Here are one hundred adventure seeds you can use to
generate ideas for your adventures and campaigns.
A ancient and evil balor sorcerer imprisons old friends of the
player characters, holding them hostage in return for a
A band of several death slaadi rogues and sorcerers
begins to waylay all planar travelers who chance
through their recently claimed turf on the Astral Plane.
A ranger hero recognized around the world begins to
organize a group of explorers for reasons unknown…
A bardic college develops a style of music that charms
and dominates any that listen to it too long.
A beholder cluster, made up of many beholders driven mad, begins to war with lesser beholder communities,
apparently all seeking a beholder artifact.
A prominent deity grows sick and will die if the cause of
its divine ill is not discovered.
A beloved prophecy long accepted as true fails to
occur because of the characters’ meddling, and the
world turns against them…
A blinding, yellow haze seeps down from the sky,
covering the world…
A celestial tree hundreds of miles long reaches its
roots down and begins to grow on the world’s
surface. Creatures from other worlds live in the
heights of the tree.
A child is born who prophecy indicates will one day
ascend to godhood.
A black disease blights the forest, killing all vegetation
as it continues to expand without limit at an ever-accelerating
A clan of psionic militants breaks away from the
kingdom — literally. A huge chunk of land hundreds of
acres wide floats up and away (taking with it many
terrified non-psionic people).
A conjunction of parallel planes somehow energizes a
lowly peasant to the power of a greater deity — but only
until the conjunction ends.
A cross-time catastrophe has cut off the Material Plane
from all others.
A dragon kills the ruler of the largest nation and takes
over, calling itself the Dragon King.
A flaw in a true resurrection spell leaves one player character
undead by night and alive by day.
A floating city arrives from across the sea, apparently
fleeing the depredations of the Warlord, a barbarian of an epic caliber.
A flock of angelic avengers and celestials is ravaging across the continent.
A meeting is called by a storm giant blackguard.
Powerful giants from around the world (and
other worlds) begin to congregate. Though no one knows the meaning of this calling…
A glorious gemstone in which the first light of creation
still lingers is purportedly languishing in an ancient,
A great chase ensues through endless parallel dimensions
as wizard researchers follow the faint trail of the
long-vanished elder elves.
A group of gargoyle paragons claims the Cathedral of
Pelor as its own new home.
A hero of renown (a quasi-deity, really) is to be wed to
an elven prince, but the prince’s royal family claims the
prince is under a spell.
A hole is gouged in the veil separating life and death.
As the tide of life pours out into the void, all creatures
everywhere begin to die as they accumulate negative
levels. The hole must be mended.
A red dragon and two of its siblings emerge from a
red-lit cavern in the earth.
A lesser deity declares the PCs as its mortal enemies,
enjoining all its worshipers and allies to find and slay
A longstanding illusion is pierced, revealing that the
king is nowhere to be found, and that all dictates of
the kingdom have been actually flowing from the
A new deity decides to leave the Outer Planes to set up
its palace on the face of the Material Plane. Once it
arrives, it demands worshipers and servitors.
A mad chronomancer with a mastery of time, has determined how to destroy the past (and
therefore the present). Unless it can be stopped, time
itself will unravel.
A planar conjunction will soon come to pass, allowing
the legions of hell (or worse) direct access to a
selected part of the Material Plane for 24 hours. It
can’t be stopped, but some famous characters may attempt to
defend key cities or strongholds from the onslaught.
A player character’s heart is stolen and replaced with a
magical gem or a strange alchemical creation. Who
knows how long the replacement will last?
A powerful wizards’ guild enters all-out war with the
dominant religious order of the world.
A quasi-deity wants an escort as it ventures into the
Abyss to release a companion quasi-deity from bondage.
A rogue moon threatens to crash down upon the
world, ending all life.
A sentient spell-virus is raging out of control among
spellcasters. All who fall victim to it become part of one
unified mind controlled by a malign intelligence.
A species of “fish” introduced from another plane has
provided good eating and relief from famine over the
last year. Now, thousands (possibly millions?) of the fish-like
creatures begin a sudden growth spurt, transforming en
masse into terribly powerful and bloodthirsty predators.
A splinter community of humans evolves into a
sub-race sporting strange and variant powers.
A syndicate of assassins dramatically expands its
membership by introducing a mind-control potion
into a city’s water supply.
A team of nightmares draws a chariot driven by a
powerful fighter into the city.
A titan seeks those brave enough to release it from its
age-long bondage; its rescuers may face the wrath of
A vampire scion from another plane begins to conquer
world after world with the help of a reforged artifact of
legend, Midnight’s Heart.
A volcano erupts. In the aftermath, a portal to the City
of Brass on the Elemental Plane of Fire remains open
A well-known wizards’ guild’s magical dumping ground
of failed experiments and stale spell components
A wizard attempting to summon a powerful devil slips
up and somehow summons an abomination instead:
an infernal lord of the hells.
A wizard claims to have developed an epic spell ritual
that, if cast, will slay a deity.
All magic items crafted from a particular city begin to
bestow negative effects on their owners with each use.
All who fall asleep on a selected world cannot be awakened
and eventually die in their sleep. Exhaustion is beginning to take a hold on even the greatest heroes of its realm…
An adventuring party stumbles upon the tomb prison
of an long dead half-god and releases it.
An anti-magic plague is released by an unknown agency,
causing sickness and eventually death to any who
prepare or cast arcane spells.
