Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Lord Vance II

The King of Winter's Crown

56 posts in this topic

"The ancient crown of the Kings of Winter had been lost three centuries ago, yielded up to Aegon the Conqueror when Torrhen Stark knelt in submission. What Aegon had done with it no man could say. Lord Hoster's smith had done his work well, and Robb's crown looked much as the other was said to have looked in the tales told of the Stark kings of old; an open circlet of hammered bronze incised with the runes of the First Men, surmounted by nine black iron spikes wrought in the shape of longswords. Of gold and silver and gemstones, it had none; bronze and iron were the metals of winter, dark and strong to fight against the cold." - Catelyn I, ACoK

This is by far the best description of the crown Robb bore as King in the North. Two main questions I have. 

1. Why 9 Longswords? What's the significant of the nine? Does it represent 9 kings who were subdued? By my count I can think of 4 we know the Starks downed: The Red King (Bolton), Barrow King (Dustin), The Marsh King (Reed, I guess) and the Warg King, 5 if you count the Night King. There were many others defeated, but if we count them as Kings, it would add up to much more than 9. If it's an arbitrary number, why specify at all?

2. Could the original crown still exist somewhere? Aegon respected the Northmen enough that none of their swords were added to the Iron Throne (I suppose because they surrendered with dignity), could he have stashed the original Crown of Winter somewhere? Any chance it could be found? Would there be any significance to the discovery of the original?

And a smaller question...what does "open circlet" mean? Just that its not a complete ring and open in the back?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't figure out the significance of nine either, I was thinking the total of other kings of the first men but who knows who the kings were at the time the origina crownl was forged..

Can only guess its whereabouts, but this is interesting as to the 'open circlet':

The king's eyes were blue bruises, sunk deep in a hollow face. He wore grey plate, a fur-trimmed cloak of cloth-of-gold flowing from his broad shoulders. His breastplate had a flaming heart inlaid above his own. Girding his brows was a red-gold crown with points like twisting flames. Val stood beside him, tall and fair. They had crowned her with a simple circlet of dark bronze, yet she looked more regal in bronze than Stannis did in gold. Her eyes were grey and fearless, unflinching. Beneath an ermine cloak, she wore white and gold. Her honey-blond hair had been done up in a thick braid that hung over her right shoulder to her waist. The chill in the air had put color in her cheeks.

Could Val be wearing the original crown of the queen of winter? Again, can only guess. One thought I've had is could Bloodraven have taken the king's crown back north? Good questions, unfortunately no solid answers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe "open circlet" means that it has no clear front or back. It looks the same however you wear it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just assumed Aegon had the gathered crowns melted down and added into the foundation of the throne, buried under the swords.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn good OP. To me, open circlet means the crown does not meet in the back.

1 hour ago, Lord Vance II said:

Of gold and silver and gemstones, it had none; bronze and iron were the metals of winter, dark and strong to fight against the cold.

There is another place the bronze and iron are mentioned. The oath the Reed kids swore to Bran.

"I swear it by earth and water," said the boy in green.

"I swear it by bronze and iron," his sister said.

"We swear it by ice and fire," they finished together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lord Vance II said:

"The ancient crown of the Kings of Winter had been lost three centuries ago, yielded up to Aegon the Conqueror when Torrhen Stark knelt in submission. What Aegon had done with it no man could say. Lord Hoster's smith had done his work well, and Robb's crown looked much as the other was said to have looked in the tales told of the Stark kings of old; an open circlet of hammered bronze incised with the runes of the First Men, surmounted by nine black iron spikes wrought in the shape of longswords. Of gold and silver and gemstones, it had none; bronze and iron were the metals of winter, dark and strong to fight against the cold." - Catelyn I, ACoK

This is by far the best description of the crown Robb bore as King in the North. Two main questions I have. 

1. Why 9 Longswords? What's the significant of the nine? Does it represent 9 kings who were subdued? By my count I can think of 4 we know the Starks downed: The Red King (Bolton), Barrow King (Dustin), The Marsh King (Reed, I guess) and the Warg King, 5 if you count the Night King. There were many others defeated, but if we count them as Kings, it would add up to much more than 9. If it's an arbitrary number, why specify at all?

2. Could the original crown still exist somewhere? Aegon respected the Northmen enough that none of their swords were added to the Iron Throne (I suppose because they surrendered with dignity), could he have stashed the original Crown of Winter somewhere? Any chance it could be found? Would there be any significance to the discovery of the original?

