Black Crow

Heresy 201 and onward we go...

179 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Well, as he was playing the Russian to Bloodraven's Kurz, I'd imagine that he learned a great many things. Indeed a possible explanation for his condition is that just like Kurz, Bloodraven needed an intelligent servant or agent to operate outside the cave rather than a blue-eyed slave. If so then that raises the question as to whether Coldhands, like the Russian, will eventually exercise his free will and go his own way

Now you've made me revisit the Heart of Darkness.  LOL

“Something about the howling of a wolf took a man right out of his here and now and left him in a dark forest of the mind, running naked before the pack.” Tyrion GoT

@ravenous reader  Are we really talking about the heart of darkness or the dark forest of the mind?

 

Quote

 

ENTERING THE DARK FOREST OF THE PSYCHE:

Going Down Into Our Unconscious Depths

 

 “Each entered the Forest Adventurous

at the point which he himself had chosen,

where it was darkest and there

was no way or path.”

 

The Quest For the Holy Grail

                                               – Anonymous 13th Century monk

Once we cross the threshold into the mythic realm of adventure, moving beyond the threshold guardians at the boundary of the safely familiar, we must leave behind a well-worn path that has already been made before us to enter the darker forest regions of our own unconscious depths.  In these realms, we enter the territory where a previous path does not (and cannot) exist.  We make our own path, as we go.

In this phase of the journey, the distinct feature of the interior world, as well as in our external landscapes, is the lack of a clear path in front of us.  The clear way is not already laid out for those of us who undertake the heroic adventure of awakening to what is most essential.  Myths unfold over time, little by little, and only by being willing to venture into the unknown.  If we are really paying attention to that unfolding, each little part of the journey can be remarkable.

Joseph Campbell said, “if a path already exists, it is somebody else’s path”.   We have to make our own path as we go, otherwise it is not an adventure.  That would be more like a tour.  And if the path is already laid before us, it may be someone else’s best laid plans for us, but not necessarily the path we would want or choose for ourselves.

At first, it may seem easier to take the path already made, for, being already there, it initially appears to be more concrete, and more certain.  It requires less work or less risk from us up front.   But for those of us who desire to know our soul’s true pathway to bliss, the price for taking the road already made grows steeper the longer we stay on it.

Here is what the Spanish poet Antonio Machado has to say about soul’s adventure, and how one must travel on a hero’s journey:

Traveller, your footprints are
the road, and nothing else;
pilgrim, there is no road,
the road is made once you walk.

By walking the road is made,
and when looking back
the path is seen that never
will be stepped on again.

Traveller, there is no road,
only ripples on the sea.

– Antonio Machado

Machado’s important message is that we make the road by walking, before we can know where it goes.  This is the heroic action step.  This is an essential component of the unfolding hero’s journey: going where you have not gone before, without knowing the way in advance.   And where we must ultimately go, is down deeper into our own depths. 

 

https://herosjourneyfoundation.org/blog/entering-the-dark-forest-of-the-psyche/

 

 

 

Machado's poem sounds suspiciously similar to Frost's 'The Road Not Taken' and the traveller's journey to the tangled undergrowth, that one cannot go back and take the other path because the only path that exists is the one that is made by the traveller.

The Hero's journey is through the dark places of the mind (subconcious/dreaming); the Hero's journey doesn't seem to be confined to just Bran/Marlow but to cripples, bastards and broken things, including Tyrion, Jon, and Arya..... and others.

 

 

Edited by LynnS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, LynnS said:

Now you've made me revisit the Heart of Darkness.  LOL

“Something about the howling of a wolf took a man right out of his here and now and left him in a dark forest of the mind, running naked before the pack.” Tyrion GoT

@ravenous reader  Are we really talking about the heart of darkness or the dark forest of the mind?

Machado's poem sounds suspiciously similar to Frost's 'The Road Not Taken' and the traveller's journey to the tangled undergrowth, that one cannot go back and take the other path because the only path that exists is the one that is made by the traveller.

The Hero's journey is through the dark places of the mind (subconcious/dreaming); the Hero's journey doesn't seem to be confined to just Bran/Marlow but to cripples, bastards and broken things, including Tyrion, Jon, and Arya..... and others.

