Daenerys: Cyrain, Simon Kress, Saagael & Damon Julian

“It is such a long way,” she complained. “I was tired, Jorah. I was weary of war. I wanted to rest, to laugh, to plant trees and see them grow. I am only a young girl.”

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.

A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys X
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Daenerys with black sword Drogon. Artist: Magali Villeneuve

This is a character review of Daenerys Targaryen. The purpose of this analysis is to take a look at the author’s intent when he created this character. GRRM is clearly drawing on his own preferred stylings, while mixing them in with real world figures to create something that is unique to his own work. I will use the author’s own works to show the repeated themes, machinations, and motifs as opposed to various sources that have little to nothing to do with the author’s objective.

There is a lot of information to share, therefore, quotes will be kept short. I will update this essay as needed with links and information. In the meantime, feel free to ask me for any additional quotes you may want.


Too often a fantasy story or a fairy tale might begin with a king on the throne, without us knowing what made him the way he is. “If he’s a noble king, why is he noble? If he’s a selfish king, why is he selfish?” Martin asked. “So you go back to his parents, and their parents, and their parents. Everything leads to everything else.” — George R.R. Martin


Forewarning: there will be open spoilers from all of GRRM’s work, including the released The Winds of Winter spoiler chapters as well as Fire & Blood, vol1. throughout this entire site. Additionally, between the ASOIAF series and all of the other works of our favorite author, there is no reasonable way that I can paste every quote that links to the theories on this website and still have each page readable. Please feel free to ask me for additional quotes if you like.

In this section, we will go over the details as to how Daenerys is the bride of fire wedded to the flames, and how her and Bran’s arc are the most parallel to each other, in addition to Daenerys being a necromancer, and mind controller (religiously and with her binding to her shadow-Drogon).

Meereen also plays a role. Basically, there was a short window of peace to happen, but her playing at politics, something she has never experienced, ended up swaying Meereen against her. The Harpies didn’t break peace until it was too late. The Shavepate poisoned the locusts. The literary point of all this is to strip Dany (the silver coin god’s toss) of her “niceness” and to add to her making. She is now the mother of dragons.

I would also suggest keeping this character development idea of GRRM’s in mind when reading about the progression of any ASOIAF (main) character. Some may start as entitled twits, but then proverbially get their head rung like a bell, to which grounds them and makes them more sympathetic. While others start with an innocent naivete, but over the course of their arc, they grow more angered and harsh.


It has been my intention from the start to gradually bring up the amount of magic in each successive volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, and that will continue. I will not rule out the possibility of a certain amount of “behind the scenes” magic, either. But while sorcerous events may impact on my characters, as with Renly or Lord Beric or Dany, their choices must ultimately remain their own. –George R.R. Martin


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Folk god worship/religion  ethnic or regional religious customs under the umbrella of a religion, but outside official doctrine and practices. This is going to be the biggest plot thrust in Daenerys’ arc. People in Essos (Dothraki/Dosh Khaleen mainly) are going to start worshiping Daenerys as a god/dess, despite what Daenerys wants or makes claim. The spin on Daenerys is that she fits the aspect of the death gods we know of: The Black Goat of Qohor, the dragon-like gender shifting Stranger (which is drawn from Simon Kress, below), Bakkalon the Pale Child, Lion of Night (Dany is the Night Lion), the Merling King. And now as of Fire & Blood, vol 1, we have Saagael.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys VI

    The queen had not known that the eunuchs had a goddess of their own. “Who is this goddess? One of the gods of Ghis?”

    Grey Worm looked troubled. “The goddess is called by many names. She is the Lady of Spears, the Bride of Battle, the Mother of Hosts, but her true name belongs only to these poor ones who have burned their manhoods upon her altar. We may not speak of her to others. This one begs your forgiveness.”

    “As you wish. Yes, you may bathe if that is your desire. Thank you for your help.”

  • The Winds of Winter- Tyrion

She listened. “What is it?” she said as she was strapping a pair of mismatched greaves onto his stunted legs.
“War. On either side of us and not a league away. That’s slaughter, Penny. That’s men stumbling through the mud with their entrails hanging out. That’s severed limbs and broken bones and pools of blood. You know how the worms come out after a hard rain? I hear they do the same after a big battle if enough blood soaks into the ground. That’s the Stranger coming, Penny. The Black Goat, the Pale Child, Him of Many Faces, call him what you will. That’s death.”

The Riverlands quickly accepting R’hllorism will allow Daenerys to take over with ease from Aegon/Young Griff after she first falls into a romantic relationship with him, then defeats him as the mummer’s dragon when a betrayal is exposed. All the signs are there from the rise in red fire god, to the searching for (Rhaegar‘s) rubies, to the warning for Daenerys to beware the Sun’s son (Jon Snow).

  • A Clash of Kings – Catelyn IV

Catelyn studied the faces. The Father was bearded, as ever. The Mother smiled, loving and protective. The Warrior had his sword sketched in beneath his face, the Smith his hammer. The Maid was beautiful, the Crone wizened and wise.

And the seventh face . . . the Stranger was neither male nor female, yet both, ever the outcast, the wanderer from far places, less and more than human, unknown and unknowable. Here the face was a black oval, a shadow with stars for eyes. It made Catelyn uneasy. She would get scant comfort there.

  • A Feast for Crows – Brienne VI

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.”

“Better rubies than bones.” Septon Meribald was rubbing his foot, the mud flaking off beneath his finger. “Not all the river’s gifts are pleasant. The good brothers collect the dead as well. Drowned cows, drowned deer, dead pigs swollen up to half the size of horses. Aye, and corpses.”

“Too many corpses, these days.” The Elder Brother sighed. “Our gravedigger knows no rest. Rivermen, westermen, northmen, all wash up here. Knights and knaves alike. We bury them side by side, Stark and Lannister, Blackwood and Bracken, Frey and Darry. That is the duty the river asks of us in return for all its gifts, and we do it as best we can. Sometimes we find a woman, though . . . or worse, a little child. Those are the cruelest gifts.” He turned to Septon Meribald. “I hope that you have time to absolve us of our sins. Since the raiders slew old Septon Bennet, we have had no one to hear confession.”

  • A Storm of Swords – Daenerys IV

But it was Prendahl na Ghezn who spoke for the sellswords. “You would do well to take your rabble elsewhere,” he said. “You took Astapor by treachery, but Yunkai shall not fall so easily.”

“Five hundred of your Stormcrows against ten thousand of my Unsullied,” said Dany. “I am only a young girl and do not understand the ways of war, yet these odds seem poor to me.”

“The Stormcrows do not stand alone,” said Prendahl.

*Note: Daenerys is feigning ignorance when she says this “I am only a young girl” phrase, something she repeats at least eleven times in the story.

 
  • A Storm of Swords – Daenerys III

That night she dreamt that she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper’s rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent. Some small part of her knew that she was dreaming, but another part exulted. This is how it was meant to be. The other was a nightmare, and I have only now awakened.

She woke suddenly in the darkness of her cabin, still flush with triumph. Balerion seemed to wake with her, and she heard the faint creak of wood, water lapping against the hull, a football on the deck above her head. And something else.

***

Zoroastrianism George acknowledges this ancient religion as being the primary influence for R’hllorism. Zoroastrian priests engage in rituals at fire temples, and face veils were used to avoid contaminating the holy fire with breath or saliva. This is very much explored in the early GRRM story Only Kids are Afraid of the Dark.
R’hllorism and the god called R’hllor, also known as the Lord of Light, the Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow.

GRRM has developed archetypes of a Daenerys-type in various previous stories. Many of these archetypes also spurred details for secondary characters like Selyse, Good Queen Alysanne, Melisandre, Andals+Faith of the Seven = fire people, and Euron, for example, but they are mainly Daenerys in character and her specific plot arcs. Hell, they are mainly Daenerys right down to the dialogue used between the stories as well. The recommended story re-reads that work in conjunction with the ASOAIF story are (but not limited to):

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The Glass Flower in his character Cyrain born on Ash, and also comes from the planet Lilith. Much more on Liltih to come, including slavery of a different style. Cyrain currently resides on Croan’dhenni (pronounced cro~hn-denny) which is very much like Stygai, Asshai, Asshai by the Shadow, or the Ash River. She also refers to herself as a Painlord, similar to unsullied experiences. This also includes being a “White”. I will wrote more on these concepts down page.

