Crowfood's Daughter

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  1. Hello Everyone! Today we are going to be doing another Ironborn section. In the previous sections we discussed the origins of the Ironborn myth of the Grey King, his sacrificial drowning and rebirth into a Christ-like figure, a mortal avatar of their Drowned God. As we went further, we found drowning to be at the crux of his death and a fiery kiss being the key to his resurrection. In part two we found the inspiration for these drowned resurrections in merling legend and also found the common denominator that ties Patchface to the Drowned God. This common denominator ultimately led to evidence of the Grey King and his Grey Grace being the same figure. Something that we also noticed was the foolish symbolism which is peppered into every magical drowning which in essence is why we see Tyrian dressing up in motley before he goes overboard. So, in Part III, we are going to examine the monomyth of Azor Ahai. We are also going to continue touching on greyscale. But before we do that I would encourage you to read an earlier essay, The Grey King fought Garth the Greenhand if you haven’t already done so. I find myself referring back to it and it is something of a foundation to understanding the Grey King. The seriously brilliant @LmL has called it ‘required reading’ in his Garth of the Gallows podcast (you honor me, ser), and it will help you to understand the grey/green brotherly concept. Alright, so let’s get started. First, I bet you are wondering WHY the hell our dear writer is throwing down all the fool symbolism for the drownings…and yes, I can answer that. Harlequin So, as I mentioned in part II, I had been doing some research. While looking into all things fishy, I noticed a suggested topic at the bottom of the Mermaid Wikipedia page. It was a skin condition which causes the skin to take on a scale-like quality. The condition is called Ichthyosis, which is derived from the Greek word ichthys which means ‘fish’. I thought this might be something to take more than just a passing glance since greyscale is also a disease characterized by its scale like quality, pretty easy to find similarity there. I also decided to look closer because I had heard of this condition previously in the forums. If Ichthyosis sounds familiar, it is probably because you have read some Redditor posts (Here, Here, Here and Here) who all have noted that the most severe form of this, Harlequin Ichthyosis, is the closest real-world match to Rhaego’s dragon deformities. Harlequin Ichthyosis is characterized at birth by the infant’s whole body being encased in an 'armor' of thick white plates of skin that resemble the checkered pattern of a famous fool’s costume named Harlequin. Harlequin was a character portrayed by the real world equivalent of mummer’s troupes in the 17th-19th centuries. It has been suggested the term Harlequin originated from Hellequin, the leader of the French version of the Wild Hunt. Harlequin is also associated with King Herla (Herla-King) who is also a leader of the Germanic Wild Hunt and a kind of Germanized Odin if you will. In other versions, the leader of the Wild hunt is biblical Cain, King Arthur, Cernunnos (aka Herne the Hunter), and even an archaic version of Santa called Old Nick (which is why the storyline has a fool named Jinglebells). The Wild Hunt is basically a mono-myth found in many European cultures describing a group of demons chasing damned souls to Hell… you will find our writer using little bits of inspiration from each of these other Wild Hunt leaders all throughout the storyline. In case you are still skeptical about the Harlequin greyscale/fool connection, you might also remember in the Prophet chapter Harlon Greyjoy was the name of the Greyjoy brother who died of greyscale. If you have read my grey/green essay, you will also understand these next references: We also have Harle the Hunstman and Harle the Handsome who are brothers who hate each other because of a woman. There are also the brothers Harlon the Hunter and Herndon of the Horn (Herne the Hunter-->another wild hunt leader) who shared a wife. Additionally, in the Vale Petyr mentions Harlan of House Hunter killed his father and will be killing his older brother in due time. In a nutshell, GRRM is setting up the symbolism to point toward Azor Ahai having been the leader of a Wild Hunt so to speak while pitting two brothers against each other in the Grey/Green cycle, the symbolism suggests the other brother may in fact be leading a Wild Hunt of his own. Let’s take a look at this passage now: “My father threw me down a well the day I was born, but I was so ugly that the water witch who lived down there spat me back.” He pulled off the other boot, then did a cartwheel along the deck, spraying all of them. Young Griff laughed. “Where did you learn that?” “The mummers taught me,” he lied. “My mother loved me best of all her children because I was so small. She nursed me at her breast till I was seven. That made my brothers jealous, so they stuffed me in a sack and sold me to a mummer’s troupe. When I tried to run off the master mummer cut off half my nose, so I had no choice but to go with them and learn to be amusing.” Here we see, Tryrion doing cartwheels and telling a falsehood about being drowned and then being saved by a magical woman, he is then sold to a mummer’s troupe, and has his nose cut off. Taking what we know of the drownings and resurrections in Part II, would you be interested to know that the trademark of Harlequin was his acrobatics, and that a deformity of Harlequin Ichthyosis is an absent nose? He was very nimble and performed the sort of acrobatics the audience expected to see. The character would never perform a simple action when the addition of a cartwheel, somersault, or flip would spice up the movement. ---From wikipedia on Harlequin The disease has been known since 1750, and was first described in the diary of a cleric from Charleston, South Carolina, the Rev. Oliver Hart: "On Thursday, April the 5th, 1750, I went to see a most deplorable object of a child, born the night before of one Mary Evans in 'Chas'town. It was surprising to all who beheld it, and I scarcely know how to describe it. The skin was dry and hard and seemed to be cracked in many places, somewhat resembling the scales of a fish. The mouth was large and round and open. It had no external nose, but two holes where the nose should have been. The eyes appeared to be lumps of coagulated blood, turned out, about the bigness of a plum, ghastly to behold. It had no external ears, but holes where the ears should be. The hands and feet appeared to be swollen, were cramped up and felt quite hard. The back part of the head was much open. It made a strange kind of noise, very low, which I cannot describe. It lived about forty-eight hours and was alive when I saw it."—From Wikipedia on Harlequin-type Ichthyosis So now you know why Tyrian gets to cartwheel and somersault all through the storyline and why our writer had his nose cut off it is a nod to Harlequin and a real world disease that has inspired dragon deformities and greyscale. Nissa Nissa I have tried to stay away from the Grey King’s Merling wife for as long as humanly possible. She is an enigma and as the wife of Azor Ahai she is also Nissa Nissa. She is a integral part of the Azor Ahai monomyth and is found in other tales such as the mermaid-like Elenei or in the story of Florian the Fool where Jonquil is spotted bathing. She can be found in more places than you might have realized, and when you find Nissa Nissa you will also find your Azor Ahai. Let’s look at one example: An old legend told in Pentos claims that the Andals slew the swan maidens who lured travelers to their deaths in the Velvet Hills that lie to the east of the Free City. A hero whom the Pentoshi singers call Hukko led the Andals at that time, and it is said that he slew the seven maids not for their crimes but instead as sacrifice to his gods. There are some maesters who have noted that Hukko may well be a rendering of the name of Hugor. If you recall from Part II, the trademark of the classic run of the mill mermaid myth is luring sailors to their deaths with their song and beauty, they are often a hazard, a femme fatale, although sirens are not true mermaids they are often equated with mermaids because of this trademark. In the myth, the Sirens are most often depicted as bird women. So in the story of Hukko, having maidens associated with aquatic-birds who lure travelers to their deaths is simply putting a spin on the age-old merling/siren myth. It’s actually a pretty simple, in your face parallel. Let’s talk about the Andals making seven of everything for a moment. Chances are there weren’t really