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What exactly is the point of Quentyn?


grimBlue
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When I read ADWD the first time I found his existence very frustrating. On top of the fact he does nothing interesting in the slightest, he isn't even an interesting character himself. Literally the most remarkable aspect about him is that he's so boring that's how he's described in the narrative on multiple occasions. The second time I read ADWD, I found myself totally puzzled by his existence as a character with a POV. He has nothing to add to the plot, nothing to add to the cast of characters - all of which are infinitely more interesting than him -, nothing to even really offer Daenerys as is made plain when they finally meet.

I suppose one could argue he is useful as a way to add to the worldbuilding, but what little his chapters added could have been dripped in through other characters' chapters, and anyway what we learn from him is hardly consequential at all. I suppose we can also argue that he is indirectly responsible for connecting the Tattered Prince with Daenerys' cause, but this could also have been done better and less painfully through other means. That said, even if it couldn't it certainly doesn't warrant him a POV. In fact, if Quentyn had only been introduced when Daenerys met him - only through her POV, without a POV of his own  -, the book would have been shorter and perhaps even improved by it.

Was I alone in feeling, from the second I began reading his chapters, that he would have very little impact on the narrative, and was therefore not even remotely interested when he finally died? It just felt like a massive waste of my time to read through his chapters, like he was the literal embodiment of unnecessary filler. What do you think is the point of him existing in the story at all?

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4 hours ago, grimBlue said:

Was I alone in feeling, from the second I began reading his chapters, that he would have very little impact on the narrative, and was therefore not even remotely interested when he finally died? It just felt like a massive waste of my time to read through his chapters, like he was the literal embodiment of unnecessary filler. What do you think is the point of him existing in the story at all?

GRRM and his editors clearly disagree.
I would say its too early to tell what influence a character introduced in the 5th book of 7 will have on the plot etc. I think we'll have a better idea after the 6th or 7th book. 
You could equally argue what the point was of Robb, or the petty warring of the War of the 5 Kings - if you think the main story is about the living vs the Others etc. All that stuff happened in books 1-3, far removed from books 6-7.

Things of interest that we can see already introduced or developed through Quentyn's chapters:
Martell's fierce, long, and continued support for the Targaryens.
The way Doran plans, long term, hidden and secret, especially the secretly planned marriage of Arriane and Viserys, and how that affected current events.
A look at some of the internal politics of Dorne which may become relevant.
Dragon's blood, or not, being relevant around dragons (and for looks).
Dany's character development - we see things through Quentyns side we don't see from other perspectives.
Some more of Dany's early history, stuff she's not aware of or doesn't understand.

There is probably more, and possibly more consequences to play out yet too.

Each to his own, but I think you judge too hastily, and possibly don't see all the connections yet either.
 

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Ser Gerris will return to Dorne singing this tune.

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Ser Archibald, the big bald one, had nothing to say. He sat on the edge of his pallet, staring down at his bandaged hands in their linen wrappings. Ser Gerris punched a wall. "I told him it was folly. I begged him to go home. Your bitch of a queen had no use for him, any man could see that. He crossed the world to offer her his love and fealty, and she laughed in his face."

"She never laughed," said Selmy. "If you knew her, you would know that."

"She spurned him. He offered her his heart, and she threw it back at him and went off to fuck her sellsword."

And Arianne will marry Aegon and Dorne will be Dany's greatest foe during the Dance and in the aftermath during her rule. It will be a large part in the downfall of her rule.

Quentyn came to Dany to give her Dorne. Dorne could have, should have, would have have been hers, but instead will be her most bitter enemy. Quentyn is primarily a plot device in Dany's arc, a failure of judgement.

Lets watch and see if someone Jon doesn't particularly fancy comes offering an alliance that while not very beneficial at that particular point in time, would prove to be so in the endgame, or at least a very bad enemy to have, and see if Jon doesn't react with more care.

Edited by chrisdaw
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Have you noticed that beginning with AFFC that GRRM starting giving titles to some of the chapters? I believe these chapters are what I refer to as "inversion" chapters. They tell two stories with one hidden among the parallels, symbolism, and metaphors. I believe there is a wheel of time at play in the story which is mentioned a couple times as the "dragon eating its own tail". There are other instances where characters note that history repeats itself, and that certain characters are "reborn". 

Part of my theory includes a reset of the wheel of time during the tourney at Harrenhal and the Year of the False Spring. For reasons not fully understood, it was reset to repeat "winter". Later when Daenerys hatched her dragon eggs in Drogo's funeral pyre, she actually "broke" the wheel and it flipped on its side and turned upside down. West became east and the north is upside down. Two characters mention this reverse reality: Patchface has repeatedly said the north is upside down and under water, and Quaithe has tried to inform Daenerys how to navigate by going east to go west and north to go south.

