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  1. Thank you for the link! I followed your Nymeria thread for awhile but I see I must have gotten distracted by a windmill or some shiny object and missed some good discussion. I love the idea of a Mallister / free folk link with Val as the key. Here's a different possibility: The rainbow stuff has led me to think that Red Lake is either an important symbol or will be the site of a significant event in the last books. It was called Blue Lake until Brandon of the Bloody Blade slaughtered many CotF there. So it contains the blood / wisdom of many singers, using GRRM logic. It is the seat of the Crane family, and I am seeing some literary hints connecting crane symbols, the silver wings of the Mallisters and dragons. If I were forced to guess right now, I would say that the Cranes, Mallisters and Val are all symbolic (almost certainly not literal) Targaryens / dragons. Alternatively, they could be the "story tellers" (singers, fools, bards, prophets, etc.) who play a key role in keeping the Targ story alive; in transmitting symbolic treasures needed by the Targ heirs. But I also love this: "strengthening two sides to make something stronger." This might explain why some characters seem to favor one side of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow) and others seem to have an affinity for the other side (blue, indigo, violet - or, in GRRM's scheme - blue, violet, black). With her command of fire, I wonder whether Dany will represent the red / orange / yellow forces, and Jon will represent blue, violet and black. They just need a green and white presence to bring them together.
  2. Very nice catch! The list of shields, I assume, is describing the past glory of the shield hall since each of those shields would have been taken down and interred with the Night's Watch member who brung it. So this could be another destroyed rainbow. In fact, it is probably a destroyed rainbow guard since shield and guard are roughly the same thing. In this case, the shield hall wasn't destroyed by a single person (a la Melisandre or Cersei) but became dark and dirty and cold because there were not enough Night's Watch recruits to maintain its purpose and color. Instead of the possibility of a person as the crystal, I wonder whether a building or place is the symbolic crystal that casts rainbows? It seems significant that the Shield Hall had been shuttered for a hundred years but Jon opens it up and uses it to propose a departure from the Night's Watch traditions. And that he is then stabbed by his brothers. Another scene I found that might support the "place as crystal" theory is Dany at the fighting pits - which were also closed until she reopened them. The helmet masks of the brazen beasts might be a match for the "Noah's Ark" sigils in the Shield Hall passage you cited. A number of the details here also prove that several of the rainbow theories I put forward earlier on this thread are complete b.s. after all. Dany's procession begins: The plaza that fronted on her pyramid was paved with bricks of many colors, and the heat rose from them in shimmering waves. . . . Behind the drum marched Brazen Beasts four abreast. Some carried cudgels, others staves; all wore pleated skirts, leathern sandals and patchwork cloaks sewn from squares of many colors to echo the many-colored bricks of Meereen. Their masks gleamed in the sun: boars and bulls, hawks and herons, lions and tigers and bears, fork-tongued serpents and hideous basilisks. ... She had seen the fighting pits many times from her terrace. . . . Strong Belwas and Ser Barristan fell in to either side as she and her lord husband passed beneath the bronzes, to emerge at the top of a great brick bowl ringed by descending tiers of benches, each a different color. Hizdahr zo Loraq led her down, through black, purple, blue, green, white, yellow, and orange to the red, where the scarlet bricks took the color of the sands below. ... Across the pit the Graces sat in flowing robes of many colors, clustered around the austere figure of Galazza Galare, who alone amongst them wore the green. The Great Masters of Meereen occupied the red and orange benches. The women were veiled, and the men had brushed and lacquered their hair into horns and hands and spikes. Hizdahr's kin of the ancient line of Loraq seemed to favor tokars of purple and indigo and lilac, whilst those of Pahl were striped pink and white. The envoys from Yunkai were all in yellow and filled the box beside the king's, each of them with his slaves and servants. Meereenese of lesser birth crowded the upper tiers, more distant from the carnage. The black and purple benches, highest and most distant from the sand, were crowded with freedmen and other common folk. The sellswords had been place up there as well, Daenerys saw, their captains seated right amongst the common soldiers. She spied Brown Ben's weathered face and Bloodbeard's fiery red whiskers and long braids. ADwD, Daenerys IX If the benches are indicative of GRRM's concept of a rainbow, then green and white together occupy the middle. He also includes black at one end of the spectrum. Indigo is absent again until he describes the colors of Hizdahr's clan - who wants to write up a comparison of House Mallister and House Crane with Hizdahr zo Loraq? There is also clearly a social hierarchy associated with these colors - has that been true all along? Is Ser Robar, for instance, the highest born of Renly's Rainbow Guard? I doubt he would outrank Brienne, who is the only child of a lord, while Ser Robar is the second son. And Bryce Caron was a Lord, taking the title after the rest of his family died of a chill. There does seem to be a difference between the bench hierarchy and the clothing distinctions, though. As I've gotten a feel for the cluster of symbols GRRM uses with rainbows, I see a number of key words that link this scene (and the subsequent arrival of Drogon) to the Rainbow Guard - aside from the colors, words such as crane, merry (Pretty Meris is discussed), masks, boar, fruit, bugs (honeyed locusts), bronze, gold, rose. Note the Wizard of Oz allusion as the brazen beasts are listed: lions and tigers and bears, oh my! We are definitely going to see Dany fly over the rainbow in this scene, outdoing happy little bluebirds by flying into the blue sky on a black dragon. I may have been at this too long, but my deep scholarly study of "yellow = Emmon = lemon" has led me to look for hidden lemons (I'll post more on this later). So I couldn't help but notice Dany's description of Drogon's eyes: His eyes were molten. Can you find the words "lemon tree" in that sentence? So Dany has finally found her "home" when she becomes a dragon rider in this chapter. Of course, I also assume an "eyes" reference like this is an allusion to the sword Ice. Sword, dragon, same difference, whatevs. The first glimpse of Drogon is as a shadow that passes across the king's (Hizdahr's) face - an echo of Renly's death? Earlier in this thread, I told @Springwatch that I didn't think Dany was like Melisandre in her function as a destroyer of rainbows. But Drogon certainly fills that role here. Maybe I was just completely wrong about Dany and she is paired with Melisandre as a rainbow destroyer. Or maybe the point is that Dany can harness the shadow and stop it from destroying the rainbow; she will succeed where Melisandre fails. You get back here right this instant, young lady! Spill! Every detail you can spare on House Mallister, if it please you. Immedjately would be preferable. Can't wait to hear it. Please and thank you.