  • And, at very long last, in my castle built on stilts, in my house of pain and rebirth where the game of mind is played, amid the swamps and stinks of Croan’dhenni, far from all humanity save those few lost souls who seek us out- it was there too, my glass flower.
  • Cyrain has a god complex: she keeps 12 apostles, calls herself Jesus Christ (also referred to by Damon Julian in Fevre Dream– below), and has her obsidian tower built so those have to pass through her for judgement. Outside her obsidian fire temple people and beings flock to her and prostrate themselves. This is akin to thralldom, or wights on ASOIAF. Those smallfolk outside the pyramids are fire-thrall-wights. Yes, we see this with Daenerys as she goes through Essos, including her developing god complex that begins to take shape in A Storm of Swords:
    • The Glass Flower
      • [Cyrain] I smiled for him. “And I’m Jesus Christ. Would you care to meet my Apostles?”

      • It is there that the game of mind is played. My own suite is at the base of the tower. The reasons for that were symbolic as well. None achieve rebirth without first passing through me.

      • And now the haunted child. In the mirrors she looks like a daughter of dreams, the daughter I might have birthed had I been far lovelier than I ever was. Khar brought her to me, a gift he said, a most beautiful gift, to repay me in kind after I…

      • Tomorrow new players will arrive, begging for bodies, for rebirth, for another chance, and tomorrow Khar’s ships will land with a new load of prizes, and all your moral certainties will be tested, and tested again, and twisted to new shapes.

    • A Dance with Dragons – The Spurned Suitor

      “One kiss from my hammer and no one will care what his name was,” said Arch.

      They do not see. His friends had lost sight of his true purpose here. The road leads through her, not to her. Daenerys is the means to the prize, not the prize itself. ” ‘The dragon has three heads,’ she said to me. ‘My marriage need not be the end of all your hopes,’ she said. ‘I know why you are here. For fire and blood.’ I have Targaryen blood in me, you know that. I can trace my lineage back—”

      “Fuck your lineage,” said Gerris. “The dragons won’t care about your blood, except maybe how it tastes. You cannot tame a dragon with a history lesson. They’re monsters, not maesters. Quent, is this truly what you want to do?”

      • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
      • John 10:9 Jesus said, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
    • A Storm of Swords – Daenerys VI

      Dany broke her fast under the persimmon tree that grew in the terrace garden, watching her dragons chase each other about the apex of the Great Pyramid where the huge bronze harpy once stood. Meereen had a score of lesser pyramids, but none stood even half as tall. From here she could see the whole city: the narrow twisty alleys and wide brick streets, the temples and granaries, hovels and palaces, brothels and baths, gardens and fountains, the great red circles of the fighting pits. And beyond the walls was the pewter sea, the winding Skahazadhan, the dry brown hills, burnt orchards, and blackened fields. Up here in her garden Dany sometimes felt like a god, living atop the highest mountain in the world.

      Do all gods feel so lonely? Some must, surely. Missandei had told her of the Lord of Harmony, worshiped by the Peaceful People of Naath; he was the only true god, her little scribe said, the god who always was and always would be, who made the moon and stars and earth, and all the creatures that dwelt upon them. Poor Lord of Harmony. Dany pitied him. It must be terrible to be alone for all time, attended by hordes of butterfly women you could make or unmake at a word. Westeros had seven gods at least, though Viserys had told her that some septons said the seven were only aspects of a single god, seven facets of a single crystal. That was just confusing. The red priests believed in two gods, she had heard, but two who were eternally at war. Dany liked that even less. She would not want to be eternally at war.

More comparisons with Cyrain, and Bran, and the throne in the Greenseeing is Enlightenment page.

Oddly, as often as Martin reuses this own motifs, this Cyrain of Ash and Liltih is the only time we have a character that actually looks like Daenerys. Golden Boy from Starlady has gold hair, but not the purple eyes, and Golden Boy has literal pointy elf ears. Martin has used plenty of dark haired, curvy shaped, purple-eyed women, way more of an Ashara Dayne type. I’d say after the Ashara Dayne looks, the red-head and honey-blonde are the next frequent descriptives we see repeated. Not with Cyrain. She is on her fifth stolen body when we meet her on page. This is the little girl’s body that is most like Daenerys. Also, it is what Cyrain was made to be.

  • The Glass Flower
    • By their creed, I have every moral right to the bodies I take, because I am stronger and therefore better and more holy than those born to that flesh. The little girl born in my present body was not a Steel Angel, unfortunately.

    • [Cyrain describing her current “prize” body] She is perhaps eleven years old, perhaps twelve. Her body is gaunt and awkward, but the beauty is there, locked inside, just beginning to blossom. Her breasts are budding now, and her blood first came less than half a year ago. Her hair is silver-gold, long and straight, a glittering cascade that falls nearly to her heels. Her eyes are large in her small face, and they are the deepest, purest violet. Her face is something sculpted. She was bred to be thus, no doubt of that; genetic tailoring has made the Shrikan trade-lords and the wealthy of Lilith and Fellanora a breathtakingly beautiful folk. When Khar brought her to me, she was shy of seven, her mind already gone, a whimpering animal thing screaming in a dark locked room within her skull. Khar says she was that way when he bought her, the dispossessed daughter of a Fellanei robber baron toppled and executed for political crimes, his family and friends and retainers slain with him or turned into mindless sexual playthings for his victorious enemies.

It is possible that Daenerys’ dragons come from Stygai specifically, even though throughout Martin’s various previous works, as well as Lovecraft lore, all of the areas around Asshai are literately interchangeable. Illyrio Mopatis trades in dragonbone and other luxuries, and he goes east to procure his goods, so it is possible that three eggs found him if he did not find them first.

  • A Dance with Dragons – The Dragontamer

    Archibald Yronwood grasped the iron doors and pulled them apart. Their rusted hinges let out a pair of screams, for all those who might have slept through the breaking of the lock. A wash of sudden heat assaulted them, heavy with the odors of ash, brimstone, and burnt meat.

    It was black beyond the doors, a sullen stygian darkness that seemed alive and threatening, hungry. Quentyn could sense that there was something in that darkness, coiled and waiting. Warrior, grant me courage, he prayed. He did not want to do this, but he saw no other way. Why else would Daenerys have shown me the dragons? She wants me to prove myself to her. Gerris handed him a torch. He stepped through the doors.

  • Fire & Blood, vol 1

Three dragon eggs were missing, and days of searching had not turned them up. After questioning every man who had access to the dragons closely, Ser Merrell was convinced that Lady Elissa had made off with them.

[and then later…]

As for Lady Alys Westhill, born Elissa of House Farman, where her adventure ended we cannot say. The Sun Chaser vanished into the west, still searching for the lands beyond the Sunset Sea, and was never seen again. Except…

Many years later, Corlys Velaryon, the boy born on Driftmark in 53 AC, would take his ship the Sea Snake on nine great voyages, sailing farther than any man of Westeros had ever sailed before. On the first of those voyages, he sailed beyond the Jade Gates, to Yi Ti and the isle of Leng, and returned with such a wealth of spice and silk and jade that House Velaryon became, for a time, the wealthiest house in all the Seven Kingdoms. On his second voyage, Ser Corlys sailed even farther east, and became the first Westerosi ever to reach Asshai-by-the-Shadow, the bleak black city of the shadowbinders at the edge of the world. There he lost his love and half his crew, if the tales be true…and there as well, in Asshai’s harbor, he glimpsed an old and much weathered ship

  • At the Mountains of Madness- H.P. Lovecraft

At last a mighty metropolis rose on the bottom of that Stygian sea; its architecture much like that of the city above, and its workmanship displaying relatively little decadence because of the precise mathematical element inherent in building operations. The newly bred shoggoths grew to enormous size and singular intelligence, and were represented as taking and executing orders with marvellous quickness. They seemed to converse with the Old Ones by mimicking their voices—a sort of musical piping over a wide range, if poor Lake’s dissection had indicated aright—and to work more from spoken commands than from hypnotic suggestions as in earlier times. They were, however, kept in admirable control. The phosphorescent organisms supplied light with vast effectiveness, and doubtless atoned for the loss of the familiar polar auroras of the outer-world night.

