sweetsunray

Them Bones (rethinking Ned's Bones, Hallis Mollen and Silent Sisters)

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This is a short adapted section of an essay I wrote half a year ago for the Chthonic Cycle (Lady of the Golden Blade of Winterfell), that I recently updated to incorporate a possible answer regarding the whereabouts of Ned Stark's bones. I'm leaving out certain mythological references out of this excerpt, because it is less relevant to the question - where are they?

THEM BONES

Catelyn orders the silent sisters to bring the bones to Winterfell while escorted by Hal Mollen.

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“I am grateful for your service, sisters,” Catelyn said, “but I must lay another task upon you. Lord Eddard was a Stark, and his bones must be laid to rest beneath Winterfell.” They will make a statue of him, a stone likeness that will sit in the dark with a direwolf at his feet and a sword across his knees. “Make certain the sisters have fresh horses, and aught else they need for the journey,” she told Utherydes Wayn. “Hal Mollen will escort them back to Winterfell, it is his place as captain of guards.” She gazed down at the bones that were all that remained of her lord and love. “Now leave me, all of you. I would be alone with Ned tonight.” (aCoK, Catelyn V)

 

Neither Hal Mollen nor Ned’s bones have reappeared in the books ever since though, or at least not recognized as such insofar we know.

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It made her wonder where Ned had come to rest. The silent sisters had taken his bones north, escorted by Hallis Mollen and a small honor guard. Had Ned ever reached Winterfell, to be interred beside his brother Brandon in the dark crypts beneath the castle? Or did the door slam shut at Moat Cailin before Hal and the sisters could pass? (aSoS, Catelyn V)

 

We do not have explicit confirmation which route Hal Mollen took, but Catelyn’s thoughts in the Whispering Wood suggest that Hal and the silent sisters went directly north of Riverrun, crossed the Blue Fork at Fairmarket. Robb and Catelyn intended to take this route in order to ride to the Twins for Edmure’s wedding to Roslyn Frey, but could not because the bridges were washed out by the flooding Blue Fork.

 
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Five days later, their scouts rode back to warn them that the rising waters had washed out the wooden bridge at Fairmarket. Galbart Glover and two of his bolder men had tried swimming their mounts across the turbulent Blue Fork at Ramsford. Two of the horses had been swept under and drowned, and one of the riders; Glover himself managed to cling to a rock until they could pull him in. "The river hasn't run this high since spring," Edmure said. "And if this rain keeps falling, it will go higher yet."
"There's a bridge further upstream, near Oldstones," remembered Catelyn, who had often crossed these lands with her father. "It's older and smaller, but if it still stands—"
"It's gone, my lady," Galbart Glover said. "Washed away even before the one at Fairmarket."
 

The question though is what happened afterwards. It is not just even the question whether Hallis reached Moat Cailin or the Neck in time, but whether he reached the Twins before Walder Frey learned that Robb married Jeyne Westerling, especially since the Freys showed a particular enjoyment in desacrating both Robb Stark’s body as well as Catelyn’s, nor do they show any fear for the gods by breaking guest right. At least Walder Frey, nor any other Frey assures Catelyn that Hallis and the silent sisters crossed the Twins. Hallis himself would not have avoided crossing the Twins, since he would not know of any trouble between Freys and Starks, and I can see no reason for Hallis to insist the silent sisters to journey into the Neck unless there is dire need for it.

Timeline projects suggest that Hallis would have had time to cross the Twins before Walder Frey learned of Robb’s marriage, and Walder Frey not mentioning Hallis to the Starks might be out of pettiness. But since Lady Dustin has been watching out for Ned’s bones to emerge from the Neck, it is very likely that Moat Cailin was already in Ironborn hands, before Hallis reached it.

