Crowfood's Daughter

The Grey King fought Garth the Greenhand

226 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

"All the great houses of the ironborn claim descent from the Grey King and his sons save, curiously, the Goodbrothers of Old Wyk and Great Wyk, who supposedly derive from the Grey King’s leal eldest brother."

Hello everyone.  I had been on a hiatus from the forums and returned fairly recently with some thoughts that are somewhat bold.  What I am suggesting stems from a some ideas coming together (1, 2 and 3 and of course 4) which I had postulated a few years back.  I’ve had some assumptions for a while now and have found evidence that will cause you to second guess how you have been viewing the Grey King, House Goodbrother, and Garth the Greenhand.  I would like to put forth the suggestion that the Grey King and Garth the Green were rivals of one another in the same time and space, and that they were……..brothers.  Dun Dun DUN! 

Special thanks to @LmL for some excellent ideas on the Grey King.  

Garth the Green

As we all have seen, there are some peculiar descriptions of our famous early First Men progenitor, Garth the Greenhand.

"the oldest tales he is named Garth Greenhair, or simply Garth the Green. Some stories say he had green hands, green hair, or green skin overall. (A few even give him antlers, like a stag.)"

When we see the description of Garth with all his greenness and antlers, we quickly see a very likely linkage to the Old Gods and the CotF as there is an eerie similarity to the description of the antlered Green Men of the God’s Eye:

" The nursery tales claiming that they are horned and have dark, green skin is a corruption of the likely truth, which is that the green men wore green garments and horned headdresses."

"In Old Nan’s stories, the guardians had dark green skin and leaves instead of hair. Sometimes they had antlers too”

So in addition to possibly being green with antlers, TWOIAF gave us a HUGE information dump on Garth which detailed some heavy connotations with nature and trees. Garth was famous for making the land bloom, showing the First Men how to farm, and the planting seeds which contained the beginnings for all the world's trees, grains, fruits and flowers.  His descendants of House Gardener wore crowns of vines and flowers and even sat upon a living tree throne known as the Oakenseat, which grew from an oak Garth the Green is said to have planted himself.  Garth is also said to have planted the intertwining weirwoods of Highgarden known as “The Three Singers”.

Besides all the tree guy/Green Man symbolism, Garth is also associated with fertility, life and virility.  Some tales argue he was more God than man and lived for a thousand years.  Garth was said to not only bring about fertility upon the landscape, but also increased fertility in women.  Tales mention maidens would flower in his presence, old women regained fecundity, and mothers would bring forth twins and even triplets.   

Knowing these little tidbits, we quickly see the mythological inspiration for Garth the Green is most certainly the Wiccan/Pagan fertility god Cernnunos.  Cernnunos is best known as the Horned God of the animals and the Green Man, Guardian of the Green World.  This Horned Lord, is portrayed with an antler crown. Though he has this animalistic antler wearing aspect, Cernnunos is also a tree, forest, and vegetation god in his foliate aspect and is also depicted as The Green Man. In addition to Cernnunos, the horned fertility god is a theme in many European cultures which GRRM has also drawn from. 

The Wiccan/Pagan holiday closely associated with Cernnunos is Beltane, which celebrates the changing of seasons where summer overcomes winter.  It is a day in which the May Queen and the Queen of Winter battle for supremacy. The masculine version of this Beltane struggle is portrayed in the Oak King (summer) and the Holly King (winter).  In the tales, one king defeats or kills the other each year to bring about the changing of the seasons.  The defeated king later regenerates in the off season and comes back to defeat the other so that each may reign for his own time.  In some tales, Oak and Holly are each aspects of Cernnunos, in other tales they are separate kings, sometimes brothers and they are portrayed as rivals battling endlessly as the seasons turn.   Is it possible GRRM also drew from the Oak and Holly King when he had developed the Garth lore?  Absolutely.

A few of the very oldest tales of Garth Greenhand present us with a considerably darker deity, one who demanded blood sacrifice from his worshippers to ensure a bountiful harvest. In some stories the green god dies every autumn when the trees lose their leaves, only to be reborn with the coming of spring. This version of Garth is largely forgotten.

***Remember Oak and Holly were also said to be brothers in some tales, and read on.

Garth the Green and the First King

TWOIAF retells the legend of the First King and the Great Barrow which states: "a curse was placed on the Great Barrow that would allow no living man to rival the First King. This curse made these pretenders to the title grow corpselike in their appearance as it sucked away their vitality and life."  Wow.  This First King guy seems as though he has some sort of magical control over life and vitality.  Does that sound like someone we know?  I was very intrigued after realizing there are also legends that recount Garth the Green as the First King of the First Men.

"Garth was the High King of the First Men, it is written; it was he who led them out of the east and across the land bridge to Westeros. Yet other tales would have us believe that he preceded the arrival of the First Men by thousands of years, making him not only the First Man in Westeros, but the only man, wandering the length and breadth of the land alone and treating with the giants and the children of the forest. Some even say he was a god. “

So being that Garth was the fabled first king by many accounts, I had quickly realized is it very possible the First King who is buried in the Great Barrow and Garth the Green are the possibly the same guy. 

The Grey King

The curse of the First King has fascinated my for years.  As I was perusing The Iron Isles chapter of TWOIAF, I was reminded of this corpselike curse every time the Grey King was mentioned. "he ruled the Iron Islands for a thousand years, until his very skin had turned as grey as his hair and beard.",……."His hair and beard and eyes were as grey as a winter sea, and from these he took his name."  Similar to Garth, the Grey King had an abnormally long lifespan of a thousand years and was said to be godlike.  From the description, it seems the Ironborn were ruled by a guy who was more corpse than man who just kept getting old.   In stark contrast to Garth's green hair and skin which is a color associated with life, and fertility, the Grey King is the visual polar opposite with grey skin, eyes and hair; a color associated with old age and death.

The Grey King and the Drowned God religion are easily identified with death, “what is dead can never die” is a mantra of the Ironborn religion itself. In contrast to the great feats of Garth the Green, the greatest feats of the Grey King included literally killing trees. He is said to have carved the first longship from the pale wood of a demonic tree that fed on human flesh, this of course is an obvious reference to weirwood.  The Grey King brought fire to the earth by taunting the Storm God who answered with a thunderbolt causing a tree to burn.  The Grey King is also credited with the slaying of not just a demonic weirwood, but also he is claimed to have killed the sea dragon Nagga whose bones are again, most likely petrified weirwood.  As I was mentioning, the grey King did not think too highly of the demonic tree.  Likewise, the tale of Nagga shows a menacing creature that “fed on krakens and leviathans” and drowned whole islands.  Last time I checked, feeding on krakens and leviathans is probably not very good knowing Nagga is a weirwood and the Kraken and Leviathan are the sigils for the Grey King’s sons, and the demonic tree was said to have fed on humans.  So, the Grey King is said to have made a throne of Nagga’s teeth and other tales recount it was a driftwood throne he sat.  I believe the answer is both. Driftwood is wood that has been washed ashore by the tides and waves, a form of marine debris; basically, floating dead wood.  Or to put it another way, The Grey King sat upon the bones of a dead demonic weirwood he had conquered, most likely from a ship much like one the Grey King had carved. I have provided a link from  @LmL with some logical ideas that support this ship-like origin.  

Right from the get go, we start to see an inverse parallel we see between Garth and the Grey King.  We see Garth was a planter of weirwoods and was supposed to be a planter of the makings of all the trees and plants, whose descendants has sat on a living tree throne whom Garth is said to have planted.  Then on the other  hand we have the Grey King who is literally killing trees in his myth, and sitting on weirwood bones.

In addition, the culture of the Old Way also shuns the practice of farming and considers the agrarian lifestyle Garth had taught to be disgraceful. In fact, the direct descendants of the Grey King we are most familiar with, House Greyjoy, is endowed with the house words: "We do not sow". The Lord of the Iron Isles is also referred to as "Lord Reaper" of Pyke. The use of the word "reaper" can be used to describe both death or the taking of crops where the Ironborn are concerned.  

And when battle was joined upon the shores, mighty kings and famous warriors fell before the reavers like wheat before a scythe, in such numbers that the men of the green lands told each other that the ironborn were demons risen from some watery hell,

Whenever autumn waned and winter threatened, the longships would come raiding after food. And so the Iron Islands ate, even in the depths of winter, whilst oft as not the men who had planted, tended, and harvested the crops starved. “We do not sow,” became the boast of the Greyjoys, whose rulers began to style themselves Lords Reaper of Pyke.

What is this saying?  This is saying the House words “we do not sow” is more of a defiant response to the agrarian culture of the greenlands.  This is saying despite the greenlander’s efforts during the summer, come winter, the Ironborn will raid their livelihoods and leave them to starve.

Additionally, the Ironborn are notorious for their tree killing; I mean big time.  These guys had cut down so many trees on the Iron Islands, they then turned to the greenlands for wood.  This would have been a huge violation in the eyes of the greenseers especially if they were using weirwood as the Ironborn legends suggest.  I would say this is bad news all around for the tree worshiping green land folk and their greenseers on so many levels, bad news indeed. 

It was a need for wood that first set the ironborn on this bloody path. In the dawn of days, there were extensive forests on Great Wyk, Harlaw, and Orkmont, but the shipwrights of the isles had such a voracious need for timber that one by one the woods vanished. So the ironborn had no choice but to turn to the vast forests of the green lands, the mainland of Westeros.

“You told me that the children of the forest had the greensight. I remember.” “Some claimed to have that power. Their wise men were called greenseers.” “Was it magic?” “Call it that for want of a better word, if you must. At heart it was only a different sort of knowledge.” “What was it?” Luwin set down his quill. “No one truly knows, Bran. The children are gone from the world, and their wisdom with them. It had to do with the faces in the trees, we think. The First Men believed that the greenseers could see through the eyes of the weirwoods. That was why they cut down the trees whenever they warred upon the children. “

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Ironborn reave because they lack fundamental resources.  Life on the Islands is bleak, tough, and short.  The Grey King responded to his surroundings by adapting a culture that could survive on this landscape which was most likely caused by the drowning of the waters.  What you see in the overall symbolism of the Ironborn is very much an opposing force to fertility, life and warmth.  Instead you see grey, death, iron, coldness, bleakness, reaping. 

