hiemal

Direwolves That Howl in the Night: Significant Absences From ASOIAF

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Like Doyle's Dog barking there are some elements that are notable in the Song by their absence. I'd like to collect a few that bug me and invite you to add your own.

1. Eclipses! As my portrait suggests this is a big one for me. With their cosmological relationship to the Long Night and the theme of usurpation of power that runs through the series as well as the maersters scanning the skies and making calculations this should be more prominent I feel. The image of the fiery crown (corona) on a shadowed face lies at the heart of the Blood betrayal and is the key to the god of Flame and Shadow- or at least so I hypothesize.

 

2. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions! Quakes are hinted at in mythological terms in the breaking of the Arm and the Hammer of Waters as well as the Horn of Joramun and volcanoes seem to be fairly common- but eruptions seem to be scarce since the Doom. My own pet theory if you are unfamiliar with it is also tied to point 3 so I'll dig into crust tectonics a little more with

 

3. Electromagnetism and compasses! Seriously!? No lodestones, no magnets, and most tellingly no reliable navigation. With all the work of the maesters and of the Cult of Starry Wisdom they are still afraid of pelagic navigation! Could it be that there is something going on with the planet's inner core- in the real of cthonic flame and shadow that is preventing these forces from manifesting normally? Could it be that R'hlorr has thrust his essence into the very planet, creating a world-spanning "soul-cycle" like that of the Old Gods with himself as sole deity? That's my theory anyways. One caveat- there do seem to be Aurora Borealis in the far North (or what serves as the North at the moment- but that may be a different thread) so it would seem that there is some kind of planetary magnetic field.

4. Ice Ages and glaciation! This seems to be have been caught up in seasonal dysfunction of fluctuating length. There could be nothing more to it, but I do hypothesize that this might be the result of Night's Queen "creation"- which I suspect is the result of the Blood Betrayal as I detailed elsewhere in the Nissa-Nissa is Night's Queen thread.

 

5. Food! Seems unlikely, I know but there are foods that don't pop up in GRRM's lavish food porn. There is already some great stuff on that so I'm just going to mention my big three: Coffee, chocolate, and potatoes. Sorry GRRM but mashed neeps just don't do it for me and whoever heard of death by carob? Since sweetcorn and turkeys are not unknown to Westeros I suppose it could be that South America is elsewhere- but people have been to Sothoryos or however the African analog is spelled so I really don't see why there is no coffee. Sad.

 

6. Virgin birth! Women are definitely seen as the lesser sex but with no concept of original sin perhaps that is why the mother dying in childbirth replaces parthenogenesis as the preferred method of creating messiahs? Not sure but it feels like there is something important here.

 

7. Menstrual magic! Given the above, why is there no magic in Queen's Blood (so to speak)?

 

That's all I can think of now. Please post your own!

 

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30 minutes ago, hiemal said:

Like Doyle's Dog barking there are some elements that are notable in the Song by their absence. I'd like to collect a few that bug me and invite you to add your own.

1. Eclipses! As my portrait suggests this is a big one for me. With their cosmological relationship to the Long Night and the theme of usurpation of power that runs through the series as well as the maersters scanning the skies and making calculations this should be more prominent I feel. The image of the fiery crown (corona) on a shadowed face lies at the heart of the Blood betrayal and is the key to the god of Flame and Shadow- or at least so I hypothesize.

I only have a second but I find your list interesting and fun.

I think the current eclipse we have is Val protecting a fallen Jon. George has used eclipses in his past stories as analogies for the characters in the story, and this includes (repeatedly) the "Jon" sun character always pairing up and being protected by a "Val" moon character until that sun can rise again. It is always more a protection rather than a usurpation.

30 minutes ago, hiemal said:

 

7. Menstrual magic! Given the above, why is there no magic in Queen's Blood (so to speak)?

I have always speculated that the "blood of the dragon" and the dragon blood magic (with possible cross-species breeding) is actually moon blood (Quartheen legend) and therefore we have the ability of even virgin females being able to "birth" dragons. This is one of the reasons for Targargyen incest, to control the "blood of the dragon" which is there women.

Or not? :dunno:

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1 hour ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I only have a second but I find your list interesting and fun.

