Maria Haley University of Leeds @marianuncsum
Mother of Dragons: Euripides’ Medea & Daenerys Targaryen A Displaced Princess: Medea “Would that the Argo had never winged its way to the land of Colchis through the dark blue Symplegades! […]For then my lady Medea would not have sailed to the towers of Iolcus, her heart smitten with love for Jason, or persuaded the daughters of Pelias to kill their father and hence now be inhabiting this land of Corinth, separated from her loved ones and country.” Euripides’ Medea 1-5
A Displaced Princess: Dany “Ours by blood right, taken from us by treachery but ours still, ours forever, you do not steal from the dragon, oh no the dragon remembers.” And perhaps the dragon did remember, but Dany could not. She had never seen this realm he said was theirs, this land beyond the narrow sea. These places he talked of Casterly Rock and the Eyrie, Highgarden and the Vale of Arryn, Dorne and the Isle of Faces, they were just words to her. Viserys had been a boy of eight when they had fled King’s Landing to escape the advancing armies of the Usurper, but Daenerys had been but a quickening in her mother’s womb.”
1 Maria Haley University of Leeds @marianuncsum
Infanticide & Sorcery: Medea
Nurse: “She loathes the children and takes no joy in looking at them. I am afraid that she will hatch some sinister plan. Her temper is violent, and she will not put up with bad treatment (I know her), and I fear she may thrust a whetted sword through her vitals, [slipping quietly into the house where the bed is laid out,] or kill the royal family and the bridegroom and then win some greater calamity. For she is dangerous.”
Medea: “Now since I possess many ways of killing them, I do not know which I should try first, my friends: shall I set the bridal chamber on fire [or thrust a sharp sword through their vitals,] creeping into the house where the marriage bed is laid out? One thing, however, stands in my path: if I am caught entering the house and plotting its destruction, I will be killed and bring joy to my foes. Best to proceed by the direct route, in which I am the most skilled, and kill them with poison.”
Medea’s Infanticide M: Do not weaken, do not remember that you love the children, that you gave them life. Instead, for this brief day forget them—and mourn hereafter: for even if you kill them, they were dear to you. Oh, what an unhappy woman I am! 1: (within) Oh, what shall I do? How can I escape my mother’s hands? 2:(within) I know not, dear brother. We are done for! Chorus: Shall I enter the house? I am determined to stop the death of the children. 1:(within) Yes, in heaven’s name, stop it! Now is the time! 2: (within) We are now close to the murderous snare!
2 Maria Haley University of Leeds @marianuncsum
Dany & Sorcery “I am named Mirri Maz Duur I am the godswife of this temple.” “Maegi,” grunted Haggo fingering his arakh. His look was dark. Dany remembered the word from a terrifying story that Jhiqui had told her one night by the cook fire. A Maegi was a woman who lay with Daemons and practiced the blackest of sorceries, a vile thing, evil and soulless, who came to men in the dark of night and sucked out life and strength from their bodies. “I am a healer” Mirri Maz Duur said.
Dany & Infanticide
Dancing with Dragons: Medea Medea: Why do you rattle these gates and try to unbar them, in search of the corpses and me who did the deed? Cease your toil. If you need anything from me, speak if you like. But your hand can never touch me: such is the chariot Helios my grandfather has given me to ward off a hostile hand.
3 Maria Haley University of Leeds @marianuncsum
Top Left: Athenian red-figure krater C5th B.C.
Top Right: Athenian red-figure C4th B.C.
Left: Apulian Red figure, ca 340 BC.
Left: Early Lucanian hydria Policoro Moseo Nazionale della Siritide Policoro painter c.400BC Top Right: Apulian amphora c.340-330 BC Naples Museum Nazionale 81954. Bottom Right: Volute krater
4 Maria Haley University of Leeds @marianuncsum
Dragons and the Anti-Mother: Medea
Top Left: Attic Red Figure Shape: Stamnos Painter: Attr. to the Syleus Painter Date: ca 470 - 460 BC.
Bottom Left: : pyxis lid, vase painting, Attica – Material: clay – Dating: -450/-425 BC.
Bottom Right: Attic Red Figure Shape: Skyphos Painter: Attributed to Makron Date: ca 490 - 480 BC.
Dragons and the Anti-Mother: Dany
“The flames writhed before her like the women who had danced at her wedding, whirling and singing and spinning their yellow and orange and crimson veils, fearsome to behold yet lovely, so lovely, alive with heat. Dany opened her arms to them, her skin flushed and glowing. This is a wedding too she thought. Mirri Maz Duur had thought her a child. But children grow and children learn. […] The cream and gold dragon was suckling at her left breast, the green and bronze at the right. Her arms cradled them close. The black and scarlet beast was draped across her shoulders, its long, sinuous neck curled beneath her chin.”
Endings and Beginnings “Your hair is coming back Khalessi,” Jhiqui said as she scraped the sand off her back. Dany ran a hand over the top of her head feeling the new growth.