 

As to others, that once again brings us back to the Russian/Coldhands with his old, patched clothing. In our tale of everyday countryfolk Coldhands declines the chance of refuge and chooses to head back out into the forest. In Conrad's original, the Russian declines the opportunity to go back down the river and instead strikes out into the forest on his Hero's journey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/21/2017 at 4:39 PM, Black Crow said:

Well, as he was playing the Russian to Bloodraven's Kurz, I'd imagine that he learned a great many things. Indeed a possible explanation for his condition is that just like Kurz, Bloodraven needed an intelligent servant or agent to operate outside the cave rather than a blue-eyed slave. If so then that raises the question as to whether Coldhands, like the Russian, will eventually exercise his free will and go his own way

It could be he is an agent of BR,it certainly is possible.However, he strikes me as having more agency.Could be they are a scratching each other's back Being the uber Skinchanger BR is,he doesn't in truth need such an agent when he could wear someone else and accomplish the same.He could have taken over some weak and lost soul unfortunate to get lost .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Black Crow said:

As to others, that once again brings us back to the Russian/Coldhands with his old, patched clothing. In our tale of everyday countryfolk Coldhands declines the chance of refuge and chooses to head back out into the forest. In Conrad's original, the Russian declines the opportunity to go back down the river and instead strikes out into the forest on his Hero's journey.

I do see elements of the Russian in Coldhands and also the ferryman of the hero's journey when one passes the Wall from the known to the unknown.  In that regard, I also see elements of the Russian in Jojen who is tasked by the 3EC to get Bran to where he needs to go since Coldhands cannot pass the Wall.  I'm not sure that BR is the 3EC and so I suppose BR sounds more like a combination of Kurtz and the Manager of the company. 

I'm not sure where the waysations are located in the story.  Winterfell is the starting point for the Stark kids and while Bran passes the next waystation at the Wall and travels on to the 'heart of darkness'; Jon hasn't progressed beyond that point and Arya is located at another inner station in Braavos and yet to pass the threshold guardian:

Quote

The guardian, or threshold guardian, tests the hero before they face great challenges. They can appear at any stage of the story, but they always block an entrance or border of some kind. Their message to the hero is clear: “go home and forget your quest.”  

Dany's journey to the heart of darkness takes her into the House of Undying with it's puzzles, lies, temptations and traps.

Quote

Those who know, not only that the Everlasting lives in them, but that what they, and all things, really are is the Everlasting, dwell in the groves of the wish-fulfilling trees, drink the brew of immortality, and listen everywhere to the unheard music of eternal concord. These are the immortals. - Joseph Campbell

We are given a false version of the above when Dany meets the Undying although she is warned that they have nought to give her:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

Beyond the doors was a great hall and a splendor of wizards. Some wore sumptuous robes of ermine, ruby velvet, and cloth of gold. Others fancied elaborate armor studded with gemstones, or tall pointed hats speckled with stars. There were women among them, dressed in gowns of surpassing loveliness. Shafts of sunlight slanted through windows of stained glass, and the air was alive with the most beautiful music she had ever heard.

A kingly man in rich robes rose when he saw her, and smiled. "Daenerys of House Targaryen, be welcome. Come and share the food of forever. We are the Undying of Qarth."

 "Long have we awaited you," said a woman beside him, clad in rose and silver. The breast she had left bare in the Qartheen fashion was as perfect as a breast could be.

"We knew you were to come to us," the wizard king said. "A thousand years ago we knew, and have been waiting all this time. We sent the comet to show you the way."

"We have knowledge to share with you," said a warrior in shining emerald armor, "and magic weapons to arm you with. You have passed every trial. Now come and sit with us, and all your questions shall be answered."

She took a step forward. But then Drogon leapt from her shoulder. He flew to the top of the ebony-and-weirwood door, perched there, and began to bite at the carved wood.

"A willful beast," laughed a handsome young man. "Shall we teach you the secret speech of dragonkind? Come, come."

Doubt seized her. The great door was so heavy it took all of Dany's strength to budge it, but finally it began to move. Behind was another door, hidden. It was old grey wood, splintery and plain . . . but it stood to the right of the door through which she'd entered. The wizards were beckoning her with voices sweeter than song. She ran from them, Drogon flying back down to her. Through the narrow door she passed, into a chamber awash in gloom.

A long stone table filled this room. Above it floated a human heart, swollen and blue with corruption, yet still alive. It beat, a deep ponderous throb of sound, and each pulse sent out a wash of indigo light. The figures around the table were no more than blue shadows. As Dany walked to the empty chair at the foot of the table, they did not stir, nor speak, nor turn to face her. There was no sound but the slow, deep beat of the rotting heart

. . . mother of dragons . . . came a voice, part whisper and part moan . . . dragons . . . dragons . . . dragons

. . other voices echoed in the gloom. Some were male and some female. One spoke with the timbre of a child. The floating heart pulsed from dimness to darkness. It was hard to summon the will to speak, to recall the words she had practiced so assiduously. "I am Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros." Do they hear me? Why don't they move? She sat, folding her hands in her lap. "Grant me your counsel, and speak to me with the wisdom of those who have conquered death."

