The “Game of thrones” an inside look at Martin’s Cryptogram’s
The Corn code and yes I know the name sounds silly, but that is where this all began and this really isn’t about the word Corn. Rather it is my assertion that George R. R. Martin has in fact placed a form of highly repetitive cryptogram in his books. What is a cryptogram? Well basically it is a word puzzle. How do you spot Martin’s cryptogams? The real key is pattern recognition. The code itself is based off of a 3 pattern linear code and the base of it looks something like this “Word. Word. Word.” Though he mixes in several variants of the code to change meaning or give clues. The key to understanding the pattern is basic pattern recognition. By cross comparing dozens of the patterns I have been able to come up with a basic key to the cryptograms to help you read them. The key is bellow and will help you a lot but you still need to rely on your own brain to put them together.
Why would Martin do this?
For a long time I thought that the codes were some form of reference guide for himself. But Martin often teases and puts in false codes. There would be no point in putting in fake codes and teasers if this was just a reference margin. What these word puzzles are, is a game, and I believe Martin wants you to play it. “A mind needs a book, like a sword needs a wet stone.” Basically this appears to be a game you play against Martin himself.
Why should I play?
You don’t have to play the books are still great books without the game and still abound with clues. But Martin does not appear to be the spoil sport that some fans think. If you solve the puzzles Martin actually rewards with extra information. The can tell you if a person dies, when and where a major battle takes place, if a person is actually dead, if this character will die, they can tell you a lot. But you have to know how to read them first and I intend to do my best to help you get started.
Acknowledgment to Martin
The cryptogams Martin has put in the books have been a lot of fun for me and have shed new light on the books. The rereads have been more fun, the books are more complex and interesting than I first thought, and it seems that Martin really likes his fans a lot more than some think. He has gone through a lot of work to place these cryptograms in the books and he deserves to be acknowledged for them.
(“) Quotation Marks:
The code begins and ends with quotation marks. “Snow. Snow. Snow.”
The code is spoken, a characters says it, it is verbal text.
3 it really is the magic number.
The base of the cipher is nothing more than a 3 part repetitive linear abab pattern which I will now show you. The key is based off these simple patterns “A, A, A.” “A, A, a.” “A, a, a.” “a, a, a.”
Again the base of the code looks like this “Word. Word. Word.” It is a simple repetitive 3 pattern. A word, 2 words, a phrase it doesn’t matter. It’s the pattern that matters. The word, words, or Phrase always repeat three times.
While the 3 pattern is the base, it is the punctuation that defines the pattern, significance, meaning, action, and event.
Upper vs. lower case
The words or phrases may appear in upper and lower case. This is used to create or give different meaning to the pattern and tells you how important the moment, event or person is or is not. “Corn, corn, corn.” The more upper case words the more important the moment. This also implied in punctuation.
All “CAPS”: Big, would be the operative word here. Someone or something physically big.
(,) The comma, is used in a lesser moment, death, event. “Take, take, take,”
(.) The period, is used for mid-level moments, deaths and events. “Mormont. Mormont. Mormont.”
(!) The exclamation mark, this represents the most important moments. When you see these in the pattern it is important and when you see three like this “Hodor! Hodor! Hodor!” it is major.
(?) The question mark, indicates uncertainty, the more question marks the more uncertainty about an event, moment, death, object. “Corn? Corn? Corn?” Something is being questioned heavily. The question mark is often used to break the meaning of the code or cancel the code itself.
(Italics and clues) Sometimes the code has clues imbedded within it that can help point you to what it is about or not about. Be clever here, not everything is what it appears to be. Look at the passages around the code and the code itself very cearfully. “Lady Tully, Lady Tully, Lady Roslin Tully”. “Dragonglass. Dragonglass. Dragon glass”
The descriptive text break: is used to alter the pattern it represents Time. This event is in the future “Corn,” The raven cried “Corn. Corn.” The reverse of the pattern “Corn. Corn,” the raven cried. Corn.” Is the past. The pattern has some variants that Martin uses to maintain punctuation so the meaning of a three pattern is not interrupted. “Corn!” Cried the raven. “Corn! Corn! Corn!” The descriptive text break is not verbal so while it is between the patterns the pattern is not verbally broken. The descriptive text break may also contain clues so don’t just ignore it.
