This weekend, George R.R. Martin hit pause on his seemingly endless quest to finish book six in the seemingly endless "A Song of Ice and Fire" saga to appear as the guest of honor at Balticon 50. The science-fiction and fantasy convention held in Baltimore dangled these GRRM-related goods and services:
- An exclusive four-course dinner with GRRM called the "Feast of Ice and Fire" that featured "offerings from the 7 Kingdoms of Westeros" and the prospect of taking home a swag bag containing a "neck wallet badge holder," among other items
- Multiple interviews, autograph sessions, and panel discussions, wherein GRRM confirmed that Brienne of Tarth is a descendant of Ser Duncan the Tall, the hedge-knight protagonist of the "Dunk and Egg" prequel-ish novellas
- A reading by GRRM
For that last one, Martin took the stage at Balticon a few hours before Sunday night's episode of Game of Thrones aired and read a new excerpt from the long-awaited The Winds of Winter -- a chapter told from Aeron "the Damphair" Greyjoy's point of view that, by all accounts, hammered home the already obvious: that Euron Greyjoy is not a nice human being.
While the Euron in the books and the Euron on the show aren't exactly comparable, they do share a deranged swagger and, more importantly, command over a sizable fleet. Why am I bringing all of this up, even though zero Ironborn appeared in "Blood of My Blood"? Because those ships were indirectly name-checked during a conversation between Daenerys and Daario:
Daenerys: "How many ships will I need to bring my khalasar over to Westeros?"
Daario: "The Dothraki and all their horses, the Unsullied, and the Second Sons? One thousand ships, easy. Probably more."
Daenerys: "And who has that many?"
Daario: "No one."
Daenerys: "Nobody yet."
You'll recall that, just last week, after nearly drowning in that super-fun Ironborn ritual where the kingsmoot winner gets purposely held underwater until he drowns, and after spotting Theon and Yara slinking away with his best war vessels, Euron specifically ordered his new subjects to build him precisely 1,000 ships. How convenient!
Except that it's more complicated than that.