Your Game of Thrones questions answered and this week we address greyscale, direwolves and which of the Stark children are aware that the others are alive?
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
‘Game of Thrones’ questions? Ask on Twitter @DamonMartin
This past weekend’s episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ titled ‘Kill the Boy’ was the latest deep look into the history of Westeros, this time with a brief telling about a famous place called Valyria where we also met ‘The Stone Men’ for the first time.
Most fans of ‘Game of Thrones’ should have recognized the name Valyria from the constant mentions of ‘Valyrian steel’, which is known to be the hardest and most valuable metal in the world for sword making not to mention the fact that there’s none of it left after the city and most of its people were wiped off the map thousands of years ago.
Without digging too deep in the history of Valyria here are some key points to know:
It was considered the greatest city in the known world for hundreds of years and it was the birthplace of dragons. It was also the place where the Targaryens originated.
A prophecy about a cataclysmic event forewarned the ancestors of the Targaryens and so they left Valyria with their dragons and relocated to Dragonstone, which was eventually the house seat of the family in Westeros. The Targaryens are the only noble family to have escaped Valyria before its downfall.
The Doom of Valyria is the event that essentially wiped the city off the map. The most widely regarded theory is that the volcanoes that surrounded Valyria — called the Fourteen Flames, which was also where dragons came from — erupted and the city was destroyed. Hundreds of years later, Valyria is seen as a cursed place and as Jorah Mormont noted while floating through the Smoking Sea, not even pirates are brave enough to enter that area of the world because of the superstitions that come along with traveling through Valyria.
In the show, Valyria is also the place where the Stonemen reside. The Stonemen are the people who have been infected by greyscale and basically they are sent there almost like a leprosy colony, separated from the rest of the world. When a person is infected with greyscale, their skin eventually turns hard and begins to crack and flake while turning dark grey or black. Eventually, when greyscale infects the brain it causes madness and eventually transforms a person into a mindless animal as we witnessed in this most recent episode.
So that that, let’s get to your questions this week.
— Jon Fisher (@fishsticks81) May 11, 2015
Technically no, Jorah is never infected with greyscale in the books, but the version of this same story that happened in George R.R. Martin’s source material did end with someone contracting greyscale.
In the books, there is a man by the name of Jon Connington, who was a former Hand of the King to King Aerys II aka ‘The Mad King’ and he was also a great friend to Prince Raegar Targaryen. Now legend had it after Robert’s rebellion where he captured the Iron Throne, Connington escaped across the Narrow Sea and eventually drank himself to death. In reality, he joined a sellsword company called the Golden Company and he was part of Varys’ plan to eventually put a Targaryen back on the Iron Throne.
Going much deeper into the story would just get confusing.
That said, Jon Connington is the one who actually gets infected with greyscale in the books during a raid by the Stonemen on a boat that is also inhabited by Tyrion Lannister. Seeing as Jon Connington clearly isn’t in the show, the story stayed much the same except this time it was Jorah contracting the deadly disease instead.
— Josh (@cubbiezfan80) May 10, 2015
The direwolf is the sigil of House Stark, the ruling family of the North, so it’s an animal that’s held in high regard by that family. Direwolves don’t actually inhabit areas south of the Wall because they are such predators that they kill livestock, other animals and sometimes even people so the people of Westeros prefer them not to be anywhere near the or towns where animals are kept.
In the show, Ned finds a direwolf dying in the woods and just as he’s about to put the animal out of its misery, they see she just gave birth and so he decides to give each of his children — including his bastard son Jon Snow — a direwolf as a present because it is the symbol of his house after all. The Stark children are all bonded to their direwolves and the animals are fiercely loyal and protective of their owners. As far as the status and current whereabouts of the wolves here we go…
Robb Stark’s wolf was named Grey Wind and he’s dead. He was killed at The Red Wedding, his head severed and sewn onto the body of Robb Stark after he was murdered.
Sansa Stark’s wolf was Lady and she’s also dead. When Arya Stark’s wolf bites Prince Joffrey and runs away, his mother Queen Cersei demands one of the wolves put down. Because Arya’s wolf is gone, they kill Lady instead.
Arya Stark’s wolf is Nymeria and she’s presumed alive after she was told to run away after biting Prince Joffrey.
Bran Stark’s wolf is Summer and he is still with him as he travels north of the Wall.
Rickon Stark’s wolf is Shaggydog and he’s still with him after he left with Osha before his brother Bran went north of the Wall.
Jon Snow’s wolf is Ghost and he is still alive and was seen last season helping Jon in the fight against the Wildling invaders.
— arcejayr (@arcejayr) May 12, 2015
The simple answer is yes. Once you are infected with greyscale the disease begins to spread and while it may take months or even years to cover the entire body, it will eventually turn you into one of the Stonemen, which is just another word for somebody covered in greyscale.
— Michael (@TheLandshark18) May 11, 2015
The zombies you’re speaking of are the Stonemen and they aren’t zombies, they are very much alive — they just don’t have much of a mind left after greyscale infects them to the point of going mad. Greyscale is a horrible disease that destroys the body and the mind and as you saw with the Stonemen, they are completely lost and can’t even comprehend the most basic of human emotion or feeling any longer.
@DamonMartin between Sansa, Jon Snow, Arya, Bran & Rickon, and also counting in Theon, what is each's understanding pt1
— Josh (@cubbiezfan80) May 11, 2015
@DamonMartin pt 2. of whether each other is alive/dead or there wherabouts, including Rob, Nedd, and Caitlyn.At this exact point in the show
— Josh (@cubbiezfan80) May 11, 2015
Alright let me see if I can get all these correct:
Everybody is aware that Jon Snow is alive and at Castle Black as part of the Night’s Watch.
Sansa Stark believes all of her brothers are dead minus Jon Snow, who is a bastard so technically not able to inherit the North anyways. She also believes Arya is either dead or missing because after her father was killed, no one ever saw her again.
Jon Snow is aware that his sister Sansa is alive, he also knows that Bran is alive after he met Samwell Tarly while passing through to get north of the Wall.
Theon is aware that both Bran and Rickon are still alive and obviously he also told Roose and Ramsay Bolton. He knows Sansa is alive (of course) and he knows Jon Snow is alive as well.
As far as Arya Stark goes — as memory serves in the show, no one is aware of whether or not she is dead or alive currently outside of Brienne, Podrick and The Hound (unless he’s dead also). Arya is aware to some extent that Sansa and Jon Snow are alive if for no other reason than she’s heard nothing to the contrary. She is aware that Robb and Catelyn died at ‘The Red Wedding’ because she arrived just after it happened.
And at this point everybody is aware of what happened at ‘The Red Wedding’.
That covers it for this week’s edition of ‘Send the Raven’s. If you have questions about ‘Game of Thrones’ make sure to leave them for us here for next week’s column!