Dreams and prophecies
Prophecies, visions and prophetic dreams are featured prominently in A Song of Ice and Fire. They may deal with either the past, the present, or the future.
- 1 Types of prophetic dreams
- 2 History
- 3 Recent Events
- 4 Quotes
- 5 See Also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
Types of prophetic dreams
The wise men of the children of the forest were called greenseers, and their powers included having the greensight: the ability to have prophetic dreams. They were marked with eyes "as red as blood, or green as the moss on a tree in the heart of the forest". Beside the children's wise men, at least one crannogman, Jojen Reed, and one northman, Bran Stark, is known to have the greensight.
According to prophecy as written down in ancient books of Asshai from over five thousand years ago, the legendary hero Azor Ahai is to be reborn again as a champion sent by R'hllor. The prophecy claims that Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt, to wake dragons out of stone. This will occur after a long summer when an evil, cold darkness descends upon the world and the red star bleeds. It is said that wielding Lightbringer once again, Azor Ahai will stand against the Others, and deliver the world from darkness.
Century of Blood
Daenys Targaryen, also called "Daenys the Dreamer", was the daughter of Lord Aenar Targaryen of Dragonstone. Daenys is reputed to have had a gift of prophecy; She wrote the book Signs and Portents in which she detailed her visions. Aenar and his family survived the Doom of Valyria because they sold all of their holdings and belongings twelve years before the Doom and left Valyria, moving instead to the island of Dragonstone where they claimed the castle by the same name. It is believed by scholars that Aenar's decision to relocate his family was based on one of Daenys's visions, in which she predicted the Doom.
Aegon the Conqueror
During the Conquest of Aegon I Targaryen, the High Septon of Oldtown locked himself within the Starry Sept. He prayed for seven days and nights, and took only bread and water for nourishment. When he emerged from the sept seven days later, he announced that the Faith of the Seven would not oppose Aegon and his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys. The High Septon stated that the Crone had show him that, if Oldtown were to take up arms against the Targaryens, the city would burn and be destroyed. After hearing this prophecy, Lord Manfred Hightower refused to march out with his strength, and even opened his gates to Aegon at Aegon's approach. The city was subsequently spared.
After Aegon's Conquest
Children of Maekar I Targaryen
King Maekar I Targaryen had six children with his wife, Lady Dyanna Dayne: Daeron, Aerion, Aemon, Daella, Aegon, and Rhae. Of these six, at least one son was known to have had prophetic dreams, although all four brothers might have had the ability.
Prince Daeron claimed to consistently dream of events that indeed came to pass. In 209 AC, he confronted Ser Duncan the Tall at the tourney at Ashford Meadow before he was to battle Duncan with his father and brother in a trial of seven, and claimed that "I dreamed of you and a dead dragon, you see. A great beast, huge, with wings so large they could cover this meadow. It had fallen on top of you, but you were alive and the dragon was dead." Daeron, considering the possibility that this dream was a prediction of his own death, feared Duncan for it and promised to stay on the ground if struck down during the trial. While Daeron, Aerion, and Maekar survived the trial, Daeron's dream came true when Maekar's brother Baelor, who had fought on Duncan's side, removed his helm following the battle and revealed parts of his skull missing due to a blow given to him during the battle. As in Daeron's dream ("[the dragon] had fallen on top of you"), Baelor (the dragon) towered over Duncan and fell down, with the hedge knight catching him.
According to Daeron's brother Aemon, all four brothers dreamt of dragons one time or another.
"The last dragon died before you were born," said Sam. "How could you remember them?"
"I see them in my dreams, Sam. I see a red star bleeding in the sky. I still remember red. I see their shadows on the snow, hear the crack of leathern wings, feel their hot breath. My brothers dreamed of dragons too, and the dreams killed them, every one."
