choice).  Balon Swann isn't even on the radar.

I totally get that. Except he is connected to Cersei in a sub-manner: she picked him, she made him KG. And he  becomes an extension of Tyrion and Jaime as both approve of him. So, in a way, Balon ending up doing what Jaime once did, as KG to Tommen's regent, would meet with the approval of both Tyrion and Jaime, as a stand in for both Tyrion and Jaime.

I myself am more inclined to go with either Tyrion or Jaime, switching back and forth between the two of them. Balon Swann solves that "which if the two brothers would be most suitable" issue, and as their stand-in neither Jaime nor Tyrion get any further kinslaying taint on them.

  • Jaime already is a kingslayer. He's not a kinslayer so far.
  • Tyrion is a kinslayer. He's not a kingslayer so far.

And from all the other alternative candidates beside those two, only Balon Swann seems to be pushed to stand in for both of them. So, at this moment I consider Balon likelier than Loras, let alone Arya, or even Gregor.

And yes, Balon doesn't seem to have been on anyone's radar really. Most of our focus has been on the "rotten" ones, the mercenary KG of this generation, and the KG who had lovers. When we discuss KG who struggled with the paradoxes of their vows, we tend to discuss the golden generation of Aerys: Arthur Dayne or Jaime when he killed Aerys, or compared these two to Selmy. And we certainly never much considered a KG aside from Jaime killing Cersei, except perhaps for wightified Gregor without a head turning on his master. Balon has been flying under the radar, but he's gradually being shaped and put into situations like those of Arthur Dayne and Jaime, rather than those of Selmy.

Edited by sweetsunray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Lord Browndodd said:

Swanns and mirrors - the knight who tried to emulate Serwyn of the Mirror Shield during the Dance of Dragons was a Swann.

The present character with the biggest mirror shield is Jon. Half of the Wall is likened to a serpent. The other half a sword. Jon sees his own reflection in the ice of the Wall in aDwD, Jon X, when he visits Cregan Karstark in his ice cell (smelling of shit, a character who later flings his shit to others.... shit hitting the fan so to speak). It's his wall, thus his shield. But he's also a dragon, looking at his own reflection in the shield with a sword pointing from Eastwatch to CB (that half of the Wall). The word "reflect" for the Wall only appears in Jon's POVs, and only after Jeor died.  It's his.

  • He "saves" Princess Shyreen from a giant: Wun Wun's laughter scares Shyreen and Jon orders Leathers to take him back to eat
  • He gets the unwitting dragon stabbed (himself)
  • He's haunted by those he killed and those who died by his side, while wearing an armor of black ice (Jon = Wall)

But Balon Swann definitely has some parallels to Jon: Red Watch, vows, conflicting duty, protecting children. And he's traveling with that copper mirror Areo Hotah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

All things Myrish always have to do with lies.

I have been struggling with the symbolism of myrish stuff for a while. I tend to agree with you that the myrish blanket means covered up truths and that it's significant that it slips from his lap when he shares his knowledge of Cersei's plans. But... You yourself have made clear a conection between mirrors and reflecting the truth, and myrish mirrors, sometimes called simply myrish glass or myrish looking glass, are supposed to be the best. What do we make of that? 

2 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Ravenna for the BwB

While I agree with the point you are making about the Swann family, I'd like to add that I entertain the idea that the noblewomen are generally helping the brotherhood without their lord husbands' knowledge. It's a quite subversive thing to do.

Edited by Lady Dacey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Lady Dacey said:

I have been struggling with the symbolism of myrish stuff for a while. I tend to agree with you that the myrish blanket means covered up truths and that it's significant that it slips from his lap when he shares his knowledge of Cersei's plans. But... You yourself have made clear a conection between mirrors and reflecting the truth, and myrish mirrors, sometimes called simply myrish glass or myrish looking glass, are supposed to be the neste. What do we make of that? 

While I agree with the point you are making about the Swann family, I'd like to add that I entertain the idea that the noblewomen are generally helping the brotherhood without their lord husbands' knowledge. It's a quite subversive thing to do.

Mirrors and looking glasses and spyglasses are "lie detectors"... but Myrish ones are used in lies.

The first Myrish spyglass we see is the one gifted to Maester Luwin, containing Lysa's letter full of lies about who murdered Jon Arryn. As a lens, or lens tube it creates an image to look closer at someone, but even scientifically this image is referred to as a "false" image, because it's straight up. A "real" image is upside down. These are actual terms in optics. So, the projected image seen through a lens that isn't upside down is a "false" one. On top of that, the image technically is an illusion, because you see everything bigger or closer than they really are.