And a smaller question...what does "open circlet" mean? Just that its not a complete ring and open in the back?

My guess is it was from when the Starks ruled all of Westeros and subdued each of the Kingdom-Regions.

1. The North

2. The Iron Islands

3. The Vale

4. The Riverlands

5. The Westerlands

6. The Stormlands

7. The Reach

8. Dorne

9. ????

 

I have this theory that the Starks once ruled all of the continent during the Long Night. Could me reminiscent of that time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were nine crowned Brandons. It's a far shot, but I'll point at it anyways.

Kinda weird too. The only Brandon (in the wiki now) that appears numbered is Brandon IX.

Edited by King Merrett I Frey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were more than 9 kingdoms in the North after the Long Night. The world book mention 17 including the Kings of Winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I posted roughly the same question a few months ago, forum member Clarrisa guessed that the circle of nine weirwood trees above the Wall might match up with the nine swords.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Open" circlet is kind of a tautology, I think. He's just describing how the crown encircles the head without meeting in the middle, atop the head, like some real-life crowns do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha!  I googled "pic of open circlet" and was provided with a plethora of photos of bracelets, rings, charms and crowns.   I think it means like a ring, where the center is hollow.   God Love Pintrest!  

The 9 swords could mean anything and Seams did post a fine topic on this exact thing.  I watch the numbers closely.   We've got scads of 3s, oodles of 12s, considerable 13s, a smattering of 9s, a 15 and even a few 6s.   These numbers do conspicuously repeat throughout the tale.   There is no mistake in this, we are supposed to be connecting the 9 swords in the crown to something.      

Aegon's Valyrian Steel crown (another open circlet, by the way) also went missing.    The romantic in me wants very badly for both Aegon and Torrhen's crowns to be in Lyanna's tomb.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a key question in this (that we will never have answered probably) whether the crown had 9 spikes originally or if they were added over time. Maybe a king added a spike when they accomplished a great deed, maybe the defeat of a major king or something. If it was always 9, the number must have something to do with the end of the Long Night. Maybe 9 Northern Kings were part of the negotiation to end the war or something. 

19 hours ago, OuttaOldtown said:

Could Val be wearing the original crown of the queen of winter? Again, can only guess.

I think that's more them only having access to those materials, plus there is no mention of the spikes. Could have been worn off or something though. 

16 hours ago, Seams said:

When I posted roughly the same question a few months ago, forum member Clarrisa guessed that the circle of nine weirwood trees above the Wall might match up with the nine swords.

Maybe. That would make that spot way more important than it seems...and would add a ton of significance to Jon and Sam taking their NW oaths beneath the branches. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just throwing it up as info..

There were more kingdoms in the north, of a sort.. 

Joranum, Bael, and Grendel and Gorne represent at least three times the wildlings attempted to invade the Stark's lands.

I personally like the tree symbolism better myself, but maybe the swords represent their nine great victories.. but they aren't over "kingdoms" per se. It's still only eight by my count.. but one could represent winter (or the Long Night) and it would fit. Total speculation, though..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Lord Vance II said:

I think a key question in this (that we will never have answered probably) whether the crown had 9 spikes originally or if they were added over time. Maybe a king added a spike when they accomplished a great deed, maybe the defeat of a major king or something. If it was always 9, the number must have something to do with the end of the Long Night. Maybe 9 Northern Kings were part of the negotiation to end the war or something. 

Since the original crown was supposed to be made of bronze and iron I’m thinking it had to be made after the Andals arrived maybe? The Andals were the ones who introduced iron (?) I’m not very knowledgeable about ancient Westeros history. If the King of Winter crown is made as a representation of conquered kingdoms in the north (?) the following quote might shed some light on it (?). Add Bolton & Dustin and I count nine.

Amongst the houses reduced from royals to vassals we can count the Flints of Breakstone Hill, the Slates of Blackpool, the Umbers of Last Hearth, the Lockes of Oldcastle, the Glovers of Deepwood Motte, the Fishers of the Stony Shore, the Ryders of the Rills...and mayhaps even the Blackwoods of Raventree, whose own family traditions insist they once ruled most of the wolfswood before being driven from their lands by the Kings of Winter (certain runic records support this claim, if Maester Barneby's translations can be trusted).

