Dreams and prophecies

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Dany knew how it went with prophecies. They were made of words, and words were wind. [1] © Morgainelefee.

Prophecies, visions and dreams which may deal with the past, the present or the future play an important part in A Song of Ice and Fire. This article descibes them.

As Archmaester Marwyn states:

[A] prophecy is like a treacherous woman. She takes your member in her mouth, and you moan with the pleasure of it and think, how sweet, how fine, how good this is . . . and then her teeth snap shut and your moans turn to screams. That is the nature of prophecy, said Gorghan. Prophecy will bite your prick off every time.” [2]


Tyrion Lannister also states to Ser Jorah Mormont [3]:

“Prophecy is like a half-trained mule. It looks as though it might be useful, but the moment you trust in it, it kicks you in the head."

Contents

Before the Doom

Daenys Targaryen's, daughter of Aenar Targaryen, Dreams

Daenys Targaryen, called Daenys the Dreamer, Aenar Targaryen, the ancestor of House Targaryen, is reputed to have had a gift of prophecy that his daughter, in turn, wrote down in the legendary book Signs and Portents.[4] It is believed that such precognition was of the Doom of Valyria 12 years before it happened, making possible the flight of the Targaryens to Dragonstone with five dragons.[5]

Dunk and Egg

Daeron Targaryen's Dreams

Prince Daeron Targaryen is one of the characters in The Hedge Knight, the first and earliest of the Dunk and Egg tales.

Living about ninety years before the events of A Game of Thrones, the Prince claimed to have prophetic dreams that consistently became true. Those dreams include foresights about the events resulting from the Trial of Seven after the Ashford Tourney that seem to have been completely fulfilled during The Hedge Knight.[6]

Daeron also prophesied that the dragons would someday return, which was confirmed by an independent prediction found by King Aerys I.[7]

John the Fiddler's Dreams

Similarly, the third Dunk and Egg tale, The Mystery Knight, features Ser John the Fiddler, who likewise has prophetic dreams that he claims to be completely reliable; his behavior makes it apparent that he fully believes his claims, but ultimately his dreams end up being very symbolic, much like Daeron's. Such dreams include the death of his elder brothers during the first Blackfyre Rebellion at Redgrass field; the future membership of Ser Duncan the Tall in the Kingsguard; and the hatching of a dragon's egg at a white castle that he believes to be House Butterwell's Whitewalls.[7]

Song of Ice and Fire

Bran’s Dreams

Bran begins to experience prescient dreams after his fall. His spiritual guide is a three-eyed crow. (These dreams appear to be the green dreams of a greenseer.)

He saw his mother sitting alone in a cabin, looking at a blood-stained knife on a table in front of her, as the rowers pulled at their oars and Ser Rodrik leaned across a rail, shaking and heaving. A storm was gathering ahead of them, a vast dark roaring lashed by lightning, but somehow they could not see it.

This shows Lady Catelyn's trip with Ser Rodrik to King's Landing.[8] They would then be given false information on the ownership of the knife that was wielded by the assassin hired to slay Bran.[9] As a result of this misinformation, they would then abduct Tyrion Lannister[10] and take him to The Eyrie to stand trial on charges of murder.[11] Upon learning of his younger brother's captivity, Ser Jaime attacks Lord Eddard to demand his brother's return.[12] Lord Tywin takes a different tack and instead calls his bannermen and makes warfare on the Trident.[13]

He saw his father pleading with the king, his face etched with grief. He saw Sansa crying herself to sleep at night, and he saw Arya watching in silence and holding her secrets hard in her heart. There were shadows all around them. One shadow was as dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armoured like the sun, golden and beautiful. Over them both loomed a giant in armour made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood.

This shows Eddard distraught over King Robert I's decision to send an assassin after Daenerys Targaryen.[14] Lady Sansa and Arya are depicted in their reactions to the deaths of Lady and Mycah.[15] The shadow with the face of a hound is Sandor Clegane. The one who was armoured like the sun is possibly Jaime Lannister, with his gilded armour[16], but also possibly Oberyn Martell, whose armour made up of copper. [17]. The giant in armour made of stone is likely Robert Strong, seeing as the poisons used by Oberyn Martell blackened and thickened Gregor Clegane's blood.[18]

Finally he looked north. He saw the Wall shining like blue crystal, and his bastard brother Jon sleeping alone in a cold bed, his skin growing pale and hard as the memory of all warmth fled from him.

