False Histories: The Long Night in George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”

There are a great many falsehoods that hold sway over the community of people who write about “Game of Thrones” and “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Some of them are matters of interpretation like the literary theorists who argue that Tyrion cannot be the biological son of Aerys II because “that would ruin the Tyrion/Tywin dynamic”, as if biological revelations affect the past. Others are simply due to a mistranslation that is repeated so often they become received wisdom. The Long Night is one of those topics. It is vital to correct the error because it has led to a key mistake in understanding the trajectory of “A Song of Ice and Fire” and “Game of Thrones”.

 

The error occurs in the Wiki of Ice and Fire, an open but moderated on-line reference source for show watchers and book readers alike. It states that, during the Long Night, joint Children of the Forest and First Men armies fell to the Others and their wights. It cites A Game of Thrones, Bran IV, for this information. (http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Long_Night#cite_note-Ragot24.7B.7B.7B3.7D.7D.7D-0) But, when you check Old Nan’s tale of the Long Night, it states NOTHING about joint Children of the Forest/First Men armies. (US PB, 240-1) This makes sense in the context of Old Nan’s story because Old Nan relates how the Last Hero and his companions searched for “years” to find the Children in their hidden cities. It would be bizarre it took so long to find this lost people when they had just been fighting together. Their absence would make the search a genuine difficulty. So why is there this vast discrepancy between what the text actually conveys and the wiki entry?

 

There are several possible explanations. Literary theorists who have been immersed in fantasy stories for years are preconditioned to see the same story repeated even if the new text does not contain those elements. The Lord of the Rings, for example, opens with an epic battle of men and elves against the evil Sauron and his army of hideous orcs. It is such a common story that Joseph Campbell was able to write books about the supposed “monomyth” – heroic journeys of discovery the use Jungian archetypes for personality development. Though George R. R. Martin is clearly writing in opposition to this with his “reply to Tolkien” and refutation of “Disneyland fantasy” (multiple interviews including Rolling Stone), it is understandable why people would see it even though it is not there.

 

Another possible reason is that people are projecting onto the Long Night the Great Pact and/or Bran’s encounters with Leaf and Bloodraven in the cave in the Far North. At least in part the readers’ incorporation of other fantasy tropes of the ancient, pacific peoples tutoring the protagonists, it is also the result of an uncritical look at the developments in the story thus far. Normally when reading fantasy or watching a television show, one has to suspend disbelief and trust the pacific, ancient peoples. Americans in particular have a tendency to romanticize the Native Americans seeing them as perpetual victims with ancient knowledge to teach us. The recent controversy over the Keystone Pipeline is a present day example. However, for George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”, making those assumptions about the Children of the Forest is a mistake. Dorian the Historian’s vengeance-seeking Children of the Forest is a great deal more consistent with the story thus far of human/Children enmity than amity.

 

The importance of the absence of a joint military effort between the First Men and the Children is fairly massive. Bloodraven’s cave indicates that the Children would have little to no difficulty against the White Walkers or their wights. The cave entrances to their underground habitations are magically warded against the wights. The Children’s weapons – obsidian or dragonglass bladed – are perfect for killing White Walkers. In point of fact, the Children are suspiciously well-prepared to repel any White Walker attack. While it is unlikely “A Song of Ice and Fire” is going to adopt the White-Walkers-are-a-weapon-gone-bad approach, the Children do appear to have significant knowledge about the White Walkers such that they would not particularly care about their rise over the earth. And, as the White Walkers do not seem to be destroyers of forests for any reason, the Children would get along better with them than with humanity.

 

Another aspect of the Children not waging a joint struggle with the First Men against the White Walkers is the Singers of the Earth’s commitment to balance as a way of life, perspective on the world, and general worldview. Take for example, Leaf’s description of how the gods make greenseers’ lives shorter because they are gifted. Then there is the need for the Singers to be less prolific because they live for hundreds of years. The Children are much more likely to be resigned to the White Walker conquest than to ally with the First Men – their inveterate opponents – to defeat them.

