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Cheating at Death: Re-examining Jaqen's Bargain

69 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Megorova said:

What is readers' general opinion about why Jaqen was in Westeros, what was his mission prior he met Arya?

 

I have read a theory that Faceless Men were searching info how to kill dragons, and that's why after parting with Arya, Jaqen went to Citadel.

Though to me this theory seems unlikely. Because at that time dragons were still little. So if FM wanted to get rid of them, they could have done it with average arrows.

Also I have a theory that FM and Iron Bank are parts of the same organisation. At about that time, when Arya met Jaqen, Iron Bank had a problem with Tywin Lannister. So they have sent Jaqen to spy after Lannisters. Probably to gather information whether Lannisters will be able to eventually pay their debt or not. Whether they can't at this moment pay what they own to IB, or are they don't want to pay, and thus are trying to trick IB.

Patchface is also a Faceless Man. He's also the one who convinced Iron Bank to give money to Night's Watch.

Maybe FM also received a prophecy about approaching doom, and they know about the Prince that was promised. So they have sent Jaqen to Westeros, to search info about who this Prince may be. Also maybe they originally thought that Rhaegar Targaryen was somehow connected to the prophecy. He died because, for some reason, he kidnapped Lyanna Stark, and last person who saw Lyanna, when she was still alive, was her brother Ned. Thus when Ned was imprisoned by Lannisters, Jaqen went into RK's dungeons and questioned Ned about Lyanna and Rhaegar.

Thus they found information that Rhaegar had a child with Lyanna. And that there may be some clues or evidences about their secret marriage, and Jon's legitimate status. So to find those evidences Jaqen went to Citadel.

FM know that Jon Snow may be son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and they also think that he may be the Prince that was promised. So when Jon was killed by Brothers, Patchface will resurect him.  Or rather Ghost, Patchface and Melisandre. Ghost's body will be a temporary vessel for Jon's soul, until he will be resurected. And his resurection will be different from Berric's and Cat's, because he will be revived by magic of two gods - Lord of Light and Many-Faced God.

Cool tinfoil! New stuff is always appreciated here, and this is a new one to me!

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

It could be about Citadel's white ravens, and approaching winter, not about someone who is an outsider/black sheep. Because Patchface was saying about crows not a crow. Or maybe white crows are wights, NW's Brothers that all will be killed by Others and become wights. Dead Brothers of NW - white crows. So it could be a prophecy that they all will die.

When Patchface first sees Jon Snow; he announces him by saying "the crow, the crow" an then he adds "under the sea, the crows are white as snow."  The crow is Jon.  He then compares the crows under the sea to Jon and says they are as white as snow.  There are multiple meanings. Who is Patchface referring to when he names the crows white as snow.  Is it the Night's Watch or something else?  Who are the black sheep? The ones who don't belong?    

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

When Patchface first sees Jon Snow; he announces him by saying "the crow, the crow" an then he adds "under the sea, the crows are white as snow."  The crow is Jon.  He then compares the crows under the sea to Jon and says they are as white as snow.  There are multiple meanings. Who is Patchface referring to when he names the crows white as snow.  Is it the Night's Watch or something else?  Who are the black sheep? The ones who don't belong?    

Yes, black sheeps are those who are different, or don't belong with others. Same as white crows. Though in world of Planetos, white crows don't have that kind of meaning - outcasts - they just symbolise winter.

Though what kind of connection is between Jon and crows under the sea? What is the meaning of this phrase? There really could be many meanings. Though I think that it's something about death. For example crows under the sea, are drowned birds. So is it a reference to something out of ironborns culture? - something like what they say "What is dead may never die" <- Patchface has forseen that Jon will be killed, and then resurected, so he will become immortal, or something like that.

Or white crows under water could be dead Brothers of NW turned into wights.

Or if what he said is only about Jon, then I don't understand why he is saying crows, multiple instead of one. And also what's the meaning of crows white as Jon Snow? Doesn't make sense. Or maybe it means that the wildlings will become watchers on The Wall. Previously they were outcasts, those that don't belong, but soon will become Brothers of NW. Thus - white crows.

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21 hours ago, LynnS said:

@ravenous reader  Yes, the dragons have scales and leathery wings but how do we account for the story that Sansa was a wolf who flew out of a tower with leathery wings. 
 

