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J. Stargaryen

Emeralds

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I was reading some of the recent comments in the sapphire thread (link below) that Yolkboy and I did together a while back. One of them mentioned emeralds, so I decided to have a look.

When searching for the word emerald, Cersei is the character you're most likely to come across. But other Lannisters, as well. Due in large part to their eyes, which are described as so: Tommen and Lancel's are emerald green; Cersei and Myrcella's are a match for emeralds, and; Joffrey is said to have his mother's eyes, while Jaime's are compared to Tommen's.

You'll also see Renly's name three times in less than two full books. An overall lack of quantity, due to his relatively early exit in the series, that is well compensated for by the quality of each passage; i.e., the subtext is fairly straightforward, and appears to agree with, and enrich, the text.

In ACoK, emerald (or green) is often used in conjunction with black to foreshadow the Battle of the Blackwater. Tyrion used wildfire to strike the battle's first major blow. (Blackwater, wildfire.) Further, three separate descriptions of the substance include the word emerald, the last two during the battle.

Is there any common thread here? I think so. Both Renly and Cersei denied Stannis's rightful claim to the Iron Throne as Robert's true heir. On top of that, Cersei stole the IT from the Baratheons by claiming her bastards were Robert's trueborn children. All six of the Lannisters described as having emerald-like eyes are connected to this heist: Jaime fathered Cersei's bastards; Joff, Myrcella and Tommen. And it was Lancel's own hand that delivered Cersei's strong wine to Robert during his last hunt, that left the king overly drunk, which resulted in his death.

So, it seems to me that emeralds, whether literal or figurative, are showing up around usurpers (or pretenders, lesser or false claimants, etc.), and their associates, quite often. The symbolism extends beyond emeralds, though, and includes the color green. Or, perhaps it's the other way around.

GRRM wrote about the Dance of the Dragons in a short story he named, The Princess and the Queen, or, the Blacks and the Greens. The DotD was a civil war fought over competing, yet unequal, claims to the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra was the undisputed heir to the IT, and her sons by Laenor Velaryon (heh) were her heirs. This was the wish and decree of King Viserys I. But once he died, the Greens ignored the succession and crowned Aegon as the second of his name. In doing so, the Greens usurped the IT.

Which brings us back to (the foreshadowing, symbolism, etc., related to) the BotB. When combined with the DotD, we have two examples of intra-dynastic wars over the IT, featuring a black and green dichotomy. In both cases, the green side were usurpers.

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A Game of Thrones:

His lord father had come first, escorting the queen. She was as beautiful as men said.

A jeweled tiara gleamed amidst her long golden hair, its emeralds a perfect match for the green of her eyes. His father helped her up the steps to the dais and led her to her seat, but the queen never so much as looked at him. Even at fourteen, Jon could see through her smile. - Jon I

Our introduction to emerads in ASoIaF. Appropriately enough, they appear on the head of Cersei Lannister. While it was Robert who won it, the Lannisters are now the real power behind the throne, especially with Jon Arryn dead. Not to mention the likely foreshadowing of Cersei stealing the throne from Robert. And, it turns out, that she is the longest standing usurper over the course of the series.

Joffrey is described as so: “Prince Joffrey had his sister’s hair and his mother’s deep green eyes.”

Bonus points for those who recognize the significance of the POV. :)

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“Until the tourney on Prince Joffrey’s name day,” he said, crossing the room to wrench the dagger from the wood. “I backed Ser Jaime in the jousting, along with half the court.” Petyr’s sheepish grin made him look half a boy again. “When Loras Tyrell unhorsed him, many of us became a trifle poorer. Ser Jaime lost a hundred golden dragons, the queen lost an emerald pendant, and I lost my knife. Her Grace got the emerald back, but the winner kept the rest.” - Catelyn IV

Cersei steals the throne about 2/3s of the way through AGoT, but she loses her power on more than one occasion, actually.

I'm not sure if this foreshadows her loss of power when Tywin shows up, or when she is imprisoned during AFfC. I lean towards the latter based on the Lannister-Tyrell interaction in both cases.

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“And you as well,” Ned replied. “You must forgive me, but sometimes you look the very image of your brother Robert.”
“A poor copy,” Renly said with a shrug.
“Though much better dressed,” Littlefinger quipped. “Lord Renly spends more on clothing than half the ladies of the court.”
It was true enough. Lord Renly was in dark green velvet, with a dozen golden stags embroidered on his doublet. A cloth-of-gold half cape was draped casually across one shoulder, fastened with an emerald brooch. “There are worse crimes,” Renly said with a laugh. “The way you dress, for one.”

[...]