 

One also cannot discount Martin’s elevation of singers, songs, and storytellers like himself in all of his work. Singers have power. That the Children of the Forest are Singers of the Earth signals their prominence. It also proclaims their affiliation with one of the four elements that appear to represent the magical forces and peoples of planetos along with the merpeople and their sea serpents (water/Spring), fire peoples and dragons (fire/summer), and, therefore, the White Walkers and ice dragons (ice/winter). With their weirwoods having red leaves, the Singers and their trees are earth/autumn. The balance the Singers endorse suggests that restoring the seasons requires not the elimination of the White Walkers, but a respect for each element in its turn.

 

Thus, “A Song of Ice and Fire” is not likely to end with an apocalyptic second Battle for the Dawn, but rather a third Great Pact (with the Second Great Pact as the one that ended the Long Night).

 

 

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Why fAegon Will Triumph in George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”

Aegon, known widely amongst the fandom as f(ake)Aegon, is the pretender to the Iron Throne backed by Varys and Illyrio Morpatis in the guise of the supposedly killed as a baby, Aegon, son of Rhaegar and Elia. Illyrio has had the now teen-aged “Aegon” educated and taught to be the perfect Targaryen ruler. Half-maester Haldon has seen to his studies in law, history, economics, and medicine. Ser has trained him in the martial arts. Septa Lemore taught him in the Faith of the Seven. Old Griff, actually Ser Jon Connington, former hand to Aerys II, has been his tutor in Westerosi politics and seen to his character. According to Varys, the young man has worked at a number of professions so he can know how the smallfolk live. In other words, Varys declares him to be the perfect prince. There is only one problem with this perfect picture, this fabled rescue and upbringing, and this perfect education: It is all a lie.

 

Illyrio Morpatis good as confirmed that fAegon is his son with his dottering recollections of the Lyseni prostitute whom he loved so much that he was willing to doom his status in Pentos to buy her, then marry her. The clothes that fit Tyrion so well while he was masquerading in Essos on “The Stinky Steward” (“Perfumed Seneschal” from Quaithe’s warning to Daenerys) were those meant for a boy. Then, there is the statue of the lad in Morpatis’ gardens. A fantastically wealthy merchant does not simply play the game of thrones in Westeros merely to have a grateful monarch on the Iron Throne. There is much more likely a highly personal motive. It has its roots in the Blackfyre Rebellions.

 

Daemon Blackfyre was the first, the most heralded, and arguably the most impressive of the so-called Great Bastards of Aegon IV “the Unworthy”. Unlike his decidedly unmartial and favoring the Dornish culture of his Dornish wife, Daeron, the legitimate heir to the throne, Daemon Blackfyre was the epitome of Westerosi nobility: handsome, a great warrior, anti-Dorne, and siring many children. Unfortunately for the realm, Aegon IV was among his most ardent supporters even giving him the crown’s ancestral great sword, Blackfyre, from which Daemon took his name and the cause that he was also to sire. On his deathbed, Aegon made matters immeasurably worse by legitimizing all of his bastards. This gave Daemon a plausible claim to the throne. Thanks to the rivalry between Aegor “Bittersteel” Rivers and Brynden “Bloodraven” Rivers for another bastard, the beautiful Shiera Seastar, Bittersteel convinced Daemon to claim the throne over Bloodraven’s support for the heir, Daeron. Thus began another brutal Targaryen civil war. The Reds of Daeron and his line prevailed in no small part to Bloodraven’s involvement, but the Blackfyre cause remained in the form of the mercenary company, the Golden Company, that Bittersteel founded to fight the cause and the Blackfyre descendants remaining in exile in Essos.

 

Given the information that the male line of Blackfyres is dead, we can presume fAegon comes from either the female line or any of the Valerian-featured women of Essos. A symbolic hint that fAegon is a Blackfyre comes from the story Brienne learns while searching for Sansa and Arya in the Riverlands. A tavern called the Black Dragon with a black iron dragon sign to match lost its sign in a storm. When the sign washed up a while later the black iron had rusted turning the black dragon into a red one, a Blackfyre into a Red Targaryen. Presently, fAegon and Jon Connington are with the Golden Company invading the Stormlands. The fandom is suitably unimpressed with what many have labeled a diversion from the main story lines of Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, etc. However, what people do not understand is that fAegon is not peripheral. Like Fortinbras in Hamlet, fAegon is going to be the ultimate victor in the game of thrones.

