Saturday, August 15, 2015

Who is the Valonqar?


Game of Thrones is full of misdirected clues and half-answered questions. One of the more obscure questions floating around book circles and cyberspace is: Who (or what) is the Valonqar?

You heard it hear first, folks. The Valonqar is . . .

Tyrion Lannister.
Image: HBO

Tyrion Lannister is despised by many people throughout the ASOIAF series, by some for his deformities and by others for his crass mannerisms and wit. However, no single character in Westeros or Essos hates Tyrion more than his sister, Cersei.

Poor Tyrion is under the impression that Cersei hates him for obvious reasons: he isn't his brother, Jaime; he "killed" his mother, Joanna, during childbirth. You know, basic stuff.

But Cersei is full of surprises, and much too selfish to despise someone solely for familial reasons.

In her heart of hearts, Cersei hates Tyrion because of a prophecy given to her by a gypsy woman when she was a young girl.


The gypsy woman, Maggy the Frog, gave Cersei her fortune, telling Cersei she would be a queen and that she would meet her death at the hands of the Valonqar.

Now, Cersei came from a noble House and thus had a knowledge of High Valyrian. "Valonqar" in the High Valyrian tongue means "little brother." Naturally, with Tyrion being her only younger brother and the creature who already took her mother away, Cersei has identified Tyrion as her Valonqar.

Cersei's fear of Tyrion being her Valonqar were further solidified in A Clash of Kings when Tyrion says:
I have never liked you, Cersei, but you were my own sister, so I never did you harm. You’ve ended that. I will hurt you for this. I don’t know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid (ACOK, Chapter 54).
So, there you have it! You now know the true identity of the Valonqar!

But wait . . .

Technically, since "Valonqar" simply means "little brother" in the general sense, not "your little brother" in the specific sense, Maggy the Frog could have been referring to any younger son...

Is the Valonqar really Tyrion Lannister, or could the "little brother" be someone else? If not Tyrion, who else do you think it could be?

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