The links were forged of every metal known to man: black iron and red gold, bright copper and dull lead, steel and tin and pale silver, brass and bronze and platinum. Garnets and amethysts and black pearls adorned the metalwork, and here and there an emerald or ruby. - Eddard IV


Here Renly declares himself a “poor copy” of Robert. That can be read one of two ways, I think: 1) even though both were usurpers, Robert actually won the throne, or; 2) Robert was the king while Renly was only a pretender.

[...]

Pycelle has served two dynasties: the Targaryens and the Baratheons. In truth, he's a Lannister creature and this could very well foreshadow that fact. Or, it could be an indication that emeralds represent not just usurpers, but the Baratheon dynasty, at least in name. Something I will expand on towards the end of the post.

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Ser Barristan Selmy chuckled with him. Even Eddard Stark managed a smile. Always, though, the graver thoughts crept in. He could not help taking note of the two squires: handsome boys, fair and well made. One was Sansa’s age, with long golden curls; the other perhaps fifteen, sandy-haired, with a wisp of a mustache and the emerald-green eyes of the queen. - Eddard VII

This is Lancel. Given his role in the death of King Robert, I think the description of his eyes is unlikely to be a coincidence.

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Five knights of the Kingsguard—all but Ser Jaime and Ser Barristan—were arrayed in a crescent around the base of the throne. They were in full armor, enameled steel from helm to heel, long pale cloaks over their shoulders, shining white shields strapped to their left arms. Cersei Lannister and her two younger children stood behind Ser Boros and Ser Meryn. The queen wore a gown of sea-green silk, trimmed with Myrish lace as pale as foam. On her finger was a golden ring with an emerald the size of a pigeon’s egg, on her head a matching tiara. - Eddard XIV

Now, compare this to the description of the sapphire that Tobho Mott is wearing when he is visited by Ned: “He wore a black velvet coat with hammers embroidered on the sleeves in silver thread, Around his neck was a heavy silver chain and a sapphire as large as a pigeon’s egg.”

It's interesting because, in both cases, the wearers of the gems are hiding quasi-royal bastards. Royalty is often associated with the color blue; e.g., blue blood. Which makes sense since Gendry is the son of King Robert. So, he has royal blood, though he is not royalty himself due to his bastardy. Joffrey, on the other hand, is the bastard son of the Queen consort. Neither is Cersei royal. So there is an interesting parallel there.

We know that "egg" can be used as a sort of code for hiding someone's true identity, via the Dunk and Egg stories. Though the nickname Egg doesn't so much hide little Prince Aegon, he does shave his head and tuck away his Targaryen ring in order to keep his identity a secret. So that is definitely a theme, and one I think we are seeing reinforced in the above examples.

Also, "egg" = Aegon might also be relevant here because this is the scene in which, after years of planning, Cersei is finally able to usurp the Iron Throne; aka, Aegon the Conqueror's throne.

The placement of the emerald on Cersei's finger in this scene might have some relevance concerning how she stole the throne; i.e., through marriage. Though it's not stated to be on her ring finger, the suggestion lingers.

A Clash of Kings:

When at last they reached the top of the steps, Tyrion shrugged out of his shadowskin fur and folded it over his arm. The Guildhall of the Alchemists was an imposing warren of black stone, but Hallyne led him through the twists and turns until they reached the Gallery of the Iron Torches, a long echoing chamber where columns of

green fire danced around black metal columns twenty feet tall. Ghostly flames shimmered off the polished black marble of the walls and floor and bathed the hall in an emerald radiance. Tyrion would have been more impressed if he hadn’t known that the great iron torches had only been lit this morning in honor of his visit, and would be extinguished the instant the doors closed behind him. Wildfire was too costly to squander. - Tyrion V

Here we have a description of wildfire, which the usurping Lannisters use against Stannis, the rightful claimant of the Baratheon dynasty.

Underlined is foreshadowing for the BotB.

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The pale pink light of dawn sparkled on branch and leaf and stone. Every blade of grass was carved from emerald, every drip of water turned to diamond. Flowers and mushrooms alike wore coats of glass. Even the mud puddles had a bright brown sheen. Through the shimmering greenery, the black tents of his brothers were encased in a fine glaze of ice. - Jon III

There is no direct emeralds = usurpers connection here. However, what we do have is more BotB foreshadowing, which itself is a battle between a rightful claimant and usurpers.

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“And brothers,” a cheerful voice called out behind her. Catelyn glanced over her shoulder as Lord Renly’s palfrey picked her way through the stumps. The younger Baratheon was splendid in his green velvet doublet and satin cloak trimmed in vair. The crown of golden roses girded his temples, jade stag’s head rising over his forehead, long black hair spilling out beneath. jagged chunks of black diamond studded his swordbelt, and a chain of gold and emeralds looped around his neck. - Catelyn III

From one of the best known scenes in the series, most often associated with Renly's peach. This is the parley between Stannis and Renly where the latter declares his intentions to seize the throne, succession laws be damned.

