Cowboy Dan

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  1. Never mind. Hope you got something out of the first four.
  2. .
  3. By all means. I'm not as well-read on Arthurian Medieval Literature as I could be. The lesson was illuminating. I'll have to look into some of those re-tellings in the future. I definitely do my best on the minute analysis. I can handle broader analysis though I'm not tapped into the literature enough to get that broad. Why I made some of the claims will make more sense in retrospect and don't actually rely wholly on TOAFK. Think you nailed it there. I just added a passage from The Book of Merlyn to the end of Part IV. He describes the ants as living in hell but not knowing it. Very cool to see how you think he's claiming literary ground from the classics. I say that because in Part V I propose he's doing the same thing with contemporary creators in order to craft a meta-fictional mythological godhead. Involving creators that will be remembered, both once and future! Is that your own idea about claiming ground or did you read about it elsewhere? Curious if there's a more detailed write-up. Sounds interesting to read about.
  4. No worries on taking a while, it took a long time to write as well. I haven't been in a rush to adjust Part IV since I'm basically a ghost in my own thread here. Hopefully I'll cut it down one day and that'll get a better response. We'll see! RE: Rhaegar stealing Lyanna. I think there's a misunderstanding. I was just getting at the archetypal idea of the thief, like with Jon Snow and Ygritte. He held her hostage then he was basically a hostage to the Wildlings. In a sense they both stole each other but they seem to have a legitimate care for each other. When it comes to R/L perhaps it was consensual at first but once the war started she was confined to the tower against her will or at least until having the kids. Perhaps it was consensual the whole way through. Too many pieces missing to say for sure. It's the same with Rosey/Pate, were they actually attracted to one another or was Pate fooling himself that she wanted more than his money and would the plan of "stealing" her be more literal? It could swing either way, really. I like to think Martin's not going the standard fairy tale route as well but there's a lot of fantasy cliches in the series, they're simply well done. I wonder if Martin is trying his hand at reconstruction. So we see this fantastic deconstruction and think that's his schtick but really it's just the middle step in his effort to re-invent the fairy tale ideas in the fantasy genre under his own series. And I agree with your thoughts on the death/rebirth thing. "Out with the old, in with the new", as the cliche goes.
  5. Hey, LynnS, glad to see you're reading along. Always a pleasure to hear from you! Interesting catch. This is the kind of thing I love about the series. I feel I find some pretty interesting connections but then I see something that makes me think, "Welp! Never would have gotten that." I did mention the etymology of Lannister with Lann in Latin also meaning scales, the natural shield of dragons, so that matches up really well! Jaime was mentioned by Ned and Barristan that he should have taken the Black, which seems to support the notion. As for Jon I have argued he is mostly relegated to the shadows which would make him, as you point out, a sword in the darkness. Haha good catch. Keep reading and you'll see my take on why that is. I would be very interested to see that interview but it seems to contradict other claims he's made on how he returns to a chapter over and over again until he gets it just right. Sounds (to me anyway) like the work ethic of someone who does seek that type of precision. As for the last quote I have seen that before and it's a good one. Of course I hope I'm right about the broad strokes and I'm sure I am getting at least some of the details wrong or mixed up. But hey, maybe it's all just amusing bullshit. Looking forward to anything else you might add as you wend your way through the post.
  6. The Land and their Gods : Heroes and Villans, Gods and Demons Before I get to the maps I’ve rigged up to show this process of the Breaking more directly we’re going to look over the striking similarities between peoples along the Northeastern coast of Westeros and the Northern coast of Essos, which I contend were once directly connected. The giants of the North are noted for their “square teeth”, used to describe the giants twice and each of these people only once (the only other use of the phrase in the entire series is a scene in TMK to describe a horse). Naturally the square teeth connect them but there’s the same stench and they are directly said to be potentially descended from giants due to their similarities. We’ll get to the Ibbenese shortly but first let’s look on the complete opposite end of Essos in Sothoryos. This may seem to contradict my previous assertion but you have to think of Essos as having two arms which broke: one to the North, which is now the Land of Always Winter, and another to the South, forming the enigmatic continent of Sothoryos. The Children, like the Giants, have connections to both the northern coast but also to the Talking Trees Town in the Summer Isles, well south of Westeros proper. The Sothoryi, like the Skagosi and the giants have the sloped foreheads and of course the same square teeth. Most interesting though is the inability to interbreed. This matches up quite well with Daenerys giving birth to Rhaego, her malformed stillborn child which had descriptions likening him to a dragon, due to the bat-like wings. There are a few times in Targaryen history this occurs and someone better versed in genealogy can likely trace these disastrous births to determine more regarding which bloodlines are compatible (or incompatible) with dragonblood over the years. My guess is this is what secret magic the Valyrian Freehold held to ride dragons: the knowledge that a person can bind themselves to one of these godheads that create these amalgamated beasts (in this case dragons) in order to be connected directly by blood. This is done by way of skinchanging, which in a sense is a small scale collective consciousness with only two members (or in Varamyr's case seven). Returning to the peoples divided by the Breaking let us look to the Ibbenese. The description of the eyes is important because a giant (I believe Wun-Wun but I haven't checked) is noted for having small, sunken, rat-like eyes. Only three languages are described as “guttural”: Dothraki, Ghiscari and the Old Tongue spoken by the giants. The Old tongue being the outlier as a Westerosi language seems to imply that it originated from across the Narrow Sea. It all relies around blood, around tying your blood and another's species to the same godhead. Afterward whoever is the key individual in the greenseer position is seen as a god and would spread their "seed" quite literally in the fashion of Garth Greenhand. This is why so many different characters that don't seem to necessarily have blood connections to magic, like the Dragonseeds in the Dance, are able to ride dragons. The blood has proliferated so much that it is near impossible to state who does or doesn't have any magical bloodlines at all. Look at the Stark kids, they all seem to be skinchangers of at least some degree (except Sansa due to Lady dying before the link could be cemented). Bloodraven, despite being the most enigmatic character around, is the most magically feared and becomes a greenseer himself. In The Mystery Knight he makes a joke to Dunk about this idea but I think this is Martin kind of laying the truth bare for us in such a way that we aren't inclined to accept it. It sounds a bit ridiculous and that's why he directly tells Dunk the fact of the matter. I would like to point out I believe Dunk to be a bastard Targaryen as well so this is a pretty funny little line if that assumption winds up being true. There are a few times where Dunk gets this feeling and looks over to a character and they look back, like with Rohanne Weber (who appears in his dreams) or Lady Butterwell. The same happens with Sansa at court in KL but for the most part I haven't found too many instances of this outside of the D&E novellas. This is evidenced by Dany's unborn child Rhaego and the unborn dragons in their stone eggs. This is the chapter ending line, which are usually quite important. As I stated Targs are part dragon themselves so these unborn child are quite literally reaching out to their fellow bloodlines, assuming I'm on point there. Like Aegon IV we see Walder Frey doing the same thing albeit within his own household, producing heir after heir. This sort of proliferation of the bloodline seems to be an inherent inherited trait and is a fantastic way to spread the magic all over your land: more blood to be spilled, more connections to be made, more children to be birthed. Let us look at the Children and their remnants left on Essos, the Ifequevron. The similarities are striking to say the least. The Ifequevron of course protect those who leave leaf, stone, and water just as the Children worship the Gods of forest, stones, and streams. They both carve into the trees, just as the Summer Islanders have their recorded histories carved into the trunks at Talking Trees Town. I will also return to the phrase "strange silence" shortly. I shouldn’t have to explain at this point but I would say that the Children did not quite flee to other lands, they literally separated their lands using the Hammer of the Waters. Yandel even points out this does not fully make sense and is contested as it is currently interpreted, since the First Men were already on what is now the mainland of Westeros. I would speculate they were trying to get away from the Ibbenese that were trying to conquer and eradicate them indefinitely. It is possible they were already mixed together so one side ended with the extermination in Essos while the other side became the Westerosi conflict to be known as the war with the First Men and ended with the Pact of the Isle of Faces, ceasing hostilities. I wish to add one last excerpt from TOAFK regarding god(s) and silence. It is the beginning to the dialogue of Lancelot explaining his Grail Quest to Arthur and Guenever. Of course in asoiaf we see the whispers of the gods regularly, chiefly from the rustling leaves and whispering winds of the Old Gods of the North. We have also witnessed Aeron Damphair, the prophet of the Drowned God, hear his god speak to him through the waves. Euron is attempting to kill and supplant the Drowned God on the Iron Islands with his flagship The Silence. If you've read The Forsaken TWOW chapter you should be able to understand quite well what this entails in the current context. My point being that the Kingdom of the Ifequevron has "strange silences" and as Dany ruminates while passing through Vaes Dothrak: do the dead gods still speak to their followers? The silence implies no, no they do not. Before getting to the maps I want to touch more directly on the idea that the gods are attached to the lands themselves, aside from the Children quotes I have already mentioned. Only the stars, only that cursed starry wisdom is available to Dany at her rebirthing of Drogo. But she foolishly thinks it will be enough despite telling Drogo to remember their khalasar, the water and the mountains when none of those are available to her. As I posited earlier the theft of the river in The Sworn Sword is a big symbolic conflict for the fight over the land a godhead rules over (and actually has a peaceable resolution, thank god for Dunk). The sidearm throw is another interesting through line that seems to match with the stones, the moon meteors, the bow shot. I don't have anything particularly intelligible to say regarding that, just a seed to be planted. Martin has repeatedly used the statement that no one wakes up thinking about what evil thing they will do today. He states people are heroes of their own stories and villains are simply heroes of the other side. In the same vein demons are also gods, simply gods of the other side. What kind of major assholes would see tolerance as demonic? Well the type of people that enjoy the Old Way, that revel in war and death. To allow a god (or gods) that preach