Crowfood's Daughter

The Grey King fought Garth the Greenhand

218 posts in this topic

@Unchained

In fact, I would be very carefull with all mythologic parallelism, because we risk to go to far and finally loose GRRM's text, even if GRRM's imaginary is obviously fed with Bible, norse mythology, tales, Shakespeare and so many other sources, because he is a very huge reader. 

For Moloch, we have only the Bible to describe this god and make him a kind of demon who tardively and strongly inspired Lucifer's christian character : christians followed the "kabbale's Satan" (but the writing/composition of the kabbale seems to begin in the same time that apocalyptic litterature - christianism being a branch of judaism - and majors texts of the Kabbale were written during middle age), or to be more precise, there was a mutual inspiration. Tardively also, Moloch was associated with the punic Ba'al (but there is also a "baal"/"beel" in semitic area who serve to qualifie "god", and who was sometimes also employed to designate YHWH, like in the word "baalshem" - "servant of god". That could explain why there was this assimilation between Moloch and Baal). In Middle age, the christian church practiced systematicly the transformation of ancient gods and cult, turned in demon's cult and god, like does Melisandre; and in the same time, the priests practiced the assimilation with saints (and created saints if it was needed);  the romans practiced the same, but with less attention and less interest, so Saturn was assimilated to Baal. But the archeology isn't even sure that a god called Moloch really existed, because no proof was found. The punic  Baal Hamon is attested but not human children sacrifices. Some stories about these gods recalls greek mythology, like the Minotaure, and the most probably is that greco-latines put their own mythology on religions that they badly knew (and wasn't interested to know well, to tell the truth : basically, the assimilations/identifications of the differents gods to greco-latines mythology and to the "divine emperor" was a way to facilitate the integration in roman empire and to say "see, your gods look like romans, so you can also be romans). 

So, if we want make comparisons between "Moloch" "Baal" or Saturn, it is useless to look for their "real" and ancient mythology. The characters of the two first seems similars to Saturn, but yes, it was a voluntary and artifical antic assimilation from some antics romans writers. Even the roman Saturn was transformed in the greek Chronos, when roman elites began to admire and imitate Athenian culture, but wasn't basically the same god. So we must be very very very carefull using mythologic references : imo, that's great when we are looking for GRRM's influences (and take mesure his huge curiosity and capacity of assimilation !) but the saga itself remains an original creation, with a new and original mythology with his own system. I don't know if I'm clear, I'm sorry for my english which limits what I would want to express ^^

PS : to say it simply : as GRRM doesn't rewrite Tolkien nor Shakespeare nor Jordan nor Lovecraft nor many others, he don't rewrite mythologies: he writes is own, and all can be explained without knowing all the influences (and there is the sign that GRRM is very good, when all the work is invisible when we read - at least at the first read ^^) 

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13 minutes ago, GloubieBoulga said:

@Unchained

In fact, I would be very carefull with all mythologic parallelism, because we risk to go to far and finally loose GRRM's text, even if GRRM's imaginary is obviously fed with Bible, norse mythology, tales, Shakespeare and so many other sources, because he is a very huge reader. 

For Moloch, we have only the Bible to describe this god and make him a kind of demon who tardively and strongly inspired Lucifer's christian character : christians followed the "kabbale's Satan" (but the writing/composition of the kabbale seems to begin in the same time that apocalyptic litterature - christianism being a branch of judaism - and majors texts of the Kabbale were written during middle age), or to be more precise, there was a mutual inspiration. Tardively also, Moloch was associated with the punic Ba'al (but there is also a "baal"/"beel" in semitic area who serve to qualifie "god", and who was sometimes also employed to designate YHWH, like in the word "baalshem" - "servant of god". That could explain why there was this assimilation between Moloch and Baal). In Middle age, the christian church practiced systematicly the transformation of ancient gods and cult, turned in demon's cult and god, like does Melisandre; and in the same time, the priests practiced the assimilation with saints (and created saints if it was needed);  the romans practiced the same, but with less attention and less interest, so Saturn was assimilated to Baal. But the archeology isn't even sure that a god called Moloch really existed, because no proof was found. The punic  Baal Hamon is attested but not human children sacrifices. Some stories about these gods recalls greek mythology, like the Minotaure, and the most probably is that greco-latines put their own mythology on religions that they badly knew (and wasn't interested to know well, to tell the truth : basically, the assimilations/identifications of the differents gods to greco-latines mythology and to the "divine emperor" was a way to facilitate the integration in roman empire and to say "see, your gods look like romans, so you can also be romans). 

So, if we want make comparisons between "Moloch" "Baal" or Saturn, it is useless to look for their "real" and ancient mythology. The characters of the two first seems similars to Saturn, but yes, it was a voluntary and artifical antic assimilation from some antics romans writers. Even the roman Saturn was transformed in the greek Chronos, when roman elites began to admire and imitate Athenian culture, but wasn't basically the same god. So we must be very very very carefull using mythologic references : imo, that's great when we are looking for GRRM's influences (and take mesure his huge curiosity and capacity of assimilation !) but the saga itself remains an original creation, with a new and original mythology with his own system. I don't know if I'm clear, I'm sorry for my english which limits what I would want to express ^^

PS : to say it simply : as GRRM doesn't rewrite Tolkien nor Shakespeare nor Jordan nor Lovecraft nor many others, he don't rewrite mythologies: he writes is own, and all can be explained without knowing all the influences (and there is the sign that GRRM is very good, when all the work is invisible when we read - at least at the first read ^^) 

 I didn't feel @Unchained was being literal with the small details mentioned with the parallelism, but was just throwing a few ideas out there by pointing out some possibilities.  Every once in a while there is a smaller detail that leads to a bigger discovery or can even fuel the ideas of another member on a totally unrelated topic.  I want to let you know you express your thoughts in English very well and agree with you in that GRRM has his own way of taking what he wants when it comes to myth and folklore.  My take is that the kinslaying theme is most heavily influenced by concepts from Cain/Abel and Ba'al.  Learning that Saturn/Cronus can be interchangeable with Ba'al gives us another thematic tie in and when we see stuff alluding to Saturn it may be suggesting the Ba'al cycle theme that has been mentioned. 

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2 hours ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

 I didn't feel @Unchained was being literal with the small details mentioned with the parallelism, but was just throwing a few ideas out there by pointing out some possibilities.

In fact, I was answering to a question Unchained adressed to me, but I wrote about my defiance by using too deeply mythologic figures ^^

His question was about Ramsay's sable cloak, and I think that this "sable cloak" doesn't need the mythology to be understood - the text is sufficiant in se, with interns references. 

I have a metaphore which can explain my feeling about GRRM's obvious influences : a musician for a symphony will use many instruments that already existe and that other musicians have used before him (sometimes, new intruments are invented, on the basis of ancient who are transformed). GRRM's influences are these instruments : how they play together and how they are used in the music can help to understand the whole thing. Studying the construction and the story of the instruments - even if it is a very interesting subject - doesn't help to understand the music. And with mythology - because we love stories and they are a strong part of our own inner world - we are always tempted by fascination for mythology and stories. But perhaps I'm just expressing my own fear and +temptation... and carefullness :P

 

1 hour ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

My take is that the kinslaying theme is most heavily influenced by concepts from Cain/Abel

I totally agree with that. 

After, I'm not convinced with Ba'al/Moloch/Saturn/Cronos, because these "deity" wasn't originaly the sames. Moloch isn't historically nor archeologically attested and could be an invention of the Bible. The others - as I have said - were artificially assimilated one with the other by "intellectual elites" of the greek-roman empire. They became very very tardively popular figures, when greek-roman mythology was learnt at "school" and mixed with bible's myths (so from end european middle-age to 19th and 20th centuries) and used in litterature/music/arts in general, and allmost when the majority of people learnt to read.  

But if you use Cronos as the archetype of the father eating and smothering his children, so yes, you will find this figure in all patriarcals traditions and socials structures - what is the feudal system in ASOIAF - because this is the "nature" of the patriarchy : as the all-powered-father use violence against his children, the children have to use violence to cut the link and to "make the man be grown" (a second birth in fact, the more often to became a new Cronos). And it is interesting to see how it works in the saga, and if there are differents issues or variations for this archetype (in other words, I try to pay attention to the music of the instrument, without regarding the instrument^^).

Note that the smothering mother is also a part of this structure - like Daenerys keeping her dragons under the pyramid as a maternal belly, or like Cersei keeping her sons in their chambers or in the Red Keep (and strong desiring having a cock and being a male) and punishing Tommen who wants to be present at the small council or sit on the IT, or even like Catelyn dreaming of recovering her daughters and keep them with her at Winterfell to live an eternal mourning. Tywin or Craster are some avatars of Chronos, greedy and sit at the top of a mountain full of their "defecations" (gold for Tywin, mudd for Craster). We find also same echoes with LF : around his castle in the Fingers, there so much sheep's shit that the house could be construct on a "mountain" of sheep's shit (Sansa VI, ASOS. for the reference) 

It seems to me that GRRM's purpose is that children break down father's and mother's order without being punished for that, and almost without reproducing same schema after that. In other words, to be free from "puppet's string". I agree with you that find the mythological archetypes can help to find some elements of the original theme. 

In the perspective of the Grey King and the Green King, I don't think they are the original theme (which is specifically a Stark theme), but variations; after reflexion, if the hypothesis of one killing the other places the both in position of the children (the two sons of a "king"; and I agree with you for the fact that there is a third brother in the story, which is a difference with Abel and Cain), both are in the same time strong paternal characters with their very numerous children : Robert Baratheon has the same kind of uncontrolled fertility. Robert has 2 brothers, but he is not a brother for them, he is a father/a king. Renly and Stannis are his heirs as if they were his children. But Robert has a brother : Ned Stark. So, if you make the hypothesis that Green Garth and Grey King were brothers, a paternal figure is also missing. 

To go further, Robert Baratheon (a Garth archetype) is killed by his wife, the queen (a Mother archetype ?). And Cersei captures Sansa (a Maid archetype), the blood of Ned Stark (a Grey King archetype), to give her to her son Joffrey (a warrior... or a Stranger archetype as true bastard ?). Varys suggests that Ned was responsible for Robert's death, but we know that is a lie and a manipulation from Varys who is playing with Ned's sense of guiltiness. 

In Stannis's and Renly's story, Stannis (a Grey archetype during Catelyn's chapters at Storm's End) kills Renly (a Green Garth archetype) but after that captures a bastard son of Robert. His daughter seems to be lost because of the greyscale, not active yet, but who will became active with the puberty, according to Val (is it a way to suggest that she is already "married"/"promised" to the Grey King ? But in that case, who is the real Grey King ? Is Shireen symbolically married to her father, or is she an "offer"/a "price"/ a "prey" for another Grey King ?). 

Funny that GRRM creates and uses many different mythologies to tell us differents parts of an original story^^

 

2 hours ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

I want to let you know you express your thoughts in English very well

Thank you very much !:D

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7 hours ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

I think it was part of the discussion between me and @Unchained

 

Awesome, thank you.  That was a really terrific find, it fits in so well with all the other "ember in the ashes" quotes. 