  3. I was reminded of Brown Ben Plumm today, too. So many colors! I found another pairing of a fruit and a body part as I was doing some more search work today. (I can't use the Search of Ice and Fire site on my home computer so I have to do it at work or at the library, which is what is slowing me down in putting up the rest of the rainbow guard analysis.) Lemons and teeth. We know that Jeor Mormont likes lemon in his beer, and there is a scene where Cersei wakes up and drinks water with lemon to clean her teeth. But following the trail of the three Emmon characters in the books (prompted by Emmon Cuy, of the Rainbow Guard) provide a few clues to strengthen the association. Apples and throats may be another pair - Emmon Frey has a prominent (Adam's) apple in his throat, pigs are roasted with apples in their mouths, and the Fossoway apples are often mentioned in connection with Rainbow Guard members. I was thinking the "Over the Rainbow" lyrics might reflect characters who wish they could fly but who can't - people who want to ride dragons, for instance. The three way castles to the Eyrie are stone, snow and sky. So there may be some symbolism there about reaching the "blue sky" above the Rainbow. And then we have a bunch of situations where people have dreams that seem to be prophecies - dreams really do come true. But this may all be coincidence. I didn't realize that this was an artificial set of seven colors created by Newton. It makes sense that the seven divisions are just short hand - the whole spectrum idea should have told me that there are more subtle gradations. As you can tell, my science background is pretty basic. Nice catch on "Storm's End"! That makes it the perfect location for generating rainbows. Awhile ago, I had been trying to figure out whether GRRM intended a wordplay connection between Ser Loras and the room called a "solar" that is found in many castles. They seem to be used by Lords for receiving visitors and conducting business. I couldn't figure out a good connection to Ser Loras, however, so I had to let it go. Now I'm thinking that the point may be that Loras IS the sun - the Rainbow Guard works only when he is the Lord Commander. In this figurative scheme, maybe Renly is the crystal but I'm wondering whether a better fit might mean that Margaery is the crystal: the king is protected by a Rainbow when the sun shines through the crystal. Loras is Renly's real lover, but Renly and Loras are fond of Margaery whose presence helps them to maintain their relationship. Cersei sends Ser Loras on an impossible mission where he is gravely injured and helps to ensure that Margaery is imprisoned (along with her attendants, who may be the equivalent of Margaery's Rainbow Guard). She elevates the Kettleblacks and the colorless, anti-crystal High Sparrow. I think it's not a coincidence that Jaime (gold) and Ser Ilyn (possibly silver) leave King's Landing just as she starts getting into trouble. So maybe Melisandre isn't the only one bent on destroying rainbows. I wonder whether we will also see the final defeat of the Others when someone unites the power of obsidian AND crystal. Dark and light, dragon and faith working together. It does feel as if the crystals are traps, somehow. Or maybe I'm just wishing for a prism / prison pun. If there really is a connection between ice and crystals, then the biggest crystal would be The Wall. And the bodies of the sentinels and people imprisoned in ice cells, maybe also the weirwood that provides the Black Gate, really do support the idea that people or creatures get literally or symbolically trapped. When a person joins the Rainbow Guard, they are given enamel armor in the color Renly assigns to them. In other threads, the idea has been put forward that armor is like an egg shell - both a place that incubates life and a separation from the world. Death and rebirth in one? As for Mel, see above for a comparison to Cersei as a would-be destroyer of rainbows. My reading and re-reading usually doesn't take me in the direction of Dany, but I know there is a lot of color imagery in her threads. Ser Jorah tells her about the colors of the Dothraki Sea, as posted above. She is constantly eating fruit. Daario gives her wildflowers during a ride at some point. Khal Drogo gives her the horse she calls her silver. So I don't think she and Mel are together in their relation to rainbows but there is a lot more detail to be analyzed.
