evita mgfs

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About evita mgfs

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    Lady Evyta Upon Broadway
  • Birthday April 15

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  • Location Pennsylvania
  • Interests Golden retrievers, Broadway musicals, GRRM, anything Ice and Fire, reading, comparative literature, Homer, Shakespeare,Fitzgerald [Gatsby], Tim Burton,the Coen brothers, parodies

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  1. Will bran leave the cave?

    Wow!  Great Analysis!  I never would have come up with this. I do think Bran IS the Stark in Winterfell literally and figuratively - he is the :living magic" that animates the stone and weirwood, which are one, as ML says in AGoT.  Bran is the "heart in WF and the weirwood". Martin writes in cycles - Bran's final POV in ADwD ends with a nod to Bran's first POV in AGoT:  Bran witnesses a beheading - he frames Bran's arc. I wonder if Bran's POVs in TWoW will be titled "Brandon"? Very nice work!

    Hello Wiz!  Good to hear from you. Regarding the reread, I am opened to suggestions.  Perhaps we should “close read” Bran’s POVs in ADwD?  Then, we might tackle Arya, Jon, and Theon – attending to the “before and after” of Bran’s final POV. “Close reading” is what you and I have been doing, taking passages and finding language that Martin patterns with relevance to all the novels as a whole.  We attend to what we know as ‘hints’ of Bran, or insinuations of the old gods of the north manifesting a presence. ***But if you are “game”, I would like to propose rereading in the Wiz-Bang-Evita style, where we take each POV passage by passage instead of swallowing it whole and regurgitating all that we find. AND – no pressure!  We take our time – and we understand not “everything” will mean “something”!  However, in Bran’s POVs especially, I do think close examination is worthwhile – I posted something about Martin’s stylistic change when Bran enters the 3EC’s Cave.  Here are my notes: OBSERVATION 13:  SOUNDS Martin marks the journey of Bran and company to the Cave of Skulls with long periods of silence shattered by harsh, discordant noises, such as the ravens screaming, their leathern wings flapping, even Hodor screaming “Hodor”:  “Hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor.” ·        Martin’s decision to employ figurative language and poetic devices is evident in his repetition of words and sounds, in his forgoing commas when using items in a series, in his pattern of grouping words in some series of numbers.  In the example above, the pattern of lines is four words, four words, then five words, all of which share a balance and a center. ·        The words may be delivered musically, such as a chant or a lilt.  Martin has fun with his omission of commas in similar examples, which contrast sharply with those instances the items in a series are mechanically and grammatically sound. Once Bran and his group enter the Cave of Skulls, Martin’s language becomes more poetic and lyrical, an homage to those who sing the song of earth.  The singers and their heart-breaking voices are one redeeming feature of the time spent in the Cave of Skulls. As a matter of fact, Martin creates a rhythm by repeating key words and phrases intermittently over the course of Bran’s Cave of Skulls POV’s. For instance, the phasing moon announces nightfall, but Martin’s language is repeated word for word.  Actually, this is a great epic tradition:  repetition of words and sound which some scholars believe assisted the bard’s in memorizing long works for oral performances. ·        “The moon was fat and full” (ADwD 448, 452). ·        “The moon was a black hole in the sky” (ADwD 449, 455). ·        “The moon was a crescent, thin and sharp as the blade of a knife” (ADwD 454). Repetition of key words and phrases establish transitions and tell the passage of time. Martin enriches his narratives through styling language with a myriad of poetic devices.  He evokes a mental picture with the moon as a black hole in the sky, and he uses simile, the crescent moon is “thin and sharp as the blade of a knife”. These are but a few examples of how Martin makes music with words. To demonstrate Martin’s poetic style, I will write in verse a passage from Bran’s last POV in ADwD:   The Cave of Skulls Timeless, vast, silent Were the caves They were Home To three score singers The bones of thousands Dead Far below The hollow hill   So, here begins Bran I, ADwD: Are we there yet? Bran never said the words aloud, but they were often on his lips as their ragged company trudged through groves of ancient oaks and towering grey-green sentinels, past gloomy soldier pines and bare brown chestnut trees. Are we near? the boy would wonder, as Hodor clambered up a stony slope, or descended into some dark crevice where drifts of dirty snow cracked beneath his feet. How much farther? he would think, as the great elk splashed across a half-frozen stream. How much longer? It’s so cold. Where is the three-eyed crow? Swaying in his wicker basket on Hodor’s back, the boy hunched down, ducking his head as the big stableboy passed beneath the limb of an oak. The snow was falling again, wet and heavy. Hodor walked with one eye frozen shut, his thick brown beard a tangle of hoarfrost, icicles drooping from the ends of his bushy mustache. One gloved hand still clutched the rusty iron longsword he had taken from the crypts below Winterfell, and from time to time he would lash out at a branch, knocking loose a spray of snow. “Hod-d-d-dor,” he would mutter, his teeth chattering. What do you think of the Wiz-Bang-Evita Style?  After we compare and discuss our notes, I will post the next few passages. Or I can post a series of passages so that we can work ahead. I will share with you some of the motifs I have followed since AGoT whenever it becomes relevant.  What do you think?  Maybe you have a better idea?  I’m opened to suggestions. Thanks again, Wiz-the-Smith!  You are a keen collaborator.  I apologize for being a bore, bringing up literary allusions in a fashion similar to professors whom I despised for doing this very thing! Hey, I have a fun literary allusion to Martin’s ASoIaF?  The Wizard of Oz – either the novel or the musical – it works out either way, and there’s no wrong answer.  [BTW/ The author of Oz supposedly found inspiration in Homer’s Odyssey for his theme “there’s no place like home”! Who’s off to see the Wizard? Who is the Wonderful Wizard of Oz? The Munchkins? Dorothy? Toto? Cowardly Lion? Tin Man? Scarecrow? Wicked Witch?

