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Finger Lickin' Rickon


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#1 rosiemags

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 07:48 AM

I just started a re-read of the series and caught something interesting in GoT. After Shaggydog attacks Maester Luwin in the crypts, Rickon pets the wolf's bloody muzzle and then licks his fingers.
Prior to noticing this, I felt that we had so little info about Rickon that there was no way to predict what he might be like or what his role might be in the future. I was not necessarily a subscriber to the Rickon Stark, cannibal prince and slayer of unicorns theory.
But, it seems to me that having Rickon licking someone else's blood, having Shaggydog go "rogue" (rather than following the typical Stark direwolf protocol of only attacking those who mean to harm a Stark) and all the Skagos cannibal rumors, GRRM is setting us up for a pretty dark version of little Rickon.
Of course it wouldn't be the first time he set us up to believe something, only to write the complete opposite!
Anyone else find textural evidence for Rickon's future role? Or a similar case of foreshadowing that you only noticed in a re-read?

#2 jeyneofthed'Ubervilles

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 12:22 PM

I was just reading the Wikipedia article on psychopathy.  Now I really want to stress that while being a psychopath is widely seen as a mental handicap in the modern world, It is also a superpower in some ways, especially if you live in a world where the climate is conducive to the ways of the psychopath.  One could argue that Bronn, Tywin, Littlefinger, Varys and Euron all have psychopathic tendencies.  Even the most casual observer would notice that this is a list of people who thrive in Westeros.

 

So I believe that Rickon is and will continue to be a psychopath in the best possible sense of the word.  According to Wikipedia, psychopathy is correlated with the following things.  being physically neglected, low involvement of the father with the boy and coming from a disrupted family.  Check, check and check.  

 

Here's an example of how the ideal personality can differ from one world to another.  Psychopaths are prone to violence with poor impulse control and no empathy for their enemies. In a 21st century bar room this is an recipe for trouble, but on a medieval battlefield it's otherwise.  As Brienne learned from her master at arms, at the moment of truth, you don't want a voice in the back of your head pleading the humanity of your foeman.

 

I also believe that Jon and Sansa will serve to check Rickon's worst psychopathic tendencies.  It's funny that they were never close, given that they have the biggest hearts.  Sansa in particular has shown a facility for dealing with punk-ass brats.



#3 Lost Melnibonean

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 12:37 PM

I just started a re-read of the series and caught something interesting in GoT. After Shaggydog attacks Maester Luwin in the crypts, Rickon pets the wolf's bloody muzzle and then licks his fingers.
Prior to noticing this, I felt that we had so little info about Rickon that there was no way to predict what he might be like or what his role might be in the future. I was not necessarily a subscriber to the Rickon Stark, cannibal prince and slayer of unicorns theory.
But, it seems to me that having Rickon licking someone else's blood, having Shaggydog go "rogue" (rather than following the typical Stark direwolf protocol of only attacking those who mean to harm a Stark) and all the Skagos cannibal rumors, GRRM is setting us up for a pretty dark version of little Rickon.
Of course it wouldn't be the first time he set us up to believe something, only to write the complete opposite!
Anyone else find textural evidence for Rickon's future role? Or a similar case of foreshadowing that you only noticed in a re-read?

Wow! I never noticed that before. Could you quote the passage please?

#4 Torrence Jayne

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 12:50 PM

Yeah, cool find!

Kind of a creepy detail to add about a kid if it's not meant to act as foreshadowing. The Skagosi are aligned with the Starks. I don't think it's far-fetched to think that Rickon could rally Skagos to whatever cause Rickon chooses to support. Considering that Davos is on his way/at Skagos, I'd assume Rickon will join forces with Stannis and reclaim the North. 

 

I like the idea that Sansa becomes the political mastermind of the North, Arya acts as her bodyguard/hitman, and Rickon's a wild young cannibal. And Sansa keeps lil Rick in line. 



#5 Dead Wolf

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 12:55 PM

This is a result of Rickon being a young, un taught warg, who was abandoned by his family. Rickon is not a cannibal, the bond between a warg and their wolf works both ways, so Shaggydog gets Rickon's anger and Rickon inherits wolfish characteristics

#6 RainGhost

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 12:57 PM

We know Rickon is a warg. I think this is a hint that Shaggydog has had more influence on Rickon than Rickon has had on Shaggydog and perhaps even a clue that he's already warged by this point. In a way I think it was necessary because he had to toughen up given everything that happened. Shaggydog basically raised him because everyone else abandoned him. But since then he'll have had one-on-one attention from Osha, which may help 'humanise' him a bit more. I see Rickon as being like the really old Kings of Winter, harsh and fierce and very wolfish.



#7 CJ McLannister

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:00 PM

He might also be warging without understanding what's happening.  We know Bran tastes blood when he has wolf-dreams.  As a toddler, it's possible Rickon doesn't know that he's a wolf in those dreams.  Or that he doesn't know he's not a wolf when he wakes.



#8 Lost Melnibonean

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:36 PM

Here's the quote...

Rickon patted Shaggydog's muzzle, damp with blood. "I let him loose. He doesn't like chains." He licked at his fingers.

Bran VII, Game

Awesome catch!