seven swan maidens since the Andals make everything into Seven to further testify to their religion. Knowing this, how much would you want to bet Hukko is in fact a variation of Hugor as the maester suggests and he slew just one really special ‘swan maiden’? Let’s examine this conversation between Illyrio and Tyrion. The conversation at hand was the greyscale Illyrio’s wife had succumbed to and Tyrion suddenly thinks of this about Hugor Hill and his lovely swan maiden: “A Braavosi trading galley called at Pentos on her way back from the Jade Sea. The Treasure carried cloves and saffron, jet and jade, scarlet samite, green silk … and the grey death. We slew her oarsmen as they came ashore and burned the ship at anchor, but the rats crept down the oars and paddled to the quay on cold stone feet. The plague took two thousand before it ran its course.” Magister Illyrio closed the locket. “I keep her hands in my bedchamber. Her hands that were so soft …” Tyrion thought of Tysha. He glanced out at the fields where once the gods had walked. “What sort of gods make rats and plagues and dwarfs?” Another passage from The Seven-Pointed Star came back to him. “The Maid brought him forth a girl as supple as a willow with eyes like deep blue pools, and Hugor declared that he would have her for his bride. So the Mother made her fertile, and the Crone foretold that she would bear the king four-and-forty mighty sons. The Warrior gave strength to their arms, whilst the Smith wrought for each a suit of iron plates.” Hugor Hill is ultimately another adaption of the Azor Ahai mono-myth. What is funny to me is that Hugor Hill is the same alias Tyrion takes when he is on the Shy Maid. So in the Sorrows chapter we literally get Hugor Hill an Azor Ahai figure drowning and being saved by the woman that Tyrion gets to see bathing all the time (just like Jonquil). Let’s take a look at another one: Ser Gallawho of What?” He snorted. “Never heard o’ him. Why was he so bloody perfect?” “Ser Galladon was a champion of such valor that the Maiden herself lost her heart to him. She gave him an enchanted sword as a token of her love. The Just Maid, it was called. No common sword could check her, nor any shield withstand her kiss. So this time instead of the Maid bringing her forth the merling wife is instead the Maiden herself. Just to solidify the drowning symbolism of Azor Ahai, Brienne also had a brother named Galladon and look what happened to him as Brienne tells it: “Galladon drowned when I was four and he was eight”. Of course he did. Now I am sure most were pretty much tracking these examples of the Azor Ahai/Nissa Nissa monomyth, but let’s not forget the Grey King had greyscale and look at this example you may not be aware of: MARIS THE MAID, the Most Fair, whose beauty was so renowned that fifty lords vied for her hand at the first tourney ever to be held in Westeros. (The victor was the Grey Giant, Argoth Stone-Skin, but Maris wed King Uthor of the High Tower before he could claim her, and Argoth spent the rest of his days raging outside the walls of Oldtown, roaring for his bride.) If this tale of Maris sounds familiar it is because it is literally the EXACT same storyline as Helen of Troy. Helen of Troy was the most beautiful woman in the world, the face that launched a thousand ships and because of her beauty there was a competition for her hand and King Menelaus wins this competition and is supposed to get Helen…except Menaleus doesn’t get to keep Helen because she is abducted by Paris and an epic war breaks out. Similarly, Maris is the ‘most fair’ and her beauty also causes a competition for her hand and the Grey Giant emerges victorious so her hand should rightly go to him, except Uthor plays the role of Paris and ends up with her instead…and then guess what happens… Let’s just look at the tale of Elenei once more. If you notice Elenei is also a variation of Helen—you will also notice that there is a theme of this mermaid-like woman whose union seems to be tied to a war with the Storm God. Additionally, it is said the Grey King “took his mermaid wife and planned his wars with the Storm God.” I had mentioned earlier some examples that were obvious nods to Harlequin and Cernnunos (aka Herne the Hunter); those being the duo of Harle the Hunstman and Harle the Handsome, and also of Harlon the Hunter and Herndon of the Horn. With these two examples there is one common denominator—a woman they shared. We are going to continue touching on this concept in the future essays, but just realize there is symbolism behind Rhaegar also winning a tournament and crowning Lyanna the “queen of love and beauty” and then running off to steal her. Broken Swords In addition to Nissa Nissa, a broken sword is also part of the monomyth. If you look at the story of Azor Ahai, his sword broke twice before he tempered his blade in the heart of Nissa Nissa. In the story of the Last Hero, we also find a sword that is broken. Additionally, the prologue of GOT provided symbolism of this Last Hero character right from the get go as we also see a Night’s Watch brother whose sword also breaks as he is fighting the Others. When we look at the Sorrows chapter, Tyrion notices a few shapes in the distance as they draw closer to the Bridge of Dream: “The fog clung to them, damp and chilly. A sunken temple loomed up out of the greyness as Yandry and Duck leaned upon their poles and paced slowly from prow to stern, pushing. They passed a marble stair that spiraled up from the mud and ended jaggedly in air. Beyond, half-seen, were other shapes: shattered spires, headless statues, trees with roots bigger than their boat.” Later, there is the Bridge of Dream rewind and Tyrion notices these items again, and these shapes are pointed out to the reader for a second time “A trickle of moisture ran down his spine and made him shudder. The Sorrows drifted by them. Peering through the mists, he glimpsed a broken spire, a headless hero, an ancient tree torn from the ground and upended, its huge roots twisting through the roof and windows of a broken dome. Why does all of this seem so familiar?” And for a third time we get our broken spire: As the Shy Maid drew nearer, though, the shape of it came clearer. A wooden keep could be seen beside the water, rotted and overgrown. Slender spires took form above it, some of them snapped off like broken spears. Roofless towers appeared and disappeared, thrusting blindly upward. To put it in a nutshell, these broken spires are a broken sword symbol neatly tucked into the Sorrows chapter. There is often reference to spires being weaponlike as we see in the metaphor of broken spears, and you can even see other instances outside of the Sorrows chapter such as in Bran’s fever dream “a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires of ice waited to embrace him. They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled upon their points. He was desperately afraid. Another drowned man, Davos Seaworth, was also washed ashore to the oceanic spires located outside of Blackwater Bay. These spires were likewise given this spear like reference as the rock grouping is named the “Spears of the Merling King”. A broken spear is also what Tyrian was using at the end of the fiery Blackwater battle before he was cut down by a “white shadow” and fell in the river. So, putting the idea of spires being like spears or weapons is kind of the imagery that is being implied by our writer, and placing these broken weapon metaphors throughout the Sorrows chapter is simply hinting at the monomyth of our historic hero. Knowing the Grey King was Azor Ahai, and that his Grey Grace is just another version of our Grey King, the broken spires throughout the Sorrows chapter is in its simplest form is an allusion to monomythic legend that has been detailed thus far. A broken sword is also found wielded by another legendary hero, the Titan of Braavos. The Titan of is a green clad warrior depicted with green hair who emerges from the sea. He is a green legendary hero who holds a broken sword in one hand as he heralds the rising and setting of the sun. This is another obvious Azor Ahai myth, if you have read the grey/green essay you will know the Grey King to be the brother of Garth the Greenhand. One of the great finds in the discussion on the grey/green topic was the sigil of House Greyiron, who were the first driftwood kings after the Grey King. When you look at the sigil for this extinct house, you see the sigil is a picture of ‘the Sea King’ crowned with green hair and a green beard. This sigil we came to realize in our discussion is most likely a mugshot, so to speak, of the Grey King prior to his grey transformation. So knowing the Grey King also had grey hair, seeing a statue which comes to life and