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[ADWD SPOILERS] Unrevealed Prophecies

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Here's something I've been pondering: Noble families in Essos don't do the whole Westerosi sigil thing, right? (I assumed the animal sigils in the west were a remnant from the practices of First Men nobility who were skinchangers, a la the Starks, just as the maesters using ravens for communication is a bastardization of the First Men using ravens directly as communicators.) Illyrio even makes fun of the Westerosi obsession with sigils to Tyrion.

So why exactly did House Targaryen have a 3-headed red dragon as its banner? Aegon the Conqueror famously rode a BLACK dragon, not a red dragon. At first I thought it was because House Targaryen always had a red dragon as its sigil and Aegon didn't want to change it, but Valyrian families don't appear to have had personal sigils---I can't think of any family in Essos (only sellsword companies and cities as a whole (Titan of Bravos, Harpy of Meereen, etc.)) who do the whole sigil thing. The 3 heads makes sense, due to Aegon and his sisters, but why did Aegon I choose a red dragon instead of a black dragon?

We know that members of House Targaryen have been obsessed with the Azor Ahai/PTWP prophecy. I think we can infer (based on people spending years pouring over prophecies) that there are more prophecies that the Targs knew that GRRM hasn't yet told us. Is it possible that Aegon the Conqueror thought he was Azor Ahai reborn, and chose the red dragon as his sigil because he thought it represented Lightbringer, the red sword of heroes? If so, and he was clearly wrong, could drawing parallels between him and our current-day Azor Ahai candidate(s) suss out what those unrevealed prophecies might say?

Aegon the Conqueror famously wore black armor. Aegon united a huge portion of Westeros, but he never got Dorne or the lands beyond the Wall, and indeed, House Targaryen never ruled over the wildlings. He had two sisters who were also not his sisters, one dark, one bright. (Visenya's sword was Dark Sister, and Rhaenys seemed . . . more cheerful than her sister. They could also have believed that Visenya was ice and Rhaenys was fire). I think it's very odd that the Targs claimed that sibling marriage was a Valyrian custom, yet none of Valyria's remnants (not even Volantis, which claims to maintain the 'purest' Valyrian culture) seem to practice it. There's also no need to assume that sibling marriage is needed to control dragons, for the same reason (also, we saw non-pureblood Targs (Rhaenyra's mother was an Arryn, Aegon's mother was a Hightower) using dragons in the original Dance of Dragons). So maybe Aegon married his sisters because it was the only way he saw to fulfill a prophecy that they be both his sisters and not his sisters?

Rhaegar once believed he fit the prophecy, but something changed his mind. It's unclear when exactly he realized this and began believing Aegon fit the bill. (Note that Rhaegar, like Aegon I, wore black armor.) But maybe it was the fact that he never had even one sister in his lifetime, and had to marry a Martell, that convinced him he wasn't the prophesized savior? He then thought his son Aegon would fit the prophecy, since Aegon would need a dark (ice) sister and a bright (fire) sister, and Elia Martell of freakishly hot Dorne had already given him the latter? A daughter with Lyanna, a daughter of Winterfell, would have fit the dark/ice motif, and might explain why he ran off with her.

There's been a lot of speculation that Jon is really Azor Ahai. He wears black, as a brother of the Night's Watch. Jon has won acclaim from the wildlings, people that House Targaryen has never ruled---if he somehow makes it onto the Iron Throne, he would literally rule people from every single region in Westeros. If R+L=J, then he has two sisters who are not his sisters--his sisters because their bonded direwolves are sisters to Ghost (even Lady, brief though that was); yet also not his sisters because they're biologically his cousins. One sister (Arya) is dark, one sister (Sansa) is bright (personality-wise); they could also just fulfill a bright/dark requirement though their hair color (there's precedent in giving hair color importance, as we saw with the Lannister kids' 'golden crowns'), as Arya' hair is dark and Sansa's is "kissed by fire".

I just think it would be hilarious if such powerful people worked so hard to study and tease out the meaning of prophecies, only to have their efforts be completely worthless. Meanwhile, Jon waltzes in, knows nothing about any prophecies, and fulfills them without trying. It would certainly be in line with how GRRM treats prophecies. Rhaegar ends up fathering the true Azor Ahai, but the prophecy is fulfilled because of the Starks and the North, not because of the Targaryens' efforts.

