A Song of Ice and Fire
In the second book, A Clash of Kings, Daenerys enters the House of Undying with her dragon, Drogon. There, she sees a series of visions that seem to foretell the future, reveal the future that never was, and events from the past, albeit in a very symbolic manner. Here is a list of all those visions, and my take (and popular fan theories) on what they could mean.
EXTREMELY MAJOR SPOILERS, OBVIOUSLY
And tons of theories, could potentially ruin the book reading experience.
It’s really surprising that even at this point, so many of the visions are still unclear. The Undying offered the largest collection of prophecies in the book, and we can correctly recognize less than half of them.
Some visions are easily interpreted, some are obvious events from the past, while some are quite cryptic.Let’s look at her visions in the order in which she sees them:
1. A beautiful naked woman sprawled on the floor, with four little men with rat-like faces and small pinks hands raping her.
The most common explantion is the ruining of Westeros by either the four kings at the time – Stannis, Robb, Joffrey, Balon (or Renly, instead of Balon as the prophecies show both the past and the future); or four prevailing Houses: Stark, Lannister, Greyjoy, Baratheon. Yet another symbolism is that of Cersei and her plans being ruined by the four kings, and the men are dwarves because of Cersei’s feelings towards Tyrion.
2. A feast of corpses, many slaughtered while eating, with many of the corpses have cups or spoons in their hands; a dead man with the head of a wolf on a throne, with an iron crown.
Red Wedding, of course.
In the TV Series, this vision is replaced by a ruined and snowed-under King’s Landing. This could possibly refer to how Dany finds KL upon her final arrival in Westeros. She reaches for the throne but pulls back upon hearing her dragon’s cry. This might mean that she will have the opportunity to take the throne but will realize her duty and leave King’s Landing to go North. She will travel beyond the Wall and then die, whereupon she will be reunited with Drogo and Rhaego in the afterlife.
3. Ser Willem Darry calling to her in her childhood home with the red door in Braavos.
This is probably a mix of her memory and her desire to go back to the peace she felt in the house. Darry was the knight who smuggled Dany and Viserys to Braavos.
4. An old man with silver hair sits on a barbed throne in a great hall with dragon skulls, and says “Let him be king over charred bones and cooked meat. Let him be the king of ashes.”
This is Mad Aerys on the Iron Throne (in the hall which formerly hosted all the dragon skulls), talking to his pyromancer, ordering the Red Keep to be burned down. Jaime kills him just after this.
5. A man who resembles Viserys tells a woman holding a baby, “Aegon.. what better name for a King?” Upon asked if he would make a song for the prince, he says, “He has a song. He is the Prince that was Promised, and his is the song of ice and fire”. His eyes then meet Dany’s and he says, “There must be one more…The dragon has three heads.” Then he proceeds to play a harp.
This is evidently Rhaegar, talking to Elia Martell. Rhaegar always loved music and played the harp quite well. Aegon is the baby, of course. He either talks to Dany or talks about Dany, saying that Dany is the second dragon’s head, and there must be one more.
There are theories that the third head could be Jon Snow, Tyrion, or Bran- Jon Snow as Rhaegar and Lyanna’s son, Tyrion as Aery’s son after the rape or seduction of Joanna Lannister, and Bran skinchanging into a dragon, fulfilling the three-eyed crow’s prophecy that he will fly. If Young Griff is an impostor, and not really Aegon, we have two slots open.
There are theories that the three heads could refer to different aspects/personalities of the same person: Jon Snow (dragon, crow, wolf), Dany (Queen, Khaleesi, Mhysa).
Or it could just mean House Targaryen having three dragons.
6. Pyat Pree telling her the vision is over and to follow him.
7. Attractive wizards who claim to be the Undying and offer to teach the language of dragons.
She then enters a room that has a swollen, beating heart over a wooden table, “blue with corruption”. Here, she sees figures around the table who talk to her and tell her that everything is in trios – She is the child of three: dragon has three heads (refer #5 above)
three fires that she must light – one each for life, death, and love
The fire lit for life is the pyre out of which the dragons were born. The burning down of the House of Undying could be the fire lit for death.
three mounts that she must ride – one each to bed, dread, and to love
The mount she rides to bed is the horse lord Drogo, the mount she must dread to ride would be Drogon when she goes to claim Westeros or fight the Others.
three treasons she would face – one each for blood, gold, and love
The treason for blood was Mirri Maz Duur.
