In A Clash of Kings, book two of A Song of Ice and Fire, Daenerys Targaryen goes into the House of the Undying and hears and sees all sorts of prophecies and visions of the past and of the future.
One of the prophecies relates to three betrayals in Dany’s story: Once for love, once for blood, and once for gold. What are the three betrayals?
As it usually is with prophecies in Game of Thrones, it’s not entirely clear what this means. It’s not even clear whether or not Dany will be the betrayed or the betrayer.
Of course, she think she’s the betrayed. Here’s the full quote of the prophecy Dany received in the House of the Undying:
. . . three treasons will you know . . . once for blood and once for gold and once for love . . .
–A Clash of Kings, Daenerys IV
The above comes from an entire paragraph is filled with riddles, but the only one we are focused on is the final — the three treasons Dany will know.
Daenerys three betrayals — what are they?
Once for blood, once for gold, and once for love.
Dany seems convinced that Mirri Maz Duur was the first — the betrayal for blood: “The first traitor was surely Mirri Maz Duur, who had murdered Khal Drogo and their unborn son to avenge her people,” she thought in A Clash of Kings.
She repeated this conviction in A Storm of Sword: “‘Once for blood and once for gold and once for love.’ Dany was not like to forget. ‘Mirri Maz Duur was the first.’”
The second treason — “once for gold” — could be Brown Ben Plumm, the captain and commander of the Second Sons (a for-sale army), who defects from Dany’s side and joins the Yunkai’i (who Dany is fighting).
Another possibility for the second treason is Jorah Mormont, who betrayed Dany by spying on her and her brother for Varys. Jorah, an exiled Westerosi knight, was spying on Dany in the hopes that his crimes would be forgiven and he could return to his homeland.
Dany’s betrayal for love: Tyrion Lannister?
If Mirri Maz Duur was the betrayal for blood, and either Plumm or Jorah were the betrayal for gold, then what is the betrayal for love?
Enter Tyrion Lannister.
In Season 7 Episode 4, we see Jaime Lannister fall to Dany’s attack. He’ll likely be taken prisoner and reunite with Tyrion (after just learning that it wasn’t Tyrion who killed Joffrey).
In the books — and somewhat in the TV show — Tyrion and Jaime do not leave each other on good terms. Tyrion seems to hate Jaime as much as he hates Cersei. Tyrion did still kill their father, after all.
But Jaime has always been the only Lannister to ever pay Tyrion any mind. They have loved each other. Could Tyrion betray Dany for love by freeing Jaime from her captivity? Or defecting back to the Lannister side?
Tyrion fits all three betrayals: Blood, gold, and love
In a way, Tyrion would fit all three betrayals if he were to help Jaime behind Dany’s back.
- Blood because he and Jaime are related (although Tyrion could still be a Targaryen);
- Gold because the Lannister’s color is gold
- Love because Tyrion loves Jaime
Tyrion and Jaime: A couple of hints from the TV Show
When Jaime goes charging after Dany and Drogon, Tyrion quietly pleads to himself for Jaime to flee instead of fight. He clearly wants Jaime to continue living.
The Lannister song “Reins of Castamere” also starts playing twice in the battle scene in Season 7 Episode 4: Once when Tyrion is watching the Lannister army get decimated, and again (a slow, sad version) when Tyrion is watching Jaime during his charge.