  4. When I was in grade school, indigo was a standard part of the "Roy G. Biv" spectrum we studied. So there have always been seven colors, as far as I was taught, and indigo is one of them. When I searched on the word "indigo," I don't recall seeing anything that linked it to the Stranger. If I ever undertake a rainbow re-read, I will definitely look for evidence that each of the seven gods is linked to a color. I don't recall seeing it in the excerpts examined so far, but it might be there and I just wasn't tuned into it yet. All rainbows interest me now. I will add these ideas to my growing re-read list. Someone just posted a scene with Tyrion and Septa Lemore, reminding me about part of her attire: "Septa Lemore had emerged in her white robes, cinched at the waist with a woven belt of seven colors." So there's another example to sort out and a reminder that searching on the word "rainbow" won't reveal everything on the topic. The rainbow motif leads me to take an interest in all bows in general. Jalabhar Xho gives Joffrey a golden bow with red and green-feathered arrows for a wedding gift. Then there are cross bows, Ygrite shooting Jon with an arrow and then killed by an archer herself, the Tarly huntsman, Bloodraven's archers . . . so many bows. And since rainbows usually appear when rain ends, it might be worth looking at all scenes where rain ends or even when the Rains of Castamere song ends . . .
  5. It does seem as if ice and crystals should be in the "clear glass" family together. Now that this rainbow analysis has given me my first toehold in understanding GRRM's use of color, I may have to do a color re-read of the whole series and try to figure out the role of glass, ice, crystals, fire, sunlight, etc. Based on what I've seen in the little excerpts I've examined, Melisandre isn't interested in all light or even particularly in sunlight: she likes fire. And fire is most dramatic at night, I think. That Stannis excerpt about shadows specifically referred to nightfires. My sample may have been too small, though. I'll have to look at other Melisandre scenes for better insight. Lord Bryce Caron was Renly's orange guard. He is killed by Ser Philip Foote. But this reminded me of Septon Meribald giving out oranges all over the Riverlands, and his story for Brienne and Pod and Hyle about the Smith toughening up his feet over the years. That led me to remember Prince Doran sitting in his wheelchair with blood oranges dropping all around him, unable to stand on his feet (and with his joints compared to ripe fruit). So GRRM is trying to tell us something, I think, but darned if I know what it is. That's an interesting point, about white representing purity. Of course, Cersei puts white cloaks on Kettleblacks. I wish I better understood Ser Loras. By killing several of the rainbow guard, I wonder whether he is supposed to be like rainbow-destroyer Melisandre on some level. But a couple of them are killed after they have gone over to support Stannis. Is he really pure, or is he part of the Tyrell family drive for power and status?
  6. If I hadn't just found a ton of stranger imagery associated with Renly, Brienne and Barristan, the Mallister / indigo / Stranger possibility might seem stronger to me - I can't rule it out, but nothing in the subtext suggests the connection to me yet. Ser Rodrik advises Catelyn to put up her hood when she sees the Mallesters, but she does not. They assume she is a bedraggled traveler and ride past without recognizing her, even without a hood as extra cover. The scene could still foreshadow Catelyn as a Stranger - being unrecognized by her father's bannerman (and a guest at her own wedding) implies that he considered her a stranger even though she was not one. I wonder whether Orell's eagle is a hint about what we might expect from the Mallisters, with their eagle sigil. The wildlings use it as a drone. I don't think the Mallisters are spies because of their long history of service to their liege lords and their loss of family members in various conflicts. Orell's eagle attacks Jon and Ghost, injuring Jon's face and Ghost's neck. Melisandre sets fire to the eagle. I don't know. These are all still random bits of information until we see more of the Mallisters, I guess. Sansa has dressed in blue before venturing outside - Brienne's color, or maybe a color for a woman on a quest. I like your point that she is rejecting southron culture here. This is sort of a "baptism" scene for her, maybe; washing away the false persona she used to survive in King's Landing and falling to her knees in the snow she associates with Winterfell. Sort of like Theon being baptized with seawater when he returns to the Iron Islands after growing up in the green lands. As the sun rises, some color comes back into Sansa's snow scene, as I recall. Yes, here it is: "Dawn stole into her garden like a thief. The grey of the sky grew lighter still, and the trees and shrubs turned a dark green beneath their stoles of snow." Dark green isn't exactly a rainbow yet, but she soon recalls the glass gardens at Winterfell and their warmth. If the greenhouse at Winterfell is supposed to be like the crystals that create rainbows, capturing light and using it to create fruit and flowers, that would explain why GRRM makes it clear in this scene that the glass in the snow castle's glass house is imaginary. Maybe the point is that Winterfell is bereft of rainbows in a way that is similar to the destruction of Renly's rainbow guard. We will know that Winterfell has come back to life when the glass houses are reconstructed and the gardens are growing. I'm still trying to pin down the details, but I think Mel likes the colors of fire (particularly red, but also orange and yellow). Maybe her destruction of rainbows shows that she is an extremist - instead of embracing the spectrum, she wants only the "roy" colors - no "g. biv". I have been intrigued by the brown characters - Bronn, the high sparrow, perhaps King Tristifer Mudd, maybe the Brune / bruin and Umber characters. What is their role in the rainbow scheme? Maybe you're right, that they are more attuned to simple things and closer to basics in life. Maybe brown is the color of the smallfolk. Renly thought Barristan was his blue knight, but we see Ser Barristan wearing white, growing a white beard, etc. Blue was Brienne's color even before she joined the rainbow guard. She may still be the highest and most civilized of knights, however, upholding your point. As I was doing a little more work on this today, I realized that GRRM may have used some lines from the famous song as he constructed his rainbow motif, with the blue sky as the ultimate goal: Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.... Somewhere over the rainbow blue birds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow, Why then, oh, why can't I?
