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Serddar

Where did Balerion take Aerea?

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I'm reading Fire & Blood for the first time (so this is where all your historical info comes from! :D ), and story of Aerea and Balerion really intrigued me, and the way in which Barth talks about Aerea's condition upon her return to King's Landing makes everything even more interesting.

Considering that Aerea never rode  a dragon before, and the fact that she chose Balerion the Black Dread, one could go on to say that she had no control over her "journey", as Balerion could go wherever he likes, and Aerea couldn't stop him. Also, as Barth says, Balerion is the only living dragon born in Valyria. Could it be that Valyra is where Balerion really took Aerea? And what kind of impact would that have on our story, as there are other characters who claim that they had been there (wink wink, Euron).

Aerea was in a horrible condition upon her return to King's Landing, even Balerion the Black Dread, the strongest dragon of them all, the largest and the oldest, was wounded and had scars. Valyrian blood did not seem powerful enough to save Aerea, and, even as a Targaryen heat still took her. There were those... worm-like creatures as well. 

Considering everything we know about Aerea and Balerion, could it be that some of our characters lie about their travels to Valyria? Or, at the very least, if they actually did go to Valyria, they are lying about what happened there, and how they obtained certain items (wink wink, Euron's armor). What happened to Aerea really seems Lovecraftian, and it's strongly pointed that Balerion was wounded as well - what can hurt a dragon of that might? Other dragons most probably - or someone along the way, someone with enough experience to fight dragons.

This is not a strict theory, I'm just thinking out loud, years had passed since I read A Song of Ice and Fire, and I'm still reading thought Fire & Blood, but this is the most interesting section of the book, for now. I'll just throw it out there, and I'm really looking forward to hear your thoughts everyone.

P.S. 
English is not my native language, as such I do not read the books in English, so if I mix up certain characters, places etc, please point it out so it can be corrected.

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Posted (edited)

Tis is the account of her death from the Wiki:

Quote

Benifer treated Aerea in his chambers with Septon Barth, who had been summoned to administer the rites for the dying. Only the two men witnessed her last hours; the maester forbade all others, including the king and queen, from entering. Benifer gave Aerea milk of the poppy and, to reduce her fever, immersed the princess in a tub of ice, but nothing helped. She had arrived at the Red Keep in the morning. By the hour of the bat, after sunset, Septon Barth announced that Aerea had died. She was cremated the next day at sunrise.[8]

It was announced that Aerea had died of a fever, which was only partially true. Ser Lucamore said that the princess's fever was so hot that he could feel it through his armor. She had blood in her eyes and her body had "something inside her, something moving", the knight said, until the king forbade him from speaking of the princess. Benifer left no account of Aerea's death, but according to an account in Barth's private papers, Aerea's fever was one unlike anything he had seen before. The septon described her as burning, with a red skin and having barely an ounce of flesh upon her bones, appearing gaunt and starved.[8]

Barth reported that "swellings" moved underneath the princess's skin, possibly searching for a way to escape and causing a great pain. He wrote "I pray that I shall soon forget some of the things she whispered", and that she often begged for death. It seemed to Barth as if Aerea was cooking from within. Her flesh grew darker until it resembled pork cracklings; smoke came from her mouth, nose, and her nether regions. Aerea's eyes cooked within her skull until they burst. When the princess was lowered into the tub of ice, "slimy, unspeakable things" making horrible sounds emerged from under her skin—one as long as his arm—but the "creatures of heat and fire" died from the cold of the ice.[8]

The origins of the creatures that lived inside Aerea are unknown. Barth speculated that Balerion, not Aerea, had chosen their destination; as likely the only living creature in the world that had known Valyria before it was destroyed in the Doom, Balerion had returned home, where accursed creatures as those found inside Aerea now lived.[8]

 

The pork crackling description is curious because of this:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Victarion I

The galleys he renamed Ghost and Shade. "For I mean them to return and haunt these Yunkishmen," he told the dusky woman that night after he had taken his pleasure of her. They were close now, and growing closer every day. "We will fall upon them like a thunderbolt," he said, as he squeezed the woman's breast. He wondered if this was how his brother Aeron felt when the Drowned God spoke to him. He could almost hear the god's voice welling up from the depths of the sea. You shall serve me well, my captain, the waves seemed to say. It was for this I made you.

But he would feed the red god too, Moqorro's fire god. The arm the priest had healed was hideous to look upon, pork crackling from elbow to fingertips. Sometimes when Victarion closed his hand the skin would split and smoke, yet the arm was stronger than it had ever been. "Two gods are with me now," he told the dusky woman. "No foe can stand before two gods." Then he rolled her on her back and took her once again.

