bemused

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  1. Val is Jon’s true Queen. Part trois.

    Obviously , people did practice blood sacrifice. I'm just not at all sure that the CoTF did, until men imported the idea with them and then, the CoTF may have resorted to it no more than once (at the breaking) - that's if the maester who recorded it centuries later had it right, and wasn't reporting superstition, or surmise on the part of men. Unless we're shown that they did, or hear it from an unimpeachable source, I'll continue to harbour strong doubts. Having been cut off from the rest of Westeros by the wall for 8000 yrs., or whatever number.. (coincidentally, in the same area the CoTF withdrew to) the FF probably grew closer to the CoTF beliefs and practices than Westerosi northerners.. We see some beliefs/ traditions are the same, others not. There's no one clue that proves that Val is a priestess/seer and nothing that states point blank that she and Jon will be/are together But when so many subtle ones turn up, all pointing in one direction, I think they should be heeded. This will mean nothing to you, I'm sure, since you're unwilling to accept any hint of these clues about Val, but I think there have been more that enough to cast her in some version of the position we've outlined. In Tormund's camp Val is dressed in wildling finery, impractical for everyday activity, wearing a weirwood face pin. We know from the Norse writings that Vala did wear special garments for ritual. Though Val wears a bone knife on her hip, she tells Jon she wouldn't want to get blood on the clothes Dalla gave her... But there's no use quibbling. I'm convinced and you're not, and we obviously won't change each other's minds.
  2. Was Domeric really Roose's son?

    @SummerSphinx Well, I can, but it doesn't fully represent my thoughts now, so I've pulled it up and am reworking it, among other things...( I didn't want to go into a whole essay on your thread , and take it sideways... http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/85429-roose-killed-domeric-and-barbrey-knows-it/
  3. Val is Jon’s true Queen. Part trois.

    @Lord Varys My books are mostly still packed away after 2 moves in a year and a half and are mostly literary collections of the myths, etc..But wikipedia gives an excellent rundown (with sources) for our purposes. The Vala ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Völva Prose Edda and Codex Regius... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prose_Edda https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Regius I don't have time to reply in depth right now, I'll have to come back later. But George didn't say he based the old gods on the Norse personified gods (e.g.no godly stand-in for Thor or Freya, though there are plenty of other references) .. but based the religion - which has a slightly different connotation, for me ... The religion of the Seven is founded in Catholicism. We can see the similarities and the differences.
  4. Also pointed out by @aryagonnakill and @kissdbyfire This is something I think Jon is wrong about, and Tormund's attitude is misleading. Our introduction to Borroq comes through Varamyr... Borroq looked so much like his boar that all he lacked was tusks ...Prologue, ADWD When Jon meets Borroq in Jon XII, we get a fuller description ... Amongst the riders came one man afoot, with some big beast trotting at his heels. A boar, Jon saw. A monstrous boar. Twice the size of Ghost, the creature was covered with coarse black hair, with tusks as long as a man's arm. Jon had never seen a boar so huge or ugly. The man beside him was no beauty either; hulking, black-browed, he had a flat nose, heavy jowls dark with stubble, small black close-set eyes. “Borroq.” Tormund turned his head and spat. “A skinchanger.” It was not a question. Somehow he knew. It's been pretty well established by readers that the appearance of a boar presages change - of lord, king, regime, etc. .. A monstrous boar.. Jon had never seen a boar so huge or ugly. I think this implies greater change and upheaval than the downfall and change of a leader or head of state, where often the kingdom survives more or less intact and the laws and traditions of society continue much as before. The boar's size accentuautes all the other hints that profound change is coming. It's misleading when Tormund turns his head and spits. We would normally take it to mean that Tormund has no use for Borroq .. but though other characters have used the gesture this way, my search only showed Tormund using anything like it while embarrassed at having made a mistake, himself... The king gave the older man an irritated look. “Tormund, someday try thinking before you speak. I know it was Craster. I asked Jon to see if he would tell it true.” “Har.” Tormund spat. “Well, I stepped in that!” He grinned at Jon. ..ASoS So this looks like George's intentional misdirection. Borroq is one of his most trusted rearguard, it's unlikely that Tormund thinks poorly of him. Jon XII continues.. Ghost turned his head. The falling snow had masked the boar’s scent, but now the white wolf had the smell. He padded out in front of Jon, his teeth bared in a silent snarl. "No!" Jon snapped. "Ghost, down. Stay. Stay!" "Boars and wolves," said Tormund. "Best keep that beast o' yours locked up tonight. I'll see that Borroq does the same with his pig."