Quentyn makes some notable appearances in several titled chapters including: The Soiled Knight, The Queenmaker, The Princess in the Tower, The Merchant's Man, The Windblown, The Watcher, a couple Daenerys chapters VII and VIII, The Discarded Knight, The Spurned Suitor, and finally he meets  his demise in The Dragontamer. That's actually a large number of inversion chapters for such a "boring" character! I'm slowly making my way through the inversion chapters and have deciphered the first nine - I'm not quite finished with both The Reaver and Cat of the Canals, but I have taken notice that Quentyn and Young Griff are two halves of the "male side" of the next Dance of the Dragons against Daenerys. The first Dance of the Dragons was between Viserys I's eldest and only child with his first wife - Rhaenyra. He wanted her to be his heir over his first son Aegon II, born by his second wife. The novella, The Princess and the Queen tells most of this tale.

When Rhaenyra lost the Dance of the Dragons, Aegon II fed her to his dragon Sunfyre. This event of the wheel of time has already been played out with Quentyn, because he was the sun's son and he was set on fire.

Other than the manner of Quentyn's death (burned) and how it was the reverse of Rhaenyra (not eaten, and a male challenger), there are other clues that he and the other Martells are "players in new positions" on the wheel of time. Arianne and Doran are very much a repeat of Cersei and Tywin. Doran's gout is a physical manifestation of Tywin's internal anger and desire for revenge. Cersei is Tywin's first born child. She was born with Jaime holding onto her heel. Even though she became queen, she always wanted Tywin to name her heir of Casterly Rock. Likewise, Arianne IS Doran's heir, but she was so unsure that her father would follow through that she arranged the kidnapping plot of Myrcella in order to force a war with the crown. She knew the Dornish people were itching for a fight. They were still angry over the deaths of Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon, and Arianne was capitalizing on that anger for her own selfish reasons. She wanted to overthrow her father and become princess over all of Dorne. 

There are several female characters who are their father's eldest child, but were/are passed over in favor of son. It's just one historical event that keeps repeating, but depending upon where these women live will determine if they are successful or not. Asha Greyjoy is also replaying Rhaenyra-is-father's-choice-for-heir event, but unfortunately the Greyjoys are repeating the Targaryens and Blackfyres - not likely to succeed, whereas Arianne is repeating the success of the Lannisters. I have to admit though, that their fortunes may be reversed because of how the wheel got flipped. Asha might be the successful one and Arianne might fail.

The wheel of time is a powerful force that inflicts "it's will" upon the people of Westeros. I say "it's will", but it doesn't have feelings or it's own agenda. It's more like a force of nature and you cannot prevent or stop nature from following it's course. It's how Daenerys "knew" what to do to get the eggs to hatch and why Jon has overwhelming feelings of desire to "have" Winterfell. 

Of course all of this is difficult for me to prove easily. You can read some of my analysis over on HoBaW and decide for yourself if what I'm saying is true.

So why is all this happening? Are you a Marvel Dr Strange fan? Recall that Dr Strange used the Eye of Agamotto to defeat Dormammu. He put time into a continual loop so that if Dormammu killed him he'd come back to life and try again. Dormammu gets frustrated and goes away leaving Dr Strange and the rest of Earth alive. I think somewhere back in time when the Last Hero asked the Children to "help" him they too placed time into a continual loop and then locked the door to magic in the Wall. It explains the delayed seasons and why there are so many repeats and parallels. 

Edited by Feather Crystal
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  • 1 month later...

The significance of Quentyn is that he is the real Aegon VI, rightful king of the Seven Kingdoms, son of Rhaegar and Elia.  His significance is that when Dany and Jon quarrel about who is the rightful ruler, both will be wrong.  People say he takes after his father.  In fact, he takes after his mother.  As a small child, he seemed to take after his father, but children change, as did his cousin Arianne, who in her childhood seemed to take after her father, but now resembles her mother.

Young Griff, now styling himself as Aegon VI, is a fake, and more specifically, that he is the real Quentyn Martell.  "Septa Lemore", who accompanies him, is in fact his mother, Mellario of Norvos, Doran's wife. 

Quentyn has dreams of fire and blood, as befits his Targaryen heritage.  He survived his fiery encounter with Rhaegal, just as Dany has survived her fiery encounter with Drogon.  He now hangs out with his new buddy Viserion in an abandoned but fully stocked Pyramid.

