When George R.R. Martin goes to a convention, he goes big and brings a chapter of his upcoming novels in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. (I was fortunate enough to have heard him read from A Feast for Crows, back in the day.) Even thought we just received a new chapter from him, “Arianne,” he brought a completely untold tale to tell at Balticon 50.
It’s from the point of view of Aeron “Damphair” Greyjoy, Theon and Yara’s uncle.
In the HBO TV show, Game of Thrones, Aeron is practically non-existent—we saw him in “The Door,” drowning/blessing his brother Euron—but even in the books, he’s a relatively minor character. Aeron was a former badass-turned-priest of the Drowned God, and his is an old-time religion, with old-time wrath.
Even though the POV character is Aeron, he speaks mostly of his brother Euron. To get a sense of Euron’s character, as GRRM wrote in A Feast for Crows, “Balon was mad, Aeron is madder, and Euron is the maddest of them all.” You think Ramsay Bolton is cray-cray? Euron captains a ship called Silence, so called because he rips the tongues out of his crewmen.
Patrick Sponaugle, who blogs about Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire on his blog, attended Balticon and took notes on GRRM’s reading. This is what he heard. (Note: Minor edits for clarity.)
Aeron Damphair is being held by King Euron in a dungeon on the Shield Isles. Via flashback, we learn that after the Kingsmoot, Damphair planned an uprising against his brother, but he was taken by Euron’s mutes, imprisoned, hauled below decks on Euron’s ship, Silence, and eventually imprisoned on the Shield Isles.
Euron has forced the Damphair to drink the warlock liquor Shade of the Evening, which gives him visions. (Readers of the book will recognize the visions tend to come true in their own twisted ways.)
Aeron has troubling visions of their dead brother Urrigon–previous Greyjoy chapters mention Urri, who died young–and has seen a monstrous Euron on the Iron Throne. The gods of the Seven, R’hllor, the Great Shepherd, and even the Drowned God, as well as and others mentioned in the books, are impaled on the chair’s blades. Vision-Euron has alongside him a shadowy female form with hands bathed in white fire. This monstrous Euron blows a horn and dragons, krakens, and sphinxes answer the call.
Aeron is imprisoned for some months. Near the end of that time, septons, warlocks, and a horribly burned red priest are locked up with him, although the red priest soon dies.
Euron does appear to try to get Aeron to support him (unless he was just screwing with Aeron). Euron confesses to kinslaying. Also, it is clear that Euron used to molest Aeron and Urrigon.
Finally, the Damphair is lashed to the prow of the Silence, along with Euron’s lover, Falia Flowers. Euron has those septons and warlocks lashed to the prows of other ships in his fleet. And they’re off. As we know from A Dance with Dragons, he has plans to forcibly marry Daenerys and conquer Westeros.
Euron no longer wears the driftwood crown of the Iron Isles but an iron crown, with points made from sharks teeth.
One last thing: Damphair sees Euron has a suit of Valyrian steel armor. It must have come from the ruins of Valyria—a city destroyed by magic that no one has ever returned from. This pretty much confirms that Euron is a serious player in the game of thrones.
That was Sponaugle’s version. Because GRRM requests that no one record his readings, fans have been compiling their memories of what they heard at Balticon.
What do you think of the upcoming chapter? Do you think Dany will be forced into marriage and Euron will ultimately take the Iron Throne? Because that’s how it looks from here. Sob.
Featured Image Credit: Westeros.org.