 

 

Edited by LynnS

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33 minutes ago, LynnS said:

A Dance with Dragons - Victarion I

The galleys he renamed Ghost and Shade. "For I mean them to return and haunt these Yunkishmen," he told the dusky woman that night after he had taken his pleasure of her. They were close now, and growing closer every day. "We will fall upon them like a thunderbolt," he said, as he squeezed the woman's breast. He wondered if this was how his brother Aeron felt when the Drowned God spoke to him. He could almost hear the god's voice welling up from the depths of the sea. You shall serve me well, my captain, the waves seemed to say. It was for this I made you.

But he would feed the red god too, Moqorro's fire god. The arm the priest had healed was hideous to look upon, pork crackling from elbow to fingertips. Sometimes when Victarion closed his hand the skin would split and smoke, yet the arm was stronger than it had ever been. "Two gods are with me now," he told the dusky woman. "No foe can stand before two gods." Then he rolled her on her back and took her once again.

This is one of the reasons I'll dig into a re-read of ASOIAF after the summer. I had completely forgot about description of Victarion's arm. It sounds like the exact same thing, which adds another layer to all of this, making it even more interesting. 

Victarion has never been to Valyria, as far as we know, so there is no way for him to directly get an illness, infection, parasite or whatever, from Valyria. Unless it was carried over by someone, someone who has been there. We are told that Euron is that guy. Then again, considering what happened to Aerea and Balerion, I'm in doubt that Euron is truthful in his claims. If not him, we have two possibilities, that someone else had carried the "illness"(?), or that it did not come from Valyria, and that Aerea picked it up somewhere else.

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41 minutes ago, Serddar said:

Victarion has never been to Valyria, as far as we know, so there is no way for him to directly get an illness, infection, parasite or whatever, from Valyria. Unless it was carried over by someone, someone who has been there. We are told that Euron is that guy. Then again, considering what happened to Aerea and Balerion, I'm in doubt that Euron is truthful in his claims. If not him, we have two possibilities, that someone else had carried the "illness"(?), or that it did not come from Valyria, and that Aerea picked it up somewhere else.

I also wonder about a parasite being used against dragons.  Wasps that inject eggs into a host animal come to mind.  Or fire worms/wyrms.  Something that preys on dragons if they get the chance with Aerea being vulnerable to attack.  That might account for Balerion's wounds. 

Also Moqorro is responsible for Victarion's transformation which seems to imply similar conditions to these dragon parasites.  I just wonder if the transformation will stop at the elbow.   

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If Victarion is infected, and these parasites are dangerous to dragons... 

 

I'm just wondering what could be the connection between Victarion and Aerea. Maybe the destination? Geography they traveled through?

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17 minutes ago, Serddar said:

If Victarion is infected, and these parasites are dangerous to dragons... 

I'm just wondering what could be the connection between Victarion and Aerea. Maybe the destination? Geography they traveled through?

There isn't a specific geographical connection.  There is a similarity in the symptons between Victarion and Aenea that might inform us about Moqorro's knowledge of such things and where he has travelled.    

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, LynnS said:

There isn't a specific geographical connection.  There is a similarity in the symptons between Victarion and Aenea that might inform us about Moqorro's knowledge of such things and where he has travelled.    

If Balerion took her to Valyria, then he probably took a similar route Victarion is taking. Maybe that's where both Aerea and Balerion got infected, somewhere along the line, not in Valyria itself. Or, met someone like Moqorro, but I don't see how anyone would be able to tame such a dragon, even for a short period of time. 

It definitely seems like Moqorro knows something, but back then, when Balerion flew, he got infected in a different way. So we know there has to be more than one way of getting infected.

Sorry if my post is not clear enough, but years had passed since I read the series, and information from Fire and Blood is mixing with it. :D

Edited by Serddar

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On 6/19/2021 at 7:29 AM, Serddar said:

I'm reading Fire & Blood for the first time (so this is where all your historical info comes from! :D ), and story of Aerea and Balerion really intrigued me, and the way in which Barth talks about Aerea's condition upon her return to King's Landing makes everything even more interesting.

Considering that Aerea never rode  a dragon before, and the fact that she chose Balerion the Black Dread, one could go on to say that she had no control over her "journey", as Balerion could go wherever he likes, and Aerea couldn't stop him. Also, as Barth says, Balerion is the only living dragon born in Valyria. Could it be that Valyra is where Balerion really took Aerea? And what kind of impact would that have on our story, as there are other characters who claim that they had been there (wink wink, Euron).