Stygai and Assahi- World of Ice and Fire App

***

Only Kinds Are Afraid of the Dark in Saagael. Very clear R’hllorist fire worshippers here that use children as sacrifice. Here is a page that goes through this story line by line with notes. <- Updated page that includes some information from Fire & Blood. Also detailed in the section titled Saagael Lives! down page.

Sandkings as Simon Kress, with lightbringer and folk god worship, and so, so many other thematic parallels. The sandking queen/mother beetles in this story represent the nobles of Meereen as they try to consume Daenerys as the sandkings try to consume Simon Kress. The vision in the House of the Undying Ones foreshadows this. Another note regarding the House of the Undying small people that are tearing at Daenerys, they are based on Brown Jenkin from the H.P. Lovecraft story The Dreams in the Witch House.

Yes, Martin has spoke many times about how Lovecraft is a direct influence on him and his works. One example:

  • I wanted to season it with a little Lovecraft and a pinch of Kafka, and plant the suggestion that, when we go far enough from home, rationality, causality, and the physical laws of the universe itself begin to break down. —GRRM
  • A Clash of Kings – Daenerys IV

    Faster and faster the visions came, one after the other, until it seemed as if the very air had come alive. Shadows whirled and danced inside a tent, boneless and terrible. A little girl ran barefoot toward a big house with a red door. Mirri Maz Duur shrieked in the flames, a dragon bursting from her brow. Behind a silver horse the bloody corpse of a naked man bounced and dragged. A white lion ran through grass taller than a man. Beneath the Mother of Mountains, a line of naked crones crept from a great lake and knelt shivering before her, their grey heads bowed. Ten thousand slaves lifted bloodstained hands as she raced by on her silver, riding like the wind. “Mother!” they cried. “Mother, mother!” They were reaching for her, touching her, tugging at her cloak, the hem of her skirt, her foot, her leg, her breast. They wanted her, needed her, the fire, the life, and Dany gasped and opened her arms to give herself to them . . .

    But then black wings buffeted her round the head, and a scream of fury cut the indigo air, and suddenly the visions were gone, ripped away, and Dany’s gasp turned to horror. The Undying were all around her, blue and cold, whispering as they reached for her, pulling, stroking, tugging at her clothes, touching her with their dry cold hands, twining their fingers through her hair. All the strength had left her limbs. She could not move. Even her heart had ceased to beat. She felt a hand on her bare breast, twisting her nipple. Teeth found the soft skin of her throat. A mouth descended on one eye, licking, sucking, biting . . .

  • Sandkings

[Near the beginning of the story]

His face merged on the castle walls.
At first all four carvings looked alike to him, but as the work continued and Kress studied the reproductions, he began to detect subtle differences in technique and execution. The reds were the most creative, using tiny flakes of slate to put the gray in his hair. The white idol seemed young and mischievous to him, while the face shaped by the blacks-although virtually the same, line for line-struck him as wise and benevolent. The orange sandkings, as usual, were last and least. The wars had not gone well for them, and their castle was sad compared to those of the others. The image they carved was crude and cartoonish, and they seemed to intend to leave it this way. When they stopped work on the face, Kress grew quite piqued with them, but there really was nothing he could do.
When all of the sandkings had finished their Kress faces, he turned off the projector and decided that it was time to have a party. His friends would be impressed. He could even stage a war for them, he thought. Humming happily to himself, he began drawing up a guest list.

[jump to end]

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 orange “children” were taking Simon in to the breathing maw (mother) to be eaten. The End]

Sidenote: Another ASOIAF fan, Melanie, Lot Seven, has a wonderful essay that discusses kings under mountains in A Song of Ice and Fire. A great read -> linked here.

As the different beetle factions in Sandkings live in underground caves and hollow hills, with just a castle looking opening above the surface, each time a sandking insect gets food, it is dragged and stored under the sand through a gaping hole called a maw, which is then fed to the maw mother-like leader. We learn this while Daenerys is Vaes Dothrak at the Mother of Mountains.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys VI

    If I were not the blood of the dragon, she thought wistfully, this could be my home. …

    The Western Market was a great square of beaten earth surrounded by warrens of mud-baked brick, animal pens, whitewashed drinking halls. Hummocks rose from the ground like the backs of great subterranean beasts breaking the surface, yawning black mouths leading down to cool and cavernous storerooms below. The interior of the square was a maze of stalls and crookback aisles, shaded by awnings of woven grass.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys VI

    Under the hollow hummock of earth that was her home in Vaes Dothrak, Dany ordered them to leave her—all but Ser Jorah. “Tell me,” she commanded as she lowered herself onto her cushions. “Was it the Usurper?”

    “Yes.” The knight drew out a folded parchment. “A letter to Viserys, from Magister Illyrio. Robert Baratheon offers lands and lordships for your death, or your brother’s.”

And in A Song of Ice and Fire, the Dothraki wear sandsilk, and Daenerys often wears sandsilk trousers- flipping the gender role. What type of insect makes sandsilk? Daenerys uses the Viserys blood-stained sandsilk to wrap up the green dragon egg just as the soul’s of unborn Rhaego and unborn dragon Rhaegal are switched.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys IV

    “I’m not hungry,” Dany said sadly. She was suddenly very tired. “Share the food among yourselves, and send some to Ser Jorah, if you would.” After a moment she added, “Please, bring me one of the dragon’s eggs.”

    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.

sandkings___all_variants_by_jokercarnage5-dbkdin1
Sandkings bugs with tiny hands. Artist: Caffiene2.

The Sandking insect factions translates to represent Meereen. Daenerys’ rule in Meereen does NOT go as planned. Her success is not a sure thing as factions and houses are still plotting against her and trying to poison/kill her.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys IX

“That explains the way Belwas is sweating,” Dany said. “I believe I will content myself with figs and dates.”

Across the pit the Graces sat in flowing robes of many colors, clustered around the austere figure of Galazza Galare, who alone amongst them wore the green. The Great Masters of Meereen occupied the red and orange benches. The women were veiled, and the men had brushed and lacquered their hair into horns and hands and spikes. Hizdahr’s kin of the ancient line of Loraq seemed to favor tokars of purple and indigo and lilac, whilst those of Pahl were striped in pink and white. The envoys from Yunkai were all in yellow and filled the box beside the king’s, each of them with his slaves and servants. Meereenese of lesser birth crowded the upper tiers, more distant from the carnage. The black and purple benches, highest and most distant from the sand, were crowded with freedmen and other common folk. The sellswords had been placed up there as well, Daenerys saw, their captains seated right amongst the common soldiers. She spied Brown Ben’s weathered face and Bloodbeard’s fiery red whiskers and long braids.

Her lord husband stood and raised his hands. “Great Masters! My queen has come this day, to show her love for you, her people. By her grace and with her leave, I give you now your mortal art. Meereen! Let Queen Daenerys hear your love!”

***

This combination of Simon Kress and Daenerys follows a passage from the bible almost exactly. The bible hints that Armageddon starts with an invasion of “kings from the East”. This would be the Sandkings/Dothraki which will be lead by Daenerys:

  • 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.”

Asshai, Dany thought. She would have me go to Asshai. “Will the Asshai’i give me an army?” she demanded. “Will there be gold for me in Asshai? Will there be ships? What is there in Asshai that I will not find in Qarth?”

  • Revelations 16:12-16, (longer version here); the “three evil spirits” are the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (the “another” beast from Revelation 13:11-18). The “frogs” are not real frogs, rather symbolism for the unclean spirits of the demons.
    • Could it be?: dragon = Daenerys, beast = Tyrion, false prophet = Euron (the “godliest man” and the first storm and the last).
    • Could the frog be Quentyn “Hope Frog” Martell coming to deliver his bizzare request to marry Daenerys in place of another marriage that was to happen between Viserys and Arianne Martell?

The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” (Rev 16:12-16)

And Seven Times Never Kill Man as Bakkalon the Pale Child in conjunction with the Steel Angels. This follows the repeating ASOIAF plot of the Faith of the Seven/Andals always joining up with the fiery Targaryens. I believe we will first see the Riverlands bow to Aegon, but then bow or burn to Daenerys later in the story after she burns Aegon as the mummer’s dragon.

Nightflyers with the Mother and the ship combo.