As @LmL has pointed out, The Wayward Bride chapter really illustrates this Ironborn versus trees symbolism.  George went out of his way to show the trees as somehow menacing to the Ironborn.  He constantly gave the surrounding trees the illusion of being their foes.

Tall soldier pines and gnarled old oaks closed in around them. Deepwood was aptly named. The trees were huge and dark, somehow threatening. Their limbs wove through one another and creaked with every breath of wind, and their higher branches scratched at the face of the moon. The sooner we are out of here, the better I will like it , Asha thought. The trees hate us all, deep in their wooden hearts.

Asha saw only trees and shadows, the moonlit hills and the snowy peaks beyond. Then she realized that trees were creeping closer. “Oho,” she laughed, “these mountain goats have cloaked themselves in pine boughs.” The woods were on the move, creeping toward the castle like a slow green tide. She thought back to a tale she had heard as a child, about the children of the forest and their battles with the First Men, when the greenseers turned the trees to warriors.

“Fire will bring the northmen down on us.” Asha cursed beneath her breath, wondering if it had been a mistake to leave the castle. No. If we had stayed and fought, we might all be dead by now. But it was no good blundering on through the dark either. These trees will kill us if they can. She took off her helm and pushed back her sweat-soaked hair. “The sun will be up in a few hours. We’ll stop here and rest till break of day.”

“beside him Lorren Longaxe sprawled with one leg twisted under him, and the shadows kept on coming, shouting and rustling. We are fighting shrubbery, Asha thought as she slew a man who had more leaves on him than most of the surrounding trees.

 

If Garth the Green and The Grey King were indeed contemporaries of one another, they would easily be recognized as opposing forces. A tell-tale hint to these opposing sides is in the little Easter egg of two wildling clans Jon see as they are passing through the wall. 

Some of the men wore antlers on their hats, and some wore walrus tusks. The two sorts did not love each other, he soon gathered. A few thin reindeer brought up the rear, with the great dogs snapping at the heels of stragglers. “Be wary o’ that lot, Jon Snow,” 

House Goodbrother

As we have learned from TWOIAF, all the major Ironborn houses claim to be descendants of the Grey King.  All except for House Goodbrother, who claim to be descendants of the Grey King's leal eldest brother. When I read this curiosity I truly found myself asking why? It's a subtle and seemingly unnecessary bit of information that had been snuck.  First, we learn the grey king had a brother.  Second, there is a surviving house descended from this brother.  When I began my analysis, I had expected the familiar death symbols of the Ironborn, but instead found something different.  I found fertility and some other ideas that hint at fratricide.  See for yourself how the senior branch of House Goodbrother is introduced for the first time in the series:  

Lord Goodbrother of Great Wyk had come in the night before with his main strength, near forty longships. His men were everywhere, conspicuous in their striped goat’s hair sashes. It was said about the inn that Otter Gimpknee’s whores were being f#cked bowlegged by beardless boys in sashes.

So when the Goodbrothers are introduced in the series, the Goodbrothers are ‘everywhere’. Then, in the same passage, the beardless boys (aka greenboys) are engaging in a whole lot of sexy time.  Right from the get go, I had found the goat’s hair sashes completely bizarre.   “Goat hair” is not mentioned to be worn by any other characters in the books; so it is chiefly unique to this house, and this house alone.  Sure enough, the goat is a fertility symbol of the horned.  As previously mentioned Garth was heavily inspired by Cernnunos who has counterparts in many European cultures one of which is the horned Greek Pan who was a half-man/half-goat figure.  Basically, the goat man is another approximation of the stag man. 

Both sexes of the goat symbolize fertility, vitality and ceaseless energy. The he-goat (buck) is the epitome of masculine virility and creative energy, while the female (doe) typifies the feminine and generative power and abundance. Symbolically, the goat can be interchanged with the gazelle or the antelope.  http://theikga.org/goat_symbolism.html

In addition to depicting the Goodbrothers as being everywhere, and having lots of sex, we also learn they all wear a symbol of fertility.  Now, I am not the symbolism expert, but it seems to me the Goodbrothers are supposed to be associated with fertility.  It seems like this fertility symbolism is really trying to be pounded home from the get go in their introduction.

The next time we see House Goodbrother, Aeron is on the shores of Great Wyk drowning people and is given news of King Balon’s death.  Balon’s death is symbolically an example one brother killing another and at the same time is a symbol of the Storm God vs the Lord Reaper.   Aeron must then travel to the holdfast of the Goodbrother senior branch where he learns of Euron’s is attempts to claim the throne.  Let’s Look at how the location of the Goodbrother holdfast is described:

" The way was rough, up hills and woods and stony defiles, along a narrow track that oft seemed to disappear beneath the horse’s hooves. Great Wyk was the largest of the Iron Islands, so vast that some of its lords had holdings that did not front upon the holy sea. Gorold Goodbrother was one such. His keep was in the Hardstone Hills, as far from the Drowned God’s realm as any place in the isles. Gorold’s folk toiled down in Gorold’s mines, in the stony dark beneath the earth. Some lived and died without setting eyes upon salt water. Small wonder that such folk are crabbed and queer."

It is during Aeron’s trek we learn the holdfast of the Goodbrother senior branch is so far away from Drowned God’s realm, many do not even set eyes on the sea their entire lives and their people are considered “crabbed and queer”.  Basically, the writer is trying to portray there is something strange about this place.  Heck, this is about the closest approximation of the Green Lands possible, a people viewed as somehow set apart from the Ironborn.  This is also the first mention I have seen of “woods” on the Iron islands, a place known for their lack of trees. 

It was long after dark by the time the priest espied the spiky iron battlements of the Hammerhorn clawing at the crescent moon. Gorold’s keep was hulking and blocky, its great stones quarried from the cliff that loomed behind it. Below its walls, the entrances of caves and ancient mines yawned like toothless black mouths. The Hammerhorn’s iron gates had been closed and barred for the night.

Here we have Gorlod’s battlements clawing at the crescent moon which is an echo of the trees in the Wayward Bride chapter and later echoed again with the weirwood of the Nightfort which we will also review.  Below the keep we find the entrances of caves.   GRRM has outwardly taken the time to mention caves and hollow hills under certain old places that have connections to the Old Gods. This has been the case so much.  In fact, there has been some healthy discussion and cataloguing of this phenomena in the forum.  And to that list, you can add Hammerhorn keep. 

@LmL gets the lemoncake for this: “Hammerhorn” is a clue about the Hammer of the Waters, the Hammerhorn’s spiky iron is clawing at the moon, connecting the idea of the moon being attacked and pulled down with hammers and horns.  Essentially, hammers have been associated with Storm Gods quite a lot; Thor is probably the most recognizable example of this.  Also, there is the belief that horns are connected to the drowning of the waters.  If the moon cracked and poured forth dragons then dragonbinder=cometbinder, the horn of Joramun is also said to “wake giants from the earth”.  LmL explains this much more detailed and in depth, and comes to fairly logical conclusions so I am on board with this imagery.  One thing I would like to add is that horns are also universally recognized as a symbol of fertility which ties into the horned lord mythos.  The sigil of House Goodbrother is of course, a warhorn.

The use of horns as a symbol for power dates back to the ancient world. From ancient Egypt and the Ba'al worshipping Cannanites, to the Greeks, Romans, Celts, and various other cultures.  Horns have ever been present in religious imagery as symbols of fertility and power.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horned_deity

We also learn in this chapter the head of House Goodbrother, Gorold Goodbrother, was given 12 daughters and 3 sons who are triplets.  Fifteen kids are quite a lot of children even for Westerosi standards, and triplets are almost unheard of.  Triplets are not seen anywhere else in the books.  Later, when Aeron enters the keep, he is offered a horn of ale by one of Gorold’s twelve daughters and is met by both Lord Goodbrother and his maester.  They discuss succession, then Aeron is then escorted back to the sea by Gorold’s son Greydon.  I would like to add that the only other character in ASOIAF with the name Greydon, is Greydon Gardener, an old Gardener King. 

As I was mentioning, with House Goodbrother, the fertility symbolism is there, and so are the greenland references.  Knowing this much, would you be surprised to see brother versus brother stuff?

As Aeron is escorted back to the sea he drifts to sleep and wakes to think of his brother Urri who died of a hand wound he had obtained while playing the finger dance that festered.  It seems Aeron had inadvertently blamed himself for his brother's death as it was his throwing axe that maimed him.   It had been his axe that sheared off Urri’s hand, whilst they danced the finger dance together, as friends and brothers will. It shamed him still to recall the years that followed Urri’s death. Then his mind turns to Euron.  Greydon Goodbrother interrupts his thoughts and asks: “Will it come to war?” asked Greydon Goodbrother as the sun was lightening the hills. “A war of brother against brother?” “If the Drowned God wills it. No godless man may sit the Seastone Chair.” The Crow’s Eye will fight, that is certain. Aeron then arrives on the shore and Greydon departs.  Aeron goes on to preach to the smallfolk of the Island who “threw down their hoes and picks to follow”.  What happens the very next time we see the Goodbrothers?  Oh yes, we see two brothers fighting. 

The tent grew hot and smoky. Two of Gorold Goodbrother’s sons knocked a table over fighting; Will Humble lost a wager and had to eat his boot; Little Lenwood Tawney fiddled whilst Romny Weaver sang “The Bloody Cup” and “Steel Rain” and other old reaving songs.