One thing about Ba'al - he is first and foremost a corn king. He is in fact the first corn king, and his primary role is just that - dying in the fall, resurrected in the spring, brings the fertility back to the world. Resurrected by Astarte, who is basically a forerunner to Ishtar. In your Cain and Abel schema, this works well and lines him up with Abel. Ba'al is not a Kronus / Dagon / Molech eater-of-his-own-children figure, as far as I know. Slain Abel / Bael / Ba'al / Osiris (also a green skinned killed-and-resurrected fertility corn god) should correlate to slain Garth, killed at the start of the LN. Resurrected Garth figure should be the LH, bringing the return of spring.  

I think it was @ravenous reader who pointed out the Rat Cook looking like a weirwood and linked the "eating your own" idea to the weirwoods... although I am notoriously bad at remembering who said what. Frey eats his own...  what exactly are we attempting to figure out with the Molech line of inquiry exactly?

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7 hours ago, GloubieBoulga said:

PS : to say it simply : as GRRM doesn't rewrite Tolkien nor Shakespeare nor Jordan nor Lovecraft nor many others, he don't rewrite mythologies: he writes is own, and all can be explained without knowing all the influences (and there is the sign that GRRM is very good, when all the work is invisible when we read - at least at the first read ^^) 

I almost agree with you, but not quite. When you say "all can be explained without knowing all the influences," I think that needs some qualifiers. One can grasp the main structure of the plot and story without reading the external references, but that's a far cry from "all." There are huge swaths of the story which you cannot figure out whatsoever without having a knowledge of the literary and mythological context within which he is writing. You're of course correct that he doesn't use any external ideas wholesale - they are always changed, and more often mixed and mingled with other similar legends. I always use the flaming sword thing as an example - when he decided to write about a flaming sword, he pulled from basically all the flaming sword mythology he kew of, where it seemed convenient. Arthur's swords, Odin's Gram, even Sun Wukong's fiery dragon spear.  Eric of Melnibone's black sword, the light sabers, Thundarr's glowing Sun Sword.  They are all referenced in the books.  Never one to one, but rather amalgamated and tailored to ASOIAF.

I like the word 'context' to describe the body of lit and myth that GRRM is making use of. ASOIAF is in many ways a commentary offered on all the classic works, tropes, archetypes, etc. It's ofter oversimplified that he is breaking all the tropes, this is not so actually, but he is offering commentary, and he is very much writing his own stories with all the old stories as a backdrop. So trying to read ASOIAF without considering the context in which it was written is incomplete, I have to say. You can certainly enjoy the books in isolation, but you won't come anywhere close to "getting everything."  Without any knowledge of Odin and Yggdraisl, the weirwoods are largely an impenetrable mystery. Once you study their correlations to Odin of Yggy, it all starts to unfold nicely. 

So yes, we should always use caution, because he never reproduces an external idea in its entirety. The Norse Mythology and ASOIAF website was famous for being terrific, but also for taking it way too far and coming up with the conclusion that ASOIAF will perfectly mirror Ragnarok and therefore Tommen was the PTWP and this is all about a struggle between Jaime and Bran.  That is taking it too far, because the author acted as though Norse myth was the only myth George was referencing, and it was assuming a continued and basically near-perfect reproduction of the main plot points. But, thing is, George did indeed pack ASOIAF with Norse myth, so we are of course supposed to consider it. 

Honestly I feel like most people get this intrinsically. It's just common sense imo. None can deny the heavy and constant references to outside lit and myth, and Martin does indeed give us enough solid clues to figure shit out without going crazy. All we need to do is use common sense and try to consider all the various influences - don't lock on to one in total isolation, you know? In fact, correlating different lines of inquiry is one of my favorite things about ASOIAF - it's so consistent that you can arrive at a conclusion by tracing out Arthurian influences OR Norse influences or maybe even through correlations to the War of the Roses and surrounding history. As long as we aren't pulling out one little idea and running with it, as long as we correlate things to one another, we will stay in good shape.  That's another great thing about these forums, we can all keep each other on the right path, chase down various leads and reel each other in when needed. 

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2 hours ago, GloubieBoulga said:

His question was about Ramsay's sable cloak, and I think that this "sable cloak" doesn't need the mythology to be understood - the text is sufficiant in se, with interns references. 

No, see, I disagree with this line of thinking. It's not helpful to say "xyz doesn't need the mythology to be understood."The sable cloak and everything else in the books is indeed meant to be understood as a symbol.  The language of symbolism is already well established, and George is using it like as his vocabulary. Trying to cut the ASOIAF symbol out of its greater context and symbolic heritage is the wrong approach, imo. That's what is "not necessary" - to put on blinders and say "let's only look at the books themselves!" In a series so thoroughly incorporating so much external myth, I would say that it makes no sense to take this position, and is contrary to the intent of the author. 

Quote

I have a metaphore which can explain my feeling about GRRM's obvious influences : a musician for a symphony will use many instruments that already existe and that other musicians have used before him (sometimes, new intruments are invented, on the basis of ancient who are transformed). GRRM's influences are these instruments : how they play together and how they are used in the music can help to understand the whole thing. Studying the construction and the story of the instruments - even if it is a very interesting subject - doesn't help to understand the music. And with mythology - because we love stories and they are a strong part of our own inner world - we are always tempted by fascination for mythology and stories. But perhaps I'm just expressing my own fear and +temptation... and carefullness :P

I don't think this metaphor works. You can pick up most instruments and play any style of music on it. Saying George is using instruments and so have other writers is like saying they all use words to write stories. It's a lot more than that. George did not invent a new style of music, or new notes. He's made a style of music which fuses already established rhythm and melodies.  He's like Beck, in other words. If you want to understand George's style, you HAVE to study the styles which he is using and developing. He's standing on the shoulders of giants and pushing the ball forward, but he's not starting from scratch. He's using the vocabulary of symbolism, which he did not invent or even change that much. 

You don't need to study how a saxophone or violin is made to understand a certain composer, but you do need to understand the musical context in which that composer wrote, and you should have a knowledge of other composers and what they've done to appreciate the work. GRRM's influences aren't the instruments, they are all the other music that has been composed on them which George is echoing themes of left and right, and you will not get anything close to a full understanding of ASOIAF without appreciating the context in which is was written.

In fact, I would say that one of the reasons GRRM put so much external myth and lit in his story is precisely because he WANTS us to learn about myth and classic lit. So, in my view, we should show no hesitation whatsoever in tracing out the external references. However, if you know me and how I like to discuss the books, you know that I have a very high standard of proof when it comes to correlating external ideas to ASOIAF. If they are not specifically referenced in the books, I am not very interested, because George gives us very clear clues when he is using something. He's doesn't try to hide it - quite the opposite. He gave Arthur Dayne a shining white sword because he wants us to think about King Arthur.  He shows us a one-eyed seer hung on a tree because he wants us to know he is using already established Odin symbolism.  And so on and so forth.

Edited by LmL

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2 hours ago, GloubieBoulga said:

In the perspective of the Grey King and the Green King, I don't think they are the original theme (which is specifically a Stark theme), but variations; after reflexion, if the hypothesis of one killing the other places the both in position of the children (the two sons of a "king"; and I agree with you for the fact that there is a third brother in the story, which is a difference with Abel and Cain), both are in the same time strong paternal characters with their very numerous children : Robert Baratheon has the same kind of uncontrolled fertility. Robert has 2 brothers, but he is not a brother for them, he is a father/a king. Renly and Stannis are his heirs as if they were his children. But Robert has a brother : Ned Stark. So, if you make the hypothesis that Green Garth and Grey King were brothers, a paternal figure is also missing. 

One thing to keep in mind is that these patterns are fractal. They repeat endlessly. Jaime is like a sun and Cersei a fiery moon, and their son is a dark sun, AA reborn type. But Joff also returns to the beginning "bright solar king" position and is engaged to Sansa, another fiery moon maiden like Cersei. But Sansa in the Red Keep is the moon before it's incinerated, while Cersei is playing the after-burning moon role, having transformed into a NN reborn version of AA reborn, just as Dany and Stoneheart do, and just as Sansa will do eventually. 

When Dany is born on Dragonstone amidst a horrific storm, that is showing the birth of the dragon from the moon, but so is the scene at the end of AGOT. At her birth, she was the dragon born from Dragonstone (which plays the role of the stone moon egg), but in Drogo's pyre, she is the pregnant moon herself. 

Jon had a dragon meteor / dark solar father and an icy moon maiden mother. So Jon in some sense is the "child of sun and moon," but he's also a reborn solar king who takes his own moon wife / wives. 

In terms of your good analysis about Robert almost being like a father, that's what I would call a variation. Consider the phenomena of the oak and holly king, or more generally the summer and winter king idea as a way to depict the cycle of the seasons. They can be brothers or father and son, it makes no matter, it's the cycle that matters. You could see winter as dad and summer as the son, or vise versa, or as brothers who kill each other every year. It can be one god who is alive in summer, dead in winter. They are all just different variations on the same idea. 

So, three brothers, or one dad and two sons? I doesn't matter that much. We will probably never know the exact family tree of people from 8,000 years ago. What I think martin wants to do is take the basic archetypal patterns he has made and spin endless permutations of them, as needed to fit any given scene, In one scene, with some characters, it might be useful to portray a father-son version of the cycle. In another scene, it might suit to make it a case of brothers fighting.  When he uses a father - son version, like Tyrion and Tywin, he'll probably use myths of father-son killing. With the Baratheons, it seems more like a winter - summer king as brothers type deal, particularly between Stannis and Renly, but you're also right that Robert is in some ways like a father, particularly to Renly (who is like Bobby's ghost). In other words, if he was too rigid about creating the the same "one dad with two boys" or "three brothers" pattern every time, the book would be stupid, lol. Or at least, the symbolism would seem overly mechanical and would interfere with the main story. Honestly, it is Martin's ability to flex the main patterns and motifs in so many ways while still keeping them recognizable and identifiable that impresses me so much, which is why I have so many words to talk about this topic with, ha ha.  

My guiding principle is to look at every chapter on its own, at first, and to see what roles Martin has any given character play in that chapter. The characters are fluid, because much of this is about transformation of course, so I tend to rely on the specific clues in the text of a chapter to tell us what is going on. That's why I am so dogmatic about anchoring all of our lovely external knowledge tightly to the text, which I think you can appreciate. I absolutely agree that it is ASOIAF which matters most. At the end of the day, we are only talking about external myths and stories to gain a better understanding of ASOIAF, not to just wank off talking about literature (to use a vulgar English phrase). 

BTW @GloubieBoulga, I enjoyed your insight on Ba'al and Kronus and how the myths have evolved - so you agree that Ba'al is not strongly linked to eating his own, right? That seems like more of a 'slander' added by ancient Jews and early Christians, as Ba'al is most notable for sacrificing himself as opposed to eating children. 

Edited by LmL

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11 hours ago, LmL said:
Quote

They came up the roseroad and along the riverbank, through all the fields Stannis had burned, the ashes puffing up around their boots and turning all their armor grey, but oh! the banners must have been bright, the golden rose and golden lion and all the others, the Marbrand tree and the Rowan, Tarly's huntsman and Redwyne's grapes and Lady Oakheart's leaf.

 

Renly knows what's up - I owe someone a hat tip for this one, was it @Blue Tiger?

I don't think I was the one to notice that passage... Maybe @ravenous reader?

Edited by Blue Tiger

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On 3/25/2017 at 11:51 AM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

@ravenous reader and @Unchained.  I just found something pretty cool linking Saturn and Baal in more intimately woven detail. 

 

Creepy video!  

