summitxho

Do you think there was anything special about Craster?

24 posts in this topic

Craster is one of the last who honored the deal that was made to end the long night, to make human sacrfices in the form of children to the Others, and as the tradition died out the deal was broken, time to head south.

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1 hour ago, falcotron said:

The Starks weren't called "Kings of Winter", they were called something in the Old Tongue that's been translated to "Kings of Winter".

Of course we know nothing about the Old Tongue, but for an example of what that would be like: If we knew some Celtic lineage had a title that translated to "Kings of Winter" in English, but didn't know the title or even the exact Celtic language, the best guess would be words that come from either *rixs (which means king, and traces back to a Proto-Indo-European steam meaning ruler) or *brigantines (which also means king, and traces back to a PIE stem meaning mountain), and *gyamo (which means winter all the way back to PIE). So, the etymological accident of Germanic "king" and "kin" being related would be irrelevant,* and the same for "winter" and "white".**

Also, this isn't the way linguistics works. The fact that "king" ultimately comes from a stem meaning "to give birth" doesn't mean English speakers have a connotation of motherhood in mind when they talk about the King of Jerusalem, and the fact that "kin" and "genus" come from that same stem means even less.

You are obviously right . 
We don't know which the Old Tongue word for "winter" is (or king), but we can assume that the same Old Tongue word was in the name of the Stark's seat (Winterfell), in their motto "Winter is coming" and in their titles (Kings of Winter)
And the way I see it, is that GRRM wrote the books in English, not in the Old Tongue nor the Common Tongue (nor High Valyrian, for the matter). So, I assume that the person who devised the existence of all those fictional languages knew very well how to "translate" to English their original connotation as well as the meaning the words have for the people speaking it, that can vary over time.
Anyway, all  I wrote is only speculation, and I'm doing it just for fun.:D

2 hours ago, falcotron said:

Anyway, even if the linguistics did work, this is GRRM we're talking about, not Tolkien. When he has a clue based on language, he doesn't hide it in the etymology of a word for us to work out, he has a character flat out tell us that some word in a language he hasn't made up that was translated "prince" really derives from "dragon" and therefore could mean "princess".

True. GRRM is no philologist, and most likely I'm reading too much in his choice of words.

But I don't think all of his choices are meaningless and by chance.  Is it a coincidence that "Bran" means "crow" in Welsh, and he chose that name for the creator of the Night's Watch, whose men wear black clothes and are known as "crows"? Is it a coincidence that "Craster" is a locational surname, whose original form means "an old fort inhabited by crows" (and that the actual village is located in proximity to Hadrians Wall, just like GRRM Craster's Keep is in proximity to the Wall)? I believe these and many other choices are deliberate, but who knows, maybe his intention was just to add a nice touch.

As I said, I'm just speculating for fun, nothing more.

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2 hours ago, LucyMormont said:

We don't know which the Old Tongue word for "winter" is (or king), but we can assume that the same Old Tongue word was in the name of the Stark's seat (Winterfell), in their motto "Winter is coming" and in their titles (Kings of Winter)

Yes, most likely. And I think the play on words in "Winterfell" is intentional. It could mean winter was defeated here, or that winter descended upon us here, or even a fell winter.

In fact, that's probably part of the reason not to give us an Old Tongue name, because that play doesn't work in many other languages. (For example, in Welsh, the words for fell as in descended and fell as in lost are related, but not identical, so Gaeaf Gollwng could only mean that it descended, ruining the mystery.)

2 hours ago, LucyMormont said:

And the way I see it, is that GRRM wrote the books in English, not in the Old Tongue nor the Common Tongue (nor High Valyrian, for the matter). So, I assume that the person who devised the existence of all those fictional languages knew very well how to "translate" to English their original connotation as well as the meaning the words have for the people speaking it, that can vary over time.

Sure, but if he wanted to use an Old English derivation for meaning, he wouldn't have crammed it into a word in a language that isn't related to Common, he would have put it in an old Common word.

