Crowfood's Daughter

The Grey King fought Garth the Greenhand

237 posts in this topic

23 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

Sorry to go back a few posts. The thing about Moloch is that the word probably does not denote a deity, but means "fit for a king." At least, some scholars say so.

The root of the word comes from 'melek,' which means 'king,' and the idea they have is that the human sacrifices offered were not to some being named Moloch, but rather they were the very best sacrifices that could be offered -- what animal is more valuable than a human life in most ancient cultures? -- hence, a sacrifice "fit for a king." The theory goes that the sacrifices were fit for not just any king, but rather THE king: Ba'al. 

This is all pretty specific to the Phoenician context, but there it is. We have people doing human sacrifices to the fertility/weather/storm/authority god, probably an extreme measure to guarantee prosperity. But this is a case of a corn king drinking human lives to give prosperity. Which sort of thing abounds in The Golden Bough's view of mythology. It's not exactly correct, but it's damn sure what GRRM is using. 

I saw where @GloubieBoulga pointed out a few issues with my post.  I was thinking about how to respond, and it was something pretty close to this.  The stories about highborn childeren being burnt in an oven as sacrifices to a god were too much for GRRM to resist with his sacrificial king, golden bough style.  This would be a case where he is using the version of history that suits him, however I have seen that evidence of child sacrifice was found at Carthage with the inscription MLK on the objects.  I have not looked into whether or not it is true because I do not think it matters.  The point is it is out there and fits with the story just like the connections between Moloch and Cronus.  


Tyrosh is a carbon copy of the Phoenician city of Tyre right down to the snails, and Ghis looks like Carthage.  The tradition of the 'Prince of Pentos' and the way the nobles of Qohor sacrifice their children to the Black Baal Goat when in crisis stink of Moloch as well.  The whole area seems to be loosely based on the Byzantine Empire without the central Empire part.  

    

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6 hours ago, Unchained said:

I saw where @GloubieBoulga pointed out a few issues with my post.  I was thinking about how to respond, and it was something pretty close to this.  The stories about highborn childeren being burnt in an oven as sacrifices to a god were too much for GRRM to resist with his sacrificial king, golden bough style.  This would be a case where he is using the version of history that suits him, however I have seen that evidence of child sacrifice was found at Carthage with the inscription MLK on the objects.  I have not looked into whether or not it is true because I do not think it matters.  The point is it is out there and fits with the story just like the connections between Moloch and Cronus.  


Tyrosh is a carbon copy of the Phoenician city of Tyre right down to the snails, and Ghis looks like Carthage.  The tradition of the 'Prince of Pentos' and the way the nobles of Qohor sacrifice their children to the Black Baal Goat when in crisis stink of Moloch as well.  The whole area seems to be loosely based on the Byzantine Empire without the central Empire part.  

You are true, in fact : GRRM uses popular "historical" references, which already appear in litterature (exactly like "les Rois maudits" from Maurice Druon, or the "two roses war" throw Shakespeare's tragedies). I really think I have bad expressed my idea, which is, in simple words : GRRM's references are literary, and we won't find them in "true" history especially if myths and gods are concerned. And it seemed to me (but I may have not well understood), that our references to Moloch or Baal (or even Cronos and Saturne) were little by little deconnected from the specific literary tradition/inheritance, to take them as "historical" (I mean we attributed to ancient people of Carthage some mindness that they perhaps never had and that could only be our own occidental fantasy/fantasm/fears/desires) 

For example, Ghis doesn't looks like the historical Carthage, but like Carthage was represented by Romans, and after them the whole artistic and philosophic and religious occidental traditions. Ghis is archetypal, quite caricatural, and personnaly, Ghis and slaver's bay recalls me more from Assyria and Babylon and Persia (in my own imagery) than Carthage ^^.

 That's also true with the characters : they are caricaturals/archetypal at the beginning, because GRRM needs that the reader clearly identify one from the other - especially for the secondary and tertiary characters, because there are in exceptionnal great number. Same for different lands and cities. With "caricature", I don't mean being pejorative, I just mean that he begins by pointing some specific and strong aspects (for ex, Tyrion as a very ugly gargoyle; or Arianne, the bimbo princess), nuances, colors and subtilities come later. 

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5 hours ago, GloubieBoulga said:

You are true, in fact : GRRM uses popular "historical" references, which already appear in litterature (exactly like "les Rois maudits" from Maurice Druon, or the "two roses war" throw Shakespeare's tragedies). I really think I have bad expressed my idea, which is, in simple words : GRRM's references are literary, and we won't find them in "true" history especially if myths and gods are concerned. And it seemed to me (but I may have not well understood), that our references to Moloch or Baal (or even Cronos and Saturne) were little by little deconnected from the specific literary tradition/inheritance, to take them as "historical" (I mean we attributed to ancient people of Carthage some mindness that they perhaps never had and that could only be our own occidental fantasy/fantasm/fears/desires) 

For example, Ghis doesn't looks like the historical Carthage, but like Carthage was represented by Romans, and after them the whole artistic and philosophic and religious occidental traditions. Ghis is archetypal, quite caricatural, and personnaly, Ghis and slaver's bay recalls me more from Assyria and Babylon and Persia (in my own imagery) than Carthage ^^.

 That's also true with the characters : they are caricaturals/archetypal at the beginning, because GRRM needs that the reader clearly identify one from the other - especially for the secondary and tertiary characters, because there are in exceptionnal great number. Same for different lands and cities. With "caricature", I don't mean being pejorative, I just mean that he begins by pointing some specific and strong aspects (for ex, Tyrion as a very ugly gargoyle; or Arianne, the bimbo princess), nuances, colors and subtilities come later. 

That's all true, and I would say that Sothoryos is very much like the European fantasy of Africa as the Dark Continent from 300 years ago or whatever. I do think George is working more with people's perceptions of history than actual history in some instances. 

As for the Phoenician connection, we talked about that in the Great Empire of the Dawn thing I did with History of Westeros. Not only the obvious Tyrosh thing, but the general phenomena of building fortified trading outposts offshore of foreign lands they wished to trade with. Tyrosh, Lys, Volantis, Dragonstone, and Driftmark. The ancestors of the Valyrians, the Great Empire of the Dawn, seem to have done it at Battle Isle (that one is a dead ringer given the folklore around Battle Isle) and Starfall and the kinda sorta the Iron Islands. This makes sense, as both Valyria and the GEotD were using maritime power coupled with dragon power to conquer. 

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Hi @Crowfood's Daughter :)

I am very late to the party but wanted to compliment you on this wonderful essay/thread, truly brilliant stuff.  And also thank you for adding another hollow hill to the list, and a significant one at that it seems.  My word search worked well in documenting the various hollow hills but failed to look at the bigger picture so to speak and Hammerhorn Keep paints an important picture indeed.  The forum has been richer for your finds and has led to some fruitful discussion regards the brother vs brother archetype, really great work!  I have some catching up to do but thought this thread deserves a bump on top of a well deserved thumbs up.  :D 

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49 minutes ago, Wizz-The-Smith said:

Hi @Crowfood's Daughter :)

I am very late to the party but wanted to compliment you on this wonderful essay/thread, truly brilliant stuff.  And also thank you for adding another hollow hill to the list, and a significant one at that it seems.  My word search worked well in documenting the various hollow hills but failed to look at the bigger picture so to speak and Hammerhorn Keep paints an important picture indeed.  The forum has been richer for your finds and has led to some fruitful discussion regards the brother vs brother archetype, really great work!  I have some catching up to do but thought this thread deserves a bump on top of a well deserved thumbs up.  :D 

Indeed!Glad you found this one Wizz!

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On ‎23‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 10:46 PM, LmL said:

Indeed!Glad you found this one Wizz!