Although Daeron died from a pox caught from a whore, his dreams have been implied[N 1] to have influenced his life-style (e.g., alcoholism). His brother Aerion died after drinking a cup of wildfire, believing that doing so would transform him into a dragon, while the youngest sibling Aegon died in a fire at Summerhall which Maester Yandel has linked to Aegon's dream of having dragons fly over Westeros once again.
Although Aegon's dreams of dragons might not have been prophetic, Daeron at least is known to have dreamed that one day the dragons, who at the time had been extinct for almost sixty years, would someday return. King Aerys I Targaryen read a prophecy stating the same thing. Although Daeron did not live to see it, nearly a hundred and fifty years after the death of the last dragon, three dragon eggs were hatched in the Dothraki Sea by Daenerys Targaryen. Aemon's believe that dreaming of dragons is what killed his brothers offer the possibility that Aerion, Aegon, or both, might have had a prophetic dream.
Daemon II Blackfyre, the third-born son of Daemon I Blackfyre, had prophetic dreams that he considered to be completely reliable. He predicted the deaths of his two older brothers, Aegon and Aemon, in his dreams, although they did not believe him. He further dreamt about the future membership of Ser Duncan the Tall in the Kingsguard, and the hatching of a dragon's egg at a white castle that he believed to be House Butterwell's Whitewalls.
Although Daemon was correct about his brothers, who both died during the First Blackfyre Rebellion at the Redgrass Field, and about Duncan becoming a knight of the Kingsguard later in life, his interpretation of the hatching of a dragon's egg at Whitewalls was false. Daemon had been convinced that his dream meant that an actual egg would hatch, and thus expected to soon have a real dragon. Lord Brynden Rivers, however, offered a different interpretation, stating that the dream referred to Prince Aegon Targaryen, who had accompanied Ser Duncan the Tall to Whitewalls disguised as the squire Egg and who had taken out a ring with his father's sigil on it when troubles began, thereby announcing his identity.
In 276 AC, during the tourney for King Aerys II at Lannisport, the maegi Maggy, also called Maggy the Frog, prophecized the futures of Cersei Lannister and Melara Hetherspoon. Both girls were allowed to ask three questions, with Cersei going first. In response to Cersei's first question ("When will I wed the prince"), Maggy replied that she would never be wed to the prince, but instead be wed to "the king". Although Cersei believed this to mean that she would wed "the prince", Rhaegar Targaryen, only after he had ascended the Iron Throne following the death of his father, King Aerys II Targaryen, in fact Maggy's first prophecy came true when Cersei was wed in 284 AC to King Robert I Baratheon, who had won the throne during a war in which both Aerys and Rhaegar had been killed. Cersei's second question was a confirmation ("I will be queen, though?"), which Maggy confirmed before warning her that she would one day be replaced by a younger, more beautiful queen who would "cast you down and take all that you hold dear". Cersei's last question was whether she and the king would have children, to which Maggy replied that the king would have sixteen children, while Cersei would have three. Maggy's prediction on Cersei's children has thus far proven correct. Cersei has given birth to three children during her marriage (none of them fathered by King Robert). The one time Cersei became pregnant by Robert, she had her brother Jaime find a woman to cleanse her, refusing to give birth to Robert's child. With regards to Cersei's children, Maggy further prophecized that "gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds" and claimed that "when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you". Maggy's prediction on Robert's children is still unclear. Robert is known to have fathered many bastards throughout the realm, although only seven bastard children have thus far been identified in A Song of Ice and Fire, while Lord Varys, the master of whisperers, claims to have knowledge of eight. Regardless, it is generally believed by the fandom that Maggy's prediction is indeed correct, and that Robert has had, in total, sixteen children.
When Melara asked whether she would someday marry Cersei's brother Jaime, Maggy prophecized that she would wed no one, going as far as to say that "Your death is here tonight, little one. Can you smell her breath? She is very close.". According to Cersei, this prophecy of Maggy's quickly came true. She tells Taena of Myr that Melara drowned in a well. It has been implied that Cersei herself was responsible for Melara's death by pushing her into the well and leaving her there to drown.
