• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About JNR

  • Rank
    Council Member

Profile Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

2,130 profile views
  1. Well, I think it's all true in some sense. I'm just not sure exactly which bits are literal and which are symbolic. For instance, in the bit you mention, Bran sees this: This seems like certain symbolism to me; I don't believe the uttermost north has literal impaled corpses of literal dreamers. And of course, the crow itself has three eyes in the dream... but we all accept that it is a dream avatar, a symbol, and there is no literal crow with three literal eyes. But as you point out, there are aspects that are pretty evidently literal. So GRRM seems to be mixing literalism and symbolism into a tossed dream salad and serving it up with Ambiguity Dressing, as he does in so many other areas of the canon as well. As for the dragons I draw no firm conclusion. But I do think whether there is a symbolic or literal idea there, we are given a direct link between dragons and Asshai that is sure to have significance down the road. (And Asshai being the most distant, unfamiliar location known to anybody in Westeros, this accords pretty well with a classical Heretical interpretation: the basically foreign nature of dragons to Westeros and by extension, the foreign nature of Targaryens too.)
  2. Yes, the Holmes canon is as clearly distinct from the (good but oddly different) BBC show as the ASOIAF canon is from the (once good, now unforgivably bad and wildly inaccurate) show. Though I also agree with Feather it's interesting seeing the creative choices the BBC has made (example: making Irene Adler a dominatrix).
  3. And some things he remembers only ever existed in his mind. Only in the BBC's recent version. It may well be. There's no reason visions always have to be of specific people; some of them may be of broader, more abstract concepts, like the concept you suggested: corrupt knighthood. For instance, in the same chapter, Bran sees dragons stirring beneath the sunrise in Asshai. Is that a reference to actual dragons, in the past or present or future? Or does it refer to a more abstract concept, of which dragons are only a symbol?
  4. This never occurred to me before, but I immediately like it. Even if it turns out the vision is of Ser Gregor, it's still basically true. And now that (almost certainly) Ser Gregor has become Ser Robert Strong of the Kingsguard, it's doubly true.
  5. The author wrote 36 references to Lyanna Stark into canon (as well as three references to Lyanna Mormont). The author also wrote 38 references to Tysha, Tyrion's first wife, into canon. Is it, then, your position that Tysha is slightly more important to ASOIAF than Lyanna Stark?
  6. Actually, that SSM begins with GRRM flatly stating that there are really no absolute certainties in such matters: Everything he says thereafter spells out that point -- "they were vague, uncodified, subject to varying interpretations, and often contradictory" -- in detail.
  7. Not at all. Of course we can imagine true things. In fact, my historical position has always been that the traditional timeline is roughly accurate. And the traditional timeline comes from book analysis by fans, not from GRRM, who was never so thoughtful as to supply us with any sort of formal timeline, spelled out on a page. However, all speculation is needless when GRRM plainly tells us something applying to the Age of Heroes... not as a POV character, not as a narrator of any sort, but as himself, the series author, who lives in our world, in answering a question from someone else who lives in our world. This is the case in SSMs, magazine interviews, etc., and he does it so rarely, it's worth paying attention and believing him, because surely he is the leading authority on ASOIAF. When he says dragons lived all over once, after being asked about dragons living in Westeros in ancient times, do you believe him? I do. (I also note the "Horn of Joramun" burned by Melisandre appears to be both organic and so gigantic as to be attributable to very few creatures besides dragons, if any... but that's my speculation, and it might be untrue.)
  8. You mean when GRRM said "no one knows" etc, he was even including himself? So when GRRM said the Wall took "hundreds of years to complete and thousands of years to reach its present height," that remark was invalid... because the series author didn't know what he was talking about? Well... that would be taking narrative unreliability to new heights. However, if this is your case, you're going to have to stop quoting the Shaw interview about Rhaegar giving orders to the KG... because that remark is invalid too. And you're going to have to stop quoting GRRM on the subject of fever dreams, because that remark is invalid too. Meanwhile, I think it's best to believe GRRM when he says flat, unambiguous things like this. Another instance would be "Rhaegar was cremated" -- that's so clear and simple (just like the time required to build the Wall) that it rules out any theory in which Rhaegar is still alive, for me at least.
  9. It's an ongoing issue on many subjects pertaining to ASOIAF, and closely related to the problem of fake news in political circles. It came up earlier in this very thread, in fact, when someone claimed GRRM was not to be believed on the time required to build the Wall. I said GRRM has only ever given one answer on that and asked for a contrary SSM showing otherwise. I did not get an answer, which settled that point. You should read your own link. It says he asked them who Jon's mother was, not who Jon's parents are. Mother ≠ parents. If you could show me a link to a legitimate SSM in which GRRM said he asked D&D to name Jon's parents, I would then have to change my position. There isn't one; he asked them the mother. People who claim it was the parents are simply perpetuating fake news.
  10. What they tend to quote is other fans, or they simply restate other fans, as if those concepts were canonical. The reason they do this is very simple: they have literally forgotten the canon or objective facts (that they read months or years ago) in favor of the fanon (that they read minutes ago). For instance, there must have been thousands of posts on this site from people claiming that GRRM told D&D who Jon's parents are. But if challenged, they can never pony up a link... because there is no link... because as far as we know, GRRM never did tell D&D who Jon's parents are. At best, he seems to have told them who Jon's mother is. So it's not surprising that every so often, guys like me come along and say things like that. We're just telling the truth.
