This is one of the many opposing-parallels between Daenerys and Bran. Martin has clearly taken his first ideas from the story And Seven Times… and has expanded it for the purpose of A Song of Ice and Fire. Just as Daenerys is the bride of fire (detailed below), Bran is also wedded to the trees. These two are going to meet out on that ‘darkling plain’, as GRRM describes it in his story A Song for Lya. (Westeros.org discussion here) However, in this post we are going to focus mainly on the story And Seven Times Never Kill Man.
However, I point out they are opposing-parallels because while the route and experiences are incredibly similar between Daenerys and Bran, the details and outcomes are quite opposite. One drinks from the cup of ice (weirwood paste), while the other drinks from the cup of fire (shade of the evening). The House of the Undying is like the underworld, or Hell, opposite of where Bran currently resides. The Shade trees are essentially the opposite of weirwoods in location, color, and iconography- it is inverted compared to the where Bran is in the story. An inverted tree is supposed to be a symbol of rejecting the tree of life in many cultures. A zaqqum tree is said to spring out of the bottom of hellfire. Pyat essentially acts as a “devil” and tries to trick Dany in to misdirecting her. Stay to the right, but oh, come here straight ahead. Nothing is real, but everything can hurt and kill. This is a place of shadows. However, as readers are told in the series, the Targaryens think themselves above all gods and men, and Drogon chews the weirwood door and burns the Undying Ones inside.
Drogon is Daenerys’ black demon reaver sword. Dragons do not have sword hilts, which makes Drogon the sword without a hilt that Jon is warned against by the sisters Dalla and Val.
A Storm of Swords – Jon X
Remember, trees and fire do not get along… books and fire for that matter, and the trees are the books of true history in this series.
A Storm of Swords – Arya VIII
“She will leave on the morrow, with us,” Lord Beric assured the little woman. “We’re taking her to Riverrun, to her mother.”
“Nay,” said the dwarf. “You’re not. The black fish holds the rivers now. If it’s the mother you want, seek her at the Twins. For there’s to be a wedding.” She cackled again. “Look in your fires, pink priest, and you will see. Not now, though, not here, you’ll see nothing here. This place belongs to the old gods still . . . they linger here as I do, shrunken and feeble but not yet dead. Nor do they love the flames. For the oak recalls the acorn, the acorn dreams the oak, the stump lives in them both. And they remember when the First Men came with fire in their fists.” She drank the last of the wine in four long swallows, flung the skin aside, and pointed her stick at Lord Beric. “I’ll have my payment now. I’ll have the song you promised me.”
Bakkalon the Pale Child as described by GRRM in And Seven Times Never Kill Man compared to Daenerys with her own fiery reaver sword.
Lyon and DaHan both nodded, among others. “Speak wisdom to us,” Fieldbishop Dhallis said then.
Proctor Wyatt agreed. One of the lesser-ranking squadmothers brought him the Book, and he opened it to the Chapter of Teachings.
“In those days much evil had come upon the seed of Earth,” the Proctor read, “for the children of Bakkalon had abandoned Him to bow to softer gods. So their skies grew dark and upon them from above came the Sons of Hranga with red eyes and demon teeth, and upon them from below came the vast Horde of Fyndii like a cloud of locusts that blotted out the stars. And the worlds flamed, and the children cried out, ‘Save us! Save us!’
“And the pale child came and stood before them, with His great sword in His hand, and in a voice like thunder He rebuked them. ‘You have been weak children,’ He told them, ‘for you have disobeyed. Where are your swords? Did I not set swords in your hands?’
“And the children cried out, ‘We have beaten them into plowshares, oh Bakkalon!’
“And He was sore angry. ‘With plowshares, then, shall you face the Sons of Hranga! With plowshares shall you slay the Horde of Fyndii!’ And He left them, and heard no more their weeping, for the Heart of Bakkalon is a Heart of Fire.
