LmL

Garth of the Gallows (Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire)

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Hey there forums friends and family! (silent lurkers included - we love you too :) ) This is the latest offering in my Weirwood Compendium series, which is just a dorky way to say I am talking about greenseers and weirwoods! This episode consists of two parts.  The first will be all about Durran and Elenei and Storm King ideas in general, and what that has to do with Garth and the green men and the idea of horned lords. The second part will be covering the hanging on the tree aspect of Odin and Yggdrasil, but the goal won't be to wank off on Norse myth - we'll be spending most of our time talking about how the hanged man on the magical tree idea manifests in ASOIAF.  Basically, it's about the death transformation / transcendence aspects of hooking up to the weirwoods, or at least, that's the starting point.  The path leads into the heart of the weirwoodnet, and this will be the general thrust of my next couple of essays - trying to drill down into what exactly is going on with the freaky-ass sentient trees-with-bleeding-faces-and-psychedlic-seed-paste phenomena. 

What's really fun about the hanged man (or woman) as a metaphor is that Martin can use all those hanged people in the Riverlands to tell some interesting stories.  We'll be spending a fair bit of time at the Inn of the Crossroads (also called the Gallows Inn), the Riverlands, Oldstones, and Riverrun. We'll even hang a Frey before we are through.  

We will also be talking a bit about the Hammer of the Waters, and the alternate timeline suggested by my hypothesis that the Hammer was a moon meteor that fell at the time of the Long Night, not thousands of years before as the legends say.  

Thanks for taking a look everyone, and as always, there is a matching podcast linked near the top of the page (which you can also find on iTunes), so if you prefer to listen rather than read, you have that option. 

Cheers, LmL

https://lucifermeanslightbringer.com/2017/03/29/garth-of-the-gallows/

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2 hours ago, LmL said:

Hey there forums friends and family! (silent lurkers included - we love you too :) ) This is the latest offering in my Weirwood Compendium series, which is just a dorky way to say I am talking about greenseers and weirwoods! This episode consists of two parts.  The first will be all about Durran and Elenei and Storm King ideas in general, and what that has to do with Garth and the green men and the idea of horned lords. The second part will be covering the hanging on the tree aspect of Odin and Yggdrasil, but the goal won't be to wank off on Norse myth - we'll be spending most of our time talking about how the hanged man on the magical tree idea manifests in ASOIAF.  Basically, it's about the death transformation / transcendence aspects of hooking up to the weirwoods, or at least, that's the starting point.  The path leads into the heart of the weirwoodnet, and this will be the general thrust of my next couple of essays - trying to drill down into what exactly is going on with the freaky-ass sentient trees-with-bleeding-faces-and-psychedlic-seed-paste phenomena. 

What's really fun about the hanged man (or woman) as a metaphor is that Martin can use all those hanged people in the Riverlands to tell some interesting stories.  We'll be spending a fair bit of time at the Inn of the Crossroads (also called the Gallows Inn), the Riverlands, Oldstones, and Riverrun. We'll even hang a Frey before we are through.  

We will also be talking a bit about the Hammer of the Waters, and the alternate timeline suggested by my hypothesis that the Hammer was a moon meteor that fell at the time of the Long Night, not thousands of years before as the legends say.  

Thanks for taking a look everyone, and as always, there is a matching podcast linked near the top of the page (which you can also find on iTunes), so if you prefer to listen rather than read, you have that option. 

Cheers, LmL

https://lucifermeanslightbringer.com/2017/03/29/garth-of-the-gallows/

Keep hammering away LML.

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Just as I was gearing up to get some work done, Lucifer, always the tempter :D

Will get back to you after I read it.

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Great as always my friend, real pleasure to read.

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this aquatic based, sea and sky god religion was one, and the other major one would be the worship of Garth the Green

Or stag men and walrus men of the Wildlings who hate each other.

Given the enormity of mythological connections and symbolism, I will just mention some of the things that crossed my mind while I was reading, hopefully, I will help you reinforce the main premise further.

Hecate, Greek goddess of witches, nightmares, crossroads, and one of the Moon deities; sometimes represented with three heads. She is connected to entrances, Underworld, entrances to Underworld, gates, protection, dogs, herbs, drugs, poisons (say belladona and mandrake) bringing of the light!!! and crossroads. Further more she is connected to the stars and her mother is Asteria, star-goddess, whose mother in turn was Pheobe, Titaness who personified the moon. Yew was her sacred tree. She is sometimes represented with two torches.In neo-paganistic traditions she is conneced with Wild Hunt.

And in Slavic mythology there is a god called Triglav who has three heads (some theories propose heads represent three maind Slavic deities or sky, earth and underworld) he also has gold bands covering his eyes so he is effectively blind. Sometimes his three heads are goat heads.

But for Slavs three headed god was not enough so they had fourheaded one as well Svetovid, god of war and fertility who head white, black, red and green head. He is called Dawning One and is connected to dawn, Morning Star and Sun. He is connected and sometimes equated to Radegast, god of hospitality which protects sacred hospitality rules but also god of war, night, fire and the evening sky.