I took my sweet time about it, but yes I am glad I got there in the end.  Thanks for the heads up!  :cheers:

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On ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 11:07 PM, Unchained said:

 

There is certainly a lot to think about here, and you are definitely onto something that could be pretty big.  I am not sure what to make of it yet. The whole Uranus-Cronus-Zeus story has a theme of killing your father, then becoming him.  Gaia got Cronus to castrate Uranus because he imprisoned some of his children with her inside her.  Then Gaia helped hide Zeus to keep him from being consumed and trapped inside Cronus.  Then angry at Zeus for his killing of her children, the Giants, she bore Typhon to challenge Zeus.  She sometimes bore the Giants in the first place to punish Zeus to his attack of the Titans.  So basically, Gaia just wants peace, but all the men kill each other.  This seems to be the same theme behind the grey-green struggle.  The Grey King killed Garth, but then became grey as a result, meaning he was most likely not grey at the time that he did it.  If Garth has tore down the moon and transformed himself into something like Stannis or resurrected Renly when the Grey king killed him, then the Grey King may have been a green person fighting a greyish Garth.  Or, it may have been nothing like that, lots of possibilities.  However, there is a theme of things like ruling, joining the Nightswatch, or being Lord Cammander of the Kingsguard turning someone grey and aging them.  Ruling aged Balon and Robert, his growing a beard is his version of becoming more grey.  All of @LmL's green zombie stuff is about green boys who stink of summer becoming greybeards in the Nightswatch.  Jaime goes from being a young, strong sun to a weak, crippled white winter one after becoming LC of the KG.  However, there are some interesting possible exceptions who wear sable cloaks.  Ramsey forces Theon to become corpse-like.  Perhaps we should be thinking of Ramsay coming into power at the expense of Theon who serves as the sacrifice.  Euron is all about getting his brothers to serve as the sacrifice for his ambitions.  He has not aged, but Victarion has grey in his hair.  This makes me think of Dorian Gray.  He was interested in a hedonistic lifestyle (King Robert) and sold his soul to live forever while his painting aged in his stead.                   

First off, I want to apologize for stepping away from the forums for a bit, but wanted to share what I have found so far when it comes to this whole Bolton/Royce thing.  Robar Royce was the Red Knight in Renly's Kingsguard and we do know the Boltons were known as the "Red Kings".  When I found a tale about a Red Knight in an Aurthurian legend I about fell back.........at least when it comes to the brother vs. brother Baelor/Balon thing... and I think it hints at a certain tin foil theory everyone secretly wishes was true.  

Just to recap

Since the Long Night the Red Kings were bitter rivals of the Kings of Winter, the Starks of Winterfell. The Boltons achieved some successes against the Starks, with Kings Royce II and Royce IV burning Winterfell. The Boltons are said to have flayed the skins of several Stark lords and hung them in the Dreadfort. According to rumor, some Bolton lords wore the flayed skins of their enemies—including Starks, such as the son of Bael—as cloaks. This practice has given the Boltons a sinister reputation. The last Red King, Rogar the Huntsman, submitted to Winterfell when the Andal invasion of Westeros was also beginning. King Theon Stark, the Hungry Wolf, and the Boltons defeated Argos Sevenstar and his Andals in the Battle of the Weeping Water.

The Chronicles of Longsister state that during the Rape of the Three Sisters by the Kings of Winter, which occurred two thousand years ago, Belthasar Bolton had a Pink Pavilion made from the flayed skins of a hundred Sistermen.

There have been at least FIVE Royce Boltons.  It seems like a generational name like Durran or Brandon.  Roose is even possibly a variation of Royce.  We even see a Bolton being snuck into the Story of Bael the Bard, and the Boltons making a cloak out of his kinslayer son. As we have seen, there is a cyclical thing going on that hints at a grey/green cycle that is being hinted around with characters named Bael, Baelor, and Balon or Baelon.  This is derived from that death vs. fertility struggle we see in countless myths, most namely that of Ba'al.  Bael is also an anagram for the most famous slain brother--Abel.  Balthazar is derived from the Phoenician Balat-shar-usur, meaning "Ba’al protects the King".  

This is kinda where I left off with those thoughts when it came to the Boltons and a possible connection to house Royce.  I was doing a little digging around, and took note of the fact that Robar Royce was made the Red Knight in Renly's Kingsguard.  This is kind of an unseeming color as the Royce's aren't really connected to the color red as far as symbolism goes in the books (although Robar the Red does have a nice ring to it).  You know who does have connections to red is house Bolton who were once known as the Red Kings.  So then I went on a journey and found the juiciest most exciting find when it comes to this Bael grey/green thing we keep seeing.  That is the Arthurian tale of Sir Balan and Sir Balin..  These two brothers unknowingly kill each other because Sir Balan was tricked into slaying the cursed Red Knight in order to continue his quest.  The only problem is the curse causes the person who slays the red knight to wear the armor and become the red knight.  When Sir Balin comes to the same passage he unknowingly is challenged by his brother wearing the red armor and they both kill each other.  This tale is echoed by Martin in the Dance of Dragons where we have Arryk and Erryk Cargyll who were famous members of the Kingsguard and slew one another during the dance.  Another interesting find with this death vs fertility pattern is the fact that Sir Balin was also the same character that dealt the famed Dolorous Stroke upon the Fisher King causing his kingdom to become an unfertile wasteland.

In another tale a knight named Perceval kills a man armored in red and takes his armor to become the Red Knight.  The Red knight later visits this same fabled Fisher King.

I found this repeated use of a Red Knight where the exchange of armor make the wearer become a new Red Knight, and a repeated interconnectedness to this wounded Fisher King and his wasteland kingdom.  If the Dolorous Stroke sounds familiar, it may be because we have a character named Dolorous Edd in the books who is from House Tollett which is (of course) a house sworn to House Royce.

There is something here and I think I am on the verge of figuring out.  Any ideas?????

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

First off, I want to apologize for stepping away from the forums for a bit, but wanted to share what I have found so far when it comes to this whole Bolton/Royce thing.  Robar Royce was the Red Knight in Renly's Kingsguard and we do know the Boltons were known as the "Red Kings".  When I found a tale about a Red Knight in an Aurthurian legend I about fell back.........at least when it comes to the brother vs. brother Baelor/Balon thing... and I think it hints at a certain tin foil theory everyone secretly wishes was true.  

Just to recap

Since the Long Night the Red Kings were bitter rivals of the Kings of Winter, the Starks of Winterfell. The Boltons achieved some successes against the Starks, with Kings Royce II and Royce IV burning Winterfell. The Boltons are said to have flayed the skins of several Stark lords and hung them in the Dreadfort. According to rumor, some Bolton lords wore the flayed skins of their enemies—including Starks, such as the son of Bael—as cloaks. This practice has given the Boltons a sinister reputation. The last Red King, Rogar the Huntsman, submitted to Winterfell when the Andal invasion of Westeros was also beginning. King Theon Stark, the Hungry Wolf, and the Boltons defeated Argos Sevenstar and his Andals in the Battle of the Weeping Water.

The Chronicles of Longsister state that during the Rape of the Three Sisters by the Kings of Winter, which occurred two thousand years ago, Belthasar Bolton had a Pink Pavilion made from the flayed skins of a hundred Sistermen.

There have been at least FIVE Royce Boltons.  It seems like a generational name like Durran or Brandon.  Roose is even possibly a variation of Royce.  We even see a Bolton being snuck into the Story of Bael the Bard, and the Boltons making a cloak out of his kinslayer son. As we have seen, there is a cyclical thing going on that hints at a grey/green cycle that is being hinted around with characters named Bael, Baelor, and Balon or Baelon.  This is derived from that death vs. fertility struggle we see in countless myths, most namely that of Ba'al.  Bael is also an anagram for the most famous slain brother--Abel.  Balthazar is derived from the Phoenician Balat-shar-usur, meaning "Ba’al protects the King".  

This is kinda where I left off with those thoughts when it came to the Boltons and a possible connection to house Royce.  I was doing a little digging around, and took note of the fact that Robar Royce was made the Red Knight in Renly's Kingsguard.  This is kind of an unseeming color as the Royce's aren't really connected to the color red as far as symbolism goes in the books (although Robar the Red does have a nice ring to it).  You know who does have connections to red is house Bolton who were once known as the Red Kings.  So then I went on a journey and found the juiciest most exciting find when it comes to this Bael grey/green thing we keep seeing.  That is the Arthurian tale of Sir Balan and Sir Balin..  These two brothers unknowingly kill each other because Sir Balan was tricked into slaying the cursed Red Knight in order to continue his quest.  The only problem is the curse causes the person who slays the red knight to wear the armor and become the red knight.  When Sir Balin comes to the same passage he unknowingly is challenged by his brother wearing the red armor and they both kill each other.  This tale is echoed by Martin in the Dance of Dragons where we have Arryk and Erryk Cargyll who were famous members of the Kingsguard and slew one another during the dance.  Another interesting find with this death vs fertility pattern is the fact that Sir Balin was also the same character that dealt the famed Dolorous Stroke upon the Fisher King causing his kingdom to become an unfertile wasteland.

In another tale a knight named Perceval kills a man armored in red and takes his armor to become the Red Knight.  The Red knight later visits this same fabled Fisher King.

