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  1. As a British person, you also associate different stereotypes with different accents, so as has already been said, you are going to instantly think someone with an RP (Lannister) accent is more posh and higher up the social scale than the "Northern" accents you get from the Starks. Amongst the Lannister's, Cersei and Tywin's are the only true southern/RP accents (Tywin's is the more actorly traditional RP, whereas Cersei's is a southern accent you would hear on the street), Jaime's is very good with just the very rare stray word, while to my ears Tyrion sounds like he is pronouncing every single word too precisely to be truly authentic. I mean, I love Peter Dinklage but you can tell (in a way you can't with Jaime) that he's putting the accent on. As someone else has said, the Stark children's accents make no sense. While Robb and Jon do their best to copy Sean Bean's Sheffield accent, Sansa and Bran sound like they are from the Home Counties, while Arya has an ever so slight West Country accent. In my head, I put this down to the younger children being closer to their "southern" mother, who does a very good Southern English accent even though Michelle Fairley is from Northern Island. Another set of interesting characters are Robert, Stannis and Renly, who for brothers have wildly different accents. Robert also has a Yorkshire accent, though a different one from Sean Bean. Sean Bean's is a Sheffield accent, and I believe Mark Addy (who plays Robert) is from York, but even though the cities are only fifty miles away from each other, you can tell they are from different places. So, even though I though "they were both raised by Jon Arryn", their accents are different enough to really make no sense. Stannis and Renly have quite non-descript southern accents, which I never thought made sense with Robert's York accent. Again, I think this was done to contrast the rougher, northern houses with the more gentile southern houses, but in this case they weren't consistent. Not that it spoiled anything for me, it's just if you think about it, it makes no sense! The only other interesting accent I think in the show is Littlefinger's - it is not an accent I have ever heard! I know Aidan Gillen is Irish, and it definitely has an Irish lilt to it, but sometimes it comes out sounding vaguely Welsh, and sometimes southern, and sometimes northern. I mean, I think he's great as Littlefinger, and I put it down to "oh, he's from some really small town somewhere on the Fingers", but it does sometimes sound quite strange! Just a random fact, the only Welshman on the show is (I believe) Iwan Rheon who plays Ramsay, who does a very good southern accent (even though he's meant to be from the north!) I believe that Iwan's mother tongue is actually Welsh, and that he only learnt English later. You can find clips of him interviewing in Welsh on the internet!
  2. Thanks for your contribution! I find it really interesting that the wolves howls are described as a 'chilly song'. That could have some traction here - especially in relation to Val's relationship with Ghost. It's a very interesting approach you've taken, and I will have to read it over again to give some more comprehensive thoughts on it! Oh no, I'm so sorry! The version I outlined is one of the better known versions of the Uther/Ygraine story, but Mists of Avalon may take it a different way. The recent British TV Series Merlin certainly did! Mmm, interesting thoughts. I think your first paragraph about Ashara's 'golden leaves' is persuasive, and I also agree that the Ashara/Stark relationship wasn't a rape, otherwise why would Ned have happily returned the sword? I see it more that Ashara was 'dishonoured' because she gave birth to an illegitimate child, ie. she was 'dishonoured' in the same way as Lysa Tully was, and she was married off the hide the shame of her aborted child (and it is very clear that Lysa loved Littlefinger, the man who dishonoured her). I think the golden leaves are more connected to the idea of innocence than to heat. So I see the various seasons a bit like this: - Spring Maid - A relationship connected to the 'innocence' of blooming love in Spring. The song about the 'forest lass' and 'forest lad' connected to the green colour of spring suggests better equality between partners in this type of 'Spring' relationship. The main example I see of this is Ashara Dayne, who conducted her relationship with a Stark (probably Ned) in the False Spring. As Harwin said, at the time they were young, in love and unattached - what does it matter? But then, the course of Robert's Rebellion leave Ned unable to marry Ashara, because he has to fulfil his Stark obligations and marry Catelyn. Thus, Ashara Dayne, heavily pregnant, becomes 'dishonoured' as Ned is unable to marry her. Ned's abandonment of her, plus her brother's death, causes her suicide, turning her into the 'winter' maid. - Summer Maid - Feisty women prime for stealing. I think women start off as Summer Maids in the moment of stealing, and then becomes 'autumn' maids is they steal back some heat (Ygritte, Val, Asha) or go stone cold winter maids if too much is stolen (Jeyne Poole). - Autumn Maid - 'Red' women who recover heat. (Maybe Melisandre is worth looking at here, as she has had a relationship with Stannis and is always connected to heat?) - Winter Maid - Women who have always had their heat 'stolen'. Examples include Lyanna (by death), Ashara (by death) and Jeyne (by Ramsay's cruelty). So, if we see the women that we've looked at so far, these are the transitions they've made: - Ashara - Spring => Winter - Lyanna - Spring/Summer => Winter (more to look at here) - Asha - Summer => Winter (more to look at here) - Ygritte - Autumn => Winter - Jeyne - Spring/Summer => Winter (Spring or Summer?) - Nissa Nissa - Autumn More to look at (Gilly, Melisandre etc.) I will try to look tomorrow, because I'm very busy today! Another area of research could be Delena Florent, mother of Edric Storm, who Robert stole/carried off/slept with on Stannis' wedding night. And maybe Ramsay's mother, who was raped by Roose, and who brought forth winter in the form of Ramsay.
  3. Another interesting quote that might be relevant to our discussion: There is literally a flower that grow from gaping wounds on dead bodies (death), they are called blood-blooms (death) and they are compared to a woman's lips (kisses). Stealing a woman's kiss apparently kills!