Slavic dragons frequently have 3 heads (sometimes 7). And in medieval Russian literature dragons often represent steppe people, Mongols or such, which can be connected to the Dothraki and Daenerys as their leader and representative.

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Yay the dogs and I will be entertained today.

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Gonna check this out today/tomorrow and hope the thread isn't 10 pages in before I'm done listening!

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35 minutes ago, cgrav said:

Gonna check this out today/tomorrow and hope the thread isn't 10 pages in before I'm done listening!

Naw, there's always a one to two day lag while everyone takes time to read or listen. No worries friend @cgrav:)

Feel free to comment before you have finished if something occurs to you. 

2 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

Yay the dogs and I will be entertained today.

sweet! release the hounds!

 

3 hours ago, Equilibrium said:

Great as always my friend, real pleasure to read.

Or stag men and walrus men of the Wildlings who hate each other.

Given the enormity of mythological connections and symbolism, I will just mention some of the things that crossed my mind while I was reading, hopefully, I will help you reinforce the main premise further.

Hecate, Greek goddess of witches, nightmares, crossroads, and one of the Moon deities; sometimes represented with three heads. She is connected to entrances, Underworld, entrances to Underworld, gates, protection, dogs, herbs, drugs, poisons (say belladona and mandrake) bringing of the light!!! and crossroads. Further more she is connected to the stars and her mother is Asteria, star-goddess, whose mother in turn was Pheobe, Titaness who personified the moon. Yew was her sacred tree. She is sometimes represented with two torches.In neo-paganistic traditions she is conneced with Wild Hunt.

And in Slavic mythology there is a god called Triglav who has three heads (some theories propose heads represent three maind Slavic deities or sky, earth and underworld) he also has gold bands covering his eyes so he is effectively blind. Sometimes his three heads are goat heads.

But for Slavs three headed god was not enough so they had fourheaded one as well Svetovid, god of war and fertility who head white, black, red and green head. He is called Dawning One and is connected to dawn, Morning Star and Sun. He is connected and sometimes equated to Radegast, god of hospitality which protects sacred hospitality rules but also god of war, night, fire and the evening sky.

Slavic dragons frequently have 3 heads (sometimes 7). And in medieval Russian literature dragons often represent steppe people, Mongols or such, which can be connected to the Dothraki and Daenerys as their leader and representative.

Wow, that Hecate stuff sounds like something which I need to look into in regards to the weirwoods as a gate and a door. 

Re: Slavis dragons, it's interesting that George named a Khal in TWOIAF as "the dragon of the north" because he burned so much shit. Have you picked up any more specific clues George might be referencing those myths? 

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Definitely look into Hecate!  She's fascinating!  She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, light, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery (Wikipedia). The necromancy and sorcery part caught my eye the other day (I was bored and went down a wiki hole...) and dogs are considered her familiars. She's akin to the Roman Janus, what with guarding doorways and entrances (though her Roman equivalent was considered to be Trivia [of the three ways; tri + via. Not the "trivia" we use today!).  On that note, Janus might worth a look into also, for similar reasons; he's the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings (according to Wikipedia).  He also had some influence in war and peace, being the deity of beginnings and endings he was often invoked (along with others) when declaring war (the beginning) and peace treaties (the end; as well as his association with boundaries, which were often spelled out at the end of a conflict).

This quote about Hecate stuck out to me the other day, too: As a goddess expected to avert harmful or destructive spirits from the house or city over which she stood guard and to protect the individual as she or he passed through dangerous liminal places, Hecate would naturally become known as a goddess who could also refuse to avert the demons, or even drive them on against unfortunate individuals.[79]

It's something that's often overlooked, but ALL the Greek deities (and Roman) weren't guaranteed to help you, no matter how well you worshipped or what you gave them.  Not only Hecate, but ANY deity could simply refuse to grant protection.  That's something most Christians* don't think about....the idea of a god hearing but ignoring your pleas is NOT something we like to think of but it was a very common idea in polytheistic religions.  The gods have no obligation to help, even if you do everything "right." 

*Basically anyone who hasn't specifically practiced another religion.  Even if you've never gone to Church, chances are REALLY good you've learned the religious reasons behind Christmas and Easter and stories like Noah's Ark and David and Goliath, even if it was just from your childhood friend who DID go to Church!   Christianity goes far deeper into our subconscious as a society than we assume.  Just look at how people treat sexual assault victims; they're either perfect, pure virgins who must be protected or dirty whores who got what they deserved. And the whole "you won't have sex with me, so you must be a whore" namecalling some asshats feel is necessary (I never understood how that worked....unfortunately the last time I got called a whore for NOT having sex with a guy was before I'd really grasped the hypocrisy of the statement.  Only unfortunate because I'd REALLY like to tell that asshat off now!)

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5 minutes ago, LmL said:

Wow, that Hecate stuff sounds like something which I need to look into in regards to the weirwoods as a gate and a door. 

Re: Slavis dragons, it's interesting that George named a Khal in TWOIAF as "the dragon of the north" because he burned so much shit. Have you picked up any more specific clues George might be referencing those myths? 

