Crowfood's Daughter

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  1. Here is a picture of a shipwrecked boat and here is a depiction of Nagga's bones. The symbolism points toward this as well. Nagga is a big ole boat. When last he’d seen Lordsport, it had been a smoking wasteland, the skeletons of burnt longships and smashed galleys littering the stony shore like the bones of dead leviathans, the houses no more than broken walls and cold ashes. 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. last the dun-colored Sandship, looking like some monstrous dromond that had washed ashore and turned to stone.
  2. Your right about the Hooded King, he sounds absolutely like a shrouded lord type. This post is helping me work something out in my head about Lann. I think he may be the answer to the riddle of the sphinx and I am in the midst of doing a full re-read in order to hash this out.
  3. Hi Great Elk, You have made and excellent observation. I also believe the instances of 'ebony' in the House of Black and White and the house of the Undying are actually shade of the evening tree. I think the House of the undying is a huge hint: aching. She recalled that the House of the Undying Ones had seemed to have no towers. Finally the stair opened. To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid. Dany said a quick prayer, begging the Warrior for courage and the Dothraki horse god for strength. She made herself walk forward. It seems the writer is trying to describe these doors as an illusion to being made of one wood instead of a two separate woods pieced together with descriptions such as grains twisting and swirling? It is almost as if it is made from the same slab of wood . It makes a great deal of sense. Meaning Dany is sitting the equivalent of an Essosi weirwood throne. I had actually toyed with the idea you were mentioning and came to the same conclusion you had, which make a great deal of literary sense when we have white weirwood doors with black 'ebony' faces that remind Arya of a heart tree. At the top she found a set of carved wooden doors twelve feet high. The left-hand door was made of weirwood pale as bone, the right of gleaming ebony. In their center was a carved moon face; ebony on the weirwood side, weirwood on the ebony. The look of it reminded her somehow of the heart tree in the godswood at Winterfell. The doors are watching me, she thought.
  4. Nagga's ribs are weirwood. The arches are because it is the overturned hull of a ship. Nagga is a shipwreck. Yep!! He had passed the bones of a dragon, he swore, so immense that he had ridden his horse through its great black jaws. Other than that, he had seen nothing.
  5. Hey Blue Tiger. There are some obvious parallels to the well and the pools beside found frequently beside weirwoods, I am sure our writer did draw from that knowing his love of Nordic legend. I am unsure about the undying, but it could be a little pun in a way maybe showing that it was the weirwoods that made a transformation and not the other way around, always a possibility. I had been away from the forums yesterday due to problems with my computer and went chasing some stuff you were mentioning which led me back to the hairy men which were kind of everywhere when you look at the text of TWOIAF at least in central and western Essos and came back to this line. At its greatest extent, the Ibbenese foothold on Essos was as large as Ib itself and far richer. More and more of the hairy men crossed over from the islands to make their fortunes there, cutting down the trees to put the land under the plow, damming the rivers and streams, mining the hills The God-Kings of Ib, before their fall, did succeed in conquering and colonizing a huge swathe of northern Essos immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers. So the Ibbenese didn't get along well with these forest folk that worshipped the Black wood trees. In fact it seems like the Ibbenese kind of persecuted them in a sense and cut down a bunch of their trees and the maesters theorize the Ibbenese caused the woods-walkers to vacate that area. What made my eyes completely bug out of their sockets was this line: The eunuch drew a parchment from his sleeve. “A kraken has been seen off the Fingers.” He giggled. “Not a Greyjoy, mind you, a true kraken. It attacked an Ibbenese whaler and pulled it under. Not only am I completely convinced at this point, but I am truly and utterly pissed, because I think there might be a good chance there is a network of huge roots under the sea, which could be why there is the Greensee pun @ravenous reader. And here is why. Forsaken chapter spoilers: Here is one of Aeron's Shade of the Evening trips: “Urri!” he cried. There is no hinge here, no door, no Urri. His brother Urrigon was long dead, yet there he stood. One arm was black and swollen, stinking with maggots, but he was still Urri, still a boy, no older than the day he died. “You know what waits below the sea, brother?” “The Drowned God,” Aeron said, “the watery halls.” Urri shook his head. “Worms... worms await you, Aeron.” His dream is telling him there is no watery halls, there is just worms. So what if there actually is something that looks like worms or krakens under the water? The way the shadows shifted made it seem as if the walls were moving too. Bran saw great white snakes slithering in and out of the earth around him, and his heart thumped in fear. He wondered if they had blundered into a nest of milk snakes or giant grave worms, soft and pale and squishy. Lord Brynden seemed less a man than some ghastly statue made of twisted wood, old bone, and rotted wool. The only thing that looked alive in the pale ruin that was his face was his one red eye, burning like the last coal in a dead fire, surrounded by twisted roots and tatters of leathery white skin hanging off a yellowed skull. The sight of him still frightened Bran— the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been. There may actually be a root system under the sea. I am going to add this to the original post.