Fevre Dream. The antagonist (Daemon) Damon Julian, “Blood Master”, slavery dialogue included. This story very much gives a glimpse of the Daenerys/Euron “demon reaver” bond they will (suspected) have, and this includes the protoype to Daenerys and Jon Snow battling on the Trident as foes. Both Daenerys and Euron are “demon reavers” who crave the throne. This Daenerys section will cover the ‘reaving’ as Dany is the Pale Child Bakkalon with her reaver sword, as the Ironborn are battle reavers.

wc11-1-549x900I am also going to give mention to the character Legion from the Wild Cards universe. This is a page in progress, but the basic details about Legion are already pretty darned close to Dany even in bulletpoints. For the moment, I am pulling Legion information from the Wild Cards wiki  and adding my notes along the way.

  • Since there aren’t nearly enough pretty young blondes in the world already, it’s a good thing Danny Shepherd exists – an Ace with the ability to produce a whole lot more. Source.
  • Danielle “Danny” Shepherd drew her wild card when she was three years old. At first she got very sick, and grew very large. Danny’s body then began to split in two. As the split continued her doctors and parents believed that she would end up as a pair of conjoined twins. Instead Danny became one person/mind with two physically independent bodies.

    • The fact that is, George has been aligning Daenerys with sheep/shepherds for a long time. Mirri Maz Duur is of the Lamb Men and a godswife in the temple to the Great Shepherd, a Lhazareen deity. 
    • Dany gets preganant at 13, and she has a “wake the dragon” dream where she splits open. You can read that dream analysis here, if you so chose.
    • Conjoined twins? Well, we do know GRRM has said Cersei and Dany are parallels, so maybe this detail was reworked in to Cersei and Jaime instead?
  •  

    Danny’s parents were convinced that the two bodies were two separate individuals, and treated them as such. One body retained the Danielle name, and the other was named “Michelle” by the Shepherds. The Shepherds continued to treat the two bodies as two individuals until Danny achieved her next “split” at age 13. In the meantime she had to endure having to go through the same classes in both bodies.

    • The dragon has three heads.
  •  

    When Danny was thirteen years old she was unhappy with her adolescent appearance. One of Danny’s bodies grew in size and split in two. Unlike her original split, the third body was somewhat different from the first two – it was more curvaceous, just what Danny desired. It was then that she realized that she could customize her new bodies at the time of creation. For next several years she formed a new body to celebrate her birthday. Eventually she stopped forming additional bodies when she was up to seven bodies.

    • This body appearence is just what Cyrain of Ash and Lilith discusses in The Glass Flower. That information is included on this page.
  •  

    Danny participated in the Rox War. For the final assault by George Battle’s ace forces, each of Danny’s bodies was assigned to either a group of aces, General Frank Zappa‘s headquarters, or the US Navy battleship New Jersey.

    • The fact that Danny uses the name Legion for her wild card name transalted in to ASOIAF with the Unsullied, those who follow the training the Lockstep Legions of Old Ghis (a not-so-nice place).
    • Also, the Unsullied and their lockstep formation battle and bronze caps is basically re-forging a war chain one link at a time, not unlike Tyrion having a war-chain forged for the Battle on the Blackwater. A bronze link from the maesters signifies history, so history repeating. 
  • At her peak Legion had seven bodies simultaneously:

    The first two bodies were identical, with the second body being named “Michelle” by her parents. These two bodies have freckles.

    The third body is taller, has long, blonde hair, and is more voluptuous than the first two. She is also freckle-less.


The Demoniac Crown and Tourmaline

I just want to touch on the H.P. Lovecraft side of the character development one more time. Aside from the Dagon and the Deep Ones of Shadow Over Innsmouth story connections the Iron Born, Euron, and Daenerys all share, there is something more specific that we can see Martin added to his ASOIAF story. The new crown that Dany and Euron both now have. I can only reason that when Martin adds details like this from other stories, that he is giving readers a wonderful gift that encourages them to explore the reason and meaning behind such details. I do not think the reader has to know the other non-ASOIAF stories, they are not required reading to enjoy ASOIAF, but they are little gems for those who do know the references and take joy in discussing them within the fandom.

Daenerys in her Qartheen crown. Except, Dany has no hair/extremely short hair in the books. Artist: Amok

So, what crown could I be referring to? We know that when the Targling children were young, Viserys sold their mothers crown to get money to support them as the ran from city to city. Let’s not forget the complicity and collusion Daenerys exhibits as Viserys is sacrificed with his molten crown of gold allowing Daenerys to move up in ruling rank. Now, Viserys was often an unbearable shit, but I am not sure this was the best way to deal with him, and after Dany’s final ADWD chapter, I feel as though the author wants the readers to at least question the methods and motives of the situation.

  • A Storm of Swords – Daenerys II

    “Better to come a beggar than a slaver,” Arstan said.

    “There speaks one who has been neither.” Dany’s nostrils flared. “Do you know what it is like to be sold, squire? I do. My brother sold me to Khal Drogo for the promise of a golden crown. Well, Drogo crowned him in gold, though not as he had wished, and I . . . my sun-and-stars made a queen of me, but if he had been a different man, it might have been much otherwise. Do you think I have forgotten how it felt to be afraid?”

    Whitebeard bowed his head. “Your Grace, I did not mean to give offense.”

We know Euron won (mind-snatched?) the Kingsmoot to get the crowning as the new king. Even still, we readers are given notice that Euron will have his own crown, that of a sea behemoth. For the sake of page length and information overload, I won’t go on too long about these parallels, however, feel free to ask me for other book quotes if you like.

  • The Shadow Over Innmouth

It took no excessive sensitiveness to beauty to make me literally gasp at the strange, unearthly splendour of the alien, opulent phantasy that rested there on a purple velvet cushion. Even now I can hardly describe what I saw, though it was clearly enough a sort of tiara, as the description had said. It was tall in front, and with a very large and curiously irregular periphery, as if designed for a head of almost freakishly elliptical outline. The material seemed to be predominantly gold, though a weird lighter lustrousness hinted at some strange alloy with an equally beautiful and scarcely identifiable metal. Its condition was almost perfect, and one could have spent hours in studying the striking and puzzlingly untraditional designs—some simply geometrical, and some plainly marine—chased or moulded in high relief on its surface with a craftsmanship of incredible skill and grace.
     The longer I looked, the more the thing fascinated me; and in this fascination there was a curiously disturbing element hardly to be classified or accounted for. At first I decided that it was the queer other-worldly quality of the art which made me uneasy. All other art objects I had ever seen either belonged to some known racial or national stream, or else were consciously modernistic defiances of every recognised stream. This tiara was neither. It clearly belonged to some settled technique of infinite maturity and perfection, yet that technique was utterly remote from any—Eastern or Western, ancient or modern—which I had ever heard of or seen exemplified. It was as if the workmanship were that of another planet.
     However, I soon saw that my uneasiness had a second and perhaps equally potent source residing in the pictorial and mathematical suggestions of the strange designs. The patterns all hinted of remote secrets and unimaginable abysses in time and space, and the monotonously aquatic nature of the reliefs became almost sinister. Among these reliefs were fabulous monsters of abhorrent grotesqueness and malignity—half ichthyic and half batrachian in suggestion—which one could not dissociate from a certain haunting and uncomfortable sense of pseudo-memory, as if they called up some image from deep cells and tissues whose retentive functions are wholly primal and awesomely ancestral. At times I fancied that every contour of these blasphemous fish-frogs was overflowing with the ultimate quintessence of unknown and inhuman evil.

  • One of the Marsh daughters was a repellent, reptilian-looking woman who wore an excess of weird jewellery clearly of the same exotic tradition as that to which the strange tiara belonged. My informant had noticed it many times, and had heard it spoken of as coming from some secret hoard, either of pirates or of daemons. The clergymen—or priests, or whatever they were called nowadays—also wore this kind of ornament as a head-dress; but one seldom caught glimpses of them. Other specimens the youth had not seen, though many were rumoured to exist around Innsmouth.
  • Clearly, as I realised a moment later, it was the pastor; clad in some peculiar vestments doubtless introduced since the Order of Dagon had modified the ritual of the local churches. The thing which had probably caught my first subconscious glance and supplied the touch of bizarre horror was the tall tiara he wore; an almost exact duplicate of the one Miss Tilton had shewn me the previous evening. This, acting on my imagination, had supplied namelessly sinister qualities to the indeterminate face and robed, shambling form beneath it. There was not, I soon decided, any reason why I should have felt that shuddering touch of evil pseudo-memory. Was it not natural that a local mystery cult should adopt among its regimentals an unique type of head-dress made familiar to the community in some strange way—perhaps as treasure-trove?

