ravenous reader

'The Killing Word' -- A Re-examination of the Prologue

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If anything, the archetypal conflict presented in the OP would cast Bran as the caller. Running with the idea of corn = horn, the line about crows circling the tower waiting for corn indicates that they are waiting for one of our metaphorical horn blowers to call them down. Knowing that Bran used to routinely climb the tower and feed the crows sets him up as the ancient Greenseer who was having some fun playing god and then reached too far one day. And we know Bran was warned specifically about calling the dead, so maybe the text has given us a glimpse at the literal truth of the Planetos monomyth.

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Posted (edited)

On 4/1/2017 at 9:46 PM, ravenous reader said:

Until tonight. Something was different tonight. There was an edge to this darkness that made his hackles rise.

I don't know if anyone pointed this out but hackles rising is usually used in the context of a dog or animal's reaction. Greywind and Cat's hackles were raised as when meeting with the Frey's for Edmure's marriage to Roslyn and in this scene hackles raising is also in relation to treachery.

Now there is something interesting for a hackle. It can be the long feathers on the neck of rooster and you know what I think about roosters and their treachery but they a hackle can also be the feather pin on a military hat i.e. 'having a feather in your cap' having both the meaning of a trophy of a kill (the mocked sable cloak of Waymar) and a vanity symbol for a clever achievement (again the mocked sable cloak of Waymar). 

Edited by Pain killer Jane

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Posted (edited)

On 4/1/2017 at 9:46 PM, ravenous reader said:

I think our guide in the woods, our treacherous 'far-eyes' is taking Waymar for a merry fool's dance through the 'patternmaker's maze' -- making Will 'a priest of the pattern' with his knowledge of the woods, as well as a kind of seamstress, weaver or 'volva' figure, considering weaving a way through the maze is like threading a way through the woods, and a patternmaker is a seamstress who sews up various garments or patchwork quilts according to a pattern of her fancy.

Will as a good hunter/poacher would know how to 'dress'/butcher a slaughtered animal.

On 4/1/2017 at 9:46 PM, ravenous reader said:

Will had been a hunter before he joined the Night’s Watch. Well, a poacher in truth. Mallister freeriders had caught him red-handed in the Mallisters’ own woods, skinning one of the Mallisters’ own bucks, and it had been a choice of putting on the black or losing a hand. No one could move through the woods as silent as Will, and it had not taken the black brothers long to discover his talent.

Will is the greenseer or warlock equivalent.  Like a greenseer, he is 'silent', a 'watcher', almost one of the trees.  But he's not a harmless 'tree hugger', an innocent, nature-loving bystander necessarily.  He's a hunter, a poacher, a thief, caught 'red-handed skinning a buck' on the eagle's estate (so he's a Promethean highflyer, hubristic overreacher, like the Red Wanderer or Thief who dares to veer off orbit, encroaching where he's 'not 'sposed to be,' and move 'in to the Moonmaid'

 He is also like Orion, the hunter in love with Artemis, the virgin goddess of the moon. Now that is interesting since we have been speaking about a moon/tree maiden because Will made sure that the wildling far-eyes (a watcher/greenseer) up in the tree was a woman. And Will took care to sneak up on her and he found she wasn't breathing but unlike let's say another hunter/fool The NK didn't really go see if she was half-alive. 

Quote

His hand froze. "A girl."

"A watcher," said Stonesnake. "A wildling. Finish her."

Jon could see fear and fire in her eyes. Blood ran down her white throat from where the point of his dirk had pricked her. One thrust and it's done, he told himself. He was so close he could smell onion on her breath. She is no older than I am. Something about her made him think of Arya, though they looked nothing at all alike. "Will you yield?" he asked, giving the dirk a half turn. And if she doesn't?

-Jon VI, aCoK

 

Edited by Pain killer Jane

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On 4/1/2017 at 9:46 PM, ravenous reader said:

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.

This scene reminds this scene in Jon's pov in aCoK

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Stonesnake took the lead. He was a short wiry man, near fifty and grey of beard but stronger than he seemed, and he had the best night eyes of anyone Jon had ever known. He needed them tonight. By day the mountains were blue-grey, brushed with frost, but once the sun vanished behind the jagged peaks they turned black. Now the rising moon had limned them in white and silver.

The black brothers moved through black shadows amidst black rocks, working their way up a steep, twisting trail as their breath frosted in the black air. Jon felt almost naked without his mail, but he did not miss its weight. This was hard going, and slow. To hurry here was to risk a broken ankle or worse. Stonesnake seemed to know where to put his feet as if by instinct, but Jon needed to be more careful on the broken, uneven ground.

...............................

Soon they were high enough so that looking down was best not considered. There was nothing below but yawning blackness, nothing above but moon and stars. "The mountain is your mother," Stonesnake had told him during an easier climb a few days past. "Cling to her, press your face up against her teats, and she won't drop you." Jon had made a joke of it, saying how he'd always wondered who his mother was, but never thought to find her in the Frostfangs. 

......................................

Stonesnake had passed the rope around the smooth spike of rock he was waiting on, but as soon as Jon reached him he shook it loose and was off again. This time there was no convenient cleft when he reached the end of their tether, so he took out his felt-headed hammer and drove a spike deep into a crack in the stone with a series of gentle taps. Soft as the sounds were, they echoed off the stone so loudly that Jon winced with every blow, certain that the wildlings must hear them too. When the spike was secure, Stonesnake secured the rope to it, and Jon started after him. Suck on the mountain's teat, he reminded himself. Don't look down. Keep your weight above your feet. Don't look down. Look at the rock in front of you. There's a good handhold, yes. Don't look down. I can catch a breath on that ledge there, all I need to do is reach it. Never look down.

-Jon VI, aCoK

 

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On 4/1/2017 at 9:46 PM, ravenous reader said:

“The trees press close here,” Will warned. “That sword will tangle you up, m’lord. Better a knife.”

More foreshadowing of Waymar's fate.  He pays no heed to Will's advice; in response -- >>> he will find his sword ineffective against the Other's weapons.  The right weapon to carry is a knife and Will is the one with the dagger...

Moreover -- >>> the trees will 'come alive' to entrap Waymar -- that's what the Others are, after all; they're basically vengeful spirits conjured from trees using spells made of Words.

This is also pointing out the crown of thorns and blue roses and its mirror the sword crown of winter. 

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On 4/1/2017 at 9:46 PM, ravenous reader said:

Ser Waymar Royce glanced at the sky with disinterest. “It does that every day about this time. Are you unmanned by the dark, Gared?”

In poetic justice, Ser Waymar's sword becomes broken and burnt which is an allusion to castration. 

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On 4/1/2017 at 9:46 PM, ravenous reader said:

Gared dismounted. “We need a fire. I’ll see to it.”

