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The Valonqar


LynnS
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11 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

The gender is ambiguous and we believe it is because it comes from ancient Valyrian.  But the meaning also works if the murderer is Arya Stark wearing the face of a dead Tommen.  A girl with the face of a boy. 

Sure.  Why not?  It wouldn't be the first time Arya disguised herself as a boy.  Cersei is still on her list but I don't think I can forgive her for killing Tommen just to take his face.  

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

Sure.  Why not?  It wouldn't be the first time Arya disguised herself as a boy.  Cersei is still on her list but I don't think I can forgive her for killing Tommen just to take his face.  

Arya doesn't know how to put on a face at all, much less one of someone she's killed.  I suspect that is only taught to full initiates and I doubt she gets that far.

As for Cersei, she has enough enemies; Arya would be superfluous. I still think it is someone she targets because she thinks they are the Valonqar.  I'm still betting on it being Tyrion. She thinks he is the Valonqar, so she will make him the Valonqar.  Kind of like she has made Margaery the YMBQ.

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16 minutes ago, Nevets said:

Arya doesn't know how to put on a face at all, much less one of someone she's killed.  I suspect that is only taught to full initiates and I doubt she gets that far.

As for Cersei, she has enough enemies; Arya would be superfluous. I still think it is someone she targets because she thinks they are the Valonqar.  I'm still betting on it being Tyrion. She thinks he is the Valonqar, so she will make him the Valonqar.  Kind of like she has made Margaery the YMBQ.

This is true.  I don't know how far she will get in her training.  She definatetly doesn't know how to take a face.  I can see the valonqar prophecy becoming self-fulfilling as far as Tyrion is concerned.  How would Jamie dying at the same time fit in this scenario?

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This is an iteresting working theory:

Is Euron the Valonqar? Featuring This Gray Area - YouTube

Sure I can see Euron as the valonqar and Qyburn bringing Cersei back as a bride of Frankenstein; because you just know GRRM will dial things up on the horror scale.  Qyburn is not going to stop his 'experiments'.  I can see Jaimie having to kill the corpse bride in the end and sacrificing himself in the process.

 

Edited by LynnS
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  • 2 months later...

It could be Loras.

 

The course of prophesy only needs Cersei grieving and then something from a younger sibling issues that would kill Cersei.

 

The news of Aegon’s arrival in Storm’s End is a real game changer for House Tyrell. Not only do they know about the weak claim of Baratheon pretenders from the beginning and are mainly opposing Stannis, but the king Margaery is wed to is too young to consume marriage and secure this claim. Without it the Tyrells are no one. For the same reason they are doomed, they could well be in advance if they somehow clear King’s Landing of Lannisters and offer the seat to Aegon - queen Margaery inclusive. All Loras would have to do is to bring the little king out of the city. Cersei’s claim is linked to his. I believe that Loras took the duty as a Kingsguard to his heart and as long as Tommen is king, he will guide him to a safer space than King’s Landing is even under given political power shifts. It could help to make use of Jaime’s disappearance and lead Cersei into believing it was really the Lord Commander who left the capital with her son to safely rule from their homelands. Cersei would then go and take the army with her. A reunion of the twins is something Loras wouldn’t want though. Maybe Cersei finds Casterly Rock empty and Loras forces Jaime somewhere else to guard his own little king, while Aegon becomes the true king of Westeros.

 

Such a situation is prone to give Cersei grievance - not only because of her child but because of her lost power. In her homeland she is literally trapped between enemy states of her own making: Tyrell lands, Tully lands, Stark lands. This is the kind of choking I expect to read about - and a young brother would be the cause of it. Indirectly Jaime can be a cause too, if he against his knowledge doesn’t open up about Tommen‘s whereabouts and let his sister believe he is dead.

 

Leaves us Myrcella, who was considered as a queen by Arianne but who is alive. After what happened with Quentin, the Dornish princess probably isn’t too warm towards a Targaryen from Essos and just roots for maximum destruction. If she arranges a marriage between Myrcella and Aegon first, the Lannisters would have to take the Tyrells out of the castle and they would still not inherit the throne. This offers the Martells a better outlook for themselves in the future, something Doranian Arianne could do. With all those Sand Snakes around Myrcella likely won’t live long and one of them may want the Targaryen for themselves without waiting for Dorne‘s big moment. Initially this was Tyrion‘s making who would never come up with such idea, if Cersei handled both motherhood and politics better.

