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  1. Hi there friends. I have a question for you. Why do so many women in the story turn into weirwoods? It happens over and over again. Here's what I mean. The weirwood resembles a bleeding and burning tree person. It has the bloody face, of course - the carved eyes and mouth which 'bleed' red sap. The red, five-pointed leaves are introduced to us in AGOT as looking like "a thousand bloodstained hands." Those hands can also be thought of as the tree's hair - the leaves on a tree look like it's hair, especially when the trunk has a face. So, bloody hands, bloody mouth, bloody tears, bloody hair - these are the symbols of the weirwood. I say it looks to be bleeding AND burning based on a quote from ACOK: The point of this description is to have us associate the weirwoods with the idea of a burning tree and the "fire of the gods." Think of Moses's burning bush - it burned but was not consumed (like Lightbringer or dragonglass candles), and in it, an angel appeared and spoke with the voice of god, transmitting god's wisdom to Moses and enabling Moses to perform later miracles such as turning his staff into a snake and back again. The other clue about the weirwoods being a symbolic 'burning tree' comes from the Grey King legend of the Storm God's thunderbolt setting a tree ablaze, enabling the Grey King to possess the fire of the gods for mankind. I believe the burning tree in this story is the weirwood, and possessing its fire means hooking up to the wwnet and becoming a greenseer. The Grey King's other legend also hints at his being a greenseer - he sat on a throne of "Nagga's jaws," but "Nagga's Bones" appear to be petrified weirwood, and thus his throne may have been weirwood as well. Interestingly, Grey King was said to possess "Nagga's living fire" by slaying her - if Nagga's bones are weirwood, then again we have a clue about obtaining the living fire of the gods from a weirwood. So, that's the fire component, and that is why I describe the weirwoods as perpetually bleeding and burning tree people. In addition to the symbolism of the bloody mouth, bloody hands, red or bloody eyes, and bloody hair, we can also think about red, "kissed by fire" hair, or burning hands, burning hair, shifting robes that make one look on fire (think of Mel and the red priests here) as weirwood symbolism. There's also a line of symbolism concerning the red smile and having your tongue torn out. The weirwoods are silent - they appear to be screaming or laughing, but make no sound. Their bloody mouths suggest one who has had their tongue torn out, and there's a deeper metaphysical thing here with losing your physical tongue but gaining the speech of the gods, a la Odin sacrificing his physical eye to open his third eye. The red smile is what you call it when you slice someone's throat - the standard way to sacrifice an animal or person for religious purposes - but a red smile is also what the weirwoods have - literally a red, bloody smile. The point is that I have found many occurrences of women who gain most or all of these symbols during key transformative moments (for many of them, it's a death transformation, either symbolically or literally). They appear to be turning into weirwoods. Here's what I mean, from the Varamyr prologue of ADWD: Bloody tears, bloody mouth, presumably bloody hands (she rakes her own face, and wighted Thistle has frozen blood hanging from her fingers like "ten pink knives." We see the torn out tongue thing as well. You will notice that when this 'weirwood stigmata' (as I like to call it) occurs, a skinchanger is trying to invade Thistle like a greenseer invading the weirwoodnet. Varamyr actually goes into the nearby weirwood and looks out through its eyes for moment, just to make it clear that Thistle herself is acting like a weirwood tree in some sense. The same happens to Cat, twice. First, the catspaw assassin event in AGOT: Then, a moment later, when Summer kills the assassin: Bloody mouth, bloody hands, bloody face - and the suggestion of sacrifice to weirwoods. Varamyr died entering Thistle, and the catspaw assassin's blood rains down on Cat like a sacrifice "feeding" the heart tree. Cat also tears a chunk of flesh from the assassin's hand, more of the same idea. Also, during this incident, Cat's hair is torn out a bit, leaving her kissed by fire hair as bloody hair as well. The, at the Red Wedding, it is even more vivid: Cat has been set on fire, by a projectile from above, much like the tree that the Storm God's thunderbolt set ablaze. Next comes the weirwood stigmata: We get a link to the previous weirwood stigmata scene: And back to the stigmata: Cat's face is literally being carved here as she gets bloody hands, bloody mouth, bloody burning tears, and accepts the blood of the sacrificed Jinglebell (whose real name is Aegon...). Note the red tears, and even more so, the red worms crawling over and around her. The weirwood roots which climb over, around, and through Bloodraven are described as graveworms. As Cat raises her hands to watch the bloody worms, she is even posing like a tree. Note the red smile she gets - she almost got one in the catspaw scene too, as the assassin was trying to cut her throat. So, you have to read the full essay to see what I think is going on with these and other such similar scenes, but I will tell you that I think this has to do with the first faces being carved on the trees and the first greenseers who ever entered the weirwoodnet. I also think it has to do with Azor Ahai - whom I believe represents a greenseer - entering the weirwoodnet. I think we are seeing a pattern of people who represent skinchangers and greenseers being sacrificed to the weirwood maidens, and I think this is recreating the way by which the first greenseers had to enter the trees - by dying. It might have looked something like this: Finally, I will leave with one final teaser: Jon and Ghost. It's been pointed out many times in the books that Ghost has the same blood and bone coloring of the weirwood, with red eyes and jaws and white fur. Jon has been sacrificed - given a red smile, in fact, by someone whose name implies wood carving (Wick Whittlestick). Where is Jon going? Inside his weirwood colored wolf. This is the idea - Azor Ahai as a sacrificed greenseer who entered the weirwoodnet. And of course he didn't just enter, just as Jon will not simply enter Ghost, never to be heard from again. No, Azor Ahai has to also be reborn from the weirwoodnet, just as Jon will be reborn. This is why the weirwood tree works so well being symbolized by women - the weirwoods are the tomb of Azor Ahai and the womb of Azor Ahai reborn, I believe. It's actually parallel to one of the ideas about Yggdrasil, which is that the last survivors of Ragnarok hid inside the trunk of Yggy, only to be reborn afterward to start human civilization anew. Of course the weirwoods are heavily based on Yggdrasil ideas, so there you go. The full essay, entitled Weirwood Compendium 5: Venus of the Woods, is here at lucifermeanslightbringer.com. You can also listen to it as a podcast, either by clicking the player embedded in the essay or by looking up Mythical Astronomy on iTunes. Cheers everyone! LmL
  2. The forums just ate my response to this. Sigh. This is getting pretty damn old. I really wish this forum worked, like at all. It kills me. I like the people here much better than on Reddit, and reddit's two day cycle isn't ideal for these giant essays... but goddammit I do not know if I can handle one more lost response due to the fact that this forum crashes at least once a day. I mean, they updated this thing more than a year ago and it is worse than ever. I don't know of another good forum that has a wide slice of the fandom in it. Smaller forums with like 50 people aren't that fun. What to do? I wish this forum just worked.