Perhaps worthy of note is that Renly's emeralds are being worn around his neck, which is where he took the fatal blow from the shadow-assassin.

---

The candles within Renly’s pavilion made the shimmering silken walls seem to glow, transforming the great tent into a magical castle alive with emerald light. Two of the Rainbow Guard stood sentry at the door to the royal pavilion. The green light shone strangely against the purple plums of Ser Parmen’s surcoat, and gave a sickly hue to the sunflowers that covered every inch of Ser Emmon’s enameled yellow plate. Long silken plumes flew from their helms, and rainbow cloaks draped their shoulders. - Catelyn IV

Renly the usurper in his emerald "castle."

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Bronn escorted him through the crowd to join his sister and her sons. Cersei ignored him, preferring to lavish her smiles on their cousin. He watched her charming Lancel with eyes as green as the rope of emeralds around her slim white throat, and smiled a small sly smile to himself. I know your secret, Cersei, he thought. His sister had oft called upon the High Septon of late, to seek the blessings of the gods in their coming struggle with Lord Stannis… or so she would have him believe. In truth, after a brief call at the Great Sept of Baelor, Cersei would don a plain brown traveler’s cloak and steal off to meet a certain hedge knight with the unlikely name of Ser Osmund Kettleblack, and his equally unsavory brothers Osney and Osfryd. Lancel had told him all about them. Cersei meant to use the Kettleblacks to buy her own force of sellswords. - Tyrion IX

I don't see anything especially symbolic of the emeralds in this scene other than who is wearing them. But, if we look closer we get another emerald/green + black connection; i.e., the Kettleblacks.

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“We have knowledge to share with you,” said a warrior in shining emerald armor, “and magic weapons to arm you with. You have passed every trial. Now come and sit with us, and all your questions shall be answered.” - Daenerys IV

This one stumped me at first. All I could make out was a likely nod to the wizard of Oz; i.e., "wizard" king + emerald. But then SerArthurHeath made a nice find tying together Blackfyres, both the House and sword, with "Warrior/warrior."

“With ax or lance or flail, he [Daemon Blackfyre] was as good as any knight I ever saw, but with the sword [blackfyre] he was the Warrior himself.” - Ser Eustace, TSS

“You’re Young Griff, son of Griff the sellsword,” said Tyrion. “Or perhaps you are the Warrior in mortal guise. Let me take a closer look.” - ADwD, Tyrion IV

So, with the sword Blackfyre the first Blackfyre was "the Warrior himself." Then, in Dance, when Tyrion has found out Young Griff's identity (or at least he thinks he has) he teases him about being "the Warrior in mortal guise." Now, when you combine this with the above passage from Daenerys IV the "warrior in [a] shining emerald suit" fits perfectly with emeralds = usurpers explanation.

Thank you, SerArthurHeath.

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The queen looked especially lovely that night. She wore a low-cut gown of deep green velvet that brought out the color of her eyes. Her golden hair tumbled across her bare shoulders, and around her waist was a woven belt studded with emeralds. Tyrion waited until he had been seated and served a cup of wine before thrusting the letter at her. He said not a word. Cersei blinked at him innocently and took the parchment from his hand. - Tyrion XII

Again, Cersei wearing emeralds. This is the scene where Tyrion informs her that Winterfell has been seized by Theon Greyjoy and that Bran and Rickon are "dead."

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Cersei’s gown was snowy linen, white as the cloaks of the Kingsguard. Her long dagged sleeves showed a lining of gold satin. Masses of bright yellow hair tumbled to her bare shoulders in thick curls. Around her slender neck hung a rope of diamonds and emeralds. The white made her look strangely innocent, almost maidenly, but there were points of color on her cheeks. - Sansa V

A flash of green caught his eye, ahead and off to port, and a nest of writhing emerald serpents rose burning and hissing from the stern of Queen Alysanne. An instant later Davos heard the dread cry of “Wildfire!” - Davos III

The southern sky was aswirl with glowing, shifting colors, the reflections of the great fires that burned below. Baleful green tides moved against the bellies of the clouds, and pools of orange light spread out across the heavens. The reds and yellows of common flame warred against the emeralds and jades of wildfire, each color flaring and then fading, birthing armies of short-lived shadows to die again an instant later. Green dawns gave way to orange dusks in half a heartbeat. The air itself smelled burnt, the way a soup kettle sometimes smelled if it was left on the fire too long and all the soup boiled away. Embers drifted through the night air like swarms of fireflies. - Sansa VII

All three take place during the BotB, the last two describing the wildfire.

