Harpy/Theories

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  1. Stated as questions or possibilities.
  2. More appropriate for another article.
  3. Illogical or previously disproven.
  4. Proven by canon source, and moved to main page.
  5. Speculative and lacking any evidence to support arguments.
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The Harpy is the alleged leader of the Sons of the Harpy, a resistance group of Ghiscari noblemen from the city of Meereen who defy the reign of Queen Daenerys Targaryen. According to Skahaz mo Kandaq, the Sons of the Harpy are being led by someone known as "the Harpy".[1] However, the Harpy's existence has of yet been unproven, and while Ser Barristan Selmy eventually becomes convinced of the Harpy's existence as well,[2] Daenerys Targaryen has shown skepticism.[1]

Under the assumption that the Harpy indeed exists, both characters in the books and readers of A Song of Ice and Fire have speculated about the Harpy's identity. Although some readers suspect that the Sons of the Harpy are being led by a collaboration of multiple characters, most readers agree that a single character, which has been already introduced, is the leader.

Hizdahr zo Loraq

Hizdahr zo Loraq is believed to be the Harpy by Skahaz mo Kandaq.[1][3][2] Ser Barristan Selmy eventually wonders whether this is indeed the case as well.[2]

Supporting evidence

The following pieces of information can be seen as evidence:

  • Hizdahr is able to halt the murders committed by the Sons of the Harpy quite abruptly.[1] After he is arrested by Barristan Selmy, the murders immediately start again.[2]
  • When confronted by Barristan Selmy, Hizdahr does not deny the suggestion.[2] (Although he does not confirm it, either).
  • When discussing a betrothal between Hizdahr and Daenerys, Galazza Galare tells Daenerys " Wed Hizdahr zo Loraq and make a son with him, a son whose father is the harpy, whose mother is the dragon.", calling Hizdahr "the harpy".[4] Although she is calling him thus in reference to his Ghiscari ancestory,[4] it might be seen as a hint by the author.
  • Hizdahr's confectioner admits to having poisoned the locusts in Hizdahr's box in Daznak's Pit.[3] As the leader of the Harpy's Sons, removing Daenerys from power, thereby allowing Meereen the possibility to restore the slave trade, could be seen as one of Hizdahr's possible interests.

Counter-arguments

The following pieces of information can be seen as counter-arguments:

  • The main accuser of Hizdahr is Skahaz mo Kandaq,[1][3][2] who makes no secret of his disdain for Hizdahr.[5] According to Galazza Galare, "there is blood between Loraq and Kandaq".[5] As Skahaz is the one who continues to insist on the existence of the Harpy,[1] it would be logical for Skahaz to try and remove his enemy by accusing him of leading the shadow war against Daenerys.
  • Hizdahr's claims for his desire of peace appear genuine. He claimes the desire to defend his own people, stating that Meereen cannot survive another war.[1] He tells Daenerys that "custom and caution had an iron grip upon us till you awakened us with fire and blood. A new time has come, and new things are possible."[4] While accomplishing his peace with the forces from Yunkai, he manages to keep slavery banned in Meereen and the former slaves within the city to remain free,[5] and continues to uphold Daenerys's newly established rules even after she has gone missing and is believed to be dead by many.[3][6][2]
  • Although Hizdahr is much respected inside Meereen and outside of the city,[4][1] when Daenerys has disappeared, many voice their dissatisfaction about Hizdahr, feeling other Meereenese nobles might be better suited to rule Meereen.[3] It can be argued that, if the Meereenese nobiilty does not feel Hizdahr is not qualified enough to rule over them, they would not have been willing to take his commands, suggesting he cannot have been the Harpy.

Skahaz mo Kandaq

Skahaz mo Kandaq is the frontmost of the "shavepates", Meereenese nobles who have shaven off their traditional Ghiscari hairstyles, an act which represents leaving the old Meereen behind and accepting the new Meereen under Daenerys's rule.[7]

Supporting evidence

The following pieces of information can be seen as evidence:

  • Although nobility, Skahaz is seen as a lesser noble; According to Galazza Galare, Skahaz is of lesser status than Hizdahr,[4] while the pyramid of Kandaq is described as "modest".[3] Skahaz being the Harpy with a motive of elevating his own position by disposing of other nobles by starting a war has several hints:
    • When Daenerys raises the amount of money to be retrieved from each pyramid for every freedman slain, Skahaz is pleased.[8]
    • Skahaz is happy when Daenerys demands hostages to be taken from the former Great Masters,[8] and from the moment they have been taken insists on killing one for each of Daenerys's people who are killed, despite Daenerys's objections.[4][2]
    • When Skahaz presents Daenerys with a list of the captains of the Meereenese ships who participate in the blockade of the bay, the list includes all of the ruling families of Meereen.[1][N 1] Skahaz immediately suggests seizing family members of these families, asking if he may do so himself with his Brazen Beasts.[1] Daenerys claim such an act will be seen as a declaration of war.
  • Skahaz uses torture to extract confessions, yet when searching for the name of the Harpy he reports back many names.[1] This position gives Skahaz a perfect way to protect himself.