forgiveness would certainly be seen as evil by such a people. >PLACEHOLDER FOR MAPS [Note to reader: My photoshop skills are a bit rustier than I expected so I'll be working over the weekend to get those done and added in.] You will notice there are hands in the maps all over the place I have highlighted. These are possible locations where these Breaking events occurred and left their mark as they reach desperately for the lands that they were once connected to. You will also notice the burning hand of Valyria and there are the Broken Arm motifs all over the place as well. This is most clearly evidenced between Jon (who burned his hand fighting a wight in AGOT) and Jaime (who had his sword hand cut off). Likewise Euron and Victarion are set up for this same motif: Victarion has his burning volcanic arm, courtesy of Moqorro. Victarion thinks on a comment regarding Euron: Euron himself states the connection to the broken armed character. Victarion also opens and closes is hand at one point, just as Jon does throughout the series. He always flexes his burned hand whenever thinking about fighting or going to war, to keep it limber. This ties to the TWOW play The Bloody Hand and in meereen Dany is given a bloody gauntlet to signify war with her previously conquered cities. Euron also has his hand filled with blood right before he vows to steal Daenerys, as the archetypal Wildling-esque Thief, in a chapter ending line no less. The idea of the gods being mad is all over the place. Simply searching mad god yields plenty of results on that front. I want to make a quick digression back to the notion that Jaime will be a king of sorts by the end, rather fitting for an individual that ran from power every opportunity to seize it. Like Cincinnatus or in the American myth of the Founding Fathers, George Washington, a man who takes power because it is necessary and gives up the mantle once his duty is done. Here we have the stone serving as this symbolic mud character which I have evidenced heavily is Jaime and the grass bows, as if before a king. The king is not in sight because she holds his symbol in her hand. Back to the maps. As I stated before all this hand imagery is likely due to reaching for the heart of the fallen star, which is in simple terms a magic stone from space. This ties back to the event that marked Arthur's crowning as king: pulling a magic sword from a magic stone. So Lightbringer is Martin's Excalibur of sorts, but as I've explained repeatedly, this is not for a single king to rule over a single land justly and wisely forever. This is not a fairy tale. I submit that this is also the reason the Others are advancing for the first time in who knows how long. They are attempting to reach the culmination of this crowning moment and be the ones to attain the power during the next ritualized godhead fight. But what exactly would cause this particular personification of the land shown in the maps? Well, we've already gone over it in Varamyr's prologue: an individual quite literally skinchanging an entire landmass. Varamyr himself states Jon Snow is more powerful than he knows and we know Bran is tapped to be the next greenseer, who are said to be capable of unimaginable magical power. As I've argued before we don't really know where the roof on Bran's power is: just as we began to see his development under Bloodraven, witnessing him glimpse through time we are taken away from his POV for the rest of ADWD. If Bran is the one to skinchange the land, at least in part, it explains these hands digging into the sea quite well: he has no use of his legs and (assuming no outside help) must quite literally claw his way across the ground by dragging himself with both hands outstretched in the same manner. I would also like to put forth the notion that due to this event we may see the Eyrie as the white city across the Blackwater Rush. It has been set up to have an "avalanche" occur, due to a comment in a Catelyn chapter early on. I'm not the first to notice this potential for the Eyrie to fall from its heights and the idea has been discussed elsewhere before, although I personally haven't seen discussion of its fall in relation to King's Landing. It makes a fair amount of sense as well: it is a massive castle of white stone seated atop a mountain above the clouds and serves as a nice comet sword, which would appear to fall from the heavens no less. I must admit the logistics make wonder how the fuck that would actually happen but I suppose logic only takes you so far when it comes to world-altering levels of magic. So in conclusion: will this breaking, this destruction of the godhead(s) result in magic leaving the world as it does in LotR? Or will this simply be creating a new cycle, a new status quo, a new magical entity that holds a brighter hope regarding a more sensible use of war and might? Personally I lean towards the latter, eternal optimist that I am. In many world traditions, spiritual, religious and secular there is emphasis on the interlinked nature of destruction and creation. The question that stands, if this is the case, is what will this new creation be, what will be the outcome of the Breaking and the Field of Fire? An answer we can only paw and speculate at until it is written of course. Addendum : The Book of Merlyn It's been stated before that in Dany's last ADWD scene the ants climbing over the low wall were representative of wights. I recently read The Book of Merlyn and while reading Arthur's encounter as an ant all I could think was, "Damn. This must be what it's like to live as a wight." It's a hive mind. And a terrifying one at that. Here's the ensuing discussion among the members of Merlyn's "College of Life". The point of The Book of Merlyn is to find an 'antidote to war', which White came to believe was the point to Malory's work. Arthur's training in the ants is to show Arthur how we have not found an antidote and keep doing the same things over and over again in the name of collective might. It's been pointed out by users that many of Martin's works deal with this exact idea : a collective consciousness or hive mind that has nefarious, self-serving ends.
  7. The Breaking of the World The godhead is a collective consciousness, a vast multiplicity of individuals who work towards a common goal influencing the land they preside over. I posit that this was the original event leading the Golden Empire of the Dawn to break apart and this breaking was not metaphorical nor a slow process over centuries or milennia but the breaking of this godhead which literally split the land asunder in a brief cataclysm. Maester of Valyria has been working toward this breaking in his own essays on the matter -- which is what compelled me to look over the maps more deeply and develop my ideas of exactly where and how the land has split, along with why it was over a short span of time. Of course I will be using my own method of word analysis to show the effects of this process. Let's look at the forgotten truth example of this, not from Asshai as has been put forth elsewhere, but in its dichotomous opposite, the Summer Isles (aside: there may be a word play with Sumeria here, which is an ancient, advanced civilization that was wiped out in a cataclysm and whose technologies (or magic in this case) were lost to the world at large). The resemblance to the tourney melee is important: the Tourney at Ashford Meadow is an example of following this same ritual in action (the outcome of which is that symbolic Cain and Abel brotherly betrayal: Maekar accidentally murders his own brother Baelor and ultimately usurps the crown – the killing blow he landed he suspiciously does not recall) or the Tourney of the Hand in AGOT, which has recurrent echoes I have referenced a couple of times now. Each island has its own rulers and customs, just as Braavos does. This again echoes the Post-Breaking Arthurian ideal for how lands and peoples should rule themselves, as individuated counties, instead of countries. The goldenheart bow is important, a symbol for the sunspear or a flaming sun-sword, the lightbringer analogue and ties to young Tom, White's light bringer wielding a bow. Essentially this ritual is a godhead fight in action, only the warriors (figurehead representatives of conflicting godheads) fight for a short span -- only a day -- although this is the Long Night in action. People are swallowed up in the mist/haze which brings madness and death, so these warriors likely were originally killed or disfigured in the fight, as opposed to the current incarnation of the ritual which is meant to be bloodless. It is a forgotten truth so some leeway is required in speculating on the original nature of this ritualized tourney. But, as Arthur thinks, the forgetting is essential. The exile is important as well, as I believe this is the winners exiling the very lands in which their counterparts reside as one would send a ship out to ocean. The ocean wasn't literally an ocean but the land its self, just as the Dothraki plains are referred to as "The Great Grass Sea". This is the "island of light in a sea of darkness" we see in Jaime's dream and the discomforting orange moon Pate views in the AFFC Prologue. Of particular note as well is the constellation of the Crone's Lantern, "four bright stars that enclosed a golden haze", which would naturally be surrounded by the blackness of the night sky. I submit that this was not a world-spanning ocean though. Where in the hell would all the extra land come from that we don't now see in the maps of the known world? I would hazard a guess in the fashion of the Dothraki Sea, this ocean was the land, a Pangaea-like contiguous continent, which was physically separated by magic, due to the division of men and their desire to preside over their own lands with their own laws and customs. The idea that the land, a kingdom signified by a people and its rulers can be likened to a ship or boat is not my own invention, take Maester Pylos' word for it. One of my contentions is that the process of Princess Nymeria leaving the Rhoyne with her ten thousand ships to find a new land for her people is another imitation of this forgotten ritual. The reason they were allowed to live peacefully on Dorne is because the Greenblood was once part of the Rhoyne. Thus their descendants, the Orphans of the Greenblood, becomes more literal than symbolic. Let's look at the events leading to Nymeria's own exile. Of course there is the Shrouded Lord who rules over the infected Stone Men, believed by some to be Garin himself. These stone men are those who were forcibly inducted into this godhead just as the Others perform resurrections with the wights, who bring the cold, just as greyscale and the Stone Men lie in the foggy mists of The Sorrows. The golden cage invokes the Jaime-as-Daemon symbolism I touched on previously, hinting that Jaime may get the chance to become "Goldenhand the Just" as he wishes but will get killed in doing so. Recall that Jaime sees the grey-green soup of bloated bodies at Maidenpool, another example of people who literally 'go into the land' upon death to join a godhead. When Nymeria is travelling she also arrives at the Islands of Naath which is protected by the butterflies during the day, causing sickness to those who are not descendants of their particular godhead. If we're talking about a kingdom sinking this has been posited by the maester Yandel, although without the magical bent (big surprise there). Naturally I disbelieve the maester's stance on just about everything regarding magic, as they have a hard-line agenda to push rationalism and disregard the supernatural explanation. Not saying this is bad, simply that it makes understanding magic nearly impossible from the maester perspective. Listening unequivocally to them on that front would be akin to blindly believing Cold War-era Soviet propaganda on the benefits and drawbacks of capitalism (or vice versa). But there is nothing at the Redgrass Field! Well, except the dead followers of the Blackfyres. A monument, he says? We see a monument as both the dead heroes and forgotten gods but interestingly is tied to the black stones that crop up all over the world. If you're interested in that you will need to look elsewhere. I don't have the space or requisite research to go into that front. Although