A Falling Star in Westeros
Tower of Pleasure: a Conspiracy
Ned’s wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They have been seven in opposition to three. “And now it begins,” mentioned Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Daybreak and held it with each fingers. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with gentle.
“No,” Ned mentioned with disappointment in his voice. “Now it ends.” As they got here collectively in a rush of metal and shadow, he might hear Lyanna screaming. “Eddard!” she referred to as. A storm of rose petals blew throughout a blood-streaked sky, as blue because the eyes of demise.
-Eddard X, AGOT
Readers are left puzzled by George RR Martin’s remarkably imprecise accounts of Robert’s Rebel. Whether or not the fever dream retelling of the Tower of Pleasure in Eddard X, or lacking start timestamps, every little thing has been left intentionally unfinished, leaving room for main hypothesis. Martin’s tight-lipped nature on the Rebel even transcends into what HBO adapts:
We’re not doing Robert’s Rebel both. I do know 1000’s of you need that, I do know there is a petition… however by the point I end writing A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, you’ll know each essential factor that occurred in Robert’s Rebel. There can be no surprises or revelations left in such a present, simply the performing out of conflicts whose resolutions you already know. That is not a narrative I need to inform simply now; it will really feel an excessive amount of like a twice-told story.
The Rebel modified how struggle was waged in Westeros, destroyed relationships, and scarred our primary characters within the course of – each bodily and emotionally (promise me/the tolling of the bells/Jaime, my title’s Jaime). Whereas Martin’s exposition throws us within the sneakers of primary characters (a brother and a woman dying in a mattress of blood, a melancholy however noble prince, the ever-paranoid king, a person at struggle to carry his betrothed dwelling to him, independence from the crown), we’re reminded of what the ‘Recreation of Thrones’ is about: energy, cash, land, and management. Smallfolk fought for his or her properties in opposition to rebels (Gulltown, Summerhall, the Attain), many dragged into struggle for lords they’d no cause to respect. The struggling was on a unique aircraft than ever earlier than, and never only for the excessive lords.
The Rebel wasn’t essentially about Rhaegar leaving his spouse to get his rocks off with a Northern woman. In actual fact, the Northern woman was merely a blip – whether or not prophecy, lust, romance, or destiny – in the midst of a much bigger plan. With Tywin Lannister financially backing Rhaegar at each flip (The Fall of the Dragons: the Yr of the False Spring, TWOIAF), and Rhaegar able to depose his paranoid, merciless father from the throne, tensions have been at an all time excessive all through the dominion. Add insulting the North, Dorne, and somebody with an influential social community – and massive ‘ol warhammer – and you might have a multitude in your fingers.
Different essayists have greater than explored pre-ASOIAF plots and politics in depth. Whether or not you’re studying the so-gripping-it’s-almost-dubious Harrenhal Conspiracies by Reddit person U/KingLittleFinger, the impeccably thorough Southron Ambitions by Stefan Sasse, or the illustrious Rescue on the Crossroads by Girl Gwynhyfvar, these compelling items spotlight one comparable prepare of thought: there’s details about this Rebel that we, as readers, are lacking.
Martyn Cassel had perished with the remaining. Ned had pulled the tower down afterward, and used its bloody stones to construct eight cairns upon the ridge. It was mentioned that Rhaegar had named that place the tower of pleasure, however for Ned it was a bitter reminiscence. They’d been seven in opposition to three, but solely two had lived to experience away; Eddard Stark himself and the little crannogman, Howland Reed. He didn’t assume it omened effectively that he ought to dream that dream once more after so a few years.
-Eddard X, AGOT
Ned remembered the way in which she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her maintain on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, useless and black. After that he remembered nothing. They’d discovered him nonetheless holding her physique, silent with grief. The little crannogman, Howland Reed, had taken her hand from his. Ned might recall none of it. “I carry her flowers after I can,” he mentioned. “Lyanna was … keen on flowers.”
-Eddard I, AGOT
Eight cairns stand within the blazing warmth of Dornish mountains. A small crannogman and a silent, grief-stricken man constructed them, after defeating three Kingsguard members, rising the ultimate surviving combatants out of the eight “useless”. How lengthy would it not take a semi-catatonic, grieving man to drag down that tower? Days? Weeks? Did Ned Stark instantly snag a +three in Masonry whereas we weren’t paying consideration? These two males – and whoever ‘they’ have been – lugged the physique of a useless sister, a new child child, a moist nurse , and an ancestral sword southwest to Starfall, following their weary hearts out of the mountains to return north; to return dwelling. Not a single physique’s bones returned to their households: not Arthur Dayne, Oswell Whent, Gerold Hightower, Willam Dustin, Ethan Glover, Theo Wull, Martyn Cassel, or Mark Ryswell.