Take a look at how the goodbrothers are used in the books, you will see a message is trying to be sent about fertility and brother’s fighting.  When they are not given kinslaying or fertility symbolism, you see allusions to the hammer of the waters, maesters, talk of sending ravens.  House Goodbrother also has a ton of cadet branches, another nod to abundance with tell-tale names of places such as “Crow Spike Keep,” “Downdelving,” “Corpse Lake,” and “Shatterstone”.  In the Kingsmoot, the Goodbrothers supported the unconventional claimants of Asha and Euron (we will get to Euron in a little bit, but believe me he is the kind of guy a “Goodbrother” would support). 

Before moving on, I would like to touch on the name of the head of the senior Goodbrother branch, Gorold Goodbrother.  I had already mentioned his son Greydon and the name he shares with a Gardener King.   First off, the Goodbrothers obviously follow with the same alliteration pattern as Garth the Green and his descendents of House Gardener. Additionally, there was also a specific historical sect of Wicca (HUGE Cernnunos followers) called “Gardnerian Wicca” named after the sect’s founder Gerald Gardner. I believe GRRM chose the name Gorold for the head of House Goodbrother because of its similarities to Gerald.  Another son, Gran Goodbrother, sounds very similar to Bran.  We don’t have any other characters with the name Gran, but what we do have is something in the Old Tongue, “woh dak nag gran”.  This is the name the Giants used for the CotF.  

Victarion and Euron

I would like to take a moment to mention Victarion and Euron.  In this brotherly dynamic, Victarion despises his brother.  In fact, I personally feel this guy holds more enmity toward his sibling than any other character in the present timeline and that is saying quite a bit.  Really, from the moment Euron returns, the only thing on Victarion’s mind is killing his brother.   

Victarion would not speak of kinslaying, here in this godly place beneath the bones of Nagga and the Grey King’s Hall, but many a night he dreamed of driving a mailed fist into Euron’s smiling face, until the flesh split and his bad blood ran red and free.

What holds Victarion from killing Euron? His thoughts on kinslaying, it is accursed. 

“and the only good wind is that which fills our sails. Would you have me fight the Crow’s Eye? Brother against brother, ironborn against ironborn?” Euron was still his elder, no matter how much bad blood might be between them. No man is as accursed as the kinslayer.

Victarion’s hands closed into fists. He had beaten four men to death with those hands, and one wife as well. Though his hair was flecked with hoarfrost, he was as strong as he had ever been, with a bull’s broad chest and a boy’s flat belly. The kinslayer is accursed in the eyes of gods and men, Balon had reminded him on the day he sent the Crow’s Eye off to sea.

The above passage is Victarion’s inner mantra is being played out again, but just before it is mentioned, he ponders his own life, virility and vitality.

"He drank in the darkness, brooding on his brother. If I do not strike the blow with mine own hand, am I still a kinslayer? Victarion feared no man, but the Drowned God’s curse gave him pause. If another strikes him down at my command, will his blood still stain my hands?

Ah, we see a curse again, and it has to do with kinslaying.  Victarion describes it as the Drowned God’s curse, but we see mention of this saying among other Westerosi quite often: “No man is as accursed as the kinslayer”. Could the saying have actual historical significance that has been lost through time?  Could this saying stem from an ancient battle between two brothers? 

The Curse of the First King= a good reason not to kill your brother

Yes.  That is right.  I believe the curse of the First King had to do with Garth and the Grey King.  The Grey/Holly King slew his brother the Green/Oak King causing Garth to force a hex on his vitality, and as a result the Grey King’s hair, beard and skin became the color of the winter sea.  An excellent hint and allusion of this curse is the death of Renly Baratheon. In this passage, George is giving Renly the personification of Garth.  As we can see, Renly is an obvious summer/oak figure in green armor and antlers who is soon killed by his brother. 

"the helm crowned by a great rack of golden antlers. The steel was polished to such a high sheen that she could see her reflection in the breastplate, gazing back at her as if from the bottom of a deep green pond. The face of a drowned woman”

Now, for some really great parallelism after Renly’s death, the very next time we see Stannis he is wearing grey and becomes noticeably older and corpselike to Davos.     

Stannis wore a grey wool tunic, a dark red mantle, and a plain black leather belt from which his sword and dagger hung. A red-gold crown with flame-shaped points encircled his brows. The look of him was a shock. He seemed ten years older than the man that Davos had left at Storm’s End when he set sail for the Blackwater and the battle that would be their undoing. The king’s close-cropped beard was spiderwebbed with grey hairs, and he had dropped two stone or more of weight. He had never been a fleshy man, but now the bones moved beneath his skin like spears, fighting to cut free. Even his crown seemed too large for his head. His eyes were blue pits lost in deep hollows, and the shape of a skull could be seen beneath his face.

The king was often occupied, Davos learned from his son Devan, one of the royal squires. Now that Stannis Baratheon had come into his power, the lordlings buzzed around him like flies round a corpse. He looks half a corpse too, years older than when I left Dragonstone. Devan said the king scarcely slept of late. “Since Lord Renly died, he has been troubled by terrible nightmares,”

In this next passage we have Theon Turncloak, and although he did not actually kill his foster brothers, he did forsake the Stark family that had raised him.  Theon overran Winterfell and became a pretender to the King of the North sitting in the high Stark seat.  Later, he was cast down and through various deprivations became very much corpse-like himself.  Also pay close attention to the mentioning of hammering and Barrowton.

Theon wore black and gold, his cloak pinned to his shoulder by a crude iron kraken that a smith in Barrowton had hammered together for him. But under the hood, his hair was white and thin, and his flesh had an old man’s greyish undertone.

What we are really looking at with this curse, if it is what I think it is, is the age-old brother versus brother archetype; basically, Cain and Abel.  Fascinatingly, the Cain and Abel trope appears in various versions throughout literature and folklore.  In the Bible story, Cain slew his brother, which was the first act of murder.  In retaliation, God had cursed Cain and marked him so that no one would put him out of his misery.  Still, other tales exist.  One explanation for the blood betrayal that has floated around, is that for Cain to be capable of murder he must have been the offspring of a fallen angel or Lucifer himself, rather than a son of Adam.  Still another old tale from Celtic Folklore suggests Cain was forced by God to become “Ankou” the hooded Grim Harvester of Souls.  Yes, Cain in some tales is the Grim Reaper himself.  Now you know where all of the death and reaping symbols are coming from.  Other legends mark Cain as forced to the Moon where he is an eternal wanderer in the sky with his bundle of twigs.  In fact, “Cain and his twigs” was even a euphemism in Dante’s Inferno when referring to the moon itself.  

If the name Abel sounds familiar it is because this is the name Mance Rayder had taken when he went to Winterfell. Mance, you know, the same guy with the antlers crowning his tent when he was introduced in the series.  Mance took the moniker “Abel” as a tribute to Bael the Bard. 

In Middle Eastern Mythology, Mot was the Canaanite death god.  Mot’s rival was the Storm and Fertility God Baʿal (pronounced Bael ;)).  Ba’al is very similar to the horned lord and oak/holly king mythos as he is connected to the life/cycle we see in these types of mythology.  In fact his death and resurrection is so key to his stories, it is even given the name, “the Ba’al Cycle”.  In the Ba’al cycle, Mot consumes Baʿal before being split open and mutilated by that god's sister. After a time, both gods are restored and resume battle before the sun goddess prompts a truce.

So let’s look at the story of Bael the Bard.  If this pattern holds true, we should see some hints.  Right?  Some hints at kinslaying or something similar to the symbolism I am suggesting.

it was young Lord Stark who met him at the Frozen Ford … and killed him, for Bael would not harm his own son when they met sword to sword.” “So the son slew the father instead,” said Jon. “Aye,” she said, “but the gods hate kinslayers, even when they kill unknowing. When Lord Stark returned from the battle and his mother saw Bael’s head upon his spear, she threw herself from a tower in her grief. Her son did not long outlive her. One o’ his lords peeled the skin off him and wore him for a cloak.”

What about some other Bael type characters?  We know Baelor Breakspear was killed by his brother at Ashford Tourney.  Additionally, our crown of flowers wearing Baelor the Blessed was rumored to have been poisoned by his uncle Viserys.  Balon (get it, Baelon) was killed by Euron, Baelor Blacktyde was killed by Euron (which we will get to in a moment, just know that although Euron is not Baelor’s brother, Euron is the perfect guy to be killing aother guy named Baelor).  What about Baelon Targaryen?  Now, I’m not saying this is for certain, but that burst belly is starting to look mighty suspicious. 

In 100 AC, Baelon was named Hand of the King, succeeding the position after Ser Ryam Redwyne had been fired. Baelon served admirably, but tragedy struck a year later, in 101 AC, when, during a hunting trip, Baelon complained of a stitch in his side. He died within days, of a burst belly.

Basically, just about all Baels follow this pattern or provide an illusion to kinslaying in some form or fashion.  So now you know what is up with all these Bael names.

In Celtic Mythology Arawn (pronounced Aeron ;)) was yet another death god, king of the underworld.  In one tale, a rival of Arawn is Gwydion, a trickster and enchanter whose name means "Born of Trees".  The battle is caused by Gwydion taking a roebuck (stag).  There is a very peculiar tale between Arawn and Gwydion, and that is, The Battle of the Trees.  In this tale, Gwydion enchants the trees of the forest to rise up as warriors against Arawn's forces. There is even a Welsh 14th century medieval poem which details to this battle between the underworld and the trees detailing a character named Euron.

So what we have in the Grey King, is by and large, the embodiment of a death God.  A man with connotations to the moon, and the Grim Reaper.  With the Grey King and the Ironborn we see so much of the reaping symbolism, we also know from the essays from LmL the supposition of the moon causing the drowning of the waters is a pretty good bet.  We also notice implications to the life/death cycle of the fertility god, the storm god, and the enchanter of trees.  We also see a curse for this kinslaying played out in the tales of Cain.  Kind of a cautionary tale on why we shouldn’t kill our sibilings.  Brother versus brother is obviously a recurring archetype that can be seen throughout ASOIAF.  Some examples include:

 

  • Hound vs Mountain

  • Bloodraven vs Bittersteel

  • Maegor v Aenys

  • Maekar vs Baelor

  • Daemon vs Dareon

  • Stannis v Renly

  • Arryk Cargyll v Erryk Cargyll

  • Ramsay v Domerick

  • Aemon the Dragonknight vs Aegon the Unworthy

  • Euron vs Victarion

  • Euron vs Balon

  • Euron vs Aeron

  • Euron vs (forsaken chapter spoilers)

  • You see a pattern here with Euron?

