Feather Crystal

Reread Project: the Titled Chapters - The Prophet AFFC chapter 1

63 posts in this topic

17 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

While I don't know enough about Wenda in order to comment on her connection to drowning specifically (maybe you can elaborate and help me out!), apart from her affinity for 'burning her mark into the buttocks of her highborn captives' which links her to the marking motif; more generally consider that a 'spot' is a 'mark' in the sense of a blemish, in addition to it being a sign that someone is marked or singled out for greatness potentially, and either real or symbolic death.  Wenda the white fawn burning a black fawn into a white buttocks is also an image rife with inversion for you to unpack!  So, to the dappling, mottling, motley, spotting, piebald assortment of marks and tattoos, we might also add all those marked by burning (Jon, Victarion. Beric, etc).

Thank you Ravenous Reader for such a thoughtful and thorough post! There is a lot of good stuff here and the only way I can give this justice is to break your post down into sections and try to keep my focus on each area.

I should have detailed my reasoning regarding Wenda and how I connect her to wells and drowning, but this is a topic that keeps expanding over the months that I have been delving into inversions. (begin reading here and subsequent posts) And I hesitate to detail too much, because I don't want to go too far off on a tangent when I'd like to keep this particular reread thread focused on Damphair and Drowned Prophets. Wenda will come up again later in the Queenmaker chapter reread. BUT I will try to condense where I'm coming from. 

We all have our specialties which cause us to come at these theories from different directions, but what I've found is that we still uncover similar themes. You, Pain killer Jane, Blue Tiger, and LmL delve deeply into symbolism. I am in awe at your abilities! I enjoy reading some of it, but I try to be careful about not falling down your rabbit holes, because I end up spending several hours reading and don't get anything else done! lol  My specialty is finding parallel inversions so my interpretation of symbolism stems from the foundation of inversions.

OK, back to Wenda...I'll try to condense, but I fear that may not be possible. First I will assert my conclusion that Wenda is meant to symbolize Lyanna. Before we get to Wenda we have to lay out the foundation upon which to build.

I believe Tywin and Cersei plotted to kidnap Lyanna and frame Rhaegar. The Soiled Knight revealed that Jaime and/or Robert Baratheon were drawn into the plot. Lets back this up again to insert that I believe the original plot began with the Citadel. The Citadel wanted to rid the realm of Targaryens and place an Andal king back on the iron throne. Tywin was viewed as their Warrior of the Seven, while Robert was their Smith. And in a related, but separate subject all together, Sandor will be their Stranger.

One of Tywin's main motivations for abandoning King Aerys was that he wanted Cersei to marry Rhaegar and become queen. I believe even after Rhaegar married Elia, Tywin held out hope that Elia would either die or that Rhaegar would set her aside, but when it became apparent that neither thing would happen he needed a different plan to put his daughter upon the throne.

Secret communications were already happening between Tywin and the other Lords Hoster, Rickard, Steffon, and Jon Arryn. We know this because Tywin agreed to promise Jaime to Hoster's daughter Lyssa. Tywin understood what the marriage alliances meant: that these Houses were plotting a rebellion, and I suspect Rhaegar was originally their intended king, but this would not satisfy Tywin's desire for his daughter to be queen. The plot to frame Rhaegar was between the Citadel and Tywin and may not have included Hoster, Rickard, and Steffon. Although I think an argument could be made that they all knew, but that's a separate discussion. In any case Tywin understood that Robert was already engaged to Lyanna, so Lyanna simply had to go. There was the added benefit of framing Rhaegar in that it would unite the North and motivate them into action.

It is suspected that Cersei drowned her childhood friend in a well, so bringing someone to a well symbolizes killing them. In the Queenmaker chapter Arianne has Ser Arys sneak little Myrcella out of Sunspear by setting up an elaborate scheme where her handmaiden Rosamund is painted with red spots in order to keep people far enough away that they won't realize that the man standing guard in Ser Arys armor wasn't Arys and that Rosamund wasn't Myrcella. Ser Arys then brings little Myrcella to a well. Arianne is Cersei's parallel and "little Myrcella" symbolizes the marriage pact between the throne and Dorne. The parallel to this is the marriage pact between the potential throne of Robert Baratheon and the North (Lyanna). The man dressed in Ser Arys's armor has a parallel too, and I fully admit that I go back and forth between identifying him as either Jaime or Robert. I believe Jaime or Robert dressed in a replicate of Rhaegar's armor so that people would believe Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna. Jaime/Robert is the robber knight that Arianne dreams of at the well. Symbolically Arianne had asked Arys to bring "the marriage pact" to a well. The parallel inversion to this is Cersei asked Jaime/Robert to bring "the marriage pact" to "a well" (to die). 