  4. Okay, here is my analysis of Ygritte. I'm going to put her tentatively in the summer/autumn categories, like Asha as a woman who is 'hot-bloodied' and is stolen by a man, but at the same time has her own power to fight back. Ygritte’s Looks Now, the first obvious thing that helps us categorise Ygritte as an ‘autumn maid’ is the colour of her hair, it seems directly evocative of ‘I loved a maid as red as autumn with sunset in her hair.’ Here is the first description we get of her: But the description of Ygritte’s hair is not just described as a ‘shaggy mop’, but it is directly linked to fire, perhaps suggesting Ygritte has an inner fire ripe for stealing, with also a link to the seasons mentioned in the same breath: There is even a suggestion that Ygritte’s hair is fire in this quote: Ygritte’s Warmth Jon spends a lot of time with Ygritte, and there are three physical characteristics that he keeps bringing up: her red hair, her crooked teeth and her warmth. When Jon and Ygritte sleep together, the warmth of her is enough to make him block out his anxiety about his vows: We also get this: Again, Ygritte’s warmth is all that matters, but this time it is disguised as a trap. At this stage, Jon does not want to get to know the wildlings as he feels he is fraternising with the enemy, yet he is lured in by her warmth, and there is a powerful man behind the trap. Is this a parallel of the Dornishman’s Wife? He also describes Ygritte’s heat as he lies awake thinking about Ned and how he dishonoured himself with Jon’s mother. This may be a slightly indirect link, but if R+L=J is true, Ygritte’s warmth becomes compared with Lyanna, another ‘hot-blooded’ stolen woman. Ygritte’s heat is seen as one of her defining positive characteristics, connected to the red of her hair. In his mind, Jon clearly does not see it as violent or dominating, as he juxtaposes it with Ygritte’s killing of the old man, making her warmth opposite to her violence: In spite of this violence, Ygritte’s love-making is described as ‘sweet’, like the Dornishman’s wife whose voice was sweet as a peach? Or Qarl, who is covered in peaches? Is this sweetness emblematic of her forbidden-ness? Or is it connected to her heat? Up to this point, we’ve assumed that Ygritte is the maid to be stolen by Jon, but is it possible that it is the other way round, that Ygritte stole Jon? Consider this quote: Now, here the gender roles have been reversed. Ygritte is ignoring the warmth of the fire to come after Jon’s warmth. Jon thinks about protecting himself with a sword to stop himself getting ‘stolen’, and even uses Ghost, who here serves as a metaphorical sword, to keep Ygritte away. He is almost becoming a ‘spearwife’ here. There is so much hot/cold symbolism in the passage I’d just like to take a moment to analyse it. So, at this moment Jon is wanting some warmth, but at the same time fears going near Ygritte because he doesn’t want dishonour her or to be the father of a bastard. He wants a hot bath, but Ygritte suggests cold is better if he has someone to warm him up (ie. Herself). Ygritte encourages Jon to jump in the river, and he jokes ‘you’d freeze me to death’. If we see Ygritte as the stealer here, is this suggesting she will make him cold, but later warm him up with some of her heat. Okay, so Ygritte is repeatedly linked with heat and sweetness, and possibly with the idea of her stealing Jon. But what type of heat? A red heat? There is not much evidence, but I did find this which links Ygritte to the sun. Jon asks Ygritte whether she fears death, and she says this: Now, this part absolutely fascinates me. Ygritte is no longer scared when in the sunlight – it was only in the cold and the dark that she feared death. This could point to an underlying fear about being turned into a wight, or it could more broadly connect her to warmth and sunlight. She asks Jon to kill her quickly, moving aside her red hair and bearing her neck – is she putting aside her heat? She then threatens to come back and haunt him. This may be stretching it a bit far, but is Ygritte suggesting she can recover from the cold of death? Ygritte’s Cave I now want to talk to the cave that Ygritte and Jon spend their happiest time in. In a recent thread (concerned with establishing Jon as the Sword of the Morning), I saw the cave characterised as a type of Underworld, with Jon operating as some sort of Orpheus lured down there by the promise of retrieving the spirit of his dead love. He is redeemed when he leaves. I think this is a really interesting idea, and it’s casting of Ygritte as Eurydice has some traction for our discussion. In classical mythology, Eurydice is the daughter of Apollo, a god variously associated with music, sun and light. Ygritte in this context can be seen as some sort of daughter of the sun. This is especially interesting when noticing that in the descriptions of the cave, Jon sees Ygritte as the only light: Ygritte’s light is ‘orange and yellow’, like her hair, the colours of the autumn maid. Taking this out further, when Jon sees the cave from a distance, it is the only source of light for miles in the icy darkness. The cave’s light is also not visible from the Wall could this being saying that Jon’s love for Ygritte’s warmth is not visible from the Wall where it would be seen as an act of betrayal? Ygritte’s Stealing Ok, there is going to be some contention over whether Jon stole Ygritte (because there is in the book!) but I hope I lay these points out clearly! I just briefly want to detour and talk about the etymological origins of Ygritte’s name. Ygritte is very similar to the name Ygraine, the mother of Arthur Pendragon in Arthurian legend. Variations of her name include Igraine, Ygrayne, Igerne and even Arneve. In Geoffrey of Monmouth’s rendering of the Arthurian legend, Ygraine is married to Gorlois, with whom she has several children. Uther Pendragon (Arthur’s father) becomes obsessed with Ygraine, and repeatedly tries to steal her away from her husband, always failing. He eventually declares war on Gorlois in an effort to win her, but Gorlois has her locked away in Tintagel Castle for her protection. When Uther’s war fails, he eventually enlists Merlin’s help in disguising him (via magic) as Gorlois. Uther enters Tintagel Castle and rapes Ygraine, who thinks he is Gorlois. Tellingly, the same night Uther ‘steals’ Ygraine, Gorlois dies in battle, tying Gorlois’ death to the successful ‘stealing’ of Ygraine. Uther then marries Ygraine and she becomes the mother of Arthur (and also, sometimes, Morgause and Morgan le Fay). Considering this, the idea of stealing women is intricately bound up in her name. It’s just an idea to keep in mind. Ok, now I will turn to Ygritte’s stealing proper. First, we get this comment about Ygritte: So here it seems that Ygritte is the prime woman for taking. She is a spearwife, a ‘hot-blooded’ maiden who men want to steal the heat from. Jon feels he did not steal Ygritte, as this conversation with Tormund shows: Again, Ygritte is characterized by both her fiery hair and her vivacious personality, which are seen hand in hand here. Similarly, there is a revival of the notion of honour in relationships; Ygritte and Jon are both free, just as Ned and Ashara were. The Ned/Ashara and Jon/Ygritte parallel perhaps turns here. Ygritte is seen as a woman in charge of her own destiny, able to abort a child she doesn’t want. Although we are not privy to Ashara’s thoughts, she gave birth to a Stark bastard and ultimately died for it. Does this distance Ashara from the in control ‘autumn maid’ model typified by Ygritte we’ve seen so far? Here we get the crux of the whole ‘stealing’ problem. To Ygritte, she was well and truly stolen, to Jon he just took her prisoner. Perhaps this counts as a stealing, but an untraditional one, where the woman decides who steals her. Could this play out in the Sam/Gilly situation, where Gilly decides that Sam is to be the one to steal her? Now, we’ve already discussed the ‘brightness’ of the Thief in this passage, but I also just want to mention that the Thief is described as a ‘red wanderer’. If Ygritte could be seen as stealing Jon, is she literally a ‘red wanderer’ with flaming red hair? Also, Ygritte insists that Jon’s motives does not matter – in the eyes of the wildlings, he stole her. Could this again play out in the Sam/Gilly situation, with the eyes of the world seeing Gilly as a stolen woman? A slight tangent here, but Jon connects the song ‘Two hearts that beat as one’ to his relationship with Ygritte: Could ‘Two hearts that beat as one’ therefore be seen as a ‘stealing’ song belonging to the summer or autumn groups? Ygritte’s Bael the Bard I’d also thought I’d have a look at Ygritte’s telling of the Bael the Bard story, as it is really important to the whole idea of stealing women in Northern and Wildling culture. It also tells us something about Ygritte herself. Interesting to