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Lady Barbrey Dustin: “Ned Stark returned the horse to me on his way back home to Winterfell. He told me that my lord had died an honorable death, that his body had been laid to rest beneath the red mountains of Dorne. He brought his sister’s bones back north, though, and there she rests … but I promise you, Lord Eddard’s bones will never rest beside hers. I mean to feed them to my dogs.”…[snip]… “Catelyn Tully dispatched Lord Eddard’s bones north before the Red Wedding, but your iron uncle seized Moat Cailin and closed the way. I have been watching ever since. Should those bones ever emerge from the swamps, they will get no farther than Barrowton.” (aDwD, The Turncloak)

 

While we hope the Crannogmen have been hosting Hallis and the silent sisters all that time, this is not the sole option. There is no reason to assume that Hallis would prefer to hang around at Greywater Watch, while Ironborn attack the North and his king is south. Is it not just as likely that Hallis would try to get back south to warn an outrider, a scout, the Freys, as well as make sure the silent sisters can continue their voyage North with Ned’s Bones? To reach the North, one does not always need to ride solely in the northern direction. Is it not just as likely that Hallis turned back south with the intent to escort the silent sisters to a port, such as Saltpans or Maidenpool, from where they could sail to White Harbor? And if that is the case, then their fate would have been more akin to what the High Sparrow reports to Brienne on the road from Duskendale to Rosby and to Cersei in King’s Landing.

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The septon had a lean sharp face and a short beard, grizzled grey and brown. His thin hair was pulled back and knotted behind his head, and his feet were bare and black, gnarled and hard as tree roots. “These are the bones of holy men, murdered for their faith. They served the Seven even unto death. Some starved, some were tortured. Septs have been despoiled, maidens and mothers raped by godless men and demon worshipers. Even silent sisters have been molested…” (aFfC, Brienne I)

 

Thrice the sparrows mention bones together with the claim that even silent sisters were raped: the High Sparrow tells it to Brienne, a one legged sparrow repeats the above speech to Cersei when she asks them about their intentions with all them bones at Baelor’s statue, and finally the High Sparrow repeats the crime against the silent sisters in his fist conversation with Cersei as well as asking whether she has seen the bones. When George repeats teamed phrases thrice in a chapter or arc of the same book (The High Sparrow’s arc in this case), then he usually wants us to pay attention to it. In reality, the High Sparrow would be unable to tell whose bones they find. If hypothetically Hal and the sisters went to Maidenpool and guested at a septry that was attacked by the Bloody Mummers, then the High Sparrow could not have know the box with Ned’s Bones were not a septon’s bones. Perhaps the bones the High Sparrow has in his cart may actually be Ned’s bones?

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Ser Creighton lifted one cheek off the saddle to scratch his arse. “What sort of man would slay a holy septon?”
Brienne knew what sort. Near Maidenpool, she recalled, the Brave Companions had strung a septon up by his heels from the limb of a tree and used his corpse for archery practice. She wondered if his bones were piled in that wayn with all the rest.
“A man would need to be a fool to rape a silent sister,” Ser Creighton was saying. “Even to lay hands upon one . . . it’s said they are the Stranger’s wives, and their female parts are cold and wet as ice.” (aFfC, Brienne I)

 

And what happened to the bones that the High Sparrow brought with him? Initially they pile them up around Baelor’s statue in King’s Landing, the same square where Ned was beheaded.

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When she saw what they had done to Baelor the Beloved, the queen had cause to rue her soft heart. The great marble statue that had smiled serenely over the plaza for a hundred years was waist-deep in a heap of bones and skulls. (aFfC, Cersei VI)

 

Afterwards the Sparrows cleaned up the square, and I assume they buried the bones beneath Baelor’s Sept. And yes, the thought of Ned’s bones circling back to King’s Landing and ending up beneath the sept of the Faith of the Seven hurt. Unfortunately, I cannot rule it out. In fact, the location where Ned’s bones were last seen is quite suspect for a circular fate. Riverrun is the opening word of James Joyce’s novel Finnegan’s Wake. The opening sentence of the novel should actually be attached to the last unfinished sentence at the end of the book. Once you do that you get