  3. That's a bingo. There is much doorway symbolism around the weirwoods, absolutely. I would say they are real trees, but not like other trees, There is something fundamentally different about them, it would seem. I think they might be meant to be seen as half-dead or living dead trees. Wight trees instead of white trees. I do think the wargs are George's version of werewolves, and some have noticed the "weir" in weirwood could be read as were, making the weirwooods man-trees as werewolves are man-wolves. I look at Jon as an ice and fire synthesis, best expressed by the idea of frozen fire or black ice, and I believe that this line of symbolism includes Valyrian steel and dragonglass. Jon is like fire tempered by ice and frozen. He can still burn though, as dragonglass can. ASOS: And then a bit later when Jon considers Stannis's offer: And when Jon is elected LC... his token is... Jon dreams of a sword. Which one? His father's sword, a black sword named Ice. Black Ice. He dreams of wielding a burning red sword and defending the Wall, and in that dream, he is armored in black ice. Not sure if Jon is going to get Valyrian steel armor, but I think it's clear that black ice and frozen fire are important symbols for Jon.
  4. That's cool FFR, I will brush up on the Daphne myth. That sounds like a good fit. As for Rhaegar, he might not drip with Hades symbols, but I would say that the Azor Ahai reborn archetype that he plays in to IS saturated with Hades. Ned shows it better, as @sweetsunray has demonstrated (you are familiar with her work on Hades and Persephone, right?)
  5. Have you read my Green Zombie series? You probably like it alot, a lot of the idea you just mentioned are in there, and I also arrived at Bran as the summer king and Jon the winter king. I wouldn't worry about warning anyone here to careful though. We've all heard that before. Also, I sincerely hope you aren't implying my analysis is anything but tightly correlated to the text and the story HE is telling. One could almost read your words as an implication that I am not doing so, and that would be unfortunate.
  6. Nice work BT! Yes, it's another fire moon / ice moon deal, with the fire moon being killed and drowned and the ice moon living on. But Cersei also hears Melara's voice haunting her, or sees her accusing eyes, one or the other, right? That's good too. So.. the ice moon queen marrying a garth... what's that about?
  7. Yes, it's wonderful, I just like to bust your (metaphorical) balls when you refer to the prologue for like the fifth time in any given conversation, lol... Yeah, that's really solid - getting a red hand while skinning a buck is skinchanging a tree to become a horned lord, something like that. I think the skin of an antlered creature basically = the weirwood, so that's how you get red hands, is by going into a ww. Very nice. That corroborates the notion of him climbing the tree as a the greenseer climbing the heavenly ladder. Arya also threatens to kill Jaquen here as his hand is "bitten" by the weirwood. That's a good match to the catspaw being bitten by weirwood Cat, very nice. I will use that for sure. The hat-tip list grows one longer! We should chat about Arya more, the dark hearted blood child and ghost in harrenhall who commands Jaquen. I'd like to figure out exactly what is going on here. It kind reminds me how Stoneheart commands the brotherhood. Arya, as a ghost, is like the ghost of a cotf in a sense, which is kind of like dead Cat as a tree spirit. Defnintiely agree about that Tyrion library stuff - I think you mentioned some of that or we discussed some of that when we first caught on to the "send a dog to kill a dog" idea about infiltrating the wwnet in those first Winterfell scenes. He stole knowledge of dragons and the changing of the seasons, a clue in and of itself about meteor dragons changing the seasons, the comet = the sword that slays the season, etc. As for Dany, I think I see your point. I think the burning of that place is akin to lighting ice on fire, the ultimate destiny of the ice moon and the king of winter. That's why the Undying burn like old parchment or whatever, just like the wights. Blue shadows and all that. Yes, that seems right, and there's a good chance George is thinking of the DNA helix, Jacob's Ladder, and that type of thing. I like the idea about always taking the right door turning Dany's trip into a spiral... it makes sense. I mentioned to you that the HOTU is effectively a "shadow tower," being a palace of shadows, and having a non-physical tower which Dany seems to climb but which is not visible form the outside (it's a low, flat building). This is why this place confuses me, symbolically - the Undying seem like such clear parallels to the Others, but the shadow tower and serpentine stairs symbols are dragons and darkness... and the description of it: Anyway I am just not totally sure what is happening here. I'm also not exactly sure what the shade trees and warlock wine represent in the context of the weirwoods and the ice / fire dichotomy. Love that song, love that convo we had, and love what Martin did with the absorbing of the fool spirit in that scene. That goes hand in hand with the repeated pattern of the weirwood women drinking the king's blood... and that's another reason why we can definitely count Melisandre as a prime example of this archetype, with her awesome scene with Cressen, and her talk of Kingsblood. I didn't use the Sansa Dontos scene in this episode, but the skin of wine with legs idea pertains to AA the sacrificed fool, whose blood is poured out to be imbibed, like Christ and the communion. Exactly. Yeah, he gave Jon his red smile. It's