ravenous reader

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About ravenous reader

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  1. I'm not sure how it works, but there is certainly a connection between 'flame-reading' and 'weirwood-reading', modalities which on closer inspection are not all that dissimilar as first meets the eye -- both being examples of 'dark-seeing,' which is the essential component -- as pointed out by @40 Thousand Skeletons, whom I consider to be the foremost 'telepathy guru' when it comes to tracing GRRM's enduring preoccupation with these things: This is a paraphrase or restatement of Bran's greenseeing quest: It's important to recognise the paradox that though the trees seem to have 'eyes', it is not through the eyes per se that the greenseer is able to 'see,' given that the eyes of the trees have been gouged out (hence they bleed from empty sockets); in other words, the trees have been blinded! GRRM's text abounds in hippy references to consciousness-altering drugs 'opening the doors of perception,' my favourites being 'silver seaweed' ('see-weed') mentioned by Patchface, and the 'sunless sea' of Bloodraven's greenseeing cavern (=dark sea = dark see[ing]), the latter phrase taken from Coleridge's poem written under the influence of opium, basically 'milk of the poppy'. I'm waiting to see what things Bran is going to be moved to do with his powers 'for love'! Bravo (where is the 'clap emoji'?) -- elegantly expressed and one of the best insights I've ever read on the forum! Further examples of 'fire-blindness': The direct textual proof that fire- and weirnet- 'reading' are connected, in fact that fire-reading can facilitate weirnet access, is given by the curious detail GRRM slips in of how Bran is able to access the Winterfell heart tree via staring into the fire rather than grabbing on to a tree root, as one might have expected: What is your interpretation of what 'seeing beyond the trees themselves' entails? Red eyes of blood and fire. Maggy the Frog is a maege in the vein of @LmL's 'weirwood goddess' concept. She like the weirwood singers-greenseers needs a blood sacrifice in order to see: Which is related to this passage... And a 'folio' is a 'leaf'! @Seams has pointed out that the injunction to Dany to 'always take the first door on the right' in the House of the Undying is akin to reading (at least for left-to-right readers), always turning the next page to the right. Given that symbolically the House of the Undying and surrounding trees is widely taken to be an 'inverse' weirnet, negotiating ones way through the tree archive is a form of reading. Just so. GRRM is the ultimate master greenseer (A 'gardener' indeed). As a point of interest, the name 'Plantagenet', given GRRM's interest in English history, means 'gardener' or 'sapling', so GRRM on some level also considers himself royalty! Great catch Lynn! The passage in question: She's also connected to 'moonlight' which in turn is frequently seen in conjunction with water magic (which in my opinion is the same thing as ice magic): 'The lake had no bottom...' hence a 'bottomless' body of 'black water'...Remind you of anything? The 'language of starlight' is also associated with the weirwood:
  2. Thank you -- I knew you'd be the one to ask..! The seminal love triangle of George, Lisa and 'X' have carefully hidden the identity of said 'X' online -- it is very frustrating for those of us favoring a psychoanalytic approach to the text..!
  3. Re-gar-ding () the name 'Rhae-gar', I was wondering whether GRRM might be playing with the two syllables the same way he played with the name 'Gar-ed' in the Prologue, which @evita mgfs I believe is correct in identifying as a play on 'Ed-gar', with the syllables transposed according to GRRM's mathematical wordgames, 'Edgar' for 'Edgar Allan Poe,' the famous gothic author of 'The Raven'! From the fact of 'Will' (the one caught redhanded poaching/skinning a buck on a nobleman's estate) being an obvious reference to 'William Shakespeare' (similarly, there is a well-known anecdote, albeit most likely 'urban myth', of Shakespeare involved in a 'deer-poaching episode'), Evita reasons that the other two brothers in the Prologue ought to for symmetry's sake also therefore be nods to famous writers who may have influenced him (according to GRRM's penchant for doing things in threes)! Now, I'd like to take this further according to another thought I've had that GRRM is in addition to referencing famous authors also referencing figures who may have impacted his own personal life -- specifically his lovelife -- with a little disguise of course! As you point out, Rhaegar fighting Robert parallels Petyr fighting Brandon, and in both instances they were fighting over a woman, Lyanna and Cat, respectively. Given that it's widely acknowledged that GRRM may have based the character 'Lyanna' (as well as 'Lya' as in 'A Song for Lya') on his own love 'Lisa,' taken together with his obsession with doomed love triangles, we might ask ourselves if Robert and Rhaegar could likewise be taken to represent the two men feuding for her favor, namely GRRM himself and whomever Lisa left GRRM for. Does anyone happen to know the name of GRRM's romantic rival, the man for whom Lisa Tuttle left GRRM ( @The Fattest Leech?) -- I've researched and I can't find anything; that sensitive information has been very discretely hidden 'all records of his name erased' it would seem -- (that would parallel Lyanna leaving Robert for Rhaegar, and would imply GRRM identifies with Robert Baratheon!)