Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mithras

An origin theory for Mel based on Fire & Blood

Recommended Posts

I think GRRM came up with an origin story for Mel at a certain point and he chose Fire & Blood to provide most of the clues. The theory is rather simple actually.

Melony + Elissa + Androw = Melissandrow >> Melisandre

It is an etymological argument proposing that Mel is somehow related to the Farmans revealed in Fire & Blood. Specifically, she is either Elissa Farman or the daughter of Elissa Farman named as Melony. At one point, Mel coined her name from Melony and these two Farmans. Melony was sold to slavery as we can tell from Mel’s suppressed memories. Mel is doing her best to avoid those disturbing dreams. Whether she was Elissa Farman who sold her daughter to slavery or she was the daughter that was sold by her mother to slavery, this traumatic event left a huge impact on Mel. Her coping mechanism is disassociation, which means Mel might very well be the “crying woman” in that dream instead of the girl Melony. One might draw parallels from the case of Dany and Rhaego but I won't go into that. If I look back, I am lost.

There are further clues that might suggest that GRRM is cooking something with the Farmans of Fire & Blood. Elissa Farman’s character and story seem to be created for Fire and Blood at a later stage. GRRM decided to retcon TWOIAF by suggesting that Elissa’s Sunchaser went to Asshai. There is another retcon from The Sons of the Dragon to Fire & Blood where GRRM created Melony Piper instead of Jon Piper as the contemporary of Elissa and Androw Farman. Speaking of which, Androw was mentioned only in The Sons of the Dragon briefly. I am leaving it there.

That is the theory. What I will try to focus more is the why and how.

How does this theory work in ASOIAF? What does it add to the story?

Well, I don’t think it will matter much. In the upcoming volumes, GRRM can provide enough clues to confirm this theory but it will probably be left as just Easter eggs. I don’t think GRRM will follow this thread in the main series. ASOIAF should be self-reliant and it should stand on its own. GRRM can’t depend too much on side materials to explain the stuff in the main series. Think of this theory like Three-Eyed-Crow is Bloodraven. His past is irrelevant to the main story and he will soon leave the scene. But GRRM confirmed that he is the Three-Eyed-Crow and readers should look into the side materials to learn more about his past. Same thing might be true for Mel.

When did GRRM come up with this theory?

It is hard to tell. Continuing with the Bloodraven example, when GRRM created the Three-Eyed-Crow, it was not Bloodraven because he did not exist back then. All he knew was that Three-Eyed-Crow was somehow related to the Targaryens. This is GRRM’s process. He leaves it to a later time to figure out certain details. After creating Bloodraven, GRRM saw that he might be the Three-Eyed-Crow he was looking for and he proceeded with that. Same thing might be true for Mel. Since her creation, GRRM might have known that Mel was somehow related to Westeros but had not figured out the details yet. Maybe GRRM saw the necessity of such a Westerosi origin for Mel after creating her POV in ADwD, as without her POV, the theory does not make sense or seem necessary.

Why does Mel have to be related to Westeros?

Asshai is so distant from Westeros that a shadowbinder from there coming to Westeros just because of this prophecy seems like a rather weak justification. This is especially true for the later stages of GRRM’s world-building. Compared to the beginning of the story, GRRM seems to be more aware of the distances, sizes, scales, logistics etc. of his world. I believe even if Mel was not from Westeros at her creation, GRRM soon came to realize that the story would be stronger if Mel has a Westerosi origin because no one can really escape from their past.  On the surface, Mel is pursing her beliefs about prophecies but on the subconscious level (as she is trying hard to suppress her past for so long), she is returning to her home.

Edited by Mithras

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think this is particularly likely. I rather assume Melony Piper was a nod to Melisandre herself (red-head girl with Mel's given name) which could indicate that she is a Riverlands girl on her father's side - Bloodraven, who is half-Blackwood after all.

Melisandre's mother is likely Shiera Seastar - the clue to that is the whole 'heart-shaped face' thing which is a crucial part of Mel's description as well as part of Shiera's description we have of her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the “heart-shaped face” and “full breasts” are simply generic hottie features, something like face lifting and fake tits, but due to magic instead of plastic surgery. Mel and Shiera having these features does not necessarily point blood relation but that these two sorceresses both use magic to enhance their outlook.

As for the Shiera+Bloodraven=Mel theory, I think it falls to the trap I specifically avoided in my theory, i.e. too much reliance on side materials. When you introduce Shiera and Bloodraven as Mel’s parents (and Shiera as Quaithe on top of that), this whole thing becomes so important that it should somehow matter in the main series. But that is not something GRRM would want. Not on a narrative level and not on a commercial level. To understand this problem better, think about selling the rights for a Blackfyre adaptation.

