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Ned's ToJ Dream: More Than We Thought?


113 replies to this topic

#1 J. Stargaryen

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:04 PM

He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood. - AGoT, Eddard X (ToJ)

 

She dreamt an old dream, of three girls in brown cloaks, a wattled crone, and a tent that smelled of death. - AFfC, Cersei VIII

 

---

 

In the dream his friends rode with him, as they had in life. Proud Martyn Cassel, Jory’s father; faithful Theo Wull; Ethan Glover, who had been Brandon’s squire; Ser Mark Ryswell, soft of speech and gentle of heart; the crannogman, Howland Reed; Lord Dustin on his great red stallion. Ned had known their faces as well as he knew his own once, but the years leech at a man’s memories, even those he has vowed never to forget. [...]
They were seven, facing three. In the dream as it had been in life. - Ned

 

They were three in the dream, as they had been in life. Fat Jeyne Farman hung back as she always did. It was a wonder she had come this far. Melara Hetherspoon was bolder, older, and prettier, in a freckly sort of way. - Cersei

 

---

 

In the dream they were only shadows, grey wraiths on horses made of mist. - Ned

 

In the dream the pavilions were shadowed, and the knights and serving men they passed were made of mist. - Cersei

 

---

 

A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death. - Ned

 

But in the dream her face dissolved, melting away into ribbons of grey mist until all that remained were two squinting yellow eyes, the eyes of death. - Cersei

 

---

 

Two more pieces that stood out to me from that Cersei chapter, though they don't seem to have any direct counterparts to Ned's dream:

 

 

In the dim green tent, the blood seemed more black than red. Maggy’s toothless mouth trembled at the sight of it. “Here,” she whispered, “give it here.” When Cersei offered her hand, she sucked away the blood with gums as soft as a newborn babe’s. The queen could still remember how queer and cold her mouth had been.

 

You stupid girl, the queen thought, angry even now. Jaime does not even know you are alive. Back then her brother lived only for swords and dogs and horses... and for her, his twin.

 

 

The newborn babe reference from the first paragraph is obvious enough, but swords, dogs and horses – does anybody remember where that parallel can be found? It's a Last Hero reference.

 

“He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions.”

[...]
“One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it.”

- AGoT, Bran IV (Old Nan's tale of the Last Hero)

 

---

 

The linguistic similarities between these two dreams are undeniable. But why? What is GRRM trying to tell us? It took me a while to figure it out, but I think I did.

 

The trick was to view Cersei's dream as the template. This is a counter intuitive idea, since we read about Ned's ToJ dream in the first book. But once you do this the next step is to ask what was going on in her dream?

 

Cersei was dreaming of a prophecy told to her by Maggy the Frog, who is described as a woods witch in Cersei I. This was my Aha! moment, because the series contains at least one other known woods witch prophecy.

 

“Your [Dany's] grandsire commanded it. A woods witch had told him that the prince was promised would be born of their line.”

- Ser Barristan from: ADwD, Daenerys IV

 

So, my conclusion is that Ned's ToJ dream is more than we thought it was. Not only does it convey to us information about Jon's parentage and legitimacy – though let's not argue about that here – it's a dream about the time in which Ned's life became intertwined with the prophecy of the Prince that was Promised.

 

Now, many have already connected Promise me, Ned to tPtwP prophecy, so that's nothing new. The addition here, is that the events at the ToJ are tangled up in prophecy, and that's what GRRM was trying to tell us with the linguistic similarities he used in both dreams.

 

I'll leave you with the final lines of Ned's ToJ dream:

“I promise,” he whispered. “Lya, I promise…"

 

---

 

Special thanks to butterbumps!, Lady Gywn, and Ygrain for their assistance.



#2 Lyse Stark

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:15 PM

Interesting notion. I think when Ned kept Lyanna's promise to protect Jon and conceal him, it fulfilled the PTWP prophecy in that Jon was a King that was concealed because of a promise.

#3 BranBrokeLegs

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 09:41 PM

Meh, I think its much more likely that the similarity arises from the fact that they were written by the same author.  There are a few times when GRRM characterizes things similarly.  Its kind of inevitable when you have someone writing several thousand pages of prose over 20 plus years.

 

I wouldn't read more into it than that.



#4 Schmendrick

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:04 PM

The parallel wording between the two dreams is an outstanding catch.  It reminds me of some similar parallel wording between Bran's last chapter in ADwD and Dany's HotU chapter (which I find maddening ... what does it mean, George??!!??1111).

 

A few thoughts:

 

-- If you're in the camp that thinks Cersei killed Melara (I am) then both Ned and Cersei came away from the event they dream about with a "dark secret" that shames them.  They both come away with a secret about their children too (Cersei knows when her children will supposedly die and Ned's secret is that Jon isn't his child).