of note: in The Sworn Sword, Ser Eustace, who served the Blackfyres and had his line extinguished, has a similar construction in his keep with the bottom section being made of a black stone. The top third is of recent reconstruction, likely due to being destroyed in the past, just as the tower in Winterfell is missing its top third (the same one that Bran was pushed from). If it hasn't become clear yet, I believe that the Others along with the Dragons are of the same origin utilizing these godheads. The Shrouded Lord and other archetypal undead gods fulfill the same compartmentalized purpose. While dragons are "fire made flesh", the Shrouded Lord is of water and stone, and the Others are the Ice Dragons. Before I get further into this, we have already seen the crystal heavily associated with the Others, their pale blue coloring and when Sam slays the Other it turns into a puddle then its bones melt and dissipate to mist, leaving no trace. So there you have it : Dragons and Others are essentially the same thing. All things are interconnected in this series in the most circuitous, roundabout fashioning due to the nature of the Sierpinsky Gasket and the disparate wills of these broken godheads that, as I posit, were once themselves connected. The essence of the working idea (and that's what it is currently: an idea) is that magic from these godheads is a purely assimilative process that binds everything possible to its self, creating a new creature, an amalgamated beast of sorts. The dragons are posited by Yandel to be this sort of amalgamation. The Meereenese have their own amalgamated beast in the form of the Harpy, there are the manticores, Valyrian Sphinxes and all sorts of strange beasts all over the world that seem to be pastiches of existing real-world animals. The Questing Beast from the Arthurian Cycle is likewise an amalgamated beast and is involved in a couple scenes in TOAFK that just scream Mythical Astronomy symbolism, it's all pretty fascinating stuff. Essentially whatever this magic is binds beings together that should not be able to inter-breed, creating some new thing. This process occurs too much though and certain bloodlines can no longer interbreed with other more naturally occurring bloodlines. Hence the Targaryen practice of "keeping the bloodline pure" by wedding brother to sister. They were worried about the inability to continue creating heirs. I'll get back to this idea regarding bloodlines a bit more when I get to the Ib/Skagos/Lands of Always Winter location similarities. I have touched on Bloodraven's desire to end the Blackfyre Rebellion, preventing another monument, another blood seal from being created. But the way he arrives is in the same manner that the land is ripped apart in rebellion. Here is that ghost army, which disappears (or in this case materializes) in order to signal the breaking of a realm, a rebellion without reconciliation (although this is flipped, as the rebellion is quelled in this example) and the spears in their multi-colored fashion seems to imply a rainbow of sorts. Fog and dew is also associated with this mist/haze cluster and keys in on the idea of this ghost army disappearing to leave a land while also being associated with madness -- or a waking nightmare. There is the haze in a waking nightmare and they bind him to a tree, as Bloodraven does so willingly, to (only symbolically in Jaime's case) attune to the weirwood network. As I have been harping on Jon Snow is the shadow that kills the sun and steals his golden identity as the drunk fool, which could be referred to as imitation (or "fool's") gold, tying back to the ghost army of willowisps, (as a reminder: also called "foolish fire"). Although I think there is a possibility Jon Snow performs this action in order to purposefully separate a disparate people, fulfilling the Arthurian ideal by performing "a hateful and dangerous action for the sake of decency". It would line up with his constant ruminations as a shadow hiding his true face and as an oathbreaker. If he does so in becoming an Other (whether willingly or forcibly), he could separate the Lands of Always Winter from the North, once linked to one of these godheads, as it seems currently there is no potential for integration between these ice dragons and common men. In this context he would play the part of the false lightbringer Stannis wields. Now to return to the idea that the mists cause time to take longer than actually expected. It is not that time is literally being changed, simply that due to their madness, a single day (or night, as in The Long Night) seems to last for years or perhaps generations. In the throes of madness one loses track of time and there are a number of times throughout the series where a character thinks on an event only weeks, months or a year ago that seemed as if they occured "a thousand years ago". This is why I think the timelines are skewed heavily: the land splits and everyone trapped in the mist go mad forgetting too much of their past lives, even how long they've lived, which is why there are all these legendary figures that supposedly live for centuries or milennia. The maesters are not aware of this, or at least the ones who are cannot spread this information freely, so there are a number of times in TWOIAF where Yandel points out the proposed timelines do not make sense. One of these black stone structures is an example: it is said to be of Valyrian construction but was from before the time of the Valyrians. It is more likely, assuming my theory, that the structure is from the same place as Valyria, when Valyria was part of a larger kingdom. Due to the Breaking and the subsequent in-universe belief that more time passed than actually did, it would be reported that the structures were older than they actually are. The monuments or blood seals that seem to seed locations for the Breaking are in three key locations currently, two of which we have looked into in this essay: The Tower of Joy in the Dornish Mountains, The Red Wedding at the Twins along the Trident and finally, Oldtown. Oldtown is the only event yet to occur but Euron has already seized the Shield Islands and informed us of his intention to attack, in his attempt to become the Storm God. Before we get too deep into the world-wide Breaking evidence I'm going to propose a major location for the Breaking: Dorne. Between the ToJ and Oldtown is a direct line where this breaking will take place. This is not only due to the maps but also a vision concerning Aerys, which Cersei will likely carry out. There are mentions of the "caprices of the Mad King" in TWOIAF and Cersei has been mimicking these caprices almost directly. Before and after this quote Aerys' fleeting affection for his royal affairs is mentioned. Of course Cersei has this same behavior during the infamous "Myrish swamp" scene, in which she grows bored in the middle of the act, even quicker than Aerys. It also ties to Dany in her scene with Missandei in which she recognizes the lack of passion but unlike Cersei, 'finishes her duty', so to speak. With the exception of the second Wall I suggest all of these have come or will come to pass (and if that's the case a second Wall may not be so far-fetched). She has denied the Iron Bank its due and decided to build a war fleet of ten dromonds, said to be large warships. Of course this fleet is stolen by the young Aurane Waters, who she at first is quite attracted to, for his Targ-like qualities. Not only does he steal the fleet but sets himself up as a modern day Rogue Prince in the Stepstones, rebelling openly against the crown, in opposition to Aerys' original desire. Cersei also regularly complains of the stinks of King's Landing and has a vision of a white city across the Blackwater Rush. Lastly and most relevant to this section: she will, as Aerys tried to, "make the Dornish deserts bloom." Like most prophecy this is not literal, she's not going to plant a bunch of forests in Dorne and become Cersei Appleseed. She's going to create (or at least take part in) the Breaking event that brings the ghost army of fire, which are seen with their banners as blooming flowers of their own. Before I go on I wanted to add in the parallel to another mad Targaryen, Aerion Brightflame. When she learns of a puppet show depicting the lion of Lannister getting defeated she claims it is treason, just as Aerion claims when attacking the Dornish girl Dunk inevitably saves. Of course in the Hoster Tully funeral scene when his boat finally catches fire in the mists Cat sees "the red bloom flower" and I've already quoted a few scenes throughout these essays where spears or banners are seen as fire points with similar Field of Fire imagery going on.
  8. I decided to wait a day for this posting. Events pushed me back by a couple hours yesterday and threw off my expected time table. I could have posted this late last night but then I would have stayed up far past the time I would like and still would not have been able to go back and edit previous parts, add Table of Contents, etc. I also wanted to finish photoshopping the maps but I still need to finish that. They should be added tomorrow or Sunday. Also, after a good night's rest I recalled a couple important pieces I needed to add in. I did that quite a bit with this part so it feels the most disjointed to me personally and most in need of a good gutting and restructuring. That would take a few days more and I'd rather not fall too far behind the promised delivery date so here is the current incarnation. Naturally there are a couple things I forgot to add earlier on so I’ll be doing that here, to shuffle back in later. I believe Martin is doing some fun things with additive and subtractive color mixing in the series. Since I’ve been talking about Jon and Jaime as dual lightbringers let’s analyze their respective orders under this lens. We have the White Swords and the “sword in the darkness”. As LmL has pushed quite a bit, there are both the white and black lightbringer swords, either giving off or drinking the light. In subtractive color mixing using dyes, paints, inks, etc. the three primary colors cyan, magenta, and yellow combine to create black. The Night’s Watch works this way: they accept any and all recruits who will serve the realm. Metaphorically the colors all absorb and do not reflect any light, making it appear black. Subtractively in this manner black is the absence of color in the light being perceived by one’s eyes. The Night’s Watch may serve the realm but are exiled, as an outcast order which protects but ultimately has no direct influence on the realm. For the Kingsguard the opposite is true. They accept only the best and brightest, beholden to the king directly, not the realm. The KG are deeply entrenched in the politics of the realm at the heart of Westeros in King’s Landing and several members have caused or ended wars nearly single-handed such as Ser Criston Cole or Ser Duncan the Tall. The three primary colors for additive color mixing, used in lights, such as the monitor you are viewing this on, are red green and blue (the colors of the three forks of the Trident). Returning to the three colors for subtractive mixing of cyan, magenta, and yellow these are the colors of the sun at important points in the day. Cyan and magenta could be seen as a light blue and light pink, such as pale pink or pale blue, which are heavily associated with the dawn and the dusk (or night) respectively. Jaime is the only character associated with this pale pink on two occasions (the rest are singular connections), while pale blue is most heavily associated with the blue roses of the North along with both the Others and their undead wights. The phrase “blue dusk” appears six times in the series, further cementing this dichotomy, whereas the sun high in the sky would be associated with the yellow (or gold) that is left in the middle, at high noon, coincidentally the only time of day the sun is visible in Asshai, which is perpetually cloaked in darkness. Another connection to Jaime as a dragon, which ties in to Dany's delirium-induced Quaithe vision in ADWD. This also ties to TOAFK as both series lean on the concepts of forgetting and remembrance, in ASOIAF most memorable to me are the phrases "The North Remembers" and "The Dragon Remembers". As I pointed out heavily