“How big a fool are you, old man? If there are enemies in this wood, a fire is the last thing we want.”

“There’s some enemies a fire will keep away,” Gared said. “Bears and direwolves and . . . and other things . . .”

Ser Waymar’s mouth became a hard line. “No fire.”

 

In response for unleashing this latest mocking onslaught centred around his rejection of fire -- >>> Waymar will be struck by lightning and cold-freezed into what the 'heretics' would term a 'popsicle'!

Compare this to Qhorin Halfhand

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"Fire is life up here," said Qhorin Halfhand, "but it can be death as well." 

And of course Qhorin is killed by Jon but it was an intentional sacrifice which is an inverse to Ser Waymar and Gared. 

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I thought of another scene of a 'silent' observer of killing from the trees. 

Wex most likely observes the mercy killing of Luwin from Osha when he hides in the heart tree following Ramsey's takeover of WF. 

Osha and Luwin exchanged a certain mockery as well.

Quote

"Maester Luwin says there are no more giants. He says they're all dead, like the children of the forest. All that's left of them are old bones in the earth that men turn up with plows from time to time."

"Let Maester Luwin ride beyond the Wall," Osha said. "He'll find giants then, or they'll find him. My brother killed one. 

 

Quote

"The children could," Bran said. "The children of the forest." That reminded him of the promise he had made to Osha in the godswood, so he told Luwin what she had said.

The maester listened politely. "The Wildling woman could give Old Nan lessons in telling tales, I think," he said when Bran was done. "I will talk with her again if you like, but it would be best if you did not trouble your brother with this folly.

 

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So all this talk of silence is intriguing and I think it ties into the Horn thing. When Sam gets the Horn from the Fist, he blows it and it makes no sound. Later, Euron's ear-splitting Horn is blown by a guy who's had his tongue cut out. The silent sisters are clearly associated with death, as is Ilyn Payne, who is an obvious Other symbol.

And since Wex is mentioned, doesn't he throw a knife into a wooden beam? Bilbo does the same thing when giving Sting to Frodo, and it's a symbol of Odin's sword being stuck and removed from the ash tree. 

When I've got some time I'm going to look into some of these instances of silence. The idea of death being silent feels simplistic, so I think there's something more to it.

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So all this talk of silence is intriguing and I think it ties into the Horn thing. When Sam gets the Horn from the Fist, he blows it and it makes no sound. Later, Euron's ear-splitting Horn is blown by a guy who's had his tongue cut out. The silent sisters are clearly associated with death, as is Ilyn Payne, who is an obvious Other symbol.

And since Wex is mentioned, doesn't he throw a knife into a wooden beam? Bilbo does the same thing when giving Sting to Frodo, and it's a symbol of Odin's sword being stuck and removed from the ash tree. 

When I've got some time I'm going to look into some of these instances of silence. The idea of death being silent feels simplistic, so I think there's something more to it.

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2 hours ago, cgrav said:

So all this talk of silence is intriguing and I think it ties into the Horn thing. When Sam gets the Horn from the Fist, he blows it and it makes no sound. Later, Euron's ear-splitting Horn is blown by a guy who's had his tongue cut out. The silent sisters are clearly associated with death, as is Ilyn Payne, who is an obvious Other symbol.

And since Wex is mentioned, doesn't he throw a knife into a wooden beam? Bilbo does the same thing when giving Sting to Frodo, and it's a symbol of Odin's sword being stuck and removed from the ash tree. 

When I've got some time I'm going to look into some of these instances of silence. The idea of death being silent feels simplistic, so I think there's something more to it.

You know that never occurred to me - but yes, it's right there. The dragonbinder plays into the symbol of the "sound that broke the world," as well as this idea of a door with a loud hinge. The mute has a bloody hawk on his chest - is this to make us think of bloodraven, i.e. to think of the horn blower as a greenseer or dragon seer or something? It does fit into the idea of someone who loses physical speech but gains am ore magical song or sound-making ability. :) Nice!

 

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2 hours ago, LmL said:

It does fit into the idea of someone who loses physical speech but gains am ore magical song or sound-making ability. :) Nice!

 

It seems like Sam's horn is the exception - may because he can still talk normally? Would a silenced person/thing produce sound through it?

This also raises the question of whether Nissa Nissa was mute or silent in some symbolic way. Running with the hypothesis of her being AA's sister, she could be the original Silent Sister. 

And we've overlooked the most conspicuously silent character of all: Ghost! And now there's a precedent for the one time that Ghost did make a noise, which was to get Jon's attention.  


Arya also has a theme of silence, established quite heavy handedly in GoT Arya III and IV, where she repeats "Quiet as a shadow" to herself many times. The same phrase appears several other times in Clash, Storm, and Feast, as well. And once she arrives at the HoBW, the phrase changes to "silent as a shadow". This is a bit ominous and would seem to associate her with the Others and Mel's shadow monsters, and Ghost. I would have to reread her chapters, but maybe we can actually see this exchange of normal speech for "killing words" as she assumes the role of the Many Faced God.


Investigating the various entities that "speak" in nature sounds could also be productive. The Others make the sound of breaking ice, the Children and weirwoods sound like rustling leaves, Naga speaks the language of pounding waves... I'm certain there are more examples. And maybe we can say that Ghost speaks the sound of snowfall.
 

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Posted (edited)

On 4/1/2017 at 9:46 PM, ravenous reader said:

While we're on the subject of 'mocking' as in 'Mocking bird', consider that an awful lot of mocking goes on in the Prologue, with condescending, supercilious, all florid adjectives apply, Ser Waymar as the main perpetrator.  @Pain killer Jane and I were recently having a fruitful discussion on the subject of moths and mocking (yes, there is a connection!) which made me realize that those who mock inevitably find themselves mocked in turn, in line with the theme of the 'hunters becoming the hunted' classic GRRM switcheroo.  Littlefinger is one of the greatest mockers:

A Game of Thrones - Eddard XV

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

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

 

Oh Littlefinger with his mothman lies. 

But I found something interesting that is connected to mocking, Littlefinger, and killing lies. 

Quote

The septa examined the fabric. "Arya, Arya, Arya," she said. "This will not do. This will not do at all."

Everyone was looking at her. It was too much. Sansa was too well bred to smile at her sister's disgrace, but Jeyne was smirking on her behalf. Even Princess Myrcella looked sorry for her. Arya felt tears filling her eyes. She pushed herself out of her chair and bolted for the door.

..................................