Unbroken 3 pattern, without a descriptive text break “corn, corn, corn.” The pattern is always in the moment.
Multiple words in the pattern or broken patterns: Sometime multiple words appear in the pattern. “Take it. Take it. Take it.” The pattern matches so not a big deal and yes you can have two or even three words in a pattern. But what happens when they don’t match, or something changes. “Bugger that. Bugger Him. Bugger you.’ Sometimes multiple people or things are marked by the code. What is important is that the first word matches here. Sometimes we see an odd pattern “Dragonglass. Dragonglass. Dragon glass.” In this case you kind of have to look at it and figure out what it means; the subject in this case was Sam’s Dragonglass dagger. Do you remember what happened to the dagger? It broke.
When the three patterns appears in a scene think of it as a marker. It is pointing to this scene, the pattern can tell you what to look for and the scene itself will have the clues you need to predict what will happen. Martin can make it tricky, but believe me the key will help you solve the cryptograph. The code itself will off have clues about the scene and the subject and what to look for.
A person, place, or thing can appear as the word in the pattern. It is not always the subject but will be a clue about them. Look through the passage to spot the clues. “Joffery! Joffery! Joffery!” Joffery is the subject. “Lady Tully, Lady Tully, Lady Roslin Tully” Roslin is not the subject note of the odd use of italics. Lady Tully was actually the recipient of this code. If no subject is named in the code, then the scene itself will contain the subject and it is up to you to figure out who or what it is, though Martin generally makes it pretty simple to find the subject.
The cryptograph base codes.
“Corn, corn,corn.” This basically means danger, headed to danger, a dangerous choice. In a scene a character may be making a choice and then this appears the choice is leading the character to danger. This is not life threatening and points to somewhat important moments. This pattern is not about the future it is in the moment. A choice is usually being made with this pattern.
Varients of this code, “Corn,” descriptive text break. “Corn, corn, corn” A choice is being made now that is leading towards danger in the future.
“Corn. Corn, corn.” I call this the coin flip, it can mean life or death for a subject. Just like above it is about danger but here the second uppercase “Corn” indicates a greater threat. This is more a coin flip if the subject makes the wrong choice here it could be life or death.
Varients of this code “Corn,” descriptive text break. “Corn, corn.” This is the future version of this pattern. The reverse of this pattern is the past.
“Corn. Corn. Corn.” By far the most significant and important of the patterns. When totally identical this means one thing and one thing only. Death. This is the death code. A person, place or thing, are all subject to this code, from the Red wedding, to the destruction of an item, a battle a person. Learn to solve the puzzles and you will know who is going to die or if someone has died. Death itself may not be just one person but an entire battle with lots of death, the clues will be in the code and around it and the code will point you to what it is about.
“corn,corn,corn.” This indicates a minor death. Some nobody, often times this is like the guys wearing Red shirts on Star Trek.
“Corn. Corn. Corn.” A significant death, minor battle. Jeor Mormont, a supporting character, the slaughter at crasters.
“Corn! Corn! Corn!” The event code, this is the big one. This code is reserved for major moments in the book. The future pattern of this cryptograph predicted the red wedding, the death of Ned Stark, Joffery Baratheon, the battle at the Fist etc… When you see this code pay attention it is very important.
The death code also has all the text break variations telling you future, past or present.
Future “Corn, the raven cried. Corn. Corn.
Alternate future “Corn!” The raven cried. Corn! Corn! Corn! Event Horizon This is the most significant of all the patterns, it can point the reader to some of the biggest events in the books. What a shock they all revolve around death.
The Broken code, sometimes you see a three patterned but it is broken or contained in another pattern. “say, you, you, you,” or “I say, ho, ho, ho” when you see the broken codes it indicates near death experience, or that something is close to death. Patchface uses this pattern all the time. But Jon has also been the subject of this pattern a few times. It almost looks like a death code but not quite. These are for people who become more adept reading the code. They are complex, but often the most fun to solve.