I found this repeated use of a Red Knight where the exchange of armor make the wearer become a new Red Knight, and a repeated interconnectedness to this wounded Fisher King and his wasteland kingdom.  If the Dolorous Stroke sounds familiar, it may be because we have a character named Dolorous Edd in the books who is from House Tollett which is (of course) a house sworn to House Royce.

There is something here and I think I am on the verge of figuring out.  Any ideas?????

Mythical evidence supporting Bolt-On is worth its weight in gold imo.  I want to tag someone I have barely interacted with.  @sweetsunray, I was reading your essays which have apparently resurfaced but are new to me.  I am almost throught the comments and have not commented myself yet, but you talked about the Fisher King and Ned in a way that makes a lot of sense.  Really all of it makes a lot of sense.  If you have not read this OP, I highly recommend it.  Someone else, I cannot remember who, has pointed out that Dolorous Edd is like a reincarnation of Ned Stark.  I was not aware the Fisher King's wound was known as the dolorous stroke, but that ties it up with a bow for me.  Edd appears right after Ned's death and provides advice of sorts to Jon.  I think it is further evidence that NW members are resurrected dead.          

 

The Tower of Joy is named for Lancelot's castle Joyous Gard.  It was previously known as Dolorous Gard, but was renamed after a visit by Authur and Guinevere.  The NW had a castle named Snowgate that was renamed Queensgate after a royal visit.  Balin and Balan sound a lot like Balon Swann (a Balon I have not seen you use yet).  House Swann has a very brother vs. brother, black vs. white sigil, and there is that story you sent me about the goose that lays the golden eggs that was in the tree.  Balon Swann is looking to avenge a brother right now.  There is a Red Knight that kept hostage a princess of Lyonesse.  Lyoness to Lynesse is not a large jump.  As I previously tied in House Swann, connecting Lynesse, a swan maiden, is a natural next step.  This is another reason I tagged sweetsunray.  Lyonesse is sometimes a region that was the sight of a final battle between Arthur and Mordred.  It also sometimes sinks below the ocean after the fight.  That is a good myth for the fight in the WWnet @LmL is fond of talking about.  

 

You did not mention sable cloaks, but I think you suspect they are connected to red armor that goes from person to killer.  Ramsey is a bolton that wears a sable cloak.  There are several others that wear a sable or sable trimmed cloak from a killed brother or something analogous.  Waymar is a Royce and a wearer of a sable cloak.  He is killed by a brother according to @ravenous reader (I realize I am tagging everyone, but Bolt-On is that important).  I think sable cloaks going from person to person is the source of the "iron price" tradition.  It is likely tied to the kinslaying taboo tradition you figured out in the OP.  Theon failed to pay the iron price for his gold chain which was melted in a brazier reminding of the "crown" Viserys got (It is thrown in with Theon's paper crown).  He is a sacrifice for a dragon just like Waymar is a sacrificial dragon of some kind.

 

I think it is noteworthy that the Royces and Boltons are the 2nd most powerful houses in their regions.  They are great symbols for the bastard or younger brother AA usurper.  The Royces have not done any usurping yet, but I read something recently that says they may have an opportunity to soon.  Red knights causing wounds that result ing disaster and anti-fertility for a region makes him kinda analagous to the grey king.  Jaime is a red knight candidate.  He caused Ned's and Bran's leg wounds the later of which is related to Bran the Blessed's poison, fatal leg wound.    

 

These thoughts are more scattered than they seemed in my head.  I'll think about it some more and maybe a more coherent picture will form.             

 

       

Edited by Unchained

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6 hours ago, Unchained said:

Mythical evidence supporting Bolt-On is worth its weight in gold imo.  I want to tag someone I have barely interacted with.  @sweetsunray, I was reading your essays which have apparently resurfaced but are new to me.  I am almost throught the comments and have not commented myself yet, but you talked about the Fisher King and Ned in a way that makes a lot of sense.  Really all of it makes a lot of sense.  If you have not read this OP, I highly recommend it.  Someone else, I cannot remember who, has pointed out that Dolorous Edd is like a reincarnation of Ned Stark.  I was not aware the Fisher King's wound was known as the dolorous stroke, but that ties it up with a bow for me.  Edd appears right after Ned's death and provides advice of sorts to Jon.  I think it is further evidence that NW members are resurrected dead.          

 

The Tower of Joy is named for Lancelot's castle Joyous Gard.  It was previously known as Dolorous Gard, but was renamed after a visit by Authur and Guinevere.  The NW had a castle named Snowgate that was renamed Queensgate after a royal visit.  Balin and Balan sound a lot like Balon Swann (a Balon I have not seen you use yet).  House Swann has a very brother vs. brother, black vs. white sigil, and there is that story you sent me about the goose that lays the golden eggs that was in the tree.  Balon Swann is looking to avenge a brother right now.  There is a Red Knight that kept hostage a princess of Lyonesse.  Lyoness to Lynesse is not a large jump.  As I previously tied in House Swann, connecting Lynesse, a swan maiden, is a natural next step.  This is another reason I tagged sweetsunray.  Lyonesse is sometimes a region that was the sight of a final battle between Arthur and Mordred.  It also sometimes sinks below the ocean after the fight.  That is a good myth for the fight in the WWnet @LmL is fond of talking about.  

 

You did not mention sable cloaks, but I think you suspect they are connected to red armor that goes from person to killer.  Ramsey is a bolton that wears a sable cloak.  There are several others that wear a sable or sable trimmed cloak from a killed brother or something analogous.  Waymar is a Royce and a wearer of a sable cloak.  He is killed by a brother according to @ravenous reader (I realize I am tagging everyone, but Bolt-On is that important).  I think sable cloaks going from person to person is the source of the "iron price" tradition.  It is likely tied to the kinslaying taboo tradition you figured out in the OP.  Theon failed to pay the iron price for his gold chain which was melted in a brazier reminding of the "crown" Viserys got (It is thrown in with Theon's paper crown).  He is a sacrifice for a dragon just like Waymar is a sacrificial dragon of some kind.

 

I think it is noteworthy that the Royces and Boltons are the 2nd most powerful houses in their regions.  They are great symbols for the bastard or younger brother AA usurper.  The Royces have not done any usurping yet, but I read something recently that says they may have an opportunity to soon.  Red knights causing wounds that result ing disaster and anti-fertility for a region makes him kinda analagous to the grey king.  Jaime is a red knight candidate.  He caused Ned's and Bran's leg wounds the later of which is related to Bran the Blessed's poison, fatal leg wound.    

 

These thoughts are more scattered than they seemed in my head.  I'll think about it some more and maybe a more coherent picture will form.             

 

       

Yes, things don't look good for Balon Swan. Something I never did do was mention my predictions with Balon Swann and Baelor Hightower.  I believe Baelor Hightower will fall to Euron where he tries to take Oldtown and Balon will inevitably be killed by Donnel who will side with either Danny or Young Griff. 

Quote

Ser Balon’s unease was plain. “Donnel erred, but he is Tommen’s man now. You have my word.” “It’s not Ser Donnel the Constant who concerns me. It’s you.” Jaime leaned forward. “What will you do if brave Ser Donnel gives his sword to yet another usurper, and one day comes storming into the throne room? And there you stand all in white, between your king and your blood. What will you do?” “I … my lord, that will never happen.” “It happened to me,” Jaime said. Swann wiped his brow with the sleeve of his white tunic. “You have no answer?” “My lord.” Ser Balon drew himself up. “On my sword, on my honor, on my father’s name, I swear … I shall not do as you did.”

I think having a Bael type name in the books is something of a death sentence for the character.

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7 hours ago, Unchained said:

Mythical evidence supporting Bolt-On is worth its weight in gold imo.  I want to tag someone I have barely interacted with.  @sweetsunray, I was reading your essays which have apparently resurfaced but are new to me.  I am almost throught the comments and have not commented myself yet, but you talked about the Fisher King and Ned in a way that makes a lot of sense.  Really all of it makes a lot of sense.  If you have not read this OP, I highly recommend it.  Someone else, I cannot remember who, has pointed out that Dolorous Edd is like a reincarnation of Ned Stark.  I was not aware the Fisher King's wound was known as the dolorous stroke, but that ties it up with a bow for me.  Edd appears right after Ned's death and provides advice of sorts to Jon.  I think it is further evidence that NW members are resurrected dead.          