      Hey, WIZ, I was being silly with my epic convention lecture.  I taught ancient Greek mythology for 30 years, mostly Homeric.  I was afraid you may have thought I was speaking down to you – such is not the case.   Thanks for the sweet words.  I sincerely appreciate them.  As I told you, you have inspired a 100 ideas – and maybe we should truly organize a “close” rereading of specific POVs.  Let me know?   Anyways, I wanted to share from my list of key words like “vanishing” with the direwolves and others.  I categorize words like this – “disappearing, reappearing” – under Magic as a motif, one I have been following since AGoT.   You opened my eyes with “flapping” – what a catch!  This certainly separates descriptions of capes and cloaks throughout the series.    These are some of my questions, speculations, crackpot ideas:   Why “crows”?  Who is the source of this accepted “wildling” nickname for the Sworn Brothers of the Night’s Watch?  Why not bats?  Or flies?  Wasps?  I  wonder if the living magic in the Wall is part of the greenseers’ and the singers’ special magic long forgotten but slowly waking as the “trees have eyes again”?  The crow is the bird sacred to greenseers and singers: is this why the wildlings call the SBs crows?  Maybe “crow” was once an honorific , but then changed to sarcasm.  [Antony says that Brutus is an honorable man while proving that an honorable man does not stab a friend in the back.  The meaning of “Honor” is then compromised.]   Oh – the living magic is growing stronger because a young greenseer is in training, and Bran’s youth, energy, and heart contribute to Bran’s rapid acquisition of knowledge.  Moreover, the knowledge Bran needs is facing a time-crunch.  Bran’s delay and BR’s weakening are motivating forces to advance Bran’s training at a warped speed.  If Bran hopes to reanimate or resurrect his brother Jon, there is ancient magic he must absorb.   FYI – It is a theory of mine that Martin finds inspiration in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  Fitz  masterfully weaves themes, symbols, language patterns, and more, sustaining them even though limited to a first-person  POV.  The “host” appears and disappears. Gatsby regularly “dispenses starlight to stray moths” by hosting splendid, expensive parties in an effort to recapture his past by luring Daisy’s attendance.  “People were not invited – they went there . . . after that they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks” (41). Most depart having never met their Host while Nick makes it a mission to meet the enigmatic Gatsby who watches his staging and those upon it from a distance.   Bran is like Gatsby, watching from a distance, wanting desperately to recapture his past by finding his family and bringing them HOME!   The Boltons and company are unwanted guests behaving badly who ignore their “host”, the Stark in Winterfell.   I have more . . . later.        

      Great Minds Think Alike!  Har Har!   I posted this in August, and you and I are picking up on the exact same things:      “Once you have MASTERED your gifts . . .”   When Bran takes his first journey into the weirwood under the supervision of Bloodraven and Leaf, both of them eagerly await Bran's report.  They anticipate his response.   But neither of them expect Bran to skip the PRESENT and go right to the PAST.   Lord Brynden instructs Bran to slip his skin and travel through the tree roots to the hill’s surface to peer through the weirwood’s eyes and tell him what he sees.   however, when Bran “become the tree”, in an instant he is home, in the heart tree of Winterfell’s godswood.  Bran covers a substantial distance that far exceeds Bloodraven’s initial goal for his pupil.   When Bran reveals that he saw his father cleaning his greatsword  Ice beneath the heart tree in Winterfell’s godswood, Leaf is quick to offer an explanation:  “You saw what you wished to see.  Your heart yearns for your father and your home, so that is what you saw” (458).  [Leaf reacts to what Bran sees faster than Bloodraven does – she is ready with a “save” – those children, they are the wise ones!]   Leaf suggests that Bran’s visit to Winterfell is due to his emotional attachment to his home and his father.  Bran’s heart takes him there.  Bran is sure that his father is alive, but Bloodraven clarifies that Bran visits “shadows of days past”, where greenseers can call upon bygone days in rapid succession, a thousand human years in a moment.  So Even though Bran is far from Winterfell, even though he has traveled beyond the great ice barricade of the Wall,  and even though he is beneath a hill in a warded cave, the skinchanger in him travels far indeed for the FIRST time out as a GREENSEER. Obviously, Bloodraven did not expect Bran to visit the PAST the FIRST time he weds the tree; as a matter of fact, the Last Greenseer probably anticipates another raven fiasco!  Bran had a wee bit of trouble with a raven the first time he learned to fly. And, the readers know more than Bloodraven, for all his ancient wisdom.  Readers know that Bran has been practicing in Hodor – Bran has tasted human blood and human flesh through Summer – and doesn’t Bran dine on Coldhand’s pork dinner? Then, when Bran returns to his alcove, BAM!  He’s back in the tree again – the second time, the images race – hurtle – backward into time, as his teacher described in his lesson on the Sea of Shadows and Time is a River – and that Greenseers will be able to see through “gates” into the past. Bloodraven answers Bran’s question “Will I see my father again?” WITH “Once you have MASTERED your gifts, you may look where you will and see what he trees have seen, be it yesterday or last year or A THOUSAND AGES PAST” (ADwD 458). So, if Bran goes to his alcove and travels about 6000-7000 years into the past – he sees the ancient Kings of Winter march by, and a possible blood sacrifice – and then he tastes the blood IN THE PAST as though it is spilled PRESENTLY – does this mean that Bran has “mastered his gifts”?  That is, according to Bloodraven? I think this little event is proof that Bran’s gifts are well on their way to surpassing their teacher’s. Did anyone notice that Bloodraven cuts the lesson short with “I am tired”.  I bet he is tired – he has a greenseer prodigy on his hands, OH MY!   

