Black Crow

Heresy 201 and onward we go...

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Welcome to Heresy 201, which takes us into the third century of the quirky and very lively thread where we take an in-depth look at the story and in particular what GRRM has referred to as the real conflict, not the Game of Thrones, but the apparent threat which lies in the North, in those magical Otherlands beyond the Wall. The thread is called Heresy because we were the first to challenge the orthodoxy that the Wall is the last best hope of mankind; to question whether the three-fingered tree-huggers really are kindly elves and question too whether the Starks might have a dark secret in their past.

 

We can safely claim to have been around for a while now and discussed an awful lot of stuff over the last five going on six years. Some of it has been overtaken by events and some of it seemingly confirmed by the earlier stages of mummers’ version before it firmly moved into fan-fiction. We may never again match the 48-hour thread of the centential, at least not until Winds of Winter appears, but we’re still going strong with a couple of enigmatic interviews and blog posts to keep us on tippy-toes.

 

So dig in, enjoy yourself and if it comes to a fight just remember the local house rules; stick to the text, have respect for the ideas of others and above all conduct the debate with great good humour.

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This a free for all iteration?Or we have a topic for this one BC?

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

We may never again match the 48-hour thread of the centential, at least not until Winds of Winter appears

That, my friend, may prove the most accurate prophecy of all.

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55 minutes ago, wolfmaid7 said:

This a free for all iteration?Or we have a topic for this one BC?

For the moment its just to carry on the present topics, although I do have an essay promised...

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26 minutes ago, JNR said:

That, my friend, may prove the most accurate prophecy of all.

unless of course the internet melts

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

unless of course the internet melts

Well, I can guarantee I won't be on the Internet at all for at least a week after the book shows up at my house.  I definitely didn't wait six years just to get spoiled by some idiotic NY Times article, Vulture headline, or some other damn thing I didn't see coming.

OK, since this edition hasn't got a theme yet, I'm just going to drop something interesting I found when I recently read ADWD for the second time.

Put yourself in the story at the point when Arya's learned the Faceless Men are in fact the Faceful Men, and she's gotten befaced so she can go out and do her murdery business as an assassin's intern.

There's this:

Quote

...she spied Cat's old friend Tagganaro tossing a ball back and forth with Casso, King of Seals, whilst his latest cutpurse worked the crowd of onlookers. When she stopped to watch and listen for a moment, Tagganaro glanced at her without recognition, but Casso barked and clapped his flippers. He knows me, the girl thought, or else he smells the fish.

I think her first guess nailed it.

This may possibly mean that animals are immune to whatever magic conceals a Faceless Man's true face. If so, it's probably an important plot point.

Here's one way it might play out.  If a skinchanger is skinchanging an animal, and via the animal sees a Faceless Man such as Arya, the skinchanger might punch through the illusion and perceive her (Arya's) true face.  And that is key insight that could drive the next few chapters in innovative directions.

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2 hours ago, JNR said:

Well, I can guarantee I won't be on the Internet at all for at least a week after the book shows up at my house.  I definitely didn't wait six years just to get spoiled by some idiotic NY Times article, Vulture headline, or some other damn thing I didn't see coming.

OK, since this edition hasn't got a theme yet, I'm just going to drop something interesting I found when I recently read ADWD for the second time.

Put yourself in the story at the point when Arya's learned the Faceless Men are in fact the Faceful Men, and she's gotten befaced so she can go out and do her murdery business as an assassin's intern.

There's this:

I think her first guess nailed it.

This may possibly mean that animals are immune to whatever magic conceals a Faceless Man's true face. If so, it's probably an important plot point.

Here's one way it might play out.  If a skinchanger is skinchanging an animal, and via the animal sees a Faceless Man such as Arya, the skinchanger might punch through the illusion and perceive her (Arya's) true face.  And that is key insight that could drive the next few chapters in innovative directions.

Are you implying for the perceived or true visage of a FM in general?

I mean that would be pretty convenient for Arya to encounter a skinchanger in FM form.Unless its a member of her family by then the gig would be up.

How you think it would play out ?

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9 hours ago, JNR said:

 

This may possibly mean that animals are immune to whatever magic conceals a Faceless Man's true face. If so, it's probably an important plot point.