You definitely should, besides gate, door, entrance to Underworld stuff, there are also

1) Fact that she is goddess of psychedelic substances, transcendence and magic, which directly feeds into greenseer territory and House of the Undying experience of Daenerys. And of course, representation of BR and greenseers as chthonic deities (notable for their appreciation of blood sacrifice in Greek and Roman religion)

2) Her being one of the moon goddesses, and daughter of star goddess, as well as association with Wild Hunt. And you know the thing that one of her titles was Bringer of Light

3) Things that pointed me toward this line of thinking were association with crossroads, as Inn at the Crossroads featured in much of your essay and association with yew tree, which also played some part.

As for the Slavic dragons, those multi-headed beasts and allegorical representations of Mongols weren't the only thing Slavs had with dragons. As for specific clues I haven't picked anything up since it never crossed my mind until now and I am not currently rereading the books (heresy I know)

Thing that will certainly be interesting to you is that Slavs had bunch of thing that were either called dragons or had bunch of characteristics of what Martin calls dragons. One of the things frequently associated with dragons is their ability to control weather, specifically to create thunderstorms. Dragons were so connected to thunders, lightning and storms that in some stories their eyes sparked.

Dragons in Slavic mythology were frequently shape-shifters and they could transform into humans, or they were permanently in human form, often with some giveaways, like big eyes (that sparked) or small wings underneath the arms, in armpits. In some legends there are two types of dragons, good and evil ones who fight constantly. Oh and dragons were frequently in form of dragon-like animals bulls, horses and dogs (how ancient Slavs decided those were dragon like animals is beyond me) given that ASOIAF already makes horse-dragon parallel few times, role of the dog associated people and amount of bull prominence in symbolism this is not something to be dismissed.

South Slavs also have one curious mythological creature, dragon-man whose soul was able to leave his body so he could fight against dragons who bring thunderstorms. He is sometimes the child born of union of woman and dragon (as they can get human form they tend to get horny). In some regions his soul soul stays put but he literally flies to fight dragons, in other regions he transforms into dragon himself, or his soul does, which does seem like skinchanging.

While on the subject of skinchanging, just to mention Slavic werewolves and Slavs are considered original werewolves btw (Herodotus writes about Neuri, tribe in the utmost north that transforms into wolves, and some scientists believe he talked about proto-Slavs, based on omnipresence of the werewolf legends in Slavic folklore and fact that some Slavic tribes had wolf totems). Slavic werewolves were transforming by literally dressing into the wolf skin, in the manner Boltons would appreciate or astrally projecting their souls into wolves, like ASOIAF skinchanging. In some Slavic tribe there was a ritual of wolf kinship where wolf was taken as sort of godfather to the child and protector of the family. Dazhbog, sun god and one of the Slavic main gods was associated with wolves and took form of lame white wolf. Interesting thing is that in European, not just Slavic folklore, white animals in general and white wolves in particular were seen as connected to both this world and spirit world, which can mean a lot for resurrection chances of certain Lord Commanders. Starks are so based on Slavic mythology that they may as well start drinking vodka and squatting in tracksuits.

 

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I think we may have another symbol of Ratatoskr.

Quote

"I'm not a squirrel," Arya insisted.

"You are." Greenbeard laughed. "A little gold squirrel who's off to see the lightning lord, whether she wills it or not. He'll know what's to be done with you. I'll wager he sends you back to your lady mother, just as you wish."

SoS, Arya III

Arya (the squirrel) is brought to Beric (Odin). If I understand the concept of Ratatoskr correctly, and please correct me if I'm wrong, it basically sends messages between the top and bottom realms of Yggdrasil. Arya certainly could symbolize this role as well. She recieves the messages to give the gift, which sends people to different 'realms'.

It is interesting that Greenbeard is the one informing her of her new squirrel title. Also interesting is the when Bran first sees Leaf he confuses her with Arya. 

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They speak of the the Lady of the Waves of the Lord of the Skies – and sky gods, storm gods, and wind gods are all in the same general vein, so this is really another match for this sea / wind god dichotomy of the Stormlands and Iron Islands.  

@LmL

I hope this is an intentional pun. Weather god vein = Weather vane as in that thing that we used to use to tell us which way the windblows. Which are often named weather cocks. Therefore it makes further sense that weather gods as phallic fertility deities are weathervane/cocks. 

And I would like to point out the prominent Blue Cock of House Swyft, whose house words are Awake! Awake! basically announcing the dawn as roosters are bound to do and in the series awakening the stone dragons and giants. And you know what I think of the color blue and bird combined with the betrayer of loyalty connotation of "where the windblows" is pointing towards the Blue Falcon. 

And since we are on the subject, rooster are chickens thus in our minds should conjure up the connotation of a fearful person, a craven. And we do have a craven raven.........

In our real world the rooster as a weathervane was placed on the roof of Old St. Peter's Basilica, as a reference to Jesus telling Peter that he would deny him three times before the rooster crows and after that Peter became the Father of the Holy Mother Church.