6 hours ago, GloubieBoulga said:

I'm not convinced with Ba'al/Moloch/Saturn/Cronos, because these "deity" wasn't originaly the sames. Moloch isn't historically nor archeologically attested and could be an invention of the Bible.

Regardless of its origins, though, GRRM references Moloch worship, in particular child sacrifice via fire at Gehenna here:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys V

Dany had laughed when he told her. "Was it not you who told me warlocks were no more than old soldiers, vainly boasting of forgotten deeds and lost prowess?"

Xaro looked troubled. "And so it was, then. But now? I am less certain. It is said that the glass candles are burning in the house of Urrathon Night-Walker, that have not burned in a hundred years. Ghost grass grows in the Garden of Gehane, phantom tortoises have been seen carrying messages between the windowless houses on Warlock's Way, and all the rats in the city are chewing off their tails. The wife of Mathos Mallarawan, who once mocked a warlock's drab moth-eaten robe, has gone mad and will wear no clothes at all. Even fresh-washed silks make her feel as though a thousand insects were crawling on her skin. And Blind Sybassion the Eater of Eyes can see again, or so his slaves do swear. A man must wonder." He sighed. "These are strange times in Qarth. And strange times are bad for trade. It grieves me to say so, yet it might be best if you left Qarth entirely, and sooner rather than later." Xaro stroked her fingers reassuringly. "You need not go alone, though. You have seen dark visions in the Palace of Dust, but Xaro has dreamed brighter dreams. I see you happily abed, with our child at your breast. Sail with me around the Jade Sea, and we can yet make it so! It is not too late. Give me a son, my sweet song of joy!"

Give you a dragon, you mean. "I will not wed you, Xaro."

How else to explain the selection of the name 'Gehane'?  I once suggested that might be a reference to the Garden of Gethsemane in which Christ spent his last night before the crucifixion; however, I agree with @Pain killer Jane that 'Gehenna' was probably the reference intended.  How do you interpret that line, i.e. 'ghost grass growing in the Garden of Gehane'?

The giant bronze bull to which children were reputedly sacrificed to 'Moloch' entering via a door and then immolated in the heated metallic contraption -- like an oven--  is paralleled by the weirwood at Whitetree in which disturbingly the burnt bones of children are found in the maw.  Likewise, on his journey north, the child Bran Stark passes through the gaping maw of the 'Black Gate' which stretches rather gruesomely to admit him, engulfing him in the process (likely the weirwood in which his ancient ancestor is trapped and therefore symbolically consumes him).

May I remind you:  'Fire consumes; ice preserves.'  At the 'Black Gate', for example, the weirwood embedded in the ice opens its mouth wide to consume Bran, shedding a clear fluid secretion compared to tears, which was 'strangely warm' -- therefore likely to be produced by someone warm-blooded, assuming it is an organic secretion.  By implication, therefore, the presence in the weirwood as represented by the Black Gate is a fiery creature eating its own young.

'Under the sea...the old fish eat the young fish...'

5 hours ago, LmL said:

I think it was @ravenous reader who pointed out the Rat Cook looking like a weirwood and linked the "eating your own" idea to the weirwoods... although I am notoriously bad at remembering who said what.

I was quoting @Brian Powers Of Palantíri and @Evolett in their discussion here:

And then @Frey family reunion cleverly pointed out, given that Bran and co are hanging out in the Night Fort's 'kitchen,' that there's likely to be an 'oven,' as it were, for the blood-and-fire magical processing of the sacrifices.

In my view, the 'oven' is represented by the mouth of the weirwood, since I don't draw a distinction between fire and blood symbolically.  The 'red' of the weirwood's mouth contains blood and ashes, and therefore fire.  Going down the well can also be likened to descending down the gullet into the stomach (interesting that we have those references at the Wall to the ice dragon's gullet..!)

I made the 'tummy' - 'oven' connection on another thread where they were discussing Sansa's 'bats in the tummy' quote.  Tummy, tumescence, tomb, womb, hollow hills, forges, ovens and baking pies are all related.  The first step of the 'alchemical wedding' is 'nigredo' which involves cooking, requiring fire and water!  Digestion of the materials in order to forge something new starts with cooking.

ETA:  Before I'm accused of unnecessary conflation, consider the idiom 'a bun in the oven' as a euphemism for pregnancy!  Symbolically, therefore, (re)birth involves 'baking' (and eating).

6 hours ago, GloubieBoulga said:

I have a metaphore which can explain my feeling about GRRM's obvious influences : a musician for a symphony will use many instruments that already existe and that other musicians have used before him (sometimes, new intruments are invented, on the basis of ancient who are transformed). GRRM's influences are these instruments : how they play together and how they are used in the music can help to understand the whole thing. Studying the construction and the story of the instruments - even if it is a very interesting subject - doesn't help to understand the music.

I like your metaphor, but I think it's more complicated than that.  The basic fallacy is drawing a distinction between the 'instruments' and the 'music'.  Artists don't just borrow 'instruments' from other artists; they often end up -- frequently inadvertently -- borrowing the themes themselves.  Have you ever found yourself humming a tune without realising where it comes from?  There are plagiarism lawsuits based on that phenomenon!  CG Jung explained it with reference to his construct of the 'universal unconscious,' a well of cumulative knowledge informing our experience (frequently without our conscious knowledge) via which we may come to (re-)enact stories that have been played out by others many times over without realizing it.  I think Tom Stoppard said it best, in one of my favorite quotes from his play 'Arcadia' (please see the relevant quote on our 'poetry thread'...P.S.  I would love it if you would leave one of your favorite French poems which may remind you of any aspect of ASOIAF!)

For example, I contend that GRRM's use of the hyphenated compound color term we're discussing in this thread, namely 'grey-green' has been 'borrowed' from Rudyard Kipling's 'Just So Stories' (the 'just so' is another catchphrase he's lifted from there), in particular the story of 'The Elephant's Child' in which that phrase 'grey-green' is repeated like an annoying, yet strangely irresistible refrain, drawing the curious child (like our Bran) down to the water ('grey-green', in case you were wondering...;)) in order to find out what the crocodile has for dinner...What transpires is an archetypal contest, with the emergence of an 'Azor Ahai' -- but that's another story..!

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One fine morning in the middle of the Precession of the Equinoxes this 'satiable Elephant's Child asked a new fine question that he had never asked before. He asked, 'What does the Crocodile have for dinner?' Then everybody said, 'Hush!' in a loud and dretful tone, and they spanked him immediately and directly, without stopping, for a long time.

By and by, when that was finished, he came upon Kolokolo Bird sitting in the middle of a wait-a-bit thorn-bush, and he said, 'My father has spanked me, and my mother has spanked me; all my aunts and uncles have spanked me for my 'satiable curtiosity; and still I want to know what the Crocodile has for dinner!'

Then Kolokolo Bird said, with a mournful cry, 'Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and find out.'

That very next morning, when there was nothing left of the Equinoxes, because the Precession had preceded according to precedent, this 'satiable Elephant's Child took a hundred pounds of bananas (the little short red kind), and a hundred pounds of sugar-cane (the long purple kind), and seventeen melons (the greeny-crackly kind), and said to all his dear families, 'Goodbye. I am going to the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, to find out what the Crocodile has for dinner.' And they all spanked him once more for luck, though he asked them most politely to stop.

In other cases, GRRM naughtily quotes phrases from famous poems without acknowledging the author, e.g. 'down to a sunless sea' which is taken verbatim from Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan'.  The mythical cavern into which the poet descends has an uncanny resemblance to that in which Bloodraven and Bran find themselves, as does the fact that Coleridge wrote the enigmatic poem upon emerging from an opium-daze, analogous to Bran's weirwood paste 'awakening' and subsequent greenseeing 'trips'.  Following upon this recognition, I've since been able to identify GRRM alluding to other psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs in other contexts, which makes sense since his generation was part of the 60s 'sub-culture'.  

ETA:  I should also add that the concept of a 'sunless sea', in other words 'dark seeing,' or the seer's figurative drowning in order to gain illumination was a major impetus for me, contributing towards my 'green sea / green see' pun discovery, which has proven to have a myriad of interesting applications.

 As another example of GRRM's literary 'nods' -- 'Riverrun' is the very famous first word of James Joyce's 'Finnegans Wake' (sweetsunray has developed this on her thread 'Them Bones').  Whatever you make of it, it can't be ignored:

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Riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. 

Perhaps spotting some of these allusions ultimately has no bearing, whereas others may bear more fruit; but it's certainly enriching to identify and ponder all these influences!  :)

Edited by ravenous reader

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3 hours ago, LmL said:

I like the word 'context' to describe the body of lit and myth that GRRM is making use of. ASOIAF is in many ways a commentary offered on all the classic works, tropes, archetypes, etc. It's ofter oversimplified that he is breaking all the tropes, this is not so actually, but he is offering commentary, and he is very much writing his own stories with all the old stories as a backdrop. So trying to read ASOIAF without considering the context in which it was written is incomplete, I have to say. You can certainly enjoy the books in isolation, but you won't come anywhere close to "getting everything."  Without any knowledge of Odin and Yggdraisl, the weirwoods are largely an impenetrable mystery. Once you study their correlations to Odin of Yggy, it all starts to unfold nicely. 

(Obviously, I agree, the pleasure of reading GRRM is growing with our own knowledge of his references. The interest of his litterar projekt depends also of all these references. In fact, I see that I didn't very well precise my thoughts : I think the references aren't necessary for our theories, to understand the plot and to try to anticipate the future events : the built of the saga is so coherent that we don't need it. But yes, if we want to study the saga in a litterar context, in a historical context (aso...), in the perspective of studying litterar creation, study these references is essential ^^

I can assure that ignoring Yggdrasill or Odin doesn't make the weirwoodnet understandable : in France, we aren't familiar with Norse mythology, even when we know Wagner's Tetralogy very well, but we have the text of the saga to appreciate and well understand the mysteries of the weirwoods and the weirwoodnet. You are just like a child who is discovering a totally new thing for him assimilates it : obviously, it is easier and faster with knowledge of Yggdrasill, but the other side of the stuff is that we have already some shemas with our knowledges and we are (un)consciently waiting some issues which are conforms to these schemas ^^

I would want also precise that I think possible a metaphoric/symbollic reading without external references, and thanks to @ravenous reader to recall this example that illustrates perfectly what I want to express :

2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

And then @Frey family reunion cleverly pointed out, given that Bran and co are hanging out in the Night Fort's 'kitchen,' that there's likely to be an 'oven,' as it were, for the blood-and-fire magical processing of the sacrifices.

In my view, the 'oven' is represented by the mouth of the weirwood, since I don't draw a distinction between fire and blood symbolically.  The 'red' of the weirwood's mouth contains blood and ashes, and therefore fire.  Going down the well can also be likened to descending down the gullet into the stomach (interesting that we have those references at the Wall to the ice dragon's gullet..!)

I made the 'tummy' - 'oven' connection on another thread where they were discussing Sansa's 'bats in the tummy' quote.  Tummy, tumescence, tomb, womb, hollow hills, forges, ovens and baking pies are all related.  The first step of the 'alchemical wedding' is 'nigredo' which involves cooking, requiring fire and water!  Digestion of the materials in order to forge something new starts with cooking.

All the symbollic is here made with internal references : the Rat Cook story/the mouth of the weirwoods/the Wall as an ice dragon/aso...

