Obscured by Klowds

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    Goin' where the wind don't blow so strange. Maybe off on some high cold mountain chain.

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    Obscured by Klowds
  1. Seams, your list of parallel elements is brilliant! Fear ties some of these characters together by their tales. In TWOW Arianne II chapter, what struck me in the cave scene as symbolic was Elia’s behavior. We know that she took a torch, and she feels safe in the cave (check, check), but what about her catching two fish? Arianne fears a reversal here; instead of Elia catching the fish, darkness in the earth could capture the girl. I think it is important that Arianne sees it as her responsibility to protect the girl from being caught by the darkness, and from Feathers the guy she was caught kissing later in the chapter. However, that might get me in over my head with connecting the ‘surrendered maidenhead’ stories of Elenei, Ygritte, Gilly, Lyanna, the Stark daughter that Bael impregnated, etc. I will just say that in my opinion, Arianne’s inner dialogue goes to the tale of Elenei as though it is a source of her fears. I suppose there are also fears of what happened to Rhaegar’s wife (her namesake) echoing through the cave. And I’ll come back to the fears, but first… I took some time to peruse the other post and reread the Bran VI chapter in COK. P.S. Seams the post in the Direwolves Don’t Cry thread has ‘Bran VII’, but I think it’s actually Bran VI. The gutting is missing… unless we personify the First Keep. When fire demolishes a building it may be said to have been gutted. When I reread Bran VI, the chapter where the fellowship of Bran emerges from the Winterfell crypts, I found fewer parallels to Arianne II than expected. For example, I couldn’t find any elements that paralleled the fish catching in Bran VI. Unless Bran was the fish, caught in Summer’s skin. Also, it isn’t clear to me that there is a guide as they set out in Bran VI. Lastly, Maester Luwin took a spear between the shoulders during the sack of Winterfell; I can’t find anything that indicates he was gutted. We know that Osha helped him die, but it happens off-scene in the books because we’re in Bran’s POV and Meera dutifully led the kids away. I decided to check another Bran chapter- the one where Sam allows Bran and his friends through the moonlit gate at the Nightfort, and Seams, posted this: For whatever reason, we are being led in a similar direction here as we were with the Jon VIII chapter parallels. I’m drawn to Sam too, yet I have not looked to Craster’s Keep. Instead… I noticed that in Bran IV SoS, the journey through the gate at the Nightfort, Bran is haunted by Old Nan’s tales of the Rat King and the Mad Axe. Bran’s fears build and almost get the best of him. Note what happens as Bran is startled awake by Sam, Gilly, and the baby as they ascend the well. Interestingly, Meera caught Sam in her net like a floppy fish and tried to jab him in the gut. Just before this journey through the well, Meera roasts fish she caught in the river on the fire instead of eating horse or rabbit. These details might lead to something, especially the horse/Hodor connection. As you pointed out, the role and relationship of the cave guides are very interesting. Sam and Jon are brothers of the Night’s Watch, so there is some room to play with how Bran is related to his guide. Blood relationships are void for the brothers according to the NW tradition. Coldhands doesn’t quite fit Old Nan’s tales of greenmen, and he doesn’t have the abilities of a Sworn Brother. He is neither fish, nor flesh, nor a good red herring. He’s a forest guide aiming to deliver Bran to Bloodraven, in a way that is similar to Jojen. Are his ravens inhabited by CotF? In the Nightfort there is a transfer of the guide role from Jojen to Sam. They were as good as blind. As they descend the stairwell we have the imagery of the moonlight following them and Jojen asks Sam if they need torches- but in this journey they use a hand on the wall instead. Why? Maybe they don’t need fire light because Sam is their sword in the darkness & light that brings the dawn. I agree-the vows are an element in this pattern. Or, he could be similar to Daemon/Aemon in his maester-like wisdom. Or, maybe torchlight would spoil the way the weirwood door glows- the Black Gate isn’t black: I wonder if there is symbolic significance that ties some journeys to a torch bearer and other journeys to moonlight.
  2. Jon's passage through the heart of the mountain with Qhorin half-hand in Jon VIII of A Clash of Kings fits the motif that you are exploring with Clegane's Pup. An excerpt: <snip> (They jump through the icy stream on horseback.) I find it rather mysterious, the way they were following moonlight to get to this hidden cave, and once they entered the moonlight followed them in. In the Arianne chapter, the "music of another little waterfall would call to them" as they made their way. There is also the cliff face which makes me wonder- could it have actually been a carved face prior to falling? Jon, the Halfhand, and Ghost plunge through the waterfall to avoid capture. They stop to sleep on the sand, and Jon has zombie nightmares. As they exit the cave the eagle/Orell is watching them, and wildlings catch them. Rattleshirt lies to Jon about Mance- said that Ragwyle gut him and then commands the wildlings to gut Jon, but Ygritte speaks up in Jon's defense. Rattleshirt rattles. And, there is much ado about it. The Lord O'Bones threatens to make Qhorin's bones rattle, which he follows through on before the end of the chapter. My sense is that both chains and bones as armor can easily be turned against you or acquired by your foe once you are slain. Arianne uses Oberyn's bones to try to control Elia's behavior, by having her swear on her father's bones. There is an interesting bit about dragon-slaying and chains in The Princess and the Queen- The meta bit about remembering the two entrances of caves seems important. As if we are subtly meant to recall other caves that have two entrances. A feather in one's cap may be something that GRRM is playing with. I like the parallels with who is really responsible for the deaths of Elia and Qhorin. Afterward, Rattleshirt tried to claim responsibility for Qhorin's death because the wolf did Jon's work for him, and well- he pretty much ordered it. Specifically, Rattlshirt bellowed, "Feather them!" Similarly, Clegane did Tywin's work (Elia) and enabled Robert to take power. Arianne seems really concerned about her responsibility to protect Elia from Feathers the man. Elia and Qhorin are also both making torches for cave spelunking and recklessly leading others into their depths. Arianne is covertly trying to figure out what the Golden Company is planning (attack on Storms End), while Jon is gathering intelligence about where the Wildlings are headed. The free folk love to spirit women away, and Arianne seems to be open to the idea. Or maybe she is like Jon (when he doesn't realize that he stole Ygritte) and doesn't see it that way because she is working so hard to please her father?