 

The fandom will immediately object to this conclusion using Daenerys’ House of the Undying visions as their sword of truth. “The visions are real!” they will proclaim from the rooftops. They certainly are. However, Daenerys exposing the “mummer’s dragon” while making her a “slayer of lies” does not prove anything about the future. fAegon is a false dragon, but that will matter for little. As George R. R. Martin himself has quoted in an interview from the movie, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence”, when there is a choice between printing the legend and the truth, print the legend. Where does the power lie poses Varys to Tyrion. The answer lies where people think it does.

 

Fan favorites stand in opposition to this theory so here goes a refutation of all of them. Tyrion will have all of the pre-requisites for rulership including a dragon, but he will still be a dwarf. Westeros will not accept a dwarf as king. Martin has explicitly set out to dispose of “Disneyland fantasy” so there will be no frog prince in this story. Tyrion may well have his beauty in Sansa, but he cannot get the Iron Throne. For those thinking Jon or Jon marries Daenerys ending, Martin put the final nail in that coffin with his Time magazine interview in July of 2017. Jon is a reanimated corpse like Beric Dondarrion and Lady Stoneheart – a wight of fire instead of ice magic. There is no blood flow. There is no real life. Jon’s assassination has eliminated him from contention for the throne and Daenerys’ hand regardless of his resurrection, just like the Jesus figure he most closely resembles. Daenerys too is likewise doomed. She is a conqueror, not a ruler, a dragon who “does not plant trees”. Whether she dies fighting in the second Dance of the Dragons or is felled against an ice dragon or dies in childbirth like so many other women in Martin’s nursery of martyrs, Daenerys will not sit the world most uncomfortable chair.

 

George R. R. Martin enjoys his bittersweet endings with dissatisfaction for his protagonists. They, like him, do not get to rule Bayonne or have children or grandchildren. They have adventures. They see marvels. They are pieces in someone else’s game. But, they do not get to experience ultimate triumph. It will be the same with “A Song of Ice and Fire”. When Maester Samwell Tarly writes the story, it will end in fAegon’s triumph. And the awfulness of Westeros and Essos will continue on as before just as Martin sees the awfulness of earth continue as before with individual adventures, tragedies, and stories. Are you not entertained?

The Significance of Aerys x Joanna in George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”

The Significance of A + J = C & J & T

 

What is the significance of Aerys being the biological father of all of Joanna’s children? After all, Tywin was to all intents and purposes their true father. They conceive of themselves as his children. They model themselves after him. He played an outsized presence in all of their lives. When Tyrion looses those quarls into Tywin, he is both physically and psychologically killing his father. Of these things we can be certain. But, there have to be reasons why George R. R. Martin plotted it this way. At the very least, it is an extraordinarily disconcerting revelation that everything we thought we knew about Tywin, Joanna, Aerys, and the Lannister family is in some respects a lie.

 

Magic

It is clear from The World Book, “A Song of Ice and Fire”, “The Princess and the Queen”, and “The Rogue Prince” that one needs to have dragon blood to have a chance of riding a dragon. Even Nettles, who used sheep to tame the dragon Sheepstealer in the Dance of the Dragons, was a “dragonseed” according to The World Book if not the unclear wording of “The Princess and the Queen”. With all three of Joanna’s children having Aerys’ blood, all three are potential dragon riders. Whether any and all get to ride dragons is completely up in the air, as it were, but it does open up a realm of possibilities.

 

Deceptive History

George R. R. Martin has a running theme throughout the “A Song of Ice and Fire” tales that official histories cannot be trusted. The maesters’ attempts to eliminate all notion of magic from the world, the erasure of the Night’s King and Queen from the records, and various aspects of the story like the “kidnapping” of Lyanna are all demonstrations of this version of the unreliable narrator. Martin’s technique of using maesters to write his self-described “fake histories” enables him to play with the narrative as he hides vital information, colors the descriptions, and enters inaccuracies, fog of recollection, and historical debates into the histories. It is also evidence of Martin’s contentious relationship with professional historians. It is not for nothing he decries their work as less accurate, compelling, and reliable than historical fiction. His talk of the song being truer than the histories is not just self-promotional mysticism. It is a creed, a celebration of his profession over that of the academic historians he dismisses.