 

Dany is also flees from the 'darkness' behind her and is fearful of looking backwards to face the thing that persues her.  This is her own shadow; the rejected part of herself, the dark side of her psyche that she must face and transcend at some point. 

Quote

“He had taken the fear into himself, and accepting had transcended it. He had given up his self to the alien, an unreserved surrender, that left no place for evil. He had learned the love of the Other, and thereby had been given his whole self. But this is not the vocabulary of reason.”

http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/7/watson7art.htm

We could probably trace the hero's journey for most of the major characters of the story.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero's_journey   

 
Edited by LynnS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, wolfmaid7 said:

It could be he is an agent of BR,it certainly is possible.However, he strikes me as having more agency.Could be they are a scratching each other's back Being the uber Skinchanger BR is,he doesn't in truth need such an agent when he could wear someone else and accomplish the same.He could have taken over some weak and lost soul unfortunate to get lost .

I'm not sure that Bloodraven could, or would want to take over some one full time, its more practical to employ an agent and the point here is that while Coldhands, like the Russian, admires and follows Bloodraven and carries out the task of convoying the Scooby Gang to the cave, he is still ultimately a free agent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And just because I can, here's the essay again:

The Heart of Darkness

In general there is an assumption that the Heart of Winter which Bran saw in his vision with the three-eyed crow is to be found in the geography of Westeros, somewhere in or even beyond the Lands of Always Winter - and that it is where the mysterious Others come from. however it might be something else entirely and related to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

As with GRRM’s own work, Conrad’s story is multi-layered with different shades of meaning. Thus at one level the Heart of Darkness is the unknown African wilderness itself; a vast blank space on the map just as like the haunted forest and the Lands of Always Winter. GRRM has previously cited standing on Hadrian’s Wall as a major inspiration, but it was not just the structure which attracted him: We walked along the top of the wall just as the sun was going down. It was the fall. I stood there and looked out over the hills of Scotland and wondered what it would be like to be a Roman centurion from Italy, Greece, or even Africa, covered in furs and not knowing what would be coming out of the north at you. I wanted to capture that feeling.

But of course sooner or later the story has to move beyond the Wall and into the dark continent beyond. There, in Conrad’s book the darkness also applies not just to the wilderness and to those savage tribes who live there, but also to those who intruded on it, whether the Romans in Britain, the First Men in Westeros or those venturing singly into the interior to become seduced and ultimately consumed by it.

Singularly it applies to Kurtz, the man at the Inner Station around whom Conrad’s story revolves. The narrator, Marlow, is to go into the interior in search of Kurtz, who ostensibly is an ivory trader but soon turns out to be something more. Like Bloodraven, Kurtz is an enigma, a man of great reputation, brilliant, “Dreamer, Wizard, call him what you will” but also mysterious in his effective disappearance. When last heard of Kurtz was sick but instead of coming down the river he had inexplicably turned back, alone, hence Marlow’s journey upstream to find him. In this too Kurtz also resembles Bloodraven, for there is no hint of his fate, no mention of the Lord Commander’s supposed death or comment on his vanishing, but if we take Kurtz’ as a precedent, then his failure to return is more explicable and might be something to be regretted as an inconvenience at the time but not so memorable as a bloody disaster or a mysterious and unexplained disappearance.

When Marlow and Bran arrive at the Inner Station and at the Cave respectively [both of which are extensively decorated with skulls] neither Kurtz nor Bloodraven are dead; they only look that way, as Marlow strikingly tells it: His covering had fallen off, and his body emerged from it pitiful and appalling as from a winding sheet. I could see the cage of his ribs all astir, the bones of his arm waving. It was as though an animated image of death carved out of old ivory had been shaking its hand with menaces…

Compare and contrast that with Bran’s description of Bloodraven at first meeting: “His body was so skeletal and his clothes so rotted that at first Bran took him for another corpse, a dead man propped up so long that the roots had grown over him, under him, and through him. What skin the corpse lord showed was white… A little skin remained, stretched across his face, tight and hard as white leather, but even that was fraying, and here and there the brown and yellow bone beneath was poking through.

They are different, but only in detail; Bran is looking at Kurtz, and Marlow at Bloodraven, and like Bloodraven, Kurtz is venerated as a god. This is very explicit in Heart of Darkness and implicit in:

The last greenseer, the singers called him…”Most of him has gone into the tree,” explained the singer Meera called Leaf. “He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know.”

Yet there is also another character who strongly resembles Kurtz. The latter has descended quite literally into the heart of darkness, both physically and metaphorically, becoming a part of the horror. “He had withered; it had taken him, loved him, embraced him, got into his veins, consumed his flesh and sealed his soul to its own by the inconceivable ceremonies of some devilish initiation.”