 

The Storm God = The Greenseers

I know what you are thinking, the Grey King and the Ironborn religion already have an arch nemesis in the Storm God.  What is this new information I am getting about there being some ancient beef with Garth?  Well, the Old Gods/Greenseers and the Storm God are very much interchangeable.  Has anyone else noticed how Aeron mentions ravens are creatures of the Storm God?  I definitely noticed this because ravens as we all know are most commonly associated with greenseers, the Old Gods and weirwoods.  The Grey King’s multiple examples of the destruction of trees is another hint to the identity of the Ironborn’s malign Storm god.  Examples such as the pale demonic tree ‘Ygg” he had used to carve his first longship and the petrified weirwood “bones” of Nagga whom the Grey King had slain point to this true identity of this malign deity.    

We also know much of the Drown God/Storm God duality lore stems from the cosmic catastophic destruction caused by the hammer of the waters and the drowning of the islands.  In a nutshell, the Ironborn see the drowning of the waters as a massive storm that was brought on by the Storm God.  Knowing this, however, If the greenseers did indeed cause the hammer of the waters, then the malign God in question would in fact be the greenseers or Old Gods.

In fact, we already know the greenseers speak with the trees and the wind, therefore the greenseers must have at least some control over the wind.  You will see time and time again throughout the series the wind, not just the trees, is trying to tell the characters something even as soon as the prologue. Just notice when a character like Jon is walking into danger, or when Catelyn is coming to Kings Landing in her ship, watch what the wind does.  Here is a link to a really good analysis by @evita mgfs and healthy discussion of the wind and its connections to the greenseers.

 “Tell me what you meant, about hearing the gods.” Osha studied him. “You asked them and they’re answering. Open your ears, listen, you’ll hear.” Bran listened. “It’s only the wind,” he said after a moment, uncertain. “The leaves are rustling.” “Who do you think sends the wind, if not the gods?” She seated herself across the pool from him, clinking faintly as she moved. […]“They see you, boy. They hear you talking. That rustling, that’s them talking back.” 

The symbolism of Renly’s duality as a Storm King wearing the Garth armor is also a hint.  Both Garth and the Storm King share antlers in their portrayal.   I am not implying that Durran and Garth are the same guy, but the storm king is given the antlers reasons beyond giving certain Storm Lords fertility and life/death cycles symbols that we can pick apart for each character.  He gave the Storm King antlers to connect Garth to the storm visually. In fact, the idea of a horned god smashing the Iron Islands with a hammer is referenced all throughout the recounts of the attack on Pyke during the Greyjoy rebellion.

He saw the king as he had been in the flower of his youth, tall and handsome, his great antlered helm on his head, his warhammer in hand, sitting his horse like a horned god. He heard his laughter in the dark, saw his eyes, blue and clear as mountain lakes. …”

I am sure you have seen the posts and theories about the many faced god and the concept that there are probably a few gods in the series that are in reality the same so to speak.  This is just a supposition that supports this. So, in my interpretation, when the Ironborn speak of the Storm God what they are referring to is a deity linked to Garth and greenseers, much like mythological god Ba'al can symbolize both fertility and storm. 

The Ironborn Legacy

Another thing I noticed when I read TWOIAF was how much of a threat the Ironborn must have been back in the day.  If there was any threat to the thread of the Greenland society it was the Ironborn.  The Ironborn were all over the western coast of Westeros, and even the Summer Isles and the Port of Ibben.  Their power at sea during these ancient times must have been tremendous, which would explain their voracious need for lumbar.

The Greyjoys of Pyke claim descent from the Grey King of the Age of Heroes. Legend says the Grey King ruled not only the western isles but the sea itself, and took a mermaid to wife. For thousands of years, raiders from the Iron Islands— called “ironmen” by those they plundered— were the terrors of the seas, sailing as far as the Port of Ibben and the Summer Isles.

From that day to this, the singers have celebrated the deeds of knights like Serwyn of the Mirror Shield, Davos the Dragonslayer, Roland of the Horn, and the Knight Without Armor— and the legendary kings who led them, among them Garth V (Hammer of the Dornish), Gwayne I (the Gallant), Gyles I (the Woe), Gareth II (the Grim), Garth VI (the Morningstar), and Gordan I (Grey-Eyes). Many of these monarchs shared a common foe, for during these dark and bloody centuries, seaborne reavers from the Iron Islands dominated almost all of the western shore, from Bear Island to the Arbor. […] Though the ironmen seldom ventured far inland, they controlled the Sunset Sea and exacted cruel tribute from the fisherfolk along the coasts. Having established themselves upon the Shield Islands by killing all the men they found there and claiming the women as their own, the ironborn even raided up the Mander with impunity.

What we have is a bit of history repeating itself in the present storyline.  Now the Ironborn have some new blue lipped leadership who happens to have brothers that would love to see him dead.  This brother is beginning to threaten the Reach, Garth’s land like they did of old. It was the Reader who told Asha, What has happened before will perforce happen again.

 “Rocks?” gasped Margaery. “Did Your Grace say rocks?” The Knight of Flowers put a hand upon his sister’s shoulder. “If it please Your Grace, from those rocks the ironmen threaten Oldtown and the Arbor. From strongholds on the Shields, raiders can sail up the Mander into the very heart of the Reach, as they did of old. With enough men they might even threaten Highgarden.”

The news from the Reach seemed to grow more dire with every raven. The ironmen had not been content with their new rocks, it seemed. They were raiding up the Mander in strength, and had gone so far as to attack the Arbor and the smaller islands that surrounded it. The Redwynes had kept no more than a dozen warships in their home waters, and all those had been overwhelmed, taken, or sunk. And now there were reports that this madman who called himself Euron Crow’s Eye was even sending longships up Whispering Sound toward Oldtown.

So what do you think?  Will history repeat itself?  GRRM is already giving Euron a parallel with a pretty evil “Goodbrother”. 

Euron is a really bad brother

So this Post could not be complete without touching on Euron.  Euron is, in a sense, a corrupted Garth figure.  This guy is very much like the malign deity aspect of the Storm God. He is rumored to practice blood sacrifice, has had visions of flying, has most likely found a way to control the winds and is associated with birds.  When others warn of the Storm God’s wrath, Euron responds by stating, “I am the Storm”.  Despite being older than Victarion, Victarion cannot help notice how he has no grey hairs and time hasn’t touched him.  Euron also has quite a few bastards running around which he Euron also is inverse allusion to Bloodraven which @Ser Creighton sums up perfectly.

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Parallels, there are some very interesting parallels with Bloodraven and the children. Number 1 is the Warlocks and the Undying who also happen to parallel the Others and and the Wights right down to a giant heart (heart of winter sound familiar). The Weir trees Red leaves and white Wood, and the Shade trees with their Black wood and blue leaves, the red and blue sap of both have the same properties and effects. Little rat men and Squirrel people really not a stretch here. The other parallel is Euron Greyjoy. I know you know I do inverse parallels and that seems to be the case with Euron and Bloodraven. Consider that Euron's black eye is similar to Bloodravens missing eye, then Bloodraven has one red eye and Euron one blue. Euron speaks of flying just like Bloodraven. And then you have the sigil, Black Crown, Black Crow, and one red eye.

There is also a historical member of House Goodbrother Euron is likened to, Urrathon of House Goodbrother.  Urrathon was an ancient Ironborn King known as Badbrother due to being a pretty rotten guy. Basically, the previous old king dies and all of the king’s sons believe they will become the next king.  Unfortunately, Urrathon Goodbrother sneaks in and wins the driftwood crown at the Kingsmoot.  In the end, none of the Old King’s sons win the driftwood throne and Badbrother has the old king’s sons put to death.  Luckily, there was another son who was not present because he was off reaving somewhere along the coast.  By the time this wayward son returns, the drowned preists had had enough of Badbrother’s crap and they deemed the kingsmoot unlawful because not all claimants were present.  This is the only time in the history of the Ironborn when a Kingsmoot decision has been overturned. Similar to Urrathon, Euron shows up to the Kingsmoot and usurps the driftwood crown from the likely favorites much in the way Urrathon did at his Kingsmoot. 

Euron shrugged. I had heard the Storm God swept Balon to his death. Who is this man who slew him? Tell me his name, niece, so I might revenge myself on him.” Asha got to her feet. You know his name as well as I. Three years you were gone from us, and yet Silence returns within a day of my lord father’s death.” 

Final Words

The Goodbrothers are the very fertile ancestors of the Grey King’s eldest brother Garth the Green.  The symbolism of the Grey King, Garth and House Goodbrother point to some fratricidal connotations. Somewhere in the timeline the Grey King slew his brother and the greenseers attempted to decimate the Ironborn with the Hammer of the waters.  Which happened first is uncertain.  The result of the Hammer most likely brought about the long night.  The site where the First King is said to be buried is right sea inlet with a river that goes straight to Barrowton not far from the Iron Islands or Moat Cailin,  where the Hammer is rumored to have been called.  I have a map which illustrates the closeness of Barrowton to both Moat Cailin and the Iron Islands

.

Legend says that the great floods that broke the land bridge that is now the Broken Arm and made the Neck a swamp were the work of the greenseers, who gathered at Moat Cailin to work dark magic. Some contest this, however: the First Men were already in Westeros when this occurred, and stemming the tide from the east would do little more than slow their progress.