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Dany took it almost by reflex. The box was carved wood, its mother-of-pearl lid inlaid with jasper and chalcedony. “You are too generous.” She opened it. Within was a glittering green scarab carved from onyx and emerald. Beautiful, she thought. This will help pay for our passage. As she reached inside the box, the man said, “I am so sorry,” but she hardly heard.” - Daenerys V

Black + green. As mentioned above, from what I can tell this should be hinting at an intra-dynastic struggle (emerald/green + black) between Dany and, well, another Targaryen. In which case someone must have a lesser claim.

A Storm of Swords:

Lord Mace Tyrell came forward to present his gift: a golden chalice three feet tall, with two ornate curved handles and seven faces glittering with gemstones. “Seven faces for Your Grace’s seven kingdoms,” the bride’s father explained. He showed them how each face bore the sigil of one of the great houses: ruby lion,

emerald rose, onyx stag, silver trout, blue jade falcon, opal sun, and pearl dire wolf. - Sansa IV

The emerald rose is pretty interesting because it seems to symbolically represent the Tyrells marrying themselves to a usurper, which is certainly the case. Not only that, but the ruby lion immediately before it even tells why; i.e., Joff is a bastard, which the red lion indicates as it is the reverse of the Lannister colors. (Hat tip to Tze, iirc, for the bastard-lion.)

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She stood beside the open window, looking over the curtain walls and out to sea. The bay wind swirled around her, flattening her gown against her body in a way that quickened Jaime’s pulse. It was white, that gown, like the hangings on the wall and the draperies on his bed. Swirls of tiny emeralds brightened the ends of her wide sleeves and spiraled down her bodice. Larger emeralds were set in the golden spiderweb that bound her golden hair. The gown was cut low, to bare her shoulders and the tops of her breasts. She is so beautiful. He wanted nothing more than to take her in his arms. - Jaime IX

Again, Cersei wearing emeralds. Here Jaime and Cersei discuss the parentage of Joff and Tommen; i.e., that they are Jaime's bastards which, in turn, would mean that neither they nor Cersei have any right to the IT or the power that comes with it.

There is also potentially more going on here with the placement of the emeralds. Also, the "spiderweb" suggests Varys.

A Feast for Crows:

“Oh, but they must, or see the realm riven once more, as it was before we wed the dragons. Father told me so. He said we had the Imp to thank, for sending us Princess Myrcella. She is so pretty, don’t you think? I wish that I had curls like hers. She was made to be a queen, just like her mother.” Dimples bloomed in Tyene’s cheeks. “

I would be honored to arrange the wedding, and to see to the making of the crowns as well. Trystane and Myrcella are so innocent, I thought perhaps white gold... with emeralds, to match Myrcella’s eyes. Oh, diamonds and pearls would serve as well, so long as the children are wed and crowned. Then we need only hail Myrcella as the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, and lawful heir to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and wait for the lions to come.” - The Captain of the Guards

Tyene wants to name Myrcella as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms—usurping Tommen's claim—and place a crown of emeralds upon her head.

To me, this is an interesting, if not telling, place for an ellipsis. It's almost like Tyene isn't sure what gem would be appropriate for Myrcella's crown, until she suddenly realizes that it must be emeralds. In story it's because of her eyes; symbolically it's because she would be usurping Tommen.

Back to the eyes for a moment. In light of the usurper symbolism, it's interesting that Myrcella's eyes are brought up, because they are so much like Cersei's. You start to see this theme developing where, if one person can just take the throne why can't another?

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Cersei led the king up three short steps, to kneel beside the body. Tommen’s eyes were filled with tears. “Weep quietly,” she told him, leaning close. “You are a king, not a squalling child. Your lords are watching you.” The boy swiped the tears away with the back of his hand. He had her eyes, emerald green, as large and bright as Jaime’s eyes had been when he was Tommen’s age. Her brother had been such a pretty boy... but fierce as well, as fierce as Joffrey, a true lion cub. The queen put her arm around Tommen and kissed his golden curls. He will need me to teach him how to rule and keep him safe from his enemies. Some of them stood around them even now, pretending to be friends. - Cersei II

Tommen, now king, is described as having emerald green eyes for the first time in the story. The same was true for Myrcella in the previous example. I think that GRRM waits to tell us about their emerald green eyes until these moments makes a strong case in favor of the emeralds = usurpers premise.

