Waking the last dragon

“Aerion the Monstrous?” Jon knew that name. “The Prince Who Thought He Was a Dragon” was one of Old Nan’s more gruesome tales. His little brother Bran had loved it.

“The very one, though he named himself Aerion Brightflame. One night, in his cups, he drank a jar of wildfire, after telling his friends it would transform him into a dragon, but the gods were kind and it transformed him into a corpse. Not quite a year after, King Maekar died in battle against an outlaw lord.”

Jon was not entirely innocent of the history of the realm; his own maester had seen to that. “That was the year of the Great Council,” he said. “The lords passed over Prince Aerion’s infant son and Prince Daeron’s daughter and gave the crown to Aegon.”

–A Clash of Kings – Jon I

Three-headed helm of Rhaegar.

GRMM stories to read for this section are, but not limited to:

  1. Nightlfyers
  2. Sandkings
  3. Fevre Dream
  4. A Song for Lya – as Lya second-life’s herself inside the fire “mother” Greeshka.

With knowledge bestowed upon Daenerys by some force, possibly the cult of Starry Wisdom, in addition to the other death religions, as the fiery people of the story (Daenerys, Quaithe, Melisandre, etc) all have connections to Asshai, and in turn, the stars could be a source of fiery “satellite” information, as the moon possibly serves back over in the icy side of the story. The end of the “wake the dragon” section below shows a very clear link to this idea. The sensations Daenerys experiences are extremely similar to those that Melisandre shares in her only  A Dance with Dragons chapter.


Waking the last dragon will take Daenerys home to the the place with the red door. The thing is, that place with the red door is probably not a building/house, but is a second life inside a dragon.Second-lifing for a “mother” inside the belly of the dragon beast seems to have been with GRRM for a long time… Nightflyers was written and rewritten in 1980 & 1981. The Nightlfyers ship is essentially a dragon and the “mad” mother is essentially our most current Targaryen, Daenerys.

  • Nightflyers

It loomed ahead, three small eggs side-by-side, two larger spheres beneath and at right angles, the cylinder of the driveroom between, lengths of tube connecting it all.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys III

And the next day, strangely, she did not seem to hurt quite so much. It was as if the gods had heard her and taken pity. Even her handmaids noticed the change. “Khaleesi,” Jhiqui said, “what is wrong? Are you sick?”

“I was,” she answered, standing over the dragon’s eggs that Illyrio had given her when she wed. She touched one, the largest of the three, running her hand lightly over the shell. Black-and-scarlet, she thought, like the dragon in my dream. The stone felt strangely warm beneath her fingers … or was she still dreaming? She pulled her hand back nervously.

  • Nightflyers

“I will begin the tale with my mother,” Royd replied. “The Nightflyer was her ship originally, custom-built to her design in the Newholme spaceyards. My mother was a freetrader, a notably successful one. She was born trash on a world called Vess, which is a very long way from here, although perhaps some of you have heard of it. She worked her way up, position by position, until she won her own command. She soon made a fortune through a willingness to accept the unusual consignment, fly off the major trade routes, take her cargo a month or a year or two years beyond where it was customarily transferred. Such practices are riskier but more profitable than flying the mail runs. My mother did not worry about how often she and her crews returned home. Her ships were her home. She forgot about Vess as soon as she left it, and seldom visited the same world twice if she could avoid it.”

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys X

Keep walking. If I look back I am lost.

  • Sandkings

At least he hoped it was east. He was not that good at directions, and he wasn’t certain which way he had run in his initial panic, but since then he had made an effort to bear due east, as Wo had suggested.
When he had been running for several hours, with no sign of rescue, Kress began to grow certain that he had miscalculated his direction.
When several more hours passed, he began to grow afraid. What if Wo and Shade could not find him? He would die out here. He hadn’t eaten in two days, he was weak and frightened, his throat was raw for want of water. He couldn’t keep going. The sun was sinking now, and he’d be completely lost in the dark. What was wrong? Had the sandkings eaten Wo and Shade? The fear was on him again, filling him, and with it a great thirst and a terrible hunger. But Kress kept going. He stumbled now when he tried to run, and twice he fell. The second time he scraped his hand on a rock, and it came away bloody. He sucked at it as he walked, and he worried about infection.
The sun was on the horizon behind him. The ground grew a little cooler, for which Kress was grateful. He decided to walk until last light and settle down for the night. Surely he was far enough from the sandkings to be safe, and Wo and Shade would find him come morning.
When he topped the next rise, he saw the outline of a house in front of him.
It wasn’t as big as his own house, but it was big enough. It was habitation, safety. Kress shouted and began to run toward it. Food and drink, he had to have nourishment, he could taste the meal already. He was aching with hunger. He ran down the hill toward the house, waving his arms and shouting to the inhabitants. The light was almost gone now, but he could still make out a half-dozen children playing in the twilight. “Hey there,” he shouted. “Help, help.”
They came running toward him.
Kress stopped suddenly. “No,” he said, “oh, no. Oh, no.” He backpedaled, slipping on the sand, got up, and tried to run again. They caught him easily. They were ghastly little things with bulging eyes and dusky orange skin. He struggled, but it was useless. Small as they were, each of them had four arms, and Kress had only two.
They carried him toward the house. It was a sad, shabby house, built of crumbling sand, but the door was quite large, and dark, and it breathed. That was terrible, but it was not the thing that set Simon Kress to screaming. He screamed because of the others, the little orange children who came crawling out of the castle, and watched impassively as he passed. All of them had his face. [The End]

  • A Song for Lya

“And Union, well, it’s wrong to compare it to human sacrifice, just wrong. The Old Earth religions sacrificed one or two unwilling victims to appease their gods. Killed a handful to get mercy for the millions. And the handful generally protested. The Shkeen don’t work it that way. The Greeshka takes everyone. And they go willingly. Like lemmings they march off to the caves to be eaten alive by those parasites. Every Shkeen is Joined at forty, and goes to Final Union before he’s fifty.”