And oh Look, Ser Harys Swyft is the Knight of Cornfield (a scarecrow) is Master of Coin like Lord Petyr Baelish. 

And one last thing, a weather vane/weathercock functions the same as a far-eyes (and do we have the far-eyes being both on a ship and up a tree), a scout gathering knowledge and one of the oldest weathervanes was made in the image of Triton, the messenger of the sea and son of Sea God Poseidon, who was a merman. 

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6 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

I think we may have another symbol of Ratatoskr.

Arya (the squirrel) is brought to Beric (Odin). If I understand the concept of Ratatoskr correctly, and please correct me if I'm wrong, it basically sends messages between the top and bottom realms of Yggdrasil. Arya certainly could symbolize this role as well. She recieves the messages to give the gift, which sends people to different 'realms'.

It is interesting that Greenbeard is the one informing her of her new squirrel title. Also interesting is the when Bran first sees Leaf he confuses her with Arya. 

Oh yes, absolutely. I have been saving most Arya stuff because it overlaps with a lot of concepts. She's like a combination of various death gods / goddesses and a child of the forest. Her Harrenhall scenes are amazing. I will probably do an entire Arya episode. There's just so much. Bran compares Leaf to Arya multiple times, skinny squirrel, greenbeard, her swordfighting up in the kingdom of the leaves... the oak dress... Nightwolf, Ghost in Harrenhall, Dark Heart, Blood Child... 

Basically I have to skirt right on by a lot of things in order to keep an episode on topic. If I try to mention Arya in passing,  I start writing several paragraphs about her and then the episode becomes derailed.  it's a constant challenge for me as it is - I started writing this episode as one episode, and it turned into 3, as I mentioned. But yeah, you're barking up the right tree. 

I have a feeling that the Arya clues are going to end up pointing to Nissa Nissa being a cotf or something along those lines.

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3 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

@LmL

I hope this is an intentional pun. Weather god vein = Weather vane as in that thing that we used to use to tell us which way the windblows. Which are often named weather cocks. Therefore it makes further sense that weather gods as phallic fertility deities are weathervane/cocks. 

And I would like to point out the prominent Blue Cock of House Swyft, whose house words are Awake! Awake! basically announcing the dawn as roosters are bound to do and in the series awakening the stone dragons and giants. And you know what I think of the color blue and bird combined with the betrayer of loyalty connotation of "where the windblows" is pointing towards the Blue Falcon. 

And since we are on the subject, rooster are chickens thus in our minds should conjure up the connotation of a fearful person, a craven. And we do have a craven raven.........

In our real world the rooster as a weathervane was placed on the roof of Old St. Peter's Basilica, as a reference to Jesus telling Peter that he would deny him three times before the rooster crows and after that Peter became the Father of the Holy Mother Church.

And oh Look, Ser Harys Swyft is the Knight of Cornfield (a scarecrow) is Master of Coin like Lord Petyr Baelish. 

And one last thing, a weather vane/weathercock functions the same as a far-eyes (and do we have the far-eyes being both on a ship and up a tree), a scout gathering knowledge and one of the oldest weathervanes was made in the image of Triton, the messenger of the sea and son of Sea God Poseidon, who was a merman. 

As I have already brought up Slavic mythology it is worth mentioning that the rooster is one of the animals considered dragon-like and as such can be dragons in disguise.

Also rooster is a protector of the household, some animals, those that "talk" in sleep are considered to be like dragon-like humans that is, their spirit protects the village from the storms. Roosters are also believed to repel the evil forces, and magic effects are often dispelled at roosters first crow (name for the rooster talk)

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2 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

And oh Look, Ser Harys Swyft is the Knight of Cornfield (a scarecrow) is Master of Coin like Lord Petyr Baelish. 

Funny that you finish evocating LF, because I interprete the story of Durran and Elenei as a foreshadowing for Tyrion and Sansa. 

Petyr Baelish would play the part of the god of sea, Cersei would be the godess of Storm : no matter that they aren't married, Petyr explains once that he manipulates Cersei, and both have played/play a maternal/parternal figure for Sansa. 

At the beginning, the marriage between Sansa and Tyrion is a fiasco and Durran/Tyrion is particulary persecuted by Cersei and Petyr. 

The presence of Bran the Builder as a boy in this tale makes me think to the gift that Tyrion offered to Bran in AGOT : the plans for a saddle which will permit to Bran to mount a horse (and Hodor as well, with some transformations). And imo, this gift is paid in return by Bran according to Tyrion greenseer's protection. So what about - at the end - a huge "storm"+"flood" (litteral and metaphoric) at Winterfell, with Sansa and Tyrion escaping during their second marriage ? I confess also that the more I think to this, the more I see Winterfell disappearing in a huge bath (mirroring Summerhall destroyed in a huge pyre) 

Obviously, the parts aren't totally fixed : despite the fact that it is far from the sea, Winterfell is often linked to sea metaphores (just look at the grey green colors, like the haunted forest), and the castle has its brocken tower and Nan's tale about a "struck boy",  which makes from the fathers Stark some gods of sea, and also from the mothers Stark some goddess of Storm. Catelyn, Cersei as storm's goddess figures, ok, we can include Lysa Arryn in the lot, I think ^^. @LmL that matches with the symbolic you found about the moon catched and thrown down. 