While in a coma after he has been thrown from a tower by Jaime Lannister, Bran Stark begins to experience a prescient dream. The dream depicts both current events (Lady Catelyn Stark's journey to King's Landing by ship with Ser Rodrik Cassel, Lord Eddard Stark pleading with King Robert I Baratheon, Sansa and Arya Stark reacting to the deaths of the direwolf Lady and the boy Mycah), as well as more prophetic elements, including the "gathering storm" resulting from Catelyn's visit to the south, shadows around Sansa and Arya (one as dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound, one armoured like the sun, golden and beautiful, and one a giant in armour made of stone with only darkness and thick black blood in his visor looming over them).
Daenerys Targaryen's first known experience with a prophetic dream happens a few days before her wedding to Khal Drogo. The dream starts off with Viserys Targaryen hitting her, but quickly turns prophetic as she witnesses the hatching of a dragon.
Her thighs were slick with blood. She closed her eyes and whimpered. As if in answer, there was a hideous ripping sound and the crackling of some great fire. When she looked again, Viserys was gone, great columns of flame rose all around, and in the midst of them was the dragon.
Mirri Maz Duur
After the stillbirth of her child and the practice of bloodmagic by Mirri Maz Duur on Drogo resulting in an apallic state, Daenerys asks Mirri when Drogo will he as he was. Mirri's reply is considered a prophecy:
When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. Then he will return, and not before.
Quaithe has made prophecies to Daenerys on two separate occasions. The first is an instruction on where Daenerys should go:
To go north, you must go south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.
Daenerys interprets this to mean that Quaithe wants her to go to Asshai. She asks Quaithe what she can find in Asshai that cannot be found in Qarth, and Quaithe replies "truth". A year later, after Daenerys has departed Meereen on Drogon's back, Daenerys considers staying at the hill in the Dothraki sea on which the dragon has made his lair. Recalling Quaithe's words ("to go forward you must go back"), which provides her with the resolve to walk back towards Meereen. After Daenerys gets sick and begins to hallucinate, she envisions Quaithe repeating part of her instructions, and adds another: "Remember who you are, Daenerys. The dragons know. Do you?"
The second is a warning of dangers Daenerys is to face in the near future.
House of the Undying
"Farther on she came upon a feast of corpses. Savagely slaughtered, the feasters lay strewn across overturned chairs and hacked trestle tables, asprawl in pools of congealing blood. Some had lost limbs, even heads. Savaged limbs clutched bloody cups, wooden spoons, roast fowl, heels of bread. On a throne above them sat a dead man with the head of a wolf. He wore an iron crown and held a leg of lamb in one hand as a king might hold a sceptre, and his eyes followed Dany with mute appeal."
- A beautiful, naked woman being ravished by four of the dwarfs who serve the house.
- A feast of slaughtered corpses holding cups, spoons, and food, with a dead man with a wolf's head sitting on a throne wearing an iron crown.
- Daenerys's childhood home with the red door in Braavos.
- A large stone hall in which dragon skulls hang on the walls. On a towering barbed throne, an old man dressed in rich robes, with dark eyes and long silver-grey hair, telling a man standing below the throne "Let him be king over charred bones and cooked meat. Let him be the king of ashes"
- A room where a silver-haired man resembling Viserys Targaryen tells the woman nursing a child in a bed that their son shall be named Aegon, and tells her that the child is the prince that was promised and that his is the song of ice and fire.
- A "splendor of wizards" who falsely claim to be the Undying of Qarth and offer to teach Daenerys Targaryen the secret speech of dragonkind.
Upon reaching the chamber of the Undying Ones, Daenerys is spoken to in a barely perceptible whisper. The Undying call her "mother of dragons" and "child of three" and tell her some prophesies, saying "three fires must you light... one for life and one for death and one to love... three mounts must you ride... one to bed and one to dread and one to love... three treasons will you know... once for blood and once for gold and once for love..."
- Viserys's gruesome death.