An artifact belonging to one of the characters must be
destroyed, lest some great catastrophe, which has
secretly been gathering, come to pass.
An artifact capable of forever dominating all red dragons everywhere
An enclave of gnomes customizes an iron colossus
into a walking war platform.
A group of NPCs known for good deeds suddenly
embarks on a death spree, murdering merchants and
A group of NPCs decides to destroy the PC adventurers,
for reasons that are initially obscure.
A sentient, free roaming, self-casting disintegrate spell
breaks loose from a wizard’s laboratory.
A legendary paladin leads a crusade to hell.
An inter-dimensional caravan must float on the River
Styx through the dangers of several lower planes.
Spirits begin to manifest from machines as complicated
as simple steam-powered wheels — is it a warning
from the gods of the forge to desist?
Angry druids raise the beasts, animals, and dire
animals of the wild, intent on beginning a new world
order in which nature comes first.
As the world ages, frequent earthquakes threaten to
plunge the major nations under the sea.
Blue-skinned merchants begin to sell enormously popular
items composed of dreamstuff — “mined from the
very dreams of a deity,” claim the merchants.
Deeper than the Underdark, the world is discovered
to be hollow. Hanging in that vast opening is an
unknown, uncharted inner world of strangeness.
Dwarf miners follow a vein of adamantine to a hinged
valve sealed with divine magic of an age older than any
of the current deities.
A group of seemingly amateur rogues steal the magical scepter of the
Evil opportunists slay the Guardian of the Flame of
Destiny, hoping to remold the Law of Reality to their
Ghosts of every sort begin to rise again, and they won’t
recognize their own undead state.
Mind flayers successfully gain control of a surface
nation, plunging the region into permanent darkness.
Jade pyramids of prodigious size rise from the earth.
Sounds unlike any heard before echo faintly from
within their stony cores.
Construct-like creatures of insane complexity called
“machines” move across the land, preparing the way
for a larger invasion of automated entities.
Magic begins to fail, supposedly because it is being
“used up” faster than it naturally regenerates.
Mercenary half-dragons who ride chromatic dragons as
steeds sell their swords (and spells) to an evil empire.
Newborns begin to be born without souls.
Off-plane raiders begin to steal people away for use as
slaves and food.
Once every ten years a small cave provides access into
a magical, underground world where all living beings
give off colorful light, ruled by mysterious fey lords
with mysterious agendas.
One of the player characters learns about his or her
real mother or father — in fact, that parent was a
demon, and that demon has come calling.
Planetars and solars bring heaven’s war to the Material
Plane, slaying any and all they deem evil or immoral.
Chromatic dragons decide that their “species” is the
only true draconic race, and they begin a campaign of
genocide against all other dragon types.
Several well-known cities and all their inhabitants
suddenly disappear without a trace. More could follow…
Someone is breaking the Seven Seals that maintain the
integrity of the multiverse…
The ancient Great Library has secret vaults where the
Words Once Spoken are supposedly inscribed in the
Book of Sleep. To speak them again would remake the
The Clock that Rules the Universe is under attack by
insane gnome alchemists, who are raiding it for parts.
The End Times threaten to begin.
The gods of Law put all humanoid races on trial for
The Lord High Priest of Pelor denounces her deity and
The most feared and reviled weapon of legend, an artifact
sword that drains life energy with a touch, is lost
by its owner.
The Mother of Spiders emerges from her Cocoon of a Million Years
to find a mate for her next spawning.
A vast necropolis undergoes a mystical transformation.
Now, each coffin, sarcophagus, and mausoleum leads
to separate cemetery dimensions and realms of death.
The PCs’ stronghold mysteriously gains new extra-dimensional
halls and rooms of unknown origin,
content, and extent.
The populace decides that they want one of the PCs as
their new ruler, which doesn’t please the current ruler.
The secret texts of a prominent religion, recently
discovered, call into question the church’s real goal, its
actual origin, and the agenda of its god.
The souls of a good queen and her family are drawn
into the Abyss by an unknown demonic agency.
The spirits of the dead begin to possess the bodies of
the living at an ever-accelerating rate.
The sun is infested with moon-sized parasites, and
may soon fail like so many other stars have fallen to
this celestial infestation.
The winter, which was overly cold, lasts too long — the goddess of winter, Auril, is suspected to be the cause…
The woods begin to grow without bound, invading
field, plain, and city.
The yuan-ti attempt to awaken the Slumbering Serpent,
a little-known abomination born of their own race and
a god of serpents.
Twenty percent of all astral travelers begin to disappear
in mid-trip. Mid-travel diversion spells are suspected.
Two parallel planes move too close to each other, and
denizens and objects of one constantly slip onto the
other, and vice versa.
Unless stopped, an ancient demi-lich will inject itself
onto the Negative Energy Plane, where it can possess
any undead anywhere in the multiverse.
When a friend or a respected associate is resurrected,
the soul returned to the body has different memories
from the original. Whence does this soul come?
Can we appreciate the fact Hades offered Nico a room at his palace in the Underworld in case his son dies in battle, because he doesn’t want Nico to feel like he’s got nobody and that he’s got his Dad no matter what? That’s some special treatment there. Nico doesn’t even need to be judged or whatever to be placed in Elysium or any fields in the Underworld–he’ll go straight to the palace.
Can we appreciate the fact that Hades’ gift to Nico’s birthday was a French zombie–who was a professional racer–to be his son’s chauffeur that Nico can summon anytime and anywhere to take him literally any destination in the world?
