This is my take on Tyrion’s Cyvasse ‘game’. (Originally posted as a Reddit comment).
He gives two pieces of advice to Aegon – (1) Through words, go to Westeros ASAP because this is the right time to strike (2) Through the game, keep your dragon close. These two pieces are contradictory, because Aegon can’t keep his dragon (Dany) close and go to Westeros soon – it has to be one or the other.
At the time of the game, Tyrion does not know Dany was wed, or that she intend to stay at Meereen – any Westerosi will expect her to return West. Tyrion has no idea about Jorah, and he does not expect to be parted from the Shy Maid crew. So in hindsight, it would appear as if Tyrion wanted to make a quick return to Westeros, and defeat Cersei. After all, everything he said about Cersei’s ineptitude and the chaos in Westeros became real in AFFC. It does look like Aegon will have a successful campaign for at least some duration following his landing in Westeros.
Only, Tyrion Lannister is not a green boy eager for victories, nor is he as desperate as Jon Connington (exiled though both are). Even if we ignore his self-destructive mindset throughout the first-half of Dance, he is obsessed with dragons – enough to keep reading about them long after the last of them were dead, and before even Dany had hatched her three dragons. He will never turn away from the prospect of seeing real dragons (even after escaping death by lions at Daznak’s Pit, he is disappointed that he could not see the dragon taking flight), especially if these dragons are in the care of someone who would want to overpower his sister Cersei.
So why advise Aegon to turn away from dragons? Because he knew they would not be able to turn West, even if Aegon himself was convinced it was the right course. From Tyrion’s viewpoint, Jon Connington would not take such a ‘foolish course’ of discarding their best advantage, a marriage alliance with the dragon queen, just to take advantage of politics. They have waited long enough, they could wait a bit more. (I believe JonCon would have waited, if not for the grayscale and Dany staying East).
Effectively, Tyrion was planting an idea in Aegon’s mind that things could be smoother and quicker if they only reached Westeros in the right time. Here is what I think Tyrion expected to happen:
Aegon is eager to demonstrate his talent, probably discusses the prospect of turning West with JonCon
Jon Con disagrees, they continue their course East. Aegon is unhappy with Jon Con, wonders how much more JonCon will control him once they win the throne
They reach Dany, and Aegon ‘finds’ that she is exactly as Tyrion described her (it was an intelligent guess from his part, and even if Dany was different, Tyrion already planted a first impression stencil in Aegon’s mind so it would be difficult for him to form a drastically different opinion).
Dany is not over-the-moon about Aegon (not unexpectedly), and even if she is, Aegon doubts if that is enough. Tyrion has enough factual details (the Dothraki, Unsullied support of Dany) to guess that she has earned more support and more followers than Aegon, this causes Aegon to feel inferior (more so than he would have felt, if not for Tyrion’s view on the matter).
Aegon begins to wonder what would have happened if only he followed Tyrion’s advice.. Heard melodies are sweet, those unheard are sweeter, so Aegon will think things would have been better for him if he had listened to Tyrion instead of Jon Connington, Illyrio or Varys. Voila! There goes puppetmasters’ plan to groom their perfect prince. In all likeliness, the prince would be more prone to listening to Tyrion now, or at least think twice before following what JonCon, Varys or Illyrio tells him to do.
Considering Tyrion’s mindset at the time of the game, I think he was just trying to cause chaos, almost in the fashion of Littlefinger’s usual MO. He was being asked to dress like a clown, he was being kept under the dark, and he was feeling suicidal after the Tysha reminder from Jaime. JonCon reminded him of Tywin, and Tyrion was never a big fan of Varys to begin with. What Tyrion really wanted Aegon to do was this: Trust no one.
Not your chainless maester, not your false father, not the gallant Duck nor the lovely Lemore nor these other fine friends who grew you from a bean. Above all, trust not the cheesemonger, nor the Spider, nor this little dragon queen you mean to marry.
If Tyrion was more his pre-ADWD self, I’d have guessed he had plans to play for Dany’s trust while distancing Aegon and his team from her – after all, Tyrion is going to have a hard time achieving the position of influence under king Aegon, with Varys, Illyrio (from behind the curtain) and Jon Connington already having brought him up. Dany on the other hand have no one with political acumen (Illyrio or Varys does say this to Tyrion) on her side. It’s not surprising that Tyrion would try to seize the opportunity. However, I think he was more in destructive mindset than an ambitious one at the time of the game.
I have seen a lot of readers, especially women, claiming Cersei to be theri favorite PoV, and how they ‘love to hate her’ etc etc, but post ASOS, I find nothing feminist in Cersei, but quite the contrary. Cersei is more sexist than even some men in the series (and that tells a lot). She looks down on all other women for the mere reason they are women (‘hens’). She looks down on all men too, because with the exception of Jaime and Tywin, they are lesser than what she could have been if she was born male. She believes (as evident from her conversation with Sansa and her actions throughout the series) the best way for a woman to get what she wants is to use ‘the weapon between her legs’, and by extension any plain or ugly woman, like Brienne, are completely useless and detestable. Cersei has picked up a few things from her father, but unfortunately in an incomplete manner(she knows one can rule with fear, but she doesn’t exactly nail down whom to intimidate and whom to please), resulting in her becoming an inept ruler.