- A tall lord with copper-skin and silver-gold hair beneath a banner of a fiery stallion, with a burning city in the background.
- A dying prince with rubies flying from his chest, mutters a woman's name with his last breath.
- A blue-eyed king who casts no shadow raises a red sword in his hand.
- A cloth dragon swaying on poles amidst a cheering crowd.
- A great stone beast takes wing from a smoking tower, breathing shadows.
- Daenerys's silver troting through grass to a darkling stream under a sea of stars.
- A corpse standing at the prow of a ship with bright eyes and grey smiling lips.
- A blue flower growing from a chink in a wall of ice, filling the air with sweetness.
Jojen Reed has the greensight, the ability to have prophetic dreams. Although his sister Meera believes that the dreams “sometimes” come true, Jojen claims they always do. The green dreams can take strange shapes, making them difficult to interpret.
Jojen has described several of his green dreams. At Winterfell he told Bran Stark that he had a green dream in which Bran was sitting at supper, with Maester Luwin bringing the food instead of a servant. While Bran received the king's cut of the roast, the tastiest piece there was, in the dream Bran was able to enjoy his food as much as Big Walder and Little Walder Frey were, despite the fact that they had been served meat that was "old and grey and dead". Later, Bran learns from Maester Luwin of Robb Stark's victory over Ser Stafford Lannister in the Battle of Oxcross, and the death of Ser Stevron Frey. While Bran is happy for the victory, he knows that only Lord Tywin Lannister matters. In contrast, neither Big Walder nor Little Walder seem bothered by their uncle Stevron's death, instead being more concerned about their improved positions in the Frey line of succession.
One of Jojen's dreams predicts Theon Greyjoy's capture of Winterfell, in which the ironborn are depicted as waves of the sea, while the slain of Winterfell are depicted as drowned men.
In another one of Jojen's green dreams, he sees Reek skinning the faces of Bran and Rickon, who laid dead at his feet. After a fashion, this dream later comes true as well, when "Reek" (actually Ramsay Snow) advices Theon Greyjoy to kill two boys from the Acorn Water mill, who are around the same age as the missing Bran and Rickon, and presents their corpses as the bodies of the two Stark children. Ramsay later skins the two bodies so the ruse will not be discovered.
Jojen further claims to know the date of his death.
The Ghost of High Heart
The ghost of High Heart, a mysterious dwarf woman, sometimes tells of the future to the brotherhood without banners. She has shown knowledge of the deaths of Renly Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy and Catelyn Tully, and even of the coming of Lady Stoneheart.
"I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief," the dwarf woman was saying. "I dreamt such a clangor I thought my head might burst, drums and horns and pipes and screams, but the saddest sound was the little bells."
The red priests, priests of R'hllor, are trained to see visions in the flames of their nightfires. These visions can be about the past, the future, or things happening far away from the location of the priest. It is not always easy to see visions in the flames, however, and the priests do not always succeed.
It takes years of training to see the shapes beyond the flames, and even longer to learn to distinguish visions about the past from visions about a certain future and a possible future. Even after such long training, it remains difficult, and even though the visions are never wrong, priests might still err in their interpretation; many priests have been brought down by such incorrect interpretations.
The priestess Melisandre claims to be able to see the future by watching flames. In search of a prophecized prince, she travels to Dragonstone, believing Stannis Baratheon fits the prophecy. On Dragonstone, Melisandre tells Stannis of two futures she has seen in her flames; One in which Stannis is defeated in King's Landing by his brother Renly, and one in which he sails to Renly's seat, Storm's End, where his brother shall die, and his men will flock to Stannis. Both visions come true; Renly is slain by an animated shadow conjured by Melisandre near Storm's End. During the Battle of the Blackwater, fought between Stannis's forces and the forces of King Joffrey I Baratheon at King's Landing, the Iron Throne receives aid from Lord Tywin Lannister and the forces from the Reach. During the battle, Ser Garlan Tyrell, dressed in the recognizable armor of the deceased Renly, leads the vanguard and plunges through Stannis's army. Renly's former supporters who had joined Stannis after Renly's death, become convinced that their dead lord has returned and abandon Stannis by the hundreds. "Renly's shade" kills Ser Guyard Morrigen, who leads Stannis' van.