It wasn't fair. Sansa had everything. Sansa was two years older; maybe by the time Arya had been born, there had been nothing left. Often it felt that way. Sansa could sew and dance and sing. She wrote poetry. She knew how to dress. She played the high harp and the bells. Worse, she was beautiful. Sansa had gotten their mother's fine high cheekbones and the thick auburn hair of the Tullys. Arya took after their lord father. Her hair was a lusterless brown, and her face was long and solemn. Jeyne used to call her Arya Horseface, and neigh whenever she came near. It hurt that the one thing Arya could do better than her sister was ride a horse. Well, that and manage a household. Sansa had never had much of a head for figures. If she did marry Prince Joff, Arya hoped for his sake that he had a good steward.

-Arya I, aGoT

Jeyne Poole here is the one mocking Arya to her face which is interesting considering that Arya was the daughter of the Lord. I like to think that given that Sansa has said in her own words that she wished to have a different type of sister, that perhaps she might have told Jeyne she was her sister rather than Arya. And this is probably the reasoning behind the outright bullying.

 I am not saying that Jeyne's fate is a direct outcome of her interactions with Arya but this is what happens to poor Jeyne

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Queen Cersei looked at each of the councillors in turn. "I won't have Sansa fretting needlessly. What shall we do with this little friend of hers, my lords?"

Lord Petyr leaned forward. "I'll find a place for her."

"Not in the city," said the queen.

"Do you take me for a fool?"

-Sansa IV, aGoT

and then this happens to Jeyne

Quote

"You are the real Arya, my lady. Arya of House Stark, Lord Eddard's daughter, heir to Winterfell." Her name, she had to know her name. "Arya Underfoot. Your sister used to call you Arya Horseface."

"It was me made up that name. Her face was long and horsey. Mine isn't. I was pretty." Tears spilled from her eyes at last. "I was never beautiful like Sansa, but they all said I was pretty. Does Lord Ramsay think I am pretty?"

-The Prince of Winterfell, aDwD

Though Arya never spoke to any of them, they could not fail to see her bruises. It is her own fault. She has not pleased him. "Just be Arya," he told the girl once, as he helped her into the water. "Lord Ramsay does not want to hurt you. He only hurts us when we … when we forget. He never cut me without cause."

"Theon …" she whispered, weeping.

"Reek." He grabbed her arm and shook her. "In here I'm Reek. You have to remember, Arya." But the girl was no true Stark, only a steward's whelp. Jeyne, her name is Jeyne. She should not look to me for rescue. Theon Greyjoy might have tried to help her, once. But Theon had been ironborn, and a braver man than Reek. Reek, Reek, it rhymes with weak.

-The Turncloak, aDwD

And we know that Jon sent Mance to get his 'sister' back and since we have no evidence to the contrary, Mance has been found out and is on his way to his death. And regardless if the pink letter is authentic or not, the lie that it is his sister, causes Jon to make the decision to not go ranging North but instead ride South to save his sister. And we all know how that ended for him. 

Edited by Pain killer Jane

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@ravenous reader,

 

I think I have another one.  In the chapters before and during Tyrion's first trial by combat there is quite a bit of mocking and counter-mocking word fights ending with a ritual fight.  There is a fool (trickster Tyrion) making two wooden nights fight, a lot of Other symbolism, including Catelyn with her sapphire and moonstones and pale skin, and a possible word used as a rune of power.  I did some rune research to try to contribute to @LmL thread, but I think it fit here as well.  Words being power seems to be the theme of the week.  I saw that you referenced me and the a bit about the Havamal in your poetry thread, so I assume that you also think there may be something to the specific runes mentioned there.  Take a look at how Tyrion gets out of his cell.  

 

 
Quote

 

"I will put my promise in writing," Tyrion vowed.
Some illiterates held writing in disdain; others seemed to have a superstitious reverence for the written word, as if it were some sort of magic. Fortunately, Mord was one of the latter. The turnkey lowered the strap. "Writing down gold. Much gold."
"Oh, much gold," Tyrion assured him. "The purse is just a taste, my friend. My brother wears armor of solid gold plate." In truth, Jaime's armor was gilded steel, but this oaf would never know the difference.

 

 
 
It sounds an awful lot like written word has a magic power to it for illiterates (people who lack the knowledge of runes).  In this case 'Gold" seems to be the word that frees Tyrion when written, and escaping is #4 of the lists of powers Odin gains in the Havamal.  This fight is very similar to Tyrion's 2nd trial by combat now that I know what to look for.  LmL, breaks it down in one of his essays with, and look at how when the septon holds up the crystal sphere, the light shatters.  Andals may be stupid non-skinchangers, but their culture is important.  When Bronn kills the knight he brings his sword down on him on the ground like the Others in the prologue, and the injuries he delivers are similiar to the ones Jorah inflicts at the tent fight and the ones Westros itself suffers.  There is also two thoughts about @Voice's ToJ C-sections with a thought about the Brandon/Littlefinger fight and one of Vance's swings...
 
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Almost, almost, Bronn lost his feet … he staggered back, tripped over a rock, and caught hold of the weeping woman to keep his balance. Throwing aside his shield, Ser Vardis lurched after him, using both hands to raise his sword. His right arm was blood from elbow to fingers now, yet his last desperate blow would have opened Bronn from neck to navel … if the sellsword had stood to receive it.

   
 
One last thing I may be imagining,
 
Quote

 

Perhaps his captors only meant to let him rot here, but he feared he did not have the strength to rot for long. He was growing weaker every day, and it was only a matter of time until Mord's kicks and blows did him serious harm, provided the gaoler did not starve him to death first. A few more nights of cold and hunger, and the blue would start calling to him too.                 

 

 
(k)nights of cold and hunger sound like Others.  What does it mean to be called by the blue?  
 
 

 

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On 4/2/2017 at 0:46 AM, ravenous reader said:

The title of this thread -- 'The Killing Word' -- takes its name from Frank Herbert's Dune, in which we are introduced to a form of unconventional warfare called the 'weirding way' whereby a word can assume the power of 'magical thinking,' exacting its embodied intention materially in devastating fashion.  Basically, a weaponized thought; a materialized fantasy.  GRRM has his own version of this language, which I will be tentatively exploring here via a re-examination of the Prologue, stimulated by recent threads by @Crowfood's Daughter and @GloubieBoulga, who have both insinuated that some archetypal struggle may be at work, and that accordingly the Prologue ought to be read as an allegory; in addition to @Seams whose 'words'-'swords' wordplay has been pivotal.  To be honest, the conclusions I've drawn are a bit unbelievable -- even for me -- but as I've said before, I'll go wherever the language takes me!  And this is where I've arrived.

Paul:  

'Some thoughts have a certain sound, that being the equivalent to a form.  Through sound and motion, you will be able to paralyze nerves, shatter bones, set fires, suffocate an enemy or burst his organs. We will kill until no Harkonnen breathes Arakeen air.'