[and then]

Well, Phil was administrator here longer than anybody else. People liked him, and when he went over, a lot of his friends followed. The rate’s way up now.”
“Not quite one percent, and rising,” Valcarenghi said. “That seems low, but remember what it means. One percent of the people in my settlement are choosing a religion that includes a very unpleasant form of suicide.”

Ygritte_Fire
Fire Ygritte in the Gendel cave. Artist source.

Sidenote: As an icy counterpoint, in A Storm of Swords – Jon III, fire-woman Ygritte lures Jon in to the caves and urges him to live forever with her down there. This is the same place where cannibalism was told in tales to have happened. Jon, thankfully, refuses and emerges fromt he cave in A Storm of Swords – Jon IV and allows himself to hope, just like Robb in A Song for Lya does after he mourns the loss of Lyanna.

  • A Storm of Swords – Jon III

    The grotto was pitch-dark by the time they finished. The only light was the dim glow of the passage back up to the larger cavern, where a score of fires burned. They were soon fumbling and bumping into each other as they tried to dress in the dark. Ygritte stumbled into the pool and screeched at the cold of the water. When Jon laughed, she pulled him in too. They wrestled and splashed in the dark, and then she was in his arms again, and it turned out they were not finished after all.

    “Jon Snow,” she told him, when he’d spent his seed inside her, “don’t move now, sweet. I like the feel of you in there, I do. Let’s not go back t’ Styr and Jarl. Let’s go down inside, and join up with Gendel’s children. I don’t ever want t’ leave this cave, Jon Snow. Not ever.”

     

  • A Storm of Swords – Jon IV

Ghost was gone when the wildings led their horses from the cave. Did he understand about Castle Black? Jon took a breath of the crisp morning air and allowed himself to hope. The eastern sky was pink near the horizon and pale grey higher up. The Sword of the Morning still hung in the south, the bright white star in its hilt blazing like a diamond in the dawn, but the blacks and greys of the darkling forest were turning once again to greens and golds, reds and russets. And above the soldier pines and oaks and ash and sentinels stood the Wall, the ice pale and glimmering beneath the dust and dirt that pocked its surface

 


Now, let us start with actually waking that dragon first in A Song of Ice and Fire, shall we.

“You don’t want to wake the dragon, do you?” Viserys asks Daenerys over and over again in the book A Game of Thrones. Well, yes, yes Daenerys does want to “wake the dragon”, only the dragon is her, not Viserys, nor one of her eggs.

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Daenerys pregnant with Rhaego and holding Rhaegal’s dragon egg. Artist Mike D’antoni

Throughout her A Game of Thrones IX chapter, she has this realization in her mind about waking the dragon. She is the last dragon as Bran is the last greenseer, both taking the helm (Bran a “ship”, Dany a war helmet) from the one before. Rhaegar is mentioned several times as “the last dragon”:

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys III

“I hit him,” she said, wonder in her voice. Now that it was over, it seemed like some strange dream that she had dreamed. “Ser Jorah, do you think … he’ll be so angry when he gets back …” She shivered. “I woke the dragon, didn’t I?”

Ser Jorah snorted. “Can you wake the dead, girl? Your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon, and he died on the Trident. Viserys is less than the shadow of a snake.”

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys VI

“No. He cannot have my son.” She would not weep, she decided. She would not shiver with fear. The Usurper has woken the dragon now, she told herself … and her eyes went to the dragon’s eggs resting in their nest of dark velvet. The shifting lamplight limned their stony scales, and shimmering motes of jade and scarlet and gold swam in the air around them, like courtiers around a king.

Was it madness that seized her then, born of fear? Or some strange wisdom buried in her blood? Dany could not have said. She heard her own voice saying, “Ser Jorah, light the brazier.”

“Khaleesi?” The knight looked at her strangely. “It is so hot. Are you certain?”

She had never been so certain. “Yes. I … I have a chill. Light the brazier.”

[and then a few paragraphs later]

She watched until the coals had turned to ashes. Drifting sparks floated up and out of the smokehole. Heat shimmered in waves around the dragon’s eggs. And that was all.

Your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon, Ser Jorah had said. Dany gazed at her eggs sadly. What had she expected? A thousand thousand years ago they had been alive, but now they were only pretty rocks. They could not make a dragon. A dragon was air and fire. Living flesh, not dead stone.

  • A Storm of Swords – Daenerys I

Whitebeard bowed his head. “It is not my place to question the words of Prince Viserys.”

“King,” Dany corrected. “He was a king, though he never reigned. Viserys, the Third of His Name. But what do you mean?” His answer had not been one that she’d expected. “Ser Jorah named Rhaegar the last dragon once. He had to have been a peerless warrior to be called that, surely?”

“Your Grace,” said Whitebeard, “the Prince of Dragonstone was a most puissant warrior, but . . .”

