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Quaithe's prophecy : The three betrayals


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10 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Thanks for the link to your earlier post, I haven't seen it before. Very interesting analysis.

:cheers: 

8 hours ago, LynnS said:

The problem is that they exist at the moment in opposition to each other.

I don't think they do. They share the same goal at present. Only the characters in narrative think they do not (e.g. "I am the fire that burns against the cold." or Dany dreaming of an army of armored in ice reliving the Trident, and melting them "into a torrent."). These are very practical, MERE MORTAL interpretations of what ice and fire are and how they exist oppositional. 

Instead, they are part of the same god turned corrupt, both acting under that god's power and in service of that god's goal. 

The god gone bad is the "Good Queen Anne" Nissa Nissa, seeking vengeance in the form of her child (or, her three children, as the mother + three quarrelsome brothers = the four seasons, as in "the quarrelsome brothers" rendition where they war for the same sister-bride, slaying one another, usurping one another. She wants vengeance for her usurpation, rape*, and murder (AAR forges his "hero's"/"king's" sword) and for the murder of her "promised prince" conceived in that rape and usurpation (the child given three fatal wounds to the neck/throat, the gut/roots/graveworms, and the arm--the horned god, the eviscerated god, the disarmed god) and prays "to the trees" that her son(s) will avenge her. She seizes control of their corpses to ensure this happens (the puppet dancing on a string) and uses the wights (the fire wight, the ice wight) to slay "all men" starting with Azor Ahai the Valonqar/the Bad Egg/the Bad Hand of the Queen. 

*It might've been rape by lie or coercion. Sometimes, the story hints she was seduced and eloped (like Lyanna) but mostly it hints that she was an unhappy, unwilling bride (like Dany) who maybe experienced some measure of Stockholm Syndrome, if she did not outright hate, revile, and fear AAR. It might be all three, honestly, too--each cycle growing more and more corrupt. 

[Like Nissa Nissa, he has multiple iterations, in the three-headed stone dragon rendition of the creation mythos--the original three quarrelsome brothers of the queen, the bastard tyrant blacksmith (Red Hand, the Sun, eldest brother), Tyrono Mar, the wizarding quagmire perfumed eunuch/stinky steward (the Blue Hand, the large moon, middle brother), and lying whore poisoner father-of-dragons (the Black Hand, the small moon, youngest brother). Who is the Green Hand? The God of Spring, Ygg Ygg/Yss Yss (Nice Egg-->Good Egg-->Good Queen -Anne), herself; she takes a new name with each marriage in its time of dominion/its season, either for or against the brother's behavior, whether she is herself good or bad in the rendition (Tatianna/Tyanna-the tyrant's queen; Amyanna/Myanna--the eunuch wizard's queen; Alysanne/Lyanna--the lying whore father-of-dragon's queen, with which she finally conceives her "promised prince" and becomes mother-of-dragons, to yield the spring anew in bloody bed).]

So, when Nissa Nissa's soul went into the Red Sword of Heroes (the Red Comet), what did it do, when forced to slay her own promised prince, for which reason she endured her brother(s) and their usurpations at all? 

She wailed (the widow's wail, at the Red Wedding (Cat), the Purple Wedding (Cersei), etc.). The Horn of Joramun. Three cries (like on the funeral pyre, when the dragons hatch), with the third loud enough that it sounds like "the breaking of the world" (waking the green giant, the sleeping stone dragon--I am the horn that wakes the sleepers (the sleeping dragons).)

She cried tears of blood (this is a prayer for vengeance). Dragon eggs (empty, soulless)/Bloodstone moon rocks falling to the earth. 

She gave her child's corpse one "last kiss" (of lightning) as her body rained down to "break the world" and with that last kiss, she nursed this child upon vengeance, her rancid mother's milk, utterly worthless to welcome a child to the world ("born with the dead" and direwolves suckling milk of their dead mother, etc.) to raise him as a wight and carry out her bidding (to kill her brother-husband(s) and "all men" with them), a mere puppet dancing on her string. (Beric Dondarrion, the Lightning Lord; Lady Stoneheart (fire wights); the wights above the Wall, with the Others, the ice dragon). 

Nissa Nissa /Yss Yss / Ygg Ygg Good Queen Anne is the Great Other (God--the green giant, the stone dragon, of which her brother, AAR, is merely a "head") who must not be named. The Nice Egg becomes the Ice Egg. But also "Mother of Dragons" (fire dragons as well as ice dragons). 

So this is what lies in the Heart of Winter (as it lies in the Heart of Summer, too): hatred and promise of vengeance. 

All men must die (for crossing her, committing treason against their rightful queen and king, the promised prince). All men must serve (her and that goal, including her pitiful child's corpse!). 