 

The Tower of Joy is named for Lancelot's castle Joyous Gard.  It was previously known as Dolorous Gard, but was renamed after a visit by Authur and Guinevere.  The NW had a castle named Snowgate that was renamed Queensgate after a royal visit.  Balin and Balan sound a lot like Balon Swann (a Balon I have not seen you use yet).  House Swann has a very brother vs. brother, black vs. white sigil, and there is that story you sent me about the goose that lays the golden eggs that was in the tree.  Balon Swann is looking to avenge a brother right now.  There is a Red Knight that kept hostage a princess of Lyonesse.  Lyoness to Lynesse is not a large jump.  As I previously tied in House Swann, connecting Lynesse, a swan maiden, is a natural next step.  This is another reason I tagged sweetsunray.  Lyonesse is sometimes a region that was the sight of a final battle between Arthur and Mordred.  It also sometimes sinks below the ocean after the fight.  That is a good myth for the fight in the WWnet @LmL is fond of talking about.  

 

You did not mention sable cloaks, but I think you suspect they are connected to red armor that goes from person to killer.  Ramsey is a bolton that wears a sable cloak.  There are several others that wear a sable or sable trimmed cloak from a killed brother or something analogous.  Waymar is a Royce and a wearer of a sable cloak.  He is killed by a brother according to @ravenous reader (I realize I am tagging everyone, but Bolt-On is that important).  I think sable cloaks going from person to person is the source of the "iron price" tradition.  It is likely tied to the kinslaying taboo tradition you figured out in the OP.  Theon failed to pay the iron price for his gold chain which was melted in a brazier reminding of the "crown" Viserys got (It is thrown in with Theon's paper crown).  He is a sacrifice for a dragon just like Waymar is a sacrificial dragon of some kind.

 

I think it is noteworthy that the Royces and Boltons are the 2nd most powerful houses in their regions.  They are great symbols for the bastard or younger brother AA usurper.  The Royces have not done any usurping yet, but I read something recently that says they may have an opportunity to soon.  Red knights causing wounds that result ing disaster and anti-fertility for a region makes him kinda analagous to the grey king.  Jaime is a red knight candidate.  He caused Ned's and Bran's leg wounds the later of which is related to Bran the Blessed's poison, fatal leg wound.    

 

These thoughts are more scattered than they seemed in my head.  I'll think about it some more and maybe a more coherent picture will form.                  

I read a short essay which also likens Ned  to the Fisher King by @Lady Gwynhyfvar.  Since I pull from Arthurian legend I think it is probably a good idea to call in one of the forum's Arthurian subject experts.  When it comes down to it, I could see the Dolorous Stroke could easily be an analogy for the catastrophic event that caused the fabled long night.  The Hammer of the Waters and the death vs fertility theme is strong with the Grey King and Garth, as is the brother vs. brother stuff within the series.  I think if you look from the perspective of the grey/green cycle, either the Grey King or Garth could be a parallel for the Fisher King himself although I tend to side with the idea of the Grey king as a type of Fisher King character wounded by his brother via the drowning of the waters..

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Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, Unchained said:

Mythical evidence supporting Bolt-On is worth its weight in gold imo.  I want to tag someone I have barely interacted with.  @sweetsunray, I was reading your essays which have apparently resurfaced but are new to me.  I am almost throught the comments and have not commented myself yet, but you talked about the Fisher King and Ned in a way that makes a lot of sense.  Really all of it makes a lot of sense.  If you have not read this OP, I highly recommend it.  Someone else, I cannot remember who, has pointed out that Dolorous Edd is like a reincarnation of Ned Stark.  I was not aware the Fisher King's wound was known as the dolorous stroke, but that ties it up with a bow for me.  Edd appears right after Ned's death and provides advice of sorts to Jon.  I think it is further evidence that NW members are resurrected dead.          

It was @GloubieBoulga who suggested that Dolorous Edd is a kind of literary avatar for dead Ned.

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The Tower of Joy is named for Lancelot's castle Joyous Gard.  It was previously known as Dolorous Gard, but was renamed after a visit by Authur and Guinevere.  The NW had a castle named Snowgate that was renamed Queensgate after a royal visit.  Balin and Balan sound a lot like Balon Swann (a Balon I have not seen you use yet).  House Swann has a very brother vs. brother, black vs. white sigil, and there is that story you sent me about the goose that lays the golden eggs that was in the tree.  Balon Swann is looking to avenge a brother right now.  There is a Red Knight that kept hostage a princess of Lyonesse.  Lyoness to Lynesse is not a large jump.  As I previously tied in House Swann, connecting Lynesse, a swan maiden, is a natural next step.  This is another reason I tagged sweetsunray.  Lyonesse is sometimes a region that was the sight of a final battle between Arthur and Mordred.  It also sometimes sinks below the ocean after the fight.  That is a good myth for the fight in the WWnet @LmL is fond of talking about.  

The braavos duelling -- waterdancing -- on the Moon Pool without disturbing the water.

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You did not mention sable cloaks, but I think you suspect they are connected to red armor that goes from person to killer.  Ramsey is a bolton that wears a sable cloak.  There are several others that wear a sable or sable trimmed cloak from a killed brother or something analogous.  Waymar is a Royce and a wearer of a sable cloak.  He is killed by a brother according to @ravenous reader (I realize I am tagging everyone, but Bolt-On is that important).  I think sable cloaks going from person to person is the source of the "iron price" tradition.  It is likely tied to the kinslaying taboo tradition you figured out in the OP.  Theon failed to pay the iron price for his gold chain which was melted in a brazier reminding of the "crown" Viserys got (It is thrown in with Theon's paper crown).  He is a sacrifice for a dragon just like Waymar is a sacrificial dragon of some kind.

@Crowfood's Daughter:  In addition to the grey-green continuum you've expertly unpacked, I've posited that there is a third, liminal stage -- represented by the deceptively innocuous hyphen between the 'green' and the 'grey' -- namely a red/black stage representing the corruption, the burning, etc. of the green innocence of youth, representative of taking up ones place of power in adulthood, followed by the disillusionment/wisdom of old age (grey).

This corruption is accordingly demonstrated by those who are corrupted becoming 'red-handed' like Will in the Prologue or the 'bloodstained hands' of the weirwood, etc., or alternatively becoming 'charred' or 'blackened' in some way (in the Prologue the sable coat ultimately slashed with the red of Waymar's blood is fittingly representative of the symbolism, together with Drogon's and Oathkeeper's red-black rippled coloring).  The Baratheon brothers are a good example of all three brothers passing through this transformation, particularly Renly with his sticky peach-juice-stained fingers (analogous to the 'sticky sap' in the Prologue staining both Will's and Waymar's hands, hinting at getting ones hands dirty with ones brother's blood); followed by Stannis taking up the challenge of Renly's proverbial dare to eat the peach (=killing ones brother and usurping his power for ones own), embracing the 'red hawk' of Melisandre, and sending the black shadow assassin against his own brother.

@Unchained:  Do you mean Viserys or Theon as a sacrificial dragon?

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I think it is noteworthy that the Royces and Boltons are the 2nd most powerful houses in their regions.  They are great symbols for the bastard or younger brother AA usurper.  The Royces have not done any usurping yet, but I read something recently that says they may have an opportunity to soon.  Red knights causing wounds that result ing disaster and anti-fertility for a region makes him kinda analagous to the grey king.  Jaime is a red knight candidate.  He caused Ned's and Bran's leg wounds the later of which is related to Bran the Blessed's poison, fatal leg wound.    

That's a good point about second sons and Jaime is definitely a red knight at one point in his arc.  The three stages he passes through are as follows in my scheme:

  • green boy -- young golden lion -- youth, innocence and idealism -- 'Lancel'
  • red knight / black smiling knight -- tawny adult lion with full mane -- adulthood, burning, blood and corruption -- 'Kettleblack'
  • grey beard -- white lion -- old age, sterility, disillusionment, wisdom (the Stranger, the Shadow, the Other -- 'Moon Boy'
Edited by ravenous reader

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15 hours ago, Unchained said:

Mythical evidence supporting Bolt-On is worth its weight in gold imo.  I want to tag someone I have barely interacted with.  @sweetsunray, I was reading your essays which have apparently resurfaced but are new to me.  I am almost throught the comments and have not commented myself yet, but you talked about the Fisher King and Ned in a way that makes a lot of sense.