    BeMused:  Your ideas are great – but I differ on a few counts.  No offense or nastiness intended! Bran is the Stark in Winterfell I do not agree that Winterfell has ever been without a Stark.  Bran is the last appointed lord and prince of Winterfell, and Bran sits his father’s direwolf chair and performs the duties of Lord and Host, even feasting assorted visitors:  “There were guests in Winterfell, visitors for the harvest feast” [ACoK 243]. Moreover, Bran does not abandon his responsibilities as the Stark in WF.  His departure from WF is divinely sanctioned and driven by powerful magic.  Emissaries of the godhood guide and deliver Bran to the 3EC beyond the Wall. Now Bran is the living magic in WF and the Wall; hence, Bran is literally and figuratively the grey stone of WF and the ice bricks of the Wall. Bran as greenseer “absorbs” ALL MAGIC and knowledge through the trees; hence, Bran IS WF – and all that is Bloodraven as well.  Bran is the “Receiver of Memory” – and he must take it all in, good, bad, etc.   Bran’s Powers Exceeding BR’s   Bran “seems” more powerful because of his youth – young minds learn and retain much faster than older ones, so Bran’s quick acquisition of knowledge and mastery of greenmagic appears to move beyond BR’s – however, Leaf says all of HIM has gone into the tree, which means that greenseers pass on their magic and knowledge to the next – it all goes into the tree.  So, by default if nothing else, Bran absorbs all that IS BR.   Bran Speaking in Theon   I do not think Stannis will care what Theon has to say.  Now, if the weirwood talks, or if the ravens/crows speak in chorus or solo – or if the weirwood swallows Theon – that would get Stannis’ attention. Forgiveness I agree with you.  I confused new age ideas with Martin's characters. With great knowledge must come a higher understanding of man's essential dark nature.  

      For WIZZ-SMITH:  More on Jon X ADwD. You have parsed this POV and offered excellent evidences.  Isn’t it amazing how we can find SO much once we have learned Martin’s language patterns, many of which are motifs in themselves? Here are a few other analytical tricks of the trade – Martin POV openings are homages to Homeric great epics, and other such epics, and these epics share commonalities that are called epic conventions. Homer uses simple transitional devices, and beginning a new Book with “Dawn’s rosy fingers” bidding adieu to the night is a favorite of his.  Hence, this is an epic convention. Some of Martin’s POVs open with an epic convention depicting sunrise and daybreak, but are they Martin’s way of composing the fresh new beginning, or simply a transitional device connecting the previous POV and the previous character POV, proper? Now, let’s parse Martin’s opening of Jon X: “The sun had broken through near midday, after seven days of dark skies and snow flurries. Some of the drifts were higher than a man, but the stewards had been shoveling all day and the paths were as clean as they were like to get. Reflections glimmered off the Wall, every crack and crevice glittering pale blue”. The sun had broken through near midday, after seven days of dark skies and snow flurries. ·       Always remember that SUN is an author’s way of creating a PUN.  So, Martin’s SUN can also be SON. The SON had broken through near midday, after seven days of dark skies and snow flurries. ·       Jon Snow is the “son” of some woman, perhaps a Stark woman, but Bran is a son as well. ·       Bran is the son of Lord Eddard and Catelyn Stark.  If Bran is shadowing the action and characters in this POV, then it is more than coincidence that he arrives at midday, the half-way point, and that he brings “sunlight’ after 7 days of darkness and snow. [In miniature, Bran is doing what we anticipate he will:  Return the Sun after the darkness and snow?  Bran is the power that will facilitate the return of Summer after a long, dark winter!] ·       The SON had BROKEN:  Bran calls himself Bran the Broken, the Broken Son! ·       It is a beginning of another week as well. ·       I am tracing the HALF, doubles, pairs, and punning such in this POV.  “Seven hundred feet up, Jon Snow stood looking down upon the haunted forest”. ·       This bird’s-eye-view is another hint of Bran and his perspective, which he has used in Jon’s wolf-dream and with Sansa’s sculpting Winterfell [Bemused]. ·       While in Ghost, Jon sees the massing wildlings on the Milkwater from a precipice far above the gathering. Maybe Martin wants us to recall that scene? ·       Your number 7 ideas are great. “ A north wind swirled through the trees below, sending thin white plumes of snow crystals flying from the highest branches, like icy banners”” ·       .You analyzed the wind here, but Martin speaks of “white plumes” of snow crystals “flying” – PLUMES are bird’s feathers, yes? How’s this?  More later . . .