Rejoining the present narrative, the state of Westeros reads principally as ‘every little thing has been swept beneath the rug, and everyone seems to be pretending nothing occurred.’ Ned hasn’t seen Robert Baratheon in 9 years, or Howland Reed in fifteen; he hides in his winter fortress, secure inside PTSD encrusted partitions. Each free finish from the Rebel tucked behind Winterfell’s gates, threatening to spill out at any second.
Why did Benjen be a part of the Evening’s Watch? Good query. At some point you’re going to get a solution. But it surely won’t be right this moment.
If the one different Tower of Pleasure survivor was Howland Reed – and nobody has seen him in years – the load of hiding Lyanna’s dragonspawn turns into far simpler to handle. However we all know that’s not the case. They weren’t the one ones carrying the information of Jon Snow’s parentage – they couldn’t be.
With indefinite language like “they discovered him nonetheless holding her physique”, and conflicting tales, like Edric Dayne’s Dornish milk-brother story (“Brother?” Arya didn’t perceive. “However you are from Dorne. How might you and Jon be blood?” “Milk brothers. Not blood. My girl mom had no milk after I was little, so Wylla needed to nurse me.” Arya VIII, ASOS), we’re sideswiped with waves of thriller.
Stark returns dwelling with a child on his hip, fairly clearly carrying the household genes, and his youthful brother instantly indicators up for a lifetime of celibacy in a freezing tundra (SSM). Three kingsguard are positioned within the mountains of Dorne, with the information that what they’re guarding is price greater than their lives. Home Dayne sends their very own serving girl, Wylla, to the have a tendency the tower. Ashara plunges from the Palestone Sword Tower because the Rebel ends, her physique conveniently by no means discovered (SSM). Martin has even hinted the Reed kids “would possibly know one thing about it” (SSM), one thing backed up by Bran II, ASOS. The query is not ‘what occurred in that tower?’ – it’s what created that tower? What actions put our main girl on this tower, and why?
Compelling Arguments in opposition to Ashara Dayne as different “Fashionable Theories”
As a result of I couldn’t cease for Loss of life –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held however simply Ourselves –
The shadow forged by Lyanna and Rhaegar’s romance discovered many agency-deprived Rebel women assembly their doom. Typically referred to as “The Useless Girls Membership” by members of the fandom (generally coined by JoannaLannister), we rifle by way of pages of ladies led to slaughter by the identical societal requirements that they’re instructed will nourish them. Whereas not the main, love curiosity, Ashara Dayne encompasses the “lady-in-purple” concept; a sexualized enigma. Ashara’s reintroduction furthers her significance, the reader glimpsing her by way of Catelyn, Arya and Barristan chapters.
So far as useless women go, Lyanna Stark clocks in at a whopping twenty-six mentions by title in AGOT, whereas Ashara Dayne bottoms a lowly ten for your entire sequence. Does that ten look small? After all. However the constant spacing of that ten serves as an essential reminder: Ashara Dayne’s thriller nonetheless lies within the ocean, unresolved.
The sport of Phone surrounding Ashara’s destiny warrants questioning. Characters hiding post-Rebel are continually being launched to the story, and every web page begs: what reveal comes subsequent?
It’s not sufficient to ask “why” Ashara can be in hiding to justify among the crazier theories. Isolating her arc helps us carefully look at the thriller at hand, balancing theories by what provides depth to her story.
If Ashara fakes her demise, as common theories have a tendency to supply, there are numerous fascinating concepts about her destiny – however many are inclined to fail beneath a microscope.
AUTHOR’SNOTE:Youdo nothavetolikethispiece,asI ampositivesomeofyoumightnot!Ilookaheadtothewholesomedebatesunder,andbear in mind:it isfiction,associates😉
Justice for Elia
The midnight flight to Dragonstone, moonlight shimmering on the ship’s black sails. Her brother Rhaegar battling the Usurper within the bloody waters of the Trident and dying for the lady he liked. The sack of King’s Touchdown by those Viserys referred to as the Usurper’s canines, the lords Lannister and Stark. Princess Elia of Dorne pleading for mercy as Rhaegar’s inheritor was ripped from her breast and murdered earlier than her eyes. The polished skulls of the final dragons staring down sightlessly from the partitions of the throne room whereas the Kingslayer opened Father’s throat with a golden sword.