wades into sea with a broken sword and green hair with fire in his eyes is another obvious piece of the monomyth. Petyr Baelish’s grandfather also bore the Titan’s head for a sigil which Sansa notices when they stay in his keep in the Fingers. His shield is displayed on the wall and we see another broken sword seated next to the Titan shield. Above the hearth hung a broken longsword and a battered oaken shield, its paint cracked and flaking. The device painted on the shield was one Sansa did not know; a grey stone head with fiery eyes, upon a light green field. “My grandfather’s shield,” Petyr explained when he saw her gazing at it. The Titan of Braavos is not the only green haired hero within the monomyth. I have seen some conclude the ‘Sea King’ sigil of House Greyiron a depiction of the Merling King. This is somewhat influenced by an eerily similar sigil of House Manderly that depicts a merman with green hair and beard. If we start piecing the myth together once it is realized that the Grey King was not always grey, it becomes fairly easy to understand the ‘Sea King’ and the Grey King who ruled the sea itself are one in the same. However, if you go a step further and toy with the conventions of the Greyiron Sigil being the head of the Merling King, other things begin to line up. Basically, the Merling King is an east coast version of the Grey King. EAST SIDE! **throws up mermaid gang sign** As with the broken spires, GRRM can get a little sly with his broken sword symbolism. The Merling King is a great example of this. It is not hard to see the Merling King connections within the Grey King legend. We are already aware the Grey King is said to have taken a mermaid to wife. Aeron mentions there are mermaids in the Drowned God’s watery halls and Asha mentions merlings are the subjects of the Drowned God when she said, “Below the waves the merlings HAIL THEIR LORD by blowing into seashells”. We have also seen in part I that there are even some Ironborn who believe themselves to be descended from fish or merlings. So the Merling King, in a sense is just a spin placed on the monomyth itself. If we recall, after Davos was drowned in the fiery Battle of the Blackwater, he washed ashore to the Spears of the Merling King which gives us our key drowning association. Later, in another Davos chapter he is taken to Mermen Court and an allusion to the Grey king being the Merling King is provided: "The knight wore silver armor, his greaves and gauntlet inlaid with niello to suggest flowing fronds of seaweed. The helm beneath his arm was the head of the merling king, with a crown of mother-of-pearl and a jutting beard of jet and jade. His own beard was as grey as the winter sea. Davos rose. “May I know your name, ser?” “Ser Marlon Manderly.” He was a head taller than Davos and three stones heavier, with slate-grey eyes and a haughty way of speaking." As we can see, Marlon Manderly has basically put on a Merling King personification symbol. We can also see by the bearded helm that the Merling King is indeed depicted with green facial hair, however it is what is underneath that armor that gave me pause. Underneath we have a grey man as grey as the winter sea. The above passage is eluding the idea that the Grey King and the Merling King are one in the same. Has anyone ever noticed the almost duplicated descriptions between the two? "The Grey King ruled the sea itself and took a mermaid to wife, so his sons and daughters might live above the waves or beneath them as they chose. His hair and beard and eyes were as grey as a winter sea, and from these he took his name. The crown he wore was made of driftwood, so all who knelt before him might know that his kingship came from the sea and the Drowned God who dwells beneath it." In the Davos chapter prior to Mermen’s court, Davos is in White Harbor staring at the Merman statue centered in the courtyard and what do you know, we have another broken sword symbol, and we also have our storm reference nestled neatly afterward. He was here for the night. He gazed up at Old Fishfoot with his broken trident. I have come through rain and wrack and storm. I will not go back without doing what I came for, no matter how hopeless it may seem. He might have lost his fingers and his luck, but he was no ape in velvet. He was a King’s Hand. Take the legend of House Velaryon as another example revealing the Merling King to be part of the monomyth. House Velaryon is said to have received a ‘Driftwood Throne’ from the Merling King to conclude a pact. As we already know, the legendary throne of the Grey King (which is now lost to history) was not Nagga's bones, but driftwood. The books mention Nagga’s teeth made his crown and the jaws had made his throne. TWOIAF later contradicts this and mentions his crown was made of driftwood. "The Grey King ruled the sea itself and took a mermaid to wife, so his sons and daughters might live above the waves or beneath them as they chose. His hair and beard and eyes were as grey as a winter sea, and from these he took his name. The crown he wore was made of driftwood, so all who knelt before him might know that his kingship came from the sea and the Drowned God who dwells beneath it." So now we have the Grey King’s driftwood throne which is lost to history, and we also have an ancient driftwood throne that was gifted to the ancestors of House Velaryon to conclude a pact with the Merling King. This is not coincidence…not at all. Knowing what we know about Nissa Nissa and the drowning storyline, let’s take a look at our man Petyr as he speaks about his upcoming travel to the Vale, they discuss the hazards of the autumn storms and we are introduced to the Merling King ship. “How soon might you leave?” “On the morrow, if the winds permit. There’s a Braavosi galley standing out past the chain, taking on cargo by boat. The Merling King. I’ll see her captain about a berth.” “You will miss the king’s wedding,” said Mace Tyrell. Petyr Baelish gave a shrug. “Tides and brides wait on no man, my lord. Once the autumn storms begin the voyage will be much more hazardous. Drowning would definitely diminish my charms as a bridegroom.” Lord Tyrell chuckled. “True. Best you do not linger.” “May the gods speed you on your way,” the High Septon said. “All King’s Landing shall pray for your success.” Lord Redwyne pinched at his nose. “May we return to the matter of the Greyjoy alliance? In my view, there is much to be said for it. Greyjoy’s longships will augment my own fleet and give us sufficient strength at sea to assault Dragonstone and end Stannis Baratheon’s pretensions.” “King Balon’s longships are occupied for the nonce,” Lord Tywin said politely, “as are we. Greyjoy demands half the kingdom as the price of alliance, but what will he do to earn it? Fight the Starks? He is doing that already. Why should we pay for what he has given us for free? The best thing to do about our lord of Pyke is nothing, in my view. Granted enough time, a better option may well present itself. One that does not require the king to give up half his kingdom.” Tyrion watched his father closely. There’s something he’s not saying. He remembered those important letters Lord Tywin had been writing, the night Tyrion had demanded Casterly Rock. What was it he said? Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens … He wondered who the “better option” was, and what sort of price he was demanding. Directly after discussing storms, drowning, the Merling King and brides, they turn their conversation to the Ironborn fleet. The better option mentioned we later learn is the bastard of Driftmank, Aurane Waters. The only problem with their plan is that Aurane doesn’t fight the Ironmen as small council had hoped, and according to Patchface’s prophesy he may well join his fleet with ‘merlings’ in an alliance very soon; much like the parallel we see in the Dance of Dragons where the Blacks, which was heavily comprised of Velaryons, also sided with the Ironborn in an alliance. Closing Thoughts Welp, I am up to page nine again and going to cut this off. The main point of this essay was to bring home the idea of the monomyth of Azor Ahai and his mermaid wife. We didn’t get to really touch on Greyscale the way I wanted to, but that will come in probably the next essay. What I want you to do is question why we have a character who has the head of the Titan of Braavos for a family sigil with a broken sword displayed on the wall and rode on a ship called the Merling King when he spirited (stole) Sansa away to the Vale. I also want you to know there is another myth much like that of mermaids and sirens, it is a tale of a cunning man who wanted to be the 'ruler of them all' and lured people to their death with his gift of voice. This man became the first mockingbird.