Counter-arguments

The following pieces of information can be seen as counter-arguments:

  • Skahaz is the person who continues to insist there is a Harpy.[1][2] If he indeed is the Harpy, announcing the Harpy's existence would be counter-productive.
  • According to Galazza Galare, Skahaz is of lesser status than Hizdahr.[4] Further, the pyramid of Kandaq is described as "modest",[3] while Hizdahr’s line is described as ancient[4] and he himself is frequently said to be famously wealthy.[7] With the Sons of the Harpy being Meereenese nobles, they would likely be more inclined to take orders from the higher ranks of Meereenese nobles.
  • Considering the hatred Skahaz has for Hizdahr, if Skahaz was the Harpy, all he would have needed to do in order to prevent the marriage between Hizdahr and Daenerys (which granted Hizdahr more power) was preventing Hizdahr’s attempt to halt the murders for ninety days to succeed by arranging a murder. The fact that Skahaz cannot arrange such a murder would imply he has no influence with the Sons of the Harpy.
  • The victims of the murders are freedmen and Unsullied[7][8] and possibly shavepates, who are considered the greatest traitors by the Sons of the Harpy.[7] Should Shakaz be the Harpy, it would require him being willing to have his own people, the shavepates, murdered in horrific ways.
  • Skahaz continues throughout A Dance with Dragons to insist the hostages from the noble families Daenerys has taken should be killed as a response to the murders committed by the Sons of the Harpy. If he was the Harpy, this act would only work to turn the nobility of Meereen against him.

Grazdan zo Galare

Grazdan zo Galare is a Meereenese nobleman, and the cousin of Meereen’s Green Grace, Galazza Galare.

Supporting evidence

The following pieces of information can be seen as evidence:

  • Grazdan presents himself to Daenerys when she holds court early during her reign in Meereen. During the court session, he attempts to get recompense for the business of weavers who had formerly been his slaves and who had learned their craft from another former slave of Grazdan, Elza, insisting they had learned their craft because of him alone.[7] A while later, three weavers, former slaves, who had gifted Daenerys with a tapestry, are attacked by the Sons of the Harpy, who break their loom and rape them before killing them.[4] It has been theorized that these murdered weavers are the same girls as Grazdan's former slaves, and that the murders were committed on Grazdan's orders.[9][10]
  • Grazdan's cousin, Galazza, appears sincere in her desire for peace between Daenerys and the Sons of the Harpy ("The priestess was a voice for peace, acceptance, and obedience to lawful authority.").[7] After Daenerys's disappearance, which have caused Yunkai to resume their siege, and after Hizdahr's arrest, following which the Harpy's Sons have resumed their murders, she visits Barristan Selmy, telling him that "peace is the pearl beyond price". While describing the destruction brought upon the city by the dragons, she requests Barristan to give in to Yunkai's demands, as well as to free Hizdahr and restore him to power, in order to restore the peace. When Skahaz arrives to inform them about Yunkai's retaliation, Galazza's voice is said to be "full of grief, of fear".[11] If her cousin is indeed the Harpy, assuming Galazza is aware of the fact, her sincere attempts on creating a peace between Daenerys's forces and her cousin's faction make sense.

Counter-arguments

The following pieces of information can be seen as counter-arguments:

  • Grazdan is a very minor character, having appeared only in the first Daenerys chapter in A Dance with Dragons, making it questionable, although not impossible,[N 2] for him to be the Harpy.
  • Although Galazza’s actions might be perceived as intended to aid her cousin, her insistence of creating a peace is not limited to creating a peace within the walls of Meereen, but also between Meereen and Yunkai,[11] suggesting the possibility that Galazza’s motivation is mainly to protect the citizens of Meereen.

Galazza Galare

The possibility of Galazza Galare, the Green Grace of Meereen, being the Harpy has gained wide-spread attention among the fandom.

