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Heresy 244 Big Scaly Beasties with Bad Breath


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Not the usual topic for an Heresy OP, but it follows on from discussion which came up in the last thread.
There’s a theory out there, commonly referred to as R+L=J, holding that Jon Snow is actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Both are conveniently dead and unavailable for comment, but the point, supposedly, is that Jon is really a Targaryen Prince [with a secret name!] and thanks to being half Targaryen and half Stark will turn out to be the legendary Oriental hero Azor Ahai and will ride dragons to victory over the mysterious Others/White Walkers and win the Battle for the Dawn.
While the band plays “Believe it if you like”…
As Heretics we have our doubts about this of course, but in the light of a couple of references in the Mummers’ Version Mk.II, its worth shifting the question sideways a bit, because in promoting the R+L=J theory its all to easy to lose sight of something important. Contrary to the impression created by the Mummers’ Version Mk.I, GRRM is not engaged in writing multiple volumes of A Game of Thrones, but a saga entitled A Song of Ice and Fire.
The Dragons, obviously, Danaerys Targaryen and Mad Mel, clearly come within the heading of Fire, but thus far we haven’t seen much of the Ice and waving the R+L=J/AA banner makes this imbalance worse by trying to stuff Jon Snow on to the side of Fire.
And its that Fire which raises concern. At first we were told how Azor Ahai would save the day when the Ice came, but them GRRM started dropping some hints that a victory by fire might not be  as warm and cuddly as it first appeared.
Now we hear, thanks to the Mummers Mk.II of the Pact of Ice and Fire, and there it gets interesting. We still don't know what its about, or was intended to be about because seemingly it never happened, but...
A pact is an agreement, a binding agreement and seemingly one between equals, which immediately raises questions and requires dialling back in history on both sides of the proposed pact.
On the one hand we have the Targaryens. They are Valyrians and Dragonlords, but perhaps not actually all that they seem. Back in the day and seemingly influenced by prophecy they moved out of Valyria proper and settled in Dragonstone on the very edge of the empire. Thus they escaped the Doom, which is obviously good. They even hung on to some dragons but then something strange happened. A war or series of wars breaks out in Essos as the local population rises up against the rump Valyrian colonial administration. Not at all unexpected, but Aegon Targaryen joins the rebels and pitches in against the Valyrians.
Then he turns his back on Essos as well and goes and conquers Westeros - sort of
Or rather, using his dragons he starts conquering the seven kingdoms by frying any opposition until he gets to the southern border of the North.
History, for what its worth, says that the Stark king surrendered or submitted. Aegon tuned back south and the Stark remained - although he may no longer have called himself the King of Winter.
Why ?
If we are looking for a pact of Ice and Fire then there may be something of an equality here between the Stark Kings of Winter and the Targaryen Dragonlords
But then there's more. There’s also that mysterious warning that the Targaryen mastery over the dragons was an illusion. We may also discover over time that it was some of the Targaryens themselves, not some mysterious maesters, who killed off the dragons first time around. What if that too was a part of the Pact of Ice and Fire which both families have forgotten.
Of course if it is, it throws an interesting - and dangerous - light on Danaerys Targaryen hatching three healthy dragons and so perhaps breaking the Pact
 

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Might be a weird thought but can we have a "history is written by victors" situation at our hands when it comes to House Stark? When you look at Aegon I and how different realms reacted to his conquest, you have the Reach, the Stormlands and the Riverlands losing their ruling houses and getting replaced by those who either supported Aegon or were willing to support him, then you have Lann the Clever's house using their wit to remain alive, while Hightower depended on their religious status, and Dorne fought against the dragons even when the odds weren't on their side. Then you have the Starks, two brothers or half brothers Brandon and Torrhen, one is willing to fight against the enemy and has the means to do it (weirwood arrows) and the other kneels to the enemy, and lost his kingship - or did we have a King Brandon who was deposed by another Stark who knelt to be a Lord? (I might be 100% wrong but hey I missed heresy threads) 

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I remain firmly convinced that Jon is the natural child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.  All the available evidence points in that direction.  GRRM scattered the pieces of the puzzle to make it difficult to figure out, but once figured out, or told, it becomes almost painfully obvious.  I am agnostic, however, on what effect this parentage will ultimately have, both with the fight against the Others and the political stuff.

