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Dragons and Blood of the Dragon


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Here I want to lay out the start of a theory that "being blood of the dragon" isn't only a hereditary position but a physical state of being.

For this I will only be using the main series (due to time constraint) but any evidence from Fire and Blood would be appreciated!

1. The clearest piece of evidence is Dany's taming of Drogon at Daznak's Pit

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"Let me go!" Dany twisted from his grasp...Running, she could feel the sand between her toes, hot and rough. Ser Barristan was calling after her. Strong Belwas was still vomiting. She ran faster.

I am looking into hell, but I dare not look away

 I cannot let him see my fear. She scrabbled in the sand, pushing against the pitmaster's corpse, and her fingers brushed against the handle of his whip. Touching it made her feel braver.

"No, " she screamed, swinging the lash with all the strength that she had in her.

Dany darted underneath the flames, swinging the whip and shouting, "No, no, no. Get DOWN!"


A few things of note here: Dany is not simply "entitled to ride Drogon" because of her blood, but because she conquers him. She sees her goal and heads for it with her blood already up. Yes she is afraid, but as we know the only time a man can be brave is when he is afraid.

Ambition, violence, strength. Traits that allow her to finally ride her dragon.


2. We also see some other oddities when it comes to dragons interacting with other characters, namely that the dragons "like" Brown Ben Plumm.

Dany thinks this is because of his heritage, with a drop of Valyrian blood generations back, but I posit that it has more to do with who he is: a cutthroat intent on taking what he wants from the world.

Ambition, Violence, and Strength. More of the same traits that allow Dany to conquer Drogon.


3. Now, what about Quentyn? He has almost the same amount of "dragonblood" as Brown Ben (with Quentyn's ancestor born around 172AC and and Brown Ben's getting married around 176AC) but obviously fails in his mission.

Again, I believe this to have more to do with the three qualities above then simply blood. Quentyn's final chapter is rife with fear
 

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No, just scared. I do not want to burn.

He did not want to do this, but he saw no other way.

Use their names, command them, speak to them calmly but sternly


These things lack all 3 traits specifically. No ambition, no violence, no strength. Quentyn completely misunderstanding what Dany did in the pit, and arrives with the idea he will mount them like one mounts a horse.

Therefore, it is my position that having the blood of the dragon is more a state of mind than lineage (although both may play a role together).

 

 


As a last aside, I know that all of the Dragon Seeds who obtained dragons were of similar ilk. Netty is considered "foul-mouthed and fearless", Hugh Hammer is clearly strong and ambitious (tried to crown himself), Ulf White was also a schemer who aspired to take what he wanted (i.e. Highgarden over Bitterbridge), and Addam Velaryon is called "relentless and determined".

And just to throw one more idea in the pot: does dragon size correlate with these traits of their riders? Was Balerion the largest "because he was born in Valyria and lived free" or because Aegon had almost unlimited ambition? Is Drogon the largest out of chance, or because he is bonded with Dany from the start? Is it true that the dragons began to decrease in size because of captivity or the growing contentedness of House Targaryen?

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Daenerys is the Mother of Dragons. She is Azor Ahai. She brought them back from extinction. No other Targaryen has been able to accomplish this. Egg had failed.  So it is obvious that her bond with HER dragons will not be the same as those of the other Targaryens.  DNA is crucial, not the mindset. Otherwise, there would have been no need to have the Targaryens marry. 
 

Quentyn was the worst kind of violent. He was both cowardly and violent. He had no problem killing the weak. He was a thief. He was too loyal to his family and that caused him to try to take the dragons. Quentyn is similar to other screwed up young men with family attachment issues, Theon Greyjoy and Jon Snow.  Quentyn failed because he was not a dragon. What dragon DNA he had in his blood was too diluted, watered down.  And the cross bolt didn’t help.  

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"Man wants to be the king o' the rabbits, he best wear a pair o' floppy ears."

