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Victarion and His Red God


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In some way, Victarion is being influenced by The Lord of Light or by Moqorro.

I searched the forums for this, but all the discussions surrounding Victarion and R'hllor are outside the scope of my observations, mostly referring to whether or not he is controlled by Moqorro. Here I just want to point out what seems to me like an obvious connection to some sort of power associated with R'hllor having an influence after his hand is "healed".

Evidence:

1. The first thing that caught my attention was something he actually attributes to the Drowned God, right after sleeping with the Dusky Woman:

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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.


Up to this point Victarion has numerous doubts about his religion and is very clearly not a religious man. Why the sudden change after his hand is "healed"? Going from non-religious to prophet is quite a big leap.

Also, literally hearing the god speak just seems extremely uncommon for him, or any other Ironborn including Damphair. The very phrasing itself seems closer to what one would hear from a monotheistic god, referring to creation. Does anyone else ever refer to being "made" by the Drowned God as opposed to just reborn?

Also, he immediately thinks about the Red God in the following sentence, strengthening the connection.


2. In that same chapter we see during the burning of the Seven girls:

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"With this gift of innocence and beauty, we honor both the gods," he proclaimed, as the warships of the Iron Fleet rowed past the burning ketch. "Let these girls be reborn in light, undefiled by mortal lust, or let them descend to the Drowned God's watery halls, to feast and dance and laugh until the seas dry up."

Near the end, before the smoking ketch was swallowed by the sea, the cries of the seven sweetlings changed to joyous song, it seemed to Victarion Greyjoy."


First, where did he get that phraseology about being undefiled by mortal lust? Did Moqorro give him the words to say? Is that something Victarion would accept, and in front of his own crew?

Also, before the ketch sank the screaming changed to joyous song. This seems like a confirmation to me that whatever he is hearing (or imagining) is not the drowned god, as it happens before they are in the water. This is a lot like what Melisandre and some of the more fervent Queen's Men claim to hear when people are burning.



What do you guys think? I don't care as much about who or what is doing the influencing (be it a god or a priests magic) but it seems extremely clear to me that little pieces of R'hllor worship are being interwoven into Victarion's thoughts and words without him even noticing.

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On 6/3/2022 at 12:03 AM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

What do you guys think? I don't care as much about who or what is doing the influencing (be it a god or a priests magic) but it seems extremely clear to me that little pieces of R'hllor worship are being interwoven into Victarion's thoughts and words without him even noticing.

Nice post.

To this central point, I've no doubt you're right. Winter has arrived, night is falling - the times are a-changing, and the logical change to expect is the manifestation of the gods; their influence on people. This follows from the example of 'gods' in GRRM's early short stories, which are mirrored in asoiaf (the weirnet and human sacrifice come to mind). And also from the repeated idea of people as gods' instruments, or as puppets on strings, or pawns in a game of cyvasse.

On 6/3/2022 at 12:03 AM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

Up to this point Victarion has numerous doubts about his religion and is very clearly not a religious man. Why the sudden change after his hand is "healed"? Going from non-religious to prophet is quite a big leap.

Not sure. Is he not religious? He seems like a very conformist man; I can't imagine him even questioning his religion. The only change is when Moqorro obviously uses a ton of religious magic to heal his hand - a wake-up call that couldn't be ignored.

On 6/3/2022 at 12:03 AM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

Also, literally hearing the god speak just seems extremely uncommon for him, or any other Ironborn including Damphair. The very phrasing itself seems closer to what one would hear from a monotheistic god, referring to creation. Does anyone else ever refer to being "made" by the Drowned God as opposed to just reborn?

We don't know enough about the Drowned God, but the song of the Seven says they 'made us all', and they do seem to be grouped with the Drowned God in the sense that it's the Red God against everyone else. On this point - Victarion's experience is very like that of Davos after the Blackwater:

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Perhaps it was only wind blowing against the rock, or the sound of the sea on the shore, but for an instant Davos Seaworth heard her answer. "You called the fire," she whispered, her voice as faint as the sound of waves in a seashell, sad and soft.

The Seven are described as the new gods, and Victarion describes his traditions as the 'Old Way' - so it appears that both the old gods and the new are 'under the sea', metaphorically in the land of the dead, which sounds reasonable. Not sure where R'hllor is.

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He doesn't know what to believe.  He sacrifices to gods to cast a wide net.  Throwing the maester means the Ironborn have grown tired of them.  Citadel is the target of the Greyjoy on the other side of the world.  Them maesters who can't swim will be fish meal.