Can we appreciate the fact that Hades protected and saved Nico (and Bianca) when Zeus wanted to kill his Italian children, because Zeus didn’t want any child of Hades to be the child of the prophecy (and lost his beloved Maria di Angelo in the process)?
Can we appreciate the fact that Hades wanted Nico to be an exception from all his children in the past, and wants Nico to be genuinely happy despite fate’s cruelty to any child of the Underworld?
Can we just appreciate this one last fact that Hades loves Nico so much and obviously his favourite child because he knows his son suffered the most than any demigod simply because Nico is his father’s son?
Percy’s neutral expression is a natural brooding look that he gets from Poseidon
That when he does smile it’s crooked and makes him look like a trouble maker
When he talks it’s usually very sarcastic and/or impertinent
His inner monologue is actually very negative and while we, as the readers, take it as a joke he’s usually pretty pessimistic for a good portion of the time
That when he’s fighting his expression is fierce and is hard to tell whether he is the good guy or not
That Leo Valdez equated Percy’s angry expression to the feeling he gets when Jason is about to shoot lightning. Let me repeat - just the look on Percy’s face when he’s angry was considered on par to Jason controlling flipping lightning
That he’s very very vindictive and loyal only to those he considers his friends and once you lose his trust it is nearly impossible to earn back
That while he had the curse of achilles, he laughed crazily while he was single handedly destroying hordes of monsters
He made an entire volcano erupt, awakened a giant, and almost wiped out the northwest of the united states
He tortured a godess just so she would feel his misery
That he’s actually very manipulative and it made Annabeth step back for a moment and reevaluate her perception of him
That while his dark side came to it’s peak in house of hades and wasn’t mentioned in blood of olympus, there was no confirmation that it suddenly and completely disappeared after they left Tartarus.
Has been the child of the prophecy twice.
He manipulated Bob to kill his own brother by simply convincing him that they were friends and that is what friends did for each other
He was physically abused by his step father
That with absolutely no training at all he killed the minotaur with it’s own horn at the mere age of twelve
He wins a good majority of his fights by simply outsmarting his opponent
He has scared not only Annabeth but his friends and peers on more than one occasion with his attitude and powers
That he’s considered extremely powerful for a demigod and for a child of the big three and makes the gods slightly nervous
That when he’s upset his powers act to mimic his emotions without him even trying
Has been offered immortality
That he is actually really sorta intimidating without trying
That we need to stop reducing Percy’s character to a happy-go-lucky comic relief goofball that doesn’t know his left foot from right because he is so much more than that
My own play called ‘Harry Potter and the Blessed Child’
- Trelawney has made another prophecy, this one about how Harry and Ginny will have a blessed child
- the three children argue about who it is
- James Sirius thinks it’s him because he’s unbelievably good looking and good at everything and is extremely cocky
- Lily Luna thinks it’s her because she has inherited both her parents talent for quidditch
- Albus Severus thinks it’s him because despite his name he does not pray for death every day
(Cut to Hogwarts)
- Neville is worried about Hagrid because he’s become obsessed with Steve Irwin and has imported crocodiles from Australia to show his third years
- He goes to his hut to try to reason with him but after watching an episode of The Crocodile Hunter ends up agreeing to help him care for the crocodiles whilst Hagrid goes to get a great white shark to bring into the lake
- McGonagall retired after teaching James Sirius for one day, but every year McGonagall Day is held where every student is on their best behaviour in honour of her
(Cut to 2 hour segment of Harry James Potter being happy)
- Ron learns to cook and is actually really fucking good at it, he opens a restaurant
- Malfoy visits the restaurant to mock Ron, and asks him if they have any 'weasel pies’
- Malfoy ends up obsessed with the food there and secretly visits each week under a new disguise
- Hermione starts a knitted beanie business
(3 hour montage of the Harry, Ron, Hermione laughing merrily)
- Albus Severus asks to change his name, Harry agrees that he can change it only if he changes it to Fleamont
(1 hour Luna Lovegood dance sequence)
- Long speech about how the blessed child was all 3 children all along, Lily Luna and James Sirius sob and embrace their brother Fleamont Hedwig.
- (audience sobs because they are the blessed children too)
- The end
have a weird story because my family is weird as hell
my parents tried to have kids for seven years and were trying to adopt when mom found out she was pregnant
my great-grandfather, who my mom really looked up to, died a month before i was born, and right before he died he told my mom ‘you’re gonna have twins. the girl should be older but the boy will be’ (mom hadn’t discussed the pregnancy very much with anyone at this point because… seven years, so he didn’t actually know this information)
and guess fucking what
mom had to have a c-section because we were stupidly large for twins (as in we have a record at the hospital large) and due to that my twin brother kicked me out of the way to be born first
so one, great start on the sibling rivalry
two, i am an actual child of prophecy and that is hilarious
Okay so I’m slowly falling in love with the idea of Percy being a son of Aphrodite because that au would be so neat like-
Percy still having his troublemaker smile and messy windswept hair and sea green eyes but there’s a certain almost uncomfortable beauty to him, inspiring a slight, undefinable uneasiness in most others because his eyes are almost too green and too deep and his crooked troublemaker smile dimples his left cheek in the most radiant way and even his messy windswept hair looks like it was supposed to be tousled in that way and all of his imperfections some how make him more appealing.
And because people don’t really understand where this uneasiness comes from so it just furthermore gets Percy labeled as a troublemaker at first glance.