A foretelling of the events in Jon Snow's last chapter in A Dance with Dragons, opening the possibility that he is dead? Alternatively, Jon Snow may be confined to an ice cell in this vision.

Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live.

"Why?" Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling.

Because winter is coming.

[19]

Indicates Bran's importance in the coming events.

Daenerys

Daenerys Targaryen's first known experience with a prophetic dream happens a few days before her wedding to Khal Drogo. The dream starts off with Viserys Targaryen hitting her, but quickly turns prophetic as she witnesses the hatching of a dragon.

"Her thighs were slick with blood. She closed her eyes and whimpered. As if in answer, there was a hideous ripping sound and the crackling of some great fire. When she looked again, Viserys was gone, great columns of flame rose all around, and in the midst of them was the dragon" [20]

Later, when she was pregnant with her child from Khal Drogo, the dosh khaleen crones predicted her to be the eventual mother of the Stallion Who Mounts the World.[21]

Mirri Maz Duur

Upon the stillbirth of her child, Mirri Maz Duur advised her that Drogo will return from his apallic state.

"When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. Then he will return, and not before." [22]

Quaithe

Quaithe has also made prophecies to Daenerys, in two separate occasions. The first time was essentially a demand (so far unattended) for her to go to Asshai:

"To go north, you must go south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow."

Asshai, Dany thought. She would have me go to Asshai. "Will the Asshai'i give me an army?" she demanded. "Will there be gold for me in Asshai? Will there be ships? What is there in Asshai that I will not find in Qarth?"
"Truth," said the woman in the mask.[23]

Following her departure from Meereen on Drogon's back,[24] she considers staying his lair in the Dothraki Sea, but remembers Quaithe's words ("to go forward you must go back"), which provides her with the resolve to walk back towards Meereen.[25]

The second was a remarkably accurate warning of the dangers she would come to face in the near future. This second prophecy seems however to have involved a vision of Quaithe as opposed to her own person, and may be originated in Daenerys herself:

"No. Hear me, Daenerys Targaryen. The glass candles are burning.

Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal."

Later, she also gives a warning in Daenerys' hallucinations:

“To go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward, you must go back. To touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.” “Quaithe?” Dany called. “Where are you, Quaithe?” Then she saw. Her mask is made of starlight. “Remember who you are, Daenerys,” the stars whispered in a woman’s voice. “The dragons know. Do you?”
[25]

House of the Undying

Daenerys herself would eventually prophesy herself when she entered the House of the Undying. While apparently legitimate, including omens of the Red Wedding, those visions were fairly cryptic, on the whole. Also, since the Undying Ones were hostile towards her, it is conceivable that parts of the visions were adulterated.

"Farther on she came upon a feast of corpses. Savagely slaughtered, the feasters lay strewn across overturned chairs and hacked trestle tables, asprawl in pools of congealing blood. Some had lost limbs, even heads. Savaged limbs clutched bloody cups, wooden spoons, roast fowl, heels of bread. On a throne above them sat a dead man with the head of a wolf. He wore an iron crown and held a leg of lamb in one hand as a king might hold a sceptre, and his eyes followed Dany with mute appeal."
[27]
  1. A beautiful, naked woman being ravished by four of the dwarfs who serve the house. (Appears to foretell the War of the Five Kings)
  2. A feast of slaughtered corpses holding cups, spoons, and food, with a dead man with a wolf's head sitting on a throne wearing an iron crown, apparently foreshadowing the Red Wedding.
  3. Daenerys' childhood home with the red door in Braavos.
  4. A throne room with dragon skulls on the walls where a king resembling Aerys II Targaryen sits on a barbed throne and appears to give the order to burn the Red Keep during the Sack of King's Landing.
  5. A room where a silver-haired man (presumably Rhaegar Targaryen) names his son Aegon, says the child is "the prince that was promised", then plays a harp.
  6. A "splendor of wizards" who falsely claim to be the Undying of Qarth and offer to teach Daenerys the secret speech of dragonkind.

