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House of the Undying

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The House of the Undying or House of the Undying Ones is the center of power for the Undying Ones, the elite warlocks of Qarth. It is also known colloquially as the Palace of Dust.[1] Many enter, but few come back out.[2]

Contents

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Following the suggestion of Pyat Pree, Daenerys Targaryen seeks the Undying Ones' counsel at their residence, the House of the Undying. The Undying Ones show her a number of visions of past and future events, but they turn on her and attempt to drain her life, only to be slain by her dragon, Drogon.

A Dance with Dragons

According to Xaro Xhoan Daxos the Undying are all dead.[3]

Exterior

The House of the Undying is a grey and ancient ruin. It is long and low, without towers or windows and is coiled like a stone serpent through a grove of black-barked trees with inky blue leaves which are used to make the drink that the Qartheen call "shade of the evening". No other buildings stand near. Black tiles cover the palace roof, many of them fallen or broken. The mortar between the stones is dry and crumbling.[2]

Upon her arrival Daenerys Targaryen finds the sight of the House of the Undying an unexpected one - in a city of splendors such as Qarth she expected the House of the Undying to be the most splendid of all. She now understands why it is called the Palace of Dust. Even Drogon is disquieted by the sight of it; he hisses and smoke seeps out between his sharp teeth. Daenerys takes Pyat Pree’s arm and he leads her. Under the black trees it is darker than she would have thought and the way is longer. Though the path seems to run straight from the street to the door of the palace, Pyat Pree soon turns aside - as the front way leads in but never out again.

They reach a door that is a tall oval mouth set in a wall fashioned in the likeness of a human face. It is here that Daenerys enters after drinking shade of the evening from a slender crystal glass. [2]

Interior

He who seeks audience with the Undying Ones must follow the rules. Before entering, a person seeking audience with the Undying must drink shade of the evening, so that they may "hear and see the truths" that will be laid before them. It does not turn lips blue with just one dose; many must be taken.[2]

He who enters must enter alone or not at all. The front way leads in, but not out again. When one enters, there will be four doors; the door one just came through and three others. To reach the Undying, one must always take the first door on the right and always takes stairs up.

The rooms of the House of the Undying are sometimes open to sight, and are filled with strange visions of many sorts; days that were, days that will be, days that never shall be, and visions of surpassing beauty or horror. One must not enter any room until reaching the audience chamber. To leave the audience chamber, a person must follow the "same" path as before; always the first door to the right and always up the stairs.[2]

The chamber of the Undying is gloomy. A long stone table fills the room, above which floats a heart swollen and blue with corruption. It beats with a deep throbbing sound and each pulse sends out indigo light. A small dwarf no more than knee high with a snoutish face, garbed in purple and blue livery, is a servant.[2]

Visions in the House of the Undying

The warlock Pyat Pree persuades Daenerys Targaryen to seek answers in the House of the Undying. Inside, she passes through many rooms containing visions before she reaches the chamber of the Undying.[2]

  1. A beautiful, naked woman being ravished by four little men who resemble the dwarf servitor.
  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[2]:

  1. Viserys Targaryen's 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) mutters a woman's name with his last breath, rubies flying from his chest.
  4. A blue-eyed king who casts no shadow (possibly Stannis Baratheon) raises a red sword in his hand.
  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's 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. (This could indicate Jon Snow's true parentage and potential kinship to Daenerys)

Escape

After the attack by the Undying Ones is foiled by Drogon, Daenerys runs out of the chamber, which is ablaze by the time she reaches the door. She runs down a long dim passageway stretched serpentine before her but cannot find a door. She keeps running, even though the floor seems to be moving under her feet, and suddenly there is a door ahead of her, a door shaped like an open mouth. She runs through the door and out into the sun. Pyat Pree is gibbering in some unknown tongue and hopping from one foot to the other. He howls curses and draws a knife and tries to attack Dany but Jhogo and Rakharo restrain him.[2]

When Daenerys looks back at the House of the Undying, there are thin tendrils of smoke forcing their way through cracks in the ancient stone walls and rising from between the black tiles of the roof.[2]

Whether the palace is still standing is unknown but, according to Xaro Xhoan Daxos, the Undying are all dead.[3]

Aftermath

Jhiqui follows Dothraki custom and fastens a bell in Daenerys’s hair to mark her victory over the Undying. Daenerys tries to tell her that she has won no victories but Jhiqui disagrees, telling Dany that she burned the maegi in their house of dust and sent their souls to hell. Daenerys decides to hold her tongue thinking that the Dothraki will esteem her all the more for a few bells in her hair.

Xaro Xhoan Daxos learns that Pyat Pree is gathering the surviving warlocks together to work ill on Daenerys.

Later, having fled Qarth, upon entering Astapor at the head of her khalasar, on the way to purchase Unsullied, Daenerys’s hair is braided - attached is a tiny silver bell whose chime sings of the Undying Ones of Qarth, burned in their Palace of Dust.

Quotes

Heed my words, my queen. The House of the Undying Ones was not made for mortal men. If you value your soul, take care and do just as I tell you.[2]
- Pyat Pree, to Daenerys Targaryen prior to her entering the House of the Undying


Blood of my Blood … this is an evil place, a haunt of ghosts and maegi. See how it drinks the morning sun? Let us go before it drinks us as well.[2]
- Jhogo, to Daenerys Targaryen

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