 Obviously, external references make it richer but the sense remains internal (says the one who had studied Sansa's character throw the archetype of Snow-White :D). All I mean is that external references are the instruments/ingredients, not the goal. 

I stop here, the debate is very interesting, even in disagreing on some points, but we will go out of topic)

 

2 hours ago, LmL said:

In terms of your good analysis about Robert almost being like a father, that's what I would call a variation. Consider the phenomena of the oak and holly king, or more generally the summer and winter king idea as a way to depict the cycle of the seasons. They can be brothers or father and son, it makes no matter, it's the cycle that matters. You could see winter as dad and summer as the son, or vise versa, or as brothers who kill each other every year. It can be one god who is alive in summer, dead in winter. They are all just different variations on the same idea. 

I don't totally agree with the interchangeability of fathers/sons/brothers, because precisely the cycle of the seasons goes wrong in the world of Planetos. If it's not regular, what makes the seasons change ? Why can be a "false spring" not followed by summer but by winter ? What the reason for a summer of 9 years, and another of 2 years ? What makes them so unpredictible ? I mean, Stannis is not Robert's son and Robert is not Stannis nor Renly's father, but Rabert choose Ned as brother and is a king/castrating father for his bloodbrothers. Same with Tywin, who is a castrating father for all his brothers, sister and his children (even Cersei feels castrated). Characters and their interactions are centrals in the saga, not the archetypes : archetype have no evolution, but characters have and change. Renly is a green-king archetype at some point, but he has got a grey army in the same time. Robert's fertility is "deregulated", excessive, but his couple with the queen is sterile in the same time. Ned Stark is a "winter king" but he makes his children free to grow and give them the ability to survey and to live, like the association to the "king's justice" or the acceptance of the direwolves (= he is fertile). 

I'm not sure how to interprete all that : perhaps Ned isn't a real "winter king" and was forced to be one. Perhaps Robert wasn't a real father/king (neither "summer king" nor "winter king") but was forced to play this part; perhaps he was only a real "summer child". 

 

2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

How else to explain the selection of the name 'Gehane'?  I once suggested that might be a reference to the Garden of Gethsemane in which Christ spent his last night before the crucifixion; however, I agree with @Pain killer Jane that 'Gehenna' was probably the reference intended.  How do you interpret that line, i.e. 'ghost grass growing in the Garden of Gehane'?

Yes, GRRM refere it to the biblic Gehenna valley. Originaly the location where was relagated "idolic cults", amongst them one god to whom some kings sacrified their eldest sons by fire;  after that, according to the bible, it was a stinking dump with permanently fires (to eliminate the wastes and "purify" the location). And it received a metaphoric sense : a location for souls of sinners, who suffered here the fire and were purified before quite this valley. With greek influence and christianism, it became a synonym for inferno : in other terms, it was no more a "passage" but a location where sinners souls remained for eternity. I think the reference to Gehenna's valley is explicite with the proximity of the mention of glasscandle who burns and with the ghost grass. As it is associated with the return of dragons, I think GRRM uses here the biblic reference to suggest the part of the dragon in his saga = "purify the sinners with fire". The reference arrives after Undying burned : by burning and definitly killing them, Drogon re-established a natural order = men and women are mortal and are made to be mortal.

(But Xaro enumerates other "exceptional facts", and I think there is some emphasis and humour in the list. That makes me think to look at this a bit more.) 

So yes, the biblic Moloch (the god whom were sacrified children) can be used to explore the references of GRRM, but not the "historical" Moloch (if he really existed, which isn't attested actually with archeology nor history : the Bible is our unic and oldest source for Moloch^^) 

Sorry, I had much more to answer but my previous post disappeared.                               

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47 minutes ago, GloubieBoulga said:

I think the reference to Gehenna's valley is explicite with the proximity of the mention of glasscandle who burns and with the ghost grass.

Let me jump in here really quickly. Had some free time. Hi! @GloubieBoulga and @ravenous reader

I love this statement for several reasons. First the connection of the glasscandles burning and the ghost grass growing. Think on this; a ghost is a shadow, a shadow grows longer as the sun dips behind the object.

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And with that he turned and sauntered back into the feast, whistling a tune. When he opened the door, the light from within threw his shadow clear across the yard, and for just a moment Tyrion Lannister stood tall as a king.

-aGoT, Jon I

The light is coming from behind Tyrion as he stands in the doorway. There are other interpretations to this especially that halo sun king thing. 

Even though Xaro says that rebirth of dragons is the cause of the strange happenings and rebirth is often connected with dawn and a rising sun, that is not the case here with the ghost grass growing. The rebirth of dragons should be rightly considered an inverse and thus a setting sun making things grow. This also implies the connection @LmL made between the pun of morning/mourning since death is often associated with sunset and birth as the rising sun. Which also goes into the mother aspects of Dany since essentially she is the mother of death. 

Now secondly, I often connected the glasscandles as mirrors to the Hearttrees. The ghost grass growing in connection with the burning glasscandles and its allusion to the Garden of Gehenna is pointing at the Others as shadows and ghosts coming from the trees and are the sacrificed children of Craster. There are other reason why I consider glasscandles as mirrors to the Hearttrees but that reason is relevant to the discussion. 

 

1 hour ago, GloubieBoulga said:

(But Xaro enumerates other "exceptional facts", and I think there is some emphasis and humour in the list. That makes me think to look at this a bit more.)

I tend to think that things Xaro mentions are shadows and echos of the stories associated with the Nightfort. Urrathon Night-Walker = Nights King. Blind Sybassion the eater of Eyes = Symeon Star-eyes.  

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@ravenous reader

In that same instance, Xaro says this 

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The wife of Mathos Mallarawan, who once mocked a warlock's drab moth-eaten robe, has gone mad and will wear no clothes at all. Even fresh-washed silks make her feel as though a thousand insects were crawling on her skin. 

First I want to point out the drab moth-eaten robe of a warlock. There's your wizard with mottled robes (a knowledgeable and sinister fool) who made a woman go mad. But take a look at these instances of people with moth-eaten clothes. 

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The wildfire oozed slowly toward the lip of the jar when Tyrion tilted it to peer inside. The color would be a murky green, he knew, but the poor light made that impossible to confirm. "Thick," he observed.

"That is from the cold, my lord," said Hallyne, a pallid man with soft damp hands and an obsequious manner. He was dressed in striped black-and-scarlet robes trimmed with sable, but the fur looked more than a little patchy and moth-eaten. "As it warms, the substance will flow more easily, like lamp oil."

- Tyrion V, aCoK

The eunuch was lurking in the dark of a twisting turnpike stair, garbed in a moth-eaten brown robe with a hood that hid the paleness of his face. "You were so long, I feared that something had gone amiss," he said when he saw Tyrion.

-Tyrion XI, aSoS

Varys had escorted him through the tunnels, but they never spoke until they emerged beside the Blackwater, where Tyrion had won a famous victory and lost a nose. That was when the dwarf turned to the eunuch and said, "I've killed my father," in the same tone a man might use to say, "I've stubbed my toe."

The master of whisperers had been dressed as a begging brother, in a moth-eaten robe of brown roughspun with a cowl that shadowed his smooth fat cheeks and bald round head. "You should not have climbed that ladder," he said reproachfully.

"Wherever whores go." Tyrion had warned his father not to say that word. If I had not loosed, he would have seen my threats were empty. He would have taken the crossbow from my hands, as once he took Tysha from my arms. He was rising when I killed him.

-Tyrion I, aDwD

The magister had invited him to explore the manse. He found clean clothes in a cedar chest inlaid with lapis and mother-of-pearl. The clothes had been made for a small boy, he realized as he struggled into them. The fabrics were rich enough, if a little musty, but the cut was too long in the legs and too short in the arms, with a collar that would have turned his face as black as Joffrey's had he somehow contrived to get it fastened. Moths had been at them too. At least they do not stink of vomit.

-Tyrion I, aDwD

"Why should we need armor? We're only mummers. We just pretend to fight."

"You pretend very well," said Tyrion, examining a shirt of heavy iron mail so full of holes that it almost looked moth-eaten. What sort of moths eat chainmail? "Pretending to be dead is one way to survive a battle. Good armor is another." Though there is precious little of that here, I fear. At the Green Fork, he had fought in mismatched scraps of plate from Lord Lefford's wagons, with a spiked bucket helm that made it look as if someone had upended a slops pail over his head. This company steel was worse. Not just old and ill fitting, but dinted, cracked, and brittle. Is that dried blood, or only rust? He sniffed at it but still could not be sure.

-Tyrion XII, aDwD

All of these instances are seen by Tyrion. The first three instances are of a pale man wearing moth-eaten robes. Hallyne and Varys have been both described as wizards. Penny even makes the connection between foolish mummer knight and Tyrion when she says that they are only mummers but Tyrion notes that the current armor he is looking at is moth-eaten and his is armor at the Green Fork was mismatched scraps of plate. While Tyrion says they are different in terms of condition, they should be considered the same since Tyrion mentions that he wore a spiked helm and in the above quotes GRRM chose to use the title 'eunuch' which in conjunction is alluding to the spiked helms of the Unsullied. 

Also it is quite fitting that GRRM specifically used Varys's title as 'master of whisperers' in conjunction with the moth-eaten robe with a cowl since Xaro talks of the happenings in Qarth as whispers. But there is a deeper connection as well. 

This is the first time we see a moth.

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 failed you, Robert, Ned thought. He could not say the words. I lied to you, hid the truth. I let them kill you.

The king heard him. "You stiff-necked fool," he muttered, "too proud to listen. Can you eat pride, Stark? Will honor shield your children?" Cracks ran down his face, fissures opening in the flesh, and he reached up and ripped the mask away. It was not Robert at all; it was Littlefinger, grinning, mocking him. When he opened his mouth to speak, his lies turned to pale grey moths and took wing.

-Ned XV, aGoT

Moths are lies here being spewed from the mouth of another master of whispers. At a basic level we should then interpret the moth-eaten robes as lies taking bites out of the pale fool, mummer, knight. However that isn't the other interpretation to this. And it belongs to the aspect of the Lord of Ash, reborn. 

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The horn crashed amongst the logs and leaves and kindling. Within three heartbeats the whole pit was aflame. Clutching the bars of his cage with bound hands, Mance sobbed and begged. When the fire reached him he did a little dance. His screams became one long, wordless shriek of fear and pain. Within his cage, he fluttered like a burning leaf, a moth caught in a candle flame.

-Jon III, aDwD

"… don't want to wake the dragon …"

She could feel the heat inside her, a terrible burning in her womb. Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo's copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, violet eyes shaped like almonds. And he smiled for her and began to lift his hand toward hers, but when he opened his mouth the fire poured out. She saw his heart burning through his chest, and in an instant he was gone, consumed like a moth by a candle, turned to ash. She wept for her child, the promise of a sweet mouth on her breast, but her tears turned to steam as they touched her skin.