“But then one among the seed of Earth dried his tears, for the skies did burn so bright that they ran scalding on his cheeks. And the bloodlust rose in him and he beat his plowshare back into a sword, and charged the Sons of Hranga, slaying as he went. Then others saw, and followed, and a great battle-cry rang across the worlds.
“And the pale child heard, and came again, for the sound of battle is more pleasing to his ears than the sound of wails. And when He saw, He smiled. ‘Now you are my children again,’ He said to the seed of Earth. ‘For you had turned against me to worship a god who calls himself a lamb, but did you not know that lambs go only to the slaughter? Yet now your eyes have cleared, and again you are the Wolves of God!’ [sidenote: this is the shadow of a wolf in the tent with Mirri who preganant Daenerys is brought in to “meet”].
“And Bakkalon gave them all swords again, all His children and all the seed of Earth, and He lifted his great black blade, the Demon-Reaver that slays the soulless, and swung it. And the Sons of Hranga fell before His might, and the great Horde that was the Fyndii burned beneath His gaze. And the children of Bakkalon swept across the worlds.”
The Proctor lifted his eyes. “Go, my brothers-in-arms, and think on the Teachings of Bakkalon as you sleep. May the pale child grant you visions!”
From the wide base up to the tippy-top, all fire leads to Daenerys. The pyramids with flames (dragons) on top, and the Citadel beacon with flames on top. The Pale Child Bakkalon with her flaming black sword/reaver. This is also reflected in Baelor the Blessed, who is playing his part as Proctor Wyatt, pale child worshiper, even down to the Baelor statue in the Sept. http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Baelor_the_Blessed
A Storm of Swords – Daenerys VI
She had them nailed to wooden posts around the plaza, each man pointing at the next. The anger was fierce and hot inside her when she gave the command; it made her feel like an avenging dragon. But later, when she passed the men dying on the posts, when she heard their moans and smelled their bowels and blood . . .
Dany put the glass aside, frowning. It was just. It was. I did it for the children.
A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys V
“We were all unblooded once, Your Grace. The Unsullied will help stiffen them. If I had five hundred knights …”
“Or five. And if I give you the Unsullied, I will have no one but the Brazen Beasts to hold Meereen.” When Ser Barristan did not dispute her, Dany closed her eyes. Gods, she prayed, you took Khal Drogo, who was my sun-and-stars. You took our valiant son before he drew a breath. You have had your blood of me. Help me now, I pray you. Give me the wisdom to see the path ahead and the strength to do what I must to keep my children safe.
A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys VIII
He will give us these castrati, Dany thought, and then he will march home and make some more. The world is full of boys.
The tumblers who came next failed to move her either, even when they formed a human pyramid nine levels high, with a naked little girl on top. Is that meant to represent my pyramid? the queen wondered. Is the girl on top meant to be me?
[Note: Dany is going to be a red god folk saint, because of fire worship.]
And this SteelAngel/R’Hollor/Bakkalon-fire god parallel carries over with Daeron I and his statue with his sword pointed toward Dorne. http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Daeron_I_Targaryen
Even Illyrio Mopatis’s manse has a Bakkalon style figurehead at his manse. There is a marble pool with a statue of a naked boy in its center. The statue is lithe and handsome, made of painted marble so that the hair is blond and shoulder-length. It is poised to duel with a bravo’s blade in hand. The pool is surrounded by six cherry trees. Fruit/fruit trees in ASOIAF tends to represent children or family. Young Aegon (Young Griff) would be Aegon the sixth of his name.
A Feast for Crows – Brienne VI
…We are blessed here. Where the river meets the bay, the currents and the tides wrestle one against the other, and many strange and wondrous things are pushed toward us, to wash up on our shores. Driftwood is the least of it. We have found silver cups and iron pots, sacks of wool and bolts of silk, rusted helms and shining swords . . . aye, and rubies.”
That interested Ser Hyle. “Rhaegar’s rubies?”