  2. I believe TWIOAF also notes the river kings of House Justman who was a bastard of a Blackwood and a Bracken. This was before the Andals. There is also mention of Lann the Clever being a bastard of Rowan of Goldtree or Florys the Fox.
  3. Hey, I noticed you had seen a likeness of patchface to Harlequin in another thread. Maybe Patchface and Nennymoons? I just wanted to share this because I think you were EXACTLY right! When I was doing my mermaid research, I glanced by one of the wiki related suggested topics that are usually listed at the bottom of a wiki page. I passed by it because it was a medical condition, and didn’t think it was really worth my time reviewing, so I skipped it and now I’m kicking myself because it is the “missing link” so to speak and explains why we see fool symbolism in all these drowned characters and its relation to greyscale. The medical condition is Ichthyosis, it is a condition of varying degrees of dry skin that accumulates without sloughing off properly causing a scale pattern said to resemble a fish. In fact, this condition is named with a greek root of Ichthys which means ‘fish’. Similarly greyscale is also a disease characterized by scale pattern which develops on the skin of those affected. A severe congenital form of this is called Harlequin Ichthyosis (google at your own risk). According to the Wikipedia, Newborns with harlequin-type ichthyosis present with diamond shaped scales that resemble the pattern of a historic comic fool called Harlequin. In the 18th century the use of jesters had mostly died out and was replaced by traveling groups of jesters. It has been suggested that the name Harlequin originates with an Old French term harlequin/hellequin, the leader of the French version of the wild hunt, roaming the countryside with a group of demons chasing the damned souls of evil people to Hell. This figure is associated with Herla or Herla King is a legendary leader of the mythical Germanic Wild Hunt. Herla often has been identified as a Germanized Woden or Odin. In other versions, some other characters such as Cain and Hern the Hunter (version of Cernunos) are the leaders of this hunt. So what we have here is a condition connected to being fishy and having a hard scale-like body, then we find that the severe type is named after a leader of the wild hunt and its connection to fools. The funny thing about Harlequin is that his arch nemesis Perriot is a creepy looking clown that wears all white. If you remember the Prophet chapter Harlon Greyjoy was a brother who died of greyscale. We also have Harle the Hunstman and Harle the Handsome who are brothers who hate each other. There are also the brothers Harlon the Hunter and Herndon of the Horn who shared a wife. Additionally, Petyr believes Harlan Hunter killed his father and will be killing his older brother in due time. Also, you had quoted Ariel's Song from the Tempest in relation to Patchface's Ding-dong bell. I wanted to add that is Ariel's song, as in the heroine from the Little Mermaid.
  4. I would like to add in "The Wierwoods" by Thomas Burnett Swann? It is about the Etruscans who have a centuries long pact with the people of a wooded place called the Weirwoods. The people of these woods are called the Weir ones and there are some who are much like the CotF with slitted gold cat eyes and also webbed feet that make a squish sound when they walk. Anyway there is a father who breaks this pact and steals a weir-one for his daughter as a slave.
  5. From what I see, Danny fits into both roles by attempting to revive her husband with kissing, and later torching him turns him into a dragon waking from stone, a statue that comes to life. She also sacrifices herself as Nissa Nissa is said to have done and when the flames go out we can see our naked lady. This is symbolic of venus, goddess of love. The same idea is echoed in the tale of Florian espying his Jonquil bathing naked and is brought full circle when Tyrian espies Septa Lemore bathing naked, and Septa Lemore is the one that saves him. So Danny is given both Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa symbolism in that sense.
  6. Thanks so Much RR! Littlefinger is going to be discussed in the last part of this series. What happens on the water stair is pretty significant. Look some themes such as rising high and falling, broken stairways, broken swords, broken spires. Hopefully I will be able to flesh it out so that it will make sense and your mocking theme is there as well!!
  7. As far as the woman goes you may want to check out the story of Perseus. Remember when I talked about Danae being his mom and the relation to the Baelor myth in the series. Perseus is a guy going around turning people to stone, additionally he is the guy that rescues Andromeda from a great sea beast which was called the kraken in the Clash of the Titans adaption (Release the Kraken! <---- I loved that part) anyway, dude saves Andromeda, yet she is still betrothed to another but he married her anyway and a huge fight broke out at their wedding (sound familiar? broken betrothals...fights breaking out at weddings anyone?). Something I am looking at right now.
  8. You have been paying attention!! Valar Dohaeris my friend.
  9. Sounds to me much like the role of the huntsman in snow white. The huntsman is another variation of the green man and the tale of smaow white has the same element of waking someone with a symbolic kiss. Something to think about, you may want to look at Florian Greysteel's role in tPatQ, it is kind of along those lines. ETA: wow, smaow white...LOL! I guess I can't spell today.
  10. That is exactly what I was thinking!
  11. Hello everyone! I was just wondering if everyone was aware of a book called "The Wierwoods" by Thomas Burnett Swann? I saw it on Amazon and it looked promising so I went ahead and bought it. Anyway it is about the Etruscans who have a centuries long pact with the people of a wooded place called the Weirwoods. The people of these woods are called the Weir ones and there are some who are much like the CotF with slitted gold cat eyes and also webbed feet that make a squish sound when they walk. Anyway there is a father who breaks this pact and steals a weir-one for his daughter as a slave. It has been quite promising so far and just wanted to share as I think this book probably influenced our beloved writer. Just go on amazon and type in the author and title have a look!
  12. I am glad you caught on to the Grey King originally being subservient as this is something that I will hope to touch on, and it seems the symbolism points to the Grey King being similar to Orys Baratheon, a bastard brother who was like his right hand man so to speak. I am still saving and analyzing everything, but that looks like where some things are pointing. I hope you noticed the cage Garin is in, I think you were looking at some trapped greenseer symbolism...well there is an example right there, you may also see some turtles shacked and others caged or shackled later on, I guess just keep an eye out. Rhaegar and Lyanna are a great parallel, Robert being the Summer King roaring for his bride. Similarly Asha is going to have the Anvilbreaker and his Hammer after her. One thing that I hope people will take from this series that I have yet to really touch on is that the Long Night battle was over a woman so to speak...a stolen woman. A Long Night style Helen of Troy. I am probably going to get to her in part three. I had never noticed Jorah as a fool's knight, but now that you mention it he really does check many of the boxes.
