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    13th Magnar

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    He seated himself in a chair by the hearth.

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  1. Nice name. LOL It's hard to choose a fave. I've been rating most of them pretty high over in this forum, with a few exceptions (Starlady). Nice to find another fan of Cross and Dragon and Mistfall! Those are two I like a lot as well. Have you read The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr?
  2. It was you, not I, who brought up that specific usage: My point was/is as follows: The blue flower growing from a chink in a wall of ice sounds, to me, like an out-of-place bloom amid winter. I think this is analogous to the False Spring, which of course was a temporary chink in a season of winter. It was winter before the False Spring, and it was winter after the False Spring. The wall is ice on both sides of the chink created by the blue flower... Thus, I can't help but ponder whether Lyanna's blooming as a child-woman might have caused a temporary chink in an otherwise ongoing winter season. Sansa's bed of blood, while not called, specifically "a bed of blood" nor "a bloody bed" is still, obviously, a bloody bed and a bed of blood. Once she shoves it in the fireplace, it became a bed of fire and blood. Or, at least, an ashy bloody bed. If Dany had seen a smouldering blue flower dripping blood, I might be arguing that she glimpsed Sansa's flowering in the House of the Undying. But she didn't. She sees a flower growing from a chink in a wall of ice. So I think Dany bears witness to a cold womb. That could be Lyanna's, or it could be another dead woman/child-woman. Pertinent to this OP, I think a valid argument can be made for it being Lyanna's flowering. She is dead, and may have ushered a pregnant she-wolf through the Wall. After all, that dead mother in Bran I AGOT was spectacular because its like had not been seen south of the Wall in 200 years. Dany might have seen the mechanism by which that spectacle was possible. The purpose of this OP is to draw attention to Lyanna as the source of this reintroduction of direwolves to the Wolfswood and the pups of Winterfell. Off of this topic, I would nominate the Night's Queen as the fertile womb envisioned as the blue flower growing from the chink in Dany's wall of ice. But even then, I would say that Lyanna is the descendant of NQ's husband anyway, if not NK+NQ, and argue that Lyanna is the most likely candidate for the person who broke House Stark's 200-year direwolf drought anyway.
  3. No worries. As I said, tis a minor and frivolous detail to most folks. I am just weird enough to make it a priority in my world. LOL I think "13th Magnar" would be a bit more appropriate, given that magnars lead, but are not chosen democratically, and the fact that the first thirteen men to lead the Night's Watch (like the LH and his companions) would have spoken the Old Tongue. "Lords" did not exist in Westeros prior to the Andal Invasion. All such men (and mayhaps women?) would have been "magnars". For this same reason, I would argue there were never any "Kings of the Nightfort", until maybe around the time of Sherrit. Words like "king", "lord", and "commander", would have been used after the introduction of the Common Tongue and the spread of Andahli forms of government and military hierarchy. Prior to those things, during the lives and times of the Last Hero, Brandon the Builder, the Night's King, Joramun and his contemporary kneeler-Starks from Winterfell, all such leaders would have been magnars. Now, if we circle back to Nightfort of yore, and your suspicions of prior Night Kings, or Kings of the Nightfort, my exceptions to this go beyond the semantic realm. First, we have no text to suggest anyone prior to the Night's King ever claimed such a role at the Nightfort. Likewise, we have tales of no prior "queens", before his. Additionally, we know that the Nightfort is the oldest castle on the Wall, and that it houses a very special gate that can be used to pass beyond it. Unless the existence of the Black Gate is a coincidence, I think it is therefore more plausible to suggest that the Nightfort was constructed specifically to house this passage. And what is a passage without something to pass? While not at all impossible, I think it is improbable that the Wall and the Nightfort were constructed at different times for different purposes. So, if we then accept that the Wall and the Black Gate were a part of the same starry blueprint, and that they were constructed by men (or, a man) of the Night's Watch, we must also accept that the 13th man to lead the Night's Watch was also the 13th candidate to rule over the Nightfort. Maester Aemon tells us that the Night's Watch has been "choosing" its own Lord Commander since the time of Bran the Builder. Notably, he does not tell us that the Night's Watch chose Bran the Builder as its leader. And Aemon's statement also seems to suggest that any leaders prior to BtB were also not chosen by the Night's Watch. Thus my old pet theory (bias) rears its blind weirwood face, and yawns wide to admit yet another Brandon of House Stark. Back to my point... rather than suggest prior kings in the north, or of-the-Nightfort, the tale of the Night's King seems, to me, to be a tale of the origin of such authoritarianism in the north. That such authoritarian rule would come for the first time in the darkness of the Long