LmL

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  1. Hey there friends! I actually put this essay / podcast out about a week and a half ago, but it was right after the first episode of the new season of HBO's show so the forums were on the fritz when I went to post. So, you guys know the drill - you can read the essay at lucifermeanslightbringer.com or you can listen to the podcast version on itunes or embedded at the top of the essay. Here is the first part to entice you to click on the rest... which, as usual, is a bit too long for a post. ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** When we talk about the main characters in ASOIAF playing into various archetypal roles and carrying around their own personal symbolism, there’s really nothing quite so stunning and clear as Arya. Sure, it’s easy to spot Jon as an Azor Ahai reborn type when he dreams of wielding a burning red sword, and it wasn’t too hard to figure out that Daenerys transitions from a moon maiden to an Azor Ahai reborn figure when she walks into Drogo’s pyre and wakes the dragons; and sure, George calls the antler-helmed Robert “a horned God” right out in the open in A Game of Thrones. But one of the most obvious symbolic associations in the whole series, one which is basically ‘hidden in plain view,’ is the idea of Arya symbolizing a child of the forest. There are a lot of subtle clues about Arya symbolizing a child of the forest in the first four books, which we will discuss throughout this episode, but Martin really cuts to the chase when Bran finally lays eyes on a child in ADWD as the company fights off the wights to gain entrance to Bloodraven’s cave: Lest we think this an offhand remark, the comparison is carried on through the next section, which also doubles as our first detailed, in-person description of those who sing the song of earth, whom we can call “earth singers” for shorthand: No one has eyes like that – get it? Arya is “no one,” famously, so that’s one extra sneaky Arya reference to go along with the more straightforward ones that Bran draws. We are also presented with two lines of animal symbolism for the earth singers – they have dappled skin like a deer (think of the white spots on a faun), and they have slitted golden eyes like a cat. As we will soon see, these are both very important, and not by coincidence, Arya possesses both cat symbolism – such as when she goes by “Cat of the Canals” or skinchanges a cat at the House of Black and White – and a bit of slightly more cryptic deer / dappled skin symbolism. The other line of animal symbolism that the children of the forest have comes in the very next lines after the last quote, where Meera asked “who are you?” upon seeing the singer they would come to call Leaf: I probably don’t even have to remind you that Arya is called “skinny squirrel” several times – three to be exact, and all by a person named Greenbeard, whom we’ll talk about more in a little bit. So that’s where it starts. The child of the forest that Bran sees is compared to Arya, and the three lines of animal symbolism possessed by the children – squirrels, deer, and cats – are also possessed by Arya. You’ll also notice the bit about the children being fond of trees; Old Nan actually tells us that they used to live in “secret tree towns,” and we will see Arya dip into this line of arboreal symbolism as well. She climbs trees like a squirrel, in other words, and when she does, ‘the symbolism’ happens, if you know what I mean. We’re going to cover all this and more today, but before we go further with children of the forest symbolism, I need to say a word about Arya’s other major character archetype, as we will be tripping all over it as we go. That other symbolic archetype would be what we might call “death goddess.” Specifically, she is the Nissa Nissa reborn character – the female version of Azor Ahai reborn, the dark solar king. These are really the same figure – in terms of mythical astronomy, Azor Ahai reborn and Nissa Nissa reborn both represent the infamous black moon meteors, the dark children of the sun and moon. The death messengers, the shadow swords, that sort of thing. Arya has this symbolism in spades. The Ghost of High Heart calls Arya “dark heart” and “blood child,” while Jaqen H’ghar calls her “evil child.” For a time she thinks of herself as “the Ghost in Harrenhall” as she has Jaqen carry out assassinations at her behest, with Arya herself slinking about her deadly mischief whispering her suitably ghost-like mantra “quiet as a shadow.” Arya also thinks of herself as the Nightwolf, because at night when she