Vaedys Targaryen

Warging laws

82 posts in this topic

I'm not sure if this has been asked before, but here goes:

 

The wargs/skinchangers have three "laws" that they mustn't break:

Don't warg into something and mate with another animal.

Don't eat human flesh when warging.

Don't warg into another human being.

 

Aside from the warging into another human, what's so bad about the other two?

Why can't a warg eat a human when he is inside an animal, if he is hungry for example? What if he really needs this animal and the human is dead anyway? Does that mean that wargs who have their second life in, say, a wolf, can never ever eat a human, even if the warg is starving and found the human dead? Varamyr Sixskins has eaten humans at least once and it doesn't seem to have changed him, so why the fuss?

And why can't a warg mate with another animal while he is warging? Is it like with Harry Potter, where if two werewolves mate while in their werewolf form, they will produce very smart wolves that may have human intelligence? Will the possible offspring of the coupling have near human intelligence or maybe a (partial) human soul? That also brings forth the question, if this is indeed the case, does the intelligence differ if the warg is inside the sire or inside the dam?

 

And what happens if/when a warg gets caught? What's going to happen to him? The Free Folk don't have any real laws, so what are they going to do if a warg breaks these "laws"?

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13 minutes ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

The Free Folk don't have any real laws, so what are they going to do if a warg breaks these "laws"?

Kill! Kill! Kill the Abomination!

Do a happy dance afterwards :)

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They aren't laws. They are the superstitious beliefs of some unwashed hovel dwellers. It may have been based on a grain of truth from 8000 years ago, but then became embellished over time.

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Posted (edited)

The only time we have ever really heard about these "laws" was in Varamyr's prologue. We don't even know whether there is an actual rule or whether it was just an unwritten ethical code that Haggon decided on, or that he got from whoever "Jedi trained" him in the art of skin-changing. Either way, as free folk is a lawless society, everything is judged by tribe ethics etc - I doubt it is universally accepted or uniform across the free folk tribes. It might be that Haggon and Bloodraven would disagree with whether any of these rules are "abomination" or not.

As for why the rules are "abomination", they are a reflection of three big social taboos for humanity: cannibalism (eating human meat), mating while changed (bestiality, rape), and skin-changing another human (removal of autonomy and agency from another human being). The notion is that while your human body is not physically performing these acts if you were in your regular body - you would not do them.

The fact that the final of these - to skin-change another human being - is the worst sin a skin-changer can commit appears to highlight Bran's seizing of Hodor's body. It has got to a point where he is doing it just so he can get around Bloodraven's cave and even thinks about doing it just so he can hug Meera with greater ease. He's treating it almost as if it's Summer now. Also, Varamyr's struggle taking Thistle's body as they fought for dominance over is likely to highlight how easily Bran can now slip into Hodor, and *might* even foreshadow a grim end for Hodor one day. 

The cannibalism aspect is likely to highlight how Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor have all broken this rule anyway, in their own bodies, however unwittingly, and I'm certain Bran has nibbled on some of the mutineers while in Summer's skin.

We simply don't know enough about the consequences of breaking these laws other than becoming a social outcast. I doubt breeding while in a wolf will have any practical effect of wolf cubs because it is only the consciousness that goes into the wolf, and the chapter itself has highlighted that a human can never fully control or tame a wolf to their will. It took a lot of work for Bran to start maintaining some form of control in Summer - when he started out, he just forgot himself all the time. I think it's more on a mental level that you don't copulate with beasts as a human, so you shouldn't as a wolf.

Edited by Faera

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Posted (edited)

All three of these acts are arguably wrong. Since skinchanging is fantasy we can't really debate whether such acts would or should be acceptable in the real world. We are told that these three acts are wrong (just as we are told kinslaying and violating guest right are wrong) in the magical world of ASOIAF, so I accept it as such. 

What's interesting is that Bran has done the second two acts as they are listed in the OP. Does that suggest that he will do the first act? There is a theory that Hodor will rape Meera while Bran is slips his skin. 

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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4 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

snip

The rules are there to dampen the fear of non-skinchangers. Most non-warg free folk would live in fear of someone like Haggon or Varamyr controlling an army of animals that would be almost undefeatable. Living under those rules allow the skinchangers to live without the fear of retribution from their normal brethren 

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1 hour ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

All three of these acts are arguably wrong. Since skinchanging is fantasy we can't really debate whether such acts would or should be acceptable in the real world. We are told that these three acts are wrong (just as we are told kinslaying and violating guest right are wrong) in the magical world of ASOIAF, so I accept it as such. 