Bran Vras makes the connection to the Whents (bats) and the Tully's (fish scales for feathers) through the maternal line.  Ned and Catelyn's offspring are wolves with batwings.  Dragons are lizards with scales and leathery wings.

Just going back to Patchface, something else:

"The crow, the crow, under the sea, the crows are white as snow."

A white crow is a Russian idiom equivalent to calling someone a black sheep. 

A few things here I'm gonna add...

Patchface and his little jingles are for sure interesting, but I'm not totally sold on how to read them.

As pointed out above, the scales are probably talking about fish...

The "white crow" Russian idiom is super interesting and I didn't know it!

Repeated in every book is some variation on "the crow calls the raven black"... a rephrasing of "the pot calls the kettle black", an English idiom with a different meaning more about hypocrisy.

There are no white crows in the series... there are white ravens.

Crows are not ravens...

The White Ravens herald winter. 

 
"The shadows come to dance, my lord, dance my lord, dance my lord," the fool sang on, swinging his head and making his bells clang and clatter. Bong dong, ring-a-ling, bong dong.
"Lord," the white raven shrieked. "Lord, lord, lord." 
"A fool sings what he will," the maester told his anxious princess. "You must not take his words to heart. On the morrow he may remember another song, and this one will never be heard again." He can sing prettily in four tongues, Lord Steffon had written . . .
 
And the White Ravens don't get along with the black ravens...
 
"Archmaester Walgrave has his chambers in the west tower, below the white rookery," Alleras told him. "The whiteravens and the black ones quarrel like Dornishmen and Marchers, so they keep them apart."
 
Nor are they Albinos... and do not have the red eyes so beloved of the Old Gods.

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On ‎11‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 8:07 AM, ravenous reader said:

In the case of the Black Gate, the key which unlocks the weirwood door is the utterance of Sam's Night's Watch oath 'I am the sword...' -- the words themselves representing a virtual sword, which in @YOVMO's parlance 'pierces the hymen' in the darkness...a brilliant way of thinking about how GRRM often introduces a sexual element, which strays on the dark side of eros, into his symbolism.  Sam provides the key (=words), while Bran (the hand?) is fed to the gaping maw, making the gate a mouth and cervix simultaneously.  Bran is going 'under the sea' into the realm of the 'undead' -- in fact, Sam is made to promise magical-number-thrice to ensure that Bran 'stays dead'.  Thus, if the Black Gate can be compared to the female anatomy -- which is fitting, seeing as we're dealing with (re)births -- then we can say that Bran being taken up into the gate is figuratively penetrating the womb, or 'going back into the womb'; i.e. going into the womb in reverse, making Bran on a symbolic level either a penis or an 'unfetus', one of the 'neverborn', as it were. 

OK, this might get strange but let's do it.

 

So Georges Bataille in his book Eroticism: Death and Sensuality says "There is no better way to know death than to link it with some licentious image." (he attributes it to De Sade, though I have never found the De Sade quote) and also "Inevitably linked with the moment of climax, there is a minor rupture suggestive of death; and conversely the idea of death may play a part in setting sensuality in motion."

 

This linking of death and sensuality and eroticism goes back as far as one can possibly look.  

 

Take for example the Proem of Parmenides which evokes the black gate that Sam and the gang travel through, but also in increadibly sensual and also has direct relevance to Bran's education (will come back to this) This was written some 500 years before Christ and this linking of going into the underworld, that journey being sexual and a divine education happening is there yet.

Quote

The car that bears me carried me as far as ever my heart desired,
when it had brought me and set me on the renowned way
of the goddess, which leads the man who knows through all the towns.[1]
On that way was I borne along; for on it did the wise steeds carry me,
drawing my car, and maidens showed the way.
And the axle, glowing in the socket—
for it was urged round by the whirling
wheels at each end—gave forth a sound as of a pipe,
when the daughters of the Sun, hasting to convey me into the light,
threw back their veils from off their faces and left the abode of Night.