 'My own name is a killing word.  Will it be a healing word as well?'

 

This is interesting but as a fan of the Dune series this whole "killing word" is an invention of the David Lynch Dune movie and not actually something that appears in the books. The Wierding Way is something else entirely in the books.

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Posted (edited)

55 minutes ago, Lord Wraith said:

This is interesting but as a fan of the Dune series this whole "killing word" is an invention of the David Lynch Dune movie and not actually something that appears in the books. The Wierding Way is something else entirely in the books.

The 'killing word' according to wikipedia is a concept from Herbert's novel, but maybe wikipedia is wrong!

Quote

Paul's line from the novel "My own name is a killing word" 

The 'weirding way':

Quote

Prana-bindu training and the "weirding way"[edit]

The Bene Gesserit develop their physical abilities as well as their mental abilities. A trained Sister has full control over each muscle in her body through training known as prana-bindu. This allows her to bend the last joint in her little toe while remaining otherwise motionless, bend and contort her body in ways that most would consider impossible, or put a remarkable amount of force behind a physical blow. The mental part of prana-bindu, or prana-nervature (prana stands for breath, bindu stands for musculature) is the precise control of the totality of nerves in the human body. In Dune, Reverend Mother Mohiam tests Paul with a nerve induction device ("the box") that causes the sensation of intense pain. Paul learns that he is not the only one to have tried it, but is perhaps specially resistant; this conversation points to a widespread use of it as a tool among the Bene Gesserit to measure self control, nerve control, and as Mohiam puts it, crisis and observation.

Unarmed attacks are part of a specialized Bene Gesserit martial art which incorporates the prana-bindu methods of optimized muscle control. These enable one to deliver powerful blows and to move with extreme precision and speed. The basic principle behind it is that, as Farad'n of House Corrino says, "My mind affects my reality." A practitioner of the art has to know that the action he or she "wants" to perform has already been performed. For example, to imagine oneself behind an opponent at the current moment in time; when trained well, this knowledge will place you at the spot desired.

The Fremen refer to this fighting ability as the "weirding way"; in Dune, the Fremen use the word "weirding" instead of "Bene Gesserit", calling Jessica a "weirding woman" and noting "he has the weirding voice" when Paul wields this power.

The principle I've been describing of a weaponized thought is the same. It's basically the core tenet of cognitive behavioral therapy amplified by fantasy.

Edited by ravenous reader

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2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

The 'killing word' according to wikipedia is a concept from Herbert's novel, but maybe wikipedia is wrong!

The 'weirding way' 

The principle I've been describing of a weaponized thought is the same. It's basically the core tenet of cognitive behavioral therapy amplified by fantasy.

It been several years since I read the book but its right up there with LOTR and ASOIAF as my top 3 series. Wikipedia is wrong, using the box to weaponize his name is just in the movie.

As the wiki stays the "Weirding Way" is basically one part limited precognition and one part super speed. I do like the quote.

Quote

A Weirding Module is a sonic weapon introduced in and specific to Dune, the 1984 David Lynch film adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel of the same name. In the film, the device is a sonic beam weapon that translates specific sounds into attacks of varying potency, used by House Atreides and later by the Fremen armies. In the novel, Paul Atreides and his mother Lady Jessica teach the Fremen the Bene Gesserit martial arts called the "weirding way" by the Fremen.

Director David Lynch is said to have adapted the weirding way into the Weirding Module because he did not like the idea of "Kung-fu on sand dunes".[36] The change literalizes Paul's line "My own name is a killing word". In the novel, the Fremen shout his Fremen name, "Muad'Dib", as a battle cry; in the film, the Fremen are surprised to find that saying "Muad'Dib" is a powerful trigger for the Weirding Module.

The Weirding Module appears in the computer games Dune (1992) and Emperor: Battle for Dune (2001), and the concept is adapted into "sonic tanks" for the games Dune II (1992) and Dune 2000 (1998). There is no reference to this technology in the original novels.

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Bene Gesserit are trained in what they call "the Voice" – a means "to control others merely by selected tone shadings of the voice."[16] By modulating the subtleties of her voice, a Bene Gesserit can issue commands on a subconscious level, compelling obedience in others that they cannot resist, whether they are consciously aware of the attempt or not. This control can be as subtle as influencing thoughts and motivations, or as strong as forcing physical actions and even temporary paralysis in the subject. To effect this, the Bene Gesserit must "register" the intended target by analyzing his or her personality and vocal patterns through observation or seemingly innocuous direct questions.[17][18] Training in the Voice is independent of the Reverend Mother ritual, so individuals outside the order may even be instructed in its use. Prior to Dune, Jessica has begun teaching it to Paul; after the Reverend Mother Mohiam tests him in the novel, she urges Jessica to "ignore the regular order of training. His own safety requires the Voice. He already has a good start in it, but we both know how much more he needs ... and that desperately."[2] Jessica herself later notes of Paul's novice attempt: "The tone, the timbre excellent – imperative, very sharp. A slightly lower pitch would have been better, but it could still fall within this man's spectrum."[2] The Voice may also be subtly employed in any manner of conversation, public speaking, or debate to help soothe, convince, persuade, influence, or otherwise enhance the effect of the words being spoken.

The Voice is useless against targets who cannot hear the speaker; both Baron Harkonnen in Dune and House Corrino in Children of Dune employ deaf people to guard Jessica, knowing that she cannot control them via the Voice.[2] Being a manipulation of the target's subconscious mind, the Voice is of limited utility against an extremely disciplined mind, such as a Reverend Mother or a strong Mentat; if the target understands what the Voice is and how it works, and is aware that it is being used, he may resist it. One trained in the use of the Voice may easily detect its use by others, even subtly. In Dune Messiah, Paul trains some guards to resist the Voice so that he may imprison Bene Gesserit. By the time of Children of Dune, Gurney Halleck has also been trained by Jessica to resist the Voice completely.

In Heretics of Dune Reverend Mother Odrade explains to Sheeana that planetary populations exposed to long term Voice control learn ways to adapt to it, and can no longer be manipulated. This is why the Honored Matres have been driven back into the Old Empire; over-controlling, they have built up both resistance and rebellion, and are now on the run from their former subjects.

The prequel Dune: The Battle of Corrin establishes that the first Bene Gesserit to use the Voice is Raquella Berto-Anirul, the founder of the order.

 

I agree your principal as you define is sound. The use of "the Voice" in the books is more a limited mind control, basically you can force people to tell the truth  and a few other tricks.

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10 hours ago, Lord Wraith said:

It been several years since I read the book but its right up there with LOTR and ASOIAF as my top 3 series. Wikipedia is wrong, using the box to weaponize his name is just in the movie.