What's interesting is that Bran has done the second two acts as they are listed in the OP. Dies that suggest that we will do the first act? There is a theory that Hodor will rape Meera while Bran is slips his skin. 

:wacko:That's honestly the most disturbing theory I have ever read.  Damn, I hope that doesn't happen and I can't even see GRRM going that far.

15 minutes ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

The rules are there to dampen the fear of non-skinchangers. Most non-warg free folk would live in fear of someone like Haggon or Varamyr controlling an army of animals that would be almost undefeatable. Living under those rules allow the skinchangers to live without the fear of retribution from their normal brethren 

This exactly.  Skinchangers need to live with and assimilate with the rest of the wildlings- those rules reflect taboos that wouldn't help skinchangers achieve that goal.  

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21 minutes ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

The rules are there to dampen the fear of non-skinchangers. Most non-warg free folk would live in fear of someone like Haggon or Varamyr controlling an army of animals that would be almost undefeatable. Living under those rules allow the skinchangers to live without the fear of retribution from their normal brethren 

There is no evidence that any normal people have ever even heard of these rules.

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4 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

I'm not sure if this has been asked before, but here goes:

 

The wargs/skinchangers have three "laws" that they mustn't break:

Don't warg into something and mate with another animal.

Don't eat human flesh when warging.

Don't warg into another human being.

 

Aside from the warging into another human, what's so bad about the other two?

Why can't a warg eat a human when he is inside an animal, if he is hungry for example? What if he really needs this animal and the human is dead anyway? Does that mean that wargs who have their second life in, say, a wolf, can never ever eat a human, even if the warg is starving and found the human dead? Varamyr Sixskins has eaten humans at least once and it doesn't seem to have changed him, so why the fuss?

And why can't a warg mate with another animal while he is warging? Is it like with Harry Potter, where if two werewolves mate while in their werewolf form, they will produce very smart wolves that may have human intelligence? Will the possible offspring of the coupling have near human intelligence or maybe a (partial) human soul? That also brings forth the question, if this is indeed the case, does the intelligence differ if the warg is inside the sire or inside the dam?

 

And what happens if/when a warg gets caught? What's going to happen to him? The Free Folk don't have any real laws, so what are they going to do if a warg breaks these "laws"?

Blooraven didn't scold Bran for warging Hodor and if anyone ever had a chance to catch someone out for warging "wrongly" that would have been the time.

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28 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

There is no evidence that any normal people have ever even heard of these rules.

Of course there is. Otherwise, Varamyr's parents would have just killed him instead of sending him to Haggon 

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11 minutes ago, Sigella said:

Blooraven didn't scold Bran for warging Hodor and if anyone ever had a chance to catch someone out for warging "wrongly" that would have been the time.

Bloodraven is a ruthless man just like Tywin.

He gave a letter of safe conduct to a man and then killed him, so I'd not use Bloodraven as a guidestick for "morals".

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24 minutes ago, TMIFairy said:

Bloodraven is a ruthless man just like Tywin.

He gave a letter of safe conduct to a man and then killed him, so I'd not use Bloodraven as a guidestick for "morals".

Calling him as bad as Tywin is unfair when we don't know the exact circumstances of that though (might have been some personal thing that we won't know of until D&E reaches that point). Also we don't know how much he has changed since going green (it been like a hundred years since).

Bllodraven killed one man to avoid war whereas Tywin-type behaviour would be killing the man, going to war and eradicate the offending house to while he's at it.

(I have this rosy dream of Bloodraven having his second life inside one of the dragons and bonding it to Bran)

 

Actually I reflected on this a while ago and decided Bloodraven must have known about Brodor and either deemed it unimportant or a good thing. 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

What's interesting is that Bran has done the second two acts as they are listed in the OP. Dies that suggest that we will do the first act? There is a theory that Hodor will rape Meera while Bran is slips his skin. 

What an unpleasant theory! Bran is a nine-year-old boy with a cute little precocious crush and Hodor would never hurt a fly. If Bran is going to break the first rule, it's much more likely it'll be while he's warging Summer or skin-changing a raven. 

As for Meera, it would be more likely if she is the next human Bran will skin-change, albeit accidentally.

1 hour ago, Sigella said:

Blooraven didn't scold Bran for warging Hodor and if anyone ever had a chance to catch someone out for warging "wrongly" that would have been the time.

Does Bloodraven definitively know Bran can do it, though? 

In his last chapter of ADWD, Bran even thinks to himself "No one must ever know" when it comes to his use of Hodor to get around. That alone suggests that Bran instinctively knows or feels he's doing something wrong, if just because of how Hodor reacts when he does it.

