Daenerys in Cyrain, Sandkings, Saagael

“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

 


This is a character review of Daenerys Targaryen. The purpose of this re-read section 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. Part of the purpose of this particular re-read thread is to use the author’s own works to show the repeated themes, 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.

GRRM: Too often, he said, 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.”

Forewarning: there will be open spoilers from all of GRRM’s work, including the released The Winds of Winter spoiler chapters, 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).

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.


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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, the Merling King.

  • 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, Melisandre, Andals+Faith of the Seven = fire people, and Euron, for example, but they are mainly Daenerys in character and her different plot arcs. The recommended story re-reads that work in conjunction with the ASOAIF story are (but not limited to):

Image result for the glass flower cover george martin

The Glass Flower in his characters 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. I will write more on this in a different essay, but for now there is this:

  • 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, and has her obsidian tower built so those have to pass through her (judgement), and people/beings flock outside her walls in a prostrating way. This is akin to thralldom, or wights on ASOIAF. Those smallfolk outside the pyramids are fire-thralls-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:
  • 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.

Only Kinds Are Afraid of the Dark in Saagael. Very clear R’hllorist fire worshippers here that use children as sacrfice.

Sandkings as Simon Kress, with lightbringer and folk god worship, and so so many other thematic parallels. The sandking 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.

  • 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]

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

(longer version here)

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 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, as the Ironborn are battle reavers.

Damon Julian from Fevre Dream. 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.

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. It means they are not one-dimensional characters. The amount of pre-ASOAIF archetype themes in this story 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 (Catelyn Tully-Stark for sure!) female 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.

A bit of the same with Cyrain of Ash. She is in a relationship with her slave provider, Khar Dorian, 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 nine 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.

Compared to 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.


But what does GRRM say are his intentions when writing his stories?

“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.”

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).

  • Only Kids Are Afraid of the Dark

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. 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.

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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