#9 theriveryeti

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:38 PM

Yeah, cool find!

Kind of a creepy detail to add about a kid if it's not meant to act as foreshadowing. The Skagosi are aligned with the Starks. I don't think it's far-fetched to think that Rickon could rally Skagos to whatever cause Rickon chooses to support. Considering that Davos is on his way/at Skagos, I'd assume Rickon will join forces with Stannis and reclaim the North. 

 

I like the idea that Sansa becomes the political mastermind of the North, Arya acts as her bodyguard/hitman, and Rickon's a wild young cannibal. And Sansa keeps lil Rick in line. 

I think your happy ending may be less likely than the Faceless Men being aliens.



#10 Dorian Martell

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:12 PM

Rickon the cannibal King has a nice ring to it



#11 Ser Not Appearing

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:14 PM

I'd think it's less that he's independently a psychopath and more a result of the bond/blurred line with warging... which may end up at the same spot in some ways. He'll be wild for sure.

#12 Pod The Impaler

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:28 PM

I don't think Rickon is a psychopath. Remember that while psychopaths do have poor impulse control, so do normal children of his age. Children typically listen to their wants and do not understand their needs; they haven't learned discipline and when frustrated they tend to lash out. 

 

What we've seen from Rickon so far is not out of line with a 3-5 year old boy. But yeah, despite having Osha as a surrogate parent, he's going to have some pretty serious abandonment issues, and his direwolf connection makes his tantrums a hard thing to manage.

 

 

Rickon the cannibal King has a nice ring to it

 

 

Frey Pies for a growing boy - nutritious and delicious !


Edited by Pod The Impaler, 25 July 2014 - 02:28 PM.


#13 Dead Wolf

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:30 PM

 
 

 
 
Frey Pies for a growing boy - nutritious and delicious !

you know there are FREYS in Frey pie, right? That's the opposite of nutritious and delicious

#14 Chebyshov

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:33 PM

Rickon's just a little feral child. Plenty of kids lick their wounds, even if it's gross. I don't think his licking the blood off his fingers is too far away from that. Hopefully Osha will be enough of a stable influence that he won't go totally nuts



#15 The Bedding

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 03:21 PM

Interesting. Osha was probably Rickon's Thanksgiving dinner.

#16 Apple Martini

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 03:21 PM

I agree that I don't think Rickon is actually a psychopath, so much as a scared, unstable, almost feral little boy who's had just about his entire support system, including his parents, siblings, home and other guardians like Luwin, snatched out from under him before he was really able to comprehend what was going on. Whether Rickon is affecting Shaggy or Shaggy is affecting Rickon, both make sense: a wolf's personality may be able to bleed more into a young child's mind, while on the flipside, Shaggy may just be embodying Rickon's own anger, confusion and defensiveness. I'm not sure either case is proof of psychopathy.

 

I actually think the blood-licking thing may be evidence, as someone else said, that Rickon is already warging Shaggydog at the time they're in the crypts, even if he doesn't know it. If Shaggy is hunting and killing (i.e. eating/licking up blood), Rickon will have experienced this in dreams even if he doesn't understand that. If the lines are blurred between reality and a warg dream, it makes sense that Rickon in human form might start to cross boundaries when it comes to something like the blood-licking on his fingers. I guess it could be a clue pointing to cannibalism, but I don't think it's necessary (full disclosure: I think Skagos's cannibalism is overblown, if not an outright false rumor).

 

If Rickon is already unconsciously warging Shaggy, that plus the dream he had of Ned in the tomb could be taken as evidence that he has a broad amount of raw talent/ability. Maybe not quite at Bran's level (I don't think he's a greenseer), but it suggests a bit more skill than the others have demonstrated so far. It could also be a case that it's because Rickon lacks security that he's become more attached to Shaggy and wolf-like; the wolf and the warging offer him an outlet and a sense of power and agency that he doesn't have in his human situation.


Edited by Apple Martini, 25 July 2014 - 03:26 PM.


#17 aryagonnakill#2

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 04:21 PM

Or Shaggydog was licking Rickons fingers...



#18 Lost Melnibonean

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 04:36 PM

Or Shaggydog was licking Rickons fingers...

That's not the way it's written but it is implied since we'd expect Bran and or Luwin to be more concerned if Rickon were lapping up Luwin's blood off Shaggydog's muzzle.

#19 Lost Melnibonean

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 04:37 PM

Oops...

Edited by Lost Melnibonean, 25 July 2014 - 04:37 PM.


#20 Ser Duncan the Small

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 04:55 PM

Rickon is but a child, and without the understanding of his warging like Bran has he may be becoming too much Shaggy Dog. Remember Bran is warned about this by Jojen and it's alluded to in a few ways that wargs can be more beast than man. I personally can't wait to see how being alone with Osha and her wildling knowledge of it all plays into it. Maybe she teaches him whatever she knows about it, however much it may be, and he somewhat masters his craft. I have no clue how Rickon will end up, Maybe he reunites with his family but no real emotion is shown because he has been shown indifference his whole life. He's so not at the center of the story and easy to forget that he will probably rise up later as a key character and his whole time not being attended too will become a huge part of who he is.