hiemal

Cheating at Death: Re-examining Jaqen's Bargain

69 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, hiemal said:

Makes a lot sense. Not very shiny, but it fits. I'd be disappointed, but not surprised, if this another example of the original plot being overwhelmed by ever-multiplying narrative.

I love GRRM, but he has publically stated he does not use outlines or similar writing tools. He writes as he goes and then has to go rewrite things that conflict with his new text. This works fine until you conflict a past already published book 

3 hours ago, hiemal said:

I can't say you're wrong, but that kind of gratitude seems uncharacteristic of "a man" who seems divorced from ego.

We see lots of characters that are supposed to be divorced from ego. The watch, the kingsguard, and ego affects all of them. Every single person in the novels is flawed 

3 hours ago, hiemal said:

The death she saved them from was the result of happenstance instead of on the orders of anyone in particular. This feels, to me, like a shift in the perspective on those deaths, accidents bartered for hits. Perhaps that's the point, however. Sometimes I read too much into things.

 I totally agree on how that looks to the reader. Again, I think it is because the author did not have all aspects of the FM worked out when clash was published 

15 hours ago, hiemal said:

Seven willing we eventually get to read them...

Seven Willing!

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33 minutes ago, hiemal said:

"Arya lifted her gaze from the dead man and his dead dog. Jaqen H'ghar was leaning up against the side of the Wailing Tower. When he saw her looking, he lifted a hand to his face and laid two fingers casually against his cheek." ACoK

The implied link between R'hlorr and the Old Gods is interesting as well. Bloody hands, burning leaves?

I'm guessing that two fingers against his cheek is meant to indicate two deaths as a reminder to Arya that she has three wishes.  In the tale of the Monkey's Paw, the second wish brings a loved one back from the dead and that brings to mind Lady Stoneheart.  Arya question Beric about bringing the dead back to life and at some point, for reasons unknown, he performs the kiss of fire on Catelyn, instead of Thoros.  Whether R'hllor (otherwise known as him of fire) is behind it is the big question; since the Ghost of High Heart y tells Thoros that his magic will not work on her hill.  And yet Beric is revived after Sandor kills in trial by combat.   How does that happen?

In parallel to Jaqen placing his hand in the mouth of the wierwood; Othor attempts to do the same thing with Jon:

Quote

 

A Game of Thrones - Jon VII

The corpse lurched forward. There was no blood. One-armed, face cut near in half, it seemed to feel nothing. Jon held the longsword before him. "Stay away!" he commanded, his voice gone shrill. "Corn," screamed the raven, "corn, corn." The severed arm was wriggling out of its torn sleeve, a pale snake with a black five-fingered head. Ghost pounced and got it between his teeth. Finger bones crunched. Jon hacked at the corpse's neck, felt the steel bite deep and hard.

Dead Othor slammed into him, knocking him off his feet.

Jon's breath went out of him as the fallen table caught him between his shoulder blades. The sword, where was the sword? He'd lost the damned sword! When he opened his mouth to scream, the wight jammed its black corpse fingers into Jon's mouth. Gagging, he tried to shove it off, but the dead man was too heavy. Its hand forced itself farther down his throat, icy cold, choking him. Its face was against his own, filling the world. Frost covered its eyes, sparkling blue. Jon raked cold flesh with his nails and kicked at the thing's legs. He tried to bite, tried to punch, tried to breathe …

 

Jon appears to be a stand-in for a weirwood.  Jon defeats Othor with fire, burning his own hand or placing his hand in the fire becoming I suspect, an instrument of R'hllor. 

It's strange that Jaqen makes his oath to all the gods who are the many-faced god and adds him of fire as something separate.  The Faceless Men know something of him it would seem.  Jaqen was going to be consumed by fire until Arya freed him and this put him into Arya's debt.  The red god is owed three lives and Jaqen has to repay him of fire:

Quote

 

A Clash of Kings - Arya VII

"Three?"

"The Red God has his due, sweet girl, and only death may pay for life. This girl took three that were his. This girl must give three in their places. Speak the names, and a man will do the rest."

