Time Stood Still, Part 4: Defender of the Dispossessed
Series so far here
“Now Théoden son of Thengel, will you hearken to me?’ said Gandalf. “Do you ask for help?” He lifted his staff and pointed to a high window. There the darkness seemed to clear, and through the opening could be seen, high and far, a patch of shining sky. “Not all is dark. Take courage, Lord of the Mark; for better help you will not find. No counsel have I to give to those that despair. Yet counsel I could give, and words I could speak to you. Will you hear them? They are not for all ears. I bid you come out before your doors and look abroad. Too long have you sat in shadows and trusted to twisted tales and crooked promptings.”
So there are dreams that are spooky and sad and expose those parts of yourself and your past you would prefer not to think about, and there are dreams that are wistful and nostalgic and unearth those parts of yourself and your past you only wish you could marinate in forever…
…and then there are dreams that leave you with a roar on your lips and a fire in your heart, and you go through your day with a skip in your step, because amidst all the subconscious slurry, you stumbled upon your innermost core. You discovered who you are. It was just a dream, of course; Wyman Manderly never intended to execute you after all. But that doesn’t mean what you learned about yourself is invalid. This is the chapter where every facet of Davos Seaworth shines through: politician and father, lord and smuggler, the fingerless Hand. “He is here,” to borrow from Varys.
Davos’ external struggle in this chapter is inextricably wrapped up in that inner journey, and therein lies his victory: the more perfect union of his lord-self and smuggler-self, because the former’s argument in the Merman’s Court wouldn’t be possible without the latter. Davos III is the Arena of the Self, a crucible. Two Davoses enter, one Davos leaves.