  6. The Shade of the Evening Tree... its the Essosi version of the Weirwood except inversed in a dark and creepy kind of way. Our writer loves to use symbolism and literary devices to drop clues from time to time...something he does well and does often. There have been many inversions and parallels drawn between the two trees by readers throughout the fandom. It is pretty obvious the two are related as there was also once a race of small, shy forest folk called woods walkers who once inhabited mainland Essos and Lomas Longstrider reported "carved trees" in their forests. So the Shade tree was probably a part of that magic from years gone by. Immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers. The fabled Sea Snake, Corlys Velaryon, Lord of the Tides, was the first Westerosi to visit these woods. After his return from the Thousand Islands, he wrote of carved trees, haunted grottoes, and strange silences. A later traveler, the merchant-adventurer Bryan of Oldtown, captain of the cog Spearshaker, provided an account of his own journey across the Shivering Sea. He reported that the Dothraki name for the lost people meant “those who walk in the woods.” We know the weirwood petrifies when it dies, pretty simple to comprehend, the trees don't rot they just turn to stone... “For a thousand years it has not shown a leaf. In another thousand it will have turned to stone, the maesters say. Weirwoods never rot.” That was some Tytos Blackwood wisdom for you there. So knowing the weirwood turns to stone, the same logic would most likely apply to the Shade of the Evening tree as well. So imagine for a moment what the black wood of a Shade of the Evening tree would actually look like petrified... Black Stone. GRRM has done everything possible to make the Shade tree an Essosi Weirwood, so if the white stuff petrifies, the black stuff probably does too. If I had money to bet...I'd place it on the warlock tree taking a note from it's Westerosi cousin. But we are not done yet... Let's talk about some hairy men for a minute. The hairy men were kind of everywhere when you look at the text of TWOIAF at least in central and western Essos. I noticed that there was once a forest inhabited by these CotF-type woods walkers who came into direct contact with the hairy men and not in the diplomatic kind of way, more in the, I am going to take your land and bleed your resources type of way: The God-Kings of Ib, before their fall, did succeed in conquering and colonizing a huge swathe of northern Essos immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers. At its greatest extent, the Ibbenese foothold on Essos was as large as Ib itself and far richer. More and more of the hairy men crossed over from the islands to make their fortunes there, cutting down the trees to put the land under the plow, damming the rivers and streams, mining the hills So the Ibbenese didn't get along well with these forest folk that worshipped the blackwood trees. In fact it seems like the Ibbenese kind of persecuted them in a sense and cut down a bunch of their trees and the maesters theorize the Ibbenese caused the woods-walkers to vacate that area. What made my eyes completely bug out of their sockets was this line: The eunuch drew a parchment from his sleeve. “A kraken has been seen off the Fingers.” He giggled. “Not a Greyjoy, mind you, a true kraken. It attacked an Ibbenese whaler and pulled it under. So a "kraken" has pulled under an Ibbenese whaler...makes sense now doesn't it and I think there might be a good chance there is a network of huge roots under the sea, which could be why there is the Greensee pun that @ravenous reader has pointed out. And here is why. Forsaken chapter spoilers: I guess this means we may actually get to see play out in the chapters
  7. Welcome to the Petyr Plan club !! He was being led into a Garth, HA! I get it, now. The genius of our writer never ceases to amaze me, I find new stuff I overlook and my eyebrows just raise and my jaw drops, its really great. He was given a reviving kiss by a fish woman, bagging himself for his pains a Tully trout to be exact . Think about it some more, Petyr was short for even a fifteen year old and grievously wounded, he wouldn't have to be as far down the water stair as Brandon, especially if he fell over the side of the water stair. If Petyr has the Titan of Braavos for a family sigil, rode on the Merling King and has a broken sword above his hearth...I would be money Petyr drowned and he drowned in the same river the Tully's send their dead to the watery halls. And yes, a fish woman helped bring him back to health . You see that apple he is eating at the bottom of the cliff that is a parallel to the water stair? The apple is a symbol of drowning as well, or at least falling into a situation where you need a kiss of life, remember the tale of Snow White and the poisoned apple? Davos is also eating an apple in white harbor as well