    I credit Wizz Smith for the following inspirations, and others to come: Ghost Wears A Cloak of Snow [as in Jon Snow] from Jon X ADwD “At the base of the Wall he [Jon] found Ghost rolling in a snowbank. The big white direwolf seemed to love fresh snow. When he saw Jon he bounded back onto his feet and shook himself off”. ·       Ghost surely loves the fresh snow, as many dogs do, rolling in the white powder and shaking it off.  However, Ghost’s behavior has a symbolic significance that speaks to his relationship with Jon Snow and the potential of Jon Snow warging his direwolf in the novel TWoW. ·       Just as Jon Snow uses a piece of his own black cloak as a bandage to wrap Ghost’s wounds left from an eagle’s talons, so does Ghost coat himself with snow – the cloak of Jon Snow.  “I have something they did not.” Jon turned his head and whistled. “Ghost. To me.” The direwolf shook the snow from his back and trotted to Jon’s side”. ·       Ghost shaking the snow from his back further insinuates that Jon Snow as the warg will be “shaken” from Ghost the host in a timely fashion. “Ghost stalked beside Jon’s horse as the rangers and recruits formed up, then stopped and sniffed, his breath frosting in the air. “What is it?” Jon asked. “Is someone there?” The woods were empty as far as he could see, but that was not very far”. ·       Jon Snow admits that he cannot see as far as his direwolf, which is more evidence of Jon’s symbolic blindness – refusing to “see” the truth, or avoiding it. “Ghost bounded toward the trees, slipped between two white-cloaked pines, and vanished in a cloud of snow. He wants to hunt, but what? Jon did not fear for the direwolf so much as for any wildlings he might encounter. A white wolf in a white wood, silent as a shadow. They will never know he’s coming. He knew better than to go chasing him. Ghost would return when he wanted to and not before”. ·       Martin consistently employs the word “vanish” when he describes the direwolves, singly or collectively, disappearing through the trees, the snow, or whatever the barrier may be. ·       “Vanish” suggests magic, a trick magicians often use to amaze their audiences.  Martin’s language patterns recurring in passages depicting the direwolves is a means of alerting readers to their “magical” origins.  The direwolves are powerful gifts to the Stark children from the forces of the godhood. ‘Jon pulled his scarf up over his mouth and nose and raised the hood on his cloak. “Not far now,” he told the men. No one replied. Jon smelled Tom Barleycorn before he saw him. Or was it Ghost who smelled him? Of late, Jon Snow sometimes felt as if he and the direwolf were one, even awake. The great white wolf appeared first, shaking off the snow. A few moments later Tom was there’. ·       Jon shares Ghost’s acute sense of smell, and Jon confesses his feeling that he and Ghost are “one”. ·       For the third time, Ghost is shaking off the snow that he has coated himself in. “Ghost nuzzled up against his shoulder, and Jon draped an arm around him. He could smell Horse’s unwashed breeches, the sweet scent Satin combed into his beard, the rank sharp smell of fear, the giant’s overpowering musk. He could hear the beating of his own heart. When he looked across the grove at the woman with her child, the two greybeards, the Hornfoot man with his maimed feet, all he saw was men. ·       Jon  further shares Ghost’s sensory details, evidence of their closeness and foreshadowing of a further unity yet to come. ·       Jon sees not wildlings and a giant, he sees “MEN” – which is exactly what Bran wants him to see in the vision of the wolf dream from ACoK.    