While that reference to Kurtz most immediately describes Bloodraven it also recalls the Nights King; a warrior who knew no fear. “And that was the fault in him,” she would add, “for all men must know fear.” A woman was his downfall; a woman glimpsed from atop the Wall, with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her, though her skin was cold as ice, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well.
He brought her back to the Nightfort and proclaimed her a queen and himself her king, and with strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will. For thirteen years they had ruled, Night’s King and his corpse queen, till finally the Stark of Winterfell and Joramun of the wildlings had joined to free the Watch from bondage. After his fall, when it was found he had been sacrificing to the Others, all records of Night’s King had been destroyed, his very name forbidden.

Ultimately the identification of both Bloodraven and the Nights King with Kurtz – all three of whom have been taken by the darkness - not only offers an insight into the Heart of Winter which so terrified Bran in his vision, but also offers an answer to the mysterious Others; confirming them not as an icy version of a Dothraki horde, but as Craster’s sons, humans taken over and corrupted by the horror at the Heart of Darkness.

By way of a postscriptum: Marlow’s journey up the river to find Kurtz is not without hardship and incident, and it culminates in his steamer being attacked by natives very shortly before reaching the Inner Station. Here in Heresy we have speculated in the past that there is something fishy about the ambush of Bran and the Scooby Gang by wights lurking outside the cave, and that perhaps the wights may have been guarding rather than besieging it. In that context, it may be rather significant that in Conrad’s version, the Russian, [filling in very effectively for Coldhands in his admiration for Kurtz], tells Marlow that it was Kurtz himself who had ordered the attack on the steamer!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 21/07/2017 at 1:25 PM, Black Crow said:

Just to return to Coldhands for a moment, I remain convinced that no matter the anomaly he was raised/preserved by the Ice. The crucial indicator to my mind is his inability to pass the Wall. I'm reminded here again of the Wild Hunt and those who inadvertently or otherwise join them. If they dismount from their horses they crumble to dust because the magic which has preserved them has broken. Similarly I suspect that the wards within the Wall don't stop the blue-eyed lot, leaving them pawing impotently against the glass, rather if they do pass through the magic holding them together won't work

Except it continued to work on Othor and Jaffer. I know we've said in the past that this was b/c the NW brought them across the Wall, but Sam similarly could have opened the black gate for Coldhands and invited him south. So it seems slightly inconsistent, if the Wall is a true magical wight barrier, for some wights to be stopped but not others. Especially if the ones that are not stopped are the Others' blue-eyed wights, rather than the friendly Coldhands. 

I would add that a magical barrier would have no need to be 700 ft tall and 40 ft across. The Wall's immense size strongly suggests that it is in fact a physical barrier - a barrier against the army of the dead. The ice wights are not coordinated enough to climb it, and they aren't going to build ships either. Against them, a physical structure is effective. (I am not disputing that it is also magically warded against the Others themselves - but its physical size, IMO, is not irrelevant, but rather serves as a complementary mechanism to the magic ward. And if the ward should fail, at least it would slow down the Others who couldn't bring their wights and undead horses across with them.)

If wights do manage to cross the Wall (such as through the Castle Black tunnel), they continue to function on the southern side. That's why there shouldn't be tunnels in the Wall. Without them, it is virtually impossible for the dead to get across. Originally, the only crossing point would have been at the Nightfort - and that crossing is warded. In other words- I suspect that Coldhands could cross at Castle Black, if they opened the gate for him. And that Othor and Jaffer would not have risen, had they been brought south through the Black Gate. B)

[An alternative explanation would be that Coldhands is not, in fact, an ice wight, and that the Wall is warded against whatever he is, rather than ice magic in general. Communication by dreams and weirwoods is not impeded, for example, and Othor and Jaffer remain ice-animated after crossing. This goes with the theory that the Wall was built by the Others, as it happens to be made of, well, ice, and that men at some point claimed it as their own and built castles along it. In this scenario, it would make no sense for it to block ice magic, but it may well block other types of wights.]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, MaesterSam said:

Except it continued to work on Othor and Jaffer. I know we've said in the past that this was b/c the NW brought them across the Wall, but Sam similarly could have opened the black gate for Coldhands and invited him south. So it seems slightly inconsistent, if the Wall is a true magical wight barrier, for some wights to be stopped but not others. Especially if the ones that are not stopped are the Others' blue-eyed wights, rather than the friendly Coldhands. 

