Black Crow

Heresy 196 and a look at the Wall

410 posts in this topic

On 24/03/2017 at 3:07 PM, LynnS said:

I don't agree that Drogo's soul went into one of the dragon eggs.  Dany sees his soul rising into the stars on his stallion. 

In fact, I was not speaking of Drogo's soul going into an egg, but into the dragon after the egg hatched : the sound of "Drogo's whip confounds with the sound of the egg exploding. In her "hallucination", Dany imagines that the whip makes the egg hatching, but I'm tempted to see it as a "visual materialization" of Drogo's blood (and perhaps the moment when soul and body are separated), blood which permit that the egg open. 

As well, and to come back to the Wall, the swords of the Others could be some extentions of themselves, a visual and physical materialization of their substance, like their armor, flesh and bones. The blood would be the material which permit that they have some consistancy, and the cold help to keep this "spell". But fire and hot on the contrary disolves it making the blood evaporating. When Sam kills the Other, this one begin to melt and appears like "rivulets as pale blue blood", and the "hiss" it produces is like the "hiss" of cold water where you tempered very hot thing (for example your saucepan after coooking something). Now, the question is why Others can't pass the Wall if it is icy ? Does the Wall absorb the "blood" ? Perhaps, there are answers with Melisandre as shadowbinder. 

Children's time came back ! 

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On 3/10/2017 at 8:48 AM, JNR said:

Sure, this is what I had intended to suggest.  If per GRRM the Wall "took thousands of years to be raised to its present height," then clearly it was originally far shorter.  

You also see this in the tale of the Night's King; if he spied his true love from atop the Wall, and knew her to be attractive, he certainly wasn't standing seven hundred feet above her.  Not unless he had military-grade binoculars.

Agreed. The NK's Wall had to have been far shorter than the current iteration. Jeor himself tells us that the watch used to spend the summers building the Wall higher. Take those summers, which last for years, and multiply them by the amount of summers that have occurred since the Long Night, and we have centuries upon centuries, if not millennia upon millennia, during which Sworn Brothers would have been pouring gravel and raising blocks. Each passing winter would galvanize it in a nice fresh layer of ice so that it should shine, all together, like a sparkly blue crystal. :D

 

On 3/10/2017 at 8:48 AM, JNR said:

Bear in mind that following the Long Night, the First Men all over Westeros would have had an incredible incentive to pool resources and build such a barrier.  Half their continent, roughly, had just been devastated. 

This is of course true, but we are given reason to believe that the Night's King's iteration of the Wall existed prior to the end of the Long Night.

As the sun began to set the shadows of the towers lengthened and the wind blew harder, sending gusts of dry dead leaves rattling through the yards. The gathering gloom put Bran in mind of another of Old Nan’s stories, the tale of Night’s King. He had been the thirteenth man to lead the Night’s Watch, she said; a warrior who knew no fear. “And that was the fault in him,” she would add, “for all men must know fear.” A woman was his downfall; a woman glimpsed from atop the Wall, with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her, though her skin was cold as ice, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well.

He brought her back to the Nightfort and proclaimed her a queen and himself her king, and with strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will. For thirteen years they had ruled, Night’s King and his corpse queen, till finally the Stark of Winterfell and Joramun of the wildlings had joined to free the Watch from bondage. After his fall, when it was found he had been sacrificing to the Others, all records of Night’s King had been destroyed, his very name forbidden.

This passage tells a few very clear details.

  1. The Night's King led the Watch
  2. The Night's King glimpsed a woman from atop the Wall
  3. The Night's King had been sacrificing to the Others

I'll spare you the easy correlation that, if the Night's King was the Last Hero, he likely sacrificed his twelve companions, and that this is how he came to be the 13th man to lead the Night's Watch. I won't go into that. I'll stick to canon...

#3 is the point of contention, for me. In order for the NK to have made sacrifices to the Others, the Others had to have been around, and the Others were around during the Long Night.

#2 tells us that the Wall was around when the Others were around.

#1 tells us that the NK led the NW when the Others were around.

 

On 3/10/2017 at 8:48 AM, JNR said:

And they would have done it in the narrowest geographical location of the Far North, if they possibly could, to minimize the work and time, because they couldn't know when the Popsicles and wights would be back.  They would need to get it done as quickly as they could. Sure enough, that's just what we see on a map.  (If the Stark house words stem from the time, I wouldn't be even the least surprised.)

