Black Crow

Heresy 197 the wit and wisdom of Old Nan

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Posted (edited)

think that there may be a wider problem with Old Nan's stories of the Nightfort.

Latterly the Nights Watch certainly occupied it and obviously we have the association with the Nights King, but otherwise the stories don't feel like they belong to the Watch; as if the stories belong to an earlier time time before the Watch took over

Edited by Black Crow

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Posted (edited)

The Nightfort had figured in some of Old Nan’s scariest stories. It was here that Night’s King had reigned, before his name was wiped from the memory of man. This was where the Rat Cook had served the Andal king his prince-and-bacon pie, where the seventy-nine sentinels stood their watch, where brave young Danny Flint had been raped and murdered. This was the castle where King Sherrit had called down his curse on the Andals of old, where the ‘prentice boys had faced the thing that came in the night, where blind Symeon Star-Eyes had seen the hellhounds fighting. Mad Axe had once walked these yards and climbed these towers, butchering his brothers in the dark.
All that had happened hundreds and thousands of years ago, to be sure, and some maybe never happened at all.

Edited by Black Crow

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

Don't see it I'm afraid. There really is nothing at all to suggest that the Nightfort was a school of withcraft, wizardty and greenseeing.

No matter the arguments of greenseers under the bed we are very firmly told that that they are rare and precious things

That's quite a leap from what I was saying. I think the Nightfort was built as a defensive structure to guard the passage through the Wall, so it seems implied that it was built for the Night's Watch. The very names NIGHTfort and NIGHT's Watch indicate a connection to the Long NIGHT, but then a short thirteen commanders later we read about an LC that restarted the practice of "sacrificing children to the Others". Or so we're told. The historical records expunged because his deeds were considered so evil. IMO the other tales about the Nightfort are twisted to portray them as evil too, so they may be from that same time period. 

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

otherwise the stories don't feel like they belong to the Watch; as if the stories belong to an earlier time time before the Watch took over

In what sense?

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

The Nightfort had figured in some of Old Nan’s scariest stories. It was here that Night’s King had reigned, before his name was wiped from the memory of man. This was where the Rat Cook had served the Andal king his prince-and-bacon pie, where the seventy-nine sentinels stood their watch, where brave young Danny Flint had been raped and murdered. This was the castle where King Sherrit had called down his curse on the Andals of old, where the ‘prentice boys had faced the thing that came in the night, where blind Symeon Star-Eyes had seen the hellhounds fighting. Mad Axe had once walked these yards and climbed these towers, butchering his brothers in the dark.
All that had happened hundreds and thousands of years ago, to be sure, and some maybe never happened at all.

More or less like the stories out of Harrenhall.

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Not unlike indeed

 

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

In what sense?

Various things. There's the apprentices of course. The Watch is pledged to take no part in the affairs of the realm, yet King Sherrit called down his curse on the Andals of old; conversely the Rat King was cursed for breaking the guest right extended to an Andal king - a guest not a prisoner. Some of the other stories don't sound like the Watch either. Individually it wouldn't amount to much but collectively...

I don't doubt the Watch were associated with the Nightfort but I'm suggesting they took over the castle and may not have been the original owners, which also comes back to the old heresy that the Nights Watch we know is not the original Nights Watch - which in turn may be the reason for the dodgy king list as a means of covering up.

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28 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

There's the apprentices of course.

Meaning the Watch doesn't have apprentices? 

Hmmm, generally true I suppose, although it's easy to imagine someone like Donal Noye taking one.  (Certainly the Watch would be better off, post ASOS, if he had.) There's also this:

Quote

Glass, Jon mused, might be of use here. Castle Black needs its own glass gardens, like the ones at Winterfell. We could grow vegetables even in the deep of winter. The best glass came from Myr, but a good clear pane was worth its weight in spice, and green and yellow glass would not work as well. What we need is gold. With enough coin, we could buy 'prentice glassblowers and glaziers in Myr, bring them north, offer them their freedom for teaching their art to some of our recruits. That would be the way to go about it.

So the 'prentices in the story might only have been there temporarily.  Similarly:

33 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

The Watch is pledged to take no part in the affairs of the realm, yet King Sherrit called down his curse on the Andals of old; conversely the Rat King was cursed for breaking the guest right extended to an Andal king - a guest not a prisoner.

We can explain this by guessing royalty was simply visiting the Wall, like Queen Alysanne did about 200 years before the story took place. 