 

This may well be the case, because we also have that incident where Varamyr sitting in One Eye recognises that there is another warg in Summer.

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

This may well be the case, because we also have that incident where Varamyr sitting in One Eye recognises that there is another warg in Summer.

Ah yes forgot that .True,true

 

 

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

This may well be the case, because we also have that incident where Varamyr sitting in One Eye recognises that there is another warg in Summer.

The Wier-Bran incident also comes to mind when Bran sees Ghost-Jon and vice versa.

In another variation; Varamyr sitting in One-Eye is seen by wighted Thistle; even though she has no eyes, only pale blue flames. 

What it suggests is that skin-changers can see the soul of another.  Varamyr sees the soul of ice as pale blue flame.

In Arya's case, seeing and knowing are not always the same.  This brings to mind the choosing that she observes in the HoBW:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - The Ugly Little Girl

The priests used the language of Braavos, though once for several minutes three spoke heatedly in High Valyrian. The girl understood the words, mostly, but they spoke in soft voices, and she could not always hear. "I know this man," she did hear a priest with the face of a plague victim say. "I know this man," the fat fellow echoed, as she was pouring for him. But the handsome man said, "I will give this man the gift, I know him not." Later the squinter said the same thing, of someone else.

 

I wonder if what is being suggested is that FM may know what is in a man's soul.  Something that prevents them from giving the gift of mercy.

Theon too sees something of what is in a man's soul:
 

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - The Prince of Winterfell

The mists were so thick that only the nearest trees were visible; beyond them stood tall shadows and faint lights. Candles flickered beside the wandering path and back amongst the trees, pale fireflies floating in a warm grey soup. It felt like some strange underworld, some timeless place between the worlds, where the damned wandered mournfully for a time before finding their way down to whatever hell their sins had earned them. Are we all dead, then? Did Stannis come and kill us in our sleep? Is the battle yet to come, or has it been fought and lost?

Here and there a torch burned hungrily, casting its ruddy glow over the faces of the wedding guests. The way the mists threw back the shifting light made their features seem bestial, half-human, twisted. Lord Stout became a mastiff, old Lord Locke a vulture, Whoresbane Umber a gargoyle, Big Walder Frey a fox, Little Walder a red bull, lacking only a ring for his nose. Roose Bolton's own face was a pale grey mask, with two chips of dirty ice where his eyes should be.

 

Arya can't hide what is in her soul from the Ghost of High Heart:
 

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Arya VIII

The great dog. Did she mean the Hound? Or maybe his brother, the Mountain That Rides? Arya was not certain. They bore the same arms, three black dogs on a yellow field. Half the men whose deaths she prayed for belonged to Ser Gregor Clegane; Polliver, Dunsen, Raff the Sweetling, the Tickler, and Ser Gregor himself. Maybe Lord Beric will hang them all.

"I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief," the dwarf woman was saying. "I dreamt such a clangor I thought my head might burst, drums and horns and pipes and screams, but the saddest sound was the little bells. I dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs. And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow." She turned her head sharply and smiled through the gloom, right at Arya. "You cannot hide from me, child. Come closer, now."

Cold fingers walked down Arya's neck. Fear cuts deeper than swords, she reminded herself. She stood and approached the fire warily, light on the balls of her feet, poised to flee.

The dwarf woman studied her with dim red eyes. "I see you," she whispered. "I see you, wolf child. Blood child. I thought it was the lord who smelled of death . . ." She began to sob, her little body shaking. "You are cruel to come to my hill, cruel. I gorged on grief at Summerhall, I need none of yours. Begone from here, dark heart. Begone!"

 

 

 

Edited by LynnS

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Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, wolfmaid7 said:

Unless its a member of her family by then the gig would be up.

How you think it would play out ?

I do think another Stark would be the likely angle GRRM would take, if it happened.  

It also occurs to me that nothing the Faceless Men do alters scent.  A skinchanged animal such as a dog is naturally going to recognize human beings as much by scent as sight, no immunity to magic needed.  

For instance, I would expect Ghost or Summer to recognize Arya even if blindfolded in a pitch-black room.  They know from experience how she smells.  So if Ghost or Summer were being skinchanged by Jon or Bran, the skinchanger would instantly know the truth.

ETA: And if Arya encountered Nymeria while faced-up, Nymeria wouldn't be fooled for a second.