? I have a crazy notion his name was something like 'Gareth' or, even better, 'Gar-rhae' = 'Gary'! It's not unusual for authors to reference autobiographical tidbits in their own works. For example, in a famous verse of his, William Blake makes a reference to two women 'Kate' and 'Nan', who it turns out were probably, according to one interpretation William Blake and Religion: A New Critical View By Magnus Ankarsjö, an oblique reference to his wife 'Catherine' nicknamed 'Kate,' and his friend's wife 'Nancy' (married to Blake's sculptor friend John Flaxman) whom he may have coveted or with whom he may even have had an affair. It's also a reminder, as we've been discussing, that 'every harlot was a virgin once' -- i.e. 'whores are made,' not born. Verses from ‘The Gates of Paradise’ [Epilogue]. To the Accuser who is The God of this World TRULY, my Satan, thou art but a dunce, And dost not know the garment from the man; Every harlot was a virgin once, Nor canst thou ever change Kate into Nan. Tho’ thou art worship’d by the names divine Of Jesus and Jehovah, thou art still The Son of Morn in weary Night’s decline, The lost traveller’s dream under the hill. I like that theory. It ties in to the notion of 'taming the wolf to defeat the other (Other?!) wolves' -- so the stolen changeling/Other baby became a Stark, obviously: Funny that you should mention 'cesspool' -- do you recall @Pain killer Jane's and my idea of the Others emerging via the proverbial 'back door'?! (sorry to be crass, but we are discussing the likes of Craster, among other arseholes...). According to the symbolism, the 'way in' to the weirwood, the 'front door,' is configured as a 'vaginal' entrance; the 'way out' of the weirwood however, the 'back door,' is configured as an 'anal' passage, as it were. Being 'reborn' is being disgorged from the 'bowels of the earth', or more accurately the 'cesspool' of black water often accompanying the weirwood tree. Think of all the examples of those 'reborn' from the cesspool of black water, like an inverse baptism: Craster's sons given to the Others are being 'smuggled out the back door' of Craster's Keep, which is often likened to a midden or a huge 'shitpile' Arya emerging from the King's Landing dungeons via the sewers Arya emerging from the muddy tunnel which shields her from the fire (in ASOIAF 'mud' is basically synonymous with sewerage/fertilizer) The mysterious pregnant woman in Bran's vision emerging from the black pool at the foot of the heart tree, symbolically a Night's Queen figure, so the child she's carrying is an 'Other' Osha rising out of the pool, after which Summer sniffs her to make sure she's not dead Tyrion being pulled out of the 'unclean' Sorrows after his near-drowning; he compares himself to a 'revenant' who will 'haunt' the seven kingdoms dead. A good example involving Jaime would be his rescue of Tyrion for love. Following his escape from King's Landing (LmL's 'fire moon' conflagration scenario), Tyrion is rescued once more, this time from an icy prison in the Sorrows (my sea/see pun applies), being liberated from the 'kiss of death' of the Shrouded Lord (the NK archetype, or the 'darker face of the Garth deity') by receiving the kiss of life from Septa Lemore (a 'mermaid' figure granting the 'kiss of life' in @Crowfood's Daughter's tradition -- note that it is Lemore, a NQ and maternal figure symbolically, who resuscitates him following his near-drowning!) In Lemore, we have a white-robed virginal septa figure, who seems to have indulged in too much sex than is seemly for a septa, as evidenced by the telltale stretchmarks on her belly (does that make her a kind of 'whore'?) As some have noted, 'Lemore' is a wordplay on 'L'amore' = 'love,' so once again Tyrion is rescued by/for love! Another 'green man' candidate who was instrumental in 'stealing the child' would be Howland Reed. The Night's King would be the abominable greenseer; the insatiable god he serves would be the weirnet harnessed to his own ego... The answer to your question is probably 'both' -- NQ is wronged and induced to create Others by having her reproduction violently taken over by another. Think of Gilly (NQ archetype) in relation to Craster (NK archetype). He makes her into his whore by having sex with his own daughter beginning when she is underage no doubt, then forcing her to give up her son for sacrifice to the trees (= the hungry god) -- a whole set of abominations right there. Out of love, she rescues her son 'Monster' with the aid of the oathbreaking Huntsman Sam (LH archetype), who also does what he does for love (love of Gilly, that is). Once again -- the pattern we've identified previously of the female victim unfairly labeled a 'whore' being scapegoated for the sins of the male perpetrator. Interestingly, the crew hold her responsible for the storm at sea, a parallel to the NQ having created the Others out of the sea/see and/or having stolen one of the babies meant for the Others, arousing the ire of the elements. Note how 'the wood closed in around them,' almost like a hungry mouth (a bit reminiscent of the wrinkly orifice that stretches to admit Bran at the so-called 'Black Gate,' in actual fact a white weirwood)! And then the final description 'he gives his sons to the wood', implying that the wood is consuming the boys. Thus, another of GRRM's trite aphorisms is deconstructed: 'fire consumes; ice preserves...' goes the refrain; yet, clearly it is 'ice' (the 'cold gods', the 'faceless, nameless ones of the wood') which is doing the consuming here. The legend of the 'rat cook' must be related symbolically, with the 'monstrous white rat' who consumes its own children being a weirwood allusion, as ... @Brian Powers Of Palantíri and @Evolett have suggested. @Lollygag has also remarked that a rat needs to constantly chew because their teeth never stop growing, which reminds me of the way the weirwoods are described: The word 'RATS' is also an anagram for 'STAR' which can be found in the names 'STARk' and 'cRASTer! 'Brandon of the bloody blade'! You are right -- Lady Dustin is a NQ figure: So if Lady Barbrey is a NQ figure, turned into a 'whore' by Brandon, then who is the 'child' either literal or symbolic she has liberated from death?