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

I'm guessing that two fingers against his cheek is meant to indicate two deaths as a reminder to Arya that she has three wishes.  In the tale of the Monkey's Paw, the second wish brings a loved one back from the dead and that brings to mind Lady Stoneheart.

 

And if might mythically muddy the waters even more, I think there is also a kind of Persephone/Hades/Demeter triangle going on here. Hades/Jaqen introducing Arya/Persephone to the underworld with three fingers, three deaths, instead of three seeds. Demeter has swapped fish for grain, but she emerges from the river like grain rising from the soil?

1 hour ago, LynnS said:

I'm guessing that two fingers against his cheek is meant to indicate two deaths as a reminder to Arya that she has three wishes.  In the tale of the Monkey's Paw, the second wish brings a loved one back from the dead and that brings to mind Lady Stoneheart.  Arya question Beric about bringing the dead back to life and at some point, for reasons unknown, he performs the kiss of fire on Catelyn, instead of Thoros.  Whether R'hllor (otherwise known as him of fire) is behind it is the big question; since the Ghost of High Heart y tells Thoros that his magic will not work on her hill.  And yet Beric is revived after Sandor kills in trial by combat.   How does that happen?

In parallel to Jaqen placing his hand in the mouth of the wierwood; Othor attempts to do the same thing with Jon:

Jon appears to be a stand-in for a weirwood.  Jon defeats Othor with fire, burning his own hand or placing his hand in the fire becoming I suspect, an instrument of R'hllor. 

It's strange that Jaqen makes his oath to all the gods who are the many-faced god and adds him of fire as something separate.  The Faceless Men know something of him it would seem.  Jaqen was going to be consumed by fire until Arya freed him and this put him into Arya's debt.  The red god is owed three lives and Jaqen has to repay him of fire:

 

Left-field spitball:

We have at least three deities being invoked here; the Many-Faced God of death, The God of Flame and Shadow, and the Old Gods of Nature's Cycle. When speaking of owing this debt to R'hlorr Jaqen, as you point out, puts his hand in weirwood face's mouth. He is symbolically taking "food" from that mouth to feed it the ever-hungry flames, robbing Peter to pay R'hlorr. Rather than three "natural" or accidental deaths we have sacrifices to the Red God.

Edited by hiemal

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1 hour ago, hiemal said:

And if might mythically muddy the waters even more, I think there is also a kind of Persephone/Hades/Demeter triangle going on here. Hades/Jaqen introducing Arya/Persephone to the underworld with three fingers, three deaths, instead of three seeds. Demeter has swapped fish for grain, but she emerges from the river like grain rising from the soil?

Left-field spitball:

We have at least three deities being invoked here; the Many-Faced God of death, The God of Flame and Shadow, and the Old Gods of Nature's Cycle. When speaking of owing this debt to R'hlorr Jaqen, as you point out, puts his hand in weirwood face's mouth. He is symbolically taking "food" from that mouth to feed it the ever-hungry flames, robbing Peter to pay R'hlorr. Rather than three "natural" or accidental deaths we have sacrifices to the Red God.

We do have the monstrous anomaly of a weirwood fed burnt offerings:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Jon II

Whitetree, the village was named on Sam's old maps. Jon did not think it much of a village. Four tumbledown one-room houses of unmortared stone surrounded an empty sheepfold and a well. The houses were roofed with sod, the windows shuttered with ragged pieces of hide. And above them loomed the pale limbs and dark red leaves of a monstrous great weirwood.

It was the biggest tree Jon Snow had ever seen, the trunk near eight feet wide, the branches spreading so far that the entire village was shaded beneath their canopy. The size did not disturb him so much as the face . . . the mouth especially, no simple carved slash, but a jagged hollow large enough to swallow a sheep.

Those are not sheep bones, though. Nor is that a sheep's skull in the ashes.

Quote

"An old tree." Mormont sat his horse, frowning. "Old," his raven agreed from his shoulder. "Old, old, old."

"And powerful." Jon could feel the power.

Thoren Smallwood dismounted beside the trunk, dark in his plate and mail. "Look at that face. Small wonder men feared them, when they first came to Westeros. I'd like to take an axe to the bloody thing myself."

Jon said, "My lord father believed no man could tell a lie in front of a heart tree. The old gods know when men are lying."

