Tower of the Hand

Book 2, Chapter 49.
Daenerys meets with the Undying.
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Daenerys stands before the House of the Undying Ones, which appears no more than a ruin. Drogon is on her shoulder. Most of those with her, Jhogo, Ser Jorah, Xaro, and Aggo, tell her she should turn back, but she will not. Pyat Pree comes up to take her to the building. As they near the entrance, Pyat gives her some instructions. She must always take the door to her right, and if she comes to any stairs she must go up. Within other rooms she will see visions of the past and future, and some may speak to her as she goes, but she must keep her path until she reaches the Undying themselves. At the door, a dwarf gives her a glass of shade of the evening to prepare her for the truths within. She enters with Drogon. As she goes through room after room, she begins to see visions through some of the open doors on her left. In one, a woman is being worked over by four little men with rat-like faces. In another, she sees a multitude of slaughtered feasters, above whom sits a dead king with the head of a wolf.1 In the next room, Ser Willem beckons her to the house with the red door. Another door near the end of the hall reveals an old man with dark eyes and long, silver-grey hair on a barbed throne proclaiming to a man at the foot, "Let him be king over charred bones and cooked meat. Let him be the king of ashes."2 After several more doors, she sees a man that looks like Viserys, but taller and with eyes of a darker purple.3 He turns to a woman nursing a babe and names the child Aegon. The woman asks if he will write a song, and the man replies, "He has a song. He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." He turns to Daenerys then, and almost seems to see her before adding, "There must be one more. The dragon has three heads."4

At the end of a hall, Daenerys finds no door on her right and sees the torches going out behind her. She suddenly realizes that the last door on the left is also the first door on the right, and she steps through. After several more rooms, an apparition of Pyat tries to lure her left, but she is not fooled. At the top of a staircase, she opens a door and sees a beautiful room full of people with perfect features. One of them says they are the Undying and bids her to enter. Drogon recoils and Daenerys realizes there is actually a narrow door to the right. She flees and passes through this one instead. She enters a gloomy room dominated by a long stone table above which floats a human heart, blue and corrupt. A voice hails her as "mother of dragons". She can make out the Undying at the table. They are old, wizened, and blue. They appear dead, but just as she thinks that, the voice calls again and says they live. They call her "child of three" and give several foretellings based on that theme. They say she will light three fires, "one for life and one for death and one to love."5 They say she will ride three mounts, "one to bed and one to dread and one to love."6 Finally, they say that she will know three treasons, "once for blood and once for gold and once for love."7 Next, a series of visions comes to her faster and faster: Viserys covered in molten gold; her stillborn son Rhaego as a man with a burning city behind him; Rhaegar dying on the Trident; Stannis holding aloft a flaming sword but casting no shadow; a cloth dragon swaying on poles amidst a cheering crowd; a great stone beast taking wing from a smoking tower; her silver riding towards a stream beneath a sea of stars; a corpse with bright eyes and gray lips smiling sadly on the prow of a ship; a blue flower growing in a chink of ice;8 Mirri Maz Duur performing her shadow magic; a young Daenerys outside the house with the red door; Mirri Maz Duur dying as Daenerys's dragons hatch; a bloody corpse, naked, bound and dragged behind her silver; a white lion, taller than a man, running through grass;9 a line of naked crones coming out of a great lake and kneeling before her;10 and ten thousand slaves reaching out to touch her and crying "mother" as she rides past.11 Suddenly, Daenerys realizes that the Undying are all around her, touching, clawing, and biting. She cannot move. Drogon belches forth flame and soon the whole room is ablaze. Daenerys runs out of the room and down a long hallway that finally ends in a door leading outside. Pyat Pree is there gibbering in a strange tongue. He lunges at her with a knife, but Drogon flies at his face. Jhogo and Rakharo subdue him as Ser Jorah comes to Daenerys's aid.


Characters


Locations

  1. Qarth - The center of the warlocks in Qarth, the House of the Undying Ones, is little more than a sprawling ruin surrounded by trees that produce shade of the evening.

Footnotes

Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.

ACOK List

1.  Prologue 25.  Theon II 49.  Daenerys IV
2.  Arya I 26.  Tyrion VI 50.  Tyrion XI
3.  Sansa I 27.  Arya VI 51.  Theon IV
4.  Tyrion I 28.  Daenerys II 52.  Jon VI
5.  Bran I 29.  Bran IV 53.  Sansa IV
6.  Arya II 30.  Tyrion VII 54.  Jon VII
7.  Jon I 31.  Arya VII 55.  Tyrion XII
8.  Catelyn I 32.  Catelyn III 56.  Catelyn VII
9.  Tyrion II 33.  Sansa III 57.  Theon V
10.  Arya III 34.  Catelyn IV 58.  Sansa V
11.  Davos I 35.  Jon IV 59.  Davos III
12.  Theon I 36.  Bran V 60.  Tyrion XIII
13.  Daenerys I 37.  Tyrion VIII 61.  Sansa VI
14.  Jon II 38.  Theon III 62.  Tyrion XIV
15.  Arya IV 39.  Arya VIII 63.  Sansa VII
16.  Tyrion III 40.  Catelyn V 64.  Daenerys V
17.  Bran II 41.  Daenerys III 65.  Arya X
18.  Tyrion IV 42.  Tyrion IX 66.  Sansa VIII
19.  Sansa II 43.  Davos II 67.  Theon VI
20.  Arya V 44.  Jon V 68.  Tyrion XV
21.  Tyrion V 45.  Tyrion X 69.  Jon VIII
22.  Bran III 46.  Catelyn VI 70.  Bran VII
23.  Catelyn II 47.  Bran VI
24.  Jon III 48.  Arya IX