 

Dramatic Effects

Having your audience believe one thing then revealing the trick you have played on them from the beginning is an entertainment tactic as old as literature and magicians’ performances. Misdirection, deception, and showmanship make for surprise, wonder, and dramatic tension even for audiences as jaundiced, experienced, and aware as today’s cultural consumer. It is like being on a rollercoaster without having seen the whole in advance. You know the trip up is prelude to the drop, but it is even more shocking than the known truth bomb.

 

Love Triangles

George R. R. Martin loves love triangles. From the Ned/Ashara/Brandon triangle to the Rhaegar/Lyanna/Robert configuration to the Barristan/Ashara/Stark one to the originally planned Tyrion/Arya/Jon conflict, these unrequited loves tangling with true attractions litter “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Likely stemming from Martin’s own horrible personal experiences, they make for drama as well as fraught relationships. We can now safely add Aerys/Joanna/Tywin to the list. However, it is very different from the one we assumed with Aerys no longer creeping on Joanna who was as devoted to Tywin as he was to her. The truth appears to be very different with Aerys and Joanna being the love match and Tywin the proverbial third wheel.

 

The Ultimate Comeuppance

Tywin Lannister may be fairly described as being obsessed with his reputation. In his own revolt against his father, Tywin did everything possible to show that he was the opposite of the cheerful, indulgent, and openly lustful for life Tytos including massacring his house’s rivals, the Reynes and Tarbecks, kicking his father’s mistress to the curb using a walk of shame, and promoting himself and his family as above reproach. One of the reasons he hated Tyrion was that Tyrion behaved way too much like Tytos as well as not having the warrior, handsome physique Tywin so prized in Jaime. It would be a complete refutation of Tywin’s attempt to construct a legacy according to his arrogant pride that none of his children are biologically his.

 

The Deeper Quandaries Posed, But Not Answered

“A Song of Ice and Fire” is full of deep quandaries that admit of no easy answers. Is there such a thing as a just war? What means are justified to achieve the ultimate good? In a conflict between obligations to family, realm, god, which one should prevail? But, there is also the question of nature v. nurture. What makes us who we are? Who matters most: our biological parent or parents or those that raised us? For Jon Snow, the question is clear from the get-go. Who is my mother and who am I? What he does not realize is that he is wrong about both parents and right. Ned raised him. Catelyn hated him. It is natural he would seek out his mother, but not his father. But, what will he do if he ever learns the truth of his biological parentage? Does it matter?

 

For Tyrion, Jaime, and Cersei, the questions become even harder. They were raised by Tywin, but he was not their biological father. Will it matter if they learn the truth? What is their truth?

Crow v. Raven: Why Bloodraven Not Being the Three-Eyed Crow Is Important to Understanding George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”

Order of the Green Hand on You Tube may be off about R + L = A and N + A = J and Arthur Dayne being Mance Rayder, but they did catch almost the entirety of the fandom including yours truly in a pretty important mistake – not being able to tell the difference between a crow and a raven. It is a biological fact that ravens are different from crows. Their tails are different. They group differently. And, they behave differently. They are different species. Crows are carrion feeders while ravens are hunters. As a result, humans characterize them differently both in mythology and use. Ravens are the traditional helpers of humans giving knowledge, tools, and conveying messages. Odin has two ravens for example that relay information. Crows on the other hand are tricksters often associated with evil and wrongdoers. What is also apparent is that George R. R. Martin knows the difference and has applied it in “A Song of Ice and Fire”.

 

Ravens are the messenger birds of Westeros with white ravens signaling the change of the seasons. They are also the helper birds to Brynden Rivers, known as Bloodraven for his birthmark and his character. Bloodraven, whether misguided or not, is attempting to serve the realm with the greater cause of humanity his larger motivation. Jeor Mormont’s bird, which helps Jon become Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and utters suspicious words at various times (“king” being the most telling while looking at Jon), is a raven.

 

At the same time, crows also make several appearances, none of them favorable. The title of the fourth book in the series, A Feast for Crows, is about mass death. The Wildlings or Free Folk refer to the members of the Night’s Watch as crows for their black garments, but also to mock them as carrion feeders, harbingers of death, and targets. Crows show up at various times after battles to feed on the dead. And, then there is the most famous of them all – the three-eyed crow. The vast majority of the fandom mistakenly believe that Bloodraven is the three-eyed crow, but, as the Order of the Green Hand pointed out, that is not correct.