Night, well, is simply poetic symmetry. Cold men are notoriously implacable, and seek to keep summer away until the memory of all warmth flees... but so too are those implacables uniquely suited to such times of death and hopelessness, even if they are inhuman. Not at all. I'm not sure what you are referring to as the "standard chronology", but the canonical chronology speaks of no Kings of Winter prior to the Night's King. If we include semi-canon, and the chronology of the world book, the Night's King is "the oldest of these tales". And BtB=NK is not really an alternative theory, as the text does not provide a contradictory statement. To the contrary: "Some say he was a Bolton," Old Nan would always end. "Some say a Magnar out of Skagos, some say Umber, Flint, or Norrey. Some would have you think he was a Woodfoot, from them who ruled Bear Island before the ironmen came. He never was. He was a Stark, the brother of the man who brought him down." She always pinched Bran on the nose then, he would never forget it. "He was a Stark of Winterfell, and who can say? Mayhaps his name was Brandon. Mayhaps he slept in this very bed in this very room." Thus, the only identity for the Night's King stated emphatically in canon, is, Brandon? Stark. So it seems to me that a Night's King by any other name would be the "alternative theory". Relative to one another, yes. I agree. No chronology is stated. All we know is that they are old, that they have always been from House Stark, and that they have always been from Winterfell. This clearly means that the "Kings of Winter" could not have existed prior to Brandon the Builder, or, if one does not believe in his existence, the construction of Winterfell. I think the story of the Night's King is a historical record of the emergence of Winterfell as the seat of power in the north (removed from the Night's King's Nightfort), but that is yet another pet theory, and this wall of rebuttal is already grown taller than intended. If the KoW do not predate Winterfell, I think they also do not predate the Wall... as that area would not have been a safe construction site until after the Others had been subdued (they "could not stand" against the Last Hero, after his return). If we accept the existence of Brandon the Builder, we are told he began both projects – Winterfell and the Wall. Thus, imo, the Black Gate makes the most sense to me if it is his gate... try as I might, it is damned hard to talk about this stuff without constantly bringing up pet theories. I sincerely apologize. Such are the side effects of far too much weir-sap ingestion over the years.
  4. Why thank you so very much for the compliment @ravenous reader! I'm glad you found it to be a thought-provoking theory, as that was most definitely my goal. And, in reference to @Aegon VII's gearshift: I'll just point out that Ice has a very selective thirst. On the page, it only drank from Gared and Ned. We also know, from the page, that it drank from Lady. We did not witness the actual drinking, but we know Ned requested Ice for Lady's execution. If I am forgetting another victim of Ice, I do hope someone will point it out to me. I know Brienne uses Oathkeeper after Ned's execution for some new killing, but that, to me, is no longer Ned's Ice. Thus I am impressed with a very interesting record for Ned's Ice (not to be confused with the original Ice): Gared – a northern fugitive from the Night's Watch... Executed in the name of "the king's justice" Lady – a northern fugitive from the Wolfswood... Executed in the name of "the king's justice" Eddard – a northern fugitive from Winterfell... Executed in the name of "the king's justice" We are given strong precedent for the act of Northmen (and northern she-wolves) finding early graves in the name of the king's justice. So many readers are quick to accept the idea that Lyanna would have swooned for a married father of two, while her father and brother were executed in the name of the king's justice, even though we have read of Arya beating up a prince on the Trident while her family was in good royal standing. Then there is another example of another she-wolf, Sansa, who became disgusted by the same prince after her family was not in good standing with the royal family. Given all of these precedents, readers still leap and cling to the idea that Lyanna would have broken with these (wolf blooded) characteristics and her own misgivings regarding men who do not keep to one bed. This seems rather odd and off the mark, to me. It smacks of the same false sense of trope-ish security that made Ned's death such a shock (for first time/unsullied readers, anyway). Rather than look at Lyanna's blood, circumstances, precedents, and analogs (Arya, Sansa), readers fall into a very romantic and tragic mindset that clouds their ability to view these things objectively. If we look at the death of Lady, the tears of Sansa, the defiance of Arya, and the executions of three Starks (Rickard, Brandon, Eddard) objectively, I think we are left with a very clear precedent that Rhaegar's death at the Trident would have been joyous news for Lyanna of House Stark, rather than the Romeo and Juliet tragedy most readers seem to project upon her. GRRM preys upon such assumptions rather frequently, both in asoiaf and his other works (the 1000 Worlds series is a particularly relevant example, and is filled with motifs and storylines that are repeated in asoiaf). I would very much like to hear your thoughts on this theory.