Although Dany believes the second was either Jorah or Brown Ben Plumm, I think it is most likely to be Daario as he’s a sellsword. It could also have happened already, in the form of Viserys.
Treason for love could actually be Jorah after all. Or Daario. There’s also a possibility that the treason for love could be Barristan Selmy betraying Dany for Ashara Dayne if Septa Lemore turns out to be Ashara. (Wrap your head around that!) It’s a theory floating out there. However, I do believe that Selmy has more honor than that. Maybe Tyrion would betray Dany at one point for the love he bears Jaime.
8. Viserys’s death
9. A tall lord with copper-skin and silver-gold hair beneath a banner of a fiery stallion, with a burning city in the background.
This is Rhaego (copper skin + silver hair) and a vision of what he could probably have turned out to be.
10. A dying prince, with rubies flying from his armor, taking the name of a woman with his last dying breath.
This is Rhaegar dying by Robert’s hand, with the rubies in his armor being scattered everywhere along the coast of the Trident. His last word could have been “Lyanna”.
.. mother of dragons, daughter of death…
Dany is the person who brought about Viserys’s death, suffered Rhaego’s, and was born during Rhaegar’s.
11. A blue-eyed king, who cast no shadow, raises a red sword in his hand.
This could very well be Stannis with Lightbringer, although I’m not too sure about the “cast no shadow” part.
12. A cloth dragon swaying on poles, in the middle of a cheering crowd.
This could refer to Dany eventually coming to Westeros and gathering supporters, or retaking the throne. It could also be symbolic of a mummer’s show – fake Aegon.
13. A great, stone beast flying from a smoking tower, breathing shadow fire.
This could be a reference to Euron or Victarion awakening a stone dragon from Dragonstone with the horn, but I hope I’m wrong. (I’m not a big fan of either of them). It could also be a symbolic representation of the burning of Winterfell.
…mother of dragons, slayer of lies..
I think the best interpretation is that #11 Stannis is the fake Azor Ahai, Aegon is the fake Targaryen, and a fake stone dragon, all of which Dany will expose.
14. Dany’s silver mare that was gifted to her by Khal Drogo trotting towards her in the grass under the night sky.
15. A corpse at the prow of a ship, with bright eyes and grey lips, smiling sadly.
One explanation could probably refer to Jon Connington, inflicted with the greyscale. Some speculate that it could also be Maester Aemon or Victarion.
16. A blue flower growing from a chink in a wall of ice.
A very obvious reference to Lyanna. Jon Snow would be the blue flower that grows from a wall of ice.
…. mother of dragons, bride of fire…
This seems to possibly allude to Dany being a bride to all three of these men: Khal Drogo, Euron/Vicatrion/Connington/unknown, and Jon Snow (I sincerely hope there’s no romantic connection between her and Jon, but also refer to Promotional Pictures on The Board of Ice and Fire by Sandhya Ramesh).
17. Shadows whirling and dancing in a tent.
This is from when Mirri Maz Duur was trying to kill/revive Drogo.
18. A little girl running towards a house with a red door.
Dany herself, in her childhood.
19. Mirri Maz Duur being burnt alive; a dragon being born.
20. A bloody corpse of a naked man was tied to and dragged about by a silver horse.
The poisoner who tried to kill Dany.
21. A tall, while lion running in the grass.
The one Drogo hunted for her.
22. Naked old women rose from the lake and knelt before Dany beneath the Mother of Mountains.
The Dosh Khaleen, when she was declared to have been carrying the stallion who mounts the world.
23. 10,000 slaves tugging at her clothes, reaching for her, touching her and calling her “mother”.
Many of these visions could possibly (and should hopefully) help Dany understand the history of Westeros better and befriend the Starks. They should help her realize how mad her father was, what fate befell the Starks, and who her brother truly loved, making her accept and join forces with Jon. At this point, Dany has no idea who “Lyanna” is, so she might actually help uncover R+L=J.