  4. I've been thinking that gifting someone flowers in ASOIAF is usually a bad omen, introducing the idea of 'false flowers', with its association to treachery: I think it's interesting that the 'poison kisses' are purple -- like Targaryen lovers! "Where The Wild Roses Grow"(feat. Nick Cave) They call me The Wild Rose But my name was Elisa Day Why they call me it I do not know For my name was Elisa Day From the first day I saw her I knew she was the one She stared in my eyes and smiled For her lips were the colour of the roses That grew down the river, all bloody and wild When he knocked on my door and entered the room My trembling subsided in his sure embrace He would be my first man, and with a careful hand He wiped at the tears that ran down my face They call me The Wild Rose But my name was Elisa Day Why they call me that I do not know For my name was Elisa Day On the second day I brought her a flower She was more beautiful than any woman I'd seen I said, "Do you know where the wild roses grow, So sweet and scarlet and free?" On the second day he came with a single red rose He said, "Give me your loss and your sorrow?" I nodded my head, as I lay on the bed "If I show you the roses will you follow?" They call me The Wild Rose But my name was Elisa Day Why they call me that I do not know For my name was Elisa Day On the third day he took me to the river He showed me the roses and we kissed And the last thing I heard was a muttered word As he knelt above me with a rock in his fist On the last day I took her where the wild roses grow She lay on the bank, the wind light as a thief And I kissed her goodbye, said, "All beauty must die." And I leant down and planted a rose 'tween her teeth They call me The Wild Rose But my name was Elisa Day Why they call me it I do not know For my name was Elisa Day My name was Elisa Day For my name was Elisa Day The woman who gets the 'false flowers' is a 'whore'; and she gets killed... I can't get Rhaegar's flowers out of my mind... Were they 'false flowers'? Hi Pretty! I've moved the discussion to the poetry thread, firstly given that I've had a lot of thoughts (and poems/songs) surrounding the subject which I'd like to explore freely and on my own terms; and secondly it seemed the appropriate forum, since poetry -- at least good poetry -- demands an unflinching look at all that is, and encourages us to open our minds at the seams, even when it is painful. I know unpacking some of these symbolic trains of thought -- GRRM's trains of thought, mind you...we have to keep reminding ourselves of that! -- is sociopolitically fraught ('devils rush in where angels fear to tread,' etc.), but as @YOVMO has suggested, just because GRRM makes us uncomfortable doesn't mean we ought to shy away from contemplating it. On the contrary... Lyanna's frosty crown, according to @Darry Man's 'whore-hoar' pun, is a crown of hoarfrost (like that of Alys Karstark, or related symbolically the 'coat of hoarfrost that crackled when she moved and glistened in the moonlight' which Thistle the Spearwife wears after having been skinchanger-raped by Varamyr...), or in other words a 'hoary crown' -- 'whore's crown'? It's highly problematic, to say the least, to refer to a rape victim, even by symbolic implication, as a whore of any kind -- what is GRRM getting at with this recurring motif? Is there a sinister subtext to being awarded the garland of flowers with the title 'Queen of Love and Beauty'? The blooms mask the thorns which cut and draw blood, hinting that this is not a benign gift. This passage is usually taken to mean that Ned is haunted by Lyanna's shade, having a thorny revenge out for her brother, because he had broken one or other of the promises he had made to her. However, perhaps rather than being the aggressor Lyanna was also the victim of the 'thorns' originating with another. The thorns are compared to 'claws' -- many beasts have thorns, e.g. wolves, lions, lizard-lions, and dragons! The queen of beauty's laurel is reminiscent of the flowery crown of the 'May Queen', a virgin chosen to participate in a fertility ritual (i.e. sex with a stranger), following which she would be sacrificed (i.e. murdered) historically, 'for the greater good'. The sanitised version of the ritual which is practised today masks darker origins (similarly, is there a darker side to the Wolf-Dragon 'romance'?) Was Rhaegar as in the Garth legend in cahoots with a 'considerably darker deity'? Interestingly, it's been brought to my attention on a recent thread that they both contain the name 'Gar', harboring some sinister meanings, among others: In terms of the 'payment-for-violation' equation, the 'payment' exchanged for the May Queen's lifeforce would be the turnover of the seasons, nature's renewal with summer's return. Rhaegar met Lyanna in the year of the 'false spring'...Was there also a touch of the 'false spring' about their romance, as suggested by the use of the idiom by GRRM in another context? When he thinks of his part in Tysha's rape, Tyrion feels 'sorry,' but his 'sorrow' makes him no less complicit in the crime; in fact, it makes him a 'sorrowful man', i.e. one of those assassins who apologizes to the victim before he goes along with killing her/him at someone else's behest and/or on someone else's behalf! Like Tyrion -- widely purported by the A+J=T aficionados to be Rhaegar's brother -- Rhaegar was also famously a 'sorrowful man', at least literally -- but you never know with GRRM if we're meant to take that figuratively as well! Perhaps dragonhatching-besotted Rhaegar sang Lyanna a sad song, before giving his blessing to her ritual rape/sacrifice? I know this will be taboo to many (I've mentioned it to @LmL, and he is horrified), but I'll go wherever the symbolism takes me. I know that @Frey family reunion has had this thought before when we discussed it amongst ourselves on 'Heresy'. He sees the 'Tower of Joy' as a funeral pyre to sacrifice children in the vain hope of birthing dragons, in the tradition of the valley of Gehenna: If the 'Tower of Joy' is a brothel, with Lyanna as the one coerced into whoredom, that makes Rhaegar the pimp, the hoped-for-dragons the payment, and the 'sullied knights' of the Kingsguard are there to act as 'bodyguards' ensuring the 'whore' does not escape. Here's a good example of such a sordid exchange, as follows. As I've highlighted before, it's difficult to decide who is more 'sullied' by the exchange -- the perpetrator, the victim (the rape victim who is 'made into a whore' although she isn't one), or the party who watches it all go down, often enabling the perpetrator, and doing and saying nothing to stop the atrocity and call the perpetrator to account. This 'queen o' whores' wears a replica of the crown of the King of Winter, symbolically transforming her like Alys Karstark and Lyanna Stark into 'Winter's Lady' -- i.e. the Queen of Winter! The Magnar, dressed to 'do battle' with the Queen of Winter with his 'fire' and 'scales,' is a dragon figure, like Rhaegar. The reiteration of 'the woman had put the fear in him'...'let him be scared of me' is a warning akin to 'Winter is coming'! 'A trade of violence and payment' is not a new idea -- 'only death pays for life'. 