Episode 131: The House of the Undying

Episode 131 for the week of Jan 19th, in which the Queen and her Hand are joined by recurring guest hosts Michal and Katie of Bastards of Kingsgrave and Vassals of Kingsgrave fame. We cover chapter 49 (Dany IV) of A Clash of Kings, specifically The House of the Undying.

The House of the Undying – (artist: zeyik) A Clash of Kings Drawing Project, Podcast of Ice and Fire


15 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Stephen

    Book Missandei would never betray Dany, but HBO’s Missandei has the look of a golddigger. I think the second fire Dany lights will be early in WOW, when she roasts Khal Jhaqo and Maggo for Eroeh.

  2. Annara Snow

    I disagree about ADWD not having any climactic moments. AFFC may not have had them (which did not stop me enjoying it as much as the other books in the series), but ADWD major arcs do have climaxes: Theon running away with Jeyne; the Daznak Pit and Dany riding Drogon; Jon getting stabbed. Tyrion doesn’t get any climaxes, but it’s not surprising in the state he’s in. (What? You’re not the only ones who get to make sex puns.)

    Regarding the House of the Undying:

    The image of four imps raping a beautiful woman is the one I immediately got the first time I read this chapter; it’s a pretty obvious metaphor of the state of Westeros in ACOK, and the war of the five, or rather four kings. There were never five kings at the same time; Balon only pronounced himself king after Renly was already dead. Therefore the four kings and their forces, ravaging the land, can be: Joffrey, Robb, Stannis, Renly; or Joffrey, Robb, Stannis, Balon (more likely, since it was the state of affairs at the time Dany was in THOTU, and Renly didn’t even get to fight any battles anyway). Dany is certainly not among them, since she’s not in Westeros or fighting the civil war there.

    Most of the other scenes and images are more literal, but scenes such as the Red Wedding foreshadowing, the Aerys flashback or the Rhaegar/Elia flashback, are not 100% literal, either. Aerys did say the exact same words to Jaime, but the other man in the scene is not Jaime; Aerys is not talking to him, and the other man does not hear him. I think the other man represents Robert Baratheon, the man Aerys is talking about (and Robert was really good at not knowing what is going on around him). Therefore, as you pointed out, the Rhaegar/Elia scene probably did not happen exactly like that, if it happened.

    (BTW, I think Greatjon was the one with the lamb leg – didn’t he try to fight someone with it? Or am I misremembering things?)

    I don’t understand how it would make Rhaegar “less of a douche” if he said Elia’s name rather than Lyanna’s before he died? Wouldn’t that make him MORE of a douche, since it would suggest he didn’t even really love Lyanna? We know that he was never in love with Elia (and she was probably never in love with him) – and there’s nothing wrong about that, since he didn’t choose her, it was a political marriage. But even if he didn’t love Lyanna either, why would he be saying Elia’s name? He didn’t know she was going to die, and his children were in as much danger as she was, anyway. For all he knew, Lyanna was also in danger, alongside with their unborn child. Sure, Elia was the mother of his children, but Lyanna was also going to become a mother of his child, and anyway, why would Elia be more important to him than actual children? I can see someone you’re in love with becoming the most important person in your life; but a spouse (or rather, practically ex-spouse at that point) you liked/loved as a friend but never was in love with? No. I don’t see why she would be the most important person to him, more important than his children or his mother.

    When it comes to the prophecies that come in “three”:
    I think that “three mounts” refer to the animals she is riding – 1) the silver she is riding “to bed” i.e. to bed Drogo on her wedding night, 2) Drogon, 3) ? As you said, mixing lovers and literal mounts wouldn’t make sense. But the animals she’s riding may also be related to her marriages: she rides silver to her wedding night with Drogo; she rides Drogon when she gets away from Hizdahr.

    I think that the “bride of death” prophecy was supposed to be about Dany’s husbands, but it may have been written before George came up with the idea of Dany marrying Hizdahr. I don’t like the idea of Dany/Victarion either, but he seems to be set up as a possible husband in this vision. (And while I can’t see Dany falling in love with Victarion, TBH I can see her being attracted to him, if he doesn’t act too douchey from the start… she does seem to have a tendency to be attracted to direct, strong and uncomplicated men. Drogo and Daario weren’t/aren’t stupid, but neither of them was incredibly deep, either.) Maybe “the bride of death” doesn’t refer (just?) to her husbands dying, but to the men who are both alive and dead? Drogo was in a state between life and death at the end, technically alive but practically dead; Jon is currently “dead” (probably) and likely to be resurrected; does this hint that there is something sinister and otherworldly happening to Victarion and his arm, if he is the “corpse”?

    I don’t know which treasons the prophecy is referring to – indeed, she is likely to be betrayed many times. There is, however, a theory, which I don’t necessarily agree with, but it would be more interesting if it turned out to be true: that “three treasons shall you know” does not refer to people betraying Dany, as she assumed, but Dany betraying someone or something.

    Finally, I think that, since all important things seem to come to Dany in threes, and she has been pregnant twice so far, with the pregnancies coming to an end during life-changing events (stillbirth of Rhaego, followed by her ‘rebirth’ and the birth of the dragons; miscarriage in ADWD, right after she rides Drogon and flies away from Meereen, and before she meets up with the Dothraki khalasar) – she is going to be pregnant one more time. I don’t know how this pregnancy will end – maybe that time she does bear a living child? – but it’s surely going to be during another epic, life-changing event.