Certainly makes sense to me.

 

On 3/10/2017 at 8:48 AM, JNR said:

The Wall -- even its foundation, meaning the oldest part of it -- is made of blocks. Giants and CotF don't build anything out of blocks; there's no exception anywhere in canon.  So the conclusion that men built the Wall isn't much of a leap.

Indeed. And the text makes this point rather clear. The Wall is seen as the largest feat of human engineering. But there is indeed an exception somewhere in canon regarding giant-builders. From Jon V ASOS:

In legend, Brandon the Builder had used giants to help raise Winterfell, but Jon did not want to confuse the issue. "Men can build a lot higher than this. In Oldtown there's a tower taller than the Wall." He could tell she did not believe him. If I could show her Winterfell . . . give her a flower from the glass gardens, feast her in the Great Hall, and show her the stone kings on their thrones. We could bathe in the hot pools, and love beneath the heart tree while the old gods watched over us.

Now, Brandon's giants might have been earth-movers, clearing the land so that the castle could rise, but there is precedent to assume Brandon the Builder employed migrant-giants as contractors.

 

On 3/10/2017 at 8:48 AM, JNR said:

As for the Watch, the conventional idea is that it was founded after the Long NIght to man the Wall, but that is not the same as the idea that it built the initial Wall.  I think that was a joint effort of the First Men generally, due to their powerful shared incentive.

I agree that the First Men shared incentive to join the effort, but we know that the effort itself predates the Wall. Thus, we can deduce that the Night's Watch began during the Long Night, rather than after it.

We know the NW predates the Wall, because of their vows:

They were white too, and blind. "Who are you?" the door asked, and the well whispered, "Who-who-who-who-who-who-who."

"I am the sword in the darkness," Samwell Tarly said. "I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers. I am the shield that guards the realms of men."

"Then pass," the door said. Its lips opened, wide and wider and wider still, until nothing at all remained but a great gaping mouth in a ring of wrinkles. Sam stepped aside and waved Jojen through ahead of him. Summer followed, sniffing as he went, and then it was Bran's turn. Hodor ducked, but not low enough. The door's upper lip brushed softly against the top of Bran's head, and a drop of water fell on him and ran slowly down his nose. It was strangely warm, and salty as a tear.

The vows of the Black Gate located beneath the Watch's eldest fort (and former seat of power), speak of "walls," not "the Wall."

Therefore, we know that the vow predates the Wall, as does the Black Gate.

This part of the Night's Watch Vow was composed before there was a single Wall to defend. Like the Fist of the First Men, or Winterfell's godswood, the Nightfort likely had a ringwall surrounding it at one time. Pure speculation of course, but clearly, the Vows of the Night's Watch speak of a duty to man several walls, rather than a single Wall made of Ice.

 

On 3/10/2017 at 8:48 AM, JNR said:

Brandon the Builder, who is said in myth to have built the initial version of the Wall, is not said to have belonged to the Watch.  He was, however, the Stark in Winterfell, who gave the Watch the land known as Brandon's Gift.  So this suggests, IMO, that it was not simply the Watch building the Wall back then... not by a long shot.

This assertion is simply unsupported by the text.

A Storm of Swords - Samwell V:

The suggestion outraged some of the others. "Do you want the king to wipe our arses for us too?" said Cotter Pyke angrily. "The choice of a Lord Commander belongs to the Sworn Brothers, and to them alone," insisted Ser Denys Mallister. "If they choose wisely they won't be choosing me," moaned Dolorous Edd. Maester Aemon, calm as always, said, "Your Grace, the Night's Watch has been choosing its own leader since Brandon the Builder raised the Wall. Through Jeor Mormont we have had nine hundred and ninety-seven Lords Commander in unbroken succession, each chosen by the men he would lead, a tradition many thousands of years old."

 

This passage tells us several things.

  1. The Night's Watch may or may not have selected Brandon the Builder as their own leader
  2. After the tenure of Brandon the Builder, in whatever capacity he ruled (LC or SiW), the Night's Watch was free to choose its own leaders
  3. The Night's Watch was unable to choose its own leader prior to and through the tenure of Brandon the Builder
  4. Brandon the Builder raised the Wall

 

On 3/10/2017 at 8:48 AM, JNR said:

However, if the Watch subsequently raised the Wall, as Jeor Mormont tells us, that would have been an incredibly slow process, taking thousands of years.  Which is exactly what GRRM says it did take.