'Payment of three dragons' -- nice pun! Being paid in dragons = being paid in gold, which calls to mind Viserys's gold crowning (another 'crown' one would not want to receive) in exchange for having sold Dany to Drogo. In the following passage, GRRM's eroticised language clearly depicts Viserys, Dany and Drogo as brothelkeeper/pimp, whore and customer in the doomed love triangle respectively: Another gold payment which @Unchained and I have discussed is his analogy of the Rumpelstilskin fairytale in which the dwarf saves the girl from death by spinning straw into gold, in exchange for the promise to give him her firstborn son after she's married the king. In effect, the life of a human being is sold for gold. I have long maintained that 'the promised prince,' as in the Rumpelstilskin story, is less of a savior and more a 'promissory note' -- a debt to be collected in future, in exchange for some boon granted to an ancestor of the 'prince' in the past. The 'prince' is more accuratey a 'price' to be paid! And this price is the most terrible of all -- the life, i.e. sacrifice, of a child -- a trade before which it is fitting one should tremble in shame: GRRM's language is so clever here. On one level, 'the unborn child' taken literally refers to Rhaego with whom Dany was pregnant at that point. On another level, the notion of 'unborn children' is related to sacrificed children given in payment, as part of a Faustian 'deal made with the devil', as in the case of the promise made by the girl to Rumpelstilskin. Specifically, in Robert Baratheon's case, 'the shadow of the child[ren]' refers to the shadow cast over his reign from the beginning by the murder of the Targaryen children done in his name, which ushered in his path to power (like a red carpet laid out for him ahead of his arrival in King's Landing by Tywin Lannister), an atrocity to which Robert chose to turn a blind eye. The 'deal with the devil' entailed the life of the children in exchange for power. Who is the 'whore' then? Symbolically, that is...Robert, Tywin and/or the children? As I've suggested above, we need to widen our understanding of 'whoring oneself' for the purposes of the symbolism. Therefore, the perpetrators of the rape and those enabling them may also be included under this rubric, rather than focusing on the victim exclusively. As many on this forum have argued, Robert had 'no choice' but to not hold Tywin accountable for the 'crimson-soaked bundles' delivered unto him (like bags stuffed with 'blood money'), given that he relied on Tywin's goodwill to prop up his rule politically and financially, according to his calculation, and therefore was beholden to the man who 'shat gold' for a living (to rephrase in plainspeak, Robert was 'Tywin's bitch'!). Therefore, I'd argue Robert is both the brothelkeeper and the 'whore' here, given that he agreed to the 'violation' -- both of the children and of himself (he essentially sold out his integrity to Tywin, 'unmanning' himself in the process). Indeed, Robert, as he promised was his intention, 'whored himself to an early grave.' Unpacking yet a third level of layered meaning in the quoted passage, we can appreciate a further irony in the reference to Rhaego as an 'unborn child' in that he very literally was never born (likely he was stillborn after the 'bloodmagic abortion' conducted by Mirri Maz Dur at Dany's invitation -- i.e. Dany's equivalent of the 'deal with the devil'). The 'shadow of the unborn child' at which men tremble and are 'unmanned' therefore is the dragon, the 'winged shadow' for which the child was exchanged in payment! Unfortunately for Dany fans, but inevitably from this symbolic train of thought, it also follows that Dany like Robert is complicit in the crime and gets her hands dirty with 'blood money' (in other words, she's the whore in the equation; or perhaps, even worse, she's the brothelkeeper whoring out her own child, as it were). Finally, the reference to 'unmanning' and 'trembling at shadows' is an echo of the AGOT Prologue, perhaps hinting that the origin of the Others has something to do with a blood betrayal involving the sacrifice of a child and/or woman. Alternatively, perhaps it's even more twisted than that ('cause it's GRRM you know...) and the Others represent the 'debt collectors', who are enforcing the honoring of an ancient debt, or promise in the Rumpelstilskin tradition -- a pricely prince who instead of being delivered to them as promised at the appointed time, as agreed in the pact, was stolen away by someone (parallel to Sam and Gilly stealing 'Monster' from his appointed fate with the Others). Perhaps this is what happened: a man made a pact with the ones who controlled Winter. He like Robert and Dany was on the backfoot, desperate for a miracle and therefore heedless of the consequences at the time he entered into a 'deal with the devil'...you could say he was foolishly 'fearless' (this is referred to more poetically as the attempt to wield 'a sword without a hilt'). In exchange for the retreat of 'Winter,' he had to promise a child of his own line as a ward of Winter (similar to how Ned procured Balon's compliance in the pact via Theon exacted as 'blood payment'). He did not conquer Winter, as it's frequently told; no, Winter conquered him! Then, somewhere down the line, someone decided not to pay up -- and now 'Winter is coming' to collect the debt. The strange thing is, I don't believe this 'emboldened' individual who reneged on the debt did what s/he did out of pride, spite, ambition or greed. It was one of those 'things done for love'. Because sometimes love makes one willing to kill a child (as we saw with Jaime); and the flipside to that is that love can also make one willing to save a child, regardless of the cost (as we saw exemplified in Ned's final act, 'the madness of mercy' granted to Cersei's children as well as his willingness to trade his own honour and life for the sake of his daughter's life). I think our hero (or anti-hero, depending on your inclination) is a Stark. And the cost of that love, snatching the child from the jaws of fate, is a 'Long Night', as the Others come to claim their due. (P.S. @Voice -- please take a look at above darkside-inspired tinfoil and tell me your thoughts! ) Here's another passage about 'unborn children' exchanged in payment for a 'violation' (it also has rather 'whorish' undertones): In this example of the pattern I've described, Cersei is the violated woman, the one who is the victim although she is configured as a 'whore'. In exchange for enduring the violation, she exacts her payment (or 'revenge') by claiming the perpetrator's unborn children 'while [he] snores...in the darkness' -- i.e. in the proverbial 'long night'! The language describing the sex between the two women is similarly violent, with the reference to 'goring her from groin to throat.' The reference to 'pale princes' is interesting. Perhaps the Night's Queen was violated by whomever was the Night's King before he became known as the Night's King -- in the act of violating her, he became the sullied Night's King. In revenge, she claims his children and turns them into pale promised princes = the Others (the 'undead,' 'unborn' or 'neverborn'). But, escaping such sorcerous 'cannibalisation,' one of the children was stolen away to safety across the Wall, just like Monster. Final thought: Perhaps Jon had not been intended to live for some reason. Perhaps like Rhaego he was intended as payment in exchange for the life of a dragon; or perhaps like 'Monster' he was a long-ago-agreed-to promise intended for the Others. But then someone intervened. For love. I think this Stark hero could be represented by Lyanna or Ned at the beginning of the story; and that ultimately it will be Bran, giving up his kingdom (both mundane and magical) and his life for Jon.