That said, I agree that Bloodraven doesn't seem like that sort of person who would care if Bran was slipping into other humans. He'd likely think it is a very useful skin to be cultivated.

Edited by Faera

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1 minute ago, Faera said:

What an unpleasant theory! Bran is a nine-year-old boy with a cute little precocious crush and Hodor would never hurt a fly. If Bran is going to break the first rule, it's much more likely it'll be while he's warging Summer or skill-changing a raven. 

As for Meera, it would be more likely if she is the next human Bran will skin-change, albeit accidentally.

Does Bloodraven definitively know Bran can do it, though? 

In his last chapter of ADWD, Bran even thinks to himself "No one must ever know" when it comes to his use of Hodor to get around. That alone suggests that Bran instinctively knows or feels he's doing something wrong, if just because of how Hodor reacts when he does it.

That said, I agree that Bloodraven doesn't seem like that sort of person who would care if Bran was slipping into other humans. He'd likely think it is a very useful skin to be cultivated.

Not explicitly. BUT:

Quote

 Dreams became lessons, lessons became dreams, things happened all at once or not at all. Had he done that or only dreamed it?

- Bran III, ADWD

This makes me suspect Bloodraven has good access to Bran's head.

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, Sigella said:

This makes me suspect Bloodraven has good access to Bran's head.

Makes sense. I too suspect that Bloodraven has worked it out, though, he's keeping it to himself. I remember reading a blog a while that that noted how telling that shortly after the theorised "almost-change" with Meera is when he decides Bran is ready to trip-out on Jojen Weirwood Paste as well.

Personally, I see no reason why Bloodraven would object to Bran developing such a useful skill, as horrible as it might seem...

Edited by Faera

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6 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

I'm not sure if this has been asked before, but here goes:

 

The wargs/skinchangers have three "laws" that they mustn't break:

Don't warg into something and mate with another animal.

Don't eat human flesh when warging.

Don't warg into another human being.

 

Aside from the warging into another human, what's so bad about the other two?

Why can't a warg eat a human when he is inside an animal, if he is hungry for example? What if he really needs this animal and the human is dead anyway? Does that mean that wargs who have their second life in, say, a wolf, can never ever eat a human, even if the warg is starving and found the human dead? Varamyr Sixskins has eaten humans at least once and it doesn't seem to have changed him, so why the fuss?

And why can't a warg mate with another animal while he is warging? Is it like with Harry Potter, where if two werewolves mate while in their werewolf form, they will produce very smart wolves that may have human intelligence? Will the possible offspring of the coupling have near human intelligence or maybe a (partial) human soul? That also brings forth the question, if this is indeed the case, does the intelligence differ if the warg is inside the sire or inside the dam?

 

And what happens if/when a warg gets caught? What's going to happen to him? The Free Folk don't have any real laws, so what are they going to do if a warg breaks these "laws"?

Think of them as a code of ethics.  Something they practice to maintain ethics within those with the abilities.  Bran is slowly sinking into the depths of evil because of what he has been doing.  There are very good reasons for having those codes of ethics.  They serve to keep the wargs from regressing to something vile and primitive.  

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7 minutes ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Think of them as a code of ethics.  Something they practice to maintain ethics within those with the abilities.  Bran is slowly sinking into the depths of evil because of what he has been doing.  There are very good reasons for having those codes of ethics.  They serve to keep the wargs from regressing to something vile and primitive.  

Like guest-right :D

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1 hour ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

Of course there is. Otherwise, Varamyr's parents would have just killed him instead of sending him to Haggon 

Nope. That is not evidence of it whatsoever. That could simply be a custom among the Free Folk, namely that children exhibiting the skinchanger Gift get handed over to other skinchangers. It had nothing to do with him breaking one of the so called "skinchanger laws".

 

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43 minutes ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Think of them as a code of ethics.  Something they practice to maintain ethics within those with the abilities.  Bran is slowly sinking into the depths of evil because of what he has been doing.  There are very good reasons for having those codes of ethics.  They serve to keep the wargs from regressing to something vile and primitive.  

Is this fair to say? He has barely begun in training and the stark kids are so young. They literally have their whole lives ahead of them 

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7 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Nope. That is not evidence of it whatsoever. That could simply be a custom among the Free Folk, namely that children exhibiting the skinchanger Gift get handed over to other skinchangers. It had nothing to do with him breaking one of the so called "skinchanger laws".

I never said it was about him breaking any laws. It was a custom, where families would turn over their skinchanger kids to learn how to be an acceptable one. This would have developed over time as a response to people's fears about magic 

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