...<snip> I'll leave the first bit for later .. When Ghost catches the boar's scent he takes up a protective, agresseive stance..Jon, undeveloped as he is, has to issue a sharp verbal command to control him... Tormund's "Boars and wolves" reminds us that they are natural enemies.. using "beast" for Ghost implies that (because of Jon's imperfect bond), Ghost may give in to natural impulses (so,best lock him up). Tormund says he'll see that Borroq does the same with his "pig" - a much more domesticated term than beast, monster or even boar (when it's not merely being used to designate a male) and we see later, that Borroq doesn't need to lock him up at all.. Jon first sees the boar as "some big beast" - yet it's trotting at Borroq's heels. Its appearance is wild and menacing but its behaviour is docile. (Here, Tormund as well as Bowen and his men go through the tunnel, so Tormund isn't present to make any illuminating comments from this point on).. We continue... Only Jon Snow and his guards were left. The skinchanger stopped ten yards away. His monster pawed at the mud, snuffling. A light powdering of snow covered the boar’s humped black back. He gave a snort and lowered his head, and for half a heartbeat Jon thought he was about to charge. To either side of him, his men lowered their spears. “Brother,” Borroq said. “You’d best go on. We are about to close the gate.” “You do that,” Borroq said. “You close it good and tight. They’re coming, crow.” He smiled as ugly a smile as Jon had ever seen and made his way to the gate. The boar stalked after him. The falling snow covered up their tracks behind them. ... Jon XII Pawing at the mud and snuffling might be agressive, but doesn't seem to agree with their reputation for sudden swift charges.. I suspect the snuffling was a sign of testing for scents.. George reminded us that the snow masked scent. He gave a snort and lowered his head...but within half a heartbeat, Borroq says "Brother". So I suspect the grunt and lowering of the head was a sign of some command or reassurance from Borroq, resulting in a nod, if not quite a bow to Jon and Ghost. We are conditioned to read "an ugly smile" and think "menacing" .. but Borroq is an ugly man.. so I've always given him the benefit of the doubt. I really feel it was genuine.. And I think those two will play an important part in what's coming next. There are two similar sentences that bookend the above scene, that I blush to admit I only paid attention to recently.. 1. The falling snow had masked the boar’s scent, It's snowing heavily at CB in Jon's last chapter...It's not the boar's scent that has Ghost upset. 2. The falling snow covered up their tracks behind them. George is telling us, in his inimitable way, that the falling "Snow" has covered their tracks in Jon's last chapter .. but they are making tracks - they're just obscured. Some won't like where I'm going next, but but here we see use of the words scent and smell in that scene (and the snow masks scent at a distance) ... Later Jon will use a third word .. It’s that bloody boar. Even in here, Ghost can smell his stink. We know the assassination attempt is upcoming. At the end of ASoS we also saw death looming for Jon on his suicide mission... “No need for that, my lord,” said Ser Alliser. “Lord Snow will do as we ask. He wants to show us that he is no turncloak. He wants to prove himself a loyal man of the Night’s Watch.” Thorne was much the more clever of the two, Jon realized; this had his stink all over it. He was trapped. “I’ll go,” he said in a clipped, curt voice. ...ASoS Jon X If I remember my previous search correctly, these are the only two uses made of "his stink". I had noticed this one long ago, but the Borroq scene reinforces my opinion that Thorne is back at CB, and again is the brain behind the plot. In Tormund's camp, Jon informs us.. Ghost was the only protection Jon needed; the direwolf could sniff out foes, even those who hid their enmity behind smiles. Ghost bristles at Bowen who we know is involved , but tries to bite Mully. It's pretty clear Mully was working with Bowen all along. From Ghost's reactions, I assume that Mully had had very recent contact with Thorne, or something belonging to or used by Thorne when he entered Jon's quarters. He doesn't react as much to Bowen because the knows the greater enemy is somewhere outside. ETA: Oops! One more from the Prologue re: skinchangers... Once, when Lump was ten, Haggon had taken him to a gathering of such. The wargs were the most numerous in that company, the wolf-brothers, but the boy had found the others stranger and more fascinating. Borroq looked so much like his boar that all he lacked was tusks, Orell had his eagle, Briar her shadowcat (the moment he saw them, Lump wanted a shadowcat of his own), the goat woman Grisella … (makes me think of a Trappers' Rendezvous).. But there was Borroq and his boar, Grisella and her goat(s?) surrounded by multiple wolves and a shadowcat.. and apparently, no problemos.. So Tormund's concern was always about Ghost...