If you want to leave hints in your language, you have to play at least a little bit fair, or nobody's going to find those hints. If you start looking at words, there are false cognates all over the place, and people will find dozens of unintended false connections for every one false connection you actually wanted them to find.

2 hours ago, LucyMormont said:

But I don't think all of his choices are meaningless and by chance.  Is it a coincidence that "Bran" means "crow" in Welsh, and he chose that name for the creator of the Night's Watch, whose men wear black clothes and are known as "crows"? Is it a coincidence that "Craster" is a locational surname, whose original form means "an old fort inhabited by crows" (and that the actual village is located in proximity to Hadrians Wall, just like GRRM Craster's Keep is in proximity to the Wall)? I believe these and many other choices are deliberate, but who knows, maybe his intention was just to add a nice touch.

As I said, I'm just speculating for fun, nothing more.

But names, toponyms, etc. are different. Bran isn't translated from the Old Tongue to Common, it's an old name of the Old Tongue still being used today. Exactly like Bran in our language is Bran, not Crow, and Breanann is Brandon, not Prince, and, from a different path, Hrothiberhtaz is Robert, not Shining Glory.

And of course people use Bran as a short name for Brandon/Brannon/Breanann/etc. in our world (even in Ireland and Wales, where the words are still "live" words), and anyone who's ever looked in a baby book can find the pun on Bran being a crow and also a prince. So it's something casual readers can spot, and it also works linguistically without cheating (well, it does if you ignore the "the Old Tongue is not Celtic" denials even though everything he's given us that isn't nonsense is either Welsh or Scots Gaelic…).

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On 15/9/2017 at 3:48 PM, summitxho said:

House Stark was founded by Bran the builder, but what is interesting is its rumored Bran the builder was the son of Brandon of the Bloody Blade who was known for his love of slaughtering the COTF, which could tie in to Leaf's remark about needing protection from "you" in reference to Bran, "you" could be referring to "your lineage". Is it a stretch to think this Brandon of the bloody blade was patient 0 who we saw on the show get the dragonglass to his heart due to his war on the COTF, and his son, Bran the builder was the one to rise up with others and help stop his father when it all went bad? Bran the builder then founds house Stark to get away from the shame his father brought to his name? Most likely coincidence, but again would tie into Jons determination to not punish a son for his fathers sins. House Stark seems to have some skeletons in its closet that is for sure and a long rumored history of very bad or very good Starks who have come to oppose one another.

The main problem IMO is that we can not establish a correct dating of these events and characters, they are too far in time and  only stories and legends remain, which have been transmitted orally for generations, and then someone picked up and put in writting thousands of years after they occurred, if they ever occurred.
We can draw a parallel with myths of our real world, which have also been transmitted orally first, and then someone put them in writing ... for example, you could compare the stories about the Long Night around Planetos with the ancient stories about a Great Flood, that many different cultures around the world have. Both can be considered as the trace that remained in the collective memory, of a cataclysmic event that might or might not have actually occurred, but of which we know nothing concrete. Or closer in time, the Trojan War ... Today it is believed that if there was any real warlike event that inspired the epic poems of the Song of Ilion, it must have occurred around 1200 BC. That's barely more than 3000 years ago, and we can not even be relatively confident about whether it happened or not. 
How would the Weterosi know about events that happened 10.000 or 8000 years ago? That is a great, great deal of time. I believe that many of those ancient events and characters are wrapped in mistery deliberately, and that GRRM's intention is to keep them that way, except those (if there is any) that might be relevant to the development of the story,  and need to be revealed. But for this we'll have to wait for the Three-eyed Raven to focus on them.

On 15/9/2017 at 3:48 PM, summitxho said:

What I also find interesting is the crypts where these Kings of winter rest in Winterfell. I do not have much knowledge on the books yet, but there was talk about something important being in the crypts of Winterfell, a lot of hints in the books to this apparently and Jon having visions.

Many theories have emerged along the years, in old threads of this and other forums you can find them. But I think that is best to postpone the debate on these until you've read the books, to not spoil your reading experience ;)

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