dreams, she frequently sees through the eyes of her wild direwolf, Nymeria, as she and her great pack ravage man and beast and bloody mummer alike in the Riverlands. Of course, a major part of her story so far involves Arya becoming a faceless man in training, where she endeavors to become “no one.” This is the culmination of the theme of identity erasure which saturates Arya’s character arc, even to the point of gender erasure. More obviously, the faceless men are the world’s foremost assassins, and Arya is training to become one of them, an instrument of Him of Many Faces, the God of Death. It’s quite the list of alter-egos: dark heart, blood child, evil child, ghost in harrenhall, Nightwolf, wolf girl, faceless man. Even the more innocent-sounding “water-dancer” identity that she aspires to is just a fancy name for a certain type of sword fighter – it still comes down to sticking them with the pointy end, or as Syrio puts it, “All men are made of water, do you know this? When you pierce them, the water leaks out and they die.” So, it’s just another killer identity for Arya, and thus you see what I mean about her being a death goddess figure many times over. More specifically – and I just want to re-emphasize this – she is a death goddess version of Azor Ahai reborn, at least in many scenes. This lines up with what we expect her plot arc to involve in the last two books… namely, a lot of killing. Freys and Boltons, preferably, but really, the sky is the limit. One of my favorite lines about Arya as a female Azor Ahai reborn figure comes in ASOS, after Gendry tells Arya of Thoros bravely climbing the walls of Pyke during King Robert’s attack, wielding his signature flaming sword, “setting ironmen afire with every slash.” Arya replies, A vengeful death goddess with a flaming sword, now we’re talking! Again we see the foreshadowing of Arya leaving a trail of corpses behind her as she comes into her power. Now before Arya transforms into this death goddess, she shows us distinct Nissa Nissa symbolism, and that’s the final thing we need to set up in this intro. Just as Daenerys transforms from moon goddess to vengeful dragon, Arya does something similar in a couple different scenes in AGOT. By way of example, let’s use the scene where Arya receives her last lesson from Syrio Forel, which takes place right before the Goldcloaks and Kingsguard come to seize her as the Lannisters take control of the throne: A blow to the breast, just as Lightbringer plunged into Nissa Nissa’s breast, and it’s a blow whose hurt went beyond the physical pain, because it felt like a betrayal. This calls to mind our theory that Azor Ahai’s murder of Nissa Nissa was the same event as the Blood Betrayal of the Amethyst Empress by the nefarious Bloodstone Emperor, and ties into the larger idea that the moon breaking was a sin, a wrong blow. Syrio is symbolizing the deceptive, lying Azor Ahai, with his “wrong” blow to the breast of Arya, who must be the moon maiden. She is now a dead girl, and that’s the idea – the moon is ‘killed’ and then reborn in the form of those killer black meteors, which can be seen as death messengers or undead shadow figures, in line with all of Arya’s death goddess symbolism. This is Arya playing the role of Nissa Nissa moon maiden – struck in the breast and killed, and thereby transformed into a living dead thing. Arya also speaks “hotly,” which gives her a bit of fire symbolism in her moment of sword death. We mentioned that Arya calls herself the Ghost in Harrenhall, and it happens that the ghosts which are said to haunt Harrenhall are fiery in nature as well: Arya is the Ghost in Harrenhal, so perhaps we are meant to think of her death goddess form as being of a fiery nature, and that fits pretty well with all the fiery tree spirit / burning tree woman / shy maiden symbolism we saw in the Nissa Nissa figures in the last episode. We’ll go back to Harrenhall for some of Arya’s scenes there and dive into this ghost symbolism a bit deeper. So, that’s Arya in a nutshell. A skinny squirrel… in a nutshell. Ha HA! The thing we have to consider is the mixture of child of the forest symbolism, Nissa Nissa symbolism, and all this death goddess stuff. What’s the meaning of this? We’ll consider that question throughout this episode as gather more information, but right away we can put our finger on the general idea being suggested here: Nissa Nissa may have been a child of the forest before she was sacrificed, or at least a human / child of the forest hybrid, and she may have had some sort of life after death as a vengeful tree spirit or perhaps even a zombie or something like that. I’ve teased these ideas before, particularly the idea of Nissa Nissa as a child of the forest or elf woman, and today we are going to present all the evidence for it. If the unofficial subtitle of the last episode was “Nissa Nissa was a weirwood tree,” you could call this one “Nissa Nissa was a child of the forest,” although I want to add the caveat that she could also have been a female of the “green man” race, if there is such a thing. The topic is more Nissa Nissa than Arya, essentially, though it will have a ton of Arya in it. The title of this one gives it away – It’s an Arya Thing, as in ‘look at that elf woman, it’s an Arya thing!’ Ultimately the point is Nissa Nissa and the children of the forest. As it happens, there are many, many clues about Nissa Nissa being some sort of “elf woman” to be found with pretty much all of our Nissa Nissa moon maidens, including all the ones we examined in the Venus of the Woods, plus a few more. Arya has some of the best clues in this regard, so I couldn’t really do “Nissa Nissa was an elf” episode without diving into her symbolism pretty heavily. In fact, I’ve actually been saving Arya for this episode, knowing that it was coming at some point. So here’s how this is going to go. Before we focus on Arya primarily, I want to establish the link between Nissa Nissa and the children of the forest, which is a very strong connection in its own right, irrespective of Arya’s symbolism. We are going to do this by picking up right where we left off in Venus of the Woods, talking about some of those fiery moon women who are tied to weirwood trees. Weirwood goddesses, I called them, or “burning ash tree women,” since the ash symbolism seems to be the most identifiable part of this archetype. That archetype also includes the shy maiden character, the ash tree maiden who combines fire, tree, and moon symbolism and who always wakes from a ground-zero Lightbringer bonfire. Among the weirwood goddesses we examined were, Lady Catelyn Stark and Lady Stoneheart, Masha Heddle, Brienne of Tarth, Melisandre of Asshai, Asha Greyjoy, the wildling spearwives Osha, Ygritte, Rowan, and Thistle, and even the petrified weirwood bones of the sea dragon Nagga. We saw this weirwood goddess figure in many scenes, always sacrificing stag people to themselves or to actual heart trees, and frequently manifesting the weirwood stigmata – the acquisition of bloody hands, a bloody mouth or ‘red smile’ as they say, tears or bloody tears, and so on. Now we are going to examine a whole new line of symbolism – several, actually – which suggest that this Nissa Nissa weirwood goddess archetype has something to do with elves; by which I mean the children of the forest and green men, both of whom we already know are tied to the weirwood trees. If any of that recap was foggy for you, it might be a good idea go back and re-read or re-listen to Venus of the Woods, as we are going to pretty much grab the baton and run here. If you’re skipping around and reading or listening out of order because you like Arya and you saw Arya in the title, may R’hllor have mercy on your soul, because some of this sh*t will make very little sense (although I’m quite grateful to have here!) You will definitely want to read at least Venus of the Woods before this one, take my word for it. So now that we have introduced Arya’s major symbolism, we will also be able to weave her freely into our study of Nissa Nissa reborn weirwood moon goddesses. We’ll start with a few of the women we discussed last time, and then get in to some Arya’s best scenes and see what is going on. Throughout all of it, we will see a constant juxtaposition of children of the forest symbolism and death goddess symbolism, and getting to the bottom of that is the mission of this episode and the next. I should also mention that there are a couple of other characters and places making their Mythical Astronomy debut in this episode besides Arya: The Ghost of High Heart, Jenny of Oldstones, Mance Raydar, Jaquen H’ghar, and Lyanna Stark a.k.a. the Knight of the Laughing Tree (although we’ve mentioned Lyanna a tiny bit in the past). In the next episode, we’ll get our first real dose of Cersei Lannister, the House of Black and White, and even the Red Widow of the Dunk and Egg novella The Sworn Sword, so you’ve got those to look forward to… plus there will be another nice helping of Arya material. CONTINUE READING...
  2. Oh and btw if anyone writes something they would like me to take a look at, I am always down. Just hit me up on Twitter or elsewhere and I will be happy to read. Cheers.
