- "I am no one, but she is the Mother of Dragons. She needs true protectors, now more than ever. They shall come day and night to see the wonder born into the world again. And when they see they shall lust... for dragons are fire made flesh... and fire is power."
- ―Quaithe to Jorah Mormont
Quaithe, sometimes called Quaithe of the Shadow, is a mysterious woman encountered by Jorah Mormont in Qarth. Like Melisandre, Quaithe is a shadowbinder from the fabled city of Asshai in the far east of Essos, and seems to wield magical powers of prophecy and clairvoyance.
Quaithe is present in Qarth after the arrival of Daenerys Targaryen and her khalasar. After the young Khaleesi witnesses a feat of magic performed by the warlock Pyat Pree and is taken away by Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Quaithe approaches Ser Jorah Mormont and warns him of the men that might covet Daenerys's dragons.
Following the theft of the dragons, Ser Jorah seeks out Quaithe. He finds her painting a sailor to protect him while passing across the shattered Valyrian Peninsula, where the Doom is said to still hold sway. She tells Jorah that Daenerys is with the person that stole her dragons while she is meeting with the Thirteen. During the meeting Pyat Pree reveals himself as the thief. He pronounces Xaro the King of Qarth and murders the other members of the council using his magic before repeating an invitation to visit the House of the Undying.
|Game of Thrones: Season 2 appearances|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What Is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
Behind the scenes
According to costume designer Michele Clapton, Quaithe's mask was designed to display a stylistic link to Melisandre, because both of them are from the region of Asshai. Melisandre wears an ornate neck piece featuring a repeated design motif of elongated hexagons. Quaithe's mask was constructed using the same hexagonal shapes as links, though filled in with metal. Further, the dresses of both Melisandre and Quaithe have the same hexagonal design motif (elongated so they are taller than they are wide), though the pattern on Melisandre's dress is solid red on black and more difficult to see.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Quaithe is an enigmatic shadowbinder, preferring to speak in riddles and prophecies. She hides her true features behind a dark red, lacquered mask of wood, as do many people from the Shadow Lands.
In the books, Quaithe first meets Daenerys in the Red Waste. When Daenerys's scout Jhogo returns from Qarth, Quaithe, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, and Pyat Pree accompany him to meet Daenerys, and invite her to the city. Quaithe then continues with Daenerys's group to Qarth itself. The TV series simplifies this so Daenerys simply meets Quaithe when she actually arrives at Qarth. Daenerys encounters Quaithe several more times during her stay in Qarth, during which the shadowbinder explains that magic has made an unexpected return in the weeks since the dragons' birth. Quaithe also urges Daenerys to leave Qarth as soon as possible and visit Asshai, saying cryptically: "To go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow". Daenerys is reluctant to trust her, however, recalling her unpleasant experience with Mirri Maz Duur.
When Daenerys is in Astapor, Quaithe appears in her cabin seemingly in a dream, repeats her mysterious words, then disappears.
In A Dance with Dragons, Quaithe appears once more before Daenerys, delivering another cryptic warning: "The Glass candles are burning. Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal". As the plot progresses, the items in the warning are revealed to the readers:
- The "pale mare" is another name for the fatal disease known as the bloody flux, carried to Meereen by refugees from Astapor.
- The kraken and dark flame are Victarion Greyjoy and the Red Priest Moqorro (whose role is generally taken by Kinvara), who are sailing to Meereen.
- The lion is Tyrion, who currently is at the Yunkai camp surrounding Meereen.
- The sun's son is Quentyn Martell (omitted from the show), who arrives at Meereen before Daenerys departs.
- The griffin and mummer's dragon are the presumed-dead Jon Connington and Aegon Targaryen (son of Elia Martell) (both are considered dead in the show); they first appear in the fifth novel, and do not get involved in the current events at the Slaver's Bay, but instead come to Westeros with the Golden Company. Quaithe's warning about them seems to be more long-ranged than the other items.
In the end of the fifth novel, Daenerys is wandering lost, starving, and alone in the Dothraki Sea. She slips into a restless sleep and hears Quaithe's original instructions again. She then sees Quaithe, whose mask is made of starlight, and the stars whisper in a woman's voice: "Remember who you are, Daenerys. The dragons know. Do you?".