  5. Was Domeric really Roose's son?

    I'd have to disagree with you, there.. If there had been even a whiff of skinchanging in Ned's generation they would have understood it better when the current generation came along. They had no idea of how to prepare the kids.. With the amount of riding Lyanna did,it surely would have shown up before KoLT.
  6. Was Domeric really Roose's son?

    I remember something a bit more negative than this re: Ned's generation >>maybe on video but I don't have time to search.. anyway from these, it at least seems quite unlikely,,, http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1260 http://nobodysuspectsthebutterfly.tumblr.com/post/124742615188/grrm-on-the-starks-warg-talents
  7. Was Domeric really Roose's son?

    George has said that Ned and his siblings were not wargs/skinchangers... that too had pretty well become next to a folk tale, south of the wall.
  8. Val is Jon’s true Queen. Part trois.

    Thanks for this, my little chick-a-dee.. I've frequently pointed to it in the past.. some bits I've remarked on before: an old wisewoman did some healing. ..implies to me that healing was not her first (or maybe only) calling.. Her daughter was most probably following in her footsteps (although most women know their mother's recipes,etc., etc.)... But, it would be customary, even in Westeros, for the patient to reward the healer, not the other way around (especially with her greatest treasure). So it says to me that the daughter "saw" something in Mance , or something about him in the future, that warranted the gift. ... This daughter could even be Dalla. That Mance "met" her on his way back from WF.. doesn't rule out that he'd met her before... Perhaps even several times over the intervening years. During that time each of them would be refining their own skills, gaining in expertise and reputation, culminating in marriage and leading the people together. Yep. That's speculation.
  9. Was Domeric really Roose's son?

    I agree with a lot of @sweetsunray's observations but I think we differ on some important side issues to this question. I don't think Domeric was Roose's son , but Brandon's (except with a few added wrinkles) I had an old thread about this from 2013, which I've always meant to update. Some of my opinions have evolved since then and I needed to work around problems arising from a changing wiki and consideration of the time line. I also find @John Suburbs post interesting but am not sure I see Roose's nature as quite that defined, yet ... maybe... I think I need to update my own thread.