"… want to wake the dragon …"

-Dany IX, aGoT

Both of these are depicting a burning man(because even though we understand that Rhaego is an unborn infant he is shown here as a grown man). RR the first one is most definitely related to Bran in his cage as Icarus, if we connect the scene of Orelle's eagle burning. So @GloubieBoulga this is what you were speaking of as the burning of sinners. The burning out of corruption. And since the man burning is a disguised Lord of Bones, Rattleshirt as the Foolish, Singing, Lyre playing Greenman King beyond the wall, Mance Rayder. A green man king that is actually a lord of bones i.e. a lord of death. And this connection is seen with the multiple descriptions we get of Ser Richard Horpe. He is dubbed the moth knight by Theon in tWoW and Tormund told Jon that the moth knight killed his sons and has grey steel armor which should recall the image of Stannis's army covered in ash during the battle of the blackwater. And his doublet is specifically said to be three death's-head moths on a field of ash and bone. @LmL Those death's-head moths are your three green men heads on spikes.

And yes you should absolutely think of Silence of the Lambs, here. GRRM has made an obvious allusion to Hannibal Lecter. First through his first name Hannibal, the commander of Carthage and his elephant regiments and then connecting it to the Red Dragon, fAegon. And before we go off on the difference of red and black dragons, we need to remember that a dragon is still a dragon regardless if it is black or red. And the cannibalism is also depicted in Dany's dream of her child's heart being eaten in fire and then the dragons are born. There is also the ash and bone, Hannibal the commander of Carthage which is related to the lies/moths in what the Valarians did to the Old Ghis and sowed the fields with skulls and lime. Before I get a little esoteric, I want to point that this also relates to Lem lemoncloak, the Knight of Skulls and Kisses. But I won't get into that part.

The second part is the grey knight's of mind that are the measters. Lecter is meant to be Lector, a reader or lecturer, which we see that Hannibal Lecter is quite intelligent and the measters are men in the rooks scarecrows that represent Odin's sacrificing himself for knowledge and gaining it. 

And I just want to point out this scene is framed by 'don't want to wake the dragon' then 'want to wake the dragon' when her child dies. Per Dany's use of the word promise, I would say it was a broken promise from a 'sweet' i.e. lying mouth that led to the creation of dragons.

Anyway Jon's scene above is repeated several times

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She rose, and let Senelle slip a bedrobe over her shoulders to hide her nakedness. Cersei belted it herself, her fingers stiff and clumsy. "My lord father keeps guards about him, night and day," she said. Her tongue felt thick. She took another swallow of lemon water and sloshed it round her mouth to freshen her breath. A moth had gotten into the lantern Ser Boros was holding; she could hear it buzzing and see the shadow of its wings as it beat against the glass.

-Cersei I, aFfC

Within the tower, the smoke from the torches irritated her eyes, but Cersei did not weep, no more than her father would have. I am the only true son he ever had. Her heels scraped against the stone as she climbed, and she could still hear the moth fluttering wildly inside Ser Osmund's lantern. Die, the queen thought at it, in irritation, fly into the flame and be done with it.

-Cersei I,aFfC

 

 Cersei here is thinking of sons, weeping and burning in a flame. These echoes are inversions of Dany's dream of her son. 

And by the way we see a connection of the pale grey moths with glasscandles, dragons, and gardens in this scene

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Alone again, Dany went all the way around the pyramid in hopes of finding Quaithe, past the burned trees and scorched earth where her men had tried to capture Drogon. But the only sound was the wind in the fruit trees, and the only creatures in the gardens were a few pale moths.

-Dany II, aDwD

 Quaithe previously to this used a glasscandle to contact Dany and there is scorched earth here and then wind and pale moths in the gardens. 

Edited by Pain killer Jane

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7 hours ago, LmL said:

Awesome, thank you.  That was a really terrific find, it fits in so well with all the other "ember in the ashes" quotes. 

Just thought I'd mention something.  I am originally from rural Nebraska, and my first job was in the corn fields.  I detassled and rogued corn and walked a few beans in my youth.  Detassling is kind of like corn castration in a sense, so that would have made me a corn castrator :blink:.  Anyway, there is something done after harvest in many fields called "controlled burns", and you will basically see corn fields in flames.  To the outsider this would seem inappropriate or even self defeating, but in reality the old stalks had to go and burning is the easiest way around it.  So every year I would see a quite a few "Fields of Fire", and from the ashes the new crop would eventually be replanted.  Although tilling is another option, fire can be a part of the real world agricultural cycle when planting on a large scale. 

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4 hours ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

Just thought I'd mention something.  I am originally from rural Nebraska, and my first job was in the corn fields.  I detassled and rogued corn and walked a few beans in my youth.  Detassling is kind of like corn castration in a sense, so that would have made me a corn castrator :blink:.  Anyway, there is something done after harvest in many fields called "controlled burns", and you will basically see corn fields in flames.  To the outsider this would seem inappropriate or even self defeating, but in reality the old stalks had to go and burning is the easiest way around it.  So every year I would see a quite a few "Fields of Fire", and from the ashes the new crop would eventually be replanted.  Although tilling is another option, fire can be a part of the real world agricultural cycle when planting on a large scale. 

Oh right on, that's cool! One of my best friends grew up in Nebraska as well, near Omaha on a farm. His parent shave been to every Husker game since 1967 or some shit. Hah! You know how that is. 

Anyway that's a nice tip, I've heard of that but didn't connect it. Very cool!

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@Pain killer Jane, thanks for your great post ! 

Indeed, now it's morning for me, and I'm not tired like yesterday night, I can add some little things : the Garden of Gehane with the ghost grass is obviously an allusion to the Others beyond the Wall (and fire is required to "purify" : glass candles anticipate here the Sam's obsidian dagger, I think, but not exclusively : there is perhaps also an allusion to Quaithe)

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The wife of Mathos Mallarawan, who once mocked a warlock's drab moth-eaten robe, has gone mad and will wear no clothes at all. Even fresh-washed silks make her feel as though a thousand insects were crawling on her skin.

This makes me thinking to Catelyn after she has killed Jinglebells : 

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Slow red worms crawled along her arms and under her clothes. It tickles. That made her laugh until she screamed.

 After her death, Catelyn is thrown to the river, naked. 

In fact, it is not the first time that GRRM uses some mini-stories to anticipate some future event. For example, Yoren, once, "predict" to Arya the fate ot the Mountain, the Hound and Catelyn

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"Been bringing men to the Wall for close on thirty years." Froth shone on Yoren's lips, like bubbles of blood. "All that time, I only lost three. Old man died of a fever, city boy got snakebit taking a shit, and one fool tried to kill me in my sleep and got a red smile for his trouble."(Arya III, ACOK)

  If need, I will developp in the thread "moments of foreshadowing"

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On 3/26/2017 at 5:00 PM, Pain killer Jane said:

First the connection of the glasscandles burning and the ghost grass growing. Think on this; a ghost is a shadow, a shadow grows longer as the sun dips behind the object.

Hi PK!  :)

I like the connection you're making between grass and shadows growing.  Although it may seem counterintuitive to connect the advancing Long Night with things that grow -- since we imagine the sun disappearing to be associated mainly with dwindling and dying.

There may be a glass / grass wordplay.  After all, ghost grass is compared to milk glass; and 'blades' of grass may be sharp and cut like glass swords (or obsidian candles), and be associated with bloodshed ('murder the other grasses'...'sea of blood'...which is reminiscent of the rippling 'waves of night and blood' of Oathkeeper):

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A Game of Thrones - Daenerys III

"The Dothraki sea," Ser Jorah Mormont said as he reined to a halt beside her on the top of the ridge. Beneath them, the plain stretched out immense and empty, a vast flat expanse that reached to the distant horizon and beyond. It was a sea, Dany thought. Past here, there were no hills, no mountains, no trees nor cities nor roads, only the endless grasses, the tall blades rippling like waves when the winds blew. "It's so green," she said.

"Here and now," Ser Jorah agreed. "You ought to see it when it blooms, all dark red flowers from horizon to horizon, like a sea of blood. Come the dry season, and the world turns the color of old bronze. And this is only hranna, child. There are a hundred kinds of grass out there, grasses as yellow as lemon and as dark as indigo, blue grasses and orange grasses and grasses like rainbows. Down in the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, they say there are oceans of ghost grass, taller than a man on horseback with stalks as pale as milkglass. It murders all other grass and glows in the dark with the spirits of the damned. The Dothraki claim that someday ghost grass will cover the entire world, and then all life will end."

That thought gave Dany the shivers. "I don't want to talk about that now," she said. "It's so beautiful here, I don't want to think about everything dying."

What's most intriguing about these shadows -- dragon and Other alike -- is their capacity for glowing in the dark, i.e. emanating light.  Again, this is counterintuitive, since we expect shadows to be dark and devoid of light, in fact the opposite of fire -- hence people tending to resist the deconstruction of the fire-ice dichotomy which GRRM's language on close inspection, however, is undeniably suggesting.  Yet dragons are shadows of fire, and ghost grass=the Others have their own eerie luminescence (hence the burning blue eyes).  Likewise, the River Ash in Asshai glows with a green phosphorescence at night and there are-- despite all predictions -- things growing (and glowing ;)) in it:

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The World of Ice and Fire - The Bones and Beyond: Asshai-by-the-Shadow

Despite its forbidding aspects, Asshai-by-the-Shadow has for many centuries been a thriving port, where ships from all over the known world come to trade, crossing vast and stormy seas. Most arrive laden with foodstuffs and wine, for beyond the walls of Asshai little grows save ghost grass, whose glassy, glowing stalks are inedible. If not for the food brought in from across the sea, the Asshai'i would have starved.

The ships bring casks of freshwater too. The waters of the Ash glisten black beneath the noonday sun and glimmer with a pale green phosphorescence by night, and such fish as swim in the river are blind and twisted, so deformed and hideous to look upon that only fools and shadowbinders will eat of their flesh.

And there's one of my favorite words 'glimmer'!

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The light is coming from behind Tyrion as he stands in the doorway. There are other interpretations to this especially that halo sun king thing. 

I like the example of Jon likewise casting a shadow in the moonlight on the ice Wall:

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A Dance with Dragons - Jon VI

"Shadows." The world seemed darker when he said it.

"Every man who walks the earth casts a shadow on the world. Some are thin and weak, others long and dark. You should look behind you, Lord Snow. The moon has kissed you and etched your shadow upon the ice twenty feet tall."

Jon glanced over his shoulder. The shadow was there, just as she had said, etched in moonlight against the Wall. A girl in grey on a dying horse, he thought. Coming here, to you. Arya. He turned back to the red priestess. Jon could feel her warmth. She has power. The thought came unbidden, seizing him with iron teeth, but this was not a woman he cared to be indebted to, not even for his little sister. "Dalla told me something once. Val's sister, Mance Rayder's wife. She said that sorcery was a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it."

Again, all the talk of darkness is belied by the aspects of light attending the shadow imagery.  Jon's shadow is 'etched in moonlight' -- i.e. light is the instrument by which his form is 'burnt' into the ice.  'Etching' is a process using acid to 'burn' a pathway into a metal plate.  The implication here is that fire and ice will both be necessary to resurrect Jon.

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Even though Xaro says that rebirth of dragons is the cause of the strange happenings and rebirth is often connected with dawn and a rising sun, that is not the case here with the ghost grass growing. The rebirth of dragons should be rightly considered an inverse and thus a setting sun making things grow. This also implies the connection @LmL made between the pun of morning/mourning since death is often associated with sunset and birth as the rising sun. Which also goes into the mother aspects of Dany since essentially she is the mother of death. 

Dany in true Azor Ahai fashion killed her husband, her son and the maege (and enabled her own brother's murder as well). Three 'suns' set and three fiery shadow beings (four if you include Dany herself) rose from the pyre.  'Three suns set' -- note that suns may set in a conflagration, paradoxically!