I mention the Fisher King wound in the first essay the Trail of the Red Stallion IIRC, where I postulate that tourneys can both reflect like mirror tales of the past or foreshadowing events, and that those who ride red stallions fall/lose/die and are untrustworthy - the "bad horse to bet on". Ned Stark betted on his favourite horse Robert, personified in the Hand's tourney as the black stallion of Gregor's that is horny for the "grey dancing mare" in heat, dappled in "blue forget-me-nots", aka Lyanna. Gregor falls from his horse, and then he executes in the same way that Ned is executed, with Sansa screaming in horror in both scenes. Renly and LF hold a bet at the start of the joust, and one of them betted on the wrong horse. Shortly after, Ned chooses his "favourite" horse to ride to the brothel where LF wants him to see Barra, Jaime on his "blood bay" confronts him, and Ned's "favurite" horse throws him off, slips and shatters his shin - this wound never heals. Taken as a Fisher King wound, which reflects the sin/mistake/flaw of the wounded one, the how he got wounded and where he got wounded is important - Ned betted on Robert, always backed Robert, both in the past (as a suitable husband for his sister, and just before his leg wound he remembers that Lyanna pointed at Robert's flaws and how Rhaegar likely never went to a brothel at all and as king) and in the present.

Just extrapolating from that thought now: Later Cersei even reminds he made a mistake in letting Robert take the throne, and that he should have taken it instead. If Jon was regarded or could have been regarded as heir, then Ned Stark could have taken the throne as regent, who's supposed to guard the land, at the end of RR. Instead, Ned ended up being the "hand" of the suggested wrong king.

I know many readers question how Jon could ever be regarded as an heir legally (bastard or son out of an 'illegal' bigamist marriage, Aerys allegedly disinheriting Rhaegar's line). But at the time of RR, the throne and the land required a candidate that could "heal" the wounds, and both sides, and Jon was actually a perfect candidate for it politically, except Dorne.

On the one hand, the rebels would have been sure that the throne was effectively in control by one of their war leaders (Ned Stark, as regent) for the next coming 16 years, without a Stark actually laying claim on the throne by name. And since Jon would have been raised by a Stark uncle and a Tully aunt, the rebels would be assured that the Targs would never try to avenge their rebellion,since the Targ throne was not usurped by another Dynasty. It would have pleased the smallfolk and most of those who fought on the Targ side, for the same reason (still a Targ); A betrothal could have been arranged for any of those on the losing side, Arianne and/or Dany, to further heal any breach or bad feelings over Rhaegar's choices, the slaying of Elia and her children, and Jon's grandmother (former queen). As for the North - Benjen had not yet joined the Watch and could have been castellan and Warden of the North in all those years for the North. And since Ned had been raised for a decade at the Vale  himself, he had enough familiarity with southern customs. Ned didn't know about Jon when he entered the throne room where he found Jaime on the throne, but he did know that Lyanna had been "abducted" by Rhaegar and could have reckoned that chances were high that Lyanna might end up with child. And since King's Landing had only then just fallen, andt hus Robert not yet proclaimed king, there was indeed a moment of political vacuum for a Stark to sit on the throne, take political control, organize an inheritance council with all the factions and find Lyanna first, especially since an ancestor had done just that in the Hour of the Wolf during the Dance of Dragons. And Tywin might not have had a daughter as queen out of it, but he could have gotten Jaime as heir out of it (dismissed as kingsguard for his kingslaying). The thought just never occurred to him. But you can betcha that if Cersei had been abducted by Rhaegar that was exactly what Tywin would have done.

In such a situation, with such a potential candidate to heal all sides of the political trouble, nobody cares exactly about the little writing of marriage law anymore. Ned had two candidates and he bet on the wrong horse. Would people have accepted Ned Stark taking that lead: absolutely. It was his father, his brother who had been murdered without proper justice proceedings by the Mad King, and his sister who had been abducted. Aside from being robbed by a fiancé, Robert was the least wronged of the rebel leaders and only warred to stand with Jon Arryn and Ned Stark. If Ned Stark could have reconciled himself with his Targ nephew, of all people, then so could have everybody else.

16 hours ago, Unchained said:

Someone else, I cannot remember who, has pointed out that Dolorous Edd is like a reincarnation of Ned Stark.  I was not aware the Fisher King's wound was known as the dolorous stroke, but that ties it up with a bow for me.  Edd appears right after Ned's death and provides advice of sorts to Jon.  I think it is further evidence that NW members are resurrected dead.

Yes, it certainly does. Jon's chapter fighting the wight appears after Sansa's chapter where she writes the letter to Robb and Ned Stark is officially proclaimed a traitor. Jon's "right hand" is burned then. It's almost like a manifestation of the alternative king having lost his right hand man, his would-have-been regent., his "Hand"

And of course I regard the NW as Tartarus of the underworld North and beyond the Wall.

17 hours ago, Unchained said:

Balin and Balan sound a lot like Balon Swann (a Balon I have not seen you use yet).  House Swann has a very brother vs. brother, black vs. white sigil, and there is that story you sent me about the goose that lays the golden eggs that was in the tree.  Balon Swann is looking to avenge a brother right now.  There is a Red Knight that kept hostage a princess of Lyonesse.  Lyoness to Lynesse is not a large jump.  As I previously tied in House Swann, connecting Lynesse, a swan maiden, is a natural next step.  This is another reason I tagged sweetsunray.

The seat of House Swann is the Red Watch. In Trail of the Red Stallion, I focus on the Hand's Tourney and the Nameday tourney from Sansa's POV. There are several links to be made between House Swann (the Red Watch) and the NW - they don't choose sides, and serve everybody. Regardless of the execution method not having been planned out by George, he was definitely using Balon Swann as a stand in for the Watch dealing and reckoning with Slynt imo.

Well you could also see Lyonesse as a clue to a "lioness". Aside from Cersei, the other lioness is Myrcella. Who was sent to escort Myrcella back to King's Landing? Our Balon Swann. Cersei referenced and feared Myrcella to become Dorne's hostage. As a NW parallel, we have a wildling princess imprisoned in a tower at Castle Black. And of course there's even an Arianne chapter called 'the princess in the tower' while she is a prisoner. Which I suspect all to be themes, variations or echoes of Lyanna at the ToJ.

Balon first needs to deal with Darkstar, but Myrcella is supposed to travel back to King's Landing with Balon Swann overland. Meanwhile Aegon is conquering the Stormlands, and the Red Watch is one of the castles on the road back to KL. It wouldn't be illogical for Balon to pass his home with Myrcella, or even choose it as a location to rest. As typical for House Swann, Balon's brother would back another faction in a war, and thus Balon inadvertently would end up delivering the "lioness" on a plate to his brother, who I suspect to be hoping to please Aegon.

Anyhow: "red" is a color that George uses to "mark" a House, a location, a character out to us - someone or someplace to "watch" out for. As is of course House Lannister with its crimson cloaks, and riding out of KL in aFfC like a "red river".

(I know who's having a field day with all those puns and wordplays in my post here)

17 hours ago, Unchained said:

You did not mention sable cloaks, but I think you suspect they are connected to red armor that goes from person to killer.  Ramsey is a bolton that wears a sable cloak.  There are several others that wear a sable or sable trimmed cloak from a killed brother or something analogous.  

It is something that has caught my interest too. Most men of the NW can be tied to being "bear"-like, but not the sable wearers (that's where we see most sable wearers). And the sable wearers tend to be men eager to go into a fight. Sables are of the marter family. They're not the largest hunters out there, but they are famously known for their boldness and ferociousness. This is also reflected in the advice they tend to be giving, though not always the wisest. See for the example the Fist of the First Men, the prologue of aSoS, and who there argues for boldly leaving the Fist and face the uncoming wildling army at the Milkwater. Check what he wears for a "skin"/"cloak".

 

17 hours ago, Unchained said:

Jaime is a red knight candidate.  He caused Ned's and Bran's leg wounds the later of which is related to Bran the Blessed's poison, fatal leg wound.

And he rides a blood bay in aGoT. The golden knight falls from his blood bay in the Hand's tourney, his helmet so skewed he becomes "blind". He lost the blood bay at the fight at Riverrun. But he has a blood bay again when he rides back to the RL to settle the siege of RR (a palfrey), as well as a "grey" destrier stallion. It's one of the two horses that Piper names, though it's not exactly clear which one of the two is called Honor and which one is Glory. "Glory wears the trappings of Lannister crimson" thinks Jaime, while Honor is "barded in KG white". George seems to be fudging or being deliberately vague about it, just like he's vague whether Shadrich's chestnut horse is a stallion or a mare (stallion = bad, mare = likely good... see Sansa's chestnut mare on which Sansa is saved from KL mob). I do suspect though that Jaime's blood bay is called Glory, while the grey destrier is called Honor. They represent the roads Jaime might choose ahead in the RL: does he become a red knight for glory without honor, or does he take on the grey of honor without glory. 