Contrast this with Catelyn, who grew up in almost same conditions as Cersei – she also gets upset when she feels neglected or not taken serious enough just because she is a woman, but not as bitterly as Cersei, and Catelyn is able to command a certain amount of respect and loyalty from her son’s bannermen. No spreading legs required.
Assumption: R+L=J. (It is always the case with me, but more than regular for this one.)
This is motivated by this post in r/freefolk (Warning to non-freefolkers: Tread carefully, because ere be all sort of spoilers and leaks, without spoilertags), which suggested that Jon looks like Aegon I Targaryen. The OP was comparing the above images (seeing them side-by-side, I can’t but help more and more appreciate G-Girl95), and I posted a long-ish comment. Thought that I’d post it in an organized fashion here.
Most readers assume Jon to be a carbon-copy of young Ned Stark, and they have good reason to do so.
Jon’s eyes were a grey so dark they seemed almost black, but there was little they did not see. He was of an age with Robb, but they did not look alike. Jon was slender where Robb was muscular, dark where Robb was fair, graceful and quick where his half brother was strong and fast. Bran I, AGOT
Jon was never out of sight, and as he grew, he looked more like Ned than any of the trueborn sons she bore him. Catelyn II, AGOT
Jon had their father’s face, as she did. Arya I, AGOT
He had the Stark face if not the name: long, solemn, guarded, a face that gave nothing away. Whoever his mother had been, she had left little of herself in her son. Tyrion II, AGOT
Riding through the rainy night, Ned saw Jon Snow’s face in front of him, so like a younger version of his own. Eddard IX, AGOT
And that’s just the first book.
“Who’s this one now?” Craster said before Jon could go. “He has the look of a Stark.” Jon III, ACOK
Arya was the only one to show much of Ned in her features. And Jon Snow, but he was never mine. Catelyn VI, ACOK
“Jon looks like me, even though he’s bastard-born.” Arya VIII, ASOS
Stannis snorted. “I know Janos Slynt. And I knew Ned Stark as well. Your father was no friend of mine, but only a fool would doubt his honor or his honesty. You have his look.” Jon XI, ASOS
It was Lord Snow who faced him now, grey eyes as hard as ice. Samwell I, AFFC
The flames crackled softly, and in their crackling she heard the whispered name Jon Snow. His long face floated before her, limned in tongues of red and orange, appearing and disappearing again, a shadow half-seen behind a fluttering curtain. Melisandre, ADWD
Other than this, what I could find was his height was probably average, given his comparison to Joffrey (Lannisters are generally tall, and Joffrey resembles Jaime) and Grenn (nicknamed ‘Aurochs’).
He[Joffrey] was twelve, younger than Jon or Robb, but taller than either, to Jon’s vast dismay. Jon I, AGOT
Grenn was sixteen and a head taller than Jon. Jon III, AGOT
There might be more if I did a more thorough search. But already we have five mentions in the first book and six in the remaining books, relating Jon’s appearance to that of traditional Stark/Northern. There are a large number of misguided “fans” who had refuted R+L=J solely on the basis that Jon did not have silver hair or purple eyes. But what can really be inferred about Jon’s looks?
Coloring: Dark (dark/brown hair)
Eye color: Deep gray
Height: Not tall for his age, unlike Joffrey. Probably average. [Could get taller, since he was only fourteen at the time of meeting Joffrey or Grenn]
These are the only physical aspects of Jon that we know. The first three are definitely Stark traits, and just these constitute his ‘Stark look’, as far as readers are concerned. I do not doubt that Jon resembles Ned through Lyanna, hence his resemblance with Arya, but that does not necessarily mean that his real appearance was a complete opposite of what Tyrion thought (“Whoever his mother had been, she had left little of herself in her son”). We do not have enough information to conclude that Jon does not resemble Rhaegar in any way – let it be external appearance, abilities, or character. One could argue, based on Tyrion’s comment, that all of Jon’s features must have looked like Ned’s for Tyrion to make that comment, but all Tyrion actually makes mention of is what everyone else notices – Jon’s long solemn face.
It so happens that, there exist many other features which could be remarked upon to emphasize the similarity between a parent and his/her child. Here is a list of some such features, unknown in the case of Jon, and therefore having a finite possibility of being inherited from Rhaegar or the Targaryen side. (Quotes about Rhaegar listed in the end)
Slender build – Viserys was described as gaunt by Dany, but that could be due to all his hardships. But Targaryens in general do not seem to turn out to be muscular.
Face – We know it is long, but is it also narrow? Cersei says Aurane’s face is too narrow to be like Rhaegar, but this may suggest that Rhaegar’s face was somewhat narrow. Does Jon have a thin face?
Eyes – We know the color, but are his eyes narrow? Too far apart? Thick eyebrows or light? Are Jon’s eyes big or small? Does he have thick eyelashes? Did Rhaegar?