pretty great. And into the wolf he goes, the white wolf with the red smile. I follow. What maester sacrificing a woman? No, that's interesting. I didn't give that much thought, it just popped up as a link between Asha and Osha. That joke TV show Renly made about AA the salted ham is more right than he or D&D knew! This might be a preview of Jon, waking in his own bonfire. or more symbolic, Jon waking inside a wolf that looks like a burning tree. That's wild. I have always tended to stick with the 3EC being Bloodraven, but since I am seeing hidden figures in the wwnet, i suppose I should be open minded. It's hard to discern gender, because it speaks with a crow's voice. I do not suspect Bran or I or anyone else knows the difference between male and female crow calls, heh. One of my favorite quotes and scenes, no doubt... The tree whispers and stars stir because the weirwoods are star trees full of starry wisdom. It matches with Dany's ADWD chapter, where the stars whisper in Quaithe's voice and share starry wisdom. Dany has soooooo many weird greenseer parallels like that. Heck, the green grass of the Dothraki green see speaks whispers to her in visionary form and the voices of the past... haha. Good one! That's our shadow tower. So, the rising ash = a weirwood, as i laid out last time. But the rising ash can also appear with rising smoke - the dark, black smoke that coils like a serpent. We saw that at the barn with Arya: It might be that we are supposed to se the white tree with a black shadow, or as a white and black tree growing from the same event. Not sure. But the point is we get the white ash = ww symbol, and right next to it or in place of it, the black snake smoke symbol that matches the HOTU and the shadow tower and the Shadowbaby towering above Davos. I want to do a more detailed analysis of this whole scene, but it requires me to talk about the ice side of things, which I am not ready to do yet. But did you notice that the broken branch symbol often gets thrown into the important symbolic fires? Thanks! We need to revisit the Hodor / Bran scene on the hill with the wights. Yes, absolutely. That's the idea of Oathkeeper being both black Ice and waves of night and blood. And since V steel probably requires blood magic... it's frozen fire and frozen blood. And don't forget this awesome scene... I mentioned this one in the green zombies series. I think this whole scene is about Jon, the horned lord nightswatch brother who will die and go into the tree-colored wolf. These NW brothers are going into wolves as well by being consumed by wolves. The rest of the highlighted stuff should rings bells for you, the shadow wolves sliding through pools, all the rag symbolism and tree symbolism... I am not sure I would equate the black pond with the ice moon, unless we mean the black ice in the middle of the ice moon. This black pond is one in the same with the black ice symbols, and PKJ's find about Cat seeing herself in Oathkeeper as paralleling the ww looking at its reflection in the dark mirror black pond backs this up. This is the black see, the dragonglass see. I think the pale shadow of a weirwood armored in ice is a better ww / ice symbol, but I am not close-minded on this either. Thanks for all the great feedback and help with this essay! You helped be see where I need to slice out material for next time... this essay was once even longer, people, if you can believe that. I was trying to talk about cat woman in this essay too, and it was too much. Anyway, I'm for bed, @GloubieBoulga, I will reply to you tomorrow.
  8. Yeah that was a clever one by George huh... plus the "ashes in your eyes" bit, that was a LOL. That's a sly parallel with Maeker... but you might be right. The black crown with fiery red gold is perfect - that's the implication of the black crown, that it can catch on fire like a coal or like dragonglass or maybe v steel. Sweet. I am going to break down that trial by seven in about 2 episodes to get all the Dunk / greenseer clues (gallows knight, horse named thunder, that tree / star sigil, etc) so maybe I can slip this one in there. So, who's the winner out of all this? Are you saying Maekar because Baelor's death led to him and his line taking the throne? Or would Dunk be the winner because he lived and won the fight?
  9. Wow! Only a book and a half through and you're hanging out here huh? I assume you started as a show watcher? Well, nice to have you and thanks for the contribution. And yes, the Thor - Oak connection is probably something Martin would be thinking about since he seems to be using tree lore. Oak and ash are the two most prominent in Norse myth, so it figures. I know the birch tree has some good mythology, right? I haven't taken the time to look into all the various white trees, though that might not be a bad idea. You're right that we are told the children carved the faces - though Jon recalls both the children and the FM carving face son the trees, interestingly. I am actually suggesting a slightly heretical idea, that the children did not carve faces on the trees until man came, and specifically Azor Ahai and his crew, who may have started off as "green men," whatever those turn out to be. George says that the Isle of faces is coming to the fore near the end, so we should find out what's up with them. Anyway, you are right about the canon, but I am actually proposing an alternate theory, essentially. It could also be that the children carved the faces in response to Azor Ahai, or to facilitate him. The main thing I am proposing is that the face carving is tied to the Long Night meteors called down by Azor Ahai, and by Azor Ahai's desire to enter the weirwoodnet.