  7. I think Bran already had his fall. The hints I've picked up on seem to focus on Griff / Aegon falling, probably from The Wall. When the death of baby Aegon is described, we are always told that his brains were dashed out against a wall. Together with the Aegon = egg = Humpty Dumpty allusion, I suspect there is foreshadowing about his eventual demise in this image.
  8. Arya II, Storm 13 This sure sounds like a murder ballad. So, who gets whacked? Brienne, Sansa, or Arya? The first time we hear about Off to Gulltown, is at the very beginning of The Hedge Knight... When Ser Duncan the Tall arrived at Ashford, "it seemed as though every lordly house of the west and south had sent a knight or three to Ashford to see the fair maid and brave the lists in her honor." She was "a short girl with yellow hair and a round pink face." She did not seem so fair to Dunk, though. "The puppet girl was prettier." Now, here's what I am digging... The fair maid reigned as Queen of Love and Beauty. A Beauty! A Beauty! Very nice! We must have been drinking the same tea today. The Ashford Tourney is a place where noble houses associated with Renly's Rainbow Guard were all present and engaged in the action. Of course, Brienne is part of that Rainbow Guard. However, I think the song alludes to Sansa / Alayne and to Sandor Clegane - he didn't actually kiss her at knife point, but she thinks he did. And Sandor is associated with shadow, so resting in the shade would be something he would do. But, of course, Sandor is probably the grave digger at the Quiet Isle. And he was also a king's guard. Gulls and Gulltown may be part of a bird motif closely associated with the Rainbow Guard. And Brienne is also a puppet girl after being strung up and made to "dance" by the Brotherhood Without Banners. Brienne's first betrothed was a boy from House Caron, represented by Lord Bryce Caron in the Rainbow Guard, and he also died of a chill. Brienne meets Ser Illifer the Pennyless when she begins her quest to find Sansa, and Ser Arlan is from Pennytree. Both Sansa and Brienne are associated with the Florian the Fool story that "the puppet girl" acted out with marionettes in one of the Dunk & Egg stories.
  9. I've been looking at passages involving Renly's rainbow guard, the individual members of that group, sigils and seats, people with similar or related names, people with strong opinions about the rainbow guard, green armor and other passages relating to rainbows. There is still a lot to analyze and some of the conclusions I've drawn are more tentative than others, but here are a few things that seem to be true about rainbows in ASOIAF: Rainbows might be the opposite of shadows. (Hmm. Denys Mallister at the Shadow Tower might contradict this. See indigo discussion, below.) Key characters other than Renly have their own Rainbow Guards or partial "rainbow" protection. If you learned the "Roy G. Biv" mnemonic in grade school (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet), stop thinking of the name of one person and instead think of Roy as one part of the team and Biv as a different wing of the team; "roy" and "biv" might actually be opposing forces, in fact. Alternatively, the point might be to unite all seven colors in spite of their diversity: Renly comes close, but he does not have an indigo guard among his complete team of seven guards. That leaves green in the middle as a major player in his own right - does he play both sides? Does he represent Garth Greenhand? What can we infer by examining the many "green" characters throughout the books? Rainbow Guard members and their families are a big presence at tournaments - particularly the Ashford Meadow tournament featured in The Hedge Knight story of the Dunk & Egg saga and the Hand's Tourney staged after Ned Stark's arrival in King's Landing. (The Hand / Garth Greenhand connection is not a coincidence, I'm sure.) Indigo was not part of Renly's team but it is still part of the symbolism. Flowers, birds, bugs and fruit are often found wherever the text mentions or alludes to members of the Rainbow Guard. I suspect this is also part of the Garth Greenhand imagery, as he was associated with fertility, fruitfulness and the abundance of the harvest. Here are some of the passages that have helped me to draw some conclusions about the rainbow motif. Catelyn knows a rainbow when she sees one Catelyn had been anointed with the seven oils and named in the rainbow of light that filled the sept of Riverrun. She was of the Faith, like her father and grandfather and his father before him. Her gods had names, and their faces were as familiar as the faces of her parents. Worship was a septon with a censer, the smell of incense, a seven-sided crystal alive with light, voices raised in song. The Tullys kept a godswood, as all the great houses did, but it was only a place to walk or read or lie in the sun. Worship was for the sept. (AGoT, Catelyn I) GRRM's first mention of a complex motif is always important. This passage is the first reference to a rainbow and establishes their association with the faith of the seven and with Catelyn. Septons in the Faith use crystals to refract light and cast rainbows on surfaces. It is not a coincidence, I suspect, that Catelyn is initially presented as the most genuinely devout follower of the new gods and that she is also the POV that describes Renly's rainbow guard and the moment of Renly's death. Before Renly's death, Catelyn spends the night praying in a sept, accompanied by an escort from the Rainbow Guard: Finally there were footsteps behind her, and a noise at the door. "My lady," Ser Robar said gently, "pardon, but our time is at an end. We must be back before the dawn breaks." Catelyn rose stiffly. Her knees ached, and she would have given much for a featherbed and a pillow just then. "Thank