Quote
And the seventh face . . . the Stranger was neither male nor female, yet both, ever the outcast, the wanderer from far places, less and more than human, unknown and unknowable. Here the face was a black oval, a shadow with stars for eyes. It made Catelyn uneasy. She would get scant comfort there.
She knelt before the Mother. "My lady, look down on this battle with a mother's eyes. They are all sons, every one. Spare them if you can, and spare my own sons as well. Watch over Robb and Bran and Rickon. Would that I were with them."
A crack ran down through the Mother's left eye. It made her look as if she were crying. Catelyn could hear Ser Wendel's booming voice, and now and again Ser Robar's quiet answers, as they talked of the coming battle. Otherwise the night was still. Not even a cricket could be heard, and the gods kept their silence. Did your old gods ever answer you, Ned? she wondered. When you knelt before your heart tree, did they hear you?
 
A Clash of Kings, Catelyn IV

Catelyn is getting her answer ("did your old gods ever answer you?") although she presumes "the gods kept their silence... as they talked of the coming battle." The answers come "quiet." The answer: a mother's tear. 

"A crack ran down through the Mother's left eye. It made her look as if she were crying." I bet that tear was dark. Red blood? Black blood? 

"Spare them if you can" Cat prayed Nissa Nissa, who cries in answer. "They are sons."

Nissa Nissa's heart is icy as it is fiery, though ("If ice can burn..." "frozen fire..." and "a frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell" amongst those "seven hells" half-and-half.) and Cat receives as "scant comfort here" in her, as in the Stranger. 

Who is the Stranger?

Nissa Nissa. The Red Comet. The Red Sword of Heroes forced to slay her own son in her bloody bed. 

What happens when the Red Comet returns? The Mother of Dragons hatches "stone" dragon eggs in a brutal and revolting way, some heinous magical ritual. 

What happens when the Stars Fall? (ref: fAegon at the Sorrows, Ashara Dayne at the Palestone Sword Tower of Starfall, Jon's rain of fiery arrows at the Wall--upon wildlings, upon Others, in his dream "armored in black ice" but wielding the Red Sword of Heroes; upcoming: Cersei from the Maidenvault; either Marg or Arianne, the Princess in the Tower, who fAegon weds--or both?) Dragons are born here, too. (fAegon is born. Ashara Dayne is fancied to be Jon Snow's mother, of the Tower of Joy. Cersei falls to the Mummer's Dragon, after deaths of her bastard golden dragons, and convicted for deaths of trueborn Targ dragons--when fAegon becomes King Aegon VI; and fAegon's heir is born, to progress the dynasty after his death when the Jon becomes Sword of the Morning instead of Red Sword of Heroes' puppet). 

What happens when the Horn of Joramun blows? More dragons. Dany's dragons (the three sounds on the pyre). fAegon (the sound the stone wights/greyscale infected men make as they rain upon ship and water on the Sorrows from the bridge). Jon Snow (Ghost's howling, as he heard Ghost whimper when they first met) dies and is reborn, waking dragons from stone. I am the horn that wakes the sleepers (NW). Dragonbinder, with Moqorro and Victarion (when Dany's dragons shall escape the pyramids of Meereen and find their rightful masters and mounters: fAegon, Jon Snow, as she found hers in Daznak's pit--where, remember, her whip cracks, like another dragon-binding horn). The Ice Dragons Cometh with ice wights, too. 

The dragons awake. Some as mere puppets on a string. Some breaking that string (a great sound, that snapping string, waking a "sleeper" within a shell, I'd imagine!) to dance to their own tune. 

Quote

Flickering torchlight danced across the walls, making the faces seem half-alive, twisting them, changing them. The statues in the great septs of the cities wore the faces the stonemasons had given them, but these charcoal scratchings were so crude they might be anyone. The Father's face made her think of her own father, dying in his bed at Riverrun. The Warrior was Renly and Stannis, Robb and Robert, Jaime Lannister and Jon Snow. She even glimpsed Arya in those lines, just for an instant. Then a gust of wind through the door made the torch sputter, and the semblance was gone, washed away in orange glare.

...

Ned must have known, and Lord Arryn before him. Small wonder that the queen had killed them both. Would I do any less for my own? Catelyn clenched her hands, feeling the tightness in her scarred fingers where the assassin's steel had cut to the bone as she fought to save her son. "Bran knows too," she whispered, lowering her head. Gods be good, he must have seen something, heard something, that was why they tried to kill him in his bed.
Lost and weary, Catelyn Stark gave herself over to her gods. She knelt before the Smith, who fixed things that were broken, and asked that he give her sweet Bran his protection. She went to the Maid and beseeched her to lend her courage to Arya and Sansa, to guard them in their innocence. To the Father, she prayed for justice, the strength to seek it and the wisdom to know it, and she asked the Warrior to keep Robb strong and shield him in his battles. Lastly she turned to the Crone, whose statues often showed her with a lamp in one hand. "Guide me, wise lady," she prayed. "Show me the path I must walk, and do not let me stumble in the dark places that lie ahead."
Finally there were footsteps behind her, and a noise at the door. "My lady," Ser Robar said gently, "pardon, but our time is at an end. We must be back before the dawn breaks."

The gods no longer do what they're supposed to do. What is the Mother supposed to do? Love the little children. Shield and protect the little children. Not use their piteous corpses as her puppets, seeking vengeance. 