Trick Codes: Sometimes a code looks like a perfect death code, yet no death occurs. “Arya, Arya, Arya,” Why no death. Look within the scene the code was given, not too far from it you will see the word in the code appear with a question mark and it will also be verbal “Arya?” This are a little tricky at first. So far I have only found 3, and it was always a single word pattern. On all three occasions the word itself is verbally questioned in the scene.
Examples of the Cryptograph puzzles. I know most want to see the Kill codes, so I will be focusing on those and the almost kill codes here. Though I am still leaving a few of the 1st and 2nd patterns up. I will start with the third pattern or kill code.
Pattern 3, the Kill code:
AGoT chapter 52: Jon is summoned to Mormont's solar and upon entering. Ned Starks kill code.
""Corn" the bird shrieked. "Corn! Corn! Corn!""
This is when Jon is given the letter about King Robert being dead and his father imprisoned for treason. The subject is the letter about Ned and again we see the descriptive text break after the first corn signifying the future. Each Corn is capitalized and the exclamation mark is used 3 times. This can only mean a major event involving death. Are the italics a clue, unsure, Jon is thinking about his father in italics. The biggest clue here is the code itself, death and something major. As they are there to discuss the letter, the subject becomes evident.
The Red Wedding code
ACoK ch. 4: “”Hodor came lumbering in shouting "Hodor! Hodor! Hodor!"" The Walders are shrieking "red murder" here. Note the wording, they are shrieking "red murder" and it is the Freys. Both Walders are shrieking at the wolves and the Freys and Starks were playing a game of lord of the crossing.This is a great example how the clues are placed around the code. Note that the first Hodor before the descriptive break is not spoken but does not need to be it is not the kill code it is just there to set the future pattern. And as you can see by the pattern this is an event horizon code. So it is major.
ASoS Ch. 60 This code was found by TreeHugger “Joffery’s kill code”
"Margaery!" the hall shouted back at him. "Margaery! Margaery! To the queen!"
This would seem like Margaery is the subject, but Margaery while a decent character is not on the level of the event horizon. The descriptive text is a clue here. First lets look at the pattern, this is the alternate future pattern The pattern is complete because the verbal text is never actually broken when spoken, here it also used to set the descriptive text break. You want to take note that the pattern is slightly odd in that the last quotation mark is outside the three pattern. That is another clue, this is not Margaery. You can also look at the quote right before the passage begins “To my wife the queen!” This shows again Martin leaving subtle clues within and around the codes. And I don’t mean to sound funny here but it’s almost like Martin is saluting Margaery for what is to come.
ASoS Ch. 74 The hound is confronted by the Tickler, Polliver.
Mormont is giving a speech at the fist to the men of the Watch and the then the raven ""Men!" His raven screamed. "Men! Men!"" The men of the watch is the subject as indicated by the code. The code indicates the future with the descriptive text break. This is the first battle against the others and lots of deaths are involved, while not the red wedding the Others are still major enough to warrant this code.
ASoS ch. 18: Sam just offed Puddles (an Other), using his Dragonglass dagger.
"Dragonglass," they call it. Dragonglass. Dragon glass."
It's all caps, full 3 code with a text break indicating the future. Note the last word in the pattern is broken. What happeded to Sams dagger? Martin tells you the subject and what is going to happen to in a very clever way and that will happen in the future.
"Bugger that. Bugger him. Bugger you."
This is a mid-level kill code, the pattern is unbroken by descriptive text, this indicates that this is happening now. Now what is important here is the first word, the code is actually Bugger it may seem odd mixed with the other words but "Bugger" is in caps and the first word sets the pattern. There are a few more codes like this that I will get to. Note that the code points out the subject, you know the hound is not going to die or Arya, this is not a major event code. It tells you simply “him” and “you”
Mormont is speaking with Chett, ""The raven stood on his shoulders bobbed its head and echoed, "Meat. Meat. Meat."" Chett dies. This is in the moment.
AGoT chapter 19: The death codes are not over yet but I wanted to show you how they can pattern together.
Jon goes to see Jeor who has a letter for him, Mormont hands Jon the letter.
""Corn," it muttered in a raucous voice. "Corn, corn.""
"Jon's fingers traced the outline of the direwolf in the white wax of the broken seal."
