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[[File:Shireen-3x06.jpg|thumb|Shireen Baratheon, disfigured by greyscale]]'''Greyscale''' is a dreaded and usually fatal disease that can leave flesh stiff and dead, and the skin cracked and flaking, mottled black and grey and stone-like to the touch. Those that manage to survive a bout with the illness will be immune from ever contracting it again, but the flesh killed by the ravages of the disease will never heal, and they will literally be scarred for life.
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[[File:Shireen-3x06.jpg|thumb|Shireen Baratheon, disfigured by greyscale]]
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'''Greyscale''' is a dreaded and usually fatal disease that can leave flesh stiff and dead, and the skin cracked and flaking, mottled black and grey, and stone-like to the touch. Those that manage to survive a bout with the illness will be immune from ever contracting it again, but the flesh damaged by the ravages of the disease will never heal, and they will be scarred for life.
   
 
Princess [[Shireen Baratheon]] caught greyscale as an infant and survived, but the ordeal left half of her face disfigured by the disease.
 
Princess [[Shireen Baratheon]] caught greyscale as an infant and survived, but the ordeal left half of her face disfigured by the disease.
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==History==
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===[[Season 5]]===
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[[Gilly]] asks [[Shireen Baratheon]] what the disease is called that scarred half of her face, and Shireen explains that it is called "greyscale" and that she caught it as a baby but was cured before it could kill her. Gilly explains that she didn't know what its name was, but that two of [[Craster's wives|her sisters]] had it and they both died. They were quarantined off from the other girls, but by the end their skin was completely covered in it, and they were no longer coherent but were acting like animals. At that point [[Craster]] dragged them out into the woods by a rope (so he wouldn't directly touch them), where he apparently mercy-killed and possibly burned them.<ref>"[[The House of Black and White]]"</ref>
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==Behind the scenes==
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According to [[Kerry Ingram]] (who plays Shireen), originally it took about three hours to apply the full Greyscale scarring makeup to the left side of her face, and about another two and a half hours to take it off.<ref>[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moELjb5mMdU&feature=youtu.be&t=9m10s ]</ref> By Season 5, the makeup team managed to get the application time down to two hours.<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfphUbrQNjs&feature=youtu.be ]</ref>
   
 
== In the books ==
 
== In the books ==
   
In the ''[[A Song of Ice and Fire]]'' novels, greyscale generally affects children, especially in cold damp climates. The victims are disfigured but could not be touched by the rarer mortal form of the affliction or the grey plague. The [[wildlings]] consider people who survive greyscale unclean.
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In the ''[[A Song of Ice and Fire]]'' novels, greyscale generally affects children, especially in cold damp climates. The disease is encountered across both [[Westeros]] and [[Essos]], even in the isolated lands [[Beyond the Wall]]. The victims are left disfigured but become immune to the grey plague, the rarer mortal form of the affliction. Greyscale is considered a death sentence if contracted as an adult, though children have a slightly better chance of surviving it. The symptoms can be stayed by limes, mustard poultices, and hot baths, though this is just delaying the inevitable. Greyscale kills very slowly, leaving its victims to suffer as their flesh deteriorates. Adults infected with greyscale can live a year or two, sometimes five, and it is not unknown for a few to live another ten years, but it always kills them in the end. In its very final stages, the disease turns inward, causing the flesh of muscles and organs to harden and die just like the skin in the outer tissue layers. It is also believed that cutting off any infected appendages can prevent it spreading throughout the body, though this treatment isn't always effective.
   
Greyscale isn't the same thing as leprosy, as the effects are quite different. Still, the greyscale disease is dreaded in [[Westeros]] and [[Essos]] much as leprosy was in the real-life Middle Ages. A large area around the ruins of [[Chroyane]] in the [[Free Cities]] is even used as a large-scale colony for those who have contracted greyscale.
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Rarely, children infected with greyscale can fight off the infection, though they are still left disfigured. It is feared that the disease still lies dormant in such children, though maesters insist that they are not infectious (i.e. Shireen's father Stannis, Davos, and the rest of their household do not fear that they can catch greyscale from her, but this is still a common superstition about people who survived greyscale). The [[Free Folk|wildlings]] still consider people who survive greyscale "unclean", and will euthanize any child that shows the symptoms. The wildlings call the disease the "grey death".
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A large area around the ruins of [[Chroyane]], north of [[Volantis]], in the [[Essos]] is even used as a large-scale colony for "Stone men", the name for those infected with greyscale. There are also vague rumors of men living in the shattered remains of the [[Valyrian Peninsula]], in the ruins of [[Oros]], [[Tyria]], and [[Old Valyria]] itself - who might, similarly, be stone men pushed to live on the abandoned fringes of civilization - but these rumors are unconfirmed in the novels.
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Greyscale has no direct real-life equivalent. It is somewhat similar to leprosy in that it tends to disfigure those infected with it, and in how society fears people with greyscale as "unclean". Unlike leprosy, some people occasionally manage to fight off greyscale, though their disfigurements never heal. In this respect, greyscale is loosely also similar to smallpox: people who contracted smallpox could recover from it, but they might be left with permanent and severe scarring.
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While Shireen Baratheon was introduced in Season 3, no direct explanation was provided for the cause of her disfigurement in on-screen dialogue - meaning that it wasn't entirely confirmed that the disease was also called "Greyscale" in the TV continuity. It was only first mentioned by name in the updated HBO Viewer's Guide for Season 4, confirming the name.<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season-3/episode-10/people/135/shireen-baratheon ]</ref> It was finally identified by name in Season 5 episode 2 "[[The House of Black and White]]" when Shireen and [[Gilly]] discuss it. Gilly said she didn't know what the disease was called north of the Wall, though that is probably due to her limited contact with other wildlings outside of [[Craster's Keep]]. There was no mention in the novels that two of [[Craster's wives|her sisters]] died from greyscale, though this easily could have happened.
   