    BearQueen87 said: There are a lot of references to Bran-As-A-Bird throughout ASOIAF, especially in AGOT Bran II. From the way Bran is said to perch on the walls of WF, to it just being Bran and the birds who knows the secrets of WF, to the Old Nan Icarus story that Bran then "reenacts" (with Jaime Lannister's help) to some other ones, Bran is likened to a bird quite a bit. And later the basket Hodor carries Bran is a like a bird's cage. Evita said: Awesome job, BearQueen87!! Thank you for your astute and on point observations.  Bran is fond of birds, even before his fall.  In “Visions in A Wolf-Dream”, Bran gives Jon via Ghost a bird’s-eye view of the Milkwater. BEMUSED asserts – and she convinced me – in the thread Winter Fell that Sansa sculpts the walls and towers of Winterfell from an aerial perspective – or a bird’s eye view, even though Sansa NEVER saw Winterfell from such a height.  Bran inspires Sansa, and she does get into a zone – trance – focusing on her crafting and determining her accuracy.  It is LF who assists, and his sigil is a mockingbird. Evita said: HOMERIC CONVENTIONS: DIVINE INSPIRATION Athena divinely inspires Odysseus WITHOUT skinchanging with him. Bran’s powers will move well beyond needing to share another’s skin in order to persuade him or her to take action. In Homer’s great epics, the immortal gods and goddesses regularly interfere in the lives of their favorite mortals. BearQueen87 said: (and not so favorite mortals) Basically they are all up in everyone's business. As for Bran and Theon, it's a good argument that Bran is influencing Theon with his divine-ish whispers. But to what end? For Athena and Odysseus, it's to get the King of Ithica home (cause all manner of hell hath broken loose). There's an end game that Athena is in favor of, in other words. Bran may not have an end game given that he's new to this whole situation, so we have to wonder what Bloodraven's endgame is since he is directing Bran. There might be an argument somewhere that Bran has to help Reek transform back into Theon so that Theon could be offered up in sacrifice for his King's Blood. While blood is blood no matter what your name is, it would be poetic (not to mention tragic) that Theon's blood while he is Reek would not work (since identity is such a HUGE part of ASOIAF) but Theon having come back to himself as Theon is what allows his king's blood to work, for whatever purpose. Not quite sure it's what's going to happen since I tend to think that there is another figure who's King's blood is going to be useful for what most people ascribe to Theon but....always possible. Evita Says in Response to BearQueen87: The Olympians interfere often, even taking sides during battle. However, Homer makes it very clear that the King of the Gods, Zeus himself, cannot thwart FATE.  He knows that he cannot save his own son – a demigod - from his death.  Likewise, Thetis cannot prevent Achilles’ death, although she goes to herculean lengths to protect him, dipping the babe in the River Styx while suspending him by holding onto his heel.  She even encourages him from fighting for the Atreides, and she disguises him in girl’s attire – the first “cross-dresser” in the ancient world.  While patronizing a bazaar, Achilles exposes himself when he spends all his time looking at weapons instead of jewelry and fabrics and perfumes.  **It is fate that Bloodraven refers to when he tells Bran that he cannot change the past.  Bran cannot alter events to save Ned, Catelyn, and Robb. Jon, on-the-other-hand, is a different matter.  Jon is at the Wall, and the magic built into the ice fortress is powerful, and growing more powerful because of Bran and in spite of him.  Bran anticipates Jon’s demise, and perhaps he and BR inspire some of the many, many warnings Jon receives, and subsequently ignores. Just as Bran did not heed the warnings not to climb from his mother, father, maester, and direwolf pup, Jon seemingly thinks he is safe – or in true Jon fashion, he is blind to his own vulnerability and more concerned with getting the wildlings to safety and preparing to battle the armies of the dead. Jon  has “done right” by the old gods of the north through his self-sacrifices, through his decisions to protect the weak, and through his not violating the laws of hospitality.  I speculate that the magic in the Wall, that Jon is the only SB not to eat at Craster’s board, and that Bran and Jon shared a closeness far and above the Stark blood in their veins are all contributors to Jon’s resurrection.  Moreover, before Jon leaves Winterfell, he defies Catelyn and enters Bran’s sickroom to say good-bye.  Jon leans over and “kisses” Bran on the lips, a symbolic act that may suggest the co-mingling of breath, of the essence of life.  Later, Bran wakes.  Does Jon’s kiss help Bran grow stronger?  Will Bran now breathe life into Jon’s corpse, in a symbolic sense? Bran will facilitate Jon’s warging into Ghost, and Jon’s body will be frozen in the ice cells while Bran, via Ghost as the conduit, takes Jon/Ghost into the trees, to the past, present, and future.  Martin will make a nod to Dicken’s Christmas Carrol, only instead of a different ghost of a Christmas past, present, and future, Bran will guide Jon’s Ghost through what the trees know, what Jon needs to know, and what needs to be done to defeat the Others and their minions. I picture Jon’s spiritual journey with Bran will resemble that of Jonas’ – “the Receiver of Memory” in the novel The Giver – or the movie, which offers compelling scenes of the character “The Giver” CONNECTING MENTALLY AND EMPATHICALLY with Jonas – sending him memories of all that has BEEN FORGOTTEN in their community, a collective amnesia that members unwittingly live by, never ever knowing what it is like to see the world in color, to feel emotions like love, pain, betrayal, joy, sadness, etc., to hear music, to dance, to sing, and so on! The only two who will ever know the truth are Jonas and the Giver – until the Giver shows Jonas how to escape, and where he needs to go to restore what has been forgotten, and Jonas embarks on a path fraught with danger – but he is triumphant.  Likewise, Bran will expose Jon to truths, to forgotten knowledge, and to what the fates have in store for him. King’s Blood/Theon’s Blood/Sacrifices In Homer’s Odyssey,  in order to speak with the blind prophet Tiresias in the Land of the Dead, Odysseus digs a trench, which he then fills with the blood from a sacrificial goat.  All the dead come charging for the fresh blood, and Odysseus must hold them back so that Tiresias can drink first. Only after tasting blood can the dead hold speech with the living. I am not sure if Theon must die.  Some argue that Ghost must die – whatever, Jon will “rise” with his voice, unlike the wights and ColdHands.   On 6/29/2015, 11:22:30, Mithras said: I think Theon is George's way of handling the Oedipius myth. Theon is our Oedipius parallel. Raised away from his home Had great daddy issues with both Ned and Balon. Attempted to commit unintended incest with "Esgred" The younger miller's boy was probably his, so there we have the unintended kinslaying Ruled in his late "father"s place Paid heavy price for his sins and crimes I think as a final phase of his transformation, Theon will be blinded (by the Weeper at the Wall). Because of his broken mind, he was already very susceptible to the supernatural. After the blinding, I expect him to be fully open to Bran's revelations. I expect a raven or two standing on his shoulders and serving as his eyes (along with Bran's). This way, he will turn into a prophet of Bran. As the prophet of Bran, one thing Theon will do is to go to the Iron Islands and nullify the decisions of the last kingsmoots like Torgon the Latecomer did once. Then, he will warn the ironborn to leave the Old Way for the "Drowned God" would surely destroy them. Aeron will insist on his folly as the priest-king and Bran will destroy Pyke with a Hammer of Waters. There are subtle foreshadowing for this scenario.   BearQueen87 said: That is full of awesome right there. There are some other Theban cycle parallels, not to distract from the purpose of the thread as a whole, though. You've got "Esgred" as the unintentional incest and I agree since she's obviously Asha. But I also think Asha serves as a bit of a Antigone figure. The Oedipus cycle (the most well known cycle at least) by Sophocles is three plays. After Oedipus's fall from grace and his blinding, Thebes is plunged into Civil War. You have two of Oedipus's sons--Etocles and Polynieces--fighting it out for the right to sit their father's throne. It's a very bloody battle and they end up dying on each others swords (naturally). The two brothers were supposed to share in the rule but....yeah, no, that obviously wasn't going to happen. It's not a perfect parallel but you could make the case that this akin to Victarion and Euron, both of whom have a good claim to the throne (Vic by way of birth and Euron by way of charisma) and are fighting for the Throne because Theon has "vanished" from the picture much like Oedipus who is very much alive but has left Thebes in order to pay for his crimes. Euron and Vic are probably going to come to some sort of blows, should Vic make it back from Essos. As for Asha, she's a bit more of an Antigone figure. Bold, stubborn, outspoken, she defies her uncle Creon's orders because she's not meek and passive. Sound familiar? Now in the play she's Oedipus's daughter but the parallels don't have to be exact for it to work. Her story is that she's defying the law in order to honor her fallen brother who is being denied his rights to a proper burial. When Asha learns that Theon is alive, might she not try to set him on the Seastone Chair (which is Theon's by right of birth over Vic and over Euron's charisma) in defiance of all her uncles? If Theon is a good prophet, Bran could help sit him on on the Chair since, generally speaking, if you serve the gods well you are rewarded. Tiresias is blinded for his impiety (by Hera) but given the gift of sight by Zeus; Odysseus has to wander the earth for a long time but is helped along the way by Athena. It adds to Theon being the "godly man" since Bran's status as Old God is becoming solidified. Isn't there an old grove of weirwoods on Pyke somewhere (Nagga's bones?) Evita Says in Response to BearQueen87 and Mithras: GREAT IDEAS, BEARQUEEN AND MITHRAS! I do believe Martin spins Sophocles’ trilogy, and the author incorporates thematic motifs that appear throughout the tragedies. Quite a few Martin characters suffer from hubris, which prevents them from acknowledging the truth and admitting they are wrong. This symbolic blindness is manifested in the Stark siblings’ parallel journeys as their teachers implore them to look so that they can see! But in Antigone, Sophocles affirms through Antigone’s crime that THE LAWS OF THE GODS TRUMP THE LAWS OF MAN. Respect is due all the dead – the foes deserve a proper burial with funeral rights too.  Men cannot pick and choose. Tiresias tells King Creon to bury Polynices and exonerate Antigone, or else Creon will pay back “corpse for corpse”. Of course, Creon’s epiphany comes too late, and he loses his queen and his son. In these ways, Martin advances similar themes from the Oedipus  trilogy: 1.     The dead must be properly disposed of in accordance with the laws of the gods.  To deny this rite, or to prevent it, or even worse, to abuse, defile, or desecrate a corpse “knowingly” demands divine retribution.  [Think of what happens to the corpses of Ned, Robb, and Catelyn . . . ]. 2.    The sins of the father and the mother are visited upon their sons and their daughters.  [Oedipus’ and Jocaste’s sons and daughters are the products of incest and ultimately suffer for the transgressions of their parents.  Think of Jaime and Cersei and the fates of their children.] 3.    Incest, kinslaying, and violating the laws of hospitality and guest rite are offenses punished by the gods, even if the offenses are done unwittingly.  [Oedipus killing his father and marrying his mother are acts he does in ignorance.  Think of Bael the Bard and his son . . .] Well – all your ideas have given me inspiration, and I excitedly await to read more from the minds of the brilliant scholars who are posing here!
  9. Bran and the Darkness