  10. Thanks for the read and the comment! I'll slip this answer in before tackling the longer ones. I agree - my list of weirwood women is by no means complete. This sucker ran super long as it is, and I have saved a bunch more of this stuff for the next episode. That one will focus on the cat-woman symbolism of these burning tree women, which is quite strong and probably has something to do with children of the forest (with their cat's eyes) of perhaps the Tiger Woman of the Bloodstone Emperor, or both. I want to save that for next essay but you get the point - there are more. Lyanna is one, certainly. I primarily focused on the fire associated ones, because I have yet to introduce my ideas about the Others, the ice moon, ice symbolism in general. I mentioned that I see the moon maidens / weirwood maidens either aligning to ice or fire, with the exception of one or two who transition between the two. Lyanna would seem to be a good fit for an icy maiden, with her primary symbol being the blue winter rose. However, I do wonder about the idea of her (and Brandon) having "wolf blood," and how this is associated with having a hot temper. Not sure how that works exactly. However the blue rose would seem to make her the icy variety of maiden. I noticed the bloody tears from her statue and the Knight of the Laughing Tree symbols, though I missed the white dress spattered with gore. That's a great catch! I will jot that down on my list of hat tips to give at the appropriate time. The stone statue is also a good catch. It's possible that we should think of petrified weirwood as being ice - associated, since Nagga's ribs are called "pale stone," the same phrase used for the Dawn meteor ("a pale stone of magical powers," and the "Palestone Tower" at Starfall). You read my last one, In a Grove of Ash, right? that's really a set up to this one. The part I am thinking of is the part where I show how many times weirwoods have been associated with the moon. If there was indeed two moons at one time, and if I am right to think about them as being associated with ice and fire, respectively, then what I think is going on is that the weirs can be used to represent either moon. For example, the living weirs primarily look like burning trees, but then we get the one in the Varamyr prologue.. The Others are called pale shadows and white shadows many times. Other things which are white or pale shadows are Ghost and the Kingsguard, and the KG are basically a symbolic proxy for the Others... while Ghost is something more complicated. But this weirwood tree, it's a pale shadow armored in ice, so that's clear enough - the others wear ice armor, and Dany dreams of melting troops armored in ice via dragonflame in her dream in ASOS. Jon is also armored in black ice in his Azor Ahai dream, but then Jon is many ways is like a black parallel to the Others, like a long lost brother. In any case, this tree is nor armored in black ice, but rather it is a pale shadow armored in ice, so that basically is the description of an Others. We get another description of the Others in this same paragraph - the night was "white as death," with "pale thin" clouds which dance - the Others dance with Waymar and are thin and slim and ghostly, like these thin clouds. Finally, a thousand stars watch coldly, like the cold star eyes of the Others, who are called watchers. So. It's like a portrait of the Others in the sky, and the weirwood is a portrait of the Others on the ground. Interestingly, Varamyr, after leaving Thistle's body and going through the dying process, experiences some interesting things. He first spends a moment inside this pale shadow armored in ice weirwood - that's interesting, right? - then he's borne on a cold wind... and then: And now a reminder of the appearance of the armor of the Others, from the AGOT prologue: It's ice armor that looks the surface of a lake or pond, so, that's a frozen lake or pond. Anyway. Varamyr plunges through the icy pond after seeing through an Other-tree, then ends up in a one-eyed wolf, almost like a cold Odin / greenseer symbol. The point of all of this is that the entrance to the weirwoodnet seems to symbolize the fire moon. The red door. But the exit seems to be cold. @ravenous reader and I have developed this idea a bit; she also associates the Others with the 'back door' and in the arsehole. And by the way, RR, comets and meteors are sometimes called "star shit," so, the Others with their cold star eyes fit the bill as a cold star shit stream. Gross. Look what you've done to my beautiful symbolism. Ha! So, Harlaw's Book, the weirwoods and weirwood maidens have an ice and fire dichotomy going on, as do many things in ASOIAF. Lyanna would seem to be the cold type, so I will discuss her some time in the future after I have gotten into ice symbolism on the podcast. It's unbelievable how many things there are to write about - I have a list of drafts and essays and plans for essays that all need to get written and put out, and I have to finish my greenseer series so I can get to the Others... I'm doing this as fast as i can but I can only put out about one of these monsters a month. I am one of those who is fine with the delay for TWOW, sorry to say... gives me more time to get to the Others before that books comes out and shows us a ton of stuff about the Others. Cheers!
  11. Your knowledge is encyclopedic! I suppose scarlet counts for red, especially since she is called the Red Queen. She's definitely a fire moon symbol - her duel with Sunfyre (the sun) and Vhagar, a hoary dragon (meaning white, meaning probably the ice moon) works well in that context. Rhaenys becomes a burnt corpse woman, which is Nissa Nissa post-LB forging. Also, the fire moon / ice moon pattern is strongly expressed (if it is valid) in Rhaenys and Visenya, and this is continued here. Rhaenys sister-wife of Aegon the C is the fire moon, just as the Dragonpit is on the hill of Rhaenys (a burnt out and collapsed dome which used to harbor dragons), while Visenya is the ice moon, riding her hoary white dragon and with the white marble Sept of Baelor on her hill. Vhagar is ridden by Aemond One Eye, who wears a star sapphire in his eye, making him an ice magic / ice dragon type person. The blue north star of the constellation ice dragon is either the eye of the dragon or the rider, and when Aemond rides Vhagar, it's pretty spot on for the ice dragon. Meanwhile we have another Rhaenys, riding a red dragon and becoming a burnt corpse. I believe the fight proceeds with Sunfyre and Meleys colliding, a la the sun and fire moon alignment. Oh - and look. Meleys. Meliai. There it is again!! It's so damn consistent, the fire moon symbolism. Mel the red woman and Meleys the red queen, both fire moon maidens / Nissa Nissa maidens. Mel is even called Stannis's red queen... So there you go. Very nice! The Meleys name is just such a dead ringer for all the other Meliai references with the burning tree moon maidens. I'll have to find a way to include this and the but about oathkeeper being like the black pond in the next episode or two, I wish I had caught those in time for this episode. Oh well, you can't get everything. The black pond catch really would have been good in this one. Now to go back for Ravenous and Gloubie's posts... pray for me, that the Westeros server doesn't eat my long response... ye gods, old and new, I beseech thee...