And if we compare this description, and even the emotions it pulls forth from those that view it, we can see the clear parallels. As quick reminder, The Tourmaline Brotherhood, with a history connected to the Tourmaline Emperor, is a powerful merchant guild within Qarth. It battles for prominence in the city with the Thirteen, the Ancient Guild of Spicers and the Pureborn. The connection to spices is something that was discussed in the fiery religion page. There always seems to be a spice present when fire magic is being worked. The Brotherhood owns approximately eight hundred ships. According to Xaro Xhoan Daxos the Brotherhood is full of pirates. So again we have a Dagon/Deep Ones/Lovecraftian gods/Euron connection that circles right back to imagery shared by Daenerys.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys IX

    “… 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 …”

  • A Clash of Kings – Daenerys III

    She would have been lost without Xaro. The gold that she had squandered to open the doors of the Hall of a Thousand Thrones was largely a product of the merchant’s generosity and quick wits. As the rumor of living dragons had spread through the east, ever more seekers had come to learn if the tale was true—and Xaro Xhoan Daxos saw to it that the great and the humble alike offered some token to the Mother of Dragons.

    The trickle he started soon swelled to a flood. Trader captains brought lace from Myr, chests of saffron from Yi Ti, amber and dragonglass out of Asshai. Merchants offered bags of coin, silversmiths rings and chains. Pipers piped for her, tumblers tumbled, and jugglers juggled, while dyers draped her in colors she had never known existed. A pair of Jogos Nhai presented her with one of their striped zorses, black and white and fierce. A widow brought the dried corpse of her husband, covered with a crust of silvered leaves; such remnants were believed to have great power, especially if the deceased had been a sorcerer, as this one had. And the Tourmaline Brotherhood pressed on her a crown wrought in the shape of a three-headed dragon; the coils were yellow gold, the wings silver, the heads carved from jade, ivory, and onyx.

    The crown was the only offering she’d kept. The rest she sold, to gather the wealth she had wasted on the Pureborn. Xaro would have sold the crown too—the Thirteen would see that she had a much finer one, he swore—but Dany forbade it. “Viserys sold my mother’s crown, and men called him a beggar. I shall keep this one, so men will call me a queen.” And so she did, though the weight of it made her neck ache.

  • The Winds of Winter – The Foresaken (Aeron Greyjoy teaser)

When Euron came again, his hair was swept straight back from his brow, and his lips were so blue that they were almost black. He had put aside his driftwood crown. In its place, he wore an iron crown whose points were made from the teeth of sharks.

“That which is dead cannot die,” said Aeron fiercely. “For he who has tasted death once need never fear again. He was drowned, but he came forth stronger than before, with steel and fire.”

 


Slavery

Damon Julian from Fevre Dream is the type of “dark lord” Martin does like to use. Yes, George R.R. Martin writes dark lords, but even these characters are dimensional, crafty, and intelligent beings.

Damon is the antagonist that is clearly against slavery (the way humans “own” and control each other), however, Damon is not above using mind control on his own subservient group of vampires in his clan- he enthralls them as “blood of my blood,” and they worship him as godlike. Damon Julian even goes so far as to enthrall the main protagonist of the story, Joshua York, among other human peoples… all while purporting he is against slavery and “ownership” through some rather blazing speaches. There are many, many Fevre Dream quotes about this, but for the sake of brevity I can only post a few. Please ask if you want other book quotes.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys VI

    When Daenerys returned to her pyramid, sore of limb and sick of heart, she found Missandei reading some old scroll whilst Irri and Jhiqui argued about Rakharo. “You are too skinny for him,” Jhiqui was saying. “You are almost a boy. Rakharo does not bed with boys. This is known.” Irri bristled back. “It is known that you are almost a cow. Rakharo does not bed with cows.”

    Rakharo is blood of my blood. His life belongs to me, not you,” Dany told the two of them.

  • Fevre Dream [Notes: the “cattle” are what the fiery vampires call humans they drain of blood, Damon refers to Jesus Christ and blood as does Cyrain, and Damon, like Cyrain, is a hypocrite when it comes to slavery.]

Damon Julian sighed. “Ah, poor Joshua,” he said. He sipped his brandy. “Let the cattle create—life, beauty, what you will. And we shall take their creations, use them, destroy them if we choose. That is the way of it. We are the masters. Masters do not labor. Let them make the suits. We shall wear them. Let them build the steamboats. We shall ride upon them. Let them dream of life eternal. We shall live it, and drink of their lives, and savor the blood. We are the lords of this earth, and that is our heritage. Our destiny, if you will, dear Joshua. Exult in your nature, Joshua, do not seek to change it. Those cattle who truly know us envy us. Any of them would be as we are, given the choice.” Julian smiled maliciously. “Have you ever wondered why this Jesus Christ of theirs bid his followers to drink his blood, if they would live forever?” He chuckled. “They burn to be like us, just as the darkies dream of being white. You see how far they go. To play at being masters, they even enslave their own kind.”

“As you do, Julian,” said Joshua York, dangerously. “What else do you call the dominion you have held over our people? Even those you call masters you make slaves to your own twisted will.”

  • Fevre Dream
    • …You are my friend, but they are blood of my blood, my people. I belong with them. I thought I was their king.”
    • Joshua York explaining  the ice and fire sides of the same coin: “The years have passed with a sort of uneasy truce between Julian and myself. There are fewer of us, barely a dozen, and we are divided. My followers have my liquor, and Julian’s have their blood. Simon, Cynthia, and Michel are mine, the others his, some because they think as he does, others because he is bloodmaster. Kurt and Raymond are his strongest allies. And Billy.” His expression was grim. “Billy is a cannibal, Abner. For thirteen years, Julian has been making him one of us, or so he says. After all that time, the blood still makes Billy sick. I have seen him retch on it a dozen times. But he eats human flesh eagerly now, though he cooks it first. Julian finds that amusing.”

This tale of GRRM’s, as well as The Glass Flower, show that just because someone is against slavery, and frees certain slaves, that does not mean they are the savior of the story. Mental slavery is just as eternal as the physical.

George has created antagonists that are multi-dimensional. The amount of pre-ASOAIF archetype themes in these stories is staggering. Well worth its own thread to be able to cover all of it. For instance, Damon Julian is the clan “Bloodmaster”, and Danaerys is the Khaleesi leader and her followers are “blood of her blood.” There is a battle on the river, an “Eclipse”, a berserker moment, a Katherine female vampire (dark side of Catelyn Tully-Stark) who hates Josh York and betrays Josh to go back to the dark and fiery Damon, a special white suit made just for Josh York (as Val does for Jon)… and so much more.

Daenerys will bind the people to her as this bloodmaster does, they will worship her as godlike, and she will burn those who are against her:

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys IV
    A small army of slaves had gone ahead to prepare for Khal Drogo’s arrival. As each rider swung down from his saddle, he unbelted his arakh and handed it to a waiting slave, and any other weapons he carried as well. Even Khal Drogo himself was not exempt. Ser Jorah had explained that it was forbidden to carry a blade in Vaes Dothrak, or to shed a free man’s blood. Even warring khalasars put aside their feuds and shared meat and mead together when they were in sight of the Mother of Mountains. In this place, the crones of the dosh khaleen had decreed, all Dothraki were one blood, one khalasar, one herd.

Damon Julian is a dark lord-type. But per the preferred character styling of GRRM, even his bad/dark/naughty/etc characters all have an alternate side. An orc wasn’t born an evil orc, but instead he struggles with the battles in his own heart- he is made. Antagonists (and villains) were made that way through their experiences. This is how he creates dimensional characters as opposed to moustache twirling villains.

  • Fevre Dream

Julian spent a lot of time in his cabin, sitting all alone in the dark without so much as a candle, sipping brandy and staring off at nothing. More and more he was leaving the running of the boat to Billy, just like he had let Billy run the plantation while he sat in his dark dusty library. “Stay here,” Julian continued, “and see that our pilot does as I’ve told him. When we catch that steamer, bring Captain Marsh to me.”

