Daemon Blackfyre: Foundations of Rebellion

Daemon Waters, bastard son of Aegon the Unworthy and Princess Daena Targaryen, scandalously conceived while Daena was imprisoned in the Maidenvault after her brother-husband King Baelor refused to consummate their marriage, just before Baelor finally died from his piousness and fasting (perhaps helped along in this by a poison from his uncle Viserys II who grew tired of his nephews stuffing up royal governance of the realm.)

Given the ancient sword of Aegon the Conqueror, Blackfyre, when being knighted by his father at the age of 12, Daemon took the sword’s name for his own house. Eventually, he rebelled and claimed the Iron Throne for himself.

house-blackfyre-heraldry

But why did he rebel?

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What is the “Song” at the heart of ASOIAF?

I’ve thrashed around some ideas in the past putting forward the hypothesis that GRRM is telling two stories within ASOIAF: the Song of Ice & Fire, and the Game of Thrones.

By taking the dual series names, I’m not advocating for book wank over TV fanboys. (Although I am, in general, a proud book wanker – as far as ASOIAF goes. Some of the changes made by the TV show are perplexing and remain to be seen if they are editorial shortcuts or just very bad ideas…)

What I mean is that two complex stories are being told within the one field of war: a mystical story that we don’t understand yet about the Song of Ice & Fire, and the War for the Dawn; against the political shenanigans which we do understand, with a plethora of interested parties duking it out for absolute monarchical control of Westeros.

The Game doesn’t really require extensive analysis, because it’s familiar to us. It’s the political machinations of King’s Landing, the chaos of Littlefinger, the long game of Varys: we recognise it because we see it daily, or can reflect upon history.

But the Song…. what is the Song? Is the Song about magic in all its forms? Or is it specifically about the Others and the Long Night? Is it about balance between Fire (Valyrian/dragon magic) and Ice (Winter/Others’ magic)? Or is it something else entirely?

Now, despite a litany of hilarious suggestions for appropriate ASOIAF music choices on reddit, I didn’t actually mean this question quite so literally. I don’t mean “what is the Song?” as in who is singing it and why, I mean what is the story at the heart of the more magical and metaphysical side of ASOIAF.

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Blood magic and weirwoods: did Bran consume something more than weirwood paste?

375px-three_eyed_crow_marc_simonetti

Art by Marc Simonetti, via Google search and asoiaf.westeros.org 

Bran, who by the end of ADWD is still only about 9-10 years old, goes through some pretty confronting stuff in ASOIAF.

Pushed out a window, left paraplegic in a society where physical disability was considered a condemnation of one’s masculinity and capacity to be a lord or knight, and charged with a metaphysical mission to go into the least hospitable climate in Westeros to seek out the semi-mythical Children of the Forest.

But he does it! You go Bran!

But what else does he do on this journey? Eat people. Possibly more than once.

Continue reading “Blood magic and weirwoods: did Bran consume something more than weirwood paste?”