Cat wonders here what a mother would not do for her child. 

So, what if Cat failed to save Bran's life at Winterfell, like she failed to save Robb's at the Twins? Who came of that? Lady Stoneheart. 

The Mother isn't doing what mothers do anymore, because she failed at being a mother, and now, all she craves is vengeance for the vilest act of treason. A treason for blood. A treason for gold. A treason for love. AAR/Valonqar wanted to be king, though it was his sister's "by all rights," (treason for a golden crown). He usurps her. For love of her son, her promised prince, Nissa Nissa goes along with it all... until, another treason: a treason for blood (he slays her to forge himself a right proper kingly sword, can defeat any foe). And what does he do with that sword once he's turned her into it? He slays that child she loves, so he cannot rise up to retake his rightful throne as Corn King. Wailing and broken over his corpse, Nissa Nissa will not have it anymore, and she commits treason too, a treason for love--she brings dragon wights into the world, when she was meant to be a mother of dragons, not a mother of monsters

Quote
Then phantoms shivered through the murk, images in indigo. Viserys screamed as the molten gold ran down his cheeks and filled his mouth. A tall lord with copper skin and silver-gold hair stood beneath the banner of a fiery stallion, a burning city behind him. Rubies flew like drops of blood from the chest of a dying prince, and he sank to his knees in the water and with his last breath murmured a woman's name. . . . mother of dragons, daughter of death . . . Glowing like sunset, a red sword was raised in the hand of a blue-eyed king who cast no shadow. A cloth dragon swayed on poles amidst a cheering crowd. From a smoking tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire. . . . mother of dragons, slayer of lies . . . Her silver was trotting through the grass, to a darkling stream beneath a sea of stars. A corpse stood at the prow of a ship, eyes bright in his dead face, grey lips smiling sadly. A blue flower grew from a chink in a wall of ice, and filled the air with sweetness. . . . mother of dragons, bride of fire . . .
Faster and faster the visions came, one after the other, until it seemed as if the very air had come alive. Shadows whirled and danced inside a tent, boneless and terrible. A little girl ran barefoot toward a big house with a red door. Mirri Maz Duur shrieked in the flames, a dragon bursting from her brow. Behind a silver horse the bloody corpse of a naked man bounced and dragged. A white lion ran through grass taller than a man. Beneath the Mother of Mountains, a line of naked crones crept from a great lake and knelt shivering before her, their grey heads bowed. Ten thousand slaves lifted bloodstained hands as she raced by on her silver, riding like the wind. "Mother!" they cried. "Mother, mother!" They were reaching for her, touching her, tugging at her cloak, the hem of her skirt, her foot, her leg, her breast. They wanted her, needed her, the fire, the life, and Dany gasped and opened her arms to give herself to them . . .
But then black wings buffeted her round the head, and a scream of fury cut the indigo air, and suddenly the visions were gone, ripped away, and Dany's gasp turned to horror. The Undying were all around her, blue and cold, whispering as they reached for her, pulling, stroking, tugging at her clothes, touching her with their dry cold hands, twining their fingers through her hair. All the strength had left her limbs. She could not move. Even her heart had ceased to beat. She felt a hand on her bare breast, twisting her nipple. Teeth found the soft skin of her throat. A mouth descended on one eye, licking, sucking, biting . . .
 
A Clash of Kings, Dany IV

The dream dies and so does Dany with it (black wings buffeted her round the head, a scream of fury cut the indigo air, the visions were ripped away, and Dany greets a horror: the heart of winter, dancing her about like a puppet on a string, though she is a corpse. 

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Melisandre put a warm hand on Jon's arm. "A king can remove the taint of bastardy with a stroke, Lord Snow."
Lord Snow. Ser Alliser Thorne had named him that, to mock his bastard birth. Many of his brothers had taken to using it as well, some with affection, others to wound. But suddenly it had a different sound to it in Jon's ears. It sounded . . . real. "Yes," he said, hesitantly, "kings have legitimized bastards before, but . . . I am still a brother of the Night's Watch. I knelt before a heart tree and swore to hold no lands and father no children."
"Jon." Melisandre was so close he could feel the warmth of her breath. "R'hllor is the only true god. A vow sworn to a tree has no more power than one sworn to your shoes. Open your heart and let the light of the Lord come in. Burn these weirwoods, and accept Winterfell as a gift of the Lord of Light."
 
A Storm of Swords, Jon XI

So can a queen, in marrying the bastard (tyrant), but when she does... the legitimate heir becomes a threat, he must eliminate. 

When that happens, what comes of it?

A vow before a (bleeding) heart tree, to carry out its bidding (fight its war). 

One god usurped the other, but are any of them true gods? What power does a vow sworn to a heart tree have if the god in the heart tree no longer has a worthy heart of its own? And if you break that vow, committing treason against it? (Breaking the string between you, so you might carry out your own bidding, fight your own wars... against the Great Other god, Heart of Winter, this time, truly

Burn the weirwoods (white and black) and become the King you were born to be, the Corn King, God of Spring, but it will be no gift from any man but yourself, seizing back your agency. 