These are her internal thoughts, her realizations all happen while she is dreaming. Notice how in the dream, the “wake the dragon” transition goes from being the scared little girl thought and transforms into a personal command. The last paragraph shows Daenerys taking the battle helm from Rhaegar as the last dragon:

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys IX

Wings shadowed her fever dreams.

“You don’t want to wake the dragon, do you?”

She was walking down a long hall beneath high stone arches. She could not look behind her, must not look behind her. There was a door ahead of her, tiny with distance, but even from afar, she saw that it was painted red. She walked faster, and her bare feet left bloody footprints on the stone.

“You don’t want to wake the dragon, do you?”

She saw sunlight on the Dothraki sea, the living plain, rich with the smells of earth and death. Wind stirred the grasses, and they rippled like water. Drogo held her in strong arms, and his hand stroked her sex and opened her and woke that sweet wetness that was his alone, and the stars smiled down on them, stars in a daylight sky. “Home,” she whispered as he entered her and filled her with his seed, but suddenly the stars were gone, and across the blue sky swept the great wings, and the world took flame.

“… don’t want to wake the dragon, do you?”

Ser Jorah’s face was drawn and sorrowful. “Rhaegar was the last dragon,” he told her. He warmed translucent hands over a glowing brazier where stone eggs smouldered red as coals. One moment he was there and the next he was fading, his flesh colorless, less substantial than the wind. “The last dragon,” he whispered, thin as a wisp, and was gone. She felt the dark behind her, and the red door seemed farther away than ever.

“… don’t want to wake the dragon, do you?”

Viserys stood before her, screaming. “The dragon does not beg, slut. You do not command the dragon. I am the dragon, and I will be crowned.” The molten gold trickled down his face like wax, burning deep channels in his flesh. “I am the dragon and I will be crowned!” he shrieked, and his fingers snapped like snakes, biting at her nipples, pinching, twisting, even as his eyes burst and ran like jelly down seared and blackened cheeks.

“… don’t want to wake the dragon …”

The red door was so far ahead of her, and she could feel the icy breath behind, sweeping up on her. If it caught her she would die a death that was more than death, howling forever alone in the darkness. She began to run.

“… don’t want to wake the dragon …”

She could feel the heat inside her, a terrible burning in her womb. Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo’s copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, violet eyes shaped like almonds. And he smiled for her and began to lift his hand toward hers, but when he opened his mouth the fire poured out. She saw his heart burning through his chest, and in an instant he was gone, consumed like a moth by a candle, turned to ash. She wept for her child, the promise of a sweet mouth on her breast, but her tears turned to steam as they touched her skin.

“… want to wake the dragon …”

Ghosts lined the hallway, dressed in the faded raiment of kings. In their hands were swords of pale fire. They had hair of silver and hair of gold and hair of platinum white, and their eyes were opal and amethyst, tourmaline and jade. “Faster,” they cried, “faster, faster.” She raced, her feet melting the stone wherever they touched. “Faster!” the ghosts cried as one, and she screamed and threw herself forward. A great knife of pain ripped down her back, and she felt her skin tear open and smelled the stench of burning blood and saw the shadow of wings. And Daenerys Targaryen flew.

“… wake the dragon …”

The door loomed before her, the red door, so close, so close, the hall was a blur around her, the cold receding behind. And now the stone was gone and she flew across the Dothraki sea, high and higher, the green rippling beneath, and all that lived and breathed fled in terror from the shadow of her wings. She could smell home, she could see it, there, just beyond that door, green fields and great stone houses and arms to keep her warm, there. She threw open the door.

“… the dragon …”

And saw her brother Rhaegar, mounted on a stallion as black as his armor. Fire glimmered red through the narrow eye slit of his helm. “The last dragon,” Ser Jorah’s voice whispered faintly. “The last, the last.” Dany lifted his polished black visor. The face within was her own.

After that, for a long time, there was only the pain, the fire within her, and the whisperings of stars.

She woke to the taste of ashes.

 

[Continuing on a few lines later as Daenerys goes in and out of sleep, she at one point calls for her dragon’s eggs, and then finally she realized Rhaego was only a secondary concern for her]

Bring me … egg … dragon’s egg … please …” Her lashes turned to lead, and she was too weary to hold them up.

[and then still a bit later]

Jhiqui would have run as well, but Dany caught her by the wrist and held her captive. “What is it? I must know. Drogo … and my child.” Why had she not remembered the child until now? “My son … Rhaego … where is he? I want him.”

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys X

She dreamed. All her cares fell away from her, and all her pains as well, and she seemed to float upward into the sky. She was flying once again, spinning, laughing, dancing, as the stars wheeled around her and whispered secrets in her ear. “To go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward, you must go back. To touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.”

“Quaithe?” Dany called. “Where are you, Quaithe?”

Then she saw. Her mask is made of starlight.

“Remember who you are, Daenerys,” the stars whispered in a woman’s voice. “The dragons know. Do you?”

[and then Daenerys wakes to a very foreshadowy inflamed “battle” with ants]

Compare to Melisandre as she stares in to her fires, and a description from Jon Snow:

  • A Dance with Dragons – Jon VI

Jon let out a white breath. “He is not always so …”

“… warm? Warmth calls to warmth, Jon Snow.” Her eyes were two red stars, shining in the dark. At her throat, her ruby gleamed, a third eye glowing brighter than the others. Jon had seen Ghost’s eyes blazing red the same way, when they caught the light just right.