Aerea was in a horrible condition upon her return to King's Landing, even Balerion the Black Dread, the strongest dragon of them all, the largest and the oldest, was wounded and had scars. Valyrian blood did not seem powerful enough to save Aerea, and, even as a Targaryen heat still took her. There were those... worm-like creatures as well. 

Considering everything we know about Aerea and Balerion, could it be that some of our characters lie about their travels to Valyria? Or, at the very least, if they actually did go to Valyria, they are lying about what happened there, and how they obtained certain items (wink wink, Euron's armor). What happened to Aerea really seems Lovecraftian, and it's strongly pointed that Balerion was wounded as well - what can hurt a dragon of that might? Other dragons most probably - or someone along the way, someone with enough experience to fight dragons.

This is not a strict theory, I'm just thinking out loud, years had passed since I read A Song of Ice and Fire, and I'm still reading thought Fire & Blood, but this is the most interesting section of the book, for now. I'll just throw it out there, and I'm really looking forward to hear your thoughts everyone.

P.S. 
English is not my native language, as such I do not read the books in English, so if I mix up certain characters, places etc, please point it out so it can be corrected.

Valyria is one of the destinations proposed.  Asshai is another.  The Valyrians of the past had a way of dealing with those worms.  That or they dug too deep and accidentally released this species from deep beneath the earth.

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Posted (edited)

My guess is Fire Wyrms. We know they lived in the fourteen flames and therefore they probably survived the doom... But the magic may have done horrible things to some of them. If Valyrian magic made dragons through fire wyrm/wyvern breeding, what the hell did it do to some of these fire wyrms when said magic ran rampant post-doom?

 

You also have to consider that they were gone a LONG TIME. It probably took weeks, at max, for Balerion to reach Valyria. They probably didn't go straight there, but something tells me that they were there most of the time. After all, in all of Jaeherys' investigations they never hear about a dragon.

That means Aerea spent real time in Valyria, as did Balerion, and somehow made it BACK. TOGETHER. As in Aerea didn't just die along the way, Balerion and her must have bonded etc otherwise I don't see him sticking around to help her flee.

We are never going to get much more of the story of what happened to them, but I do think we see more post-doom Valyria through one lens or another. And it sounds horrifically amazing, this was a really sad, but big high point of the book imo.

Edited by Leonardo

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Posted (edited)

This is a version of the story I believe. The Doom was not only a cataclysm but something like a nuclear explosion and the remnants of life that continues to live in Valyria are twisted (people, dragons, etc). Aerea can have eaten/drunk something that had twisted fireworm eggs upon it. Balerion may have been attacked by a twisted dragon. And Euron visited a valyrian colony ruin like Gogosos not Valyria.

Edited by Endymion I Targaryen

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Posted (edited)

I'm glad we are getting a bunch of different opinions.

9 hours ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:

This is a version of the story I believe. The Doom was not only a cataclysm but something like a nuclear explosion and the remnants of life that continues to live in Valyria are twisted (people, dragons, etc). Aerea can have eaten/drunk something that had twisted firework eggs upon it. Balerion may have been attacked by a twisted dragon. And Euron visited a valyrian colony ruin like Gogosos not Valyria.

That makes sense. Especially considering the stories and how people describe Valyria nowdays. Euron getting his armor from a colony, and not directly from Valyria could explain a lot. Because it's hard to believe Euron would make it back unscared from such a place, when even a dragon as mighty as Balerion  couldnt.

What confuses me is a bond Aerea and Victarion share through the symptoms of their illness. With difference being that it seems there are still no worms in Victarion's arm. They might be small/young.

If they actually do have the same infection, and fire-worms end Victarion, what does that mean to us? That they can be caught outside Valyria? That they can be made up with magic, or carried like a biological weapon? Maybe even made.

Edited by Serddar

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18 hours ago, Leonardo said:

You also have to consider that they were gone a LONG TIME. It probably took weeks, at max, for Balerion to reach Valyria. They probably didn't go straight there, but something tells me that they were there most of the time. After all, in all of Jaeherys' investigations they never hear about a dragon.

That means Aerea spent real time in Valyria, as did Balerion, and somehow made it BACK. TOGETHER. As in Aerea didn't just die along the way, Balerion and her must have bonded etc otherwise I don't see him sticking around to help her flee.

That's interesting. Never thought about the possibility Balerion and Aerea made a connection in the end. When you put it that way, Balerion is probably the only reason she even survived. Not just because he brought her back, but because of the scars. Balerion fought and protected Aerea from something big and strong enough to hurt a dragon.