Daenerys I, AGOT
One darkish day in 283 AC, Elia Martell of Dorne realized that monsters have been actual. As household and life have been ripped from her arms, one factor was sure: Dorne wouldn’t forgive the events concerned till Justice was served. From ASOS on, we’re launched to the Justice For Elia plot, and as we journey alongside, the plot thickens – because it tends to. An extended-thought useless exiled Lord and a ragtag crew of Rebel Nobodies turns up, advocating for what appears to be the misplaced son of Rhaegar and Elia, Aegon Targaryen.
The Dirty Septa
There was one thing splendidly depraved in regards to the considered peeling the septa out of these chaste white robes and spreading her legs. Innocence despoiled, he thought … although Lemore was not close to as harmless as she appeared. She had stretch marks on her stomach that might solely have come from childbirth.
-Tyrion IV, ADWD
On the floor, Ashara Dayne as Septa Lemore is a straightforward match. A bunch of B-Record Rebel members emerge from the depths of the story, embarking on a journey to enthrone Rhaegar Targaryen’s suddenly-alive-son. A mysterious septa with lengthy, darkish hair and tactfully positioned stretch marks ignite a spark within the reader. “Wait! You mentioned everyone seems to be in hiding from the revolt! That is the right place to search out Ashara!” Readers wait with baited breath for a reveal in (faux!)Aegon’s camp, and so they’re ready for one thing that may by no means come.
“You are attempting to resolve if I am a person or girl,” Sweets mentioned, when she was introduced earlier than the dwarfs. Then she lifted her skirts and confirmed them what was beneath. “I am each, and grasp loves me greatest.”A grotesquerie, Tyrion realized. Someplace some god is laughing. “Beautiful,” he mentioned to Sweets, who had purple hair and violet eyes, “however we have been hoping to be the beautiful ones for as soon as.”
-Tyrion X ADWD
Lemore is launched by way of each Tyrion and Jon Connington. Tyrion spends a stable half of ADWD gushing about Valyrian Lore in his mind, and the opposite half feeling sorry for himself (and being a basic drunken sack of crap). Given what we find out about Tyrion’s obsession with previous Valyria, and what we find out about Ashara’s physique: why didn’t Tyrion point out Septa Lemore’s eyes? ‘He’s distracted by her physique,’ arguments come up,* ‘he was already overwhelmed by the stretchmarks.’* Nicely, associates, these arguments are ridiculous.
When Lemore climbed again onto the deck, Tyrion savored the sight of water trickling between her breasts, her clean pores and skin glowing golden within the morning gentle. She was previous forty, extra good-looking than fairly, however nonetheless straightforward on the attention. Being randy is the subsequent smartest thing to being drunk, he determined. It made him really feel as if he was nonetheless alive. “Did you see the turtle, Hugor?” the septa requested him, wringing water from her hair. “The massive ridgeback?”
-Tyrion IV, ADWD
Probably the most defining description of Ashara in eleven on-page mentions are her haunting (or laughing) violet eyes. In Tyrion IV, Tyrion sees Younger Griff’s eyes are a darkish blue or purple within the nightfall. In Tyrion X, just a few chapters after Lemore’s stretch marks seem, Tyrion makes notice of a slave’s purple eyes. Too straightforward to overlook, and fully out of character for Tyrion to disregard.
The prince arrived to hitch them 4 days later, using on the head of a column of 100 horse, with three elephants lumbering in his rear. Girl Lemore was with him, garbed as soon as extra within the white robes of a septa. Earlier than them went Ser Rolly Duckfield, a snow-white cloak streaming from his shoulders.
-The Misplaced Lord, ADWD
Prince Aegon Targaryen was not close to as biddable because the boy Younger Griff had been, nevertheless. The higher a part of an hour had handed earlier than he lastly turned up within the photo voltaic, with Duck at his aspect. “Lord Connington,” he mentioned, “I like your citadel.”
-The Griffin Reborn, ADWD
Tyrion isn’t the one POV with an affinity for purple eyes, both. Connington turns consideration to Younger Griff’s eyes, reminiscing on Rhaegar’s deep purple set.
“Your father’s lands are lovely,” he mentioned. His silvery hair was blowing within the wind, and his eyes have been a deep purple, darker than this boy’s.
-The Griffin Reborn, ADWD
But Connington – considered one of Ashara’s famed tourney dance companions (Bran II, ASOS) – fails to say that Lemore catches his eye in the identical method. In actual fact, there isn’t a point out of Lemore’s eye colour in any of the chapters she seems in.