  13. Hello Everyone! The last topic I posted discussed the origins of the Ironborn myth of the Grey King, his sacrificial drowning and rebirth and its parallels to a Christ-like figure, a mortal avatar of their Drowned God. The legend of the Grey King in a sense is meant to give us clues, clues that are lost to different cultural points of view in the Azor Ahai myth. Even though there are some cultures who see the Grey King as going wicked and committing sin; there are other cultural accounts that reveal him as a sacrificial hero. As we went further, we found drowning to be at the crux of his death and a fiery kiss being the key to his resurrection. The tales of Nagga and merlings are likely the tales of a shipwrecked people coming into contact with the First Men after a supernatural storm. So in today’s topic, we are going to examine a couple of things related to the Ironborn and merlings, but before we can do that, we are going to explore merlings in real world myth. The Merling Myth Merlings are aquatic half-human creatures that can be found in myth throughout the world. While there are some stories that stood out while researching, there seemed to be an overall theme: storms, sinking ships and drowning. In many tales, mermaids are classically femme fatales and enchantresses who lure men to death with their beauty or song. Merlings are often linked with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. Even sighting a mermaid can be an unfortunate omen, both foretelling an approaching storm or even causing it. This is exactly what the Grey King is believed to be connected to floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. Like the Grey King before his transformation, in Greek myth, mermen were often depicted with green seaweed-like hair, a beard, and a trident. In Irish versions, mermen are described with green hair, teeth and skin. Merlings are most often depicted as half-human and half fish but can also be depicted as aquatic shapeshifters or skinchangers who take the form of other animals such as horses, swans and seals. Merlings are not always wicked however, in some tales they can be a human’s protector by providing assistance; teaching cures for disease; and bestowing boons, gifts and rewards. In fact, they even fall in love with humans. The most iconic example of mermaids in literature is Hans Christian Andersen's, The Little Mermaid. It seems GRRM has made a point to give a nod to this fairytale particularly. As you may have noticed, Patchface is a guy said to be saved by mermaids and is always singing “under the sea”. Similarly, TWOIAF also details a certain ‘Ursula’ Upcliff who was the self-styled “Bride of the Merling King”. This is this tale which I believe inspired what happened on the shores of Old Wyk that fateful night. In the original Little Mermaid story, a young mermaid falls in love with a human prince whom she saves from drowning after his ship is wrecked in a storm. The mermaid falls in love with the prince and trades her voice to a sea-witch (named Ursula in the Disney version) in exchange for a chance to win his love. This mermaid also sacrifices an exceedingly long life in order to become human, another hefty price. Similarly, in ASOIAF there is also a tale of fair Elenei who happens to be mermaid-like and trades her immortality for a mortal’s love and ends up saving Durran from the wrath of the storm. See for yourself: “The songs said that Storm’s End had been raised in ancient days by Durran, the first Storm King, who had won the love of the fair Elenei, daughter of the sea god and the goddess of the wind. On the night of their wedding, Elenei had yielded her maidenhood to a mortal’s love and thus doomed herself to a mortal’s death, and her grieving parents had unleashed their wrath and sent the winds and waters to batter down Durran’s hold. His friends and brothers and wedding guests were crushed beneath collapsing walls or blown out to sea, but Elenei sheltered Durran within her arms so he took no harm, and when the dawn came at last he declared war upon the gods and vowed to rebuild.” Knowing there is already a tale of a man who lived a thousand years who fought the storm god and was protected by his mermaid wife, doesn’t it just make you wonder about the what happened to the grey king in his resurrection knowing he also took a mermaid to wife and also lived a thousand years and also planned his wars against the Storm God? That is right, that fateful night his mermaid wife gave him the kiss of life. There is also another tale in ASOIAF which is mighty unusual. Remember when we examined the ritual of the Ironborn “kiss of life” and its similarities to the R’hllor “last kiss” ritual? If we recall, the last kiss was called the kiss of life by Thoros after it proved effective at bringing Beric back from the dead. After this resurrection, Beric began taking on some suspicious corpse looking Azor Ahai greenseer symbolism. In the below passage we also see mention of resurrection and living 1000 years…sound like someone we know? Then we see mention of a man who was a statue who was apparently brought back to life by the kiss of a mysterious woman. A statue is a lifeless object which is something of a metaphor for death as people become statues after they die, this is best exemplified in the crypts of Winterfell. ““The Shrouded Lord has ruled these mists since Garin’s day,” said Yandry. “Some say that he himself is Garin, risen from his watery grave.” The dead do not rise,” insisted Haldon Halfmaester, “and no man lives a thousand years. Yes, there is a Shrouded Lord. There have been a score of them. When one dies another takes his place. This one is a corsair from the Basilisk Islands who believed the Rhoyne would offer richer pickings than the Summer Sea.” “Aye, I’ve heard that too,” said Duck, “but there’s another tale I like better. The one that says he’s not like t’other stone men, that he started as a statue till a grey woman came out of the fog and kissed him with lips as cold as ice.” The Shrouded Lord Where do I begin? The Dolorous stroke, shrouds, greyscale, roaring giants, kissing, turtles and fools and there is a woman too. The Grey King is his Grey Grace himself. This may seem unlikely and if you are skeptical, that is okay, just keep reading. So what do we know about the Shrouded Lord? According to tales: “The Shrouded Lord has ruled these mists since Garin’s day,” said Yandry. “Some say that he himself is Garin, risen from his watery grave.” “The dead do not rise,” insisted Haldon Halfmaester, “and no man lives a thousand years. Yes, there is a Shrouded Lord. There have been a score of them. When one dies another takes his place. This one is a corsair from the Basilisk Islands who believed the Rhoyne would offer richer pickings than the Summer Sea.” “Aye, I’ve heard that too,” said Duck, “but there’s another tale I like better. The one that says he’s not like t’other stone men, that he started as a statue till a grey woman came out of the fog and kissed him with lips as cold as ice.” We also know that GRRM was going to have a chapter where Tyrion was going to meet the Shrouded Lord, but the chapter eventually was re-written and later altogether scapped to the point that the Shrouded Lord encounter became only a dream allowing the reader to speculate what actually happened. It’s a swell, spooky, evocative chapter, but you won’t read it in DANCE. It took me down a road I decided I did not want to travel, so I went back and ripped it out. So, unless I change my mind again, it’s going the way of the draft of LORD OF THE RINGS where Tolkien has Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin reach the Prancing Pony and meet… a weatherbeaten old hobbit ranger named “Trotter.” While there has been much speculation regarding why this chapter was scrapped, most readers have deduced that the reason why Tyrion never met the Shrouded Lord was the path of magic and the chapter being too magical in a sense for GRRMs low high fantasy style. To quote one redditor: Magic is ASOIAF is very aloof, a lot of it is hinted at and implied, but we actually see very few direct manifestations of magic, especially when it comes to gods and deities and such. A lot of it is about the perception of power and magic, it’s about people believing magic exists, and about the way that power lies where people believe it lies. There are definitely a few direct cases of magic being present but for the most part it’s