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The rest of his father's words were drowned out by a sudden clatter of wood on wood. Eddard Stark dissolved, like mist in a morning sun. Now two children danced across the godswood, hooting at one another as they dueled with broken branches. The girl was the older and taller of the two. Arya! Bran thought eagerly, as he watched her leap up onto a rock and cut at the boy. But that couldn't be right. If the girl was Arya, the boy was Bran himself, and he had never worn his hair so long. And Arya never beat me playing swords, the way that girl is beating him. She slashed the boy across his thigh, so hard that his leg went out from under him and he fell into the pool and began to splash and shout. "You be quiet, stupid," the girl said, tossing her own branch aside. "It's just water. Do you want Old Nan to hear and run tell Father?" She knelt and pulled her brother from the pool, but before she got him out again, the two of them were gone.
After that the glimpses came faster and faster, till Bran was feeling lost and dizzy. He saw no more of his father, nor the girl who looked like Arya, but a woman heavy with child emerged naked and dripping from the black pool, knelt before the tree, and begged the old gods for a son who would avenge her. Then there came a brown-haired girl slender as a spear who stood on the tips of her toes to kiss the lips of a young knight as tall as Hodor. A dark-eyed youth, pale and fierce, sliced three branches off the weirwood and shaped them into arrows. The tree itself was shrinking, growing smaller with each vision, whilst the lesser trees dwindled into saplings and vanished, only to be replaced by other trees that would dwindle and vanish in their turn. And now the lords Bran glimpsed were tall and hard, stern men in fur and chain mail. Some wore faces he remembered from the statues in the crypts, but they were gone before he could put a name to them.
Then, as he watched, a bearded man forced a captive down onto his knees before the heart tree. A white-haired woman stepped toward them through a drift of dark red leaves, a bronze sickle in her hand.
 
A Dance with Dragons, Bran III

And here, we see the Heart of Winter and what it wants.

This is a terrible knowledge, indeed, to make children cry. 

As time slips backwards, Bran sees the prophecy progress from the promised prince restoring order by ascending as Corn King (this would be RLJ and Ned's promise to Lyanna). 

Instead, he sees a pregnant woman praying to a heart tree for a son to avenge her. 

Why does she want vengeance?

She had a husband and lover once (to get preggers, she must've had something like one). A dark-eyed youth, pale and fierce (the Sun, AAR, the Valonqar), who hacks the weirwood tree to pieces (three arrows-->three dragons-->three wounds to the dragon: neck, gut, arm-->three dragons that broke the world with the thousand corpses that rained on earth, for which three great black fists (smoke; fire wight; black; ice wight) rise up and killed the sun, causing the Long Night). 

Why is he doing this? To slay dragons (Torrhen Stark fancied weirwood arrows would kill Aegon the Conqueror's dragons, remember). 

This is a cycle, but something terrible has gone wrong with it (the Seasons, the corruption of the three-headed stone dragon god, Trios, the female great god becomes male in the telling, the male lesser gods become female in the telling (gender swapping), and they all usurp one another (Mother-Father-Son; Brothers/Sisters). 

What went wrong in the cycle? 

The Sun god forced his captive (promised prince) down to his knees (so he could not become the rightful king) and slew him. He forced a woman to help him. A Crone (Nissa Nissa, gone into the Red Sword of Heroes/the Red Comet). The Crone was once a Mother was once a Maiden. And she wants vengeance for this godawful deed. 

Quote
He was walking through the crypts beneath Winterfell, as he had walked a thousand times before. The Kings of Winter watched him pass with eyes of ice, and the direwolves at their feet turned their great stone heads and snarled. Last of all, he came to the tomb where his father slept, with Brandon and Lyanna beside him. "Promise me, Ned," Lyanna's statue whispered. She wore a garland of pale blue roses, and her eyes wept blood.
Eddard Stark jerked upright, his heart racing, the blankets tangled around him. The room was black as pitch, and someone was hammering on the door. "Lord Eddard," a voice called loudly.
Eddard XIII, Game
Ned is damned. Even his own family accurse his soul. Subconsciously, he knows it. He betrayed his own kin and king, to succor and solace their enemy. He's being rejected by the Lords of Winterfell and the Kings of Winter. They demand vengeance (eyes of ice, wolves snarling, weeping blood). They do not welcome Ned amongst their number--and his bones never make it home to rest. (They end up back in King's Landing at the Sept of Seven, under control of smallfolk and sparrows and faith militant, made a mockery of the Winterfell Lords/Kings, their old gods, and his rightful place amongst them.) 
 