So how does Wenda fit into this? Wenda was a member of the Kingswood Brotherhood which was a group of outlaws that kidnapped nobles and held them for ransom. The group of people that kidnapped Lyanna (a noblewoman) never intended to hold her for ransom, because she was "spotted" which meant she was marked to die. Instead of Wenda being a member of the group, her inversion was to be the one that was kidnapped.

 

17 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Sometimes this distinguishing 'mark' is literal, e.g. Bloodraven's raven-shaped birthmark (of the 'port-wine stain' variety, 'nevus flammeus' or 'firemark') or figurative, e.g. Bloodraven's albinism, although the very opposite of a mark being a depigmentation, nevertheless marks him out as different; even his bastardy is another kind of mark or 'stain' in society's eyes (to which we might add others with various afflictions or idiosyncrasies which make them stand out for some reason, such as Bran's crippling, Aemon's blindness, Sweetrobin's epilepsy, Tyrion's dwarfism etc.).

 

I agree that being physically or figuratively marked is indicative of a special meaning and all seem to be tied to death in some way even if some of them are reborn in some manner. I don't believe Aeron physically died. He certainly symbolically died and he himself believes the man he was died and was reborn as a priest. 

 

17 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Given that drowning is a metaphor for greenseeing, that 'drowning' is frequently coupled with 'spotting' imagery, and that greenseers like the Children of the Forest with whom they collaborate are marked or spotted (and certainly blemished or stained in the sense of morally tainted), we can say as a general rule that the spotting motif marks out those who are susceptible to third-eye opening in addition to being prone to engage in risky, morally questionable endeavors, although not all those who are susceptible to third-eye experiences are greenseers.  The marked ones -- as in the case of the victims of Wenda's charred-arse (her version of 'scorched-earth') trademark -- may be greenseer thralls instead of overseers, just as Wenda's victims are 'owned' by her by branding (analagous to how branded cattle designate ownership).

 

I think drowning is more than a metaphor for greenseeing. Drowning is connected to spots, dappling, and rebirth into something different...elevated somehow, or genetically changed into a different sort of race, but I suspect that you actually have to die to become a greenseer. Bran didn't feel his death, but I believe he's been transformed and reborn and an undead creature. Yes his blood makes him a greenseer, but in order to be wed to the trees he had to die somehow, but it's almost as if he'll experience a suspended death. I would not be surprised if his body stops growing, or growth has been slowed. I mean that's certainly up for debate, because it's hard to tell if Bloodraven already looks the same as he always had except he's got roots growing through his body.

 

17 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Theon, for example, who is also marked by his various mutilations in addition to the stigma of being a ward which marks him out for death, is more of a thrall to various people (first Ned, then Robb, then Ramsay and by the end of ADWD on his way to becoming Bran's 'well-trained raven,' in my opinion).  A ward is basically a dead man walking under the shadow of the sword, as Theon expresses himself, having to live with the dark spectre of Ice hanging over him.  I also believe Theon is marked in the eyes of the gods as a kinslayer, since the 'miller's boys' whom he burnt may have been his own seed, a crime for which he in turn bitterly forfeited his further reproductive potency. 

 

I haven't fully explored Theon's symbolism, but I suspect he's mirroring Rhaegar. The Greyjoys are all mirroring Targaryens and Blackfyres. He's Balon's prince and heir so he's on my to do list to explore any parallel inversions to Rhaegar. The miller's boys parallel Rhaegar's children. I suspect the reason why Rhaenys and Aegon were wrapped in Lannister flags was to conceal that they weren't actually Rhaegar's children. If you find any symbolism connecting flags to fire or burning let me know.