"My father believed the same," said the Old Bear. "Let me have a look at that skull."

Jon dismounted. Slung across his back in a black leather shoulder sheath was Longclaw, the hand-and-a-half bastard blade the Old Bear had given him for saving his life. A bastard sword for a bastard, the men joked. The hilt had been fashioned new for him, adorned with a wolf's-head pommel in pale stone, but the blade itself was Valyrian steel, old and light and deadly sharp.

He knelt and reached a gloved hand down into the maw. The inside of the hollow was red with dried sap and blackened by fire. Beneath the skull he saw another, smaller, the jaw broken off. It was half-buried in ash and bits of bone.

A wierwood that receives fiery offerings such that the inside of the mouth is blackened by fire and filled with ash and bone?  Is this the reverse of robbing R'hllor to pay Peter?  Or is this one wierwood 'him of fire'?

What is it that Beric says when he's revived?

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Arya VII

It was a jest, Arya knew, but Thoros did not laugh. He put a hand on Lord Beric's shoulder. "Best not to dwell on it."

"Can I dwell on what I scarce remember? I held a castle on the Marches once, and there was a woman I was pledged to marry, but I could not find that castle today, nor tell you the color of that woman's hair. Who knighted me, old friend? What were my favorite foods? It all fades. Sometimes I think I was born on the bloody grass in that grove of ash, with the taste of fire in my mouth and a hole in my chest. Are you my mother, Thoros?"

.

Edited by LynnS

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22 hours ago, LynnS said:

We do have the monstrous anomaly of a weirwood fed burnt offerings:

A wierwood that receives fiery offerings such that the inside of the mouth is blackened by fire and filled with ash and bone?  Is this the reverse of robbing R'hllor to pay Peter?  Or is this one wierwood 'him of fire'?

 

Ooooh, that is good! Is Whitetree an anomoly, or are entrails in the branches reserved for "special" sacrifices? There's a lot more going on here than I initially suspected.

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1 minute ago, hiemal said:

Ooooh, that is good! Is Whitetree an anomoly, or are entrails in the branches reserved for "special" sacrifices? There's a lot more going on here than I initially suspected.

You might also like this then:

 

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On 11/12/2017 at 9:09 AM, Horse of Kent said:

Arya did get that lesson, even though it was not intended for her, and it was the main reason she initially turned Jaqen's offer down:

"The Starks were at war with the Lannisters and she was a Stark, so she should kill as many Lannisters as she could, that was what you did in wars. But she didn't think she should trust Jaqen. I should kill them myself. Whenever her father had condemned a man to death, he did the deed himself with Ice, his greatsword. "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look him in the face and hear his last words," she'd heard him tell Robb and Jon once."

It was only when Chiswyck boasted about his raping that she felt compelled to use a wish.

She did learn it second-hand. It seems like it was common knowledge among many that Ned strongly believed in this.

I'm going off of Jon's admonition to Bran to not look away or Ned would know. Seeing the lesson in person and being singled out for that lesson by the parent is significant as personal attention, deliberation and visual learning are especially important for a child. For me, the lesson as Ned taught it made the children look at the man's fear directly and they see the man understanding and feeling that his death is almost upon him. It's followed by the gruesome finality of his head rolling off. I really can't help feeling that Arya's arc would have differed at least somewhat if Arya (who is older than Bran) would have also been allowed to witness that lesson. We'll see. I come from a family of teachers so anything education-related really stands out to me.

Edited by Lollygag

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17 hours ago, LynnS said:

You might also like this then:

 

I am fascinated. It's going to take a while to parse this out, but I do want to add another bit of brand new tinfoil:

A while back I was speculating on

and the idea came up that maybe the book was bound in human skin; " The old dry leather went up with a  whoosh, and the yellow pages stirred as they burned, as if some ghost were reading them." 

...ACoK

What if the pages are made of pulped weirwood, however?

 

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1 hour ago, hiemal said:

I am fascinated. It's going to take a while to parse this out, but I do want to add another bit of brand new tinfoil:

A while back I was speculating on

and the idea came up that maybe the book was bound in human skin; " The old dry leather went up with a  whoosh, and the yellow pages stirred as they burned, as if some ghost were reading them." 