you, ser. I am ready." (ACoK, Catelyn IV) Melisandre opposes rainbows As an advocate of the red god R'hllor, Melisandre opposes worship of the new gods and seeks to convert people to her beliefs. I believe these passages help to establish the mutual exclusion of Melisandre's ritual flames - and the shadows they cast - with the use of sunlight, crystals and rainbows in the Faith of the Seven: King Stannis pointed a finger. “There you err, Onion Knight. Some lights cast more than one shadow. Stand before the nightfire and you’ll see for yourself. The flames shift and dance, never still. The shadows grow tall and short, and every man casts a dozen. Some are fainter than others, that’s all. Well, men cast their shadows across the future as well. One shadow or many. Melisandre sees them all.” (ACoK, Davos II) The crystal casts rainbows; a nightfire casts shadows. We see the shadows cast by Melisandre killing Renly, in spite of his Rainbow Guard, and Ser Cortnay Penrose who was castellan for Renly and guardian of Edric Storm, a natural son of King Robert and possible heir to the throne. Dragonstone's sept had been where Aegon the Conqueror knelt to pray the night before he sailed. That had not saved it from the queen's men. They had overturned the altars, pulled down the statues, and smashed the stained glass with warhammers. . . . Afterward Guncer Sunglass, mildest and most pious of lords, told Stannis he could no longer support his claim. Now he shared a sweltering cell with the Septon . . . The burning gods cast a pretty light, wreathed in their robes of shifting flame, red and orange and yellow. . . . The Myrmen swapped jokes as they enjoyed the warmth of the fire, but young Lord Bar Emmon had turned a splotchy grey . . . "Under the sea, smoke rises in bubbles, and flames burn green and blue and black," Patchface sang somewhere. "I know, I know, oh, oh, oh." (ACoK, Davos I) When Davos asks for an update on what happened at and after the Battle of Blackwater and which lords remained to support Stannis, among the news delivered by Lord Alester is that: . . . the red woman burned Sunglass, and Lord Bar Emmon is fifteen, fat, and feeble Those are your lords of the narrow sea. Only the strength of House Florent is left to Stannis, against all the might of Highgarden, Sunspear, and Casterly Rock, and now most of the storm lords as well. (ASoS, Davos III) I take a special interest in Lord Sunglass because he probably represents the crystals that create rainbows. Lord Bar Emmon's surname resembles the first name of Ser Emmon Cuy, who was the yellow knight in Renly's Rainbow Guard. As the statues of the seven gods are burned, Bar Emmon is drained of color, and he is described as powerless after the Blackwater. Also killed at the Blackwater were a couple of Renly's Rainbow Guard members who had joined Stannis: Lord Bryce Caron (orange) and Ser Guyard Morrigen (green). The status of Ser Parmen Crane (purple) is indicated in the wiki as unknown with the speculation that he may be a Tyrell prisoner. Maybe I'm stretching, but I also have to wonder whether there is an Alester / Mallister allusion (see below) as Melisandre will eventually burn Lord Alester. I'm not sure whether the author is telling us that Stannis was more than half way done with assembling his rainbow but has now destroyed his chance, or whether the point is just to show that Melisandre destroys rainbows wherever she goes. I was also interested to re-read the famous "green-blue-black" line from Patchface in context with the "red-orange-yellow" flames from Melisandre's sacrifice to R'hllor. GRRM has a little fun describing some men from Myr as "Myrmen" - mermen? - underscoring the "under the sea" reference to the burning of the statues. The Battle of the Blackwater is probably also a name chosen because it sounds as if colors would be destroyed by black water. Before leaving the Stannis section of these observations I want to note that, immediately after the burning of the statues, Davos meets Salladhor Saan at an inn. Saan eats juicy grapes, indicates that he is not impressed by Melisandre's bonfire and tells Davos about the recent arrival of his ship, Bird of a Thousand Colors. The fruit and birds and thousand colors seem calculated to show where the life and power associated with rainbows can now be found among the supporters of Stannis. Where is the indigo guard? When I started exploring the Rainbow Guard, I made up a little chart with a column for each color in the English-language version of a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. I quickly realized that this chart didn't match Renly's scheme. He had seven guards, but Ser Loras Tyrell was the Lord Commander and was not associated with a single color. The seventh color not assigned to the other six knights was indigo. So I searched for the word indigo in the text to see whether the author had used it elsewhere. The strongest associations of the color were with "indigo murk," the color of the light inside the House of the Undying, and with House Mallister, the Riverlands house with an eagle sigil on an indigo field. House Mallister turns out to be a pretty good match for the other houses represented in the Rainbow Guard in the sense that members of the house participated in the Tourney at Ashford and the Hand's Tourney. (The wiki lists specifics of Mallister participation in several other tourneys against important opponents - Prince Rhaegar, Ser Jorah.) Catelyn encounters Mallister knights on their way to the Hand's Tourney when she is surreptitiously returning north after her visit with Ned in King's Landing. I suspect that GRRM might be telling us that indigo is the darkest color and most dangerous and difficult to bring to its knees, so to speak. It takes a victor like Rhaegar or the supercharged Ser Jorah to prevail