  12. Oh yeah!! Most definitely, great call! Oathkeeper's "waves of night and moon blood" make it just like the black pool. You are the shit.
  13. Yes, I will have to deal with him and the Fisher Queens and Silver Sea and all that. I talked about that a bit a long time ago in a westeros post following up on the Great Empire of the Dawn.
  14. Yes, but I haven't explained RR's sea / seer pun in the official podcasts, so I am holding off on that line of symbolism until I do. But yeah, the falling and drowning moon becomes the mermaid / drowned goddess, that much I have asserted already. That's why there is so much lunar symbolism among the courtesans of Bravos, who float by on pleasure barges.
  15. You are putting your finger on an obvious tension between fire and weirwoods, and rightly so. This is a 'problem' for not just Mel, but all the symbolism of the ww as a burning tree. In real life, fire kills trees. But all the mythical world trees like Yggy and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden are things which transfer the fire of the gods to man. So, simultaneously, there is a sense in which the weirwoods hate fire, and another in which they are on fire. The thing is, they don't really conflict - the weirwoods do not seem to like being invaded by greenseers, imo. They do not like acting as a conduit for the fire. They might be doing so heroically and sacrificially, containing the minotaur in their trap for us or mitigating the toxic presence of the meteors or both, or they might being simply being raped and forced against their, like a host to a parasite. One thing to notice is that Mel does not ever burn weirwood. She has Stannis or other people do it. Mel herself parallels the burning tree, she doesn't create one. She is one. But anyway... you'll see what I am getting at, even if you care to reinterpret the conclusion. Hilariously, @ravenous reader and I were chatting last night and she was reacting to your bawdy talk, and thought you might have been drinking. Nailed that one, RR, lol. You were hanging with Jim or Jack, that's all good baby baby. here's the link, there aren't that many comments so you should be able to find the one about Val. Not a tone said, just someone else noticing her as a potential ww maiden.
  16. There is definitely some transformation going on, whether or not there were 2 distinct moons or one moon with a dual nature. I always make my opinion up based in my best interpretation of symbolism, and that leads me to two moons, but the more important thing is the ice / fire dichotomy which runs through the entire series. The moons are just a manifestation of that. And again, in any scenario, some moon maidens definitely turn from fire to ice, with Sansa being the most obvious one. I am curious to see if Mel remains fiery or turns into something colder, myself.
  17. @ravenous reader, @GloubieBoulga, thanks for the great comments, I will respond a bit later after I get my chores done. Much love.
  18. I am not so sure this is a female only issue... even though we are the ones who sprout the next germs of the world I recently started a reread/relisten, and there is a Ned chapter where his mouth filled with blood, and he tasted blood, etc. And I think Tyrion does in ADWD as well? Hey Leech, wattup! Great to have you drop by. I will say that you seem to be going off my summary here as opposed to the full essay, so a lot of your questions / observations are addressed in the main essay. Hopefully I've got your interest enough to interest you in the full version, because I can't really go back and forth until you've taken a look at my reasoning there. I will respond to a couple of these, but a lot of it will be "well, in the full essay, I point out that..." so just bear that in mind. On this first one, I do address that in the essay. What I have found is that we get a consistent occurrence of the skinchanger / comet person invading the weirwood woman, but when they do so, they merge with the ww woman and they both start sharing the same symbolism. You'll notice the catspaw has his throat torn out - he gets a red smile, just as Cat almost got a red smile, and did get blood in her mouth. The skinchanger / comet person is repeatedly labelled a fool or lackwit, but the ww woman loses her wits at this moment of stigmata as well. The other thing I will point out is that I am keying on occurrences of multiple ww symbols, not just when a person gets a bloody mouth, or just bloody hands. I am looking for scenes when we have symbolism of a lightbringer / dragon / comet thing invading a ww symbol, and also being sacrificed to it, and in these moments, the ww woman will manifest most or all of the major ww symbols. I think the bloody mouth / red smile / torn out tongue is probably the most important symbol of the lot, and ties into a larger concept with silence and words and all that. So in scenes where someone has a bloody mouth but not the other ww symbols, we might consider how the torn-out tongue / bloody mouth idea interacts with whatever is going on in that scene. I'd have to go back and study each to be able to give an opinion. Take a look at the full essay and see what you think, and we can run with it and try to grock what is going on with the torn out tongue / red smile idea. George has a thing for red heads, both in his literature, and in his own real life. His last two romances were both with red heads. Plus the phrase, "red in the head, hot in the hole." That is very Ice and Firey. @ravenous reader got a big kick out of this, pottymouth that she is. You are more right than you know however, because we (mostly RR) has picked up on this idea of a front door and a back door, with the front door being associated with fire and AA, and the backdoor with the Others and ice. Cold shits, man. All the buggering humor may pertain to this, but you'd have to ask RR. So yeah, red in the head and hot in the hole... the front at least. Eh , I know that posters like to compare and merge the idea that the fire is in everything, but I don't see it nearly as much as others do. George uses a variety of elemental