Jeor Mormont indeed tells us that each Lord Commander left the Wall higher than he found it. :cheers:

And GRRM has JM's back. ;)

But neither Jeor, nor George, tell us that the Night's Watch raised the Wall independently, after the tenure of Brandon the Builder. The canon is quite consistent in this regard. Brandon raised the Wall, raised Winterfell, and raised the Night's Watch.

Based upon the text, I think these risings make far more sense taken as symbiotic, and contemporary, than they do taken apart or at different times.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Voice said:

we are given reason to believe that the Night's King's iteration of the Wall existed prior to the end of the Long Night.

In this interpretation, when did the Wall acquire a ward blocking wights -- or did it ever? 

(I think it's there, and cite Coldhands' testimony, but I can't prove it, and some Heretics don't think it's there.  This I expect TWOW to settle conclusively.)

1 hour ago, Voice said:

But there is indeed an exception somewhere in canon regarding giant-builders.

Well, in that scenario the giants are following orders from the human engineering talent (cited as Brandon the Builder, but who knows). 

There's no case in Westeros of giants having built anything out of blocks as a native aspect of their own culture, though... meaning ruins or something similar to Storm's End, built by them, for them, with no help. 

This isn't too surprising if these guys consider a club the bleeding edge of weapons technology.

Quote

[Jon] looked for great swords ten feet long, but saw only clubs. Most were just the limbs of dead trees, some still trailing shattered branches. A few had stone balls lashed to the ends to make colossal mauls.

Not sure they've invented pants, yet, even.  Definitely haven't invented cologne.

1 hour ago, Voice said:

The vows of the Black Gate located beneath the Watch's eldest fort (and former seat of power), speak of "walls," not "the Wall."

Therefore, we know that the vow predates the Wall, as does the Black Gate.

 

Trouble is, there's no sure way to know

1) When the Black Gate was created (Sam has a tale, and that's all)

2) Whether the vow it requires has ever changed, or when (if it was changed)

3) Whether a reference to "walls" would necessarily imply there was or was not a Wall at that time

In fact, I think we can say with confidence that the vow the Black Gate recognizes as valid is not the original vow... because Sam recites it in the Common Tongue, not the Old Tongue, which he doesn't know.

It's impressive that the Black Gate, an apparent polyglot, isn't bothered by this.  Perhaps it's smart enough to know, in addition to new languages, that the Watch's oath has changed.  Or perhaps GRRM just didn't think this bit through as well as Heresy has.

1 hour ago, Voice said:

The Night's Watch may or may not have selected Brandon the Builder as their own leader

Oh, we read that passage fundamentally differently.  I think the idea Mormont expresses there is quite a simple one: that the Watch never had a Lord Commander prior to the existence of the Wall, which Brandon the Builder is credited as having built... not that Brandon the Builder was a Lord Commander. 

We're certainly told that Brandon the Builder was the Stark in Winterfell.  We also know that members of the Watch swear an oath to hold no lands and wear no crowns.  And we know the Stark in Winterfell most certainly held lands and wore a crown, as a petty king at minimum.

We're also told that BtB founded the Stark line.  I don't see how he could have done this if he fathered no children, which of course is another term of the Watch oath.

So I think the odd are awfully high that Brandon the Builder was never a Lord Commander of the Watch, nor belonged to the Watch in any sense.  Building the Wall doesn't imply joining the Watch; after all, he was known as "the Builder," and apparently built stuff all the time.  (Though not weapons or cologne or pants for giants.)

But I don't mean to step on someone's theory that the Night's King/Last Hero/Brandon the Builder are all the same person... if there is such a theory floating around out there, I mean.  As with all this stuff, perhaps we'll eventually find out for sure in canon.

Edited by JNR

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On 3/22/2017 at 8:07 PM, Lady Dyanna said:

Well... Prophecy will bite your prick off every time... ;) 

I think that I'm still having a "duh" moment over this one. I need to go back and look, but I'm fairly certain that as @wolfmaid7, I believe, points out in her "R"+L=J essay there is a fair amount of symbolism present equating Jon with a horned lord or a green man. Actually, I think that @LmL has also found the same to be true in his research, only instead of equating Jon to Robert via the symbolism, he related some of it back to Rhaegar as a horned lord. Either way that you want to look at it the symbolism is there. 