  3. Hey all. I am no longer participating in this forum, so please come find me on twitter @thedragonLML and a lucifermeanslightbringer.com. You can also find my content on youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/lucifermeanslightbringer

  4. Hey there friends. I just want to let everyone know that I have officially about had it with this forum. Seriously. I love many of you to death, but between the years-long struggle to just make this forum functional (I mean, FFS) and the degradation of the content and participants, the whining about GRRM not writing fast enough or about him having the f---ing temerity to enjoy his success... is just too much for me. In my opinion, this thing has become a walking corpse, a lifeless facsimile of what it once was, and I think it's time to acknowledge that. I was here when it was fun; and before the update, when the crashing was a little less bad, we all tolerated it because we loved the community. We all keep coming here for one reason and one reason only: each other. But lately it just feels too much like fighting against the forum to communicate. I know many of you do the same thing I do - we type any response longer than a paragraph in a separate window for fear of the forum eating it. It's just sad - I've never known another web forum so unstable, and this is a years long problem. It's just silly at this point. I have to imagine that is why most of the friends I used to have here don't come here anymore. But more than that, I just feel the community of good people here has slowly dwindled, and now it's almost as cynical and snarky as reddit. The recent thread about boycotting Fire and Blood until George releases TWOW is the last straw for me. How this thread was not taken down by now, I have no idea. So now the ASOIAF fan forum is the place to bitch about GRRM? Seriously? Count me out. I don't have even enough f-bombs for that, and I am not usually one to run short on f-bombs. So, with great sadness but firm conviction I must say that I will no longer be posting my essays here. You all know where to find me: lucifermeanslightbringer.com. Follow the blog to get updates on new essays, which come out once a month pretty much. I'm on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/lucifermeanslightbringer I'm on itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mythical-astronomy-ice-fire/id1125579173 I'm on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucifermeanslightbringer/ and I'm on twitter now, which, by the way, is where a lot of the best parts of the fandom communicate: https://twitter.com/thedragonLML If you've ever been my friend or chat buddy or anything like that, if you've ever enjoyed my threads, then by all means, hit me up on twitter to chat, that's the easiest way. You can always comment on my essays to discuss, and I also post all my podcasts on youtube, where you can also comment and discus. I'm a lot quicker to answer there than here anyway, even before now. I'm very grateful for all of you - though most of you have already left the forum anyway. But if you're reading this and we're cool, then hugs and kisses and dragonfire. Come find me at one of those places, because I won't be here. Kirk out.
  5. Yes, it makes sense - I think we are all beating around the same burning bush, i just wanted to see how you and RR would phrase it. It's the Stairway to Heaven, the ladder to reach the fire of the gods. Also Euron's Valyrian steel armor has glyphs and whorls.
  6. @Pain killer Jane, can you explain how "no one" comes into the finding Nemo story?
  7. Cool! Glad you caught it (and @Pain killer Jane too!). I am going to do a more organized presentation of these ideas with History of Westeros on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 est, on their YouTube channel. I think my dumb ass said "iris" when I meant pupil at one point, but hopefully people get the idea. The moon is a black hole eye, it is known. That's all fantastic, thank you - we've discussed some of these ideas before but kind of scattered about. Great to take a look at all the spiral and stair associations (thanks to @Pain killer Jane too!) in one place. So let me ask, given everything you said, how do you interpret the spirals being both over the sun and the tree? But of course. I thought of you as soon as I saw that picture! Astro-Bran!
  8. Yes I think we've seen this suggestion that green summer Garth turns to a winter sun white Other figure a few times now - it's probably most notable in Jaime. And yes I've noticed Craster and Casterly, but haven't made any sense of it. That is a great catch, I would have put that in this current episode had I known Arya compared herself to her. A white fawn is a white moon, it seems, and that reminds me of the house Robert defeated that has a sigil of two white fawns. I forget the name of the House. I'll see if I can wedge Wanda in somewhere in this episode.
