ravenous reader

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

176 posts in this topic

48 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

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

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

heh heh heh

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Slow clap to the OP.  It looks like you hit the prologue with everything but the wine sink.  As for the words to swords and laughter to slaughter observations, that is pretty brilliant.

I've got a theory that gells pretty well with some of your ideas.  One day I'll muster the energy (and time) to write a proper thread about it, but the basic idea is that the white walkers as seen by Will and as slain by Sam are frozen air golems created to resemble the White Walkers/Others of folklore.  In other words truly stories given life, or words turned into swords, through frozen wind.  

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You know what is much better than oversweet and deceptive iced milk is healing firemilk:

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"—too young, and—ooh, seven hells, that burns, no, don't stop, more. Too young, as I say, but you, Bran, you're old enough to know that dreams are only dreams."

"Some are, some aren't." Osha poured pale red firemilk into a long gash. Luwin gasped. "The children of the forest could tell you a thing or two about dreaming."

Tears were streaming down the maester's face, yet he shook his head doggedly. "The children … live only in dreams. Now. Dead and gone. Enough, that's enough. Now the bandages. Pads and then wrap, and make it tight, I'll be bleeding."

 

 

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1 hour ago, LmL said:

heh heh heh

I liked the association of the silent bark.

1 hour ago, LmL said:

You know what is much better than oversweet and deceptive iced milk is healing firemilk:

 

 Its rather interesting that the oversweet deceptive iced milk is accompanied with a conversation about the suspicion of poison and here the conversation is about dreams accompanied with healing firemilk. 

At least for the first half with the oversweet deceptive iced milk, I interpret that as a reference to whitewashing in the form from both the sweetness and the ice (snow). 

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34 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

I liked the association of the silent bark.

 Its rather interesting that the oversweet deceptive iced milk is accompanied with a conversation about the suspicion of poison and here the conversation is about dreams accompanied with healing firemilk. 

At least for the first half with the oversweet deceptive iced milk, I interpret that as a reference to whitewashing in the form from both the sweetness and the ice (snow). 

The firemilk scene is a funny little line that I have always kept in my back pocket. I like it because it alludes to a fire moon - milk has a strong association with the moon of course, so fire milk sounds like a hot version of that symbolism. It isn't a real thing though and it's never mentioned elsewhere so it's kind of hard to figure. 

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8 minutes ago, LmL said:

The firemilk scene is a funny little line that I have always kept in my back pocket. I like it because it alludes to a fire moon - milk has a strong association with the moon of course, so fire milk sounds like a hot version of that symbolism. It isn't a real thing though and it's never mentioned elsewhere so it's kind of hard to figure. 

Perhaps it is mentioned in a different form. Like the fire being peppery or spicy and the milk could be cream or cheese. 

It also associates fire and dog via the heat causing him to cry tears and shake his head like a dog i.e. A reference to the hound. 

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@LmL and @Pain killer Jane The chapter where Danaerys rides Drogon out of the stadium features deceptive sweet and spicy, as well.

Strong Belways shovels the spiced honied locusts into his mouth, and then as Drogon appears, his moon-ish belly gets sick. He retches just as Drogon lands, providing two parallel celestial impact reenactments, but from different perspectives. From Belwas' perspective, the heat is deceptive and sickening; from Dany's, it's a difficult but necessary embrace.

And I guess the boar gashing the fighter woman's thigh and then spilling her entrails is yet another LB/comet impact thing. That scene is kind of a Rosetta Stone of moon death/boning.

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9 hours ago, LmL said:

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. 

That makes a lot of sense.  I have seen you talk about that, but had not put it in my list of things to looks for.  It raises a question I have never asked, or seen anyone else ask, but that makes a lot of sense to ask.  Is one of Davos's symbolism lines that of a sea/see person who becomess an Other?  He serves what we all think is a AA turned NK character.  He does not fall or fly, but after the battle of the blackwater, he seems to drown.  Then we find him alive, but stranded on the 'Spears of the Merling King' where he has a ton of visions.  I am going to put those chapters on my soon to reread list.  