Grover finding Percy at Yancy Academy because his smell is so potent that he knows that Percy must be powerful.
When Nancy Bobofit dumps her food onto Grover’s lap, Percy snaps for her to go jump in the fountain and to his surprise she actually does it and he’s never been so confused in his life.
(This of course starts the chain reaction that ends with him passing out on the deck of the Big House with the golden haired girl saying that he must be the one)
Annabeth Chase, Daughter of Apollo, gives him the tour around camp.
After Capture the Flag when Percy gets claimed there’s such a sense of disappointment from everyone - the kid who killed the minotaur with its own horn was a son of Aphrodite? Seriously?
But the disappointment is quickly replaced with shock when Percy disarms Luke at sword practice without even lifting his sword. He just told Luke to drop his sword, and without a second thought, Luke did.
Silena is the one who tells Percy about charmspeak.
He still becomes a master swordsman and is still one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful demigods of the series.
His charmspeak goes from being something that happened either on accident or in dire situations to being more potent then you could imagine. It freaks out a lot of people because he could tell you to do anything, and you would comply without a second glance.
He can actually feel love, whether it be romantic, platonic or otherwise. He’ll sense it between partners and families and friends, and he tries to describe it and how each love is distinct and different but no one quite understands - everyone except for Aphrodite that is.
One of his powers that he discovers later on in the series is the ability to manipulate love and everything that goes with it. It goes far beyond the trivial, relationship-ending things his siblings do. The love that he can feel and sense between people - he can ruin it, he can make it so it was if it was never there. He can turn that passion into burning hatred. He can turn want into obsessive desire. And that’s when he understands what Aphrodite says when she says that love can bring the gods to their knees.
He’s still the child of the prophecy. Aphrodite considers herself the oldest god, being created out of Ouranos. When he was defeated his immortal essence created the sea foam from which Aphrodite was born.
But now onto the cute headcanons of Aphrodite!Percy
Being absolute dorks with his siblings.
Playing princess dress up with Lacy and letting her do his makeup
Getting teased mercilessly by Silena for his totally obvious crush on Annabeth.
Using his charmspeak to tease and flirt with Annabeth.
Annabeth and him being jokingly known as the ‘flower’ couple of the camp because she’s sunshine and he’s love even though they’re both scary af.
Percy speaking fluent french
Percy speaking fluent french to Annabeth
Percy knowing that he’s attractive and being overly dramatic with hair flips and posing.
Percy using his aphrodite-esque powers and looks to become suddenly extremely alluring to Annabeth - which she then blushes and punches him in the arm while he snickers.
Percy breaking the stigmas that go along with being a child of Aphrodite.
But why are people disappointed in Percy because he didn’t visit Bob? You guys do you realize that even if you’re Percy Jackson you can’t just walk in and out of the Underworld whenever you like, right?
Every time Percy went in the Underworld it was because of a quest. In TLT he went because Hades let him, since he wanted Percy to bring him his Helm of Darkness that he thought was at Percy, then in “Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades” he was brought there by Persephone. In TLO he went there with Nico, who is a child of Hades, and also it was Hades plan to bring him there so he could imprison/kill him so Nico would be the child of the prophecy. And then there was Tartarus, which was because he didn’t want to let Annabeth alone and also they had to close the Doors of Death.
Going there is abig dealguys, you don’t just walk into the Underworld like you walk into a Starbucks
Okay so something I think the Percy Jackson fandom often overlooks is the fact that after the war with Kronos, part of Percy’s promise with the gods was for the Big Three/no kids pact to be broken.
So what if Poseidon had more kids, but was hiding them in the deepest depths of the sea, kind of like how Hades hid the Di Angelo siblings in the Lotus Casino? What if Percy was chosen by Poseidon to be sent to Camp Half Blood, but only because he was the oldest out of the kids and destined to be the most powerful?
It would be very possible for Percy to come home from the war with Gaea to a bunch of brothers and sisters, thus these headcanons were born
•So after a terrible, long day of fighting Gaea’s forces relentlessly, Percy trudges dejectedly into his cabin really late that night ready to collapse on his bed but is greeted by a bunch of black-haired green-eyed kids chilling on his bunk like “hey”
•He drops his sword and doesn’t know whether to be shocked, overjoyed, or horrified
•The pieces click together in his mind and he believes that after all his fighting and prophecies Poseidon has blessed him with a group of wonderful children to call his siblings like he always wanted and tears stream down Percy’s face as he stares at them
•There are five in all, two girls, three boys
•He finally shouts with happiness, runs over, and hugs them all in a giant group hug wailing joyously “I have brothers and sisters! I have brothers and sisters!”
•The kids are confused and a little freaked out at first but then they realize this is Percy Jackson, their brother, the brave, wonderful hero that everyone has been talking about ever since they arrived, and they smile and laugh and cry and hug their brother
•They all befriend Percy instantly, and are earnest to learn everything about him
•So Percy tells them EVERYTHING about himself, starting from his time at Yancy Academy and Smelly Gabe when he was 12 to his battle with Kronos when he was 16 to his 8-month slumber from Hera and the new prophecy with Gaea and how he played a part in it
•They are awed with their brother but then Percy demands to know their stories as well. They explained how they were all hidden in the ocean up to a few months ago when they arrived at camp, where they all met one another and decided to swallow this whole being-a-half-blood-thing together
•The first girl is only four years old. Barely a week after Poseidon sired her, he took her to a beautiful mermaid’s palace where she grew up and waited out the war (Percy thought this story was a little too whimsical to be true but the others assured him she was being honest.) her name is Diona, meaning “spring water,” but everyone calls her Di Di.
