I am following up my previous post (analyzing Bran’s vision from last week’s episode of Game of Thrones) with a look at another vision – Daenerys in the House of the Undying. Since I have already touched upon the show version, I will focus on the book version from A Clash of Kings (book 2 in A Song of Ice and Fire). I discuss information from a sample chapter of The Winds of Winter, so please don’t read if you don’t wish to be spoiled.
Daenerys enters and passes a series of rooms which depict various scenes (past, present, and future):
- A beautiful, naked woman being ravished by four little men (believed to be the War of the Five Kings – reduced to four as Renly has been killed by this time)
- A feast of slaughtered corpses below a dead man with the head of a wolf, sitting on a throne and wearing an iron crown (the Red Wedding)
- The house with the red door in Braavos where Daenerys spent her childhood
- A throne room with dragon skulls where an old king (assumed to be Aerys II) sits on a towering throne, preparing to burn the city
- A room where a man with silver-gold hair and indigo eyes (presumably Rhaegar Targaryen) names his son Aegon, calls him “the prince that was promised” whose song is “the song of ice and fire,” and says there must be another because “the dragon has three heads”
Daenerys ends up in a room with a “splendor of wizards” who claim to be the Undying. They tell her they have been waiting for her and offer food and knowledge. She begins to doubt this vision, and finds a hidden door which takes her to the real Undying, withered creatures in a dark room where a rotting blue heart floats over a long table.
The Undying Ones call Daenerys “mother of dragons…child of three” and echo Rhaegar’s assertion about the three heads of the dragon. Then then whisper prophecies to her: “three fires must you light…one for life and one for death and one to love,” “three mounts must you ride…one to bed and one to dread and one to love,” “three treasons will you know…once for blood and once for gold and once for love.”
It’s unclear whether these are all predictions for the future or if some have already come to pass. However, if you put them in the context of the earlier scenes she witnesses and the visions that are shown later, they are likely a mix of both. There has been much debate over the meaning here, but my thoughts are as follows:
I believe the one “for life” was the fire which hatched her dragons. The one “for death” probably hasn’t happened yet, but it could be related to the “pale mare” – the wasting plague that is spreading through camps outside Meereen. I’m not sure about the one “to love” – the wording is a bit different, implying this fire will be something she will take pleasure in. Perhaps she will have Drogon burn Euron? If she has been forced to marry him (which is certainly his goal and the reason his sent ships to her), his death would free her and would definitely be something to love.
Some people believe the “mounts” are lovers or husbands, but I think they are actual mounts, as in methods of conveyance. One “to bed” would be Dany’s silver horse that carries her to consummate her marriage to Drogo on her wedding night. One “to dread” could be an Ironborn ship that takes her to Westeros (possibly to Euron himself – definitely someone to dread), as we know Victarion is headed to Daenerys with a fleet. One “to love” is more difficult, but I’ll get into my opinion shortly – I think there may be a connection between this set of prophecies and three visions she is shown later.
The one ”for blood” was probably Mirri Maz Duur who sought vengeance for the slaughtering of her people by Khal Drogo’s khalasar. One “for gold” is sometimes assumed to be Jorah, but he betrayed her for a pardon and for home. I think it’s more likely Brown Ben Plumm – he’s betrayed her once already and may do it again, possibly selling a dragon to her “nephew” Aegon. One “for love” is harder to determine. I believe Daenerys is taking a darker turn at the end of A Dance with Dragons – and likely on Game of Thrones as well – but that she will eventually do what’s right for the realm. Perhaps someone who loves her will have to betray her in a way that forces her to realize she’s on a wrong path.
Daenerys is then shown a series of visions – each in sets of three – accompanied by titles given to her by the Undying:
Daughter of death
Daenerys sees Viserys with his molten crown of gold, a lord with copper skin and silver-gold hair in front of a burning city (most likely Rhaego if he had lived), and Rhaegar’s death at the Battle of the Trident. All of her close family has been killed.
Slayer of lies
She is shown a blue-eyed king who casts no shadow holding a red sword (Stannis – the false Azor Ahai Reborn), a cloth dragon on poles in a cheering crowd (“Aegon” – the possibly false prince and Blackfyre pretender), and a stone beast flying from a smoking tower, breathing shadow fire (possibly Jon Connington who has greyscale and whose sigil is a griffin). These are presumably lies that she will expose once she returns to Westeros. I’m not sure about the stone beast, since Jon Connington’s support of the false Aegon seems to be tied to the cloth dragon vision, but I don’t have another interpretation at the moment.
Bride of fire
I believe this series of visions may actually tie in with the three mounts prophecy. Daenerys sees her silver trotting to a stream beneath the stars (where she and Drogo consummated their marriage – a mount to bed). She was his bride of fire – she had to burn him upon his death.
Next she sees a corpse at the prow of a ship with grey lips smiling sadly (this appears to be Euron’s ship, the Silence – a mount to dread). In the new Aeron Greyjoy sample chapter that George R. R. Martin read at BaltiCon over Memorial Day weekend, we find out Aeron is now Euron’s prisoner. By the end of the chapter, Aeron is lashed to the prow of the Silence before they set sail, so there is a strong likelihood he is the corpse in this vision; that would mean Daenerys does indeed marry Euron. Bride of fire here may support my prediction that Daenerys will kill him with dragonfire.
Finally Daenerys sees a blue flower growing from a chink in a wall of ice (a blue winter rose representing Jon at the Wall, as he is almost certainly Lyanna’s son – the “chink” may be an ice cell where his body will be stored before his resurrection). I believe Jon will find out about his parentage during his death, as he may have warged into Ghost. If he did, Bran may be able to contact him in this state and share the truth about his birth (Bran will likely see a vision of the Tower of Joy). If these visions do relate to the three mounts, then that would mean the mount to love would take her to Jon, to be the bride of fire to his ice.
Perhaps she rides Drogon to the Wall because King’s Landing has been destroyed, and she has heard of the threat from the Others/White Walkers. If the House of the Undying vision as portrayed in Game of Thrones relates to her end game, it lends even more credence to this idea. In that episode, she enters a ruined throne room and reaches for the Iron Throne, but changes her mind and leaves. When she goes through the door, she appears at the Wall.
There is definitely evidence and foreshadowing which suggests that Daenerys will embrace violence, and the “Fire and Blood” mantra of House Targaryen. George R. R. Martin has stated there will be a second Dance of the Dragons, and it will probably be as destructive – maybe even more so – than the first. However, we also see throughout her arc a desire to be a just and benevolent ruler, with a peaceful and happy kingdom. The question is, which path will she ultimately choose? I believe there is enough evidence to support her making the right decision – hopefully before it’s too late.