We’ve come across a series of great essay’s by a user named Yeade. The first one is called “In Defense of Hardhome.” Hardhome is a bit of a mystery to many readers, and the final outcome there could be highly impactful on the ending of the series.
Their second essay focused on Jon Snow, “A case against Oathbreaking.” In this 6 part series, Yeade goes into detail on Jon’s behavior as a part of the Night’s Watch.
Lastly, and my favorite, “The North Remembers.” Dig in, read them all, and enjoy.
So we’ve been having a lot of discussion on Twitter since last night’s episode aired, and figured we would put all of it in once place here.
First off, No Dany in the entire episode. This isn’t surprising and hasn’t been the first time. I’d actually love to see some statistics on how many episodes she has been excluded from. It’s not surprising with how little her story advances. With only 4 episodes left, She’ll probably be in 3 of them. We’ll see.
The episode really hammers home the idea that we have talked about already that this show is no longer a true representation of the books, but rather a separate work of art. No characters or story lines are sacred. If a character is left out, it doesn’t mean that their role will be left out. Case in point, Gendry being taken for what seems to be the role of Edric Storm. King’s blood comes in many flavors it seems.
Arya and Melisandre. Do not read into this as foreshadowing of books to come. Think of all the things the show has changed in the past, and apply that to the future. Also, things are not always literal. Melisandre thinks she sees Arya in the fire in ADWD. She was wrong. Let’s just wait and see.
The on screen chemistry of Jon and Ygritte is best of breed. IF, and we say If, Ygritte is killed, it may be a more gut wrenching moment than the Red Wedding at this point. But what if she just escapes. She eludes to it with Jon before they climb. Loyalty to each other. It could be interesting. Not likely, but interesting.
The Queen of Thorns and Tywin have a spirited discussion. In fact the only thing disappointing about it, is that Tywin gets the best of her. Just when it seems like Olenna is in the position of power, Tywin plays the kingsguard card and takes the victory. But hold on. I wouldn’t give up hope for Ser Loras in the kingsguard just yet. Margaery and Loras could prefer the situation to marrying Cersei, and how would Cersei’s walk of shame go down when she is married to Loras?
Jojen’s affliction seems like a reasonable means for viewers to understand why his health quickly deteriorates.
Did anyone else think there was a chance that Coldhands was going to show up at the fire with Sam and Gilly?
And poor Sansa.
Now lastly, we’ve mentioned on Twitter a couple of times now that we’d love to see simultaneous weddings. Given the expectation that the Red Wedding is going down in episode 9, it would take some stalling on the writers part, but it’s possible. The Frey’s at the table say they want a speedy wedding, but episodes 7 and 8 could focus on the activities at the wall and in Mereen and with Theon and with Arya, and with Stannis, and Jaime and Brienne. There are enough side stories to keep Robb’s story line and the King’s Landing story line from advancing much further.
Imagine an episode similar to that of Blackwater from season 2. The entire episode is a combination of the 2 weddings from start to finish. Start in King’s Landing, show the crowed gathering, transition the The Twins with the crowds and camps gathering there. Scenes cut back and forth, Tyrion installing his Lannister cloak, The GreatJon drinking at the feast, the singers, the food, the dancing, the beddings…
After all, Gendry’s blood has to be cast in the fire to start things in motion….or will he be burned alive as a gift to the Red God?
My response was “Bullshit.” While I was watching Cat Stark speak with Talisa in episode 2 of Game of Thrones, my expectation was that she would say Robb. And then make some comment about how if it weren’t for her, she wouldn’t have a husband. But Jon Snow? Come on guys, Cat shows no remorse and any sort of warmth for Jon anywhere in the novels.
Obviously the writers of the are going somewhere with this, but I just find it very hard to believe.
I thought it would be timely to talk about Dany’s time in the House of the Undying Ones for this week’s Friday Theory, since the season finale of Game of Thrones will entertain this very topic.
Despite all of her advisors being against the idea, Daenarys visits Pyat Pree, drinks shade of the evening, and enters the House of the Undying. After being specific instructions on how to navigate thru the house, her journey begins. It is not long after entering that Dany realizes something is up:
I am in the pretense of sorcery.
Dany has “visions”, or sees things in rooms, that have come true, but we aren’t to believe that 100% of what she sees has or will happen. That’s the thing about visions, they have a strange way of coming true without necessarily being what you think. The first scene of a naked woman with four men having their way with her is commonly believed to represent Westeros and the four kings fighting over her; Stannis, Robb, Renly, and Joffrey.
The next scene represents the Red Wedding. I won’t go into detail here in case anyone hasn’t read A Storm of Swords.
Dany then begins to see things that are more familiar to her.
She fled from him, but only as far as the next open door. I know this room, she thought. She remembered the great wooden beams and the carved animal faces that adorned them. And there outside the window, a lemon tree! The sight of it made her heart ache with longing. It is the house with the red door, the house in Braavos.