Yet last night he had dreamt of Rhaegar's children. Lord Tywin had laid the bodies beneath the Iron Throne, wrapped in the crimson cloaks of his house guard. That was clever of him; the blood did not show so badly against the red cloth. The little princess had been barefoot, still dressed in her bed gown, and the boy … the boy …
Ned could not let that happen again. The realm could not withstand a second mad king, another dance of blood and vengeance. He must find some way to save the children.
Robert could be merciful. Ser Barristan was scarcely the only man he had pardoned. Grand Maester Pycelle, Varys the Spider, Lord Balon Greyjoy; each had been counted an enemy to Robert once, and each had been welcomed into friendship and allowed to retain honors and office for a pledge of fealty. So long as a man was brave and honest, Robert would treat him with all the honor and respect due a valiant enemy.
Eddard XII, Game
[Do you see any good man, "brave and honest," that was pardoned? Only traitors--Barristan never helped Rhaella or her children, but jumped bandwagon to bandwagon, Pycelle is a Lannister stooge, Varys has his own agenda, Balon twice crowns himself king and revolts (even with his own son and heir a hostage to the Baratheon/Lannister/Stark alliance--Ned with Ice at Theon's throat!). How does Ned not see it? He doesn't care to.]
 
Through the high narrow windows of the Red Keep's cavernous throne room, the light of sunset spilled across the floor, laying dark red stripes upon the walls where the heads of dragons had once hung. Now the stone was covered with hunting tapestries, vivid with greens and browns and blues, and yet still it seemed to Ned Stark that the only color in the hall was the red of blood.
He sat high upon the immense ancient seat of Aegon the Conqueror, an ironwork monstrosity of spikes and jagged edges and grotesquely twisted metal. It was, as Robert had warned him, a hellishly uncomfortable chair, and never more so than now, with his shattered leg throbbing more sharply every minute. The metal beneath him had grown harder by the hour, and the fanged steel behind made it impossible to lean back. A king should never sit easy, Aegon the Conqueror had said, when he commanded his armorers to forge a great seat from the swords laid down by his enemies. Damn Aegon for his arrogance, Ned thought sullenly, and damn Robert and his hunting as well.
Eddard XI, Game
 
He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood.
In the dream his friends rode with him, as they had in life. Proud Martyn Cassel, Jory's father; faithful Theo Wull; Ethan Glover, who had been Brandon's squire; Ser Mark Ryswell, soft of speech and gentle of heart; the crannogman, Howland Reed; Lord Dustin on his great red stallion. Ned had known their faces as well as he knew his own once, but the years leech at a man's memories, even those he has vowed never to forget. In the dream they were only shadows, grey wraiths on horses made of mist.
...
"And now it begins," said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.
"No," Ned said with sadness in his voice. "Now it ends." As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. "Eddard!" she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.
"Lord Eddard," Lyanna called again.
Eddard X, Game
Ned thinks he's "ending" the madness, but all he succeeds in doing here is usurping the rightful king, for which he's accursed.
 
"Chataya runs a choice establishment," Littlefinger said as they rode. "I've half a mind to buy it. Brothels are a much sounder investment than ships, I've found. Whores seldom sink, and when they are boarded by pirates, why, the pirates pay good coin like everyone else." Lord Petyr chuckled at his own wit.
Ned let him prattle on. After a time, he quieted and they rode in silence. The streets of King's Landing were dark and deserted. The rain had driven everyone under their roofs. It beat down on Ned's head, warm as blood and relentless as old guilts. Fat drops of water ran down his face.
"Robert will never keep to one bed," Lyanna had told him at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young Lord of Storm's End. "I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale." Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he had assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart. Lyanna had only smiled. "Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man's nature.".
...
Ned's men had drawn their swords, but they were three against twenty. Eyes watched from nearby windows and doors, but no one was about to intervene. His party was mounted, the Lannisters on foot save for Jaime himself. A charge might win them free, but it seemed to Eddard Stark that they had a surer, safer tactic. "Kill me," he warned the Kingslayer, "and Catelyn will most certainly slay Tyrion."
Jaime Lannister poked at Ned's chest with the gilded sword that had sipped the blood of the last of the Dragonkings. "Would she? The noble Catelyn Tully of Riverrun murder a hostage? I think … not." He sighed. "But I am not willing to chance my brother's life on a woman's honor." Jaime slid the golden sword into its sheath. "So I suppose I'll let you run back to Robert to tell him how I frightened you. I wonder if he'll care." Jaime pushed his wet hair back with his fingers and wheeled his horse around. When he was beyond the line of swordsmen, he glanced back at his captain. "Tregar, see that no harm comes to Lord Stark."
"As you say, m'lord."
Eddard IX, Game
Lots of people argue that Rhaegar didn't either, but so far all we know of him is that he was faithful to his wives (he took two of them, or maybe set one aside to claim the next, in want of children--as Cersei fears being "set aside" in Game--but either way, that's not philandering. We'd never say a man who marries, divorces, and marries again is a philanderer. And there were probably some other complaints about his "nature" she misliked--she certainly doubts he's capable of true "love," anyway, no matter how eager Ned always is to wave away Robert's excesses and faults and failings, to say he'll be or he's done better. We see for ourselves, he no true king, no true father, no true husband, and no true knight, either. Martin is telling us (unliked Robert, making excuses for himself) that his "nature" never changed, pre- and post-Rebellion. Ned is just a follower. Robert is his surrogate for his other awful person big brother, Brandon. 
 