•The second girl is 14. She was cared for by sea nymphs in the deepest depths of the ocean, and was named Nerine (neh-Reen) after the naiads. She has choppily cut black hair with strands of green and blue, a side-effect from being at such deep levels in the sea for so many years. Much like Percy, she has a major, if not an even bigger, attitude. She is phenomenal with horses and becomes the best Pegasus rider at camp within days.
•The first boy is seven years old, and looks the most like Percy out of the bunch. He was raised near Poseidon’s court by a group of protecting (but not all that smart) mermen. He loves to run around camp causing trouble and making little wave explosions with whatever water is around and going “BWOOSH!” His name is Hurley, meaning “sea tide”, but everyone calls him “Little Percy”, or “Percy Jr.”
•Little Percy flirts with Annabeth.
•The second boy is 9 years old, and was also raised by sea nymphs, but ones that lived in shallow waters and quiet bays. He took after the nature of the nymphs who raised him, calm and peaceful, kind and loving. He loves to sit in the waves of Long-Island Sound and stare at the water wistfully. He was named Fen, which means “Marsh”, and also, “Peace”. Like his sister Nerine, he is very good with horses and pegasi.
•The last boy is 15, and was raised by the Ichthyocentaurs (Fish centaurs). Because of this, he knows a lot of handy talents and has been somewhat trained to fight. He is very friendly, but often gets a brooding, deep in thought expression when he thinks no one is watching him. His name is Beck, meaning “Stream.”
•Percy and his siblings all fall asleep in one another’s embrace to the sound of the ocean waves crashing against the rocky shore outside
•The next day, Percy springs out of bed and sprints outside, running all around camp yelling “I have siblings! I have siblings!” And everyone rolls their eyes like “we know stupid”
I'm sorry! I didn't mean to sound like I was trolling you! I was just wondering how Jon should view Ned after learning about the truth and what it means for Rhaegar. I'm sorry.
No, no, don’t apologize. I made that leap so it’s on me. It’s just… somehow when I wasn’t looking, Rhaegar became the most argued about character on my blog. I don’t mind discussing him - I’ve been engaged in such a discussion over IM for the past two weeks - but I’ve gotten some, let’s say, interesting responses that were pretty much designed to pull my leg. I found the premise of your questions kinda strange and based on a dichotomy that does not really exist in the books, which is why I thought you might be trolling me in the vein of previous responses I got. I’m sorry if I made you feel bad.
I’m gonna start my response to the questions you posed in your previous ask by asserting one point: Ned Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen do not occupy even a remotely similar place in the text. There is simply no way to compare their respective narrative importance to Jon; Ned is the guy who raised Jon and the father Jon looked up to and loved.
For better or for worse, he is the only parent Jon ever had and the
father that Jon wanted to make proud; his model is the one that Jon
strove to live up to. And Jon loves
Ned and loves the family Ned raised him in, that’s not going to change just because he discovers that he is not biologically Ned’s. Because he is still Ned’s son in all the way that matter. Ned, for all his mistakes,
loved Jon and
protected him and gave him a family at a high personal cost to himself.
He besmirched his honor in order to save Jon’s life and essentially committed treason and put his life on the line by concealing him. He is an integral part of who Jon is and a vital linchpin to his identity.
So Jon would certainly be
angry (and he has every right to be), he’d probably lash out spectacularly, but
I don’t think it’d
lead him to stop seeing Ned as his father or that it’d change how he
feels about him. The bonds Jon has with
the Starks run deep and true and so I imagine that his dominant emotion once the initial shock wears off would be only sorrow.
But while Ned is personally dear to Jon, Rhaegar would be little more than a name to him, a name attached to a dark history at that. The significance of Rhaegar’s fatherhood in Jon’s arc is largely thematic because the truth about Jon’s parentage is gonna be a major hit to Jon’s self-conception and identity. Because the only identity Jon ever wanted or dreamed of is that of a Stark. He
struggled with his bastardy and the conception of his identity in light
of it but he was proud that he is Ned Stark’s kid. Finding out
that he is not Ned’s son is a hit in and of itself but then to discover
that his father is none other than Rhaegar Targaryen, oh that would be just brutal.
This is (one instance) where GRRM subverts the classic trope of the downtrodden boy with a hidden parentage and a grand destiny, because Jon’s origin story is a horror story that is going to devastate him. Not only does his real parentage remove him even further from the identity he desires, not only does it mean that the father and siblings he loves so well are not really (biologically) his own, it also comes with the sobering realization of the circumstances of his own birth. Like, the identity of Jon’s mother has always been a point of tension in his relationship with Ned, and he finally, FINALLY gets his answer, except it’s a punch in the gut.
Because the circumstances of Jon’s conception and birth are fucked up. Rhaegar absconded with Lyanna without sparing a thought to the consequences of his actions, so focused he was on getting a third child for the prophecy that everything paled in comparison, even
insulting two Great Houses and throwing the realm into war. Lyanna was his means to fulfill the prophecy and get the third head of the dragon in a situation that reeks of consent issues. It’s not a particularly happy origin story.