As the wiki stays the "Weirding Way" is basically one part limited precognition and one part super speed. I do like the quote.

I agree your principal as you define is sound. The use of "the Voice" in the books is more a limited mind control, basically you can force people to tell the truth  and a few other tricks.

Thanks for that @Lord Wraith -- I have adjusted the wording of the OP slightly, to emphasize the movie adaptation's more graphic literalization of the 'killing word' for the purposes of the metaphor.  

10 hours ago, Lord Wraith said:

Bene Gesserit are trained in what they call "the Voice" – a means "to control others merely by selected tone shadings of the voice."[16] By modulating the subtleties of her voice, a Bene Gesserit can issue commands on a subconscious level, compelling obedience in others that they cannot resist, whether they are consciously aware of the attempt or not. This control can be as subtle as influencing thoughts and motivations, or as strong as forcing physical actions and even temporary paralysis in the subject.

It occurs to me that Melisandre might be using something akin to 'the Voice' here:

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A Dance with Dragons - Jon VI

 

She gazed at Ghost. "May I touch your ... wolf?"

The thought made Jon uneasy. "Best not."

"He will not harm me. You call him Ghost, yes?"

"Yes, but ..."

"Ghost. " Melisandre made the word a song.

The direwolf padded toward her.  Wary, he stalked about her in a circle, sniffing. When she held out her hand he smelled that too, then shoved his nose against her fingers.

Jon let out a white breath. "He is not always so ..."

"... warm? Warmth calls to warmth, Jon Snow." Her eyes were two red stars, shining in the dark. At her throat, her ruby gleamed, a third eye glowing brighter than the others. Jon had seen Ghost's eyes blazing red the same way, when they caught the light just right. "Ghost, " he called.

"To me."

The direwolf looked at him as if he were a stranger.

Jon frowned in disbelief. "That's ... queer."

"You think so?" She knelt and scratched Ghost behind his ear.

Here, Melisandre uses a word as a weapon -- just like a sword -- in order to disarm Ghost, a very powerful trick by which Ghost becomes unusually decoupled or estranged from Jon.  It's as if the sword represented by her magical word-made-song manages to sever the bond between Jon and Ghost, something I've always found frankly bizarre and vaguely disturbing to read.

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A Dance with Dragons - Melisandre I

Melisandre touched the ruby at her neck and spoke a word.

The sound echoed queerly from the corners of the room and twisted like a worm inside their ears. The wildling heard one word, the crow another. Neither was the word that left her lips. The ruby on the wildling's wrist darkened, and the wisps of light and shadow around him writhed and faded.

The bones remained—the rattling ribs, the claws and teeth along his arms and shoulders, the great yellowed collarbone across his shoulders. The broken giant's skull remained a broken giant's skull, yellowed and cracked, grinning its stained and savage grin.

 

14 hours ago, Unchained said:

I think I have another one.  In the chapters before and during Tyrion's first trial by combat there is quite a bit of mocking and counter-mocking word fights ending with a ritual fight.  There is a fool (trickster Tyrion) making two wooden nights fight, a lot of Other symbolism, including Catelyn with her sapphire and moonstones and pale skin, and a possible word used as a rune of power.  

Which word in particular were you thinking of?

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I did some rune research to try to contribute to @LmL thread, but I think it fit here as well.  Words being power seems to be the theme of the week.  

'Theme of the week' only...Surely you're kidding -- It's the theme of the novels and the aging wordsmith himself!  :)

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I saw that you referenced me and the a bit about the Havamal in your poetry thread, so I assume that you also think there may be something to the specific runes mentioned there.  

Absolutely.  That's why I quoted the whole thing on the poetry thread so we can work off it!

Charm #4:

20 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

 

150. A fourth I know, | if men shall fasten
Bonds on my bended legs;
So great is the charm | that forth I may go,
The fetters spring from my feet,
Broken the bonds from my hands.



151. For the forth I know,
if men place
bonds on my limbs,
I so sing
that I can walk;
the fetter starts from my feet,
and the manacle from my hands.


 

In summary, the list of charms:

  1. helping to relieve sorrow, pain and sickness
  2. healing through leeches, exorcism?
  3. warding against the weapons of ones enemies, e.g. blunting the swords of enemies
  4. escaping imprisonment
  5. stopping an arrow in flight
  6.  deflecting and reversing an enemy's curse, so that it backfires on the one who sent it; what I've termed 'counter-mocking'
  7. putting out a fire
  8. dispelling hatred
  9. calming the wind and sea, protecting a ship against shipwreck
  10. scattering witches
  11. lending strength to and protecting warriors 
  12. raising the dead, necromancy
  13. protecting warriors using holy water
  14. conferring special knowledge of the gods
  15. conferring strength, prosperity and wisdom (special chant sung at dawn...'before Delling's doors'
  16. seducing a lady, a love charm
  17. binding the affections of a lady, so she can't leave for a rival
  18. the final one is a secret charm he's keeping to himself!  (perhaps indicative of how the ultimate power resides in silence, in possessing arcane knowledge to which others are not privy)

Another person who uses 'killing words' in order to effect a seemingly impossible, daring escape is Arya, who uses the power of the word to escape from Harrenhal, additionally liberating the captured Northern prisoners from their cells.  First, she uses words to pray to the Harrenhal heart tree for help, escape and strength -- so that would include the equivalents of the Ljothatal charms #1, #4, and #11 respectively.  In answer to her prayers, Jaqen an assassin-for-hire appears on cue like a genie from the trees (the same way the Others appeared in answer to Will's 'whispered prayer to the nameless gods of the wood,' as I've posited); he even looks like one of them with his weirwood coloring.  

Jaqen effectively becomes Arya's 'sword hand' or 'sworn sword' by swearing to kill for her in front of the Harrenhal heart tree.  He grants her three 'killing words' -- essentially the 'three names' of the men designated to die by Arya.  Pronouncing their names is tantamount to a death sentence, and only an 'unpronouncement' also using words can break the spell.  Not being satisfied with only three killing words, Arya our little Promethean gets greedy, tricking Jaqen into becoming a bottomless wishing well by naming him as the final word.  While Jaqen may caution Arya, 'the gods are not mocked', nevertheless Arya seems to have done a deft job of 'counter-mocking' both them (insofar as Jaqen is a representative of the 'many-faced god') and him!  Even Jaqen, condemned to death by Arya yet offered a cheeky reprieve, allows himself a smile in admiration of the ingenuity of the girl with her witchy broomstick who has outfoxed the assassin himself.  

