Speculations on A Song of Ice and Fire
In many ways Euron’s story is the most unfortunate deletion in the TV show. All the way back, I believe right after season 2, D&D did an interview where they said they had to concentrate on the storylines of the Starks, Lannisters, and Dany, and all others therefore had to be sacrificed. I don’t know if they realized just what they were subtracting, but it was a horrible choice story wise. The truth is Euron is way more important than his very limited appearance would suggest. The same could be said of House Greyjoy itself.
In order to understand why it is necessary to go beyond what we think we know. Of all the characters in ASOIAF the one who comes closest to being the ‘Ultimate Bad Guy Villain’ GRR Martin hates so much it is Euron.
He isn’t just a psychopath. He is already dead, as in literally dead.
How did I reach this conclusion? There are two hints. One is Dany’s vision in the house of the undying of a corpse smiling sadly. It’s important to remember – it doesn’t say ‘a man smiling sadly’, or ‘a sailor smiling sadly’, but ‘a corpse smiling sadly’. Also the Ghost of Highheart speaks of a faceless man with a dead crow with seaweed on its wings on his shoulder.
There is another clue I think. Patchface is a character which has caused no end of speculation and confusion. His story is that he was drowned with Stannis’ dad in Breakwater Bay, washed up on shore three days later, coughed up water and came back to life. His mind has been broken ever since.
How is this connected? The story of Euron, so we are told, includes an occurrence of his going mad in a storm and trying to leap into the sea. His crew tied him to the mast to prevent him and he subsequently cut out all their tongues because he wanted ‘silence’. But what if he did throw himself into the sea and drown? What if his crew fished him out and he ‘came back to life’ like Patchface? Could that be why he wanted ‘silence’?
So what power could be animating Euron and is it the same one animating Patchface? The answer to the second is ‘yes’ and the answer for the first is ‘I don’t know’. What is probable is that the eye-patch that Euron wears, said to cover an eye colored almost black, in realty covers an eye that glows bright red. Hence 'Crow's-eye'.
There are any number of possibilities, from squishers, to the Great Other, to merlings, and so on.
But we should not assume that the power controlling one automatically is the same or aligned with the other. It’s most likely this power or being has its own agenda which conveniently gels with the Others attacking Westeros. But what is its agenda? This is a tough one, but I’ll try to parse it out. This thing in Euron might be trying to do exactly what he told his brother he would do, ie: make himself a god.
This requires a lengthy explanation. Ideas of Ice and Fire has some good videos and in some of them he relates how much Martin borrows from HP Lovecraft. Others have noticed how ‘post apocalyptic’ Planatos is. This is my own interpretation of ancient Planatos history. –
Before the Dawn Age there existed an immensely powerful and long lived race. These beings resembled men, but were far more intelligent. Unlike the elves of Middle Earth however, they were also vain, cruel, and obsessed with power.
It was these beings who built Asshai and various other monuments of black stone around Planatos. They played with the other life forms of the world and created horrific monsters, which gave rise to the stories of demons that we hear. And they created the dragons.
But they did more than that. They enslaved humans and even interbred with them. Their mixed race children possessed their gemstone eyes and platinum blond hair. And they made their slaves fight for them.
We have no way of knowing just what sort of nations these people made, but I doubt they bore any resemblance to human communities. They probably fought one another incessantly. This may be why there are no more left, or it could be that their half breed children discovered that their blood allowed them to control the dragons. Either way, this ancient race is long gone.
Or is it?
Ideas mentioned the God-on-Earth. Could this being be a descendant of those people? Or their last survivor? Or a creature made by them? We don’t know and I’m betting we never will. One of the aspects of world making in fantasy is to always leave at least a few mysteries. It’s always best to leave a few points where readers can run their imagination.
Regardless, how does this affect Euron? Perhaps he is trying to join the club. How can he do this? In order to understand this it is important to recall one of the most famous, yet least understood lines in the entire story. Varys tells Tyrion: ‘Power resides where men believe it resides.’
