aDanceWithFlagons

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  1. Thanks for providing that insight. . I agree that the Faceless Men are skinchangers in their own right though i never thought about sacrificing their natural born faces. I don't know about all the faces coming from skinchangers, being that there seems to be So many stored in the Inner Sanctum, but I like the idea of self sacrifice to become a truly, faceless no one. Also like the parallel to the old-school Boltons wearing the skins of their enemies. When you mentioned the gray area between life and death holding power, I thought you were thinking about the black pool in the HoBaW. The black pool, imo, is the magic that binds the dead to the temple, enabling the transfer of faces. A poison that paralyzes and holds the body near death. The Alchemist uses the poisoned coin on Pate then collects his face and memories and speech. A harsher poison yet effective with the same outcome; a new face and a new life. I'm sure there is something more than death in the water at the Temple. Funny, to me, that the FM preach death yet they collect these human masks which contain residual life from the "donor." (Memories, sensations, quirks, speech etc .) It's a Second Life kinda thing which seems at odds with the Faceless' death religion. The ones in the know are prolonging lives instead of taking them out. Perhaps they truly do balance it out in the end. Concerning the OP, it seems the Kindly Man knows that Arya is special. Skinchangers should make awesome spies and assassins if they can conform to the Faceless' rules. The ability to spy and kill, say with a wolf, is awesome for that line of work. (Like that poor sap that Jaqen murders via dog.) Arya was wearing another's 'face' long before she came to Braavos.
  2. That is a strange wolf dream. It could be a true dream from Summer bleeding through or it might be a dream from Ghost bleeding through from the Frostfangs. Conversely while in the icy mountains, Jon/Ghost experiences a dream about a forest. Strange indeed. Could be a crossed signal or a time warp or something greater. If you want to put on a foil hat ( ) and ponder the connection between direwolves and the 'Others' from the prologue, it might be that the jagged icy mountains Bran is racing up are in Other territory. Those others share similarities to a pack of wolves, imo. There is the leader of the pack (Ser Cackles) and only when the leader gives consent do the rest move in for their share of the kill (Waymar). To re-quote from your post above about Bran Then a similar yet different experience of Will while watching the sword fight in the forest... Will doesn't quite understand yet he knows the words are mocking and understands the laughter.
  3. Nice catch with the weirwood mouth parallel. You made me see I may have answered my own question earlier: that Thoros sacrifices a little of his own life by breathing fire into Beric's lungs.
  4. I like this and
  5. I wanted to backtrack a little to your previous thoughts on the theme of water between Beric and Catelyn and the Ironborn rituals. Although Beric was still alive when he was pulled from the water, I'd say he still drowned. Sounds like he got it through the lung so I'd say he drowned on his own blood and possibly river water too. Could the same be said for Catelyn? Dunno, but it seems possible. As a side note. I'm curious as to what Thoros means by "filled my mouth with fire and breathed the flames inside him" What kind of fire? Is he alluding to a similar trick of flaming swords or something more? Anyone?
  6. I don't see any mention of the location of the resurrection. Although Thoros claims that it is R'hllor who is responsible for bringing back Beric, Thoros does seem to be giving up a little of his own life force each time he performs the rite of the last kiss. He has become loose skinned and gray haired during this time. Not as gaunt as Stannis yet still physically fading somewhat. Thoros must know this ritual is taking its toll on his well being since he has this to say... Interesting phrase, 'seventh death,' considering the Faith of the Seven. Beric does die the Seventh time yet a Lady Sranger, I mean Stoneheart has appeared in his place.
  7. Even blind, wise men. (Aemon) I wonder if the Black Gate was purposely blinded in an attempt to bypass the security check. Supposedly one can not lie in front of a heart tree which makes a certain sense that an animated weirwood would be tasked with keeping the gate. (Coldhands knows the words but cannot pass.) The Gate might then see the soul (or heart) of the being passing through?
  8. Yeah, Sandor could be the Stranger, that's crossed my mind also. He has begun a metaphorical second life. And he, the grave digger, is taking care of the dead!