As the above quote suggests, the maesters say the Hammer was largely unsuccessful.  But what if it wasn't?  What if the Hammer of the waters actually did what it was meant to do so to speak? I was on a heresy thread where members were pondering Moat Cailin and the Children’s Tower, because well, a massive stone fortress isn’t really the style of the CotF.  What I see this as suggesting is an alignment of the First Men with the CotF even during the time of the Hammer of the Waters.  Maybe the Hammer of the Waters did what it was supposed to do.   

Outside the wind was sending armies of dead leaves marching across the courtyards to scratch faintly at the doors and windows. The sounds made him think of Old Nan’s stories. He could almost hear the ghostly sentinels calling to each other atop the Wall and winding their ghostly warhorns. Pale moonlight slanted down through the hole in the dome, painting the branches of the weirwood as they strained up toward the roof. It looked as if the tree was trying to catch the moon and drag it down into the well.

Edited by Crowfood's Daughter

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I'm finally here @Crowfood's Daughter :) I hadn't checked my notifications in a few days, it took me a couple hours to unbury myself. Everyone has such amazing thoughts, I tell myself I'll just read over and not leave long comments, but... it's hard.

@ravenous reader, @Pain killer Jane, @Blue Tiger, @Unchained, come give this a read so we can talk about the ideas here :)

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Posted (edited)

Hey, very great stuff, @Crowfood's Daughter (Renly death's imagery, the links btween the Storm god and the greenseers, aso...). But I don't agree with your conclusion. and I'm curious : where do you place the Wall, Winterfell, the Others and the Stark in your story ? because, those elements seem to be centrals in the story, far more than Barrowton, Nagga's bones, Grey King or Garth :P

Edit , just to add your terrific catch (from Bran's chapter in ASOS when he is at Night Fort?): 

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Pale moonlight slanted down through the hole in the dome, painting the branches of the weirwood as they strained up toward the roof. It looked as if the tree was trying to catch the moon and drag it down into the well.

As if the greenseer wanted desperatly and hopeless the moon Maid. The moon Maid engaged with another. A brother ? 

Edited by GloubieBoulga

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Oh man I wrote a freaking super long comment last night only to have it eaten by Westeros.org/s lousy servers.  I will have to regroup and repost.

I loved so many things about this essay! It's so awesome to think back to two years ago when we were skypeing and you were first telling me about your discovery of the antler people vs. walrus / sea people. You gave me a head start on understanding Ironborn mythology, I spent two years digging into ASOIAF with a lot of that centered around the Ironborn, and then some of those ideas cam back around and helped you complete your line of inquiry. So much fun! The Goodbrother associations with Garth and fertility are so thorough so as to be over the top. They are irrefutable. There is no question the leal elder brother of Grey King is meant to be associated with Garth or Garth people, if not Garth himself (obviously we can't tell if we are talking about individuals or types of people when we speak of Garth or Azor Ahai). So many great finds in this... the brothers fighting themes in the Goodbrother scenes are also overwhelming.

The main thing that strikes me is the difference between seeing the fertility horned god as one being who expresses the full cycle of the season through his death and rebirth or seeing him as the winter / summer king pairing. Grey King and Garth perfectly express the pairing, and Barrow King, King of Winter, and Night's King would all be on that death and winter side of things as well. But even Garth and Grey King show a hint of the other aspect, indicating they can also be thought of as the one complete fertility god going through a cycle. Garth, for example, has an older version where he demands human sacrifice to turn the seasons. And we've garth people like green Renly come back from death as a demon (battle of the Blackwater) or as a ghost (the scene where Gendry appears as Renly's ghost to Brienne, a scene with all kinds of cool hammer and horned lord symbolism). And we have Grey Eyes Garth and Garth the Woe, Garth the Hammer of the Dornish (an obvious 'garth people dropped the hammer of the waters' clue) and Garth Morningstar (same).  And Grey King is a fertile dude himself, producing 100 sons... who engaged in an orgy of kinslaying that left only 16 alive... but still, he's mad fertile. He's also a culture starter like Garth or Durran or Bran the B. 

Durran himself does not fit the schema, at least not at first. He's got antlers and thunder symbolism, so he's a garth type, right? Well, he also has a ton in common with the Grey King, beginning with the fact that they are both moon breakers. Both married mermaids. Both battles the storm or wind gods and had mighty storms and floods sent against them by these gods, and in both in stances after the hero had stolen from those same gods. Both lived a thousand years. They have the same religion - sea and sky gods. And much more (this will be in my next essay). 

What is going on, I think, is this: Grey King represents the moon breaker, the Cain type, AFTER his death transformation, which was, as you say, wrought by his murder of the Abel figure (who seems to be the moon). Grey King starts out as a Garth type, though, before he turns naughty and transforms into the monster. I have been saying forever that Azor Ahai (the naughty moon breaker) was also or was once a green man, and that's what I am talking about here. Durran shows us a stormy stag man bringing down the moon maiden and causing the floods and storms - that's the transition moment. The Grey King, similarly, was named for how his skin and hair turned over time, meaning he transformed as well. It's like a bifurcation, with one branch - the Grey King AA branch - going naughty, committing sin, paying the price. Possessing the fire of the gods, which in some cases could be seen as the fire or life of Abel. 

But Abel doesn't stay dead, either, so we end up with two transformed, undead characters who may well be at odds with one another. I have seen this pattern with Azor Ahai and the last hero, who share a ton of symbolism but also seem to fight one another (I showed some of these scenes in my first Green Zombie essay). I wonder if the last hero isn't resurrected garth, while the NK would be old evil AA the resurrected naughty man. 

I will return later to try to capture some of my thoughts from last night. Honestly, I think my writing was a bit scrambled last night, so maybe it's better that I am giving you more coherent bits instead. I absolutely love this essay, there are so many great finds... the best one might even be the discovery of what the farking hell the kinslaying taboo is actually about. I mean, you finally solved that one! It's been vexing everyone for years. The way the curse of the First King lines up with Grey King has always made sense when you told me about it, but you have to find all the Goodbrother stuff to really understand that it was a brother vs. brother, kinslaying thing behind the curse. Really tremendous work there. I can't wait for my pals that I tagged above to come read this. 

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11 hours ago, LmL said:

I'm finally here @Crowfood's Daughter :) I hadn't checked my notifications in a few days, it took me a couple hours to unbury myself. Everyone has such amazing thoughts, I tell myself I'll just read over and not leave long comments, but... it's hard.

@ravenous reader, @Pain killer Jane, @Blue Tiger, @Unchained, come give this a read so we can talk about the ideas here :)

Thanks.

@Crowfood's Daughter, awesome essay :)

Speaking of brother vs brother on The Iron Islands, there's also history of Harmund the Handsome and his brother Hagon:

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His son Harmund the Haggler shared his love of reading, and became renowned as a great traveler. He was the first king of the Iron Islands to visit the green lands without a sword in his hand. Having spent his youth as a ward of House Lannister, the second Harmund returned to Casterly Rock as a king and took the Lady Lelia Lannister, a daughter of the King of the Rock and "the fairest flower of the west," for his queen. On a later voyage he visited Highgarden and Oldtown, to treat with their lords and kings and foster trade.

His own sons were raised in the Faith, or King Harmund's own peculiar version of it. Upon his death, the eldest of them ascended the throne. Harmund the Handsome (influenced, some say, by his Lannister mother, the Dowager Queen Lelia) announced that henceforth reavers would be hanged as pirates rather than celebrated, and formally outlawed the taking of salt wives, declaring the children of such unions to be bastards with no right of inheritance. He was considering a measure to end the practice of thralldom on the isles as well when a priest known as the Shrike began to preach against him.

Other priests took up the cry, and the lords of the isles took heed. Only the septons and their followers stood by King Harmund, and he was overthrown within a fortnight, almost bloodlessly. What followed was far from bloodless, however. The Shrike himself tore out the deposed king's tongue, so he might never again speak "lies and blasphemies." Harmund was blinded as well, and his nose was cut off, so "all men might see him for the monster he is."

In his place, the lords and priests crowned his younger brother Hagon. The new king denounced the Faith, rescinded Harmund's edicts, and expelled the septons and septas from his realm. Within a fortnight every sept in the Iron Islands was aflame.

King Hagon, soon to be known as Hagon the Heartless, even permitted the mutilation of his own mother, Queen Lelia, the Lannister "whore" who was blamed by the Shrike for turning her husband and sons away from the true god. Her lips, ears, and eyelids were cut off and her tongue ripped out with hot pincers, after which she was bundled onto a longship and returned to Lannisport. The King of the Rock, her nephew, was so angered by this atrocity that he called his banners.

Though Harmund II accepted the Seven as true gods, he continued to do honor to the Drowned God as well, and on his return to Great Wyk spoke openly of "the Eight Gods," and decreed that a statue of the Drowned God should be raised at the doors of every sept. This pleased neither the septons nor the priests and was denounced by both. In an attempt to placate them, the king rescinded his decree and declared that god had but seven faces...but the Drowned God was one of those, as an aspect of the Stranger.

The war that followed left ten thousand dead, three-quarters of them ironborn. In its seventh year, the westermen landed on Great Wyk, smashed Hagon's host in battle, and captured his castle. Hagon the Heartless was mutilated in the same fashion as his mother before being hanged. Ser Aubrey Crakehall, commanding the Lannister armies, ordered that Hoare Castle be razed to the ground, but as his men were looting, they came upon Harmund the Handsome in a dungeon. Crakehall briefly considered restoring Harmund to his throne, Haereg claims, but the former king was blind, broken, and half-mad from long confinement. Ser Aubrey granted him "the gift of death" instead, serving Harmund a cup of wine laced with milk of the poppy. Then, in an act of mad folly, the knight decided to claim the kingship of the Iron Islands for himself.