I would add that a magical barrier would have no need to be 700 ft tall and 40 ft across. The Wall's immense size strongly suggests that it is in fact a physical barrier - a barrier against the army of the dead. The ice wights are not coordinated enough to climb it, and they aren't going to build ships either. Against them, a physical structure is effective. (I am not disputing that it is also magically warded against the Others themselves - but its physical size, IMO, is not irrelevant, but rather serves as a complementary mechanism to the magic ward. And if the ward should fail, at least it would slow down the Others who couldn't bring their wights and undead horses across with them.)

If wights do manage to cross the Wall (such as through the Castle Black tunnel), they continue to function on the southern side. That's why there shouldn't be tunnels in the Wall. Without them, it is virtually impossible for the dead to get across. Originally, the only crossing point would have been at the Nightfort - and that crossing is warded. In other words- I suspect that Coldhands could cross at Castle Black, if they opened the gate for him. And that Othor and Jaffer would not have risen, had they been brought south through the Black Gate. B)

[An alternative explanation would be that Coldhands is not, in fact, an ice wight, and that the Wall is warded against whatever he is, rather than ice magic in general. Communication by dreams and weirwoods is not impeded, for example, and Othor and Jaffer remain ice-animated after crossing. This goes with the theory that the Wall was built by the Others, as it happens to be made of, well, ice, and that men at some point claimed it as their own and built castles along it. In this scenario, it would make no sense for it to block ice magic, but it may well block other types of wights.]

GRRM has declined in the past to lay down rules or laws of magic, ostensibly on the grounds that once you do it then becomes a science rather than magic; but also I'd suspect because it allows him to be unhampered by rules when he needs something to happen which would otherwise be in complete contradiction of what he has written or might write elsewhere, so I'm reluctant to use them to prove a point one way or the other given that their story really doesn't fit with everything else we're told. As things stand I'm sticking with the explanation that they were inadvertently invited through - a fairly common device in supernatural lore.

I really can't get behind the notion that the spells in the Wall prevent Coldhands from passing, but not wights.

Conversely, if we identify Coldhands as the Russian he may have reasons of his own for not taking the opportunities offered to him, which may have nothing to do with the magical wards.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/22/2017 at 0:16 PM, LynnS said:

Now you've made me revisit the Heart of Darkness.  LOL

“Something about the howling of a wolf took a man right out of his here and now and left him in a dark forest of the mind, running naked before the pack.” Tyrion GoT

@ravenous reader  Are we really talking about the heart of darkness or the dark forest of the mind?

Hi Lynn.  They are basically the same thing, aren't they?  Nothing darker than the 'forest of the human mind'!  The whole point of Conrad's classic work is not that Africa is intrinsically 'dark', nor Africans; the journey upriver is a vehicle for the examination on a more abstract level of uncomfortable themes of identity, specifically the shady relationship of a person to himself and/or others, initially intimate dramas played out in the shadowy 'interior' of the human psyche (not located on any map) which are ultimately, however, translated at the political level.

'The dark forest of the mind' might also be 'code' on an allegorical level for the weirnet and greenseeing (cf. Luwin encouraging Bran to make the most of his considerable intellectual talents, despite his disability, as a 'knight of the mind'...pun on 'night of the mind'! ;)).  Still puzzled by how we're supposed to read Tyrion's relationship to the Starks.  Strangely, he almost seems to identify with them; for example in that same chapter, Tyrion as the defiant champion of 'cripples, bastards, and broken things' defends Bran's right to live in the face of his siblings', Joffrey's, and the Hound's callousness; moreover, he is described quite pointedly by GRRM as grinning 'wolfishly' and whistling, which is the way Starks e.g. Robb call their wolves.  Significantly, Tyrion enters the Stark library, leaving with an unspecified book before the library is burnt down -- which is symbolic for someone having infiltrated the weirnet and stolen forbidden knowledge from the gods, a bit like Lann his ancestor slipping into Casterly Rock.  'Being taken out of ones here and now' might also be interpreted as a reference to the time-transcendence afforded by greenseeing.  Not sure what to make of it though.  As to Tyrion's fate, that passage, particularly the image of 'running naked before the pack', can be read in two ways, either as Tyrion being pursued and hunted down by the wolves, or leading the wolves at the head of the pack.  He also marries a wolf, Sansa -- so there's unfinished business with Winterfell.  Finally, although much is made of his 'secret Targ' status, I think it's important that Tyrion again is described rather wolfishly 'snarling' among the dragons by Moqorro, rather than being on the same side as them.  

Quote

 

Machado's poem sounds suspiciously similar to Frost's 'The Road Not Taken' and the traveller's journey to the tangled undergrowth, that one cannot go back and take the other path because the only path that exists is the one that is made by the traveller.