    Bran Opens Jon’s Third Eye  “Don’t be afraid, I like it in the dark. No one can see you, but you can see them. But first you have to open your eyes. See? Like this. And the tree reached down and touched him”. ·        Because Bran influences and inspires Jon’s wolf dream, the greenseer in the tree leans over to touch Ghost between the eyes, a symbolic gesture that compels the warg to open his third eye, after which the forest setting suddenly vanishes. Bran deftly executes opening Jon’s third-eye in a wolf dream, which is unlike Bran’s own painful experience when the three-eyed crow forces open Bran’s third-eye in a dream, ordering Bran again to “Fly or die!” [ACoK 260]. After Bran prays to the Old Gods to send him dreamless sleep, Bran receives an answer by way of a “nightmare” not a dream, and Bran thinks, “they [the Old Gods] mocked his hopes, for the nightmare they sent was worse than any wolf dream” [260].  The pitiless three-eyed crow attacks a pleading Bran with his “terrible sharp beak,” blinding both Bran’s eyes.  Then, the three-eyed crow pecks at Bran’s brow”, finally wrenching out “slimy . . . bits of bone and brain” [260].  This sorcery allows Bran to see again, through all his eyes.  What materializes in the vision  is pure terror: Bran relives his crippling fall, and even more frightening than a wolf dream.  Bran sees “the golden man” who saves Bran, then pushes him, excusing his murderous act with these words: “The things I do for love” [260]. In actuality, Bran’s nightmare has inspiration from real events that he experienced recently in his daily life, and what Bran “hears” has such an impact on Bran that he becomes physically ill, unable to breathe, his blood roaring in is ears Visiting guests Cley Cerwin and his knights are joking about Stannis making his claim to the throne based upon Joffrey’s bastardy Several key sentences bandied about by the bannermen evocate a visible reaction from Bran: 1.       “Queen Cersei bedded her brother” [259]. 2.      “Small wonder he’s [Joffrey] faithless, with the Kingslayer for a Father” [259]. 3.      “the gods hate incest.  Look how they brought down the Targaryens” [260]. Sadly, in three lines, Martin sums up what Bran witnesses from outside the window of the gargoyle guarded tower:  Bran’s vision, sent via the wizardry of the three-eyed crow deliberately after Cley and his knights jolt Bran’s waking memory, is evidence of incest, proof that the Queen and the Kingslayer are guilty as charged, but more importantly, the three-eyed crow imparts to Bran undeniable verification of the identity of the golden knight who causes Bran to fall. A greenseer must learn to see and to acknowledge what is true, no matter how painful the truth may be.  Bran buries his most unpleasant memory deep in his subconscious, disguising it in darkness, choosing not to acknowledge to himself what he now knows for sure to be true.  Even after the agony of his nightmare,  Bran is not keen on acceptance; however, Bran denies many truths about himself, something that Jojen Reed learns while educating a reluctant Bran on his powers.  Bran gets angry at Jojen’s talk of Bran as a warg in Summer, and he doesn’t understand how to open his third-eye.  Nor does he share with the Reeds, or anyone else, that the Kingslayer caused his fall. Jaime’s Punishment The godhood has punished Jaime already for his pushing Bran: Jaime Lannister first “saves” Bran, directing him to “TAKE MY HAND!”  Martin’s word choice is appropriate – the forces that are the old gods deliver an apt, karmic-like punishment to Jaime, one in which they do as Jaime directs:  they take his HAND - the same hand that pushes Bran, and the same hand that killed Aerys. Jaime, along with his sister Cersei, violate the laws of hospitality by committing adultery and fornicating in the broken tower located on the property of their HOST  Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell.  Jaime also pushes the son of his host from a window, intending to kill him.  Jaime and Cersei commit treason when they get busy in the tower – and at other times.  But the laws of the old gods are served before the laws of men. Taking Jaime’s hand is a fate worse than death – he tells Tyrion he would rather die than be a cripple, after he has crippled Bran!  Death is “easy” – it’s living that is hard. The twins will live to suffer.