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“Your uncle bought him,” Tris said. “The Silence returned with holds full of treasure. Plate and pearls, emeralds and rubies, sapphires big as eggs, bags of coin so heavy that no man can lift them... the Crow’s Eye has been buying friends at every hand. My uncle Germund calls himself Lord Botley now, and rules in Lordsport as your uncle’s man.” - The Kraken's Daughter

Because we get emeralds, rubies and sapphires here, I think there is more going on that just the usurper theme. However, this is where Tris Botley tells Asha that Euron has been buying his way to the Seastone chair, which ought to be hers by right.

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“I had hoped that by now you would have grown tired of that wretched beard. All that hair makes you look like Robert.” His sister had put aside her mourning for a jade-green gown with sleeves of silver Myrish lace. An emerald the size of a pigeon’s egg hung on a golden chain about her neck. - Jaime III

The emerald from Eddard XIV returns, only this time it's not on Cersei's finger and I think that might be significant. In the analysis from the AGoT chapter I noted that the "suggestion" of marriage was present due to the emerald being on Cersei's finger. Though not literally true, she was figuratively wedded to Jaime in her heart and, more importantly, through her children. Now, however, she and Jaime have grown distant. During this scene she orders him to siege Riverrun and then slaps him when he mentions Ser Osmund leering at her teats. The figurative marriage seems to be in trouble, if not outright over.

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“I shall pray as well. On the morrow, come with me to Baelor’s Sept, and we will light a hundred candles for our gallant Knight of Flowers.” She turned to her handmaid. “Dorcas, bring my crown. The new one, if you please.” It was lighter than the old, pale spun gold set with emeralds that sparkled when she turned her head. - Cersei VIII

Cersei wearing her crown, though I haven't made any more significant connection than that so far.

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“Septa.” Cersei sat beneath the Iron Throne, clad in green silk and golden lace. “Tell his High Holiness that we are vexed with him. He presumes too much.” Emeralds glimmered on her fingers and in her golden hair. The eyes of court and city were upon her, and she meant for them to see Lord Tywin’s daughter. By the time this mummer’s farce was done they would know they had but one true queen. But first we must dance the dance and never miss a step. “Lady Margaery is my son’s true and gentle wife, his helpmate and consort. His High Holiness had no cause to lay his hands upon her person, or to confine her and her young cousins, who are so dear to all of us. I demand that he release them.” - Cersei X

The underline portion already makes the case for the premise. Cersei is trying to take Margaery's crown from her, so that she can be the one "true" queen again.

A Dance with Dragons:

Illyrio was reclining on a padded couch, gobbling hot peppers and pearl onions from a wooden bowl. His brow was dotted with beads of sweat, his pig’s eyes shining above his fat cheeks. Jewels danced when he moved his hands;

onyx and opal, tiger’s eye and tourmaline, ruby, amethyst, sapphire, emerald, jet and jade, a black diamond, and a green pearl. I could live for years on his rings, Tyrion mused, though I’d need a cleaver to claim them. - Tyrion I

It seems like Illyrio and Varys intend to put their own player on the throne, and that certainly works here. However, it's not as clear or convincing as some of the other examples.

Probably the most relevant information came from Yolkboy when he noted the repeating green and black colors. That should very much hint at a future DotD.

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Tears welled from his eyes, creeping down his nose, past emeralds, amethysts, and black diamonds. “I told the Thirteen that you would heed my wisdom. It grieves me to learn that I was wrong. Take these ships and sail away, or you will surely die screaming. You cannot know how many enemies you have made.” - Daenerys III

So, again we have emerald/green + black.

With Dany I've noticed that we don't get clear cut emerald=usurper examples. Instead, if anything, it seems like we get emerald/green + black which, as far as I can tell, means inter-dynastic conflict. However, in these cases, it turns out that one person is trying to take something that does not belong to them by rights. Which is just a roundabout way of saying that it still indicates a usurper.

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The rest he left unsaid. Cersei was soiled goods now, her power at an end. Every baker’s boy and beggar in the city had seen her in her shame and every tart and tanner from Flea Bottom to Pisswater Bend had gazed upon her nakedness, their eager eyes crawling over her breasts and belly and woman’s parts. No queen could expect to rule again after that. In gold and silk and emeralds Cersei had been a queen, the next thing to a goddess; naked, she was only human, an aging woman with stretch marks on her belly and teats that had begun to sag … as the shrews in the crowds had been glad to point out to their husbands and lovers. Better to live shamed than die proud, Ser Kevan told himself. “My niece will make no further mischief,” he promised Mace Tyrell. “You have my word on that, my lord.” - Epilogue

I haven't gotten this far in my ADwD read yet, so I'll let someone else take a stab at this if they wish. However, it's easy to point out that Cersei illegally seized power by having King Robert killed, so the emboldened portion simply reinforces the Usurper Queen theme that is present throughout the series.