Thank you for Machado's poem -- how beautiful!  I thought of Frost immediately, as well as Dante.  @LiveFirstDieLater and @Cridefea made the point that the Prologue may have taken some inspiration from the opening passage of Dante's Inferno , among other subtle allusions to Dante.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

GRRM has declined in the past to lay down rules or laws of magic, ostensibly on the grounds that once you do it then becomes a science rather than magic; but also I'd suspect because it allows him to be unhampered by rules when he needs something to happen which would otherwise be in complete contradiction of what he has written or might write elsewhere, so I'm reluctant to use them to prove a point one way or the other given that their story really doesn't fit with everything else we're told. As things stand I'm sticking with the explanation that they were inadvertently invited through - a fairly common device in supernatural lore.

I really can't get behind the notion that the spells in the Wall prevent Coldhands from passing, but not wights.

Conversely, if we identify Coldhands as the Russian he may have reasons of his own for not taking the opportunities offered to him, which may have nothing to do with the magical wards.

 

Invitation doesn't fit.  If Coldhands could have been invited to cross, he would have been.

I suspect the wights are not actually resurrected beings, but controlled bodies.  The Wall does not stop whoever is animating wights from doing so on the other side.  Similarly, the 3 eyed crow can talk to Bran through the Wall - it does not stop minds.  However Coldhands is not a wight, and seems to be able to think independently, a magical creature.  If Jon is resurrected as many suspect he will be, it will be interesting to see if he can pass the Wall or if it stops him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Black Crow said:

In our tale of everyday countryfolk Coldhands declines the chance of refuge and chooses to head back out into the forest.

Unless this is an especially poetic way of describing Coldhands making the choice to come back as a wight and continue to aide Bloodraven, this is not what happened at the end of Bran II.

Coldhands is last seen attempting to hold off several wights at once so that Bran and co. can flee, after already stating that he cannot enter the cave, and Leaf reiterating that he cannot follow when Bran expresses concern over his plight. Seemingly, there is no refuge for one such as Coldhands.

5 hours ago, MaesterSam said:

Except it continued to work on Othor and Jaffer. I know we've said in the past that this was b/c the NW brought them across the Wall, but Sam similarly could have opened the black gate for Coldhands and invited him south. So it seems slightly inconsistent, if the Wall is a true magical wight barrier, for some wights to be stopped but not others. Especially if the ones that are not stopped are the Others' blue-eyed wights, rather than the friendly Coldhands. 

This is one of the instances where I wonder whether or not GRRM has simply been inconsistent by mistake, though that's a boring answer.

That said, there are some things notable about Othor and Jaffer's passage beyond just the presence of some sworn brothers--both the Lord Commander and Jon Snow were in the party that brought them through, so it may be that either the Lord Commander or someone with Stark blood can grant passage through the Wall's wards (even if they themselves don't appreciate this fact).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Invitation doesn't fit.  If Coldhands could have been invited to cross, he would have been.

I suspect the wights are not actually resurrected beings, but controlled bodies.  The Wall does not stop whoever is animating wights from doing so on the other side.  Similarly, the 3 eyed crow can talk to Bran through the Wall - it does not stop minds.  However Coldhands is not a wight, and seems to be able to think independently, a magical creature.  If Jon is resurrected as many suspect he will be, it will be interesting to see if he can pass the Wall or if it stops him.

I think it comes to the question of the green men:

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Bran I

Gravel flew from beneath his paws as he gained the last few feet to stand upon the crest. The sun hung above the tall pines huge and red, and below him the trees and hills went on and on as far as he could see or smell. A kite was circling far above, dark against the pink sky.

Prince. The man-sound came into his head suddenly, yet he could feel the rightness of it. Prince of the green, prince of the wolfswood. He was strong and swift and fierce, and all that lived in the good green world went in fear of him.

Bran expects him to be green or dress in green but I don't think that's what Old Nan meant.

"Coldhands," said Bran impatiently. "The green men ride on elks, Old Nan used to say. Sometimes they have antlers too."  -A Storm of Swords - Bran IV

Meera and Jojen are startled to hear about the elk and the ravens and must have heard something of the green men from their father but not expecting a green man to be out of place.  So I'm guessing a green man isn't raised by fire or ice.  A magical creature is as good an answer as we can expect at this point.

 

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran VII

"There they forged the Pact. The First Men were given the coastlands, the high plains and bright meadows, the mountains and bogs, but the deep woods were to remain forever the children's, and no more weirwoods were to be put to the axe anywhere in the realm. So the gods might bear witness to the signing, every tree on the island was given a face, and afterward, the sacred order of green men was formed to keep watch over the Isle of Faces.

 

Every tree on the island was given a face...  does that include soldier pines and sentinel trees?  We have seen other trees with carved faces that weren't weirwood.