(and then later)

“Does the light bother you, Joshua?” Julian asked once, after they had been seated a long time. “You really must get used to it if you are to become one of them. All the good cattle love the sunlight.” He smiled. Then, quickly as it had come, the smile faded. Joshua York did not reply, and Julian did not speak again. Watching him, Marsh thought how much Julian himself seemed to have decayed, just as the steamer and Sour Billy had gone to rot. He was different now, somehow, different and even more frightening. After that one, brief question, he had no more taunts. He had no words at all. He did not look at Joshua York or at Marsh or at anything in particular. His eyes stared off into nothingness, cold and black and dead as coals. They still had a lambent quality about them, and in the shadows where Julian was seated they sometimes seemed to burn with their own dim light beneath his pale, heavy brow. But they did not seem human. Nor did Julian. Marsh remembered the night that Julian had come aboard the Fevre Dream. When he had looked into his eyes then, it was as if he saw masks falling away, one after the other in endless succession, until at the bottom, beneath it all, the beast emerged. Now it was different. Now it was almost as if the masks had ceased to exist. Damon Julian had been as evil a man as Marsh had ever met, but part of his evil had been human evil: his malevolence, his lies, his terrible musical laugh, his cruel delight in torment, his love for beauty and its ruin. Now all that seemed to be gone. Now there was only the beast, hunched in the darkness with feral eyes, cornered and fearful, unreasoning. Now Julian did not ridicule Joshua, nor expound on good and evil and strength and weakness, nor fill Marsh with soft, rotten promises. Now he only sat and waited, shrouded in darkness, his ageless face devoid of all expression, his eyes ancient and empty. Abner Marsh realized then that Joshua had been right. Julian was mad, or worse than mad. Julian was a ghost now, and the thing that lived inside that body was all but mindless.

***

The issue of slavery is a bit of the same with Cyrain of Ash. She is in a relationship with her slave provider, Khar Dorian (Daario Naharis), and also is now using the slaves as “prizes” for her game of mind… but she twists the meaning to excuse the practice and to validate enthrallment in her mind. But what can you say, because Cyrain is just so “cute” in her eleven-year old silver-haired girl body.

  • The Glass Flower

Khar Dorian calls himself a slaver, and points out to me that we do, indeed, deal in human flesh. He can call himself what he likes. I am no slaver; the charge offends me. A slaver sells his clients into bondage and servitude, deprives them of freedom, mobility, and time, all precious commodities. I do no such thing. I am only a thief. Khar and his underlings bring them to me from the swollen cities of Lilith, from the harsh mountains and cold wastes of Dam Tullian, from the rotting tenements along the canals of Vess, from spaceport bars on Fellanora and Cymeranth and Shrike, from wherever he can find them, he takes them and brings them to me, and I steal from them and set them free.
A lot of them refuse to go. (sidenote: folk god)
They cluster outside my castle walls in the city they have built, toss gifts to me as I pass, call out my name, beg favors of me. I have left them freedom, mobility, and time, and they squander it all in futility, hoping to win back the one thing I have stolen.
I steal their bodies, but they lose their souls themselves.
And perhaps I am unduly harsh to call myself a thief. These victims Khar brings me are unwilling players in the game of mind, but no less players for all that.

Which makes me wonder why, deep into the story during A Dance with Dragons, Missandei is still referred to as a “slave”.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys II

    Your slave Missandei.” Jhiqui had a taper in her hand.

    “My servant. I have no slaves.” Dany did not understand. “Why does she weep?”

    “For him who was her brother,” Irri told her.

Jhiqui was with Daenerys when Dany was gifted Missandei, so Jhiqui should definitely know the relationship between MIssandei and Daenerys. It is rather curious to the reader that this happens to Dany since we read Dany’s words. Is something else going on?

  • A Storm of Swords – Daenerys III

    “Your name is Oh?”

    “No. Your Grace, forgive this one her outburst. Your slave’s name is Missandei, but . . .”

    “Missandei is no longer a slave. I free you, from this instant. Come ride with me in the litter, I wish to talk.” Rakharo helped them in, and Dany drew the curtains shut against the dust and heat. “If you stay with me you will serve as one of my handmaids,” she said as they set off. “I shall keep you by my side to speak for me as you spoke for Kraznys. But you may leave my service whenever you choose, if you have father or mother you would sooner return to.”

     

[and then]

“And here he waits.” Ser Jorah and Belwas walked beside her to the litter, where Drogon and his brothers lay basking in the sun. Jhiqui unfastened one end of the chain, and handed it down to her. When she gave a yank, the black dragon raised his head, hissing, and unfolded wings of night and scarlet. Kraznys mo Nakloz smiled broadly as their shadow fell across him.

Dany handed the slaver the end of Drogon’s chain. In return he presented her with the whip. The handle was black dragonbone, elaborately carved and inlaid with gold. Nine long thin leather lashes trailed from it, each one tipped by a gilded claw. The gold pommel was a woman’s head, with pointed ivory teeth. “The harpy’s fingers,” Kraznys named the scourge.

Dany turned the whip in her hand. Such a light thing, to bear such weight. “Is it done, then? Do they belong to me?”

Religion is the best form of mass control in the history of the world. It is the most effective way to create complacency among the people. This scene in A Song of Ice and Fire where we see another step in Daenerys becoming a folk god in regional popular belief.

There is no doubt the word for mother, “mhysa“, was derived from the Latin/Catholic term for “missa”, which means mass… as in a composition setting several sung parts to prayer. Dany has a religious experience akin to the smallfolk prostrating themselves to Jesus Christ:

  • A Storm of Swords – Daenerys IV

On the morning of the third day, the city gates swung open and a line of slaves began to emerge. Dany mounted her silver to greet them. As they passed, little Missandei told them that they owed their freedom to Daenerys Stormborn, the Unburnt, Queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and Mother of Dragons.

Mhysa!” a brown-skinned man shouted out at her. He had a child on his shoulder, a little girl, and she screamed the same word in her thin voice. “Mhysa! Mhysa!”

“It is Ghiscari, the old pure tongue. It means ‘Mother.'”

Dany felt a lightness in her chest. I will never bear a living child, she remembered. Her hand trembled as she raised it. Perhaps she smiled. She must have, because the man grinned and shouted again, and others took up the cry. “Mhysa!” they called. “Mhysa! MHYSA!” They were all smiling at her, reaching for her, kneeling before her. “Maela,” some called her, while others cried “Aelalla” or “Qathei” or “Tato,” but whatever the tongue it all meant the same thing. Mother. They are calling me Mother.

The chant grew, spread, swelled. It swelled so loud that it frightened her horse, and the mare backed and shook her head and lashed her silver-grey tail. It swelled until it seemed to shake the yellow walls of Yunkai. More slaves were streaming from the gates every moment, and as they came they took up the call. They were running toward her now, pushing, stumbling, wanting to touch her hand, to stroke her horse’s mane, to kiss her feet. Her poor bloodriders could not keep them all away, and even Strong Belwas grunted and growled in dismay.


Swords from the Skies

This page is getting a little long, so I will keep this part short. Swords fromthe skies are also something Simon Kress, Bakkalon, Damon Julian, and Daenerys all share. This is part of the fiery hand of R’hllor repeated symbolism that I often talk about, including speculating as to what the fourth knife at Jon’s mutiny stabbing could be. Again we see the use of a “fire in the sky” motif used over and over for certain character types. We know that Drogon is a flaming sword above the world.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys III

    I know one stands before me now, weeping mummer’s tears. The realization made her sad.

    “When I went to the Hall of a Thousand Thrones to beg the Pureborn for your life, I said that you were no more than a child,” Xaro went on, “but Egon Emeros the Exquisite rose and said, ‘She is a foolish child, mad and heedless and too dangerous to live.’ When your dragons were small they were a wonder. Grown, they are death and devastation, a flaming sword above the world.” He wiped away the tears. “I should have slain you in Qarth.”

    “I was a guest beneath your roof and ate of your meat and mead,” she said. “In memory of all you did for me, I will forgive those words … once … but never presume to threaten me again.”