Nose – Is it flat, straight, pinched, thin or aquiline? Is it like Ned’s or Rhaegar’s or Viserys’s?
Cheekbones – High? prominent or not? how do they compare with Starks and Targaryens?
Voice – Soft? Ringing? Deep? Coarse? Does Jon have the ‘iron tones of Rhaegar’ that Jaime would identify?
Gait/antics – Does Jon have a special way of walking that can be identified as similar to Rhaegar’s, or Ned’s or Brandon’s? Does Jon fights in some typical way that would remind Jon Connington or Ser Barristan of Rhaegar? (These things could be inherited). There are no less than 35 mentions of Arya biting/chewing her lips, but only one each of Robb and Jon doing it and twice for Sansa.
Above given are all unknowns related to Jon Snow. It is entirely possible that in none of the seven listed categories does Jon resemble Rhaegar in the slightest sense, but the point I’m making is that we don’t know it, either way.
Then why do they matter? Because, if someone who is familiar with Targaryens but having no idea about ‘the Stark look’ should meet Jon in the future books, they may spot some similarities. (I say this from personal experience of my mother’s friends/family saying I look like my mother, when I actually resemble my father more.)
So far, the people who have met both Rhaegar and Jon are Ned, Benjen, Yoren, Jaime, Robert, Cersei, and probably also Alliser Thorne, Jaremy Rykker, Stannis Baratheon (less chance there), Aemon Targaryen (even less chance, but Aemon knew other Targaryens really well to know the Targ look. Considering he was blind by the time Jon came to the Wall, I will add that Aemon may also have know the Targ voice, if there is one),..
All of them, with the exception of Jaime and Cersei, has spent more time around one Stark or other (Ned in case of Robert, Benjen for Alliser and Jaremy) to connect Jon to Rhaegar rather than Ned. Jaime and Cersei are also first introduced to Ned and Benjen, then get a passing chance to observe Jon Snow, the bastard of Winterfell. Not surprising that they didn’t see in Jon anything more than Tyrion did. Because people see what they expect to see. This is probably another reason for Ned to keep Jon in Winterfell (in addition to the safety) – in Winterfell, standing next to Ned, no one is going to suspect that Jon is not Ned’s son. But Ned leaves Winterfell and Jon leaves to the Wall – where Benjen Stark has lived for nearly as long as Jon was alive. The wildlings, Craster, Stannis – all the people Jon met after leaving home also had no reason to doubt Jon’s origins.
Take an imaginary scenario – take Daenerys for example – who only know Ned as the hard-faced lord who was the usurper’s dog but nothing really about how he looks; but grew up with Viserys – if she meets Jon without being told who he was, would she observe that Jon resembled Viserys or Rhaegar (from her visions/dreams), or would she not? We don’t know. It is not impossible. Or take Jon Connington, who knew Ned Stark well enough (Battle of Bells), but spends most the life dreaming/brooding/reminciecsing about Rhaegar, what would his impression of Jon be? I am curious.
There are other skills and qualities that Jon have and Rhaegar had (like determination, efficiency, resourcefulness, kindness, chivalry, etc.), but they have been analized already and are too subjective and verbose to include in this discussion, so I’m leaving them out for now.
Quotes about Rhaegar Targaryen’s looks:
Viserys, was her first thought the next time she paused, but a second glance told her otherwise. The man had her brother’s hair, but he was taller, and his eyes were a darkindigo rather than lilac. Daenerys IV, ACOK. [About Viserys: He was a gaunt young man with nervous hands and a feverish look in his pale lilac eyes. Daenerys I, AGOT]
And beside them, crowned in mist and grief with his long hair streaming behind him, rode Rhaegar Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone and rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Jaime VI, ASOS
On the floor he’d found a scuffed mosaic of the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen done in tiles of black and red. I know you, Kingslayer, the beast seemed to be saying. I have been here all the time, waiting for you to come to me. And it seemed to Jaime that he knew that voice, the iron tones that had once belonged to Rhaegar, Prince of Dragonstone. Jaime I, AFFC.
It was not the first time the queen had made note of Waters, a lean young man with grey-green eyes and long silver-gold hair. The first time she had seen him, for half a heartbeat she had almost thought Rhaegar Targaryen had returned from the ashes. It is his hair, she told herself. He is not half as comely as Rhaegar was. His face is too narrow, and he has that cleft in his chin. Cersei III, AFFC.