I also don't think characters who know about Azor Ahai/PTWP necessarily realize it refers to the battle against the Others. Melisandre was always convinced Stannis was the one, yet she didn't advocate going to the Wall until Davos brought up the Night's Watch's plea. The Red Priests in Essos think Dany fits the bill, but they don't know about the Others' return---they think her current anti-slave crusade is the battle Azor Ahai will fight. Therefore, it makes sense that the Targs who knew about the prophecies never bothered with the North and the Wall; they thought the battle would be fought elsewhere, since they didn't know the Others really exist.

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So why exactly did House Targaryen have a 3-headed red dragon as its banner? Aegon the Conqueror famously rode a BLACK dragon, not a red dragon. At first I thought it was because House Targaryen always had a red dragon as its sigil and Aegon didn't want to change it, but Valyrian families don't appear to have had personal sigils---I can't think of any family in Essos (only sellsword companies and cities as a whole (Titan of Bravos, Harpy of Meereen, etc.)) who do the whole sigil thing. The 3 heads makes sense, due to Aegon and his sisters, but why did Aegon I choose a red dragon instead of a black dragon?

My guess is as good as anyone else's, but if the Targaryen words existed/were in use at the time of the conquest, could the color of the dragon on their sigil have something to do with them? Blood is red and fire is often depicted as red and orange, plus red is a very aggressive color in general.

We know that members of House Targaryen have been obsessed with the Azor Ahai/PTWP prophecy. I think we can infer (based on people spending years pouring over prophecies) that there are more prophecies that the Targs knew that GRRM hasn't yet told us. Is it possible that Aegon the Conqueror thought he was Azor Ahai reborn, and chose the red dragon as his sigil because he thought it represented Lightbringer, the red sword of heroes?

This is an interesting idea. I'd be interested in seeing if we ever learn more about Aegon I's motivations for conquering Westeros in the first place, and the Targaryen obsession with the Prince that was Promised prophecy in general.

He had two sisters who were also not his sisters, one dark, one bright. (Visenya's sword was Dark Sister, Rhaenys's sword was Brightflame. Maybe they believed they were playing roles in the prophecy and named their swords accordingly?

I've never read anywhere that Rhaenys had a named Valyrian steel sword and I can't find anything on the wiki about it. If I might ask, where does this information come from?

I also don't think characters who know about Azor Ahai/PTWP necessarily realize it refers to the battle against the Others. Melisandre was always convinced Stannis was the one, yet she didn't advocate going to the Wall until Davos brought up the Night's Watch's plea. The Red Priests in Essos think Dany fits the bill, but they don't know about the Others' return---they think her current anti-slave crusade is the battle Azor Ahai will fight. Therefore, it makes sense that the Targs who knew about the prophecies never bothered with the North and the Wall; they thought the battle would be fought elsewhere, since they didn't know the Others really exist.

This is an interesting possibility too. I'm eager to learn more about the PwwP prophecy in the next couple of books and I hope Martin obliges. For such a powerful motivating factor in Rhaegar's (and his grandfather's) actions, we have next to no information about it. The Azor Ahai prophecy is more fleshed out, but all kinds of questions remain there too, especially with the conflicting claims of various red priests.

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Is it explicitly stated that Aegon had the sigil prior to conquering Westeros? Or that the Targaryens as a whole had it before coming to Dragontone? That particular aspect seems more a cultural diffusion thing than an abiding mystery to me. The King of Rabbits wears floppy ears, after all. As far as the colour choice, it may have been an artistic choice rather than a significant representation of some Targaryen ideal. If Aegon wore black armour, maybe he just painted the dragon sigil on himself with blood and it became his House's? A black dragon wouldn't really show up on a black shield or breastplate, now would it?

Anyhow, I do agree that there must be some sort of prophecy, relating the PTWP/AAR to the recurring three-headed dragon motif. I cannot recall the three-headed dragon showing up in any prophecy we've explicitly been told about, but when Maester Aemon learns of Daenerys, he concludes firstly that 1) she is probably the PTWP (and thus AAR) and that 2) "she" must have three heads. I believe tht's the best correlating evidence presented in the story, although I don't have my copy of FFC handy to get quotes or page numbers. The Targaryens clearly believe that they will produce the PTWP, and there's probably some reason for that, beyond their immense arrogance.