  • 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…

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Daenerys with black sword Drogon. Artist: Magali Villeneuve
  • Sandkings – Simon Kress with his black sword from the sky

Simon Kress flung his wine across the room in rage. “You dare,” he said under his breath. “Now you won’t eat for a week, you damned …” His voice was shrill. “I’ll teach you.” He had an idea. He strode out of the room, and returned a moment later with an antique iron throwing-sword in his hand. It was a meter long, and the point was still sharp. Kress smiled, climbed up, and moved the tank cover aside just enough to give him working room, opening one corner of the desert. He leaned down, and jabbed the sword at the white castle below him. He waved it back and forth, smashing towers and ramparts and walls. Sand and stone collapsed, burying the scrambling mobiles. A flick of his wrist obliterated the features of the insolent, insulting caricature the sandkings had made of his face. Then he poised the point of the sword above the dark mouth that opened down into the maw’s chamber, and thrust with all his strength. He heard a soft, squishing sound, and met resistance. All of the mobiles trembled and collapsed. Satisfied, Kress pulled back. He watched for a moment, wondering whether he’d killed the maw. The point of the throwing-sword was wet and slimy. But finally the white sandkings began to move again. Feebly, slowly, but they moved. He was preparing to slide the cover back in place and move on to a second castle when he felt something crawling on his hand.

  • And Seven Times Never Kill Man (Dany is Bakkalon)
    • Wyatt, Proctor of the Children of Bakkalon on the World of Corlos, was tall and red and skeletal, and the muscles stood out clearly on his bare arms. His blue-black hair was cropped very short, his carriage was stiff and erect. Like all the Steel Angels, he wore a uniform of chameleon cloth (a pale brown now, as he stood in the full light of day on the edge of the small, crude spacefield), a mesh-steel belt with hand-laser and communicator and screechgun, and a stiff red Roman collar. The tiny figurine that hung on a chain about his neck—the pale child Bakkalon, nude and innocent and bright-eyed, but holding a great black sword in one small fist—was the only sign of Wyatt’s rank.
    • [NeKrol opposes Bakkalon and the Steek Angels]: NeKrol remembered the heavy red-bound book that Wyatt had given him months ago. “And Bakkalon the pale child fashioned his children out of steel,” he quoted, “for the stars will break those of softer flesh. And in the hand of each new-made infant He placed a beaten sword, telling them, ‘This is the Truth and the Way.’ ” He spat in disgust. “That is their very creed. And we can do nothing?”

And even Damon Julian, the “anti-slaver” uses children and swords to tell his “truth”. This next scene is long so I did not include all of the text, but this part here is where Damon is trying to “harden” Joshua York to what he should be; to give in to the red thirst and revert back to a blood drinking vampire. Joshua doesn’t falter, but instead stays strong. Do I think we will see Daenerys do this to a baby? No, but she has already sacrified two of her unborn already. And the Dothraki Zollo took Jaime’s hand, and Euron sacrificed his unborn to the drowned god. The theme remains.

  • Fevre Dream

“Captain Marsh will behave himself now,” said Julian. “The knife.” Billy handed it over, hilt first.

“Good,” said Joshua.

He got no further. The baby—undersized, scrawny, very brown and very naked—made a sort of gurgling noise just then, and stirred feebly. And Damon Julian did the most horrible thing that Abner Marsh had ever seen in all his born days. Swiftly and very delicately, he leaned over the table and brought down Sour Billy’s knife and cut the infant’s small right hand clean off with a single smooth stroke.

[and then] “Where are you going?” Joshua demanded, as Kurt strode from the room, his image moving purposefully across a dozen mirrors. “You have played at being cattle long enough, Joshua,” said Julian. “I am going to teach you what it means to be a master.”

  • 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.

Even Queen Cersei has given her unborn to her green flames.

  • A Game of Thrones – Eddard XII

    “A dozen years,” Ned said. “How is it that you have had no children by the king?”

    [Cersei] She lifted her head, defiant. “Your Robert got me with child once,” she said, her voice thick with contempt. “My brother found a woman to cleanse me. He never knew. If truth be told, I can scarcely bear for him to touch me, and I have not let him inside me for years. I know other ways to pleasure him, when he leaves his whores long enough to stagger up to my bedchamber. Whatever we do, the king is usually so drunk that he’s forgotten it all by the next morning.”

  • A Feast for Crows – Cersei III

    “As you command. And you as well?”

    “No need.” Cersei felt too alive for sleep. The wildfire was cleansing her, burning away all her rage and fear, filling her with resolve. “The flames are so pretty. I want to watch them for a while.”


Painlord and the White

In The Glass Flower, we do have strong prototyping of the Unsullied. Cyrain is the Painlord as Dany is the Lady of the Spears, a Mirri Maaz Durr person, however, we do not have Khal Drogo in character.

Sidenote: You can see the early use of the Khar/Khal naming style, as well as Khal Drogo was based on the Norse Draugr, but the Drogo was expanded for ASOIAF. I will discuss this in a later post, but for now, a few of the points are: we know Drogo was going to die because he was as useless as nipples on a copper breastplate, draugr enter dreams, they straddle between life and death- they are a type of wight this time created by Daenerys, they receive a second/final death, the word draugr can be traced to a Proto-Indo European stem *dʰrowgʰos “phantom”- Drogo, from *dʰrewgʰ- “deceive”, the Old Norse meaning of the word is a revenant. In Swedish, draug is a modern loan word from West Norse, as the native Swedish form drög has acquired the meaning of “a pale, ineffectual, and slow-minded person that drags himself along”. We know GRRM knows of Swdeish history as he has written two stories based on battles there, and he studied it in college (per Dreamsongs).

The idea of the Painlord and the White are one in the same in The Glass Flower. They are both viewed as a type of liberator, in a very dysfunctional way. These Whites seem to be more of the higher intelligence Other/Great Other variety, not the shuffling dead body meatbag wights.

  • A Storm of Swords – Daenerys II

    “If it please your worship.”

    It was hard to pretend not to understand. Dany laid a hand on Kraznys’s arm before he could raise the whip again. “Tell the Good Master that I see how strong his Unsullied are, and how bravely they suffer pain.”

    Kraznys chuckled when he heard her words in Valyrian. “Tell this ignorant whore of a westerner that courage has nothing to do with it.”

  • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys VI

    The queen had not known that the eunuchs had a goddess of their own. “Who is this goddess? One of the gods of Ghis?”

    Grey Worm looked troubled. “The goddess is called by many names. She is the Lady of Spears, the Bride of Battle, the Mother of Hosts, but her true name belongs only to these poor ones who have burned their manhoods upon her altar. We may not speak of her to others. This one begs your forgiveness.”

    “As you wish. Yes, you may bathe if that is your desire. Thank you for your help.”

This is how Cyrain explains how the process began, and how she was the one to outsmart the Whites in the game of mind process to take their position from them. Very similar to how Daenerys plays mind games with the Ghiscari, messing with their sense of her, so that she can take command of the Unsullied. This idea is most likely also glimpsed in Dany’s “wake the dragon” visions as she is urged on by her (speculated) ancestors.

  • The Glass Flower

Six hundred standard years ago, a creature known in legend as The White landed among the Croan’dhenni in the first starship they had ever seen. If the descriptions in Croan’dhic folklore can be trusted, then The White was of no race I have ever encountered, nor heard of, though I am widely traveled. This does not surprise me. The manrealm and its thousand worlds (perhaps there are twice that number, perhaps less, but who can keep count?), the scattered empires of Fyndii and Damoosh and g’vhern and N’or Talush, and all the other sentients who are known to us or rumored of, all this together, all those lands and stars and lives colored by passion and blood and history, sprawling proudly across the light-years, across the black gulfs that only the volcryn ever truly know, all of this, all of our little universe … it is only an island of light surrounded by a vastly greater area of grayness and myth that fades ultimately into the black of ignorance. And this only in one small galaxy, whose uttermost reaches we shall never know, should we endure a billion years. Ultimately, the sheer size of things will defeat us, however we may strive or scream; that truth I am sure of.

But I do not defeat easily. That is my pride, my last and only pride; it is not much to face the darkness with, but it is something. When the end comes, I will meet it raging.

The White was like me in that. It was a frog from a pond beyond ours, a place lost in the gray where our little lights have not yet shone on the dark waters. Whatever sort of creature it might have been, whatever burdens of history and evolution it carried in its genes, it was nonetheless my kin. Both of us were angry mayflies, moving restlessly from star to star because we, alone among our fellows, knew how short our day. Both of us found a destiny of sorts in these swamps of Croan’dhenni.

The White came utterly alone to this place, set down its little starship (I have seen the remains: a toy, that ship, a trinket, but with lines that are utterly alien to me, and deliciously chilling), and, exploring, found something.

Something older than itself, and stranger.

The Artifact.