Many a night she had watched Prince Rhaegar in the hall, playing his silver-stringed harp with those long, elegant fingers of his. Had any man ever been so beautiful? Cersei V, AFFC
Next to Rhaegar, even her beautiful Jaime had seemed no more than a callow boy. Cersei V, AFFC
“Your Grace is kind,” said Waters with a smile. A wicked smile, the queen thought. Aurane did not resemble Prince Rhaegar as much as she had thought. Cersei VIII, AFFC
His silvery hair was blowing in the wind, and his eyes were a deep purple, darker than this boy’s. The Griffin Reborn, ADWD
The Vale storyline from TWOW is expected to be very different from rest of the book, because everything is still a game for the Vale populace. In other regions of Planetos we have magic, (oncoming) war, famine and diseases, while Vale is set to witness a grand tourney. To be sure, there are schemes planned underneath by the players of the game of thrones. Littlefinger, Myranda Royce, Mad Mouse, Lyn Corbray – all of these people have power to turns the events or cause some incidents for their own advantage. It is expected that either Harry or Sweetrobin will be killed or badly injured. Whatever happens, LF has a knack to come on top. If Harry dies, LF won’t be suspected because he betrothed his daughter to Harry, and if Robert dies before Harry-Sansa marriage, LF loses all power, so he can defend himself against any accusations.
However, what if Littlefinger dies?
In the Vale, a lot of people (except perhaps Nestor Royce) will be glad to find LF dead. LF’s death frees both heirs to the Vale of ‘bad influence’, and the Vale nobility will be back to their status. Lyn Corbray will lose a source of gold, but the gold is the only thing he will miss about LF. It is even possible that Lyn will be accused of LF’s murder. Myranda could influence little Robert to conserve her father’s status as Keeper of Gates of the Moon. Myranda could even seduce Robert Arryn (if he’s alive), though it is a gamble from her part since the boy could die any moment. Yohn Royce could also make some changes in the power-politics of the Vale, thanks to the sudden disappearance of LF factor.
What of Alayne Stone? With LF dead, she will be in a precarious position, but during her time at the Vale, she has risen to be popular among the Arryn household, especially Lothor Brune and Mya Stone. At the very least, Alayne can use her relations to ensure her immediate safety following her father‘s death (such as making sure no one blows her cover until she is ready to come out as Sansa Stark). If Harry is alive, her chances of becoming future Lady of the Vale is still intact, but once out of LF’s clutches, Sansa will have a lot of options regarding her next move, more than half of them provided thanks to LF’s past actions.
Alayne is the only known child and an acknowledged bastard of Petyr Baelish. This means all of LF’s wealth could pass to her. If so, it will be upto Alayne to decide the status of the various debts owed to LF. Since she has never been greedy for money, she could forgive some debts to gain influence of her own. In case of the Rosby inheritance, lord Gyles’s ward did not get the inheritance because he was ‘no child of his body’ – which implies that in the absence of any other trueborn relatives, a bastard could inherit the father’s wealth. If the Vale nobility opposes, Alayne can handle herself, and although the Iron Throne would be wiser to take a huge part of LF’s wealth to themselves, those at KL have no idea how wealthy LF really is. They might even legitimize Alayne like they did Ramsay (not ever seeing the person).
If all of Littlefinger’s pass to Alayne, it includes the castle of Harrenhal and Lord Paramount status over Riverlands. It will be fun to have the Riverlands come to a half-Tully thanks to Lannisters and Littlefinger, but the Lannisters are more likely to give the Lord Paramount title to Emmon Frey, but they might let Alayne keep Harrenhal. If they don’t, it will look bad on the crown’s already bad name – the poor man (LF) helped them win the war, and when he died his bastard daughter was sent to the impoverished Fingers because the crown took away the castle that was well-earned by her father.
The last Vale post discussed the possibility of familiar character entering Sansa’s story. If Alayne comes into the possession of Harrenhal, it will be Sansa entering theirs. She could meet Brotherhood without banners, she could reunite with Arya and Nymeria, she could help her uncle Edmure to consolidate power in Riverlands, she could influence Ser Bonifer Hasty to turn against the Lannisters in favour of either Targaryen claimants (Aegon is more likely than Dany), she could be found by Jaime and Brienne, she could be cause for Cleganebowl (if the Hound finds her and Cersei sends Gregor Clegane after sniffing out Alayne’s identity).
If Alayne does not get (or go to) Harrenhal, she will be staying in the Vale for a while, thanks to her (ostensibly) good relationships with the Royces and Waynwoods. If at least one of Harry and Sweetrobin are alive, she can still be the de facto lady of the Vale (like she was at the end of AFFC). In this scenario, it might be up to her to respond to the plea for food and provisions for the Night’s Watch. Jon’s thoughts about NW lacking food and gold:
Our best hope may be the Eyrie. The Vale of Arryn was famously fertile and had gone untouched during the fighting. Jon wondered how Lady Catelyn’s sister would feel about feeding Ned Stark’s bastard.
Maybe it will be his own sister at the other end, not Lady Catelyn’s. (Of course, if it was LF who got the messages they are going in the fire).
Jon: “We will bring in food by ship, as much as might be required. From the riverlands and the stormlands and the Vale of Arryn, from Dorne and the Reach, across the narrow sea from the Free Cities.”
It is not explicitly said, but Jon might have sent some ravens for more provisions to all important castles of Westeros. Since he signed the loan from the Iron Bank, he would have promised to pay, instead of ‘begging’ for help. In Alayne I, we see that the lords of the Vale are ready to sell the grain for high enough prices, despite approaching winter.