A Dance with Dragons – Melisandre I

A face took shape within the hearth. Stannis? she thought, for just a moment … but no, these were not his features. A wooden face, corpse white. Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me. Beside him, a boy with a wolf’s face threw back his head and howled.

The red priestess shuddered. Blood trickled down her thigh, black and smoking. The fire was inside her, an agony, an ecstasy, filling her, searing her, transforming her. Shimmers of heat traced patterns on her skin, insistent as a lover’s hand. Strange voices called to her from days long past. “Melony,” she heard a woman cry. A man’s voice called, “Lot Seven.” She was weeping, and her tears were flame. And still she drank it in.

And we have read that Rhaegar has the “night black” armor:
  • A Feast for Crows – Jaime I

The day had been windy when he said farewell to Rhaegar, in the yard of the Red Keep. The prince had donned his night-black armor, with the three-headed dragon picked out in rubies on his breastplate. “Your Grace,” Jaime had pleaded, “let Darry stay to guard the king this once, or Ser Barristan. Their cloaks are as white as mine.”

Prince Rhaegar shook his head. “My royal sire fears your father more than he does our cousin Robert. He wants you close, so Lord Tywin cannot harm him. I dare not take that crutch away from him at such an hour.”


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After reading the “wake the dragon” scene, and think back to Daenerys in her AGOT IV chapter where she starts the process of the necromancy to wake the old stone dragons from their eggs. Blood and fire. Mirri Maz Duur is, of many learnings, a bloodmage. Daenerys is a natural firemage. It is the process of fire and blood together that revitalizes these dead stone eggs back to life.

Additionally, readers are repeatedly given the information over and over that dragon eggs are put in the cradle of Targaryen babies for some sort of bond/hatching ritual. A soul sharing no matter what it is called. Except in Daenerys’ case, the eggs were dead and the soul of baby Rhaego went one way in to the egg with the dead dragon soul leaving the corruption of death in it’s place. This speaks very much to the real world idea that woman are the cradle of life, as well as Daenerys manipulating the natural order of nature. There is precedent for readers to believe this, even if it is rumors as in the case with Bloodraven.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Jon I

“Aye, m’lord,” said Edd, “but all she knows is that she ran off during the battle and hid in the woods after. We filled her full of porridge, sent her to the pens, and burned the babe.”

Burning dead children had ceased to trouble Jon Snow; live ones were another matter. Two kings to wake the dragon. The father first and then the son, so both die kings. The words had been murmured by one of the queen’s men as Maester Aemon had cleaned his wounds. Jon had tried to dismiss them as his fever talking. Aemon had demurred. “There is power in a king’s blood,” the old maester had warned, “and better men than Stannis have done worse things than this.” The king can be harsh and unforgiving, aye, but a babe still on the breast? Only a monster would give a living child to the flames.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys V

“As swift as the wind he rides, and behind him his khalasar covers the earth, men without number, with arakhs shining in their hands like blades of razor grass. Fierce as a storm this prince will be. His enemies will tremble before him, and their wives will weep tears of blood and rend their flesh in grief. The bells in his hair will sing his coming, and the milk men in the stone tents will fear his name.” The old woman trembled and looked at Dany almost as if she were afraid. “The prince is riding, and he shall be the stallion who mounts the world.”

“The stallion who mounts the world!” the onlookers cried in echo, until the night rang to the sound of their voices.

The one-eyed crone peered at Dany. “What shall he be called, the stallion who mounts the world?”

She stood to answer. “He shall be called Rhaego,” she said, using the words that Jhiqui had taught her. Her hands touched the swell beneath her breasts protectively as a roar went up from the Dothraki. “Rhaego,” they screamed. “Rhaego, Rhaego, Rhaego!”

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys VIII

Khal Drogo writhed feebly as Rakharo and Quaro lowered him into the bath. “No,” he muttered, “no. Must ride.” Once in the water, all the strength seemed to leak out of him.

Bring his horse,” Mirri Maz Duur commanded, and so it was done. Jhogo led the great red stallion into the tent. When the animal caught the scent of death, he screamed and reared, rolling his eyes. It took three men to subdue him.

“What do you mean to do?” Dany asked her.

“We need the blood,” Mirri answered. “That is the way.”

  • The Mystery Knight- rumors about Bloodraven

He remembered then. He was a holy man sworn to the Seven, even if he did preach treason.

“His hands are scarlet with a brother’s blood, and the blood of his young nephews too,” the hunchback had declared to the crowd that had gathered in the market square. “A shadow came at his command to strangle brave Prince Valarr’s sons in their mother’s womb. Where is our Young Prince now?…”

  • The Mystery Knight

Your dragon’s egg.” They put it in his cradle. Dunk was so used to Egg that sometimes he forgot Aegon was a prince. Of course they’d put a dragon egg inside his cradle. “Well, see that you don’t go mentioning this egg where anyone is like to hear.”

  • The Rogue Prince

By royal decree, each of the Velaryon boys was presented with a dragon’s egg whilst in the cradle.

  • The World of Ice and Fire – Viserys I

But at Viserys’s command, each had a dragon’s egg placed in his cradle, and each egg hatched, producing the dragons Vermax, Arrax, and Tyraxes.

Irri fetched 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.

*Sidenote: to me, as a female who has been pregnant, this area is pretty much directly on the heart.

