Some thoughts on the salt/smoke issue:
If someone had a vision long ago and saw "salt and smoke" when AA is reborn, then perhaps the point is the colors, not the substances themselves, especially given that GRRM uses the word "smoke" as a color on several different occasions throughout ASOIAF and the prequel novellas. Salt is white, smoke is grey. This could refer to a child born of the House of Stark---the colors of "smoke and salt" have been their colors for thousands and thousands of years. (And while multiple Westerosi Houses can and do have the same colors---the Baratheons and the Greyjoys, for example---have we ever actually seen another House that shares the Stark colors?)
The image of AA being born out of something grey and something white could also refer to the battle at the TOJ. The grey direwolf (Ned Stark and his men) fought the Kingsguard, who bear banners of pure white.
Another thought: I at first assumed that the Wall was made out of fresh water. But when Bran passes through the Black Gate,
The door's upper lip brushed softly against the top of Bran's head, and a drop of water fell on him and ran slowly down his nose. It was strangely
warm, and salty as a tear.
That, coupled with the multiple references to the Wall "weeping", seems to imply that the Wall is made of saltwater, not fresh water. If AA is to be reborn amidst/out of smoke and salt, it could simply be a reference to the Wall itself. If the Wall is constructed of saltwater, and manned by men dressed in black (for smoke can easily be black), then perhaps "will be reborn amidst smoke and salt" is a euphemism for "will be reborn amidst the Night's Watch at the Wall".
GiveMeSomeSnow, on 21 April 2012 - 11:06 PM, said:
Also, not to bring Dany up again, but I was wondering about her in relation to Bloodraven (who is evidently my new obsession):
He is pro-Targ through and through. Why has he not attempted to reach out to her? Distance? Lack of weirwoods in Essos? Doesn't care? You know he is aware of everything going on. Surely if he had heard his relative was hatching dragons he would have something to say or do about it?
But how sure are we that Bloodraven is still
"all about the Targs"? The last time we "saw" him was way back in The Mystery Knight, almost a hundred years before the present day. Between then and now he's gone from occupying a position of Targ-centric authority (Hand of the King, bearing only the dragon sigil, dwelling in the South, etc.) to one completely divorced from Targaryen power and iconography (he's heavily associated with the Blackwood sigil---ravens and a weirwood tree, he's literally bonded with a weirwood tree deep beneath the earth in the frozen lands north of the Wall, and he's hanging with the Children of the Forest and representatives of ancient First Men families (Reed and Stark)). His power no longer derives from "Targ" sources, it derives from sources uniquely associated with the First Men and the Old Gods-based powers. The Targs frequently broke one of the few laws the Old Gods have (no incest!) and are associated with the consuming power of fire, which has been portrayed as the antithesis of Old Gods-based power. Like you say, he reaches out to Brandon Stark, not Daenerys Targaryen.
Basically, I think there's an excellent chance that Bloodraven's plans are not Targ-centric at all. He's clearly concerned with the Others, the Children, the Old Gods, the Watch, and the Starks---he's keeping an eye on events in the south, but his primary concerns do not appear to be with the petty squabbles going on around the Iron Throne (at least, that's not where we most heavily see his influence). Whatever plans he has for Jon, I really doubt they involve a restoration of Targ-based power, given that Jon, like Bloodraven in the present day, is heavy associated with the North and the First Men, not the Targs or Valyrian-based powers. And if his plans are to re-establish the powers of First Men (and given that greenseers seem to basically "be" the Old Gods, the restoration of Old Gods-based power seems like a likely goal for a greenseer), GRRM could be setting him up to conflict with the Targs, not as their beneficiary.