...ACoK

What if the pages are made of pulped weirwood, however?

 

I've puzzled about this book as well.  Wasn't it Qyburn who found it and gave it to Roose and didn't Arya clean up a bloody bath at one point?  The book is burned to hide some knowledge specific to Roose and Qyburn.  

The highlighted quote describing the ghost sounds akin to the description of Bloodraven's skin like old dry leather or the kindly old man; even the undying ones going up in a whoosh of flames.  Perhaps the book is from Qaarth.

Going back to your question of cheating at death:  I wonder now if Arya gave the order for Catelyn to be resurrected:

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Arya XII

The scent was stronger now. She pricked her ears up and listened to the grumbles of her pack, the shriek of angry crows, the whirr of wings and sound of running water. Somewhere far off she could hear horses and the calls of living men, but they were not what mattered. Only the scent mattered. She sniffed the air again. There it was, and now she saw it too, something pale and white drifting down the river, turning where it brushed against a snag. The reeds bowed down before it.

She splashed noisily through the shallows and threw herself into the deeper water, her legs churning. The current was strong but she was stronger. She swam, following her nose. The river smells were rich and wet, but those were not the smells that pulled her. She paddled after the sharp red whisper of cold blood, the sweet cloying stench of death. She chased them as she had often chased a red deer through the trees, and in the end she ran them down, and her jaw closed around a pale white arm. She shook it to make it move, but there was only death and blood in her mouth. By now she was tiring, and it was all she could do to pull the body back to shore. As she dragged it up the muddy bank, one of her little brothers came prowling, his tongue lolling from his mouth. She had to snarl to drive him off, or else he would have fed. Only then did she stop to shake the water from her fur. The white thing lay facedown in the mud, her dead flesh wrinkled and pale, cold blood trickling from her throat. Rise, she thought. Rise and eat and run with us.

The sound of horses turned her head. Men. They were coming from downwind, so she had not smelled them, but now they were almost here. Men on horses, with flapping black and yellow and pink wings and long shiny claws in hand. Some of her younger brothers bared their teeth to defend the food they'd found, but she snapped at them until they scattered. That was the way of the wild. Deer and hares and crows fled before wolves, and wolves fled from men. She abandoned the cold white prize in the mud where she had dragged it, and ran, and felt no shame.

A Feast for Crows - Brienne VIII

Her face, Brienne thought. Her face was so strong and handsome, her skin so smooth and soft. "Lady Catelyn?" Tears filled her eyes. "They said . . . they said that you were dead."

"She is," said Thoros of Myr. "The Freys slashed her throat from ear to ear. When we found her by the river she was three days dead. Harwin begged me to give her the kiss of life, but it had been too long. I would not do it, so Lord Beric put his lips to hers instead, and the flame of life passed from him to her. And . . . she rose.

May the Lord of Light protect us. She rose."

Arya/Nymeria finds the body of Catelyn in the river and drags it to shore.  Arya gives the command to rise.  The wolf pack is driven off just as men on horses arrive with black, yellow and pink wings - Beric, Lem Lemoncloak and Thoros.

They find Catelyn's corpse but Thoros refuses to give the kiss of life because she has been dead too long.  Beric then passes the flame of life to her.  

Thoros is afraid and invokes the Lord of Light's protection.  Why was Beric compelled to pass the flame of life onto Catelyn unless he was compelled by the old gods, Him or Many Faces or the Daughter of Death? I'm thinking the old gods, since they sent the direwolves and violation of guest rights is their biggest offense. If so, what does it mean that the old gods can compel Thoros to raise Beric and Beric to raise Catelyn.

Stoneheart is the manifestation of Death and Arya is her daughter:

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Brienne VIII

". . . till you stand before m'lady." Renly stood behind the girl, pushing his black hair out of his eyes. Not Renly. Gendry. "M'lady means for you to answer for your crimes."

"M'lady." The wine was making her head spin. It was hard to think. "Stoneheart. Is that who you mean?" Lord Randyll had spoken of her, back at Maidenpool. "Lady Stoneheart."

"Some call her that. Some call her other things. The Silent Sister. Mother Merciless. The Hangwoman."