Upon reaching the chamber of the Undying, Daenerys is spoken to in a barely perceptible whisper. The Undying call her "mother of dragons" and "child of three" and tell her some prophesies, saying "three fires must you light... one for life and one for death and one to love... three mounts must you ride... one to bed and one to dread and one to love... three treasons will you know... once for blood and once for gold and once for love..."

The Undying show Daenerys many more visions before attacking her and being slain by Drogon[27]:

  1. Viserys' gruesome death.
  2. A tall lord with copper-skin and silver-gold hair beneath a banner of a fiery stallion, with a burning city in the background (this may be a glimpse at what Rhaego's future would have been).
  3. A dying prince (likely Rhaegar Targaryen) with rubies flying from his chest, mutters a woman's name with his last breath.
  4. A blue-eyed king who casts no shadow raises a red sword in his hand. (appears to represent Stannis Baratheon with his sword Lightbringer)
  5. A cloth dragon sways on poles amidst a cheering crowd.
  6. A great stone beast takes wing from a smoking tower, breathing shadows.
  7. Daenerys' silver trots through grass to a darkling stream under a sea of stars.
  8. A corpse standing at the prow of a ship with bright eyes and grey smiling lips.
  9. A blue flower growing from a chink in a wall of ice, filling the air with sweetness.

Jojen Reed

(See Jojen's green dreams.)

Jojen Reed has prophetic green dreams, and maintains that his visions always come true. He claims to know the date of his death. So far he has not been proven wrong, although some of his visions are loaded with significant symbolism and usually poor on specific details. For instance, his dream about the Frey cousins in Winterfell used a meal as a symbol for the news about their family.[28][29]

In A Clash of Kings, Jojen relays a mysterious and unsettling dream of his to Bran:

I dreamed that the sea was lapping all around Winterfell. I saw black waves crashing against the gates and towers, and then the salt water came flowing over the walls and filled the castle. Drowned men were floating in the yard. When I first dreamed the dream, back at Greywater, I didn’t know their faces, but now I do. That Alebelly is one, the guard who called our names at the feast. Your septon’s another. Your smith as well.[30]

The dream apparently foresees the Battle of Winterfell by the ironborn led by Theon Greyjoy. Bran tries in vain to warn the victims of their inevitable deaths, but the dream is dismissed, as Meera correctly predicts. In turn, each of the men comes to die by the hand of the ironborn.

Jojen then tells Bran of a dream in which Reek —apparently having killed the Stark boys— is skinning their bodies:

I dreamed of the man who came today, the one they call Reek. You and your brother lay dead at his feet, and he was skinning off your faces with a long red blade.[30]

Reek is actually Ramsay Bolton. Following the advice of "Reek", Theon kills two boys around the same age from the Acorn Water mill and presents their preserved corpses as the Starks'.

The Ghost of High Heart

A mysterious dwarf woman who often tells of the future to the Brotherhood Without Banners. She has shown knowledge of the deaths of Renly Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy and Catelyn Tully, and even of the coming of Lady Stoneheart.[31] "I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief," the dwarf woman was saying. "I dreamt such a clangor I thought my head might burst, drums and horns and pipes and screams, but the saddest sound was the little bells." - the Red wedding.

Maggy's prophecies

In A Feast for Crows we learn that in 276 AL, during Aerys II's visit to the Westerlands, Cersei and Melara Hetherspoon consulted with seer Maggy the Frog about their futures. Jeyne Farman was with them but fled scared before actually hearing any predictions. Much to Melara's surprise, she learned that instead of someday marrying Jaime Lannister she was fated to die soon - in fact, as it turned out, that very night. The predictions about Cersei, made just moments previous, were more detailed. To Cersei's confusion, she is told her husband will have 16 children and she will have 3, the identity of her future husband and eventual fates of her children. The prophesies contribute to her growing madness. The queen that would take her place, she supposes, is Margaery, and this haunts her to do depraved things.[32][33][34]

Cersei: When will I wed the prince?
Maggy: Never. You will wed the king.
Cersei: I will be queen, though?
Maggy: Aye. Queen you shall be... until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.