 

17 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

When he pledges himself to the 'old gods' at the heart tree, that is his true baptism, not the one he received from Aeron.  Significantly, Theon is marked as Bran's man (just as Wenda claims her thralls in her name) in the mystical encounter with the heart tree, when he is marked -- or 'branded' (ha ha) -- by Bran's hand reaching out to claim him via the bloodstained hand of the heart tree brushing against his forehead (the site of the third eye).  This action is similar to the blessing conferred by a priest, making Bran a priest of of the drowned just like Aeron.  @Blue Tiger has also recently highlighted the quote where Ned predicts Bran would become the 'High Septon' which makes sense in this respect:  

 

HAR! BRANded! Theon was branded by Bran the greenseer, just as I suspect something happened to Rhaegar's body at the tower of joy. After his death on the Trident I think there is evidence suggested in parallel inversion form that he was brought to the tower of joy and that blood magic was performed in an attempt to resurrect him either to life or into a dragon. Lyanna was the sacrificial "horse" similar to Drogo's horse. But that, again, is another thread altogether!

Edited by Feather Crystal

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16 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

The 'high septon' and 'high sparrow' preside over the other sparrows, the way the Great Other presumably presides over the Others in the hierarchy, making Bran a candidate for the 'Great Other' glimpsed by Melisandre.  Apart from being one of Bran's 'well-trained ravens', kneeling at the foot of the heart tree also makes Theon one of Bran's direwolves, like the stone direwolves at the foot of the Kings in the crypt.  Bran is an inversion, if you like, of Aeron.  Aeron is a false prophet, heralding a false king (Euron), both of whom Theon ultimately rejects in his heart, aligning himself with the Starks, as demonstrated by his sincere communion with Bran at the tree and how he instinctively identifies with his 'namesake Theon Stark the hungry wolf' in the crypts.

 

I wish I had hit enter before "quote this" so that I could preface the above...oh well.

Is the Great Other a true god or is he/she the old gods, or even just one side of magic? I see the Great Other as the ice side of magic, while Rh'llor is the fire side of magic. The great question is who created this magic? Or is the real question, who learned how to tap into this magic? Bran is learning how to tap into the source of magic, but will he only have access to ice magic or will he have access to fire magic as well?

Like I mentioned upthread I view Theon as a mirrored parallel to Rhaegar, so my interpretation of symbolism will be different since I'm coming from a foundation of inversions. I believe Rhaegar and all Targaryens were students of magic, so sitting at the foot of a weirwood is symbolic of learning from those that have knowledge of magic.

I don't see Bran as an inversion or prophet of or like Aeron. Technically Bran is on the same level as the gods. Greenseers are gods or at the minimum part of the godhead. The white walkers are parallel inversions to Drowned priests since they bring the cold air that reanimates the dead just as Aeron breathes life into the drowned. 

I tend to believe that the ironborn are practicing their drowning ritual in memory of some lost ability much like Jesus instructed his believers to share bread and wine to symbolize his body and blood that was soon to be sacrificed. The ritual of taking communion in memory of Jesus's sacrifice is similar to the drowning and breathing life preformed by Aeron and other priests as being symbolic of a past ability to raise the dead. I believe the ironborn once had their own greenseer that worked magic. Maybe even being the source of the original white walkers of old.

 

16 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

If the inversion holds, and Aeron and Euron are false usurpers of the North, that would potentially make Bran the true prophet heralding the true King of Winter and the North, namely Jon.  The North is not 'under the sea' because the Ironborn invade, it's 'under the sea' due to the underground resistance movement welling up from the depths of its true heart -- the epicentre of which is and has always been the heart tree of Winterfell, in which Bran more truly than any other resides.  I surmise it's from there that the movements of the forces of Winter and the Others are conducted.  As Seams and many others have pointed out, a 'heart tree' can additionally be a wordplay on 'hart tree' and a white hart is a white fawn, so Bran is a kind of Wenda figure wielding his burning brand!

 

I theorize that Aeron and Euron are fated to relive Bittersteel and Bloodraven's places on the wheel of time. We are meant to find the parallels between the characters and realize that whatever Aeron and Euron experience it will be the opposite of what Bittersteel and Bloodraven did in the past.