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Now secondly, I often connected the glasscandles as mirrors to the Hearttrees. The ghost grass growing in connection with the burning glasscandles and its allusion to the Garden of Gehenna is pointing at the Others as shadows and ghosts coming from the trees and are the sacrificed children of Craster. There are other reason why I consider glasscandles as mirrors to the Hearttrees but that reason is relevant to the discussion. 

I agree.  I'd be interested to hear more on your reasoning regarding glass candles and heart trees sometime.  In fact, I recently had that idea myself in conjunction with @Blue Tiger pointing out the 'glas tann' mistranslation in Merlin's story, to 'glass house' (or glass coffin) instead of '(ever)green tree'.

As I've previously highlighted, the name 'Craster' is derived from 'aster'=Greek for 'star', thus indicating their relation to the Starks (exact details still to be elucidated!) and what I've termed the 'white lion star children' (that's basically the ice moon meteors, the 'oath keepers,' the 'revenants' seeking to balance the karmic account).  It makes sense that the Others would emerge from the trees, given that the children were sacrificed to the trees in the first place.

23 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:
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The wife of Mathos Mallarawan, who once mocked a warlock's drab moth-eaten robe, has gone mad and will wear no clothes at all. Even fresh-washed silks make her feel as though a thousand insects were crawling on her skin. 

First I want to point out the drab moth-eaten robe of a warlock. There's your wizard with mottled robes (a knowledgeable and sinister fool) who made a woman go mad.

Nice catch on the 'mottled.'  It's almost as if the warlock has had his revenge on the woman somehow.  She mocked his moth-eaten robe; now she is humiliated or mocked in turn -- by a strange turn of symmetry -- by wearing no clothes at all (what could be drabber, more moth-eaten vestiture than nudity, from a certain perspective?!).  Moreover, to the touch all her clothes feel like 'moth-eaten' or rather 'moth-eating' robes now!  The allusion to 'silks' is clever by GRRM, evoking silkworms and moths.  Of course, we're talking about greenseers here with the 'code' word 'a thousand'.

In connection with @GloubieBoulga's observation that this is foreshadowing of Catelyn's fate at the Red Wedding, I'm reminded that Catelyn did indeed mock a 'warlock,' namely she was always quite scathing of Luwin that 'grey rat' (or grey moth!)

In 'mythic astronomy' terms, the mad woman is the one possessed by sorcery, Nissa Nissa, the weirwood tree, or the moon set on fire with the resultant moon meteors (a thousand insects).  

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But take a look at these instances of people with moth-eaten clothes. 

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The wildfire oozed slowly toward the lip of the jar when Tyrion tilted it to peer inside. The color would be a murky green, he knew, but the poor light made that impossible to confirm. "Thick," he observed.

"That is from the cold, my lord," said Hallyne, a pallid man with soft damp hands and an obsequious manner. He was dressed in striped black-and-scarlet robes trimmed with sable, but the fur looked more than a little patchy and moth-eaten. "As it warms, the substance will flow more easily, like lamp oil."

- Tyrion V, aCoK

The eunuch was lurking in the dark of a twisting turnpike stair, garbed in a moth-eaten brown robe with a hood that hid the paleness of his face. "You were so long, I feared that something had gone amiss," he said when he saw Tyrion.

-Tyrion XI, aSoS

Varys had escorted him through the tunnels, but they never spoke until they emerged beside the Blackwater, where Tyrion had won a famous victory and lost a nose. That was when the dwarf turned to the eunuch and said, "I've killed my father," in the same tone a man might use to say, "I've stubbed my toe."

The master of whisperers had been dressed as a begging brother, in a moth-eaten robe of brown roughspun with a cowl that shadowed his smooth fat cheeks and bald round head. "You should not have climbed that ladder," he said reproachfully.

"Wherever whores go." Tyrion had warned his father not to say that word. If I had not loosed, he would have seen my threats were empty. He would have taken the crossbow from my hands, as once he took Tysha from my arms. He was rising when I killed him.

-Tyrion I, aDwD

The magister had invited him to explore the manse. He found clean clothes in a cedar chest inlaid with lapis and mother-of-pearl. The clothes had been made for a small boy, he realized as he struggled into them. The fabrics were rich enough, if a little musty, but the cut was too long in the legs and too short in the arms, with a collar that would have turned his face as black as Joffrey's had he somehow contrived to get it fastened. Moths had been at them too. At least they do not stink of vomit.

-Tyrion I, aDwD

"Why should we need armor? We're only mummers. We just pretend to fight."

"You pretend very well," said Tyrion, examining a shirt of heavy iron mail so full of holes that it almost looked moth-eaten. What sort of moths eat chainmail? "Pretending to be dead is one way to survive a battle. Good armor is another." Though there is precious little of that here, I fear. At the Green Fork, he had fought in mismatched scraps of plate from Lord Lefford's wagons, with a spiked bucket helm that made it look as if someone had upended a slops pail over his head. This company steel was worse. Not just old and ill fitting, but dinted, cracked, and brittle. Is that dried blood, or only rust? He sniffed at it but still could not be sure.

-Tyrion XII, aDwD

All of these instances are seen by Tyrion. The first three instances are of a pale man wearing moth-eaten robes. Hallyne and Varys have been both described as wizards. Penny even makes the connection between foolish mummer knight and Tyrion when she says that they are only mummers but Tyrion notes that the current armor he is looking at is moth-eaten and his is armor at the Green Fork was mismatched scraps of plate. While Tyrion says they are different in terms of condition, they should be considered the same since Tyrion mentions that he wore a spiked helm and in the above quotes GRRM chose to use the title 'eunuch' which in conjunction is alluding to the spiked helms of the Unsullied. 

Also it is quite fitting that GRRM specifically used Varys's title as 'master of whisperers' in conjunction with the moth-eaten robe with a cowl since Xaro talks of the happenings in Qarth as whispers.

That's a great connection.  The 'whispers' refer to the spells of the greenseers, beginning with the trees in the Prologue which 'rustle' and 'whisper'.

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But there is a deeper connection as well. 

This is the first time we see a moth.

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 failed you, Robert, Ned thought. He could not say the words. I lied to you, hid the truth. I let them kill you.

The king heard him. "You stiff-necked fool," he muttered, "too proud to listen. Can you eat pride, Stark? Will honor shield your children?" Cracks ran down his face, fissures opening in the flesh, and he reached up and ripped the mask away. It was not Robert at all; it was Littlefinger, grinning, mocking him. When he opened his mouth to speak, his lies turned to pale grey moths and took wing.

-Ned XV, aGoT

Moths are lies here being spewed from the mouth of another master of whispers.

I now see the connection to the poster for 'The Silence of the Lambs' with its signature Death's-Head Hawkmoth'!  In that BBC article I linked, there's a description of how that particular moth infiltrates beehives in order to steal their honey, deterring the bees from recognising the intruder and stinging, by secreting some kind of soothing substance (mimicry?).  Very like the Mockingbird infiltrating the Eyrie isn't it (where the ice cells fittingly 'honecomb' the icy castle)?

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At a basic level we should then interpret the moth-eaten robes as lies taking bites out of the pale fool, mummer, knight. However that isn't the other interpretation to this. And it belongs to the aspect of the Lord of Ash, reborn. 

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The horn crashed amongst the logs and leaves and kindling. Within three heartbeats the whole pit was aflame. Clutching the bars of his cage with bound hands, Mance sobbed and begged. When the fire reached him he did a little dance. His screams became one long, wordless shriek of fear and pain. Within his cage, he fluttered like a burning leaf, a moth caught in a candle flame.

-Jon III, aDwD

"… don't want to wake the dragon …"

She could feel the heat inside her, a terrible burning in her womb. Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo's copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, violet eyes shaped like almonds. And he smiled for her and began to lift his hand toward hers, but when he opened his mouth the fire poured out. She saw his heart burning through his chest, and in an instant he was gone, consumed like a moth by a candle, turned to ash. She wept for her child, the promise of a sweet mouth on her breast, but her tears turned to steam as they touched her skin.

"… want to wake the dragon …"

-Dany IX, aGoT

Both of these are depicting a burning man(because even though we understand that Rhaego is an unborn infant he is shown here as a grown man). RR the first one is most definitely related to Bran in his cage as Icarus, if we connect the scene of Orelle's eagle burning.

Yes I agree.

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So @GloubieBoulga this is what you were speaking of as the burning of sinners. The burning out of corruption. And since the man burning is a disguised Lord of Bones, Rattleshirt as the Foolish, Singing, Lyre playing Greenman King beyond the wall, Mance Rayder. A green man king that is actually a lord of bones i.e. a lord of death. And this connection is seen with the multiple descriptions we get of Ser Richard Horpe. He is dubbed the moth knight by Theon in tWoW and Tormund told Jon that the moth knight killed his sons and has grey steel armor which should recall the image of Stannis's army covered in ash during the battle of the blackwater. And his doublet is specifically said to be three death's-head moths on a field of ash and bone. @LmL Those death's-head moths are your three green men heads on spikes.

Great catch -- that sigil visually seals the nod to 'Silence of the Lambs' from GRRM for me!  Except GRRM seems to additionally be making a comment by including moths over where the eyes would be.  Silence and blindness.  Visually, it reminds me of the inverted triangle created by the three rubies of Melisandre, namely the glowing ruby at her neck (symbolising the voice box perhaps in lieu of the mouth) together with her two unnatural red ruby eyes.

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And yes you should absolutely think of Silence of the Lambs, here. GRRM has made an obvious allusion to Hannibal Lecter. First through his first name Hannibal, the commander of Carthage and his elephant regiments and then connecting it to the Red Dragon, fAegon.

I'd forgotten that Harris had also written a book called 'The Red Dragon' in which Blake's painting 'The Great Red Dragon and the Woman clothed in the Sun' features prominently (P.S.  @LmL Check out William Blake's painting 'The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea' -- I think you will like it! Here is a link to the paintings).

There's an additional connection between the moth-eaten patchwork robes, the masters of whisperers, the greenseers and the Silence of the Lambs story in which the villain plans to create a 'person-suit' to quote the TV 'Hannibal' series, by flaying his victims and then patching the skins together, since he's adept at needlework (sorry, didn't explicitly intend to invoke Arya!).  Likewise, the 'sable' cloak in the Prologue and elsewhere is an emblem of power and rebirth achieved via the possession and murder of countless others (e.g. murdering all those sables in order to steal their skins to start).

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And before we go off on the difference of red and black dragons, we need to remember that a dragon is still a dragon regardless if it is black or red. And the cannibalism is also depicted in Dany's dream of her child's heart being eaten in fire and then the dragons are born. There is also the ash and bone, Hannibal the commander of Carthage which is related to the lies/moths in what the Valarians did to the Old Ghis and sowed the fields with skulls and lime. Before I get a little esoteric, I want to point that this also relates to Lem lemoncloak, the Knight of Skulls and Kisses. But I won't get into that part.

The second part is the grey knight's of mind that are the measters. Lecter is meant to be Lector, a reader or lecturer, which we see that Hannibal Lecter is quite intelligent and the measters are men in the rooks scarecrows that represent Odin's sacrificing himself for knowledge and gaining it. 

Great catch!  

