Thursday, May 28, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 79

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 79 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Beat_Train, who started reading the books upon a recommendation from a lanky friend with the goal of staying ahead of the show, which he finally convinced his wife to start watching. He’s wrapping up his third re-read, learning more each time through. Mostly a lurking member of the community, Beat_Train has taken part of the TOTH re-read series and has been a guest judge before for the Court. His Beat_Train pseudonym comes from his time as a runner at the University of Notre Dame.

How does the magic horn that Euron gives to Victarion work? Will he blow it in Meereen? Will it summon and control the dragons?

Main Opinion: Amin
The horn apparently controls dragons, although all we have seen is that it can kill the blower by charring their lungs. That damage may be part of the price of whatever it can do, and it does make sense that some sort of magical horn exists that can help control dragons, as this type of horn has been mentioned in the past and various other horns that help control other beasts are referenced in story and myth. Nobody of importance will blow it if they know what the cost is, but it seems that they believe a proxy can stand in to blow it and take the damage. No way to know if the horn works until it is tried out at the moment it could go either way.

Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part: Beat_Train
Like Valyrian steel (and Valyria itself), it works by Fire and Blood. Formed in the fires of Valyria with the blood embedded in the runes. Victarion will not blow it himself as he doesn’t want charred lungs in addition to his charred hand. He hopes a patsy can blow it and he’ll reap the benefits. This seems doubtful. The horn will summon a dragon, but it will not control one. Everyone that has controlled a dragon has had some Valyrian blood – be it a Targaryen, a Velaryon, or a Dragonseed. Unless Victarion’s patsy has such a lineage, he’ll get the summoning but not the controlling, and then he’ll truly learn if what is dead can never die.

Concurring in part, dissenting in part: Stefan
One thing is for certain: however the horn works, it will not work out the way Victarion imagined it. He is almost certainly played by Moqorro, and his general stupidity suggests that he never, ever will control any dragons. Summon them, maybe. Ride them? No. 

Final Verdict: It might work, but surely not how Victarion intended it. 

Is the Stallion that Mounts the World in fact no Rhaego but the three dragons?

Main Opinion: Amin
I do believe that some prophecies may actually be expressed via more than one person, such as the Azor Ahai prophecy. I think that the Stallion refers to a person, Rhaego, or Dany, as the Dothraki would not expect the ruler to be a woman, which is a nice twist on what they expected, while still being a human ruler. The dragons would also be a nice twist on what the Stallion is, but even if it is a dragon, why three rather than a single dragon? Drogon is the most powerful and is even named after a Dothraki horselord. But I would place my bet on either Rhaego (hopefully, to show that prophecy can be changed) or Dany (twist but still fits the usual parameters).

Concurring Opinion: Beat_Train
Let’s review the prophecy and related text: 
“As swift as the wind he rides, and behind him his khalasar covers the earth, men without number, with arakhs shining in their hands like blades of razor grass. Fierce as a storm this prince will be. His enemies will tremble before him, and their wives will weep tears of blood and rend their flesh in grief. The bells in his hair will sing his coming, and the milk men in the stone tents will fear his name. The prince is riding, and he shall be the stallion who mounts the world.” - Dosh Khaleen 
“The stallion is the khal of khals promised in ancient prophecy, child. He will unite the Dothraki into a single khalasar and ride to the ends of the earth, or so it was promised.” – Jorah Mormont 
“The stallion who mounts the world will burn no cities now. His khalasar shall trample no nations into dust.” - Mirri Maaz Durr
This theory mistake parallels for prophecy. Just like how there are theories that half of Planetos could be Azor Ahai because of varying interpretations of smoke, salt and bleeding star. As Amin alludes to, the purpose of this prophecy is to show that prophecy can be changed and even stopped. Rhaego was The Stallion Who Mounts the World, who was supposed to unite all khalasars into one. Mirri Maaz Durr prevented the prophecy. Cersei wishes she could say the same about hers.

Dissenting Opinion: Stefan
I’d see the Dothraki prophecy as the proof that not everyone who makes prophecies really know what they’re doing. It also doesn’t seem like the Dothraki places an awful lot of thought on the prophecy, either. Perhaps it was just a Dothraki cultural thing to show that Drogo was really one great khal and warrior, and what do you know, perhaps he really will unite all the tribes under his bloody rule? Better to predict it then, especially if in the other case, the child will be slain anyway.

Final Verdict: Either it was never true, or Mirri Maaz Durr aborted it.

Do you think the three dragons will remain together for the next two books? Are they destined to fight 'the others' or 'each other'?

Main Opinion: Amin
I think that it is quite possible that the dragons may fight and at least one of them is killed. Seems like at least two are required for dragons to propagate, but that leaves room for one to die, if GRRM wants the dragons to continue onwards, potentially more to die if they breed first. The Dance with the Dragons has been referred to many times and it is quite possible that another Dance will occur, in a struggle between humans as well as their dragons. Even if the dragons survive, some sort of bloodshed and subsequent consequences on that path fit Martin’s writing style quite well.

Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part: Beat_Train
Zaldrizes morghulis (all dragons must die). Like Amin, I believe a second dance is quite possible, if not probable. But some dragons will survive and those that do are destined to fight the Others. However, this battle will be magic's last stand. The victory will be pyrrhic and the carnage will be substantial. As a “sword without a hilt”, the dragons will burn the Others and the living without discrimination. As a result, I see past as prelude and the dragons will die, not by the hands of the Others, but by Sparrows. After the immense destruction of the Battle for the Dawn Part Deux, the Faith will blame the dragons and associate them with R'hllor, leading to the equivalent of a second storming of the dragon pit.

Concurring Opinion: Stefan
One of the dragons will die before reaching Westeros or immediately in the civil war against fAegon, I’m damn sure. It’s impossible that everyting goes as smoothly as to get three dragons, three riders, and then on to fight the Others to live happily ever after. I also don’t think that the dragons will survive the series. 

Final Verdict: Really, why write extensively about the Dance of the Dragons and then not relive it? 


  1. My prediction for the horn: Victarion's proxy blows it after encountering Tyrion, the dragon roasts Victarion, Tyrion ends up with a dragon.

  2. Why did Mace Tyrell seek out Tywin Lannister after Renly's death and not Robb Stark? The Lannister's were on the run and facing defeat.

    1. Robb Stark was already married. Besides, Littlefinger sought out Mace.

  3. Is it possible that Dany could blow Victarions horn? (no pun intended) As we know she can't be burnt and i would suspect to a lesser point charred. It would also give her a way to unite the dragons when they are separated which is already the case and is bound to happen again during the battles yet to come.

    1. The idea that Dany can't be burnt is a falacy. Martin himself confirmed that her surviving the pyre was a magical, one time event. Dany also gets burned during Drogon's arrival at Daznak's pit, the results are seen in her last ADWD chapter.

  4. Some Qs:

    Why does Tywin refuse to forgive the crown's debts? It would really help bolster a regime that he has so desperately tried to keep afloat.

    Will the mountain clans of the Vale play a part in Peter Baelish's downfall? Perhaps even killing him?

  5. With regards to the show, Brian Blessed for Wyamn Manderly?