Have been eye colour not sufficient to dispel the Lemore/Ashara concept, age throws it the place it belongs: in a trash can. Tyrion guesses Lemore previous forty – the place Tyrion has misjudged age in ASOIAF earlier than (“Tyrion sighed. “You’re remarkably well mannered for a bastard, Snow. What you see is a dwarf. You’re what, twelve?” “Fourteen,” the boy mentioned.” – Tyrion II, AGOT), one to 2 years will not be a really drastic distinction. Martin has said Ashara can be in her thirties if alive (SSM) – to be in her forties, she would have been born between 250 and 260 AC, which places Ashara 22 to 32 years previous in the course of the Tourney at Harrenhal. Whereas 22 isn’t unbelievable, something older simply doesn’t match Martin’s thematic and harrowing depictions of younger, tragic Rebel women. (see Ashara Dayne Age Calculation in Pt.I reddit/tumblr)
Aegon’s crew unfolds in ADWD, revealing these anonymous survivors of the Rebel – and numerous questions. An exiled lord, a rogue almost-maester, an apprentice smith with a shady previous, and a dirty septa; all with causes to cover, implementing the “rightful king” on the iron throne. However the place does Ashara match? Moreover Connington, the group appears to be comprised of… effectively, nobodies. In actual fact, the entire plot is fairly useless finish, whether or not the true Aegon or not – Aunt Dany and her Dragons loom simply forward, surrounding Younger Griff’s political marketing campaign with fireplace, blood, and in the end demise.
“Prince Aegon was Rhaegar’s inheritor by Elia of Dorne,” Ser Jorah mentioned. “But when he was this prince that was promised, the promise was damaged alongside along with his cranium when the Lannisters dashed his head in opposition to a wall.”
-Daenerys V, ACOK
Many discover themselves desperately wanting to satisfy the Lemore connection, to search out closure for the thriller behind Ashara Dayne. However when readers tug on the plot to make their theories match, there are elements that don’t movement.
So be it. He had grown keen on Lemore, however that didn’t imply he required her approval. Her job had been to instruct the prince within the doctrines of the Religion, and she or he had achieved that. No quantity of prayer would put him on the Iron Throne, nevertheless. That was Griff’s job. He had failed Prince Rhaegar as soon as. He wouldn’t fail his son, not while life remained in his physique.
-The Misplaced Lord, ADWD
Ashara Dayne, after dropping family and friends, goes into hiding, solely to emerge, championing Elia Martell’s born-again little one and educate him in regards to the Religion. Heck, let’s take it deeper, like most followers are inclined to: Ashara Dayne, who had a stillborn little one, mad with grief after Ned Stark returned her household’s ancestral sword dwelling, ‘slaying her brother’, emerges from committing suicide, championing Elia Martell’s born-again little one and instructing him in regards to the religion. Ashara as soon as extra is was the horny girl getting watched by seven guys on a ship, very like her place within the Tourney at Harrenhal, and very like her place within the fandom: caught on a pedestal.
The months Ashara spent attending Elia of Dorne – sure, months, and undoubtedly not more than a 12 months – weren’t months of Ashara skipping down hallways, laughing and singing songs with fellow bedmaids and the Princess. Rhaenys’ start was extraordinarily traumatic, leaving Elia bedridden half a 12 months (The Griffin Reborn, ADWD). It’s uncertain the Daynes and Martells have been distant, per se, however moreover Ashara’s dancing with Oberyn at Harrenhal, Arthur being a sworn brother to Lewyn, and Home Dayne’s fealty to Home Martell… we don’t have textual foundation for a robust relationship between the Dayne and Martell household. In actual fact, the strongest friendship Arthur is referenced having all through TWOIAF and ASOIAF (moreover Connington and sworn brothers) occurs to be with Rhaegar Targaryen.
Evaluating it to present-day ASOIAF, Alys Karstark hadn’t seen the Stark brothers since she was six years previous (ADWD, Jon IX). Northmen are loyal (to a fault, as we all know the Dornish vassals might be), however there may be nothing that implies that Home Martell and Dayne’s kids have been greater than informal associates, simply as Home Karstark and Stark: it’s extra possible they merely met every time their dad and mom convened/organized.
The Rebel Dayne gang aren’t introduced up in a single Dornish chapter, barring Gerold’s introduction (The Queensmaker, AFFC). The primary point out of Ashara by way of somebody associated to her, Ned Dayne, informs Arya her dad was in love along with her; with not a single Martell name-drop. Beneath the speculation’s already fragile floor, there may be weaker motivation: Ashara Dayne displaying up with a gaggle of B/C-list Rebel characters to assist a son she by no means met, of a good friend she barely knew, depends carefully on Home allegiancy.