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And I just want to point out this scene is framed by 'don't want to wake the dragon' then 'want to wake the dragon' when her child dies. Per Dany's use of the word promise, I would say it was a broken promise from a 'sweet' i.e. lying mouth that led to the creation of dragons.

Can you explain the 'promise' aspect a bit more please.  When does she use the word 'promise'?

Who lied exactly?

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Anyway Jon's scene above is repeated several times

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She rose, and let Senelle slip a bedrobe over her shoulders to hide her nakedness. Cersei belted it herself, her fingers stiff and clumsy. "My lord father keeps guards about him, night and day," she said. Her tongue felt thick. She took another swallow of lemon water and sloshed it round her mouth to freshen her breath. A moth had gotten into the lantern Ser Boros was holding; she could hear it buzzing and see the shadow of its wings as it beat against the glass.

-Cersei I, aFfC

Within the tower, the smoke from the torches irritated her eyes, but Cersei did not weep, no more than her father would have. I am the only true son he ever had. Her heels scraped against the stone as she climbed, and she could still hear the moth fluttering wildly inside Ser Osmund's lantern. Die, the queen thought at it, in irritation, fly into the flame and be done with it.

-Cersei I,aFfC

 

 Cersei here is thinking of sons, weeping and burning in a flame. These echoes are inversions of Dany's dream of her son. 

And by the way we see a connection of the pale grey moths with glasscandles, dragons, and gardens in this scene

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Alone again, Dany went all the way around the pyramid in hopes of finding Quaithe, past the burned trees and scorched earth where her men had tried to capture Drogon. But the only sound was the wind in the fruit trees, and the only creatures in the gardens were a few pale moths.

-Dany II, aDwD

 Quaithe previously to this used a glasscandle to contact Dany and there is scorched earth here and then wind and pale moths in the gardens. 

Are you suggesting Quaithe lied to her?

The devastated state of the garden reminds me of the Fall from grace of humanity who dared to pick the 'fruit' in the garden of Eden, urged on by the seductive whispers of the 'snake in the garden', unleashing their own destruction.  Symbolically, Dany of course ate of the peach in Vaes Tolorro, the peach picked for her by Jorah at 'the western wall' of the city of bones.  And Renly dared Stannis to eat the 'peach' -- never thinking he would...But he did -- yes, he did.  

The 'grey king (or queen)' is 'King of the Ashes':

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 Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

The long hall went on and on and on, with endless doors to her left and only torches to her right. She ran past more doors than she could count, closed doors and open ones, doors of wood and doors of iron, carved doors and plain ones, doors with pulls and doors with locks and doors with knockers. Drogon lashed against her back, urging her on, and Dany ran until she could run no more.

Finally a great pair of bronze doors appeared to her left, grander than the rest. They swung open as she neared, and she had to stop and look. Beyond loomed a cavernous stone hall, the largest she had ever seen. The skulls of dead dragons looked down from its walls. Upon a towering barbed throne sat an old man in rich robes, an old man with dark eyes and long silver-grey hair. "Let him be king over charred bones and cooked meat," he said to a man below him. "Let him be the king of ashes." Drogon shrieked, his claws digging through silk and skin, but the king on his throne never heard, and Dany moved on.

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A Storm of Swords - Davos V

"Your Grace," said Davos, "the cost . . ."

"I know the cost! Last night, gazing into that hearth, I saw things in the flames as well. I saw a king, a crown of fire on his brows, burning . . . burning, Davos. His own crown consumed his flesh and turned him into ash. Do you think I need Melisandre to tell me what that means? Or you?" The king moved, so his shadow fell upon King's Landing. "If Joffrey should die . . . what is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?"

 

Edited by ravenous reader

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22 hours ago, GloubieBoulga said:

@Pain killer Jane, thanks for your great post ! 

Indeed, now it's morning for me, and I'm not tired like yesterday night, I can add some little things : the Garden of Gehane with the ghost grass is obviously an allusion to the Others beyond the Wall (and fire is required to "purify" : glass candles anticipate here the Sam's obsidian dagger, I think, but not exclusively : there is perhaps also an allusion to Quaithe)

This makes me thinking to Catelyn after she has killed Jinglebells : 

 After her death, Catelyn is thrown to the river, naked. 

In fact, it is not the first time that GRRM uses some mini-stories to anticipate some future event. For example, Yoren, once, "predict" to Arya the fate ot the Mountain, the Hound and Catelyn

  If need, I will developp in the thread "moments of foreshadowing"

You're Welcome! I am always happy to contribute.

Yes I do like the allusion to Cat very much. I agree that is one of the interpretations. And since they are connected then the naked woman crawling with insects is meant to be a dead woman. Doesn't Lem talk about a woman he used to kiss and then the Ghost of High Heart says that the woman he used to kiss is dead and only worms can kiss her? 

And it would be good to develop moments of foreshadowing. I haven't rooted around the forum extensively so I do not know if there is a thread solely dedicated to "moments of foreshadowing". That would be a really thread for contribution. 

7 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

In connection with @GloubieBoulga's observation that this is foreshadowing of Catelyn's fate at the Red Wedding, I'm reminded that Catelyn did indeed mock a 'warlock,' namely she was always quite scathing of Luwin that 'grey rat' (or grey moth!)

Now that you mention this, I think the mocked warlock is Lord Walder actually. But I do think that Luwin is an echo of this since he was the person to deliver Lysa's message to Cat in first place. And Littlefinger and Lysa relied on Luwin to interpret the lens the way they wanted. 

Edited by Pain killer Jane

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7 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

There may be a glass / grass wordplay.  After all, ghost grass is compared to milk glass; and 'blades' of grass may be sharp and cut like glass swords (or obsidian candles), and be associated with bloodshed ('murder the other grasses'...'sea of blood'...which is reminiscent of the rippling 'waves of night and blood' of Oathkeeper):

I can always trust you to take it further. And I completely agree with the milk glass, the glimmering, the glowing/growing, glass/grass pun.

The association with bloodshed and sea of blood is also reminiscent of the the Redgrass Field, which is essentially a field of blood which in turn is an echo of the Field of Fire being a green field scorched and blackened by dragon fire. 

And this connects to what you said here

7 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

The devastated state of the garden reminds me of the Fall from grace of humanity who dared to pick the 'fruit' in the garden of Eden, urged on by the seductive whispers of the 'snake in the garden', unleashing their own destruction.  Symbolically, Dany of course ate of the peach in Vaes Tolorro, the peach picked for her by Jorah at 'the western wall' of the city of bones.  And Renly dared Stannis to eat the 'peach' -- never thinking he would...But he did -- yes, he did.

 I agree that it means unleashing their own destruction as I explained to LmL in another post about the motivations of the characters being dragons. I agree that it listening to the whispers of the snake inside us but it is also going off 'chasing the dragon' or drug, feeling, dreams, etc. etc., then trying to 'tame the dragon' or trying to 'kill or face the dragon' (Quintyn Martel the Frog Knight), and then using that fire within as motivation (the Fire Crown) and then having that dragon eat its own tail and turn you into ash if it gets out of control. 

And thank you again for the 'illumination from within' because it is the moth on fire inside the lantern and also the many instances of the fireflies being stars, and the torches of the underworld as Theon describes them. 

9 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Again, all the talk of darkness is belied by the aspects of light attending the shadow imagery.  Jon's shadow is 'etched in moonlight' -- i.e. light is the instrument by which his form is 'burnt' into the ice.  'Etching' is a process using acid to 'burn' a pathway into a metal plate.  The implication here is that fire and ice will both be necessary to resurrect Jon.

This is a good catch. I wonder if it is not the cold fire light of the ice moon that will be used to resurrect him? 

 

10 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

I like the connection you're making between grass and shadows growing.  Although it may seem counterintuitive to connect the advancing Long Night with things that grow -- since we imagine the sun disappearing to be associated mainly with dwindling and dying.

Exactly. To me it is the whitewashing theme expanded because Old Nan told us 

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Oh, my sweet summer child," Old Nan said quietly, "what do you know of fear? Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods."

and with your many examples of the illumination from within and glowing with moonlight it is related to this line here 

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He led the way between the pillars and Robert followed wordlessly, shivering in the subterranean chill. It was always cold down here. Their footsteps rang off the stones and echoed in the vault overhead as they walked among the dead of House Stark. The Lords of Winterfell watched them pass. Their likenesses were carved into the stones that sealed the tombs. In long rows they sat, blind eyes staring out into eternal darkness, while great stone direwolves curled round their feet. The shifting shadows made the stone figures seem to stir as the living passed by.

and the Nietzsche quote of "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."

It is whitewashing from within. Think of how Sansa continually tries to convince herself that she is Alayne Stone or how she wrongly remembered Sandor kissing her.

7 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

The 'grey king (or queen)' is 'King of the Ashes':

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 Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

The long hall went on and on and on, with endless doors to her left and only torches to her right. She ran past more doors than she could count, closed doors and open ones, doors of wood and doors of iron, carved doors and plain ones, doors with pulls and doors with locks and doors with knockers. Drogon lashed against her back, urging her on, and Dany ran until she could run no more.

Finally a great pair of bronze doors appeared to her left, grander than the rest. They swung open as she neared, and she had to stop and look. Beyond loomed a cavernous stone hall, the largest she had ever seen. The skulls of dead dragons looked down from its walls. Upon a towering barbed throne sat an old man in rich robes, an old man with dark eyes and long silver-grey hair. "Let him be king over charred bones and cooked meat," he said to a man below him. "Let him be the king of ashes." Drogon shrieked, his claws digging through silk and skin, but the king on his throne never heard, and Dany moved on.

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A Storm of Swords - Davos V

"Your Grace," said Davos, "the cost . . ."

"I know the cost! Last night, gazing into that hearth, I saw things in the flames as well. I saw a king, a crown of fire on his brows, burning . . . burning, Davos. His own crown consumed his flesh and turned him into ash. Do you think I need Melisandre to tell me what that means? Or you?" The king moved, so his shadow fell upon King's Landing. "If Joffrey should die . . . what is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?"

Absolutely they are the king and queen of ashes. "Power is the Crown that eats the Head" afterall. And you know that Davos quote is several to Dany's dream of her son as well. I think GRRM is telling us that the fire crown on the head is the same as the fire in the heart of the adult Rheago. 

7 hours ago, ravenous reader said:
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And I just want to point out this scene is framed by 'don't want to wake the dragon' then 'want to wake the dragon' when her child dies. Per Dany's use of the word promise, I would say it was a broken promise from a 'sweet' i.e. lying mouth that led to the creation of dragons.

Can you explain the 'promise' aspect a bit more please.  When does she use the word 'promise'?

Who lied exactly?

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Anyway Jon's scene above is repeated several times

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She rose, and let Senelle slip a bedrobe over her shoulders to hide her nakedness. Cersei belted it herself, her fingers stiff and clumsy. "My lord father keeps guards about him, night and day," she said. Her tongue felt thick. She took another swallow of lemon water and sloshed it round her mouth to freshen her breath. A moth had gotten into the lantern Ser Boros was holding; she could hear it buzzing and see the shadow of its wings as it beat against the glass.

-Cersei I, aFfC

Within the tower, the smoke from the torches irritated her eyes, but Cersei did not weep, no more than her father would have. I am the only true son he ever had. Her heels scraped against the stone as she climbed, and she could still hear the moth fluttering wildly inside Ser Osmund's lantern. Die, the queen thought at it, in irritation, fly into the flame and be done with it.