left pretty ambiguous, unreliable narration can account for a lot of exaggeration too. We also don’t really have much evidence in the way of gods so far. People talk about them, and they claim that their power comes from such and such a god (particularly R’hllor) but for the most part we’re left to wonder where this power actually comes from, and whether or not these gods actually exist. Gurm has talked a lot about how magic can easily cheapen a story, how it can be the easy way out or make things unrealistic or unbelievable. He talks about how Bran is the most difficult character to write because he is the one who has the strongest link to magic and the gods in the series, and he talks about how it can be a dangerous game to play, too much magic and gods and whatnot can easily be disastrous. So to outright come out and say “So and so mystical deity exists (the shrouded lord) and directly communicates with a POV character in some magical meeting” seems to me to go against the grain, it doesn’t quite fit with what the series has done so far. If the shrouded lord can come speak to Tyrion (which granted, could just be him being and unreliable narrator) So what most have come to understand is that GRRM had originally wanted Tyrion to meet Garin’s ghost, but I don’t think that is what GRRM really had in mind at the time. If you look at the symbolism of all three versions of the story and add them together, I think you will find the answer to the identity of the Shrouded Lord but you have to pay close attention to the symbolism. The first tale is about a man who caused watery walls to rise so high he drowned everything including himself and to this day the area has been plagued with greyscale. The second version of the story was a pirate king who is reborn in a sense every time one dies as another pirate king takes his place. The third story is of a statue, a lifeless object which comes to life through the kiss of a mysterious woman. This statue looks like the story we have been searching for in Part I, when we tie everything together you get the picture of the Grey King himself—a pirate king who caused watery walls to rise and was given the kiss of life when he drowned. The story also goes that. “The Shrouded Lord has ruled these mists since Garin’s day” so let’s examine what went down that fateful day when Garin made the watery walls rise and drowned the richest and most splendid of cities along the Rhoyne. What literally went down was thousands of people, thousands of drowned souls much like the drowned city of Velos which Victarion ponders when he is anchored in the Isles of Cedars: On the day the Doom came to Valyria, it was said, a wall of water three hundred feet high had descended on the island, drowning hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children, leaving none to tell the tale but some fisherfolk who had been at sea and a handful of Velosi spearmen posted in a stout stone tower on the island’s highest hill, who had seen the hills and valleys beneath them turn into a raging sea. Fair Velos with its palaces of cedar and pink marble had vanished in a heartbeat. On the north end of the island, the ancient brick walls and stepped pyramids of the slaver port Ghozai had suffered the same fate. So many drowned men, the Drowned God will be strong there, Victarion had thought when he chose the island for the three parts of his fleet to join up again. If there is any weight to Victarion’s assumptions, the Drowned God is supposed to be strong in areas that have collected more than its fair share of drowned souls. If we apply Victarion’s statement of the drowned city of Velos to the parallel drowned city of Chroyane, we have a little drowned god hot spot on our hands. And who descended to the watery halls to sit at the right hand of the Drowned God? That’s right, the Grey King. So think about it again a pirate king, a hero who caused watery walls to rise, and a statue who was kissed to life. The three versions of the Shrouded Lord (his Grey Grace) is the embodiment of the Grey king himself. The Sorrows chapter is full of symbolism and we are going to go over as much as we can today, but the symbolism is EVERYWHERE in the books once you know what to look for. “Drown me for a Fool” Ever wonder what the symbolism was behind Tyrion being dressed in a mish-mash motley on the Shy Maid? The outfit was obviously symbolic. You also might remember the Shrounded Lord, will grant a boon to anyone who can make him laugh? Some have theorized that Tyrion did not drown or contract greyscale because he had made the Shrouded Lord laugh. Knowing this, let’s take a look at another Drowned God hotspot, Shipbreaker Bay which lies directly off of Storm’s End. Storm’s End is of course notorious for its bad storms and even has a legend of Elenei surrounding it. Storm’s End also has another fool, Patchface, who is also speculated to have drowned and come back to life. If there is anyone who can make the Shrouded Lord laugh it would have been this guy right here. Why don’t we take a look at this guy patches, who is the only survivor of a shipwreck, whose survival is seemingly unexplainable as he should have drowned after being out to sea for three days. “We have found the most splendid fool,” [...]“Only a boy, yet nimble as a monkey and witty as a dozen courtiers. He juggles and riddles and does magic, and he can sing prettily in four tongues. We have bought his freedom and hope to bring him home with us. Robert will be delighted with him, and perhaps in time he will even teach Stannis how to laugh.” Oh you don’t say? Patches can make Stannis laugh? Stannis. You mean the same Stannis who takes on the Ahor Ahai and Grey King symbolism? That guy? Patches could have even made HIM laugh? That is rather convenient. This is also our guy giving us our ‘Little Mermaid’ references all of the time singing ‘under the sea’. So basically Patchface was drowned in a hotspot and made to sing for his supper and on the third day he rose. In the passage below we see the small council conspiring while pondering the likeness of Patchface to someone afflicted with greyscale, additionally we also see the metaphor of someone with greyscale being like a statue. “A trade envoy from Lys once observed to me that Lord Stannis must love his daughter very well, since he’d erected hundreds of statues of her all along the walls of Dragonstone. ‘My lord,’ I had to tell him, ‘those are gargoyles.’ ” He chuckled. “Ser Axell might serve for Shireen’s father, but in my experience, the more bizarre and shocking a tale the more apt it is to be repeated. Stannis keeps an especially grotesque fool, a lackwit with a tattooed face.” […] “You’d have to be a fool to want to bed Selyse Florent,” said Littlefinger. “Doubtless Patchface reminded her of Stannis. And the best lies contain within them nuggets of truth, enough to give a listener pause. As it happens, this fool is utterly devoted to the girl and follows her everywhere. They even look somewhat alike. Shireen has a mottled, half-frozen face as well.” Pycelle was lost. “But that is from the greyscale that near killed her as a babe, poor thing.” “I like my tale better,” said Littlefinger, “and so will the smallfolk. Sam is another good example, here we have Sam being saved from drowning by some big Summer Islander. We can see him performing some rudimentary compressions like those done by the drowned preists. Once Sam is back talking again, the Summer Islander takes on the Shrouded Lord role and mentions that Sam had made him laugh and the chapter ends with him smiling. I’m drowned, was his last thought. Oh, gods be good, I’m drowned. When he opened his eyes he was on his back and a big black Summer Islander was pounding on his belly with fists the size of hams. Stop that, you’re hurting me, Sam tried to scream. Instead of words he retched out water, and gasped. He was sodden and shivering, lying on the cobbles in a puddle of canal water. The Summer Islander punched him in the belly again, and more water came squirting out his nose. “Stop that,” Sam gasped. “I haven’t drowned. I haven’t drowned.” [...] He grabbed Sam’s doublet with a huge black fist and hauled him to his feet. “Xhondo mates on Cinnamon Wind. Many tongues he speaks, a little. Inside Xhondo laughs, to see you punch the singer. And Xhondo hears.” A broad white smile spread across his face. “Xhondo knows these dragons.” So let's take a look at another fool, Dontos Hollard. Here we