And what in regards to the eventual demise of “Aegon” “Targaryen”? With Younger Griff’s heritage speculated (and arguably accepted as fandom-wide canon at this level) to be from the Blackfyre line or faked, the laid seeds of “Aegon Targaryen” are misplaced in Ashara Dayne’s narrative. Jon Connington spends years in exile elevating the “good Prince”, solely to fail as soon as extra, by no means avenging his silver Prince. Ashara as soon as extra finds herself enveloped in tragedy for another person’s story. This ending does nothing however cheapen her authentic demise.
Fan theories usually define outlandish concepts, too difficult to be solved within the final two ASOIAF books: Ashara was in love with Rhaegar and couldn’t be with him, Ashara was dishonored by Aerys II and had his child; there’s even a fairly unsavory “Brandon Stark and Ashara Dayne” concept I’ll tear aside later.
So the place are the textual ties to the stillborn/child alive theories?
Daenerys has the identical eyes. Typically when the queen checked out him, he felt as if he have been taking a look at Ashara’s daughter … However Ashara’s daughter had been stillborn, and his honest girl had thrown herself from a tower quickly after, mad with grief for the kid she had misplaced, and maybe for the person who had dishonored her at Harrenhal as effectively. She died by no means realizing that Ser Barristan had liked her. How might she? He was a knight of the Kingsguard, sworn to celibacy. No good might have come from telling her his emotions. No good got here from silence both. If I had unhorsed Rhaegar and topped Ashara queen of affection and wonder, would possibly she have appeared to me as an alternative of Stark?
-The Kingbreaker, ADWD
Not a single character factually is aware of of Ashara’s stillbirth; Barristan, a longtime unreliable narrator, thinks of how he might need achieved issues otherwise to keep away from thewar, and the reminiscence of Ashara’s “little one” come speeding to the entrance. Martin time and time once more needs the reader to keep in mind that characters don’t at all times see issues by way of a “20/20” lens, as seen in Barristan’s ideas concerning Quentyn Martell.
Prince Quentyn was listening intently, at the very least. That one is his father’s son. Quick and stocky, plain-faced, he appeared a good lad, sober, wise, dutiful … however not the type to make a younger woman’s coronary heart beat quicker. And Daenerys Targaryen, no matter else she could be, was nonetheless a younger woman, as she herself would declare when it happy her to play the harmless. Like all good queens she put her folks first—else she would by no means have wed Hizdahr zo Loraq—however the woman in her nonetheless yearned for poetry, ardour, and laughter. She needs fireplace, and Dorne despatched her mud.
-The Discarded Knight, ADWD
Dany unrolled the parchment and examined it once more. Braavos. This was achieved in Braavos, whereas we have been residing in the home with the purple door. Why did that make her really feel so unusual? She discovered herself remembering her nightmare. Typically there may be reality in goals. Might Hizdahr zo Loraq be working for the warlocks, was that what the dream had meant? Might the dream have been a sending? Have been the gods telling her to place Hizdahr apart and wed this Dornish prince as an alternative?
-Daenerys VII, ADWD
It turns into straightforward to simply accept Barristan’s ideas on Daenerys’ suitors at face worth, till we bear in mind Daenerys’ ideas on Quentyn. We all know that, had he come to the Dragon Queen earlier, it will have been a straightforward alliance. Barristan finds Daenerys’ conduct rash relating to Daario Naharis, the studly sellsword with nothing to supply her however his weapon and member. However at this level within the story, Daenerys has ceased sleeping with Naharis, and sacrificed private and political ambitions to maintain peace in Meereen.
The place Barristan sees a younger woman selecting fireplace, he doesn’t know each battle that plagues her thoughts, every inner thought she grapples with. The concept that Barristan projected what occurred to Ashara isn’t farfetched. As soon as extra, the reader is given extra info than Barristan appears to know – we know that there’s extra at play within the story than the concept that Daenerys is a foolish little woman with foolish little woman goals. Barristan’s projections on Quentyn sound quite a bit like* “would possibly she have appeared to me as an alternative of Stark”* come once more.
The Child Swap
“Or was it the grieving sister, the Girl Ashara? She threw herself into the ocean, I am instructed. Why was that? For the brother you slew, or the kid you stole?” -Eddard XII, AGOT
The thought of the Tower of Pleasure being a part of a much bigger conspiracy permits concepts and solutions that, whereas eccentric, are open minded approaches in sifting by way of textual content. With the quantity of data that we aren’t given, credit score the place credit score is due: some loopy stuff might have gone down surrounding the Tower of Pleasure. We simply don’t know. What we will use to reel us in is how the reveal would come to be – and the way it impacts the general story.
