The most common theory on the Mummer’s Dragon is Aegon, and how he may be a Blackfyre. But here is another theory, true or not.
Maester Marwyn departs to catch the Cinnamon Wind, and presumably to take it to Essos. Marwyn is possibly in possession of Maester Aemon’s maester chain. Marwyn is also known to be talented in the magical arts. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Marwyn were to use a glamour in combination with Aemon’s chain to impersonate Maester Aemon to Daenerys?
What would his motivations be? It could be as simple as her being more willing to trust Aemon. Or it could be much more complex.
What do you think?
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?
If you discovered A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE via the HBO series Game of Thrones, there is a good chance that you aren’t familiar with the other series that takes place in Westeros, The Tales of Dunk and Egg. The simplest way to describe the series is as a prequel in the sense that they take place prior to Robert’s rebellion against the Targaryen King Aerys. Compared to A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast For Crows, and A Dance With Dragons, the three (so far) works in the Dunk and Egg series are shorter novellas. They were all published as part of anthologies by multiple authors, and as of yet can not be purchased separately or as an entire series.
Let’s take a look at the order of which all of the books were published to establish the theory that they are “required reading” in order to get the most out of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.
So we can see that the publishing dates of the Dunk and Egg series are interwoven with the main series of novels. That’s a starting point, but that’s hardly an indication that George R.R. Martin intends for readers to read both series as they are published, so lets look into the novellas and see what content they contain and how it could benefit a reader.
For this exercise I will work backwards, and give a warning to all readers. Spoilers ahead. If you have not finished all novels and all three novellas, read at your own risk.
The strongest case that I have for this theory is Bloodraven. I know a good amount of people who have read A Dance with Dragons, but a many of them ask me who this Bloodraven person is that I’m talking about. The title never occurs in A Dance with Dragons, and if your only knowledge is based on what you have read in the main novels, you would have a challenge to identify him. There is a passage in A Feast For Crows when Sam, Dareon, and Maester Aemon are on their ship headed to Braavos that the name comes up. Maester Aemon is describing his original trip to the wall with his honor guard that contained a future Lord Commander, Brynden Rivers.
So how is the average reader expected to piece together the connection between a brief reference from a previous book and Bran’s friend the three-eyed-crow? With a little help I suggest. In The Mystery Knight, Bloodraven is the hand of the king and feared throughout all of Westeros for having spies and informers everywhere.
How many eyes does Bloodraven have? A thousand eyes, and one.
This line is repeated over and over throughout both The Sword Sword and The Mystery Knight.
There are other references as well, to towns and tourneys that give back story or foreshadowing. For those who feel ill will towards Lord Walder Frey, here are three descriptions of him as a baby via The Mystery Knight:
The bride’s father followed close behind her, hand in hand with his young son. Lord Frey of the Crossing was a lean man elegant in blue and grey, his heir a chinless boy of four whose nose was dripping snot.
They met beneath the viewing stand where Lord and Lady Butterwell sat on their cushions in the shade of the castle walls. Lord Frey was beside them, dandling his snot-nosed son on one knee.
Egg stood before him, freshly bathed and garbed in princely raiment, as would befit a nephew of the king. Nearby, Lord Frey was seated in a camp chair with a cup of wine to hand and his hideous little heir squirming in his lap.
Hideous and snot-nosed indeed.
Lastly, and this dives into the realm of speculation, there are some who believe young Aegon Targaryen, who we meet in A Dance With Dragons, is not who he says he is. Or even who he thinks he is. GRRM spends almost the entire second novella, The Sworn Sword discussing the Blackfyre Rebellion and the battle of the Red Grass Field. Why spend so much time on one specific element of Westeros’ history if not for it to come back into current events. Many believe that Aegon is actually a Blackfyre. Similarly to Bloodraven, the average reader would be left scratching their head trying to figure out who and how and what makes this all possible.
I’m sure there are a lot more points that I have omitted from this theory (add your own in the comments!), but there are definitely at least the two that I stated above that make a good case that you should really be reading Dunk and Egg as well as the main novels. This is timely as the next installment of the Dunk and Egg series The She-Wolves of Winterfell is planned for later this year. We hope.