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11 hours ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

I read a short essay which also likens Ned  to the Fisher King by @Lady Gwynhyfvar.  Since I pull from Arthurian legend I think it is probably a good idea to call in one of the forum's Arthurian subject experts.  When it comes down to it, I could see the Dolorous Stroke could easily be an analogy for the catastrophic event that caused the fabled long night.  The Hammer of the Waters and the death vs fertility theme is strong with the Grey King and Garth, as is the brother vs. brother stuff within the series.  I think if you look from the perspective of the grey/green cycle, either the Grey King or Garth could be a parallel for the Fisher King himself although I tend to side with the idea of the Grey king as a type of Fisher King character wounded by his brother via the drowning of the waters..

I agree.  The stroke seems to come to the GK in the form of the hammer and the curse of the Barrow King.  Garin's hammer of the waters type spell he uses against the Valyrians turns dragon people grey with water and a curse.  

 

Obviously all this brother killing is this story's take on the oak and holly kings.  The red knight is similiar to what I was saying about Uranus-Saturn-Zeus and Aerys-Robert where the usurper becomes a lot more like the usurpee (new word).  I think this is a GRRM addition.  There are still brother coming back from the dead and killing each other to change the world, but they change over their life and come back different in complex ways that drive me nuts.  Robert defeats the dragon prince, then becomes king and takes on some of Aerys' qualities (ages, grows a beard, becomes ok with child murder, becomes less garth and more grey).  Here, to speak @ravenous reader's language, Bob (dupe) and Rheagar(trickster) are the dueling brothers for the prize which is the right to overthrow Aerys which Rhaegar was totally also going to do.  If we pretend Rhaegar is an all knowing prophecy nut (which some readers do think) he would have been victorious being reborn as Jon and laying low at the wall while everyone else dies.  I have mentioned my love of repurposing good tinfoils and "Rhaegar threw the fight" is one of those.  Although Bolt-On is the Holy Grail.  

 

Let's pretend that there is a connection between red knights, the Boltons, Royces, and least likely (but not that much) sable cloaks.  There is certainly a theme of sable cloaks going from a dead person to his killer and/or brother.  The question about them I am wondering given the cloak taking and skinchanging parallels, when you kill someone and take their cloak are you skinchanging the man you killed or are you taking their Nissa Nissa from them.  Huzhor Amai wore a cloak made of the skin of a king suggesting the former.  However, Varamyr steals his master's Nissa Nissa in the form of the canine he planned on spending his second life in suggesting the latter.  I really want the latter to be the case because it fits my current guess at how the first long night started from a love triangle of two men and one woman and a bastard of uncertain birth.  Based on the actual evidence there is some in both columns so I must conclude for now that both are true in some way.        

 

Ravenous, I was talking about Waymar, but I think Theon is also a sacrificial dragon with his Viserys parallel in the moment he meets his father.  The in between stage of that damn dash is interesting.  

 

 

    

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To the OP. I'm still working through the pages discussing it, but I wanted to mention something with regards the "goat-like" appearance (the goat hair). In the OP you say there's no other character with goat hair. Actually, there are some very violent characters likened to goats, and a goat is certainly featured or mentioned once in a while.

  • The Goat: leader of the Bloody Mummers, Vargo Hoat, with his goatee and long chin-hair braid, and wearing a helm fashioned like a goat with horns. Greed is what mostly defines Hoat's character.
  • Littlefinger, Petyr BAELish, has a goatee, and "grey-green" eyes
  • There's the Qohoric Black Goat religion to which animals and sometimes people (noble children) are sacrificed, and the horns of the goat are bloodied.
  • Don't remember which chapter exactly anymore, but there is a mention by Ygritte (IIRC) regarding sheep and goat people. That some people may look like sheep, but are in fact goats, and again the goat has a menacing connotation here. In aSoIaF we don't have the saying of "a wolf in sheep clothing", but the mentioning of goats mistaken for sheep could be postulated as the concept of "a goat in sheep clothing".
  • Craster is likened a lot to a sheep and certainly his children are. And he has a ram's head on his entrance posts (but a ram can be a male sheep or male goat). He actually fits the goat-pattern more, and is imo a "goat in sheep clothing". Craster too is a greedy man, who abuses 'guest right' (he uses it one-sided from guest to host, not the other way around).
  • Can't think of a particular character, but I'm pretty sure there's a goat character amongst the slavers of Slaver Bay

Both Vargo and Craster have elements in their stories that relate to the usurping Bloodstone Emperor - greed, human sacrifice (including his own), cannibalism, incest, corrupting rituals for their own personal benefit, usurpation, enslavement. They have a very bloody violent reign, and die bloody violent too. And aside from Vargo Hoat, goats in the stories try to pretend to be one they're not (well he pretends to be a lord, but he ain't) Hence it's BaelISH for Petyr. There's a Bael connection, but he's not actually a Bael figure, just BaelISH. Craster pretends to be both a sheep and bear, living in a bear's den (turned into a farm with a harem of sheep), but he's neither.

I will also mention that there is not just "grey" and "green", but George often uses "grey-green" to describe a color in underworld settings. It's one of the colors I identified as a "chthonic" color in my "chthonic lexicon".

There seem to be 2 types of "underworlds" that George uses: there's the North that had lots of death symbolism in it, but more like a "world for the dead" more akin to subterranean underworlds, and the Lord of it Ned Stark has many ties to Hades, the Lord of the Underworld. But, Hades is not the god or personification of death itself. He's there to make sure that the dead don't wreak havoc in the world of the living. He's the lord of the place of the dead, and the dead are his subjects. The "reaper" or death itself is an altogether different figure. And there is also another underworld, that of the subaquatic. Certainly with the history of the North and the Ironborn and with Theon and Balon's claim as King of the North, we see the subaquatic trying to claim the seat of the subterranean for themselves. This ultimately cannot work, as the subterranean is heavily tied and a necessity for food and life. It's the subterranean that provides the minerals and turning dead organisms in food and manure, nutrients for plant-life. The Ironborn do not sow and want nothing to do with farming, so they are in direct opposition of life. The subaquatic does not turn dead matter into food for life within the ecological cycle (just like air doesn't either). It's only when leftover matter settles on the soil on the bottom that the processing occurs. Hence, we have actual "death" without any benefit to life and "subaquatic" symbolism united in the Ironborn.   

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Posted (edited)

Also something else I was reminded of, between the proposal of the Grey King vs Garth the Greenhand. Just recently I read up on the Mesopotanian story of Erra and Ishum. You'll likely know that most of the flood stories were derived from the Mesopotanian Flood Story (stylistic elements in Greek and Biblical flood stories don't work for their geographical areas, but they appear in the Mesopotanian one).

The Flood story in a nutshell goes as follows: the main gods have other gods do the work for them, but then the worker gods go on strike, because it's too heavy. So humans are created with clay to be the workforce for the gods. The humans can procreate, but they don't die (gods forgot about that). So they multiply and become numerous and make so much rabble and noise that they keep the gods from their "sleep". So, the humans become pests in their eyes and need to be dealt with. They send all sorts of disasters to lower their numbers: plague, drought, etc. But one of the humans prays to the subaquatic god Enki/Ea, who is a benefactor to humans, for he sent divine beings to teach them arts and crafts, and such. And though the gods agreed on a pact to destroy pesky humanity, Enki gives advice to his faithful human devotee how to end the sent disaster from harming them any further. And so, none of the disasters destroy mankind. Eventually the gods figure out that Enki is helping mankind, so they order him to send the Flood. He can't get out of that, but he does warn his devotee to build a boat and gather as much as he can to save something. And so occurs, with a few survivors. Enki manages to convince the other gods that enough is enough. But to prevent from humans becoming such a rabble of noise again, they create death. People won't live eternal anymore. They can die at old age. Women can still bear children, but can die in childbirth and at a certain age aren't fertile anymore. Even children can die or be born death. So, basically they create "death" to self-regulate the number of people. And that's where the Flood story ends.