see that this story is not known as ‘Bael the Bard’ but as ‘The Song O’ the Winter Rose’. This is a story about the Northman’s Daughter rather than Bael the Bard! This is also notable when remembering the link I made between Lyanna and Ygritte, the blue winter rose can be seen as a symbol of all stolen women, Ygritte included. Again this question of perception continues. Was Bael a rapist? Or was he a ‘great raider’? As a point of interest, I also want to mention that Sygerrik means deceiver, and this is significant when remembering the real-world story of Gorlois, Ygraine and Uther, and how Uther disguised himself as Gorlois to get into Tintagel Castle and rape Ygraine. Geoffrey of Monmouth even goes so far as to describe Uther getting into the castle by ‘deceit’. Is Uther therefore a model for Bael and other male stealers, and therefore can Lyanna, the Northman’s Daughter, Jeyne and Ygritte also be seen as a quasi-Ygraine? Bael is not only a raider, but a stealer (perhaps meant to be evocative of Mance). The rest of this passage compares women to blue winter roses, which are ‘rare and precious’. Again, more direct symbolism about Lyanna. Going back to the theory of Ygritte’s cave being the underworld, here, the Northman’s Daughter also spent a year in the Winterfell crypts with Bael. Like Jon emerging from Ygritte’s cave, the Northman’s Daughter emerges from the cave with her baby. Is she free from the stealing? Was Bael warm? Does the daughter’s emergence from the crypts redeem House Stark? I also think it’s interesting that Ygritte undermines the idea that it was a consensual relationship (like a Spring maid), but a fully fledged stealing, making the Northman’s Daughter an autumn or winter maid. I would classify her as a winter maid, as when she was stolen she had hid with ‘the dead’ beneath the castle, linking her to cold and darkness. This further shows that Bael has ‘stolen’ too much from the Northman’s Daughter. The son grows up and meets his father in battle at the Frozen Ford (frozen = winter), and engages in kinslaying. The son is then punished by the Old Golds (the gods of winter) by being skinned by one of his lords (implicitly a Bolton, a house often connected with icy winter). Also, like Ashara Dayne, the Northman’s Daughter threw herself from a tower in grief. Does this help us establish Ashara as a ‘False Spring’ or ‘Winter’ maid, because they shared the same fate? Back to Ygritte, I also find it interesting that Ygritte remembers telling Jon this story later, and connects it to her belief that she had been stolen: She sees the telling of the story as a potential catalyst for Jon killing her or ‘plucking’ her. This is interesting language to use, especially considering the description as the Northman’s Daughter in the Bael the Bard story as a ‘rose he'd plucked unasked’. Is Ygritte basically using the story of Bael the Bard to force Jon to steal her? Ygritte’s Death Now I just want to look at Ygritte’s Death, which seems to consolidate all the ideas I’ve presented above. Ygritte’s heat has been sucked from her by death. She is lying on the snow; ice crystals pepper her face. Gone is all the reference to orange and reds, now she is silver. The arrow that kills Ygritte is black, just like the ‘black steel’ of the Dornishman’s blade which causes death to the stealer (raises the idea once again that Ygritte stole Jon). Jon is fearful that he has killed her (is this perhaps a fear of taking too much from her?), or is it just guilt over the fact that members of the Nights Watch killed her. Here, Jon reminds her of her ‘lucky’ red hair, and implicitly of her heat and her life. He’s denying that she is dying, so is holding on to the idea of her heat. The cave is a special place for Jon and Ygritte, but it is also a metaphor for the Underworld and death. Ygritte is going back to the cave, but without Jon
  5. I sort of see Ashara as a 'False Spring' Maid (but we do have very little to go on). Ned and Ashara thought it was spring when they were together, but it all turned to death and cold when it failed. About Asha, I see her as a summer maid at the point in the story which she is at. She has 'stolen' Qarl, he has 'stolen' her and is only now feeling the cold/getting doubts, so I think she's well on her way to being an autumn maid. But yes, must find more Asha stuff! I have a little bit of time today, so I might try and find some Ygritte quotes (but I think there is a lot more to work through with her than the others!)
  6. Thanks for your comments and I'm glad you are enjoying our ideas! You seem to know a lot about Gilly and Sam, so I was just wondering, can you think of any quotes about Gilly related to hot or cold, or the seasons? It might help us work out where she fits in the wider pattern! I definitely agree with this interpretation. I think when I next have some time, I will probably turn to look at Ygritte! I have had very little time to think today, but I did come across this quote while listening to LmL's 'Bloodstone Compendium' podcasts while driving. This is a quote from Tobho Mott, the King's Landing master armourer discussing how he forged Ned's old Valyrian steel sword, Ice, into two new swords - Widow's Wail and Oathkeeper. LmL believes they are iterations of the fiery sword Lightbringer (as they are 'split' in two, the same way the AA comet split the moon in two) and relate to his wider theory about the astronomical origins of the Azor Ahai myth, but I think it can also serve a purpose for our research. Ice can be seen as a potential candidate for the in-world Lightbringer, as can Oathkeeper (ie. will it kill Lady Stoneheart, allowing Catelyn to theoretically become Ned's Nissa Nissa?) It can also (as LmL suggests) be a symbol of the original Lightbringer, and be mimetic of it. Here's the quote: Ok, now I want to compare that to the Nissa Nissa passage : Firstly, both swords are red. Azor Ahai's is the 'Red Sword of Heroes', perhaps symbolic of the autumn maid recovering her heat. Oathkeeper is also red, but something else is happening; 'Valyrian steel is stubborn', it refuses to be moulded by the master armourer. If we can see this sword as some iteration of Lightbringer and Nissa Nissa, can we see this as a parallel for how the autumn maid resists the man? Tobho Mott also comments 'old swords remember', but remember what? What they used to be! Autumn maids remember what they were like before (perhaps in summer) and try to hold onto that in some way. Now we get this line about Oathkeeper: 'but always the colour would darken, as if the blade was drinking the sun from it.' The sword drinks the summer sun of the maiden's, the DW who was as 'fair as the sun', warm Jeyne Poole, 'hot-blooded' Ygritte and Val. This also links to Nissa Nissa's death, where 'her blood and soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steal.' Lightbringer, the original stealer of maidens, 'drinks the sun'. Now, before I go, I just thought I'd list the women we've covered and put them into season categories, to give us some idea where we can go next. Spring: Ashara Dayne Summer: Asha (on her way to autumn), The Dornishman's Wife Autumn: Val, Nissa Nissa, Catelyn (research to make more definitie) Winter: Jeyne Poole Undecided: The Night's Queen, Ygritte, Gilly, Lyanna
  7. That's great, it really helps us get our thoughts straight! Ok, just a comment on 'The Queen took off her Sandal, the King took off his Crown', I like your idea about the sandal in relation to warging. If you think about it, the 'sandal' and the 'crown' could be the Ice and Fire sides of magic respectively. The sandal warging, skinchanging (being a literal 'skin' of a foot) as you suggested, and the 'crown' being linked to gold=summer=fire and maybe even the dragons. In the aftermath of the Battle for Dawn, magic will be removed from the world, with Ice giving up their 'sandals' and Fire their 'crowns' to make 'Spring' happen. Now, I thought I'd add something else to this discussion: Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa, and show how it's just reinforcing our idea of a man 'stealing' the heat of a woman. So I think LmL's theory on the astronomical origins of this theory are very convincing, but that does not mean it cannot have an effect on our theory, and how George uses the seasons to indicate different types of relationships. It can fit both theories! Here we have Azor Ahai forging the third Lightbringer. It's noted that it grows 'white-hot' in the scared fires before Azor Ahai summons Nissa Nissa. Compare this to the line in the Jon chapter when he and Ygritte are discussing the stars, and that a propitious time for a stealing is when the Thief is in the Moonmaid. Ygritte states that that was the case when Jon stole her - 'the Thief was bright that night' - just how Azor Ahai is 'bright' or 'white-hot' as he prepares to steal Nissa Nissa's soul. The point is also made that Azor Ahai loves Nissa Nissa best in all the world. Romantic imagery is overlaid on this scene, just as it is in the 'Dornishman's Wife'. This story can then be filed away with all the other 'romantic' stealing stories we have. Then Azor Ahai stabs Nissa Nissa with the sword. This not only recalls all the attempted stealings with a sword, but I think this can be linked to 'Off to Gulltown' - 'I'll steal a sweet kiss with the point of my blade.' In OtG, something is also stolen from the woman, just as Azor Ahai steals Nissa Nissa's life essence with a sword. Then Nissa Nissa lets out a cry of 'anguish and ecstasy' = there is something sexual in this, and is perhaps linked to all the other romance/stealing songs. Then we have all of Nissa Nissa's soul going into the sword = confirms our theory, the men 'steal' more than just the woman herself. Now for the interesting bit. What does Nissa Nissa's death produce? Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes. Compare this to our version of the 'autumn' maid who retains some of her heat = 'I loved a maid as red as autumn". Nissa Nissa's life essence has survived in the sword! It's not Azor Ahai's sword, but Nissa Nissa's, because it is her recovered heat that has survived! I looked up an in-world example of 'stealing' and I came across Asha Greyjoy and Qarl the Maid, and it was amazing how similar to 'Dornishman's Wife' and everything else we've discovered it is! Asha is obviously Balon Greyjoy's daughter, and Qarl is a thrall grandson, making them unequals. It's quite long, so I've cut the irrelevant for us stuff. I'll do a quick analysis of each section. Like in 'Off to Gulltown', Qarl attempts to 'steal a kiss with the point of his blade'. This is the beginning of a traditional stealing. Asha threatens to fight Qarl, she has spirit, she is 'hot-blooded'. They then sleep together. Here, Asha worries that she's been shamed by sleeping with Qarl. She also threatens Qarl with her husband, the 'Dornishman' of this scenario. Asha wakes up after sleeping with Qarl to a cold room. The heat of earlier is gone, and she discovers her clothes have been torn by Qarl, and she destroys them in the fires. Although they are a superficial thing, they are a part of her that has been destroyed by Qarl. Notably, they are finally destroyed in fire. Okay, so first of all, Qarl and Asha are in bed and she reaches for her dagger. She is a spearwife through and through! Now we have numerous comparisons between peaches and Qarl. He literally has 'Peach fuzz' on his face, he is the forbidden fruit in every sense of the word. After Qarl says he has never eaten a peach, Asha takes him away with her to a place where 'the peaches were always huge and sweet', literally turning him into her peach. One is held up against Qarl's cheek as if for comparison, and she kisses peach juice off his face. They devour peaches and each other - Qarl almost becomes interchangeable with the peach. Asha also makes clear that this took place in the summer, and 'summer was a fading memory'. Does that explain the cold room that Asha wakes up in - her relationship to Qarl is slowly being transformed into a cold, winter 'steal' as opposed to the hot-blooded summer one? We then get this: Qarl still sees Asha as his sweet summer maid, but Asha ignores him and goes to look outside, which is 'cold and bleak and inhospitable'. Asha is in the midst of winter, whereas Qarl still thinks it's summer. Is this a summer love being drained of his heat? I'm going to have a think about Ygritte and Gilly next, and hopefully get some more textual support for our theories.
  8. I do like the links you made between warm Jeyne => cold Jeyne and the transformation that takes place. Is it somehow symbolic of the seasons? But if so, why? Why are some women 'frozen' after being stolen (ie. Jeyne) while the songs indicate that once the woman has been stolen the pair of lovers bask in the summer sun? And why are some lovers warm (think Ygritte) and others frozen. I wonder if it's something to do with transgression. If the stealing somehow included a *sin* of some sort, whether that be societal or moral or whatever, could that cause the woman to go 'cold'? Is that why Jeyne is cold, because Ramsay took too much from her in his abuse? Could that explain Val's 'coldness' because of the breaking of Wildling tradition to agree to a southern marriage? I agree with you, that the stuff with Jarl indicates that Val was taking part in wildling stealing traditions (I'll come back to this point in a minute), and by abandoning said traditions, has Stannis literally taken too much from her? Here is a description of Val at Mance's 'burning': Now this passage really confuses me, because she seems to be a jumble of summer and winter. She's linked to darkness with the 'dark bronze' and this is contrasted to Stannis' gold. Here she also has the 'grey' eyes. However, she is wearing 'white and gold' a symbol of both winter and summer respectively. Again reference is made to her summer maid 'honey-blond hair'. And then there is this line 'the chill in the air had put colour in her cheeks' = the cold is literally making her warm. This could be linked to your frozen fire theory, or the idea that Val is an 'autumn' love, somehow recapturing the heat stolen from her. On the topic of Val's eyes, I'm tempted not to read too much into it. I have grey eyes myself, and in different light they can appear grey, blue and sometimes even green! And now to Jarl, here's the quote you supplied: I agree that Val was checking whether Jon killed Jarl, in the wildling tradition. However, I think it's quite striking that The Wall killed Jarl. Going back to my suggestion about Ned being 'winter' for Ashara if he was the father of her baby and the reason for her suicide, Jarl seems to literally be killed by winter - is there such a prominent symbol for winter in the series than the Wall? I'm thinking on my feet here, so I will go away and think about this more. On the topic of Tormund and Val, I think it's entirely plausible that it could all have gone down between them as you've said. The comment about 'Ruddy Hall' was also interesting, as when you say someone has a 'ruddy' complexion, you are saying they have a red complexion. Does this somehow link to autumn, or to summer? Also of interest about Tormund's whole 'bear' story, is that several months ago I remember reading something on this forum that suggested that the 'bear' is actually Maege Mormont, and some of her children are therefore Tormund's. Perhaps that's interesting in relation to Jeor's comment about Maege: I'm not sure I'm convinced about the Maege = the Bear theory, but this quote is quite interesting. She she's to be in the mould of the 'frozen ice' woman, and yet Jeor loves her with a brother's love. What type of love is this? I doubt we can know for sure what the NK's wife was before she became an Other, all we know is that the NK was the one doing the giving, and she the taking. I'm halfway through LmL's bloodstone compendium atm, and this story hasn't come up yet, but I still think it could be yet another example of the 'one partner steals all the life from the other' trope that LmL thinks is indicative of the astronomical theory he is presenting. Therefore, does these women fitting into 'seasons' some how come into this? Maybe: 'Spring' love = innocence before the stealing, before the comet, perhaps a consensual meeting between the two (think the sun and moon as husband and wife) 'Summer' love = the relationship in the moment of stealing. Think the comet just as it impacts as a 'burning sword' and the comet 'drinking the sun's fire'. This is the type of 'summer' that appears in the 'Dornishman's Wife' and 'Off to Gulltown'. 'Autumn' love = the lover who 'recovers' some heat in some way. I think this is an area we really need to explore more, these hot/cold women. 'Winter' love = the destroyed moon, Jeyne Poole, Ned and Ashara (although this could more accurately be deemed 'False Spring' love). Again, thinking on my feet. Lastly, I just want to mention this quote: LmL links this to the Azor Ahai, Nissa Nissa story, but does it have any relevance to out discussion? So far, 'stealing' has been linked to the power of fire and summer, so why does Ygritte (and by extension the other wildlings) think it is propitious to steal a woman at that time. Is it perhaps that the 'Thief was bright' = ie. he is the 'hot-blooded' one? I don't have an answer to this, and will give it more thought! Hope to hear more of your thoughts soon, and hope I can come up with something more concrete! I might have a look at Ygritte next! Edit: A comment on another thread really got me thinking. Someone described blue winter roses as a 'promise of spring'. If R+L=J, is Jon Spring, or is Lyanna herself spring? If Lyanna is spring, is 'summer' love essentially a stealing of spring's innocence? I don't know, but it's an interesting thought!