I’m not savvy with timelines but if the original crown has not been seen in 300 years, as Cat says in 299…argh, I’m gonna say the 9 peaks/spikes represent houses that were one time kingdoms in the north that Stark brought under WF domination. Luwin did say that the Andals were thrown back every time they tried to invade the north.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

The Andals were the ones who introduced iron

The Andals brought steel. I don't recall ever hearing an explanation of where iron popped up in the world...but I'm pretty sure you need iron to make bronze (it's like 9 parts copper 1 part iron, or something like that), and they had that, so they had to know the basics of iron working. Plus I'm fairly certain the Iron Islands have always been called such. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Lord Vance II said:

The Andals brought steel. I don't recall ever hearing an explanation of where iron popped up in the world...but I'm pretty sure you need iron to make bronze (it's like 9 parts copper 1 part iron, or something like that), and they had that, so they had to know the basics of iron working. Plus I'm fairly certain the Iron Islands have always been called such. 

I gave you a possible answer and you want to quibble about the composition of metals. I'm taking my marbles and leaving. Cheers.

Sweeping through the Vale with fire and sword, the Andals began their conquest of Westeros. Their iron weapons and armor surpassed the bronze with which the First Men still fought, and many First Men perished in this war.

The fact that the Andals forged iron has been taken by some as proof that the Seven guided them—that the Smith himself taught them this art—and so do the holy texts teach. But the Rhoynar were already an advanced civilization at this time, and they too knew of iron, so it takes only the study of a map to realize that the earliest Andals must have had contact with the Rhoynar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Lord Vance II said:

The Andals brought steel. I don't recall ever hearing an explanation of where iron popped up in the world...but I'm pretty sure you need iron to make bronze (it's like 9 parts copper 1 part iron, or something like that), and they had that, so they had to know the basics of iron working. Plus I'm fairly certain the Iron Islands have always been called such. 

Bronze is copper + tin (and/or aluminium, nickel or zinc), never iron. From the world book it seems that the first wave of Andals arrive with iron weapons and they developed steel later on.

Edited by Tucu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/5/2016 at 1:45 PM, Clegane'sPup said:

I gave you a possible answer and you want to quibble about the composition of metals. I'm taking my marbles and leaving. Cheers.

Didn't mean it like that but okay...

On 8/5/2016 at 1:48 PM, Tucu said:

Bronze is copper + tin (and/or aluminium, nickel or zinc), never iron.

Right, thanks. 

On 8/5/2016 at 1:26 PM, Clegane'sPup said:

Add Bolton & Dustin and I count nine.

 

Amongst the houses reduced from royals to vassals we can count the Flints of Breakstone Hill, the Slates of Blackpool, the Umbers of Last Hearth, the Lockes of Oldcastle, the Glovers of Deepwood Motte, the Fishers of the Stony Shore, the Ryders of the Rills...

Maybe it wasn't made until the Andals showed up in Westeros and the Northmen got a hold of some iron and reworked it and over the years it's origin was lost like so many other things and got attributed to the first Kings of Winter. If that was the case, those 9 could be the kings conquored up to that point. 

So yeah, essentially what Clegane said. 

Edited by Lord Vance II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/08/2016 at 0:22 AM, Curled Finger said:

Ha!  I googled "pic of open circlet" and was provided with a plethora of photos of bracelets, rings, charms and crowns.   I think it means like a ring, where the center is hollow.   God Love Pintrest!  

The 9 swords could mean anything and Seams did post a fine topic on this exact thing.  I watch the numbers closely.   We've got scads of 3s, oodles of 12s, considerable 13s, a smattering of 9s, a 15 and even a few 6s.   These numbers do conspicuously repeat throughout the tale.   There is no mistake in this, we are supposed to be connecting the 9 swords in the crown to something.      

Aegon's Valyrian Steel crown (another open circlet, by the way) also went missing.    The romantic in me wants very badly for both Aegon and Torrhen's crowns to be in Lyanna's tomb.   

Maybe it's nothing, but I notice (while reading this essay) that Melisandre has a cryptic vision regarding nine crows with empty bleeding eyes...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hooray for me!  First you have to ask yourselves why you have no problem with the number seven in the books.  Then transfer that to the Nordic religion, which the North plays off of and you understand why the number nine is holy to the North.

Google "Nordic Religion 9" and read about how nine is to the Nordic religion as seven is to Christianity/Judaism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0