Cersei: Will the king and I have children?
Maggy: Oh, aye. Six-and-ten for him, and three for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds, she said. And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.

Melara: Will I marry Jaime?
Maggy: Not Jaime, nor any other man, Worms will have your maidenhead. Your death is here tonight, little one. Can you smell her breath? She is very close.[32]

Melisandre

Melisandre has a capability of future-telling, she says by watching flames. The accuracy is unclear, in part because Melisandre herself seems to misrepresent her precognitions as if they were active sorceries[35][36][37], as well as the reverse.[38][39]

In any case, while impressive,[40] her future-telling capabilities are not supreme; Davos manages to take Edric Storm away from Dragonstone without her knowledge and against her will, for instance.[37] Melisandre is also duped by Jon Snow’s switching of Mace and Dalla’s son with Gilly’s son thereby allowing the wildling prince to escape Melisandre’s clutches. And, based on news of Ramsay Bolton's wedding to Arya, she interprets Alys Karstark's flight to the wall as Arya Stark's flight, telling Jon Snow his sister is coming from a loveless marriage. While she is right about the marriage, she has the wrong girl. Alys Karstark arrives at the Wall to speak with Jon after fleeing her cousin Cregan Karstark.

Azor Ahai

According to prophesy, in ancient books of Asshai from over 5,000 years ago, Azor Ahai is to be reborn again to challenge the re-emergence of the Others. This will occur after a long summer when an evil, cold darkness descends upon the world.[41] It is said that Azor Ahai wielding Lightbringer once again, will stand against the Others and if he fails, the world fails with him.

"There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him."[42]
"When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt."[43]

She has interpreted this to mean that Stannis Baratheon is Azor Ahai and gave him a flaming sword.

I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R’hllor shows me only Snow.[44]

This seems to show that Jon Snow rather than Stannis Baratheon is Azor Ahai, though she can not get this interpretation.

Jon Snow

“I’m walking down this long empty hall. My voice echoes all around, but no one answers, so I walk faster, opening doors, shouting names. I don’t even know who I’m looking for. Most nights it’s my father, but sometimes it’s Robb instead, or my little sister Arya, or my uncle.”…

“Do you ever find anyone in your dream?” Sam asked.

“No one. The castle is always empty… Even the ravens are gone from the rookery, and the stables are full of bones. That always scares me. I start to run then, throwing open doors, climbing the tower three steps at a time, screaming for someone, for anyone. And then I find myself in front of the door to the crypts. It’s black inside, and I can see the steps spiraling down. Somehow I know I have to go down there, but I don’t want to. I’m afraid of what might be waiting for me. The old Kings of Winter are down there, sitting on their thrones with stone wolves at their feet and iron swords across their laps, but it’s not them I’m afraid of. I scream that I’m not a Stark, that this isn’t my place, but it’s no good, I have to go anyway, so I start down, feeling the walls as I descend, with no torch to light the way. It gets darker and darker, until I want to scream.”[45]

This dream appears to foretell the Sack of Winterfell.

When he closed his eyes, he dreamed of direwolves. There were five of them when there should have been six, and they were scattered, each apart from the others. He felt a deep ache of emptiness, a sense of incompleteness. The forest was vast and cold, and they were so small, so lost. His brothers were out there somewhere, and his sister, but he had lost their scent. He sat on his haunches and lifted his head to the darkening sky, and his cry echoed through the forest, a long lonely mournful sound. As it died away, he pricked up his ears, listening for an answer, but the only sound was the sigh of blowing snow.

Jon?

The call came from behind him, softer than a whisper, but strong too. Can a shout be silent? He turned his head, searching for his brother, for a glimpse of a lean grey shape moving beneath the trees, but there was nothing, only ...

A weirwood.

It seemed to sprout from solid rock, its pale roots twisting up from a myriad of fissures and hairline cracks. The tree was slender compared to other weirwoods he had seen, no more than a sapling, yet it was growing as he watched, its limbs thickening as they reached for the sky. Wary, he circled the smooth white trunk until he came to the face. Red eyes looked at him. Fierce eyes they were, yet glad to see him. The weirwood had his brother’s face. Had his brother always had three eyes? Not always, came the silent shout. Not before the crow. He sniffed at the bark, smelled wolf and tree and boy, but behind that there were other scents, the rich brown smell of warm earth and the hard grey smell of stone and something else, something terrible. Death, he knew. He was smelling death. He cringed back, his hair bristling, and bared his fangs.