 

-- Cersei is haunted by the thought of the prophesied Valonqar -- the "little brother."  Ned is haunted by the thought of the promise he made regarding another "little brother" (Jon is the youngest of Rhaegar's three children).  Que Jon is the Valonqar crackpottery (considering he can lift a man off the ground with only one hand when he's angry, Cersei is doomed if he uses two :P).

 

-- The yellow eyes/blue eyes of death thing is really interesting.  Not sure what to make of it.  Some/most of the Direwolves have yellow eyes (not Ghost, obviously).  Not sure if that means anything.  The "black mongrel bitch" that fights with Ghost over some food in AGoT, Jon I also has yellow eyes.  I'll need to think some more about this one ....   


Edited by Schmendrick, 12 January 2014 - 10:09 PM.


#5 Lyse Stark

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:07 PM

Meh, I think its much more likely that the similarity arises from the fact that they were written by the same author.  There are a few times when GRRM characterizes things similarly.  Its kind of inevitable when you have someone writing several thousand pages of prose over 20 plus years.
 
I wouldn't read more into it than that.


Stop whining and maybe you should be less closed-minded. What the OP was trying to point out is that the Tower of Joy is connected with prophecy.

Promise me, Ned.


And the common thread that runs through both Cersei and Ned's dreams is that a woods witch gave the prophecy in both cases.

For Cersei, it was the prophecy that she would marry a king, bear three bastard children, outlive them and then be strangled by the Valonquar.

For Ned's dreams, a woods witch predicted that the PTWP will come from Aerys and Rhaella's line. And that the PTWP was Jon Snow.

#6 J. Stargaryen

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:11 PM

Meh, I think its much more likely that the similarity arises from the fact that they were written by the same author.  There are a few times when GRRM characterizes things similarly.  Its kind of inevitable when you have someone writing several thousand pages of prose over 20 plus years.

 

I wouldn't read more into it than that.

 

Come on dude. If you believe this level of repetition between two specific chapters is coincidental, I have a bridge for sale that I'd like you to take a look at. We're not talking about the occasional repetition of certain phrases; e.g., "...or near enough as makes no matter," etc.

 

Btw, I went through and looked at other dreams in the series to verify that this wasn't a false-positive, but there were none that had this level of similarity. GRRM did this for a reason. Ned wasn't just dreaming.

 

I'm not claiming to have stumbled upon some groundbreaking concept here. TPtwP has already been connected to Promise me, Ned. The OP just shows that there is even more evidence connecting Jon to the prophecy.

 

 

The parallel wording between the two dreams is an outstanding catch.  It reminds me of some similar parallel wording between Bran's last chapter in ADwD and Dany's HotU chapter (which I find maddening ... what does it mean, George??!!??1111).

 

A few thoughts:

 

-- If you're in the camp that thinks Cersei killed Melara (I am) then both Ned and Cersei came away from the event they dream about with a "dark secret" that shames them.  They both come away with a secret about their children too (Cersei knows when her children will supposedly die and Ned's secret is that Jon isn't his child).

 

-- Cersei is haunted by the thought of the prophesied Valonqar -- the "little brother."  Ned is haunted by the thought of the promise he made regarding another "little brother" (Jon is the youngest of Rhaegar's three children).  Que Jon is the Valonqar crackpottery (considering he can lift a man off the ground with only one hand when he's angry, Cersei is doomed if he uses two :P).

 

-- The yellow eyes/blue eyes of death thing is really interesting.  Not sure what to make of it.  Some/most of the Direwolves have yellow eyes (not Ghost, obviously).  Not sure if that means anything.  The "black mongrel bitch" that fights with Ghost over some food in AGoT, Jon I also has yellow eyes.  I'll need to think some more about this one ....   

 

Yes! These are all very good points.



#7 shk12344

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:12 PM

Brilliant as usual, J. Stargaryen!!!



#8 J. Stargaryen

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:16 PM

Stop whining and maybe you should be less closed-minded. What the OP was trying to point out is that the Tower of Joy is connected with prophecy.

And the common thread that runs through both Cersei and Ned's dreams is that a woods witch gave the prophecy in both cases.

For Cersei, it was the prophecy that she would marry a king, bear three bastard children, outlive them and then be strangled by the Valonquar.

For Ned's dreams, a woods witch predicted that the PTWP will come from Aerys and Rhaella's line. And that the PTWP was Jon Snow.

 

Basically this.

 

Brilliant as usual, J. Stargaryen!!!