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The Targaryens clearly believe that they will produce the PTWP, and there's probably some reason for that, beyond their immense arrogance.

Barristan tells Dany that Aerys and Rhaella married because the Ghost of High Heart prophesied the PTWP would be born of their line.

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Here's something I've been pondering: Noble families in Essos don't do the whole Westerosi sigil thing, right? (I assumed the animal sigils in the west were a remnant from the practices of First Men nobility who were skinchangers, a la the Starks, just as the maesters using ravens for communication is a bastardization of the First Men using ravens directly as communicators.) Illyrio even makes fun of the Westerosi obsession with sigils to Tyrion.

So why exactly did House Targaryen have a 3-headed red dragon as its banner? Aegon the Conqueror famously rode a BLACK dragon, not a red dragon. At first I thought it was because House Targaryen always had a red dragon as its sigil and Aegon didn't want to change it, but Valyrian families don't appear to have had personal sigils---I can't think of any family in Essos (only sellsword companies and cities as a whole (Titan of Bravos, Harpy of Meereen, etc.)) who do the whole sigil thing. The 3 heads makes sense, due to Aegon and his sisters, but why did Aegon I choose a red dragon instead of a black dragon?

Maybe because their words were fire and blood? Fire is red. Blood is red.

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What about the possibility that AAR and the PwwP are distinct entities, two of three heads that make up the dragon, with the third head being another, as yet unrevealed prophecized hero?

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There is a few mentions of the maiden daughter of Aenar Targaryen having visions 200 years or something before the doom and before their ancestors moved to Dragonstone. They were written down in Signs and Portents which Marwayn apparently has 3 pages of in a Book of Lost Books. I've read a few people suggest she saw something either about the Doom or the impending long night AA/PtwP shenanigans and that's why their family left Valyria and came to Westeros in the first place. http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Aenar_Targaryen

I think that she may have been the first one to start the whole "The Dragon must have 3 heads" thing. Perhaps a vision of a 3 headed dragon similar to the ones Daeron Targaryen had in the Dunk and Egg stories? The only people who have ever made first hand reference to the dragon must have 3 heads prophecy are Rhaegar in the vision and Aemon when he's dying, both who have done a considerable amount of reading on that sort of thing. Maybe they read the pages from Signs and Portents about a 3 headed Dragon, just like Aegon did during his conquest. Thats why he chose that as the sigil in the first place.

that's my theory anyhow.

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but why did Aegon I choose a red dragon instead of a black dragon?

He tried a black dragon on a black background but everybody kept asking what his sigil was? ;)

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He tried a black dragon on a black background but everybody kept asking what his sigil was? ;)

Correction: Everyone thought he was part of the NW, so he couldn't get laid. Ergo, he married within the family then realized he could just change the color.

Serious question though, where did this "sisters who aren't sisters" thing come into play? I don't recall reading that part of the prophecy.

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He tried a black dragon on a black background but everybody kept asking what his sigil was? ;)

Or why not a black dragon on a red background . . . ;)

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Here's something I've been pondering: Noble families in Essos don't do the whole Westerosi sigil thing, right? (I assumed the animal sigils in the west were a remnant from the practices of First Men nobility who were skinchangers, a la the Starks, just as the maesters using ravens for communication is a bastardization of the First Men using ravens directly as communicators.) Illyrio even makes fun of the Westerosi obsession with sigils to Tyrion.

So why exactly did House Targaryen have a 3-headed red dragon as its banner? Aegon the Conqueror famously rode a BLACK dragon, not a red dragon. At first I thought it was because House Targaryen always had a red dragon as its sigil and Aegon didn't want to change it, but Valyrian families don't appear to have had personal sigils---I can't think of any family in Essos (only sellsword companies and cities as a whole (Titan of Bravos, Harpy of Meereen, etc.)) who do the whole sigil thing. The 3 heads makes sense, due to Aegon and his sisters, but why did Aegon I choose a red dragon instead of a black dragon?

We know that members of House Targaryen have been obsessed with the Azor Ahai/PTWP prophecy. I think we can infer (based on people spending years pouring over prophecies) that there are more prophecies that the Targs knew that GRRM hasn't yet told us. Is it possible that Aegon the Conqueror thought he was Azor Ahai reborn, and chose the red dragon as his sigil because he thought it represented Lightbringer, the red sword of heroes? If so, and he was clearly wrong, could drawing parallels between him and our current-day Azor Ahai candidate(s) suss out what those unrevealed prophecies might say?

