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  1. I think Garth and the legends surrounding him are the place to look, if you want to pursue this idea, @Kenton Stark. It would not surprise me if the Garth model was used over again, and Dunk would be a good candidate, given his travels around the realm and his access to high-born people through his association with Egg. In a thread a year or two ago, someone examining the bonus material in the first AGoT DVD brought up the idea that the image of Lann the Clever might be a pregnant woman. It seems that the Lannister dynasty began when Lann the Clever infiltrated House Caster, resulting in a takeover of Casterly Rock. It would be poetic justice if Rohanne Webber infiltrated House Lannister via a strategic marriage and gave birth to a new bloodline as a result of an affair with a non-Lannister. (I realized that DVD material is not canon, but there seems to be some deliberate clue-dropping in that animated history on the first DVD, and it does seem as if the author might have helped to provide some background to help viewers sort out the characters in the show. Also interesting are hand images at the end of each segment about the great houses.) If you're looking at symbols for support for your theory, Dunk does cut Rohanne Webber's hair. Because of the hair / heir pun, there could be something meaningful going on around Rohanne's heirs and Dunk. (Of course, if all haircuts are meaningful, you'd have to look at Cersei being shaved by the Septas and at Arya getting a haircut from Yoren before she hides in his caravan heading north from King's Landing.)
  2. My latest pet symbolism discovery is that Sandor Clegane embodies the night, which is closely associated with shadows, including the shadow that killed Renly. It occurs to me that the sigil of House Clegane is three dogs, and that GRRM might be having a little fun with the idiom, "three dog night," meaning a night that is so cold that a person would want three dogs in bed with them help stay warm. (Hey, let's start a discussion of Sansa finding the Hound in her bed on the night of the Blackwater!) (<-- a jape) The other thing that crosses my mind is that there might be a third Clegane out there, in some way, shape or form. A natural child of either brother? Someone we have seen but who has a hidden identity? I suspect GRRM might be planning a twist for us, with both Sandor and Gregor. I think it's possible that Sandor didn't really kill Mycah, but he claimed to do so for some reason. And I think that Gregor might not have raped and killed Elia, although he claimed to do so. On the other hand, I think it's possible that Mycah symbolizes Gregor, and that Sandor really did kill him. This would then foreshadow Ser Robert Strong dying by the Hound's sword.
  3. This might answer some of your questions: There is additional speculation about broken swords in this thread:
  4. I am starting to ponder an unexpected role played by Ser Barristan Selmy in the books: Stranger. In other words, an embodiment of death, as personified in the Faith of the Seven. Our first introduction to him comes in AGoT, Sansa I. From the wiki: When she nears the camp, Sansa sees a crowd gathered around the wheelhouse; the council has sent an honor guard from King's Landing to accompany them the rest of the way. The party includes two knights in fine armour: a strong old man in white armor and a beautiful young man in green armor. There is also a gaunt, grim man that Sansa finds so terrifying that she backs right into Sandor Clegane. Sansa kneels and hugs Lady and, next thing she knows, the two new arrivals are standing above her. Joffrey explains that the terrifying man is Ser Ilyn Payne, the King’s Justice (the royal executioner). In the book, Sansa actually mentions that there are two strangers kneeling before the Queen. They turn out to be Ser Barristan and Lord Renly. Then she spots Ser Ilyn and refers to him as the third stranger. (Sandor Clegane is NOT described as a stranger in this chapter. Based on his position here, facing off against Ser Ilyn over Sansa, as well as some other details in the books, I am starting to picture him in the role of an entity that defeats the Stranger. Based on some details elsewhere he seems to embody a shadow and the night, but that's a topic for another thread.) The butcher's boy, Micah, dies in Sansa I. In Sansa II, Ser Hugh of the Vale, the former squire of Jon Arryn, dies. Two youths. Immediately following Sansa II, Ned and Ser Barristan look over the body of Ser Hugh. I stood last vigil for him myself," Ser Barristan Selmy said as they looked down at the body in the back of the cart. "He had no one else. A mother in the Vale, I am told." In the pale dawn light, the young knight looked as though he were sleeping. He had not been handsome, but death had smoothed his rough-hewn features and the silent sisters