 

On a different note, he is a 'half rotten onion' like you said and connected ot the half moon symbol.  It has nothing to do with Lagrangian points, but a Davos impersonator gets his head darkened in tar, in an ice moon city, so Davos himself can live.  This ties into the faceless men with their door and face changing as well as the odd thing that is happening with the cursed helm belonging to half-burnt face owning Sandor.  Even the whole city of Braavos seems to hiding from the sun, or rather solar-fire wielding dragons, just like kissed by ice Gared is fleeing the Others.  Even after a couple days of thought that whole idea and line of symbolism still makes some sense to me as crazy as it sounds.  Don't tell @Durran Durrandon or he will rain on the tinfoil parade.  I do not have much to go against what he said other that that I am not certain that the axis of the planet is physically tilted, and by extention that GRRM has messed up much astronomy with having pole stars.  It may be, but I think the simplest explanation is that the magical, symbolic world axis tree was messed up and as a result the seasons are all messy.  The means by which that is happening is "because magic" or "because fantasy".   

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1 hour ago, cgrav said:

@LmL and @Pain killer Jane The chapter where Danaerys rides Drogon out of the stadium features deceptive sweet and spicy, as well.

Strong Belways shovels the spiced honied locusts into his mouth, and then as Drogon appears, his moon-ish belly gets sick. He retches just as Drogon lands, providing two parallel celestial impact reenactments, but from different perspectives. From Belwas' perspective, the heat is deceptive and sickening; from Dany's, it's a difficult but necessary embrace.

And I guess the boar gashing the fighter woman's thigh and then spilling her entrails is yet another LB/comet impact thing. That scene is kind of a Rosetta Stone of moon death/boning.

Thanks for the examples. I will look into those

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4 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Slow clap to the OP.  It looks like you hit the prologue with everything but the wine sink.  As for the words to swords and laughter to slaughter observations, that is pretty brilliant.

I've got a theory that gells pretty well with some of your ideas.  One day I'll muster the energy (and time) to write a proper thread about it, but the basic idea is that the white walkers as seen by Will and as slain by Sam are frozen air golems created to resemble the White Walkers/Others of folklore.  In other words truly stories given life, or words turned into swords, through frozen wind.  

Thanks FFR!  :)  I can not take all the credit, though: that is partly due to @Seams for the words/swords and to @GloubieBoulga for the slaughter/laughter wordplay, which has done much to spark the imagination.

I also took a lot of inspiration from the following singular, brilliant and poetic post which has seared itself onto my brain:

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The link between the fire and the Others is  that the shimmering and dancing fire is also the creator of "shadows".  The Others are shadows in their own right, (and are often referred to as such).  We've had other posters talk about the link between Melisandre's shadow assassins and the White Walkers.  I think both are similar creations. 

One of GRRM's favorite movies is Forbidden Planet.  He even has a life size Robbie the Robot prominently displayed in his home.  The invisible threat in Forbidden Planet is a "monster from the id".  A machine on the planet could construct anything that could be imagined.  What it ended up constructing was a menace born directly from one of the character's, Morbius,  "Id". 

Carl Jung termed the dark side of our personality as our shadow self, or simply our shadow.  Stannis' "Id" or shadow self was used in the creation of Melisandre's shadow assassin.  His dark impulse to kill his brother brought to life.  I think the White Walkers may be a similar magical creation bringing the Weirwood's darkest impulse magically to life.

ETA: I was thinking of the black pond, more of a dark reflection of the weirwood trees, their shadow selves.  It made me think of the famous biblical quote:

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"For now we see through a glass, darkly."

Most seem to interpret glass as a mirror.  The Weirwood is gazing into a dark reflection of itself, its shadow, which dances and shimmers. 