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AFFC Samwell IV:

On Braavos, it had seemed possible that Aemon might recover. Xhondo’s talk of dragons had almost seemed to restore the old man to himself. That night he ate every bite Sam put before him. “No one ever looked for a girl,” he said. “It was a prince that was promised, not a princess. Rhaegar, I thought … the smoke was from the fire that devoured Summerhall on the day of his birth, the salt from the tears shed for those who died. He shared my belief when he was young, but later he became persuaded that it was his own son who fulfilled the prophecy, for a comet had been seen above King’s Landing on the night Aegon was conceived, and Rhaegar was certain the bleeding star had to be a comet. What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it.” Just talking of her seemed to make him stronger. “I must go to her. I must. Would that I was even ten years younger.”

Maester Aemon has an epiphany about The Prince That Was Promised prophecy. He thinks that the gender neutrality of Valyrian language can accommodate an interpretation of the prophecy in which TPTWP is a woman, and therefore Daenerys.

If this interpretation of the prophecy is entirely correct, then George RR Martin has completely robbed his readers of the fun of figuring out the prophecy. And since Martin is a better writer than that, the one thing I can be absolutely positive about is that Maester Aemon's interpretation is not entirely correct.

That isn't to say that his epiphany is worthless to us. On the contrary, it may be a critical component in our exploration of the story's mysteries, whether for TPTWP or any other mystery. But it is to say that one of two things must be true. (1) Daenerys is not TPTWP (2) If Daenerys is TPTWP, this reasoning is not the way it will manifest in the story. 

Through the lens of that metatext, in which the author would obviously never tell us the answer to a big mystery (and less-so in this straightforward way) the situation as a whole places gender subversion center stage, sharing its spotlight with That Which Is Obviously Wrong. 

So, whatever the resolution to TPTWP prophecy turns out to be, this passage of Maester Aemon is a whispered threat to the audience that our insistence that TPTWP is Daenerys, or any woman, will result, in one way or another, in making us feel foolish indeed. Because of that, I can safely exclude all women from my search for The Prince That Was Promised.

With Maester Aemon's passage exposing to me a thematic criticism of gender subversion, the implications for the Valonqar prophecy come to the foreground. Valonqar will be a male, too. 

Coming at Valonqar from another angle, I can see that, while the word valonqar may or may not be gender neutral, the Valyrian language as a whole cannot possibly lack for gender-specific words that mean brother and sister. The gender distinction is too important in practical everyday life to have never born out in language. So even if valonqar translates to little sibling rather than little brother, there must also be a Valyrian word that means little brother. And since Maggy didn't use it, and since Cersei's research revealed valonqar to mean little brother, the story so far has give me every reason to think valonqar means little brother and no reason to think it means little sibling. 

As if to echo Illyrio's criticisms of Westerosi people, Aemon's reasoning matches the tendency of Westerosi people to take their animal heraldry too seriously. Aemon is supposing that the existence of gender neutrality in the words that Valyrians use to refer to dragons means that there must also be gender neutrality in the words that Valyrians use to refer to human beings. But that need not necessarily be the case. In consideration of the practical everyday need to distinguish between male and female people, whether in the family, at work or anywhere, the silliness of Aemon's assumption comes to the foreground. In consideration of the human tendency to neglect to distinguish between the genders of animals when referring to cow (heffer or bull) deer (doe or stag) and more, the reasons why the Valyrians might not have distinguished between male and female dragons were likely the same reasons as our own: Most of us are not animal breeders or hunters. 

This concept of theme allows me to make some predictions about the audience's response to it. One is that some of the audience will criticize that the Valyrian language need not distinguish between genders because the imagination of the author need not be as constrained as my own. I expect also that they'll point to the genre of the story being fantasy to suggest that realism can be thrown out. 

These responses themselves will exemplify the reason for the existence of the story's thematic criticism of gender subversion. Gender expression and art quality are two casualties of the crusade against gender uniformity.

 

Edited by Lissasalayaya
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On 7/12/2022 at 4:40 PM, Lissasalayaya said:

Coming at Valonqar from another angle, I can see that, while the word valonqar may or may not be gender neutral, the Valyrian language as a whole cannot possibly lack for gender-specific words that mean brother and sister. The gender distinction is too important in practical everyday life to have never born out in language. So even if valonqar translates to little sibling rather than little brother, there must also be a Valyrian word that means little brother. And since Maggy didn't use it, and since Cersei's research revealed valonqar to mean little brother, the story so far has give me every reason to think valonqar means little brother and no reason to think it means little sibling. 

I agree with this. Also, the wiki has a useful list of names believed to be High Valyrian, and male and female can be easily guessed at.

As to Aemon's great idea, he's a little unclear about it. He is in fever, after all. It goes: "No one ever looked for a girl," he said. "It was a prince that was promised, not a princess. [snip] What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it."

There is something odd here. High Valyrian is not a dead language, Aemon almost certainly speaks it - it would be easy to cross check. So we must assume the High Valyrian version is lost. Then again, the prophecy is known to the red priests of Essos - it seems more natural that they would never have translated away from High Valyrian in the first place.