Melisandre accompanies Stannis to the Wall in the north. There, her powers are much stronger, and she constantly searches her fires for visions. When she looks into the flames, she sees a "wooden face, corpse white" with a thousand red eyes, accompanied by a boy with a wolf's face. She asks to see Azor Ahai, hoping for Stannis, but sees only Jon Snow surrounded by skulls, his face changing between that of a man and that of a wolf. Shortly after Jon Snow receives a letter announcing the upcoming wedding of Ramsay Bolton to Arya Stark, Melisandre informs him that she has seen Arya in her flames, a grey girl, fleeing from her marriage on a dying horse. However, when the girl arrives at Castle Black, it becomes apparent that, while the girl indeed was fleeing from a marriage on a dying horse, the girl is not Arya Stark, but Alys Karstark, attempting to escape a marriage to her cousin Cregan.
At Castle Black, Melisandre warns Jon that she has seen that three of the nine rangers he has sent out will die and that she has seen their pale faces with empty sockets, weeping blood in her flames. She seems them again later, shortly before the dead rangers are found. She sees several other visions as well, forming, melting and dissolving into one another: towers by the sea, submerged beneath a black and bloody tide; Skull-shaped shadows that turned to mist; bodies locked together in lust; and great winged shadows wheeled against a blue sky, through curtains of fire.
When asked by Tyrion Lannister what he sees in the flames of his night fire, the red priest Moqorro states that he sees "Dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark. And you. A small man with a big shadow, snarling in the midst of all." Moqorro’s claim appears to foreshadow that Tyrion Lannister will play an important role in the conflicts to come involving dragons, whether literal dragons, or figurative dragons. The possible identities of the "old dragon", "young dragon", "true dragon", "false dragon", "bright dragon", and "dark dragon" have been a heavily debated topic in the fandom.
Moqorro further claims to have seen other people in his flames who are searching for Daenerys Targaryen and although he has seen only their shadows, he identifies one more clearly, describing this person as "A tall and twisted thing with one black eye and ten long arms, sailing on a sea of blood." Many readers have identified this person as Euron Greyjoy, based on the fact that the kraken is the sigil of House Greyjoy, and on the fact that Euron wears an eye-patch over his left eye, which according to Euron's nephew, Theon Greyjoy, is a "black eye shining with malice". Euron indeed eventually sends out his brother Victarion to find Daenerys and bring her to Westeros.
Moqorro later encounters Victarion, and claims to him that he has seen Victarion and "the glory that awaits you" every night in his fires.
Jon Snow reveals to Samwell Tarly while at Castle Black that he has frequently had a dream in which he is walking through an empty hall, calling out, but unable to find anyone. He says that most nights, he is searching for Eddard Stark in his dream, though during others, he's looking for Robb Stark, or Arya Stark, or even his uncle, Benjen Stark. However, the castle is always empty, the ravens have gone from the rookery, and the stables are full of bones. He always ends up in front of the door to the crypts of Winterfell. Although Jon knows that he has to go down the steps, he does not want to as he is afraid what awaits him below. In the dream Jon screams that he is not a Stark and that the crypts are not his place, but he still has to walk down without something to light his way. As he descends, it gets darker and darker.
- See also: Patchface/Theories
- "It is always summer under the sea. The merwives wear nennymoans in their hair and weave gowns of silver seaweed. I know, I know, oh, oh, oh."
- "The shadows come to dance, my lord, dance my lord, dance my lord," he sang, hopping from one foot to the other and back again. "The shadows come to stay, my lord, stay my lord, stay my lord."
- "Fool's blood, king's blood, blood on the maiden’s thigh, but chains for the guests and chains for the bridegroom, aye aye aye."