    Thank you. WIZZ SMITH.  You are awesome! Thank you - yes, I worked for several months - cross referencing texts and "very" carefully wording commentary because I wanted to impress that I am not asserting that Bran can change past events.  However, when he visits them, he tries to emphasize family.   After realizing Bran's wizardry, many other things became clear to me by virtue of Martin hiding clues in plain sight. Bran is “A Ghost in Winterfell” [along with Theon and others], which Martin insinuates early in AGoT.   Bran has an affinity for the name “Ghost:   “Jon's wolf, the white one, was Ghost. Bran wished he had thought of that first, even though his wolf wasn't white”.   Bran likes being invisible:   “None of the guards could climb half so well as Bran . . .   Most of the time they never saw him anyway  .People never looked up. That was another thing he liked about climbing; it was almost like being invisible”.   Martin aptly uses the noun “haunt” as the subject of the first sentence to follow:   “His [Bran’s] favorite haunt was the broken tower. Once it had been a watchtower [the trees have eyes], the tallest in Winterfell. A long time ago, a hundred years before even his father had been born, a lightning strike had set it afire”.   Actually, “A Ghost in WF” is as literal as “a Stark in Winterfell”:  Bran is as invisible as a ghost when he “becomes the grey stones of the castle walls, knitted with powerful magic.  Martin artfully humanizes the castle whose windows are like eyes.   Likewise, Bran is the heart tree, watching through eyes the Singers carved into its face thousands of years ago.   Bran is metaphorically Winterfell, which Maester Luwin likens to a tree, a significant comparison that parallels the weirwood and the castle:   “The place had grown over the centuries like some monstrous stone tree . . . and its branches were gnarled and thick and twisted, its roots sunk deep within the earth” (79).   Maester Luwin suggests that Winterfell’s walls and towers and courtyards have been added over hundreds of years, and Winterfell’s expansion is like “some monstrous stone tree”,  perhaps one that has grown too large too quickly.  The adjective “monstrous” has ugly connotations.  “Gnarled . . . thick . . . twisted” all insinuate that the castle is showing her age.  Winterfell’s roots are sunk deep into the earth, and these roots represent a strong foundation reinforced by the crypts beneath the fortress.   Many of the events that occur  in “A Ghost in Winterfell” are attributable to Bran who promises Lady Hornwood that “Winterfell remembers!”  Bran may not wield a dagger or a sword, but his weapon is no less deadly.  Bran manipulates – perhaps even embodies – the snow itself, an instrument of death Bran masters, along with the cold.   ·        The snowfall escalates in earnest when Lady Dustin invades the crypts, an indication of Bran’s disapproval.   The man-at-arms who falls to his death marched north with Roger Ryswell, and Ramsay’s bitches find him at the base of the inner wall, buried beneath the snow.  Ryswell calls him a “drunk”, blaming his broken neck on his own folly for pissing off the wall.   But Theon is suspicious, especially since the Ryswell man-at-arms climbs  the snow-slick steps of the battlement in the  black night during unending snowfall.  It makes no sense.  What Theon insinuates by wondering to himself is that the man-at-arms climbed the battlements to tryst with one of Able’s women.   Regardless, the man-at-arms urinates upon the wall, soiling the very bricks Bran animates with his magic.  No doubt the greenseer is sensitive to any behavior that is disrespectful to Winterfell and House Stark.   Whoever pushes this man-at-arms from the battlements, Bran helps to guide her hand.  Bran’s passive-aggressive means of retribution mirrors Bran’s unhappy fall from the broken tower.    Moreover, Grey Jeyne [Stark and Poole] had eaten most of the man’s face, a miserable fate the man-at-arms shares with Weese after Jaqen, a spiritual guide likely sent by the forces that are the old gods with the intent to direct Arya towards Braavos, delivers a gift to Arya at HarrenHell in ACoK.   The ugly dog devours Weese’s face – appropo with Arya’s eventual relationship with the Faceless Men of Braavos.  But the irony is that Weese threatened to remove Arya’s eyes and her tongue to feed to his bitch, and Weese twists Arya’s ear;  Martin brilliantly adds a karmic element to Weese’s comeuppance as his loyal dog turns against her master by punishing him with similar threats he waged at Arya.   The “ugly dog” is a bitch, an interesting parallel that speaks to Arya’s very first magically-inspired “face” – the Ugly Girl, and Ramsay’s bitch Grey Jeyne..   Bran also manipulates or embodies the wind, the grey mists, and the falling snow.   Ser Aenys Frey’s squire is found naked and dead from exposure in the old castle’s lichyard, his face so obscured by hoarfrost that it looks like a mask.  The squire’s death is likewise blamed upon too much drink, which causes him to become lost and disoriented in the snow storm.    Theon doubts this scenario as well, especially since the squire is naked.  Again, Bran takes offense to what may have been the squire’s ill behavior while in service to a knight.  Bran resents someone who is blessed to pursue his dreams of knighthood and then abuses these honors. Bran may have been a squire in training to be a knight had he not been pushed from the broken tower.   Furthermore, the Frey squire may lose his clothes when he secretly meets a spearwife in the lichyard to receive sexual favors.  This act of disrespect to Winterfell, to the Stark in WF, and to its dead may remind Bran of how he came upon  Jaime and Cersei fornicating in the broken tower.  It’s easy to imagine Bran’s anger over witnessing even more vile behavior, especially by a Frey’s squire, and Bran does not pity the Frey camp for their many transgressions against the Starks.   Yet again, heavy snow conceals the corpse.  The masked face is also a nod to Bran who watches from behind a weirwood’s mask.  Likewise, the abused faces of the Ryswell man-at-arms and the Frey squire correlate with the “faceless” old gods of the north.   Then here's this - I think it is a veiled clue about how the greenseers and children animate the dead opposed to the Others controlling the dead. This is my issue with Coldhands:  he is a wight by virtue of descriptors, and like other wights, he has "no voice"!  The dead men cannot speak because they do not breath air! This is why CH conceals his mouth behind a scarf - not to disguise his features. So, Bloodraven employs magic - perhaps a glamour - which allows Bran and company to "believe" the voice they hear is that of the wight. Any other ideas here? Think now of Jon Snow's resurrection. Then, this is mega important - AND I HAVE NOT READ IT ANYWHERE: Bran appears more powerful than his teacher only because of his youth.  BR’s powers are “different” and the tree has been absorbing them, which means that Bran will  acquire them by default. Bloodraven is the Last Greenseer TO SIT A WEIRWOOD THRONE! Bran is/will be mobile - he is/will not be bound  by  a weirwood throne. My analysis of Jon and Ghost's connection is a refutation of those who believe Ghost must die to expel Jon's warg. Well, yes - Ghost will likely die  but Ghost's name is blinding foreshadowing. Jon's warg returns to his frozen body. Upon Ghost's death, Bloodraven wargs Ghost's corpse. Somehow, the fire magic and the ice magic Bran absorbs through the trees will allow for a wrinkle that prevents Jon rising as an Other yet rising as something more, and something less - he and Ghost are dead, yet they breathe  and they speak and they retain an essence of their souls.  [The Faceless Men master a powerful magic spell that allows them to preserve and retain the faces of the dead, which is an unfortunate limitation but it is their answer to the wights and reanimating the dead.] The Targaryen blood of the dragon and magic keep Jon's heart from turning to ice.  But Jon's warg cannot return  to undead Ghost, but BR can, which is the whole purpose of Ghost being born with the the Stark litter.and the albino pup's strategically timed separation from his packmates.  [I am leaning toward crackpottery .. . but think  of those crypts - and Winterfell itself - a magical castle animated -- humanized - the  waters from the hot springs flowing though a network of pipes like the hot blood flowing through the veins of a human]. More later.  I cannot wait to read your ideas. I am addressing your earlier posts and all the others that were posted after I went dark.  Now, keep in mind how long it takes me to write.  I promise not to take as long as George RR Martin and his TWoW.   Tee Hee.  
  11. Bran and the Darkness