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Considering that Aerea and Balerion were missing for more than a year, let's assume they spent a full year in Valyria. That means they (she) survived there that long, and Balerion immediately came back when something (whatever it may be) happened with Aerea, otherwise she wouldn't hsve survived the way back to KL

Euron returned to the Iron Islands after two years of banishment. Considering that he went as far as Asshai (maybe even further) with a ship, he did not spend more than three months in Valyria, if he really was there. I can imagine that he survived there that long without a dragon (tho most likely not in the heartlands, or I dunno).

But there have to be others as well. His people can't speak, of course, his visit to Valyria might be a reason why George made Euron's entire crew tongueless.

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That there are places with scary forms of life is unquestioned. But Balerion would go to a place that has significance to him.  Valyria.

Some real world species return to their place of birth to spawn. Perhaps Balerion felt a calling to return to his and mate. A female dragon could have survived the doom. It would be wonderful if Drogon’s egg came from that pair.  

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On 6/22/2021 at 9:04 AM, Serddar said:

With difference being that it seems there are still no worms in Victarion's arm. They might be small/young.

If they actually do have the same infection, and fire-worms end Victarion, what does that mean to us? That they can be caught outside Valyria? That they can be made up with magic, or carried like a biological weapon? Maybe even made.

Quote

Gogossos New methods of torture were used and blood magic is said to have been practiced, including slave women being forced to mate with beasts to produce twisted, half-human offspring. 

This can also be done in Valyria in a greater scale and explain the twisted life of Valyria after the Doom. 

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21 hours ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:

This can also be done in Valyria in a greater scale and explain the twisted life of Valyria after the Doom. 

 

This is part of my guessing; the magic went rogue post doom. Some people probably survived in holes, unable to leave. Magic was left to go unchecked after having been contained by the bloodmages for centuries.

 

On 6/23/2021 at 11:45 AM, Daeron the Daring said:

Considering that Aerea and Balerion were missing for more than a year, let's assume they spent a full year in Valyria. That means they (she) survived there that long, and Balerion immediately came back when something (whatever it may be) happened with Aerea, otherwise she wouldn't hsve survived the way back to KL

Euron returned to the Iron Islands after two years of banishment. Considering that he went as far as Asshai (maybe even further) with a ship, he did not spend more than three months in Valyria, if he really was there. I can imagine that he survived there that long without a dragon (tho most likely not in the heartlands, or I dunno).

But there have to be others as well. His people can't speak, of course, his visit to Valyria might be a reason why George made Euron's entire crew tongueless.

 

Exactly. I think it's also worth noting that Valyria was so incredibly, impossibly wealthy(especially in magic) that you probably wouldn't have to go far into Valyria proper to find some extremely compelling things, and it must not at all have been worth the risk of more trips. I'm very surprised they didn't make it out of there with more.

I also think he may have gotten the horn from other parties who HAD been to Valyria, near it, or from one of their closer outposts like Elyria/Tolos. I really, REALLY hope we hear more from Euron about the current state of Valyria. If the Unsullied do take the demon road back instead of the sea I expect we will hear much and more.

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On 6/22/2021 at 1:10 AM, Serddar said:

That's interesting. Never thought about the possibility Balerion and Aerea made a connection in the end. When you put it that way, Balerion is probably the only reason she even survived. Not just because he brought her back, but because of the scars. Balerion fought and protected Aerea from something big and strong enough to hurt a dragon.

Or at the very least, didn't just flee when being so grievously wounded, but allowed Aerea to mount him again OR he was wounded while in flight. Considering there are almost certainly no flight-capable dragons there I find that unlikely. Regardless her being able to be close to him speaks to a bond much like the primitive one with Dany in the pit and Drogon.

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2 hours ago, Leonardo said:

I also think he may have gotten the horn from other parties who HAD been to Valyria, near it, or from one of their closer outposts like Elyria/Tolos. I really, REALLY hope we hear more from Euron about the current state of Valyria. If the Unsullied do take the demon road back instead of the sea I expect we will hear much and more.

Well, the horn Euron owns could easily be a thing he got from somewhere else (let's say the area west to Slaver's Bay, Elyria, or the region north of the Valyrian peninsula), but what then is the point of lying about it? Really not much.

The other thing bothering me is where does the knowledge comes from that the horn is for controling dragons? (I actually think that's not its purpose, but I also can't guess what is it then) He either made this thing up, asked someone (but who? The warlocks?) and is being misled (or not).

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Could we look at this in a different way - maybe Valyria went up in flames like a nuclear bomb or power plant would (for example), and now, the radioactivity (magic etc) is weaker than before, and trips to Valyria are safer than before (safer, not safe). 

That would explain how Euron made it out, or how someone else obtained the items, before they ended up in Euron's hands.

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