This actually makes a lot of sense to me. :) 

This whole interpretation is just awesome! Have you by chance looked at the Jon chapter that is either right before or after this when he is locked up in his cell in the LC's tower and ends up fighting Othor, the wight? It seems to me that Jon escaping his cell to the tune of a creaking hinge, with the weirwood colored Ghost who has just finished gouging the wooden door by raking it with his claws is symbolic of some sort of escape. That whole passage drives me nuts because I'm certain there's something important hidden in it, but I can't figure out exactly what it is. Ugh. 

Just got back in and trying to answer questions.But i agree Jon as a continuation of the Horned god seems to evident.Thus he needs to have come from the stead of one that fulfils that.None more explicit than the crowned stag and king bastard maker himself...Bobby B.

As to the other,that entire situation has always struck me as odd.Especially when you consider Mormont's crow didn't rouse him,but only chose to make noise when Jon entered.It was there the entire time and its racket easily woke Mormont but not until after.

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On 4/13/2017 at 1:53 PM, wolfmaid7 said:

Just got back in and trying to answer questions.But i agree Jon as a continuation of the Horned god seems to evident.Thus he needs to have come from the stead of one that fulfils that.None more explicit than the crowned stag and king bastard maker himself...Bobby B.

Welcome back!  And :agree:

On 4/13/2017 at 1:53 PM, wolfmaid7 said:

As to the other,that entire situation has always struck me as odd.Especially when you consider Mormont's crow didn't rouse him,but only chose to make noise when Jon entered.It was there the entire time and its racket easily woke Mormont but not until after.

Hmm. I never thought about that part of it, but it is awfully intriguing if you think about it. Which makes me wonder.... Was it something that Martin just didn't think about? There's no real reason that was when Mormont was woken when he was, it just was when it was convenient? Or was it intentional? And if it was intentional... Was it due to some motivation of the crow or the entity that might be controlling it? Or was it set up that way to maintain a pattern in the storytelling? Does that make any sense?

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I always found that rather odd and think it more on the part of the crow.Maybe a move to ensure Jon goes beyond the Wall.I mean what would have happened.Mormont might have been wighted.

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On 2017-04-13 at 1:53 PM, wolfmaid7 said:

Just got back in and trying to answer questions.But i agree Jon as a continuation of the Horned god seems to evident.Thus he needs to have come from the stead of one that fulfils that.None more explicit than the crowned stag and king bastard maker himself...Bobby B.

More specifically, the crowned stag limned in flame.  Mel has seen Jon limned in flame and so has Dany although she has never met him to reconize him - the great wolf and the man limned in flame.  

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Posted (edited)

5 minutes ago, LynnS said:

More specifically, the crowned stag limned in flame.  Mel has seen Jon limned in flame and so has Dany although she has never met him to reconize him - the great wolf and the man limned in flame.  

I say true dat...Sorry there my Cat Pepper was telling me she hates being ignored.

Black with some fury beneath.My take on MMD tenth ritual is a bit different and twofold.

It was to me a summoning representing the forces of nature.

The wolf of winter and the burning man.Life and death incarnate in those forms.

Also i've longed believed that there are elemental portals in Asoiaf whereby a "caster" can see through or work through.They serve as scrying tools.The flame being one of them.So its possible what Dany saw courtesy of MMD flames was Ghost and one of the wights in Mormont's room.

Edited by wolfmaid7

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35 minutes ago, wolfmaid7 said:

I say true dat...Sorry there my Cat Pepper was telling me she hates being ignored.

Black with some fury beneath.My take on MMD tenth ritual is a bit different and twofold.

It was to me a summoning representing the forces of nature.

The wolf of winter and the burning man.Life and death incarnate in those forms.

Also i've longed believed that there are elemental portals in Asoiaf whereby a "caster" can see through or work through.They serve as scrying tools.The flame being one of them.So its possible what Dany saw courtesy of MMD flames was Ghost and one of the wights in Mormont's room.

Yes, I agree with the elemental forces.  But also Dany sees other shadows along with the great wolf and the man limned in flame.

A side note on eye color since this is such an issue with Jon... dark grey eyes are slate colored - dark bluish-grey. :D

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