  9. While I do believe different magical practitioners can counter other practitioners, they seem to be linked in various ways. The Faceless Men use the bodies of the dead by collecting their faces then storing them. The users of said faces experience the life of the one who died. It's a different type of skinchanging. Basically it's a second life. And that's what a lot of the magic is about. Prolonging life through relationships with other beings be it human or animal or plant. Besides, the old gods are dead - a.k.a. second lifers, and there is power in death.
  10. And to add from your previous post, While I do not have any one in mind for the other Six, the Seventh has always meant the Stranger, to me. It represents the Other side. An in-between - an extra ordinary or rarity. If it will be a living person or not, im not so sure. Now Brienne does have the "neither woman nor man" vibe going on yet we'll have to see her fate with Stoneheart and Jamie. I always pictured the Seventh as something larger than just a person. Anyway, that seventh they are waiting for is the Stranger whether they realize or not. The Stranger is the last on the list of the Seven aspects and is mostly forgotten. It's just a name on the list not many people want to think about.
  11. Yeah, that's it in a large nutshell. I'd say that the original usage of the Black Gate was to enter, or leave, the Heart of Winter. At least in the era of the Night's King. (Who knows where Bran landed on the other side when passing through, or if it always led there.) Whether as an agreement or as an outpost to gaurd the portal, it's a coin toss. Yet the idea that the Night's King spotted his cold bride south of the Wall would make good sense if the Gate were being guarded and the 'woman' slipped through to be caught and bound. Better yet, that he, the NK, passed through the portal to claim his prize north of the Wall. (cough~Bran~cough) Either way, The Night's King supposedly did some unscrupulous things after catching his 'white woman' and I'd say she was from the Heart of Winter. Whoever or whatever she may be.
  12. My crackpot (with no text to support it) is that Jyana Reed is actually Joanna Lannister. She fled east to find her truest love, Brynden Blackfish, after Tywin's outrage on Tyrion's birth. Guess what? Brynden is not into the ladies but he is a good-guy-knight so he helped her run. Run to the Neck. The reason the Reed kids don't talk about their mother is that she is not a true crannog. Gotta hide away just like Howland does with his magic castle. Jyana - Joanna? Hey, I said it was crackpot. As to Lemore, I'm not quite sure. Someone thought to be dead is probs true Yet, I can't help but think of Poe's 'The Raven'. (Lemore- Lenore) A talking raven and a woman named Lanore long gone. Poe studies the raven to figure out just who or what it is just as Tyrion ponders on and questions Lemore.
  13. I like this, and it fits nicely (to me) with Jamie Lannister. Also, I like what Matthew. has to say on an outsider to the Stark crew bringing the pain and humiliation to the three squires and their knights for the sake of justice.
  14. As to your last paragraph... yeah. And that is one reason why I think Jaime is a candidate for the mystery knight. Who would think a Lion would sport a laughing tree on his shield other than Aerys? When leaving Harrenhal Jamie describes his departure... "Lord Bolton had accoutred him as a knight [...] He was not such a fool as to show the lion of Lannister on his arms, though, nor the plain white blazon that was his right as a Sworn Brother of the Kingsguard. He found an old shield in the armory, battered and splintered, the chipped paint still showing most of the great black bat of House Lothston upon a field of silver and gold. [...] He would be no one’s cousin, no one’s enemy, no one’s sworn sword … in sum, no one. A mystery knight with a borrowed shield which is later painted over with a tree. Not a weirwood, but still. Then further on in the chapter, he reminiscences on the Tourney and even thinks about leaving Harrenhal to hear an old Miller tell him he is heading the wrong way for the big tournament. And just after he sleeps with his headed rested against a weirwood stump. I know there are some problems with Jamie as the KotLT, like motivation to take call out the three squires behaviour against Howland, but I don't find it that big of a stretch. Jamie was a new and honorable knight. While Ned is a or the top contender for the man behind the mask in the 'Mystery Knight Theater', I find Jamit as a close runner-up. Not to mention Benjen and Howland.
  15. Has anyone else had the thought that the Giants who supposedly helped build the Wall, and whatever else, could have been a twisted story about the Umbers? Their sigil, a Giant in broken chains, could go back to a time when they were enslaved and broke free or were broken free by an outside source. Conversely the Umbers could have been the folks who freed giants from bondage. And subsequently procreated to become the human-giants of which their are tales of wielding swords, wearing boots and such. Just throwing it out there.