The burnt-beyond-recognition man who died on Dany's bed is one of the identically-dressed windblown who accompanied Quentyn to the dragon pit.  More specifically, he is the Tattered Prince, who likes to remove his cloak and maneuver incognito.  Archie and Gerris obviously know more than what they are saying.

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On 9/8/2019 at 8:29 PM, grimBlue said:

When I read ADWD the first time I found his existence very frustrating. On top of the fact he does nothing interesting in the slightest, he isn't even an interesting character himself. Literally the most remarkable aspect about him is that he's so boring that's how he's described in the narrative on multiple occasions. The second time I read ADWD, I found myself totally puzzled by his existence as a character with a POV. He has nothing to add to the plot, nothing to add to the cast of characters - all of which are infinitely more interesting than him -, nothing to even really offer Daenerys as is made plain when they finally meet.

I suppose one could argue he is useful as a way to add to the worldbuilding, but what little his chapters added could have been dripped in through other characters' chapters, and anyway what we learn from him is hardly consequential at all. I suppose we can also argue that he is indirectly responsible for connecting the Tattered Prince with Daenerys' cause, but this could also have been done better and less painfully through other means. That said, even if it couldn't it certainly doesn't warrant him a POV. In fact, if Quentyn had only been introduced when Daenerys met him - only through her POV, without a POV of his own  -, the book would have been shorter and perhaps even improved by it.

Was I alone in feeling, from the second I began reading his chapters, that he would have very little impact on the narrative, and was therefore not even remotely interested when he finally died? It just felt like a massive waste of my time to read through his chapters, like he was the literal embodiment of unnecessary filler. What do you think is the point of him existing in the story at all?

Exactly the point, his chapters have little consequence for the plot, but are thematically important. Please read this.

https://poorquentyn.tumblr.com/tagged/quentyn-in-adwd/chrono

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On 9/9/2019 at 1:06 PM, Feather Crystal said:

Quentyn makes some notable appearances in several titled chapters including: The Soiled Knight, The Queenmaker, The Princess in the Tower, The Merchant's Man, The Windblown, The Watcher, a couple Daenerys chapters VII and VIII, The Discarded Knight, The Spurned Suitor, and finally he meets  his demise in The Dragontamer.

One reason why Frog's chapters are not called simply "Quentyn", is perhaps because Frog's real name is not Quentyn, but rather Aegon.  He's the frog that became a PTWP.

Possibly, the reason his last chapter is called "The Dragontamer" is because that is the chapter in which he tames a dragon.  Viserion actually seemed cowed by his whip.  And as for his demise, I don't think that occurred.

 

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On 9/8/2019 at 2:29 PM, grimBlue said:

When I read ADWD the first time I found his existence very frustrating. On top of the fact he does nothing interesting in the slightest, he isn't even an interesting character himself. 

He's not necessarily uninteresting.  But he comes at a point where the reader is looking for resolution for old characters, and may be experiencing burnout on new ones.

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9 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Exactly the point, his chapters have little consequence for the plot, but are thematically important. Please read this.

https://poorquentyn.tumblr.com/tagged/quentyn-in-adwd/chrono

I stopped reading after it referenced Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead.    We once had Shakespeare.  Now we have Tom Stoppard.

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1 hour ago, Platypus Rex said:

One reason why Frog's chapters are not called simply "Quentyn", is perhaps because Frog's real name is not Quentyn, but rather Aegon.  He's the frog that became a PTWP.

Possibly, the reason his last chapter is called "The Dragontamer" is because that is the chapter in which he tames a dragon.  Viserion actually seemed cowed by his whip.  And as for his demise, I don't think that occurred.

 

Quote

“When he raised his whip, he saw that the lash was burning. His hand as well. All of him, all of him was burning. Oh, he thought. Then he began to scream.”

Quote

“The Dornish prince was three days dying. He took his last shuddering breath in the bleak black dawn, as cold rain hissed from a dark sky to turn the brick streets of the old city into rivers.”

He is dead. Quite dead.

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2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

He is dead. Quite dead.

Well, you don't explain how you deduce that from your quotes, so I must guess.  But I have I never understood how people can cite the "all of him was burning" line as proof of instant death, when their position, presumably, is that he lived on for 3 days.   Obviously the argument proves too much.  To suggest these words allow survival for 3 days, but no more than that, is as arbitrary as arguing it allows survival for 3 hours, but no more than that.

Also, I don't see how one who is even remotely familiar with the series can ignore the POV format of the books.  Obviously, Barristan THINKS that the dying man is "the Dornish prince", and your Barristan chapter quote reflects that.