The Pact of Ice and Fire could be multiple things.  It could be an agreement by adversarial powers maintaining respective spheres of influence.  In which case, the arrival of dragons could be a serious problem.  Or it could be a merging of forces forming an alliance.  I suspect the latter, but the former is possible.

 

On a related note, I have noticed parallels in the stories of Arya (icy?) and Daenerys (fiery?).  

Both are the third child of an ancient and powerful house that was destroyed by its enemies.  This destruction forced each of them to flee and go into hiding at a young age.

They each have animal companions of magical origin, representative of their house sigils, with which they have a telepathic bond.  They were each accompanied for a while by a fearsome warrior on horseback, who they initially feared or disliked, but came to care for, and tended to their wounds as they lay dying.

They each maintain an unusual level of interest in the well-being of those below them in status such as commoners and slaves.

They are both now in a foreign land, where they try to blend in, submerging elements of their identity.  But their identities won't stay submerged.

Ice and Fire.  We'll see where it leads.  If anywhere.

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This topic

 

31 minutes ago, Nevets said:

On a related note, I have noticed parallels in the stories of Arya (icy?) and Daenerys (fiery?).  

Both are the third child of an ancient and powerful house that was destroyed by its enemies.  This destruction forced each of them to flee and go into hiding at a young age.

They each have animal companions of magical origin, representative of their house sigils, with which they have a telepathic bond.  They were each accompanied for a while by a fearsome warrior on horseback, who they initially feared or disliked, but came to care for, and tended to their wounds as they lay dying.

They each maintain an unusual level of interest in the well-being of those below them in status such as commoners and slaves.

They are both now in a foreign land, where they try to blend in, submerging elements of their identity.  But their identities won't stay submerged.

Ice and Fire.  We'll see where it leads.  If anywhere.

Should they both die then, to restore balance?

Nice parallel btw

 

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If you mean fighting against her - as a threat trying [perhaps unknowingly] to bring the dragons back, then it may well be

To a degree and quite understandably she's portrayed as a hero in this story, when in reality she's Typhoid Mary on Speed

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3 hours ago, Nevets said:

I remain firmly convinced that Jon is the natural child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.  All the available evidence points in that direction.  GRRM scattered the pieces of the puzzle to make it difficult to figure out, but once figured out, or told, it becomes almost painfully obvious.  I am agnostic, however, on what effect this parentage will ultimately have, both with the fight against the Others and the political stuff.

 

Oh indeed. In all honesty while alternate fathers are proposed [Arthur Dayne being a notable one] I'm not convinced its worth the effort and would happily settle for a bare-bones R+L=J, where I have reservations is over the proposed centrality of the argument and the assumptions anent where its going

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On 9/4/2022 at 11:54 PM, Black Crow said:

What if that too was a part of the Pact of Ice and Fire which both families have forgotten.
Of course if it is, it throws an interesting - and dangerous - light on Danaerys Targaryen hatching three healthy dragons and so perhaps breaking the Pact
 

Are pacts valid if both (or more) parties have forgotten, if so how will the story bring it to the reader?

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A slight diversion into The Rings of Power which I think is relevant to the topic at hand...

In the Rings of Power, we are introduced to a mysterious stranger who seems to arrive on Middle Earth by meteor.  Meteor Man is found by Nori, one of the Hardfoot people, unconscious in the center of the crater surrounded by the fiery remnants of the impact.  Nori falls into the crater but there is no heat; she is unharmed by this fire.  Later when the Stranger awakens, he manifests strange powers related to the earth, the wind, vegetation and fireflies.  He speaks to them in a secret language, not unlike Gandalf.  But this is not Gandalf, who doesn't appear until the third age.  I doubt this is Sauron, but one of the Maia; who's identity we don't yet know.