Edited by JNR

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

 

In another variation; Varamyr sitting in One-Eye is seen by wighted Thistle; even though she has no eyes, only pale blue flames. 

 

Now there's an interesting observation. The wights' eyes we learn from this aren't actually blue but rather reveal the blue flame within.

Beric on the other hand is animated by the [red?] flame passed by Thoros, while Mel's red eyes are lit by the red flame within her

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

The Wier-Bran incident also comes to mind when Bran sees Ghost-Jon and vice versa.

In another variation; Varamyr sitting in One-Eye is seen by wighted Thistle; even though she has no eyes, only pale blue flames. 

What it suggests is that skin-changers can see the soul of another.  Varamyr sees the soul of ice as pale blue flame.

I agree with this. In addition to the other points already listed, we have Borroq look at Jon and call him brother. 

George also seems to have set up a clause that gives allowance to "wise men" who can see through the artifice of a glamour. Thank you, Santa ^_^

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52 minutes ago, JNR said:

ETA: And if Arya encountered Nymeria while faced-up, Nymeria wouldn't be fooled for a second.

That seems to be what the books are leading up to. I agree. 

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

Arya can't hide what is in her soul from the Ghost of High Heart:

I'm not so sure that this reflects the GoHH seeing into her soul (which, at this point, isn't flamed up with any ice or fire infusion of any kind) as much as it does the GoHH sensing what she's got in her pocket.

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

In another variation; Varamyr sitting in One-Eye is seen by wighted Thistle; even though she has no eyes, only pale blue flames. 

What it suggests is that skin-changers can see the soul of another.  Varamyr sees the soul of ice as pale blue flame.

This also goes back to that recent interview that made a few us turn into bobbleheads for a rough minute (:P) where George is talking fire wights regarding Beric and LSH. The last line in that statement of his he says something like "and it brings us back to that fire and ice issue."

I read this to mean there is more dichotomy in the story than either he realizes, or he admits to. Not a popular ideal among posters, I know.

And it still seems to me that the Jon interjection by the interviewer was just about the show, and George's statement at the end was referring to Jon as the ice in the elemental comparison. He may live a white hot existence in the future. 

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39 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Now there's an interesting observation. The wights' eyes we learn from this aren't actually blue but rather reveal the blue flame within.

Beric on the other hand is animated by the [red?] flame passed by Thoros, while Mel's red eyes are lit by the red flame within her

On an equally gruesome note, pupils dilate upon death; so all cold wights will have blue eyes with the exception of Coldhands.  His eyes are black.
 

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Bran I

Behind her, Hodor was tearing eagerly at a chunk of hot charred flesh as blood and grease ran down into his beard. Wisps of smoke rose from between his fingers. "Hodor," he muttered between bites, "hodor, hodor." His sword lay on the earthen floor beside him. Jojen Reed nipped at his own joint with small bites, chewing each chunk of meat a dozen times before swallowing.

The ranger killed a pig. Coldhands stood beside the door, a raven on his arm, both staring at the fire. Reflections from the flames glittered off four black eyes. He does not eat, Bran remembered, and he fears the flames.

 

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Bran II

All around him, wights were rising from beneath the snow.

Two, three, four. Bran lost count. They surged up violently amidst sudden clouds of snow. Some wore black cloaks, some ragged skins, some nothing. All of them had pale flesh and black hands. Their eyes glowed like pale blue stars.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

I'm not so sure that this reflects the GoHH seeing into her soul (which, at this point, isn't flamed up with any ice or fire infusion of any kind) as much as it does the GoHH sensing what she's got in her pocket.

Yes, I wondered about the coin.  Although the GOHH has just finished telling the brotherhood about her dream.  When she talks about the maid with purple serpents in her hair and the same maid throwing a savage giant from a castle built of snow; I've argued in other places that these are both visions of the future about Arya, rather than Sansa.  The GOHH turns suddenly and looks directly at Arya after that statement.  Speculation that comes from new material revealed in  WoW:

Spoiler

Where Arya acts in the play the 'Bloody Hand' in the role of Sansa at the Purple Wedding.  Arya dispatched Raff the Sweetling making her the Bloody Hand.  This also goes back to Jaqen H'Gar's gesture when he places his hand in the mouth of the wierwood while making his oath to carry out Arya's last wish.  Another 'bloody hand'.  

