Merlings

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Elenei, depicted as a mermaid

Merlings are legendary aquatic creatures with the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish. Merfolk include mermen, merwives, and mermaids.

Mermaids are featured in Westerosi carvings, place names and in songs. They are often featured in places near to the sea such as White Harbor.

Legends

See also: Images of Mermaids

Legends hold that the Grey King of the Iron Islands wed a mermaid and became king of the western isles and all the sea beyond.[1] The ironmen believes that in the Drowned God's watery halls there are mermaids to attend to every want. The drowned men claim the ironmen are closer kin to fish and merlings than other humans.[2]

The Merling King is worshipped as a god; there is a statue of the deity in the House of Black and White in Braavos. The merlings are said to hail their lord by blowing into seashells.[3] Ursula Upcliff called herself the bride of the Merling King.[4] According to legends of House Velaryon, they received their Driftwood Throne from the Merling King to conclude a pact.[5] The helm of Ser Marlon Manderly is modeled after the head of the Merling King.[6] Blackwater Bay contains Merling Rock and the spears of the merling king.

The Winged Knight is said to have been friends with merlings.[7] The legend of Owen Oakenshield claims he drove the merlings into the sea.[8] Maester Theron argues that the Deep Ones are the origin of merling legends[9] Legends claim that the mazemakers of Lorath were wiped out by a maritime enemy, possibly merlings.[10]

Patchface mentions merfolk in some of his cryptic jingles that may have prophetic meaning. According to him the merwives wear nennymoans in their hair and weave gowns of silver seaweed. The mermaids of the Shivering Sea are said to have pale skin and black-scaled tails, and to be far more dangerous than mermaids of southern seas.[11]

History

The sigil of House Manderly of White Harbor is a white merman with dark green hair, beard and tail, carrying a black trident, over a blue-green field.[12] The Castle Stair in their city is a street with steps. It is a broad white stone way. Marble mermaids light the way, bowls of burning whale oil cradled in their arms. The Manderlys receive visitors in the Merman's Court within the New Castle. A White Harbor knight's sigil depicts three silver mermaids on a violet field.[13]

Roro Uhoris claimed that he could tell one port from another just by the way they smelled. Cities were like women, he insisted, as each one had its own unique scent. White Harbor was sharp, salty, and a little fishy like a mermaid.[14]

What happened to Patchface during the two days after the Windproud had broken up is unknown, but the fisherfolk like to say that "a mermaid had taught him to breathe water in return for his seed."[15]

The Mermaid's Lament is a sad song.[16] Mermaid's Kiss and the Merling King are ships. One of the boats belonging to the orphans of the Greenblood has a curved wooden tiller shaped like a mermaid. Mermaid's Palace is a small isle off the coast of the Arbor.[17]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Tyrion Lannister tells Lord Commander Jeor Mormont that the fisherfolk of Lannisport often glimpse merlings.[18]

A Feast for Crows

In Oldtown Armen wagers with Mollander that down at the docks they can find sailors who tell of mermaids they have bedded.[19]

The Merling Queen is a courtesan in Braavos. She is never seen without her "Mermaids" to hold her train and do her hair.[20]

References and Notes

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