And then you have the Myrish mirror. In the whole series several characters at one time or another look at themselves in a mirror. But only one mirror is referred to as a Myrish mirror. And that's the mirror Arya trains in front of to learn to control her face, in order to learn to lie. This is the sole time that George refers to a mirror as Myrish. Symbolically it's a twisted form of training: Arya's training to beat a lie detector. But not just any mirror will serve. Only a Myrish one.

In Doran's case, Hotah refers to the Myrish blanket in two ways when he questions why Doran winces in pain: is it the lie (that Gerold killed Arys) or is it the gout. The blanket normally covers the gouted legs (the gout) and it's Myrish (so lies). One more remark about the Myrish blanket: while we are alerted of the existnece of the Myrish blanket in the chapter, it also gets caught between spokes, exposing Prince Doran's gouted legs. So, in a way George here is saying, "Normally Doran is a liar, but here he is revealing the truth. He lets down his cover."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/11/2019 at 3:10 PM, sweetsunray said:

Are maesters called "brothers"?

Not that I recall. I know, that question wasn't to me but I couldn't help butting in to say my favorite "brotherhood" for valonqars would be the Second Sons. It's right there in the name of the company. :P

That aside, I like what you've done here. It's definitely more interesting than Tyrion or Jaime in the role of kinslayer (again, in Tyrion's case).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Lady Dacey said:

While I agree with the point you are making about the Swann family, I'd like to add that I entertain the idea that the noblewomen are generally helping the brotherhood without their lord husbands' knowledge. It's a quite subversive thing to do.

Her husband ain't a Swann ;) Works for me :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Not that I recall. I know, that question wasn't to me but I couldn't help butting in to say my favorite "brotherhood" for valonqars would be the Second Sons. It's right there in the name of the company. :P

That aside, I like what you've done here. It's definitely more interesting than Tyrion or Jaime in the role of kinslayer (again, in Tyrion's case).

No I can't either.  It's described as an order of academics.  In a sense it is a male only fraternity and it could considered a brotherhood in that sense.

I'll give you something about Marwyn, that I find amusing to think about.  If this is too radical for some people, then close your eyes.

I've often mused on the lineage of maesters which is generally not known.  But apparently you can figure it out in some cases.   Who was Marwyn's daddy?

Varys tells us that there is a secret passageway and door to the Hand's private quarters that leads to Chataya's brothel and that this constructed by a previous Hand for his own purposes.  Who might that have been?  If it wasn't Tywin, he seems to know about it when Tyrion finds him with Shae.  Finding out that Tywin secrets whores into his chambers is a bit of a surprise considering his opposition to Tyrion's behavior in the brothels.

Then there is Tyrion's Aunt Joanna who tells Tyrion that he is definately Tywin's son and finds this amusing for some reason.  Could it be that Tywin has produced more than one son with dwarism and she knows about it?  He can't disown Tyrion but he could hide a bastard sired on a whore at the Citadel.  How embarrassing for him.  LOL. 

Tyrion muses that he has never met another dwarf because Tywin won't allow any in his presence;  but Tyrion has heard of a dwarf maester who served at the Fingers.  In his father's eyes, all dwarves are bastards. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, LynnS said:

No I can't either.  It's described as an order of academics.  In a sense it is a male only fraternity and it could considered a brotherhood in that sense.

I'll give you something about Marwyn, that I find amusing to think about.  If this is too radical for some people, then close your eyes.

I've often mused on the lineage of maesters which is generally not known.  But apparently you can figure it out in some cases.   Who was Marwyn's daddy?

Varys tells us that there is a secret passageway and door to the Hand's private quarters that leads to Chataya's brothel and that this constructed by a previous Hand for his own purposes.  Who might that have been?  If it wasn't Tywin, he seems to know about it when Tyrion finds him with Shae.  Finding out that Tywin secrets whores into his chambers is a bit of a surprise considering his opposition to Tyrion's behavior in the brothels.

Then there is Tyrion's Aunt Joanna who tells Tyrion that he is definately Tywin's son and finds this amusing for some reason.  Could it be that Tywin has produced more than one son with dwarism and she knows about it?  He can't disown Tyrion but he could hide a bastard sired on a whore at the Citadel.  How embarrassing for him.  LOL. 

Tyrion muses that he has never met another dwarf because Tywin won't allow any in his presence;  but Tyrion has heard of a dwarf maester who served at the Fingers.  In his father's eyes, all dwarves are bastards. 

