Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has delivered a vital clue to the death and destruction fans can expect as the wildly popular books and TV show draw to a close.
Martin has just produced a new book — and while it’s a prequel rather than the feverishly anticipated next installment in the series, it contains crucial hints to the fate of these beloved and reviled characters.
Sitting down with news.com.au in New York City, Martin dropped dark hints to the suffering awaiting the war-torn world of Westeros as the battle for the Iron Throne reaches its peak.
“I have tried to make it explicit in the novels that the dragons are destructive forces, and Dany (Daenerys Targaryen) has found that out as she tried to rule the city of Meereen and be queen there.
‘THE POWER TO DESTROY’
“She has the power to destroy, she can wipe out entire cities, and we certainly see that in 'Fire and Blood,' we see the dragons wiping out entire armies, wiping out towns and cities, destroying them, but that doesn’t necessarily enable you to rule — it just enables you to destroy.”
Fans are already poring over the detail contained within the prequel, a history of the Targaryen dynasty in the days when dragons ruled the continent, 300 years before "Game of Thrones."
One excerpt readers have seized upon reveals Silverwing, the dragon belonging to Daenerys’s ancestor Queen Alysanne, refusing to cross the Wall.
The narrative told from the perspective of the master of the citadel Archmaester Gyldayn, reads:
“‘Thrice I flew Silverwing high above Castle Black, and thrice I tried to take her north beyond the Wall,’ Alysanne wrote to (King) Jaehaerys, ‘but every time she veered back south again and refused to go. Never before has she refused to take me where I wished to go. I laughed about it when I came down again, so the black brothers would not realize anything was amiss, but it troubled me then and it troubles me still.’”
Daenerys’s dragons have already crossed the Wall in season seven, but this may not be replicated in the books. Or, some have theorized, the dragons may have certain gifts when it comes to sensing good and evil, destroying the White Walkers and choosing who lives and dies.
“If you read 'Fire and Blood,' you’ll know there’s definitely a bond between the dragons and their riders and the dragons will not accept just any rider,” says Martin. “Some people try to take a dragon wind up being eaten or burned to death instead, so the dragons are terribly fussy about who rides them.”
JON SNOW FAN THEORIES ALL BUT CONFIRMED
The book also reveals that Aegon the Conqueror, the first Targaryen King, united the Seven Kingdoms because he foresaw Westeros would need to defend itself from the White Walkers.
This feeds into the legend of "The Long Night," 8000 years before GoT when a huge battle saw the world plunged into years of cold darkness.
Now “Winter is Coming” again, and the warrior who ended the conflict with his sword, the Lightbringer, is prophesized to return.
Many believe "The Prince That Was Promised" could be Aegon’s descendant, Jon Snow, who has just arrived at King’s Landing with a wight to reunite the Seven Kingdoms in the seventh and penultimate TV series.
The prince defeated the threat in the North by driving his sword through his wife’s heart. Will Jon have to do the same to Daenerys? Or is she the prince, Azor Ahai, reborn? Martin suggests all may not be as it seems.
“The Targaryens have certain gifts and yes, taking the dragons and dragon riding and dragon breeding was one of them,” he says. “But the other gift was an occasional Targaryen had prophetic powers and could see glimpses of the future, which they didn’t always necessarily properly interpret because, you know, they were fragmentary and sometimes symbolic.
“But to what extent did they share those gifts, what did he see, what prompted him to do all this? These are things I find really interesting to ponder.”
Martin is the king of foreshadowing, and with fans waiting seven years for The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the seven-part "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, he is not going to rush to deliver it. In fact, we may still be left wondering after the books and show are complete.
“I know where those are going to end up, I’ve known for many, many years,” says Martin, who is currently working on prequel TV series 'The Long Night.' “There is some foreshadowing here and there’s a little hint here and there that may come into play in the last few books.
“I do try to do that too, yes, deliberately put in little hints and mysteries and some of them maybe you can solve if you put the clues together, at least you can come up with a plausible theory, and some of them are just meant to be perpetually something to make you think and wonder.
“('Lord of the Rings' author J.R.R.) Tolkien did that too, and like many of his other fans, I think and wonder.
“I love that, and my books are full of things like that that I hope to never explain, just let people wonder about it.”