in Part I Jaime's "place" is as the dead king in the crypts. The Breaking of the Round Table and the Breaking of the World --- A Return to Arthur's Ideals Before I delve too heavily into this part we will first return to that last chapter of The Candle in the Wind and Arthur’s ruminations. We'll begin with his ruminations on nations, wars, and (what seems to me) the seed that created these godheads in the asoiaf lore. Then we'll tackle the origin of the "lightbringer" in TOAFK and the legendary ideal of Arthur’s, his ineffable “Candle in the Wind”. Of course Cain and Abel harks back to the oldest brotherly betrayal in the Christian tradition, which seems to have left its mark on Martin's epic, well, everywhere really. But more importantly is the idea of people not wanting to be ruled by leaders whose intentions might be more helpful than their own desires if these intentions are out of accord with their own desires. A fantastic example of this is the Kingsmoot: Asha recognizes the Old Way is an untenable position that will only end in their own destruction and they will never have their neighbors' lands which they covet. But this is not what the Ironborn as a whole want. They want to rape and reave unchecked on the open sea, the whole world be damned. Here we have the seed for the godhead, a collective consciousness. People must give up their individual lives (to sacrifice or be sacrificed) in order to attune to this consciousness, to give up all that they held to in life in order to live on in another manner and affect the lands they love or the people they hate. In Bran's original coma dream he thinks on the coming storm which none of them could see, this war between the living and the dead which we have been marching inexorably toward since the prologue of AGOT. No one can stop it or alter its course any more than one can check the rising waters of a flood. He continues the rumination as a general treatise on human selfishness (we are selves after all -- it is a natural response to living as an individual human being) leading to the larger problem of wars which Arthur has attempted to solve. In order to do so, he claims, men must give up their lives, must say "ours" as the godly (or godhead) view. Although Arthur himself is unable to reconcile this with his own thoughts on humanity, it is untenable, even horrifying, likening it to cutting out life altogether. To go into the godhead is like he says, to go into the force of life, like a drop in a river. Recall Jaime in his white plate surrounded by that river of red. How can one survive in such a state, how does one retain their individual humanity as a drop in a river? It seems an impossible task. Bloodraven teaching Bran gives this more immediacy, not as an abstract but a literal event. He tells him to skichange a raven and when Bran does, Bloodraven tells him not to mind the person whose consciousness is bound to the raven, whom Bran can sense. The utter lack of care may be necessary for the greenseer but it is completely alienating, otherizing, to any person under his thrall. it is to be a river and not mind the drop, to be a god and not mind the soul. It is disgusting. The more one thinks about its implications, the more revolting the whole affair of godhood in this universe becomes. To return to the more human element at play in this excerpt are the thoughts on "Haves and Have-Nots", which seems to be the cause of many, if not all the wars in Westeros as well. The Sand Snakes are revolting against Doran in Dorne. The Tyrells surreptitiously work against the Lannisters, who are their supposed allies, in order to gain the crown. The Boltons were complicit in betraying the Starks in order to gain Winterfell and control the North. Dany supplants the slave trade in Meereen but the Sons of the Harpy live in rebellion due to having their chief supply of income and worth in the world taken from them. Of course the thoughts on wars being steeped in their antecedents can be traced as well, most notably with the War of the Five Kings tracing back to Robert's Rebellion. Many wars can be traced back to previous conflicts, the numerous Blackfyre Rebellions beginning with Aegon IV and many of the conflicts against Targaryen reign can ultimately be attributed to Aegon's original conquering. The Bracken-Blackwood monolgue between Jaime and his young ward nails this sentiment precisely. War begins due to some old wound until the fighting becomes unpalatable. A peace is made by way of marriage thus reconciling the warring parties. But the old wounds are pricked again and the process begins anew. Neither side is willing to forget, to embrace each other as equals despite sharing the same blood, and so the endless cycle self-perpetuates. And there you have it. The light bringer, as in the Luciferian or Promethean sense, is a keeper of knowledge, a page yet to be written. Arthur tells him of the idealized version, of Arthur as the talisman, as the standard of England, almost as a god to those who so devoutly believe in his idea of the Round Table. But Arthur also tells him of the point to not get the legendary ideals mixed up with the real persons, to separate the myths from the men (and women) of Arthur's time. I might add the young page, Tom of Newbold Revell of Warwickshire is none other than Thomas Malory, creator of La Mort D'Arthur, the text and creator White references heavily throughout the books. Perhaps we will see a young squire named Terence (or Tim) White at the end of Martin's series. This all brings to mind the comment on how the glass candles are burning and the coming conflict will be a time for gods and heroes. But the gods are the heroes. There is no division between the two camps. They are simply individuals given supreme status in the minds of their followers and the tales told of them. This is an idea I had a while back and I still don't know how much water I feel it holds but the idea is that the Dawn Age and the Age of Heroes are of the same stories but bifurcated in this Arthurian sense. One is the remembrances of the heroes that fought the War for the Dawn, that participated in the magical wars, lost to time, portrayed as they were, humans. The other, the stories told through the trees, through magic its self, are of these same figures but highly symbolized, given a sense of ethereal, other-worldly status in the manner of prophecy and dream, to the point of deification.
  9. @Feather Crystal It seems I lied, I won't be getting to pale blue/pink heavily until Part IV, things got a bit mixed up in my head. I want to remedy my previous statement, regarding flowers and maidenheads, as it seems you are right! I have added three scenes, particularly the AFFC Prologue, in which Pate (the "spotted pig boy" that gets sacrificed against his will -- another connection you seem to have nailed) becomes a thief in order to buy Rosey's maidenhead for a golden dragon. He even thinks about using his current silver to buy a donkey and abscond with her without paying the gold which would be more in line with your statements regarding Bael the Bard. Since there can be multiple layers to the hidden meaning around a single symbol it seems you were right as well, regarding blue roses and a woman's "first flowering". My bad!
  10. Part 3.5 There are three scenes I want to add before getting to the next part. Like I said initially: there's lots to keep track of. Even with outlines some of the really important stuff escapes me. Let's start with some more Jon/Jaime parallelism. Specifically we are going to talk about the chapter in which Dany has conquered Meereen which involves a lot of rumination on the nature of gods. Before I go on, let's check out this set up. Dany sees herself almost as a god above the city. As I have pointed out flies are symbolic for wights. The corpse is the godhead, like the dead warlocks said to be the Undying, or the Black Gate weirwood tree Bran encounters where he thinks, "It looks dead... If a man could live for a thousand years and never die but just grow older, his face might come to look like that." As I've been pushing I am of the mind these are the gods of Westeros, the undead connected to a collective consciousness by means of an entheogenic wine -- or a comparable substance. Here we see these corpses, the Undying or the Old Gods, which then breed maggots -- for the weirwoods these are the white tendril roots, the "graveworms" Bran sees or the red bloody worms which crawl up Catelyn's arms in her dying moment of madness. From these flies arise the undead wights. These wights are attracted to honey which is the sweet poison, the blue rose of the godhead, as I have stated before. These disparate godheads are locked in a shadow war of sorts so their pawns, the wights (or flies), would naturally be attracted to the metaphorical honey of a rival godhead. In this chapter she uses the prows of her captain's ships to create battering rams in order to break in to Meereen's gates. As I pointed out before the ship's masts are a symbol for gods so we have Dany using her own godhead weapon to have warriors break down the doors to the city while other warriors enter the sewers (underworld) and free the slaves (wights under godhead control) from their symbolic 'chains'. As I have been presenting, I believe these two men to be Jon and Jaime. But will they stay in her good graces? Will she be able to trust them forever? This very chapter gives us some insight -- using Barristan and Jorah as stand-ins -- implying no, that will not be the case. Before continuing on I'd like to point out Jaime has been growing his beard and his hair has been turning white. As I pointed out as well when a Targaryen is "reborn" (either literally or metaphorically) they shave their hair. It is possible that Jon getting resurrected will involve his hair burning and Jorah, a fellow Northman, serves the parallel well. She sends them into the sewers (as I pointed out is symbolic of the underworld: as Jon and Jaime's respective crypt/sewer dreams mirror one another) in hopes that the gods deal with them. Although this doesn't match my earlier supposition that Jaime dies -- or if it does, it may imply his death is not lasting. Jaime is the turncloak Kingsguard, having killed Aerys. This marks Jon as the informer but what will Jon do in the future to place him in that role in relation to Daenerys? Jaime is known for his kinglsaying, but due to his own inability to face his shame, kept the truth from Ned Stark. But did anyone ever ask Jaime why he did it? When he is in the bathhouse with Brienne he freely explains what occurred. Partly this is due to his own delirium, partly his bond with Brienne and partly due to his own loss of identity. He is trying to sort out who he is and verbalizing his thoughts seems to give some sense of solidity to him. My point here is that, as far as we readers know, no one has ever explicitly asked Jaime why he killed Aerys excepting Brienne. It is assumed he did it to support his father in turning against the Targaryen regime. If Daenerys were to ask him outright would he hide the truth or would he brazenly explain the Mad King was mad and deserved his death before he could consume King's Landing in flame? It certainly fits his M.O., since he freely explains he meant to murder Bran when (drunkenly) speaking with Catelyn Stark in his cell at Riverrun. Like Barristan feels after Robert's Rebellion, Jaime has failed Rhaegar and his children and this seems to haunt him, per his weirwood dream. What better way to make amends than to follow in his previous LC's footsteps and serve Daenerys? Naturally this assumes Barristan won't be around anymore, as he would never allow Jaime to serve Daenerys while he lives. It would also give some parallelism to Jon from Daenerys. Just as Ned promised he would tell Jon more of his mother then died, Barristan also promises to tell Dany more of Rhaegar but may not be able to fulfill that promise. Barristan, just as Lancelot does, dons a false name in order to remain unrecognized, furthering the connection of Barristan in this chapter as a Jaime stand-in. The mention of charred skin and bloody bones should remind one of Aerys' phrasing "charred meat and cooked bone". Instead of cooked bone it is bloody though, instead of fire it is blood. This also brings to mind the Rat Cook