had dressed him in his best velvet tunic, with a high collar to cover the ruin the lance had made of his throat. Eddard Stark looked at his face, and wondered if it had been for his sake that the boy had died. Slain by a Lannister bannerman before Ned could speak to him; could that be mere happenstance? He supposed he would never know. "Hugh was Jon Arryn's squire for four years," Selmy went on. "The king knighted him before he rode north, in Jon's memory. The lad wanted it desperately, yet I fear he was not ready." Ned had slept badly last night and he felt tired beyond his years. "None of us is ever ready," he said. "For knighthood?" "For death." (AGOT, Eddard VII) Ser Barristan's full-time job is protecting the king and the royal family. He's an honorable guy and regular participant in tourneys, so it's not entirely out of character that he would feel some need to pay respects to a young knight who died in a tournament by standing vigil. But it struck me as a little bit of an odd role for him to watch over the body of a young knight unknown to anyone in King's Landing. Selmy's concern for the young knight might be explained by his introduction at the side of Lord Renly. Ser Barristan is old, and Renly embodies youth. Yet they appear as a team. Later, Renly will hold a spot on his rainbow guard in the hope that Ser Barristan will come to serve him. Ser Barristan will begin to train up young boys from Meereen to be knights in the service of Queen Daenerys. On a recent re-read of the AGoT prologue, I really noticed that youth / age interplay between Ser Waymar and Gared. I suspect that the "two strangers," Renly and Barristan, are embodiments of this youth / age motif. Barristan is also notably the savior / mentor of another boy who will become a knight, Ser Dontos Hollard, who was otherwise supposed to be killed along with his family for their connection to the Duskendale kidnapping of King Aerys. Because everything in ASOIAF seems to go in a series of linked circles, I will note that Ser Dontos, in his Florian and Jonquil role-playing with Sansa, seems to become a mummer version of Sandor Clegane. What does it mean that Barristan would save someone who represents the opponent of the Stranger? Then Ser Barristan shows up in Essos, disguised as an old squire in the service of Strong Belwas. How does this fit with the possibility that he is the Stranger, if at all? What does it mean that there are three strangers in close proximity in that first Sansa POV? Is it a case of the dragon having three heads? If Renly and Barristan represent youth and age, what does Ser Ilyn represent? (In other situations, Ser Ilyn has seemed to me to represent the Lannister's direwolf - and he is silent like Ghost.) Why would it be important to have youth and age and ghost aspects for the Stranger? What does it mean that our introduction to the first two strangers shows them kneeling before Cersei? What can we learn about Ser Barristan (or infer about his future) from the fate of Renly? Renly seems to live on as a ghost, with Ser Garlan wearing his armor, references to him in a song at Joffrey's wedding feast, etc. Ser Barristan seems to be unbreakable. Is he also some kind of ghost? Maybe youth and age are supposed to work together somehow? Strike a balance? Does the foreshadowing add up to Sandor Clegane eventually slaying Ser Barristan? What is the difference between a knight, embodied by Barristan the Bold, and night, embodied by Sandor Clegane? I am away from my books so I apologize for not having all of the direct quotes that would be useful here.
  5. Alliteration? Actually, it is brindled black and white, and there does seem to be a motif around things that are black and white, so maybe the boar is a symbol like the doors of Arya's assassination cult, the white Wall with Castle Black, cyvasse pieces, Moqorro, the Night's Watch vs. the King's Guard, etc. It is intriguing that Lady Dustin gave colts to the nasty young Freys. I wonder if there is a code in the colors of her horses? Grey might mean, "marked for death." Grey is such a Stark color.
  6. I had a long drive yesterday and a thought popped into my head: barrow and Robar. Ser Robar Royce seems like a pivotal character, even though he's a bit player. He's the brother of our first "on screen" death, a Royce (first men, runes on armor), participates in the Hand's tournament, is almost present for Renly's death, allows Brienne to live at Catelyn's request, dies by the sword of Ser Loras (who defeated him in the Hand's tourney). If he is part of the boar wordplay - boars or wordplay boars are often present when a king is killed - then maybe Barbry Dustin's barrows are also part of the boar wordplay. She wasn't yet the lady of Barrowtown when uncle Brandon died, right? But soon after. Has her barrow-self played the boar role at the death of any other "king" character? Role out the barrow.