 

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys IX

“… don’t want to wake the dragon …”

She could feel the heat inside her, a terrible burning in her womb. Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo’s copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, violet eyes shaped like almonds. And he smiled for her and began to lift his hand toward hers, but when he opened his mouth the fire poured out. She saw his heart burning through his chest, and in an instant he was gone, consumed like a moth by a candle, turned to ash. She wept for her child, the promise of a sweet mouth on her breast, but her tears turned to steam as they touched her skin.

“… want to wake the dragon …”

And then in the same AGOT – Daenerys IX chapter after the “wake the dragon’ fever dream, we find out what is the result of Daenerys offering her baby to the red god to wake dead dragon stone eggs. That is why baby Rhaego was a neverborn and looked the way he did:

She should weep, she knew, yet her eyes were dry as ash. She had wept in her dream, and the tears had turned to steam on her cheeks. All the grief has been burned out of me, she told herself. She felt sad, and yet … she could feel Rhaego receding from her, as if he had never been.

[and then]

She waited, but Ser Jorah could not say it. His face grew dark with shame. He looked half a corpse himself.

“Monstrous,” Mirri Maz Duur finished for him. The knight was a powerful man, yet Dany understood in that moment that the maegi was stronger, and crueler, and infinitely more dangerous. “Twisted. I drew him forth myself. He was scaled like a lizard, blind, with the stub of a tail and small leather wings like the wings of a bat. When I touched him, the flesh sloughed off the bone, and inside he was full of graveworms and the stink of corruption. He had been dead for years.”

Darkness, Dany thought. The terrible darkness sweeping up behind to devour her. If she looked back she was lost. “My son was alive and strong when Ser Jorah carried me into this tent,” she said. “I could feel him kicking, fighting to be born.”


And this “moth to flame” idea is supposed to be about willing death. George once explained at a 2007 ComiCon that “Cersei and Daenerys are intended as parallel characters –each exploring a different approach to how a woman would rule in a male dominated, medieval-inspired fantasy world.” The moth is contained inside a lantern, an object that holds fire, such as a brazier or dragon egg. Sometimes a moth is just a moth, but when it plays the same recurring theme over and over (fire and death), then the reader should make the connections. This is not the only Daenerys-Cersei parallel by far… but that will be another post.

  • A Feast for Crows – Cersei I
A moth had gotten into the lantern Ser Boros was holding; she could hear it buzzing and see the shadow of its wings as it beat against the glass.
Within the tower, the smoke from the torches irritated her eyes, but Cersei did not weep, no more than her father would have. I am the only true son he ever had. Her heels scraped against the stone as she climbed, and she could still hear the moth fluttering wildly inside Ser Osmund’s lantern. Die, the queen thought at it, in irritation, fly into the flame and be done with it.

At this point readers are witnessing Daenerys interfere with the natural order of things- life, death, life; also a concept that Cyrain of Ash in The Glass Flower struggles with. However, with Daenerys she manipulates that order to bring her closer to her personal desires.

  • The Glass Flower
“I seek a different prize,” the cyborg said.
“Yes?” I [Cyrain] prompted.
“Death,” he told me. “Life. Death. Life.”
“Two different things,” I said. “Opposites. Enemies.”
“No,” said the cyborg. “They are the same.”
  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys IX

Mirri Maz Duur laughed cruelly. “Look to your khal and see what life is worth, when all the rest is gone.”

Dany called out for the men of her khas and bid them take Mirri Maz Duur and bind her hand and foot, but the maegi smiled at her as they carried her off, as if they shared a secret. A word, and Dany could have her head off … yet then what would she have? A head? If life was worthless, what was death?

And then again when Cyrain [The Glass Flower], who is now living a new life within another “won” body, closes the story with this observation:

“Do?” I said, still gazing up at those secret starfields, visible to me alone. They brought to mind my obsidian mosaic. “There are worlds I’ve never been to,” I told my sister-twin, father, daughter, enemy, mirror-image, whatever she was. “There are things I don’t yet know, stars that even now I cannot see. What will I do? Everything. To begin with, everything.”
As I spoke, a fat striped insect flew through the open window on six gossamer wings that trilled the air too fast for human sight, though I could count every languid beat if I so chose. It landed briefly on my glass flower, found neither scent nor pollen, and slipped back outside. I watched it go, growing smaller and smaller, dwindling in the distance, until at last I had telescoped my vision to the maximum, and the small dying bug was lost among the swamps and stars.

We also witness Daenerys stand totally complicit when Khal Drogo takes Viserys life, as well when Daenerys herself takes Khal Drogo’s life as he says “no”. The fire and blood theme keeps repeating.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys V

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.

He was no dragon, Dany thought, curiously calm. Fire cannot kill a dragon.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys VIII

“You will,” Dany said, “or when Drogo wakes, he will hear why you defied me.”

Furious, Qotho wheeled his stallion around and galloped off in anger … but Dany knew he would return with Mirri Maz Duur, however little he might like it. The slaves erected Khal Drogo’s tent beneath a jagged outcrop of black rock whose shadow gave some relief from the heat of the afternoon sun. Even so, it was stifling under the sandsilk as Irri and Doreah helped Dany walk Drogo inside. Thick patterned carpets had been laid down over the ground, and pillows scattered in the corners. Eroeh, the timid girl Dany had rescued outside the mud walls of the Lamb Men, set up a brazier. They stretched Drogo out on a woven mat. “No,” he muttered in the Common Tongue. “No, no.” It was all he said, all he seemed capable of saying.