This pleased neither the ironborn nor the Lannisters. When word reached Casterly Rock, the king called his warships home, leaving Crakehall to fend for himself. Without the power and wealth of House Lannister to prop him up, "King Aubrey" saw his power crumble quickly. His reign lasted less than half a year before he was captured and sacrificed to the sea by the Shrike himself

We get 'proto-Robert's invasion as well.

 

Close to Barrowton and Moat Cailin we find Flint's Finger, where seat of House Flint lies... And their sigil looks like equivalent of Gardener greenhand sigil... http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/House_Flint_of_Flint's_Finger

A grey hand... Lord Flint's name is Robin. He's killed at the Red Wedding - massacre of Holly King of Winter's men by fertility god's house...

And of course, robin is associated with the legend of Holly & Oak King (robin vs wren version).

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Posted (edited)

On 3/4/2017 at 6:01 PM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

The Lord of the Iron Isles is also referred to as "Lord Reaper" of Pyke. The use of the word "reaper" can be used to describe both death or the taking of crops where the Ironborn are concerned.  

And the symbolism is doubly enforced if we take Pyke to be a Pike or spear and a symbol of a penis. The Lord Reaper of Pyke is literally taking the fertility of the greenlanders in a sense and making them eunuchs and rather a preserve twist when we consider that the symbol of fertility, the son of the Lord Reaper, Theon truly embodies the house words of "We Do Not Sow". 

On 3/4/2017 at 6:01 PM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

“Fire will bring the northmen down on us.” Asha cursed beneath her breath, wondering if it had been a mistake to leave the castle. No. If we had stayed and fought, we might all be dead by now. But it was no good blundering on through the dark either. These trees will kill us if they can.

which is the same language as this in Tyrion VI, aGoT:

Quote

 He stooped to pick up a splintered branch and examined it critically. "Will this do? I am not practiced at starting fires. Morrec did that for me."

"A fire?" Bronn said, spitting. "Are you so hungry to die, dwarf? Or have you taken leave of your senses? A fire will bring the clansmen down on us from miles around. I mean to survive this journey, Lannister."

And the Ironborn shipwrights were hungry for trees after all. 

On 3/4/2017 at 6:01 PM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

All except for House Goodbrother, who claim to be descendants of the Grey King's leal eldest brother. When I read this curiosity I truly found myself asking why? It's a subtle and seemingly unnecessary bit of information that had been snuck. 

And this little bit of information about another sea faring House as well with a younger brother (the Oakenfist) calling his older brother loyal.

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Young Ser Addam died bravely at the Second Battle of Tumbleton, proving his faithfulness with his life after it had been called into question by the deeds of the Two Betrayers. When his bones were returned to Driftmark from Raventree Hall in 138 AC, the epitaph Lord Alyn put on his tomb consisted of one word: "LOYAL."

 

On 3/4/2017 at 6:01 PM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

In the Bible story, Cain slew his brother, which was the first act of murder.  In retaliation, God had cursed Cain and marked him so that no one would put him out of his misery.  Still, other tales exist.  One explanation for the blood betrayal that has floated around, is that for Cain to be capable of murder he must have been the offspring of a fallen angel or Lucifer himself, rather than a son of Adam.

And in the Quran, the story is that Cain and Abel fought over which one would marry the prettiest of their sisters. Qayin is also the word for black smith and Hevel (Able) is the word for herdsman. 

 

On 3/4/2017 at 6:01 PM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

This brother is beginning to threaten the Reach, Garth’s land like they did of old. It was the Reader who told Asha, What has happened before will perforce happen again.

 “Rocks?” gasped Margaery. “Did Your Grace say rocks?” The Knight of Flowers put a hand upon his sister’s shoulder. “If it please Your Grace, from those rocks the ironmen threaten Oldtown and the Arbor. From strongholds on the Shields, raiders can sail up the Mander into the very heart of the Reach, as they did of old. With enough men they might even threaten Highgarden.”

The news from the Reach seemed to grow more dire with every raven. The ironmen had not been content with their new rocks, it seemed. They were raiding up the Mander in strength, and had gone so far as to attack the Arbor and the smaller islands that surrounded it. The Redwynes had kept no more than a dozen warships in their home waters, and all those had been overwhelmed, taken, or sunk. And now there were reports that this madman who called himself Euron Crow’s Eye was even sending longships up Whispering Sound toward Oldtown.

So what do you think?  Will history repeat itself?  GRRM is already giving Euron a parallel with a pretty evil “Goodbrother”. 

Euron is a really bad brother

So this Post could not be complete without touching on Euron.  Euron is, in a sense, a corrupted Garth figure.  This guy is very much like the malign deity aspect of the Storm God. He is rumored to practice blood sacrifice, has had visions of flying, has most likely found a way to control the winds and is associated with birds.  When others warn of the Storm God’s wrath, Euron responds by stating, “I am the Storm”. 

Oh Euron with his far crow's eye manifesting his destiny. 

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"I prefer my history dead. Dead history is writ in ink, the living sort in blood."

 

On 3/4/2017 at 6:01 PM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

Additionally, our crown of flowers wearing Baelor the Blessed was rumored to have been poisoned by his brother Aegon the Unworthy. 

Actually it was Viserys, his uncle that was rumored.

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Malicious rumors that followed in the wake of Viserys's ascension—begun, some say, by the pen of the Lady Maia of House Stokeworth—suggested that Viserys poisoned the king in order to finally gain the throne after a decade and more of waiting. Others have suggested that Viserys poisoned Baelor for the good of the realm, since the septon-king had come to believe that the Seven called on him to convert all the unbelievers in his realm. This would have led to a war with the North and the Iron Islands that would have caused great turmoil.

-tWoIaF

 

On 3/4/2017 at 6:01 PM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

There is also a historical member of House Goodbrother Euron is likened to, Urrathon of House Goodbrother.  Urrathon was an ancient Ironborn King known as Badbrother due to being a pretty rotten guy. Basically, the previous old king dies and all of the king’s sons believe they will become the next king. 

And if we parallel Urrathon with Prince Daemon and Maegor with their battles Above and Below the God's Eye, it is another layer to the Bad brother theme as well but in terms of Hamlet, where the uncle is a bad brother. 

 

On 3/4/2017 at 6:01 PM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

Bloodraven vs Bittersteel

And the brother that Bloodraven's Raven teeth killed was Daemon, which by the way is an inverted scene known in the military as Broken Arrow. The term Broken Arrow is code for having all pilots coming to fire on enemy troops to help pin-downed allies, an echo of this is found when Aegon and his sister burned the Reach and Lannister armies at the Field of Fire. Now if those allies were killed in the barrage it would be being killed by friendly fire which is equivalent to Bloodraven committing kinslaying at the Redgrass Field. 

And while there is this notion that a broken arrow means peace, in the series a broken weapon is still able to kill. @LmL remember I told you about Dinah, Abraham's daughter and her brothers and I likened circumcision to the broken sword/castration symbolism. Remember that Robb greets Tyrion with an unsheathed sword which among a lot of its symbolism should be viewed as a penis that was circumcised and the unsheathed sword is the symbol for violence and war. Therefore I would like to suggest that a Bad Brother was a Blue Falcon and a Bloody Raven.

@Crowfood's Daughter

Lovely essay. Well done and reasoned. 

Edited by Pain killer Jane

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, Blue Tiger said:

Thanks.

@Crowfood's Daughter, awesome essay :)

Speaking of brother vs brother on The Iron Islands, there's also history of Harmund the Handsome and his brother Hagon:

We get 'proto-Robert's invasion as well.

 

Close to Barrowton and Moat Cailin we find Flint's Finger, where seat of House Flint lies... And their sigil looks like equivalent of Gardener greenhand sigil... http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/House_Flint_of_Flint's_Finger

A grey hand... Lord Flint's name is Robin. He's killed at the Red Wedding - massacre of Holly King of Winter's men by fertility god's house...

And of course, robin is associated with the legend of Holly & Oak King (robin vs wren version).

 

You just helped me find something I have been looking for. Yes, they were definitely a fertile ally/son at one point.  The Robin was the oak/summer version of the tale and the wren was the holly/winter version.  We also have Robin hood with green man connections and of course, my favorite, Robin Goodfellow (sound familiar) the horned Pan like vassal of Prince Oberon in a midsummer night's dream.  This guy has some green man connections, but his biggest symbolism is more or less sowing mischief. 

Another folk-custom survival of the theme is that of Hunting the Wren at the winter solstice.  The wren is the Holly King’s bird and the robin – his red breast doubtless proclaiming the reborn sun – the Oak King’s.  https://salemsmoon.wordpress.com/gods/the-oak-king-vs-the-holly-king/

Basically, the Flint Sigil is not simply a grey hand.  It is a stone hand, the stony handoff the Flint's Fingers.  It is basically the same symbolism as the rusty crown at Barrowtown.  Something that was once probably pretty amazing has died and rusted.  Kind of like Lady Flint who was heavy with child, yet in the same sentence they mentioned a sickness at widow's watch. 

But, yes.  The fertility and trees are still there.

The Flint girl was fourteen and flat-chested as a boy, though she did not lack for milk. Between the two of them, the child Val called Monster seemed to be thriving.

 

“Who are you?” Asha asked the wounded man.“  A Flint. Who are you?” “Asha of House Greyjoy. This is my castle.” “Deepwood be Galbart Glover’s seat. yard.” "No home for squids.” One man was dead, his blood and brains crusting Lorren’s longaxe, but the second was still breathing raggedly, though Grimtongue’s spear had pinned him to the ground in a spreading pool of blood. Both were clad in boiled leather and mottled cloaks of brown and green and black, with branches, leaves, and brush sewn about their heads and shoulders.  "Are there any more of you?”

If you can see from the above quote, the wayward bride chapter gives the Flints the tree personification and makes sure that we are aware that they are fighting Flints among the rest of the trees when they are moving closer to the walls and the tree are moving and attacking them.  Yes.  The Flint's were on the side of Garth and they still carry remnants of his sigil.