That’s the truth Jon will find out, the answer to his lifelong question. His mother is the sister of whom his adoptive father couldn’t talk
because of how painful it was. His father was the crown prince who is
known for carelessly breaking every chivalric code by absconding with
Lyanna Stark, the guy whose actions sent the entire realm into war and
created the situation that led to the murder of Rickard and Brandon
Stark. His father pretty much used his mother as a vessel for a
prophecy-child that she died birthing, and then his adoptive father had
to claim him as his own bastard - damaging his own marriage and lying to
both his wife and Jon himself - to prevent his best friend from murdering
baby Jon for the grand crime of existing. Jon was literally born for the purpose
of a prophecy so that he could fulfill a destiny his birth father was
willing to throw the realm into war for. So how is Jon going to react to
that? My belief is that he, in his initial anger and pain, is going to reject said destiny. He’ll reject his Targaryen heritage, he’ll reject the prophecy, he’ll reject Rhaegar and his ready-make destiny and the purpose for which he sired Jon.
And that would be the struggle in Jon’s arc and the choice he needs to make. Is he a hero because his lineage dictates it or a prophecy told it or Rhaegar decided he would be, or is he a hero because he chooses to be? Is he the maker of his own destiny or a puppet dancing to the stings of prophecy and his ancestors’ decisions? Is he fighting for humanity because he is the ready-make prophecy-child fulfilling the purpose of his birth or because it’s the right thing to do? Is he is driven by the prophecy or by hope that humanity can prevail and usher in spring after they throw back the winds of winter? Who is Jon Snow and why is he fighting?
Here’s the thing,
Rhaegar prioritized the prophecy above any and everything else. He caused a lot
of destruction in his pursuit of a prophecy-child and in the name of
saving the same realm he doomed to war. Causing a political crisis that ended up making the realm bleed was an acceptable collateral damage to him as long as he got the third head of the dragon. Jon is going to have to come to terms with the fact that this guy is his father and that he was born specifically for a prophecy;
he’ll have to accept his parentage because it’s a part of accepting himself -
you have to accept where you came from before you conceive who you are. But Jon’s parentage isn’t going to be what defines him or who he is, his own choices are. Because choosing who you become when you’re faced by the abyss is perhaps the most prominent overarching theme of ASOIAF.
Jon is not going to be a hero because Rhaegar made him one by siring him, or because a prophecy foretold his birth. If my prediction that he’ll reject the prophesied destiny that Rhaegar was willing to throw the realm into war for is true, that means that Jon is not going to be a hero because of Rhaegar but despite him.
He did not need either Rhaegar or the prophecy to put him up to fighting
the Others or saving people, he was doing that on his own and by his
own choice because he recognized that as the most important cause and the right thing to do.
Jon’s heroism is his own choice, his destiny is of his own making; he’ll fight not because his lineage compels him to or because it’s the purpose of his birth but because he genuinely wants (and chooses) to do the right thing and save the world.
So, Dany is 'The Stallion Who Mounts the World' and 'The Prince That Was Promised', is she also 'Azor Ahai'? Or are all three different versions of the same legend/prophecy? And since Jon is also a PTWP and most say he is 'Azor Ahai' could he be considered TSWMTW? Sorry if these questions seem sort of like 'ugh, semantics!', but I'm just trying to figure out which prophecy belongs to which character.
I think all three legendary figures are part of the same legend – or to be more accurate, there are multiple legends and prophecies all based around the same historical event. The Long Night was worldwide, and multiple cultures have legends of a great hero who ended it.
…the Long Night, when a season of winter came that lasted a generation—a generation in which children were born, grew into adulthood, and in many cases died without ever seeing the spring. Indeed, some of the old wives’ tales say that they never even beheld the light of day, so complete was the winter that fell on the world. While this last may well be no more than fancy, the fact that some cataclysm took place many thousands of years ago seems certain. Lomas Longstrider, in his Wonders Made by Man, recounts meeting descendants of the Rhoynar in the ruins of the festival city of Chroyane who have tales of a darkness that made the Rhoyne dwindle and disappear, her waters frozen as far south as the joining of the Selhoru. According to these tales, the return of the sun came only when a hero convinced Mother Rhoyne’s many children—lesser gods such as the Crab King and the Old Man of the River—to put aside their bickering and join together to sing a secret song that brought back the day. It is also written that there are annals in Asshai of such a darkness, and of a hero who fought against it with a red sword. His deeds are said to have been performed before the rise of Valyria, in the earliest age when Old Ghis was first forming its empire. This legend has spread west from Asshai, and the followers of R’hllor claim that this hero was named Azor Ahai, and prophesy his return. In the Jade Compendium, Colloquo Votar recounts a curious legend from Yi Ti, which states that the sun hid its face from the earth for a lifetime, ashamed at something none could discover, and that disaster was averted only by the deeds of a woman with a monkey’s tail.
In the annals of the Further East, it was the Blood Betrayal, as [the Bloodstone Emperor’s] usurpation is named, that ushered in the age of darkness called the Long Night. Despairing of the evil that had been unleashed on earth, the Maiden-Made-of-Light turned her back upon the world, and the Lion of Night came forth in all his wroth to punish the wickedness of men. How long the darkness endured no man can say, but all agree that it was only when a great warrior—known variously as Hyrkoon the Hero, Azor Ahai, Yin Tar, Neferion, and Eldric Shadowchaser—arose to give courage to the race of men and lead the virtuous into battle with his blazing sword Lightbringer that the darkness was put to rout, and light and love returned once more to the world.
The Last Hero of Northern Westeros legend is another one of these historical figures who stopped the Long Night.