  9. Mmm, that's an interesting quote! However, I don't think the 'shade' links to death, but instead to summer, which I will highlight below. Thank you very much! I hope you find the next part good too! After our discussion about 'innocent' spring love, and 'hot-blooded' summer love, I thought I would look at some of the women we've highlighted as 'stolen' women to see if they conform to this dichotomy. I looked at three: the Night's King's Wife, Jeyne Poole and Val and discovered something quite interesting. They are all linked to the cold, winter and death. Seeing this, I decided to looking back at our analysis of Ashara Dayne's dance partners, it got me thinking of why Ned would be the 'winter' lover, when we previously designated him as a 'spring' lover. The answer came to me when thinking of Harwin's 'Spring had come, or so they thought'. In actuality it wasn't spring, it was winter, with all the connotations of cold and death. If Ned was Ashara's baby's father, he was the catalyst for her death, because firstly he was the father or the baby she lost and secondly her brother's killer. Ned is therefore 'winter' and 'death' in this context. I now want to look at the Night's King's Wife, Jeyne Poole and Val, who I see part of this 'Winter = Death' category. All three could be seen as stolen wives however, and we've previously established that you need to be 'hot' to be stolen. This got me thinking, and it made me realise that something has gone wrong with all the 'stealings' of these women: The Night's King's Wife is probably an Other, and may have actually 'stolen' the Night's King. Jeyne Poole is 'stolen' by Theon, but she is not actually Arya Stark, making her the wrong person to be stolen. Val potential stealing is aborted by the fact that Stannis wants to marry her off to one of his southern supporters, breaking the wildling tradition. Ok, here we go! Here are the text supports to back it up! The Night’s King’s Wife Here, the Night’s King’s Wife is ice cold, the epitome of the ‘winter maid’. She is nothing like the DW, who is warm and lovely, or even the woman from the song ‘Off to Gulltown’ that Lost Melnibonean mentioned, who the narrator spends time with in the heat of summer. Her closest comparison is the winter maid in 'Seasons of My Love'. She therefore cannot operate as a ‘stolen woman’. However, can the Night’s King be seen as a stolen man? In the other examples we’ve seen so far (think the spear stabbing the sun metaphor, and the Dornishman’s sword like a leech), the man has taken something from the woman, but here the shoe is on the other foot. The man gave his seed and his soul, basically his life essence to this icy woman. The way this passage reads, its as if she has all the power over him. This imbalance in power will be a hallmark of this type of ‘winter love’ I want to discuss. Jeyne Poole Jeyne Poole is literally the stolen woman of Mance’s rendering of DW as the ‘Northman’s Daughter’, but she is definitely not in the vein of ‘hot-blooded’ stolen woman of our other examples. Is this because she is the ‘wrong’ stolen women, ie. Not Arya? Interestingly, Jeyne is consistently connected to the cold. Here’s the description of Jeyne in her wedding dress: Can there be a character more associated with the cold than Jeyne Poole? She’s literally described as ‘not warm’ and 'shivering'. The room she is standing in is ‘cold’ and ‘unheated’ and she’s dressed in white, the colour of snow. The pearls are connected to House Stark, but they are also white like winter. Theon also makes comparisons between Jeyne and death, as her face is ‘carved of ice’ and she looks like a ‘corpse buried in the snow’. Lastly, she is described as ‘bloodless’, the opposite of the ‘hot-blooded’ imagery we’ve had up until now. Then consider this description from the Theon sample chapter from Winds of Winter, where Jeyne gets frostbite – she’s literally freezing: Then there is the obsession with bathing. While this is probably Ramsay wanting her to be ‘clean’, it could also be considered an effort on Jeyne’s part to make herself warm, especially considering this quote. And then there is Theon’s description of his and Jeyne’s escape from Winterfell in Theon’s sample chapter: Let’s view that in conjunction with Tom of Sevenstreams song, ‘Off to Gulltown’. When the narrator successfully steals the fair maid, the rest in the shade in the summer sun. This could not be more different for Jeyne and Theon; when Theon ‘steals’ Jeyne, they are not basking in the warmth of the summer sun, but instead freezing their arses off in a pile of snow! Poor, abused, tortured Jeyne cannot be more opposite to the vibrant Wife in DW. Her relationship with Ramsay and Theon reminds us of the imbalance in the relationship between the Night’s King and his Wife. She is not a ‘hot-blooded’ like the DW, is this because she is not a ‘true’ stolen woman because she is not the real Arya Stark? Val Continuing the theme of ‘cold’ falsely stolen women, let’s have a look at Val. Here is the most prominent physical description of Val from Jon’s perspective: Val’s description here is truly a winter maiden direct from SomL; she’s dressed in white, her breath is white, her eyes are blue. Taking the winter=death links, Val’s bone accessories maybe have connotations of death. Interestingly, her hair is the colour of ‘dark honey’ and this could possibly be related to the bear licking the honey from the hair of the summer maid in the 'Bear and the Maiden Fair'. However, it is still clear that Val is overwhelmingly compared to winter, with the same moon and blue eyes connection as the Night King’s Wife. Interestingly, further connections can be made between Val and the ‘winter maid’ as Val is also connected to the moon, while the winter maid has ‘moonglow’ in her hair. When Val tells Jon the time of her return to the Wall she states: Bran Vras’ ‘Winterfell Huis Clos’ also makes some great comparisons between Val, Dalla and the Braavosi Moonsingers tradition, which can fit here. Val’s similarity to the ‘winter maid’ in SomL has lead some to see the song as an allegory for Jon’s love life, with Val as the winter maid and Ygritte as the autumn maid, but I think it is more complex than that. Ok, so now we’ve established that Val is connected to winter, in what way is she a ‘false’ stolen woman like the Other or Jeyne Poole? Going by the weirwood brooch she wears, Bran Vras has shown how brooches are used to indicate political allegiances, and therefore Val’s adoption of the weirwood brooch therefore signals her loyalty to the Old Gods and the wildling way of life, which includes the practice of men stealing their women. The fact that Stannis wants Val to be married to one of his southern supporters in the non-wildling way perhaps aborts attempts of Val becoming the ‘hot-blooded’ stolen woman of wildling tradition, and instead becoming a bartered pawn like Jeyne Poole. Stannis and Jon’s discussion of Val’s marriage is here: At first, it seems that Val will not become a ‘winter maid’, instead adhering to the wildling tradition. But then Mance’s life is threatened, and Val tries to intercede on his behalf: As Mance is spared, and Val attends his "burning" without reaction, I suspect that Val will be forced to marry some ‘kneeler’, therefore abandoning the wildling tradition and becoming a ‘winter maid’, becoming ‘cold’ by not being part of the ‘summer’ love of the wildling tradition. Therefore I think the 'winter maid' love is opposed to the innocent consensual spring tradition, the 'hot-blooded' stealing summer love, and the 'trustworthy' autumn love. The winter love is associated with death, failed love, inequality of partners and the rejection of summer passion.