    I love this chapter, but I don’t think it could have been adapted word by word in the TV series. It’s easy to imagine it as a crazy, David Lynchian episode, but it would have been both spoilery and very impractical. They would have to cast a bunch of actors (for Aerys, Rhaegar, Elia…) just for one or two scenes, and a bunch of extras, and to spend a lot of the budget for battle scenes that would be just glimpsed. Furthermore, not only would the Red Wedding scene be a spoiler for season 3, an even bigger spoiler would be the scene of Dany being saluted as “Mother! Mother!” by 10000 slaves. That would have been literally the scene lifted from season 3, which they would have to film with extras in Morocco a year before it actually appears on the show as a real event, and it would totally spoil a climactic moment in season 3. And then there’s the “corpse” scene – that short scene would have 1) spoiled something we don’t even know for sure after 5 books, since it would have to show who the man is; and 2) would be impossible to film if the “corpse” is someone who wasn’t on the show at the time, such as Victarion or Euron, who haven’t even been cast yet.

    Although I greatly dislike everything else they did in Dany’s arc in season 2, I think that THOTH was one of the few things they did really well in the series even though it was different from the books. There was a symbolic scene with the Iron Throne and the snow, and then there was a touching scene which, IMO, made up for the lack of Dany’s dreams in the season 1 finale. The season 1 finale did show that Dany did by that time really love Drogo, but I’m not sure if it really showed the full extent of Dany’s desperation and heartbreak at the time, especially not about losing her unborn son; that chapter was incredibly moving in the book, with Dany seeing Rhaego as he would have been in her dream, and dreaming about happiness with Drogo and Rhaego, riding in the Dothraki sea. Season 2 made up for it with the fantasy/vision scene in which Dany gets to see her dream of the son and happy family she never got to have, and then gets to let go of it.

  3. Thanks for the detailed feedback! Some interesting points in there, definitely a fun chapter to analyze and talk about.

  4. Gary

    I Love your podcast!! Please, keep it up 🙂

    Did want to bring up that Jorah did admit to taking gold from Varys in Dany’s last chapter from ASOS.

    “You warned me against everyone except yourself.” His insolence angered her. He should be humbler. He should beg for my forgiveness. “Trust no one but Jorah Mormont, you said….and all the time you were the Spider’s creature!”

    “I am no man’s creature. I took the eunuch’s gold, yes. I learned some ciphers and wrote some letters, but that was all–“

    So I do feel “the treason for gold” is Jorah.

  5. aryastark7330

    But is his ‘treason’ cancelled out by saving her from the wineseller’s poison? I know Dany thinks he’s one of her treasons, but I’m not sure. Jorah’s whole place in this prophecy business is confusing to me.

    However, he did pull a dick move by being all ‘I didn’t really betray you’ in Meereen when he got found out instead of just wholeheartedly apologising. Good riddance Jorah you creeper.

  6. jesicka309

    A great episode, really funny, and many great points were brought up.

    A thought – the prophecy is “three treasons you will know”

    That doesn’t necessarily mean that she will be betrayed…it could mean that she commits one or more herself. She knew and experienced the treason of Mirri Maz Durr. But what if she herself commits the treason for gold? Just a thought.

    I also think that Dany will be going back to Vaes Dothrak – the crones bowing down to her will come to pass in the next book. We already know that she will be spending time with the Dothraki in the next book…the natural progression would be for them to return her to the crones. It would fufill her “to go forwrad you must go back” prophecy. Not to mention, should Drogon burn their mountain up, Mirri Maz Durr’s prophecy about “mountains blowing in the wind like leaves”….or ash perhaps?

  7. James Neil

    Great episode as always, particularly covering this chapter.

    I was thinking how the third betrayal for love will by Tyrion? Can see him becoming part of her court in the next 2 books and him betraying her for the young kids Tommen and Myrcella, ie for love

  8. kmbo

    A blue-eyed king who casts no shadow makes me think of the white walkers. Jon?

  9. Shellfish

    I’m fairly certain it refers to Stannis.

    A blue-eyed king who casts no shadow raises a red sword in his hand.

    1. Stannis has blue eyes, unlike Jon’s grey ones.
    2. His shadow is somewhere else, up to no good.
    3. The red sword is the glamoured Lightbringer.

  10. kmbo

    You’re probably right and that would be better. Jon becoming a white walker and acquiring blue eyes would be, um, upsetting.

  11. Stephen

    Yes, I think blue eyed king is the Great Other. & I think the treason for gold is still out there.

  12. Ser Lurksalot

    When I last re-read it, I had the feeling that the corpse on the ship with the ‘sad smile’ was a (reanimated?) Jon Snow. Victarioini just doesn’t seem to fit that decription.

    Loved the episode, keep up the good work.

  13. Dortmund

    Still waiting for the Comicbookgirl19 episode! 😀

  14. Looks like April works for her 🙂

  15. Lord Littlefinger

    Jesus you have to book her 2 months in advance?

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