“It may be. Who can say? The battle was long leagues from here, but the river is tireless and patient. Six have been found. We are all waiting for the seventh.”
A Dance with Dragons – Tyrion II
Illyrio brushed away the objection as if it were a fly. “Black or red, a dragon is still a dragon. When Maelys the Monstrous died upon the Stepstones, it was the end of the male line of House Blackfyre.” The cheesemonger smiled through his forked beard. “And Daenerys will give the exiles what Bittersteel and the Blackfyres never could. She will take them home.”
With fire and sword. It was the kind of homecoming that Tyrion wished for as well. “Ten thousand swords makes for a princely gift, I grant you. Her Grace should be most pleased.”
The magister gave a modest bob of his head, chins jiggling. “I would never presume to say what might please Her Grace.”
A Blackfyre resurgence in the current story is also foreshadowed from the past, as the author is wont to do on many occasion. Here we see a gold coin (Targaryens) but it doesn’t look like a king with its clean shaven face, which could imply a female instead for our current story, and it is young like our Bakkalon, and it connected to Blackfyre (Drogon = blackfire), and it is connection to a rebellion. While we will not have a rebellion in the current story, we will have another Dance of Dragons, and it is foreshadowed to happen between Daenerys and Jon on the Trident with Jon in his ‘black ice” armor that is Bran.
This is the biggest, most current, hint that Daenerys will be a new Blackfyre in the GRRM scheduled Dance of Dragons. History repeats, but with a twist, and dragons change gender. Daenerys is young, clean faced, and beautiful. Dany will come with her black-fire Drogon, and she will slay the mummer’s dragon Aegon (possibly after a romance), she will take the sword Blackfyre from him as her own. The chest that Illyrio sends with Tyrion most likely has Blackfyre the sword in it. Aegon will bring it back to Westeros and Dany will retrieve it then after they have their affair of sorts and she slays Aegon as the “mummer’s dragon”.
A Dance with Dragons – Tyrion III
“Your ploy was a success,” said Haldon. “I laughed myself.”
“There is a gift for the boy in one of the chests. Some candied ginger. He was always fond of it.” Illyrio sounded oddly sad. “I thought I might continue on to Ghoyan Drohe with you. A farewell feast before you start downriver …”
Tyrion found the plain fare a pleasant change from all the rich food he had eaten with Illyrio. “Those chests we brought you,” he said as they were chewing. “Gold for the Golden Company, I thought at first, until I saw Ser Rolly hoist a chest onto one shoulder. If it were full of coin, he could never have lifted it so easily.”
“It’s just armor,” said Duck, with a shrug.
A Dance with Dragons – Tyrion IV
“Swords?” Young Griff grinned. “Swords will be sweet.”
Tyrion helped him dress for the bout, in heavy breeches, padded doublet, and a dinted suit of old steel plate. Ser Rolly shrugged into his mail and boiled leather. Both set helms upon their heads and chose blunted longswords from the bundle in the weapons chest. They set to on the afterdeck, having at each other lustily whilst the rest of the morning company looked on.
So now we are set to witness how the swords are about to come back out to dance. However, in many ways it has been in the works from the beginning. And keep in mind that the Pale Child carries a black sword. Black sword = Drogo.
It starts with the cart/ploughshare, and advances from there. The House Darry sigil shows a type of cart king- a man with a ploughshare working his field. King of his castle. This implies that Willem Darry intended to raise Viserys and Daenerys as a peaceful, reasonable people. However it did not work because as noted in the story, Viserys was showing his father’s cruelty at a young age, and later Dany sits complicit as her husband kills her brother and rightful king and “dragons plant no trees.”