If Alayne stays in the Vale for a while, she might be in time for a dragon or two landing. I just hope that she survives or escapes the Mountain Clans invasion foreshadowed in the first books. Speaking of Mountain Clans, I support Timett son of Timett and Myranda Royce for the Lord and Lady of the Vale.
All these are speculations, partly motivated by my desire to see LF die ASAP. I admit the more plausible course of story will be Harry or Robert dying or Mad Mouse wreaking some havoc, but since those are done-to-death in various forums, I thought this one (Vale plus Sansa minus LF) is worth considering.
To summarize, it seems to me that LF is repeating the mistakes of Tywin Lannister, in planning so much and having high ambitions but not accounting for the possibility of what happens if the player himself is removed from the game. In Tywin’s case, his fall affected House Lannister very badly. LF has nothing to lose, but he is unwittingly giving a lot of power to Sansa, and at one point she may decide that he is disposable, a nice reversal of how LF treated all his former ‘allies’.
Hopefully this is the last of my posts about the Vale storyline.
Another passage from The Seven-Pointed Star came back to him. “The Maid brought him forth a girl as supple as a willow with eyes like deep blue pools, and Hugor declared that he would have her for his bride. So the Mother made her fertile, and the Crone foretold that she would bear the king four-and-forty mighty sons. The Warrior gave strength to their arms, whilst the Smith wrought for each a suit of iron plates.”
Her hair was a rich autumn auburn, her eyes a deep Tully blue. Grief had given her a haunted, vulnerable look; if anything, it had only made her more beautiful. He wanted to reach her, to break through the armor of her courtesy. Was that what made him speak?
And so it was that her lord husband cloaked her in the colors of House Lannister whilst standing on the back of a fool.
“I can see how virtuous you are just by looking at those rosy cheeks and big blueeyes of yours.”
“You have your mother’s eyes. Honest eyes, and innocent. Blue as a sunlit sea. When you are a little older, many a man will drown in those eyes.”
It had taken her a fortnight to marshal her courage, but finally, in bed one night, Catelyn had asked her husband the truth of it, asked him to his face…
It took all the courage that was in her to look in those mismatched eyes and say, “And if I never want you to, my lord?”
Note: Sansa isn’t the only one described as having eyes like deep blue pools, but it is her husband who goes under the name Hugor Hill. Given my personal history as a literature enthusiast, I should have been inclined to shipping Sansa with the Hound. Somehow I never could. I like the Hound well enough, just never thought of him and Sansa as a thing until I got into forums. I think it is probably because I was involved in an abusive (verbally and physically) relationship at the time I started reading the books, and could not consider the Hound’s treatment of Sansa as anything healthy or hopeful. There was a time when I would have wanted the nice innocent girl to fall for the harsh wreck of a man who is wounded inside and heal him, but having spent too long being close with a harsh person IRL, I could not approve of it anymore. Tyrion on the other hand was much gentler to Sansa, and gentleness was something I was wishing for at the time. Since ASOS, I’ve been shipping SanRion. But I get where SanSan people come from. What I don’t get are the ‘monsters’ who ship Sansa with Littlefinger.
Being not very familiar with fantasy or mythology, I looked up possible mythological parallels Sea/Storm marriages. Since the founding of Storm’s End is a myth-type story in WoIaF, it could be inspired by some real-world myths. Found two:
1. In Norse Mythology, Ran (Sea goddess who causes storms to collect the drowned men) married to Aegir (the benevolent sea god). Both of them dwell in magnificent halls underneath the ocean (drowned god’s watery halls?). They have nine daughters who ‘personify characters of waves’ (wikipedia).
2. In Greek Mythology, Poseidon is the sea god. His daughter Cymopoleia, is goddess of giant storm waves. She is married to Briareos, a giant in return for his allegiance to olympian gods in the war against Titans. Judging by the wiki page most fantasy readers would already know about him. He was one of the Hekatonkheires who were children of Earth Goddes Gaia and Sky God Uranus. They were ‘figures of an archaic stage’ probably meaning they were older than olympian gods. The Hekatonkheires are said to have had a hundred hands for wielding clouds and fifty heads for blustering winds. For this, they were called Hundred-handers.
Now we enter tinfoil regime: Connections made using a murky collage of several god myths
Posted earlier today on Reddit. Posting here with slight changes.
Been re-reading Arianne II of TWOW. Despite the travelogue nature, I really liked this chapter, because we learn a lot about Stormlands. Came to share a few thoughts on this passage.
Arianne had once heard her father and Maester Caleotte arguing with a septon about why the north and south sides of the Sea of Dorne were so different. The septon thought it was because of Durran Godsgrief, the first Storm King, who had stolen the daughter of the sea god and the goddess of the wind and earned their eternal enmity. Prince Doran and the maester inclined more toward wind and water, and spoke of how the big storms that formed down in the Summer Sea would pick up moisture moving north until they slammed into Cape Wrath. For some strange reason the storms never seemed to strike at Dorne, she recalled her father saying. “I know your reason,” the septon had responded. “No Dornishmen ever stole away the daughter of two gods.”