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
* [http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Greyscale Greyscale at A Wiki of Ice and Fire] (spoilers from the books)
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* {{AWOIAF}} (spoilers from the books)
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==References==
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{{Reflist}}
 
[[Category:Medicine]]
 
[[Category:Medicine]]
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[[Category:Diseases]]

Latest revision as of 17:38, April 24, 2015

Shireen-3x06

Shireen Baratheon, disfigured by greyscale

Greyscale is a dreaded and usually fatal disease that can leave flesh stiff and dead, and the skin cracked and flaking, mottled black and grey, and stone-like to the touch. Those that manage to survive a bout with the illness will be immune from ever contracting it again, but the flesh damaged by the ravages of the disease will never heal, and they will be scarred for life.

Princess Shireen Baratheon caught greyscale as an infant and survived, but the ordeal left half of her face disfigured by the disease.

HistoryEdit

Season 5Edit

Gilly asks Shireen Baratheon what the disease is called that scarred half of her face, and Shireen explains that it is called "greyscale" and that she caught it as a baby but was cured before it could kill her. Gilly explains that she didn't know what its name was, but that two of her sisters had it and they both died. They were quarantined off from the other girls, but by the end their skin was completely covered in it, and they were no longer coherent but were acting like animals. At that point Craster dragged them out into the woods by a rope (so he wouldn't directly touch them), where he apparently mercy-killed and possibly burned them.[1]

Behind the scenesEdit

According to Kerry Ingram (who plays Shireen), originally it took about three hours to apply the full Greyscale scarring makeup to the left side of her face, and about another two and a half hours to take it off.[2] By Season 5, the makeup team managed to get the application time down to two hours.[3]

In the books Edit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, greyscale generally affects children, especially in cold damp climates. The disease is encountered across both Westeros and Essos, even in the isolated lands Beyond the Wall. The victims are left disfigured but become immune to the grey plague, the rarer mortal form of the affliction. Greyscale is considered a death sentence if contracted as an adult, though children have a slightly better chance of surviving it. The symptoms can be stayed by limes, mustard poultices, and hot baths, though this is just delaying the inevitable. Greyscale kills very slowly, leaving its victims to suffer as their flesh deteriorates. Adults infected with greyscale can live a year or two, sometimes five, and it is not unknown for a few to live another ten years, but it always kills them in the end. In its very final stages, the disease turns inward, causing the flesh of muscles and organs to harden and die just like the skin in the outer tissue layers. It is also believed that cutting off any infected appendages can prevent it spreading throughout the body, though this treatment isn't always effective.

Rarely, children infected with greyscale can fight off the infection, though they are still left disfigured. It is feared that the disease still lies dormant in such children, though maesters insist that they are not infectious (i.e. Shireen's father Stannis, Davos, and the rest of their household do not fear that they can catch greyscale from her, but this is still a common superstition about people who survived greyscale). The wildlings still consider people who survive greyscale "unclean", and will euthanize any child that shows the symptoms. The wildlings call the disease the "grey death".

A large area around the ruins of Chroyane, north of Volantis, in the Essos is even used as a large-scale colony for "Stone men", the name for those infected with greyscale. There are also vague rumors of men living in the shattered remains of the Valyrian Peninsula, in the ruins of Oros, Tyria, and Old Valyria itself - who might, similarly, be stone men pushed to live on the abandoned fringes of civilization - but these rumors are unconfirmed in the novels.

Greyscale has no direct real-life equivalent. It is somewhat similar to leprosy in that it tends to disfigure those infected with it, and in how society fears people with greyscale as "unclean". Unlike leprosy, some people occasionally manage to fight off greyscale, though their disfigurements never heal. In this respect, greyscale is loosely also similar to smallpox: people who contracted smallpox could recover from it, but they might be left with permanent and severe scarring.

While Shireen Baratheon was introduced in Season 3, no direct explanation was provided for the cause of her disfigurement in on-screen dialogue - meaning that it wasn't entirely confirmed that the disease was also called "Greyscale" in the TV continuity. It was only first mentioned by name in the updated HBO Viewer's Guide for Season 4, confirming the name.[4] It was finally identified by name in Season 5 episode 2 "The House of Black and White" when Shireen and Gilly discuss it. Gilly said she didn't know what the disease was called north of the Wall, though that is probably due to her limited contact with other wildlings outside of Craster's Keep. There was no mention in the novels that two of her sisters died from greyscale, though this easily could have happened.

See also Edit

ReferencesEdit

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