  5. 2 quick points. 1. The Night's King was not said to have been the thirteenth "lord commander." He is said to have been the "thirteenth man to lead the Night's Watch." That is a subtle distinction that probably matters little to most folks, but I think it is an important one. It might imply that there were no "lord commanders" prior to the Night's King. If Brandon the Builder was the Night's King, then this notion is supported by Maester Aemon's statement that the Night's Watch has been choosing its own commanders since the tenure of Bran the Builder. (Aemon's statement implies that Brandon the Builder was not chosen by the Night's Watch as its leader... which is yet another echo of the tale of the Night's King.) 2. I'm surprised by your wording in the bold. We have no evidence of "Kings of Winter" prior to the emergence of the Night's King. So, rather than view him as the "last true" KoW, I think he created the idea of Winter's King in the first place. He was the Icy version of Aegon the Conqueror. He created the office. And, like Aegon's successors, each of KoW occupied the title of the original, even if they were not the ones to build the throne/Nightfort.
  6. LOL! Sounds like something I'd say. I don't remember the specifics, but I maintain that Eddard would not have been able to pull down a large tower after a fight with Arthur Dayne that nearly killed him. It was a pile of rocks, used to mark a hilltop. No rooms are mentioned. No interior vs exterior. The only thing we know about the "tower of joy", structurally, is that it contained enough stone for eight cairns and that it was small enough for Ned to pull down himself following the showdown.
  7. Heretic Service Announcement
  8. Mark my words, one day Heresy will be renamed "the Congo Free State."
  9. For the love of the old gods, and the new, can we please untether arguments from the works of Joseph Conrad? LOL Interesting nuance that will be impossible on the show. In the show, obsidian kills ww's, creates ww's, and obsidian can leave Benjen in a Coldhands-state that exists somewhere between the two. Perhaps my previous statement was a bit too heavy handed. D&D are not so much relying upon fan theory as they are creating their own. The overlaps and parallels (such as Benjen=Coldhands) are likely coincidental. BUT.... I think the show's version of the tower of joy does demonstrate some reliance upon fan theory. There's no way Ned could have pulled down that tower in the show, because, well, it wasn't a tower and it was full of people. The books' treatment of the tower long fallen is quite different, smaller, rounder, with no mention of an interior/rooms. The show's version was born right here at westeros.org. I'm not a fan of Brienne ex machina either. Whenever a protagonist is in trouble, we can expect Brienne to show up and cut down a dozen armed men. It's become a bit absurd. Plotwise, I agree she's more interesting in the north than wandering around the Riverlands. But Sansa's plot no longer makes sense. In the books, she's begun to mature and understand Jon's plight in the world. She relates to him. The show has painted itself into a corner with her alliance to Petyr and her role as Alys Karstark+Jeyne Poole. Beyond that, book-Brienne's interest in Jaime seems to have been replaced with hilarious stares from Tormund. While I get a kick out of it, I can't imagine it serving as interesting a plot as Brienne is currently about. She's escorting Jaime to Lady Stoneheart as we speak... or, is about to betray her oath to Catelyn Tully. That's far more interesting to me than the boring invincible character on the screen that seems to be everywhere at once. Dorne was so bad. What was becoming rather intriguing and important in the books was squandered in the name of hissing pixies from a Quentin Tarantino movie. I don't know how to embed images here, but here are some funny memes on the contrast.