When I realized that there was a theme with emeralds to go along with rubies and sapphires, I had an epiphany regarding the colors. The three forks of the Trident are called Red, Blue and Green.

So I began to try and work out how, if at all, these gems tie into the Trident and its three forks. It didn't take me long to remember that Robert more or less won his crown on the Green Fork when he killed Rhaegar and scattered his rubies into the Trident. But it wasn't until I looked at the wiki that I realized that it was at the Red Fork that Torrhen Stark bent the knee and gave up his crown to Aegon the Conqueror.

So, much like Robert Baratheon would do approximately 283 years later, Aegon all but won the Seven Kingdoms on the Trident. In both cases there were still some loose ends to tie up, but for the second time in less than three centuries, dominion over the lands of Westeros from Dorne to the Wall had been determined on the Trident.

To review:

  • The Targaryen dynasty – as rulers of the Seven Kingdoms – essentially began when Torren Stark surrendered his crown on the Red Fork to Aegon the Conqueror.
  • The Targaryen dynasty ended when Robert Baratheon slew Rhaegar and spilled his rubies into the Green Fork. Which all but finished the Rebellion; aka, the War of the Usurper and ushered in the era of the Baratheon dynasty.

With the above in mind, we have enough information to make a prediction: I believe there is a good chance we will see a new dynasty emerge on the Blue Fork of the Trident. Perhaps after a great battle, maybe like the one in Dany's dream from ASoS. Further, I believe that all signs point to this new dynasty being House Stark, led by Jon Snow. If it is indeed a Stark dynasty that is represented by blue, the historical cycle will almost look like a three-headed ouroboros. Blue -> Red -> Green -> Blue.

The Blue Fork is largely unremarkable, with the exception of Oldstones. And it just so happens that Oldstones could be very significant as it pertains to R+L=J. At Oldstones is the sepulcher of Tristifer IV, the last Mudd King. This sepulcher turns out to be one big R+L=J metaphor. (Credit to FrozenFire3 and others. Link - It's very much worth a read if you're not familiar with it.) Not only that, but Tristifer's sepulcher is the spot where Robb told Catelyn that he was going to legitimize Jon as a Stark, and make him his heir.

The blue rose symbolism, specifically the stuff tied to Jon, is certainly worth mentioning here. As well as the sapphire symbolism, which deals with lies and secrets with some possible ties to identity. All things that fit perfectly with R+L=J. When combined with the analysis of Tristifer's sepulcher – and all of them do seem to meet here, at the Blue Fork – it's pretty exciting.

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A final note on the Baratheon dynasty:

Though Robert was technically a usurper, it's interesting that he is never mentioned in any of these (30?) emerald examples, aside from the feast at Winterell. But even then, Cersei is escorted by Ned. I think that's perhaps because his cause was just. He didn't set out to steal the Iron Throne like his wife and youngest brother; he was compelled to take it or die. The same goes for Stannis. He's never mentioned with emeralds, except when they're working against him; i.e., Renly and wildfire.

Still, the Baratheon dynasty which, for all intents and purposes, was born on the Green Fork of the Trident has been marred by usurpers. Balon Greyjoy crowned himself during Robert's reign and the Wot5K followed his death – which itself was engineered by his power hungry wife.

When Robert took the IT, as justified as he was in doing so, he set a dangerous precedent. If he didn't have to respect the laws of succession why did anyone else?

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Thanks for reading. Apologies for the lack of quote boxes, but there were too many of them.

Also, thanks to Ygrain and Lady Gwyn for the help!

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Sapphires = SecretsYolkboy and J. Stargaryen

The Ruby PatternYolkboy

The Rhaegar Ruby Theory – Various, including: MarinaC, Lady Gwynhyfvar, FrozenFire3, and J. Stargaryen

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The significance of the PoV is that it's Jon's, who is rightfully the King or will be? It's Joffrey who sits it illegitimately though. :leaving:



I found this really interesting, and I think in terms of sub-textual hints left by Martin it's up there with R+L=J. You can't overlook the significance of rubies, or other jewels... tying them all up seems like a huge step forward in our understanding of the books.


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Good work on emeralds JS. They did seem repeated more than eg. tigers eye, so i contemplated a pattern, but never thought of usurpers or anything like that.



The Trident thing is really interesting as well, although i did have one thought. You link the possible blue dynasty to Jon/Stark, but it crossed my mind that the Others have a sapphire connection. It seems rubies are linked to fire, so that gives way for a sapphire/ice parallel - and the only eyes described as sapphires seem to either be a wight or Symeon (who might be part-Other).



Anyway, well done on this.