over the "indigo" Mallisters. When Maester Cressen plans to poison Melisandre, he chooses a poison contained in an indigo glass vial. Of course, Cressen dies after ingesting the poison and Melisandre appears to be unaffected by it. The Mallisters seem to have been loyal bannermen for House Tully, followed Brandon Stark and Robb Stark in critical situations, and have been traditional enemies of the Iron Islands. They were forced to bend the knee to Joffrey after the Red Wedding, but it will be interesting to see whether the Mallisters clearly take sides as the story plays out. Denys Mallister, of course, commands Eastwatch by the Sea for the Night's Watch. Another random and extremely convoluted symbolism observation. (Skip this is you don't like to search the text for deeper meanings and hints.) The Mallisters sometimes wear silver eagle wings on their helmets. The dragon named Silverwing (ridden by Ulf the White) is vaguely linked to the Rainbow Guard because it created a retirement lair on an island in Red Lake, which was originally called Blue Lake and is located near Silverhill and Goldengrove. Red Lake is the traditional seat of the Crane family, and Ser Parmen Crane was the purple member of the Rainbow Guard. Also, House Crane was founded by Rose, daughter of Garth Greenhand. In addition to purple, Ser Parmen was associated with plums - a decoration on his surcoat. Plums are linked by wordplay to lumps, and lumps represent pregnancy in ASOIAF. The histories make a big point of describing Silverwing mating with the dragon Vermithor, called the bronze fury. I would not be surprised at all if there is a clutch of dragon eggs on the island in Red Lake (in the Reach). "Fury" is associated with House Baratheon, of course, and read the next passage, below, for a description of red turning to bronze. Alternatively, the plum/lump symbolism associated with House Crane could be a hint that Meredyth "Merry" Crane, one of Margaery's ladies in waiting, is the person who needed the moon tea prepared by Maester Pycelle. Merry spends a lot of her time "off hawking" - say that out loud and tell me it's not a hint. Is indigo different from the other rainbow colors? This passage gives us a great overview of the rainbow scheme and specific information on the relationship of lemons and indigo: "The Dothraki sea," Ser Jorah Mormont said as he reined to a halt beside her on the top of the ridge. Beneath them, the plain stretched out immense and empty, a vast flat expanse that reached to the distant horizon and beyond. It was a sea, Dany thought. Past here, there were no hills, no mountains, no trees nor cities nor roads, only the endless grasses, the tall blades rippling like waves when the winds blew. "It's so green," she said. "Here and now," Ser Jorah agreed. "You ought to see it when it blooms, all dark red flowers from horizon to horizon, like a sea of blood. Come the dry season, and the world turns the color of old bronze. And this is only hranna, child. There are a hundred kinds of grass out there, grasses as yellow as lemon and as dark as indigo, blue grasses and orange grasses and grasses like rainbows. Down in the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, they say there are oceans of ghost grass, taller than a man on horseback with stalks as pale as milkglass. It murders all other grass and glows in the dark with the spirits of the damned. The Dothraki claim that someday ghost grass will cover the entire world, and then all life will end." That thought gave Dany the shivers. "I don't want to talk about that now," she said. "It's so beautiful here, I don't want to think about everything dying." (AGoT, Daenerys III) Without being too blatant about it, I think GRRM is telling us that lemon grass and indigo grass are the two opposite ends of the spectrum. Anytime someone in the story mentions a preference for lemons, they will be 180-degrees different from a character aligned with indigo. But there's more here: green seems to be confirmed as the "father" of colors in nature, but it can change with the seasons and with different species of flora to show completely different colors. Interesting that Ser Jorah understands the full range of grass possibilities, and that he defeated the indigo Lord, Jason Mallister, at the tournament at Lannisport. As I mentioned earlier, however, indigo also comes up in the context of Dany's dream-like experience in the House of the Undying. Specifically, the phrase "indigo murk" is used to describe the dim lighting in the house. A figure often inferred to represent Rhaegar has "dark indigo" eyes. Skip this if you hate anagrams, but I think these phrases might be hints about kings. "Dark indigo" could be a hint about "King dad or I," and tell us that Rhaegar is really Dany's father. Or it could simply acknowledge that either she or the father of the newborn in the vision will become "king". Does all the indigo in the House of the Undying relate to the indigo eyes of this father figure in the vision? Is the author telling us that the Undying Ones are Targaryen ancestors? I have written elsewhere in this forum that I believe the House of the Undying and its fire is like the fire at the Winterfell library; that "always the door to the right" is an instruction for turning the pages of a book, and that the destruction of the heart and burning of the occupants within the HotU is like the burning of books. The burning of the indigo could be a way of showing Dany (with Drogon's help) conquering death or leaving behind the old Targaryen traditions to begin a new dynasty with herself as the founder. But then black wings buffeted her round the head, and a scream of fury cut the indigo air, and suddenly the visions were gone, ripped away, and Dany’s gasp turned to horror. The Undying were all around her, blue and cold, whispering