  7. I don't know when I will ever get back to an additional re-read of Bran VII, which is the final chapter in the ACoK direwolf re-read. While trying to finish this, I got so interested in the discovery about "sharp or shaggy" Starks that I wrote that up as a separate post, thinking I would come back here with a fresh focus on the direwolves to finish writing up this set of analyses. But other topics and tasks have drawn me away, and I don't want to keep everyone (anyone? Bueller?) waiting. So here are the other notes I have for the Bran VII overview and observations, and I encourage you to take a look at the "sharp vs. shaggy" discussion for one approach to some direwolf analysis associated with this complex and important chapter. Bran VII Overview Through Summer’s eyes, Bran sees the burning of Winterfell. Shaggydog kills a dying horse from the burned stable and the two wolves first fight each other, then eat from the carcass. Closing his third eye, Bran’s conscious mind returns to the dark crypt, where he and Rickon, Meera, Jojen, Hodor and Osha have been hiding. After Hodor struggles and opens the door from the crypt, the group surveys the devastation of dead people, collapsed buildings and dead horses. Osha notices that a number of the Ironborn are among the dead. She spots a sigil and Bran identifies it as the flayed man of the Dreadfort. They find Maester Luwin, badly wounded, in the godswood. He tells Osha that Bran and Rickon, as Robb’s heirs, should be split up. Osha and Rickon and Shaggydog leave through the East Gate. Meera, Jojen, Hodor, Bran and Summer crawl out through the jammed Hunter’s Gate. Bran looks back and thinks, “The stone is strong,” and that Winterfell is broken but not dead, like Bran himself. Observations Many details in this chapter are or parallel to elements of the Jon VIII chapter. Fire in opening paragraphs Shadows? Smoke? Eating raw horse meat Dark stone tunnel Making torch Using torch to light the way Feeling safe underground Moving in a single file line One step and then another Surrounded by stone “fathers” (vs. mother mountain) Death of sharp mentor Shaggy Wildling woman Departure into the unknown
  8. I think there's a powerful "hiding in plain sight" force in Westeros called the Silent Sisters. They deliver bodies over long distances and probably could have hidden a baby pretty easily to smuggle it away from crazy father or from whoever was poisoning the royal babies. The choice of destination might be as @Lord Wraith points out, determined by the best place for a silver-haired child to blend in. (Although we've obviously seen head shaving and hair dying as disguise techniques.) Maybe we will eventually learn something about how Darkstar's minor branch of the Dayne family is not actually a branch of the Dayne family at all. Probably House Dayne and maybe the Martells just had to give permission to set up a fake branch of the family as a cover for raising the hidden child. I think there may be several instances of this kind of hidden identity sponsored by Jon Arryn, including Ser Mandon Moore and Hugh of the Vale. (I don't think Mandon and Hugh are hidden Targs, but I suspect there are aspects of their identities that were hidden from the court and/or from readers.) If the theories in this forum are correct, we see Littlefinger doing something like this with the Kettleblacks, too - legitimizing their identities as the lord from their area. I suspect that Ned Stark was protecting some secret identities within his own household as well.
  9. If we're still listing significant "mounts" ridden by major characters, maybe this is the place to start figuring out Pretty Pig and Crunch. This quote from the original post reminded me that pigs were the witnesses at Tyrion's wedding to Tysha. And Tysha would be the type of girl who would bleed like a pig, if the statement were true. When Penny "knights" Tyrion, his horse is actually a pig. (For what it's worth, the word "pretty" is often associated with Sansa, but I suspect that the odd spelling of Lord Baelish's first name, Petyr, is intended as wordplay on "pretty" I just don't know why.) I've always assumed that Penny is a twisted mummer version of Cersei but maybe she is a mummer version of Sansa at the same time. There are a lot of allusions to Odysseus in Tyrion's voyage chapters, and the ancient Greek hero was a lover of both Circe and his wife, Penelope. If Tyrion is supposed to echo Jaime in some way, having a character who echoes both Tyrion's sister and his wife would make perfect sense. (In the Greek legend, Circe turns the crew of Odysseus into pigs, by the way.) Riding a dog as a horse sounds like a reference to Sansa and her close relationship to The Hound and/or her direwolf. The name Crunch, in this context, implies biting down on something, I believe. There is an early breakfast scene where the visiting Lannisters are lamenting the injury that has befallen Bran Stark, and Tyrion crunches some bacon. So Crunch and Pretty Pig are both present, but the dog seems to get the better of the pig by "crunching" it. If we're going to understand horses, I think we're also going to have to understand stableboys. Aegon the Unlikely is mistaken for a stableboy by Dunk on their first meeting, and Arya's first kill is a stableboy. A stableboy gives Sansa lewd looks when she has started outgrowing her dresses. Hodor is a stableboy and the catspaw who we believe tried to kill Bran was living in the stables. Tyrion and Penny live with Pretty Pig and Crunch in the same cabin on the ship, and end up sliding around in the animal filth quite a bit. I don't know if they qualify as stableboys as a result. Maybe this needs a whole separate thread. I just thought it might fit in the context of sorting out the "horses" of the major characters.
