Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Dance With Dragons

This post is going to be totally spoilerific if you haven't read A Dance With Dragons.  You have been warned!

I don't really want to do a review but I did want to mention a couple of things, and also get on record my prediction so in 10 years when the series is finally finished I can turn around and say, "Nailed it."

Firstly, the trend of introducing buckets of new POVs and giving them random stylish names instead of just using their own names has continued from A Feast for Crows, which I didn't like.  I remember when A Storm of Swords was up and coming, George R. R. Martin released teasers of who would be new POVs and it was exciting trying to figure out who was being introduced.  Now, so many people have had a POV it's becoming a little confusing.  Also, I don't understand why they can't just have their name.  I could let Theon/Reek slide for example as Theon is confused about his name himself...same with Sansa becoming Elayne in aFfC.  But Asha?  Barristan?  Quentyn?  Just use their name, for goodness' sake!

Also, while I certainly appreciate that this book's timeline extends beyond the previous one, so the story has advanced, there's still so many holes.  We only briefly see Brienne appear, give Jaime a story the we know is certainly not true, then disappear with him in tow.  We see nothing at all of Sansa or Littlefinger or the Vale in general.  We see nothing of Rickon and Osha and Shaggydog.  We get plenty of new characters, including a random woman we've never heard of before declaring she was supposed to marry Brandon Stark (Ned's brother) and that she bears a grudge against the Starks for that not coming to pass.  Quentyn Martell appears to carry out his father's decades-long plan, then promptly becomes dragon fodder.  It starts becoming difficult to keep track of everyone, especially when each House has a tradition of similar and reused names.

It''s not all bad, don't get me wrong - I still loved the book, although it took me longer to read than I thought it would.  I was dragging it out I think, because finishing it meant that I would have another long wait for the next one.  I loved Tyrion's chapters, as always.  I liked finding out more about what I presume is the Faceless Men, through Arya (although that also left many questions unanswered, and she was another victim of Random Name Changes).  Cersei got her comeuppance and seems on the brink of change for the good, although events in the Epilogue could change that.

Anyway, enough blathering, let's get to my prediction.  Dany keeps reminiscing on the words of Mirri Maz Duur and thinking that it means she will never have another child.  But this is the passage from A Game of Thrones:
"This is not life, for one who was as Drogo was.  His life was laughter, and meat roasting over a firepit, and a horse between his legs.  His life was an arakh in his hand and his bells ringing in his hair as he rode to meet an enemy.  His life was his bloodriders, and me, and the son I was to give him."
Mirri Maz Duur made no reply. 
"When will he be as he was?"  Dany demanded.
"When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east," said Mirri Maz Duur.  "When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves.  When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child.  Then he will return, and not before."
Mirri Maz Duur is talking about Drogo returning, not about Dany having another child.  Just because three of the conditions seem impossible, that doesn't mean the fourth and fifth are also impossible (note that I'm splitting "When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child" into two separate conditions).  And in her final chapter, when she is confused about her "moon blood", it seems that she might be miscarrying.  Let's break down the prophecy one condition at a time.

When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east: House Martell is represented by the sun, and in A Dance With Dragons Quentyn Martell is called "the sun's son" by Quaithe.  The Martell power is rising in the west, while Quentyn dies in the east.  This could be taken to fulfill this part of the prophecy.

When the seas go dry...: In her final chapter, Dany is walking through the Dothraki Sea and thinks to herself that the grass is drying up and dying off due to the change of seasons.  The Dothraki Sea drying out could fulfill this part of the prophecy.

...and mountains blow in the wind like leaves: This could be the hill Drogon makes his lair in, turning to ash as he burns it; or the pyramids that Rhaegal and Viserion collapsed and used for their own lairs; or another event I haven't thought of or that hasn't happened yet.

When your womb quickens again...: If Dany is in fact miscarrying in her final chapter, then her womb has quickened and this part of the prophecy has been met.

...and you bear a living child: this part of the prophecy has clearly not been met, unless you count the dragons, which seems unlikely.

So, three or four of the conditions of the prophecy have been met.  My prediction, then, is this: Dany will bear a living child, and he will be Drogo reborn.  Now I just need to print this out and stick it in one of the books so later on I can refer back to it!


  1. It all sounds perfect to me. Except for one detail: Drogo? I vote for Jon, instead. He has to return somehow!

  2. Yea, except the prophecy is about DROGO returning, duh!

  3. Jon can't leave the watch "till death releases him". in order to leave he had to first die. melisandre is a red priest with some serious power. another red priest was instrumental in bringing galerion back to life (and Catelyn Stark) therefore it is possible melisandre can bring him back to life so he can fulfill his responsibilites as Azor Ahai reincarnated and use lightbringer to defeat the Wights once and for all

  4. I hadn't considered Melisandre bringing Jon back to life, although of course he would have to die first for that to happen! It's certainly possible, although I don't subscribe to the "Jon is Azor Ahai" school of thought. I guess we just have to wait and see :)