The Hare and the Frog
Once upon a time the hare, driven desperate by the many enemies that compassed it about on every side, came to the sad resolution that there was nothing left for it but to make away with itself. Off it fled to a nearby lake, determined to drown itself as the most miserable of creatures.

A frog seated upon the bank, frightened at the approach of the hare, leaped in the greatest alarm and confusion into the water. "Nay, then, my friend," said the hare, "my case is not so desperate yet, for here is another poor creature more faint-hearted than myself."

I'm not convinced that Quentyn is dead, but I do like finding parallels to Aesops Fables in ASoIaF, so here it is (although I made the nouns singular instead of plural). Dany is the hare (with her floppy ears) in Astapor, and Quentyn is the Frog.

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On 6/6/2022 at 8:49 AM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

Here I want to lay out the start of a theory that "being blood of the dragon" isn't only a hereditary position but a physical state of being.

For this I will only be using the main series (due to time constraint) but any evidence from Fire and Blood would be appreciated!

1. The clearest piece of evidence is Dany's taming of Drogon at Daznak's Pit


A few things of note here: Dany is not simply "entitled to ride Drogon" because of her blood, but because she conquers him. She sees her goal and heads for it with her blood already up. Yes she is afraid, but as we know the only time a man can be brave is when he is afraid.

Ambition, violence, strength. Traits that allow her to finally ride her dragon.


2. We also see some other oddities when it comes to dragons interacting with other characters, namely that the dragons "like" Brown Ben Plumm.

Dany thinks this is because of his heritage, with a drop of Valyrian blood generations back, but I posit that it has more to do with who he is: a cutthroat intent on taking what he wants from the world.

Ambition, Violence, and Strength. More of the same traits that allow Dany to conquer Drogon.


3. Now, what about Quentyn? He has almost the same amount of "dragonblood" as Brown Ben (with Quentyn's ancestor born around 172AC and and Brown Ben's getting married around 176AC) but obviously fails in his mission.

Again, I believe this to have more to do with the three qualities above then simply blood. Quentyn's final chapter is rife with fear
 


These things lack all 3 traits specifically. No ambition, no violence, no strength. Quentyn completely misunderstanding what Dany did in the pit, and arrives with the idea he will mount them like one mounts a horse.

Therefore, it is my position that having the blood of the dragon is more a state of mind than lineage (although both may play a role together).

 

 


As a last aside, I know that all of the Dragon Seeds who obtained dragons were of similar ilk. Netty is considered "foul-mouthed and fearless", Hugh Hammer is clearly strong and ambitious (tried to crown himself), Ulf White was also a schemer who aspired to take what he wanted (i.e. Highgarden over Bitterbridge), and Addam Velaryon is called "relentless and determined".

And just to throw one more idea in the pot: does dragon size correlate with these traits of their riders? Was Balerion the largest "because he was born in Valyria and lived free" or because Aegon had almost unlimited ambition? Is Drogon the largest out of chance, or because he is bonded with Dany from the start? Is it true that the dragons began to decrease in size because of captivity or the growing contentedness of House Targaryen?
 

Aerea Targaryen took Balerion at what? 10 years of age?  12?  Still a child claims the behemoth.  Area is angry, not necessarily ambitious or violent or strong unless dragons work like poltergeists and feed off chaotic hormones and energy.   Maybe he simply hated teenagers.  I think it's likely all the points have to be checked, attitude, blood and opportunity.  

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8 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

I think it's likely all the points have to be checked, attitude, blood and opportunity.  

Children can be ambitious! But my original post does tend to agree with you: it's not only blood, but also the attitude (in other words, the current physical state) of the potential rider.

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On 6/6/2022 at 11:49 AM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

Here I want to lay out the start of a theory that "being blood of the dragon" isn't only a hereditary position but a physical state of being.

For this I will only be using the main series (due to time constraint) but any evidence from Fire and Blood would be appreciated!

