Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Ending of a Dance With Dragons

Last summer I was so angry over "A Dance With Dragons", the fifth book of "The Song of Ice and Fire" series, that I actually for a time thought of fixing the ending to the book.  Yeah, I actually thought about writing the ending myself, since obviously George R. R. Martin wasn't going to be interesting in doing that work for FIVE MORE YEARS.  And in the interests of some measure of closure for myself, I did outline everything I needed, and wrote it down.  Then unfortunately when it came time to start writing... I realized that I could never replicate Martin's style without years of work, and that the entire quest was honestly not worth my time.  Why should I finish this asshole's book?  I got my own stories to tell!

So for the last roughly eight months the outline for the ending has been sitting deep in my the unpublished pages of my blog.  With season two of "Game of Thrones" airing, my mind returned to this unfinished project.  Ultimately I decided that I should either share it or just delete it.  What I wrote is pretty much the entire conclusion to the Battle of Meereen, which was just beginning before Martin or his publisher got lazy and didn't bother to actually finish.  The Meereen situation, by the way, is probably the worst section of the entire series so far, because it takes place so far away from anything you care about.  But ultimately, there are major characters gathered around the city, and Martin was clearly moving the pieces towards a big climatic explosion of a battle.  He just needs another FIVE YEARS to write that.  That's where this outline comes in, it tells us what is going to happen during that battle.  And if I do say so myself, the ideas - in draft form at least - sound pretty awesome.

Of course, it is an outline.  So its never going to be as good as if I actually wrote all sixteen chapters that I imagined here.  And yeah, it took me sixteen chapters to finish up Meereen, Jesus Christ.  But that's better than all of "The Winds of Winter", which is probably how long it will take George R. R. Martin to conclude that part of the story.  Also, because "Song of Ice and Fire" is actually the most complicated story ever written, I guarantee you there are plotholes here.  Martin imagines like fifty minor Slaver's Bay characters, and I can't keep track of all of them.  Mostly my solution to the Meereenese Knot (which still hasn't been solved, as far as I can see) was to just kill off everybody.  All those minor characters that nobody gives a shit about?  They're all gone, I set them all on fire.  Meereen felt my wroth.  If you're confused as to who I'm talking about in certain parts, read this with the Wiki of Ice and Fire open.

And if George R. R. Martin is having trouble, not to overstate myself, he could use this outline as a starting point.  Anything to get fucking "Winds of Winter" here before the 2016 elections and I'm happy.  (Also, you should expect spoilers, duh.)

So here's Meereen's current standings in terms of power:
1. In the city is Barristan, Shaveplate, more dudes, Sons of the Harpy, King Tool, Unsullied, Crows, Freedmen
2. Outside is the slave armies, who also hold the harbor, Second Sons, Brown Plumm, Tyrion, about ten thousand minor characters you don't care about.
3. Dany is with the Khalasar
4. Victarion has his fleet coming
5. Tyrion has the Second Sons
6. The Pale Mare has everybody
7. Two dragons in Meereen, free agents

Events as far as I can see:
1. The siege has begun in Meereen, the plague is being catapulted in
2. Barristan charges forward desperately
3. Victarion attacks, smashes the Slaver fleet, has the priest sound the Horn
4. Victarion lands, attacks, uses dragons to blast forward, takes command of the Slavers
5. Barristan, Tyrion, and everybody retreat to the big pyramid, the city is in a sea of flames
6. Dany arrives, breaks Victarion's lines with her Khal, Drogo fights his brothers
7. Jonah fights to find the Horn, dies sounding it, heroic as shit
8. Victarion destroyed in the three flames of the dragons, Dany is victorious
9. Dany, standing at the ruins, beings to move towards Westeros, Tyrion is her Hand, Barristan is finished
THE END

And now for the actual outline:

Tyrion

Daybreak.  Tyrion meets with Brown Ben Plumm to discuss the strategy of the war.  Dany's bloodriders have escaped, and the Tattered Prince is considered the prime suspect.  The new Supreme Commander is Morghaz zo Zherzyn, a drunken fool controlled largely by Faezhar zo Faez, the Rabbit, a cruel man.  The Long Lance commander, Gylo, is plotting a coup.  The Clanker Lords have all been executed.  That leaves only the Company of the Cat, Eraz, Ahlaq, and Myraq on the Drunkard's side, all of questionable loyalty.  There is much division between the Yunkai'i alliance and the only thing holding it together is a slim promise of plunder.  Tyrion suggests that Brown Ben hold his troops back during the battle, which causes Plumm to predict that Tyrion is working to move the Second Sons to Dany's side.  Plumm still takes his advice, but specifies, its not for Dany, but for his own purposes, with a cryptic smile.  Tyrion suspects there is more to this man than meets the eye.  A beacon shines at the top of Meereen's Great Pyramid, showing that the battle is about to begin.  Jorah Mormont has disappeared.

Barristan

Morning.  Barristan prepares to sally forth and destroy the Yunkai force before the Pale Mare can destroy Meereen.  Barristan wonders if this battle will be his death, an ironic revenge for failing King Aerys II at King's Landing.  He leaves Meereen in the hands of the Shaveplate and the Green Grace.  Barristan rides at the front of a force of Unsullied with Grey Worm at his side.  The Freedmen forces support the rear, their fighting ability so far unknown.  In the charge, Barristan's force destroys Gorzhak zo Eraz, Pudding Face's force and fights off a knight with three lions called the Beastmaster.  Hero, an Unsullied, fights this one while Barristan finds himself facing the Company of the Cat.  Bloodbeard is killed by an arrow before Barristan can fight him.  Barristan faces off against a few knights without importance.  The battle is actually being won.  Neither the Second Sons or the Windblown have entered the fight yet, and the Yunkai force has been devistated by the Pale Mare.  Viserion and Rheagal both fly overhead, having been attracted by the war, and this puts even further fear into the hearts of the Yunkai.  However, he suddenly gets new that the gates of Meereen have closed.  The Green Grace sends word that she is closing the city for Queen Dany, though Barristan has no idea what this means.  He has been betrayed.

Daenerys

Dany has been imprisoned by Khal Jhaqo.  He appears to her, telling her of his intention to marry her and so take control of Drogon.  Dany remembers Eroeh, a woman raped by Jhaqo and his bloodrider, Mago.  She refuses the match, but Jhaqo taunts her, saying he is not Drago and will not allow his wife to have such freedom.  Jhaqo recounts how he has conquered the other Khals and now rules a Khalisar as great as Drogo's.  Dany dreams of a fire consuming Jhaqo's tent, and when she awakes, Drogon has killed the Khal.  She may not understand how, but she has taken some measure of control over her dragon.  She then mounts Drogon with no problem.

Victarion

Afternoon. Victarion sails into the bay of Meereen, having smashed the Yunkai fleet.  Xaro Xhoan Daxos of Qarth lies dead at his feet.  He now prepares to sound the dragon horn, having the Dusty Woman blow into it.  She is killed immediately and her screams only increase the sound.  Viserion and Rheagal fly over to Victarion, now under his command.  He uses them to scourge the Slaver Armies in front of him.  Ghazdor zo Ahlaq's army is closest to sea, it is completely destroyed in dragonfire along with its commander.  Victarion marches ahead on shore, sure that none of the great armies ahead will assault him.  The Red Priest Moqorro assures him that his glory is at hand.

Tyrion

Late Nighttime.  Tyrion moves towards the walls of Meereen.  In the confusion of the battle and the subsequent appearance of the Ironmen with the dragons, Brown Ben Plumm made his move.  During his time inside the city, dug a secret tunnel under the walls to allow entrance.  Tyrion and Penny, being tiny, are the perfect tools.  Tyrion takes an ironic pleasure in knowing that he wasn't being used for his brain, but his body.  While inside the city, Tyrion sees the banners of the Harpy strung up in all directions, and the bodies of dozens of freedmen hanging from the walls.  The Harpy has returned to Meereen.  Tyrion's job is to lower a ladder from the city walls, and he and Penny are disguised as children for the task.  Using the ladder, a dozen Second Sons climb up, including Brown Ben himself, who has instead sent Inkpots to treat with Victarion, who is now the Supreme Commander of the Slaver armies.  Tyrion and the soldiers sneak through the city, and reach the Great Pyramid.  Unfortunately, Brown Ben has underestimated his opponent, and the entire company is captured by the Harpy's Sons.

