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Aebram

The Sealord's "grand gift"

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The recent thread about the Sealord reminded me of one of those bits of dialogue that Must Mean Something. In Dance chapter 33 (Tyrion VIII), the mummer dwarf Penny is telling Tyrion about the jousting show. 

Quote

It was Father's idea to do the tilts. He even trained the first pig, but by then he was too sick to ride her, so Oppo took his place. I always rode the dog. We performed for the Sealord of Braavos once, and he laughed so hard that afterward he gave each of us a … a grand gift.

What was this gift? It looks like Penny was just about to tell Tyrion what it was, but at the last minute she stopped herself. Why?

It's been suggested that the gift may have been the three dragon eggs that a past Sealord acquired from Elissa Farman. It's an interesting theory, and the phrase "gave each of us"  does imply that there were three separate gifts  for Penny, Oppo, and their father.  But other than that, the evidence seems a little thin to me. So let's consider some other possibilities.

If the gifts were valuable, then of course it would be prudent not to let anyone know about themx. A bag of gold, or three separate bags, seems like the obvious option. But gold is heavy. A quantity sufficient to be called "grand" would probably be difficult for a troupe of traveling mummers to transport and conceal. I suppose the Sealord might have deposited the gold in the Iron Bank, and given each dwarf a receipt. But that seems too modern for this medieval world. Mummers don't make much use of banks. They would probably be happier with the gold than with pieces of parchment stamped with the Sealord's seal.

Precious stones or jewelry are another possibility. They could be as valuable as a bag of gold, but smaller and lighter. Blades or other artifacts of Valyrian steel are extremely valuable, and lighter in weight than normal steel. Maybe a couple of lost Targaryen swords are concealed inside the wooden lances that they use for their show?

Since their father was too sick to ride, I suppose it's possible that there were actually just two gifts, not three.

That's about all I've got. What do you think?

Edited by Aebram

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One dragon egg is enough to set up the dwarves in luxury for life.  Three and they can purchase enough Unsullied and mercenaries to overthrow Braavos itself.  I suppose it is possible these eggs were stolen by Illyrio.  If the gifts were eggs.  If.

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I don't think the father was included in this gift giving. Whatever the gift was, Penny doesn't seem to have it with her anymore. So it's possible that it's locked up somewhere safely or has been sold. 

The thing about the dragon eggs is that the Sealord position is not a hereditary one. So I'm assuming that while the Sealord's Palace passes to the new Sealord while the things that belonged to the former Sealord would go to his kin. 

Whatever this grand gift was that Penny and Oppo received, I think that it was from the hands of the current Sealord, the one who is sick. I think we'll find out about what things he had in the palace in some Arya POV. I think she'll end up in the palace at some point. 

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A title perhaps.  Something along the lines of a charter, first and foremost of their trade?

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1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

My guess is she suddenly realised the gift she thought so grand would look like small change to rich boy Tyrion - so she avoids saying what it was in case he laughs at her excitement. Maybe it was a souvenir statuette of the Titan, or similar.

This is honestly the best guess, IMHO. We need to keep in mind that it's something the Sealord would want to give to some random mummers. Why would the Sealord of Braavos give something as expensive as dragon eggs, something the Westerosi debt was pardoned over, to them? He wouldn't. So the most sensible guess would be that the 'grand' gift would only be 'grand' in Penny's eyes.

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3 hours ago, Springwatch said:

My guess is she suddenly realised the gift she thought so grand would look like small change to rich boy Tyrion - so she avoids saying what it was in case he laughs at her excitement. Maybe it was a souvenir statuette of the Titan, or similar.

This was my take as well and in my opinion an altogether more interesting and human moment than an actual grand secret. 

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You don't give your Rolex to a comedian.  You give them a medal or some token of honor to reward achievement.  The Sealord might give them something akin to what a Queen of Love and Beauty would get.  Roses made of precious stones.  It has value but it is like a trophy.  The receiver is not like to sell her trophy.  The Sealord has humor.  For that the jousters get weapons made of Valyrian steel. 

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9 hours ago, Springwatch said:

My guess is she suddenly realised the gift she thought so grand would look like small change to rich boy Tyrion - so she avoids saying what it was in case he laughs at her excitement. Maybe it was a souvenir statuette of the Titan, or similar.

That's sad and hilarious and sounds about right..

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9 hours ago, Springwatch said:

My guess is she suddenly realised the gift she thought so grand would look like small change to rich boy Tyrion - so she avoids saying what it was in case he laughs at her excitement. Maybe it was a souvenir statuette of the Titan, or similar.

It’s easy to forget this about Tyrion. He grew up in the middle of wealth and splendor.  

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20 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

The thing about the dragon eggs is that the Sealord position is not a hereditary one. So I'm assuming that while the Sealord's Palace passes to the new Sealord while the things that belonged to the former Sealord would go to his kin.

Elyssa Farman was paid in ships, and presuming that the Sealord didn't personally own the docks where they were built, it means that the eggs became the property of Braavos, not the Sealord personally. But he probably stole them. So your conclusion is correct -- we should not expect any subsequent Sealord to have them.

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