In Erra and Ishum, the god Erra (a warrior god) is woken from his sleep by people's noise. Again people have become so numerous that he cannot sleep. And he goes to confront Marduk about it (Marduk is the son of Enki/Ea, and in this later myth, the one who sent the Flood), telling him he's neglecting his duties and warning Marduk that he will take care of the overpopulation in Marduk's place, first by sending war and plague to Babylon (the city that Marduk is patron of) so that humans will start to destroy each other with murder and war. Marduk leaves his home and allows Erra to take up the throne and crown of the gods. And so Erra starts at his self appointed task to decimate humanity via war and murder. Other gods try to make Erra see reason, aghast at seeing so much corruption, destruction, power abuse, betrayal and murder amongst humanity. But every time he reminds them how Marduk cheated what the gods had agreed into doing in the Flood story, and how Marduk himself sent the destructive Flood onto them, even banishing the divine counselors back to the subaquatic after the Flood so the people could turn to folly again. Erra keeps on with his destruction, not sparing the just, nor the devoted, nor the good. It doesn't matter to him. Everybody dies or is to die. He doesn't disciminate. Eventually his god servant Ishum (a minor fire god), who is a figure with the function of "door" to otherwise prevent Erra from gong on his war path,but also his herald, sweet talks Erra through praise: Erra has proven he's the mightiest god of all, that without him, the other gods wouldn't be as well liked by people, and how he has the might and power to destroy everything. It softens Erra enough to allow one people to survive the war mayhem (the Akkadians) and become powerful over the rest of humanity. Content he goes back to sleep, with the other gods also praising him and being in awe of him. And thus war and murder becomes another way to curb overpopulation.

Some noteworthy elements in relation to aSoIaF (especially aWoIaF):

  • the "gods" sleep, and people pull them away from their sleep: the CotF "sleep" or "dream" in the trees, but the First Men keep them from this by hacking the trees
  • people don't die initially, but live long lives, unless the "gods" deliberately send disasters onto them: the First Men heroes reach ages as old as 1000 years, and the CotF use magic to try and limit their numbers, but they ultimately fail at destroying the First Men, even after the Hammer of the Waters (the Flood). Eventually the "gods" and the "First Men" create a pact, where the CotF won't war them anymore, and the First Men agree not to kill trees anymore and respect territory, and follow the religion of the CotF.
  • overpopulation: Garth the Green populates basically all of Westeros with his children and makes women very fertile.
  • there's initially a benevolent subaquatic god, who is usurped for a while by death itself (Erra is "death" rather than Lord of the Underworld, though he is conflated with Nergal, and originally the Lord of the Underworld is actually a woman), who not only brings disease but has humanity decimate each other through strife and war, kinslaying, murder, power abuse (brings out the worst in people, where both the wicked and the good die without distinction): the Ironborn reapers who start to war against their fellow men, and of course aSoIaF itself so far with the Wo5K, good killing bad and vice versa, and the Others, but also the Night's King and his bride.
  • We have the Hammer of the Waters initially to deal with people, and then at some point the Others and the Long Night, threatening humanity, and it's suspected the CotF actually created the Others to deal with humans, because despite the pact, they have once again become so numerous that they need to be dealt with. 
  • The Barrow King laid to rest/sleep and there never being allowed anyone else be named or regarded as morepowerful than him: compares to Erra going to sleep at the end of Erra and Ishum after Ishum and the other gods assure him they regard him as the most powerful god, their ultimate king of gods. But it's actually a trick, to placate and soothe his destructive anger and save the remainder. "Yeah, yeah, ok, you are the most powerful of us all, now go to sleep and rest and never wake up again."

Euron too does something similar as Erra. He goes to the imo subaquatic home, usurps the crown and Ironborn throne and sets out to make war on the heart of the fertile life: the Reach. And anyone who believed they'd be rewarded for being his servant finds out otherwise. But Vic is the embodiment of a war god almost, and he's easily fooled or placated by flattery (as is Cersei).

The North, which must have been last populated and the building of the Wall is likely related to a renewed pact between CotF and humanity. As a subterranean underworld it embodies both the necessary fact that people can't be allowed to live eternal, but also supports life (ecologically speaking). Hence we see the grey-green mixture appear here so often. This is also symbolized with the type of trees often mentioned here: pines with their needles, sentintels, hardwood. They are trees, even evergreens, but we don't connotate them with flowers and blooms of spring and summer to produce fruit. They are trees of winter, and yet they represent the preservation of life, despite death.

We know the CotF retreated behind the Wall and any other creature that was threatened into extinction by the overpopulating humans. And I'm starting to think the pact was just that - we throw up a wall here, both to protect humanity as well as the CotF. In that sense the wildlings and Mance with his horns then become the disturbers of that pact, especially when they start digging into graves, even if they leave CotF alone and continue to worship the weirwood cult. They're tolerated by the CotF, but not tolerated by the Others. And they leave Craster alone as long as he sacrifices his own (including his food), which they take to augment their own numbers.

ETA: all in all I don't think we're supposed to look for who killed who first, which one was righteous, which one was corrupted. It is one of the major points of Erra and Ishum that basically everyone turns on one another, and both end up withmounting casualties. Mother to daughter, daughter to mother, father to son, son to father, governors of cities against their citizens, and vice versa. That sounds very much like the Riverlands tale. Both Wolves and Lions commit war crimes. The Lions may have started out as aggressors, with the Wolves coming to the aid of the Riverlanders, but their armies just as well harming the smallfolk (aka the people). Same thing goes for Cain and Abel - internal strife,one brother wrongs the other brother, but the later wrongs the first even more, and it escalates. Same thing between Stannis and Renly, or Robert's Rebellion against the Mad King, but Elia and her children end up murdered and Robert even applauds their death. Robert starts out fighting for what we would consider a righteous cause, and with the intent to stand beside Ned Stark (who's the one who suffers the true losses), but he ends up usurping the rebellion in name (it's not Ned's rebellion, but Robert's rebellion) and being haield the winner and the new king, while Ned is almost seen as Robert's aid afterwards. None of those who were truly wronged ends up with the spoils, but the allies and the ones who didn't fight until the very last do. That is a type of corruption as well.  

Edited by sweetsunray

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4 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Also something else I was reminded of, between the proposal of the Grey King vs Garth the Greenhand. Just recently I read up on the Mesopotanian story of Erra and Ishum. You'll likely know that most of the flood stories were derived from the Mesopotanian Flood Story (stylistic elements in Greek and Biblical flood stories don't work for their geographical areas, but they appear in the Mesopotanian one).

The Flood story in a nutshell goes as follows: the main gods have other gods do the work for them, but then the worker gods go on strike, because it's too heavy. So humans are created with clay to be the workforce for the gods. The humans can procreate, but they don't die (gods forgot about that). So they multiply and become numerous and make so much rabble and noise that they keep the gods from their "sleep". So, the humans become pests in their eyes and need to be dealt with. They send all sorts of disasters to lower their numbers: plague, drought, etc. But one of the humans prays to the subaquatic god Enki/Ea, who is a benefactor to humans, for he sent divine beings to teach them arts and crafts, and such. And though the gods agreed on a pact to destroy pesky humanity, Enki gives advice to his faithful human devotee how to end the sent disaster from harming them any further. And so, none of the disasters destroy mankind. Eventually the gods figure out that Enki is helping mankind, so they order him to send the Flood. He can't get out of that, but he does warn his devotee to build a boat and gather as much as he can to save something. And so occurs, with a few survivors. Enki manages to convince the other gods that enough is enough. But to prevent from humans becoming such a rabble of noise again, they create death. People won't live eternal anymore. They can die at old age. Women can still bear children, but can die in childbirth and at a certain age aren't fertile anymore. Even children can die or be born death. So, basically they create "death" to self-regulate the number of people. And that's where the Flood story ends.

In Erra and Ishum, the god Erra (a warrior god) is woken from his sleep by people's noise. Again people have become so numerous that he cannot sleep. And he goes to confront Marduk about it (Marduk is the son of Enki/Ea, and in this later myth, the one who sent the Flood), telling him he's neglecting his duties and warning Marduk that he will take care of the overpopulation in Marduk's place, first by sending war and plague to Babylon (the city that Marduk is patron of) so that humans will start to destroy each other with murder and war. Marduk leaves his home and allows Erra to take up the throne and crown of the gods. And so Erra starts at his self appointed task to decimate humanity via war and murder. Other gods try to make Erra see reason, aghast at seeing so much corruption, destruction, power abuse, betrayal and murder amongst humanity. But every time he reminds them how Marduk cheated what the gods had agreed into doing in the Flood story, and how Marduk himself sent the destructive Flood onto them, even banishing the divine counselors back to the subaquatic after the Flood so the people could turn to folly again. Erra keeps on with his destruction, not sparing the just, nor the devoted, nor the good. It doesn't matter to him. Everybody dies or is to die. He doesn't disciminate. Eventually his god servant Ishum (a minor fire god), who is a figure with the function of "door" to otherwise prevent Erra from gong on his war path,but also his herald, sweet talks Erra through praise: Erra has proven he's the mightiest god of all, that without him, the other gods wouldn't be as well liked by people, and how he has the might and power to destroy everything. It softens Erra enough to allow one people to survive the war mayhem (the Akkadians) and become powerful over the rest of humanity. Content he goes back to sleep, with the other gods also praising him and being in awe of him. And thus war and murder becomes another way to curb overpopulation.