Some theories go too far. When the phrases* “Ashara + Aerys = Aegon”, “Ashara + Brandon = Jon/Aegon”, “Ashara + Ned = Jon/Aegon”* pop up in any which order, I can’t assist however cringe. I say this on the danger of crucifixion, however if you happen to’re with me to this point, a few of these concepts are too outlandish to work. Whether or not you settle for the canon of the present, or have truly learn the identical books now we have been studying, Jon’s parentage has been greater than hinted at. Nevertheless this mess pans out, I really feel we’ve come to the purpose in our grownup lives the place we will and ought to settle for that Rhaegar and Lyanna are the dad and mom of Jon Snow/Stark/Garyen/Sand. Ned’s fever goals, his trauma, sheltering his household and daughters, and his complete AGOT investigative arc loses all emotional resonance when Jon’s parentage is assigned to somebody not Lyanna and Rhaegar. Daenerys’ Home of the Timeless visions, Ned’s ferocious love for ‘whoever Jon’s mom will need to have been’ (Catelyn II, AGOT); they develop into hole ideas on a chunk of paper, and in no way how Martin vegetation and harvests his writings.
“Prince Rhaegar’s good friend might need been available when my father sacked King’s Touchdown, to avoid wasting Prince Rhaegar’s treasured little son from getting his royal brains dashed out in opposition to a wall. The lad flushed. “That was not me. I instructed you. That was some tanner’s son from Pisswater Bend whose mom died birthing him. His father offered him to Lord Varys for a jug of Arbor gold. He had different sons however had by no means tasted Arbor gold. Varys gave the Pisswater boy to my girl mom and carried me away.”
“Aye.” Tyrion moved his elephants. “And when the pisswater prince was safely useless, the eunuch smuggled you throughout the slender sea to his fats good friend the cheesemonger, who hid you on a poleboat and located an exile lord keen to name himself your father. It does make for a splendid story, and the singers will make a lot of your escape as soon as you’re taking the Iron Throne… “
-Tyrion VI, ADWD
The youthful sister of Arthur Dayne will get knocked up in King’s Touchdown by somebody of extraordinarily handy genetics, and has the kid taken away from her – probably as “the Pisswater Prince”. Varys, being the one who stole a baby from Ashara, switches the infants, and she or he raises Elia’s son as her personal till the time is true.
When the lad emerged from the cabin with Lemore by his aspect, Griff appeared him over fastidiously from head to heel. The prince wore sword and dagger, black boots polished to a excessive sheen, a black cloak lined with blood-red silk. Along with his hair washed and reduce and freshly dyed a deep, darkish blue, his eyes appeared blue as effectively. At his throat he wore three big square-cut rubies on a sequence of black iron, a present from Magister Illyrio. Crimson and black. Dragon colours. That was good. “You look a correct prince,” he instructed the boy. “Your father can be proud if he might see you.”
-The Misplaced Lord, ADWD
Martin highlights Aegon and Rhaegar’s distinction in eye colour by way of Connington’s chapters. As PoorQuentyn mentions on Tumblr, Martin drops a Doylist trace for the reader in these chapters: the son’s eyes are not like the daddy’s – one thing Connington clings to, refusing to truly confront (“his eyes have been a deep purple, darker than this boy’s.”-The Griffin Reborn, ADWD). If considered one of Ashara’s functions within the story is to function a purple herring for Jon Snow’s parentage to the general public eye, she will’t probably fulfill that and a few kind of pseudo-mother for F!Aegon. The reality of the matter: that’s sloppy, and there isn’t sufficient page-time for it.
Clear pathways lead from the tales of the Rebel, and unite in present narrative. Elia Martell’s plot lives on by way of kinfolk as they search revenge for the injustice achieved to their household, however ends in fireplace and blood by way of miscalculations alongside the way in which. Lyanna Stark’s tragedy fronts us the savior, and permits us to observe Jon Snow as he transforms into the entrance line of battle in opposition to the Others and the Lengthy Evening to come back. Is Ashara Dayne left with no actual finish to her plot, solely serving function as a sacrificial lamb? The place do her traces lead, and what outcomes due to her story?
The Wild Wolf
“Somebody has been down right here stealing swords. Brandon’s is gone as effectively.”
“He would hate that.” She pulled off her glove and touched his knee, pale flesh in opposition to darkish stone. “Brandon liked his sword. He liked to hone it. ‘I would like it sharp sufficient to shave the hair from a girl’s cunt,’ he used to say. And the way he liked to make use of it. ‘A bloody sword is a gorgeous factor,’ he instructed me as soon as.” “You knew him,” Theon mentioned.