and Dany says she would be 'mad to eat such fare'. More fun little connections to be made. Of most interest to me is how she asks Barristan to kneel and offers him a sword. In a number of choice quotes I've included (and many more I have not) a character is brought to one knee in a fight and either loses their sword or rises again to continue the fight (or sometimes both). This brings to mind Tywin's dictum that one should help a defeated enemy to their feet in order to make them a friend. Conversely Brienne is told by her trainer how a man on his knees killed the best knight he knew, all because the knight hesitated in delivering the killing blow. This choice to either kill or redeem a man on his knees is a choice Dany fails to make in dealing with Jorah and actively regrets. Of course Jorah denies it until Barristan points out he was at the small council meetings in which Jorah was named as the source. He uses the assassination attempt of the poisoned wine (should ring a bell by now) to claim his loyalty to Dany. She is, naturally, outraged regardless. All pretty straight forward but I want to reiterate the decapitation. In the next scene I will get to involving Pate from the AFFC Prologue he tries to get a golden dragon, which has the three-headed dragon on one side but the "head of some dead king" on the other. There's that three dragons and one dead dragon (Targ) to create four dragons that I've been harping on about. In this scene it is pointed that Jorah will have his head torn off, which is the decapitation motif I've mentioned. The next sequence I want to get into is another extremely important prologue, the one that begins the Feast/Dance. This chapter begins with dragons and arrows being shot at apples into mists over the Honeywine river. How's that for a smattering of symbolism I've been talking about? This chapter seems to be retrograded -- that is to say the melody is played backwards -- in terms of arrows striking apples as representations of the forging of Lightbringer. Whereas in the Hoster Tully sequence the final blow is the one that lands in the mist and the first arrow is missed, this scene has everything reversed in relation to that order. The arrows are made of golden wood and scarlet feathers: Lannister colors. The golden wood should bring to mind the goldenheart bows of the Summer Isles, which will be returned to early in Part IV. Also of note is the comment of how nice it would be if apples could be like worms and split in half to create two more. This indirectly implies the bifurcation of the second forging, which we see with the apple, and would ultimately create four apples in this sequence -- even though only three arrows are fired. The apple is wormy, implying the graveworm tendrils of the weirwoods and the underworld journey of Jon and Jaime, which keeps reprising its self. Before this apple is mentioned (or afterward if viewed in sequence) is the "false light", an island in a sea (just as Jaime & Brienne's swords are described in Jaime's dream) leading men into darkness. Of course this false light, the orange moon of the Hightower here, fails to comfort Pate, before the final arrow (first in the chapter) is fired. Of course the last arrow (first in the sequence) is the one that misses, striking the water, the metaphorical 'first forging' of Lightbringer. In this chapter Pate plays the role of the thief, which should bring to mind the Wildling tradition of "stealing" a woman in order to make her your wife. Specifically Pate is trying to get a golden dragon in order to buy Rosey's maidenhead. In doing so he steals an iron key from Maester Gormon in exchange for a golden dragon from the Alchemist, the Faceless Man we know better as Jaqen H'ghar. When drinking, his friend Mollander, refers to Rosey as their rightful queen but when Armen is alarmed Mollander states "I was proposing a drink, not a rebellion." Since the drunk fool is involved in attempting to dethrone and steal the king's crown perhaps a rebellion is exactly what is implied, metaphorically speaking. He steals the iron key from the lockbox Gormon himself had previously broken open. The black iron key ties into some interesting places but most specifically I would like to point out in LmL's most recent essay he pointed to the weirwood cage and the "iron cage" is a very specific from of this metaphor in use. Pate is essentially giving the key of the godhead to the alchemist -- in a symbolic sense. I decided to cut out all the unnecessary bits so I could hone in on all the recurring symbolism in order. The pink of dawn is lightening (lightning) the sky, the bells "peal" just as Patchface's bells "peel" to make music among the mists, as music ushers along both Hoster Tully's pyre and Daenerys' HotU vision. We have the ghosts in the mist which will be the focus of the Field of Fire Breaking imagery in Part IV and a shadow sword that cuts the city its self. Next we have Pate falling, muddying himself, just as Jaime does repeatedly. He calls himself a thief using an exact phrase uttered only twice more in the series -- both times in the same chapter -- by Jaime himself to Brynden and Edmure Tully, cementing his connection to this thief. Pate plays the thief so he can exchange the key for a golden dragon, which connects very directly to Jaime, whom I have posited is a golden dragon himself. Perhaps Jaime will wind up stealing a golden dragon in the form of Viserion later in the series? Ultimately this is portrayed to be done for love, for the maidenhead of Rosey whom Pate dies thinking about. The only maiden I can think of Jaime would perform such an act for is the descendant of everyone's favorite lunk, Brienne the Beauty. I pointed out that Daemon is a parallel to Jaime and saves Nettles by warning her of the queen Rhaenyra's wrath, letting her fly away on her "mud brown" dragon, Sheepstealer. Daemon is also rumored to have miraculously survived his fall into the God's Eye after his fight with Aemond One-Eye, which hints at Jaime's descent to (and potential return from) the underworld. Pate is then killed by the Faceless Man calling himself 'the alchemist', who steals his identity in order to stay above suspicion in Oldtown. This is the same reprisal of the idea that Jaime has his identity stolen by Jon. The alchemist, as Jaqen, has a scar around his right eye -- just as Jon does due to the skinchanger Orell's eagle, which tries to take out his eye previously, and ties Jon to the Aemond One-Eye/Daemon fight. I have mentioned the warg fight between Bran and Varamyr, who is in the body of his grey wolf One Eye. Let's look at that scene briefly and we'll be set up for Part IV, in order to wrap up the bulk of this little mock dissertation of mine. These bodies are men of the Night's Watch, clad all in black, as it is mentioned all cloaks are black by night (or in the Long Night -- all men must fight together or fall). The fact Bran is twice his size brings to mind the Mountain and the Hound fight which Robert ends by yelling "stop this madness". There is a faceless thing (The Alchemist, the Faceless Man) clutching black iron in his hand, just as Pate gives Jaqen the black iron key. The dead Night's Watchmen are said to be the fingers on a man's paw (hand) and most of the rest of it is very straight forward if you've been following along closely. Although I will expand on the rat mention. Jorah & Barristan serve as Dany's "sewer rats" in their underworld journey beneath Meereen and Drogon rips a man's arm off at Daznak's Pit, which is likened to throwing a rat in a pit.
  11. The Dionysian Feast and The Psychic Resonance of the Broken Godhead Throughout the series we have seen these greenseer godheads in different locations, fueled by priests of their order and connected by way of a "heart". This heart would be the weirwoods ("heart trees") for the Old Gods of the North and for the Undying of Qarth it is the flaming heart they sit around. LmL has been tapping into all of this with his astronomical bent, as I am also of a mind that they all come from one of these comets, or the "heart" of a fallen star. For instance Dunk's shield has that shooting star over an elm tree which he witnessed at the Tourney of Ashford Meadow and is what signals his inevitable intertwining with Targaryen history. Before we get into these godheads and what their purpose to the story is, let's talk about some real-world mythological inspiration. I tend to stay away from this sort of thing unless it's very clear of the similarity and influence on the series. The mythological inspiration I speak of is the Dionysian Feast. Dionysus is the god of wine in the Greek tradition. Each year public and private initiation rites are performed which would eventually be placed to coincide with the fermentation and planting of the grapes that would become wine, one in Winter and one in Spring. As part of these rites, a symbolic death and rebirth would take place amidst the ecstatic festivities because at these rites, sex and wine would rule the day in a veritable feast of worldly pleasure. Specifically though, the death would occur with the sacrificed individual being buried alive in a 'Night Journey' and visiting the underworld. In the final stages of the rites the individual is rebirthed. At the same time as the rebirth the practitioners would reach an elevated state of consciousness in which they would be said to 'stand outside of themselves' and gain communion with their god, which was meant to be a literal possession by Dionysus. In one account those who refused this violation would go mad permanently. Dionysus was both considered good and evil, as a pleasure to mortals, or as a bittersweet gift. He is known for masking himself in a false form then doling out the rewards and punishments to those who either spurned or accepted whatever he promised in the context of the particular story. His holy mountain birthplace and home was named "Mt. Nysa". Anyone remotely versed in Azor Ahai Lightbringer lore should have a huge alarm bell going off right about now. To anyone acquainted with LmL's essays, Dionysus is often transformed into a goat or bull (the R+L=Lightbringer essay that I pointed out emphasizes the Mithraic tradition of sacrificing a White Bull in a renewal rite. Due to this, Dionysus is sometimes referred to as "The Horned Hunter" just as we see the use of the Horned Lord in ASOIAF) before being devoured by his adherents, which was later reprised in the Christian Faith with the Eucharist, more commonly referred to as Communion. In the Sufi tradition of Islam, practitioners called "Whirling Dervishes" (whirl is a recurring key word in the series) spin for hours in dance in order to induce a meditative ecstatic trance and reach higher states of consciousness. They would do this in order to shed individual ego by listening to the music (A Song of Ice and Fire, anyone?), focusing on their God, spinning in repetitive circles and some state it is meant to represent a connection with the Cosmos, that the dancers represent the planets rotating around the sun -- which fits very well with LmL's whole Mythical Astronomy series. Oh and guess what? The Cult of Dionysus practiced essentially the same thing in their feast rites. So we have a ritual that is both a feast and a dance. This should bring to mind the names of the fourth and fifth books, A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons, which is sometimes shortened to FeastDance, since they occur in chronological lockstep. As I pointed out there are a number of times Dionysus is featured in a story where he pretends to be another character then punishes or rewards those who follow or refuse him. I will be focusing on the version of the story that appears in Edith Hamilton's Mythology. In this story Dionysus and his revelers arrive to bring the Festival to Thebes which he wishes to make the home of his cult but Pentheus, the King of Thebes, finds their behavior offensive and issues they be imprisoned. Dionysus is taken prisoner but lets his followers free. Pentheus is warned by Tiresias, the blind prophet and speaker of the gods, not to fight against Dionysus as it is an affront to the gods. Pentheus ignores him since Tiresias is garbed as the Dionysian followers are. Dionysus implores Pentheus not to imprison him, as it is futile, but he does so anyways and