Aegon the Conqueror famously wore black armor. Aegon united a huge portion of Westeros, but he never got Dorne or the lands beyond the Wall, and indeed, House Targaryen never ruled over the wildlings. He had two sisters who were also not his sisters, one dark, one bright. (Visenya's sword was Dark Sister, Rhaenys's sword was Brightflame. Maybe they believed they were playing roles in the prophecy and named their swords accordingly? They could also have believed that Visenya was ice and Rhaenys was fire). I think it's very odd that the Targs claimed that sibling marriage was a Valyrian custom, yet none of Valyria's remnants (not even Volantis, which claims to maintain the 'purest' Valyrian culture) seem to practice it. There's also no need to assume that sibling marriage is needed to control dragons, for the same reason (also, we saw non-pureblood Targs (Rhaenyra's mother was an Arryn, Aegon's mother was a Hightower) using dragons in the original Dance of Dragons). So maybe Aegon married his sisters because it was the only way he saw to fulfill a prophecy that they be both his sisters and not his sisters?

Rhaegar once believed he fit the prophecy, but something changed his mind. It's unclear when exactly he realized this and began believing Aegon fit the bill. (Note that Rhaegar, like Aegon I, wore black armor.) But maybe it was the fact that he never had even one sister in his lifetime, and had to marry a Martell, that convinced him he wasn't the prophesized savior? He then thought his son Aegon would fit the prophecy, since Aegon would need a dark (ice) sister and a bright (fire) sister, and Elia Martell of freakishly hot Dorne had already given him the latter? A daughter with Lyanna, a daughter of Winterfell, would have fit the dark/ice motif, and might explain why he ran off with her.

There's been a lot of speculation that Jon is really Azor Ahai. He wears black, as a brother of the Night's Watch. Jon has won acclaim from the wildlings, people that House Targaryen has never ruled---if he somehow makes it onto the Iron Throne, he would literally rule people from every single region in Westeros. If R+L=J, then he has two sisters who are not his sisters--his sisters because their bonded direwolves are sisters to Ghost (even Lady, brief though that was); yet also not his sisters because they're biologically his cousins. One sister (Arya) is dark, one sister (Sansa) is bright (personality-wise); they could also just fulfill a bright/dark requirement though their hair color (there's precedent in giving hair color importance, as we saw with the Lannister kids' 'golden crowns'), as Arya' hair is dark and Sansa's is "kissed by fire".

I just think it would be hilarious if such powerful people worked so hard to study and tease out the meaning of prophecies, only to have their efforts be completely worthless. Meanwhile, Jon waltzes in, knows nothing about any prophecies, and fulfills them without trying. It would certainly be in line with how GRRM treats prophecies. Rhaegar ends up fathering the true Azor Ahai, but the prophecy is fulfilled because of the Starks and the North, not because of the Targaryens' efforts.

I also don't think characters who know about Azor Ahai/PTWP necessarily realize it refers to the battle against the Others. Melisandre was always convinced Stannis was the one, yet she didn't advocate going to the Wall until Davos brought up the Night's Watch's plea. The Red Priests in Essos think Dany fits the bill, but they don't know about the Others' return---they think her current anti-slave crusade is the battle Azor Ahai will fight. Therefore, it makes sense that the Targs who knew about the prophecies never bothered with the North and the Wall; they thought the battle would be fought elsewhere, since they didn't know the Others really exist.

Okay so after seeing how brilliant your theories are, I decided to go check out some of the things you've posted and so far I have not been disappointed. Check out a similar post I put up not too long ago

http://asoiaf.wester...92#entry2694992

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I like your idea about the sisters, my guess would be that this time around it would be Arya since she is a vengeful warrior like Visenya, and Dany, since she is the mother of dragons like Rhaenys (since Maegor, Visenyas son, did not have any surviving children, all Targaryens descend from her and Aegon).

It would be great if it's Sansa and Arya, I feel like I had enough of the dragons to last me through the rest of the series.

But I hope we don't get to see Jon married to them... Sisters in spirit and platonic love will suffice for me thank you very much.