And when Daenerys is backed into a stressful corner, she rejects the talk/song of peace from Missandaei and instead wants to talk about battle and her brother, Rhaegar, winning fights. As Arstan Whitebeard (Barristan Selmy) tells Daenerys how Rhaegar did not always win at fights, Daenerys gets upset and keeps prodding for a “win”, meanwhile overlooking the truer type of person Rhaegar was:
A Storm of Swords – Daenerys IV
When the old man came, she was curled up inside her hrakkar pelt, whose musty smell still reminded her of Drogo. “I cannot sleep when men are dying for me, Whitebeard,” she said. “Tell me more of my brother Rhaegar, if you would. I liked the tale you told me on the ship, of how he decided that he must be a warrior.”
Also, I think what we will see in the The Winds of Winter before this Dance of Dragons happens, is that the Riverlands will rise to support Aegon the VI. So far in the story we get many hints that the RIverlands is full of fire supports and fire magic. Therefore, in that we readers are allowed a set up for a return of the bigger dragon that will come and burn the crops as punishment to those who bowed to the “wrong” dragon, and/or those who refuse to support Daenerys.
A Feast for Crows – Jaime IV
The fields outside the walls of Darry were being tilled once more. The burned crops had been plowed under, and Ser Addam’s scouts reported seeing women in the furrows pulling weeds, whilst a team of oxen broke new ground on the edge of a nearby wood. A dozen bearded men with axes stood guard over them as they worked.
A Game of Thrones – Daenerys V
Dany followed on her silver, escorted by Ser Jorah Mormont and her brother Viserys, mounted once more. After the day in the grass when she had left him to walk back to the khalasar, the Dothraki had laughingly called him Khal Rhae Mhar, the Sorefoot King. Khal Drogo had offered him a place in a cart the next day, and Viserys had accepted. In his stubborn ignorance, he had not even known he was being mocked; the carts were for eunuchs, cripples, women giving birth, the very young and the very old. That won him yet another name: Khal Rhaggat, the Cart King. Her brother had thought it was the khal’s way of apologizing for the wrong Dany had done him. She had begged Ser Jorah not to tell him the truth, lest he be shamed. The knight had replied that the king could well do with a bit of shame … yet he had done as she bid. It had taken much pleading, and all the pillow tricks Doreah had taught her, before Dany had been able to make Drogo relent and allow Viserys to rejoin them at the head of the column.
“Is place,” Khal Drogo answered, in the Common Tongue that Dany had taught him, “for Sorefoot King.” He clapped his hands together. “A cart! Bring cart for Khal Rhaggat!”
At the last, Viserys looked at her. “Sister, please … Dany, tell them … make them … sweet sister …”
When the gold was half-melted and starting to run, Drogo reached into the flames, snatched out the pot. “Crown!” he roared. “Here. A crown for Cart King!” And upended the pot over the head of the man who had been her brother.
The sound Viserys Targaryen made when that hideous iron helmet covered his face was like nothing human. His feet hammered a frantic beat against the dirt floor, slowed, stopped. Thick globs of molten gold dripped down onto his chest, setting the scarlet silk to smoldering … yet no drop of blood was spilled.
Daenerys is the last dragon, a title she inherited from Rhaegar, whom Rhaego was named after, and then the baby Rhaego’s soul was sacrificed into the dragon’s egg to wake Rhaegal. Whew! That is a lot of lasts. However, Just as Daenerys is taking the last dragon helm from Rhaegar, she is also turning her peaceful ploughsahres back into swords, as Rhaegar did through Willem Darry.
A Storm of Swords – Daenerys I
Daenerys reveals her tricksy side as Bakkalon throughout the story.
- “I am only a young girl and know little of the ways of war,” she told Lord Ghael, “but we have heard that Astapor is starving. Let King Cleon feed his people before he leads them out to battle.” She made a gesture of dismissal. Ghael withdrew.
Her hair had burned away in Drogo’s pyre, so her handmaids garbed her in the skin of the hrakkar Drogo had slain, the white lion of the Dothraki sea.
blood of Valyria still runs strong in Lys, where even the smallfolk oft boast pale skin, silver-gold hair, and the purple, lilac, and pale blue eyes of the dragonlords of old.