I think the current eclipse we have is Val protecting a fallen Jon. George has used eclipses in his past stories as analogies for the characters in the story, and this includes (repeatedly) the "Jon" sun character always pairing up and being protected by a "Val" moon character until that sun can rise again. It is always more a protection rather than a usurpation.

 

That is a great insight! I'll be thinking on that for a while.

1 hour ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I have always speculated that the "blood of the dragon" and the dragon blood magic (with possible cross-species breeding) is actually moon blood (Quartheen legend) and therefore we have the ability of even virgin females being able to "birth" dragons. This is one of the reasons for Targargyen incest, to control the "blood of the dragon" which is there women.

Or not? :dunno:

I like it. I wonder if virginity (or its lack) has anything to do with the monstrous stillbirths? Virginal purity does seem to be important in Westeros.

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13 minutes ago, hiemal said:

That is a great insight! I'll be thinking on that for a while.

I like it. I wonder if virginity (or its lack) has anything to do with the monstrous stillbirths? Virginal purity does seem to be important in Westeros.

Thank you. Yeah, these are just ideas I have gathered from across many of the authors past work... and as always, ya’ never know. Not sure if you have read Fevre Dream or Nightflyers, but these stories also use this same idea on page acted out by the characters. I think in Fevre Dream the author also uses the ship analogy and one of them is called the Eclipse and this plays parallel to what the characters are doing at the same time. Good stuff! 

*** trying not to give away too many plot spoilers from the other stories. 

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@hiemal

some interesting observations :D 

But to address the point about food, as far as I know he purposely included no food from the New World, hence no tomatoes, potatoes, or chocolate or anything else. As for coffee, maybe no one has explored Sothoryos far enough south to find coffee :dunno: 

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9 hours ago, hiemal said:

3. Electromagnetism and compasses! Seriously!? No lodestones, no magnets, and most tellingly no reliable navigation. With all the work of the maesters and of the Cult of Starry Wisdom they are still afraid of pelagic navigation! Could it be that there is something going on with the planet's inner core- in the real of cthonic flame and shadow that is preventing these forces from manifesting normally? Could it be that R'hlorr has thrust his essence into the very planet, creating a world-spanning "soul-cycle" like that of the Old Gods with himself as sole deity? That's my theory anyways. One caveat- there do seem to be Aurora Borealis in the far North (or what serves as the North at the moment- but that may be a different thread) so it would seem that there is some kind of planetary magnetic field.


Again, this is just me thinking and speculatin' a bit, but... a while ago I wondered if the Sunglass the Melisandre burns is not some sort of a metaphorical reference to the Viking Sunstone, which turns out was proven to be accurate.

Anyway, Mel the misguided seems to have missed a few signs of what is to come by burning a "guide" who then the next surviving Sunglass flees to Volantis... which is another whole set of possible upcoming events of importance. (this is really a boiled down jist of what I mentioned in the other thread).

Good point on the possible planetary magnetic field.

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11 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

 


Again, this is just me thinking and speculatin' a bit, but... a while ago I wondered if the Sunglass the Melisandre burns is not some sort of a metaphorical reference to the Viking Sunstone, which turns out was proven to be accurate.

Anyway, Mel the misguided seems to have missed a few signs of what is to come by burning a "guide" who then the next surviving Sunglass flees to Volantis... which is another whole set of possible upcoming events of importance. (this is really a boiled down jist of what I mentioned in the other thread).

Misguided indeed! I see Sunstone as a stop-gap Iphigenia, a teaser-sacrifice before Stannis-Agamemnon gets desperate enough to sacrifice Shireen. Does this imply that the Seven have a role to play in the coming Battle for the Dawn?

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2 hours ago, hiemal said:

Misguided indeed! I see Sunstone as a stop-gap Iphigenia, a teaser-sacrifice before Stannis-Agamemnon gets desperate enough to sacrifice Shireen. Does this imply that the Seven have a role to play in the coming Battle for the Dawn?

Hmmmm, still speculatin' here, but I wonder if this is the point of Sansa (and most likely soon to be joined by Sandor reborn) being the Stark that follows the Faith/7 most closely out of her cub pack? Could Sansa be the Seven-wolf that howls in the night? This would give some reason for her faith and worship and songs, as well as give hints to her actually playing a part in the future survival in Westeros.