Some noteworthy elements in relation to aSoIaF (especially aWoIaF):

  • the "gods" sleep, and people pull them away from their sleep: the CotF "sleep" or "dream" in the trees, but the First Men keep them from this by hacking the trees
  • people don't die initially, but live long lives, unless the "gods" deliberately send disasters onto them: the First Men heroes reach ages as old as 1000 years, and the CotF use magic to try and limit their numbers, but they ultimately fail at destroying the First Men, even after the Hammer of the Waters (the Flood). Eventually the "gods" and the "First Men" create a pact, where the CotF won't war them anymore, and the First Men agree not to kill trees anymore and respect territory, and follow the religion of the CotF.
  • overpopulation: Garth the Green populates basically all of Westeros with his children and makes women very fertile.
  • there's initially a benevolent subaquatic god, who is usurped for a while by death itself (Erra is "death" rather than Lord of the Underworld, though he is conflated with Nergal, and originally the Lord of the Underworld is actually a woman), who not only brings disease but has humanity decimate each other through strife and war, kinslaying, murder, power abuse (brings out the worst in people, where both the wicked and the good die without distinction): the Ironborn reapers who start to war against their fellow men, and of course aSoIaF itself so far with the Wo5K, good killing bad and vice versa, and the Others, but also the Night's King and his bride.
  • We have the Hammer of the Waters initially to deal with people, and then at some point the Others and the Long Night, threatening humanity, and it's suspected the CotF actually created the Others to deal with humans, because despite the pact, they have once again become so numerous that they need to be dealt with. 
  • The Barrow King laid to rest/sleep and there never being allowed anyone else be named or regarded as morepowerful than him: compares to Erra going to sleep at the end of Erra and Ishum after Ishum and the other gods assure him they regard him as the most powerful god, their ultimate king of gods. But it's actually a trick, to placate and soothe his destructive anger and save the remainder. "Yeah, yeah, ok, you are the most powerful of us all, now go to sleep and rest and never wake up again."

Euron too does something similar as Erra. He goes to the imo subaquatic home, usurps the crown and Ironborn throne and sets out to make war on the heart of the fertile life: the Reach. And anyone who believed they'd be rewarded for being his servant finds out otherwise. But Vic is the embodiment of a war god almost, and he's easily fooled or placated by flattery (as is Cersei).

The North, which must have been last populated and the building of the Wall is likely related to a renewed pact between CotF and humanity. As a subterranean underworld it embodies both the necessary fact that people can't be allowed to live eternal, but also supports life (ecologically speaking). Hence we see the grey-green mixture appear here so often. This is also symbolized with the type of trees often mentioned here: pines with their needles, sentintels, hardwood. They are trees, even evergreens, but we don't connotate them with flowers and blooms of spring and summer to produce fruit. They are trees of winter, and yet they represent the preservation of life, despite death.

We know the CotF retreated behind the Wall and any other creature that was threatened into extinction by the overpopulating humans. And I'm starting to think the pact was just that - we throw up a wall here, both to protect humanity as well as the CotF. In that sense the wildlings and Mance with his horns then become the disturbers of that pact, especially when they start digging into graves, even if they leave CotF alone and continue to worship the weirwood cult. They're tolerated by the CotF, but not tolerated by the Others. And they leave Craster alone as long as he sacrifices his own (including his food), which they take to augment their own numbers.

ETA: all in all I don't think we're supposed to look for who killed who first, which one was righteous, which one was corrupted. It is one of the major points of Erra and Ishum that basically everyone turns on one another, and both end up withmounting casualties. Mother to daughter, daughter to mother, father to son, son to father, governors of cities against their citizens, and vice versa. That sounds very much like the Riverlands tale. Both Wolves and Lions commit war crimes. The Lions may have started out as aggressors, with the Wolves coming to the aid of the Riverlanders, but their armies just as well harming the smallfolk (aka the people). Same thing goes for Cain and Abel - internal strife,one brother wrongs the other brother, but the later wrongs the first even more, and it escalates. Same thing between Stannis and Renly, or Robert's Rebellion against the Mad King, but Elia and her children end up murdered and Robert even applauds their death. Robert starts out fighting for what we would consider a righteous cause, and with the intent to stand beside Ned Stark (who's the one who suffers the true losses), but he ends up usurping the rebellion in name (it's not Ned's rebellion, but Robert's rebellion) and being haield the winner and the new king, while Ned is almost seen as Robert's aid afterwards. None of those who were truly wronged ends up with the spoils, but the allies and the ones who didn't fight until the very last do. That is a type of corruption as well.  

Nicely put SSR.  I do agree there was a conundrum of immortality which played a part in bringing on the LN, and possibly ending it. I see this as a catalyst or a significant plot point in the Grey/Green, stealing the powers of the Gods.  Harnessing the immortality of the trees, harnessing fire rebirth. 

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

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

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

 

Valar morghulis, it is repeated throughout the books and we learn from Oberon it is basically an admission that one is mortal and will one day return to ash and dust.  What we see in the two characters of Garth and the Grey King are god-like kings living for 1000 years.  Basically, they found a way to circumvent mortality through harnessing powers that we can only speculate on but are most likely through wierwood magic and/or fire magic.  Something interesting with the Ironborn culture is their saying What is dead may never die….but rises, to me, this is almost like a response to the admission of mortality, leave it to the Ironborn to be defiant even with death.  I think your mention of overpopulation was insightful as the TWOIAF mentioned the FM bringing forth children and reproducing at a much more rapid pace that the children and giants were soon outnumbered.  I think life behind the wall was probably within the CotF ideas of homeostasis as far as human population because of the bleak, cold northern life of the wildlings.  Many Wildling children do not make it past one or two which is why they give their children names like lump, bump, or monster to begin with.  The wildings may have been more tolerable in that respect.  Something that has always vexed me is that the wildlings beyond the wall (mostly) worship the Old Gods and hold wierwoods sacred, yet we do not see the wildings interacting with the CotF, rather the wildlings we see in the story are aligned with the giants.  As it has been mentioned in TWOIAF, the giants and the children warred constantly.  I find it interesting that although the wildlings are somehow disenfranchised like the children and worship the same gods, we find no instances where the wildlings and the children are working together. The wildlings also show us sort of the malicious sides of humans with warging/skinchanging abilities such as Orelll and Varamyr.  It shows us why there is such stigma against those with these abilities that were somehow gifted or inherited from the children.  It seems humans can take advantage of such powers to a point where they are similar to tyrants.  This is something we all fear might happen to our Bran who has already broken many of these skinchanging taboos. 

The flood myths I am a huge fan of and need to delve myself further into, your example of Erra and Ishum has piqued my interest even further.  Thank you for sharing that!

One thing I do want to point out is that I agree your mentioning that there is probably no 'righteous' party.  The Last Hero, Azor Ahai, the Night's King....the were all heroes and all tyrants depending on the side you stood on at the time it took place.  I think I mentioned I the grey king was only adapting to the bleak, windswept unfertile environment, and thereby developed a culture that could survive the conditions in which they lived.  The green team similarly adapted to their surroundings and developed an agrarian lifestyle, so no diverging views in that respect. What I do think is important is understanding the significance these mythic characters actually had in these world changing events.  What  is of even greater importance is the fact that history seems to be echoing itself in bits and pieces in the current timeline.  This story is about incest, fratricide, war, generativity, lust, greed and everything in between. By picking apart history we can have a deeper understanding of the current storyline and the symbolism that is sprinkled about the pages.  That is what I really enjoy about Martin's writing is the complexity, symbolism and homages he tucks neatly into his pages.   He is truly a master at his craft and I am continuing to be impressed with the little nuances we all find.

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So its been a while and I haven't kept up with this thread. 

I wanted to point out in terms of brothers fighting each other, you have Cotter Pike fighting with Ser Denys Mallister over the Lordship of the Knights Watch. They are not blood brothers but they do consider each other brothers. Then you have Samwell, going back and forth between them whispering and influencing them. Albeit Sam is doing it for different reasons then getting them to kill each other and emerge the victor but I think this shows a third party involved in the struggle between two brothers. 

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