  10. Val is Jon’s true Queen. Part trois.

    For some reason, I couldn't get my cursor to move under that box, so I'm continuing here. It's George's plot and he's developing it at his preferred rate.. I can't help that it makes no sense to you..It's making sense to me. We've been shown over and over that these women exist at one level,and have been given good hints that they exist at a more elite level. Even you are willing to believe it might be true of Dalla... Jon was with them for a relatively short time and probably did see them (he certainly saw Val and Dalla).. but unless they're doing ritual, they dress like anyone else.. They were on the march south... Mance already had his plan.. any decisions that might have required seeking a vision were already made .. and as you point out.. they were fleeing ..therefore, not stopping to take any more time than was necessary.. and then Jon split off on his mission with Jarl .. The Ygritte stuff doesn't warrant a response and neither does the Varamyr stuff earlier... I never denied that Val could be Dalla's blood sister (and her acolyte as well) I just like to point out that she may not be.. it could be a deliberate move on George's part to disguise Val's true nature until he's ready to reveal it... She's called a wildling princess because she's Dalla's sister.. Well, we know at least half of that's wrong. For all we know, the other half is too.. it won't matter much to the eventual plot, but might be helping George to keep a secret in the meantime. I think she's probably a specific type of Völva, a spækona - a seer (she first wants a midwife when Dalla is giving birth and later refers Jon to a woods witch about Greyscale .. in other words, in matters of healing) I think we've reached the point (as we sometimes do) Where your arguments just seem to become deliberately contrarian (for its own sake), and not really focused on getting to the truth of the matter... and it ceases to be a fun discussion.
  11. Val is Jon’s true Queen. Part trois.

    @The Fattest Leech What can I say but Thank You . and I relate to so many of your opinions, too. I think w-a-a-a-y too much importance is given to blood sacrifice ,or it's necessity. There was no evidence of the CoTF practicing it, until the release of the World book, and that was given by a maester long, long after the fact. It might be propoganda, or it might be true..it was supposedly done in a very dire situation, by CoTF and First Men. My feeling is that the idea of blood sacrifice was probably brought to Westeros by the First Men, connected to whatever religion they practiced at the time, and it was so ingrained that they clung to it even as they adopted the religion of the CoTF.(Of course blood magic works because magic exists, not because some actual god craves it.) I think if the CoTF used blood magic, it had more to do with feeding the blood of the tree to men, than the other way around (See Bran ...and Bugger Jojen-paste ! ..pardon me...) I hope you're not suggesting that every vision or prophecy required a blood sacrifice. The examples of Maggy the Frog and the Ghost of High Heart tasting a drop (and only a drop) of a person's blood in order to foresee their specific future is quite another thing. George purposely clouds the issue by making Mother Mole a somewhat comical figure..and old woman who lives in a hollow under a tree.. OH.. perhaps in emulation of the CoTF ? .. and I would not brush off her power or authority when thousands were willing to follow her on a hazardous journey to a place of dire repute on the strength of her vision.... why didn't they search for Tormund or the Weeper instead ? I've pointed out that in the Norse model, the clan leader is the priest , but men could participate in some of the women's rituals. For some rituals, though, it was considered unmanly (playing a female role)... A ritual was often believed to be more powerful if other women who knew the ritual joined in with the Völva. Visions were sought through singing or sitting out alone at night. (Think of Val "singing to herself" or when seen alone on the roof of a tower at night) Sure, hedge wizards exist.. but it's never mentioned that they are given to prophesy ... http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Hedge_wizard ... "A hedge wizard is a Westerosi local or traveling herb-doctor who also likely uses traditional healing, spells and charms to heal the sick or help the needy. Like hedge knights they are probably quite poor and sleep in hedges on occasion. They are probably most popular amongst the smallfolk as they are likely to be more affordable and accessible. Nobles probably do not employ the services of hedge wizards or if they do so they do it clandestinely."