1. The clearest piece of evidence is Dany's taming of Drogon at Daznak's Pit


A few things of note here: Dany is not simply "entitled to ride Drogon" because of her blood, but because she conquers him. She sees her goal and heads for it with her blood already up. Yes she is afraid, but as we know the only time a man can be brave is when he is afraid.

Ambition, violence, strength. Traits that allow her to finally ride her dragon.


2. We also see some other oddities when it comes to dragons interacting with other characters, namely that the dragons "like" Brown Ben Plumm.

Dany thinks this is because of his heritage, with a drop of Valyrian blood generations back, but I posit that it has more to do with who he is: a cutthroat intent on taking what he wants from the world.

Ambition, Violence, and Strength. More of the same traits that allow Dany to conquer Drogon.


3. Now, what about Quentyn? He has almost the same amount of "dragonblood" as Brown Ben (with Quentyn's ancestor born around 172AC and and Brown Ben's getting married around 176AC) but obviously fails in his mission.

Again, I believe this to have more to do with the three qualities above then simply blood. Quentyn's final chapter is rife with fear
 


These things lack all 3 traits specifically. No ambition, no violence, no strength. Quentyn completely misunderstanding what Dany did in the pit, and arrives with the idea he will mount them like one mounts a horse.

Therefore, it is my position that having the blood of the dragon is more a state of mind than lineage (although both may play a role together).

 

 


As a last aside, I know that all of the Dragon Seeds who obtained dragons were of similar ilk. Netty is considered "foul-mouthed and fearless", Hugh Hammer is clearly strong and ambitious (tried to crown himself), Ulf White was also a schemer who aspired to take what he wanted (i.e. Highgarden over Bitterbridge), and Addam Velaryon is called "relentless and determined".

And just to throw one more idea in the pot: does dragon size correlate with these traits of their riders? Was Balerion the largest "because he was born in Valyria and lived free" or because Aegon had almost unlimited ambition? Is Drogon the largest out of chance, or because he is bonded with Dany from the start? Is it true that the dragons began to decrease in size because of captivity or the growing contentedness of House Targaryen?
 

Balerion was presumably several people’s dragon before he was Aegon’s. 

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On 6/6/2022 at 5:49 PM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

And just to throw one more idea in the pot: does dragon size correlate with these traits of their riders? Was Balerion the largest "because he was born in Valyria and lived free" or because Aegon had almost unlimited ambition? Is Drogon the largest out of chance, or because he is bonded with Dany from the start? Is it true that the dragons began to decrease in size because of captivity or the growing contentedness of House Targaryen?
 

For me it was pretty clear that Balerion was the biggest because not only was he born in Valyria but also he was the oldest. He is also the only Dragon we see die of old age, at more than 200 years old, Vhagar the second biggest died before he reached that age. All the other dragons of the Targaryen died a violent death in war before they could reach the size of Balerion. I believe that the other dragons died because of incest, all of them came from just five individuals not nearly enought to substain a healthy population so they died being more and more inbred and weaker and more deformed.

I kind of agree with the rest, I believe that the link between a Dragonrider and its Dragon is similar to the one between a Warg and its animal, but that Dragons more difficult and not has accessible, so personnality would play a big role in one bending a dragon to its will.

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33 minutes ago, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

@Vaegon the dragonless I understand he was older, but how does that explain Drogon? He is the same age as the others. 

I like the warg comparison! Sort of like Borroq and his boar being alike

I would say it could be something to do with the eggs, I assume that the eggs are the ones that Elissa Farman sold to the Sealord of Braavos but maybe there were not. If the eggs come from different dragons than that could part of the answer, Drogon could be the issue of a older dragon or even not a Targaryen Dragon so of I am rigth in believing that the Targaryen Dragons suffered from incest and Rhaegal and Viserion are Targaryen dragons they could be stunted to a extent. Another explanation could be that simply being linked with a human helps a Dragon devellop, and Rhaegal and Viserion dont have the same bond to Dany.