  5. I didn't know the song was sung by a crab; perhaps it's in homage to the song that the singer Patchface has a crablike sideways gait? In turn, the song sung to Ariel the mermaid is a reference to 'Ariel's Song' from Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' (you may even recognize hints of Patchface's doomsday bells a-clang-a-langing...): Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Ding-dong. Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell. Here, Ariel is singing about Ferdinand's father in the underworld, after he is presumed to have drowned due to a shipwreck. Unbeknownst to the assembled party at that point, he is not actually dead, having survived the shipwreck and only 'suffered a sea-change.' Likewise, the greenseers Bloodraven and Bran who are both presumed to be dead are not actually dead, or perhaps linger in a nebulous region between life and death, having only 'suffered the sea see-change' of greenseer transformation. We can then think of the realm north of the magical boundary of the Wall as being 'under the sea', and all of Patchface's ditties as prophetic utterances, given the insinuation that he has tapped into the weirnet, i.e. 'under the sea', in order to glimpse this 'terrible knowledge'. Great catch! Sometimes D&D do actually 'get' GRRM's symbolism. Significantly, the quote you mention is in the 'Home' episode which sets the stage for the beautiful 'Hold The Door' episode, which the D's left to their own devices could never have written by themselves, so I'm assuming GRRM let them in on a few trade secrets. In a nutshell, what one has to grasp is this: GREEN SEA = GREEN SEE He says: 'It is beautiful beneath the sea, but if you stay too long you'll drown...' referring to lingering too long in the weirnet. 2:28... 'Summer under the sea' is about overindulging virtual fantasies without sufficiently checking back with and securely tethering oneself to 'reality.' When Bran skinchanges Summer, it's literally and figuratively 'Summer under the sea'. Repeatedly, he has to be called back by his mentors from 'drowning' in the experience. Likewise, getting lost in a 'greenseeing trip' -- a 'sea/see voyage' which is essentially skinchanging a tree (bark/barque) -- is equally hazardous: 'Falling through the third eye' reminds me of drowning in a well! The 'bloody blue' could equally refer to a sea as well as a sky. Remaining 'under the sea' without resurfacing timeously (i.e. 'drowning', figuratively) is about what happens when you 'hold the door' open too long; in other words, what ensues when your 'third eye' stays open for a prolonged time. Despite the risks, the sea or 'see' of the weirwood net is very attractive, providing an escape from everyday life and a refuge from inconveniences like death. With it's highs and lows and altered consciousness, entering the 'net' is a bit like drug addiction -- hence GRRM's copious references to mind-altering substances 'opening the doors of perception', to quote Aldous Huxley, including dubious concoctions such as the weirwood bowl/bole, shade of the evening, the 100 species of mushrooms under the hill, and 'silver seaweed' ('see-weed,' get it?!). In this vein, GRRM also refers to opioids by directly quoting a line from Coleridge's poem 'Kubla Khan,' famously written while the poet was still under the influence of what GRRM would call 'milk of the poppy' -- 'down to a sunless sea' (which, however, is no longer 'sunless' nor indeed 'son-less,' now that Bran the son of Winterfell, sunny summer child with Summer wolf, is down there). Thus, 'summer under the sea' refers to the immortality afforded by the weirwood collective, a place where winter cannot touch you and therefore where death has no dominion. Winter fell, because the greenseers of Winterfell felled it! Importantly, the realm of 'summer under the sea,' as is the case with all drug addictions, is not only an 'abomination', it's a delusion (by reason of 'valar morghulis', etc.). By the end of the novels, I expect Bran to grow up and dismantle this delusion, i.e. he will destroy the weirnet, and himself along with it, given that he is inextricably tied to it. (Actually -- what I really expect is that GRRM will never finish these novels, because he abhors tying up loose ends and secretly enjoys living in -- and reciprocally leaving us in -- a state of perpetual 'under the sea'...This state of equivocal unknowingness of course leaves us 'all at sea,' but that's just the way he rolls, folks! ) 'It's always summer in the songs' is an echo of 'It's always summer under the sea'. The 'songs' of the weirnet, sung by the sirens as it were, lull the greenseer into a false sense of complacency: The sleeper must awaken...
  6. For the purposes of the symbolism, blood and fire -- both RED -- are equivalent. Ice drank Ned's blood when he was beheaded: I suspect the blade does not draw a distinction between drinking 'Lannister red' (a wine analogy) or 'Stark red'! The vital thing is that it, like Lady Forlorn, 'has a thirst' for blood in general: Iron, besides being the main component of steel (such as in Valyrian steel), is the central element in the heme molecule, constituting hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment responsible for the 'red' appearance of the blood. One of iron's oxidation states is black -- so you should think of 'red' and 'black' as interchangeable symbolically, denoting different states along the same continuum. Once iron has been fired it goes from red-hot to smoky-grey-black. Likewise, once blood is digested it has a black appearance. It's all 'fire and blood' you see?!
  7. I agree that someone is implicated in 'setting up the whole thing in the first place,' but it isn't Bloodraven; it's the author himself whose presence you're sensing in the text... As to the heavyhanded 'whole series of [unlikely, contradictory] coincidences' we 'have to accept' in which we can discern the trace of the author as he goes about constructing his fiction-- it's called 'less-than-good' writing!