TWOIAF is the book you sell for a Blackfyre adaptation (that is until Fire & Blood vol.2 is published). But after the first one, the Blackfyre rebellions (which are merely a couple of paragraphs in TWOIAF) become the subject of Dunk & Egg novellas. That means one has to buy the rights for them too, or they won’t be able to use the details revealed in those novellas. This is the kind of situation GRRM wrote himself into with D&E and Blackfyre stories. A possible adaptation of them has lots of problems to deal with.

Returning to the subject of the post, GRRM would not want the side materials to be essential parts of the main series. In the ideal scenario, every material should stand on its own and be separated enough for any adaptation to not run into problems.

Edited by Mithras

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Mithras said:

I think the “heart-shaped face” and “full breasts” are simply generic hottie features, something like face lifting and fake tits, but due to magic instead of plastic surgery. Mel and Shiera having these features does not necessarily point blood relation but that these two sorceresses both use magic to enhance their outlook.

What little we know about glamors from TMK indicates that it works pretty well if your actual face is not that different from the illusion (Maynard sort of has the same build and face as Bloodraven, too, minus certain key features). With Mance and Rattleshirt things do not work all that well because they are very different in build and looks.

Thus I'd not downplay those similar descriptions, nor the fact that Shiera is, so far, the least developed of the Great Bastards - meaning she could pop up anywhere - even in the main series (as Quaithe, say). And Bloodraven is a crucial character in the main series now - which means everybody would make the connection between him and his daughter if it were ever established.

For the Farmans nobody is looking. And nobody would care if they were connected to Melisandre. We would just shrug and hope the plot finally moved along - especially if we didn't read FaB. Even who the three-eyed crow is now only people know/care about who read Dunk & Egg and other stuff. Those who didn't/never will still can understand the important plot points, too, though.

It is the same with Dany's dragon eggs - if they turn out to be Elissa's sold to a Braavosi Sealord who either was an ancestor of Illyrio's or from who's family/descendants Illyrio eventually bought those eggs - then we will eventually get a nod to that, but the ASoIaF is not going to retell the story of Elissa Farman again. George would just have whoever makes the connection mention briefly that some woman stole three dragon eggs from Dragonstone during the reign of Jaehaerys I.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And Bloodraven is a crucial character in the main series now - which means everybody would make the connection between him and his daughter if it were ever established.

Surely you meant the three-eyed crow because his past as Bloodraven is not relevant to the main series so far and I am saying that it should not be in the future as well.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

the fact that Shiera is, so far, the least developed of the Great Bastards - meaning she could pop up anywhere - even in the main series (as Quaithe, say)

Shiera’s past is the subject of D&E and/or Fire&Blood. Anything interesting she did there should not be provided in the main series, which also means anything she did there will not have any affect to the main series. If she did not do anything interesting in the past or if she did but not relevant to the main series, what is the point of introducing Shiera to the main series? World-building details from the main books should be filled in side materials, not that the gaps in the side materials should be filled in the main series.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

For the Farmans nobody is looking. And nobody would care if they were connected to Melisandre. We would just shrug and hope the plot finally moved along - especially if we didn't read FaB. Even who the three-eyed crow is now only people know/care about who read Dunk & Egg and other stuff. Those who didn't/never will still can understand the important plot points, too, though.

That is the way it should be. That is why I made this theory like this. You won’t see the three-eyed crow telling Bran “My name was Brynden Rivers. I was the natural son of King Aegon IV. I served as Hand of the King and so on.” GRRM simply dropped vague remarks regarding his true identity and left it like that. Because, as I said the nth time, Bloodraven’s past is not relevant to the current story. GRRM is likely to do the same for Mel if he thinks of giving her a Westerosi origin. He will drop some vague remarks about Farmans and specifically Elissa Farman in her POV (such as “I chased the sun but I got burned” or another name drop of Elissa in yet another suppressed dream), confirm in the appendix that she was Elissa Farman and leave it there.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is the same with Dany's dragon eggs - if they turn out to be Elissa's sold to a Braavosi Sealord who either was an ancestor of Illyrio's or from who's family/descendants Illyrio eventually bought those eggs - then we will eventually get a nod to that, but the ASoIaF is not going to retell the story of Elissa Farman again. George would just have whoever makes the connection mention briefly that some woman stole three dragon eggs from Dragonstone during the reign of Jaehaerys I.

We are saying the same thing. Bloodraven’s past simply got a nod and will be left at that. Same thing should happen to Mel’s past and the origins of Dany’s eggs, though in the case of Dany’s eggs, I don’t think GRRM would feel like their origin is some loose end that he should tie. After all, he will never get into the details of dragon magic and he already said that Dany’s pyre incident was a miracle. He might feel content with simply giving a nod that Dany’s dragon eggs were Targaryens eggs and leave it at that.

Edited by Mithras

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  

×