Tuesday, August 5, 2014

ASoIaF: Dany & the Undying and Bael the Bard (Spoilers)

I've been back and forth several times about how to do this, since making predictions based on foreshadowing given to the reader in a novel is a totally different task than making predictions based on prophecies and visions given to the characters within the novel. There's too much stuff in here to ignore, but it's hard to tell which of it is for US to take seriously and which is for DANY to take seriously. Anyway, here goes:

Dany in the House of the Undying

(Which I keep typing as undrying)

Naked woman with tiny rat-men: Just gross, GRRM

Feast of corpses. A dead man on a throne with the head of a wolf, wearing an iron crown. This is a Stark (wolf head), probably Robb (iron crown = King in the North), who is struck dead at the moment of his triumph (the feast). Sounds like a lot of other people get to die too.

Dead dragons, iron throne, old man with silver hair, “Let him be king over charred bones and cooked meat. Let him be the king of ashes.” Probably Mad King Areys? It's a Targaryen, but the dragons are dead, and he seems to have just lost the war, so probably him.

A Targaryen, taller than Viserys, dark blue eyes, who plays a lap harp; a woman with a newborn baby, naming him “Aegon” to be a king. “He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.” – BOO YA, Jon Snow, aka Aegon, son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, you have the ice of the wall AND the fire of dragons, cool song, bro.
(Continuing): “There must be one more. The dragon has three heads.” – Daenerys, Jon/Aegon, and …?
I think GRRM doesn't give us a physical description of the nursing woman here because it would make it too obvious she was a Stark rather than whoever Rhaegar was supposed to be married to.

Pyat Pree trying to lure her off-course, warlocks in splendor: Rather obvious to the reader, really, but Dany sees through lies

Child of three: Irregular parentage is a theme – mother, father, and someone who saved her? Mother, father, and dragons?
Three fires: Life, death, love – my initial thought was the funeral pyre that births the dragons, the fire that melts the gold that kills Viserys, and something to come. But then the House of the Undying burns down shortly after, so maybe THAT is the deathfire. And then the funeral pyre is life (dragons), death (Drogo), AND love … so I withdraw all current predictions about the three fires and award GRRM a “Sneaky prophecy, sir!”
Three mounts: bed, dread, love – probably men: Khal Drogo, Viserys, and someone else that I think we're supposed to think will be Ser Jorah but probably isn't. But possibly the mounts could be both men AND animals like horses and dragons.
Three treasons: blood, gold, love – blood is either Mirri or her brother, I'd think. I don't think we've seen gold or love yet. Strongly suspect Ser Jorah of being the one for love.

Dying man in the water with rubies: Rhaegar

Blue-eyed king who cast no shadow: Stannis and his creepy religion with no shadows
Cloth dragon: a false Targaryen? A failed one?
Mother of dragons, slayer of lies: Daenerys will somehow reveal a lot of these falsehoods. Stannis and the “Cloth Dragon” are both false in some way.

Silver horse to a darkling stream
Corpse in the prow of a ship – Dunno, but that doesn't sound like it's going to work out for you, dead dude (greyjoy? grey lips smiling? too obvious a pun?)
Blue rose in a wall of ice
“Bride of Death” – since these things come in three, are all three of these husbands of Daenerys who die? Khal Drogo (silver horse), maybe a Greyjoy (grey lips smiling) on a ship, and Jon Snow (blue rose = Lyanna) The blue rose is referenced several times in quick succession as being a flower that only grows in the North/Winterfell. It grows from a “chink in the wall of ice” so she's from the North, and maybe foreshadows the coming supernatural onslaught from the North? (a crack in the armor) One of my first suspicions/predictions was that Jon would marry Daenerys to unite the kingdom so that would sort-of please me except for all the endeadenating of Jon.

Mother of dragons, bride of fire: Lyanna? Or Danerys? Literal dragons or Targaryen dragons? Lyanna would be the mother of a Targaryen dragon and the bride of southern (Targaryen) fire, making Aegon/Jon the prince with the song of ice and fire. But perhaps it's Danerys, the mother of dragons (literal) and bride of fire (different metaphor).

Little girl/red door and following: Daenerys's free city childhood, time with the Dothraki, etc. But the white lion could have something to do with the Lannisters. Always be suspicious of animal symbols.

Ten thousand slaves calling “Mother!” – Daenerys frees some slaves, I guess. Good place to get an army.

Ygritte tells Jon Bael the Bard

Ygritte tells the story to make the point that the Starks are half-wildling.

Other notes from the story's resonances with the present:
  • One of the 8 billion Lords Bran – Bran will become (at least technically) Lord Stark because Robb will die
  • The crypt is a stronghold of true Starks; a truer stronghold than Winterfell itself – search that fucker when you're the boss of Winterfell
  • The blue winter rose stands for Starks, especially Stark women. In Daenerys's visions, it is Lyanna.
  • Bastards can be Lords in Winterfell, and leaders.
  • Irregular family relations only end in tragedy.
  • When Jon lets Ygritte go, he will probably later join the wildlings, as he seems to be implicitly accepting her point that Starks are half-wildling.
This is the first time Jon questions his parentage w/r/t his FATHER. WAY TO GET THE MEMO GENIUS.

There's been a lot in this book about the Wall dividing humans north and south of it, how often those humans intermingle and how the Wall is an artificial divider among men. The Starks are the key to the Wall, and I think another point here is that they in some fashion bestride the Wall, the realms of mundane and magic, wildling and civilization, etc. Winterfell is a very liminal place generally in GoT so far, a nation within a nation, wilder than the South but more civilized than the North, owing allegiance to men and things other than men (the Wall), worshiping different Gods, and so on.

My very theological self wants to say that the fact that Bael takes the kingsroad to Winterfell shows how the structures of civilization itself allow the incursion of wildness, but probably I'm getting overexcited here.

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