Don’t be afraid, I like it in the dark. No one can see you, but you can see them. But first you have to open your eyes. See? Like this. And the tree reached down and touched him.

And suddenly he was back in the mountains, his paws sunk deep in a drift of snow as he stood upon the edge of a great precipice. Before him the Skirling Pass opened up into airy emptiness, and a long vee-shaped valley lay spread beneath him like a quilt, awash in all the colors of an autumn afternoon. A vast blue-white wall plugged one end of the vale, squeezing between the mountains as if it had shouldered them aside… Then he realized he was looking at a river of ice several thousand feet high. Under that glittering cold cliff was a great lake, its deep cobalt waters reflecting the snowcapped peaks that ringed it. There were men down in the valley, he saw now; many men, thousands, a huge host. Some were tearing great holes in the half-frozen ground, while others trained for war. He watched as a swarming mass of riders charged a shield wall, astride horses no larger than ants. The sound of their mock battle was a rustling of steel leaves, drifting faintly on the wind. Their encampment had no plan to it; he saw no ditches, no sharpened stakes, no neat rows of horse lines. Everywhere crude earthen shelters and hide tents sprouted haphazardly, like a pox on the face of the earth. He spied untidy mounds of hay, smelled goats and sheep, horses and pigs, dogs in great profusion. Tendrils of dark smoke rose from a thousand cookfires. This is no army, no more than it is a town. This is a whole people come together. Across the long lake, one of the mounds moved. He watched it more closely and saw that it was not dirt at all, but alive, a shaggy lumbering beast with a snake for a nose and tusks larger than those of the greatest boar that had ever lived. And the thing riding it was huge as well, and his shape was wrong, too thick in the leg and hips to be a man. Then a sudden gust of cold made his fur stand up, and the air thrilled to the sound of wings. As he lifted his eyes to the ice-white mountain heights above, a shadow plummeted out of the sky. A shrill scream split the air. He glimpsed blue-grey pinions spread wide, shutting out the sun …

Burning shafts hissed upward, trailing tongues of fire. Scarecrow brothers tumbled down, black cloaks ablaze. "Snow," an eagle cried, as foemen scuttled up the ice like spiders. Jon was armored in black ice, but his blade burned red in his fist. As the dead men reached the top of the Wall he sent them down to die again. He slew a greybeard and a beardless boy, a giant, a gaunt man with filed teeth, a girl with thick red hair. Too late he recognized Ygritte. She was gone as quick as she’d appeared.

Moqorro

"Dragons," Moqorro said in the Common Tongue of Westeros... "Dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark. And you. A small man with a big shadow, snarling in the midst of all."

This foretells that Tyrion will play an important role in the future involving dragons and the Targaryens. The old dragons may refer to Bloodraven, the young dragons may be Daenerys Targaryen's dragons, Daenerys, or Aegon. The true dragon may be Daenerys and the false dragon would be Aegon if as believed by other prophecy he is not who he claims to be.


"Have you seen these others in your fires?" he asked, warily.

"Only their shadows," Moqorro said. "One most of all. A tall and twisted thing with one black eye and ten long arms, sailing on a sea of blood."

This vision of the one eyed kraken on a bloody sea shows that Euron Greyjoy will have an important part to play in the future.

The black priest bowed his head. "There is no need. The Lord of Light has shown me your worth, lord Captain. Every night in my fires I glimpse the glory that awaits you."

Moqorro knows what will happen to Victarion, though what it is we do not know.

Patchface

See Patchface/Theories

The fool Patchface recites cryptic jingles that often have prophetic meaning.

It is always summer under the sea. The merwives wear nennymoans in their hair and weave gowns of silver seaweed. I know, I know, oh, oh, oh.[50]

This seems to predict Sansa at Joffrey's wedding to Margaery Tyrell. On the day of the wedding, Sansa wore a gown of silvery satin, and had a delicate silver net with dark purple gemstones in her hair.[9] The "nennymoans" that Patchface refers to seems to be a corruption of "anemone", which is a purple flower. Sea anemones, which are named after the flower, are poisonous water-dwelling animals.