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The significance of the PoV is that it's Jon's, who is rightfully the King or will be? It's Joffrey who sits it illegitimately though. :leaving:

I found this really interesting, and I think in terms of sub-textual hints left by Martin it's up there with R+L=J. You can't overlook the significance of rubies, or other jewels... tying them all up seems like a huge step forward in our understanding of the books.

Bingo. :)

While it's Joff who is the king after Robert, Cersei means to rule through him. Joff was not yet of age.

Good work on emeralds JS. They did seem repeated more than eg. tigers eye, so i contemplated a pattern, but never thought of usurpers or anything like that.

The Trident thing is really interesting as well, although i did have one thought. You link the possible blue dynasty to Jon/Stark, but it crossed my mind that the Others have a sapphire connection. It seems rubies are linked to fire, so that gives way for a sapphire/ice parallel - and the only eyes described as sapphires seem to either be a wight or Symeon (who might be part-Other).

Anyway, well done on this.

Thanks.

The Others - blue connection definitely exists as well and I could definitely see a scenario in which they end up winning. That said, I still think it's more likely that it's the Starks. Or maybe the two aren't mutually exclusive. ;) Joking aside, I think rubies are linked more to the Targaryens than to fire specifically.

So: Targaryen dynasty, Baratheon dynasty, Stark dynasty.

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If black and green have deeper meanings, what does that say about Tyrion?

As best I can tell, it means intra-dynastic conflict which certainly fits well with what we know of Tyrion and his beloved sister. :)

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If black and green have deeper meanings, what does that say about Tyrion?

Ha yes, green and black - the two sides of the dragon dance. I wonder if he'll change sides. I wondered if Illyrios rings are a clue to fAegon being green - the ring sequence goes green black green black green (an extra green).

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Ha yes, green and black - the two sides of the dragon dance. I wonder if he'll change sides. I wondered if Illyrios rings are a clue to fAegon being green - the ring sequence goes green black green black green (an extra green).

If green is for usurpers, wouldn't Aegon be green anyway? Or do you mean that he will be succesfull (I read that as green -> Blackfyre)

When we look at the past examples of black vs. green it's the greens who have the lesser claim in each case; i.e., the DotD and the BotB. So it ought to be that (f)Aegon is a green by this logic, though it's not clear how it is meant to play out. Maybe Dany will think he's the real Aegon and not give a fuck. In which case she would be pressing her supposedly lesser (green) claim.

There's probably still some research to be done wrt to Stannis being a "black" against the Baratheon-Lannisters.

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This boils down to who is the "black", if seen from the "Baratheons" he has the lesser claim anyway.



Edit: Speaking of Blackfyres, wouldn't it be a weird literary decision to call it that if green is for usurpers/lesser claimants?


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This boils down to who is the "black", if seen from the "Baratheons" he has the lesser claim anyway.

Edit: Speaking of Blackfyres, wouldn't it be a weird literary decision to call it that if green is for usurpers/lesser claimants?

We'd be talking about from the Targaryen perspective for sure, wrt to (f)Aegon vs. Dany. Same for Jon vs. Dany, if that were to happen. Jon might have the leg up on the black side there since he's a brother of the NW. ;)

It's a bit confusing. I don't know, maybe if someone can find a clear cut connection between green and the Targaryen faction during the Blackfyre rebellions we'd be onto something.

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Why the Targaryen faction? I feel like Blackfyre has a worse claim and they are clearly usurpers, they should be green.



Also will I win the argument because my username contains black? :P


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Why the Targaryen faction? I feel like Blackfyre has a worse claim and they are clearly usurpers, they should be green.

Right. But since they're the Blackfyre's. I thought that's what you were asking. I'm not sure if you are aware but there are rumors that Daeron II was the bastard son of Aemon the Dragonknight and Queen Naerys. This speculation, usually dismissed as propaganda, was partially used to justify the Blackfyre rebellions since, though both would be bastards, Daemon Blackfyre was at least legitimized.

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I was reading some of the recent comments in the sapphire thread that Yolkboy and I did together a while back. One of them mentioned emeralds, so I decided to have a look.

Also, thanks to Ygrain and Lady Gwyn for the help!

Wow, that is some impressive research you've put together. You have give me much to think about. Thank you for what was clearly a lot of work, J. Stargaryen! And thanks to Ygrain and Lady Gwyn as well!

This will add some richness to my next re-read.

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Very nice JS! Very well laid out so that the pattern can be discerned. I think in terms of the Daenerys emeralds, it might be safe to say that they are outliers, in the same way the Lannister rubies are, as yolkboy discussed here. Meaning once you set those aside the pattern really does cystalize around the one theme you've noted.


Just a couple of other thoughts occurred to me as I was reading...