The lantern gentle in her eyes made them appear as in the event that they have been afire. “Brandon was fostered at Barrowton with previous Lord Dustin, the daddy of the one I might later wed, however he spent most of his time using the Rills. He liked to experience. His little sister took after him in that. A pair of centaurs, these two. And my lord father was at all times happy to play host to the inheritor to Winterfell. My father had nice ambitions for Home Ryswell. He would have served up my maidenhead to any Stark who occurred by, however there was no want. Brandon was by no means shy about taking what he wished. I’m previous now, a dried-up factor, too lengthy a widow, however I nonetheless bear in mind the look of my maiden’s blood on his cock the night time he claimed me. I feel Brandon favored the sight as effectively.
-The Turncloak, ADWD
If the Rebel and primary textual content revolve round Lyanna and Rhaegar’s Tower of Pleasure lovefest – and the bouncing, bundled product of it – there are foolish theories we will knock off from the beginning. Ashara Dayne and mainly anybody producing Jon Snow, for example.
Ardour is a driving drive the place this Ashara concept is worried, and hinges on little to no textual proof, however fairly, as soon as extra, a straightforward means to ending Ashara’s plot. Brandon Stark, the older wolf brother: horny, conceited, wooing the tantalizingly ‘scorching’ Dornish woman. First requesting her favor to bounce with the solemn youthful brother, and later ‘dishonoring’ her within the warmth of the night time. The place this concept works as a straightforward match (‘had she turned to me as an alternative of Stark, dropping a baby, killing herself out of grief’) the finer particulars fail beneath examination.
Look. We get it. Brandon Stark was a Northern Stud. He connected with highborn women, had lengthy hair, dared to experience to the purple maintain – with a military – to name out the problematic silver-haired prophecy abiding hipster, Rhaegar Targaryen. He was “badass”. Cat knew it, Ned knew it, Barbrey knew it. However did he actually have time to throw yet another highborn Girl into his juggling act?
Following Brandon’s timeline, his betrothal to Cat befell someplace between 276 and 277 AC (Catelyn VI, ACOK). In 281 AC, Brandon would have been posing as next-in-command for Home Stark on the Tourney at Harrenhal, as Rickard didn’t attend – probably maintaining an eye fixed out for an advantageous betrothal for Ned, the center brother. With Hoster Tully’s lack of attendance (speculated by way of the insult of Jaime Lannister’s Kingsguard induction – and never marrying Lysa) there’s no likelihood Brandon would danger additional spectacle. Brandon, the born chief, was nonetheless seeing Barbrey (tourney was pre-wedding date announcement to Catelyn) and betrothed to Catelyn Tully; somebody would inform. Somebody at all times tells.
Some theorists latch on to forbidden love within the dungeons of the Crimson Maintain, and the dates simply don’t line up. The one alternative for Ashara Dayne to get pregnant by Brandon Stark would have been in the course of the Tourney at Harrenhal in 281 AC. Following the tourney, Elia Martell returned dwelling to Dragonstone, giving start to Aegon in early 282 AC. Ashara, ‘not lengthy at courtroom’ (The Kingbreaker, ADWD) would make for Dorne; and if rumors have been true, pregnant. Brandon Stark’s well-known demise by the hands of Aerys II Targaryen befell in early 282 AC within the throne room of King’s Touchdown.
Ashara’s ‘demise’ – and Brandon’s extra sure one – is used as a handy system in these theories. With out both to present their residing phrase, how can we probably disprove it? However on the identical time, how can we probably show it? Brandon’s story is over; the songs have been written, the wild wolf has been put to sleep. However Ashara’s mentions don’t fade, like her story has. What would Ashara Dayne’s romance with a really formally useless man, a few years in the past, add to the narrative? With Jon Snow’s parentage being of the Dragon and the She-Wolf, and each Ned and Brandon lengthy gone, there can be zero level in any Ashara and Brandon reveal: useless or alive.
Wrapped in Starlight
“If in case you have some warning for me, communicate plainly. What would you like of me, Quaithe?” Moonlight shone within the girl’s eyes. “To indicate you the way in which.”
-Daenerys II, ADWD
Quaithe of the Shadow seems in Daenerys’ POV’s throughout ASOIAF (ACOK I, II, III, ASOS III, ADWD II, X). A Shadowbinder from Asshai sustaining a specific amount of thriller, she seems periodically to ship cryptic messages and prophecies to Daenerys – she even initiatives herself by way of the celebrities. The place Quaithe is bathed in starlight and enigmas, many speculate the imagery and mystique matches Ashara Dayne, leaving hints to assist the Dragon’s daughter. As soon as extra, a straightforward match from outdoors – a girl with a hidden id and lacquered masks, talking in riddles, by no means revealing herself to reader or POV character.