  12. @HouseFossoway.. I think that's only semi-crackpot.. I project it will be another case of "Let the bastard rule"... I've been blithering on elsewhere, and just discovered this .. and I've been preparing a post for the "trip to the crypts" thread (not done yet) that touches on this topic.. So let me give a brief, run-down, lead-in thingy : I strongly, strongly, strongly suspect that ... 1. Bethany Ryswell (older sister) was actually Brandon Stark's lover - Barbrey's story to Theon is the cover story she has told Roose, to gain his trust.. Roose might well believe Brandon had had both sisters. 2. Domeric Bolton was Brandon's son...Roose - supected, then begot Ramsay (or in reverse order) ..he realised Dom was not his son (Roose can play a waiting game)... knew Ramsay would kill Domeric .. forbade Dom to seek Rams out, thereby ensuring that he would (teenager) .. Roose may also have had a hand in Bethany's death..(Barbrey despises both Boltons, and as Roose says "knows how to nurse a grudge".She's with the resistance) 3. Barbrey isvery likely closer in age to Lyanna and Benjen...Probably close to them both from childhood. 4. Lord Ryswell probably did want to arrange a marriage between Barbrey and Ned, but settled for Willam Dustin. (She may actually not have wanted either of them, not that that counted) 5. During RR, Benjen would have been the Stark Barbrey would turn to for advice help, etc.(If she didn't want to turn to her father) I suggest love blossomed, if it hadn't already... Resulting in a son... Wait...What..? We have to take a side trip, here..Back to Barbrey's trip to the crypts in The Turncloak. I'll pick out the salient quotes: Theon was staring down into the last dregs of his third tankard when Lady Barbrey Dustin swept into the hall and sent two of her sworn swords to bring him to her ..<snip>.. Barbrey to Theon : Do you know the way or not?” “I do.” He did not like the crypts, had never liked the crypts, but he was no stranger to them. “Show me. Serjeant, fetch a lantern.”..<snip>.. It took Lady Dustin’s men the better part of half an hour to uncover the entrance, shoveling through the snow and shifting rubble. When they did, the door was frozen shut. Her serjeant had to go find an axe before he could pull it open, hinges screaming, to reveal stone steps spiraling down into darkness. “It is a long way down, my lady,” Theon cautioned. Lady Dustin was undeterred. “Beron, the light.” The way was narrow and steep, the steps worn in the center by centuries of feet. They went single file—the serjeant with the lantern, then Theon and Lady Dustin, her other man behind them....<snip>... They proceed down speaking of ...OT... until Theon says they've arrived and opens the door to the vaults... Lady Dustin’s serjeant raised the lantern. Shadows slid and shifted. ....<snip> Two of Barbreys sworn swords come for Theon, but really, one of them does almost nothing except to make the other seem less noticeable because of his presence. Barbrey's sergeant does everything..fetches the lantern, fetches the axe, opens the door, holds/brings the light and leads the way. Her other man helps with the rubble and walks behind them. Why is the serjeant doing all the fetching and carrying rather than the regular sworn sword? No delegating in the Dustin ranks? ...Her serjeant is mentioned 5 times, but on the third mention, she slips up and names him - Beron, a Stark name, which George reinforces down in the crypts.. .... He (Theon) could feel the stone kings staring down at him with their stone eyes, stone fingers curled around the hilts of rusted longswords. “So many,” Lady Dustin said. “Do you know their names?” ...<snip>... Hating the Starks as much she claims, why on earth would Barbrey be asking if Theon knows the names of all the stone kings?... unless it's to check if he noticed that she called Beron a Stark name or to see if he will point out Beron's namesake in passing. Beron doing all the fetching and carrying may denote that he's younger and more agile than the unamed man or that he has a personal interest in visiting the crypts. ... The stone eyes of the dead men seemed to follow them, and the eyes of their stone direwolves as well. The faces stirred faint memories. A few names came back to him, unbidden, whispered in the ghostly voice of Maester Luwin. King Edrick Snowbeard, who had ruled the north for a hundred years. Brandon the Shipwright, who had sailed beyond the sunset. Theon Stark, the Hungry Wolf. My namesake. (my namesake is italicized in the text as well) Lord Beron Stark, who made common cause with Casterly Rock to war against Dagon Greyjoy, Lord of Pyke, in the days when the Seven Kingdoms were ruled in all but name by the bastard sorcerer men called Bloodraven. The namesakes of the two men who are named in this scene are mentioned back to back. Theon asks why Barbrey hates the Starks, she asks back... Why do you love the Starks?” “I …” Theon put a gloved hand against a pillar. “… I wanted to be one of them …” “And never could. We have more in common than you know, my lord. But come.” Though I think Barbrey's story about Brandon is not true (at least not for her, but Bethany) this may hold some truth, but for different reasons. If you're still with me, let's go back to numbered points.. 