 

First and foremost is the distinction between Bloodraven and the three-eyed crow as laid out above. Bloodraven is associated with ravens, never crows except as a member of the Night’s Watch, and that is a label the Wildlings or Free Folk would call him, not something with which he associates himself or his role as a helper of humanity, not a carrion feeder or a trickster. Second, when Bran and company first encounter him, Bran asks him point blank whether he is the three-eyed crow, and Bloodraven and Leaf deny it. Specifically, Bloodraven does not recognize the creature, but relates that he was once a “crow”, that is, a member of the Night’s Watch. Leaf corrects Bran and calls Bloodraven the last greenseer. Thus, the three-eyed crow that has not only contacted Bran and Jojen, but also seems to have contacted Euron given his crow’s eye obsession, is a separate entity from Bloodraven with its own ability to enter into dreams and give people their third eye.

 

Given that crows opening a third eye is in order to take their souls in mythology, the three-eyed crow seems to be using Bloodraven’s greensight for nefarious purposes. In Jojen’s case, the three-eyed crow convinced him to secret Bran away from Winterfell. If Preston Jacobs’ analysis in his “Minds of Wolves and Robins” videos is correct, it also provided Theon and Ramsay the inspiration to bring Jojen’s greendreams’ predictions of Winterfell drowning to fruition. Also, Order of the Green Hand convincingly argues in “Game of Thrones: The Old Powers Are Waking: The Winged Wolf” video that the three-eyed crow used Bran to get into the crypts and unleash a powerful winged serpent. Combined with Lackadaddy’s deductions about the White Walker nature of the Starks in the crypts, we have the three-eyed crow manipulating Bran and company into taking the iron swords, which were holding the spirits within, out of the crypts unleashing the ice dragon serpent.

 

Last, but not least, Euron Greyjoy’s kingsmoot speech takes on an even more ominous meaning once we understand Euron not as a manipulator of events, but as a tool of the three-eyed crow. He proclaims that Westeros is dying, not weak, not enfeebled, but dying. He promises that the Ironborn will feast before the fall of the night. That is, they will feast before the end of days. Euron, as Preston Jacobs concluded in “The Forsaken: Finale” video, sees himself as a euthanizer. Only, in this case, Euron is seeking to euthanize Westeros. In other words, the three-eyed crow is not Bloodraven seeking to aid the realm, but an entity seeking to kill all of humanity.

 

There is only one group that could use Bloodraven for that purpose. It is the same group that seeks the death of all humanity. It is the same group that is behind the Faceless Men who want to give the gift of mercy killing to all humanity – valar morghulis. It is the same group that has its consciousness absorbed into a collective mind that goes back hundreds of millennia. It is the same group that has been driven to near extinction by humanity and is harboring a grudge. They sing the song of earth and every song must have its balance. The Children of the Forest in the weirwoods are the three-eyed crow and they do not have benevolent motives. It is thanks to the Order of the Green Hand’s recognition of the difference between crow and raven that we owe this deeper understanding of what really is happening in “A Song of Ice and Fire”.

Willful Disregard: False Prophets, True Believers, and Misinterpreting George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

Melisandre is never right. The dreams are all deceptions. The gods are not gods. There is no magical realm. There are no deep ones. Barth is a guidebook not a bible. No matter how much evidence you throw at them, no matter how much background you give them, no matter how much direct contradiction there is in the text itself, you cannot dislodge a true believer’s conviction about A Song of Ice and Fire.

There is no possible way a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, a self-professed agnostic atheist whose writings are ALWAYS refutations of moral absolutism, extremism, and fanaticism is going to write even a Tolkien-like story, let alone a Lovecraftian one. Jon is not a hero on the monomyth journey. Bloodraven, etc., are not the Merlins seeking to raise a King Arthur. Sansa will not end up with Sandor. Daenerys is not going to die heroically fighting a second Battle for the Dawn nor is Tyrion (Targaryen, deal with it), nor Jon, nor Bran, nor anyone. The enmity between humans and “others” is a clear misdirection. The enemy is always the godhead, death, the collective parasitical organism.

The weirwoods are death trees feeding off the living. They take blood sacrifices. They drain the life off of other trees. The Singers of the Earth give themselves and join with them when they die. They are a hive mind that takes possession of living creatures and feeds off them. The oily black stone fortresses were to fight their hammer of the waters – an earth power that caused tsunamis. The Singers are their servants, their greenseers their telepathic commanders. There is no future sight, only deception and death.