 

From:  

 

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On 4/1/2017 at 11:46 PM, ravenous reader said:

He threw the long sable cloak back over his shoulders, to free his arms for battle, and took his sword in both hands. The wind had stopped. It was very cold.

If anyone can tell me why symbolically ‘the night was windless,’ I’d be most grateful!

Hey, overall a good read with some new insights and ideas. Skol!

Not quite what you were asking, but... The greenseer's and old gods' words are wind. The Others have their own language; they can speak for themselves. While the Others fly on the cold winds of winter, they don't need the winds to walk. They are the calm after the storm. :D

The wind and storms go together and storms are Chaos (as are the cotf chaos, imo) yet the Others are Order.

And to get all sciency, the coldest nights are clear windless nights. Not to mention nocturnal inversions and lack of eddies and such. 

 

[My take on it is the Others seen in the prologue are only corporeal in times of darkness and extreme cold. During the day, the Others melt away and ride the cold winds of winter with their menacing presence.]

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On 4/3/2017 at 0:51 PM, LmL said:

I do think it's very possible that this hot blood - described to be like drops of fire in that scene - was the other clue the Others were looking for. If he was a zombie skinchanger like the Last Hero, his blood might have been black like Beric's if he was a fire undead, or black and dry if he was icy undead. It's speculative, but of course blood is very important and the undead people do have noticeably different blood

Like Coldhands?  An Other and a wight. A crow and a raven. He was quite anxious about stumbling upon the Others just as Bran and all were approaching the cave.

Makes me wonder if there are more beings like Coldhands lurking about the forests.

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@ravenous reader happy to help out. Also I like the notion of Mel using something similar to the Voice. Maybe in conjuction with all those potions and powders to make people more open to suggestion?

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3 hours ago, aDanceWithFlagons said:

Like Coldhands?  An Other and a wight. A crow and a raven. He was quite anxious about stumbling upon the Others just as Bran and all were approaching the cave.

Makes me wonder if there are more beings like Coldhands lurking about the forests.

I would guess that cold hands was only worried on behalf of the humans he was with. He didn't seem to be too concerned about holding them off by himself. Whether he's been ranging a loan for 80 years or 800 or 8000, the fact that he survived any length of time up there shows that he's not too troubled by the wights in all likelihood.

But yeah, that's the idea - if Waymar's blood had not dripped like fire, it might have given away the fact that he was Undead (if he were undead). I'm not sold on that at all, it's just a possible idea that occurs naturally given the ideas I put forward in the green zombie series.

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Back from holidays, and with some courage to re-write a part of the previous post I've lost few hours ago ! 

Very enjoying OP, with many thoughtfull points, and very interesting developments in the following posts. I have noted some : 

On 02/04/2017 at 6:46 AM, ravenous reader said:

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?"

grey moth evokes for me 2 things, because of the sound and the rythm of the expression : 

- grey moth is grey mist : perhaps because I'm not english, each time I read this phrase, I see a grey mist emerging from the mouth of Robert, and further, the image makes me imagine a (stone)beast taking wings, with the "shadow fire". That's not exactly the vision of the Undyings, but I considere it as a "reminiscence" (in advance). For a long while, I believed that the "stonebeast" was a metaphore for LF (his family came from Braavos and his father had the Titan for blaze), and the shadowfire was his lies, but I've changed my mind about this : LF is a variation but not the original theme.

LF is familiar with mists and fog. Both words are used in the same way by GRRM, fog is just a bit thicker than mist, but the sense is the same, as it appears for example in Braavos's chapters (Arya). 