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Posted (edited)

If being liked to a human affects size, that is one step away from the personality of said human having an influence! I just find the dragons so interesting and mysterious.

Plus, Dany is our only POV riding one and she almost blacks out on Drogon's back (and has burned hands)

Edited by FourRavensBlackOnWhite
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3 minutes ago, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

Linked to a human being determining size is one step away from the personality of said human having an influence! I just find the dragons so interesting and mysterious.

Plus, Dany is our only POV riding one and she almost blacks out on Drogon's back (and has burned hands)

Oh Yes absolutly It is quite close to your Idea. But I tend more to my idea of it being to do with the potential different lineage of Dany's Dragon. Dragons are  interesting in deed, tho I personnaly am more interested in the more grounded and "historical" parts of Martin story but each to there own.

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On 6/6/2022 at 11:49 AM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

Here I want to lay out the start of a theory that "being blood of the dragon" isn't only a hereditary position but a physical state of being.
 

Not bad. My only quibble is that Quentyn did have ambition: first to travel around the world to bring back his dragon bride, then, when that didn't pan out, to bring back a dragon.

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2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Not bad. My only quibble is that Quentyn did have ambition: first to travel around the world to bring back his dragon bride, then, when that didn't pan out, to bring back a dragon.

Would we call that ambition? Is Barristan Selmy "ambitious" because he so staunchly follows his duty?

Seems to me Quentyn's chapters are rife with misgivings and a desire to please his father. Not for glory, nor personal gain, or even love. He only operates from a sense of duty to his house. To me, that sounds almost the opposite of ambitious

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On 6/6/2022 at 5:49 PM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

3. Now, what about Quentyn? He has almost the same amount of "dragonblood" as Brown Ben (with Quentyn's ancestor born around 172AC and and Brown Ben's getting married around 176AC) but obviously fails in his mission.

Again, I believe this to have more to do with the three qualities above then simply blood. Quentyn's final chapter is rife with fear

After re-reading Quentyn's Dragontamer chapter again, it seems to me the prince wasn't lacking in ambition or other assertive qualities.  Gerris would have abandoned the mission after Viserion's first roar but Quentyn was calm enough to notice that the dragon sniffing at Pretty Meris meant it was probably looking for Daenerys. He reminds himself of Dany's strategy, acts accordingly and does not give up even after the Brazen Beast crossbow man becomes a meal for Viserion. Of course he is afraid. So was Dany:

Quote

In the smoldering red pits of Drogon’s eyes, Dany saw her own reflection. How small she looked, how weak and frail and scared. I cannot let him see my fear.

 

“Down,” the prince commanded. You must not let him smell your fear. “Down, down, down.” He brought the whip around and laid a lash across the dragon’s face. Viserion hissed.

Quentyn keeps at it and might have succeeded but unlike Dany, he did not have the advantage of being bonded to Viserion and most problematic of all, he was up against two dragons, not one. That Rhaegal turned on Quentyn because the dragon saw him as an aggressor against his sibling is likely and even then, Quentyn raised his whip against Rhaegal just before realizing he was burning. I wonder how Dany would have fared if she had had to face two or even all three of her "children." Drogon wasn't "gentle" with her either. He blasted her with fire and despite her tolerance of fire she was blistered and burned. 

I would generally agree that strength, determination, ambition and even violence as demonstrated by Daenerys are a must in respect of taming a grown, ridable dragon that has known no previous rider. The case of Nettles shows that other methods are also feasible - feeding Sheepstealer his favorite food worked for her. Sheepstealer is said to have killed more contenders than all other up for grabs dragons put together. Unfortunately, we have no details on the methods they employed in their attempts to mount. However, none of these methods are necessary when Targs bond with dragon eggs at birth, or with young hatchlings and I don't recall any dragons later rejecting their bonded partners even if they were considered to be weak (like Aenys for instance). 