have a guy saved from drowning by a maid who is then forced into the role of a fool. “I lose,” he shouted. “Fetch me some wine.” The king stood. “A cask from the cellars! I’ll see him drowned in it.” Sansa heard herself gasp. “No, you can’t.” Joffrey turned his head. “What did you say?” [...] “What a man sows on his name day, he reaps throughout the year.” His voice was flat, as if he did not care a whit whether the king believed him or no. Could it be true? Sansa had not known. It was just something she’d said, desperate to avoid punishment. Unhappy, Joffrey shifted in his seat and flicked his fingers at Ser Dontos. “Take him away. I’ll have him killed on the morrow, the fool.” “He is,” Sansa said. “A fool. You’re so clever, to see it. He’s better fitted to be a fool than a knight, isn’t he? You ought to dress him in motley and make him clown for you. He doesn’t deserve the mercy of a quick death.” The king studied her a moment. “Perhaps you’re not so stupid as Mother says.” He raised his voice. “Did you hear my lady, Dontos? From this day on, you’re my new fool. You can sleep with Moon Boy and dress in motley.” Before we take a look at a few more foolish things, lets just take a look at the next time we see Dontos. Dontos meets Sansa in the godswood and we see he has taken on the Shrouded Lord persona cloaked in grey. “I feared you would not come, child.” Sansa whirled. A man stepped out of the shadows, heavyset, thick of neck, shambling. He wore a dark grey robe with the cowl pulled forward, but when a thin sliver of moonlight touched his cheek, she knew him at once by the blotchy skin and web of broken veins beneath. “Ser Dontos,” she breathed, heartbroken. “Was it you?” “Yes, my lady.” When he moved closer, she could smell the sour stench of wine on his breath. […] I think I may find it in me to be a knight again, sweet lady. And all because of you … your grace, your courage. You saved me, not only from Joffrey, but from myself.” His voice dropped. “The singers say there was another fool once who was the greatest knight of all …” “Florian,” […] “Rise, ser.” “Thank you, sweet lady.” Ser Dontos lurched clumsily to his feet, and brushed earth and leaves from his knees. […]“You will not come with me?” “Better if we are never seen together.” Nodding, Sansa took a step … then spun back, nervous, and softly laid a kiss on his cheek, her eyes closed. “My Florian,” she whispered. “The gods heard my prayer.” So what we see here is Dontos acknowledging the importance of Sansa saving him from being drowned by Joffrey, and as they depart she gives him a symbolic kiss. The setting of this scene is a place of importance as they are situated in the godswood and in the Grey King's drowning he was surrounded by the bones of the weirwood Nagga. We also see Sansa and Dontos equate their story to Florian the fool. So lets look at another guy named Florian who was obviously named after Florian the Fool as he is the Lord of Maidenpool’s brother…From tPatQ: Thereupon Lord Mooton sent for the captain of his guard, his brother, and his champion, Ser Florian Greysteel. He bade his maester to remain as well. When all had assembled, he read to them the letter and asked them for their counsel. [...] ” “The girl is but a child, however foul her treasons,” said Ser Florian, that old knight, grey and grizzled and stern. “The Old King would never have asked this, of any man of honor.” Ser Florian Greysteel is given a name that personifies someone having a grey armor, likewise greyscale is a hard covering of the skin. Florian is also called old and grey, so what we get is a grey man with grey armor symbolism. Quite fitting. Let’s take a look at this other passage. Here we have the mast of a torn apart ship that is given a dragon name making it a sea-dragon. This ship is beached to that it can be torn apart and used as a weapon of war. The mast of this sea dragon is reborn into a battering ram made of iron which is used to “storm” the gates. The battering ram is of course the face of a jester: Poor Groleo. He still grieved for his ship, she knew. If a war galley could ram another ship, why not a gate? That had been her thought when she commanded the captains to drive their ships ashore. Their masts had become her battering rams, and swarms of freedmen had torn their hulls apart to build mantlets, turtles, catapults, and ladders. The sellswords had given each ram a bawdy name, and it had been the mainmast of Meraxes— formerly Joso’s Prank— that had broken the eastern gate. Joso’s Cock, they called it. The fighting had raged bitter and bloody for most of a day and well into the night before the wood began to splinter and Meraxes’ iron figurehead, a laughing jester’s face, came crashing through. Let’s not forget about Aeron, a main character who is famous for drowning should also follow this pattern as well since Aeron is claimed to have visited the Drowned Go's watery halls. Well, even though he held no official title of fool this guy was full of foolish symbolism. At six-and-ten he called himself a man, but in truth he had been a sack of wine with legs. He would sing, he would dance (but not the finger dance, never again), he would jape and jabber and make mock. He played the pipes, he juggled, he rode horses, and could drink more than all the Wynches and the Botleys, and half the Harlaws too. The Drowned God gives every man a gift, even him; no man could piss longer or farther than Aeron Greyjoy, as he proved at every feast. Once he bet his new longship against a herd of goats that he could quench a hearthfire with no more than his cock. Aeron feasted on goat for a year, and named the longship Golden Storm, though Balon threatened to hang him from her mast when he heard what sort of ram his brother proposed to mount upon her prow. In the end the Golden Storm went down off Fair Isle during Balon’s first rebellion, cut in half by a towering war galley called Fury when Stannis Baratheon caught Victarion in his trap and smashed the Iron Fleet. Yet the god was not done with Aeron, and carried him to shore. Yet another character with a seemingly supernatural drowning is Davos. The below passage is from the chapter where he lands on the Spears of the Merling King after the Battle of the Blackwater and is stranded for three days. This is one of the more magical drownings we see in the books as the last thing Davos had remembered was drowning and then waking up on the Spears. We also find Davos hears something that he believes is the Mother speaking to him. At the end of the chapter Davos is rescued and is asked his identity. Davos thinks to himself he should answer that he is a fool who rose too high. In the next Davos chapter, he is aboard the ‘Valyrian” (another sea-dragon if you will) and is given a fierce embrace and is kissed by his rescuer. The end of the paragraph is a reference to olives and a cross which is symbolically referring to the death of Jesus and his ascension to heaven, remember where in Part I we talked about the Grey King being a Christ-like hero who is said in TWOIAF to have descended “to the Drowned God’s watery halls to take his rightful place at his right hand", just as Jesus ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus is said to have ascended to heaven from a place called Mount Olive. “You,” the fifth man called out when they were only a few feet from his island, “you up on the rock. Who are you?” A smuggler who rose above himself, thought Davos, a fool who loved his king too much, and forgot his gods. “I …” His throat was parched, and he had forgotten how to talk. The words felt strange on his tongue and sounded stranger in his ears. “I was in the battle. I was … a captain, a … a knight, I was a knight.” When he saw Davos he stopped suddenly. “Is it pepper stinging my eyes, or tears? Is this the knight of the onions who stands before me? No, how can it be, my dear friend Davos died on the burning river, all agree. Why has he come to haunt me?” “I am no ghost, Salla.” “What else? My onion knight was never so thin or so pale as you.” Salladhor Saan threaded his way between the jars of spice and bolts of cloth that filled the hold of the merchanter, wrapped Davos in a fierce embrace, then kissed him once on each cheek and a third time on his forehead. “You are still warm, ser, and I feel your heart humpity-thumping. Can it be true? The sea that swallowed you has spit you up again.” Davos was reminded of Patchface, Princess Shireen’s lackwit