as they reached for her, pulling, stroking, tugging at her clothes, touching her with their dry cold hands, twining their fingers through her hair. All the strength had left her limbs. She could not move. Even her heart had ceased to beat. She felt a hand on her bare breast, twisting her nipple. Teeth found the soft skin of her throat. A mouth descended on one eye, licking, sucking, biting … Then indigo turned to orange, and whispers turned to screams. Her heart was pounding, racing, the hands and mouths were gone, heat washed over her skin, and Dany blinked at a sudden glare. Perched above her, the dragon spread his wings and tore at the terrible dark heart, ripping the rotten flesh to ribbons, and when his head snapped forward, fire flew from his open jaws, bright and hot. She could hear the shrieks of the Undying as they burned, their high thin papery voices crying out in tongues long dead. Their flesh was crumbling parchment, their bones dry wood soaked in tallow. They danced as the flames consumed them; they staggered and writhed and spun and raised blazing hands on high, their fingers bright as torches. (ACoK, Daenerys IV) Concluding for now, but more to come I have to take a break, but I want to get this giant chunk published. There are just a few more things (I hope only a few) about bird and flower sigils and fruit and bug allusions I haven't included. I've also posted elsewhere about "green" characters - Gren, Gendry, Lommy Greenhands, Gregor Clegane, the Green Grace, etc. - but these people may take on a new meaning if we think of "green" as the lynchpin that holds together the seven colors needed for a rainbow. The lynchpin idea may also help to identify new "green" characters who weren't apparent before: the sigil of Ser Hyle Hunt is a dead stag, which might be a commentary on the death of Renly, who has appeared previously in "ghost" form at the Blackwater and at Joffrey's wedding feast. Could Ser Hyle be a "green" character - another ghost of Renly - guiding Brienne through her quest in the Riverlands? I haven't dug deeply into the rainbow connections for Ser Loras and Brienne because they are more complex characters. It does complicate things that Loras kills several of his "brothers" in the guard. I would welcome comments that help to understand how Loras and Brienne are shaped by, or link back to, the rainbow guard and its symbols. I would also welcome alternate interpretations and assistance working out the meaning of the Rainbow Guard in relation to other guards - kings guard, Strong Belwas, Areo Hotah, Sandor Clegane, Night's Watch, city watch, etc. What does it mean that Renly was saving the last rainbow cloak (blue) for Ser Barristan, but Selmy instead went to Daenerys? Also needed are insights about non-rainbow colors, combinations of colors, or colors in non-guard contexts that come up in connection to members of the Rainbow Guard. Finally, if someone could explain the connection between oranges and feet, I would be most grateful.
  10. Of course, Shireen herself has scales from her childhood bout with grey scale. And the men at the Bridge of Dream who have greyscale are called stonemen. She may be afraid of her own (dormant) disease. Rereading this, I see that GRRM wants us to think of Patchface as a particularly important fool, just as the white raven is bigger and more important than other ravens, and it carries a singular message. As you point out, Patchface's messages about the sea seem to be about mortality and death. If Patchface is a "white raven" with a message about death, and Shireen has scales, what does it mean when the fool says, "'Under the sea, the birds have scales for feathers,' he said, clang-a-langing. 'I know, I know, oh, oh, oh.'?" Perhaps Shireen is also a bird? Or, as you also point out that dragons also have scales, is Shireen a dragon?
  11. When you say ". . . and vice versa," do you mean would Robb betray Walder without Roose? Would Walder betray Roose without Robb? Would Roose betray both Walder and Robb? Would Robb betray Roose with a side order of Walder? What if bread and salt were not part of the equation? If so, I would say, "Yes. He would."
  12. And Ned would have been born generations after that singer's visit.
  13. Interesting possibility with Melisandre and the Alexandria library. Wouldn't that be something. (By the way, there is a fascinating nonfiction book called The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu that came out a couple of years ago. Saving ancient books crumbling away in trunks in the Sahara, and then saving them again from Isis invaders.) Bards, fools and singers are apparently all related, if @Curled Finger is correct about GRRM's grounding in the Dungeons & Dragons character types. As I read TWOIAF, I came to believe that the fool/historian Mushroom was the voice we should look to for meaningful hints about what was really going on behind the narrative. And this raises an important question about singers who are killed in the books: Tyrion, Joffrey, Arya and Petyr Baelish all maim or kill a singer. But their motives vary - Tyrion and Joffrey didn't like the truths told by a couple of singers, Arya killed Dareon because he was a deserter and vow-breaker. Petyr takes a new tack, maiming Merillion when he scapegoats him; forcing him to "sing a song" dictated by Petyr - but he does not silence him. It also interests me that Ned did not have singers come to Winterfell. I'm not sure where Sansa discovered her love of music without visiting singers, either. I'm also thinking that Ned's execution of Gared, who had a truth to share about the white walkers, is supposed to be compared to Arya's murder of Dareon. What truth would Dareon have shared that Arya might not want people to know? How does murdering a singer compare to burning a book? I love that.