  10. Oh, so much to read! I will just give you some instant thoughts I've had when reading this, and formulate something more intelligible tomorrow! I like your idea about the progression of a relationship in 'Seasons of my Love' and how this relates to stealing/consent etc. Just a comment on your idea about 'green'. The colour green often has connotations of newness or innocence; if someone is inexperienced at a job, for example, you might call them 'green'. So in saying, 'I loved a maid as green as spring' you could be saying 'I loved a maid as innocent as spring'. This works really well with the passage of time/growth of a relationship we've already discussed, and possibly, when viewing the Ned/Ashara relationship, both could be seen as 'innocent' in the False Spring, before both were 'corrupted' by the tragedy that followed. This also works with Harwin's 'They thought it was Spring', as he could be saying 'they thought it was a time of greenness, a time of innocence in which they could be in love'. This perhaps also fits into your ideas about Spring=Consent in comparison to the more 'hot-blooded' summer. Therefore, when viewing Tom O'Sevens songs, I propose that the first verse is a little more forceful as the Lord dresses the lady up as his 'summer' love = he shall dress her golden silk, she shall be his wife. He's almost insisting that she will be his 'hot-blooded' summer lover, and his insistence almost reads like he's attempting to steal her (although this is slightly tempered by him offering to give her nice clothes/marry her, he's still insisting). Therefore, when the maiden refuses, saying she will be his 'forest' love with 'grass' in her hair (ie. his 'green/innocent' lover), she is perhaps proposing something more consensual in her refusal; she will not be stolen, she will be his 'green', consensual lover = she has chosen him like he has chosen her. Your point about the 'orderly' autumn verse and how it is linked to Catelyn got me thinking. We do not hear the verses of 'Seasons of my Love' in order, instead hearing the summer and winter lines in Tyrion's chapters, and the autumn one in a SoS Catelyn chapter, right around the time Hoster Tully is dying. Here is the quote: (Catelyn VII, ASoS) Interestingly, this song is not only connected to Catelyn and her red hair here, but also to Catelyn's father, especially interesting considering your father/daughter comments. Furthermore, this song is here connected to the passage of time as 'Hours had passed' and 'Moonlight' beamed through the windows. The 'sunset' in the song is paralleling the slow descent into night here, and ending with Brienne heralding midnight's arrival. This passage of time is also related to Hoster's death. And I really like your Dawn/Dornishman's Wife/Dayne connections and also how Lightbringer can be seen as one of the kind of 'spear' that we have been discussing. I might also have to do a little more poking around the whole 'Dawn' issue, especially as I seem to remember their being a theory a little while back that Dawn is Lightbringer and it will one day be wielded by Jon. It might be interesting to see how that links to our conclusions. Finally, our discussions about the 'Dornishman's Wife' led me to look up some Ygritte quotes on the internet and I found this one which is fascinating. She says it to Jon: This seems a direct parallel of 'The Dornishman's Wife'. Here, she is saying that 'All Men Must Die', just as the central character does as he is laying dying. She says 'but first we live'. This parallels the central character 'living' through his relationship with the Dornishman's wife. The lack of regret in the song and this quote is very striking. However, there also does seem to be a suggestion of the consensual, mutual stealing seen in the Tom O'Sevens songs. 'You're mine. Mine, as I'm yours.' This phrase suggests total equality in the relationship, and this is perhaps evocative of Jon's refusal to steal Ygritte and even Tom O'Sevens maid's refusal to be stolen. I'll let you know when I have anymore thoughts!
  11. Ok, I’ve been having a little think and here is what I’ve come up with so far. Firstly, I just want to mention the analysis of Mance Rayder by Bran Vras in his ‘Winterfell Huis Clos’ series, especially his connections between Mance and Bael/Melisandre/Rhaegar, his suggestions about Val and Dalla’s connections to the moon and moonsingers, and Mance’s repertoire. Perhaps this could fit in to a few things we’ve said. And now onto Ashara Dayne: Ashara Dayne Although Ashara is not a “stolen” woman in the same way as the Lord of Winterfell’s daughter, Lyanna Stark, Fake Arya, Gilly, Ygritte or the wildling women, she is in a sense a “forbidden” woman, a “Dornishman’s Wife”. This is the impression you get from Barristan Selmy’s memories of her in DwD, even though he did not succumb to her charms: “Rhaegar had chosen Lyanna Stark of Winterfell. Barristan Selmy would have made a different choice. Not the queen, who was not present. Nor Elia of Dorne, though she was good and gentle; had she been chosen, much war and woe might have been avoided. His choice would have been a young maiden not long at court, one of Elia’s companions … though compared to Ashara Dayne, the Dornish princess was a kitchen drab. Even after all these years, Ser Barristan could still recall Ashara’s smile, the sound of her laughter. He had only to close his eyes to see her, with her long dark hair tumbling about her shoulders and those haunting purple eyes. Daenerys has the same eyes. Sometimes when the queen looked at him, he felt as if he were looking at Ashara’s daughter…” “But Ashara’s daughter had been stillborn, and his fair lady had thrown herself from a tower soon after, mad with grief for the child she had lost, and perhaps for the man who had dishonored her at Harrenhal as well. She died never knowing that Ser Barristan had loved her. How could she? He was a knight of the Kingsguard, sworn to celibacy. No good could have come from telling her his feelings. No good came from silence either. If I had unhorsed Rhaegar and crowned Ashara queen of love and beauty, might she have looked to me instead of Stark?” - “The Kingbreaker”, A Dance with Dragons Here we get a physical description of Ashara Dayne – she is described as a “young maiden”. This could link back to the maids in ‘The Seasons of My Love’, or indeed to the Dornishman’s Wife herself. But then again the designation “young maiden” is used often to describe young women. Similarly, there is not much to go on over her looks; the dark hair and purple eyes are not reminiscent of either song. Perhaps they are mentioned to set Ashara up as a potential mother for Jon Snow – his dark hair could be her trait? However, there are other connections to the Dornishman’s Wife/Forbidden Women to be made here. Firstly, Ashara is from Dorne, and that brings along with it all the connotations of the “speared wife” and the sigil of House Martell mentioned earlier, and Dornish women being “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”. Secondly, Ashara is from House Dayne, whose sigil is a white sword crossed with a falling star. This could connect to the astronomical connotations seen in ‘Seasons of My Love’ particularly the “sunlight”, “sunset” and “moonglow” in the maid’s hair. Indeed, the Dayne’s are from “starfall”. Could the missing spring lyrics contain something about stars? Now, turning back to what Selmy said, it’s clear he sees Ashara as a forbidden woman or a Dornishman’s wife. Selmy is full of regret, he says no good could have come from telling her his feelings, relating to the fact that he was a Kingsguard, sworn to celibacy. By telling Ashara how he felt, he would have broken his vows; what happens to a Kingsguard who breaks his vows? But then Selmy changes tack; he states that “no good came from silence either” - this could in relation to his belief that Robert’s Rebellion was caused by Rhaegar proclaiming Lyanna Queen of Love and Beauty, as he states