  10. Dany receives the wedding gift of her silver from Drogo and she immediately rides it expertly, jumping over a fire. Joffrey receives a saddle, spurs, supple riding boots and a tourney pavilion as groom's gifts, but no one gives him horse. Jon asks Tyrion to help his brother, Bran, and Tyrion designs a special saddle that allows Bran to ride. That has to be super significant. The wildlings and deserter in the wolfswood unstrap Bran to take him off his horse but the direwolves and Theon intervene and Bran lives to ride again. It all seems to fit this idea of kings and power and sitting on a throne. Now we just have to figure out the non-king or non-powerful characters who also ride horses.
  11. Ah, very interesting. I wonder whether the horse is a sort of alternate throne, used by a "rightful king" in the presence of a usurper? That adds a whole new complication. Ned rides while Jaime sits on the throne (Jaime later fights him and Ned's horse falls on him, breaking his leg); Tywin rides up to Joffrey seated on the throne; Bran rides into the feast in place of Robb who is off waging war. Or the indoors-horse could be the seat of the King of the Underworld. There are a lot of details around Tywin that make me think he is undead, and Ned and Bran would be Kings of Winter. In the Celtic legends, though, I think it's a woman on a grey horse who leads souls to the Underworld. I can't think why the indoor horse would be ridden by a king figure. It does possibly make sense, though, if we see Barbrey Dustin as a kingmaker with her ability to grant horses to people. Especially with her connection to barrows (Barrowtown), the seats of underworld kings, the horse might be the perfect symbol. (Rohanne Webber similarly tries to give away horses in the Sworn Sword - Dunk declines but Egg accepts her gift, if I recall correctly.) Or maybe we have to call Lady Dustin a powerbroker, not a kingmaker, since recipients of her horse gifts don't become literal kings. I wonder whether the horse that Ned returned to Barbrey after the Tower of Joy carried a particular person back to the North before Ned returned it?
  12. This is interesting and I think it's on the right track. It actually helps to crystalize some of my thinking, although my conclusion is slightly different from yours. I think The Hound is turning into Sansa's puppet. Like the wooden marionette soldier that was Gregor's toy. I should probably ask @The Fattest Leech to weigh in, as the expert on the Pinocchio symbolism. (Or maybe I should go back and re-read - I apologize if this has already been covered.) Sandor says that Gregor's wonderful wooden knight was appealing to him as a little kid because you could make him fight. Of course, Gregor discovers Sandor playing with the wooden knight and holds his little brother's face in the fire, disfiguring him for life. Their father makes up the excuse that Sandor's bedding caught fire. Hmm. Where have we seen bedding catch fire in the books? The clue to this Sansa-Sandor relationship might be this: follow the bloody sheets. Sansa cuts her sheet with a knife and puts it in the fire after she "flowers." She knows that she will lose any hope of power or self-direction if Cersei hears about her bloody sheet, forcing her to marry Joffrey. After the Battle of the Blackwater, Sansa returns to her room and finds the Hound lying in her bed. Numerous posts in this thread debate the nature of their contact and their dialogue, but then what happens? The Hound drops his bloody cloak. Sansa picks it up and keeps it. Just as Sansa would lose power if Cersei saw her bloody sheet, the Hound loses power by letting Sansa have his bloody cloak. (Was it deliberate or inadvertent that he dropped the cloak on her floor?) This is really a new way of looking at cloaks, for me. I always interpreted the Westeros wedding custom as the groom taking possession of the bride by putting the cloak over her shoulders. In some cases (all?) maybe it is a situation where groom is making himself vulnerable, giving up something to the bride. This might help in interpreting Tyrion and Sansa's wedding ceremony, where she refuses to stoop and Tyrion has to stand on the back of a knight / fool in order to put the cloak on her shoulders. It also might explain why Sansa puts on her own cloak in the godswood before escaping King's Landing with Ser Dontos, but then Littlefinger puts a cloak over her shoulders when she gets to the boat. She is already "protected" by her own cloak, so Littlefinger's attempt to cloak/symbolically marry her is just