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Reading about a bit, Asha is sceptical about the Drowned God, but Victarion is - serious about everything, of course - and thinks confidently that Aeron speaks with the voice of the Drowned God. Also, Victarion dresses the part - his full armour is basically a giant kraken costume. In asoiaf, what's on the outside (usually) reflects what's on the inside, especially important when religion's involved (see Thoros' extreme reaction to the Hound helm). Possibly Victarion, religious or no, is already an instrument of the Drowned God.

(still reading)

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On 6/5/2022 at 9:30 AM, Rondo said:

He doesn't know what to believe.  He sacrifices to gods to cast a wide net. 

Sure, but don't you think it's odd that only now does he hear the "voice of the waves" that he thinks is the Drowned God? This man has lived on the sea, been in countless battles and readings, and only once he is introduced to R'hllor and has his hand healed he can hear a voice? Seems odd

23 hours ago, Springwatch said:

and thinks confidently that Aeron speaks with the voice of the Drowned God. Also, Victarion dresses the part - his full armour is basically a giant kraken costume. In asoiaf, what's on the outside (usually) reflects what's on the inside, especially important when religion's involved

But does this really show a religious man? All I see there is two instances of "Greyjoy". He trusts in his brother, not the Drowned God himself. He wears Kraken armor for his family, not anything to do with the god. 

 

@Springwatch good catch RE the similarity between his experience and Davos'. Either implies that the gods can speak and do exist, or the one god R'hllor is speaking to these men under the guise of gods they are familiar with, or that these men are imagining things and it is a literary device. Hard to say!

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

But does this really show a religious man? All I see there is two instances of "Greyjoy". He trusts in his brother, not the Drowned God himself. He wears Kraken armor for his family, not anything to do with the god. 

Mmm, yes - he has total faith in Aeron and in tradition, and that hides the religious angle - he probably doesn't know himself. A religion for pirates can't make too many demands on you anyway.

Which is brings us to back to the undefiled by mortal lust thing - lust has to be a fire thing generally; Dany is crazy with desire for Daario, and the ironborn celebrate with wine and women, but not totally sure about the red priests. Thoros had a great time in his younger days, but describes it as a sinful time with wicked girls. Mel definitely uses lust to make her shadow babies, but might not feel it. Moqorro almost certainly not (pink priests take life more seriously anyway).

Edited by Springwatch
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Interesting.   May I point out that the Greyjoys seem to experience these moments in faith?   Theon is raised with the Old Gods, the 7 and the Drowned God.  He is currently all about the old gods.  Aerion was a party animal, farthest wizzer in the country and proud of it then he has a transformation and becomes a devotee of the DG.   Euron seems to have been possibly touched by the OGs young, currently forsakes all gods yet needs an heir worthy of "him"?   Who is him?  Asha raised within the worship of the DG is an atheist.  That Victarion would move from one type of worship to another doesn't seem so strange to me.   The Greyjoys seem to do this fairly regularly.  

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13 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

 The Greyjoys seem to do this fairly regularly.  

A good observation! Seems like Drowned God worship is encouraged but "open to exchange" when the Greyjoys are around other religions. All great examples.

Still doesn't explain Victarion actually hearing the joyous songs of burning, or a voice in his head for the first time.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

"With this gift of innocence and beauty, we honor both the gods," he proclaimed, as the warships of the Iron Fleet rowed past the burning ketch. "Let these girls be reborn in light, undefiled by mortal lust, or let them descend to the Drowned God's watery halls, to feast and dance and laugh until the seas dry up."

The bolded quite possibly was prompted by Moqorro. This is what Melisandre says on Edric: "The Lord of Light cherishes the innocent. There is no sacrifice more precious. From his king's blood and his untainted fire, a dragon shall be born."

It's still very strange. The priests buy slaves to train as temple prostitutes (or soldiers, or priests). Mel is a serial seducer. Thoros was a hedonist, but he says this: "[...] I was no very holy priest [...] I prayed the prayers and i spoke the spells, but I would also lead raids on the kitchens, and from time to time they found girls in my bed. Such wicked girls, I never knew how they got there."

Hard to know what the Lord of Light really wants, but I suspect the red priests get holier and colder as winter approaches. Even Mel - the ice magic of the Wall really seems to suit her.

Edited by Springwatch
bolding
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