imagery in all of his stories, but what fire means to one character is different than what it means to another character. Kinda like how I may have a dream where I am covered in snakes, and to me that is a soft, warn, fuzzy, nice dream, but to others it is sheer terror. The train of thought you are missing from the main essay is that the ww women are all moon maidens also. There is ample fire symbolism besides the idea of the ww leaves as "a blaze of flame"and red hair being "kissed by fire." The archetype here is really three parts: tree, woman, and fire. A burning tree woman. So I understand your point of view, but reserve judgement until you see the whole thing, particularly the "shy maiden" line of symbolism in the second half of the essay. I don't see this as a good thing. The kissed by fire people tend to burn out too quickly. It is a form of extremism and George rewards those who are nice and moderate. A little of this, a little of that. Well, the key here is the idea of flame that burns but is not consumed. That's Lightbringer, and that's also where the burning bush parallel comes in. I talk about this specifically in the essay, actually, and I think the burning tree symbolism of the weirwood is that of a fire that burns but is not consumed. It's like, frozen in the moment of incineration. Also, you're right, this may not be a good thing. That's kind of the great debate about the fire of the gods, which is the sword without a hilt. BTW, you will notice that a comet looks like a hiltless sword. When Gendry saw the red comet, he called it the red sword, thinking of a sword red hot out of the forge. That's before the sword is given a crossguard or hilt, and that's when it looks like a comet the best. Oh ho! Mel has a ton of ww symbolism, although I completely understand why people wouldn't think so at first. I will simply say "reserve judgement until you read the whole thing." Mel is actually the center of all of this in many ways. Also, my premise to this Weirwood Compendium series is that Azor Ahai was a greenseer - that's kind of the overarching theme. There is an interaction between fire and dragon stuff and weirwoods and Westeros that is right at the center of the story. Most of this is bad news, yes. Or, one who has consumed "paste". The tongues torn out suggests something more sinister like Euron and Faith/7- Silent Sisters. It is suppression for people, for women in particular. George brings up this issue in a few of his stories, most detailed in Dying of the Light where the researchers straight up tell the other characters (and readers) that women and their achievements have been erased from history by the maesters. I think these sinister associations with tongue tearing should be placed on the weirwoods. That's the whole point of the bloody, silent scream, I believe. There is a terrible truth buried here. As for the Odin comparison, its simply the idea of sacrificing the physical self to gain for the spiritual self. Odin hangs on Yggdrasil, sacrificing his physical self to gain magic power - the runes. He tears his eye out and throws it into Mimir's well, in order to show himself worthy of drinking the water and opening his third eye. Martin is using this idea with Bran, who loses his legs but will be able to fly with his third eye. It's the basic premise behind the greenseer having to sacrifice their physical body to enter the wwnet, whether it be slowly as Bloodraven does, or instantly, in the case of the hypothesized "killing a greenseer to carve the first faces and open up the weirwoodnet." That's the whole deal. I call ASOIAF a fractal story, with so many repeating patterns (repeating with variations and inversion, of course). I fully expect the Dawn Age drama and the final drama of the main story to match in many ways. Not exactly the same, but probably inverted or harmonizing or whatever. From what we know, Jon is not given any wounds that could translate to a literal or figurative smile. Hmm, I am curious how you are confused about this. The first wound Jon gets is a slash across the neck, the red smile. That's the one Wick Whittlestick gives him, and I think it's the killing blow. Possibly, but his mortal body is not dead-dead if you follow the other examples we have seen already. Nope, I do not mean Berric or Catelyn. They are from something else. No, I disagree strongly. Jon is dead. Just like in the show, he's dead. That cut across the throat was fatal, and here's how we know. He thought the knife only knicked him, but the blood instantly welling beneath his fingers mean his jugular was hit. Otherwise it would not "well," which indicates the blood issuing from the wound with enough volume and force to push between his fingers. This is consistent with neck wounds, because there are not a lot of nerve receptors on the front of your throat. You don't feel a lot of pain with such a wound, reportedly. But the blood wells quickly because when the jugular is cut.. that's what happens. When you're jugular is opened, you only have about a minute to live. That's exactly what happens - Jon is already losing feeling in his hand before he's stabbed a fourth time. That's why he never felt the fourth knife. He's already losing consciousness and bleeding out. No magic is needed. It's all super consistent with a partial neck slicing. And just to nail this down, the very first lines of the chapter after Jon never felt the fourth knife, only the cold, are these: I believe this is one of the many instances of George carrying over a symbolic narrative from the end of one chapter to the beginning of the next. Jon is a Dornish prince in that he was born in the Tower of Joy, and the three days dying seems like an obvious Christ on the cross reference, and of course Jon and the Azor Ahai archetype he plays into have abundant messiah / Jesus symbolism. The black dawn I see as a reference to Valyrian steel and black ice - Dawn is like white V steel, so a black dawn is v steel. Jon is armored in black ice in his AA dream because the black ice is something of a personal symbol for him. Dragonglass is black ice too, imo, and