Whatever strange instruments it had, whatever secret alien knowledge it possessed, whatever instinct bid it enter; all lost now, and none of it matters. The White knew, knew something the native sentients had never guessed, knew the purpose of the Artifact, knew how it might be activated. For the first time in—a thousand years? A million? For the first time in a long while, the game of mind was played. And The White changed, emerged from the Artifact as something else, as the first. The first mindlord. The first master of life and death. The first painlord. The first lifelord. The titles are born, worn, discarded, forgotten, and none of them matter.

Whatever I am, The White was the first.

  • A Game of Thrones – Daenerys IX

    “… 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 …”


Saagael Lives!

But what does GRRM say are his intentions when writing his stories? Why does an author like Martin reuse his own story themes, dialogue, and character types so often? I do not know for sure, but he has mentioned that he writes what he wants to read. Now with the A Song if Ice and Fire universe he has created, he has provided himself with the vast literary room to expand on his short stories of the past. He is weaving his entire world together for his magnum opus, and he is doing it his way.

“Before you can fight the war between good and evil, you need to determine which is which, and that’s not always as easy as some Fantasists would have you believe.” –GRRM

Saagael and his fire worshipers are from the planet Corlos, the same planet were the Steel Angels later develop, and he is, among other things, a “great shadow” that can fly across the land and it sits on an ebony bench. His worshipers (try to) sacrifice a young child just to force his prophesied return because they are tired of waiting for him. And there is a sub-plot with rubies that sorta summons this Saagael character, who is a replacement of the last deity that dies out, just as Daenerys is the “last dragon” that replaces Rhaegar (not Viserys).

The servants of Saagael ruled supreme on earth, and their dark lord hunted for men’s souls. The gates of Corlos were opened, and a great shadow descended over the land. Not in a thousand generations would it be lifted.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Jon III
    “Westeros has but one king,” said Stannis. His voice rang harsh, with none of Melisandre’s music. “With this sword I defend my subjects and destroy those who menace them. Bend the knee, and I promise you food, land, and justice. Kneel and live. Or go and die. The choice is yours.” He slipped Lightbringer into its scabbard, and the world darkened once again, as if the sun had gone behind a cloud. “Open the gates.”“OPEN THE GATES,” bellowed Ser Clayton Suggs, in a voice as deep as a warhorn. “OPEN THE GATES,” echoed Ser Corliss Penny, commanding the guards. “OPEN THE GATES,” cried the serjeants. Men scrambled to obey. Sharpened stakes were wrenched from the ground, planks were dropped across deep ditches, and the stockade gates were thrown wide. Jon Snow raised his hand and lowered it, and his black ranks parted right and left, clearing a path to the Wall, where Dolorous Edd Tollett pushed open the iron gate.
  • A Clash of Kings – Daenerys IV, House of the Undying

“Long have we awaited you,” said a woman beside him, clad in rose and silver. The breast she had left bare in the Qartheen fashion was as perfect as a breast could be.
“We knew you were to come to us,” the wizard king said. “A thousand years ago we knew, and have been waiting all this time. We sent the comet to show you the way.”
“We have knowledge to share with you,” said a warrior in shining emerald armor, “and magic weapons to arm you with. You have passed every trial. Now come and sit with us, and all your questions shall be answered.”

Nightflyers is a very good story. The 80’s movie, eeh, not so much. What we do have in the this story is basically a “Jon in the Night’s Watch at the wall and mutiny” kind of story, Fevre Dream is a Jon/NW/mutiny type of story set on the water. Royd Eris is the cloned inter-sexed copy of his mother whose consciousness now lives within a crystal aboard the main command center of the ship Nightflyer. The ship is described as “three eggs” and a behemoth of a thing- rather dragon-like with nuclear engines and a fiery black mouth. The mother is a very jealous being, hates the touch and company of people, and therefore created this ship as her own private vessel. There are many recurring ASOIAF themes within this story (Val, Bran, Bloodraven, Ghost, a wall, control, rejecting incest as abomination, the use of drugs and touch to psionically link to others, etc), but this “mad” mother ship is the main antagonist and she kills lots of people that get in her way.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Jon III
    The heat from the fire pit was palpable even at a distance; for the wildlings, it had to be blistering. He saw men cringing as they neared the flames, heard children cry. A few turned for the forest. He watched a young woman stumble away with a child on either hand. Every few steps she looked back to make certain no one was coming after them, and when she neared the trees she broke into a run. One greybeard took the weirwood branch they handed him and used it as a weapon, laying about with it until the queen’s men converged on him with spears. The others had to step around his body, until Ser Corliss had it thrown in the fire. More of the free folk chose the woods after that—one in ten, perhaps.
    But most came on. Behind them was only cold and death. Ahead was hope. They came on, clutching their scraps of wood until the time came to feed them to the flames. R’hllor was a jealous deity, ever hungry. So the new god devoured the corpse of the old, and cast gigantic shadows of Stannis and Melisandre upon the Wall, black against the ruddy red reflections on the ice.

UPDATED

Saagael! In the year 2018, Martin brought Saagael back for Fire & Blood .

This came as a shock to me while reading Fire & Blood, vol 1. The god Saagael comes from one of Martin’s early works of fantasy titled Only Kids are Afraid of the Dark that deals with opposing forces, not unlike ice and fire at all. In fact, I have the entire story of Saagael written out with my commentary notes added along the way. This is clearly where, on paper, George first started to develop his fire god/R’hllor religion with red priests, child sacrifice, and more. We know other elements including, but not limited to, Zoroastrianism were used to further develop the red religion, and the name R’hllor is drawn from Lovecraft’s R’lyeh, but you can see Martin’s own end use as he proto-develops the ASOIAF fire religion in this early story. Additionaly, Saagael being referenced as a giver of pain also connects to the story The Glass Flower and the character Cyrain of Ash and Liltih as noted above.

We know that in A Song of Ice and Fire that there are a few references to Bakkalon, but then Martin went ahead and added Bakkalon again in his newest work and now linking Bakkalon to Saagael just blows my mind at this point. And the plot and character setting they are displayed in… I am a smidge staggered.

  • Fire and Blood

Though the court and city still doted on the king’s brother, that clever, gallant boy Viserys, the same could not be said for his Lysene wife. Larra Rogare had taken up residence in the Red Keep with her husband, yet in her heart she remained a lady of Lys. Though fluent in High Valyrian and the dialects of Myr, Tyrosh, and Old Volantis in addition to her own Lysene tongue, Lady Larra made no effort to learn the Common Tongue, preferring to rely upon translators to make her wishes known. Her ladies were all Lyseni, as were her servants. The gowns she wore all came from Lys, even her smallclothes; her father’s ships delivered the latest Lysene fashions to her thrice a year. She even had her own protectors. Lysene swords guarded her night and day, under the command of her brother Moredo and a towering mute from the fighting pits of Meereen called Sandoq the Shadow.

All this the court and kingdom might have come to accept in time, had Lady Larra not also insisted upon keeping her own gods. She would have no part in the worship of the Seven, nor the old gods of the northmen. Her worship was reserved for certain of the manifold gods of Lys: the six-breasted cat goddess Pantera, Yndros of the Twilight who was male by day and female by night, the pale child Bakkalon of the Sword, faceless Saagael, the giver of pain.

Her ladies, her servants, and her guards would join Lady Larra at certain times in performing obeisances to these queer, ancient deities. Cats were seen coming and going from her chambers so often that men began to say they were her spies, purring at her in soft voices of all the doings of the Red Keep. It was even said that Larra herself could transform into a cat, to prowl the gutters and rooftops of the city. Darker rumors soon arose. The acolytes of Yndros could supposedly transform themselves from male to female and female to male through the act of love, and whispers went about that her ladyship oft availed herself of this ability at twilight orgies, so she might visit the brothels on the Street of Silk as a man. And every time a child went missing, the ignorant would look at one another and talk of Saagael’s insatiable thirst for blood.

George loves his dangerous, fiery, people of “progress” that end up scorching the earth. Fear not, we will have balance by story’s end and it will probably come from a psychic mind war with Bran (whom GRRM has said is the “most magical”).


I welcome discussion in the comments section, but I do ask you show respect for alternative ideas and that you stay on topic. As this is an ever evolving site, any new information and credits will be given when credit is due.

Thank you for reading along with the jumbles of the Fattest Leech of Ice and Fire.

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