I was reminded of Gandalf in LOTR confronting the Balrog.  He says:

I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass! The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass!

What is the secret fire and the Flame of Anor?  I came across this interesting and illuminating discussion.  It's not very long, a page or so.  It seems to me, that GRRM is playing with some of these ideas in ASOIAF:

https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/27801/what-does-gandalf-mean-by-secret-fire-flame-of-anor-and-flame-of-udûn

R'hllor is the god of shadow and flame; shadowfire in other words and this is how a Balrog is described; a creature made of flame and shadow.  Dragons may be the equivalent of a Balrog but they are neither good or evil in themselves.  But rather a power made from the sacred fire (of the earth) that should never have been made.  

As Moqorro says men should not have delved too deeply into the fourteen flames resulting in the wroth of the gods and the Doom of Valyria.

The dragons wield a sacred fire or holy fire and Dany has been transformed and remade by it in her Wake the Dragon dream.  She is unburnt by the spiritual fire and the funeral pyre.

But what is the Flame of Anor in our story?  Anor is the sun and Gandalf shines with the light of the sun when he returns as Gandalf the White.  He represents the Dawn.   And so we have our Dawn Sword which will do the same and banish the darkness.  We don't yet know who will wield it; but it's worth noting that Jaimie shines like the sun in Bran's coma dream and when the golden man shows up in Bran's dreams' the 3EC tells him he is not needed now.  Has he done his part or will he be needed later?

The Balrog is named the dark fire; the flame of Udun, a corruption of the sacred fire, it's opposite.   I think this is essentially the nature of the Others and a cold so deep that fire will not burn. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

Are pacts valid if both (or more) parties have forgotten, if so how will the story bring it to the reader?

In this case I'm suggesting that the pact was to renounce the Ice and Fire. The dragons are gone and the Starks are no longer Kings of Winter.

However...

Danaerys Targaryen has been led to hatch her dragons and so the white cold iswalking

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The fire in the Stark library and Roose burning a book might be responsible for the lack of knowledge about the Stark part in the pact.

As Roose is a cunning player for power, he has Ramsay legitimized and marrying a (fake) Stark. To a dragonlord of Essos Ramsay will look like the Stark of Winterfell and the ice part of the pact.

Another thought of the previous thread I would like to bring over is the idea of Lyanna asking Ned to kill Jon. Maybe ice and fire need to be in balance (a pact) but are not supposed to be in union.

I.e., Jon, by his exisence, is a threat to the pact?

That would be a twist on the hidden prince trope.

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1 hour ago, alienarea said:

Another thought of the previous thread I would like to bring over is the idea of Lyanna asking Ned to kill Jon. Maybe ice and fire need to be in balance (a pact) but are not supposed to be in union.

I.e., Jon, by his exisence, is a threat to the pact?

That would be a twist on the hidden prince trope.

I like it.  Ned wouldn't kill Jon and having him disappear at the Wall as a way to hide the adult Jon.

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3 hours ago, Black Crow said:

In this case I'm suggesting that the pact was to renounce the Ice and Fire. The dragons are gone and the Starks are no longer Kings of Winter.

However...

Danaerys Targaryen has been led to hatch her dragons and so the white cold iswalking

FWIW we had Others in the prologue of GOT and dragons didn't hatch until the end of the story. We also had Torrhen kneeling on the spot and the Targs taking another 200 years to eliminate their dragons. On first look I think that if this pact was to renounce ice and fire (Hey why isn't Ice a part of the Iron Throne?) then there were definitely conditions in play for the side of fire.

Something came up though, right? Those Northerners all had an expectation to die in the south and frankly the worth or attainability of their cause was secondary. They were extra mouths to feed up north and the assertion by Aegon that "I'm gonna kill every last one of you" wasn't the kind of thing that would make them balk, it fit their plans to a T. I don't know about the details, but it does seem more likely to me that there was an agreement made between the two parties than Stark just backed down because he thought burning to death was too much for his army to handle.