Under the sea, it snows up, and the rain is dry as bone. I know, I know, oh, oh, oh.[50]


The shadows come to dance, my lord, dance my lord, dance my lord," he sang, hopping from one foot to the other and back again. "The shadows come to stay, my lord, stay my lord, stay my lord.[51]

This foretells of Melisandre's shadowbinding abilities and the use of shadow assassins at the siege of Storm's End to kill Renly Baratheon[52] and Ser Cortnay Penrose[39]


Fool’s blood, king’s blood, blood on the maiden’s thigh, but chains for the guests and chains for the bridegroom, aye aye aye.[53]

This foretells the Red Wedding.

Tyrion Lannister

While travelling in the litter with Illyrio on their way to the Rhoyne, Tyrion has a peculiar dream:

That night Tyrion Lannister dreamed of a battle that turned the hills of Westeros as red as blood. He was in the midst of it, dealing death with an axe as big as he was, fighting side by side with Barristan the Bold and Bittersteel as dragons wheeled across the sky above them. In the dream he had two heads, both noseless. His father led the enemy, so he slew him once again. Then he killed his brother Jaime, hacking at his face until it was a red ruin, laughing every time he struck a blow. Only when the fight was finished did he realise that his second head was weeping.[54]

This appears to foretell a battle where Daenerys's forces, led by Barristan, and the Golden Company assault Westeros.

Jaime Lannister

Jaime has the first of his dreams asleep on a weirwood stump after he has left Harrenhal, which causes him to return in order to rescue Brienne:

Naked and alone he stood, surrounded by enemies, with stone walls all around him pressing close. The Rock, he knew. He could feel the immense weight of it above his head. He was home. He was home and whole.

He held his right hand up and flexed his fingers to feel the strength in them. It felt as good as sex. As good as swordplay. Four fingers and a thumb. He had dreamed that he was maimed, but it wasn't so. Relief made him dizzy. My hand, my good hand. Nothing could hurt him so long as he was whole.

Around him stood a dozen tall dark figures in cowled robes that hid their faces. In their hands were spears. "Who are you?" he demanded of them. "What business do you have in Casterly Rock?"

They gave no answer, only prodded him with the points of their spears. He had no choice but to descend. Down a twisting passageway he went, narrow steps carved from the living rock, down and down. I must go up, he told himself. Up, not down. Why am I going down? Below the earth his doom awaited, he knew with the certainty of dream; something dark and terrible lurked there, something that wanted him. Jaime tried to halt, but their spears prodded him on. If only I had my sword, nothing could harm me. The steps ended abruptly on echoing darkness. Jaime had the sense of vast space before him. He jerked to a halt, teetering on the edge of nothingness. A spearpoint jabbed at the small of the back, shoving him into the abyss. He shouted, but the fall was short. He landed on his hands and knees, upon soft sand and shallow water. There were watery caverns deep below Casterly Rock, but this one was strange to him. "What place is this?"

"Your place." The voice echoed; it was a hundred voices, a thousand, the voices of all the Lannisters since Lann the Clever, who'd lived at the dawn of days. But most of all it was his father's voice, and beside Lord Tywin stood his sister, pale and beautiful, a torch burning in her hand. Joffrey was there as well, the son they'd made together, and behind them a dozen more dark shapes with golden hair.

"Sister, why has Father brought us here?"

"Us? This is your place, Brother. This is your darkness." Her torch was the only light in the cavern. Her torch was the only light in the world. She turned to go.

"Stay with me," Jaime pleaded. "Don't leave me here alone." But they were leaving. "Don't leave me in the dark!" Something terrible lived down here. "Give me a sword, at least."

"I gave you a sword," Lord Tywin said.

