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TheLastWolf

The Bad Cat of King's Landing

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Perhaps you wonder why I write about such trivial topics, but this one might be more than what meets the eye. 

We first saw the old black tomcat with the torn ear when Arya was training under Syrio Forel and stumbled upon Varys and Illyrio plotting due to chasing it, maybe it wantedly led her to them.Then when she was hiding in Flea Bottom prior to her father's execution and her rescue by Yoren

The same cat appeares in ADWD's epilogue, where it's mentioned at the supper  Kevan has with Cersei and Tommen. It was chased off by Ser Pounce ( one of Tommen's stupid cats) when it came to the window. Cersei tells that it had clawed Joffrey ( spoiled brat deserved it) and even chased the rookery ravens. 

Could it be that some skinchanger is secretly spying on the inhabitants of the Red Keep, and reading the messages to and from the ravens. Could it be a Stark? Could it be Rodrik Stark, the Wandering Wolf, who tried to help Ned via Arya? Could Rodrik be the Tattered Prince

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https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Balerion_(cat)

The symbolism is interesting. If the kitten of Princess Rhaenys grew up to be an ornery tom cat, and the kitten was named after Balerion, the dragon ridden by Aegon the Conqueror, is the cat a symbolic dragon? No one had been able to catch the tom cat until Arya caught it as part of her water dancer training. Did Arya become a symbolic dragon rider when she caught the cat? What does it mean that she kissed it on its forehead (the location of a third eye for some characters).

I believe that the cat also brushes against Sansa and Arya when they climb the Serpentine Steps in the Red Keep. The word "serpentine" also has dragon connotations. Are both girls becoming symbolic dragon riders when they climb these steps?

I don't think the cat is skinchanged, although that's possible. I suspect that the raven of the Night's Watch Lord Commander somehow embodies the wisdom of all past Lord Commanders. There may be something similar going on with the old tom cat. Instead of providing guidance for each new Lord Commander, the cat may have chosen Arya as its next "princess".

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1 hour ago, TheLastWolf said:

Could it be that some skinchanger is secretly spying on the inhabitants of the Red Keep,

It could be Shiera Seastar/Quaithe/The 3EC.

Shiera's mother, Serenei of Lys, and Larra Rogare, is the same person (there are various clues. Look at their photos in Wikia, it's the same person).

Larra/Serenei was skinchanging into cats.

"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." - Fire and Blood, V1.

If her mother had this gift, then it's likely that Shiera is also able to skinchange into cats.

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It seems clear to me that the old black tomcat is Rhaenys' former pet Balerion.  It's appeared, or been talked about, enough times that it must have some significsnce.  And there's that scene where Varys tells Ned about Rhaenys' kitten, which is the tipoff.

My own personal hunch is that we'll see a scene in TWOW or ADOS where Aegon is King's Landing, sitting in a meeting with the small council.  He's trying to convince the council of his identity, and it's not going well; but then that old cat walks into the room, jumps into his lap, and starts to purr ...

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6 hours ago, Aebram said:

He's trying to convince the council of his identity, and it's not going well; but then that old cat walks into the room, jumps into his lap, and starts to purr

I would love to see this! Of course, if Young Griff isn't actually Aegon V, old Balerion could walk in and hiss at him. Let's hope for the purr.

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The cat is Balerion.  I don't know what significance that has but it is a very nice connection to Rhaenys.  She is dead.  Murdered by the Lannister's brutes.  But something of hers survived. 

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Balerion, Rhaenys’ kitten, was mentioned numerous times at the end of ADWD before appearing in the Epilogue.  I think that we are being asked to compare Rhaenys and Tommen, another young royal associated with kittens...

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Balerion will witness the downfall of the Lannisters.  He was there when the Targaryens were murdered.  He will be there when the Lannisters meet their end.  Arya catching the cat could mean her hands will be the ones who bring death to the Lannisters.  It doesn't fit with the story but it could happen.  Cersei is supposed to meet her end at the hands of the valonqar.  

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On 6/28/2020 at 7:42 PM, Megorova said:

It could be Shiera Seastar/Quaithe/The 3EC.

Shiera's mother, Serenei of Lys, and Larra Rogare, is the same person (there are various clues. Look at their photos in Wikia, it's the same person).

Larra/Serenei was skinchanging into cats.

"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." - Fire and Blood, V1.

If her mother had this gift, then it's likely that Shiera is also able to skinchange into cats.