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a way a lone a last a loved a long the / riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.(Finnegan’s Wake, James Joyce)

 

The book is circular. Finnegan is a character from an Irish song. Drunk from whiskey he falls from a ladder while building a wall, broke his skull and everyone believed him dead. The mourners get rowdy and spill whiskey on Finnegan’s body who wakes from his coffin and is thus resurrected by the same element that killed him, whiskey or “water of life”. In Joyce’s book though the guests tell him he is better off where he was and put him back to rest (and thus kill him). Its main theme is the cycle of life and death with rivers being one of its many symbols (courtesy of Daendrew for pointing it out to me once). One of the most favored and hailed sections of the book are two washerwomen washing clothes at either side of the river, gosipping about the wife of the man accused of a crime. As the day grows darker into night, the river gets wider annd thus overflows its banks and the washerwomen turn gradually into stone and tree, their voices being no more than whispers.

And in relation to that renowned passage of the book, I want to point out the passages of the chapter where Catelyn and Robb cross the Whispering Wood first and then learn Fairmarket was washed out.

 
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As the gods would have it, their route took them through the Whispering Wood where Robb had won his first great victory. They followed the course of the twisting stream on the floor of that pinched narrow valley, much as Jaime Lannister's men had done that fateful night. It was warmer then, Catelyn remembered, the trees were still green, and the stream did not overflow its banks. Fallen leaves choked the flow now and lay in sodden snarls among the rocks and roots, and the trees that had once hidden Robb's army had exchanged their green raiment for leaves of dull gold spotted with brown, and a red that reminded her of rust and dry blood. Only the spruce and the soldier pines still showed green, thrusting up at the belly of the clouds like tall dark spears.
More than the trees have died since then, she reflected. On the night of the Whispering Wood, Ned was still alive in his cell beneath Aegon's High Hill, Bran and Rickon were safe behind the walls of Winterfell. And Theon Greyjoy fought at Robb's side, and boasted of how he had almost crossed swords with the Kingslayer. Would that he had. If Theon had died in place of Lord Karstark's sons, how much ill would have been undone?
As they passed through the battleground, Catelyn glimpsed signs of the carnage that had been; an overturned helm filling with rain, a splintered lance, the bones of a horse. Stone cairns had been raised over some of the men who had fallen here, but scavengers had already been at them. Amidst the tumbles of rock, she spied brightly colored cloth and bits of shiny metal. Once she saw a face peering out at her, the shape of the skull beginning to emerge from beneath the melting brown flesh.
It made her wonder where Ned had come to rest. The silent sisters had taken his bones north, escorted by Hallis Mollen and a small honor guard. Had Ned ever reached Winterfell, to be interred beside his brother Brandon in the dark crypts beneath the castle? Or did the door slam shut at Moat Cailin before Hal and the sisters could pass?

 

 

We have a very vivid scene here with a stream overflowing in a "wood of trees" that "whispers" and Catelyn reflects on the passage of time and cycle of life and death. And then two paragraphs later we have two bridges being "washed out" or "washed away" and Glover clingig to a rock to make it out again. In total there are seven paragraphs that reference the two washerwomen whispering as stone and tree at the overflowing banks of the Liffey of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, and at the heart of it (the 4th paragraph) Cat wonders where Ned Bones lie now.

A proper burial is something that every culture known to man finds important. It does not matter what you believe or even that you believe in after life, but the majority of people hold to some type of ritual that respects the integrity of the deceased’s body. Purposeful desacration of the remains of the deceased is one of the biggest taboos and therefore often used in wartime as the final demoralizing insult to the enemy, which is exactly what Lady Dustin intends to attempt and what the Freys certainly did to Robb Stark and Catelyn. It is thus painful for readers to know what happens to Robb's body, to Catelyn and the idea that Ned's Bones are not safely tucked away in Greywater Watch.