To me, Quentyn's death is a rather obvious fake out.  And while this is certainly easy to miss on first read, or even second read, it is more of a mystery that so many are unable to recognize all the elements of a fake-out, even after they are pointed out.

Edited by Platypus Rex
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On 9/8/2019 at 2:29 PM, grimBlue said:

When I read ADWD the first time I found his existence very frustrating. On top of the fact he does nothing interesting in the slightest, he isn't even an interesting character himself. Literally the most remarkable aspect about him is that he's so boring that's how he's described in the narrative on multiple occasions. The second time I read ADWD, I found myself totally puzzled by his existence as a character with a POV. He has nothing to add to the plot, nothing to add to the cast of characters - all of which are infinitely more interesting than him -, nothing to even really offer Daenerys as is made plain when they finally meet.

I suppose one could argue he is useful as a way to add to the worldbuilding, but what little his chapters added could have been dripped in through other characters' chapters, and anyway what we learn from him is hardly consequential at all. I suppose we can also argue that he is indirectly responsible for connecting the Tattered Prince with Daenerys' cause, but this could also have been done better and less painfully through other means. That said, even if it couldn't it certainly doesn't warrant him a POV. In fact, if Quentyn had only been introduced when Daenerys met him - only through her POV, without a POV of his own  -, the book would have been shorter and perhaps even improved by it.

Was I alone in feeling, from the second I began reading his chapters, that he would have very little impact on the narrative, and was therefore not even remotely interested when he finally died? It just felt like a massive waste of my time to read through his chapters, like he was the literal embodiment of unnecessary filler. What do you think is the point of him existing in the story at all?

I still say Quentyn is alive. You don't take a blast of dragonfire full in the face and then calmly think to yourself, gee, my whip is burning; gee, my hand is burning; hey, all of me is burning, AHHHHH! From what we've seen of others (Krazdan, the guards in the fighting pit), you pretty much go straight to the AHHHHH!

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11 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Well, I give you a shorter version

https://poorquentyn.tumblr.com/post/110390600593/the-tao-of-oh

good luck!

I managed to read that one, but I don't agree with it.  The author/reader projects all kinds of meanings on the word "Oh" which have little if any basis in the text or the logic of the story.

"Oh" signifies the realization that he is on fire, which is naturally followed by panic or pain, or both.

The author of your link seems to think "oh" signifies all kinds realizations such as (1) that he will die slowly and painfully over the course of the next 3 days; (2) that he is not "the hero"; (3) that he is in not invincible or immune from death; (3) that Cletus and his other friends also suffered and died; (4) that dragons are deadly monsters.

From the above, one would imagine that Quentyn was some cocky arrogant narcissist, who was basically in it for his own glory, who thought he was immune from death, who persevered in his mission because he had no empathy for his dead friends and thought he was better than his dead friends; and who thought that dragons were cute cuddle bunnies who could not possibly hurt him.

None of which is even remotely true.

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On 10/17/2019 at 8:59 PM, Platypus Rex said:

Well, you don't explain how you deduce that from your quotes, so I must guess.  But I have I never understood how people can cite the "all of him was burning" line as proof of instant death, when their position, presumably, is that he lived on for 3 days.   Obviously the argument proves too much.  To suggest these words allow survival for 3 days, but no more than that, is as arbitrary as arguing it allows survival for 3 hours, but no more than that.

Also, I don't see how one who is even remotely familiar with the series can ignore the POV format of the books.  Obviously, Barristan THINKS that the dying man is "the Dornish prince", and your Barristan chapter quote reflects that.

To me, Quentyn's death is a rather obvious fake out.  And while this is certainly easy to miss on first read, or even second read, it is more of a mystery that so many are unable to recognize all the elements of a fake-out, even after they are pointed out.

The second quote states very plainly that he took three days to die and that his last shuddering breath was at dawn. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

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52 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

The second quote states very plainly that he took three days to die and that his last shuddering breath was at dawn. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

That's not Quentyn.  That's someone who Barristan thinks is Quentyn.  It's the Pentoshi prince, not the Dornish prince.  We have not seen the real Quentyn (that is, the real Aegon) since he started to scream.  Archie and Gerris saw what happened, but they also clearly know more than they are saying to Barristan.

The text says it's the Dornish prince, but the text reflects the POV of the chapter.  Barristan's POV.   Barristan believes it is the Dornish prince, so the text says that.

Just as we were told that Jon was Ned's bastard, sired on campaign.  Maybe it is not true.  But it is what Catelyn believes.

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