Little bonus from TWOW : 

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Spoiler

The mists seemed to part before her and close up again as she passed. The cobblestones were wet and slick under her feet. She heard a cat yowl plaintively. Braavos was a good city for cats, and they roamed everywhere, especially at night. In the fog all cats are grey, Mercy thought. In the fog all men are killers.(Mercy, ADWD)

 

Turning back to LF, i think we have here the mirroring situation toward Catelyn, who can't see Petyr's lies but is dreaming she is saved from the "mists" : 

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"I have no one to talk with, Father," she told him. "I pray, but the gods do not answer." Lightly she kissed his hand. The skin was warm, blue veins branching like rivers beneath his pale translucent skin. Outside the greater rivers flowed, the Red Fork and the Tumblestone, and they would flow forever, but not so the rivers in her father's hand. Too soon that current would grow still. "Last night I dreamed of that time Lysa and I got lost while riding back from Seagard. Do you remember? That strange fog came up and we fell behind the rest of the party. Everything was grey, and I could not see a foot past the nose of my horse. We lost the road. The branches of the trees were like long skinny arms reaching out to grab us as we passed. Lysa started to cry, and when I shouted the fog seemed to swallow the sound. But Petyr knew where we were, and he rode back and found us . . ."

The text doesn't give the origin of the fog, but the grey color is Stark, but in her first encounter with Petyr, Cat remarks that he wears silver and grey (he has also green-grey eyes) and recalls that he always loved silver. Finally, some snarks or grumkins could emerge from the fog, but it is Petyr instead, a Petyr of the past : an association with Others ? The dream is ambiguous, because Petyr could be the creator as well as the creature of the fog/mist.  

Fog and mists are also envelopping Sansa and Dontos when they are in the bark fleeing from the Red Keep (little reference to the mists in greek mythology which serve to hide rapture or to create false characters, especially false goddess/women to prevent their rape) : 

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With slow, steady, rhythmic strokes, they threaded their way downstream, sliding above the sunken galleys, past broken masts, burned hulls, and torn sails. The oarlocks had been muffled, so they moved almost soundlessly. A mist was rising over the water. Sansa saw the embattled ramparts of one of the Imp's winch towers looming above, but the great chain had been lowered, and they rowed unimpeded past the spot where a thousand men had burned. The shore fell away, the fog grew thicker, the sound of the bells began to fade. Finally even the lights were gone, lost somewhere behind them. They were out in Blackwater Bay, and the world shrank to dark water, blowing mist, and their silent companion stooped over the oars. "How far must we go?" she asked. (Sansa V, ASOS)

Even Dontos is silent, and he will be also reduced to eternal silence when LF will order his death. A silent bark throw a burnt forrest finally drowned in dark and black water. Black blood ? I think there is also a little wordplay with "Imp" and "unimpeded", here. 

 

- "(grey) moth" evokes also for me the moss of the trees, which doesn't grow only on the north of the trunk, as Arya believes it ^^. She and Gendry and Hot Pie are lost once in Riverlands because of the moss.

 

- Another point about Waymar and his "sable cloak". I like the idea of an "unappropriate/misappropriate" gift/possession. It put Waymar with other characters with same thematics (each character has some specific part, with one or two missing, but if you put them together, you have a complete theme, imo) : 

1. Ser Hugh of the Vale, Jon Arryn's squire, made knight after the death of lord Arryn. His first description is through Jory Cassel's eyes : 

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SerHughhad been brusque and uninformative, and arrogant as only a new-made knight can be. If the Hand wished to talk to him, he should be pleased to receive him, but he would not be questioned by a mere captain of guards … even if said captain was ten years older and a hundred times the swordsman. (Eddard VI, AGOT)

 THat's the first common point with Waymar : the arrogance of the youth (+knighthood). The second is that he comes from the Vale. 