In terms of the list of Odin's spells, there might also be shades of #6, the 'counter-mocking' of a would-be assassin (kind of like Summer and Catelyn repelling the attack on Bran, with the resultant death of the killer instead).  It's interesting that a death curse, as Bellows explains in his notes, was often directed at someone by engraving a tree root with runes and sending it to them.  Jaqen with his weirwood coloring emerging from the trees is like one of these graven runes (you can think of the weirwood faces gouged into the trees as the equivalent of written language, runes) which Arya sends right back at him!

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152. A sixth I know, | if harm one seeks
With a sapling's roots to send me;
The hero himself | who wreaks his hate
Shall taste the ill ere I.

[148. Second, etc., appear in the manuscript as Roman numerals. The manuscript indicates no gap after line 2.

152. The sending of a root with runes written thereon was an excellent way of causing death. So died the Icelandic hero Grettir the Strong.]

p. 65



153. For the sixth I know,
if one wounds me
with a green tree's roots;
also if a man
declares hatred to me,
harm shall consume them sooner than me.

 

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A Clash of Kings - Arya IX

Through the leafy canopy she could see the bone-white branches of the heart tree. It looks just like the one in Winterfell from here. If only it had been . . . then when she climbed down she would have been home again, and maybe find her father sitting under the weirwood where he always sat.

Shoving her sword through her belt, she slipped down branch to branch until she was back on the ground. The light of the moon painted the limbs of the weirwood silvery white as she made her way toward it, but the five-pointed red leaves turned black by night. Arya stared at the face carved into its trunk. It was a terrible face, its mouth twisted, its eyes flaring and full of hate. Is that what a god looked like? Could gods be hurt, the same as people? I should pray, she thought suddenly.

Arya went to her knees. She wasn't sure how she should begin. She clasped her hands together. Help me, you old gods, she prayed silently. Help me get those men out of the dungeon so we can kill Ser Amory, and bring me home to Winterfell. Make me a water dancer and a wolf and not afraid again, ever.

Was that enough? Maybe she should pray aloud if she wanted the old gods to hear. Maybe she should pray longer. Sometimes her father had prayed a long time, she remembered. But the old gods had never helped him. Remembering that made her angry. "You should have saved him," she scolded the tree. "He prayed to you all the time. I don't care if you help me or not. I don't think you could even if you wanted to."

"Gods are not mocked, girl."

The voice startled her. She leapt to her feet and drew her wooden sword. Jaqen H'ghar stood so still in the darkness that he seemed one of the trees. "A man comes to hear a name. One and two and then comes three. A man would have done."

Arya lowered the splintery point toward the ground. "How did you know I was here?"

"A man sees. A man hears. A man knows."

She regarded him suspiciously. Had the gods sent him? "How'd you make the dog kill Weese? Did you call Rorge and Biter up from hell? Is Jaqen H'ghar your true name?"

"Some men have many names. Weasel. Arry. Arya."

She backed away from him, until she was pressed against the heart tree. "Did Gendry tell?"

"A man knows," he said again. "My lady of Stark."

Maybe the gods had sent him in answer to her prayers. "I need you to help me get those men out of the dungeons. That Glover and those others, all of them. We have to kill the guards and open the cell somehow - "

"A girl forgets," he said quietly. "Two she has had, three were owed. If a guard must die, she needs only speak his name."

"But one guard won't be enough, we need to kill them all to open the cell." Arya bit her lip hard to stop from crying. "I want you to save the northmen like I saved you."

He looked down at her pitilessly. "Three lives were snatched from a god. Three lives must be repaid. The gods are not mocked." His voice was silk and steel.

"I never mocked." She thought for a moment. "The name . . . can I name anyone? And you'll kill him?"

Jaqen H'ghar inclined his head. "A man has said."

"Anyone?" she repeated. "A man, a woman, a little baby, or Lord Tywin, or the High Septon, or your father?"

"A man's sire is long dead, but did he live, and did you know his name, he would die at your command."

"Swear it," Arya said. "Swear it by the gods."

"By all the gods of sea and air, and even him of fire, I swear it." He placed a hand in the mouth of the weirwood. "By the seven new gods and the old gods beyond count, I swear it."

He has sworn. "Even if I named the king . . . "

"Speak the name, and death will come. On the morrow, at the turn of the moon, a year from this day, it will come. A man does not fly like a bird, but one foot moves and then another and one day a man is there, and a king dies." He knelt beside her, so they were face-to-face, "A girl whispers if she fears to speak aloud. Whisper it now. Is it Joffrey?"

Arya put her lips to his ear. "It's Jaqen H'ghar."

Even in the burning barn, with walls of flame towering all around and him in chains, he had not seemed so distraught as he did now. "A girl . . . she makes a jest."

"You swore. The gods heard you swear."

"The gods did hear," There was a knife in his hand suddenly, its blade thin as her little finger. Whether it was meant for her or him, Arya could not say. "A girl will weep. A girl will lose her only friend."

"You're not my friend. A friend would help me." She stepped away from him, balanced on the balls of her feet in case he threw his knife. "I'd never kill a friend."

Jaqen's smile came and went. "A girl might . . . name another name then, if a friend did help?"

"A girl might," she said. "If a friend did help."

The knife vanished. "Come."

"Now?" She had never thought he would act so quickly.

"A man hears the whisper of sand in a glass. A man will not sleep until a girl unsays a certain name. Now, evil child."

I'm not an evil child, she thought, I am a direwolf, and the ghost in Harrenhal. She put her broomstick back in its hiding place and followed him from the godswood.

Arya is a bit of a woods witch, isn't she, with her broomstick hidden in the godswood!

Other examples of words functioning as keys or swords to open locked doors include 'Valar morghulis' to open the HOBAW front door; the Night's Watch 'words', particularly the catchphrase 'I am the sword..,' to open the 'Black Gate'; and of course your excellent example of Tyrion cajoling his gaoler:

 

14 hours ago, Unchained said:

Take a look at how Tyrion gets out of his cell.  

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"I will put my promise in writing," Tyrion vowed.
Some illiterates held writing in disdain; others seemed to have a superstitious reverence for the written word, as if it were some sort of magic. Fortunately, Mord was one of the latter. The turnkey lowered the strap. "Writing down gold. Much gold."
"Oh, much gold," Tyrion assured him. "The purse is just a taste, my friend. My brother wears armor of solid gold plate." In truth, Jaime's armor was gilded steel, but this oaf would never know the difference.

 

It sounds an awful lot like written word has a magic power to it for illiterates (people who lack the knowledge of runes).  In this case 'Gold" seems to be the word that frees Tyrion when written, and escaping is #4 of the lists of powers Odin gains in the Havamal.

Good catch!

14 hours ago, Unchained said:

 In this case 'Gold" seems to be the word that frees Tyrion when written, and escaping is #4 of the lists of powers Odin gains in the Havamal.  This fight is very similar to Tyrion's 2nd trial by combat now that I know what to look for.  LmL, breaks it down in one of his essays with, and look at how when the septon holds up the crystal sphere, the light shatters.