The subject is the sigil of house Stark, it took me a minute as the letter is from Robb and is about Bran. The descriptive text break following the first corn signifies the future. At this point in the story house Stark was not at war, the danger is great and one bad choice can cause disaster. The choice is made when Cat takes Tyrion and a war begins. Robb marches off and Bran is left behind now watch how it combines with this next code.
ACoK ch. 28:
"Hodor!" he shouted. "Hodor! Hodor!"
This actually Bran using Hodor name. The text is broken with one of Martins descriptive text Breaks. This is an event Horizon code, that will take place in the future and it is big. The location is the heart tree, Bran soon asks Hodor to take him to Maester Luwin. Did Luwin warrant this code? Luwin does not Warrant the code but the events around his death do. This is the battle of Winterfell and the events around it.
ACoK Chapter 34:
The Night's watch is sitting at the fist of the firstmen trying to decide on a plan. Jon is serving wine.
""He took a cup from Jon's tray, tried a swallow of wine, and gave a brusque nod of approval. His raven hopped down his arm. "Corn," it said. "Corn. Corn.""
This is a simple future death code of a mid-level character. Ser Ottyn Wythers is named shortly after the code is used. What is important here is the use of the descriptive text break signifying the future once again. Also note the punctuation it’s periods. Later Jon Snow will actually reflect back on Ser Ottyn for no real reason and point out he forgot he died at the fist.
ASoS Chapter 33: The battered remains of the great ranging have returned to Crasters the discussion of Craster's hidden food is taking place, tension is high. Craster actually had a choice here, he could of given them more food. He didn't and then.
"Corn. Corn. Corn." death is certain. Mormont and Craster are named right after this. What is important here is that there is no text break, so this is happening now. Note the punctuation, why are they all capitalized, instead of "Corn, corn, corn."? Once again the 3 pattern emerges, the time is now and death is certain. This is Mormonts death.
ADwD Ch. 52
Dany is at the pits and the fights are about to begin
“Mhysa, Mhysa, Mhysa,”
The fights are about to begin, the deaths are minor. The comma is the indicator of the impotance of the deaths or deaths. While Mhysa is used it is not even close to a code that would be given for Dany or a main POV.
That’s it for the death codes for now, there are more and I will post them, but I am moving on to the other codes.
The broken codes or almost death.
ASoS Ch. Ch 45. Cats death code sort of
‘Lady Tully, Lady Tully, Lady Roslin Tully.’
Now for Cat who is a main POV you would expect and Event Horizon code, but Cat is not really dead, she is sort of dead. This takes place right before the Red Wedding. Note the odd use of italics, in the passage Cat is also show thinking in Italics. Also note that Martin uses single quotation marks and not double, the code is broke and does not match very well. However in the code you can see the victim, look past the Italics, that is the clue he is giving you. Remember the first word sets the pattern and is repeated 3 times. The Victim is in fact Lady Tully. But the code indicates near death or almost killed. You know what happened to Cat.
ADwD chapter 69 Stannis not dead
"Tormund roared at that as well. ""Eat," the raven said darkly, flapping its black wings. "Corn? Corn? Corn?""
Right after this Jon is told he has a letter, the pink letter. This is a great code. “Eat,” is actually setting the future pattern here, while spoken it is not actually part of the three code, it is however in quotations. But the word is wrong this code is broken. It is an almost death code, however this is not for Jon the subject is the letter or the death within the letter. “Corn? Corn? Corn?” death is in question here. And the Code indicates near death, future. How did I identify the letter, look at the descriptive text break. The raven is speaking and the descriptive break the raven spoke darkley and it points out it’s black wings, Dark wings, dark words. It can be that simple.
AFoC Ch. 13:
""All. She knelt to kiss his lips. "All, my love, my true love, my sweet love."”
At first glance this looks like a Death code for a second. But the code is broken so it doesn’t matter right? Wrong. Note how “my” is the three pattern, in this code. It’s an almost death. But who? Well the clues around the pattern what does Arieanna want? That is who is speaking, she want’s Myrcella and she tells you just that. Myrcella is the last word in the passage and is framed oddly in the books. Noticing the code here is hard, finding the subject was easy. This also has a future code pattern, set with the use of “All” Almost killed in the future and what happened to Myrcella. These kinds of codes are more advanced and it takes time to learn how to spot them. Patchface uses the broken codes all the time.