That aside, Aemon's quote gives me the clear impression that the HV word for prince/princess is 'dragonlord' or simply 'dragon', and gender neutral. As HV is a living language, Aemon's knowlege of this can be trusted, and he is right to include Dany. Valonqar is a separate issue and I agree, almost certainly gendered.

Until the character arcs are complete, I don't GRRM's ideas on gender subversion can be detected.

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On 7/14/2022 at 5:20 PM, Springwatch said:

Until the character arcs are complete, I don't GRRM's ideas on gender subversion can be detected.

They're detectable in the audience. The audience has a popular gender subversion theory for every major male hero mystery: The Prince That Was Promised must be Daenerys; The Knight of the Laughing Tree must be Lyanna; The Valonqar must be a woman; The Stallion Who Mounts The World must be Daenerys's dragon and/or Daenerys. The Blacks must be the good guys and the Greens must be the bad guys in the Dance of the Dragons. Watch me rack up a bunch of internet points by writing up a theory about why The Last Hero is a woman. 

It's noteworthy that there are not any popular gender subversion theories happening in the opposite direction. The readers are not insisting that Nissa Nissa was a man. Nobody says the younger more beautiful queen will be a man. You might say a queen is a woman, but if the prince that was promised must be a woman then the hypocrisy is revealed, and the motivation behind the whole collection of theories comes to the foreground. And so does the author's purpose for choosing the word valonqar. Maggy's purpose is still a mystery to me though. 

Edited by Lissasalayaya
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On 7/16/2022 at 1:50 AM, Lissasalayaya said:

It's noteworthy that there are not any popular gender subversion theories happening in the opposite direction.

I can't speak for the fandom, and tbh, there's not a lot of material in the opposite direction. GRRM is portraying a patriarchy after all, and most of the saviours of legend are male. In Westeros, anyway. Killing Cersei could be heroic, but it's more at the personal level, not world-saving. Or so it seems.

btw, what do you think of Maggy?

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2 hours ago, Springwatch said:

I can't speak for the fandom, and tbh, there's not a lot of material in the opposite direction. GRRM is portraying a patriarchy after all, and most of the saviours of legend are male. In Westeros, anyway. Killing Cersei could be heroic, but it's more at the personal level, not world-saving. Or so it seems.

btw, what do you think of Maggy?

There's more than one way to subvert male heroism. Wherever a man's heroism can't be stolen by substituting him with a woman, the audience settles for criticizing the hero, which is best accomplished by reframing his most heroic traits and deeds as villainy. Patriarchy is a word that goes a long way to that end, because it has been repeated long enough in accompaniment with the implication of corruption that the corrupt part is implied without being said. Unsaid, the conclusion of every discussion about patriarchal society was nested in the premises before the discussion occurred. 

I haven't given Maggy much attention yet, but undoubtedly her backstory is in relationship with her prophecy in the perspective-is-everything way that it always is in this story. Looking at her wiki now, the most significant piece of missing information about her seems to me to be the precise place in Essos where she's from. The most significant piece of given information about her seems to me to be that she's the grandmother of House Spicer. The most underestimated piece of information about her seems to me to likely be her title the Frog.
 

Quote

 

—ASOS Tyrion III

The Young Wolf has taken Gawen Westerling’s eldest daughter to wife.”

For a moment Tyrion could not believe he’d heard his father right. “He broke his sworn word?” he said, incredulous. “He threw away the Freys for …” Words failed him.

“A maid of sixteen years, named Jeyne,” said Ser Kevan. “Lord Gawen once suggested her to me for Willem or Martyn, but I had to refuse him. Gawen is a good man, but his wife is Sybell Spicer. He should never have wed her. The Westerlings always did have more honor than sense. Lady Sybell’s grandfather was a trader in saffron and pepper, almost as lowborn as that smuggler Stannis keeps. And the grandmother was some woman he’d brought back from the east. A frightening old crone, supposed to be a priestess. Maegi, they called her. No one could pronounce her real name. Half of Lannisport used to go to her for cures and love potions and the like.” He shrugged. “She’s long dead, to be sure. And Jeyne seemed a sweet child, I’ll grant you, though I only saw her once. But with such doubtful blood …”

 

Edited by Lissasalayaya
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This has to be the prophecy that has led to the most convoluted attempts to interpret it, when the meaning of it should be fairly clear from the context.

First off, there is nothing terribly special about the term “valonqar”.  It’s a Valyrian term for the younger brother.  Maggy simply uses a one word term inherited from her original language.

Cersei’s mistake is making an assumption that Maggy was referring to her younger brother.  But if you look at how the prophecy is stated by Maggy, it’s clear that she had already supplied the subject matter that the term valonqar is further distinguishing:

Quote

“Oh, aye. Six-and-ten for him, and three for you.”

“Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds,”

“And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”

16 children for Robert, 3 children for Cersei.

Cersei’s 3 children will have crowns of gold and shrouds of gold.

While Maggy identifies Cersei’s tears as “your tears” and Cersei’s throat as “your throat” she doesn’t do the same for “valonqar”. In other words she doesn’t say “your valonqar”.  

So it should be fairly clear at this point that she is using the term valonqar to further narrow down her last subject matter, Cersei’s three children.

In other words out of her three children, it’s the younger brother that after his death and his siblings’ deaths will cause her death by wrapping “his hands” about her pale white throat and choking the life from her.

After Tommen dies, his “hands” will cause her death.

Since I doubt we’ll get a zombie Tommen, I think the trick to the prophecy is the use of the word “hands”.  I don’t think it’s a reference to Tommen’s actual hands.  I think it’s a reference to Tommen’s Hands.  The various men who have served or will serve as Tommen’s Hand to the King.  

And further Tommen must do an action which allows his Hands to carry this act out.  Presumably that’s going to be a reference to one of the many documents that Tommen is enthusiastically applying his stamp.

Edited by Frey family reunion
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On 7/11/2022 at 9:56 PM, Haus Berlin said:

It could be Loras.

I’ve heard Loras, I’ve heard Euron or any other little brother people can think of. 

The problem with this is how the phrase is used in the prophecy.

If Maggy was referring to Cersei’s little brother, she would have said “your valonqar”. But she doesn’t.  If she were using the term to refer to any random younger brother that she had not previously discussed, then she would have used the term “a valonqar” but she doesn’t.

The fact that she said “the valonqar” implies that it was someone she had already referred to in the prophecy and she was using valonqar to further distinguish it.  Since Robert had many sons, valonqar does nothing to further distinguish which of Robert’s children could cause her death, so I doubt it’s used to refer to one of Robert’s sons.

That leaves us with Cersei’s children whom Maggy had just referenced.  Cersei has three children two boys and one girl.  Valonqar narrowly defines the cause of Cerseis’ death as the younger brother of her three children.  Tommen.

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  • 1 month later...

There are plenty of little brothers. But not so many Targaryens. That could be Jon. But I don't think so. It should be personal.

If Aerys had bastard(s) with Joanna, it could be either Tyrion or Jaime. But Tyrion would not be her true brother. So It should be Jaime. Which make sense, because she has ruined his life more than she has Tyrion's. And Tyrion already had his justice with his father.

Edited by BalerionTheCat
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On 4/20/2022 at 8:20 PM, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Ohh I like the idea of it being Maggy's "brother", I haven't seen that suggested before. 

What always hangs me up about this, & maybe I'm just reading too far into it, is that she says THE Volanqar. 

Not a Volanqar  or your volanqar but The. Like it's the only one. But I can't think of anyone that would be The Brother. The answer must lie somewhere in her use of the Valyrian word, right? She could have just said brother so there is some reason she didn't. 

 

 

I like to hold out hope that we’re all going to be totally thrown by the outcome of this mystery. Who doesn’t like surprises?

That being said, I’m extremely partial to this theory. Not your little brother, but the little brother.

While this doesn’t rule out Jamie or Tyrion, yes, it opens the door for other possibilities. I’ve heard people justify all manner of candidates based on the fact that they are technically little brother. These kind of theories annoy me. I expect the little brother to be a character who is largely defined by his relationship with his older brother.

I tend not to get devoted to theories, but I like the possibility of The Hound being the Valonqar. It’s very tidy. Especially with the possibility of Sandor being sheltered by the faith and Gregor (ish) set to be Cersei’s champion in her trial. A bit of a stretch, but how cool would it be if Sandor ended up being the champion of the faith? Sandor takes a mortal wound slaying the Mountain once and for all and Cersei is executed. That would very neatly wrap up one character arc and a prophecy a long with it. Two birds…

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On 7/18/2022 at 9:49 AM, Frey family reunion said:

The fact that she said “the valonqar” implies that it was someone she had already referred to in the prophecy and she was using valonqar to further distinguish it.  Since Robert had many sons, valonqar does nothing to further distinguish which of Robert’s children could cause her death, so I doubt it’s used to refer to one of Robert’s sons.

I think it’s a stretch for Maggy to identify the son of the person she is talking to as the little brother. I get that it is the only logical conclusion you can come to when you treat the word “the” as you are doing, but I don’t think it’s necessary for you to interpret “the” in this fashion. 

That being said, I really like your idea about the hands being the station of office rather than actual human hands. That twist feel very GRRM and I definitely want to chew on it for a while. 

Edited by The Mourning Knight
Typo/missing word
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