Doreah unhooked his medallion belt and stripped off his vest and leggings, while Jhiqui knelt by his feet to undo the laces of his riding sandals. Irri wanted to leave the tent flaps open to let in the breeze, but Dany forbade it. She would not have any see Drogo this way, in delirium and weakness. When her khas came up, she posted them outside at guard. “Admit no one without my leave,” she told Jhogo. “No one.”

sidenote: The wedding of Daenerys to Drogo is eerily similar to the blood sacrifice/death of Drogo and Rhaego scene with the multiple deaths, and bloodbaths, and fires. I will do a comparison reading on those two scenes soon.


Monsterous Bright Flame

“Yes,” said Davos, “even me.” Unless Stannis should father a son, such a marriage would mean that Dragonstone and Storm’s End would one day pass to Tommen, which would doubtless please Lord Tywin. Meanwhile, the Lannisters would have Shireen as hostage to make certain Stannis raised no new rebellions. “And what did His Grace say when you proposed these terms to him?”

[Alester Florent] “He is always with the red woman, and . . . he is not in his right mind, I fear. This talk of a stone dragon . . . madness, I tell you, sheer madness. Did we learn nothing from Aerion Brightfire, from the nine mages, from the alchemists? Did we learn nothing from Summerhall? No good has ever come from these dreams of dragons, I told Axell as much. My way was better. Surer. And Stannis gave me his seal, he gave me leave to rule. The Hand speaks with the king’s voice.”

A Storm of Swords – Davos III

545px-House_Targaryen_(Aerion).svg

In a later book, we see this taking the helm from Rhaegar continues. Daenerys who wants to assume a banner in his honor, however, it is still not a “true” Targaryen sigil, and not one like Aegon the Conquerer. Instead, this links Daenerys more to combination of Rhaegar and Aerion Brightflame/Brightfire, also known as Aerion the Monsterous… and that ain’t so good for Rhaegar or Daenerys. Aerion was one of the most outstanding examples of the madness that can hit the members of House Targaryen. Cruel and arrogant, he thought he was a dragon in human form. One of his most notorious on-page examples of his abuse of power is when he breaks the fingers of the puppeteer Tanselle, which is a metaphorical show of “magical” dominance as he makes the wooden puppeteer bow down before the fiery red hand of R’hllor, Reportedly, Aerion was also a dabbler in the black arts. which could be an in-world parallel to the cult of Starry Wisdom that seems to be serving Daenerys now.

  • A Storm of Swords – Daenerys III

I ought to have a banner sewn, she thought as she led her tattered band up along Astapor’s meandering river. She closed her eyes to imagine how it would look: all flowing black silk, and on it the red three-headed dragon of Targaryen, breathing golden flames. A banner such as Rhaegar might have borne. The river’s banks were strangely tranquil. The Worm, the Astapori called the stream. It was wide and slow and crooked, dotted with tiny wooded islands. She glimpsed children playing on one of them, darting amongst elegant marble statues. On another island two lovers kissed in the shade of tall green trees, with no more shame than Dothraki at a wedding. Without clothing, she could not tell if they were slave or free.

  • A Feast for Crows – Cersei V

Seventeen and new to knighthood, Rhaegar Targaryen had worn black plate over golden ringmail when he cantered onto the lists. Long streamers of red and gold and orange silk had floated behind his helm, like flames. Two of her uncles fell before his lance, along with a dozen of her father’s finest jousters, the flower of the west. By night the prince played his silver harp and made her weep. When she had been presented to him, Cersei had almost drowned in the depths of his sad purple eyes.

  • The Hedge Knight

Aerion bore a three-headed dragon on his shield, but it was rendered in colors much more vivid than Valarr’s; one head was orange, one yellow, one red, and the flames they breathed had the sheen of gold leaf. His surcoat was a swirl of smoke and fire woven together, and his blackened helm was surmounted by a crest of red enamel flames.

[and then this is what a dragon does to mummer’s- Aegon/Young Griff]

One man-at-arms was dangling the puppets of Florian and Jonquil from his hands as another set them afire with a torch. Three more men were opening chests, spilling more puppets on the ground and stamping on them. The dragon puppet was scattered all about them, a broken wing here, its head there, its tail in three pieces. And in the midst of it all stood Prince Aerion, resplendent in a red velvet doublet with long dagged sleeves, twisting Tanselle’s arm in both hands. She was on her knees, pleading with him. Aerion ignored her. He forced open her hand and seized one of her fingers. Dunk stood there stupidly, not quite believing what he saw. Then he heard a crack, and Tanselle screamed.

[and then]

“You took me for a stableboy.”

Aerion smiled redly. “I recall. You refused to take my horse. Why did you throw your life away? For this whore?” Tanselle was curled up on the ground, cradling her maimed hand. He gave her a shove with the toe of his boot. “She’s scarcely worth it. A traitor. The dragon ought never lose.”

He is mad, thought Dunk, but he is still a prince’s son, and he means to kill me. He might have prayed then, if he had known a prayer all the way through, but there was no time. There was hardly even time to be afraid.

Aerion-and-Tanselle-THK-MikeSMiller
Aerion breaks Tanselle’s fingers. Art by Mike S. Miller.