There are indications, however, that the desecration of Starks and the prevention of the proper burial might actually aid the surviving Starks. This is a family steeped in chthonic symbolism while alive, whose power may actually grow as dead spirits roam the underwordly realm that is the North. Even Ned’s southern wife ends up being resurrected as Lady Stoneheart, and she is only wedded to a Stark. Had the Freys buried her properly according to Riverland’s customs of burning a body on a boat, Beric could never have resurrected her. As for Ned Stark himself, not only is there Ned’s damnation of plenty of people in the chthonic dungeons, but Bran and Rickon meet and talk with Ned Stark down in the crypts at his empty tomb before they receive the confirmation message that Ned is dead (aGoT). Arya talks with a voice she believes to be her father at the weirwood of Harrenhall (aCoK) before she decides to escape, and Jon dreams of Winterfell’s godswood with its weirwood having Ned Stark’s face (aSoS).

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Then, so faintly, it seemed as if she heard her father’s voice. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” he said.
“But there is no pack,” she whispered to the weirwood. Bran and Rickon were dead, the Lannisters had Sansa, Jon had gone to the Wall. “I’m not even me now, I’m Nan.”
“You are Arya of Winterfell, daughter of the north. You told me you could be strong. You have the wolf blood in you.”
“The wolf blood.” Arya remembered now. “I’ll be as strong as Robb. I said I would.” She took a deep breath, then lifted the broomstick in both hands and brought it down across her knee. It broke with a loud crack, and she threw the pieces aside. I am a direwolf, and done with wooden teeth. (aCoK, Arya X)

 

While initially her father’s voice repeats what he once said to her in King’s Landing, and it can be waved off as a memory of her father, his second reply is not an actual memory, but that of a father in the present referring to the past. It is possible that his spirit was indeed talking to her through the weirwood. Osiris only became the ruler of the afterlife in death, but Ned Stark already was a ruler of of the underworld in life. Why would death make him less so? Because the previous Lords of Winterfell and Kings of Winter do not seem to have power anymore? But they are actually properly buried within the tombs of the crypts, beneath their statues, with swords in their laps. Their residual power seems contained at one location. As long as Ned Stark is not properly buried, he seems to be free to manifest himself in the crypts as well as outside of them.

Conclusion (tl;tr)

While we hope that Ned Stark's bones are safely waiting in the Neck with Howland Reed to be brought to Winterfell, it is not certain that Hallis Mollen and the silent sisters would have waited there, but instead may have decided to turn south for Maidenpool (that was sacked thrice) in order to board a ship for White Harbor, and their fate after exiting the Neck south again would have been dire, either in relation to the Twins, Saltpans or Maidenpool. George repeatedly informs us of the fact that silent sisters were molested, and always in combination with bones they carry of people the Sparrows believe to have been septons. Those bones were carried back to King's Landing, displayed at the location where Ned was beheaded, and presumably buried beneath Baelor's Sept. Furthermore, the name of the keep Riverrun where Ned's bones were last seen in the text and the passages where Cat wonders about their fate are steeped in allusions and references to some of the most famous features and paragrapsh of James Joyce's novel Finnegan's Wake, a book that was written to be circular and has as its major them the circle of life and death. The sole balm to the grievous idea that Ned's bones circled back to rest at the location where he was killed, with no one ever able to figure out which of those bones are indeed his and thus forever lost, is that it might enable his spirit to be free to help his children (and nephew), for there is no sword to lock  him in the crypts of Winterfell.

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Just when you think everything has been talked to death, something gut wrenching comes your way. This is great, and I want to give it a second read to make sure I didn't miss anything, but for now...

A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

...Time is different for a tree than for a man. Sun and soil and water, these are the things a weirwood understands, not days and years and centuries. For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction. ...

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39 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Just when you think everything has been talked to death, something gut wrenching comes your way. This is great, and I want to give it a second read to make sure I didn't miss anything, but for now...