6. When Ned returned from RR, I estimate Benjen stayed as his right hand man for about 5yrs. - - When I came to figuring out why it was that Mance and Benjen never met , though rangers from the 3 NW castles must have crossed paths often (Mance wanted to "take his measure" during Robert's visit) ...Why Qorgyle wouldn't have taken Benjen with him from CB to visit WF , but would travel to the shadow tower first to pick up Mance... The only thing that made sense was the same reason Mormont gave Tyrion when he proposed a visit for Jon. He hadn't been at the wall long enough to form new bonds and let the old bonds fade a bit. He may not even have taken his vows, yet ... Yet to judge from the game Mance saw Jon and Robb playing, they must have been about 5 at the time. 7. Ample time for a child to be born during RR (or about the same time as Jon and Robb) 8. If there are no Dustin cousins Ned would have been able to let them marry and form a secondary Stark household.. but could he be sure another northern house (say, the Boltons) wouldn't complain to the crown that it was an unwarranted land grab? (I doubt the Ryswells would complain, especially if Barbrey has Dustin blood , as suggested above) In a SSM, when asked if Brandon had any bastards (equating Brandon with Robert) , GRRM downplayed the comparison a bit by saying well Brandon was certainly no angel, then very indirectly, added that there might be some Stark blood somewhere around White Harbour or Barrowton. ... (RE: Barrowton,I think the questioner was asking about the wrong brother) According to Barbrey, when Willam left for RR, he.. " had kin he might have sent in his stead. An uncle famed for his prowess with an axe, a great-uncle who had fought in the War of the Ninepenny Kings."... could they have been father and son?(in the way that older cousins are sometimes called uncle or aunt) I don't know... "prowess with an axe" may be a clue to something.. but if it means bringing a southron or other faraway influence to the north, I think everyone would want to stall as long as possible, and just see who survives. Ned was on delicate ground with Robert and was trying to keep a low profile. If the north manages to reclaim the autonomy they gained with Robb, it could make quite a difference to how this would be settled.. Who would be legitimized, which "bastard" takes which last name. If my suspicions are right about Beron, there would be possible solutions that aren't obvious right now.
  13. Val is Jon’s true Queen. Part trois.

    @Lord VarysI see where you're coming from but we still come down to basic differences. When you say.. I'm not presupposing based on my own likes or interests at all. I gradually began to see these clues only after seeing/reading a couple of interviews/Q&A's with George wherein he stated that he had created the religion of the old gods on the Norse model and a later one where he said Norse/Celtic.. Then I realised that both Val and Dalla's names echo the English name -"Vala" used for the most elite category of these Norse women - witches/healers/seers or prophetesses. They appear in the mythology, but not as godesses.. and archaeology has found burials of obviously highly respected women containing artifacts specific to the Vala.(George doesn't incorporate these artifacts, but may be inventing some of his own in Val's weirwood pin and Morna's weirwood mask.. and maybe Val's bone knife...we'll have to see.) So they are historical figures not only mythological representations.(and we know how George loves history) These women traveled about without fear of being interfered with, just as we see Val does. (They were supposedly welcomed and honoured wherever they went) ... some Vala (those of greater reputation for skill or accuracy) had acolytes and followers of their own.(It's possible that Val was Dalla's acolyte, not a blood sister.) Such a woman might attach herself (as an advisor) to a chieftain in whom she saw potential. She might marry him and give up traveling about. (Mance never says he stole Dalla, he says he met her, and he doesn't say whether anyone was with her, or not. Sounds like a mutually sought or agreed arrangement to me.) In-story, we see a number of institutions (NW, KG) and religious orders whose members refer to each other as "brother" and though they're, well, silent, probably the Silent Sisters privately refer to each other/think of each other as "sisters", so the idea that "sisterhoods" can exist has also been established by George. We've had multiple references to woods witches, wise women, prophetesses... Jenny of Oldstones' "woods witch" famously made a prophecy . It's also hinted that she may be a CoTF (and maybe the Ghost of High Heart). Wildlings are closer to the CoTF in belief and religious practice, than even the northmen. And there are more clues than those I've mentioned here. Are you trying to say that George, the George, doesn't keep secrets.. store them up until he's ready to reveal them?.. We've had time.. but George hasn't . He's still writing. For his own reasons, he's not ready to tell us the details yet.. but he has given clues, if we're willing to notice them. Whether they're red herrings or not is, of course, another matter. ...