 
"Why?" Ned asked. He saw her hands then, the awkward way she held them, the raw red scars, the stiffness of the last two fingers on her left. "You've been hurt." He took her hands in his own, turned them over. "Gods. Those are deep cuts … a gash from a sword or … how did this happen, my lady?"
Catelyn slid a dagger out from under her cloak and placed it in his hand. "This blade was sent to open Bran's throat and spill his life's blood."
Ned's head jerked up. "But … who … why would …"
...
Littlefinger smiled. "Leave Lord Varys to me, sweet lady. If you will permit me a small obscenity—and where better for it than here—I hold the man's balls in the palm of my hand." He cupped his fingers, smiling. "Or would, if he were a man, or had any balls. You see, if the pie is opened, the birds begin to sing, and Varys would not like that. Were I you, I would worry more about the Lannisters and less about the eunuch."
Ned did not need Littlefinger to tell him that. He was thinking back to the day Arya had been found, to the look on the queen's face when she said, We have a wolf, so soft and quiet. He was thinking of the boy Mycah, of Jon Arryn's sudden death, of Bran's fall, of old mad Aerys Targaryen dying on the floor of his throne room while his life's blood dried on a gilded blade. "My lady," he said, turning to Catelyn, "there is nothing more you can do here. I want you to return to Winterfell at once. If there was one assassin, there could be others. Whoever ordered Bran's death will learn soon enough that the boy still lives."
"I had hoped to see the girls …" Catelyn said.
Eddard IV, Game
 
There was something slung over the back of his destrier, a heavy shape wrapped in a bloody cloak. "No sign of your daughter, Hand," the Hound rasped down, "but the day was not wholly wasted. We got her little pet." He reached back and shoved the burden off, and it fell with a thump in front of Ned.
Bending, Ned pulled back the cloak, dreading the words he would have to find for Arya, but it was not Nymeria after all. It was the butcher's boy, Mycah, his body covered in dried blood. He had been cut almost in half from shoulder to waist by some terrible blow struck from above.
"You rode him down," Ned said.
Eddard III, Game
 
"That did not bring her back." Robert looked away, off into the grey distance. "The gods be damned. It was a hollow victory they gave me. A crown … it was the girl I prayed them for. Your sister, safe … and mine again, as she was meant to be. I ask you, Ned, what good is it to wear a crown? The gods mock the prayers of kings and cowherds alike."
"I cannot answer for the gods, Your Grace … only for what I found when I rode into the throne room that day," Ned said. "Aerys was dead on the floor, drowned in his own blood. His dragon skulls stared down from the walls. Lannister's men were everywhere. Jaime wore the white cloak of the Kingsguard over his golden armor. I can see him still. Even his sword was gilded. He was seated on the Iron Throne, high above his knights, wearing a helm fashioned in the shape of a lion's head. How he glittered!"
"This is well known," the king complained.
"I was still mounted. I rode the length of the hall in silence, between the long rows of dragon skulls. It felt as though they were watching me, somehow. I stopped in front of the throne, looking up at him. His golden sword was across his legs, its edge red with a king's blood. My men were filling the room behind me. Lannister's men drew back. I never said a word. I looked at him seated there on the throne, and I waited. At last Jaime laughed and got up. He took off his helm, and he said to me, 'Have no fear, Stark. I was only keeping it warm for our friend Robert. It's not a very comfortable seat, I'm afraid.'"
The king threw back his head and roared. His laughter startled a flight of crows from the tall brown grass. They took to the air in a wild beating of wings. "You think I should mistrust Lannister because he sat on my throne for a few moments?" He shook with laughter again. "Jaime was all of seventeen, Ned. Scarce more than a boy."
Eddard II, Game
 