  10. That night Sansa dreamed of the riot again. The mob surged around her, shrieking, a maddened beast with a thousand faces. Everywhere she turned she saw faces twisted into monstrous inhuman masks. She wept and told them she had never done them hurt, yet they dragged her from her horse all the same. "No," she cried, "no, please, don't, don't," but no one paid her any heed. She shouted for Ser Dontos, for her brothers, for her dead father and her dead wolf, for gallant Ser Loras who had given her a red rose once, but none of them came. She called for the heroes from the songs, for Florian and Ser Ryam Redwyne and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, but no one heard. Women swarmed over her like weasels, pinching her legs and kicking her in the belly, and someone hit her in the face and she felt her teeth shatter. Then she saw the bright glimmer of steel. The knife plunged into her belly and tore and tore and tore, until there was nothing left of her down there but shiny wet ribbons. When she woke, the pale light of morning was slanting through her window, yet she felt as sick and achy as if she had not slept at all. There was something sticky on her thighs. When she threw back the blanket and saw the blood, all she could think was that her dream had somehow come true. She remembered the knives inside her, twisting and ripping. She squirmed away in horror, kicking at the sheets and falling to the floor, breathing raggedly, naked, bloodied, and afraid. But as she crouched there, on her hands and knees, understanding came. "No, please," Sansa whimpered, "please, no." She didn't want this happening to her, not now, not here, not now, not now, not now, not now. Madness took hold of her. Pulling herself up by the bedpost, she went to the basin and washed between her legs, scrubbing away all the stickiness. By the time she was done, the water was pink with blood. When her maidservants saw it they would know. Then she remembered the bedclothes. She rushed back to the bed and stared in horror at the dark red stain and the tale it told. All she could think was that she had to get rid of it, or else they'd see. She couldn't let them see, or they'd marry her to Joffrey and make her lay with him. Snatching up her knife, Sansa hacked at the sheet, cutting out the stain. If they ask me about the hole, what will I say? Tears ran down her face. She pulled the torn sheet from the bed, and the stained blanket as well. I'll have to burn them. She balled up the evidence, stuffed it in the fireplace, drenched it in oil from her bedside lamp, and lit it afire. Then she realized that the blood had soaked through the sheet into the featherbed, so she bundled that up as well, but it was big and cumbersome, hard to move. Sansa could get only half of it into the fire. She was on her knees, struggling to shove the mattress into the flames as thick grey smoke eddied around her and filled the room, when the door burst open and she heard her maid gasp. In the end it took three of them to pull her away. And it was all for nothing. The bedclothes were burnt, but by the time they carried her off her thighs were bloody again. It was as if her own body had betrayed her to Joffrey, unfurling a banner of Lannister crimson for all the world to see.
  11. That's a bit of a mischaracterization of what I said, don't you think? I'm not Ygritte. I don't accuse men of knowing nothing. Well, unless it's an orange manchild attempting to build a useless phallic symbol on the southern border... but that is an absurd example. I stand by what I (actually) said. D&D have never stated that GRRM told them who Jon's parents are. And it is quite obvious that they are relying upon fan theories for show content. For example, Benjen=Coldhands is an old, discredited theory, and even a cursory comparison of Sansa's show/book plots should make this plain. D&D have Sansa doing all sorts of things that fans have imagined her doing, in great detail, on these very forums. And if you don't believe Sharks have been jumped while riding the wave of fan fiction, you must have completely skipped the Sandsnakes and obsidian ex machina.