  9. Basically, yes. I think so. I have been thinking of AA's theoretical black meteor sword and Dawn (original Ice) as a pair of Lightbringer swords for a long time now, and nothing has shaken that idea. I have wondered before if Dawn might not be a dragon killer, absolutely.
  10. I guffawed out loud (GOL) at that last bit. Get it in gear, man! I'll have to keep the offering of a child idea in my head. Clearly this could relate to the Others, don't you think, given Craster's offerings?
  11. One of those quotes I think about is Dany dreaming of roasting Robert's troops at the Trident, because they are "armored in ice." As for the wights, it's easy to see how they fit into the fertility god myth - they represent a halting of the cycle of life and death, just as the long night represents a halting of the cycle of Night and Day and of the seasons. When night time and winter got stuck in the on position, we also got undead corpses everywhere. However I'm not really sure how the whole thing got started in terms of the others or the night King resurrecting dead bodies. I've sometimes wondered if it's not being done by any person or entity, but by a big black meteor up in the north which somehow reanimates the dead, or some other regional magical effect. Thats a real mystery there.
  12. Yeah you're on the write track I think. NN taking up residence in the wwnet is super important. She raises the dead NW back to green zombie life, that much seems clear. I thought maybe she was making the Others too, but I'm not so sure of that. I am trying to discern what the relationship between undead NN in the tree and the Nights Queen might be. NQ figures show some of the same signs of being affiliated with weirwoods that NN does. In general, what I am seeing is that green men turn into both undead NW (AA reborn people) and Others. I think that the dead summer king might be aligned with the Others while the dead winter king is aligned with the NW. But of course I need to get into the Others full tilt to figure that out.... which us what I am doing after the next Weirwood Goddess episode ( which will be Catwoman).
  13. That's all very good analysis. Belwas seems to be yet another good example of someone combining tree and moon symbolism in the same scene. This is what I was just talking about - a configuration of the main events in which the Nissa Nissa character is not female. The thing is, it's one thing to break down these various permutations where gender is flipped around or whatever, but of course what we're all sort of trying to get at is the on-the-ground truth of the people who were involved in this original set of events. Maybe it's like the story of David and Bathsheeba, where King David had her husband placed in a dangerous part of the army so he would die and he could take his wife Bathsheeba as his own. Perhaps AA took NN from the green men. I think of Greenbeard taking Arya to Beric, but also implying the green to grey transformation himself. Perhaps @Crowfood's Daughter has insight here. And ditto on the recurring symbolism.
  14. Hey @Unchained. As usual I am in agreement with you. Tyrion getting clashed across the face by a white sword is the comet hitting the moon, and in most scenes Tyrion is the reborn figure, which can be called either AA reborn or NN reborn. That's why he wears the shadowcat skin, and that's something I'll talk about in the next essay about Catwoman. A Shadowcat works very well as a symbol of a resurrected Catwoman, I'm sure you can see. Lots of the Moon Maiden figures have Shadowcat symbolism, but the Nights Watch and other reborn AA figures like Tyrion have it too. You are right to point out that vengeance is a major part of both Tyrion and Arya's plot. As for the sacrificed figure being either NN of a green man figure, I think that's correct in some sense. I have wondered if the green man might not represent the earth in terms of mythical astronomy. The green earth was turned black, you know? Poisoned by AA reborn / the black meteors. Setting aside the astronomy, killing the green man is a good way to end summer and bring on winter, so it makes sense that that might have happened early in the sequence. I'm not sure if "NN the sacrificed cotf" is the underlying reality here - meaning that the Green Man symbolism you're seeing simply applies to her - or if there are multiple sacrifices. I tend to think that AA is the sacrificed Green Man, and that he has to die to be transformed. That's what Renly seems to be showing us. The other thing to keep in mind is that we could be dealing with the same story shown different ways. In some configurations of the story, it could be brothers fighting each other, more like the winter and summer King, wall in a different permutation, it's a man killing his wife. It could all be the same thing, or they could be different parts of a sequence.