How the Long Night came to an end is a matter of legend, as all such matters of the distant past have become. In the North, they tell of a last hero who sought out the intercession of the children of the forest, his companions abandoning him or dying one by one as they faced ravenous giants, cold servants, and the Others themselves. Alone he finally reached the children, despite the efforts of the white walkers, and all the tales agree this was a turning point. Thanks to the children, the first men of the Night’s Watch banded together and were able to fight—and win—the Battle for the Dawn: the last battle that broke the endless winter and sent the Others fleeing to the icy north.
“I found one account of the Long Night that spoke of the last hero slaying Others with a blade of dragonsteel. Supposedly they could not stand against it.” “Dragonsteel?” The term was new to Jon. “Valyrian steel?” “That was my first thought as well.”
–ADWD, Jon II
Which interestingly bears resemblance to a story of Azor Ahai:
“I looked at that book Maester Aemon left me. The Jade Compendium. The
pages that told of Azor Ahai. Lightbringer was his sword. Tempered with
his wife’s blood if Votar can be believed. Thereafter Lightbringer was
never cold to the touch, but warm as Nissa Nissa had been warm. In
battle the blade burned fiery hot. Once Azor Ahai fought a monster.
When he thrust the sword through the belly of the beast, its blood
began to boil. Smoke and steam poured from its mouth, its eyes melted
and dribbled down its cheeks, and its body burst into flame.”
–ADWD, Jon III
Melisandre believes that the prophecy of Azor Ahai Reborn and the prophecy of the Prince that was Promised are the same thing. (Whether she’s right or not, we don’t know, but Maester Aemon doesn’t correct her when she makes that claim.) Since she uses the names interchangeably, it’s hard to tell what the differences between the prophecies are, but both seem to refer to a hero who will be born under a bleeding star, amidst salt and smoke, who will wake dragons from stone. Only TPTWP seems to be connected to the concept that “the dragon must have three heads”, however, and only TPTWP was prophesied to come from the line of Aerys and Rhaella.
And as for the Stallion Who Mounts the World:
“What does it mean?” she asked. “What is this stallion? Everyone was shouting it at me, but I don’t understand.” “The stallion is the khal of khals promised in ancient prophecy, child. He will unite the Dothraki into a single khalasar and ride to the ends of the earth, or so it was promised. All the people of the world will be his herd.”
–AGOT, Daenerys V
A Dothraki prince that was promised in prophecy– that’s way too similar to “the prince that was promised” for me to think that they’re not connected. Especially since “the ends of the earth” is a good definition for what lies beyond the curtain of light at the end of the world, where the Others come from. Or, in a previous iteration of history, whatever lies beyond the Five Forts.
Note also the ancient Valyrian prophecy that the Doom of Man would come from Westeros.
Anyway, who’s who or who’s which? I don’t think it really matters. Jon and Dany are Azor Ahai and they’re the Prince that was Promised, because the dragon must have three heads, because they are the song of ice and fire, because the first Long Night was stopped by Hyrkoon the Hero, Azor Ahai, Yin Tar, Neferion, Eldric Shadowchaser, the Yi Tish woman with the monkey’s tail, the Rhoynar singing hero, and the Last Hero. There are multiple aspects of both prophecies, and both Jon and Dany will fulfill them. (As will a third person, perhaps, maybe with more aspects of the Last Hero.)
Regarding TSWMTW specifically – because Dany is likely to be the only one to majorly interact with the Dothraki, especially the dosh khaleen, they’re likely to only recognize her as the Stallion. But it’s possible Jon might be recognized as well if he eventually encounters any Dothraki, or if we get more details of that prophecy it’ll match things we know about him. We’ll just have to wait and see…
Just wondering but how much are you against the idea of Harry Weasley? And why?
As you can imagine, i have absolutely nothing against the Weasleys. Bless them for continuing to have babies until they got Ginny because that awesome BAMF needed to be born and bless them for giving Harry the love and family he needed.
But the Potters. The POTTERS. Are an AMAZING family who don’t deserve to fade into obscurity. Which is exactly what will happen if Harry changed his name to Weasley, or God forbid Black (i’ve seen a post wishing Harry changed his name to Black to spite Walburga. What a short sighted, petty, self destructive mess). However great and awesome Harry is, i LOVE that he’s not a standout in the family because the Potters have just always been an illustrious, hard working wizarding family who stood for what was right and never sought the limelight.
The first Potter, Linfred basically created Skelegrow and Pepper up potion (You’re welcome wizarding world) while curing all his muggle neighbors. Then Ralston Potter fought for the Statute of Secrecy as an alternative to killing muggles. Henry, who gave his name to Harry, fought on behalf of muggles during WW1. While Fleamont created Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion (you’re welcome Hermione) and James died protecting his family having thrice defied Moldyshorts in defense of Muggles during the first wizarding war.
If ever a child of prophecy was to be born to rid the world of darkness it’s very fitting that he came from the Potter line. Because that’s just what they do. And that legacy deserves to continue, visibly. The Potters ought to always be around, living quiet, hard working lives, standing up for whatever is right in their day.
Whatever legacy the Weasleys have they have 5 sons and countless relatives to carry it on. They don’t need Harry too.
So, you’ve probably already been told that writing dream sequences is a big no-no. That it’s capital-B “bad”. To that I say - ugh.