As far as ice and fire are concerned the hand shakers in the agreement were the respective wielders of Blackfyre and Ice. 

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10 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

I like this because of the way it changes the whole 'promise me, Ned' thing into a promise that he didn't keep which is much more likely to prey on a man's mind than one he did.

He also had some risk of Lyanna’s real story of Jon was her son getting out with him around. Small risk but perhaps enough to worry Ned. 

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23 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

FWIW we had Others in the prologue of GOT and dragons didn't hatch until the end of the story.

I certainly wouldn't hang an argument on it either way, but the chronology of the different threads isn't synchronised

That said its clear that the Walkers were around - if only coming calling at Craster's, but that kinda emphasises it. Early on we're talking about a handful of individuals lurking in the woods, not the reputed army supposedly on the point of invading along with hordes of wights.

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18 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

That said its clear that the Walkers were around - if only coming calling at Craster's, but that kinda emphasises it. Early on we're talking about a handful of individuals lurking in the woods, not the reputed army supposedly on the point of invading along with hordes of wights.

I wish we knew more about Craster's Keep. Do you think that the Others were there beyond the Wall before Craster started sacrificing to them? I can't help but suspect that he was a necessary early step in engineering the current situation (if anyone had a mind to engineer it) whether there were a couple of listless Others kicking around that he took in or if his sacrifices somehow brought them back - or were they awakened by Mance's army and they moved to where they were 'wanted' and the sacrifices were freely given. By whatever means though to me it looks like the dragons hatched as an answer to the growing threat in the north, not the other way around. This could come down to the wording of the pact though and the timetables could be a reflection of something we just don't know about yet. We have also seen hints of the possibility of time travel or vision so that could figure in too.

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7 hours ago, Black Crow said:

In this case I'm suggesting that the pact was to renounce the Ice and Fire. The dragons are gone and the Starks are no longer Kings of Winter.

However...

Danaerys Targaryen has been led to hatch her dragons and so the white cold iswalking

We are mish-mashing timelines and unrelated events.  The Pact of Ice and Fire was written after 100 AC by Jacaerys Velaryon promising the Stark's his first daughter, then he died childless.  The Starks were Kings of the North and no longer Kings of Winter long before the conquest.  The dragons were extinct in 153AC, likely due to the maesters seeing how much damage they did during the Dance.

I do think there is some sort of parity (if not equality) between the Starks and the Targaryens, but as I said before, I haven't seen any evidence that either the Starks or Targaryens are aware of it.

Is material in "House of the Dragon" but not in "Fire and Blood" fair game for discussion?

 

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10 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

 

Is material in "House of the Dragon" but not in "Fire and Blood" fair game for discussion?

 

Ordinarily, no, certainly not.

Apart from anything else I don't have access to Sky, so haven't a clue what's going on, but...

While what's been mentioned wasn.t even in Fire and Blood, GRRM explicitly raised it in interview, saying that while it hadn't previously been published and so was a bit controversial it is indeed canon - there was some discussion of this on the last thread when I raised exactly the same point

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12 hours ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

I wish we knew more about Craster's Keep. Do you think that the Others were there beyond the Wall before Craster started sacrificing to them? I can't help but suspect that he was a necessary early step in engineering the current situation (if anyone had a mind to engineer it) whether there were a couple of listless Others kicking around that he took in or if his sacrifices somehow brought them back - or were they awakened by Mance's army and they moved to where they were 'wanted' and the sacrifices were freely given. By whatever means though to me it looks like the dragons hatched as an answer to the growing threat in the north, not the other way around. This could come down to the wording of the pact though and the timetables could be a reflection of something we just don't know about yet. We have also seen hints of the possibility of time travel or vision so that could figure in too.

Since they show up before the dragons are hatched; my guess is that Jon's birth triggered their return.  That might be part of the meaning of Ned's old dream:

Quote

 

A Game of Thrones - Eddard X

"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.

 

 

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