As I'm telling about the moon, I have an interpretation to purpose about the moon and the weirwood's arm at Night Fort : for me it represents the desire of a greenseer for a "maiden" he can't have, and to go further the aspiration to a impossible human life : catched in his nest, the greenseer is condemned to dream his life, just like BR is dreaming his ancient human life waiting for Bran. I like to hypothetize that a maiden/moon was captured and forced to marry the first Stark of Winterfell (sibling of the greenseer), giving her blood to the stark greenseer sibling (like a Nissa Nissa, in fact). If this legal rape is one part off the curse which is on Winterfell and the Stark, so to break it, a new moon maiden - daughter of god of sea and goddess of storm - must escape to his parents... and abandon the name Stark/the Stark identity, of course. And the new greenseer must renounce to the Maiden. 

(just for fun, Elenei becoming a mortal by her marriage to Durran recalls me the Arwen of Tolkien ^^)

Edited by GloubieBoulga

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20 minutes ago, GloubieBoulga said:

Funny that you finish evocating LF, because I interprete the story of Durran and Elenei as a foreshadowing for Tyrion and Sansa. 

Petyr Baelish would play the part of the god of sea, Cersei would be the godess of Storm : no matter that they aren't married, Petyr explains once that he manipulates Cersei, and both have played/play a maternal/parternal figure for Sansa. 

At the beginning, the marriage between Sansa and Tyrion is a fiasco and Durran/Tyrion is particulary persecuted by Cersei and Petyr. 

Hmm.... I think Petyr is playing the a side of Durran that is advised by the little boy, Brandon the Builder. LmL noted that Elenei's story is subsequently alluding to Helen of Troy and Helen was already married to Menelaus, the king of Sparta. During the marriage scene of Sansa and Tyrion, Joffrey makes fun of Tyrion because he has to step on the back of a fool in order to reach up to kiss her husband. This is exactly what Petyr does when he uses Ser Dontos, the fool knight to steal away Sansa. 

That association is furthered because Petyr is planning on marrying her off to Harry the heir and he wants to teach Sansa to manipulate him for his plans. Which would mean that Harry the heir is the fool knight manipulated by the clever boy. 

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9 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

@LmL

I hope this is an intentional pun. Weather god vein = Weather vane as in that thing that we used to use to tell us which way the windblows. Which are often named weather cocks. Therefore it makes further sense that weather gods as phallic fertility deities are weathervane/cocks

So in the vein of vane cocks and vain cocks..? 

9 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

In our real world the rooster as a weathervane was placed on the roof of Old St. Peter's Basilica, as a reference to Jesus telling Peter that he would deny him three times before the rooster crows and after that Peter became the Father of the Holy Mother Church.

And oh Look, Ser Harys Swyft is the Knight of Cornfield (a scarecrow) is Master of Coin like Lord Petyr Baelish. 

So there seems to be a definite association between the rooster and betrayal.  And roosters 'crow'.  The crow is a tricksy bird.  

Being hung on top of the church is a bit like Odin -- or indeed his birdie analogs Bloodraven and Bran -- being hung on the tree.

Quote

And one last thing, a weather vane/weathercock functions the same as a far-eyes (and do we have the far-eyes being both on a ship and up a tree), a scout gathering knowledge and one of the oldest weathervanes was made in the image of Triton, the messenger of the sea and son of Sea God Poseidon, who was a merman

That's a great point -- the 'crow's nest' is the vantage point in the basket atop a ship's mast as well as a nest up a tree.  Using the metaphor of the greenseer in the bird cage, nest or basket, therefore, a weathercock is a greenseer figure.  Bran 'haunting' the crow's nest at the top of the broken tower is an expression of this relationship.  @GloubieBoulga also highlighted that the tower like a ship's mast has been struck by lightning.

This metaphor of the perilous weathercock is particularly apt, since in Norse/Icelandic poetry the 'kenning' (a kind of circumlocutionary epithet) for Yggdrasil associates the tree with the wind specifically:

Quote

excerpt from the Havamal with various translations:

"I ween that I hung | on the windy tree," -Translation by H. A. Bellows

"Wounded I hung on a wind-swept gallows" -Translated by Auden and Taylor

"I trow I hung on that windy Tree" -Translated by Olive Bray

"I know that I hung, on a wind swept tree" -Translated by Chrisholm

"I wot that I hung on the wind-tossed tree" -Translated by Lee Hollander

"I know that I hung on a high windy tree" -Translated by Patricia Terry

"I know that I hung, on a wind-rocked tree," -Translated by Benjamin Thorpe

Harvesting the knowledge via the wind, or contained in the wind, might come in handy, considering ones objective in hanging there is to gain the 'runes' (i.e. the gift of poetry and not any kind of poetry; this was potent stuff that could curse ones enemies and change the course of a battle.  THE FIRE OF THE GODS -- DIVINE KNOWLEDGE -- IS LANGUAGE).  So, from this perspective, it makes sense when GRRM says coyly 'Words are Wind'!