What ever happened in the past that created the original white walkers, Bran's job will be to reverse the outcome.

 

16 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

@Blue-Eyed Wolf also mentioned how seers are often marked by their wild, streaming halos or manes of hair.  In this respect, note Aeron's other name 'Damphair' is a wordplay, firstly of 'damp hair' and secondly, in German 'dampf' which means 'steam' plus 'air'; similarly, Bran has hair 'kissed by fire.'

 

I was trying to find a physical description of the white walkers to see if they are described as having streaming long hair, because there are artist renderings that do show flowing or even flame-like white-blue hair. Euron too is said to have long black hair which is reverse of Bloodraven's long white hair. I think it's more of a descriptive parallel to draw connections between priests and white walkers.

 

16 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

What I'm saying is that the Ironborn are stuck in the physical reality of the 'sea', whereas Bran has made the metaphysical leap to the 'see'.  This power has been acquired at great cost.  Whereas Aeron only plays at sacrificing people, Bran has actually (albeit unknowingly) partaken of human flesh, including that of his friend Jojen.

 

I've touched on this earlier with regards to comparing the ritualistic aspect of drowning as being something performed in memory of some lost knowledge of what their "drowned" greenseer could do.

16 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

The shelter of the drowned god's priest is a bit like Bloodraven's cave.  Constructed predominantly of driftwood, to which Nagga the pale demon tree Ygg is also compared, it's an innocuous version of  the cave whose columns and roof are formed by the weirwoods in Bloodraven's cavern.  It's built just above the tideline, just as Bloodraven's cave is located north of the Wall -- another symbolic 'tideline'.  Except -- and this is where the inversion of the symbolism comes in -- since the expanse north of the wall represents 'under the sea' territory (the underworld), Bloodraven and Bran are actually located under the sea and underground, whereas Aeron/Damphair has retreated out of the sea to drier ground, above ground, on the other side of the partition.

I like this description. :)

16 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

 Imagine the 'tideline' as the highest extent on the beach of the sea, analogous to the Wall as the highest extent on the continent /Westeros of the advancing sea of ice (whether understood as a glacier, the wave of migrating Wildlings, the rising tide of wights and Others riding the 'winds of Winter', or the parallel world in space -- also a sea... That's why we call the craft daring to voyage into its unknown depths 'space ships' -- in which there may be, according to @LmL's compelling theory, an ice moon meteor on the way, whereby the 'tide line' would be represented by the atmosphere of the planet, analogous to the Wall.  So, earth is caught or sandwiched between two seas -- the one above and the one below.)

Aeron prays to the drowned god beneath the waves for a word.  If Bran and Bloodraven are the entities 'under the sea,' does that make one or both of them 'the drowned god'?  Is singing the 'language of Leviathan' the equivalent of the song of the earth or True Tongue?  Is there a difference between the waves 'rumbling' and the leaves 'rustling'?  

I agree the wights are a sea of dead that are rising and may even flow over the Wall like ice spiders.

16 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

First and foremost, slaves are tattooed, making prophets slaves, despite their elevated stature.  The acquisition of power goes hand in hand with servitude to that power, which entails paying a price for that power.  Accordingly, the greenseers -- the 'prophets' or 'seers' in this equation -- are enslaved to the tree for its inscrutable purposes, just as they enslave the tree for their own purposes.  This relation is evident in how Bloodraven is bound, pinioned, and penetrated by the tendrils of the tree -- which resemble the tentacles of the Kraken.

I don't believe Aeron is tattooed, but I do like the connection between slaves and the priesthood.

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17 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Such a crucial question -- good job!  Why do you say the entity responsible has to be related to Bloodraven?

This goes back to my belief in inversions. The Greyjoy family is a parallel inversion to the Targaryen/Blackfyre family. This is who I've identified so far:

Euron = Bloodraven

Victarion = Bittersteel

King Balon = King Aegon IV

Princess Asha = Rhaella or Shiera Seastar

Prince Theon = Rhaegar or perhaps Daemon III

Aeron the Damphair = Maester Aemon or ???

Edited by Feather Crystal

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