On the surface, it is about magic vs logic. The septon argues that it was the wrath of gods that caused the difference in climates of the two sides of Sea of Dorne, while maester and Doran chooses the more scientific explanation which is also applicable to many dry places in our own planet earth.
All the same, this is a fantasy world, so we should not be too quick to discard magic or gods, who are at least some names men gave to magical phenomena.
According to myth, Durran’s wife, Elenei, was the daughter of the sea god and the goddess of the wind. We don’t know if these were part of the Old Gods of the nature, or the gods First Men used to worship before the pact marking the end of Dawn age. Durran and Elenei lived during age of Heroes, but Bran the Builder was only a boy when Storm’s End was raised, so they could have seen both Dawn Age and Age of Heroes. At any rate all these are but stories. The only First Men gods whose name we know of are Lady of the Waves and Lord of the Skies. If the Ironborn are First Men descendants, then the Drowned God and Storm God are also First Men gods. So we have different gods of different gender for Sea, Wind, Storm, Waves, Water and Sky. Sea and Water can be condensed to Water. Storm and Wind could be condensed to Wind/Air. Waves could be sea, or it could be wind (as wind brings the waves). Sky is an odd one.
A. Stormlands Myth
Sea God : Water, Male
Wind Goddess : Air, Female
B. Three Sisters (First Men)
Sky God :Sky, Male
Lady of the Waves :Air, Female(Could also be goddess of the sea)
Drowned God : Water, Male
Storm God : Air, Male
Overall, we have two male water deities and two female air deities. Is it possible that A and C are the same pair, and the Ironborn ‘male chauvinists’ decided to have a god instead of goddess because having a woman opposing the drowned god will not do? We may never know.
Mythology aside, does the title quote have any significance in Arianne’s story? Her brother is a Dornishman who has gone on a mission to ‘steal’ (wildling word for wedding) the daughter of two or maybe three gods – Daenerys who was called ‘child of storm’ and ‘daughter of death’. In Dany’s case, if she can really be called the daughter of any god, it is the fire god, since she was reborn from Drogo’s pyre. It was a mysterious event where we don’t know what sacrifice saved her life. She’s called Stormborn because she was born during a storm. Anyway, if Dany can be called daughter of two gods (Storm God and God of Death), Quentyn failed in stealing her. And there aren’t many Dornishmen left to steal her. Except perhaps Darkstar. Edric Dayne – too young. Arch Yronwood – too big. Gerris Drinkwater – too lowborn. Maybe a Northman born in Dorne might succeed?
A follow-up to this post. No tourney in ASOIAF goes uneventful and as expected. Something happens (most often bad) or someone turns up. Here I am listing a few possible surprise guests who could (re)enter Sansa’s storyline through the Tourney of Winged Knights.
Brynden Tully: In AFFC, Jaime thinks ‘If I were Blackfish, where would I go?’. If Tom o’Sevens did not have a meeting with Edmure, the Vale was a likely place. Blackfish stayed in the Vale for a long time, and he must have friends there – whether for vengeance or survival. Riverrun has fallen by the last Alayne chapter of AFFC, allowing BF time to reach the Vale. However, the more widely accepted theory is that Blackfish will try to rescue Jeyne and Edmure and other hostages by leading the BwB to attack Forley Prester’s entourage. We know Jeyne Westerling appears on TWOW prologue, so this would be how we finds out what happened to Blackfish. Showing this event in a Prologue implies there may not be any PoV character (Brienne or Jaime) present. If Blackfish knew Sansa was at the Vale, he might go there, but the Blackfish we saw in AFFC was intent upon protecting his queen (ie Jeyne). I’d say it is more characteristic of Blackfish to lead an assault of the Lannisters, than to go a seemingly wild-goose chase in the Vale. He could always go to the Vale after fixinp up stuff at Riverlands, though if that was the case the news of the fall of the Twins or like will reach the Vale sooner or later.
Brienne and/or Jaime: When we last saw Brienne, it was near Pennytree, abducting Jaime. Clearly the BwB has spies all over Riverlands, many of them targeting Freys and Lannisters. Brienne could try to escape with Jaime, but GRRM has confirmed that the reason for Brienne choosing ‘Sword’ over ‘Noose’ was to save Podrick’s life. In that case, Brienne will keep the promise of bringing Jaime to LSH. What happens after is anyone’s guess. Would Jaime or Brienne convince the BwB that Sansa would have gone to the Vale and they are in a good position to bring her to LSH? Both Brienne and Jaime swore oaths to Catelyn about returning her daughters. There is the distant possibility that Jaime or Brienne will try to lengthen their lives by bringing some of the BwB to the Vale, to look for Sansa. Unlike last time, they will be watched by men loyal to Catelyn and smarter and less noticeable than Cleos Frey or Brienne. The Vale still being loyal to the Iron Throne, Jaime can use his position as the Lord Commander of the KG to find and abduct Sansa if she was in the Vale. LF may know Jaime went missing, but Jaime can cook up a story to cover his current mission and his temporary loyalty to BwB.