It occurs to me that the form of betrayal may come either as the rooster crowing at an inopportune time, giving away the game, as it were; or alternatively by failing to crow timeously!  For example, in the Prologue Will functions as a 'far-eyes' and weathercock 'lost amongst the needles' up in the tall 'sentinel' -- notice the adjective 'vaulting' which connotes both a tremendous leap (like flying) and the opposite motion (a precipitous fall), reinforcing the Promethean ambience:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Prologue

Ser Waymar looked him over with open disapproval. "I am not going back to Castle Black a failure on my first ranging. We will find these men." He glanced around. "Up the tree. Be quick about it. Look for a fire."

Will turned away, wordless. There was no use to argue. The wind was moving. It cut right through him. He went to the tree, a vaulting grey-green sentinel, and began to climb. Soon his hands were sticky with sap, and he was lost among the needles. Fear filled his gut like a meal he could not digest. He whispered a prayer to the nameless gods of the wood, and slipped his dirk free of its sheath. He put it between his teeth to keep both hands free for climbing. The taste of cold iron in his mouth gave him comfort.

Down below, the lordling called out suddenly, "Who goes there?" Will heard uncertainty in the challenge. He stopped climbing; he listened; he watched.

He's a traitorous brother who subsequently fails to issue a warning cry, arguably leading to his brother's demise at the hands of the White Walkers.  Substantiating this reading of Will as a traitor-greenseer figure are several indications such as his renowned stealth as a watcher of the highest order; the unsheathing of the dagger in close proximity to the prayer, perhaps betraying a subconscious (remember the 'Id'?) murderous intention towards his 'brother' who had just before mocked him and ordered him up the tree; 'sticky sap against his cheek' (=a frequent metaphor for blood...this is recapitulated at the end when the wighted Waymar gropes him with a sticky moleskin-gloved hand before he strangles him); then we also have his previous occupation as a hunter, and having been caught 'red-handed skinning a buck' on Mallister property for which he was forced to 'take the black' (so an overreacher, poaching from the eagle, a murderous usurper on the grey-green and black/red continuum, of which he represents the latter in the 'naughty greenseer' category).

On a deeper inspection, he commits both treasons, namely that of remaining silent as well as that of sorcery (I'm reading the Prologue as an allegory, as @Crowfood's Daughter suggested).  While he's up there, he 'whispers a prayer to the nameless gods of the wood' whereafter the Walkers conveniently appear, as if summoned.  GRRM is trying to tell us something about language.  Words protect; and words kill (the healing-harming dualism).  I discussed this kind of phenomenon -- gods appearing after a verbal summons -- with @Cowboy Dan on his 'skinchanging light' thread.  Cowboy identified several intriguing instances of someone appealing to the gods, followed by those gods appearing.

 For example, he noted that Sam fleeing at the Fist, in extremis, and at the end of his tether, appeals to all sorts of gods, particularly the Mother (so, the 'Seven'), the old gods, and 'demons'.  Incidentally, he also trips over a root and almost falls (I wonder what kind of root that was..?)  What follows is that these gods make an appearance -- both the 'demons' i.e. the Others, as well as whatever guardian spirit speaks to him encouraging him not to give up and slay the foe  (the words are italicized to create this ambiguity between his private thoughts and the more enigmatic 'silent shout' various 'third-eye' practitioners and recipients experience).  

Another example would be Arya praying to the Harrenhal weirwood, likely the same the little crannogman appealed to for help in avenging his honor.  No sooner does Arya say the words, help appears in various forms:  she hears the 'italicized message' manifested as her father's voice; she hears a wolf call out from far beyond the normal range of human hearing; and Jaqen appears as if on cue from the trees.  He then becomes her sworn sword.  Thus, there is a connection between words and swords.   Words summon killers.  

A further example of the same would be Theon praying to the Winterfell weirwood (twice, in 'The Turncloak' and 'A Ghost in Winterfell' chapters, in response to which he hears respectively a disembodied 'sobbing' and later Bran saying his name to him and reaching out with a 'bloodstained hand' from the tree -- the 'hired killer' connection).  Coincidentally (or not...you be the judge), shortly after this 'communion' already in 'The Turncloak' chapter, the mysterious killings at Winterfell commence in the 'Ghost in Winterfell' chapter.  Following the second prayer in which Theon asks for a sword (or perhaps to be a sworn sword to someone, presumably the Stark greenseer resident in the tree), he is given back his name and his following POV chapter is entitled 'Theon' like his 'namesake Theon Stark the Hungry Wolf' instead of 'Reek'.