Barristan

Same night.  Barristan's assault force, mostly intact, has retreated from the battlefield upon the appearance of the Ironmen.  He has linked up with The Windblown under the Tattered Prince.  The Stormcrows have disappeared.  The Prince wonders aloud if he'll ever get his throne back, and Barristan begins to believe that he really is the rightful Prince of Pentos.  Not that that will help now.  The army has made camp a few leagues from the city, glad that Victarion has turned his wrath upon Meereen rather than them.  Barristan is unsure of what to do, but glad to be alive.  He has still lost his queen's city.  There is some discussion as to the next move, Barristan decides to wait to see what happens next.

Victarion  

Night still.  Victarion leads a toast at the head of his new army made of disparate forces.  The Stormcrows and Daaerio have joined with him, as have the remains of the Company of the Cat, the Long Lances, and Myraq, the Little Pigeon.  Daario betrayed Dany without a thought.  Myraq is the last great lord left of the Yunkai.  Supreme Commander Zherzyn's skull now decorates Victarion's shoulder, while the Rabbit decorates the other shoulder.  Eraz has fled.  The Perfumed Hero and the Charioteer both pledge loyalty to Victarion at the sight and are released.  The Second Sons are represented by Inkpots, but he cannot offer the Second Sons' loyalty.  Inkpots is killed, melted by Victarion's invincible hand.  Moqorro tells Victarion that his glory has only begun.  Victarion finishes his meal, and goes out to see his dragons, who stare at him with hatred but obedience.

Tyrion

Inside Meereen, morning.  The Ironmen/Yunkai armies have the city surrounded.  Tyrion has entered the Great Pyramid along with the agents Brown Ben took with him all captured.  Brown Ben himself is beaten and bloodied.  Tyrion is locked with Dany's remaining men inside the Great Pyramid, which includes Strong Belwas, Messandrei, and Barristan's children.  Brown Ben demands to speak with the Green Grace, but is refused by the Shaveplate, who is also a traitor.  The evening, King Hidzahr is to be executed publicly by the Green Grace to show her power as the Harpy, but down in the dungeons, Tyrion begins taunting a guard when finally Strong Belwas grabs him and kills him.  With that, an escape begins.  Tyrion makes it outside to see the Green Grace give a speech but he also sees Rhaegal and Viserion fly down, and burn the Green Grace alive.  The Harpy is gone, Meereen has no master.  King Hidzahr is found, alive, but beaten.

Barristan 

Day.  While encamped, Barristan is met by the forces of the Stormcrows and the Long Lances, led by Daaerio.  Barristan cuts through trying to find Daaerio, but finds Gylo Rhegan, commander of the Long Lances instead.  Barristan is horrified to discover that Victarion has him surrounded, with Yunkai forces behind him, Daaerio being a feint.  Barristan keeps on fighting, but sees Caggo killed by Daaerio, and Hero killed by the Charioteer.  He decides to fight on, even if he's the last soldier left.  But the sound of hooves gives him cheer.

Daenerys 

Day.  Dany charges forward with Khal Jhaqo's former Khalisar at her back.  It has been a long desperate ride, and many of the Dothraki are exhausted, but she knew she needed to get their quickly to save her city and her men.  After Jhaqo died, the Khalisar turned to her and her dragon, she was the symbol of clear power.  She sees that Daaerio has betrayed her from up on Drogon's back, and she pictures him consumed in flames.  Daaerio dies, though she thanks him for giving her the metal to rule.  Her Dothraki break through all of Victarion's armies, and Barristan's forces are saved.  He personally has survived, and gives the Queen a briefing on that has occurred.  Two of her children have been captured, she means to take them back.

Victarion

Sundown. Victarion spots Drogon and immediately calls for his dragons to return.  He is told by a fleeing Charioteer that Dothraki have attacked.  Victarion smiles, happy to see that the third dragon will soon join his group.  He tries to get the wounded Charioteer to sound the horn for his failure, but the Charioteer can only spit up blood and dies.  Myraq recommends retreating to the ships, but Victarion refuses, claiming that his two dragons can defeat Daenerys's any day.  Dany's armies and Drogon reach him, and the final battle commences. 