Supporting evidence

The following pieces of information can be seen as evidence:

  • Harpies are female.[12]
  • As the High Priestess of Meereen,[13] Galazza has a lot of social influence.
  • Galazza implores Daenerys to take a Meereenese nobleman for a husband, and suggests Hizdahr zo Loraq as her own candidate. Once Daenerys agrees to be betrothed to Hizdahr, the murders stop.[4] The murders start again immediately after Hizdahr has been arrested.[2] Although at first glance implicating Hizdahr, as it is believed his influence halted the murders, Hizdahr was Galazza’s personal choice of a Meereenese husband for Daenerys, implicating her.
  • Although the Sosn of the Harpy have promised a grisely death to every person who serves Daenerys,[14] Galazza never expresses fear for an attempt on her life.
  • After the death of Stalwart Shield, Daenerys orders her servants to go to the Temple of the Graces and ask if anyone has presented himself to the Blue Graces, Meereen’s healers, with a wound.[7] As far as the readers are told, no wounded man ever comes forth. As the head of the Graces, Galazza would be perfectly able to provide for safe passage for all injured Harpy's Sons.
  • Galazza keeps insisting on keeping multiple old Meereenese customs. She prevents Daenerys from banning the tokar (Dany had wanted to ban the tokar when she took Meereen, but her advisors had convinced her otherwise. "The Mother of Dragons must don the tokar or be forever hated," warned the Green Grace, Galazza Galare. "In the wools of Westeros or a gown of Myrish lace, Your Radiance shall forever remain a stranger amongst us, a grotesque outlander, a barbarian conqueror. Meereen's queen must be a lady of Old Ghis."),[7][N 3] advises her to re-open the fighting pits of Meereen,[8][15][N 4] insists Daenerys participates in an ancient ritual to determine her fertility in preparation of her wedding,[15] and that Daeners and Hizdahr wed according to Ghiscari rites.[15] Yet, although apparently set in Meereen’s former ways, she does not voice any opposition to Daenerys’s ban on slavery, although the absence of the city’s largest financial resource has impoverished the city greatly.[14] Suggestions have been made that Galazza does not voice her opposition to the ban on slavery to stay on Daenerys’s good side, as being close to her would allow her to influence the young queen further.
  • The murder on the weavers[15] after Daenerys had refused Galazza’s cousin recompense for the business of weavers who had formerly been his slaves[7] could indicate revenge for Daenerys refusing Grazdan’s request.

Counter-arguments

The following pieces of information can be seen as counter-arguments:

  • Galazza's attempt to create a peace has been argued to appear genuine.[16] However, following the arrest of Hizdahr, during the meeting between Galazza and Barristan Selmy Galazza tells him "Do not cast [Hizdahr's peace with Yunkai] away, ser, I beg you. Peace is the pearl beyond price." just after the Sons of the Harpy have murdered thirty innocents.[2] Someone who so genuinely desires peace would be the least person to order brutal murders.
  • The fact that Galazza keeps insisting on keeping multiple old Meereenese customs, [7][8][15] but does not oppose the ban on slavery can be seen as an indication that she agrees with the end of the slave trade.

Reznak mo Reznak

Reznak mo Reznak is quick to become one of Daenerys's counselors after she occupies Meereen,[7] and had frequently been suggested as the Harpy.

Supporting evidence

The following pieces of information can be seen as evidence:

  • Quaithe gives Daenerys a warning while in Meereen, telling her "Beware the perfumed seneschal".[8] Daenerys earlier described Reznak, saying "he smelled as if he had bathed in perfume [..]"[7] Reznak is later specifically called "the perfumed seneschal" by both Barristan Selmy[3] and Daenerys.[17]

Counter-arguments

The following pieces of information can be seen as counter-arguments:

  • Following the offer from Xaro Xhoan Daxos to Daenerys to get her to leave Meereen, Reznak requests Daenerys to remain in Meereen. If Reznak is the Harpy, he would have every interest in getting Daenerys to leave Meereen.
  • Reznak’s constantly either echoes the advice of the Green Grace, Galazza Galare, to get Daenerys to marry a Ghiscari noble to consolidate her rule over the city,[7][15] or advising Daenerys to re-open the fighting pits of Meereen,[8][15] stressing the financial gain to be made through the pits,[7][8] which is something the impoverished city would greatly benefit from. Further, he expresses great joy in seeing Daenerys wear a tokar, traditional Ghiscari clothing, which makes her a "proper Meereenese lady".[15] All these actions point towards an attempt of improving Daenerys’s status among the Meereenese, and not towards an attempt to discredit her.

See also

The following links are a selection of the many places online where fans have discussed or outlined the theory and given detailed argumentation:

Notes

  1. Hazkar, Merreq, Quazzar, Zhak, Rhazdar, Ghazeen, Pahl, Reznak, and Loraq.
  2. Other minor characters who have been involved in important schemes include Sybell Spicer, who had appears only once on-screen before the scheme she was involved in came to fruitation.
  3. In A Dance with Dragons, Daenerys VI, it is said that "[Galazza Galare] and [Reznak mo Reznak] were happy to see her garbed in a tokar, a proper Meereenese lady for once, […]"
  4. A major source of income for Meereen, next to the slave trade.

References