  8. Just a few thoughts on the “hoary old bitch” thing, which I found interesting. "Hoar" just isn’t just a synonym of snow or ice, but to be a bit more precise (and pedantic!), it is the frost that encases solids on a particularly humid, cold day. When Jon sees those trees encased in ice, they are covered in hoarfrost. Hoar is literally the “magic north of the Wall.” Thus it’s an especially apt term. So, whilst reading about the Iron Islands in TWOIAF, it came to me that this might be related to why the Ironborn who took over the riverlands were from House Hoare. Not sure how this jibes with the Hoare’s having “black blood” but it cannot be a coincidence to call these raiders, essentially, “ice men”. And where do Hoares go? The God’s Eye. Given GRRM’s predilection for puns, this got me wondering if he’s playing his usual rhyming games. Does “hoar” = “whore”? After all, assuming GRRM doesn’t have a prostitution fetish, there is an especially large number of references to whores in ASOIAF. Maybe hoar and whore are meant to allude to the ice-covered Others? Great catch @Darry Man! Another synonym for 'hoar(frost)' with literary significance is the word 'rime' as in Lanford Wilson's play entitled 'The Rimers of Eldritch,' in which the 'rime' is interpreted to symbolically connote the 'candy-coating' or 'veil' masking the moral corruption within a community. This fits with the speculation of the Others as a representation of some archetypal abomination having taken place, giving rise to the vengeful 'revenants' seeking justice -- or as @Seams has put it, 'just ice'! There is probably also a pun on 'rime' with 'rhyme' -- but that's a story for another day... Someone who essentially has been raped is wearing a coat of 'hoarfrost'... Like the crown of the Queen -- not King -- of Winter. A reckoning is due. IOW, a son of the Others blows a horn, and the rest of the Others breach a wall. Or how about applying the hoar=whore=Others hypothesis to the rotten old uncles Umber? The cognomen “Crowfood” Umber certainly implies that he’s a dead man walking, but “Whoresbane” Umber? He’s someone the icy Others might want to avoid. Of course there are far too many whores in this story (literal, not just metaphorical) to think that every whore represents the Others in every circumstance. However, it does make me want to pay more attention when this term is being used deliberately in the presence of a sun-king figure. Given that the Night’s King paid a significant price in exchange for her icy embrace, the Night’s Queen could truly be considered a hoary whore. Nice formulation. On the other hand, there is a sinister subtext, as I hinted above, present in many of the scenarios involving a so-called 'hoary bitch' in which the 'whore' in question on closer inspection is actually the one who paid the highest price in the exchange, being the victim of some abomination -- as in the Varamyr-Thistle interaction I quoted above. It is problematic, to say the least, calling the victim of a rape a 'whore'! Other (pardon the pun...) figures embodying this dynamic include Varys who was bartered and violated, his genitals appropriated for the profit of another, whereafter Varys became a whore in earnest; the Unsullied who similarly have forgone their autonomy, specifically again regarding their genitalia; and my favourite example, the 'soiled knights' of the Kingsguard who have sold out their moral principles in service of another. Like Varys and the Unsullied, Jaime the current LC of the Kingsguard is emasculated, both physically and morally: @Pain killer Jane makes a connection between the moral 'soiling' cloaking the knights to other 'white-washings' of the original sin, as it were, including bird droppings, ash, lime, and snow, such as the layer of snow covering the 'snowmen' on the battlements at Winterfell, naturally linking these to the Others. If your whore/hoar(frost) pun holds true, then the answer might be that they go to... Depending on how you interpret the question as to who exactly is the 'whore' -- the perpetrator of the rape, the rape victim, or the one who stood idly by in full awareness of the rape and did nothing -- the Starks are implicated in one or more of the above, probably the latter, given the association between 'watchers', 'greenseers,' and the treacherous 'far-eyes' we were introduced to in the AGOT Prologue (i.e. Will).
  9. 'The griffin taking on the lion's color' is somewhat reminiscent of Dany the red dragon toasty-fresh-from-the-pyre donning the hrakkar skin around her face and torso. The white lion transforms Dany into a kind of ice dragon or white griffin apparition (to top it off, GRRM gives Viserion the white dragon the honors of functioning as a clasp...). When Daenerys invades Westeros, that will be a curious parallel to the Others breaking through the Wall. Jaime! My word for it is that he's being 'Otherized'... The Tarot/alchemy topic is a great idea. Bran as the Hanged Man, hanging upside down like the traditional posture on the eponymous Tarot card, and the crucifixion of St Peter, the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and presider over the Holy Roman See ('sea'?): He did it using 'the song of stones' -- according to the alchemical dictum, 'as above, so below...': @sweetsunray Is Bran also associated with 'The Tower' Tarot card, and what would be the significance?
