hiemal

Sisters White, Blue, and Gray:Spitballing Silent Sisters in the Faith

28 posts in this topic

46 minutes ago, direpupy said:

Just a thought that occured to me while reading this tread, who took care of the dead before the silent sisters?

The citadel is founded in the time before the andals and the faith, what if the faith just incorporated an already existing order into there ranks? This could also explain why they are al female when the stranger whom they are linked to is neither male nor female.

This is offcourse pure speculation on my part but its just something that popped into my mind reading this tread.

Probably devolved to local women, possibly woods witches.  But wholesale adoption of an extant system makes sense.  Co-opting other faith's symbols, holidays and occasionally turning their deities into either Monsters or saints is a very old human trait.

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Posted (edited)

On 20/5/2017 at 7:02 PM, hiemal said:

3. The SS are the brides of death, Isis and Nephthys with a dash of Persephone thrown in for seasonal flavor. Look for Arya to meet up with them at some point, but probably not to have her tongue removed. Those who don't speak seem to know the deepest secrets.

I'll back this one ;)

The "silence" of the sisters imo is like the silence of a dead person. It also means it's someone who cannot interfere with the living anymore.

Now if a widow of a lord turns to the Faith, she can't become a Septa later in life, but she can become a silent sister. Even if the widow isn't buried along with her husband, it's basically where she's relegated towards - the silence of the dead, unseen, and indeed taking on the role of treating the dead bodies like Isis and Nephtys and accompanying them in the trip to the hereafter.

It also has that controlling aspect of women within a religion somewhat grafted after RC: the septas, the teachers of (especially) girls are virgins who never wed or birthed a child, while those who were wed and birthed children are to be silent as the grave. The little girls aren't to be instructed by experienced women. Well a girl's mother could still teach her, but the mother's supposed to have been only with her husband, and she's unlikely to share her grievances. The naive and inexperienced are to instruct the naive and inexperienced maidens about their wifely duties. Twisted.

Edited by sweetsunray

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Sudden spitball:

The Hooded Man of Banefort was a Silent Sister or somehow connected with them.

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3 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

I'll back this one ;)

The "silence" of the sisters imo is like the silence of a dead person. It also means it's someone who cannot interfere with the living anymore.

Now if a widow of a lord turns to the Faith, she can't become a Septa later in life, but she can become a silent sister. Even if the widow isn't buried along with her husband, it's basically where she's relegated towards - the silence of the dead, unseen, and indeed taking on the role of treating the dead bodies like Isis and Nephtys and accompanying them in the trip to the hereafter.

It also has that controlling aspect of women within a religion somewhat grafted after RC: the septas, the teachers of (especially) girls are virgins who never wed or birthed a child, while those who were wed and birthed children are to be silent as the grave. The little girls aren't to be instructed by experienced women. Well a girl's mother could still teach her, but the mother's supposed to have been only with her husband, and she's unlikely to share her grievances. The naive and inexperienced are to instruct the naive and inexperienced maidens about their wifely duties. Twisted.

They do seem to celebrate feminine innocence and chastity more than I would expect from a culture with zero virgin birth myths that I can find and  substituting the "fallen" death-by-child trope for its messiahs.

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1 minute ago, hiemal said:

They do seem to celebrate feminine innocence and chastity more than I would expect from a culture with zero virgin birth myths that I can find and  substituting the "fallen" death-by-child trope for its messiahs.

They do, and in aGoT we see why - Septa Mordane's rather ridiculous tutoring and how it affects Sansa (who's already prone to princess dreams with gallant knights). And then in aDwD we see Septa Lemore (with stretch marks, and thus only able to practice her religious profession in exile) and her teachings with Aegon. Which of the two is the most "spiritual"? Which of the two is the wisest, even if far from perfect? Who would we choose to tutor our kids? Who would lords choose to tutor their kids who have to marry people without much say in the matter for political reasons, even men like Walder Frey?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

They do, and in aGoT we see why - Septa Mordane's rather ridiculous tutoring and how it affects Sansa (who's already prone to princess dreams with gallant knights). And then in aDwD we see Septa Lemore (with stretch marks, and thus only able to practice her religious profession in exile) and her teachings with Aegon. Which of the two is the most "spiritual"? Which of the two is the wisest, even if far from perfect? Who would we choose to tutor our kids? Who would lords choose to tutor their kids who have to marry people without much say in the matter for political reasons, even men like Walder Frey?

I wonder how the Silent Sisters fit in with their other Sisters in the Faith- to what extant are they silent not to protect their Sisters from their worldly knowledge rather than anything to with such secrets as they might learn from the dead? Which brings us back to Philomela and nightingales and tapestries. Those septas do seem to be deft hands with needles but the Sisters, I think, are literate.

Edited by hiemal

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Posted (edited)

On 5/24/2017 at 9:41 PM, hiemal said:

 

On 5/21/2017 at 8:50 PM, SeaWitch said:

If you cannot speak, you cannot lie.  If you cannot be reached behind a wall or a vow, you can keep your secrets.  I'm going with 'shadow citadel', I don't get the impression that gender equality has any traction, even amongst decent men. Ned, bless him, trying to reassure Arya she could have a good husband and her sons would achieve great things...

 

Poor Ned.

 

On 5/24/2017 at 2:51 PM, direpupy said:

Just a thought that occured to me while reading this tread, who took care of the dead before the silent sisters?

The citadel is founded in the time before the andals and the faith, what if the faith just incorporated an already existing order into there ranks? This could also explain why they are al female when the stranger whom they are linked to is neither male nor female.

This is offcourse pure speculation on my part but its just something that popped into my mind reading this tread.

Pre-Andal funeral customs.

An interesting topic.

We have the Tullys river ceremony and the Stark's gallery of tombs (which reminds me of that scene in The Magician's Nephew of the gallery of kings the children find)

I like the idea of the Silent Sisters being an adaptation of  earlier funerary practices at the Citadel.

 

Edited by Prof. Cecily
eliminating a quotation

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On 5/29/2017 at 2:13 AM, Prof. Cecily said:

Poor Ned.

 

Pre-Andal funeral customs.

An interesting topic.

We have the Tullys river ceremony and the Stark's gallery of tombs (which reminds me of that scene in The Magician's Nephew of the gallery of kings the children find)

I like the idea of the Silent Sisters being an adaptation of  earlier funerary practices at the Citadel.

 

Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but it is fitting based on my topic.  

I think the Silent Sisters tradition may extend much further back than the Citadel or the Faith, all the way to the  Long Night.  The Sisters primary task is to prepare the dead by rendering the bodies down to nothing but bones, removing all the flesh.    This make sense in the War against  the Others.   In an endless winter, where firewood is needed to stay warm and alive,  it is too precious waste burning the dead,  But you still need to deny the Others your dead family members as recruits to their Army of the Dead.     A pile of bones with no connective tissue is useless as a soldier.   (An additional more gruesome reason may have been, food was scarce, and meat is meat)   So the older women, too weak to fight, were tasked with dealing with the dead before they had a chance to rise and serve the Others.   And if cannibalism was also involved it may explain the silent part, as no one wanted to hear  where the food the Sisters provided came from.  

When the Long Night ended, the tradition continued, first because the survivors remembered, but then later, just because that was the way it was always done.   

8,000 years later, when the Wall falls and Others come south, living men will not have to face corpses rising from graveyards and pouring from tombs because the Silent Sisters continued their work.and piles of bones can't rise and walk. 

 

 

 

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