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I definitely think that Aegon and his sisters came to Westeros based on the prophecy. The Prince Who Was Promised has to wake dragons from stone, and there must be three heads. Maybe Rhaegar decided that he couldn't be The Prince Who Was Promised around the time Viserys was born, as he believed that the Prince Who Was Promised was a man who had to have two sisters. So then he believed his son was the Prince Who Was Promised, and named his children after Aegon and Rhaenys, and he must have been planning on having a Visenya. But, if R+L=J is true, then Aegon only had one sister, just like Rhaegar.

Personally I think this shows that Daenerys is the Prince Who Was Promised, and the other two heads of the dragon have to be men. Daenerys seems to fit the role of Aegon the Conqueror, particularly as Drogon has been referred to as Balerion the Black Dread come again, and she's also the only character to have woken dragons from stone. Plus she comes directly from Aerys and Rhaella's line.

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My thoughts on why the whole thing is irrelevant to the Targaryens.

Who better to ride dragons than skinchangers? They don't even have to be physically on them.

The Reeds' oath to Bran: "We swear it by ice and fire" it definitely sounds like a traditional oath of the North related to the old gods.

Could it be the that the Targaryens found some prophesies about the part they were going to play in the events that are unfolding in the books and simply assumed in their arrogance that it was all about them?

I also like the part about Arya and Sansa being Jon's sisters but not his sisters, it would fit quite well if he is Lyana's, though where did you get the "not his sisters" bit? And I just don't see Sansa riding dragons.

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The dragons three heads do not have to be dragonriders I think. Warging maybe, or not at all even. It could just mean that they are bound by fate to eachother and they all are the most important players to the future of the world, and Aegon thought it meant the Targaryens.

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Barristan tells Dany that Aerys and Rhaella married because the Ghost of High Heart prophesied the PTWP would be born of their line.

Here's a [crackpot] thought: what if, instead of looking at the progeny of the Aerys & Rhaella union, we go backwards in time and look at the ancestry? I'm of the mind that the dragon hatching ritual involves "infusing" the dragon embryo with a human soul. Could there be a Summerhallian dragon's egg buried somewhere, that has been Aegon- or Prince Duncan infused? Or even a hatched dragon (or two, or three) lying dormant under the ruins of some keep? In one of the Dunk & Egg stories, Dunk has a dark dream where he is desperately trying to bury Egg, iirc - I've always thought that this might be a clue as to what might eventually happen at Summerhall.

In any case, if Aegon V or Prince Duncan are reborn somehow, I think that it would fulfill the "born of the Aerys and Rhaella line" part of the prophesy. Not to mention that it would be a cool twist :D.

Another thought I've been mulling over is this idea that the "prince who was promised" might not necessarily refer to a savior figure, but rather to a prince who was promised TO someone or something. With the overarching themes of the power of king's blood, and the need to give the gods their due - could the promised prince be a sacrificial lamb? Although, being the savior of humanity and a sacrifice to the gods are not mutually exclusive, of course.

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hotweaselsoup

I think your last sentence captures exactly what I think will happen... :crying: And I don't think the PtwP is Dany.

And I think that what you say about the "recycling" of souls could be the case too. It was just how I thought it was done, but I have not given it so much thought after that since the dragons seems so plain emotionally. Except that they really acted like children when they were small and then more like stubborn teenagers :) So I kind of stopped thinking about how it was done when they were "born".

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I like your idea about the sisters, my guess would be that this time around it would be Arya since she is a vengeful warrior like Visenya, and Dany, since she is the mother of dragons like Rhaenys (since Maegor, Visenyas son, did not have any surviving children, all Targaryens descend from her and Aegon).

It would be great if it's Sansa and Arya, I feel like I had enough of the dragons to last me through the rest of the series.

But I hope we don't get to see Jon married to them... Sisters in spirit and platonic love will suffice for me thank you very much.

I agree that it would be great if Sansa and Arya are the sisters who are not his sisters. On the other hand, Dany's visions in HotU seem to tie her pretty strongly in some way to the whole 3-headed-dragon thing. Arya and Dany might work, as you say, but would feel a bit asymmetrical in my mind.

ETA: Although... One "sister" from Ma's house, and one "sister" from Pa's house...

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Another, somewhat random, thought: Whatever entity, or force of nature, it is that handles and sets up these prophecies seems to just set up a gazillion different ways for each prophecy to be fulfilled, so that at least something will stick.

"Smoked and salted ham = Reborn amidst smoke and salt..? Sure, why not?"

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