  15. This place feels like a party that ended a long time ago.
  16. Yeah have at it, there's no time like the present... And yeah, with the forums down so much, it's almost pointless to even come here. I love my friends here, but if the shit never works.... I just figured these topics - Arya and NN as a cotf - would be big discussion topics. But no.
  17. Wow, sorry this essay was so boring everyone.
  18. Yeah I'm all over it. Going to make an emergency video if I can. You saw the same thing I did my brother. And yeah, that Yoren quote jumped to mind for sure. We also saw that symbol when Dany burned Drogon - there was an overhead shot that shows it, I highlighted it in my video.
  19. So you know what's really interesting about her? (Great catch by the way) She married the Ironborn King Harmund Hoare II, and he was the kooky one that tried to make the Drowned God the eighth god of the Seven. The eighth wanderer was the fire moon NN, who became the drowned goddess. Thats a reference to moons meteors drowning in the ocean, but also AA and / or NN going under the see, into the net. The weirwood stigmata for Lelia says the same. Leila means "dark" or "dark beauty," which is perfect for NN and the fire moon.
  20. Yeah that's a good catch - I think this occurred to me at some point but I forgot about it. I think I can fit in the Cersei section of my cat woman episode, hat tip to you. Yeah I agree on the Falia Flowers thing - she's had her tongue torn out, the red smile of the weirwood. The name flowers and the house sigil and descent... Yeah. It all fits. Great find of Quellon, as I have interpreted The Red Kraken's and Euron's attack on Oldtown as BSE echoes. Third wife, interesting. How did the first 2 die? Are they all playing NN? Or is it a 3 forgings thing? Sorry I am feeling lazy right now
  21. Nice... splash some blood upon the moon with me!
  22. The next one will really be a continuation of this essay and it's various assertions, so you have the right idea. Even then I won't be nearly done with Arya - I haven't touched her scenes with the Hound or the dragon skull chambers under KL. Those scenes teach a different lesson, so I'll come back for them later. This is how it always happens - I was writing a weirwood compendium episode and had a couple paragraphs about how NN and the weirwoods overlap. Then I realized it needed a while essay, which was Venus of the Woods. But then I realized the weirwood goddess thing went further and made a whole series. This shit so deep.
  23. Yeah that's how I see that passage - the surface meaning is just "next month," with the Ironborn referring to the new moon as a drowning. But in terms of symbolism it is the moon drowning or the moon meteors drowning, and as you say, we now know from @ravenous reader's discovery that under the sea means under the see, and that means entering the wwnet. In fact, it's not just the Ironborn myth that is actually talking about the wwnet, it's all the aquatic symbolism. Which, 90% of it is Ironborn, but also the Velaryons and a few other things. Thats way Arya is "Cat of the Canals," a cat woman (cotf) that lives in the water.. the canals being the under the see motif crossed with the webbing of a spiderweb.
  24. You know, for some reason the notifications weren't working and I thought nobody had responded, and then I came here and find all these nice responses. How lovely! If Tom Cruise is happy, everyone is happy. Nobody likes agitated Tom jumping up and down on the couch.;) As for my method of analysis, it's evolved a bit over time but honestly the template was set by Schmendrick's R+L=Lightbringer, and I've also been heavily influenced by Graham Hancock's writing style. I can't imagine any other way to do it... I think most people that write about it make videos about ASOIAF are placing themselves under the constraints of brevity, but I crossed that bridge early on and haven't looked back. There's just no shorter way to do close readings of the text and bring out all the symbolism. If we want to understand what "alive with light" or "black blood" really means in ASOIAF, you really do have to look at every scene where the symbol or phrase is used and study them all. My main thing is throw in enough jokes to keep it lively! At the end of the day I feel that Martin's work is just really complex and deep and to get the big picture it takes this much time and effort. And not just me - look at people like @sweetsunray and all the other people doing deep analysis from a little different standpoint (non astronomical)... You have to grok the role of the bears and the valkyrie figures and the chronic realms too if you want to get everything out of the series that is there. And so on and so forth. I have a feeling analysis of the books will continue long after they are finished. Doom and ruination to anyone who says they won't be finished!