Bakkalon’s sword into ploughshares, turns back on human children, wants to war instead of peace. This idea is also reflected as the tiger woman/ Volantis plot develops.
The meaning and inspiration for Bakkalon comes from real life from both religion and socialism.
Isaiah 2:4. This passage has rather stunning comparisons to what we read about in ASOIAF, including the relationship between Daenerys and her Dothraki hoards and the mother of mountains.
The Mountain of the Lord
…3And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war. 5Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.… http://biblehub.com/isaiah/2-4.htm
Swords to ploughshares (or Swords to plowshares) is a concept in which the innate human desire for conflict and competition is transmuted into peaceful, productive activities. The conversion of military weapons or technologies into peaceful civilian applications is both a metaphor for, and a consequence of, this. However, Daenerys as the Bakkalon figure that warriors in the story pray to shows that peace is not an option. If you stand still and try for peace you will be left behind. Choose war.
If you would like to read more about the sculpture artist Yevgeny Vuchetich
Remember readers, be sure to beat your ploughshares back into swords…
- “No. You are the blood of the dragon. The whispering was growing fainter, as if Ser Jorah were falling farther behind. Dragons plant no trees. Remember that. Remember who you are, what you were made to be. Remember your words.
“Fire and Blood,” Daenerys told the swaying grass.
This little pale child in Daenerys learns the ways of necromancy (whether instinctual or not?) and she sacrifices her own living family to give life to these cold stones that now radiate heat with each step taken. She draws forth her own Excalibur sword from stone. And then comes final union, much like in the story A Song for Lya.
We see Daenerys sacrifices her son, Rhaego, to the flames, not unlike Lilith is required to sacrifice her children. Daenerys is most likely acting on instinct here, but these are some of the first steps that level her up to “fire goddess” status to be worshiped as a folk god by her story’s end. This again follows the Damon Julian “bloodmaster” theme from the story Fevre Dream.
In addition to Daenerys giving her child to sacrifice, we also see Euron Greyjoy doing the same in the Euron sample chapter of The Winds of Winter. This is yet another of the many clues that at some point Euron and Daenerys are going to come together (and probably meet Jon on the Trident, with Davos by Jon’s side- per the clues from Fevre Dream).
Daenerys giving her child to the flames happens about five chapters before Mirri Maz Duur’s supposed blood ritual, and it starts with the traditional Targaryen “cradling” of the egg along with a baby Targaryen.
A Game of Thrones – Daenerys IV
Irrifetched the egg with the deep green shell, bronze flecks shining amid its scales as she turned it in her small hands. Dany curled up on her side, pulling the sandsilk cloak across her and cradling the egg in the hollow between her swollen belly and small, tender breasts. She liked to hold them. They were so beautiful, and sometimes just being close to them made her feel stronger, braver, as if somehow she were drawing strength from the stone dragons locked inside.
She was lying there, holding the egg, when she felt the child move within her … as if he were reaching out, brother to brother, blood to blood. “You are the dragon,” Dany whispered to him, “the true dragon. I know it. I know it.” And she smiled, and went to sleep dreaming of home.
We read about this “reaching flames” idea with another fire mage, Melisandre. The parallels here actually emphasize how disheartening it is that Daenerys fed her son to the hungry flames.
A Dance with Dragons – Jon X
Though only a few men of the Night’s Watch had gathered about the ditchfire, more looked down from rooftops and windows and the steps of the great switchback stair. Jon took careful note of who was there and who was not. Some men had the duty; many just off watch were fast asleep. But others had chosen to absent themselves to show their disapproval. Othell Yarwyck and Bowen Marsh were amongst the missing. Septon Chayle had emerged briefly from the sept, fingering the seven-sided crystal on the thong about his neck, only to retreat inside again once the prayers began.
Melisandre raised her hands, and the ditchfire leapt upward toward her fingers, like a great red dog springing for a treat. A swirl of sparks rose to meet the snowflakes coming down. “Oh, Lord of Light, we thank you,” she sang to the hungry flames. “We thank you for brave Stannis, by your grace our king. Guide him and defend him, R’hllor. Protect him from the treacheries of evil men and grant him strength to smite the servants of the dark.”