It was at his feet. Jaime groped under the water until his hand closed upon the hilt. Nothing can hurt me so long as I have a sword. As he raised the sword a finger of pale flame flickered at the point and crept up along the edge, stopping a hand's breath from the hilt. The fire took on the color of the steel itself so it burned with a silvery-blue light, and the gloom pulled back. Crouching, listening, Jaime moved in a circle, ready for anything that might come out of the darkness. The water flowed into his boots, ankle deep and bitterly cold. Beware the water, he told himself. There may be creatures living in it, hidden deeps . . .

From behind came a great splash. Jaime whirled toward the sound . . . but the faint light revealed only Brienne of Tarth, her hands bound in heavy chains. "I swore to keep you safe," the wench said stubbornly. "I swore an oath." Naked, she raised her hands to Jaime. "Ser. Please. If you would be so good."

The steel links parted like silk. "A sword," Brienne begged, and there it was, scabbard, belt, and all. She buckled it around her thick waist. The light was so dim that Jaime could scarcely see her, though they stood a scant few feet apart. In this light she could almost be a beauty, he thought. In this light she could almost be a knight. Brienne's sword took flame as well, burning silvery blue. The darkness retreated a little more.

"The flames will burn so long as you live," he heard Cersei call. "When they die, so must you."

"Sister!" he shouted. "Stay with me. Stay!" There was no reply but the soft sound of retreating footsteps.

Brienne moved her longsword back and forth, watching the silvery flames shift and shimmer. Beneath her feet, a reflection of the burning blade shone on the surface of the flat black water. She was as tall and strong as he remembered, yet it seemed to Jaime that she had more of a woman's shape now.

"Do they keep a bear down here?" Brienne was moving, slow and wary, sword to hand; step, turn, and listen. Each step made a little splash. "A cave lion? Direwolves? Some bear? Tell me, Jaime. What lives here? What lives in the darkness?"

"Doom." No bear, he knew. No lion. "Only doom."

In the cool silvery-blue light of the swords, the big wench looked pale and fierce. "I mislike this place."

"I'm not fond of it myself." Their blades made a little island of light, but all around them stretched a sea of darkness, unending. "My feet are wet."

"We could go back the way they brought us. If you climbed on my shoulders you'd have no trouble reaching that tunnel mouth."

Then I could follow Cersei. He could feel himself growing hard at the thought, and turned away so Brienne would not see.

"Listen." She put a hand on his shoulder, and he trembled at the sudden touch. She's warm. "Something comes." Brienne lifted her sword to point off to his left. "There." He peered into the gloom until he saw it too. Something was moving through the darkness, he could not quite make it out . . .

"A man on a horse. No, two. Two riders, side by side."

"Down here, beneath the Rock?" It made no sense. Yet there came two riders on pale horses, men and mounts both armored. The destriers emerged from the blackness at a slow walk.

They make no sound, Jaime realized. No splashing, no clink of mail nor clop of hoof. He remembered Eddard Stark, riding the length of Aerys's throne room wrapped in silence. Only his eyes had spoken; a lord's eyes, cold and grey and full of judgment.

"Is it you, Stark?" Jaime called. "Come ahead. I never feared you living, I do not fear you dead."

Brienne touched his arm. "There are more."

He saw them too. They were armored all in snow, it seemed to him, and ribbons of mist swirled back from their shoulders. The visors of their helms were closed, but Jaime Lannister did not need to look upon their faces to know them.

Five had been his brothers. Oswell Whent and Jon Darry. Lewyn Martell, a prince of Dorne. The White Bull, Gerold Hightower. Ser Arthur Dayne, Sword of the Morning. 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.

"You don't frighten me," he called, turning as they split to either side of him. He did not know which way to face. "I will fight you one by one or all together. But who is there for the wench to duel? She gets cross when you leave her out."

"I swore an oath to keep him safe," she said to Rhaegar's shade. "I swore a holy oath."

"We all swore oaths," said Ser Arthur Dayne, so sadly.

The shades dismounted from their ghostly horses. When they drew their longswords, it made not a sound. "He was going to burn the city," Jaime said. "To leave Robert only ashes." "He was your king," said Darry.

"You swore to keep him safe," said Whent.

"And the children, them as well," said Prince Lewyn.

Prince Rhaegar burned with a cold light, now white, now red, now dark. "I left my wife and children in your hands."

"I never thought he'd hurt them." Jaime's sword was burning less brightly now. "I was with the king . . . "

"Killing the king," said Ser Arthur.