 

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Brienne VIII

A trestle table had been set up across the cave, in a cleft in the rock. Behind it sat a woman all in grey, cloaked and hooded. In her hands was a crown, a bronze circlet ringed by iron swords. She was studying it, her fingers stroking the blades as if to test their sharpness. Her eyes glimmered under her hood.

Grey was the color of the silent sisters, the handmaidens of the Stranger. Brienne felt a shiver climb her spine. Stoneheart.

        

Edited by LynnS

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This is a great topic...

I would like to suggest that there may be an alternate explanation for Jaqen's "Red God" bargain...

Arya saved him and two others who were in bondage from fire...

Braavos was founded by Slaves of Valyria.

Braavos is said to be the bastard child of Valyria (as opposed to the 8 other free cities being Valyria's daughters)... bastards have another parent.

Quote

Braavos was a city made for secrets, a city of fogs and masks and whispers. Its very existence had been a secret for a century, the girl had learned; its location had been hidden thrice that long. "The Nine Free Cities are the daughters of Valyria that was," the kindly man taught her, "but Braavos is the bastard child who ran away from home. We are a mongrel folk, the sons of slaves and whores and thieves. Our forebears came from half a hundred lands to this place of refuge, to escape the dragonlords who had enslaved them. Half a hundred gods came with them, but there is one god all of them shared in common."

Bastards have another parent, and I'm going to look to the house of the one god shared in common, the house of white and black.

Weirwood and Ebony, presumably made from the Heart Trees of Westeros and the Undying's black Shade of Evening Trees.

We see weirwood and ebony together on the doors in the House of the Undying leading to the false vision of the undying as magnificent, and on the doors of Tobho Mott's Armory.

Weirwoods don't grow in Essos...

And while the Braavosi seem to hold the Moonsingers in high esteem, giving them the largest temple, perhaps this is intentionally misleading...
 

Quote

 

"The Moonsingers led us to this place of refuge, where the dragons of Valyria could not find us," Denyo said. "Theirs is the greatest temple. We esteem the Father of Waters as well, but his house is built anew whenever he takes his bride. The rest of the gods dwell together on an isle in the center of the city. That is where you will find the . . . the Many-Faced God."

 

 Moonsinger could also easily be a euphemism for a Wolf...

Remeber that Braavos remained a secret for 111 years before announcing itself to Valyria and the World. Their whole creation story is about fearing reprisal from Valyria, but when the Unmasking happened Valyria didn't really seem to care about the slaves... perhaps the fear and secrecy were really to protect whoever helped establish the city...

 
Quote

 

"Didn't the slaves rise up and fight?"
"Some did," he said. "Revolts were common in the mines, but few accomplished much. The dragonlords of the old Freehold were strong in sorcery, and lesser men defied them at their peril. The first FacelessMan was one who did."

 

I believe that the Starks played a part in the founding of Braavos. This would explain the presence of Weirwood in the house of the many faced god.

This was before Brandon the Burner, so they still had a fleet. And the Old Gods consider Slavery a sin...

Perhaps the original sword Ice even had something to do with the doom of Valyria.

But we do know that even Ned had some unexplained connection to Braavos:

Quote

Ned frowned. The man Syrio Forel had come with an excellent reputation, and his flamboyant Braavosistyle was well suited to Arya's slender blade, yet still … a few days ago, she had been wandering around with a swatch of black silk tied over her eyes. Syrio was teaching her to see with her ears and her nose and her skin, she told him

Even if you don't think Syrio is Jaquen (he's giving arya the blind girl lessons here) it still presents an unexplained connection between Braavos and Ned.

Perhaps, Braavos is the bastard child of Valyria with the Old Gods of the First Men.

hows that for some tinfoil!

 

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1 hour ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

hows that for some tinfoil!

 

That tinfoil is pure gold.  LOL!  That makes him of fire the parent that Jaqen names reluctantly when he makes his oath in front of the weirwood.  Although him of many-faces seems to be different from the old gods or him of fire. 