And later we see Daenerys’ new child, Drogon, a god (of fire) as the Valyrians named their dragons for, eating a child. Children and the red god do not co-exist very well. I guess that is why there are no children that dwell in Asshai. This Assjai concept was developed by George eons ago when he wrote one of his first stories Only Kids are Afraid of the Dark. In that story we see some very Rhllorian demon worshipers about to sacrifice a child to a red fiery god.
A Storm of Swords – Daenerys I
Dragons always preferred to attack from above, Dany had learned. Should either get between the other and the sun, he would fold his wings and dive screaming, and they would tumble from the sky locked together in a tangled scaly ball, jaws snapping and tails lashing. The first time they had done it, she feared that they meant to kill each other, but it was only sport. No sooner would they splash into the sea than they would break apart and rise again, shrieking and hissing, the salt water steaming off them as their wings clawed at the air. Drogon was aloft as well, though not in sight; he would be miles ahead, or miles behind, hunting.
He was always hungry, her Drogon. Hungry and growing fast. Another year, or perhaps two, and he may be large enough to ride. Then I shall have no need of ships to cross the great salt sea.
A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys I
He lifted the sack, and spilled its contents on the marble.
Bones they were, broken bones and blackened. The longer ones had been cracked open for their marrow.
“It were the black one,” the man said, in a Ghiscari growl, “the winged shadow. He come down from the sky and … and …”
“Reznak,” Ser Barristan said quietly, “hold your tongue and open your eyes. Those are no sheep bones.”
No, Dany thought, those are the bones of a child.
However, now that Daenerys started her process of transforming herself into the bride of fire by her child sacrifice, it continues as she “wakes the dragon” in later chapters. The burning in her womb is also reflected in the other (symbolic) fiery dragon queen, Selyse.
A Storm of Swords – Davos V
“Give me the boy for R’hllor,” the red woman said, “and the ancient prophecy shall be fulfilled. Your dragon shall awaken and spread his stony wings. The kingdom shall be yours.”
Ser Axell went to one knee. “On bended knee I beg you, sire. Wake the stone dragon and let the traitors tremble. Like Aegon you begin as Lord of Dragonstone. Like Aegon you shall conquer. Let the false and the fickle feel your flames.“
“Your own wife begs as well, lord husband.” Queen Selyse went down on both knees before the king, hands clasped as if in prayer. “Robert and Delena defiled our bed and laid a curse upon our union. This boy is the foul fruit of their fornications. Lift his shadow from my womb and I will bear you many trueborn sons, I know it.” She threw her arms around his legs. “He is only one boy, born of your brother’s lust and my cousin’s shame.”
A Clash of Kings – Davos II
“Shadow?” Davos felt his flesh prickling. “A shadow is a thing of darkness.”
“You are more ignorant than a child, ser knight. There are no shadows in the dark. Shadows are the servants of light, the children of fire. The brightest flame casts the darkest shadows.”
Daenerys has transformed her son Rhaego from living boy, to her shadow child born of fire, and that shadow is now Drogon, who is referred to as a “winged shadow“.
The Princess and the Queen
…Meanwhile, Seasmoke rolled and banked and looped. One instant he would be below his foe, and suddenly he would twist in the sky and come around behind her. Higher and higher the two dragons flew, as hundreds watched from the roofs of Tumbleton. One such said afterward that the flight of Tessarion and Seasmoke seemed more mating dance than battle. Perhaps it was.
The next parts of the of the character review are:
- Daenerys the Silver Coin Queen
- The She of Daenerys
- Bakkalon the Pale Child and Flames
- Daemon Reaver… and Roads
- Lilith: Lullaby, Beauty, Gardens
- Dany is the Night Lion
- Lilith the Leviathan and Asteroid
- Lilith tail ends…