Finally, I'd like to reassert my contention that GRRM placed three writers in the prologue for a reason besides merely having fun with an authorial nod to Edgar Allan Poe (as 'Gared'),  himself GRRM or alternatively James Joyce (as Waymar Royce in the marten coat), and finally William Shakespeare (as 'Will').  GRRM is thereby saying something very important about the power of writing, and more broadly the 'logos', to move the world.  By granting the power of sorcery to the character associated with William Shakespeare, he's acknowledging Shakespeare's greatness over the rest, including himself (of course by having his character symbolically kill 'Shakespeare', while he comes back from the dead, he's also engaging in a bit of authorial one-upmanship, in his hubris insinuating that his influence will survive Shakespeare's 'body' of work -- perhaps he's not wrong, considering how my good friend LmL feels about Shakespeare compared to GRRM ;)).

To conclude, a poem -- It's by William Shakespeare reflecting on the 'sword without a hilt,' the sorcery that is the power of language (P.S.  I've previously quoted it to you LmL, when I first reached out to you after being touched by your brilliant 'sea dragon' essay, so you should recognise the passage in question...It's from 'The Tempest' (Act 5, Scene 1) fittingly, since we've been speaking about storm gods; and describes a sorceror who has harnessed the elements to his will...)

Quote
PROSPERO
(tracing a circle on the ground)
Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves,
And ye that on the sands with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him
When he comes back; you demi-puppets that
By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make,
Whereof the ewe not bites; and you whose pastime
Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice
To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid,
Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimmed
The noontide sun, called forth the mutinous winds,
And ’twixt the green sea and the azured vault
Set roaring war—to th' dread rattling thunder
Have I given fire, and rifted Jove’s stout oak
PROSPERO
(drawing a large circle on the stage with his staff) I’ve darkened the noontime sun with the aid of you elves who live in the hills and brooks and groves, and you who chase the sea on the beach without leaving footprints in the sand, and run away when the waves come back; and you who make toadstools while the moon shines; who make mushrooms as a hobby after the evening bell has rung. With your help I’ve called up the angry winds, and set the green sea and blue sky at war with each other. I’ve given lightning to the thunderclouds, and burned up Jupiter’s beloved oak.
With his own bolt;
    the strong-based promontory
Have I made shake, and by the spurs plucked up
The pine and cedar; graves at my command
Have waked their sleepers, oped, and let 'em forth
By my so potent art. But this rough magic
I here abjure, and when I have required
Some heavenly music, which even now I do,
To work mine end upon their senses that
This airy charm is for, I’ll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I’ll drown my book.
With his own lightning bolts; I’ve shaken up the sturdy cliffs and uprooted pines and cedars; I’ve opened up graves and awakened the corpses sleeping in them, letting them out with my powerful magic. But I surrender all this magic now, when I’ve summoned some heavenly music to cast a spell, as I’m doing now, I’ll break my staff and bury it far underground, and throw my book of magic spells deeper into the sea than any anchor ever sank.
 
Solemn music
Solemn music plays.

From: http://nfs.sparknotes.com/tempest/page_174.html

Unfortunately, in our context 'drowning the book of spells' is not a solution to the ethical quandary, because the spells are already located 'under the see'!

Edited by ravenous reader

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24 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

Hmm.... I think Petyr is playing the a side of Durran that is advised by the little boy, Brandon the Builder. LmL noted that Elenei's story is subsequently alluding to Helen of Troy and Helen was already married to Menelaus, the king of Sparta. During the marriage scene of Sansa and Tyrion, Joffrey makes fun of Tyrion because he has to step on the back of a fool in order to reach up to kiss her husband. This is exactly what Petyr does when he uses Ser Dontos, the fool knight to steal away Sansa. 

That association is furthered because Petyr is planning on marrying her off to Harry the heir and he wants to teach Sansa to manipulate him for his plans. Which would mean that Harry the heir is the fool knight manipulated by the clever boy.

After the war, Helen turns back to Menelaus, as Elenei with Durran. So the part of Petyr can't be Durran's, but the one who is looking for breaking the marriage. With his grey-green eyes and his familiarity with the sea he reveals his true nature, for example during the sea travel throw storms, from KL to the Fingers : 

Quote

Lord Petyr came up beside her, cheerful as ever. "Good morrow. The salt air is bracing, don't you think? It always sharpens my appetite." He put a sympathetic arm about her shoulders. "Are you quite well? You look so pale." (Sansa VI, ASOS)

But he is also linked to a storm's deity, as prospiring on chaos, or with the same thematic as Euron Crow-Eye (Sansa also remarks that LF's mouth smile but not his eyes, like Euron show a smiling eye and hide the other which doesn't smile at all). LF is an false and a-magic version of a singing greenseer, and he play the part of a false Bran the Builder who won't help Elenei, but betray her (and betray Durran) to keep the maid for him, under his influence, married to husband he choose himself, like a father. To say shortly, he is a real sea and storm god disguised as a little kindly boy.  

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2 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

So in the vein of vane cocks and vain cocks..? 

The peacock, a symbol of vanity and has the eyes of Argus, the watcher, set in its feathers. 

 

7 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

(i.e. the gift of poetry and not any kind of poetry; this was potent stuff that could curse ones enemies and change the course of a battle.  THE FIRE OF THE GODS -- DIVINE KNOWLEDGE -- IS LANGUAGE).  So, from this perspective, it makes sense when GRRM says coyly 'Words are Wind'!