I'm not familiar with that (shhhhh...don't tell him...don't wake the dragon... ;)).  Care to elaborate on the 'shatters' relation to Tyrion?

14 hours ago, Unchained said:

Andals may be stupid non-skinchangers, but their culture is important.  When Bronn kills the knight he brings his sword down on him on the ground like the Others in the prologue, and the injuries he delivers are similiar to the ones Jorah inflicts at the tent fight and the ones Westros itself suffers.

You mean hand, neck and eye?  I can't recall offhand.

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 There is also two thoughts about @Voice's ToJ C-sections with a thought about the Brandon/Littlefinger fight and one of Vance's swings...

LOL.  'Voice's C-sections'...I'd rather keep him away from the abdominal cavity!  B)

'Vance's swings'?  Sorry Unchained, I can't keep up with the 'gargoyle-to-gargoyle' swinging of you and PK Jane, our resident Mentats!  You'll have to elaborate a bit more please :).

14 hours ago, Unchained said:
One last thing I may be imagining,
 
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Perhaps his captors only meant to let him rot here, but he feared he did not have the strength to rot for long. He was growing weaker every day, and it was only a matter of time until Mord's kicks and blows did him serious harm, provided the gaoler did not starve him to death first. A few more nights of cold and hunger, and the blue would start calling to him too.                 

 

 
(k)nights of cold and hunger sound like Others.  What does it mean to be called by the blue?  

I'm not sure exactly.  What are your thoughts?

 @Blue-Eyed Wolf made the point on Feather Crystal's inversion re-read that sky and sea seem to be configured as mirror inversions of each other in the Vale and Iron Islands respectively.  Therefore, the Vale from a certain perspective can be thought of as an 'otherworld' just like north of the Wall, and both of them are figuratively 'under the sea'.  'Diving into the big blue' by leaping out of ones sky cell, flying to ones death, is like drowning in a sea.  @LmL's 'weirwood portal' hypothesis would accord with this idea, since the Eyrie is seen as the symbolic 'ice moon' equivalent and the final passage en route to resurrection, if one can escape its clutches.  Maybe Tyrion's surviving the trial and 'escaping' from the Eyrie against all odds can be read as another of his symbolic rebirths, just like hatching from the barrel following his sea journey as a fugitive from Westeros after he'd killed his father and Shae and cheated death twice over (in trials by words and swords).

Here, for example, the Eyrie is described as a tomb and a prison by Sansa, making escape from the Eyrie a symbolic resurrection and prisonbreak respectively:

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A Feast for Crows - Alayne II

Old snow cloaked the courtyard, and icicles hung down like crystal spears from the terraces and towers. The Eyrie was built of fine white stone, and winter's mantle made it whiter still. So beautiful, Alayne thought, so impregnable. She could not love this place, no matter how she tried. Even before the guards and serving men had made their descent, the castle had seemed as empty as a tomb, and more so when Petyr Baelish was away. No one sang up there, not since Marillion. No one ever laughed too loud. Even the gods were silent. The Eyrie boasted a sept, but no septon; a godswood, but no heart tree. No prayers are answered here, she often thought, though some days she felt so lonely she had to try. Only the wind answered her, sighing endlessly around the seven slim white towers and rattling the Moon Door every time it gusted. It will be even worse in winter, she knew. In winter this will be a cold white prison.

Being called by the blue is also related to the calling of a greenseer.  In the following quote, Sweetrobin is called by someone who ought to be dead, visiting him in his dreams, with eerie echoes of the visitation by the three-eyed crow in Bran's coma dream:

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A Feast for Crows - Alayne I

"No, it wasn't a dream." Tears filled his eyes. "Marillion was singing again. Your father says he's dead, but he isn't."

"He is." It frightened her to hear him talk like this. Bad enough that he is small and sickly, what if he is mad as well? "Sweetrobin, he is. Marillion loved your lady mother too much and could not live with what he'd done to her, so he walked into the sky." Alayne had not seen the body, no more than Robert had, but she did not doubt the fact of the singer's death. "He's gone, truly."

"But I hear him every night. Even when I close the shutters and put a pillow on my head. Your father should have cut his tongue out. I told him to, but he wouldn't."

 

On 1/14/2017 at 7:20 PM, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

Just brainstorming more parallels/inversions between Robert Arryn and Aeron Damphair and the theme of Prophet.  Not sure what it means yet, but I'm kicking it around.

1)  The uncut, long hair of an ascetic or hermit.  I think Damphair does fit that description as well as Prophet.  There's another example of an an ascetic/hermit that is also a prophet is the one that lived on the Fingers who hadn't washed in "forty years" (one could assume he probably didn't get haircuts either).  He prophecized Petyr becoming a "great man" to his father.  Robert's hair has been allowed to grow and grow since Lysa died.  The Eyrie is isolated, so Robert kinda lives like a hermit, preferring to keep to his own tiny household.   

2)  The dislike of maesters, especially their incompetency.  Robert has a clear dislike for Maester Colemon.  His treatments actually don't help Robert get any better and he's going along with this whole sweetsleep business like a weak-willed, mealy-mouth doormat.  So there might be the common theme of incompetent medicine killing the patient... maybe.  

3)  The dislike of horses/mules, but uses them out of necessity coming up and down from the Eyrie.  Might be for different reasons given.  Robert doesn't like the smell and the trip is frightening.  This might reflect a symbolic theme I'm thinking about, which I'll get to eventually.  

4)  There seems to be a mirror inversion between the Eyrie's halls and the Drowned God's halls.  There's sky and sea, both great expanses of blue, but opposites.  Falcons belong in the air and drowned men / krakens below the sea.  Neither are land creatures maybe hence the aversion to riding horses/mules.  They wear the respective colors of their elements.  Robert often wears sky blue and Aeron wears sea colors.   

5)  Both are supposed to be weak, but in different ways.  Aeron says he was weak in character, drinking, partying, while Balon was out doing glorious Ironborn things.  Then he nearly died by drowning and was reborn, dedicated to the Drowned God.  Robert is weak in body, but I don't think like Robin Greyjoy.  He actually seems to be growing more perceptive about his situation (if you read the Alayne TWOW sample).  Funny how urinating is a feature of their stories.  Aeron used to perform pissing stunts to prove his manhood in an immature kind of way.  Robert sometimes pisses himself, but it's a result of his "shaking sickness" and it's proof of his physical weakness.  