  10. My favorite name-catch of late is @Daena the Defiant's interpretation of the origin of the name 'Targaryen' from the herb 'tarragon' ('the dragon's herb') which is highly likely considering GRRM loves his cooking (and eating)! That's good! ETA: Accordingly, Jon Arryn's last words 'the seed is strong' could mean 'the seed is Stark..'?! The idea of Sansa existentially being defined by a deficit, in other words being 'without,' is quite apt. When she's brought before the king to give testimony in good faith in support of her sister, she pretends to be without a clue, pleading ignorance (i.e. without knowledge), claims she saw nothing (i.e. without (in)sight), and withholds testimony, abdicating responsibility in order to save face (sans a voice), basically betraying the truth (without integrity) and forsaking her family (without loyalty) -- this travesty directly leads to her losing her wolf. Quintessentially, she is the Stark without a wolf. In keeping with GRRM's musical motif, the sisters are characterised by names referring to respectively the 'sansa' (a thumb piano which is plucked by another!) and an 'aria' (an operatic solo for one voice, requiring no other accompanying voice or instrument). The symbolism is not hard to work out (though it will infuriate the 'San-San posse' who will soon doubtless descend to deconstruct my dichotomy, sans mercy...): In ASOIAF, GRRM uses the word 'pluck' to connote some form of manipulation or machination, according to the politics of which it is usually preferable to be the 'plucker' rather than the 'plucked' in the power equation...(indeed, 'pluck, pluck...it rhymes with...')! Besides the musical connotations, a flower being plucked is a double entendre implying a girl or woman having been taken advantage of sexually, or at least, in Sansa's case, having been 'had' in the sense of conned by a con artist, if not literally a musician in the tradition of Bael. A sansa is usually plucked by the thumbs and/or index fingers; however, in the book Sansa is currently 'under the thumb' of a 'little finger' named after a singer (Bael-ish) who longs to 'finger her' in every which way...(I swear I don't make this stuff up, and I haven't even gotten to your fecund rendition -- a tour de force -- of the 'seaman' hoisting the ravenous sails on the 'fat pink mast'...)! Continuing the 'grotesque song-and-dance' metaphor of which GRRM is fond (e.g. see Varamyr-Thistle, Cat at the Red Wedding, Viserys dying, and the captive Bran sees sacrificed to the weirwood in his 'Ur-vision' of the weirnet) Sansa not only sings his song, she dances to his tune like a puppet on a string... Interestingly, 'Sansapologists' will usually counter any criticism of Sansa's choices with the curious defense that Sansa had no choice -- she is caught in the web woven by another, having no other option but to tremble in time to his beat, resonating with his every movement (the musician is also a conductor); like the 'sansa', her tongue is 'held in position by a cross bar' and 'wrapped around with wire,' so presumably she has no other choice but to sound the note struck. Harps like thumb pianos are plucked...implying that Littlefinger fancies himself as a musician pulling the strings... If the world is a web which is plucked like a harp or thumb piano, then is Sansa a fly caught in a spiderweb? Is Peter Baelish really a bird? How fitting -- it all started in 'Riverrun' (itself an allusion to eternal returns or vicious cycles, given the Joyce reference) with a narcissistic wound carelessly inflicted by a kissed-by-fire summer child on a boy who, despite his lowly social status, considered himself a cut above the rest. What began as a playful child's game becomes a bitter duel on the water stair evolving into a fullscale war on the national stage. Now the next generation must dance and sing to pay the debt. There is no end to the debt -- so the song must go on indefinitely -- as the wound is bottomless.
  11. That was fascinating, sweetsunray. Intuitive really, or commonsense even, given that both fire and water are usually needed to cook! The figure of Crowley's 'Art' is a great visual representation of GRRM's 'overwrinkling of black and white' or the 'mating of fire and ice'. Their differences notwithstanding, their bodies being one is reminiscent of GRRM's statement via Jojen/Meera that 'the land is one.' Particularly, I like how the icy beast, namely the white lion, is lapping at the fire, while the fiery one, the red griffon, is sipping water, each to his/her opposite, from the same cauldron. Until you explained it, I had even thought I'd spied the archetypal trio of the wyvern and hellhound (the dragon and direwolf counterparts) flanking the central figure of the greenseer, as depicted by GRRM on the Dragonstone battlements (the wyvern and hellhound gargoyles flanking the maester) or in the 'trio from hell' loosed by Arya (Rorge and Biter flanking Jaqen...Jaqen who has red and white hair, just like the fire-and-ice dualism in the 'Art' card, or the coloring of the weirwood)... The 'artist' of the 'Art' is the 'greenseer' -- and in GRRM's meta-case the 'author' -- and his medium is neither ice nor fire...
  12. That's interesting -- tell me more about overriding this mind control box..! The 'mind control box' would be the weirnet equivalent? Perhaps the 'overriding' in ASOIAF would involve a 'greenseer war' or face-off in the weirnet -- i.e. a battle of 'the knights of the mind' for control of the 'mind control box'! (we have already seen an example thereof when Varamyr and Haggon battle for third-eye possession of the wolf). Personally, I think Bran's task will be to 'short-circuit' the 'mind control box,' not to save his own life, as in the example you gave, but to save the life of others. In fact, I see him sacrificing himself along with the 'box' -- 'destroying the cauldron of immortality from within', just as in the myth of Bran the Blessed and his brother Efnisien, except the inverse. It's important to study GRRM's other works -- it's a good thing I have you and @40 Thousand Skeletons to update me on the important themes (or should I say 'variations' on a theme... )-- although it's also valuable to recognize how his themes are evolving. For example, from what I've been able to glean, GRRM initially viewed belonging to a collective as anathema, e.g. in A Song for Lya, where there were only two choices: join the Greeshka and lose your identity, or keep yourself and lose your girlfriend (!) vs. in ASOIAF where he seems to be exploring the idea of being a sneaky 'naughty greenseer' archetype, in which you get to 'keep your cake and eat it too', involving joining the collective without really relinquishing ones individuality, dipping in and out, and then making off with the spoils, ultimately forsaking the collective after having benefited from the experience of the union (in short, you get to have yourself and keep Lisa your girlfriend too, or an unsound variation thereof). Symbolically, this is what's shown by Daenerys exiting Drogo's funeral pyre, then later fleeing the House of the Undying; or Arya tricking the many-faced god into granting her a bottomless well of wishes, instead of just three, then releasing the prisoners, and fleeing Harrenhal (as in the AGOT show, I predict she'll find a way to squirm out of the House of Black and White too); likewise, I believe Jon will leave his post at the Night's Watch, and Bran will escape Bloodraven's hollow of hypnotic horrors and extricate himself from the krakenesque clutches of the weirnet, even if it means his own death. The harsh maxim 'only death pays for life' does not always apply to the protagonists, however (when all is tallied, other people around them pay far more in terms of self-sacrifice or ego abnegation, if you like, than they do...), and sometimes I get the feeling GRRM does not intend for it to apply to himself either!