that if Elia of Dorne had been chosen ‘much war and woe might have been avoided’. However, this cannot be the whole answer – at the end of the paragraph he ruminates on the suggestion that if he had won the tourney and made Ashara Queen of Love and Beauty, might she have looked at him instead of Stark? Selmy’s guilt and regret is therefore not just about how he could have averted Robert’s Rebellion, but about how he could have had the opportunity to woo Ashara and failed. This is in direct opposition to the central character of ‘The Dornishman’s Wife’ who does woo his “forbidden woman”. When he is killed by the Dornishman, he states “But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s Wife”. Is the message here go get the Dornishman’s Wife and sod the consequences? Now, I turn to another comment made about Ashara, this time by Harwin to Arya: “Aye, he told me. Lady Ashara Dayne. It’s an old tale, that one. I heard it once at Winterfell, when I was no older than you are now.” He took hold of her bridle firmly and turned her horse around. “I doubt there’s any truth to it. But if there is, what of it? When Ned met this Dornish lady, his brother Brandon was still alive, and it was him betrothed to Lady Catelyn, so there’s no stain on your father’s honor. There’s nought like a tourney to make the blood run hot, so maybe some words were whispered in a tent of a night, who can say? Words or kisses, maybe more, but where’s the harm in that? Spring had come, or so they thought, and neither one of them was pledged.” - “Arya VIII”, A Storm of Swords Now, this passage is really interesting, as it is devoid of the shame associated with Ashara in Selmy’s POV. If you want to read more about Ashara, shame and dishonour see here: Back to the passage, it’s made clear that Harwin thinks ‘Stark’ is Eddard, but that could just be an example of George trying to make us thing E+A=J. Here, there is nothing “forbidden” about Ashara for Ned, because both were unattached as Brandon was posed to marry Catelyn, and Ashara was single. But Harwin uses some interesting language to describe the relationship between Ned and Ashara. Firstly, he comments the tourney makes “the blood run hot”. Interestingly, there is a mention of blood in the Dornishman’s wife: as the central character lays dying there is “the taste of blood on his tongue”. Alongside the idea of hot blood/desire and the hot blood/fiery women contexts we’ve already discussed, there could be more to this phrase. The word taste is used once more in the DW, as the central character is unafraid to die because he has “tasted the Dornishman’s Wife”. This connects the taste of blood = taste of the Dornishman’s Wife, and also the idea of seizing the forbidden = bloodshed which the Selmy passage also highlights. Secondly, Harwin highlights the ‘words or kisses’ that pass between Ned and Ashara. This is really interesting considering the two positive attributes given to the Dornishman’s Wife: her voice which is ‘sweet as a peach’ (voice=words, peach=the forbidden) and her kisses which are ‘warmer than spring’. This is notable considering Harwin’s next phrase, that Ned and Ashara thought “Spring had come”. In what way? That literally spring had arrived? This year was the year of the ‘False Spring’, but why bring that up unless you are talking about the “spring” in conjunction with Ned and Ashara’s relationship. Harwin’s mention her could be saying that their relationship was a type of “spring”- that it was warmer than spring. Could this relate again to ‘Seasons of My love’ and the unknown spring verse. Is the missing verse something like “I loved a maid as fair as summer with starlight in her hair”? This would make the connection between Ashara=Spring stronger as well as connecting to the structure of the song. So far we have summer = sunlight, autumn = sunset, winter = moonglow. If the ‘spring’ verse was the first verse, the song could not only highlight the passing of the seasons, but also night to day and back again. But of course, this is conjecture. Now, let’s turn to Meera’s story. “Under Harren’s roof he ate and drank with the wolves, and many of their sworn swords besides, barrowdown men and moose and bears and mermen. The dragon prince sang a song so sad it made the she-wolf cry, but when the pup teased her for crying she poured wine over his head. A black brother spoke, asking the knights to join the Night’s Watch. The storm lord drank down the knight of skulls and kisses in a wine-cup war. The crannogman saw a maid with laughing purple eyes dance with a white sword, a red snake, and lord of griffins, and lastly with the quiet wolf . . . but only after the wild wolf spoke to her on behalf of a brother too shy to leave his bench.” I don’t have much to say about this except that if the ‘white sword’ is Selmy, the story doesn’t quite add up. Selmy’s memories of Ashara seemed to suggest he had not had much interaction with her, therefore I suggest that the ‘white sword’ is Arthur Dayne, Ashara’s brother, rather than Selmy. Also, that Brandon had to encourage Ned to make a move on Ashara, so not exactly seizing the forbidden fruit. Is this why Ned escaped the bloodshed? I also think there may be something in the people Ashara dances with connecting them to ‘Seasons of My Love’. - A white sword o If this is Arthur Dayne, his identity as the Dayne could link him to the conjectured “spring” verse, especially as his status as the Sword of the Morning may connect to the idea of the passage of time (with Spring = starlight = morning). - A red snake o This is Oberyn Martell. His connection to summer and the sun is quite strong. The Dorne sigil is the sun being stabbed by a spear, and their capital is Sunspear. Therefore, although he is not literally ‘fair’ like the maid, he represents summer. - Lord of Griffins o This is Jon Connington. This is a little more difficult, but it can be seen that Jon is connected to autumnal colours – firstly, he has faded red hair, and other another House Connington is known as ‘Red’ Ronnet. The colours of House Connington are also red and white. This links to the phrase ‘red as autumn’. - The Quiet Wolf o This is Eddard Stark. The Starks are from the North and are associated with Winter. Their words are ‘winter is coming’. I’m not saying that Ashara was literally in love with these men, it’s just an interesting coincidence! I will get back to you on the topic of Gilly/the Rat Cook/Mance’s songs when my thoughts are something intelligible.
  12. Cool I think I'm going to go off and think about Gilly and Ashara Dayne in the "spearwife" model.
  13. I hadn't thought of the Rat Cook implications, and I will look more closely tomorrow (when I'm a little more awake!) And on second inspection, it also seems that Manderly asks for 'The Night that Ended' and 'Brave Danny Flint' as well, so it's possible that they are included along with in 'Rat Cook' as a metafictional narrative. I'll have another think about what's going on here with all the Rat Cook subtexts included! Interesting thoughts about R+L=J. Although I am a believer of that theory, I understand why someone wouldn't be fully convinced. Your comment about Bael the Bard being a 'deceiver' interested me, because for a little while I had this theory that Rhaegar was so into fulfilling the 'Three Heads of the Dragon' prophecy that him and Elia conspired together to find him an alternate consort for him to father a 'Visenya', and they found and talked Lyanna into it for some reason. Hence why Elia never seems to have a super strong reaction to R+L's escapade, because she knew. Your description as Bael as a 'deceiver' is therefore intriguing considering in this scenario Rhaegar deceives Lyanna to fulfill the prophecy. I am a believer in R+L=J because I believe there is enough evidence to support it (I mean, what was Ned's promise to Lyanna if it's wasn't 'Look after Jon'?), but I am open to being persuaded! I do think it may not be as simple as 'romance' as some people suggest.