Tyrion

Tyrion is inside the Great Pyramid with Brown Ben, Strong Belwas, and others.  Up in the throne room, still decorated with Barristan's simple table, Tyrion watches the battle below.  The three dragons war in the skies, and fire rages all across the land.  Tyrion can only watch in awe and the monsters light up the night sky.  The battle continues below alit by dragon's flames.  As for the city, the flames fall below and Meereen begins to burn.  Brown Ben moves to take over the throne room, but Belwas breaks his head.  Tyrion is no longer a Second Son, he decides.  He will serve whoever is the master of these great monsters.

Barristan

Barristan charges through the enemy lines reaching Victarion.  Dany rides a horse with her Khalisar, but that is a different front of the battlefield.  Despite Victarion's great host, he is being pushed back by Dany's sheer numbers.  Barristan decides that this battle cannot be decided by dragon flames alone, and goes forward to kill the Greyjoy Tyrant.  The Tattered Prince rides with him, out of nothing more than mutual respect.  Upon reaching the Greyjoy, Barristan sees bodies of Unsullied all around him,  Victarion is standing outside of his lines, his burned hand giving unnatural strength.  Barristan and the Prince fight Victarion, and it seems that the man is indeed indestructible.  Then Barristan lands a clear blow on Victarion's hand, which shatters into embers.  The Prince is killed by cuts through Victarion's left eye.  He is saved by Ironmen.  Barristan falls over, exhausted.

Victarion

The once king of Yunkai and the once king of the Iron Islands is brought on board his ship.  All he can see is fire, everywhere.  He demands that Moqorro come to save him, but Moqorro is already dead.  Euron is on board, with a knife.  Euron tells Victarion that he was waiting for him to fail for months now, and that his brother will sound the horn to give him all three dragons.  Euron needed everybody to think he was in Westeros so they would never suspect the power he would amass in Slaver's Bay, Victarion being just a decoy.  However, there is somebody else on board.  Jorah Mormont cuts through Euron, the King, and sounds the horn himself, declaring this to be his final act of love for Queen Dany.  Jorah's fires burn the entire ship, and Victarion dies.  The Ironmen are crushed.

Tyrion

Tyrion sees all three dragons now united once more turning upon the collective forces of Victarion and the Yunkai.  In a flash all are destroyed.  Then the dragons turn on the city of Meereen, already in flames.  It is destroyed as well.  He wonders if he'll survive the night.
Daenerys

Dany has won the battle, decisively.  All that remains of Meereen is a blacked ruin with the Great Pyramid barely standing.  The Pale Mare has been cured through fire, all of the infected are now ash.  Of the Yunkai, only Lord Myraq has fled with what remains of the Yunkai host, back to his city.  Dany meets with Tyrion, who won back her throne in the midst of the battle, where they talk of what will come next.  Tyrion is accepted as an advisor, but Dany tells him that he better stay useful or he will die.  Ser Barristan still lives, but his days of fighting seem over.  As for her husband, King Hizdahr, Dany will have nothing more of him.  She tells him that Meereen is his.  Hizdahr cries out for his ravaged city.  Dany tells him to rule it, somehow.  She does not need this kingdom, she has seven.  She then calls for her bannermen.  It is time to go to Westeros.  

THE END

5 comments:

  1. I asked Anne Groell, George's editor, about that fight (which is apparently going to be called The Battle of Fire) when I met her at New York Comic Con last year and she said that it was originally included in Book 5, but was pushed forward, and that that and the fight with Stannis in the North would open book six (it was pushed back to create suspense in Jon's final chapter regarding Ramsay's letter).

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    1. Not to be overly aggressive, but suspense can go fuck itself right up the ass. Cliffhangers are bullshit, fuck them to hell, set them on fire, and then rape their mothers.

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  2. You may not be able to duplicate the exact style of Martin's words, but I think you captured the overall tone rather well. I could easily see events transpiring this way in the actual books.

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  3. Have you heard about some of the DLC for FFXIII-2 being Ultros & Typhon, Lightning, and Gilgamesh as bosses/unlockable characters?

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  4. I would be content with this ending. great job.

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