There are the gates of the ways of Night and Day,[2]
fitted above with a lintel and below with a threshold of stone.
They themselves, high in the air, are closed by mighty doors,
and Avenging Justice keeps the keys that fit them.
Her did the maidens entreat with gentle words
and cunningly persuade to unfasten without demur the bolted bars
from the gates. Then, when the doors were thrown back,
they disclosed a wide opening,
when their brazen posts fitted with rivets and nails
swung back one after the other. Straight through them,
on the broad way, did the maidens guide the horses and the car,
and the goddess greeted me kindly, and took
my right hand in hers, and spake to me these words:

Welcome, O youth, that comest to my abode on the car
that bears thee tended by immortal charioteers!
It is no ill chance, but right and justice that has sent thee forth to travel
on this way. Far, indeed, does it lie from the beaten track of men!
Meet it is that thou shouldst learn all things,
as well the unshaken heart of well-rounded truth,
as the opinions of mortals in which there is no truth at all.
Yet none the less shalt thou learn these things also,—how passing right
through all things one should judge the things that seem to be

 

 Look at what the traveler in the proem learns

"Far, indeed, does it lie from the beaten track of men!
Meet it is that thou shouldst learn all things,
as well the unshaken heart of well-rounded truth,
as the opinions of mortals in which is no true belief at all."

I love this. Like Bran he is learning the "unshaken heart of well-rounded truth" but also the "opinions of mortals in which there is no truth at all"

So back to the unbirthing, hymeneal piercing at the black gate.

You suggest Sam as word and bran as hand, but I think George actually gives us a more clear vision if we look.

the name Bran means raven in Welsh. There is no way that this is lost on grrm. Let's follow this a little bit to find out which parts Sam and Bran are playing to the Black Gate's Hymen.

Claude Levi-Strauss points to Raven's being symbolically important because they have the connotation of messenger as well as being associated with both life and death. He feels that the Raven is a kind of mediator between those two and in some ways Bran too stands at a point between life and death.

Ravens are linked to fertility (think of Kutkh the raven spirit) in their association with life. The raven as messenger closely relates to the genetic "message" of the man being delivered to the fertile womb of the feminine.

 

So rather than the hand, I would tend to see Bran as the semen.

What does this make Sam? Well, as you note, he does say the words which allows the gate to open so he could push Bran in.....so if Bran is the Semen in this case that makes Sam, yes you guessed it, the "fat pink mast"

 

So to put it all together:

We have a long standing history between death and the erotic which even extends itself into divine learning from god (learning both objective truth and the opinions of men) which occurs through a sexualized going into the underworld or realm of gods (could have done this with dozens of other examples...The Inferno comes to mind, but yeah, gonna leave it at the one). While the student does the divine learning in the underworld they are a combination of life and death....alive, but in the underworld somewhere between...as is the Raven. Bran means raven. Bran goes through the black gate, the hymen which separates the world of the living and the dead by being ejaculated into the womb by Sam who is the fat pink mast. 

I suspect that after his gestation period is through and he is reborn into the world that the analogy will continue to carry.

Just to bring this around to magical swords because my recent conversation with @Curled Finger always makes me think about them: Sam is (and is invoking the fact) that he is the sword in the darkness. So as phallus piercing hymen to ejaculate Bran into the underworld Sam is quite literally the sword in the darkness.

Edited by YOVMO

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On ‎11‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 1:04 PM, Megorova said:

Though to me this theory seems unlikely. Because at that time dragons were still little. So if FM wanted to get rid of them, they could have done it with average arrows.

I believe that he was looking for ways to kill dragons. That they were little doesn't matter in my thinking because I believe the FM are looking to take down the wall and believe that they can only do this with dragon fire. The thinking goes that they would abduct and somehow bind themselves to a dragon (dragon horn?) and then, after taking out the wall, need to know how to kill it.

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3 hours ago, YOVMO said:

I believe that he was looking for ways to kill dragons. That they were little doesn't matter in my thinking because I believe the FM are looking to take down the wall and believe that they can only do this with dragon fire. The thinking goes that they would abduct and somehow bind themselves to a dragon (dragon horn?) and then, after taking out the wall, need to know how to kill it.

If FM will have control over dragons, then there's no need for them to kill them.

If they will control dragons, then they can order dragons to commit suicide (death by starvation, death by drowning in the sea, death by diving down from high fly and hitting ground, death by flying towards Sun), or kill each other, or they can just lock them somewhere, or send them away.

Also if FM were looking for a way to gain control over dragons, it's unlikely that they will be looking for this information in 7K. Because dragons were tamed in Essos, at Valyria.