-Cersei I,aFfC

 

 Cersei here is thinking of sons, weeping and burning in a flame. These echoes are inversions of Dany's dream of her son. 

And by the way we see a connection of the pale grey moths with glasscandles, dragons, and gardens in this scene

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Alone again, Dany went all the way around the pyramid in hopes of finding Quaithe, past the burned trees and scorched earth where her men had tried to capture Drogon. But the only sound was the wind in the fruit trees, and the only creatures in the gardens were a few pale moths.

-Dany II, aDwD

 Quaithe previously to this used a glasscandle to contact Dany and there is scorched earth here and then wind and pale moths in the gardens. 

Are you suggesting Quaithe lied to her?

With Quaithe, I was pointing out the use of the glasscandles to contact Dany. But I guess I am suggesting she lied to Dany, since for me the Quaithe being covered in starlight is the equivalent to Bran viewing his father through the trees and trying to contact him but is told that he is just the whispering of the wind on the trees. Even though she told Dany that shady people (pun intended) would be coming for her and her dragons, she is literally 'of the Shadow' and a shadowbinder. 

Now to the promise.

Dany specifically says 

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"… don't want to wake the dragon …"

She could feel the heat inside her, a terrible burning in her womb. Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo's copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, violet eyes shaped like almonds. And he smiled for her and began to lift his hand toward hers, but when he opened his mouth the fire poured out. She saw his heart burning through his chest, and in an instant he was gone, consumed like a moth by a candle, turned to ash. She wept for her child, the promise of a sweet mouth on her breast, but her tears turned to steam as they touched her skin.

"… want to wake the dragon …"

From Dany's perspective we are meant to interpret this as a suckling babe. But I think we are also supposed to view it in the sexual connotation of a lover's mouth on a breast. And viewing it in those terms leads me to the 'sweet' adjective which is usually used for lying. Dany even compares her son to a moth being consumed in flames and since sweet and moths are pointing at lying and lies than the promise is a lie. Also from Dany's perspective the promise of the suckling babe is broken because her son is dead. And the way she views Rheago as the Stallion who Mounts the World and going forth and reclaiming her birthright of the Seven Kingdoms is rather reminiscent of this as well

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 a woman heavy with child emerged naked and dripping from the black pool, knelt before the tree, and begged the old gods for a son who would avenge her. 

And since we are on suckling babes, Asha's suckling babe is a dagger. And if we exchange a suckling babe for a dagger on the breast that easily can be imagined as a dagger through the heart. 

8 hours ago, ravenous reader said:
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But there is a deeper connection as well. 

This is the first time we see a moth.

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 failed you, Robert, Ned thought. He could not say the words. I lied to you, hid the truth. I let them kill you.

The king heard him. "You stiff-necked fool," he muttered, "too proud to listen. Can you eat pride, Stark? Will honor shield your children?" Cracks ran down his face, fissures opening in the flesh, and he reached up and ripped the mask away. It was not Robert at all; it was Littlefinger, grinning, mocking him. When he opened his mouth to speak, his lies turned to pale grey moths and took wing.

-Ned XV, aGoT

Moths are lies here being spewed from the mouth of another master of whispers.

I now see the connection to the poster for 'The Silence of the Lambs' with its signature Death's-Head Hawkmoth'!  In that BBC article I linked, there's a description of how that particular moth infiltrates beehives in order to steal their honey, deterring the bees from recognising the intruder and stinging, by secreting some kind of soothing substance (mimicry?).  Very like the Mockingbird infiltrating the Eyrie isn't it (where the ice cells fittingly 'honecomb' the icy castle)?

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So @GloubieBoulga this is what you were speaking of as the burning of sinners. The burning out of corruption. And since the man burning is a disguised Lord of Bones, Rattleshirt as the Foolish, Singing, Lyre playing Greenman King beyond the wall, Mance Rayder. A green man king that is actually a lord of bones i.e. a lord of death. And this connection is seen with the multiple descriptions we get of Ser Richard Horpe. He is dubbed the moth knight by Theon in tWoW and Tormund told Jon that the moth knight killed his sons and has grey steel armor which should recall the image of Stannis's army covered in ash during the battle of the blackwater. And his doublet is specifically said to be three death's-head moths on a field of ash and bone. @LmL Those death's-head moths are your three green men heads on spikes.

Great catch -- that sigil visually seals the nod to 'Silence of the Lambs' from GRRM for me!  Except GRRM seems to additionally be making a comment by including moths over where the eyes would be.  Silence and blindness.  Visually, it reminds me of the inverted triangle created by the three rubies of Melisandre, namely the glowing ruby at her neck (symbolising the voice box perhaps in lieu of the mouth) together with her two unnatural red ruby eyes.

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And yes you should absolutely think of Silence of the Lambs, here. GRRM has made an obvious allusion to Hannibal Lecter. First through his first name Hannibal, the commander of Carthage and his elephant regiments and then connecting it to the Red Dragon, fAegon.

I'd forgotten that Harris had also written a book called 'The Red Dragon' in which Blake's painting 'The Great Red Dragon and the Woman clothed in the Sun' features prominently (P.S.  @LmL Check out William Blake's painting 'The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea' -- I think you will like it! Here is a link to the paintings).

There's an additional connection between the moth-eaten patchwork robes, the masters of whisperers, the greenseers and the Silence of the Lambs story in which the villain plans to create a 'person-suit' to quote the TV 'Hannibal' series, by flaying his victims and then patching the skins together, since he's adept at needlework (sorry, didn't explicitly intend to invoke Arya!).  Likewise, the 'sable' cloak in the Prologue and elsewhere is an emblem of power and rebirth achieved via the possession and murder of countless others (e.g. murdering all those sables in order to steal their skins to start).

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And before we go off on the difference of red and black dragons, we need to remember that a dragon is still a dragon regardless if it is black or red. And the cannibalism is also depicted in Dany's dream of her child's heart being eaten in fire and then the dragons are born. There is also the ash and bone, Hannibal the commander of Carthage which is related to the lies/moths in what the Valarians did to the Old Ghis and sowed the fields with skulls and lime. Before I get a little esoteric, I want to point that this also relates to Lem lemoncloak, the Knight of Skulls and Kisses. But I won't get into that part.

The second part is the grey knight's of mind that are the measters. Lecter is meant to be Lector, a reader or lecturer, which we see that Hannibal Lecter is quite intelligent and the measters are men in the rooks scarecrows that represent Odin's sacrificing himself for knowledge and gaining it. 

Great catch!  

Thank you! And thank you for the paintings and the article on the moths. Did you catch the part where it said the moths continue to squeak even when they were decapitated? Whispering heads, the squeaky heads of the sables and the 'person-suit'. Nice invoking Arya, you should also invoke the Boltons with their penchant of wearing the skins of Stark Princes. To me all of that wearing someone else boils down to wearing the ashes or the remnants of dead things and taking their power for yourself, whether it is grief related as in the Ashes that rain down on Dany in the pyre, the Hair shirts of the priest of the Blind God Boash as devotion, the Faceless Men and their many faces with their power of anonymity, or simply wearing the antlers of a prize buck. 

Anyway, I agree that Littlefinger is definitely acting like the moth in the Eyrie and hey remember when I said that Dany equates her son to a moth and thus a suckling babe is also a moth, one of the most striking scenes in the Eyrie was of Sweet Robin suckling on Lysa. I do not think that the soothing substance is strictly mimicry. I don't know how it works. If it is a pheromone meant to mask the moth and trick the bees into thinking it is another bee than I can say it is mimicry but it is described as soothing so it may be just has lulling affects to the bees and calms them down. Its probably the jedi mind trick of 'these are not the droids you are looking for'.

The Red Dragon Paintings;

I love that even though the 'woman clothed in the sun' is meant to be a sun goddess she is also a moon goddess as in one painting the sickle quarter moon is at her feet and in the 'woman clothed with the sun' she is sitting on the quarter moon. RR, I think this may be a source of the two moon goddess since 'in' and 'with' denotes a difference.  

And Great Catch on the inverted triangle of Mel. You know Mel's name is a mesh of Melissa (Bee) and Cassandra (the prophetess fated to not be believed). I don't know what that means in this context but I thought I should mention it. But yes I agree that he is lumping the blindness to the silence. And don't forget that he also lumps the burned ears with the blindness and the silence and with those three aspects, he is invoking the three little monkeys proverb, "speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil." 

9 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

That's a great connection.  The 'whispers' refer to the spells of the greenseers, beginning with the trees in the Prologue which 'rustle' and 'whisper'.

Thank you and did you notice that Varys is acting like a begging brother, a sparrow. A common man that becomes dangerous when he thinks he can kill heroes. 

9 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

I agree.  I'd be interested to hear more on your reasoning regarding glass candles and heart trees sometime.  In fact, I recently had that idea myself in conjunction with @Blue Tiger pointing out the 'glas tann' mistranslation in Merlin's story, to 'glass house' (or glass coffin) instead of '(ever)green tree'.

As I've previously highlighted, the name 'Craster' is derived from 'aster'=Greek for 'star', thus indicating their relation to the Starks (exact details still to be elucidated!) and what I've termed the 'white lion star children' (that's basically the ice moon meteors, the 'oath keepers,' the 'revenants' seeking to balance the karmic account).  It makes sense that the Others would emerge from the trees, given that the children were sacrificed to the trees in the first place.

Now this is awesome, I am glad we came about this in a different way. I have never heard of the glas-tann being mistranslated into glass house. You know the Bower, the seat of House Greenfield in the Westerlands is said to be made completely our of weirwood and per this would be a milk glass house given enough time. 

What do you make of the skinning of 'White Lion Star Children' since we see it with the Boltons and the Stark Princes and then wearing them, Drogo (I have never mentioned this but his name made my mom laugh because I told her his name and she said his name is drug addict in Spanish) catching the White Lion and skinning it for Dany and her wear it and then the drowning of the skinned lion and white/blueish star during the Reyne-Tarbeck Rebellion in the Westerlands? 

I will try to get something coherent together to present on the glasscandles and the hearttrees. I fear that the obvious associations will come in the Winds of Winter when we get more of Bran getting lost in the Weirwood net and Marwyn joining Dany.  

9 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Nice catch on the 'mottled.'  It's almost as if the warlock has had his revenge on the woman somehow.  She mocked his moth-eaten robe; now she is humiliated or mocked in turn -- by a strange turn of symmetry -- by wearing no clothes at all (what could be drabber, more moth-eaten vestiture than nudity, from a certain perspective?!).  Moreover, to the touch all her clothes feel like 'moth-eaten' or rather 'moth-eating' robes now!  The allusion to 'silks' is clever by GRRM, evoking silkworms and moths.  Of course, we're talking about greenseers here with the 'code' word 'a thousand'.

In connection with @GloubieBoulga's observation that this is foreshadowing of Catelyn's fate at the Red Wedding, I'm reminded that Catelyn did indeed mock a 'warlock,' namely she was always quite scathing of Luwin that 'grey rat' (or grey moth!)

In 'mythic astronomy' terms, the mad woman is the one possessed by sorcery, Nissa Nissa, the weirwood tree, or the moon set on fire with the resultant moon meteors (a thousand insects).  

I agree. And thank you. It is the holy/holey pun if think about it with the moth-eaten robes. And see you and Gloubie focused on the woman which reveals more associations.

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