Edited by LynnS

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Jaqen invoking the Red God is an intriguing twist.  My first thought was that Jaqen H'ghar was simply being in character but a quick look into Lorathi culture doesn't suggest that the Red God is worshiped in Lorath.  It may be that he saw some qualities in Arya that he thought might make her a good recruit into the cult of the Faceless Men.  Perhaps he wanted to study what she would do with his offer of three lives of her choosing in exchange for the three lives she saved and simply invoked the Red God because she would have heard of it and she saved Jaqen, Rorge and Biter from fire.  Most of what we know about the Faceless Men has been revealed through Arya's chapters but we really don't know much about how their more senior or high ranking agents behave when on assignment.

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

That tinfoil is pure gold.  LOL!  That makes him of fire the parent that Jaqen names reluctantly when he makes his oath in front of the weirwood.  Although him of many-faces seems to be different from the old gods or him of fire. 

The old gods do appear to be different from the many faced gods... and distinct from him of fire. The many faced god seems to include the stranger (Andal's came from Essos remember), and appears to be a "god of death"... I wonder if this doesn't have something to do with people's who have lost their Weirwoods (or old god ancestor retention equivalent)

But id also like to point out again that there are no weirwoods in Essos, and even the ebony equivelent seen at the HotU appear to be an isolated case... there are rumors in the world book about potential Children of the Forrest Essos equivalents, but not much...

Perhaps not surprisingly, Volantis, the first among the daughters of Valyria, or heir, is the home of the Temple of R'hollor.

Quote

Many of the Old Blood of Volantis still keep the oldgods of Valyria, but their faith is found primarily within the Black Walls. Without, the red god R'hllor is favored by many, especially among the slaves and freedmen of the city. The Temple of the Lord of Light in Volantis is said to be the greatest in all the world; in Remnants of the Dragonlords, Archmaester Gramyon claims that it is fully three times larger than the Great Sept of Baelor. All who serve within this mighty temple are slaves, bought as children and trained to become priests, temple prostitutes, or warriors; these wear the flames of their fiery god as tattoos upon their faces. Of the warriors, little enough is said, though they are called the Fiery Hand, and they never number more or less than one thousand membezrs

I keep trying to reconcile "All men must serve" with a city founded on antislavery principles.

 

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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13 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

The old gods do appear to be different from the many faced gods... and distinct from him of fire. The many faced god seems to include the stranger (Andal's came from Essos remember), and appears to be a "god of death"... I wonder if this doesn't have something to do with people's who have lost their Weirwoods (or old god ancestor retention equivalent)

But id also like to point out again that there are no weirwoods in Essos, and even the ebony equivelent seen at the HotU appear to be an isolated case... there are rumors in the world book about potential Children of the Forrest Essos equivalents, but not much...

Perhaps not surprisingly, Volantis, the first among the daughters of Valyria, or heir, is the home of the Temple of R'hollor.

I keep trying to reconcile "All men must serve" with a city founded on antislavery principles.

 

There is no plural useage of the many-faced god.  Specifically, he is called him of many-faces as the fiery counter part is him of fire.  It's only the old gods of the north that are referred to in a plurality.  The old gods are never referred to as the many-faced gods or god.  That is specific to the The Faceless Men.  While Melisandre insists that R'hllor is alive and is male.

But what is the relationship of the God's Eye and the House of Black and White.  We are told that every tree on the island was given a face.  The Isle of Faces presumably has a massive grove of wierwood trees and is surrounded by Soldier Pines and Sentinel Trees.  Were they also given faces?  Is the Isle of Faces equivalent to the Isle of Braavos and the HoB&W with it's collection of faces?

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1 minute ago, LynnS said:

There is no plural useage of the many-faced god.  Specifically, he is called him of many-faces as the fiery counter part is him of fire.  It's only the old gods of the north that are referred to in a plurality.  The old gods are never referred to as the many-faced gods or god.  That is specific to the The Faceless Men.  While Melisandre insists that R'hllor is alive and is male.

The old gods of Valyria are plural... and the dragons of Aegon bore their names (some anyway)... 

The Old Gods are nameless faceless gods  of the Children of the Forrest.

The seven are really seven faces of one god I guess... so singular, but with faces and names.

And him of many faces, has, well, many faces, but no name (no-one).

Ughhh as I so often feel it's like I'm on the cusp of understanding, but no...

