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Never believe what you hear ...


Sandy Clegg
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"Never believe anything you hear at a woman's tit. There are things to be learned even from the dead." His voice echoed, too loud in the twilit forest. - AGOT, Prologue

From the first page of Book 1. Then at the end of this book we get a callback:

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The cream-and-gold dragon was suckling at her left breast, the green-and-bronze at the right ...

... As Daenerys Targaryen rose to her feet, her black hissed, pale smoke venting from its mouth and nostrils. The other two pulled away from her breasts and added their voices to the call, translucent wings unfolding and stirring the air, and for the first time in hundreds of years, the night came alive with the music of dragons.

The placement of this idea of things being heard at a woman's breast, and their deceptiveness (never to be believed) ... does anyone else find this worth exploring further? It feels too neat and symmetrical to be meaningless, with the final line recalling the first page so aptly.

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The tale of the Sealord's cat explains it all. It didn't matter that everyone, even the Sealord himself, said it was a rare, exotic cat. Syrio looked with his eyes, heard with his ears, etc. and knew the truth.

Apply this lesson to what everybody says, no matter how honest or noble, and you can work through all the intrigue and subterfuge that's on the surface text.

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What about a dead woman's tit? Good thing Lady Stone Heart can't speak because we'd have quite the contradiction if she started doling out wisdom.

 

Regarding the picture you're presenting though, could this be our first clue that Viserion and Rhaegal will be disloyal?

Edited by Aejohn the Conqueroo
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24 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

Regarding the picture you're presenting though, could this be our first clue that Viserion and Rhaegal will be disloyal?

The fact that those are the two at Dany's breast, it would seem like that's a fair reading of the symbolism. I wonder if it was a seed that George had sown ... without thinking about where it would lead exactly. Perhaps the dragons themselves have something amiss with them. I wonder if there have been other threads on this?

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12 hours ago, Sandy Clegg said:

The placement of this idea of things being heard at a woman's breast, and their deceptiveness (never to be believed) ... does anyone else find this worth exploring further? It feels too neat and symmetrical to be meaningless, with the final line recalling the first page so aptly

The context of the prior conversation in the prologue is important. They are talking about the dead wildlings, pronounced dead by Will but this is doubted by Waymar, to which Will replies ...

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“My mother told me that dead men sing no songs,” he put in. “My wet nurse said the same thing, Will,” Royce replied. “Never believe anything you hear at a woman’s tit.

 

Unless GRRM intended to cast doubt on former wet nurse Old Nan and her tales shortly before introducing her in the first chapter, I feel if there's a connection between the two passages, it is the mention of song / music. Many fans assume the birth of the dragons involved a transfer of souls, most likely the souls of Drogo, Rhaego and Mirri. Perhaps by linking the wetnurse / breastfeeding, singing/music and the dead, the author is hinting to the first-time reader that a resurrection takes place both in the prologue and at the end of the book. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Evolett said:

the author is hinting to the first-time reader that a resurrection takes place both in the prologue and at the end of the book. 

But equally, due to the theme of deception here, it may hint towards suspicions regarding Dany’s rebirth. I think there’s a lot to unpick here before settling on one reading. 

6 hours ago, Evolett said:

Unless GRRM intended to cast doubt on former wet nurse Old Nan and her tales shortly before introducing her in the first chapter, I feel if there's a connection between the two passages, it is the mention of song / music.

I think the connection if anything lies in the narrative form rather than content or lore. We aren’t shown Bran at Old Nan’s breast, we are shown the dragons at Dany’s, in the final sentence. These to me have resonance beyond in-world ideas of wet nurses.

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Please don't be mad at me, but I think topics like this show it's been too long since an ASOIAF book was made, lol. I just think you'll are grasping at straws here, and I don't think you're on to anything. This seems like two unrelated things, and the first one being like "toss salt over your shoulder to avoid bad luck" in real life (ie Just something people say, but has nothing to do with reality). 

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2 hours ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

... or Aegon VI lives?

"Princess Elia of Dorne pleading for mercy as Rhaegar's heir was ripped from her breast and murdered before her eyes."

That’s another good instance of boob shenanigans I hadn’t thought of. Aegon’s legitimacy is a huge question left hanging in the series. If George was sowing seeds this early on then wow.

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On 11/6/2023 at 11:40 AM, Sandy Clegg said:

The placement of this idea of things being heard at a woman's breast, and their deceptiveness (never to be believed) ... does anyone else find this worth exploring further? It feels too neat and symmetrical to be meaningless, with the final line recalling the first page so aptly.

Nice catch! How far it goes, I don't know - it's enough for me that dragons are magical and literally incredible creatures, better belonging in tales than reality.

I feel a bit of Mel's binary world here, the male view against the female, but both are right in their own way. It's interesting as well that in these important opening and closing chapters, Waymar is focused on death while Dany gives life to her dragons, fitting with the Kindly Man's binary view of men and women - women as the givers of life, not a natural fit for his death cult. There's the theme, somewhere.

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