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The Three-Headed Trios, Er, Dragon

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Points to Fire Eater for digging this up. It came about in another thread and I thought it deserved a look on its own merits.

There is a god in Essos named Trios, who has three heads. He is discussed in ADWD.

[Penny to Tyrion] "Trios has three heads, and there is a statue of him beside the temple doors."

Here we have a three-headed entity that is nonetheless treated as a single being. It is also customary for a person's body to be cut into thirds, with each part going into one of the heads' mouths and then sewn back together. This happens in Tyrosh to a dwarf Penny knew; his head was missing when he was sewn back together and taken to Cersei.

[sailor's Wife to Arya] "Three-headed Trios has that tower with three turrets. The first head devours the dying, and the reborn emerge from the third. I don't know what the middle head's supposed to do."

The imagery of the tower again suggests one body with three aspects. It is one tower that happens to have three turrets, not three towers.

As Fire Eater first pointed out, the first and third heads bear resemblance to dragons and Ghost, respectively. Dragons given to their natural impulses eat prey that they kill themselves. And it has long been suggested that Jon will warg into Ghost as a placeholder of sorts to keep his consciousness intact if he dies; he will be "reborn" in some way through Ghost.

More than that, though, the first and third heads also relate back to fire and ice dichotomy in general.

[Aemon] "Fire consumes, but cold preserves."

We see this dichotomy in other places. The ice cells of the Watch, and Davos describing fire as "consuming" the statues of the Seven.

The first head of Trios is akin to fire — it devours, consumes. The third is akin to ice — it preserves and allows people to emerge reborn. The mysterious second head — not the first or the third but the one in the middle — is the wild card. It's unclear what its purpose is, and I think this fits pretty nicely into the idea that even if Jon is this three-aspect being, the point of it is still up in the air and may even hinge on Jon's own choices.

It also occurred to me that the literal destruction and reconstruction of the human body, put through the three heads, is something like warging. The consciousness of the warg "splits" into the animal or animals and then eventually returns to the human. Or, "man to wolf and man again."

Finally, Trios is mentioned twice in the series, in the same book: ADWD, which is also the book where the prospect of Jon and his split consciousness looms most heavily. Funny.

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Yes, I completely agree. And if the first head is fire, the third head ice, then Jon will be the second and he will balance them out as ice and fire.

And I think Jon's Queen Consort will be pleased with this. :D

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Yes, I completely agree. And if the first head is fire, the third head ice, then Jon will be the second and he will balance them out as ice and fire.

Yeah, I think it's crucial that it's the middle head that's significant in its mysteriousness. That jumped out to me right away.

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You seem to be on fire lately Apple posting so many threads. :D

This is a very nice post. Let me just provide my personal 2 cents.

If this discussion happens in the reference frame of three headed dragons alone, then call it sold. The inclusion of Trios in the discussion can actually confuse this discussion. Jon's three identities as Stark,Snow,Targ do refer to the three headed dragon. And seeing it is a dragon, not a wolf, or any other beast, I also (personally) believe that Rhaegar and Lyanna married, making Jon a true Targ and not a bastard.

One final thing which is not very relevant. In Hindu mythology, we have a trinity of Gods, Brahma the creator, Vishnu the Preserver/Maintainer, Shiva the Destroyer. That can be the reference for Trios, though I highly doubt Martin has read Hindu Mythology.

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If this discussion happens in the reference frame of three headed dragons alone, then call it sold. The inclusion of Trios in the discussion can actually confuse this discussion. Jon's three identities as Stark,Snow,Targ do refer to the three headed dragon. And seeing it is a dragon, not a wolf, or any other beast, I also (personally) believe that Rhaegar and Lyanna married, making Jon a true Targ and not a bastard.

If we accept that "dragon" can have different layers of meaning — both a symbol of a human Targaryen and an actual dragon — then a dragon with three heads, one of which is a dragon, doesn't have to be redundant. One is symbolic (Jon is a Targaryen) and one is more literal (Jon will warg an actual dragon).

One final thing which is not very relevant. In Hindu mythology, we have a trinity of Gods, Brahma the creator, Vishnu the Preserver/Maintainer, Shiva the Destroyer. That can be the reference for Trios, though I highly doubt Martin has read Hindu Mythology.

I vaguely remember that from my eastern religion class. :P It does seem to fit the three-aspect mold, though, the idea of creation, destruction and balance.

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If we accept that "dragon" can have different layers of meaning — both a symbol of a human Targaryen and an actual dragon — then a dragon with three heads, one of which is a dragon, doesn't have to be redundant. One is symbolic (Jon is a Targaryen) and one is more literal (Jon will warg an actual dragon).

All too well, then. I'm convinced. :)

I vaguely remember that from my eastern religion class. :P It does seem to fit the three-aspect mold, though, the idea of creation, destruction and balance.

:cheers:

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Trios isn't a dragon so it can't relate.

This was my point as well. But you can give similar explanations for the three headed dragon as well right?

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Trios isn't a dragon so it can't relate.

The three-headed dragon isn't an actual dragon, either. It's symbolic.

I'm wondering what you think the narrative point of this three-headed entity, with its consuming and preserving mouths, is? Enlighten me. This is, by the way, the only such one in the series outside of the "dragon has three heads" prophecy. Almost as if we're meant to draw some comparisons between the two. :dunno:

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Trios isn't a dragon so it can't relate.

Have you read the part about three heads? And it didn't sound nothing like, IDK, three-headed dragon?

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The three-headed dragon isn't an actual dragon, either. It's symbolic.

I'm wondering what you think the narrative point of this three-headed entity, with its consuming and preserving mouths, is? Enlighten me. This is, by the way, the only such one in the series outside of the "dragon has three heads" prophecy. Almost as if we're meant to draw some comparisons between the two. :dunno:

Probably just for the sake of showing the culture of tyrosh

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Probably just for the sake of showing the culture of tyrosh

But the culture of Tyrosh doesn't really exist; it isn't shown here, but rather created. And it is a fair question why one would create such a backstory if not to hint at someting else in the text - and we do have another three-headed identity referred to in the books. So why not take it as a clue about said other three-headed being?

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Before everything, :bowdown: to Fire Eater for finding this, and thank you Apple for this thread.

As Apple pointed out, these three heads match Jon wonderfully on so many levels. There is that of course symbolic - ice and fire, then totemic - dragon and wolf, but also a level regarding his identities - Stark and Targaryen. I love this so much, especially the ambiguity regarding the middle head... It's like GRRM speaks through it, you may have found the clue but you'll need to search for answer more...

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OMG I think this is leading somewhere, if its in all the free cities, that could mean it was what the Valyrians had as their temple.

This might be a long lost religion of the Valyrians and where the PTWP prophecy came from.

To be fair we only know it's in two of the nine. But it's still something that overlaps Braavos with Tyrosh, two places that, while both being Free Cities, seem to have little else in common. So while it's not a certainty that it's in other cities/all the other cities, I think it's a fair conclusion barring further info.

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But the culture of Tyrosh doesn't really exist; it isn't shown here, but rather created. And it is a fair question why one would create such a backstory if not to hint at someting else in the text - and we do have another three-headed identity referred to in the books. So why not take it as a clue about said other three-headed being?

the targ sigil was probably just made after conquest representing aegon and his sisters

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Braavos was made of slaves it's not really like all the free cities

In which case it's even more interesting that it still has a Trios temple, despite having little else in common with Tyrosh.

the targ sigil was probably just made after conquest representing aegon and his sisters

But that's not the same as the prophecy that we're discussing.

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