Further, when he dies, we have some interesting things noticed : 

 
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"I stood last vigil for him myself," Ser Barristan Selmy said as they looked down at the body in the back of the cart. "He had no one else. A mother in the Vale, I am told."
In the pale dawn light, the young knight looked as though he were sleeping. He had not been handsome, but death had smoothed his rough-hewn features and the silent sisters had dressed him in his best velvet tunic, with a high collar to cover the ruin the lance had made of his throat. Eddard Stark looked at his face, and wondered if it had been for his sake that the boy had died. Slain by a Lannister bannerman before Ned could speak to him; could that be mere happenstance? He supposed he would never know.
"Hugh was Jon Arryn's squire for four years," Selmy went on. "The king knighted him before he rode north, in Jon's memory. The lad wanted it desperately, yet I fear he was not ready."
"For knighthood?"
"For death." Gently Ned covered the boy with his cloak, a bloodstained bit of blue bordered in crescent moons. When his mother asked why her son was dead, he reflected bitterly, they would tell her he had fought to honor the King's Hand, Eddard Stark. "This was needless. War should not be a game." Ned turned to the woman beside the cart, shrouded in grey, face hidden but for her eyes. The silent sisters prepared men for the grave, and it was ill fortune to look on the face of death. "Send his armor home to the Vale. The mother will want to have it."
"It is worth a fair piece of silver," Ser Barristan said. "The boy had it forged special for the tourney. Plain work, but good. I do not know if he had finished paying the smith."
"He paid yesterday, my lord, and he paid dearly," Ned replied. And to the silent sister he said, "Send the mother the armor. I will deal with this smith."  (Eddard VII, AGOT)

 

This is not a sable cloak, but a worthy armor, a luxuous gift apparently. Far too luxuous for a young knight coming from a little family with no name like Royce or Lannister, he was "of the Vale". Very probably we had here a kind of "lineage's foundator". 
Note that the Royce have also a very ancient and worthy armor - their bronze armor : how did they acquire it ? Varys sent Eddard to Hugh, suggesting that he could be the poisoner of Lord Arryn. Where does this information come from ? There is a theory (in french forum) about Varys organizing lord Arryn's death but being defeated at this play by LF when he thought using him (that could explain this little mockery from LF : 
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Littlefinger smiled. "Leave Lord Varys to me, sweet lady. If you will permit me a small obscenity—and where better for it than here—I hold the man's balls in the palm of my hand." (Eddard IV, AGOT)

)

Following the parallelism with Waymar : 

In the funeral scene with Hugh, he appears like only a boy; he is physically reduced to silence and the his death appears as a butchery; the silent sister can be compared to the Other : she is not murderer, though, but her presence is silent, ghostly and grey. And she leads the dead to their last and first home : here, the home of the mother. Where are the Others conducting the dead ? 

 

2 Lancel and Tyrek as king Robert's squires : interesting that these two squires are introduced just after Hugh's "funerals", when they try and fail dressing Robert for the melee. And this time, it is suggested to Eddard that king Robert would die "accidently" during this melee. 

The fact is that Lancel and Tyrek Lannister served the poisoned wine during the hunt and took part to Robert's death. Lancel didn't gain an armor, but knighthood and queen's love. Tyrek gained a baby lady (and the lordship) but disappeared totally during a riot. Note that Lancel failed to die at the Blackwater and that Cersei wishes his death : 

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Lancel looks worse than Father. Though only seventeen, he might have passed for seventy; grey-faced, gaunt, with hollow cheeks, sunken eyes, and hair as white and brittle as chalk. How can Lancel be among the living when Tywin Lannister is dead? Have the gods taken leave of their wits?(Cersei II, AFFC)

"gaunt" is used to describe the Others. "White and brittle" could represent some friable ice. In fact, Lancel appears to Cersei like Waymar appears to Will after his death. 

 

3. this examples lead us to Jaime, who was a boy when he entered the Kingsguard, and is now a man grown. Jaime, the sword and word dancer, as it was noticed in this thread. Jaime has also his own personnal Other with ser Ilyn, who trains him to fight with left hand, mocks him with same sounds than the Others produce when they laugh; Ilyn is also first described as "gaunt" and "tall". He first acquires Ice, and note that the Others have literal Ice in their hands. Jaime receives as a unappropriated gift a part of the ancient Ice. Fortunately for him, he don't keep it but gives it to Brienne, to accomplish a specific quest. Jaime is also a kingslayer, but openly this time; and he is a secret lover for the queen, and worse, a secret father for the heirs of the crown. 