A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

...Time is different for a tree than for a man. Sun and soil and water, these are the things a weirwood understands, not days and years and centuries. For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction. ...

That is indeed another painful quote to add with Riverrun's concept of Finnegan's Wake.

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Ah it is sad to think Ned may never rest and that even his escort, Hallis Mollen and the Silent Sisters, were more casualties of Ned's fated appointment as Hand of The King.   Still, as you say, his spirit may be free to wander.  Certainly there must be some present interaction with Bran if Ned's spirit is sentient?   I think the majority of readers think or at least suspect that Cersei will have a wildfyre event.  I would expect any bones in the general area would be destroyed.  Is destruction of all mortal matter enough to allow Ned to rest or must he be interred at Winterfell with a sword to bind him?   

Always amazed, as usual @sweetsunray--well done again.   

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@Curled Finger I think that while Ned's spirit lingers it is not of the strength that Bran has. He's not a greenseer. His spirit might be restless, but it's also fading in the sense that Beric fades. Just some echoing focus remains. It seems from Arya's hearing his voice from the Harrenhal weirwood and Jon seeing Ned's face in the Winterfell weirwood suggest that Ned Stark's spirit managed to connect into the weirnet through death. And I think he's more comparable to the echo of children in the ravens. It's possible that Bran indeed may encounter Ned in that way. We haven't seen much of Bran's weirwood experiences yet, have we? Only a teaser. Maybe, he's the voice that reminds Bran to return home? I'm not saying Ned is a warg or skinchanger necessarily in the sense that Varamyr is, he might have had some potential for it that got southronned out of him, but at death his need to protect Arya (he might have seen a glimpse of her on the square) and Jon (what Bran remembers as having been important to his father in his crypt dream) may have been so powerful that he connected enough with it to find some weirwood sappling.

Not sure whether Stark spirits that manage to get into the weirnet are laid at rest when their bones are burned. It is a type of second life. If Jon's body were burned while he's in say Ghost, would his spirit suddenly pop out of existence?

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@sweetsunray, thanks for elaborating on poor old Ned's roaming spirit.   In this vein I have to ask about the spirits of the dead Starks Bran & his group made off with as well as the spirits of those dead kings whose swords have rusted away.  I think the curiosity of Ned's actions in placing Lyanna & Brandon in the crypts is generally accepted as some type of affront to tradition.  It seems to me that there may be some consequence to all these breaks with the traditional burial rite.  

As you say, I think it's fair to expect all these consciousneses to "go into the trees" which would be a very good place to reach Bran. I just wonder if the spirits of kings in the north or of winter would be some strange new thing for the collective weirwood consciousness?  this is an interesting  thing to ponder and i'm very glad you opened the possibilities up for discussion.

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Burrying Lyanna and Brandon in the crypts is not an affront to tradition. All Starks are buried in the crypts, children, cousins, sisters, etc. They are usually buried in anonymous tombs within the crypts, with no sepulchres, statues, etc. Solely the Lords and Kings of Winterfell normally get a statue and a sword. Conceptually they are the sole ones who were rulers of the underworld (North & beyond), and thus the sole ones with Osiris-like powers as dead rulers. Since that would compete with the living ruler of the underworld, Hades, their power as dead rulers need to be contained by the sword. They solely get to reign their tomb, so to speak. The sisters, brothers, cousins and children who never ruled would not have had such a power to begin with in life and thus are harmless to the living ruler of WF. When Ned gives Lyanna a statue though he makes her a ruler, a queen of the underworld (and she has no sword). We see the impact that has in his dreams and haunted memories. She haunts him and Robert. 

As there is no living ruler Stark in WF at the moment, the taking of the swords would conceptually empower those dead to haunt their enemies. Theon might call himself Prince of Winterfell and sleep in Ned Stark's bed, but the dead for sure pester him. Theon is later very much aware of the hostility coming from the crypts when he visits it with Lady Dustin. Roose and Ramsay do not have a POV, but you might wonder what their dreams are like at present. Meanwhile a Ghost of Winterfell is killing several men in Winterfell who belong to the enemy of the Starks.