35 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

I'm suggesting they took over the castle and may not have been the original owners

This is actually plausible to me because I think it's likely Moat Cailin changed hands multiple times in just that way, in ancient days.  Not just from group to group, but across cultures.

There is also this ACOK passage:

Quote

 

It was said that the Fist had been a ringfort of the First Men in the Dawn Age. "An old place, and strong," Thoren Smallwood said.

"Old," Mormont's raven screamed as it flapped in noisy circles about their heads. "Old, old, old."

 

Old indeed, if it traces back that far in time. 

Much too old to have been built by the First Men, IMO, as far north as it is... though it could easily have been found and used by them subsequently.

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8 minutes ago, JNR said:

 

We can explain this by guessing royalty was simply visiting the Wall, like Queen Alysanne did about 200 years before the story took place. 

 

Andals Kings visiting the Wall at a time when Moat Caillin is held against them? 

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Andals Kings visiting the Wall at a time when Moat Caillin is held against them?

Well, that policy was meant to deal with invading armies, not royal processions.

I'm doubtful that (for instance) King Garth XIV of the Reach, his son the prince, thirty knights, and another ten servants would have been interpreted at Moat Cailin as an invasion force likely to overthrow the King in the North.

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3 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Andals Kings visiting the Wall at a time when Moat Caillin is held against them? 

King Sherrit called a curse down upon the Andals which would indicate King Sherrit was not an Andal himself.

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34 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

King Sherrit called a curse down upon the Andals which would indicate King Sherrit was not an Andal himself.

Or he may have been an Andal king briefly, but he got caught colluding with the Russians and so he was sent to the Wall in punishment by his people.

Here's another point on the Nightfort's age worth pondering, even though it's from the World book:

Quote

Maesters who served at the Nightfort whilst it was still in use made it plain that the castle had been expanded upon many times over the centuries and that little remained of its original structure save for some of the deepest vaults chiseled out of the rock beneath the castle's feet.

It's hard to imagine what motive the Watch would have had to go to such extreme lengths as to "chisel out deep vaults from the rock."

If they just wanted storage space, they could have built a shed or two, you know?  And if it was a question of retreating from the harsh winters, like the tunnels at Castle Black, I expect they would have built a castle in a place where digging tunnels from dirt was an option.

So I'm inclined to wonder if these vaults were somehow related to the other extraordinary underground feature we know about at the Nightfort.

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7 hours ago, JNR said:

Well, that policy was meant to deal with invading armies, not royal processions.

I'm doubtful that (for instance) King Garth XIV of the Reach, his son the prince, thirty knights, and another ten servants would have been interpreted at Moat Cailin as an invasion force likely to overthrow the King in the North.

I have very severe doubts at such a scenario and in any case as I said I'm looking at the totality of the stories. Unlike say Castle Black it is an eldritch place and while the Watch as we know it occupied it latterly, earlier it sounds a different matter

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5 hours ago, JNR said:

Here's another point on the Nightfort's age worth pondering, even though it's from the World book:

It's hard to imagine what motive the Watch would have had to go to such extreme lengths as to "chisel out deep vaults from the rock."

If they just wanted storage space, they could have built a shed or two, you know?  And if it was a question of retreating from the harsh winters, like the tunnels at Castle Black, I expect they would have built a castle in a place where digging tunnels from dirt was an option.

So I'm inclined to wonder if these vaults were somehow related to the other extraordinary underground feature we know about at the Nightfort.

Or bringing it closer into line with Winterfell. The Nights King was after all a Stark and brother to Stark of Winterfell

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6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

King Sherrit called a curse down upon the Andals which would indicate King Sherrit was not an Andal himself.

Course he wasn't, but what was he doing on the Wall interfering in the affairs of the realm?

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24 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Or bringing it closer into line with Winterfell. The Nights King was after all a Stark and brother to Stark of Winterfell

Per Old Nan, the Night's King was a Stark of Winterfell... not the brother who brought him down. The brother's identity as a Stark or Snow or otherwise is left unstated.

The world book states the brother was Stark ("Brandon the Breaker", but the novels do not.

In the novels, the SiW and Joramun free the watch. It is not stated if one/both of them also brought down the Night's King.

The novels also state that mayhaps his name was Brandon.

Hmm. A "Brandon Stark" who was the thirteenth man to lead the Night's Watch. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the Last Hero had a dozen companions. And I'm sure that it's just a coincidence that the vow spoken at the Black Gate predates the completion of the Wall. And I'm sure it's also just a coincidence that the Night's King and the Last Hero were 13th men who led men in frozen dead lands during the Long Night.

