CLOAK of the NIGHT LION
In the story we have another “death god” called the Lion of Night. This ancient story happens again in the current story with a twist. This time the Lion of Night is a female, and the maiden-made-of-light is Sun-and-stars Khal Drogo. Their son, Rhaego, was supposed to be the Stallion that Mounts the World, instead of the God on Earth, but both ascended to the heavens.
This is another of many parallels that GRRM planned between Daenerys and Cersei, with Daenerys being more of the metaphorical “death god” aspect, and Cersei being more of the literal Lannister lion goddess of death and wildfire.
Lucifer was said to have given Lilith the ‘cloak of night’ as a gift after she had wandered the lands outside of Eden, scorched and tortured. In ASOIAF we see this (above) when Daenerys and her people enter Vaes Tolorro. Drogo gives Dany a lion pelt that she keeps with her the whole time, even though it smells musty. And we have ASOIAF tales of the Lion of Night.
A Clash of King’s – Daenerys I
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. Its fearsome head made a hood to cover her naked scalp, its pelt a cloak that flowed across her shoulders and down her back. The cream-colored dragon sunk sharp black claws into the lion’s mane and coiled its tail around her arm, while Ser Jorah took his accustomed place by her side.
“We follow the comet,” Dany told her khalasar. Once it was said, no word was raised against it. They had been Drogo’s people, but they were hers now. The Unburnt, they called her, and Mother of Dragons. Her word was their law.
It was Drogo who had given her the pelt she wore, the head and hide of a hrakkar, the white lion of the Dothraki sea. It was too big for her and had a musty smell, but it made her feel as if her sun-and-stars was still near her.
The Lion of Night is a god in Yi Ti. The Faceless Men believe that is just another representation of the Many-Faced God. There is a statue of it in the House of Black and White which is most commonly visited by rich men. Also, there is a statue of the Pale Child Bakkalon in the HoBW as well. The Faceless Men are a death cult. Essentially what Arya shows the reader are the many aspects that Daenerys is manifesting herself as. Each region has thier own death god, and Daenerys is the embodiment of all of them.
Eventually abandoned by both, Lilith met the wandering banished descendant of her ex-husband, the First Murderer (as named in the Bible) Caine. She took Caine in, tended to his injuries, fed and healed him, and taught him secret wisdom — the seeds of which blossomed into the vampiric disciplines (just like Daemon Julian mentioned above). And how does Caine repay Lilith? By abandoning her as well, to wander forever apart, mother of monsters and thief of infant breaths. Caine goes on to found Enoch and Lilith leaves the scene. We can see how an easy author remix gives us Mirri Mas Duur.
If we look at Cersei as another Lion of Night, we see that much of what we learn of this being comes from the Arya point of view chapters… and Arya has Queen Cersei on her death prayer list. I don’t think Arya will dwell too long on that list and that she won’t personally kill all those left. Arya is a chooser of the slain as a type of Valkyrie herself, a cup bearer of sorts, but Arya discussion will be kept for another time and place.
A Feast for Crows – Arya II
Worshipers came to the House of Black and White every day. Most came alone and sat alone; they lit candles at one altar or another, prayed beside the pool, and sometimes wept. A few drank from the black cup and went to sleep; more did not drink. There were no services, no songs, no paeans of praise to please the god. The temple was never full. From time to time, a worshiper would ask to see a priest, and the kindly man or the waif would take him down into the sanctum, but that did not happen often.
Thirty different gods stood along the walls, surrounded by their little lights. The Weeping Woman was the favorite of old women, Arya saw; rich men preferred the Lion of Night, poor men the Hooded Wayfarer. Soldiers lit candles to Bakkalon, the Pale Child, sailors to the Moon-Pale Maiden and the Merling King. The Stranger had his shrine as well, though hardly anyone ever came to him. Most of the time only a single candle stood flickering at his feet. The kindly man said it did not matter. “He has many faces, and many ears to hear.”
A Feast for Crows – Cat Of The Canals
“Him of Many Faces.”
“And many names,” the kindly man had said. “In Qohor he is the Black Goat, in Yi Ti the Lion of Night, in Westeros the Stranger. All men must bow to him in the end, no matter if they worship the Seven or the Lord of Light, the Moon Mother or the Drowned God or the Great Shepherd. All mankind belongs to him . . . else somewhere in the world would be a folk who lived forever. Do you know of any folk who live forever?”
“No,” she would answer. “All men must die.”
The World of Ice and Fire – The Bones and Beyond: Asshai-by-the-Shadow
The ships come nonetheless. For gold, for gems, and for other treasures, for certain things spoken of only in whispers, things that cannot be found anywhere upon the earth save in the black bazaars of Asshai.
The dark city by the Shadow is a city steeped in sorcery. Warlocks, wizards, alchemists, moonsingers, red priests, black alchemists, necromancers, aeromancers, pyromancers, bloodmages, torturers, inquisitors, poisoners, godswives, night-walkers, shapechangers, worshippers of the Black Goat and the Pale Child and the Lion of Night, all find welcome in Asshai-by-the-Shadow, where nothing is forbidden. Here they are free to practice their spells without restraint or censure, conduct their obscene rites, and fornicate with demons if that is their desire.
Most sinister of all the sorcerers of Asshai are the shadowbinders, whose lacquered masks hide their faces from the eyes of gods and men. They alone dare to go upriver past the walls of Asshai, into the heart of darkness.
And compare to make a further connection that the Him of Many Faces is just a collective name of all the death gods, we have this tale of the Night Lion that is near exactly to what GRRM has established as the foundation of the Pale Child Bakkalon:
The World of Ice and Fire – The Bones and Beyond: Yi Ti
When the daughter of the Opal Emperor succeeded him as the Amethyst Empress, her envious younger brother cast her down and slew her, proclaiming himself the Bloodstone Emperor and beginning a reign of terror. He practiced dark arts, torture, and necromancy, enslaved his people, took a tiger-woman for his bride, feasted on human flesh, and cast down the true gods to worship a black stone that had fallen from the sky. (Many scholars count the Bloodstone Emperor as the first High Priest of the sinister Church of Starry Wisdom, which persists to this day in many port cities throughout the known world).
In the annals of the Further East, it was the Blood Betrayal, as his usurpation is named, that ushered in the age of darkness called the Long Night. Despairing of the evil that had been unleashed on earth, the Maiden-Made-of-Light turned her back upon the world, and the Lion of Night came forth in all his wroth to punish the wickedness of men.
How long the darkness endured no man can say, but all agree that it was only when a great warrior—known variously as Hyrkoon the Hero, Azor Ahai, Yin Tar, Neferion, and Eldric Shadowchaser—arose to give courage to the race of men and lead the virtuous into battle with his blazing sword Lightbringer that the darkness was put to rout, and light and love returned once more to the world.
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!’.
“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!”
Feature image artist: Daenerys Targaryen by nastjastark
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…