In my other thread topic... 

https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/157312-old-nans-identity-and-her-unrevealed-secrets/

.. about Old Nan someone hinted that she was a weak greenseer. Could it be her in Balerion the black cat of Rhaenys in KL? 

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6 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

Old Nan someone hinted that she was a weak greenseer. Could it be her in Balerion the black cat of Rhaenys in KL? 

I doubt that Old Nan has magic powers. If she had even just a bit of clairvoyance, she would have done something to prevent death of her two sons in Robert's Rebellion, death of her grandson in Greyjoy's Rebellion, Bran's fall, Ned's execution, burning of Winterfell, the Red Wedding, and everything else bad that happened in her home. Thus, she's just an old woman, that knows a lot of stories and legends, but has zero magical powers, and is not a warg, greenseer or skinchanger.

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

I doubt that Old Nan has magic powers. If she had even just a bit of clairvoyance, she would have done something to prevent death of her two sons in Robert's Rebellion, death of her grandson in Greyjoy's Rebellion, Bran's fall, Ned's execution, burning of Winterfell, the Red Wedding, and everything else bad that happened in her home. Thus, she's just an old woman, that knows a lot of stories and legends, but has zero magical powers, and is not a warg, greenseer or skinchanger.

She can see the past but the future is not visible to her.  I am not fully convinced of Bran's ability to see the future. 

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On 7/10/2020 at 1:06 AM, Quoth the raven, said:

I am not fully convinced of Bran's ability to see the future. 

His ability to see the past is established. But the ability to see the morrow is a fickle thing. Not everything comes true, as Dany's visions at the HoU proved. But Bran saw a vision (among others) with a giant in stone, with no head in AGOT/ACOK (I'm not sure which) which is surely a premonition of Gregor Frankenstein Strong (Qyburn's monster). 

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On 6/29/2020 at 7:47 PM, Prince Rhaego's Soul said:

Balerion will witness the downfall of the Lannisters.  He was there when the Targaryens were murdered.  He will be there when the Lannisters meet their end.  Arya catching the cat could mean her hands will be the ones who bring death to the Lannisters.  It doesn't fit with the story but it could happen.  Cersei is supposed to meet her end at the hands of the valonqar.  

The valonqar is either Arya or Euron. So I agree.

This cat that Arya kissed is the adult version of Rhaenys' kitten Balerion. I'm a bit torn as to whether Rhaenys was a skinchanger who lived a second life in Balerion, if someone else is controlling Balerion as a skinchanger or if Balerion is just Balerion.

The fact that Arya can skinchange cats skillfully is notable. Varamyr is a pretty damn powerful skinchanger and he found cats to be very difficult to control.

It is also worth noting that Arya has a history of running around the Red Keep and its secret places, chasing cats and eavesdropping on secret conversations. So, maybe when Arya comes back to Westeros in A Dream of Spring, she and Balerion can have some adventures.

If a skinchanger did enter Balerion, then a vestige of that skinchanger's spirit stays with Balerion even after they have long since moved on. So, if Arya skinchanges Balerion, she'll come into contact with whoever.

5 hours ago, The Lord of the Crossing said:

Black cats come along and misfortune happens soon after.  So the superstition says. 

Balerion has been living in the Red Keep for decades so what are you trying to say. That the Red Keep and all that run afoul of Balerion are cursed/doomed.

On 7/9/2020 at 3:36 PM, Quoth the raven, said:

She can see the past but the future is not visible to her.  I am not fully convinced of Bran's ability to see the future. 

Me neither.

I think Bran's powers are limited to the past and the present. I think Dany is the one with the gift of seeing the future but it's a hit-or-miss kind of thing.

On 6/29/2020 at 11:10 AM, Loras said:

Balerion, Rhaenys’ kitten, was mentioned numerous times at the end of ADWD before appearing in the Epilogue.  I think that we are being asked to compare Rhaenys and Tommen, another young royal associated with kittens...

That doesn't bode well for Tommen.

Arya is technically another royal associated with cats too. She is also associated with Tommen on more than one occasion at the beginning of A Game of Thrones.

Not that it bodes well for Arya either.

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8 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

If a skinchanger did enter Balerion, then a vestige of that skinchanger's spirit stays with Balerion even after they have long since moved on. So, if Arya skinchanges Balerion, she'll come into contact with whoever.

Who??? 

8 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

The valonqar is either Arya or Euron. So I agree

How??? 

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