1 minute ago, LynnS said:

But what is the relationship of the God's Eye and the House of Black and White.  We are told that every tree on the island was given a face.  The Isle of Faces presumably has a massive grove of wierwood trees and is surrounded by Soldier Pines and Sentinel Trees.  Were they also given faces?  Is the Isle of Faces equivalent to the Isle of Braavos and the HoB&W with it's collection of faces?

I can't wait till a PoV makes it to the Isle of Faces...

My question is what is under the house of white and black, in their holy sanctum. And is there significance to the Iron Bank and keyholders of Braavos deriving from an already existing underground passage or network of passages... because that seems like a whole theme...

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5 hours ago, LynnS said:

 Why was Beric compelled to pass the flame of life onto Catelyn unless he was compelled by the old gods, Him or Many Faces or the Daughter of Death?

You ask the best questions!

5 hours ago, LynnS said:

I'm thinking the old gods, since they sent the direwolves and violation of guest rights is their biggest offense. If so, what does it mean that the old gods can compel Thoros to raise Beric and Beric to raise Catelyn.

Stoneheart is the manifestation of Death and Arya is her daughter:

Sounds reasonable. It seems the pantheons may be more intertwined than their worshippers (barring the Faceless Men) would admit. "A man" who takes sacrifices from a tree's mouth. A tree that eats burnt offerings. And possibly a book of weirwood bound in human flesh and fed to the flames. And how about Melisandre feeding wooden images of the Seven to the flames?

Cat and Arya; Death as the Mother and the Maiden, Ceres and Kore. Ceres has become life in death, kore death. This ties in with the Malady of the Seasons, I suspect, and with Azor Ahai/Long Night mythos as well.

How is the Lightning commanded by the Tree to pass its Flame?

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4 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Perhaps, Braavos is the bastard child of Valyria with the Old Gods of the First Men.

Or the Old Gods of the Essosi Children of the Forest, the illfiwhatchamacallems, who could be extinct or perhaps are only hidden as Braavos was for centuries. It is strange that they use weirwood unless there is some kind of connection.

4 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

hows that for some tinfoil!

 

Shiny and much appreciated!

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On 4/25/2017 at 9:48 AM, hiemal said:

d. He was there for someone else at or around the Wall and wanted to take the scenic route.

The only way to really justify this is if his target was someone with absurd intel-gathering capability: someone in the far North who could verify that "Jaquen" came from King's Landing. In other words, his target would have to be Bloodraven.

I'm not sure I buy that, but it makes a certain amount of sense.

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16 minutes ago, hiemal said:

Or the Old Gods of the Essosi Children of the Forest, the illfiwhatchamacallems, who could be extinct or perhaps are only hidden as Braavos was for centuries. It is strange that they use weirwood unless there is some kind of connection.

Shiny and much appreciated!

Exactly, but with the Old Gods there is a reliance on both ancestors (who go into the tree) and a physical place (for your tree to go)... given that Braavos was founded by essentially a group of refugees from many places (places in Essos), it's possible that their trees were cut down or burned... which would contribute to a death focused religion. Unless of course there ends up being a weirwood under the house of white and black... but i suspect Braavos's nature as an island city and bastard daughter of Valyria coincides with some Westerosi influence accounting for the Weirwoods.

With Weirwoods being so intrinsically tied with Westeros, and rarely appearing outside of the North, makes it hard for me to believe there isn't a greater connection.

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1 hour ago, Damon_Tor said:

The only way to really justify this is if his target was someone with absurd intel-gathering capability: someone in the far North who could verify that "Jaquen" came from King's Landing. In other words, his target would have to be Bloodraven.

I'm not sure I buy that, but it makes a certain amount of sense.

An intriguing possibility that begs the question of who knows both his name and his location. Quaithe, perhaps, or Ilyrio/Varys?

I think that Jeor would be a possible target. If Jaqen got sidetracked, he could have sent word to Braavos for replacement to find his way into the Watch, either as a new recruit or wearing the face and cloak of a Brother, and encourage the mutiny at Craster's. Perhaps Mance or even the father of someone who died at the Wall (looking at you, Royce).

Or maybe someone wanted to slay the Dragon in Chains? It seems that time made that hit, but you never know. . .

 

Edited by hiemal

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