Daenerys has already compared herself to Maegor the Cruel which is odd because Maegor never had any children and he comes from Visenya’s line, not Rhaenys’ line like Daenerys actually does. There are some fandom theories that Visenya created Maegor using bloodmagic, which would be rather interesting in my opinion and certainly comparable in this Daenerys situation. Other than fan theory, the only commonality between Daenerys and Maegor is Aegon the Conquerer.

But then, there is also the the fact that Aerion Brightflame named his only child after Maegor. Another of Aerion’s nicknames was Aerion the Monstrous and he famously dies of drinking wildfire to be changed in to a dragon. And Daenerys calls herself back to old Valyria, and they were slavers that other cultures ran from. Again, this doesn’t sound good, but does connect her once again with the character Cyrain of Ash from The Glass Flower and [mental] slavery.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys IX
The Dothraki exchanged uncertain glances. “Khaleesi,” the handmaid Irri explained, as if to a child, “Jhaqo is a khal now, with twenty thousand riders at his back.”
She lifted her head. “And I am Daenerys Stormborn, Daenerys of House Targaryen, of the blood of Aegon the Conqueror and Maegor the Cruel and old Valyria before them. I am the dragon’s daughter, and I swear to you, these men will die screaming. Now bring me to Khal Drogo.”

And the final scene of A Dance with Dragons we see Daenerys behaving like a dragon, fire and blood, as she consumes a beast of the field, a horse.

First the reader set up:

  • A Clash of Kings – Daenerys I

Such little things, she thought as she fed them by hand. Or rather, tried to feed them, for the dragons would not eat. They would hiss and spit at each bloody morsel of horsemeat, steam rising from their nostrils, yet they would not take the food . . . until Dany recalled something Viserys had told her when they were children.

Only dragons and men eat cooked meat, he had said.

When she had her handmaids char the horsemeat black, the dragons ripped at it eagerly, their heads striking like snakes. So long as the meat was seared, they gulped down several times their own weight every day, and at last began to grow larger and stronger. Dany marveled at the smoothness of their scales, and the heat that poured off them, so palpable that on cold nights their whole bodies seemed to steam.

314px-Lilith_(John_Collier_painting)
Lilith as “half a serpent”.

And then the payout. Here we see how Daenerys is connected to Aerion the Monstrous. Daenerys beats death by flame in a way that Aerion failed.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys VI

Was it madness that seized her then, born of fear? Or some strange wisdom buried in her blood? Dany could not have said. She heard her own voice saying, “Ser Jorah, light the brazier.”

  • A Clash of Kings – Daenerys III

Dany’s wrist still tingled where Quaithe had touched her. “Where would you have me go?” she asked.

“To go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.”

Through some innate memory, Daenerys has maneuvered her way through the story as a blood and fire mage, and in this scene she completes the fire transformation… she becomes a hybrid probably not unlike what the Asshai mages tried to by mixing dragon blood with humans eons ago.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys IX

In the smoldering red pits of Drogon’s eyes, Dany saw her own reflection. How small she looked, how weak and frail and scared. I cannot let him see my fear. She scrabbled in the sand, pushing against the pitmaster’s corpse, and her fingers brushed against the handle of his whip. Touching it made her feel braver. The leather was warm, alive. Drogon roared again, the sound so loud that she almost dropped the whip. His teeth snapped at her.

Dany hit him. “No,” she screamed, swinging the lash with all the strength that she had in her. The dragon jerked his head back. “No,” she screamed again. “NO!” The barbs raked along his snout. Drogon rose, his wings covering her in shadow. Dany swung the lash at his scaled belly, back and forth until her arm began to ache. His long serpentine neck bent like an archer’s bow. With a hisssssss, he spat black fire down at her. Dany darted underneath the flames, swinging the whip and shouting, “No, no, no. Get DOWN!” His answering roar was full of fear and fury, full of pain. His wings beat once, twice …

… and folded. The dragon gave one last hiss and stretched out flat upon his belly. Black blood was flowing from the wound where the spear had pierced him, smoking where it dripped onto the scorched sands. He is fire made flesh, she thought, and so am I.

And then we get to the next chapter after the dragon-fire transformation. Here Daenerys has been starving, eating things that make her sick, and doubled over with diarrhea cramps. Remember, dragons only eat charred meat. Additionally, as readers we know that Daenerys and Drogo have a symbiotic relationship at this point in the story. They react based on what the other is thinking or feeling. Incidentally, if the story of Rhaegar and Lyanna was not a romantic one, then this scene here is probably set up as part of that later reveal to book readers.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys X

A vast herd of horses appeared below them. There were riders too, a score or more, but they turned and fled at the first sight of the dragon. The horses broke and ran when the shadow fell upon them, racing through the grass until their sides were white with foam, tearing the ground with their hooves … but as swift as they were, they could not fly. Soon one horse began to lag behind the others. The dragon descended on him, roaring, and all at once the poor beast was aflame, yet somehow he kept on running, screaming with every step, until Drogon landed on him and broke his back. Dany clutched the dragon’s neck with all her strength to keep from sliding off.

The carcass was too heavy for him to bear back to his lair, so Drogon consumed his kill there, tearing at the charred flesh as the grasses burned around them, the air thick with drifting smoke and the smell of burnt horsehair. Dany, starved, slid off his back and ate with him, ripping chunks of smoking meat from the dead horse with bare, burned hands. In Meereen I was a queen in silk, nibbling on stuffed dates and honeyed lamb, she remembered. What would my noble husband think if he could see me now? Hizdahr would be horrified, no doubt. But Daario …

Daario would laugh, carve off a hunk of horsemeat with his arakh, and squat down to eat beside her.