  11. As I have said so many times, this is in fact my own position. You don't create a 300-mile-long ward against Popsicles and wights with zero work... just as you don't create a 700-foot tall wall of physical ice with zero work. Also, of course, either the Wall has some sort of reinforcement magic holding it in place, or else GRRM just screwed up completely in thinking such a construction would do anything but implode. So for me it's beyond any reasonable doubt that the Wall as we see it today was built as a product of both magical and physical work. Uh huh. Sometimes in Heresy, it's necessary to say it, because ideas have a way of evolving from "X is our imagination at work" (which is true) to "we know X" (which is not true) to "given X, we also know Y, and since Y, we also know Z". The last is similar to what happens among R+L=J true believers, and has IMO led over many years to mass hallucination built via stacked blocks of false certainty, and will eventually yield the biggest implosion in the history of F/SF fandom... ...like what would happen to the Wall if it lacked reinforcement magic. However, the question you asked ...is really an interesting one. The problem IMO is that we don't even know what the Black Gate really is. We don't know if it's a door -- meaning a flat chunk of weirwood that was cut from the trunk of a felled tree and then ensorcelled somehow -- or... something quite different from that. So I for one would love to read a chapter in which Bran tries to skinchange the Black Gate. Because I don't think he could skinchange something that was truly dead, such as a rock, and if he were to succeed in skinchanging the Black Gate, what kinds of memories might he then be able to access? What would we then learn, likely to be of great consequence, that we don't know now?
  12. Jon's approaching the Wall physically and as he comes up to it, he's thinking about blocks because blocks are what he sees. If he saw no blocks, we'd expect him to think something like: But the text doesn't say any such thing. Whatever it is he sees gives him no reason to doubt that the Wall is made of blocks. Jon also thinks about the blocks in a broad sense that doesn't specify height at any particular level. Example: See what I'm saying? Jon's idea is that the Wall is treacherous on days when the ice is weeping because the blocks that the Wall is made of are slick. This is not meant to apply only to one chunk of the Wall, somewhere in the middle as you climb it. His premise is that the whole Wall is made of such blocks and that's why the whole Wall can turn treacherous, or he wouldn't even mention blocks. He would instead just say "the ice melts" because that's all that would be needed to express that idea. Well, what we see in Bran's vision is a man being killed on one occasion. We can interpret it as a ritual sacrifice to old gods that happened many times... if we like... but since it happened at Winterfell it certainly doesn't seem to pertain to the Wall, which is hundreds of miles north. Also, of course, the Black Gate is made of weirwood, but is it a weirwood tree? The Black Gate appears only to be a door at the moment. If so, that would mean a weirwood was cut down and part of it was used to make a door. This doesn't seem very respectful to the old gods and would make it an odd place to sacrifice to the old gods. Beyond that, if you kill something in front of an object that is made of dead weirwood... such as for instance the hunting scene on the double doors in front of Mott's shop in King's Landing... do the old gods see that, or interpret it as a sacrifice to them? Hmmm. I guess we can imagine they do. We can imagine that there were such sacrifices in a well in front of a secret weirwood door, at the Nightfort, long ago. But our imagination of that is all we have, whereas Jon's direct observation of the Wall shows it to be made of blocks, and if magic is responsible for stacking blocks over thousands of years, it must be magic unlike any we've encountered so far in canon.
  13. The evidence doesn't measure up to the claim that R+L=J is all the things it's cracked up to be: unwritten canon, for instance, or 100% probable, or "not even a theory." There are so many gaps, so many shortfalls of critically important information, it's nowhere close to any of those things. There was a Vox article last year that presented a lot of "authorities" on this mystery discussing how it was now established and the mystery was entirely over. I had to chuckle, reading it; it reminded me quite a bit of the universal belief among geologists, in the middle of the 20th century, that continents can't possibly move, they don't, they never have, it was a settled matter beyond any rational debate, etc. As you say, correctly, the mystery of Jon's parentage is far from settled.
  14. This reminds me of similar arguments to the effect that aliens must have built the pyramids. The answer is that humans can accomplish quite a lot, and have. To reiterate, though, it's plain to me that the Wall has a magical aspect; we've seen it -- the Black Gate. It almost certainly also has a ward that works in a similar way to the ward in the cave of the CotF. But neither of these aspects have to do with the way the physical Wall was built over thousands of years. ...is the explanation given by Melisandre, who is, I'm afraid, not a very reliable or skilled analyst of the world. GRRM, on the other hand, literally created the world, and is our world's leading authority on it. So when he tells us point blank, with no ambiguity, that the Wall required hundreds of years to complete, and thousands to reach its present height, I think we should accept that authority as conclusive. If we choose to say "Nah," to GRRM, and put Melisandre in his place as our primary authority, we are perhaps kidding ourselves a tad.
  15. Jon is conveying that he sees the Wall's base is made of blocks, which he interprets as having been laid by Brandon the Builder because of the myths (which may or may not be true). But the blocks (whatever their origin) are objectively there, just as they are while Jon is climbing. I don't think the evidence the Wall was fed sacrifices is nearly as good as the evidence the Wall is made of blocks. We've directly seen the blocks, beyond any conceivable doubt, through Jon's eyes as he climbed the Wall. The concept of sacrifices having been used to build the Wall emerges purely from Ygritte's vague remark about the Wall being made of blood. Even the tale of the Night's King says the sacrifies were to the Others, not for the Wall, and as for the Black Gate, it is never associated in any sense with any sacrifices.