 
- Concerning the eventuality of an archetypal trio, I wonder if it represent an "original" triad of brothers or something else, perhaps a real trio hidden behind "three brothers", or perhaps the revelation of their"true nature" (for example, is Waymar a boy or a man grown ? Is he the true leader ?). I don't have an answer yet, and perhaps I don't ask the right question, but I thought to other trio that remember me this one : 
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He saw his father pleading with the king, his face etched with grief. He saw Sansa crying herself to sleep at night, and he saw Arya watching in silence and holding her secrets hard in her heart. There were shadows all around them. One shadow was dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armored like the sun, golden and beautiful. Over them both loomed a giant in armor made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood. (Bran III, AGOT)

The "hound" represent the hunter character/the wolf : as the real Hound flees during the Blackwater, he can be associated to the old Gared. Gared had lost his hear"biten by ice", as Sandor lost a part of his face biten by fire. More ice for Gared, and more fire for Sandor makes them fleeing. Both are captured and have a trial - Gared with Ice, Sandor with Beric's firesword. 

The "armored like the sun" represent the first leader : Waymar, proud and richly dressed. Like the golden Jaime Lannister. Both are falling in a whispering wood, and emerge changed

the "giant in armor made of stone" is the greenseer dressed in (weir)wood : Will. He appears as the real dominant element of the trio. The armor made of stone recalls Winterfell and his godswood. The  "darkness" and "thick black blood" recalls the black and cold pool at the feet of the heart tree in Winterfell. 

As this trio envelopps Eddard, Arya and Sansa, I just suspect he represents the inheritance of the Stark, their triple nature (or their "three fathers") : the name (Stark), the blood (the real and secret father) and the second blood (the wolf blood, this one stolen and misappropriated by magic, like Tywin tried to appropriate Ice but failing to completely transform the sword)

Now, where are the Others in this, and what is their part ? Are they the real king (in Bran's vision, Eddard is pleading with king Robert, who is the forth character of the scene, as the Others are the forth "entity" in the prologue)

 

I had noticed other things, but no more time for them^^

 

 

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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?  :)

The bloody blue calling is following a Blue Falcon and a Red Raven. A craven that is covered in blood because it is a betrayer. 

And this aspect of the bloody blue calling leading to death is Brienne the blue calling Jaime to follow her to his death. 

Sorry my analysis has been lacking school commands most of time. 

Edited by Pain killer Jane

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The "bloody blue"  shroud also sounds a lot like a visual of the red comet against the sky, and with partial moons all around it. 

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Interesting post. But it must be said that the Dune movie completely butchered the excellent book, and the movie's "weirding way" and "weirding modules" were absolutely terrible and ridiculous.

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Posted (edited)

On 4/11/2017 at 10:46 AM, Pain killer Jane said:

The bloody blue calling is following a Blue Falcon and a Red Raven. A craven that is covered in blood because it is a betrayer. 

And this aspect of the bloody blue calling leading to death is Brienne the blue calling Jaime to follow her to his death

I really like that interpretation.  Another example would be Stannis with his blue pools (like a deep blue sea at night) for eyes sunken in their bottomless pits, his haunted and bewitched soul being called -- the 'calling' is the temptation of ambition -- by his 'Red Hawk' Melisandre to betray his brother Renly via shadow assassin ambush.  He has his brother's blood on his hands and he knows it, although he is in denial.  The passages I've quoted on my poetry thread for example contain subtle hints at Lady Macbeth who in her guilt was never able to wash the stain of the murder she had committed together with her husband in the name of ambition off her hands.