a superficial layer. She is already in charge of her own self at that point. As for the idea that Sansa will make the Hound her personal knight, I think this might be a fine distinction based on wordplay (you thought I might forget to bring it up just this one time, didn't you?). Sansa's description of The Hound in AGoT, Sansa II indicates that he materializes out of the night, and is a voice in the night like a shadow. I think Sandor will never be a knight because he is The Night. (Based on the gossip of the washerwomen, he may even be the long night.) Sandor makes himself vulnerable to Sansa - he tells her the true story (we assume) about his face being burned but orders her not to tell anyone else. So there is a unique bond there from that early point. When he tells her this story, he stubs out a torch he is carrying, extinguishing the fire. I think it is a huge relief for him that someone knows and extinguishing the torch represents the relief he feels in connecting with her. In a strange way, even though I still see the unkiss scene as a symbolic rape, he makes himself vulnerable again. He tells her, essentially, that he is scared of fire. This from a man who never admits that he is scared of anything. As other comments have pointed out, she sings a song about the mother's mercy. Compare this to Theon's desperate cries for mercy in the godswood at Winterfell. The idea of making oneself vulnerable in Sansa's presence might help to clarify the parallels between Ser Dontos Hollard and Sandor Clegane. Ser Dontos appears at the jousting match without any pants on - completely exposed and vulnerable. And what does Sansa do? She saves him. Helps him obtain mercy. With help from - - Sandor Clegane, who chimes in to support her invention of "it's ill luck to kill someone on your name day." If you look at Ser Dontos as the fool-version of Sandor Clegane (and many fools seem to represent other characters, although this may be the first one I can think of who represents a living character), the unkiss and a number of other feelings between Sansa and Sandor take on a new meaning. If Ser Dontos is the mummer-Sandor, he really did kiss her. I still believe, overall, this complicated relationship with Sandor is leading to, and symbolic of, Sansa empowering herself. But she is doing it in a very dark, goth way. She is becoming the puppeteer of the night. (Gotta go back and read Duncan's infatuation with Tansy now. And look forward to Cersei's puppeteer relationship with Ser Robert Strong.) P.S. Love that GRRM. Such a clever guy.
  13. This is excellent. Nice catch. I had been thinking that horses represent power or, possibly, life. But your idea covers all the bases. I still wonder what it means that Bran rides into the harvest feast on the back of Dancer, using the special saddle designed by Tyrion. He realizes during the feast that he will never dance and leaves in the basket on Hodor's back. I guess it means that Hodor is his new horse. The only other person who rides into a room like that is Tywin riding into the throne room at the Red Keep after the Blackwater, right? I'll have to go back and see if the author tells us how Tywin leaves the room. But I particularly love the idea of Lady Dustin's spirit embodied by the horse she gave her husband. Maybe she is a symbolic horse goddess or horse skinchanger, and we can look for evidence of her presence wherever horses appear. I've tried to put together pieces of a formula (probably not the right word - pattern? set of details?) that seems to recur when a POV character makes an escape - Arya leaving Harrenhal; Jon sneaking out from the ring fort at the Fist to follow Ghost to the obsidian cache; Tyrion escaping Yezzan. The author often includes a line about horses being unsettled or nervously making noise. My instinct is also that Lady Dustin is a Stark supporter, but we are often told that horses are scared of direwolves; they don't like to be around them. I don't know if that undermines this reading of her loyalties. This would also fit with the horse beheaded by Gregor Clegane after he loses the jousting match to Ser Loras. Eventually, Gregor loses his own head. . . . I've been reading the ACoK chapters with Qhorin, Jon and their ranging party trying to escape the eagle and the pursuing wildlings. The deaths of the horses seem to reflect the deaths of each man in the ranging party. The men eat horsemeat (a parallel to Dany eating the stallion's heart) after one of the horses breaks a leg. Jon's horse is the last survivor, along with Jon himself.