Believe it or not, I think we will find the answer in to some of the rest of the story in Robin Goodfellow and The Flint's blackthorn cane.

 

Edited by Crowfood's Daughter

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3 minutes ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

You just helped me find something I have been looking for. Yes, they were definitely a fertile ally/son at one point.  The Robin was the oak/summer version of the tale and the wren was the holly/winter version.  We also have Robin hood with green man connections and of course, my favorite, Robin Goodfellow (sound familiar) the horned Pan like vassal of Prince Oberon in a midsummer night's dream.  This guy has some green man connections, but his biggest symbolism is more or less sowing mischief. 

Basically, it is not simply a grey hand.  It is a stone hand, the stony handoff the Flint's Fingers.  It is basically the same symbolism as the rusty crown at Barrowtown.  Something that was once probably pretty amazing has died and rusted.  Kind of like Lady Flint who was heavy with child, yet they mentioned a sickness at widow's watch. 

 

If you can see from the above quote, the wayward bride chapter gives the Flints the tree personification and makes sure that we are aware that they are fighting Flints among the rest of the trees when they are moving closer to the walls and the tree are moving and attacking them.  Yes.  The Flint's were on the side of Garth and they still carry remnants of his sigil.

Believe it or not, I think we will find the answer in to some of the rest of the story in Robin Goodfellow and The Flint's blackthorn cane.

The Northerns are all ex-green men.  That's the whole deal with Barrow King and King of Winter, and Grey King too. Used to be green, but turned to stone. The green hand turning to grey stone is a great symbol of weirwood petrifying. 'Flint' implies it can be used to start a fire, just as the King of Winter burns. A green man combined with burning stone, that's the King of Winter. All the northerns express dead green man symbolism, so far as I have found. I just figured that one out based on your and @Blue Tiger's comments... that was sweet. 

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Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, GloubieBoulga said:

Hey, very great stuff, @Crowfood's Daughter (Renly death's imagery, the links btween the Storm god and the greenseers, aso...). But I don't agree with your conclusion. and I'm curious : where do you place the Wall, Winterfell, the Others and the Stark in your story ? because, those elements seem to be centrals in the story, far more than Barrowton, Nagga's bones, Grey King or Garth :P

Edit , just to add your terrific catch (from Bran's chapter in ASOS when he is at Night Fort?): 

As if the greenseer wanted desperatly and hopeless the moon Maid. The moon Maid engaged with another. A brother ? 

That is a really great question, and to be as honest as possible, I just do not have the answer you looking for.  I think Barrowton was the beginning of at least the events leading up to the Long Night which lasted a generation.  Brandon the Builder is descended from Garth by way of Brandon of the Bloody Blade.  This doesn't mean that Garth and the Grey king were not contemporaries of Brandon the Builder.  Both Garth and the Grey King are said to have lived for a thousand years, and honestly, I believe they really did live 1,000 years.  Garth is pretty obviously a greenseer of some sort.  The Grey King is Garth's brother so this doesn't rule out him being a greenseer at lease at some point as LmL suggests.  Other options are fire magic resurrection as LmL has suggested.   Any way I look at it, the Wall, Winterfell and the rest took place in the generation that followed.  The idea that the CotF created the WW is as good of a guess as any at this point in time. Brandon the Builder was most likely on team Garth as this was his founding father (although no fertility symbolism to be found and the wolves are quite suspect).

Edited by Crowfood's Daughter

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9 hours ago, LmL said:

Oh man I wrote a freaking super long comment last night only to have it eaten by Westeros.org/s lousy servers.  I will have to regroup and repost.

I loved so many things about this essay! It's so awesome to think back to two years ago when we were skypeing and you were first telling me about your discovery of the antler people vs. walrus / sea people. You gave me a head start on understanding Ironborn mythology, I spent two years digging into ASOIAF with a lot of that centered around the Ironborn, and then some of those ideas cam back around and helped you complete your line of inquiry. So much fun! The Goodbrother associations with Garth and fertility are so thorough so as to be over the top. They are irrefutable. There is no question the leal elder brother of Grey King is meant to be associated with Garth or Garth people, if not Garth himself (obviously we can't tell if we are talking about individuals or types of people when we speak of Garth or Azor Ahai). So many great finds in this... the brothers fighting themes in the Goodbrother scenes are also overwhelming.

The main thing that strikes me is the difference between seeing the fertility horned god as one being who expresses the full cycle of the season through his death and rebirth or seeing him as the winter / summer king pairing. Grey King and Garth perfectly express the pairing, and Barrow King, King of Winter, and Night's King would all be on that death and winter side of things as well. But even Garth and Grey King show a hint of the other aspect, indicating they can also be thought of as the one complete fertility god going through a cycle. Garth, for example, has an older version where he demands human sacrifice to turn the seasons. And we've garth people like green Renly come back from death as a demon (battle of the Blackwater) or as a ghost (the scene where Gendry appears as Renly's ghost to Brienne, a scene with all kinds of cool hammer and horned lord symbolism). And we have Grey Eyes Garth and Garth the Woe, Garth the Hammer of the Dornish (an obvious 'garth people dropped the hammer of the waters' clue) and Garth Morningstar (same).  And Grey King is a fertile dude himself, producing 100 sons... who engaged in an orgy of kinslaying that left only 16 alive... but still, he's mad fertile. He's also a culture starter like Garth or Durran or Bran the B. 

Durran himself does not fit the schema, at least not at first. He's got antlers and thunder symbolism, so he's a garth type, right? Well, he also has a ton in common with the Grey King, beginning with the fact that they are both moon breakers. Both married mermaids. Both battles the storm or wind gods and had mighty storms and floods sent against them by these gods, and in both in stances after the hero had stolen from those same gods. Both lived a thousand years. They have the same religion - sea and sky gods. And much more (this will be in my next essay). 

What is going on, I think, is this: Grey King represents the moon breaker, the Cain type, AFTER his death transformation, which was, as you say, wrought by his murder of the Abel figure (who seems to be the moon). Grey King starts out as a Garth type, though, before he turns naughty and transforms into the monster. I have been saying forever that Azor Ahai (the naughty moon breaker) was also or was once a green man, and that's what I am talking about here. Durran shows us a stormy stag man bringing down the moon maiden and causing the floods and storms - that's the transition moment. The Grey King, similarly, was named for how his skin and hair turned over time, meaning he transformed as well. It's like a bifurcation, with one branch - the Grey King AA branch - going naughty, committing sin, paying the price. Possessing the fire of the gods, which in some cases could be seen as the fire or life of Abel. 

But Abel doesn't stay dead, either, so we end up with two transformed, undead characters who may well be at odds with one another. I have seen this pattern with Azor Ahai and the last hero, who share a ton of symbolism but also seem to fight one another (I showed some of these scenes in my first Green Zombie essay). I wonder if the last hero isn't resurrected garth, while the NK would be old evil AA the resurrected naughty man. 

I will return later to try to capture some of my thoughts from last night. Honestly, I think my writing was a bit scrambled last night, so maybe it's better that I am giving you more coherent bits instead. I absolutely love this essay, there are so many great finds... the best one might even be the discovery of what the farking hell the kinslaying taboo is actually about. I mean, you finally solved that one! It's been vexing everyone for years. The way the curse of the First King lines up with Grey King has always made sense when you told me about it, but you have to find all the Goodbrother stuff to really understand that it was a brother vs. brother, kinslaying thing behind the curse. Really tremendous work there. I can't wait for my pals that I tagged above to come read this. 

Yeah, I think our lines of inquiry have taken different roads that are leading to the same place when it comes to Garth/Grey King.  I do agree there has to be a reason for the Grey King to live so long and it is something.  He was Garth's brother so that points even more directly to the Greenseeing idea you have been suggesting.  If he was a greenseer, his faith became altered in some form or fashion because he went to "the dark side" so to speak and the trees aren't too happy.  Your right, he probably wasn't all that bad of a guy, he just probably got the bad end of the stick when it comes to symbolism.  So if the "Lucifer" fallen angel pattern holds weight, he could just be a seeker of higher knowledge that got a bad wrap. I think we are also tracking on the immortality clues being a catalyst for this as well, stealing the powers of the Gods?

Men live their lives trapped in an eternal present, between the mists of memory and the sea of shadow that is all we know of the days to come. Certain moths live their whole lives in a day, yet to them that little span of time must seem as long as years and decades do to us. An oak may live three hundred years, a redwoodtree three thousand. A weirwood will live forever if left undisturbed. To them seasons pass in the flutter of a moth’s wing, and past, present, and future are one. Nor will your sight be limited to your godswood. The singers carved eyes into their heart trees to awaken them, and those are the first eyes a new greenseer learns to use … but in time you will see well beyond the trees themselves.”

“Him of Many Faces.” “And many names,” the kindly man had said. “In Qohor he is the Black Goat, in Yi Ti the Lion of Night, in Westeros the Stranger. All men must bow to him in the end, no matter if they worship the Seven or the Lord of Light, the Moon Mother or the Drowned God or the Great Shepherd. All mankind belongs to him … else some where in the world would be a folk who lived forever. Do you know of any folk who live forever?” “No,” she would answer. “All men must die.”

“Your father,” said Prince Oberyn, “may not live forever.” Something about the way he said it made the hairs on the back of Tyrion’s neck bristle. Suddenly he was mindful of Elia again, and all that Oberyn had said as they crossed the field of ashes. He wants the head that spoke the words, not just the hand that swung the sword. “It is not wise to speak such treasons in the Red Keep, my prince. The little birds are listening.” “Let them. Is it treason to say a man is mortal? Valar morghulis was how they said it in Valyria of old. All men must die. And the Doom came and proved it true.”

What is dead may never die….but rises.  Then we get that Grey King face in the Nightfort quote which is pretty crazy. 

I think you are on track to figuring it out.  I go into a complete brain meltdown when I try to wrap my head around it, but it is definitely a thing.