The GOHH smells death on Arya to go back to JNR's point about recognizing someone by their smell.  This happens with Jon and Bran as well:

Quote

 

A Clash of Kings - Jon IV

"Your head's as wooden as your teeth," Hake told him. "There's no smell to cold."

 

There is, thought Jon, remembering the night in the Lord Commander's chambers. It smells like death. Suddenly he was not hungry anymore. He gave his stew to Grenn, who looked in need of an extra supper to warm him against the night.

A Clash of Kings - Jon VII

A weirwood.

It seemed to sprout from solid rock, its pale roots twisting up from a myriad of fissures and hairline cracks. The tree was slender compared to other weirwoods he had seen, no more than a sapling, yet it was growing as he watched, its limbs thickening as they reached for the sky. Wary, he circled the smooth white trunk until he came to the face. Red eyes looked at him. Fierce eyes they were, yet glad to see him. The weirwood had his brother's face. Had his brother always had three eyes?

Not always, came the silent shout. Not before the crow.

He sniffed at the bark, smelled wolf and tree and boy, but behind that there were other scents, the rich brown smell of warm earth and the hard grey smell of stone and something else, something terrible. Death, he knew. He was smelling death. He cringed back, his hair bristling, and bared his fangs.

Don't be afraid, I like it in the dark. No one can see you, but you can see them. But first you have to open your eyes. See? Like this. And the tree reached down and touched him.

A Clash of Kings - Jon VII

Ghost did not reappear as they set out again. The shadows covered the floor of the pass by then, and the sun was sinking fast toward the jagged twin peaks of the huge mountain the rangers named Forktop. If the dream was true . . . Even the thought scared him. Could the eagle have hurt Ghost, or knocked him off the precipice? And what about the weirwood with his brother's face, that smelled of death and darkness?

 

Arya has also killed  or is complicit in killing and she says a nightly prayer of those she will kill or wishes dead. Arya is thinking about her kill list moments before the GOHH tells them of her dream.  She calls Arya 'Dark Heart' which suggests to me that she can see through Arya's disguises into her soul.

  

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Posted (edited)

58 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

 

This also goes back to that recent interview that made a few us turn into bobbleheads for a rough minute (:P) where George is talking fire wights regarding Beric and LSH. The last line in that statement of his he says something like "and it brings us back to that fire and ice issue."

I read this to mean there is more dichotomy in the story than either he realizes, or he admits to. Not a popular ideal among posters, I know.

And it still seems to me that the Jon interjection by the interviewer was just about the show, and George's statement at the end was referring to Jon as the ice in the elemental comparison. He may live a white hot existence in the future. 

I don't know what to expect.  George puts everything together with crooked stitches.  I did assume that book-Jon will end up coldhanded after a fashion.  Although we still don't know how that happens.  I assume he will be 'Ghosted' for a while and that Ghost might be sacrificed to force Jon back into his icy body.  Does Ghost go with him? Is there less of Jon and some of Ghost in the mix.  

It seems to me that autonomous wights contain their own soul.

Edited by LynnS

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

Now there's an interesting observation. The wights' eyes we learn from this aren't actually blue but rather reveal the blue flame within.

Beric on the other hand is animated by the [red?] flame passed by Thoros, while Mel's red eyes are lit by the red flame within her

I think what we'll learn is that all resurrections start with a fiery kiss of life.  Even the rituals of the drowned gods seem awfully similar (without the desired effect) to what Thoros successfully pulls off with both Beric and Catelyn.  Which isn't surprising since the mythology of the Iron Island's Grey King deals with fire as much as water.  The Grey King returns from the Drowned God's Hall with fire.

Beric and Catelyn are both pulled from water before they are given the kiss of fire/life.  

If Jon becomes stored in under the Wall, in the ice cells, then he may end up becoming coated with a layer of hoarfrost, which may have the same effect as the waters of the Trident did on Beric and Cat.  The immersion comes first, and then the kiss of life/fire.

These are true resurrections.

The wights are not being resurrected, they are being animated by the Cold.  The same ice magic that creates our ice golems, is being reflected in the layer of frost that coats the recently slain, and both are reflected in the blue glow from their eyes.

 

Edited by Frey family reunion

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