Dany had not observed Quaithe within the crowd, but there she stood, eyes moist and glossy behind the implacable purple lacquer masks. “What imply you, my girl?”
-Daenerys III, ACOK
Very similar to the Lemore concept, diving skin-deep into the Quaithe as Ashara concept is sufficient to break it. Dany mentions Quaithe’s eyes twice – as soon as in ACOK, one other in ADWD. Wouldn’t Daenerys be stunned by and desirous to discover Quaithe’s purple eyes, one thing that might signify some kind of Valyrian connection to her; Daenerys, who yearns for dwelling, continually craving the corporate of the household she by no means knew?
Two direct mentions of Quaithe’s eyes make the web page, with zero descriptions of colour. In ADWD alone, Daenerys focuses particularly on Ser Barristan and Missandei’s eye colours. if Quaithe had something majorly essential about her eyes, the viewers would bear in mind.
Most sinister of all of the sorcerers of Asshai are the shadowbinders, who’s lacquered masks disguise their faces from the eyes of gods and males. They alone dare to go up river previous the partitions of Asshai, into the guts of darkness.
“All sorcery comes at a value, little one. Years of prayer and sacrifice and research are required to work a correct glamor.”
“Years?” she mentioned, dismayed.
-Arya II, AFFC
And so the speculation goes. Ashara Dayne, in hiding from the Rebel, begins coaching to develop into a shadowbinder, with 15-20 years beneath her belt to instantly develop into heckin’ mystical, sporting a masks, speaking to Daenerys with a glass candle, haunting her goals, assembly her in Qarth.
“What feeds a dragon’s fireplace?” Marwyn seated himself upon a stool. “All Valyrian sorcery was rooted in blood or fireplace. The sorcerers of the Freehold might see throughout mountains, seas, and deserts with considered one of these glass candles. They might enter a person’s goals and provides him visions, and communicate to at least one one other half a world aside, seated earlier than their candles. Do you assume that could be helpful, Slayer?”
-Samwell V, AFFC
Final of the three seekers to depart was Quaithe the shadowbinder. From her Dany obtained solely a warning. “Beware,” the lady within the purple lacquer masks mentioned.
“Of all. They shall come day and night time to see the marvel that has been born once more into the world, and after they see they shall lust. For dragons are fireplace made flesh, and fireplace is energy.”
When Quaithe too was gone, Ser Jorah mentioned, “She speaks actually, my queen . . . although I like her not more than the others.”
-Daenerys II, ACOK
Whereas Home Dayne’s mystical qualities appear to be essential, Shadowbinders are of the night time. They work their artwork in darkness, the place Ashara and her quick household appear to be of the sunshine, Arthur because the Sword of the Morning. With so little textual content about Quaithe and Home Dayne, it is a concept that’s as onerous to rebuff as to show.
If Quaithe is utilizing a glass candle to speak with Daenerys, or at the very least is conscious of the burning glass candles, she is utilizing/seeing a Valyrian methodology of magical contact; which …isn’t very Dayne. Descending initially from First Males, and generally theorized from the Nice Empire of the Daybreak, Valyrian sorcery and Shadowbinding each maintain one comparable trait: Home Dayne doesn’t appear to have a historical past with it.
The lady took a step backward. “You need to depart this metropolis quickly, Daenerys Targaryen, or you’ll by no means be permitted to go away it in any respect.”
Dany’s wrist nonetheless tingled the place Quaithe had touched her. “The place would you might have me go?” she requested.
“To go north, you will need to journey south. To achieve the west, you will need to go east. To go ahead you will need to return, and to the touch the sunshine you will need to go beneath the shadow.”
-Daenerys III, ASOS
So the place does the Daenerys connection come into play? Did Ashara Dayne maintain a lot regard for Rhaegar Targaryen – and no matter prophecy might or might not have come into play – that she threw herself off of a tower, faked her demise, and devoted the subsequent decade and a half to changing into a magical sorceress for his sister? Uncertain – that doesn’t appear to be the place her loyalty lie.
The most important reality of any of those theories? We don’t have sufficient web page time for them. No matter Ashara’s destiny turns into within the books, the character of its reveal received’t take up greater than a handful of pages – at greatest. With eleven mentions (ten by title) within the story, and 155+ plot threads to be wrapped up, Ashara presently has about 850 phrases surrounding her plot – out of 1.77 million phrases in your entire story. That’s far lower than 1% of the plot. This story is large, and whereas Ashara Dayne performed an integral half within the Rebel – no matter it was – a chapter lengthy reveal of those theories will not be within the playing cards at this level.