As the western sky turned the color of a blood bruise, she heard the sound of approaching horses. Dany rose, wiped her hands on her ragged undertunic, and went to stand beside her dragon.

That was how Khal Jhaqo found her, when half a hundred mounted warriors emerged from the drifting smoke.


712px-Rhaegal_a_hidden_agenda_by_christopherburdett
Rhaegal. Fantasy Flight Games.

 

The Stranger Home

Work in progress section. Follow the Fattest Leech blog for updates.

WARNING: This next bit is medium-high speculation, but not without the reasoning provided.

 

Let us start by taking another look at a few sections already mentioned, but with a different focus. Daenerys and the red door, and Rhaegal, and the Stranger.

  • A Clash of Kings – Daenerys I

“It may be as you say, blood of my blood,” Dany replied gravely, “but he shall have a new name for this new life. I would name them all for those the gods have taken. The green one shall be Rhaegal, for my valiant brother who died on the green banks of the Trident. The cream-and-gold I call Viserion. Viserys was cruel and weak and frightened, yet he was my brother still. His dragon will do what he could not.”

And here we see Daenerys discussing ships to return to Westeros, and it is Rhaegal with her, with eyes of gold in conjunction with a “stranger”. The odd thing being that this is the only time in the series that Rhaegal is described as having gold eyes instead of the normal for him bronze.

  • A Clash of Kings – Daenerys II

“Then I grieve for you, Dragonmother, and for bleeding Westeros, bereft of its rightful king.”

Beneath Dany’s gentle fingers, green Rhaegal stared at the stranger with eyes of molten gold. When his mouth opened, his teeth gleamed like black needles. “When does your ship return to Westeros, Captain?”

“Not for a year or more, I fear. From here the Cinnamon Wind sails east, to make the trader’s circle round the Jade Sea.”

In AGOT- Daenerys IV, on that first cursory read where we are so excited to take it all in for the first time, we can read right past this part where the soul of unborn Rhaego is starting his transfer to necro-wake the stone dragon, and therefore by the end of this scene, Daenerys is talking to a dragon, not human baby Rhaego. Rhaego was the coin that she used to pay for her voyage home to Westeros (where she is the Stranger), just as Daenerys was the coin in Viserys’ eyes. Daenerys may end up second-lifeing herself into Rhaegal, named after her brother Rhaegar, which will link Daenerys, Rhaegar, and possibly Rhaegal as the last dragons all together.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys IV

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.

And then we have this section where you can see Daenerys literally takes the helm from Rhaegar as the last dragon…

“… wake the dragon …”

The door loomed before her, the red door, so close, so close, the hall was a blur around her, the cold receding behind. And now the stone was gone and she flew across the Dothraki sea, high and higher, the green rippling beneath, and all that lived and breathed fled in terror from the shadow of her wings. She could smell home, she could see it, there, just beyond that door, green fields and great stone houses and arms to keep her warm, there. She threw open the door.

“… the dragon …”

And saw her brother Rhaegar, mounted on a stallion as black as his armor. Fire glimmered red through the narrow eye slit of his helm. “The last dragon,” Ser Jorah’s voice whispered faintly. “The last, the last.” Dany lifted his polished black visor. The face within was her own.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys VI

“The Dothraki do things in their own time, for their own reasons,” the knight answered. “Have patience, Princess. Do not make your brother’s mistake. We will go home, I promise you.”

Home? The word made her feel sad. Ser Jorah had his Bear Island, but what was home to her? A few tales, names recited as solemnly as the words of a prayer, the fading memory of a red door … was Vaes Dothrak to be her home forever? When she looked at the crones of the dosh khaleen, was she looking at her future.

The irony here is that Daenerys is actually looking at her future. She is going to visit the Dosh Khaleen and make everyone bow or burn, and then rise as her worshipers followers chase after her as her army ready to invade Westeros, which in turn leads to Daenerys taking a second life in a dragon (maybe Rhaegal).

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys II

Moonlight shone in the woman’s eyes. “To show you the way.”

“I remember the way. I go north to go south, east to go west, back to go forward. And to touch the light I have to pass beneath the shadow.” She squeezed the water from her silvery hair. “I am half-sick of riddling. In Qarth I was a beggar, but here I am a queen. I command you—”

“Daenerys. Remember the Undying. Remember who you are.”

Daenerys was born on Dragonstone, the seat of House Targaryen in the western hemisphere. Dragonstone was a solitary “kingdom” that was not listed or merged as part of the Seven Kingdoms. In the Faith of the Seven, the Stranger is the seventh that no one talks of or sings about in songs. In the passage below, we are reminded that Aegon/Young Griff is the sixth ruby, and we now know that Daenerys will come again as the last dragon/Rhaegar as the seventh ruby- and the Stranger.

  • A Feast for Crows – Brienne VI

Meribald performed the customary courtesies before seating himself upon the settle. …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.”

Daenerys is a stranger to Westeros proper as she has never actually been there, however, just as Rhaegar was the Prince of Dragonstone, Daenerys is the Princess of Dragonstone. It is here on Dragonstone where she may go in to her stone dragon, the ouroboros dragon that eats its own tail end. We see one such example in the sigil for House Toland.

600px-House_Toland.svg

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