Jon is compared to dragonglass on several occassions. He is the black sword of all black swords (the NW are black brothers who are also swords in the darkness). I also pointed out that "mourning clothes" are black, so the black brothers are like black swords of the mourning. Black Dawn. The cold rain and rivers in the streets recalls on of Jon's most important scenes, at the Wall before he lets the wildlings through in ADWD: Streaks of red fire turning to black ice - fiery meteors turning to cold black stone to make magic swords with, the first dragon-steel swords if you will. This is when the last light of the sun fades, the solar king turns away and becomes the dark solar king. The cracks in the Wall is where Jon sees the red fire and black ice, and a chink in the Wall is where Dany saw the blue rose in her vision. I see these both as symbols of Jon - the blue rose is for his heritage from Lyanna, and the red fire and black ice show us dragon symbolism which incorporates the frozen fire / black ice symbolism. When Jon dreams of the burning red sword, he is armored in black ice, and I see that as a match to this scene. Which brings us to the line about the red slash sunrise. Jon is a solar character, as I mentioned, and his resurrection will be the rising of a new sun. The return of dragons, in a sense. Barristan is looking for dragons, and looking for the rising sun. The place where the sun will appear is marked by the red slash that is like the deep cut which gives blood before pain. That's exactly what just happened to Jon - he had a cut deeper than he realized, and the blood welled before he felt much pain from it. Martin gave us this very detailed account of deep cuts and pain and blood not four paragraphs after Jon was cut, and I obviously am making the case that is done intentionally. So Jon is dead, I feel confident. But here's the thing - have you read my Green Zombie series? The main reason most people are holding on to the idea that Jon might not be dead is because they don't want him to become like Beric or Stoneheart, just a remnant. But he won't be like that, precisely because he is a skinchanger and his soul will temporarily be stored inside Ghost instead of beginning to dissipate. Skinchanger zombies, I believe, are of central importance to the story. The last hero was one, Jon will be one, and Coldhands is one too. According to me, of course. I laid all that out in the green Zombie series. The point is that Jon will be the best kind of zombie, the one who is capable of journeying into the cold dead lands and taking on the Others. That's why the Last Hero had to be a skinchanger zombie, like Coldhands - only a zombie is ideal to live in the cold dead lands, because he doesn't need to eat or sleep or be warm, and skinchanger zombie smake the best zombie sby virtue of the animal familiar acting as a soul jar. In fact, I speculate that Jon will merge with Ghost to some extent, and what comes back to Jon's reanimated corpse will be both Jon and Ghost. He will be a badass wolfman zombie. That's nothing to be disappointed about. Yeah he is! =P I agree on this, and on your notion of his spirit journeying around, probably visiting the crypts, learning things, etc. He might even face a confrontation in the wwnet. Hey man, all hail the mighty V . Any old hippy who married a feminist from a lesbian restaurant would be happy to do so. Yes, on Reddit someone was also speculating about Val being a part of raising Jon. She has a lot of Weirwood symbolism, but it's all icy instead of fiery. I would say that is because we have two moons - or had two moons - one of ice, and one of fire. Thus we have icy and fiery moon maidens. Other icy moon maidens would be the Corpse Queen, Lyanna, Sansa AFTER she gets the Eyrie (she is fire before that in KL), Jeyne Pool, Alys karstark ("Winter's Lady"). Hooray! I love reading to people while they work. It's a win-win. I will await your thoughts after you've gone through some of it.
  19. Great stuff! I like it. That would explain why they do not rot. They are kinda like Coldhands. Also, it's just like GRRM to subvert the druidic tree-lovin-pacifist trope by adding some crazy zumbi-trees to his story. Makes me wonder, thou: what was the original color pattern of those poor trees? So, here you're getting into whitewashing territory, and we must summon @Pain killer Jane and @ravenous reader and @Blue Tiger. The three Norns were said to whitewash Yggdrasil every day, and there seems to be signs of George using that idea in regards to the weirwoods. I'm not the best to explain it, because I do not understand it fully. I'm not sure if it matters what they used to look like, only that we think of them as transformed and / or corrupted. There is a parallel line of symbolism that might indicate the weirwoods as transmuting the toxicity of the meteors and of the Azor Ahai presence in the wwnet. The roots are called graveworms - which burrow through black corruption in a Tyrion scene with significant symbolism, they are similar to maggots as eaters of the dead that can consume poison safely. It could be that the idea of the weirwoods as traps means they are restraining a dangerous entity, perhaps. Oak tress are interesting, because the oak is the tree of the Summer King in classic myth, whereas the Weirwoods are serving the role of winter king tree in ASOIAF. I think George is carrying over the oak / summer association, as we see Garth associated with Oaks, especially the Oakenseat which sounds like an above ground living weirwood throne, but oak. One of the three trees given faces by the wildlings on the way to Molestown is an oak (another is an ash, like Yggdrasil). I even caught Martin using the symbolism of a dead oak to allude to a weirwood, I think, which I noted in the green zombies series. It was the scene where the NW ranger Bedwyck, called giant, was sleeping inside of a dead oak and asked Jon how he liked his castle. I don't think the weirwoods are literally transformed oak trees, but he is playing on the idea of summer and winter kings alternating and taking each other's place.