(I think not, so my neck is happily stuck out.) In-story, the Free Folk have good reasons to keep schtum. No.1 would be Melisandre who, along with Stannis, insists the FF renounce their gods and makes a point of burning whatever is connected to them i.e. weirwood. Val is Stannis' captive ..Mance and even Tormund might not risk revealing her status while Mel has any way/excuse to get at Val.. However, if Jon and Val become a couple first, then he can be drawn into the secret, which is a safer process than just blurting it out. (Same process as Stannis, Mel and Mance gradually drawing Jon into the Mance/ Rattleshirt secret.) As for the rank and file wildlings they might just assume Jon does/should know - it's common knowledge to them (remember how aghast Ygritte was at Jon's limited view of what constitutes incest) and when the people at Tormund's camp see Jon and Val riding off together side by side, with Ghost "loping at their heels" (and with Val wearing what just may be ritual garb), they might simply assume that Jon knows, and is in the same sort of relationship as Jarl/Val or Mance/Dalla. We don't know how the FF refer to Val in the old tongue, but there may not be a comparable word in the common tongue. ...E.g., I think Tormund also has a connection to the old gods - also based on the Norse model, wherein a chieftain functioned as priest as well as leader for his people - as a father did for his immediate family ... Some (not all) clues are in Tormund's titles - "Speaker-to-gods" and "Father-of-hosts" ..these might each be one word in the old tongue, for all we know. These women did not stand " aloof or aside from more mundane matters." as you suggest .Some would be healers,or dispense love potions, some might also do a bit of seeing - help you to find your lost thimble.. Some might prophesy, but do no healing..For chieftains, according to the Norse model, advising (through visions) when and where would be the propitious time and place to confront your enemy was a major function. (Might be very useful, coming up) Well I assume and hope they did have the hots for each other, because I like to think they were having a good time.. but I can't just go with that, because I think there are signs of something more going on. It's not a question of whether the story has to be multi-layered - I just happen to think it is, for the reasons I put forth. Jarl has been called Val's pet and Mance's pet. George wrote in that equivalence. Since I don't think there are signs that Mance was having a sexual relationship with Jarl, I'm taking "pet" in the sense of "favoured one" or "protege". There are still signs that Val was sexually involved with Jarl.. e.g., sitting together sharing a horn of mead.(drinking from the same cup - a useful bit of symbolism) I didn't say Mance and Dalla were looking for another guy to lead them, but someone who could potentially guide the FF boldly, but wisely if they died before time. I disagree that Mance would want a potential future successor safe by his side, rather than out increasing his leadership skills. Leaving the Others aside, Mance didn't know, at that stage, how many clans or lords (or Kings) he would have to fight once he crossed the Wall. He had no heir of his blood. If the people scattered, they had less chance of survival. ... We know, looking ahead, that Dalla died in childbirth .The child might have as well, and couldn't have led for another 15 yrs. or so if he survived (assuming Mance lasted long enough to raise him) I think the raven's wings on Mance's helm show that he credits what he learned on the Wall, not his hatred of the "black crows". Like a man's sigil, they announce part of his heritage. No, I don't think that Mance can regain his former position among the FF.. not without starting from scratch. He's been defeated, and it will be known that Jon sent him on a mission (as he once sent Jon,Jarl and Styr).Visually, at least, he has accepted Jon's command. I think he'll fill a subordinate position (and I think he'll be alright with that, because like Jon, I think he really puts the common welfare first). I really don't have time to address the Weeper.. and he's really OT here. I agree he's a dire threat and will have to be dealt with sooner rather than later... and it won't be easy. I do think it remains to be seen how many of his current "followers" cleave to him if they have other options.
