Hi ! Would you tell me, if you think Euron is one of the big villains, who do you think will defeat him ? Dany ? Asha ? Bran - a nice analogy to LOTR, since he would be the Gandalf of Euron/Saruman ? Or do you think his plan to become an Other will backfire spectacularly ? I'm in the mind to think that, if it's not them, it will be someone with magical abilities - that would leave us with Arya, Bran and Dany (do I forget one ?). Thoughts ?
Hiya! I do think Euron’s plan to become an Other will ultimately fail because hubris, but as for who brings him down…
A big part of my “eldritch apocalypse” theory is that, if as the evidence suggests Euron is a rogue protege of Bloodraven’s and has a significant villainous role to play in the overarching magical struggle with the Others (although as a trickster/interloper like Saruman or Randall Flagg, as I’ve been saying), he needs himself a base of operations, somewhere to gather the Others to him. In other words, like Aegon at Storm’s End, he needs somewhere to let his true (freak) flag fly. And Pyke just is not it; as I’ve said, Euron has utter and blatant contempt for the Ironborn and their ways, and is using them because he needs ships and cannon fodder, full stop.
As such, we learn at the end of AFFC he’s looking to move his HQ.
“Battle here,” said Xhondo. “Not so long.”
“Who would be so mad as to raid this close to Oldtown?”
Xhondo pointed at a half-sunken longship in the shallows. The remnants of a banner drooped from her stern, smoke-stained and ragged. The charge was one Sam had never seen before: a red eye with a black pupil, beneath a black iron crown supported by two crows.
“It grieves me that honest men must suffer such discourtesy, but sooner that than ironmen in Oldtown. Only a fortnight ago some of those bloody bastards captured a Tyroshi merchantman in the straits. They killed her crew, donned their clothes, and used the dyes they found to color their whiskers half a hundred colors. Once inside the walls they meant to set the port ablaze and open a gate from within whilst we fought the fire. Might have worked, but they ran afoul of the Lady of the Tower, and her oarsmaster has a Tyroshi wife. When he saw all the green and purple beards he hailed them in the tongue of Tyrosh, and not one of them had the words to hail him back.”
Sam was aghast. “They cannot mean to raid Oldtown.”
The captain of the Huntress gave him a curious look. “These are no mere reavers. The ironmen have always raided where they could. They would strike sudden from the sea, carry off some gold and girls, and sail away, but there were seldom more than one or two longships, and never more than half a dozen. Hundreds of their ships afflict us now, sailing out of the Shield Islands and some of the rocks around the Arbor. They have taken Stonecrab Cay, the Isle of Pigs, and the Mermaid’s Palace, and there are other nests on Horseshoe Rock and Bastard’s Cradle. Without Lord Redwyne’s fleet, we lack the ships to come to grips with them.”
“These are no mere reavers” indeed; Euron is after more than plunder. He is after power. Where else would a crazed drug-addled metaphysicist go, after all, but a city full of ancient magic and crazy secrets and palantir candles (again, Euron is Saruman to the Others’ Sauron) and a book that tells you how to kill dragons and the magic-obsessed ruling family…whose tower happens to be built upon an ancient skin-crawling “oily black stone” labyrinth of lurking eldritch insanity, aka Euron in building form? What better place for Euron to establish his (and the Others’) kingdom, to begin his transformation into a god of death? And hey…he agrees.
Euron turned to face him, his bruised blue lips curled in a half smile. “Perhaps we can fly. All of us. How will we ever know unless we leap from some tall tower?”
I believe Euron will quite literally signal the story’s descent into metaphysical madness when he blows the Horn of Joramun from atop the Hightower at the climax of TWOW, the metaphorical “leap” into the “flight” beyond even the one Bloodraven promised him, bringing down the Wall and unleashing the Others…in a ghastly inversion of the NW warning horns, right down to the magically high platform of the South instead of the North. And indeed, as I’ve said, Euron conquers and absorbs other forces and narratives, a black hole that walks like a man, an agent of entropy (“all of Westeros is dying”) like, again, Randall Flagg in The Stand. (There’s a lot to mock about Stephen King, but at his best, he can (could) deliver a fantasy-horror-grim-realism blend to rival GRRM.)
As such, I can think of nothing more appropriate for his character than for him to decide that the Others are just like Bloodraven or the warlocks or the Ironborn or anything that’s not him: sheep to dupe and/or enslave. Again, fantasy is rife with characters who look at the gathering darkness and think to themselves “that looks delicious.” Y’know, another comparison just struck me: Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, right down to his winking parodic sheen, relentless postmodern infestation of and assault on his world’s institutions, and his defining victim’s trauma and memory issues.
And then Euron’s all-categories evil-buffet qualities will destroy him, as he neatly arranges all varieties of hero against him. While he’s trippin’ balls in ADOS in the cracked glowing monster-infested ruins of the Hightower, I think Asha and Rodrik will lead a coup back home in the Islands against him. Meanwhile, GRRM has said that Willas and Garlan Tyrell have a quite significant role to play before story’s end, and I think it’s here, joining with Sam to rally the South against the new Night’s King even as Stannis fights the tide of the Other invasion to the North. (And again, I turn to LOTR: the Rohirrim fight Saruman, preventing them from coming to Gondor’s aid against The True Darkness until the very last second. The structure here ain’t without precedent, is what I’m saying.) And as @madeinmyr has argued, while all this is happening, Bran will be fighting his failed predecessor Euron on the astral plane, resisting his attempts to become Godhead (again, think Sephiroth vis-a-vis Jenova or Meteor).
I think when all this comes crashing down on Euron, politically, militarily, and magically, he will flee a shadow of his supervillain self, and Dany will find him wherever he rests. (The Isle of Faces? The Lonely Light? Bear Island, bringing Jorah into the mix?) He will see one last chance, and like Saruman at Isengard, go all in on his honeyed tongue, offering to Dany that they rule the world together. And like Theoden, she will be swayed and tempted for a moment, before breaking through the fog, remembering who she and her fellow dragonriders are (“big goddamn heroes, sir”), and burning the fucker alive, continuing her series-long war against slaving sociopaths who think they’re the only real persons…before that war climaxes against the Others, the ultimate slavers (given the wights) who think they’re the only real persons.