  8. Petyr wanted to win, he wanted to drown his opponent. This is something of a phenomena that has been highlighted in the books, fully armored people sink like rocks when the are clad fully armored, Petyr knew this and he was banking on Brandon coming to the fight this way...which he did. Lord Brax led us to the rafts and we tried to pole across, but the current pushed us downstream and the Tullys started flinging rocks at us with the catapults on their walls. I saw one raft smashed to kindling and three others overturned, men swept into the river and drowned … and those who did make it across found the Starks waiting for them on the riverbanks.” Ser Flement Brax wore a silver-and-purple tabard and the look of a man who cannot comprehend what he has just heard. “My lord father—” “Sorry, my lord,” the messenger said. “Lord Brax was clad in plate-and-mail when his raft overturned. He was very gallant.” He was a fool, Tyrion thought, swirling his cup and staring down into the winy depths. Crossing a river at night on a crude raft, wearing armor, with an enemy waiting on the other side— if that was gallantry, he would take cowardice every time. He wondered if Lord Brax had felt especially gallant as the weight of his steel pulled him under the black water. The water stair is a very important scene, @ravenous reader and @Unchained. You have both read the Ironborn mythos series. This is a man whose family has the Head of the Titan of Braavos for a sigil, rode on the Merling King, stole Sansa away and has a broken sword above his hearth. What do you think happened to Petyr, after he was cut down edging the foot of the water stair?
  9. @Seams I like the way you think! Petyr was totally trapping him , I have been looking at him lately and that is one thing that came straight to mind. I posted it on Reddit last month but never got around to posting in this forum. Here is what I saw: We all know Petyr is very intelligent AND very calculating and by all accounts by both Cat and Lysa, Petyr was a very clever and mischievous kid growing up. I found it odd to say the least that the short statured fifteen year old Petyr would fight Brandon Stark in the manner that he did. He was a smart guy even at 15, he knew he was going to lose…well unless he maybe had a plan. I would suggest that Petyr decided on a strategy similar to Oberyn's when he fought the Mountain and Bronn when he fought Ser Vardis. "Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next. Sometimes the best way to baffle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you. Remember that, Sansa, when you come to play the game.” I would suggest that Petyr was banking on his agility and small stature as well as his knowledge of Riverrun's layout to his own advantage. Remember when Petyr came to the fight lightly armored? Cat sure remembered, she said he showed up with only helm, breastplate and mail. Seems like the ward of a great lord like Hoster Tully would have access to armor if he were about to face an opponent with real steel. All he would have to do is ask. So why didn't he ask for it? Surely Petyr Baelish a super intelligent, yet scrawny fifteen year old would have wanted to be fully protected unless he planned to use the same tactics as Oberyn and Bronn. In fact, it is right after Cat recognizes what Bronn is doing in his duel that she flashes back to Petyr and Brandon Stark. See for yourself: Catelyn looked to Ser Rodrik. Her master-at-arms gave a curt shake of his head. “He wants to make Ser Vardis chase him. The weight of armor and shield will tire even the strongest man.” She had seen men practice at their swordplay near every day of her life, had viewed half a hundred tourneys in her time, but this was something different and deadlier: a dance where the smallest misstep meant death. And as she watched, the memory of another duel in another time came back to Catelyn Stark, as vivid as if it had been yesterday. They met in the lower bailey of Riverrun. When Brandon saw that Petyr wore only helm and breastplate and mail, he took off most of his armor. Petyr had begged her for a favor he might wear, but she had turned him away. Ha! Foiled by Stark honor and it cost him his girl and almost his life. We get a glimpse of how agile Petyr is when he takes Ned to the Bluff on their way to see Cat who had been tucked away in one of Petyr's establishments. I think the Bluff is supposed to parallel the water stair as it is a set of well hidden nooks and steps that lead to a river and right before they take this Journey Petyr makes a comment of keeping Cat for himself. As we can see, this guy can really move. They stepped out into the ruddy glow of dusk, on a rocky bluff high above the river. “We’re outside the castle,” Ned said. “You are a hard man to fool, Stark,” Littlefinger said with a smirk. “Was it the sun that gave it away, or the sky? Follow me. There are niches cut in the rock. Try not to fall to your death, Catelyn would never understand.” With that, he was over the side of the cliff, descending as quick as a monkey. Ned studied the rocky face of the bluff for a moment, then followed more slowly. The niches were there, as Littlefinger had promised, shallow cuts that would be invisible from below, unless you knew just where to look for them. The river