  13. Hi Hiemal -- I still think fire is the central element of magic! There's no 'soul' -- pun on 'sol'= sun -- without that ineffable 'spark'. Even the weirnet -- which I characterize as water/ice magic (the same thing IMO) -- requires dragons (e.g. Bloodraven 'burning like the last coal in a dead fire') and others 'kissed by fire' (e.g. Bran) to power it. The 'drowned god' is therefore the 'fire magic' element drowned within the 'ice/water.' The same pattern of fire meeting water/ice is manifest in the example you quoted above (great catch re: the Long Night and 'Mythical Astronomy' reference, btw! I'm sure @LmL would appreciate it too). So, let me pose a question to you -- if those who come to drink at the black pool are partaking in a 'drowned solar eclipse with flaming corona,' are they drinking from a 'cup of ice' or a 'cup of fire'..? Here's another example (which may surprise you!) of the same. Note another possible 'Long Night' reference as the dragon eggs are associated with the 'setting sun'... 'The last' (evoking ends) is Drogon's egg. Note how both elements -- water and fire -- are combined symbolically in his egg: 'black as a midnight sea' and 'scarlet ripples and swirls', respectively. In keeping with your 'Last Night' thesis, this is the egg destined to 'break the world': For a third instance of the fusion of ice and fire, please see my response to @40 Thousand Skeletons below. P.S. I love GRRM's analogy of the cold black water to 'ink', alluding to a secret, magical language, which, as you know, I'm partial to dubbing 'the killing word'! The weirnet -- the 'sea' of collective knowledge/consciousness by which we 'see' -- is basically a library, the trees the books, the 'ink' allowing us to write the 'words' of remembrance and creation: In the AGOT show the writers have picked up on GRRM's 'ink' analogy (no, D&D are not always as daft as their latest offerings would have us believe): Although I believe the 'past is already written', the 'ink is NOT dry'! It's a paradox, to which GRRM has been known to be partial. Basically whisperjewels are like memory jewels. And in Nightflyers a powerful telepath actually stored her soul in a computer when she died, possibly in a similar fashion to the weirnet: So we know for a fact that GRRM has previously played around with the concept of storing souls/psionic power, and specifically storing it in crystals, so using jewels to aid glamours could definitely be something along these lines. I wouldn't be surprised if Valyrian steel contains souls. And the forging of Lightbringer sounds like AA may have been transferring NN's soul into the blade. Hi sweet peter . That's very interesting! That information introduces an added dimension to the symbology surrounding all the jewels replacing eyes, or eyes likened to jewels, which abound in the text, including sapphire, ruby, garnet, amethyst, bloodstone, jade, emerald, tiger's eye, opal, tourmaline, obsidian and flint. According to the pun on 'soul' of 'sol' (Latin for 'sun'), Valyrian steel is said to 'drink the sun', which we can interpret as 'drinking the sol' or 'soul'! Further, I believe there is a pun on 'steel' with 'steal' -- the Valyrian steel steals souls, just as it steals the sun! (I also think the Last Hero's 'Dragonsteel' has something to do with stealing a dragon, he he...)
  14. Bat wings don't have feathers... Nice catch! It relates to our 'friend' Patchface: Dragons, not bats, have scales. And leathery wings: It's important. To my mind, it implies Bran will skinchange some sort of dragon! Just so. This may interest you: From there it's not hard to extrapolate that opening ones third eye is also akin to turning the key in the lock, as it were. In fact, Bran compares the sensation of having his third eye prodded open (the beak of the three-eyed crow functioning as the key with Bran's brain as the weirwood door itself!) to a splitting headache, as if his head had been cleaved by an axe: Getting back to idea of sealing an oath by placing ones hand like a key in the door -- the 'opening' of the door simultaneously binding the one making the oath, as well as the one to whom the oath is made; in other words, the one placing his hand in the door becomes the servant as well as the master of the door! In this way, Jaqen becomes Arya's servant/proxy -- but on the other hand, via this gesture, she also becomes bound to the faceless men: 'all men must serve'! Likewise, Othor attempts to bind himself to Jon, which would have reciprocally bound Jon to the Others. Another example along the same lines is Jaime presenting his hand to Bran at the liminal threshold of the window -- a symbolic keyhole and third eye locale, as @Tijgy has pointed out with the observation that Winterfell is a tree possessed by greenseers, making the windows of the castle the 'eyes to the soul' of the greenseers (the word 'window' even etymologically means 'eye of/to/on the wind', moreover evoking the greenseer powers...). With the fateful words 'take my hand' Jaime unwittingly pledged a kind of oath to Bran, the weirwood, and the old gods. When he in bad faith failed to deliver his word (by lying about pulling Bran to safety), the old gods -- steered by ironic George -- made good on his promise for him, by literally 'taking his hand' (as the wonderful @evita mgfs has shown). Mysteriously, though, Jaime by throwing Bran from the window with that selfsame hand, treacherous though the intent was, paradoxically succeeded in being instrumental in opening Bran's third eye. Bran and Jaime are bound. And, fittingly, together they are my favourite two characters! Above all, I prefer the more abstract 'keys' which I call 'killing words' (you've referred to the same concept as jingles or 'earworms'): The word 'twist[ing] like a worm inside their ears' corresponds to the key turning in the lock. 'The bones remained' alludes to the weirnet. In the case of the Black Gate, the key which unlocks the weirwood door is the utterance of Sam's Night's Watch oath 'I am the sword...' -- the words themselves representing a virtual sword, which in @YOVMO's parlance 'pierces the hymen' in the darkness...a brilliant way of thinking about how GRRM often introduces a sexual element, which strays on the dark side of eros, into his symbolism. Sam provides the key (=words), while Bran (the hand?) is fed to the gaping maw, making the gate a mouth and cervix simultaneously. Bran is going 'under the sea' into the realm of the 'undead' -- in fact, Sam is made to promise magical-number-thrice to ensure that Bran 'stays dead'. Thus, if the Black Gate can be compared to the female anatomy -- which is fitting, seeing as we're dealing with (re)births -- then we can say that Bran being taken up into the gate is figuratively penetrating the womb, or 'going back into the womb'; i.e. going into the womb in reverse, making Bran on a symbolic level either a penis or an 'unfetus', one of the 'neverborn', as it were.