Dionysus escapes to confront him again. Pentheus, enraged, goes out into the hills where Dionysus' followers are, whom are now joined by Pentheus' wife and daughter. Dionysus then drives the wife and daughter mad, making them believe Pentheus is a mountain lion whereupon they rip him limb from limb and Dionysus returns their sanity. They are horrified by what they have done but accept the punishment as divine. Throughout the series characters black out and forget what happens in key moments or see visions that are not of their physical reality. The most familiar example to readers would likely be Daenerys' visions from MMD's poultice leading her to wake the dragons from their eggs at the end of AGOT. In ACOK she also drinks Shade of the Evening and gets magical visions in the House of the Undying. In certain practices of the Dionysian rites the social status of practitioners would be reversed. This would allow women and slaves who were low on the social hierarchy a chance to fulfill roles of power. Naturally Daenerys is a good figurehead for this, freeing the slaves of Slaver's Bay and giving them their freedom. There is also the Unmasking of Uthero that announced Braavos' status to the world, which was founded by escaped slaves. In Dionysian Rites there was an emphasis on shedding masks and total liberation, just as the Braavosi who were previously slaves announced their liberation to the world in a masked festival. The most fascinating part of this to me is that the wine ingested during the Dionysian Rites were of low alcohol content leading some scholars to believe entheogens were added to the wine (there was much emphasis by the practitioners on the additives to the wine such as honey and not focusing on the grapes exclusively). An entheogen is a hallucinogenic or psychedelic substance which induces an altered state of consciousness. This wine would be closer to psychotropic mushrooms, ayahuasca, peyote, LSD or the like than traditional wine. In the series we see this entheogenic wine used at these godhead ceremonies repeatedly: Miri Maz Duur gives Daenerys a potion to drink before Drogo's attempted rebirth wherein she has visions leading to the birth of her Dragons. She is also given Shade of the Evening at the House of the Undying (which Euron quaffs regularly since he is attempting to attain godhood as the Storm God by his own admission) and Bran ingests the Weirwood Paste in Bloodraven's cave to attune with the Old Gods. Let's watch these godheads and Mad Dancers in action: The last coal in the fire LmL has posited as a symbol for Azor Ahai and there are a number of times where this character or symbol is swallowed by a mouth described as a fiery or watery hell. An example of this I won't delve into here is Sam killing the wight, in which he shoves the last burning ember of his fire down the wight's throat to kill it, shattering its teeth just as the Mountain's fist does to Oberyn. As I stated in Part I, Jaime plays the quail that Tywin tries to eat (symbolically of course) and the tomcat, symbolic of Jon, steals the quail before it can be devoured. Here we have Daenerys quite literally about to be devoured by the godhead and throughout the series one can see traces of this in the symbolism of hands, fingers, teeth, tongues (often swords and spears), and tongueless mouths which try to (and sometimes do) claim character's lives. It is my position that this is the godhead attempting to subsume characters by way of this cannibalistic feast across space and time. In the HotU scene Drogon eats the heart (which has it's own reprisals: Daenerys eats a stallion's heart in a 'forgotten truth' imitation of the same ritual by the Dothraki; Khrazz tells Barristan when he plays the Kingbreaker that Khrazz will eat the old man's heart; there are more examples but you get the point) and burns the Undying alive in which they are described as dancing. Of course dragons are "death and destruction, a flaming sword above the world," so we have a metaphoric flaming sword piercing the heart of this godhead. It is a very nice Azor Ahai scene played by Dany. Let's look at a couple other scenes where Dany uses her 'flaming sword' to wreak havoc. So many things overlapping in this scene. Dany can feel her heart, contrasting the Undying scene where it "ceases to beat". The turning of the head will return in an Arya scene (and has already occured a few times in choice quotes), the crowding of the slavers mimics the Others in the Prologue of AGOT performing their butchery and we will also see is mimicked at the Red Wedding. She takes the whip and turns Kraznys' face into a ruin, just as Ser Waymar Royce's shattered sword turns his into a ruin. The eyes melting and the burning crown is highly reminiscent of Viserys' own crowning by Drogo. Lastly: A dragon is no slave. This is the purpose of the Breaking and the Azor Ahai Lightbringer forging ritual: freedom from the godhead and its machinations. These godheads though are a collective consciousness of those who have been sacrificed in the past. When Bloodraven teaches Bran to skinchange into the ravens he tells him to ignore the remnants of the person still in the raven. Essentially they imprint and this never goes away fully so they are in a sense enslaved to the godhead. Recall the flaming heart in the House of the Undying and the heavy use of indigo. Rhaegar with his indigo eyes, after reading some particular piece of information, enacted the events that lead to Robert's Rebellion. If he was acting on prophecy, as is believed by a good number of people, he would also be enslaved to the will of one of these godheads, albeit indirectly. If one of these godheads were to be destroyed, to break, what would occur? Well my guess is each individuated consiousness within the godhead would look for a new host and find anyone or anything that could serve as a fitting analogue to whatever action they were performing at the time of this breaking in order to save themselves. This is why we see the same fractaled events over and over again. It is the will of the godhead echoing out through spacetime with an animalistic desperation to self-preserve but as I have pointed out, due to time loops, this has already occurred and proved futile. In fact this breaking and subsequent release of energy throughout time may have been what caused the very events to lead to the final breaking in the first place. Time travel gets weird to talk about. So let's look at these same events broken apart and rearranged during key climaxes throughout the series. There's the mad dance, the broken arm, the snapping of the head and the cloud, which is soon referred to as a haze. He tries to tear her head off where she stumbles, as the drunk fool does, and falls on her butt. But she picks up the whip and strikes him in the face, as she did with Kraznys. Notice the whip is described as alive, just as the Other's translucent sword in the AGOT prologue is, and there's the roar that causes the POV character to wince away. She freezes just as her heart stops in HotU, the thunder crack of Nissa Nissa fame, which a ghostly Drogo makes when he uses a flaming whip to birth dragons. To further tie it back to that ritualistic scene with the chapter-ending line: The tie-in is reiterated in her next chapter. The fact she is not burned relates to the dragonglass candle, which "burns but is not consumed" when magically lit on fire. The falling and dying should bring to mind Bran's initial coma vision in which he see thousands of dreamers, impaled on spikes below and must fly (learn to awaken his skinchanging powers) in order to wake before dying. I didn't include the quotes due to brevity (the irony is not lost on me) but when she frees the Unsullied she directly links the battle to Rhaegar crossing the Trident, of crossing a river. There's that cloud/haze of the ghost army which will become very important in part IV. I bolded the use of "don't you know me?" in the previous example because it means essentially the same things as the phrase: "have you forgotten who I am?" This thematically relates to the whole "Dragons Plant No Trees" revelation Dany has in the wastes. She must embrace Fire and Blood to serve as the Arthurian ideal, as Aegon the Conqueror Reborn, who will conquer in order to try and bring wisdom to the conquered. But she would not be the one to create life but the one to make way for it by destroying the existing structure in an archetypal, cosmogonic world-ending process. It is also a phrase which starts our next mad dance scene: The two staring at each other ties into the warg fight between Bran and Varamyr. There is the hair pulling/throat cutting and drowning in blood, a drunk fool motif. The scratching of the eyes and the breaking of guest right invokes the Red Wedding and Varamyr skinchanging Thistle. We have a one-handed man, a belly wound and the world going mad. Then Sam blacks out and recalls (only afterward) vaguely what happened, as the world was in this metaphorical haze just as Dany witnesses at Daznak's Pit. There is the decapitation (Mormont says he will have Dirk's head but his head is the only thing mentioned, implying the decapitation but in reverse; after it seems Mormont is dead he begins speaking, echoing the Whispering Heads of Crackclaw Point) and the broken neck. Oddly Sam, the self-professed coward, is not afraid, just as Dany wasn't when she walked into Drogo's funeral pyre, while freeing the Unsullied, and claims she mustn't be afraid when facing Drogon at Daznak's Pit. But this isn't the first time Sam has been toyed with mentally. When he kills the Other, he hears the voices of those he believes to be dead. A crystal sword, a hissing like Drogon at Daznak's, the sword being lost. Sam falls more than runs towards the Other, as Dany ran toward Drogon. He hears the dead and closes his eyes (just as Dany did at Daznak's) which is a method for opening one's third eye, to give one's self to the will of the godhead in the Dionysian fashion. The use of "do it now" just as Dany repeats in the two scenes equating Drogo and Drogon. There is the painful roar (a screech this time) and the cut throat. The mists, which melt away, the dragonglass is alive just as the whip was, just as the Other's Prologue sword was and invokes the Nissa Nissa sacrifice, that this Other literally goes into the dragonglass dagger. Only after Sam throws up (as Strong Belwas did at Daznak's due to the poisoned locusts) can Grenn hold the dagger, as I believe this is symbolically throwing up the entheogenic wine that attunes one to a godhead. He is no longer 'under the influence' and no longer serves as a conduit for this godhead, symbolically speaking. The Freys mimic the Others in their cold butchery, Wendel crashes forward as Craster does, there's the sword through the heart and Cat as a madwoman. Interestingly pale pink and pale blue (representative of the dawn and dusk respectively) are used in tandem only once elsewhere in the series, at the Tower of Joy, albeit indirectly. As Ned passes out in the street he describes the Red Keep as "pale pink stone" which turns the color of blood. The chapter ends and in the following chapter his dream of the ToJ begins. It closes with the line "A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death." The blue roses are described as "pale blue" a number of times, once I have already pointed out, and twice more in Ned chapters before the end of AGOT. The connection is deliberate from the outset of the series. Does this imply that skinchanging was involved at the ToJ or perhaps some similar chain of events to Varamyr's prologue which also uses pale pink and blue in conjunction? All guesses would be purely speculative until we are given the puzzle pieces surrounding the ToJ but it does make one wonder. There is a lot of match up with Cat & Thistle, clawing at their own faces and going mad but more specifically Catelyn is the only named character other than Thistle described as a madwoman. Of course Thistle implies the fragrant rose, the sweet poison of the godhead. Of most importance though is how Varamyr becomes everything in the natural world. He skinchanges not only the animals but the wood its self. I believe this is the mechanism by which the Breaking of the World occurs but I won't be getting further into that until the next part.