:agree: and the dark words, dark winds. 

20 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

He's a traitorous brother who subsequently fails to issue a warning cry, arguably leading to his brother's demise at the hands of the White Walkers.  Substantiating this reading of Will as a traitor-greenseer figure are several indications such as his renowned stealth as a watcher of the highest order; the unshathing of the dagger in close proximity to the prayer, perhaps betraying a subconscious (remember the 'Id'?) murderous intention towards his 'brother' who had just before mocked him and ordered him up the tree; 'sticky sap against his cheek' (=a frequent metaphor for blood...this is recapitulated at the end when the wighted Waymar gropes him with a sticky moleskin-gloved hand before he strangles him); then we also have his previous occupation as a hunter, and having been caught 'red-handed skinning a buck' on Mallister property for which he was forced to 'take the black' (so an overreacher, poaching from the eagle, a murderous usurper on the grey-green and black/red continuum, of which he represents the latter in the 'naughty greenseer' category).

On a deeper inspection, he commits both treasons, namely that of remaining silent as well as that of sorcery (I'm reading the Prologue as an allegory, as @Crowfood's Daughter suggested).  While he's up there, he 'whispers a prayer to the nameless gods of the wood' whereafter the Walkers conveniently appear, as if summoned.  GRRM is trying to tell us something about language.  Words protect; and words kill (the healing-harming dualism).  I discussed this kind of phenomenon -- gods appearing after a verbal summons -- with @Cowboy Dan on his 'skinchanging light' thread.  Cowboy identified several intriguing instances of someone appealing to the gods, followed by those gods appearing.

The silence and lack of words is a crime. Its the logic that there are no innocent bystanders especially when they are witnesses of a crime and we do have laws against that sort of thing. 

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1 hour ago, ravenous reader said:

Finally, I'd like to reassert my contention that GRRM placed three writers in the prologue for a reason besides merely having fun with an authorial nod to Edgar Allan Poe (as 'Gared'),  himself GRRM or alternatively James Joyce (as Waymar in the marten coat), and finally William Shakespeare (as 'Will').  GRRM is thereby saying something very important about the power of writing, and more broadly the 'logos', to move the world.  By granting the power of sorcery to the character associated with William Shakespeare, he's acknowledging Shakespeare's greatness over the rest, including himself (of course by having his character symbolically kill 'Shakespeare', while he comes back from the dead, he's also engaging in a bit of authorial one-upmanship, in his hubris insinuating that his influence will survive Shakespeare's 'body' of work -- perhaps he's not wrong, considering how my good friend LmL feels about Shakespeare compared to GRRM ;)).

I love it... I mean that's just fantastic. He's telling Shakespeare "I will eat your brains and turn you into a walking corpse"- and I agree, fuck Shakespeare, that snivelling coward without the balls to warn his buddy. Heh heh. Just kidding. But you know what I thin of Martin's place in history - it's right up there. Most people still have no idea of what makes his writing truly great. That's more or less the thing that motivates me - sometimes it just feels like one big "hey you guys, look at how COOL this thing is that Martin has done!" It's super ambitious (Martin's use of metaphor and symbol and synthesis of classic lit and myth, etc), which makes people skeptical at first. But I think the simple fact of the thriving fan community being what it is testifies to the depth of the writing. It's not just fans dorking out about midichlorians, though of course we do that... there's a fair amount of real, actual literary analysis being done in real time, collectively by thousands of people... I just don't know if there's ever been anything quite like this, to this extent. A series with such an extensive story-within-the-story, and thousand of people analyzing it in real time before the series is even finished... It's just so much fun to be a part of, and by the time it's all said and done, I hope that George will be properly appreciated. 

1 hour ago, ravenous reader said:

Finally a poem -- It's by William Shakespeare reflecting on the 'sword without a hilt,' the sorcery that is the power of language (P.S.  I've previously quoted it to you LmL, when I first reached out to you after being touched by your brilliant 'sea dragon' essay, so you should recognise the passage in question...It's from 'The Tempest' (Act 5, Scene 1) fittingly, since we've been speaking about storm gods; and describes a sorceror who has harnessed the elements to his will...)

See, I really needed that explanation sidebar thingee, because i read the main part twice and still couldn't get it. His prose is simply impenetrable to me - you have to work so hard to decode the language that you lose the meaning of the sentences. I don't have the patience for it. But then reading the side bar, I can see how that is what the original words mean. I suppose you get used to it or something, like I said I just don't have the patience. 

But that's cool - especially the idea of striking Jove's own tree with his own lightning. That's something we should talk about. We have people like Bran playing both the falling lightning bolt AND the resulting burning tree... and we see weirwoods trying to pull down or scratch the moon... but weirwoods also get 'struck' and set on fire in some sense by the moon meteor 'thunderbolts.'  Azor Ahai calls down the fire, but is also struck / transformed by it. There is something Martin is doing here that can be confusing, perhaps it would help to find the precedent he is thinking of, and it could be this. 

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