  14. At the risk of derailing a delightfully good-natured and constructive dialogue, would anyone be interested in addressing the question by looking at literary clues? I would love to see a thread exploring significant kisses in the books: The shrouded lord spreads greyscale with a kiss. Beric Dondarrion kisses life back into Catelyn Stark, turning her into Lady Stoneheart. Penny tries to get Tyrion interested in her by kissing him, but he just tolerates her overtures and reminds her he is married. Bran says the weirwood paste tastes like the last kiss he had from his mother, among other things. Ygritte's hair was kissed by fire. The lyrics of The Dornishman's Wife involve a woman's kisses "warmer than spring" but also the "terrible" kiss of a black steel blade. Petyr kisses Sansa / Alayne, leading to the deadly confrontation with Lysa. Any others? I think the reason Sansa imagines herself having been kissed by Sandor relates closely to her transformation to Alayne Stone, and is therefore a parallel to the kiss Beric Dondarrion bestows on Catelyn, transforming her to Lady Stoneheart. And both of those "kiss --> stone" situations are related to the Shrouded Lord kiss, which also turns people to stone. Sansa's first encounter with Sandor occurs when she is trying to flee the gaze of Ser Ilyn Payne, who is described as the "third stranger" in the same encounter. (The first two strangers are Renly and Barristan.) She turns around and bumps into The Hound, and is caught between the two of them, with Lady growling. Initially, I thought Sandor and Ser Ilyn were both Stranger figures, but a recent close reading of Sansa II in AGoT tells me that he is the guy who defeats the Stranger. Taken together with The Hound's unique ability to handle the extremely mean horse called Stranger, the author seems to be giving us a man with the unique ability to keep death at arm's length. Notice that Joffrey dies shortly after The Hound leaves King's Landing. It's possible that Sansa imagining a kiss bestowed by Sandor is her way of imagining herself (and therefore becoming) powerful. She imagines that she has taken on the powers of this force that keeps The Stranger (= death) at bay. Maybe Petyr stealing a kiss from her is his way of trying to steal some of that power for himself. These are literary ideas, mind you, not literal interpretations of the thoughts going through the minds of the characters. I do agree that the scene with The Hound in Sansa's bedchamber is a symbolic rape. The only reason she might idealize it is that she has just come from the Queen's Ballroom, where Ser Ilyn stood watching with the intention of killing everyone in the room if King's Landing should fall to Stannis. As in her first encounter with Ser Ilyn and the Hound, Sandor is less scary to her and may seem like a protector, now that Lady is gone and based on his rescue of her during the riot.
  15. I know that's a popular theory in the forum but I think it might be a false trail planted by GRRM, who likes to construct parallel paths for several characters - you might call them GRRM's archetypes. All of the father archetypes seem to be good with swords - or to have a relationship with a special sword - but that doesn't narrow things down much. When I say "false trail" I should qualify that by saying I perceive it as false in relationship to Jon Snow; Arthur Dayne could be the father of another character. The clues in the subtext have persuaded me that we should be looking in the north for Jon's father. I think Qhorin has a connection to Mormont or the Starks or the Free Folk or someone else north of the neck. (A free folk connection could explain the line about not bending the knee.) In one of those links I incorporated in the earlier post, I speculated that Qhorin's remarks about the shy maid (Hmm. Another of Tyrion's ships) in the fire and about how pretty a fire can be are part of his parallel to the pyromancers. Get it? pyro = fire and romance = a relationship with a lover. So Qhorin thinks fire is a pretty girl and the pyromancers make wildfyre for a living. I'm not sure that all high born people would think of brides as shy - given the custom of the wedding guests carrying the naked bride and groom to their bedchamber, I imagine brides could run the gamut from shy to bawdy. Rubies symbolize "buries" IMO and I suspect that Qhorin buried the obsidian cache for Jon and Ghost to find. Jon believes that the dig site might be a grave, at one point. I agree that there is a sound-alike relationship between Qhorin and Qhoran, but I'm not sure how that connects with Arthur Dayne. I see the Selaesori Qhoran as a symbol of Tywin Lannister. A deliberate parallel between Qhorin and Qhoran would tell me that we're on the right track in thinking of the Halfhand as a father figure, but I'm not sure where it leads from there. I guess you could compare the shipwreck and Tyrion's subsequent life as a slave to Jon's capture and subsequent life as a wildling. Maybe that's the author's plan for that hint. There are a ton of scenes where dawn is mentioned so it's hard to use that as a marker to tell us that a Dayne is present. To the Night's Watch, the comet represents Mormont's Torch. Jon jams a torch in the ground at the spot where he finds the obsidian to free up his hands for digging. This is definitely evoking the idea of the falling comet and the sword of the morning, especially because Jon then retrieves dagger blades at the location and makes a hilt for one of the blades for himself. The fact that Qhorin makes and carries torches for the trip through the mountain with Jon is probably related symbolism to this larger motif around the comet. But other characters carry torches at notable points in the story - I just re-read the chapter where the Hound escorts Sansa from the Hand's Tournament to the Red Keep, and he carries a torch until he stubs it out on the ground in the middle of a field. I suspect that the Dayne sword is one part of the larger motif as well, and not the endpoint of all falling star references. But your guess is as good as any. Until we know more about the Daynes and about all the bear references that are not obvious references to the Mormonts, we won't know for sure. It would help to know more about Brandon Stark (the uncle) and Rickard Stark as well. Not to mention Lyanna . . .