When Meera recounts the story of the laughing knight; she says that her father's prayer were answered:

 And so the little crannogman's prayer was answered . . . by the green men, or the old gods, or the children of the forest, who can say?"
 

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Bran II

"Are you certain you never heard this tale before, Bran?" asked Jojen. "Your lord father never told it to you?"

Bran shook his head. The day was growing old by then, and long shadows were creeping down the mountainsides to send black fingers through the pines. If the little crannogman could visit the Isle of Faces, maybe I could too. All the tales agreed that the green men had strange magic powers. Maybe they could help him walk again, even turn him into a knight. They turned the little crannogman into a knight, even if it was only for a day, he thought. A day would be enough.

 

These strange magical powers extend to binding Sam with silence never to speak of Bran.  He takes an oath three times to Jojen, Bran and Coldhands. Those powers might extend to making the Black Gate appear when Coldhands is present even if he can't pass.  Coldhands may be bound the gate as it's gatekeeper which might explain why he can't pass.  Or the power of the Wall or the Gate, in some way extends to Coldhands preventing the cold fire from invading.

Melisandre who has been made aware of the Black Gate later tells Jon the there is power in the Wall that he can use:
 

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VI

Jon frowned in disbelief. "That's … queer."

"You think so?" She knelt and scratched Ghost behind his ear. "Your Wall is a queer place, but there is power here, if you will use it. Power in you, and in this beast. You resist it, and that is your mistake. Embrace it. Use it.

 

 

Edited by LynnS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

I suspect the wights are not actually resurrected beings, but controlled bodies.  The Wall does not stop whoever is animating wights from doing so on the other side.  Similarly, the 3 eyed crow can talk to Bran through the Wall - it does not stop minds.  However Coldhands is not a wight, and seems to be able to think independently, a magical creature.  If Jon is resurrected as many suspect he will be, it will be interesting to see if he can pass the Wall or if it stops him.

This is also interesting.  Othor and Jafr are not animated in any way when Jon's party finds them.  There is no mention of the cold emanating from their bodies.  Ghost does not react to them in the same way that he reacts to the animated wight.   Nobody feels the slight bit drowsy.  Jon is roused from sleep by Ghost and Mormont, in spite of the commotion takes some time to wake up.  Even Mormont's Raven is affected since he failed to give an alarm.  Sam's question about the cold:
 

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Jon II

"Long ago," Jon broke in. "What about the Others?"

"I found mention of dragonglass. The children of the forest used to give the Night's Watch a hundred obsidian daggers every year, during the Age of Heroes. The Others come when it is cold, most of the tales agree. Or else it gets cold when they come. Sometimes they appear during snowstorms and melt away when the skies clear. They hide from the light of the sun and emerge by night … or else night falls when they emerge. Some stories speak of them riding the corpses of dead animals. Bears, direwolves, mammoths, horses, it makes no matter, so long as the beast is dead. The one that killed Small Paul was riding a dead horse, so that part's plainly true. Some accounts speak of giant ice spiders too. I don't know what those are. Men who fall in battle against the Others must be burned, or else the dead will rise again as their thralls."

 

"It get cold when they come" fits the situation with Othor and Jafr.  Who they might be is the question.  Although the eye are blue, they don't appear to 'see'; they are empty vessels until the soul of ice makes an entrance, to quote Melisandre.  I'm reminded of glass candles for some reason and the necessity for making a connection through touch.  This seems to be the case with Dany and Quaithe.  So long as the wight/candles are lit and their bodies are not destroyed with fire;  they can use the wights as portals to get past the Wall.  Going after Mormont was a strategic manoeuver not a mindless zombie free for all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, LynnS said:

Those powers might extend to making the Black Gate appear when Coldhands is present even if he can't pass.  Coldhands may be bound the gate as it's gatekeeper which might explain why he can't pass.  Or the power of the Wall or the Gate, in some way extends to Coldhands preventing the cold fire from invading.

I don't get the impression that Coldhands is bound to the gate, but its interesting that although he tells Sam how to pass through it, it is a hidden gate and when Stannis shows interest in it Sam isn't convinced that he will ever be able to find it again.

It rather reminds me of the wardrobe which became a portal into the Land of Always Winter only when it was necessary that certain individuals should pass through it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, LynnS said:

I think it comes to the question of the green men:

Bran expects him to be green or dress in green but I don't think that's what Old Nan meant.

"Coldhands," said Bran impatiently. "The green men ride on elks, Old Nan used to say. Sometimes they have antlers too."  -A Storm of Swords - Bran IV

Meera and Jojen are startled to hear about the elk and the ravens and must have heard something of the green men from their father but not expecting a green man to be out of place.  So I'm guessing a green man isn't raised by fire or ice.  A magical creature is as good an answer as we can expect at this point.