This is also where things get perilous for Dany. She is beckoned inside the door which specifically goes against the instructions that Pyat Pree gave her. The visions are coming fast and furious now, and we are transported to the throne room of King’s Landing where a conversation between a (mad) King and “a man below him.” This is foreshadowing of a conversation that Jaime has with Brienne. This is where we learn why Jaime killed Aerys despite what all other people may think, and when Jaime tells the story, we know it to be true because of this vision.
But now we get to the most important vision. Sometimes GRRM hides very important facts in the slightest of passing phrases. But this is a case where I think he is hiding something in plain site. Dany sees a man that she believes to be her brother Viserys, but then realizes he is taller and eyes darker. The man is speaking to a woman with a newborn baby.
“Aegon, What better name for a king?”
The man speaking is Dany’s older brother Rhaegar, and the woman his wife Elia. Rhaegar believes that his first born son Aegon will be king some day, a reasonable assumption at the time. The next piece of dialogue is the key.
“Will you make a song for him?” the woman asked.
“He has a song,” the man replied. “He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.” He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany’s, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. “There must be one more,” he said, though whether he was speaker to her of the woman in the bed she should not say. “The dragon has tree heads.”
So there we have it. A song of ice and fire is the very name of the series, and Rhaegar claims that it belongs to Aegon. Many believe that Aegon, who we meet in A Dance with Dragons is not the true Aegon. Despite a reasonable amount of evidence that Varys the spider and Magister Illyrio actually planted a Blackfyre child to pretend to be Aegon, I think this is one of those cases that GRRM is just being overly blunt to the point that readers are skeptic. Aegon as you may know has already landed in Westeros and is currently invading the Storm Lands.
So mayhaps Aegon will sit the iron throne at the end of the series of books, but what of this “one more” and the dragon needing three heads. First, let’s settle the math equation. If there needs to be three heads, and one head is Aegon(born in 282 AL), that leaves us two short, not one. Dany was born 2 years after Aegon in 284 AL. It’s possible, although not very likely, that Rhaegar was referring to his daughter and eldest child, Princess Rhaenys. She dies very young during the sack of King’s Landing and, despite Aegon’s “resurrection”, it doesn’t appear that she was as lucky.
Perhaps Dany is still one head of the dragon, and Rhaegar just means that there must be one more child of his, to join with Aegon(his son) and Dany (his sister) to be the three heads of the dragon. That is where Jon Snow comes in. The inspiration for Robert’s rebellion was Rhaegar “kidnapping and abducting” Lyanna Stark, but there is much evidence that it may have been a mutual “vacation” of sorts. The presence of three knights of the kings guard at the Tower of Joy where Ned “rescues” Lyanna is the largest piece of evidence. So despite there being multiple suggestions of Jon Stark’s mother, it is likely that he is actually the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna and the third head of the dragon.
However, there are many who believe that Jon is actually the prince who was promised. Melisandre’s visions seem to lend credence to this theory. Is it possible that Dany’s vision in the House of the Undying Ones was not actually Rheagar with Elia, but Rhaegar with Lyanna? Maybe they intended to name Jon as Aegon, but Ned changed his name to keep his secret. This isn’t likely although it is possible. Jon was born in 283 AL, so the “one more” could then have been Dany to be born a year later. But those who believe R+L=J also think that Lyanna died during child birth, so Rhaegar would have never been able to have such a conversation with her.
Which leads me back to what I said earlier about visions. You can never truly trust them. When asked in an interview about Ned’s dream/hallucination about the Tower of Joy, GRRM stated that this dream is not completely literal (Ned was dreaming, after all) but some basic facts can be gleaned from it.
So what do you think? Who was Rhaegar talking with? And most importantly, who are all three heads of the dragon?
In preparation for Season 2 of HBO’s Game of Thrones series, I have begun doing two things:
- Reading A Clash of Kings again
- Watching Season 1 of Game of Thrones again
Both of which are more exciting than I would have expected them to be. As I watched episode 1 last night, the scene which closely ties to the prologue of A Game Of Thrones, I was struck by fear. I was legitimately scared for those brothers in the Night’s Watch. I knew their fate, as I know all of the fates that have been decided in the books published up until now. That didn’t make the experience any less intense. I know the obvious statement is to say that it increased my anticipation for season 2 to begin on April 1. But what was unexpected was that it has increased my anticipation to watch the remainder of season 1 again!
The scenes in Winterfell should have been pedestrian, but seeing the actors faces again, it was like a family reunion. Sean Bean swinging ice, explaining things to Bran. The tension between Theon and Jon Snow. And of course Tyrion having his way with some ladies.
As for reading A Clash of Kings again, there is so much detail in the stories that George has written, that you can always pull more out of it that you did the first time, or even the second time. I am only a few chapters in, but already enjoying my place in Westeros again.