It is possibly one of the reasons that Jon has to die, and that Bran, Rickon and Arya are to be believed dead. In that way they not only get in touch with the underwordly nature of the Starks, but would not be in conflict with the several dead rulers in the crypts that lack a sword. In a way those now become a pack of dead rulers.  

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This is great stuff, as usual, @sweetsunray. The recent thread about Lady Dustin raised some interesting questions about Ned's bones. Sorting out her function and symbolism - the keeper of barrows, scion of horse experts, lover of Brandon, widow of the Tower of Joy - might help to illuminate the mystery of Ned's bones. Or maybe details about Hal Mollen will somehow point the way.

I'm glad you pointed out the importance of the Whispering Wood to Catelyn and Robb "losing their way" as they try to reach The Twins. A Catelyn chapter at the end of AGoT strongly conveys that Catelyn "hears" the whispering of the wood, and that the message is to seek peace. Robb's bannermen ignore the whispering, and Robb is swept along with them to accept their demand that he become King in the North and continue the war. Catelyn and Robb's return to the wood shows that it is not possible to go back - people have died, including Ned.

But the memory of the battle in the Whispering Wood also causes Catelyn to think about Theon, and to wish that he had died instead of the Karstarks. I suspect that there can be more than one Set-like figure in the allusion to Egyptian myth, and Theon seems a likely candidate with his ambitions to be a king and his unrequited wish to be a Stark. He has also been up to mischief in the Winterfell crypt, I suspect. (Stealing and selling swords from the old statues, I theorized in a recent thread, allowing him to arrive back in Pyke with the fancy clothes he is described as wearing.)

I agree with your thinking that keeping Ned's bones out of the Winterfell crypt, and without the ritual items, may actually be helping the Starks, spiritually, instead of creating a problem. I am intrigued by the idea that the bones might have been buried at Baelor's Sept. Bael the Bard (with his connection to Winterfell crypt) and King Baelor and Petyr Baelish is a wordplay group that has rich possibilities. (Possibly also including Robert's natural daughter Bella.) The idea of Ned's bones interred at a Bael location is very, very interesting.

15 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

...Time is different for a tree than for a man. Sun and soil and water, these are the things a weirwood understands, not days and years and centuries. For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction. ...

Interesting contrast to the closing line from The Great Gatsby, just after the narrator describes the impossibility of Gatsby reaching the distant green light for which he pines:

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

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@Seams Certainly several character can function as Set, and Catelyn has 3 Horus sons (Robb the King who unites 2 kingdoms and attempts to avenge his father, Bran the youth with the greenseeing Eye of Horus and who needs to be protected from assassinations and illness, and Rickon the baby).

The two routes Hollis could have taken fit the Book of Two Ways. The Book of the Dead is the best known title in Egyptian underworld lore: the dead have to deny false claims about what they did and did not do in life and their heart is weiged against a feather. But there were two ways of afterlife, be like Ra and travel on his celestial barge along the sky from east to west in the world of the living (and west to east in the underworld... there we have MMD's words) and thus the celestial afterlife, or sit beside Osiris in Duat, the underworld. But to get there a dead person had to overcome several gateways, obstacles, demons lying in wait. Spells were written into the bottom of the coffins where the dead person would speak to these demonic guardians by identifying themselves with Osiris (and thus mimic his succesful voyage). It included a map that depicts two ways at some section and as an extra you have the short-way and the long-way after that. You can compare those spells and the drawn map to a game guidebook that tells you in which room, nook and cranny assailants might be and what exactly you have to do (the buttons and the moves) to survive them, where at one point you can choose between navigating by road or by river, and you also have the choice to do the short-cut straight to the end, or choose a longer route that gives you extra perks. Heck, it even includes the dead soul getting items and clothes (props) after succeeding a part of the journey. The issue with that hazardous journey was that you could experience a second death, but if you succeeded then you had a resurrected second life for all eternity. Oh and a part of that Egyptian journey includes "the gates of fire" (on the long route).