"Cutting his throat," said Prince Lewyn.

"The king you had sworn to die for," said the White Bull.

The fires that ran along the blade were guttering out, and Jaime remembered what Cersei had said. No. Terror closed a hand about his throat. Then his sword went dark, and only Brienne's burned, as the ghosts came rushing in. [55]

Jaime's second dream occurs after Riverrun has been handed over to his aunt and uncle. He dreams of Lady Joanna, thought at first does not recognize her.

"That night he dreamed he was back in the Great Sept of Baelor, still standing vigil over his father’s corpse. The sept was still and dark, until a woman emerged from the shadows and walked slowly to the bier. “Sister?” he said.

But it was not Cersei. She was all in grey, a silent sister. A hood and veil concealed her features, but he could see the candles burning in the green pools of her eyes. “Sister,” he said, “what would you have of me?” His last word echoed up and down the sept,mememememememememememe.

“I am not your sister, Jaime.” She raised a pale soft hand and pushed her hood back. “Have you forgotten me?”

Can I forget someone I never knew? The words caught in his throat. He did know her, but it had been so long…

“Will you forget your own lord father too? I wonder if you ever knew him, truly.” Her eyes were green, her hair spun gold. He could not tell how old she was. Fifteen, he thought, or fifty. She climbed the steps to stand above the bier. “He could never abide being laughed at. That was the thing he hated most.”

“Who are you?” He had to hear her say it.

“The question is, who are you?”

“This is a dream.”

“Is it?... We all dream of things we cannot have. Tywin dreamed that his son would be a great knight, that his daughter would be a queen. He dreamed they would be so strong and brave and beautiful that no one would ever laugh at them.”

“I am a knight,’ he told her, “and Cersei is a queen.”

A tear rolled down her cheek. The woman raised her hood again and turned her back on him. Jaime called after her, but already she was moving away, her skirt whispering lullabies as it brushed across the floor. Don’t leave me, he wanted to call, but of course she’d left them long ago.

See Also

Quotes

Prophecy can be a tricky business. [56]
- George R. R. Martin


Prophecies are, you know, a double edge sword. You have to handle them very carefully; I mean, they can add depth and interest to a book, but you don’t want to be too literal or too easy ... [57]
- George R. R. Martin

References and Notes

  1. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys.
  2. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell, pages 682-683.
  3. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 40, Tyrion, page 534.
  4. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 11, The Kraken's Daughter.
  5. The World of Ice and Fire
  6. The Hedge Knight.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Mystery Knight.
  8. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 14, Catelyn.
  9. 9.0 9.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion.
  10. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn.
  11. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn.
  12. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 35, Eddard.
  13. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion.
  14. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 33, Eddard.
  15. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard.
  16. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard.
  17. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion.
  18. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei.
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 17, Bran.
  20. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 11, Daenerys.
  21. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 46, Daenerys.
  22. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 68, Daenerys.
  23. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 40, Daenerys.
  24. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 52, Daenerys.
  25. 25.0 25.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 71, Daenerys.
  26. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys.
  27. 27.0 27.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys.
  28. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran.
  29. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 46, Bran.
  30. 30.0 30.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 35, Bran.
  31. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 22, Arya.
  32. 32.0 32.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei.
  33. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei.
  34. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei.
  35. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos.
  36. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos.
  37. 37.0 37.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 63, Davos.
  38. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn.
  39. 39.0 39.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos.
  40. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos.
  41. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos.
  42. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos, page110.
  43. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos, page 289.
  44. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 31, Melisandre, page 408.
  45. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon.
  46. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 51, Jon.
  47. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 58, Jon, 769.
  48. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 33, Tyrion, page 436.
  49. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 33, Tyrion, page 447.
  50. 50.0 50.1 A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  51. A Clash of Kings, Prologue, page 5, 6, and 17.
  52. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn.
  53. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos, page 117.
  54. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion.
  55. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 44, Jaime.
  56. So Spake Martin Numerous Questions.February 28, 2002
  57. George R.R. Martin: "Trying to please everyone is a horrible mistake" Adria's News
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