While travelling in the litter with Illyrio on their way to the Rhoyne, Tyrion Lannister has a peculiar dream, although it is unclear whether the dream is prophetic. In the dream, Tyrion he fights in Westeros besides Ser Barristan Selmy and Ser Aegor Rivers while dragons fly over the scene. He kills both is father, Tywin, and brother, Jaime. When killing Jaime, Tyrion laughs at every blow he gives his brother. But, he has two heads, and by the time the fight is done, Tyrion realises that his second head is weeping.
Jaime Lannister has two seemingly prophetic dreams over the course of the series. The first of these dreams takes place after Jaime has left Harrenhal, while he sleeps with his head on a weirwood stump. He dreams he is in the deepness of Casterly Rock. He is naked and alone, but has both his hands again. A dozen tall dark figures in cowled robes, who are hiding their faces, hold spears, and refuse to answer Jaime when he demands to know who they are. Instead, with their spears, they force him to descent into the deepness. In his dream, Jaime knows that his doom, which he describes as "something dark and terrible", awaits him below. Jaime eventually reaches a watery cavern deep below Casterly Rock. When he wonders out loud where he is, the voices of all Lannisters answer that it is his "place". Jaime sees his father, his sister, and his eldest son, Joffrey. Cersei is holding a torch, which is the only source of light in the cavern. Jaime pleads for her not to leave him alone, and requests a sword when they do turn to leave. His father replies that he has given him a sword, and Jaime sees it under the water. When he holds the sword, the sword catches fire. Brienne appears from the darkness, her hands bound in chains. She is also naked, and asks Jaime to undo her chains. When she asks, a sword appears, which subsequently catches fire as well. From afar, Jaime hears Cersei say that when the flames on the swords go out, they will die, after which she leaves. Brienne questions what lives in the darkness, offering the suggestions of a bear, a cave lion, and direwolves, which Jaime all rejects. They ponder on what to do next, as shadows appear. Jaime recognizes Oswell Whent, Jon Darry, Lewyn Martell, Gerold Hightower, Arthur Dayne and Rhaegar Targaryen. While Brienne repeatedly states how she swore to keep Jaime safe, the shadow of Arthur Dayne tells her that they all swore an oath, and the shadows blame Jaime for the deaths of Aerys, Elia, Rhaenys and Aegon. That is when the fire of Jaime´s sword starts going out.
Jaime's second dream occurs after Riverrun has been handed over to his aunt, Genna Lannister, and uncle, Emmon Frey. He dreams of his mother, Lady Joanna Lannister, although at first he does not recognize her. Joanna asks him if he will forget Tywin as well, and tells her son that Tywin hated being laughed at most of all. Joanna asks Jaime who he is, and tells him that they all dreams of things they cannot have. She tells him "Tywin dreamed that his son would be a great knight, that his daughter would be a queen. He dreamed they would be so strong and brave and beautiful that no one would ever laugh at them." When Jaime insists that he is a knight and Cersei a queen, a tear rolls down Joanna's cheek. She pulls her hood over her head and walks away, while Jaime calls after her.
|| Warning |
This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.
Teora Toland, the younger daughter of Lady Nymella Toland, appears to have prophetic dreams. While present at the welcome feast for Princess Arianne Martell and her companions, she states that she has dreamed of dragons dancing in her dreams, and people dying wherever they danced.
Prophecy can be a tricky business. 
Prophecies are, you know, a double edge sword. You have to handle them very carefully; I mean, they can add depth and interest to a book, but you don’t want to be too literal or too easy ...
Gorghan of Old Ghis once wrote that a prophecy is like a treacherous woman. She takes your member in her mouth, and you moan with the pleasure of it and think, how sweet, how fine, how good this is ... and then her teeth snap shut and your moans turn to screams. That is the nature of prophecy, said Gorghan. Prophecy will bite your prick off every time.
Prophecy is like a half-trained mule. It looks as though it might be useful, but the moment you trust in it, it kicks you in the head.
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