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2 minutes ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

Yeah, I think our lines of inquiry have taken different roads that are leading to the same place when it comes to Garth/Grey King.  I do agree there has to be a reason for the Grey King to live so long and it is something.  He was Garth's brother so that points even more directly to the Greenseeing idea you have been suggesting.  If he was a greenseer, his faith became altered in some form or fashion because he went to "the dark side" so to speak and the trees aren't too happy.  Your right, he probably wasn't all that bad of a guy, he just probably got the bad end of the stick when it comes to symbolism.  So if the "Lucifer" fallen angel pattern holds weight, he could just be a seeker of higher knowledge that got a bad wrap. I think we are also tracking on the immortality clues being a catalyst for this as well, stealing the powers of the Gods?

Men live their lives trapped in an eternal present, between the mists of memory and the sea of shadow that is all we know of the days to come. Certain moths live their whole lives in a day, yet to them that little span of time must seem as long as years and decades do to us. An oak may live three hundred years, a redwoodtree three thousand. A weirwood will live forever if left undisturbed. To them seasons pass in the flutter of a moth’s wing, and past, present, and future are one. Nor will your sight be limited to your godswood. The singers carved eyes into their heart trees to awaken them, and those are the first eyes a new greenseer learns to use … but in time you will see well beyond the trees themselves.”

“Him of Many Faces.” “And many names,” the kindly man had said. “In Qohor he is the Black Goat, in Yi Ti the Lion of Night, in Westeros the Stranger. All men must bow to him in the end, no matter if they worship the Seven or the Lord of Light, the Moon Mother or the Drowned God or the Great Shepherd. All mankind belongs to him … else some where in the world would be a folk who lived forever. Do you know of any folk who live forever?” “No,” she would answer. “All men must die.”

“Your father,” said Prince Oberyn, “may not live forever.” Something about the way he said it made the hairs on the back of Tyrion’s neck bristle. Suddenly he was mindful of Elia again, and all that Oberyn had said as they crossed the field of ashes. He wants the head that spoke the words, not just the hand that swung the sword. “It is not wise to speak such treasons in the Red Keep, my prince. The little birds are listening.” “Let them. Is it treason to say a man is mortal? Valar morghulis was how they said it in Valyria of old. All men must die. And the Doom came and proved it true.”

What is dead may never die….but rises.  Then we get that Grey King face in the Nightfort quote which is pretty crazy. 

I think you are on track to figuring it out.  I go into a complete brain meltdown when I try to wrap my head around it, but it is definitely a thing.

Here's the thing about the weirwoods: they are, in a way, dead trees. They are... wait for it... wight trees! They are skinchanged by humans as if they were a husk, and they eats people like zombies. By night, their red hands turn black. The blood on their face looks black at night too.  They are zombie trees! Wight trees! It's even at the town of Whitetree that we find human bones in the weirwood maw. So, what is dead can never die - that applies to weirwoods. They live, and grow, but are somehow dead. Or maybe it's the ones with faces who no longer grow. Something like that. That's how they get around the maxim of the HOBAW kindly man: they are dead, but live, and can never die. 

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4 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

And the symbolism is doubly enforced if we take Pyke to be a Pike or spear and a symbol of a penis. The Lord Reaper of Pyke is literally taking the fertility of the greenlanders in a sense and making them eunuchs and rather a preserve twist when we consider that the symbol of fertility, the son of the Lord Reaper, Theon truly embodies the house words of "We Do Not Sow". 

You know what?  Theon's castration is actually making some literary sense now that you are putting it in these terms.  I do need to tweek the couple things you had mentioned.  BTW, have you seen what a Blue Falcon is in military terms?

 

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Posted (edited)

23 minutes ago, LmL said:

Here's the thing about the weirwoods: they are, in a way, dead trees. They are... wait for it... wight trees! They are skinchanged by humans as if they were a husk, and they eats people like zombies. By night, their red hands turn black. The blood on their face looks black at night too.  They are zombie trees! Wight trees! It's even at the town of Whitetree that we find human bones in the weirwood maw. So, what is dead can never die - that applies to weirwoods. They live, and grow, but are somehow dead. Or maybe it's the ones with faces who no longer grow. Something like that. That's how they get around the maxim of the HOBAW kindly man: they are dead, but live, and can never die. 

AA/team fire not so happy with LH/aligned with CotF stemming from immortality?  What about the "rises"
 part?  Yes. Resurrection must be a part of this equation for this to make sense. Maybe Fiery greenseers as you have been saying in your essays is key.  Something has to be the catalyst.

Edited by Crowfood's Daughter

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1 minute ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

You know what?  Theon's castration is actually making some literary sense now that you are putting it in these terms.  I do need to tweek the couple things you had mentioned.  BTW, have you seen what a Blue Falcon is in military terms?

 

Yes I have. I mentioned it to LmL in another thread. My husband and I were talking about the term the other day while watching the Expanse. That's why I included the bit about the Bad Brother being a Blue Falcon. A brother in arms is a type of brother which is told to us over and over again and I forgot to mention that Ser Artys Arryn as the Winged Falcon Knight is a Bad Brother Blue Falcon if we consider that the person he killed was his brother, the Griffin King. By the way Ser Artys Arryn used a Goat Track to surprise the First Men armies in the Vale from behind. If we put it in terms you provided; The Winged Blue Falcon Knight stabbed his brother in the back using the goat's hooves.  

My husband was also the one to tell me about the Broken Arrow code as well.  

Oh there is one thing I want to mention about Pyke and the Lord Reaper. The Storm God as well is a Reaper of Pyke which is symbolized in Robert tearing down the towers of Pyke and sending them into the sea aka a conflagration of Zeus killing his father Kronus who killed his father before him, Uranus. 

And another thing, there is the strange reference of Darrio leading the Stormcrows, which Jorah distinctly says his beard wears false colors which his beard is blue so we have that as well associated with a Storm God symbolism. Which this leads to the false blue hair color of Griff and Young Griff. 

And since we are on the subject of false colors in reference to the Grey King we might have to look at the term False Flag both as double agent terms and the use of it in naval warfare. 

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1 minute ago, Pain killer Jane said:

Yes I have. I mentioned it to LmL in another thread. My husband and I were talking about the term the other day while watching the Expanse. That's why I included the bit about the Bad Brother being a Blue Falcon. A brother in arms is a type of brother which is told to us over and over again and I forgot to mention that Ser Artys Arryn as the Winged Falcon Knight is a Bad Brother Blue Falcon if we consider that the person he killed was his brother, the Griffin King. By the way Ser Artys Arryn used a Goat Track to surprise the First Men armies in the Vale from behind. If we put it in terms you provided; The Winged Blue Falcon Knight stabbed his brother in the back using the goat's hooves.  

My husband was also the one to tell me about the Broken Arrow code as well.  

Oh there is one thing I want to mention about Pyke and the Lord Reaper. The Storm God as well is a Reaper of Pyke which is symbolized in Robert tearing down the towers of Pyke and sending them into the sea aka a conflagration of Zeus killing his father Kronus who killed his father before him, Uranus. 

And another thing, there is the strange reference of Darrio leading the Stormcrows, which Jorah distinctly says his beard wears false colors which his beard is blue so we have that as well associated with a Storm God symbolism. Which this leads to the false blue hair color of Griff and Young Griff. 

And since we are on the subject of false colors in reference to the Grey King we might have to look at the term False Flag both as double agent terms and the use of it in naval warfare. 

I just saw that you knew about the blue falcon on another thread.  So happy there are others that get that term.  Yes, blue is a poor choice of color for a falcon unless you are trying to say something.  I was thinking GRRM didn't realize what he was doing with that, because it is hilarious when I read about the blue falcon of house arryn.

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1 minute ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

I just saw that you knew about the blue falcon on another thread.  So happy there are others that get that term.  Yes, blue is a poor choice of color for a falcon unless you are trying to say something.  I was thinking GRRM didn't realize what he was doing with that, because it is hilarious when I read about the blue falcon of house arryn.

And I answered on the other thread. 

I don't know. I think it was deliberate as the first note was in a false bottom with a far-eyes lens on top, which by the way a far-eyes is the series colloquialism for a sailor in the crow's nest of a ship, that combined with the drowned crow and seaweed is code for Euron and the Grey King.  And we keep forever hearing that words are wind, while on one level that is a reference to greenseeing, it directly points to the falseness of words and then both the moon and the falcon was blue wax not the usual mother of pearl, white, cream etc etc etc moon and blue [insert blue colored stone] falcon. 

I am also considering throwing Loras in this Blue Falcon mess as well since he was wearing blue forget me nots on his cape or horse blanket when he fought The Mountain at the Hand's Tourney. 

Dunk also makes a reference to blue wings when Daemon II Blackfyre offered him the white cloak and a lordship if Dunk would help him take the Iron Throne. 

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re: the robin and the wren...

"the day they hanged black robin." What's that about? Robin is the summer king, so when he's hanged, he becomes a black robin? Dark solar king? Works for me....

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1 hour ago, LmL said:

re: the robin and the wren...

"the day they hanged black robin." What's that about? Robin is the summer king, so when he's hanged, he becomes a black robin? Dark solar king? Works for me....

So Ser Robyn Darklyn nicknamed Darkrobyn, a knight of the KG would be along these lines as well. And he became an Other directly because of Ice Moon Queen, Visenya. 

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33 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

So Ser Robyn Darklyn nicknamed Darkrobyn, a knight of the KG would be along these lines as well. And he became an Other directly because of Ice Moon Queen, Visenya. 

What's the story there?

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, LmL said:

What's the story there?

He was one of the first KGs... Robin (Oak king) is a summer symbol... But dark robin is of winter. Like wren. So we have story of guy named Robyn Darklyn 'Darkrobyn'  who joins the KG ('Others').

In Aegon's KG we also find:

A Swyft of Cornfield would have a summer/Oak King/John Barleycorn kind of symbolism, but Bastard of Cornfield would be a winter figure. 

Edited by Blue Tiger

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