The fire, the treason, the mount.
I originally thought these were the three treasons but upon closer examination these are the middle parts of Danys 3 fires prophecy, and I apologize for the confusion.
The Fire for death
Code 1. "Mhysa!" a brown skin man shouted out at her. He had a child on his shoulder, a little girl, and she screamed the same word in her thin voice "Mhysa!" "Mhysa!"
This is almost a kill code but it has one extra line in the discriptive text. Almost a death but not a death. Note the man and the little girl. Notice how martin doesn't crown here but just these two. Much like a man who said his little girl was killed by Drogon. But this does not say anyone died. My guess is the man is being black mailed and his daughter is a hostage, but not dead. Dany assumes she is dead and has 100 candles lit in her name. The fire for death are not all that different than common religious practices, and excepted traditions.
The Treason of gold
Code 2. "Mhysa!" they called. "Mhysa! MHYSA!" Almost a kill code again but the all caps ruins it. So again an almost death. But who? The first clue is the all caps, it's all big and he almost died. Strong Belwas. The location the fighting pits, why did Dany open them? Because of gold. Right after this is said Strong Belwas Grunted and growled in dismay.
The mount to Dread
"Mother," they sang, their fingers brushing her legs as she flew buy. "Mother, Mother, Morther!"
Dany is riding a horse at the time and the bells are ringing in her hair. Those are the clues. The prophecy does not start when Dany escapes the fighting pits. It occurs when Dany comes across the Dothraki in the sea of grass. She mentions the bells multiple times. It’s then that Dany rides the mount to dread. Who does she run into, a bunch of Dothraki. It’s a future code and it is a death code. The exclamation mark indicates an event though not huge. Just a guess and everyone already kinds of figures this, but we are going to get some extra crispy dothraki.
With the middle part of the prophecy about to be fulfilled I believe that marks the end of the middle of Dany’s story. Next up the 3 loves. Sorry for the confusion there I am just going through so many puzzles so fast, I didn’t give this one the time it deserved. I am also learning more about the puzzles and there nuances as I go.
You didn’t think I would leave out Patchface did you?
"Away, away" the fool sang. "Come with me beneath the sea, away, away, away."
The first two “away” are separated by the descriptive text break. And first it looks like a danger code. This is the very rare past pattern. This pattern can be seen in a WoW preview chapter as well. While not a death code it has both a broken danger code, a past code and a broken death code. Shireen is standing with Patchface. However not that the “away, away, away” while broken the word sea is not in the past code. If I had to read it just using the code. Danger, from past, death now. I think This will be a prediction by me. The grey death has returned. To be proven in WoW.
The danger codes.
ACoK ch 16:
""Hodor." Beaming genially, Hodor looked from one Frey to the other, oblivious of their taunting. "Hodor, hodor?" Little Walder's mount whickered.""
This is important to the code there is a question mark. Hodor is looking at both the Walder's but Little Walder is in fact named. The question mark is on the last hodor which if you notice is lower case. Little Walder is making some bad choices in life. It’s important to note that the name Hodor appears in the descriptive text break, however it is not spoken. The pattern is set with the first spoken “Hodor.” The question mark indicates uncertainty. Now watch how the codes combine.
AGoT ch 12.
“No, no, no” Robert said.
This is the first use of the 3 pattern code in the books. It’s a danger code and takes place now. Robert wants Ned to ride with him so they can talk. Doesn’t seem like much but Robert wants to talk about Dany and killing her. This begins the initial rift between the two. While not a lot of danger it does indicate this is heading in a bad direction. It’s also the first use of the code in the books and that tells you how long it’s been around.
I’ll post a couple more of the danger codes later, but nobody is really interested in them. So it won’t be a lot. Everyone wants death. You all are more blood thirsty than Martin.
Thank you for reading and for all those that have helped. I hope you found this interesting and that you will give the puzzles a try, they can be difficult at times but are also a lot of fun. The key isn’t complete yet and I am constantly trying to refine it. The more puzzles we do the easier it becomes. While I can help you in the end it comes down to you. The only real question I have left is are you ready to play the game?
Edited by Ser Creighton, 13 September 2013 - 10:29 PM.