Walking lizard

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A walking lizard, by Kevin Catalan

"Walking lizards" or "tattooed lizards" are a species of lizard. They can be found in the unexplored southern jungles of Sothoryos, known as the Green Hell.[1]

Appearance

These lizards appear to be tattooed, and chase their prey on their powerful hind legs. They also have long curved claws on their hind legs, which they use to rip their prey apart.[1]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Syrio Forel tells Arya Stark about the rare live specimens of walking lizards kept in the exotic animal menagerie of the Sealord of Braavos.[2]

A Dance With Dragons

Victarion Greyjoy wonders if the rumors about Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons are true, or if they are only tattooed lizards from the swamps of Sothoryos.[3]

Quotes

Hear me. The ships of Braavos sail as far as the winds blow, to lands strange and wonderful, and when they return, their captains fetch queer animals to the Sealord's menagerie. Such animals as you have never seen, striped horses, great spotted things with necks as long as stilts, hairy mouse-pigs as big as cows, stinging manticores, tigers that carry their cubs in a pouch, terrible walking lizards with scythes for claws. Syrio Forel has seen these things.

Like as not, the girl would prove to be some pock-faced slattern with teats slapping against her knees, her "dragons" no more than tattooed lizards from the swamps of Sothoryos.

Victarion Greyjoy, thinking about Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons[3]

Behind the Scenes

It is likely that the "terrible" walking lizards are a kind of dromaeosaurid dinosaur, such as Velociraptor or Deinonychus. "Dinosaur" means "terrible lizard", "dromeosaurid" means "running lizard", and they have a large scythe-like claw on their hind legs. Furthermore, George R.R. Martin greatly enjoyed the novel Jurassic Park,[4] which popularized velociraptors as vicious killers.[5]

References