The Defiance of Duskendale is a big moment in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. It solidified Ser Barristan as an unparalleled hero, it is a literary tool to entrench Aerys’ madness, it helped make Dontos into the drunkard Littlefinger needed for the plot and more. But the most important thing has not been mentioned yet.
The lords there were of House Darklyn and the land is called Duskendale. Dusk falls right before Night does. They provide clues to better understand what happened in the Long Night in at least one major way.
The Lace Serpent Lady Serala is a Metaphor for the Nights Queen.
The ancient harbor town of Duskendale had been a seat of kings of old, in the days of the Hundred Kingdoms. Once the most important port on Blackwater Bay, the town had seen its trade dwindle and its wealth shrink as King’s Landing grew and burgeoned, a decline that its young lord, Denys Darklyn, wished to halt. Many have long debated why Lord Darklyn chose to do what he did, but most agree that his Myrish wife, the Lady Serala, played some part. Her detractors blame her entirely for what transpired; the Lace Serpent, as they name her, poisoned Lord Darklyn against his king with her pillow talk. Her defenders insist that the folly lay with Lord Denys himself;
his wife is hated simply because she was a woman of foreign birth who prayed to gods alien to Westeros.
The Lace Serpent was burned alive, poor woman, though her tongue was torn out first, and her female parts, with which it was said that she had enslaved her lord.
As to Lady Serala, hers was a crueler death. Aerys had the Lace Serpent’s tongue and her womanly parts torn out before she was burned alive (yet her enemies say that she should have suffered more and worse for the ruin she brought down upon the town).
Like The Nights Queen, Lady Serala was a woman of foreign birth who prayed to gods alien to Westeros, and she was hated only because she prayed to Other gods. She is accused of “enslaving” pardon the pun, others and she was killed by fire like the Others are, after horrendous violence against her body.
Let’s look at passages about The Nights Queen:
A woman was his downfall; a woman glimpsed from atop the Wall, with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her, though her skin was cold as ice, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well.
What this tells us is that a woman was not his downfall. She is not the primary motivator. There was something else. Stop blaming the woman. The man did it himself. Get with the times people. It is like the year 302 AC. Get with the program.
It is also interesting to think about whether if Lady Serala Darklyn is the Serra Illyrio has finger bones of? Could Illyrio = Lord Darklyn?
Now with that in mind, re-read my IceBrandon post or the part where Bran gives Bloodraven his corn “seed.”
It was cold here in the darkness. There was no sun, no stars, only the ground below coming up to smash him, and the grey mists, and the whispering voice. He wanted to cry.
Not cry. Fly.
“Help me,” he said.
I’m trying, the crow replied. Say, got any corn?
Bran reached into his pocket as the darkness spun dizzily around him. When he pulled his hand out, golden kernels slid from between his fingers into the air. They fell with him.
The crow landed on his hand and began to eat.
Bran just gave Bloodraven the corn “seed” to his soul
That line about the Nights King again:
“When he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well.”
Corn! Corn! Corn!
Seed! Seed! Seed!
The three sounds of the Night’s Watch horn. Other’s are coming.