The stallion who mounts the world
Burning cities to the ground and trampling nations into dust can only be done from the back of a dragon
The story of Daenerys is filled with symbolism and hidden messages that seem to bring every idea to a satisfying full circle. Unfortunately, a few important details about her story aren’t noticed at first – either because Daenerys is rarely a favourite character or because her arc makes them devour the chapters with little time to analyze and dissect the meaning of the actions.
The books start with some evident characters and families standing on top. Lord Robert, lady Cersei, Lord Eddard, lady Catelyn, Robb, Sansa, Joffrey, lord Tywin, khal Drogo, Loras, Renly, the Mountain, the Hound… while others are small, dismissed, not taken seriously or ignored, bullied, mistreated and abused: Arya, Daenerys, Jon, Tyrion, Sam… Then George goes through the books building some of them up while tearing others apart. As a real fan of the underdog team, he recognizes the downtrodden and offers them what people who are constantly beaten down seem to always have: Empathy, a sense of justice and the capacity to recognize an opportunity when it’s given to them.
Daenerys is one such character who started out as a bullied little girl, constantly afraid, humiliated and abused, then thanks to Illyrio’s agenda, she is sold to Khal Drogo and like her eggs, she slowly awakens to reveal incredible powers. Her Highness is a character who managed to play a good game with bad cards. She turned her husband’s demands into pleasure, an imposition into love and her voice slowly starts to be heard, but it is when she gets to Vaes Dothrak that her fate is first dictated.
Contrary to her brother who didn’t want to learn about the Dothraki, Daenerys cared about them and their culture. She understood the rules and the beliefs, yet, she cursed herself and condemned her baby all by herself long before Mirri Maz Duur ever crossed her path.
When she arrives with the khalasar in Vaes Dothrak, she asks Doreah to fetch Viserys so she can offer him gifts she prepared as a way to apologize for shaming him. We all know how that one goes. He gets angry, then attacks Daenerys and she takes a medallion belt she had offered him and hits him on the face. The dismissed point to most people is that Vaes Dothrak had a clear rule – in that sacred city, no blood could be drawn. When she hits her brother’s face with the medallion, blood from his face sprays a cloth, which she takes as well as a dragon’s egg and holds them, blood and all, flush against her belly, cursing her unborn baby.
In that same place, her first prophecy is told: “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.”
Her offer to the Mother of Mountain (her baby), opens a different path to her and then it is Mirri Maz Duur who shows the answer. Once Mirri explains that Rhaego wouldn’t unite the Khalasar under one Khal and that the prophecy: “The stallion who mounts the world will burn cities to the ground. His khalasar shall trample nations into dust” wouldn’t happen under him, shortly after the readers witness the power of the Mother of Mountains, it becomes evident that the Khal who would unite the khalasar wasn’t a man and that no horse could burn cities to the ground or trample nations into dust. A dragon on the other hand…
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The Stallion who mounts the world