Podrick Payne: If Brienne or Jaime goes to Vale, Pod might also go. Unlike either of them, he can participate in the melee. (Jaime is one-handed and Brienne is a woman accused of kingslaying). Maybe Jaime will knight Pod and send him to the melee? Having served as Tyrion’s squire in the past, Pod is familiar with Sansa enough to recognize her even with dyed hair. Except Littlefinger and Mad Mouse, no one in the Vale is likely to recognize Pod. Sansa knows Pod to be harmless and goodhearted, so he has a better chance of earning Sansa’s trust than either Brienne or Jaime.
Ser Gendry of Hollow Hill: I don’t think either Thoros or Blackfish (if he’s with BwB) think it’s a good idea to parade Gendry around a place where Robert Baratheon spent so many years of his youth. I do think Thoros knows who Gendry is, and did not mention it so save the boy – they are in the middle of an outlaw band who’d sell anyone for money, and Thoros seemed more goodhearted than the rest, and maybe wanted to protect his friend’s son. However, Gendry will have some role in the story, and him going to Vale opens some interesting possibilities – most important one is that he could meet Mya, and I think both of them will be happy to find someone whom they can call family. It will be a nice change from the highborns who always use them to discard later. I’m not implying Arya discarded Gendry, but after his mother died, he never had anyone to call his own – Arya was his friend, but he knew she was too bloody highborn and they could not remain friends forever. But no matter what happens, a sibling will always be a sibling. If Gendry attends the melee, he may do it as a traveling smith than as a knight, as it is a good job to collect information. Gendry himself may want to enter as a mystery knight, though.
Lem Lemoncloak: If some of the BwB makes it into the Vale, Lem is one well-suited to enter the melee without arising suspicion. All he needs is to don a different cloak.
Lady Stoneheart: Only if she hears news that Sansa could be at the Vale. As far as we know, BwB does not have spies in the Vale. So this is unlikely. Also LSH’s revenge spree seems destined to happen around Riverlands. I only added her because it would be nice to have a meeting between her and Littlefinger.
Hallis or Harwin: I believe one of them is the ‘translator’ whom Brienne meets in AFFC. If BwB sends someone to Vale searching for Sansa, a Northmen from Winterfell is a good option. He will be recognized as a Northman, but many Northmen who came down with Robb must be wandering about after the war, so it won’t be hard for him to keep his head down. LSH and BwB would expect Sansa to come with one of her father’s men – though I don’t think Sansa would trust any of these BwB messengers.
Hyle Hunt: Another unrecognizable person. As Randyll Tarly’s household knight who was last seen near Maidenpool, he could also be present in the Vale under the pretense of going to Gulltown or something. LF or Lothor Brune may know him, given LF’s familiarity with the Tyrells (not sure about his familiarity with Tyrell bannermen).
Septon Meribald: The person who will have least trouble wandering around. His regular coverage area is Riverlands, and BwB let him go before they interrogated Brienne, so it’s unlikely that he’ll be at the Vale on BwB’s bidding. If (a big if) he somehow ends up in the Gates of the Moon, say to gather goodies for the poor from the chivalrous knights and lords, a wandering septon will be totally welcome in the Andal-heavy Vale. Not sure if he will meet Sansa, but if he does, he too could recognize her (if she is seen in the sept praying under torches or candles that makes her hair look auburn). This is a very weak possibility, but since he’s heard all about Brienne’s mission, and as a wandered by nature, he can’t be neglected.
Sandor Clegane: While most fans expect him to reenter Sansa’s storyline, this tourney is not the place. There is no reason for the Elder Brother to send a gravedigger to the Vale. If Quiet Isle was attacked, leaving Sandor homeless, he may decide to find to some new place to live, but Quiet Isle looked safe.
Arya Stark: It would be great to have Arya, a walking lie-detector and Stark-to-the-core around Littlefinger. We know she will eventually return to Westeros, but we don’t know to where. Most theories I’ve read suggests the North or Riverlands. If by some chance Arya ends up near this tourney, it could be as a mission from FM (even to kill Alayne whose name she does not know). Whether by mission or by her free will, Arya will be under some disguise and no one would be able to recognize her – except perhaps Gendry (if he’s in the Vale too), who as a smith, might think that her sword looks familiar. While Arya seems poised to leave the HoBaW, I don’t think the Braavos storyline is over, and the Tourney must happen the chapter following Alayne I in TWOW. Overall, I think there is only slim chance for Arya to make an appearance in Alayne II.
There are other possibilities for pawns and players of the game to look to the Vale, however, as the Alayne I chapter seems to be lagging behind many other important events (Cersei’s trial, Aegon’s invasion, Stannis’s march etc), I have ignored the toruney-crashers from those quarters. Also ignored my personal favorite surprise appearance to happen in the Vale – Tyrion riding Viserion.
Following BryndenBFish’s Ultimate Winds of Winter Resource, my spirits are elevated in general about TWOW expectations. Mainly because I’m more hopeful about Dany/Tyrion meeting and ‘cooperation’. I don’t care if Tyrion causes the second Dance – I just want to see him by Dany’s side. He deserves that position better than anyone on TeamAegon, in my opinion.