  12. The Drunk Fool Let us look at several other scenes that have a recurring motif I have dubbed "the drunk fool". The archetype is a character that attempts to kill a king and gets "crowned," resulting in his death. I will be getting into Dionysian Feasts in the next part but I would like to point out that in the fashion of Dionysus there is a split : drunkenness begins with bravado, as courage from the gods, but too much drink can lead one to madness or what we'd call blacking out. This interchangeable nature of madness and drunkenness is at play in the symbolism of the series as well. Let us begin with the earliest example of this character, with Viserys in Vaes Dothrak. So if we take the idea that Jon will kill Jaime and take his place, this scene is chock full of nods to Viserys playing that role. Notice that Viserys' wrist is shattered, implying Jaime's missing hand. The broken arm is another recurring motif I'll be getting to later on. In Jon's first chapter he sits at the back of the room during the Winterfell feast, as Viserys is commanded to by Drogo. This bothers him so much he points this out to Mance as justification for leaving the Night's Watch. He thinks to himself it would be the only reason Mance would believe, presumably because it is the truth. Just as Viserys is denied a seat at the high bench and told to sit in the shadowed corner, far from the rest of the feasters, Jon is relegated to the same position in his first chapter. They are both denied their place as 'rightful king' but when Viserys tries to take the crown, gets killed for his trouble. Tyrion when speaking to Illyrio, is told regarding Myrcella “In Volantis they use a coin with a crown on one face and a death's-head on the other. Yet it is the same coin. To queen her is to kill her.” Notice the phrase "sweet sister" which is used to describe Cat, Dany (by Viserys) and Cersei, although once Viserys and Cat die it is almost exclusively relegated to Cersei. She has already begun to feel estranged from Jaime and considers him to not be the brother she once loved. It should be remembered in the Twilight Zone episode Gary pretends to be Elvis' deceased twin brother. The stranger of course invoking the death god of the Seven, implying that Jaime will be her death or that she will be the cause of Jaime's death. Drogo committed the act of killing Viserys but it was performed in defense of Daenerys. Poor Dontos Hollard also plays the part of the Drunk Fool, quite literally a drunk that is turned into the Court Fool by Joffrey. He supplies the poison necklace to Sansa which Joffrey drinks and chokes to death (just like Qhorin and Renly with their neck wounds) due to the wine he drinks. Notice it punctures the crown on his surcoat, which is an indirect way for GRRM to show a head wounding. There is also the neck wound I have been harping on and the one in the gut, which sometimes accompanies it. Catelyn gives that throat wound to the fool Jinglebell at the Red Wedding (where nearly everyone was drunk). The boat catching fire is a nod to the pyre of Hoster Tully. Let's take a look at the black bastard tomcat I pointed out as symbolically representing Jon Snow earlier. In these parallel scenes we see Arya whirl just as Shagwell dances nimbly (those fiery dancers LmL likes to point out, which I believe are inspired by the Whirling Dervishes of Sufism and the dancing of Dionysian practitioners -- to be discussed shortly) kisses this dirty mud character on the forehead. Shagwell is also described as hopping from leg to leg, which is a tell tale sign of this fool. Once again, I could throw up a number of more quotes evidencing fools hopping around but I'm already too long in the tooth as it stands, so I'll leave it to these few direct connections. To leave us off, recall how Dontos said he was always falling off his horse. In the Tourney of the Hand scene I quoted in the first part, Jaime falls in the dirt and the laughing of Robert, a veritable giant of a man, is louder than anyone else. The laughter is important because right before the drunk fool scene where Jaime stumbles and falls in the dirt, he is given horse piss to drink by the Brave Companions and they all laugh so loudly it hurts his ears. A similar occurrence happens near the Drunk Fool Patchface: Notice the giant's laughter, like Robert at the Tourney of the Hand. The dead are dancing in the dark, which are these shadow dancers that crop up all over the place. He falls on his ass which will recur in the next section and we've already seen Jaime fall on his ass trying to kill the fool Shagwell. The difficulty is that in certain scenes these roles are very distinct and the symbolic underpinnings are very consistent but in others they are swapped around, almost arbitrarily. For instance the Hound plays the fire character with a ruined face but in the prologue to AGOT Waymar plays an ice character that has his face ruined by his shattered ice sword. For an example I have already pointed to: Viserys is the drunk fool while also playing the part of the rainbow man with the golden crown but this may be due to being both "ice and fire", the integration of these two roles into the same character. As Arthur thinks at the end of TOAFK the mind becomes "muddled" when taking it all in, trying to suss it all out.
  13. The Fiery Rainbow Man What better place to begin than the prologue of AGOT? And with that iconic prologue confrontation, Martin began the Mad Dance. Will's failure to call out and warn young Waymar would lead to his own death but in his failure to do so cemented Waymar's fate. The dead, particularly those risen by the Others, seem to recall and hold their grudges against the living that contributed to their death. This recurs in the ADWD prologue with Thistle and Varamyr, which I will return to, as both prologues are symbolically connected. But for now let's look at a cluster I enjoy regarding crystals that give way to rainbows, which are hidden by mists or haze and just what each of those symbols entails. It is not often that I can find a direct order of events in using this method and I will point out at the end of this essay what lead me to this particular conclusion (although I have already shown my hand on that front). Let us begin with the dancing shadows during Mirri Maz Duur's heavily symbolic scene: Dany wails like Nissa Nissa and we have the shadows in their mad dance. The shadowy wolf I believe is meant to be Jon Snow and the man wreathed in flames, which is Jaime Lannister. They both play the Warrior, one of Ice, the other of Fire. Let us continue with this wreath of flame. We have the long white robes, as Jaime has embraced the White of the KG, he literally has a crown (hair) of 'beaten' or 'spun' gold, along with Joffrey and Cersei. The crystal is pretty obvious, it is a clear gem that can diffract light (turns white light into a rainbow) and of note: originally comes from a Greek word that means 'ice' and 'rock crystal', but interestingly the crystalline atomic structure also appears in snow. Naturally Jon and Jaime are intrinsically tied as I have pointed to but why is snow and ice attached to the crystal for the fire character? Before I answer that let's look more at this symbolic cluster to show this for Jaime. Jaime ruminates upon Tyrion's parting words that "Cersei is a lying whore, she's been fucking Lancel and Osmund Kettleblack and probably Moon Boy for all I know" so he begins to imagine just that. The idea of a queen also being a whore is another recurring motif, such as when Jeyne Poole masquerading as Arya, she promises to marry Theon and be his whore if that's what he wants, as long as he helps her escape. The final quote is Jaime's last and most vivid dream so far in which he speaks to Joanna. There are only 13 uses of spun gold, 5 of which are regarding hair and the other examples often involve the crystal crown of the Faith of the Seven, which create the rainbow of the Seven. One use that is particularly noteworthy however: The wreathed fiery rainbow man I am pointing to is often associated with these colors: brown and black. This is because one character in the role is the burned man, while the rebirthed version is the brown mud character, as I pointed to mud and fire being elements that are dichotomously opposed as well as the eponymous ice and fire. Let us return to Jaime, though: Because, just as Gary Pitkin is a copy of Elvis, Jaime will be copied himself. Although as we see with Beric, a dead character that is brought back may be a poor copy of themselves, since they can lose much of their memories and personal ego that makes a person who they are. Let's move on to the wreath: Red yellow and orange are consistent fire symbolism, used to describe the fiery robes of the Red Priests. The fact that the gods' statues are carved from the masts of the ships connects them to the Old Gods of the North and the godhead of the weirwoods. There are echoes of this idea of the gods in the trees in the Summer Isles as well, with Talking Trees Town. This mimics the forgotten truths of the Maesters using ravens to deliver messages by written word instead of skinchanging them as Bloodraven teaches Bran to north of the Wall. Instead of speaking through the trees, as Bran sees through them and through time, the Summer Islanders have forgotten this truth and instead carve their histories into the trees' trunks. Catelyn and Sansa tend to have these moments where they have glimpses of magical insight that go away but the one time I want to point out is this same motif, the moving forest of ghosts (reminding me of the Haunted Forest north of the Wall). Notice the wilowisps, which are, according to Wikipedia, 'atmospheric ghost lights' that in Latin literally translate to "foolish fire" (the Drunk Fool I mentioned and will return to shortly is part of this cluster) and is sometimes known as jack-o'-lanterns, friar lantern's or hobby lanterns. These willowisps are interchangeable symbols with lanterns and fireflies (which are sometimes referred to as lantern bugs) representing the lights that arrive or disappear with the morning mists, bringing or hiding the retreat of this ghost army. Flies are referred to as "the dead man's revenge" by Daario and the fireflies are essentially fire wights, symbolically speaking. Although these willowisps are wreathed in a silver flame, which gives them moon connotations: the silver-gold hair of the Targaryens are the moon and sun colorings respectively. I am not going to show this here, there are ~200 uses of "sunlight" and "moonlight" but their color designations as gold for the sun and silver for the moon are extremely consistent throughout the series, as a cursory search will back up. Here we have that wreathed (will-o-)wisps among the morning mists. The fact they are over the river is also important, as this moment is all regarding the battle near or over a river. Think of the Battle of Blackwater Bay ("Men wreathed in green flame leapt into the water") and the battle between Tywin & the Northern forces near the Kingsroad at the Battle of the Green Fork. The entirety of The Sworn Sword novella is committed to the theft and battle regarding the "Chequy Water," a stream, which is simply