fool. He had gone into the sea as well, and when he came out he was mad. Am I mad as well? He coughed into a gloved hand and said, “I swam beneath the chain and washed ashore on a spear of the merling king. I would have died there, if Shayala’s Dance had not come upon me.” Salladhor Saan threw an arm around the captain’s shoulders. “This was well done, Khorane. You will be having a fine reward, I am thinking. Meizo Mahr, be a good eunuch and take my friend Davos to the owner’s cabin. Fetch him some hot wine with cloves, I am misliking the sound of that cough. Squeeze some lime in it as well. And bring white cheese and a bowl of those cracked green olives we counted earlier! Davos, I will join you soon, once I have bespoken our good captain. You will be forgiving me, I know. Do not eat all the olives, or I must be cross with you!” Prior to the Chapter in the Sorrows, Tyrian was aboard the Shy Maid and was thrown into the water by Rolly Duckfield. After emerging from the water he takes on the guise of a fool wearing motley. Tyrian already had so much going for him being a rather humorous dwarf, but in the chapter before the sorrows GRRM kicks this symbolism up a notch and puts him in motley. “You have a gift for making men smile,” Septa Lemore told Tyrion as he was drying off his toes. “You should thank the Father Above. He gives gifts to all his children.” “He does,” he agreed pleasantly. And when I die, please let them bury with me a crossbow, so I can thank the Father Above for his gifts the same way I thanked the father below. His clothing was still soaked from his involuntary swim, clinging to his arms and legs uncomfortably. Whilst Young Griff went off with Septa Lemore to be instructed in the mysteries of the Faith, Tyrion stripped off the wet clothes and donned dry ones. Duck had a good guffaw when he emerged on deck again. He could not blame him. Dressed as he was, he made a comic sight. His doublet was divided down the middle; the left side was purple velvet with bronze studs; the right, yellow wool embroidered in green floral patterns. His breeches were similarly split; the right leg was solid green, the left leg striped in red and white. One of Illyrio’s chests had been packed with a child’s clothing, musty but well made. Septa Lemore had slit each garment apart, then sewn them back together, joining half of this to half of that to fashion a crude motley. Tyrian is later drowned and dreams of the Shrouded Lord (yes, this is the remnants of the forgotten chapter), when he is revived he is told it was Septa Lemore who revived him, we can assume Lemore performed some type of rudimentary CPR. GRRM purposely made sure it was a woman reviving Tyrian as a parallel to the story of the statue being brought to life: The Sorrows are behind us. It was just a dream I dreamed as I was drowning. “Why do I stink of vinegar?” “Lemore has been washing you with it. Some say it helps prevent the greyscale. I am inclined to doubt that, but there was no harm in trying. It was Lemore who forced the water from your lungs after Griff had pulled you up. You were as cold as ice, and your lips were blue. Yandry said we ought to throw you back, but the lad forbade it Finally we have Asha and Tris talking about Badbrother when Asha realizes this may be the key to stopping Euron. She kisses him in thanks and they are interrupted by a warhorn which is another drowning of the waters symbol. Badbrother had proved to be as mean as he was cruel and had few friends left upon the isles. The priests denounced him, the lords rose against him, and his own captains hacked him into pieces. Torgon the Latecomer became the king and ruled for forty years.” Asha took Tris Botley by the ears and kissed him full upon “A kiss, it’s called. Drown me for a fool, Tris, I should have remembered—” She broke off suddenly. When Tris tried to speak, she shushed him, listening. “That’s a warhorn. Hagen.” Her first thought was of her husband. Could Erik Ironmaker have come all this way to claim his wayward wife? When it comes down to it, the symbolism fits for a fool's drowning only to be resurrected by a kiss of life, this is what connects Tyrion's drowning to Patchface and all of the other drownings we see...in Patchface's case he most likely met the Shrouded Lord himself as did Tyrian. In the case of Aeron, Dontos and even Tyrian we are given a glimpse of how drunkenness can lead to becoming a fool and this is echoed in Elder Brother's drowning when he stated before he drowned, "when I was not fighting, I was drunk. My life was written in red, in blood and wine". What is really interesting is that another name for drinking can be to "drown your sorrows" and that is precisely what Tyrian did---he drowned in a place called the Sorrows. Elder Brother is also much like the tale of the Corsair King in the Shrouded Lord story in that when one dies the other takes on the role and the name. In the Dunk and Egg Tales we see Dunk drown in the Chequy water, Chequy is just another name for a checkered pattern....a motley, Dunk drowned in a motley river. Dunk is resurrected by an Ironborn master and is given a vinegar drink to prevent greyscale just as Davos is given a lime drink to prevent greyscale. Additionally, I don't think it is by chance that Thoros of Myr is from Myr. Thoros being from Myr technically makes him a Myrman performing fiery kiss resurrections. I think GRRM was sneeky with his symbolism of Cat and Beric's deaths by making their cause of death be not from drowning but still giving them the drowning associations. Cat's body was pulled from a river and before she died she symbolically killed the Frey fool Jinglebells and and went mad laughing before she died. Interestingly Beric's body was also pulled from a river before he succumbed to his wounds in a grove of Ash. I am already on page nine on a word document so I am going to wrap this up for today, but as you can see with the drownings in the books, there is a tie-in to kissing and fools. Next time we will talk about the symbolic armor of greyscale. Until then just remember the wildlings refer to anyone with greyscale as being dead, however: What is dead may never die, but rises harder and stronger.
  14. I believe it has to do with the long night. The race of hairy men that was exterminated from essos. Huzor Amai wore the pelt of the King of the Hairy men. Huzor Amai is most likely another name for Azor Ahai, the same guy pegged as the grey king. In lorath it is said there was some sort of change of hands between hairy men and a people from the sea. If you look at it from a fertile/unfertile Grey king perspective, an unfertile person is often hairless (which is most often how the Eunuchsare described) and a hairy person is viewed as having more testosterone. I think the cutting is symbolic of the dolorous stroke that happened during the Long night. I hope this makes sense. I think things make more sense in my head than when they are typed. The cutting of the pycelle's beard was much like the cutting of Samson's hair, he became older, less majestic, weaker. Furthermore Drogo's hair was a symbol of strength and his manliness, cutting his hair is a symbol of weakness. I also see an obvious symbol of transformation, becoming something with the simple gaining or losing of hair. In a woman's case, cutting her hair gives Arya more masculinity, growing her hair will reveal her appear weaker.
  15. Here is a preview. He swiveled the eye east and searched amongst the tents and trees till he found the turtle. That will be coming very soon as well. The wildlings had skinned one of the dead mammoths during the night, and they were lashing the raw bloody hide over the turtle’s roof, one more layer on top of the sheepskins and pelts. The turtle had a rounded top and eight huge wheels, and under the hides was a stout wooden frame. When the wildlings had begun knocking it together, Satin thought they were building a ship. Not far wrong. The turtle was a hull turned upside down and opened fore and aft; a longhall on wheels. “It’s done, isn’t it?” asked Grenn. “Near enough.” Jon shoved away the eye. “It will come today, most like. Did you fill the barrels?” Their only hope was to try and crush the turtle when it reached the Wall. For that, they needed boulders. No matter how stoutly built the turtle was, a huge chunk of rock crashing straight down on top of it from seven hundred feet was bound to do some damage. “Grenn, Owen, Kegs, it’s time.”