  14. There's a passage where Bran sees Septon Chayle taking stock of the damaged items from the library (ACoK, Bran IV). It sounded as if a lot of the contents were salvageable. But there is definitely a motif in ASOIAF about destroying books, starting with the Winterfell library. And I would guess that the fire there is symbolically linked to the fire at Summerhall and to the fire at the House of the Undying at the tail end of Dany's visit. The destruction of a book might be linked to the death of a king - Roose is committing to an alliance with the Lannisters and the murder of Robb Stark as he destroys this book. Joffrey destroys Lives of Four Kings, the book Tyrion gave him as a groom's gift, just before he dies at his wedding feast. The burning of the library at Winterfell doesn't quite match, unless you see Bran as a king who hasn't yet been recognized. On the other hand, the catspaw does not kill Bran. Maybe the library destruction is linked to the death of Ned, who is a symbolic Winter King (contrasting with the Summer King, Robert Baratheon). I've been noodling around with Rainbow Guard stuff lately, and I think book destruction might also be linked to the death of Robar Royce, oddly enough. The Royces wear runes on their armor - a sort of text, rumored to provide protection - part of the swords / words wordplay - but one that no one knows how to read. Renly gives Robar a new suit of red armor, part of the rainbow set. Perhaps the discarding of the rune armor and replacing it with the red armor is like the destruction of a book - Robar's death is linked to the death of a king, Renly. A related tangent: Waymar Royce did not wear rune armor when he died in the AGoT prologue, but he wore a sable cloak. A sable is a species of animal in the marten family. So GRRM may be having wordplay fun with "marten" and his surname, Martin. When Night's Watch Ranger Jaremy Rykker dies, Thoren Smallwood takes his job, his breastplate and his sable-trimmed cloak. If the symbolism about the sable and the author is correct, I think there's something in here about the relationship between the character and the storyteller, as well as a contrast between death and the immortality achieved through having one's story remembered. The Penrose family sigil and motto are all about storytelling, and Ser Cortnay Penrose is quite fed up with the Rainbow Guard members who failed to protect Renly. He is defeated by one of Melisandre's shadow babies. If I'm on the right trail, Melisandre represents lies and destruction of history and legend (burning swords/words but not in the way Maester Aemon knows to be correct; glamoring people to make them appear to be someone they are not). Melisandre destroys storyteller Ser Cortnay and wants to write a false version of history, with Stannis as a reborn hero savior. By contrast, after years of destroying swords with trick flames to try to glorify the red god, Thoros of Myr discovers that words have a power he did not even know he possessed; the power to revive people who had been killed. Anyway. One of the book-related vignettes I still need to analyze is Sam and Maester Aemon taking books from Castle Black to the Citadel. As we know, the books have to be given up as partial payment for Sam and Gilly's passage on the Cinnamon Wind to Oldtown (after the singer Dareon diverts the proceeds of his singing - a form of storytelling - to his own use instead of advancing the group's progress on their journey). So the books aren't destroyed, but they may not go to exactly the people Aemon and Sam had in mind when they packed them up. Back to Roose's book destruction. A lot of the comments here focus on Roose intending to hide something by burning the book. But the description says that the pages turned in the flames, as if a ghost were reading it. If Roose does have this creepy kind of dark magic aura in some of the details surrounding him, he may be part of the set of symbols associated with Melisandre. What if he puts the book in the fire not so it can be destroyed, but so it can be "read" by a ghost? Maybe he is sending information to some version of the ghost of Harrenhal or making a sacrifice to the red god.
  15. In addition to those listed by Walda, there is this significant combat moment described by Theon at the end of AGoT: Theon Greyjoy was seated on a bench in Riverrun's Great Hall, enjoying a horn of ale and regaling her father's garrison with an account of the slaughter in the Whispering Wood. "Some tried to flee, but we'd pinched the valley shut at both ends, and we rode out of the darkness with sword and lance. The Lannisters must have thought the Others themselves were on them when that wolf of Robb's got in among them. I saw him tear one man's arm from his shoulder, and their horses went mad at the scent of him. I couldn't tell you how many men were thrown—" (AGoT, Catelyn XI) I think this foreshadows the revenge of the one-armed man: when Roose Bolton tells Robb, "Jaime Lannister sends his regards," just before delivering the coup de grace. There are several references in the books to the direwolves having the potential to tear off a person's arm. Don't know if that relates to analysis of the burning statues, however.