    Exactly - and kudos to you as well.  I was going to add a Star Wars spin, but you did it far better than I.  My ideas are usually those not conjured by others and heatedly refuted until a more popular poster takes my inventions and spins them into a new topic. that he/she assumes the authorship for.   Bran is likewise connected to the Dawn - as in the Sword of the Morning, which was forged  on the heart of a fallen Star.  Bran is the "Fallen STARk", and the "heart of Winterfell and the godswood.  Through Bran Jon will forge Lightbringer reborn, perhaps through Longclaw. BR's last life will be warged in Ghost and at Jon's side.   I have a few more spins that all work nicely together.
  12. Bran and the Darkness

      Ned speaks with Bran in Bran’s very first POV in AGoT. Aside from impressing upon him the Stark traditions and the paradox of with fear comes bravery, Ned gives Bran advice that speaks to his future:   ORIGINAL   “One day Bran, you will be Robb’s bannerman, holding a keep of your own for your brother and your king, and justice will belong to you.  When this day comes, you must take no pleasure in the task, but neither must you look away.  A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is” (16).   REVISED   “One day, Bran, you will be a greenseer, sitting a weirwood throne of your own for the old gods of the North, and justice will belong to you.  When that day comes, you must take no vengeance for personal reasons, but neither must you shirk your duties as part of the godhood.  A god who hides behind the face of a weirwood tree soon forgets what death is.”   Ultimately, Bran will deliver justice according to the perimeters of the godhood.  He may need to learn self-control to curb his anger and desire for vengeance [as readers see Arya’s struggles in obedience, delivering her brand retribution without the approval of Him of Many Faces].  Alas, many have said the old gods are cruel, including Bran before he sits his weirwood throne.   Bran appears more powerful than his teacher only because of his youth.  BR’s powers are “different” and the tree has been absorbing them, which means that Bran will acquire them by default.  
  13. Originality in Westeros

    Dear OP: On another thread, you sang praises to the OP for his/her ORiginality. Check out these archived threads wherein I and others posted extensively and offered up much evidence.  Sadly, the OP's ideas are not as original as you and him/her wish to think. http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/50937-faceless-men/&page=1 I have written extensively on these FM - as have others. Regarding parallel journeys of the Stark siblings and others, read this archived thread from 2012.  Lots of conjecture, speculation, and evidences have already been said - har har!  What do you make of this? It never ceases to amaze me how posters arrive at the same conclusions and find the same evidences despite a two or three year separation.       http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/50937-faceless-men/&page=1 I have written extensively on these FM - as have others - so you may enjoy how on point your assertions are! Regarding parallel journeys of the Stark siblings and others, you will enjoy this archived thread from 2012 :