It struck me in the quotes I provided for us above that we hadn't properly explained the combination of the blue with the blood, not only in the expression GRRM explicitly lays out for us by juxtaposing the two in 'bloody blue,' but also in the fact that the suicide note Tyrion reads on the wall of the sky cell is inscribed in the blood of the one writing it-- so the word 'blue' is written in red, and is very literally a bloody blue..!  Of course, we should also keep in mind that archetypal tableau at the ironically named 'Tower of Joy' which was a setting for much bloodshed, also oddly associated with the blue:

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A Game of Thrones - Eddard X

"And now it begins," said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.

"No," Ned said with sadness in his voice. "Now it ends." As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. "Eddard!" she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.

"Lord Eddard," Lyanna called again.

That's a very graphic representation of the 'bloody blue calling' isn't it.  Was Lyanna screaming 'blue murder'?  Was she murdered by someone instead of succumbing naturally to childbirth? 

And, anyway, what is the origin of that curious expression 'blue murder,' again combining the blue and the blood?  Most accounts seem to reference a pun on the French 'mort bleu' (literally 'blue death') with 'mort Dieu' (the death of God), as well as some suggesting the murder of someone of 'blue-blooded' nobility.

Edited by ravenous reader

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, ravenous reader said:

I really like that interpretation.  Another example would be Stannis with his blue pools (like a deep blue sea at night) for eyes sunken in their bottomless pits, his haunted and bewitched soul being called -- the 'calling' is the temptation of ambition -- by his 'Red Hawk' Melisandre to betray his brother Renly via shadow assassin ambush.  He has his brother's blood on his hands and he knows it, although he is in denial.  The passages I've quoted on my poetry thread for example contain subtle hints at Lady Macbeth who in her guilt was never able to wash the stain of the murder she had committed together with her husband in the name of ambition off her hands.

It struck me in the quotes I provided for us above that we hadn't properly explained the combination of the blue with the blood, not only in the expression GRRM explicitly lays out for us by juxtaposing the two in 'bloody blue,' but also in the fact that the suicide note Tyrion reads on the wall of the sky cell is inscribed in the blood of the one writing it-- so the word 'blue' is written in red, and is very literally a bloody blue..!  Of course, we should also keep in mind that archetypal tableau at the ironically named 'Tower of Joy' which was a setting for much bloodshed, also oddly associated with the blue:

That's a very graphic representation of the 'bloody blue calling' isn't it.  Was Lyanna screaming 'blue murder'?  Was she murdered by someone instead of succumbing naturally to childbirth? 

And, anyway, what is the origin of that curious expression 'blue murder,' again combining the blue and the blood?  Most accounts seem to reference a pun on the French 'mort bleau' (literally 'blue death') with 'mort Dieu' (the death of God), as well as some suggesting the murder of someone of 'blue-blooded' nobility.

Thank you. That is excellent with Stannis. This may be leading to the answer you asked me a while ago why is it that Bran has blue eyes but BR cited that the special children of the forest had green and red eyes.

And the visual of the bloody hands of Lady Macbeth is echoed in Arya and Company escaping Harrenhall and saying the rain would wash away the blood. And we have a ton of bloody hands running around

Now that is an interesting suggestion that Lyanna may have been murdered rather than dying from childbirth. I wonder if Ned would have given her a merciful death, knowing that she was lingering and in agony? 

I always thought the expression was 'screaming bloody murder'. I have never heard of blue murder. I will look into it.

Side note: you will love to know that a Blue Falcon is a Knight without Armor. I realized that Littlefinger tells Ned, that he wear his honor like armor and it drags him down and drowns him. And the House words of House Arryn are As High as Honor but that doesn't make sense because if honor is heavy armor than they would fall. In order to fly, the Blue Falcon would have to shed the Honor Armor. 

Spoiler

Its the reason why Ser Vardis Egen was pushed out of the moon door in the tv show (rather than how he died in the book series) and Lysa tells Bronn, you do not fight with honor and Bron quips No, but he did. Basically he was honorable and he died falling to his death.

 

Edited by Pain killer Jane

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