  14. Jon and Val compendium.

    Here's bit more... From ASoS, Jon X.. Tormund to Jon : ..."That Longspear stole me daughter. Munda, me little autumn apple. Took her right out o' my tent with all four o' her brothers about. Toregg slept through it, the great lout, .." When we come to ADWD, Jon III... Tormund to Jon : ".. Best steal her quick, before Toregg wakes up and takes her first.” (So this is not a suggestion to steal; the theft is already underway and Jon best hurry while Toregg is, once again, asleep.. I think this puts Toregg in his proper perspective. He's not really a rival.) A well known one... In their conversation on the ride back Jon informs Val he has removed her from the Kings tower and had the top floor of Hardin's tower (his old digs) made ready for her. She must remain a captive, but symbolically, now his captive , not Stannis'. Consider what the following visuals may mean to the free folk : First Val appears with Ghost, looking "as though they belong together"... Then, artfully placed throughout the rest of the chapter... Jon mounted his own horse. Val fell in beside him. <snip>..conversation Tormund’s wildlings watched them pass, peering out from tents and lean-tos beneath leafless trees. <snip> ..more conversation They rode the rest of the way in silence, Ghost loping at their heels. (This displays willingness on Val's part, while Ghost loping at their heels paints the picture of a couple.)
  15. Val is Jon’s true Queen. Part trois.

    @Lord Varys Well, we'll never agree, because we don't agree on some of the really basic elements.. I believe both Dalla and Val are seers - wise women.. something more than your run-of-the-mill woods witches...(I know you see nothing special in them , in Val anyway.. but many of us do, based on our reading of the text, not flights of romantic fantasy) .. Dalla assisted Mance and lent him cachet (I don't mean that to take anything away from Mance's own efforts to become KbtW, but that hers added to them). I think George is adhering to some degree of the Norse model of a Vala (witch/priestess/seeress) bonding with a chieftain, sometimes marrying him - because she sees greatness in him, and wishes to aid his rise to greatness.(Of course only George knows how close that adherence will be.) Jarl was seen as a rising young leader and Mance would not have been planning on dying just yet. Val aligning herself with Jarl at this stage would lend him cachet, as Dalla did for Mance. I'm sure Mance would hope that his son might be able to follow in his footsteps (based on his own merit) but it would be thought to be many years before that would be tested. In the meantime, Mance had identified a young leader who he could mold into the kind of leader the FF would need. Though we can't say it can't happen, don't see any examples of this working out too well for anyone in the text, for whatever reason.. It's certainly not "more likely than not" or it should be apparent in the text... No-one seems to have a lot of respect for Gerrick KIngsblood, e.g. (and where are his followers?) There's no use arguing what anyone would have done, if Mance was dead or defeated at this stage and Jarl was trying to take power. All those leaders except Tormund and the Weeper are dead Mance is apparently dead and defeated and Jarl is dead. Tormund has allied with Jon. Harma's brothers have allied with Jon. (and the Thenns are more like regular northerners in this respect) Jarl had already been singled out before Jon joined the wildlings. Physically, he's not dissimilar to Jon and not much older. I think his was a case of visionary mis-identification (which was rectified by the Wall). Jon is the man Mance , Dalla and Val were looking for. Jon has never even met the Weeper. We don't know if the 3 rangers ever got the chance to talk to him.. and it's certain Jon's terms have not been presented by another respected wildling such as Val. Many, if not all of the people with him are probably unaware that Jon is offering any terms. But Anyway, here we are back at a point of very basic disagreement, since I don't think Jon is dead, and I even think he may not be fully unconscious, as argued here.. This is a side issue to this thread..I'm not wanting to discuss it in detail here.