a smaller version of a river. Afterward TSS has imagery matching the Field of Fire due to Bennis' betrayal and torching of the woods, using that firefly symbolism I previously mentioned. Back to the wreath though: There's that red, yellow (gold) and orange symbolism with the wreath along with the clouds, which are sometimes a mist or haze. The eagle is another symbolic substitute for the dragon, as I have argued Jaime is a dragon himself. Don't take my word for the connection though: The whole passage reeks of skinchanging and has too many parallels and similarities to be simple coincidence. Of note Varamyr begins twisting on the ground as Vermithor begins twisting in the sky. As Varamyr goes temporarily mad so does the riderless Vermithor, fighting anyone and everyone in his current vicinity. The neck wounding is another key motif tied to this wreathed character. Recall the Whispering Heads in the Crownlands, which whisper, as the godhead of the Weirwoods do. There is also the yellowed skull, which is tied to exiled princes. Bloodraven is also described as having a yellowed skull in his weirwood throne. There is the Golden Company run by Bloodraven's bastard brother Aegor Rivers, Bittersteel, whose chief goal is to return from exile to Westeros. They are "Ghosts and liars… Revenants from forgotten wars, lost causes, failed rebellions, a brotherhood of the failed and the fallen, the disgraced and the disinherited." Here's a great candidate for a ghost army of solar fire and of course they are in service to an exiled Prince believed to be long dead, Aegon VI. This also fits well with Jaime's golden symbolism, as he's also a fallen knight, has failed to protect his son/king, disgraced by his murder of Aerys and disinherited by Tywin when he makes clear his choice to be LC of the KG and decides not to inherit Casterly Rock. He has also been foreshadowed to die in his weirwood stump dream. You see how this all gets out of hand rather quickly if you are not already tapped into these indirect word choices and repeat patternings. Much of this implicit meaning can slip by a reader unaware, akin to Hemingway's or Faulkner's use of the Literary Iceberg Theory. I must admit while I have found some key clusters there are others where I know I am looking at something but just can't put together what the hell it means, as I don't have enough of the tangential symbolism in the particular cluster. Most of the real story is hidden in plain sight but the reader must do the work to pull all of this hidden meaning out of the work themselves, to learn the puzzle and be able to understand the language that is being spoken. To the wreath once again: Of course, Mance isn't dead, this is actually Rattleshirt, the Lord of Bones, which ties this back to the stolen identity and false murder of a king. Remember what Ned thinks back in AGOT that "The king dies... and the Hand is buried." Jon is the black bastard, the rightful king that prowls in the shadows. Jaime is nearly offered the position of Hand by Robert to spite Ned and in AFFC is offered the same by Cersei, whereupon he makes the joke about being a Hand without a hand. With that in mind let's look at the deaths of Renly Baratheon, killed by a shadow with his brother's face, and Qhorin Halfhand's death. I believe the Halfhand was meant to serve as a foreshadowing of Jaime when the time skip was still intended; he would have spent several years perfecting his swordsmanship with his off-hand just as Qhorin did and Qhorin has a lot of Sword of the Morning symbolism, hence theories that he may be Ser Arthur Dayne which I believe is mistaking the symbolic parallel for a literal one. I must admit I may be doing the same at certain points or taking literal parallels as symbolic. Such is the nature of the web of symbolism being employed. Recall Jaime's dream in which he similarly goes down a stone passage that twists around to be given a sword of pale fire by Tywin, a dream I also pointed out mimics Jon's own dream of descending into the Crypts of Winterfell. Let's skip ahead to the fight: This also calls back to the first prologue, with the Other's parry that is almost lazy. Jon plays the part of the shadow among shadows and oathbreaker that kills the Hand, leading to his fall and disappearance. With that in mind let's watch another shadow kill a would-be king. Notice that same neck wound, the blood pouring out and the utterance of a single word, "sharp" and "cold" respectively, which when brought together brings to mind the translucent sword the Other wields in the prologue. Brienne of course begins to replace her affection for Renly with Jaime in her dreams, making the connection a bit more direct. There is a number of times throughout the series that Jon Snow is connoted with the snowy white cloaks of the Kingsguard and that same snow-white is connoted with death. Notice Jaime is connected to blood before he mentions Jon's name, due to their blood connection and the foreshadowed murder I am pointing to. There's that yellowed skull I mentioned and Bloodraven is, akin to the Kindly Man here, missing an eye and associated with the white graveworm tendrils of the weirwoods. The ram is a star-sword Lightbringer symbol. The ram represents Jaime as the deceased mud character that gets forgotten in the presence of a Snowy-cloak clad death bringer. We are talking of Jon Snow as the Kingsguard character and Jaime as the king he betrays -- a nice Greek Hubris-styled punishment for Jaime's kingslaying. This potentially implies, in conjunction with the fact that Qhorin asked Jon to follow the enemy's orders to kill him, this death is necessary or agreed upon between Jon and Jaime. Though it will still have consequences for Jon. To drive all of this home, let's look at Jaime's last chapter from AFFC when winter comes to the Riverlands and Jaime wakes from the most intensely vivid dream he's had so far: Snow mistaken for blood then Jaime finds himself thinking about his father, a deceased Hand. Subtle enough to be overlooked alone but not too subtle when it's all lined up. Next is the cluster of mist/haze/fog/dew symbolism that obscures the disappearance of this fiery rainbow character. Note the sweet smell that gags Jaime, as if choking him. Also of note are the music of Rhaegar's harp and the singing of the septons that accompanies this obscuring mist. This coupling recurs at the river funeral pyre of Hoster Tully: This is a pretty straightforward Lightbringer scene but note how there are four not three arrows which are fired. The first three are fired by Edmure who would normally be the Azor Ahai character but Brynden is the one that fires the final arrow lighting the fiery rainbow man's boat through the mists. There are hints of this three with a fourth tacked on elsewhere in the series as well. When defending the Wall against Mance's turtle (which houses a battering ram) Jon and his cohorts hurl four boulders down on the attacking force. There are four glass candles of obsidian, three black and one green. In A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (U.S. version) on page 320 there is an image of a shadowed dragon with four upraised swords in the foreground, three of which are aimed straight up and a fourth off at an angle. This angle will recur as part of the Breaking imagery in Part IV when I get to the maps. The point here is that I think the AA story of three forgings is incomplete and is told by the perspective of those left behind by this rainbow character. The AA story is told by the people who choose the Edmure analogue character as their hero, the individual that only fires the first three arrows. The Blackfish always did serve as a sort of outcast in the Tully family, it would make sense that he is symbolically playing the part of the outcast/exiled AA character, whose deeds are lost to history.
  14. Haha fair enough. You're still doing the re-read though, right? Is that the best place to find your most recent comments/thoughts? Cluster-fuck is a great description. This stuff gets confusing! Since I'll be talking about stolen identity a bit this sort of dualistic role played by the same individual occurs in a lot of places. Like King Arthur, one's mind becomes 'muddled' trying to sort it all out. I'm trying to stay away from show discussion here and stick to the books but I've certainly noticed some interesting symbolism in the show. Perhaps I will create a show topic after this is done and point to some of the stuff I've noticed. RE: WoT stuff. We've talked a bit about it before and I agree that asoiaf is influenced by or at least homages WoT directly. I haven't read it myself so any conjecture on my part in relation to WoT is shooting in the dark. As for the reincarnation stuff that's pretty interesting! I mentioned Jaime echoes Daemon a lot. In one instance Jaime thinks how Tyrion, not Jaime, is the one that goes to brothels and frequents whores, which is a Daemon trait. It feels like Martin nudging the reader saying "Jaime may drink and gamble with his men like Daemon but Tyrion is the one that visits whores as Daemon did. You notice that?" Not sure what it could mean, just an interesting observation. As I'll be getting to and pointing out in today's entry the cluster of the blue flower, honey/bees, sweet poisons, etc. are all indicative of the godhead. The fact that Bael left the blue flower seems to me to imply it is not representative of sex or stealing a maidenhead, since he did steal her but left the flower. Not only did he take her maidenhead, he stole her entirely and the blue flower was a ruse to draw attention from his real goal, the product of the Stark bloodline. Rhaegar likewise stole Lyanna, the daughter of the Stark bloodline, in order to (presumably) give her a child, only after giving her the crown of blue roses. If it was symbolic of taking her maidenhead wouldn't Rhaegar be taking the blue roses instead of giving them to her? I definitely agree that blue is indicative of death but the Blue Bard also uses blue rosewater to sweeten his clothes and is stolen (imprisoned) himself in a reversal of Bael's story. He tells the lies Cersei wants but is captured by the Faith and goes mad. As I've pointed out I think Jon goes mad, so it all seems to relate indirectly. Also blue, particularly "pale blue" (in opposition to "pale pink") which I'll get to, is very often used to denote the Others/wights and those blue roses/flowers. Perhaps blue is not referring to organic death but the un-death of those subsumed by the godhead? I definitely want to get into 'chink' more but not atm. I will say there is a use of 'chink' with Catelyn at the Battle of the Whispering Wood which is followed shortly by her thinking of Robb as the baby that Ned left behind before going to war. Seems to fit with your whole sex, betrayal, death, birth order. Ned/Cat have sex, Starks/Robert are betrayed by Aerys and Brandon/Rickard are killed while Lyanna/Cat have children on far sides of the realm. Also Dany has that same order: her & Drogo have sex, MMD betrays Drogo, Drogo becomes vegetative (brain death) and the child is born (but dies). The same order may occur with the birth of dragons but I'd have to look back at it, I'm a bit fuzzy.