 

6)  I'm a subscriber to the theory of an avalanche in the Eyrie killing many people.  Sweetrobin may be one of them.  There's definitely recurring patterns of near-death experience to become a prophet all over the place.  Being buried under snow is akin to drowning by water, like Aeron and Patchface.  Should Robert survive a near-death experience like that, would he then meet the criteria of a prophet? I have my suspicions about that kid! :ph34r:                                       

 

On 1/20/2017 at 7:48 PM, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

I still don't have SR figured out.  He's got tons of symbolism surrounding him and he's likely not literally a prophet or a greenseer, but then the question is what is George trying to teach us about prophets and/or greenseers through SR?  That might be a whole other thread though.  The only tie I could make is snow/ice is just another form of water and buried might be another form of drowning.  Either way, you're cut off from air.  Symbolicly, I wonder if there's a mirror image between water and air, maybe fish and birds too.  The Ironborn have a dichotomy between the Drowned God and the Storm God, one of water and one of air.  The only watery thing about SR might be that his eyes and nose are always runny.  I may be spewing nonsense though.  :wacko:      

*Edit*  Wait a sec... just noticed that SR's skin is described as "splotchy"

He may fit into that spotted / motley motif @Feather Crystal

 

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A Game of Thrones - Tyrion V

It was cold in the cell, the wind screamed night and day, and worst of all, the floor sloped. Ever so slightly, yet it was enough. He was afraid to close his eyes, afraid that he might roll over in his sleep and wake in sudden terror as he went sliding off the edge. Small wonder the sky cells drove men mad.

Gods save me, some previous tenant had written on the wall in something that looked suspiciously like blood, the blue is calling. At first Tyrion wondered who he'd been, and what had become of him; later, he decided that he would rather not know.

If only he had shut his mouth …

 

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A Dance with Dragons - Prologue

Dogs were the easiest beasts to bond with; they lived so close to men that they were almost human. Slipping into a dog's skin was like putting on an old boot, its leather softened by wear. As a boot was shaped to accept a foot, a dog was shaped to accept a collar, even a collar no human eye could see. Wolves were harder. A man might befriend a wolf, even break a wolf, but no man could truly tame a wolf. "Wolves and women wed for life," Haggon often said. "You take one, that's a marriage. The wolf is part of you from that day on, and you're part of him. Both of you will change."

Other beasts were best left alone, the hunter had declared. Cats were vain and cruel, always ready to turn on you. Elk and deer were prey; wear their skins too long, and even the bravest man became a coward. Bears, boars, badgers, weasels … Haggon did not hold with such. "Some skins you never want to wear, boy. You won't like what you'd become." Birds were the worst, to hear him tell it. "Men were not meant to leave the earth. Spend too much time in the clouds and you never want to come back down again. I know skinchangers who've tried hawks, owls, ravens. Even in their own skins, they sit moony, staring up at the bloody blue."

 

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A Storm of Swords - Bran I

Even when he went outside they could hear him through the walls, bellowing "HODOR!" as he cut and slashed at his tree. Thankfully the wolfswood was huge, and there was not like to be anyone else around to hear.

"Jojen, what did you mean about a teacher?" Bran asked. "You're my teacher. I know I never marked the tree, but I will the next time. My third eye is open like you wanted . . ."

"So wide open that I fear you may fall through it, and live all the rest of your days as a wolf of the woods."

Falling through the third eye is like falling into a bottomless blue pool, or flying through the moon door.

@Pain killer Jane  PK can you help us with the 'bloody blue calling' please?  :)

Edited by ravenous reader

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Posted (edited)

On 4/7/2017 at 9:15 PM, Unchained said:

@ravenous reader,

 

I think I have another one.  In the chapters before and during Tyrion's first trial by combat there is quite a bit of mocking and counter-mocking word fights ending with a ritual fight.  There is a fool (trickster Tyrion) making two wooden nights fight, a lot of Other symbolism, including Catelyn with her sapphire and moonstones and pale skin, and a possible word used as a rune of power.  I did some rune research to try to contribute to @LmL thread, but I think it fit here as well.  Words being power seems to be the theme of the week.  I saw that you referenced me and the a bit about the Havamal in your poetry thread, so I assume that you also think there may be something to the specific runes mentioned there.  Take a look at how Tyrion gets out of his cell.  

 

 
 
 
It sounds an awful lot like written word has a magic power to it for illiterates (people who lack the knowledge of runes).  In this case 'Gold" seems to be the word that frees Tyrion when written, and escaping is #4 of the lists of powers Odin gains in the Havamal.  This fight is very similar to Tyrion's 2nd trial by combat now that I know what to look for.  LmL, breaks it down in one of his essays with, and look at how when the septon holds up the crystal sphere, the light shatters.  Andals may be stupid non-skinchangers, but their culture is important.  When Bronn kills the knight he brings his sword down on him on the ground like the Others in the prologue, and the injuries he delivers are similiar to the ones Jorah inflicts at the tent fight and the ones Westros itself suffers.  There is also two thoughts about @Voice's ToJ C-sections with a thought about the Brandon/Littlefinger fight and one of Vance's swings...
 
   
 
One last thing I may be imagining,
 
 
(k)nights of cold and hunger sound like Others.  What does it mean to be called by the blue?  
 
 

 

It's a reference to Bran's dream about the dreamers who are impaled on the ice spires. Several people, myself included, think that serves as some sort of metaphor for greenseers transforming into the others. The Eyrie is an ice moon symbol imo, so jumping out of it is akin to an ice moon meteor falling to Earth, and that's exactly what the Others symbolize. So when it says the blue is calling, that's talking about being turned into an Other, i would say- especially in light of your great find with the word play hear about (k)nights of cold.

If you think about the Eyrie as one giant symbol of the ice moon and all things related to the others, then most of it makes a lot of sense, I find. 

ETA: yep, at @ravenous reader is barking up the same tree (heh heh)

By the way, I'm laughing because I have discovered a new one which I have already shared with ravenous. In the very first depiction of a weirwood tree at Winterfell, it describes the weirwood bark being bone-white. Of course many times ghost the direwolf is compared to a weirwood, and ghost, like the weirwood, is silent. Ghost is the weirwood bark, which is a silent bark. :)

Edited by LmL

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Posted (edited)

On 4/8/2017 at 11:32 AM, ravenous reader said:

Falling through the third eye is like falling into a bottomless blue pool, or flying through the moon door.

@Pain killer Jane  PK can you help us with the 'bloody blue calling' please?  :)

I found that when you fall through an eye, the eye is rheumy....

Quote

Pycelle peered at Ned through pale, rheumy eyes. "Now where were we? Oh, yes. You asked about Lord Arryn …"

"I did." Ned sipped politely at the iced milk. It was pleasantly cold, but oversweet to his taste.

And the roomy eye and its sweet milk are accompanied with lies. 

Edited by Pain killer Jane

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