Yet the huge man at the head of the column, flanked by two knights in the snow-white cloaks of the Kingsguard, seemed almost a stranger to Neduntil he vaulted off the back of his warhorse with a familiar roar, and crushed him in a bone-crunching hug. "Ned! Ah, but it is good to see that frozen face of yours." The king looked him over top to bottom, and laughed. "You have not changed at all."
Would that Ned had been able to say the same. Fifteen years past, when they had ridden forth to win a throne, the Lord of Storm's End had been clean-shaven, clear-eyed, and muscled like a maiden's fantasy. Six and a half feet tall, he towered over lesser men, and when he donned his armor and the great antlered helmet of his House, he became a veritable giant. He'd had a giant's strength too, his weapon of choice a spiked iron warhammer that Ned could scarcely lift. In those days, the smell of leather and blood had clung to him like perfume.
Now it was perfume that clung to him like perfume, and he had a girth to match his height. Ned had last seen the king nine years before during Balon Greyjoy's rebellion, when the stag and the direwolf had joined to end the pretensions of the self-proclaimed King of the Iron Islands. Since the night they had stood side by side in Greyjoy's fallen stronghold, where Robert had accepted the rebel lord's surrender and Ned had taken his son Theon as hostage and ward, the king had gained at least eight stone. A beard as coarse and black as iron wire covered his jaw to hide his double chin and the sag of the royal jowls, but nothing could hide his stomach or the dark circles under his eyes.
...
"She should be on a hill somewhere, under a fruit tree, with the sun and clouds above her and the rain to wash her clean."
"I was with her when she died," Ned reminded the king. "She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father." He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister's eyes. Ned remembered the way she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black. After that he remembered nothing. They had found him still holding her body, silent with grief. The little crannogman, Howland Reed, had taken her hand from his. Ned could recall none of it. "I bring her flowers when I can," he said. "Lyanna was … fond of flowers."
The king touched her cheek, his fingers brushing across the rough stone as gently as if it were living flesh. "I vowed to kill Rhaegar for what he did to her."
...
"They say it grows so cold up here in winter that a man's laughter freezes in his throat and chokes him to death," Ned said evenly. "Perhaps that is why the Starks have so little humor."
"Come south with me, and I'll teach you how to laugh again," the king promised. "You helped me win this damnable throne, now help me hold it. We were meant to rule together. If Lyanna had lived, we should have been brothers, bound by blood as well as affection. Well, it is not too late. I have a son. You have a daughter. My Joff and your Sansa shall join our houses, as Lyanna and I might once have done."
This offer did surprise him. "Sansa is only eleven."
Eddard I, Game

Eddard's narrative is primarily concerned with Nissa Nissa's story (Lyanna and Lysono Mar, Father-of-Dragons, in this rendition, RLJ in the narrative rendition, the corrupt versus the true tale). In one version, they fall in love, elope, have a child, and ought to have lived happily ever after, king and queen and promised prince. But what happened? What corrupted that story?

Enter the giant bastard tyrant usurper, the unworthy king of the RLJ rendition, who lies that Lyanna was kidnapped and raped, who gladly climbs a throne over corpses of rightful princes, slain in heinous ways and sends assassins after any living pretender that can threaten his Usurper's claim to the Iron Throne--including children, girls and pregnant girls and babies in the womb!--who doesn't even cherish the uncomfortable throne he sits upon, having climbed it over child corpses (killed for his convenience to spurn his kingdom without fear of retaliation from any quarter)... would that list of dead children include Jon Snow/Aemon Targaryen? Even Ned, his so-called "brother," doesn't seem to know, because he insists upon keeping up the pretense to soothe his temper and hiding his "bastard son" from all scrutiny, even sending him to a prison colony to live and die wretched, wifeless/loveless, childless, and penniless (more-or-less, without any threatening resource). 

[As an aside, this king is preoccupied with winning Ned's grace for his own bastard heirs to sit unworthy upon the throne he usurped of its rightful ruler--Rhaegar--for petty reasons--Lyanna, humiliating him, to run away with the man she loved, spurning his (whoring) hand to do. I do believe Robert knows Ned's secret, and this is precisely the reason he chose him as Hand. He wants Ned to do for his bastards what he did for Lyanna's son. Lie about legitimacy. Save a life. Keep a family together. On the road south, he hints, hints, hints, he knows Wylla is not Jon's mother, because he wants Ned to tell him the truth at last, so he can finally ask for his help outright--only to be distracted by petty vengeance and Targ children he wants to murder! Not even for a single conversation, can he hold it together, kingly!] 

Ned cannot escape the consequences of supporting this bastard tyrant, seating him on a throne he never deserved and never truly wanted (but for the "gold" of it--the power to do whatever he feels like doing whenever he feels like doing it, but refusing to "count [the] coppers" to know the cost and the value of his actions], dead children, desperate mournful mothers, and the curses of kingslaying, kinslaying, and child-slaying. Might it be, the curse of slaying a child-king, your own kin? 

Reading some of Ned's chapters (or quotes) backwards is truly enlightening. Ned is a "thrice-damned fool" destined for "a frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell" with good reason. This is the horse he played in cyvasse, this vile token. He broke a promise to his sister (Ned keeps letter of law, but breaks its spirit--what we see in his very first scenes, executing that Night's Watch deserter--he believes he murdered a madman, just like Jaime did at King's Landing!) and therefore committed treason against his child-king. If that's the kind of hypocrisy he engages in on Robert's behalf, is it any wonder, nobody believes Ned wouldn't kill Theon Greyjoy (that exception to the rule) if Robert needed him to? He might've argued with Robert over Jon's siblings, but in the end, he just sidestepped their corpses, too; what more evidence did he truly need than Rhaenys and Aegon to make him second-guess his chosen "king," let alone all the while riding south to the Tower of Joy to finish usurping his rightful king, slaying his Kingsguard to do so and undermining all that was left of his army and supporters along the way--and what did he fancy Rhaella and her children ought to be doing, whilst he was "making exceptions" where Jon Snow was concerned, if they couldn't escape Dragonstone? [Whilst it's possible to argue the virtues of supporting Jon/Aemon T., the only correct answer for Ned to give Lyanna on her deathbed was no. I cannot do X for you, but I can do Y. Not make a promise intending to break it, keeping its letter in violation of its spirit. He does the same to Robert as he did to Lyanna, amongst others). If things had gone well with that promise (if there had been no treason in it), those blue rose petals falling from her hand should not be "dead and black" (this is symbol of her revenge, not her satisfaction with his devotion and duty, keeping his promises--a dead, black (black blooded) wight spills out of her hand). 