 

On 6/6/2022 at 5:49 PM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

And just to throw one more idea in the pot: does dragon size correlate with these traits of their riders? Was Balerion the largest "because he was born in Valyria and lived free" or because Aegon had almost unlimited ambition? Is Drogon the largest out of chance, or because he is bonded with Dany from the start? Is it true that the dragons began to decrease in size because of captivity or the growing contentedness of House Targaryen?

Size is linked both to a dragon living free and to the power of the individual bonded to the dragon imo. True power like Aegon I had, the ability to conquer, control and influence people and events, create the world he envisaged, accomplish that which he set his mind to, the success of which was intrinsically linked to the dragons. Aegon and Balerion "grew" together as do Dany and Drogon. 

The last dragon, unnamed, was born during Aegon III Dragonbane's reign, at a time when the Targs still ruled the kingdom but had lost a considerable portion of their power. It was stunted, sick and misshappen and died young and its eggs did not hatch. The eggs not hatching could of course be due to there being no surviving Targaryens with the blood of the dragon. I personally think Great Bastard Daemon Blackfyre may have revived the "blood" had he been incorporated into the family.  

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Blood of the dragon is hereditary and a literal thing.

A skinchanger brings back traits of the animal (see ADWD prologue). Theoretically the phenomena in wargs in House Stark is historically termed Wolf Blood. It is heavily hinted at in the text that the traits are in the blood and/or soul. Skinchanging a dragon will cause a regular skinchanger to burn and die, but dragon riding Valyrians managed a work around, they managed to skinchange a foetus in the womb with a dragon or dragon egg. In line with the rules of skinchanging the soul swapping between foetus and dragon causes a sharing of blood and so the foetus takes on dragon like traits, disfigurements, often resulting in termination/death. Even so, the mother and child share the same blood, and thus the mother of the skinchanging foetus gains in some part dragon blood. Her blood is then literally (partly) blood of the dragon, and so too every child of her line. But it's a two way street, and so too does the dragon have the blood of the foetus, and so the dragon now shares (partly) the same blood as every blood relative of the child.

This is what blood of the dragon means.

It is the explanation for most everything, from Daenerys being able to survive a night in a fire, why Valyrians/Targs have such an affinity with dragons that they can ride them, why the blood line must be kept pure and incest, why Valyrians claimed to be kin to the dragons they rode, what Euron's Valyrian horn does and so on. It is thematically a central point of the series, a dragon is the ultimate power, the likes of which could save the realm from the Others, but it comes at the price of one innocent child's life, is such a trade moral?

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On 6/9/2022 at 6:33 PM, Evolett said:

Quentyn keeps at it and might have succeeded but unlike Dany, he did not have the advantage of being bonded to Viserion and most problematic of all, he was up against two dragons, not one.

 

However, none of these methods are necessary when Targs bond with dragon eggs at birth, or with young hatchlings and I don't recall any dragons later rejecting their bonded partners even if they were considered to be weak (like Aenys for instance). 

 

Size is linked both to a dragon living free and to the power of the individual bonded to the dragon imo.   

I really like all 3 of these points.

I never even considered the validity of the bonding from birth. However, if it is true that none of the mounting methods were required, why was it required for Dany? She was deeply bonded to all 3 from birth (and Drogon moreso) yet still had to take him.

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4 hours ago, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

never even considered the validity of the bonding from birth. However, if it is true that none of the mounting methods were required, why was it required for Dany? She was deeply bonded to all 3 from birth (and Drogon moreso) yet still had to take him.

I can only conclude she had to overpower Drogon because he had gone wild and used to freedom meanwhile and perhaps had to be reminded of his ties to Dany. Capturing him was impossible:

Quote

He was the largest of her three, the fiercest, the wildest, with scales as black as night and eyes like pits of fire. Drogon hunted far afield, but when he was sated he liked to bask in the sun at the apex of the Great Pyramid, where once the harpy of Meereen had stood. Thrice they had tried to take him there, and thrice they had failed. 

