George R.R. Martin, the genius with an imagination so depraved he should probably have been thrown in prison many moons ago, was the guest reader at Maryland's sci-fi convention Balticon this week and chose to read a chapter from The Winds of Winter.
Winter, in case you'd forgotten — God knows we've been waiting long enough — is the sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series and roughly corresponds to Game of Thrones Season 6, although the TV show is using notes from Martin and firing on ahead, seeing as the author himself still hasn't finished the damn book.
Anyway, the chapter Martin read is an Aeron Greyjoy chapter, which was apparently finished at least five years ago, and revealed a few things that might hint at one of the more out-there fan theories. Here's what we learned from the reading.
Euron Greyjoy Is One Sadistic Motherf**ker
This is not news to fans of the show or the books, but it turns out Euron Greyjoy is evil as all hell. The chapter finds Aeron imprisoned in the dungeons, where he's sporadically visited, taunted and abused by Euron. Turns out Euron killed three of his brothers, not just Balon (as happened early in Season 6 on the show). He also alludes to his sexual abuse of Aeron as a child, confirming what many readers had suspected ever since Aeron's recurring memory of his bedroom door creaking open during the night.
At one point a priest is taken down to the dungeons to join the growing collection of prisoners. He is blinded, his eye sockets "dripping pus," his hands both "burned to the bone," and within hours he's dead. His body remains, rotting, for three days. If Ramsay Bolton takes perverse joy in torture, then Euron Greyjoy is even more sadistic.
Pale White Fire And Valyrian Steel
Being a renowned pirate and explorer, Euron has boasted of his travels across Westeros, the Narrow Sea, Qarth, the Free Cities of Braavos and Volantis, and virtually everywhere else in the known world — but his claim to have walked the ruins of Old Valyria have usually been considered a story without much basis in truth.
While chained in the dungeon, Euron forces Aeron to drink blue wine, a notorious hallucinogenic stolen from Qartheen warlocks. Aeron then experiences multiple visions that suggest his brother has become far more powerful than anybody could have known. For one thing, Aeron sees Euron sitting on the Iron Throne, looking like a tentacled sea monster with a "shadow woman" at his side, "her hands alive with pale-white fire."
Could Euron be in league with the White Walkers? Is he undead, or has the Drowned God mutated him into something less than human? It's never clear — we don't even know if Aeron's visions are rooted in any truth or prophecy, or are simply hallucinations, while in reality he's assembling a fleet of ships to go to war with the crown — but the clear suggestion is that Euron has become involved in some kind of dark sorcery and is gaining power at a frighteningly rapid pace.
Oh, and one small detail that could prove to have major consequences for the Seven Kingdoms: He has a Valyrian suit of armor with "glyphs and arcane symbols folded into the steel," meaning all those stories about his travels really were legit.
The Eldritch Apocalypse
There's a pretty intense fan theory birthed by Poor Quentyn on Tumblr, which is almost impossible to neatly summarize in one or two paragraphs (so click through for the full breakdown), but basically theorizes that Aeron Greyjoy will beg the Drowned God for help in overthrowing his brother, and that the Drowned God will respond by summoning an ancient and mythical sea creature whose existence could prove as fateful as that of the White Walkers. The theory is known as the Eldritch Apocalypse, and certain events in this new Aeron chapter would appear to lend credibility to the idea that what's under the sea will soon come out to play.
Aeron's vision of Euron as part sea creature would corroborate the idea held by the mæsters of the Citadel that an ancient race known as the Deep Ones, hybrids of sea monsters and human, exist or once existed somewhere far beneath the sea. The tentacled version of Euron he sees on the Iron Throne could be an omen that the Deep Ones will be raised by the Drowned God. This Reddit thread also dives much deeper into that theory.
So What Does This Mean For Thrones Season 6?
So far, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff's interpretation of Game of Thrones hasn't paid too much heed to the idea of gods, specifically the Drowned God. Sure, the newly fractured Greyjoys are coming to prominence this season, but Euron remains a minor character on the show, and with Bran's visions and the idea of causal time loops beginning to come into play in a big way, it seems too late in the day for the writer-showrunners to throw another curveball by introducing mythical sea creatures.
At a juncture where things are beginning to come full circle — even Bran's exploration of time is designed to tie up loose ends for House Stark — I don't see the more mythical aspects of The Winds of Winter making it to screen.
Euron's Valyrian suit of armor, though, may well make an appearance, which would be excellent timing if the White Walkers do indeed mobilize and head south. Perhaps the most important takeaway is simply that Euron is a dangerous, power-crazed son of a bitch who'll probably want Yara and Theon punished for their betrayal — and it won't be pretty.
If you want to read the complete transcript of the Aeron Greyjoy chapter from The Winds of Winter (which almost definitely will not be out before Winter comes), you can do so right here. Catch up on what you missed last week and check out the promo below for Sunday's episode:
Will Euron Take the Iron Throne with dark sorcery?