Also FM would be against breaking The Wall. Because if it will go down, then the Others will kill many people, and turn them into wights. If what god will get the soul/life, depends on how that person died (Arya stealing three lives from the Lord of light, by preventing those guys from burning alive), then Many-Faced God won't get anyone, who will be killed by Others. Those souls/lives will be taken by whatever deity is giving power to Others. What Others do to humans, is against nature, against normal course of life and death. So FM will try to prevent Others from crossing The Wall, or will look for whoever can defeat them.

Edited by Megorova

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7 minutes ago, Megorova said:

If FM will have control over dragons, then there's no need for them to kill them.

If they will control dragons, then they can order dragons to commit suicide, or kill each other.

I hadn't thought about the idea that they could tell the dragons to off themselves. Possible i guess, but I am not even sure dragons bound to a dragon riders will would go ahead and just kill themselves. Who knows though, interesting. The reason, which you may guess, that I think that they would want the dragons dead is because the FM get their start in the 14 flames as slaves to the dragon lords. They are very anti dragon. 

7 minutes ago, Megorova said:

Also FM would be against breaking The Wall. Because if it will go down, then the Others will kill many people, and turn them into wights. If what god will get the soul/life, depends on how that person died (Arya stealing three lives from the Lord of light, by preventing those guys from burning alive), then Many-Faced God won't get anyone, who will be killed by Others.

I am not so sure that the FM would really oppose this. There is a difference between what they say and what they believe. I never bought the idea that JH was doing those killings for Arya because she stile three lives from the lord of light. That is insanity. What would the purpose be? The whole thing seems crazy. Not only would JH, as a faceless man, be more apt to side with the great other (and the goat god of qohor and the stranger and all the other death deities) over the lord of light, but it would be impossible to go around just assassinating everyone who stole a soul from the lord of light. Is he going to kill every Maester who helps a sick person? Will he kill Howland Reed for sparing Ned from getting killed by Arthur Dayne? I mean its just goofy. Further, the lord of light is a god...what is human time to the lord of light. You can't steal a soul from him. Maybe postpone delivery but all men die. Speaking of which, I believe that this is what the FM are up to...Valar Morghulis is more than just a pithy saying and philosophy, but the imperative by which the FM operate. They want to tank the wall and bring on the long night. They are going to try to kill everyone. All men must die.

7 minutes ago, Megorova said:

 

Those souls/lives will be taken by whatever deity is giving power to Others. What Others do to humans, is against nature, against normal course of life and death. So FM will try to prevent Others from crossing The Wall, or will look for whoever can defeat them.

The others would do exactly what Varys has been saying he wants to do all along...bring peace to the realm. Once people all die out and the wheel of feudalism is broken it will be an end to the suffering on mass scale.

 

I could (and probably am) very wrong here, it is just my current thinking on the topic. thanks for bearing with me.

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1 hour ago, YOVMO said:

I never bought the idea that JH was doing those killings for Arya because she stile three lives from the lord of light. That is insanity. What would the purpose be?

Maybe like this:

Arya saved three people from burning alive.

If they died that way, the Lord of Light would have gotten their souls.

By saving them, Arya stole three deaths from LoL (Lord of Light - LoL :lmao:).

Arya saved those people because Jaqen asked her to help them.

Basically Arya stole those 3 deaths from LoL, because of servant of Many-Faced God. Thus Many-Faced God prevented LoL from getting 3 souls, that were supposed to become LoL's. So now MFG is indebted to LoL. Because his servant changed natural course of events. And boses have to take responsibility for deeds of their subordinates.

But when Jaqen will kill three people, that will be chosen by Arya, the person who did the stealing, then MFG will give souls of 3 people killed by his servant, to LoL, as a payment for those 3 that were stolen. Also one of "Unburned Trio", was MFG's servant, so that servant had to work, to pay the debt.

And Jaqen couldn't just kill 3 random people, to sacrifice them to LoL. Those people/sacrifices were supposed to be specifically pointed out by Arya. She saved/stolen from LoL 3 people because of Jaqen - she killed/gave back to LoL 3 people thru Jaqen. Natural balance restored.

MFG gave 3 souls to LoL, they shaked hands, and went their separate ways.

Edited by Megorova

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