When he's alive, Ned is like Hades, but once he's dead he becomes an Osiris, and "his place" is beside the other Lord Starks of the Crypts (and thus underworld). Through the Neck would be the short-route, via the south would be the long route. And if the bones are indeed beneath Baelor's Sept he's not just sacred to his family, but got the perk of being holified by the Faith. But he still would have to go through the gates of fire.

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29 minutes ago, Daendrew said:

I heart me some Sweetsunray.

As an aside, "Cailin" means young unmarried woman. Moat Cailin is the Maiden's fort. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cailín 

You mentioned it once, and it wasn't until I was revising the essay and considered whether Hallis Mollen could have gone south at some point, or the silent sisters with everything else that I could see how applicable Finnegan's Wake was. :) So thank you.

Shouldn't that be the Maiden Moat? A moat is often water filled barrier between keep and surroundings... Usually they have swans floating around on it ;)

 

 

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1 minute ago, sweetsunray said:

You mentioned it once, and it wasn't until I was revising the essay and considered whether Hallis Mollen could have gone south at some point, or the silent sisters with everything else that I could see how applicable Finnegan's Wake was. :) So thank you.

Shouldn't that be the Maiden Moat? A moat is often water filled barrier between keep and surroundings... Usually they have swans floating around on it ;)

 

 

2

There's definitely something fishy about that Maiden. Methink's she's a Deep One. 

Swans... lizard lions... same difference if they're from House Swann.

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1 minute ago, Daendrew said:

There's definitely something fishy about that Maiden. Methink's she's a Deep One. 

Swans... lizard lions... same difference if they're from House Swann.

Or of house Stark. Arya's water dancing is ballet, with her trying to stand on her tippy toes on one leg. She even encounters and overhears a wizard down below the keep, and then goes for a night swim. ;)

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18 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

 

Or of house Stark. Arya's water dancing is ballet, with her trying to stand on her tippy toes on one leg. She even encounters and overhears a wizard down below the keep, and then goes for a night swim. ;)

 
 
 

That scene where she overheard Varys and Illyrio is pure genius on GRRM's part. 

"If you can make one Hand disappear, why not another?"

On first read, it is about killing Ned. But really they were talking about JonCon and how he made Connington "disappear." I am in awe of GRRM. I started taking some classes on writing and Jesus Baeling Christ it's hard work. I think his experience being a smidgen short of being a professional chess grandmaster is what sets him apart. This is a three layered game of cyvasse that "this is no longer a game for two players, if ever it was."

Update: I just noticed the shoutout. Thanks Sweets. 

Edited by Daendrew

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3 minutes ago, Daendrew said:

That scene where she overheard Varys and Illyrio is pure genius on GRRM's part. 

"If you can make one Hand disappear, why not another?"

On first read, it is about killing Ned. But really they were talking about JonCon and how he made Connington "disappear." I am in awe of GRRM. I started taking some classes on writing and Jesus Baeling Christ it's hard work. I think his experience being a smidgen short of being a professional chess grandmaster is what sets him apart. This is a three layered game of cyvasse that "this is no longer a game for two players, if ever it was."

Three layered? Like dozen and one layered more exactly :lmao:

For example, while not yet completed and just a draft at the moment, Brienne is this chatterbox in her head, but she hardly ever says wht she thinks. So, a character on her journey might say something, and in her mind she answers the question or comment, but in reality she remains mute. And Podrick Payne is the male younger parallel of her, and one of the first thigs we ever learn about him is that Tyrion asked him to stick his tongue out to check whether he has one, because he harldy ever says something. In some ways, Brienne is a silent sister, and Catelyn as Lady Stoneheart also has become a silent sister, who is the widow of a former ruler of the underworld and the wife of dead ruler of the underworld, and we could consider Podrick as a silent brother.

