In the latest episode of “Game of Thrones,” Stormborn, Samwell Tarly started treating Jorah Mormont’s greyscale. The scene probably became one of the grossest yet in the show’s history and it even transitioned to someone eating soup.

What is greyscale?

Greyscale, sometimes called Prince Garin’s curse, is a dreaded disease in the world of “Game of Thrones.” The disease begins as a rash, then it stiffens, calcifies and cracks and leaves the skin dead, cracked, flaking and resembling scales. Greyscale dulls the body’s sensation, it creeps over the entire skin, and then it takes over the body’s organs.

When the disease reaches the brain, the victim succumbs to madness, and are called the ‘Stone Men’.

The disease originated in Chroyane when Prince Garin went to war against Volantis and Valyria in the Second Spice War. The Rhoynar were defeated and the prince was captured and hung in a cage as he watched his city and his people were enslaved. Prince Garin asked the God Mother Rhoyne for vengeance. Thick fog and foul odor rose from the river Rhoyne and annihilated the Valyrians, they began to die of what is now known as greyscale.

The disease is more dominant in the Free Cities, but there are still cases of greyscale in Essos, Westeros and Beyond the Wall. The old city of Valyria is now habited by the Stone Men after being exiled when they contracted the disease.

The disease is highly contagious, it can be transmitted even with the faintest touch.

In the show and the books

In Season 5 of “Game of Thrones,” Shireen Baratheon and Gilly discussed greyscale. Shireen said that she was infected with the disease through a doll that she received from Dorne. Her father, Stannis, brought different healers and maesters to cure Shireen, the same things he did in the books.

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Not mentioned in the book are Gilly’s sisters. Gilly mentioned that two of her sisters were infected with the disease, though she didn’t know what it was back then. She said that it spread throughout their bodies and they behaved like animals.

Jorah got infected with greyscale while passing through Valyria, to bring Tyrion Lannister to Daenerys Targaryen as a gift.

While passing through the city, some Stone Men attacked their boat and while they survived, Jorah was touched by one of the Stone Men.

In Season 6, he told Daario Naharis and Daenerys of his condition. Daenerys commanded him to find the cure and return to her. Though in the books, it was not Jorah that got infected, it was Jon Connington, one of Tyrion’s companions.

Cures and treatments

There are no known cures for greyscale, but the masters at the Citadel believe in 3 options: axe, sword or cleaver.Though Shireen was cured of the disease, it left a scaly mark on the left side of her face. The maesters and healers that cured her did not know what specific method cured her.

Contracting the disease is an instant death sentence but children have higher chances of surviving, like Shireen.

Some victims cut off the affected body parts to stop it from spreading, but it is not always effective.

According to Sam’s research at the Citadel, the spread of greyscale can be stopped by peeling of the greyscale and applying a special ointment onto the victim’s raw flesh. The catch of this treatment, the master who discovered this also died of greyscale, but that didn’t stop Sam from trying the treatment.

According to Telegraph, some fans of the show discovered a possible cure. Fans zoomed in on the book Sam was reading, it was describing a mysterious volcanic glass that can be found in Dragonstone. In powder form, it also used as a cure for various illnesses.