But the worrying thing was GRRM mentioning there will be a lot of deaths, including PoVs. I am worried about the main five – Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Arya and Bran – especially Dany because GRRM did not mention her in a post where he listed a lot of other characters, but there is a more than 50% chance that she’ll survive TWOW.
“the viewpoint characters are occasionally meeting up with each other now and being in the same point at the same time, which gives me a lot more flexibility for killing people.” – GRRM
GRRM said ~13 will be the initial PoVs. That does not add up. Let’s see who are meeting up and facing death.
1. Bran: From the show it seems he won’t stay at the cave forever, but even so it will be a long time before he reaches any other PoV. And Bran is the character I personally rate as the most likely to survive the series. My bet is he’s safe. 
2-3. Jon/Melisandre at the Wall: We don’t know if Jon will return as a PoV, but if Melisandre gives her life for resurrecting Jon (the show may have kept her alive to fill the role or Marwyn or Moqorro), we will need Jon back as a PoV. Shireen’s burning will happen in the books, but it could be just Stannis doing it (making it holy-shit). 
4-5. Theon/Asha: We already have one PoV chapter from Theon in TWOW, but his prospects for living did not look bright in that one. Redditers analyzing GRRM’s photo in front of his monitor have concluded he was writing an Asha chapter. It is possible that Asha chapter occurs after Theon was executed, though personally I want both of them to survive. 
6. Davos: He’s off to Skagos, and GRRM confirmed we’ll see more of Osha, so Davos must return as a PoV and he’ll be safe until he is near/around another PoV. 
7. Alayne: She’s amidst a lot of dangers and people plotting in the Vale, but it seems we’ll see a lot of interesting stuff going on in Vale, so I’d bet Alayne is safe for at least the first half of the book. 
8-9. Jaime/Brienne: Last seen near Pennytree. Brienne agreed to take Jaime to BwB, so the next time we see them will be in one of the BwB lairs. LSH would want Jaime dead, but she may also use him for Red Wedding 2.0. Between Brienne and Jaime, Jaime’s fever dream from ASOS suggests Brienne will survive, but the valonqar suggests Jaime will survive. But chances are high for at least one of them to die. 
10. Cersei: Eventually she’ll meet with Arianne, Jon Connington or Jaime, but before any of that, there are a lot of things that must happen in King’s Landing. The trials and the Sand Snakes reception mainly. But Cersei is doomed to die, and the next book must be more about the war for the Dawn in which Cersei has no role to play. I think she’ll die in TWOW, but not necessarily in KL (we’ll see Casterly Rock sometime), and not likely during the first half of the book. 
11-12. Arianne/JonCon: JonCon is afflicted with Grayscale, but he still have a few years. Arianne has a penchant for getting into dangerous situations. Both of them seem to have more stories to be part of, but if GRRM is on a POV killing spree, one of them could be expendable. 
13-14. Aeron/Sam: Right now they are not in the same area, just the same kingdom (Reach). There will be at least one more Aeron chapter (in addition to the Foresaken). While we all would love Sam to have some happy time at the Citadel, well-set plans rarely come true in the series, so it is more likely that Oldtown will be raided and Sam will be forced to flee or serve Euron. This is pure speculation on my part, but I don’t see any other way we’ll get a PoV around Euron or the regions attacked by Euron. Maybe Sam is how we’ll meet Willas and Garlan, though my initial guess for Highgarden PoV would be Arianne (trying to recruit lords for Aegon). I definitely don’t see Aeron surviving TWOW. 
15. Aero Hotah: He could get killed by Obara or Darkstar. But we lose all info on Dorne then (not that I’d mind). He will have at least one PoV in TWOW, but I have no idea whether he’ll survive or not. Since he is an isolated PoV and no other is likely to go to Dorne in near future, I’d keep him on the survivor list. 
16. Arya: Arya is another isolated PoV, and a main character, so even if I expect her to return to Westeros by end of TWOW, I’m sure she’ll survive this book. 
17. Dany: GRRM hasn’t confirmed Dany will return as a PoV, but he said we’ll revisit Dothraki, so it has to be through Dany PoVs. She’ll survive the Dothraki and return to Meereen or Volantis and meet with Tyrion where he’ll tell about Aegon and Targaryen history (Blackfyre rebellions). Dany may be doomed to die, but I don’t think it will be in this book. 
18-20. Victarion/Barristan/Tyrion: All three have PoVs in TWOW, but Barry and Vic seem doomed to die. At least one of them will die in the early chapters of the book. 
That makes 13 locations with 20 possible PoVs of which at least 7 could die, meaning at most 13 PoVs will live. If Martin was right and there will be fewer than 13 PoVs by the end, I’d expect Hotah, Barristan, and Jaime to bite the dust sooner or later. Davos is also not very safe if Shaggydog story is to be taken into account. Overall, my guess is that 10 PoVs will survive TWOW.