Unlike the other two dragons who made their lairs on top of pyramids in Meereen after their release, Drogon roosted far away after he flew off and never came visiting his "mother" until that day in the Fighting Pit. So perhaps he valued his freedom and needed some coaxing to reactivate the bond. Dragons have distinct preferences and probably distinct personalities too. 

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On 6/9/2022 at 4:37 PM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

Would we call that ambition? Is Barristan Selmy "ambitious" because he so staunchly follows his duty?

Seems to me Quentyn's chapters are rife with misgivings and a desire to please his father. Not for glory, nor personal gain, or even love. He only operates from a sense of duty to his house. To me, that sounds almost the opposite of ambitious

By that definition, who is ambitious? Isn't everybody acting out of duty to something?

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19 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

By that definition, who is ambitious? Isn't everybody acting out of duty to something?

Daario, Brown Benn, hell even Cersei. Just a few examples of people who are dutiful to nothing.

Duty is described as a moral or legal obligation. Those three people do not seek to fulfill any obligation whatsoever, but do what they want in the moment to gain power/money/whatever.

So no, many people aren't beholden to duty.

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On 6/13/2022 at 8:17 AM, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

Daario, Brown Benn, hell even Cersei. Just a few examples of people who are dutiful to nothing.

Duty is described as a moral or legal obligation. Those three people do not seek to fulfill any obligation whatsoever, but do what they want in the moment to gain power/money/whatever.

So no, many people aren't beholden to duty.

So only the most self-absorbed, narcissistic people can be ambitious? Tywin, whose duty has always been to his house, was not ambitious when he took over half the kingdom? Robert wasn't when he toppled a dynasty? Aegon I was not acting in the interests of his house or his family when he conquered Westeros?

And all of Cersei's actions are only to benefit herself, not out of a desire to protect her children like she says? Daario has no sense of duty to Dany? She's just a means to empower himself? Brown Ben is not acting out of duty to the Second Sons, just himself? 

And sorry, but Quentyn is acting out of his own self interests:

Quote

It would be sweet to see the Greenblood again, to visit Sunspear and the Water Gardens, and breathe the clean sweet mountain air of Yronwood in place of the hot, wet, filthy humors of Slaver's Bay. His father would speak no word of rebuke, Quentyn knew, but the disappointment would be there in his eyes. His sister would be scornful, the Sand Snakes would mock him with smiles sharp as swords, and Lord Yronwood, his second father, who had sent his own son along to keep him safe . . .

So he's not doing this out of duty anymore. He's doing it to avoid bring shame to himself personally. Pay careful attention to what he says out loud and why he's thinking internally:

Quote

"Quent, is this truly what you want to do?"

"This is what I have to do. For Dorne. For my father. For Cletus and Will and Maester Kedry."

. . .

"This is a mistake Quent. You cannot trust sellswords."

"They are men like any other men. They want gold, glory, power. That's all I am trusting in." That, and my own destiny. I am a Prince of Dorne, and the blood of the dragons is in my veins.

. . .

"Would you have Dorne remember me as a failure?"

"Dorne is not like to remember any of us for long."

"Dorne remembers Aegon and his sisters. Dragons are not so easily forgotten. They will remember Danaerys as well."

"Not if she's died."

"She lives." She must. "She is lost, but I can find her." And when I do, she will look at me the way she looks at her sellsword. Once I have proven myself worthy of her.

. . .

The labored banter of his friends was only making his head ache. They do not understand. They may be Dornish, but I am Dorne. Years from now, when I am dead, this will be the song they sing of me.

So sure, he's doing this for Dorne, for his house, for his duty, but he's also doing it for himself, his pride, his glory, for the songs they will sing of him. That's ambition. You can be ambitious to serve your own ends, and you can be ambitious in service to a greater cause.

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