So we have a Maiden Moat and a Maidenpool. Did Hal hang around the moat or did he make an attempt for the pool? If the first, Ned's bones are hidden in a swamp. If the second, Ned's bones have been declared holy and await a ring of fire (the wildfire beneath Vynseia's Hill was cleared, luckily).

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1 minute ago, sweetsunray said:

Three layered? Like dozen and one layered more exactly :lmao:

For example, while not yet completed and just a draft at the moment, Brienne is this chatterbox in her head, but she hardly ever says wht she thinks. So, a character on her journey might say something, and in her mind she answers the question or comment, but in reality she remains mute. And Podrick Payne is the male younger parallel of her, and one of the first thigs we ever learn about him is that Tyrion asked him to stick his tongue out to check whether he has one, because he harldy ever says something. In some ways, Brienne is a silent sister, and Catelyn as Lady Stoneheart also has become a silent sister, who is the widow of a former ruler of the underworld and the wife of dead ruler of the underworld, and we could consider Podrick as a silent brother.

So we have a Maiden Moat and a Maidenpool. Did Hal hang around the moat or did he make an attempt for the pool? If the first, Ned's bones are hidden in a swamp. If the second, Ned's bones have been declared holy and await a ring of fire (the wildfire beneath Vynseia's Hill was cleared, luckily).

 

LSH has become a Silent Sister. My mind is blown.

It's interesting that Podrick is a Payne and Ser Ilyn has no tongue. 

Can you imagine how hard it is for GRRM to manage the literally dozens of plots and subplots he has going on? Most of them need to be untangled in Winds because the last book will be a sword and sorcery apocalypse with politics playing a key but lesser role. 

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4 minutes ago, Daendrew said:

LSH has become a Silent Sister. My mind is blown.

It's interesting that Podrick is a Payne and Ser Ilyn has no tongue. 

Can you imagine how hard it is for GRRM to manage the literally dozens of plots and subplots he has going on? Most of them need to be untangled in Winds because the last book will be a sword and sorcery apocalypse with politics playing a key but lesser role. 

Silent sisters and silent "brothers" are pretty much "psychopomps". The sisters prepare the body and escort it to its final resting place. The brothers helps with the crossing... Ilyn Payne pretty much looks like Charon (the later descriptions). And of course Twins are the "crossing".

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5 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Silent sisters and silent "brothers" are pretty much "psychopomps". The sisters prepare the body and escort it to its final resting place. The brothers helps with the crossing... Ilyn Payne pretty much looks like Charon (the later descriptions). And of course Twins are the "crossing".

 

Brilliant.

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I recall you theorizing that Ned promised Lyanna to put Jon on the throne, that he promised her something he couldn't fulfill then fought the KG.  

Leaving a vow (and such a vow that is!) unfulfilled would lead one into pergatory, no?  Perhaps Ned could make amends for this somehow in the Afterlife?

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3 hours ago, Isobel Harper said:

I recall you theorizing that Ned promised Lyanna to put Jon on the throne, that he promised her something he couldn't fulfill then fought the KG.  

Leaving a vow (and such a vow that is!) unfulfilled would lead one into pergatory, no?  Perhaps Ned could make amends for this somehow in the Afterlife?

Actually I think he fulfilled his promises to her. It's the promises to Robert he was unable to keep. But I do think she haunted him for making shady promises. That, like Robert, she asked something meaning one thing but in such a way that he could promise it with something else in mind, knowing full well what she meant but expressed it much too general, and that she never specified it. The ToJ dream is stylistically written to match an Orphic hymn about Melinoe, a daughter of Persephone who afflicts her targets with strange nightmares.

The gods swore their promises and pledges on the Styx. If they failed them, they were not allowed to partake of ambrosia or drink nectar/mead for a year, not breathe for a year, and could not sit on councils or be part of celebrations for 9 years.

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