Marwyn taught MMD, who is about 40 when Dany meets her. That rather puts Marwyn in a category of too old to be Tywin's child. Though I wouldn't rule out him being a Lannister, being short and having large hands doesn't exactly equal being a dwarf. Still, if he was considered abnormal, I could definitely see that particular house ditching him by sending to a place that doesn't use surnames at all. Marwyn, Tywin. Nah. Spelling isn't close enough for them to be twyns (yes, that y is deliberate).

Tywin's objection to Tyrion's behavior was that it was so obvious and public. Tyrion wasn't remotely discreet about any of it, which probably reminded Tywin of his own father's lack of discretion. Wouldn't surprise me at all if Tywin was the Hand for whom that tunnel was built. The tunnel is the ultimate in discretion for a Hand who wants, shall we say, the comfort of women, without the accompanying publicity...maybe didn't want his wife to find out.

Aunt Genna's amusement is that the child who is most like Tywin is the one he wishes weren't his, or suspects might not be. The white-blond hair, the heterochromia, and the KL visit Joanna made (especially if she found that tunnel) added to all the little clues that Tyrion is different from the rest of the family, are cause for Tywin to tell himself he isn't Tyrion's father even without the dwarfism. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Her husband ain't a Swann ;) Works for me :D

You meant Ravella Smallwood! It completely slipped my mind that she was born a Swann, and you said Ravenna and not Ravella so I did not connect the dots... I just assumed there was minor character called Ravenna I did not recall :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

You meant Ravella Smallwood! It completely slipped my mind that she was born a Swann, and you said Ravenna and not Ravella so I did not connect the dots... I just assumed there was minor character called Ravenna I did not recall :D 

Duh! Yes I meant Ravella! My mistake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Duh! Yes I meant Ravella! My mistake.

All forgiven

By the way, I just realized I never touched upon the topic of your OP. I think it would be really ironic if Cersei were killed by a King's Guard knight. I'd appreciate it. I'm not ready to place a bet on it, but I like your reasoning. This is an entertaining post, as it always is the case with with your writting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lady Dacey said:

All forgiven

By the way, I just realized I never touched upon the topic of your OP. I think it would be really ironic if Cersei were killed by a King's Guard knight. I'd appreciate it. I'm not ready to place a bet on it, but I like your reasoning. This is an entertaining post, as it always is the case with with your writting.

Overall we're starting to see some similar themes appearing now, and locations:

  • kidnapped princess, a Dayne's involved, a KG who got orders he didn't particularly like
  • a rebellion that starts in the Storm Lands, and Tyrells moving in to take it
  • Most of the king's forces (Lannisters) stuck in the RL and facing guerilla tactics
  • According to the epilogue of aDwD, we're back at only 3 kg at KL: Robert Strong, Blount and Trant. Kettleback is in a cell. Balon south. Jaime is in the RL. Loras either being taken care of at Dragonstone or perhaps with the Redwyne Fleet if it's a ruse.

And the more I think about it, I wouldn't mind if it wasn't Jaime or Tyrion themselves. At the very least I'm super curious to Hotah's POV with the hunt for Dayne. I expect that whatever Darkstar has to tell will involve some callabck to Arthur Dayne, and what impact that may have on Balon. Before yesterday, I just assumed we could knock off Balon from the list of the living. I'm not so sure of Doran even wanting to kill Balon now.

He says, something along the lines of , "If he is the man I judge him to be, he won't refuse Myrcella's request". Doran was right about that. He also "defended" Balon as "he's just following orders" when one of the Sand Snakes says she couldn't believe it from a KG (about the ambush for Trystane). I think Doran recognized that Balon was conflicted and would grab the excuse with both hands, and he's leading him to a confrontation with the most dangerous man of Dorne, and I'm not convinced that "danger" only implies physical fighting skill. Even Hotah's inner thoughts about a confrontation with Balon are "IF" it comes to that, not "it will come to that". In contrast, Hotah sensed he would fight Arys one day and that he would kill him. He doesn't have that sense with Balon, only how Balon would fight an opponent.

On top of it all, Doran actually risked Myrcella returning to KL. He sent her with Nym and Tyene and 300 spears back to KL. Once they arrive at KL, neither Nym or Tyene could control Myrcella. And yet somehow Doran is confident enough that Myrcella will keep to the story that Dayne killed Arys. That's ballsy!

Edited by sweetsunray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×