Most people mistake this for metaphor, but it is meant literally. Even in the real world it is a widely believed notion that if enough people believe in something that can make it come true. I’m not a proponent of new-age mysticism or fundamentalist religions, so I’ll leave it at that. Suffice it to say, on Planatos belief is power.
Incidentally, the answer to Varys’ question is ‘the priest’. Both the king and the merchant offer the sellsword things he can get by his own efforts. The priest offers him something he can’t, the favor of the gods. And with the gods favor he can get both of their rewards anyway.
In the Forsaken chapter Euron is collecting lots of priests. Why? Think about the question we just asked. If king’s blood has power, as Melisandre says, how much more power is in priests’ blood? What will he do with it? He will summon a kraken. All the suggestions in the chapter lead up to this.
What about the dragonhorn? I hear you ask. It is meaningless. The horn can’t control dragons. Why would the Valyrians need such a thing? It has been suggested that only those of Valyrian blood can safely use one. That makes a certain amount of sense. Regardless, Euron would never have given the horn to his brother if he actually thought it would work. The whole mission with Victarian was mostly a way to get rid of him.
Understand, Euron is not actually after Dany’s dragons. Or even the Iron Throne, at least not ultimately. What he wants is Dany herself. He needs her to be Queen of Westeros and to do that he needs the Ironborn. ‘Power resides where men believe it resides.’
Euron’s plan is probably to help Dany become queen, marry her, get her with child, then sacrifice her in some really gruesome and hideous way. It’s all about maximizing the power which he needs to ascend to godhood. And that means all the names, titles, and ceremonies are also critical. You can figure out for yourself how this fact affects events in the rest of the story. I’m referring here specifically to whether Jon’s a bastard or not. See my article on Jon Snow.
In any case he will come close to succeeding. Dany will almost marry him. Part of that is he will take her prisoner and eventually threaten her into agreeing. Her agreement is absolutely vital to his plans. Also, it isn’t an accident that Euron resembles Daario so closely. I don’t think they are the same person, but it does give a little insight into what Dany finds attractive. Can’t say much for her taste myself.
In any event, Euron knows how to charm the women. He’s quite good at it. It is said he has more bastards than Robert Baratheon.
This is why Arya’s story line is so important. She is Dany’s savior.
Here I found Calluna’s analysis, specifically regarding the Starks and the Faith of the Seven most informative. Arya is the Stranger in that analysis, obviously. But Calluna failed to go all the way with it. If the whole point of each aspect is to turn it on its head that equally obviously means Arya is going to create/save a life, not take one. How can she do this? Since she’s a girl she can have a baby, but I don’t think the time frame of the story will allow this. Alternatively, she can use her Faceless Man abilities to save someone. And Dany is going to need saving.
It might go something like this:
Thoros will inform Jon and co that the Lord of Light has told him that they have to save Daenerys. He will be met with critisism, but Arya will support him. Asha and Theon will offer to help. Arya, Thoros,Theon, Asha and Sandor will leave Winterfell to go to the Iron Isles. When there they get word Dany is being held in Old Town, which Euron has conquered. There he will have finally beaten down Dany’s resistance and she’s agreed to marry him. In the celebrations before the nuptials Arya and her team will strike. Thoros and Sandor will be given the job of feeding poisoned sheep to the kraken while Theon provides a distraction. Theon will likely be ‘captured’ and abused. He will then be tormented by Euron, which will put him close enough to strike. Arya, wearing a face from one of Euron’s men, will have slipped him a weapon, which he plunges into Euron’s patched eye. This is likely where the power that animates his body is located. Theon will no doubt be killed by Euron’s men. Asha, who has been subverting Euron's men, will attack at the same time and chaos will ensue. Arya will then spirit Dany away, back to her people who will be close by.
I hope this is all clear enough. Given its length and complexity I can understand why D&D chose not to use it, but it is still a major loss.