And there's no way one of them would have had a fighting pit for wargs to kill each other, just to amuse blue eyed Symeon. Far too barbaric. And only a mad queen even colder than Dany could ever approve of such sport. 

Hell, considering the Long Night only "lasted a generation," these two guys probably weren't even alive during the same century. :smoking:

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10 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

King Sherrit called a curse down upon the Andals which would indicate King Sherrit was not an Andal himself.

I also thought this strange,  not that King Sherrit was a First Man, that isn't strange.  But that he would visit the Wall in the North to curse invaders from the South. 

So possibly it was a magical curse and he needed the power from the Wall.  More likely he was visiting the Wall for some other reason and learned something while he was there. 

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Unlike say Castle Black it is an eldritch place and while the Watch as we know it occupied it latterly, earlier it sounds a different matter

It's an "eldritch place" in the sense that it has the Black Gate and the Black Gate works in a supernatural way.  But that's the beginning and end of the information we have on that subject.

8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Or bringing it closer into line with Winterfell. The Nights King was after all a Stark and brother to Stark of Winterfell

The idea seems to be that

1) Winterfell was founded in the Age of Heroes, as we are repeatedly told

2) Thousands of years passed -- in this time, the Nightfort existed but was occupied by who knows what, though it was not the Watch (not sure if in this theory the Long Night ever happened)

3) The Andals invaded, and King Sherrit cursed them from the Nightfort, etc.

4) Only then, well after the Andals, did the Watch first begin to occupy the Nightfort

5) At some still later point, the Night's King became LC, and he went out of his way to order deep vaults chiseled out of the stone under the castle because he felt like creating something structurally similar to the dramatically more ancient Winterfell crypts

All this seems a bit doubtful and in contradiction of canon.

Edited by JNR

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9 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Course he wasn't, but what was he doing on the Wall interfering in the affairs of the realm?

Kings and Queens have visited the Wall, including but not limited to Stannis Baratheon. Stannis likely "cursed" a few people while staying at the Wall...Melisandre practiced a few religious type burnings for him too which certainly felt like a curse to those that were burned. While we don't know the exact nature of King Sherrit's curse for the Andals we could speculate using my inversion theory that Stannis may be reprising King Sherrit.

I was hesitant to share before, but now it seems relevant, so to better illustrate how this could be I will bring everyone up to date with my latest addition to my inversion theory, which to me feel more like a discovery, but I will use "theory" to placate the unbelievers. Anyways, I had been trying to pinpoint when the ouroboros reversed. Previously I thought there may have been a blood magic ritual performed at the tower of joy that was the catalyst, but I've changed my mind. I think our clue is The Year of the False Spring. It was "false", because the reversal made it winter again. This means that the Tourney of Harrenhal is ground zero where one reality ended and a new one began. So how does this equate to Stannis reenacting King Sherrit? Every major event since the Harrenhal tourney has reoccurred in reverse order. King Sherrit might be close to the same time as the Night's King, which is currently being reprised by Jon Snow as the "turned" Lord Commander, and his "bastard brother" Ramsay Snow, who had been legitimized as a Stark and now Lord of Winterfell who instead of joining forces with the King Beyond the Wall, has taken Mance prisoner.

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8 hours ago, Voice said:

Per Old Nan, the Night's King was a Stark of Winterfell... not the brother who brought him down. The brother's identity as a Stark or Snow or otherwise is left unstated.

 

 

For thirteen years they had ruled, Night’s King and his corpse queen, till finally the Stark of Winterfell and Joramun of the wildlings had joined to free the Watch from bondage. After his fall, when it was found he had been sacrificing to the Others, all records of Night’s King had been destroyed, his very name forbidden.
“Some say he was a Bolton,” Old Nan would always end. “Some say a Magnar out of Skagos, some say Umber, Flint, or Norrey. Some would have you think he was a Woodfoot, from them who ruled Bear island before the ironmen came. He never was. He was a Stark, the brother of the man who brought him down.” She always pinched Bran on the nose then, he would never forget it. “He was a Stark of Winterfell, and who can say? Mayhaps his name was Brandon.

 

"the Stark of Winterfell and Joramun of the wildlings had joined to free the Watch from bondage...He was a Stark, the brother of the man who brought him down.”... “He was a Stark of Winterfell"

 

Seems pretty straightforward to me. "he was a Stark of Winterfell" and it was his brother "the Stark of Winterfell" who brought him down

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