Planetos is a world of four elements or humors: earth, ice (wind), fire, and water corresponding to the seasons of spring (water), summer (fire), autumn (earth), and winter (ice/wind), with corresponding animals sea serpents, dragons, weirwoods, and ice dragons. When the men and women destroyed the weirwood forests, they unbalanced the seasons. The ice dragons created the White Walkers. The White Walkers bred with the Singers to create armies of the dead and the Long Night. The Wall is the result of a second Great Pact among the three groups.

To regain the balance, men and women must honor the forests, keep within their realms, and seek peace. It will take all the efforts of our characters to realize this and enact it. There is no other path to peace, but peace.

The Others aka White Walkers Are Not Bullies

Sigh. He is at it again. There is a magic realm and a political realm. The Others are omnicidal. Martin brings his villains low. It does not matter that Martin is on record lots of times stating the exact opposite of all of it. But, now we have a useful slip. Now, we have the real reason this guy cannot get it right and goes ballistic when you argue with him. He thinks the Others are “bullies” and he wants his revenge. He wants them to die in their millions. Behind his oft-professed morality lies a genocidal bigot. Sound familiar? It should. (http://poorquentyn.tumblr.com/post/160231583493/if-we-accept-that-the-others-are-so-arrogant)

 

The Wall demarcates what is for the humans and what is for the Children of the Ice Dragon (COTID). When the Night’s Watch goes north in force or in groups, they are the invaders. When humanity failed to keep its side of the second Great Pact sealed at the heartwood grove just north of the Wall by providing “snows” (unwanted babies), it broke a treaty. When Mance Rayder dug up the fifty graves, he unearthed the Night’s King – what is dead may never die. When Waymar Royce arrogantly engaged in a duel with an opponent he knew not in the slightest, he exemplified the stupidities of the semi-feudal system. Just because you are superior and laugh at the idiocy of your opponent does not make you arrogant or a bully.

 

Keep your personal demons away from your analysis snowflake. They are leading you over the cliff whether you admit the existence of that cliff or not.

 

P.S. If you are his devotee, do not bother to strike at me or hurl the familiar insults. I have heard them all. When you are proved wrong, I sincerely doubt any of you will have the integrity to apologize or even acknowledge that you were wrong. Pity. It is a tragic waste of a human being.

No Cartoon Villain: Euron Greyjoy in George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”

It seems quite incongruous for there to be a Euron in “A Song of Ice and Fire”. After all, George R. R. Martin does not do pure evil. Ever. There is always a backstory. There is always an understandable motivation. One does not agree with the villains, but one sees the motivation, the perspective, and recognizes it as a kind of genuine humanity. But, Euron does not seem to fit this at all. When he was young, he killed his greyscale infected half-brother, Harlon, by closing his nostrils, suffocating him, and another half-brother, Robin, who was sickly and mentally limited. Either before, after, or during those murders, he molested his brothers Urri and Aeron. After having sex with his brother, Victarion’s, salt wife, Balon, the eldest and Lord Paramount of the Iron Isles, banishes him. Suspiciously soon after Balon’s suspicious death from falling off of a bridge or the bridge collapsing, Euron returns on board his ship, The Silence, which is crewed by mutes (Euron has had their tongues removed.), has its deck painted red to obscure the blood, and a sail that emphasizes his nickname, Crow’s Eye, as well as his affiliation with that harbinger of death and trickery.

 

Once he connives his way into being crowned king at the kingsmoot, Euron embarks on a bizarre campaign of pillaging, raping, and killing with the ultimate goal of the Ironborn feasting to their fill before the night. He intends to get dragons, marry the dragon queen, and conquer Westeros all the time talking about death, flying by leaping from a tall tower, and becoming god as he mocks all gods and belief. He is presently torturing his brother, Aeron, and has his visibly pregnant lover, Falia Flowers, lashed to the front of the ship with her tongue newly torn out. Euron is not only a sadistic, sociopath, but seemingly a cartoonish villain of Nazi or Bolshevik level proportions. How can this be?