There’s nothing wrong with dreams in stories. Dreams in storytelling are as old as our oldest stories. Humans are fascinated with dreams, and for good reason. We don’t understand them, and it’s likely we never entirely will. They’re rich with symbolism. They represent a deeper part of ourselves. That’s not to mention that if you’re religious at all, they likely have some significance to you on a spiritual level, regardless of what you believe in.
So to dismiss dreams as “bad writing” is - well, it’s ridiculous. It’s just that, as with any type of tool, you need to think about them. Instead of just tossing them into your story you should use them skillfully. Meaningfully.
Don’t use dreams just because they’re an easy way to create drama or to convey some piece of information. Use them because it’s the right place and the right time to use them in your story.
Using Dreams to Show a Character’s Psychological State
One of the ways in which you can use dreams meaningfully is to showcase a character’s psychological state. However, be very careful about using dreams in this manner and realize that it’s probably best to save dream sequences for extremes in mood shifts or emotional peaks that your characters may be going through.
For example, let’s say that we have a heroine who is caught up in a Civil War in a fantasy kingdom, and the person commanding the forces on the other side in this war is her own half-sister. Knowing that she might have to face off against her sister is causing her extreme emotional stress.
As she grows closer to having to face her sister, she may have a dream about the situation.
Saria charged into the chamber, sword raised. The blade slid neatly into the woman’s back. But when she cried out, the sound was strange. It wasn’t a woman’s cry. It was a girl. Saria looked down, and felt her chest begin to burn as she saw the child collapse onto the floor.
“Ness… no!” She withdrew her sword. She tried to reach for the girl, for her sister, but it was too late. Her sister had fallen, was still falling. Sinking into the floor as if it were glass. All Saria could do was watch as it closed around the child.
Dreams as Prophecy/Telepathy/Connection to Spirits
In some stories, dreams serve another purpose. They may function as prophecy - allowing characters to see past or future events. Dreams may also allow characters to see events that are happening in the present, elsewhere in the world that they exist in. They may be psychically connected to other characters through dreams, or they may even be able to connect to lost loved ones through dreams.
One of the things that tend to be universally true about these types of dreams in stories is that they are generally less abstract than dreams that occur “naturally” - i.e., dreams that originate from a character’s own mind. And that only makes sense. As a writer, you would want these dreams to be a little clearer and a little more focused.
Êx. Vivienne reached out and let her grandmother’s hand close over hers. “Is it really you?” she asked, receiving nothing but a smile in response. And then they were walking together, side by side and hand in hand, just as they had when she was a little girl. It had been so long…
“You’re still so impatient,” her grandmother finally said. “But it will happen soon enough.”
“What’s going to happen?” Vivienne glanced over. She couldn’t mean The Enlightening could she? But that would mean…
“Don’t think about it too much. It’s a beautiful day. Enjoy these moments while you can. Life is so short, Vivienne. Even a well lived life is never enough. No reason to be so impatient.”
However, you probably still want to write them differently than you write your main narrative - and we’ll get to that in a moment.
Beginning and Ending Dreams
One thing that I feel necessary to point out is how important it is to think about the beginning and ending of a dream sequence.
Think about the last dream that you had. How did it start? What were you doing when the dream began? The thing is, dreams sort of drop you into the middle of the action.
So when you write a dream sequence, embrace the concept of in media res. That is, start the dream sequence with your character already in the midst of some sort of action. It makes the feeling of the dream being “dreamlike” a lot more believable.
And really push it with this. Amp up the surreal feeling here to make it as dreamlike as possible. Start the dream with the character in the middle of a conversation. Start it with them walking down a hallway, or hanging out somewhere they shouldn’t be and acting as if it’s no big deal.
The more the reader feels put out by it, the better. Because it’s a dream and it should feel a bit odd and off and strange.
Likewise with the ending. Dreams don’t (always) have natural conclusions. They end when you wake up, no matter when that is. So don’t (always) worry about completing the “story” of the dream.
Amping Up the Surreal Nature of Dreams in Writing
When writing dream sequences, one thing you’ll want to note is that you want to keep the writing surreal. You want to make it feel different than the main narration of your story. It’s a dream, after all. And there are some things that you can do to make that happen.
One thing that you can keep in mind is that things move differently in dreams. The way things flow in dreams is a good starting point. Rather than having everything perfectly linear, and having everything structured and moving forward neatly, play with the surreal quality of the dreamworld by making leaps and jumps forward. Move from Point A to Point C and ignore Point B completely.
This is as true in psychological as in prophetic/telepathic dreams in writing. As I said, you want to differentiate the real world from the dreamworld, and this is a GREAT way to do that. It’ll help you keep the reader on the toes. (Not the only way to go, of course, but it’s one that I’ve always liked to use.)
And Finally - Dream Symbolism
I can’t go without noting this. Dreams are intensely symbolic, and you’d be remiss not to take advantage of this in your writing. Even if you’re not a writer who uses a lot of symbolism intentionally, writing dream sequences gives you a great chance to pull out all the stops and to fill your writing with symbols and hidden (or not so hidden) messages.
For example, if your character is anxious about death, illness or dying, you could fill their dream with images of dying animals and have them dream about being wounded. Yikes, right?
Just remember that dreams do not have to be literal representations of anxiety and, in fact, it may be a lot more interesting to readers to use symbolism instead of actual representations of their anxiety to get a message across in a dream sequence.
Anyway, that’s all I’m going to write about dream sequences for now. My WIP is about dreams so I’m always open to answer any questions you may have about dreams in writing, in myth, or what have you, so send me an ask if you want to know anything. I’ve done tons of research!