  14. Mmm, some interesting points! It is entirely possible that these songs do create a narrative unit, and I like your ideas about the Rat Cook's reasons, but I'm just a little reticent as Manderly asks for the Rat Cook, almost specially to point out 'Frey Pie' to savvy readers. Mance would not know that Manderly had killed the Frey's, and therefore intended this song to be sung, so would he have otherwise have included it in his narrative? Just like how Lady Dustin asked for something happier and then Mance played 'The Queen took off her Sandal' and 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair', I'm a little unsure about attributing this to Mance's song-story. I have had a thought about "Iron Lances", however. There is one occasion when Lyanna is linked to iron. When discussing Lyanna in the crypts with Robert, Ned says: "You never knew Lyanna as I did, Robert. You saw her beauty, but not the iron underneath." I think I now see a kind of chronology with these songs relating to Rhaegar/Lyanna. Especially, I think "Brave Danny Flint", "The Dornishman's Wife/The Northman's Daughter", "Iron Lances", "The Winter Maid" and maybe even perhaps "The Maids that Bloom at Spring" can be connected to the Rhaegar/Lyanna story. Brave Danny Flint: Danny Flint disguises herself as a boy and joins the Nights Watch. "Flint" surname links song to Lyanna and the North generally. Lyanna probably disguised herself as a boy when she became 'The Knight of the Laughing Tree' to protect Howland Reed. Some people suggest Rhaegar fell in love with her when he discovered she was a girl, in essence, when he discovered she was a Danny Flint. The Dornishman's Wife Central character has relationship with Dornishman's wife, Dornishman then kills him. This relates to Rhaegar and Lyanna's relationship/seduction/whatever, with Robert being the Dornishman who literally kills Rhaegar. Iron Lances We know very little about the content of this song, other than it is "rousing" according to the Wiki. Considering Ned's comment about the "iron underneath" Lyanna's beautiful exterior, it could be about Lyanna's "iron" response to Rhaegar's death/Jon's birth etc. The Winter Maid A "sad" song, which prompts Lady Dustin to ask Mance to sing something more jolly. A conjectured link to Lyanna's death. How old is this song? Who wrote it? What are it's origins? There are no other occurrences of it outside Mance's performance. Unless we can link it to Tyrion's song "Seasons of My Love", where the lines "I loved a maid as white as winter with moonglow in her hair" appear. Can Lyanna be connected to the moon? (Val definitely can). Or is this more generically mourning a 'Winter Maid' who easily could be a girl from House Stark. The Maids that Bloom in Spring Again, not a whole lot to go on with this song, but could again be links to "Seasons of My Love" (but we do not have the lyrics for the spring verse). The word that intrigues me here is 'bloom'. Bloom implies growth in the spring, after the winter. If we take a quick look back at the 'Dornishman's Wife' we can see that cold/death are linked. Therefore, after the "death" of both the central character in 'Dornishman's Wife' and the sad content of 'The Winter Maid', something, seemingly maids here, "blooms" out of the previous songs. Could this be Jon, "blooming" out of Rhaegar and Lyanna's relationship? (Admittedly this one is a little weak!) So, what does this mean for Mance? I think if Mance was consciously singing these songs in Winterfell about Rhaegar and Lyanna, it could prove that Mance = Rhaegar is true, if Mance/Rhaegar knew that Jon was his son and wanted to include it in the songs as a subtle hint, who was he trying to hint it to? Jon's not at the wedding? Why not tell him to his face? Therefore, I think the positioning of these songs is more metafictional, and a way for Rhaegar and Lyanna's story to be told in Winterfell in conjunction with Mance's plan to kidnap Fake Arya for their son Jon, especially considering the numerous comparisons between the real Arya and Lyanna. Just a quick detour to Gilly. Here is the first description of Gilly we get from Jon's perspective: "One of Craster's women was backed up against the mud-spattered wall of the keep... The woman regarded them with nervous eyes. She was younger than he'd thought at first. A girl of fifteen or sixteen years, he judged, dark hair plastered across a gaunt face by the falling rain, her bare feet muddy to the ankles." In this first description, Gilly is clearly a "wild woman" of the Dornishman's wife/Lyanna/Ygritte model. Firstly, she is directly connected to nature, being "muddy to the ankles". Like Lyanna, she also has "dark hair". Her age is also striking - described as 15 or 16, she is similar in age to both Lyanna when she ran away with Rhaegar (who was 16 or 17) and Ygritte (who is 18 when we first meet her). Other "forbidden" women who fall in this category are Ashara Dayne (who could have been anything between 14 to 23), Jeyne Poole - the woman Mance was trying to steal (who was probably about the same age as Sansa, so let's say 13-15) or even Jeyne Westerling (who was aged 14 to 16). Of course, Gilly is also "stolen" by Sam (but obviously she has her own agency in this), linking back to the connections between the Dornishman's wife and wildling customs, Mance's disguise as Bael the Bard and even the links between the gillyflower and blue roses growing in chinks in walls!!
  15. Mmm, I really like the idea of Lyanna as frozen fire, and your interpretation of Lyanna becoming a "speared wife". I suppose her relationship with Rhaeger did take something from her - he wasn't the only one that died, and in the end her son could never be recognised as hers. Thinking about the Dornishman's wife be rewritten as the Northman's Daughter, I also thought it would be interesting to look at the other songs the Mance sung at the wedding to highlight more Dornishman's wife = 'fire' women = wildlings = Lyanna connections. Firstly, it must be noted that at this stage Mance has disguised himself as "Abel", in itself an anagram of Bael. While this is probably just relating to the fact that he has snuck into Winterfell under everyone's notice with the intention of stealing "Fake Arya", it also adds some extra dimensions to our interpretation of the 'Dornishman's Wife'. In becoming Abel/Bael, when singing the 'Dornishman's Wife' Mance becomes the central character, in Winterfell to steal away False Arya. But then at the same time, he is also becoming any of the other people who have tried to "steal" women from Winterfell, and almost a quasi-Rhaegar. That could be an interesting thought for any theorists who literally think Mance = Rhaegar. The other songs that Mance sung are as follows: Two Hearts that Beat as One We know none of the lyrics, but it seems to be a generic love song. The only other time it has been sung is at the marriage between Ambrose Butterwell and Lady Frey in 'The Mystery Night'. Was this a loving marriage? Or a marriage of convenience? Fair Maids of Summer Although we have no other example of it being performed, or any of its lyrics, the "Fair Maids of Summer" links back to the 'Dornishman's Wife' and all the other summer connections we have made. The Night that Ended A song about when the Night's Watch met the Others at the Battle of the Dawn. Links back to our Night's King/ Other Wife links and even the line 'his brother's knelt by him and prayed him a prayer'. If we are arguing that 'The Dornishman's Wife' is Lyanna, this could perhaps also be evocative of Jon's future role in the Battle for the Dawn II. Brave Danny Flint A song about a woman who joined the Night's Watch but was subsequently raped and murdered. Could be connected to the previous 'Night's Watch' theme found in 'The Night that Ended' and 'Iron Lances', but Danny Flint could also be an example of the 'wild' women we have been discussing. Also, the surname 'Flint' is interesting considering your ideas about Lyanna's fire ancestry. The Rat Cook About the Rat Cook. Relates to 'Frey Pie'. Interestingly, Wyman Manderly asks for this song therefore interrupting Mance's intended programme, and possibly the message he is trying to deliver with the songs. The Dornishman's Wife Here, Mance sings the adapted 'Northman's Daughter. Perhaps it's just about the intended stealing of Fake Arya, but it's proximity to 'The Night that Ended' and 'Brave Danny Flint' perhaps connects it back to Jon and Lyanna. "Marching Song" Ramsay then asks Mance to sing a song about Stannis trudging through the snow. Another interjection, so probably doesn't have anything to do with Mance's message. Iron Lances This is apparently a "rousing" song about which little is known. It is sung on several occasions. Interestingly, if Ramsay hadn't interrupted Mance's programme, this would have come after the Dornishman's Wife (I think - I'm relating this to an online order I've found!) and is therefore perhaps linked to the central character's death. The Winter Maid A supposedly sad song is now sung. It's apparently a song from the North, it only occuring in the North. How old is it? Could it directly be about Lyanna or another 'wild' woman? The fact it's sad might suggest a connection to Lyanna. The Queen Took off her Sandal, the King took off his Crown/Bear and the Maiden Fair Lady Dustin then asks for something more jolly. Mance sings these two songs. It also suggests it not anything to do with Mance's message. The Maids that Bloom at Spring Last song that Mance sings. The lyrics are not known, but maybe it has something to do with the other 'sun' connections we've made. Interestingly, it is known to be performed at one other occasion, by Tom of Sevenstreams at the Peach (an inn and brothel in the Stoney Sept). Again links back to the idea of the forbidden fruit/the Dornishman's wife. It's really interesting that all these songs (apart from the one's demanded by the wedding's guests, and maybe Iron Lances) had something to do with Wild women/ the Night's Watch/ Jon/ Lyanna/ Forbidden Fruit. It could just be linked to Mance's attempt to kidnap Fake Arya, but it could also add an extra layer of subtext. Might have to go look at Gilly now! Thank you so much! It's good to know that people see value in our work!