 

Although it is not within our purview to put Euron on the proverbial couch and psychologically analyze him, it is incumbent on us to try to understand Euron as an actual person. After all, Martin does not do cartoon villainy. There must be something more than pure evil. As it should, the analysis should start with Euron’s murder of his two ailing, innocent, vulnerable cousins. This is most foul on the face of it. But, there is more to it than that simple, initial impression, as Preston Jacobs theorized in his Forsaken analysis videos on You Tube. His cousins were suffering, dejected, and doomed. In other words, they were not his victims, but the recipients of his charity. How do we know this? It is because Euron has told us so himself in the Forsaken chapter. Euron was answering his cousins’ prayers for mercy. Those prayers, in some ways, have haunted him leading him to make recurring references to them.

 

Mercy killing is one of the recurring plots in “A Song of Ice and Fire” and matches the debate about euthanasia among American Roman Catholics, of which Martin was one. On the one hand, there is holiness in suffering, martyrdom, being like Jesus who suffered for humanity. On the other hand, Church doctrine recognizes that death can be a gift – just like it is for the Faceless Men – for it leads to a better place, heaven. But one may be asking how a greyscale victim and a simple-minded person, both of whom cannot speak, reached Euron to communicate, or pray, that they wished to die, that is, were silent.

 

Although the blogger Madeinmyr has done a fascinating job analyzing Euron (See https://madeinmyr.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/a-black-eye-shining-with-malice-thoughts-concerning-eurons-black-magic-and-potential-dark-powers/), it is worth our while to add to that picture. The first sign that something is special about Euron is his heterochromia – one eye is sky blue, the other black, which he covers with an eye patch. There are several characters in “A Song of Ice and Fire” with that condition, Shiera Seastar and Tyrion Lannister most notably, and they all have a connection with the magical world. (Tyrion’s is largely latent, but it is still there.) Second, Euron is constantly associating himself with crows and a crow’s third eye. It seems highly likely his dream of flying (The Reaver chapter, AFFC) contained the three-eyed crow that visited Bran, which wanted Bran to open his third eye.

 

Although YouTube video channel Order of the Greenhand has persuasively argued that Bloodraven is not the three-eyed crow, that Jojen, Bran, and Euron appear to have all received dreams involving the three-eyed crow makes it reasonable to conclude that they all share psychic abilities. It is not a far off leap, as it were, to suspect Euron also has skinchanging powers or, at least, has the talent for entering into others’ minds, hearing their thoughts, placing himself into others’ consciousness. It would explain, for instance, how he is able to coordinate a crew of mutes at sea, enter into Aeron’s head in the Forsaken chapter, and how he might be surveilling Victarion through the Dusky Woman. Furthermore, it might also be how he is entering Daenerys’ thoughts, her sex dreams notably, particularly the one where a blue, cold Hizdahr with Euron’s blue, bruised lips puts his cold penis into her. Euron’s Shade of the Evening usage might explain all of this. He is opening his third eye through drug use just as Daenerys had visions drinking it before entering the House of the Undying.

 

But, a key clue to understanding how Martin has crafted Euron’s character may lie in another of his characters – the mother from “Nightflyers”. Spoiler alert. The rest of this analysis reveals key plot points from that story. Royd Eris is the putative captain of the eponymous ship, Nightflyer, but his secret is that his Mother’s self is part of the ship’s computer system. Furthermore, the computer system also has her telekinetic power. On her home planet of Vess, she was institutionalized for her gift, tortured into not using it, and developed into a sociopath and a misanthrope. (Dreamsongs, I, “Nightflyers”, 603) She was born different, ostracized, and driven insane by societal prejudice. Euron’s psycho-pathology appears to be along similar lines.

 

Tortured by his gift – the ability to sense and be inside other people, a skinchanger, Euron answered the “prayers” of his suffering half-brothers. He sought comfort, like Sweetrobin seeking out Sansa, from the voices by molesting Urri and Aeron. His contact with the three-eyed crow has driven him to obsession with death. He does not love dragons for the power they wield. He loves them because they bring death. He is not a Valyria lover because he wants an empire, but because they were consumed in the Doom – mass death. He is not a sadist, but someone who is in love with death. He resembles what the three eyed crow serves and represents – a death cult, in other words, the weirwoods and the Children of the Forest. (See Order of the Greenhand, YouTube.)

 

In conclusion, while Euron is a monstrous person, he is still a person. Martin has written him that way so that we may view what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil”. Anything that makes him more or less is a misinterpretation of his true nature.