Bloody flux

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The pale mare arrives. © FFG

The bloody flux, also known as the "pale mare" in Meereen, is the name given to dysentery in A Song of Ice and Fire. Its symptoms are fever, intestinal hemorrhages, and diarrhea.

It is a well-known disease with little treatment beyond prevention (mainly quarantine and avoiding contact with carriers) and it has a very high mortality rate, having been described as killing three of each four men in armies.[1]

Ser Barristan Selmy states that the bloody flux had been the bane of every army since the Dawn Age and that he has known the bloody flux to destroy whole armies when left to spread unchecked. Even hard men like the Second Sons are terrified of "mounting the pale mare," and they will drive out anyone suspected of having it without a moment’s hesitation.

See also Medicine.

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

After the riot of King's Landing, Jacelyn Bywater reports that the bloody flux was spreading through the pot shops of Pisswater Bend in King's Landing.[2]

A Storm of Swords

During the siege of Meereen, the troops of Daenerys Targaryen face starvation and disease. Ser Jorah Mormont reports three cases of bloody flux among their men.[3]

A Dance with Dragons

The bloody flux spreads through Astapor[4] and comes from there with the refugees that seek protection in Meereen. Warned about the dangers of letting them in, Daenerys decides to forbid their entrance, allowing instead that they camp outside the city.[1] However, the disease is already spreading and ravages both Meereen and its siegers from Yunkai and New Ghis.[5][6][7]

The first known case in Meereen was brought over by a dying Astapori rider atop a pale mare, which gave the plague its nickname.[1]

References and Notes