 

Every tree on the island was given a face...  does that include soldier pines and sentinel trees?  We have seen other trees with carved faces that weren't weirwood.

When Meera recounts the story of the laughing knight; she says that her father's prayer were answered:

 And so the little crannogman's prayer was answered . . . by the green men, or the old gods, or the children of the forest, who can say?"
 

These strange magical powers extend to binding Sam with silence never to speak of Bran.  He takes an oath three times to Jojen, Bran and Coldhands. Those powers might extend to making the Black Gate appear when Coldhands is present even if he can't pass.  Coldhands may be bound the gate as it's gatekeeper which might explain why he can't pass.  Or the power of the Wall or the Gate, in some way extends to Coldhands preventing the cold fire from invading.

Melisandre who has been made aware of the Black Gate later tells Jon the there is power in the Wall that he can use:
 

 

The Green Men are supposed to be guarding the trees on the Isle of Faces. Why would there be one north of the Wall?

10 hours ago, LynnS said:

This is also interesting.  Othor and Jafr are not animated in any way when Jon's party finds them.  There is no mention of the cold emanating from their bodies.  Ghost does not react to them in the same way that he reacts to the animated wight.   Nobody feels the slight bit drowsy.  Jon is roused from sleep by Ghost and Mormont, in spite of the commotion takes some time to wake up.  Even Mormont's Raven is affected since he failed to give an alarm.  Sam's question about the cold:
 

"It get cold when they come" fits the situation with Othor and Jafr.  Who they might be is the question.  Although the eye are blue, they don't appear to 'see'; they are empty vessels until the soul of ice makes an entrance, to quote Melisandre.  I'm reminded of glass candles for some reason and the necessity for making a connection through touch.  This seems to be the case with Dany and Quaithe.  So long as the wight/candles are lit and their bodies are not destroyed with fire;  they can use the wights as portals to get past the Wall.  Going after Mormont was a strategic manoeuver not a mindless zombie free for all. 

This is a good point. If the wights bring the cold why didn't they all feel it? When Jon awoke he noticed the cold though, so it was the cold that animated them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're told its the white walkers who bring the cold or come with the cold, rather than the wights themselves, but from the various appearances of the blue-eyed lot I'd say that its the latter and that its Ice magic which is cold rather than the cold servants per se

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 7/25/2017 at 2:35 AM, Black Crow said:

We're told its the white walkers who bring the cold or come with the cold, rather than the wights themselves, but from the various appearances of the blue-eyed lot I'd say that its the latter and that its Ice magic which is cold rather than the cold servants per se

Actually,a correction the same things are said of the wights.Sam after Fist of the First Men asked that question.

Indicating as you say that The Cold brought them.

 

Shameless plug again but old heads know my Cold theory.New heads you can check link in my Sig for it.

Edited by wolfmaid7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could it be that the Nights Gate was the original gate as intended by the creators of the wall.

It seems that the Nightfort was the original castle, the others only built later.

I don't believe other gates existed at the start.

So the gate used by the Nights Watch now isn't so much a constructed gate as a hole burrowed through the Wall.

Jon can't sense Ghost when they are on opposite sides of the Wall, but there is no passage I can recall about them passing through together and having any issue or noticing anything remarkable about their bond.

Berhaps this is why wights could pass through at Castle Black.

If nothing else, there would be something poetic about the "men guarding the wall" poking a hole in it. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Could it be that the Nights Gate was the original gate as intended by the creators of the wall.

It seems that the Nightfort was the original castle, the others only built later.

I don't believe other gates existed at the start.

So the gate used by the Nights Watch now isn't so much a constructed gate as a hole burrowed through the Wall.

Jon can't sense Ghost when they are on opposite sides of the Wall, but there is no passage I can recall about them passing through together and having any issue or noticing anything remarkable about their bond.

Berhaps this is why wights could pass through at Castle Black.

If nothing else, there would be something poetic about the "men guarding the wall" poking a hole in it. 

 

Oh yes indeed, this is a very old Heresy, viz. that as originally created there were no castles and no gates at ground level, just a single magic portal between the realms of men and the magical otherlands beyond, with the original Nights Watch [all 13 of them?] serving as its guardians.

Edited by Black Crow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Oh yes indeed, this is a very old Heresy, viz. that as originally created there were no castles and no gates at ground level, just a single magic portal between the realms of men and the magical otherlands beyond, with the original Nights Watch [all 13 of them?] serving as its guardians.

Oh yes, an old idea... 

And were these the same 13 men as the last hero and his companions?

and of course, who was the wall really built to protect? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now