The links were forged of every metal known to man: black iron and red gold, bright copper and dull lead, steel and tin and pale silver, brass and bronze and platinum. Garnets and amethysts and black pearls adorned the metalwork, and here and there an emerald or ruby. - Eddard IV


Pycelle has served two dynasties: the Targaryens and the Baratheons. In truth, he's a Lannister creature and this could very well foreshadow that fact. Or, it could be an indication that emeralds represent not just usurpers, but Baratheon dynasty, at least in name.



Bearing in mind the Lannister association of rubies that yolkboy discussed, and the Lannister association of emeralds you've discussed here you actually get multi level symbolism-- the Targaryen and Baratheon, giving way to the wealth and power of the Lannisters.


 


"I had hoped that by now you would have grown tired of that wretched beard. All that hair makes you look like Robert." His sister had put aside her mourning for a jade-green gown with sleeves of silver Myrish lace. An emerald the size of a pigeon’s egg hung on a golden chain about her neck. - Jaime III


The emerald from Eddard XIV returns, only this time it's not on Cersei's finger and I think that might be significant. In the analysis from the AGoT chapter I noted that the "suggestion" of marriage was present due to the emerald being on Cersei's finger. Though not literally true, she was figuratively wedded to Jaime in her heart and, more importantly, through her children. Now, however, she and Jaime have grown distant. During this scene she orders him to siege Riverrun and then slaps him when he mentions Ser Osmund leering at her teats. The figurative marriage seems to be in trouble, if not outright over.



Another thing that has always struck me about this is Cersei's comparison of Jaime to Robert, who she has stopped even appearing to mourn for. As you note, their relationship is in trouble. Since we know how she ultimately dealt with Robert, I have often wondered what this scene says about her intentions towards Jaime as she sends him off to subdue the Riverlands. It appears to me that she is beginning to find him tiresome (as she found Robert, though exponentially more) and I feel some ominous foreshadowing is present here. The emerald being around her neck makes it so much the worse since, as you noted, the emerald around Renly's neck make have been connected to his manner of death. :uhoh:


 


Finally, I love the connections to the Trident. Coming back to the Blue Fork, where we have so much Stark symbolism seems a natural next step im the progression. Also potentially interesting is that the area around the Blue Fork is currently the stomping grounds of the BwB (whom I suspect are soon to be allies of the disenfranchised river lords) and would thus seem to be a natural area for supporters of House Stark in the south to confront the Lannisters once and for all.

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awesome thread, its mindbogglingly crazy thinking about how GRRM actually came up with all this! unless of course you have looked too deeply into the story and are just spinning of crazy theories now... still a very interesting theory and definitely viable!


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Very nice JS! Very well laid out so that the pattern can be discerned. I think in terms of the Daenerys emeralds, it might be safe to say that they are outliers, in the same way the Lannister rubies are, as yolkboy discussed here. Meaning once you set those aside the pattern really does cystalize around the one theme you've noted.

Just a couple of other thoughts occurred to me as I was reading...

Bearing in mind the Lannister association of rubies that yolkboy discussed, and the Lannister association of emeralds you've discussed here you actually get multi level symbolism-- the Targaryen and Baratheon, giving way to the wealth and power of the Lannisters.

 

Another thing that has always struck me about this is Cersei's comparison of Jaime to Robert, who she has stopped even appearing to mourn for. As you note, their relationship is in trouble. Since we know how she ultimately dealt with Robert, I have often wondered what this scene says about her intentions towards Jaime as she sends him off to subdue the Riverlands. It appears to me that she is beginning to find him tiresome (as she found Robert, though exponentially more) and I feel some ominous foreshadowing is present here. The emerald being around her neck makes it so much the worse since, as you noted, the emerald around Renly's neck make have been connected to his manner of death. :uhoh:

 

Finally, I love the connections to the Trident. Coming back to the Blue Fork, where we have so much Stark symbolism seems a natural next step im the progression. Also potentially interesting is that the area around the Blue Fork is currently the stomping grounds of the BwB (whom I suspect are soon to be allies of the disenfranchised river lords) and would thus seem to be a natural area for supporters of House Stark in the south to confront the Lannisters once and for all.

Dany as an outlier here is definitely possible, though two of the examples do fit with the green & black theme. Drogon, who is black, might be the answer for the HotU scene. He is mentioned soon after the warrior in emerald armor.

As for Pycelle, I think your explanation is basically correct. The Seven Kingdoms have had two ruling dynasties; the Targaryens and the Baratheons. Neither are Lannister, yet they try to pass themselves off as royalty throughout the series. Tywin in rubies and Cersei in emeralds.

The connection between Jaime and Robert's beards is telling, imo. She directly compares Jaime to Robert right there, so yeah.

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