  20. This made me guffaw I was referring to the paradox as simply a sign we haven't worked everything out, not an intentional time-paradox... although... heh. I tend to shy away from time travel related theories because it's such a pandora's box. If time travel is not very strictly limited, anything is possible and every conspiracy takes life. I do think it's possible Martin is doing a bit of limited time travel - as least on the astral plain - so I am just kind of waiting to see how far he takes it. I have a feeling there is an answer to the question about the sequence of pulling down the moon and possessing the fire of the gods. My best inclination is that the sound / horns / singing came first. Hey Tom, good thoughts. I must say that at first I was of the opinion that you express here - that the disaster could not have been caused by man, and that it was something that just happened. That makes more practical sense, for sure, and would still make a great story. But. I have found that all the key ASOIAF myths, or most of them, seem to have that Prometheus / Adam and Eve theme going on. It's always about man committing some original sin or theft. That is what brought me to looking for ways that magicians might.. somehow.. steer a comet into a moon. As strange as it sounds, that's what is suggested, in my opinion and others. I've actually put this out as an open question a couple of times, and most people seem to think that in a fantasy novel, there probably was original sin that 'caused it.' Since then, I have isolated those two techniques - the horns (probably accompanied by singing), and greenseer astral travel. @Evolett is actually the one who came upon the dragon horn idea, so all credit to her. My general credo is to follow the symbolism first, and then when we get to interpreting the repeated patterns of symbolism, that's when I use common sense and regard for the plot to stay on track. It may be that the idea of touching the comet is purely symbolic, but I will follow the symbolism as it leads and just kind of see where that gets us in terms of trying to figure out what the magicians actually did. Since you tend to think we will get another meteor event to trigger the inevitable new Long Night, we should see some kind of echo of what happened last time, and that will surely help us understand.
  21. I think the weirwoods might be dead, in a sense - wight trees instead of white trees. They might be no more than empty skins, host to the parasitic greenseer hive mind which has invaded it. I definitely think the faces on the trees express the voice of the greenseers trapped inside. You know about the idea of a fishing weir as a trap that catches fish, right? It's also called a fishgarth, oddly enough. In any case, I have wondered if the "wwnet" is nothing more than the mind of the first greenseer or greenseers that went inside. It might not be a tree mind at all, though that's highly speculative. It's probably right to think about them as half dead. Alive but dead. You might also think about them as suspended between life and death, like Odin on Yggdrasil.
  22. So, I explained the basics in the OP here, and further explanation is to be found in the longer essay I linked to. The weirwoods have a distinct set of symbols, as I laid out above - the bloody hands, eyes, mouth, hair, and smile - and it seems like many women are displaying most or all of those symbols, together, in key scenes, effectively transforming them into a symbolic weirwood. I thought I made that clear in the OP, and I think there are logical reasons why he would do this, which are explained in the essay (and hinted at here in the OP). But look, if you are against the idea of Martin using extensive symbolism, then you are certainly on the wrong thread. I'd go further to say you are missing a great deal of ASOIAF with that outlook, but that's just my opinion of course.
  23. We're speaking about symbolism and metaphors here.. And this trope is very common in myth and literature - for example Greek dryads or that Narnia fragment I've posted. Indeed. Symbolism!
  24. Ah ha! @ravenous reader, look how quick @sgtpimenta was to put their finger on the space traveling greenseer paradox! Damn! So, yeah, there's an issue here, or at least there appears to be. I do not actually claim to know exactly how the moon-breaking person or persons steered the comet. I have 2 primary mechanisms which are possible. The first would be the magical horns (think of Nissa Nissa's wail being said to have cracked the moon, and how Dragonbinder horn "splits the air like a swordthrust" and a "shivering hot scream." The horn is both a sound and a projectile / stabbing implement, and carries with it the connotation of horned lords and horned dragons. The second idea is weirwood-based astral projection, what we have come to refer to as "skinchanging the comet," though I am not sure it is that literal. All the clues about the trees reaching for the moon or scratching at the moon hint that the weirwoods had something to do with it, but we are left to speculate as to exactly how that works. Dany and Bran are the two people who think about flying and touching the comet or moon or anything along those lines, and one is flying with dragonpower and the other with weirwood power. I am working on an essay about these ideas - it all comes from Yggdrasil being Odin's horse which enables astral travel and Sleipnir also being Odin's horse which enables astral travel (it's the same idea expressed two different ways, and refers to shamanism and visionary experiences). The weirwoods are like an astral projection horse which the greenseer rides... to the stars, it would seem. In other words, we have two ways for man kind to potentially influence the heavens: greenseer flight and magical horns. Perhaps both were used, I do not know. What I do know is that the Grey King myth clearly implies that that the thunderbolt meteor set the weirwoodnet on fire. The Grey King did not possess the fire of the gods UNTIL the tree was struck and set ablaze. Again I do not know exactly how this works, but something about the meteor strikes seems to have awakened the wwnet, in some sense. Perhaps people could use the wwnet before then, but in a different way. Maybe no faces on the trees, something more psychic. Carving the faces on the trees is a violation, an invasion, imo, and the trees don't look happy. I have always wondered if there is a way to connect with trees without bloody face carving. Face carving might be a perversion of something older and more pure, less invasive. So, it would seem the meteor strike came before AA entering the net... but the clues about the trees pulling down the moon suggest he used the net to pull the moon down. It's a paradox, for now, but it's probably just a result of us not having figured some stuff out yet. A few people like the idea that the LN meteors were not the first magic meteors. The Dawn meteor may have come first, or perhaps the pearl the God Emperor of the Great Empire of the Dawn was a meteor. The first God-Emperor is a morningstar figure who descended and ascended to the stars, so maybe that's it. The original meteor opened the net, which was later used to break the moon. I don't think so, but it's possible. As of now I lean towards the horn coming first and steering the comet into the moon, with the moon meteors then falling and setting the wwnet on fire somehow. But I am open to suggestions, so have at it
  25. I think it's a good hunch, for all the reasons I stated above. It just looks like a big piece of glowing ice, no doubt. And since the black swords are so tightly associated with dragons, fire, and darkness, it just seems intuitive to associate Dawn with ice, Others, and luminescence. Also, the Aurora Borealis, which is the 'curtain of light' in Bran's vision which surrounds the heart of winter, translates to "Dawn Lights," so, that may be a thing. That AB is also called "the dancing demon mother of the ice giants" in TWOIAF.