 

Thank you! :)



#9 Lyse Stark

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:20 PM

And that I think about it, Cersei may or may not realize that Jon is the true heir to the IT. I would love to see the look on her face when she realizes that Ned has outmaneuvered her by keeping Jon's true nature a secret, and that when the time come for Jon to seize the throne from her, we know what she will do to hollow the victory out for Jon: Burn the Red Keep and KL with thousands of innocents sealed in.

#10 Skoboe

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:33 PM

Stop whining and maybe you should be less closed-minded.

 

umm...but just about every post you make, you talk about certain theories and suppositions as if they are immutable facts; your thoughts on Jon being heir to the IT on this page, for example.

 

Until GRRM puts it on the record by finishing these books, nothing is fact. It is only theoretical, and maybe YOU should be less dismissive of peoples ideas that don't align with yours.



#11 Ser Greg of House House

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:40 PM

Wow. I'm going to sleep, I'll have to read it tomorrow. But the first quote is really really impressive. A structuralist would surely say they're the exact same thing.



#12 Prince of the North

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:51 PM

Great catch on the parallel between those two dreams, J. Stargaryen!  I don't believe it's simply coinicidental ;)



#13 Lyse Stark

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:53 PM

umm...but just about every post you make, you talk about certain theories and suppositions as if they are immutable facts; your thoughts on Jon being heir to the IT on this page, for example.
 
Until GRRM puts it on the record by finishing these books, nothing is fact. It is only theoretical, and maybe YOU should be less dismissive of peoples ideas that don't align with yours.


I am pointing out to BranBrokeLegs that he should be paying close attention to the similiarities, and he was whining that they mean nothing to him. I thus explained the similiarities in my next post; that both Cersei and Jon's lives has been defined by prophecies uttered by a woods witch.

#14 Aerys Ahai Reborn

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 11:09 PM

:bowdown:



#15 Eira Seren

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 11:12 PM

I'm interested in the Jaime Lannister/ Last Hero similarities.



#16 Lyse Stark

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 11:48 PM

Now that I think about it, Aerys II and Cersei's prophecies turned out badly for both of them. And they both were driven to madness because of the prophecies they were given.

Aerys possibly had a dragon dream that a dragon would be born out of the destruction of his House, and he misinterpreted it to be himself when in reality it means Jon.

#17 J. Stargaryen

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:00 AM

He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood. - AGoT, Eddard X (ToJ)

 

She dreamt an old dream, of three girls in brown cloaks, a wattled crone, and a tent that smelled of death. - AFfC, Cersei VIII

 

Taking a closer look at the first pair of quotes, I noticed what might be another "coincidence." ;)

 

Let me break it down:

 

He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood.

 

She dreamt an old dream, of three girls in brown cloaks, a wattled crone, and a tent that smelled of death.

 

The sentences start off the same, but the last two parts appear to be inverted to me. In Ned's dream the lodging was a tower, in Cersei's it was a tent. In the latter it "smelled of death." I'm sure most of you will recall that in Ned's first chapter he describes Lyanna's room in the ToJ as having a certain scent:

“I was with her when she died,” Ned reminded the king. “She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father.” He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned.
- AGoT, Eddard I

 

There is even a connection between Lyanna and the crone. The former being a new mother. So right there we have 2/3 of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone goddess trinity. We don't even have to look very far for the maidens either: "three girls in brown cloaks." Cersei says she was ten when she visited Maggy.

 

Worth noting is that the MM&C trinity is tied to the moon in paganism. I'm going to stop there though, for now. :)



#18 WeirwoodTreeHugger

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:19 AM

I don't have much to add right now, but great catch!



#19 WeirwoodTreeHugger

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:26 AM

I'm interested in the Jaime Lannister/ Last Hero similarities.

It's interesting because there are parallels between Jaime and Bran and a lot of people think Bran is a good candidate for Last Hero part 2.

 

They both idealize knights and the Kingsguard at first.

They both have injuries that cause them to lose their previous identity as a swordsman and a climber.

Those injuries allow them to become better people a greenseer and a redeemed (possible) hero.

I also think future weirnet Bran might have given Jaime the dream that caused him to go back for Brienne.  An action that could end up getting Oathkeeper/Ice where it needs to go.

 

Sort of getting off topic here, but your post prompted it.



#20 Apple Martini

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:28 AM

I think it's a great catch to note the language parallel structure going on. As for what it means, I feel like you're probably on the cusp with the prophecy thing, but it might just be a little too obscure to really "fit" now. I think it might rely on just a tad too much layer-peeling (to find the parallel at all and then to figure out the link and project that onto the ToJ scene takes a lot of steps), but I think there's a "there" there, yeah. The first bit you quoted, with the "old dream" and the "three," pretty much has to be intentional. I'm just still iffy on what it means, really.