  12. I was speaking more to substance, than intelligence. Dany is attracted to aggressive, power-hungry men who are willing to kill their colleagues. Daario is but the latest such mate. He was not the first. Jon stands in stark contrast to that sort of man. Rather than sacrifice his brothers, he's put himself in harm's way for the greater good. That's Quentyn Martell, and we saw how attracted Dany was to Quent. And yes, Dany is quite honest with herself. And she's willing to sleep with bad men. I'm glad she is, as it makes her far more interesting a character, but I think we're barking up the wrong tree if we think she'll be attracted to Jon. Flowers=Womanhood in asoiaf. Post-pubescent men are "men grown," post-pubescent women are "women flowered." A blue flower, growing from a chink in a wall of ice, tells me that Lyanna's flowering caused a crack in Winter. So I would place her first bed of blood in the Year of the False Spring. Barristan believes that Rhaegar loved Lyanna, but he confesses he did not know Rhaegar very well. Still, that remains quite plausible. The idea that Lyanna loved Rhaegar, or would even find him attractive, is far more difficult to demonstrate. The text tells us that Lyanna was more like Arya, who did not swoon for princes – let alone married princes. And even Sansa did not swoon for Joffrey after the execution of her father. We also know that Lyanna did not look kindly upon men who kept more than one bed, and sired bastards within them. So while I can see why Barristan might believe Rhaegar loved Lyanna, as it fits with a pro-dragon POV reconciling the narrative that Rhaegar abducted Lyanna (which we still do not know actually happened), it is far more difficult for me to see why/how Lyanna would love Rhaegar. To the point of this OP, I think the blue flower+crack represent the way Lyanna's presence was able to break the barrier that had kept direwolves from Winterfell for 200 years.
  13. GRRM's writing is heavily influenced by his knowledge of mythology, philosophy, and science. And, once you've read his non-asoiaf works, you can really appreciate how much he incorporates and blends them together. I hope you'll join the Hearth and contribute to the discourse and debate! But yeah, I would call GRRM's style something like Environmental Nietzscheism, or Nietzsche-Environmentalism. It is extremely well-informed, and original even in its imitation of esoteric tropes. It is also extremely nihilistic in its treatment of humanity, but does seem to have hope/respect for nature itself and the evolution of the species. Mayhaps. Jon really cared for Ygritte, but she was never his wife. Jon's wife has always been Duty. Jon's mistress has always been Honor. Dany wants pretty men with very little between the ears. She is not attracted to selflessness. And, once she comes to Westeros, I have a feeling her child-eating dragons will make her seem less like the naive young girl she pretends to be. Opposites can attract though, so who knows? I can't say I think Jon will want Dany, and I can't say Dany will want Jon. Thus far, their love interests have seemed to point in very different directions. And, this is GRRM we're talking about. He's about as likely to write a happily-ever-after love story as Stephen King.
  14. You'll have to submit them there, my friend. Our door has always been open. I just formatted 50 questions from people who submitted them appropriately. And there's a whole reddit thread full of great questions that will be left out, save for the few who came to add them at TLH. But these are fun questions! 1. I don't think GRRM cares about that stuff as much as we might like for him to care about it. 2. HBO doesn't know who Jon's parents are. D&D made a guess regarding Jon's mother, and his mother alone. (Clearly, the last two seasons have taught us that they are relying upon fan theories and speculation in lieu of text. Sharks have been jumped. You don't have to take my word for it, you can ask Benjen/Coldhands, or Sansa/Alys/Jeyne.) 3. Clearly, it's Westeros. A silent, watchful protagonist. The continent with many hearts. Trees with eyes. Yup. I'll be spending some time with him very soon. And yes! Very tricksy bird. An open-ended question would be ideal. I'll ask as many as I can, but the winner's question will be asked first.
  15. Quick heads up, Heretics. Today is the last day to submit a question for GRRM. If you are interested, you will need to submit your questions here. Poll begins tomorrow, winning suggestion receives a gift (either an autograph from GRRM, or an amazon gift card).