was a long, dizzying distance below. Ned kept his face pressed to the rock and tried not to look down any more often than he had to. When at last he reached the bottom, a narrow, muddy trail along the water’s edge, Littlefinger was lazing against a rock and eating an apple. He was almost down to the core. “You are growing old and slow, Stark,” he said, flipping the apple casually into the rushing water. I would argue that Petyr was planning to use the layout of Riverrun to lure Brandon into the river along the water stair for a death by water if only he were fully armored, the weight of his armor and the currents could have done the rest easy peasy. I think Petry was still hoping to win the duel with this method even with a Brandon with less armor and Petyr was ALMOST there, just a few more steps is all he needed. That fight was over almost as soon as it began. Brandon was a man grown, and he drove Littlefinger all the way across the bailey and down the water stair, raining steel on him with every step, until the boy was staggering and bleeding from a dozen wounds. “Yield!” he called, more than once, but Petyr would only shake his head and fight on, grimly. When the river was lapping at their ankles, Brandon finally ended it, with a brutal backhand cut that bit through Petyr’s rings and leather into the soft flesh below the ribs, so deep that Catelyn was certain that the wound was mortal. Petyr was so close. I think he had something up his sleeve if he could just get him in that water. Instead he was cut down feet away from where he was trying to get Brandon. He lost his girl and was sent away from the place he had grown up and called home.
  10. There is something of a parallel there and Joseph was type of a hand of the King as well.
  11. You've got it!! Motley is an amalgam of fabrics, which is why we have the tattered prince. Oh BTW, I have been seeing the Symbolism points to the Grey King being an exile or forced to flee. I will show you what I am talking about soon.
  12. Done.. excited!!
  13. That is an interesting about NN being CotF...I have to think about that because it could make some sense. The only problem I see is that it seems the NN type was gorgeous, most likely with blue eyes...kind of an Amethyst empress type.
  14. I think you are going to find the answer to your NK in the story of the Old Man of the River and the Crab King, or at least it may help. It is said the Old Man of the River fought the Crab King. The Old man of the River is something of an AA of the Rhoyne. We see a glimpse of what Yandry thinks in the Old Man, and it is a HUGE turtle with horns bellowing at sunset just like the Titan who also bellows at sunset. Let’s face it, most of us had thought the Grey King turned as grey as the winter sea because he was an old guy that lived a thousand years. It is pretty much the most obvious conclusion the reader will make, and GRRM plays off this occasionally with his Grey king symbolism by describing a man as a grey beard and a Garth man as green boy (some LmL wisdom ). Having a water deity with a name like“Old Man” who helped to end the Long Night is another symbol of the grey king and is a variation of the monomyth itself. According to TWOIAF It is said the Old Man of the River and fought the Crab King to win dominion over all who dwell beneath the flowing waters. So here we see a Fool coming out of a weirwood with a Morningstar and crushing him. The Dolorous Stroke is also implied with the leg wound and also because the guy's name is Dick, Grey king is shutting down the fertility on that dude! Crabb was standing underneath the weirwood. He looked up and saw the face. “Here,” he called to Brienne. “It’s your fool.” “Dick,” she called urgently, “to me.” Shagwell dropped from the weirwood, braying laughter. He was garbed in motley, but so faded and stained that it showed more brown than grey or pink. In place of a jester’s flail he had a triple morningstar, three spiked balls chained to a wooden haft. He swung it hard and low, and one of Crabb’s knees exploded in a spray of blood and bone. “That’s funny,” Shagwell crowed as Dick fell. The sword she’d given him went flying from his hand and vanished in the weeds. He writhed on the ground, screaming and clutching at the ruins of his knee. “Oh, look,” said Shagwell, “it’s Smuggler Dick, the one who made the map for us. Did you come all this way to give us back our gold?” “Please,” Dick whimpered, “please don’t, my leg …” “Does it hurt? I can make it stop.” “Leave him be,” said Brienne. “DON’T!” shrieked Dick, lifting bloody hands to shield his head. Shagwell whirled the spiked ball once around his head and brought it down in the middle of Crabb’s face. There was a sickening crunch. In the silence that followed, Brienne could hear the sound of her own heart. What is cool about the Old man of the river is that he is something of a greyscale symbol as well because he has this armor about him
  15. 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 Braavos 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 the 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.