Who is cursing him (and others like him) for sake of this betrayed and slain child-king?

The Mournful Mother Merciless. She goes mad with grief for that child, so there's no longer a limit to what she would or would not do (as Jaime wrongly states of Cat--her honor would halt her from pure vengeance; tell poor Jinglebell, I guess!). 

Bad people think they can wrong good people with impunity because they are good. The same goes for men in this story, as it concerns women (patriarchy and misogyny rearing ugly heads). The same for children (stealing candies from babies). 

The gods say no. 

In the Heart of Winter, as in the Heart of Summer, that no, screams loudest of all for a good long while. Only the "quiet answer" of the slain promised prince himself will ever speak louder. 

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Robb had broken his word, but Catelyn kept hers. She tugged hard on Aegon's hair and sawed at his neck until the blade grated on bone. Blood ran hot over her fingers. His little bells were ringing, ringing, ringing, and the drum went boom doom boom.
Finally someone took the knife away from her. The tears burned like vinegar as they ran down her cheeks. Ten fierce ravens were raking her face with sharp talons and tearing off strips of flesh, leaving deep furrows that ran red with blood. She could taste it on her lips.
It hurts so much, she thought. Our children, Ned, all our sweet babes. Rickon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb . . . Robb . . . please, Ned, please, make it stop, make it stop hurting . . . The white tears and the red ones ran together until her face was torn and tattered, the face that Ned had loved. Catelyn Stark raised her hands and watched the blood run down her long fingers, over her wrists, beneath the sleeves of her gown. Slow red worms crawled along her arms and under her clothes. It tickles. That made her laugh until she screamed. "Mad," someone said, "she's lost her wits," and someone else said, "Make an end," and a hand grabbed her scalp just as she'd done with Jinglebell, and she thought, No, don't, don't cut my hair, Ned loves my hair. Then the steel was at her throat, and its bite was red and cold.
 
A Storm of Swords, Catelyn VII

The Mother of Dragons goes mad with grief for her dead child, after her traitorous brother (broke his word--what word? He promised her a prince!) usurped her and her son. 

Finally, the puppet breaks free of her control to turn that blade upon her and put an end to all the madness. The son has enough and restores order. 

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and I've tasted the Dornishman's wife!
Val stood on the platform as still as if she had been carved of salt. She will not weep nor look away. Jon wondered what Ygritte would have done in her place. The women are the strong ones. He found himself thinking about Sam and Maester Aemon, about Gilly and the babe. She will curse me with her dying breath, but I saw no other way. Eastwatch reported savage storms upon the narrow sea. I meant to keep them safe. Did I feed them to the crabs instead? Last night he had dreamed of Sam drowning, of Ygritte dying with his arrow in her (it had not been his arrow, but in his dreams it always was), of Gilly weeping tears of blood.
Jon Snow had seen enough. "Now," he said.
 
Jon III, Dance

Unlike Ned in the above passage with Ser Arthur Dayne, Jon's "now it ends" is falling on the right side of history and deity. He's not lying to himself about just what he's seen enough of. Dragons, north and south, east and west, and all the fiery, icy carnage they cause. 

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It's not Quaithe's prophecy, it occurred in the HOTU and was a chorus of voices Dany heard only in her head presumably being the telepathic voices of the undying that were in the room with her.

TWOIAF made it clear Euron will commit the treason for blood against Dany. He is obviously being foreshadowed in the Bloodstone Emperor and Dany in the Amethyst Empress (Euron literally describes Dany as having amethyst eyes). The Bloodstone Emperor commits the Blood Betrayal against the Amethyst Empress, Euron literally wants Dany for her bloodline.

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"So are the contents of my chamber pot. None is fit to sit the Seastone Chair, much less the Iron Throne. No, to make an heir that's worthy of him, I need a different woman. When the kraken weds the dragon, brother, let all the world beware."

"What dragon?" said Victarion, frowning.

"The last of her line.

 

The blood betrayal will be Euron second lifing Drogon as Drogo did, a child sacrifice with dragon blood as Drogo had Rhaego is required to second life a dragon and that's specifically why Euron needs Dany for her bloodline. The blood reference will work on multiple levels, most poignantly because Euron's sea water blood will turn Drogon into the Stone Beast. It is why Euron is grouped in with the three mounts to ride, Drogo, Euron and Jon - each with their symbols. Drogo's second life is Drogon, Dany rides Drogon. Euron's second life will also be Drogon which will become the Stone Beast under his influence, Dany will ride it until it becomes useless to do so. Third mount is prophesized to be Jon as Dany attempts to undo the effects of Euron's blood betrayal with proper blood of the dragon.

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