Maybe? Maybe not?

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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42 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Hmmmm, still speculatin' here, but I wonder if this is the point of Sansa (and most likely soon to be joined by Sandor reborn) being the Stark that follows the Faith/7 most closely out of her cub pack? Could Sansa be the Seven-wolf that howls in the night? This would give some reason for her faith and worship and songs, as well as give hints to her actually playing a part in the future survival in Westeros.

Maybe? Maybe not?

I want it to be- does that count?

 

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8. Microscopes! Are the maesters hoarding knowledge, slaves become masters by doling out power and misinformation as suits their own ends and uninterested in the advancement of understanding?

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59 minutes ago, hiemal said:

8. Microscopes! Are the maesters hoarding knowledge, slaves become masters by doling out power and misinformation as suits their own ends and uninterested in the advancement of understanding?

Are the maesters hoarding knowledge??? Most probably.

I don't want to bogart your thread with my rants... I won't do it... I won't ask how Cersei knows Robert's heirs are in his semen. I won't. I mean, it is easy to draw a distinction between a mans seed and a woman's coming together to make a baby, but the specifics of ten thousand of potentials being in there as opposed to the single (maybe twins) that comes out of one... errr, squirt.

A Feast for Crows - Cersei VII

But it was no good. She could not feel it, whatever Robert felt on the nights he took her. There was no pleasure in it, not for her. For Taena, yes. Her nipples were two black diamonds, her sex slick and steamy. Robert would have loved you, for an hour. The queen slid a finger into that Myrish swamp, then another, moving them in and out, but once he spent himself inside you, he would have been hard-pressed to recall your name.
She wanted to see if it would be as easy with a woman as it had always been with Robert. Ten thousand of your children perished in my palm, Your Grace, she thought, slipping a third finger into Myr. Whilst you snored, I would lick your sons off my face and fingers one by one, all those pale sticky princes. You claimed your rights, my lord, but in the darkness I would eat your heirs. Taena gave a shudder. She gasped some words in a foreign tongue, then shuddered again and arched her back and screamed. She sounds as if she is being gored, the queen thought. For a moment she let herself imagine that her fingers were a bore's tusks, ripping the Myrish woman apart from groin to throat.
It was still no good.
 
And again, I since I do not want to bogart your thread, I won't compare this to Old Nan's tales. Remind me again which side of the wall the "bad guys" are on because the giants we have on page are vegetarian??? :idea:

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VIII

"His name is Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, Leathers tells me. A lot to wrap a tongue around, I know. Leathers calls him Wun Wun, and that seems to serve." Wun Wun was very little like the giants in Old Nan's tales, those huge savage creatures who mixed blood into their morning porridge and devoured whole bulls, hair and hide and horns. This giant ate no meat at all, though he was a holy terror when served a basket of roots, crunching onions and turnips and even raw hard neeps between his big square teeth. "He's a willing worker, though getting him to understand what you want is not always easy. He speaks the Old Tongue after a fashion, but nothing of the Common. Tireless, though, and his strength is prodigious. He could do the work of a dozen men."
"I … my lord, the men would never … giants eat human flesh, I think … no, my lord, I thank you, but I do not have the men to watch over such a creature, he …"
 
So that's it. I won't say anything.

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42 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Are the maesters hoarding knowledge??? Most probably.

I don't want to bogart your thread with my rants... I won't do it... I won't ask how Cersei knows Robert's heirs are in his semen. I won't. I mean, it is easy to draw a distinction between a mans seed and a woman's coming together to make a baby, but the specifics of ten thousand of potentials being in there as opposed to the single (maybe twins) that comes out of one... errr, squirt.

A Feast for Crows - Cersei VII

But it was no good. She could not feel it, whatever Robert felt on the nights he took her. There was no pleasure in it, not for her. For Taena, yes. Her nipples were two black diamonds, her sex slick and steamy. Robert would have loved you, for an hour. The queen slid a finger into that Myrish swamp, then another, moving them in and out, but once he spent himself inside you, he would have been hard-pressed to recall your name.
She wanted to see if it would be as easy with a woman as it had always been with Robert. Ten thousand of your children perished in my palm, Your Grace, she thought, slipping a third finger into Myr. Whilst you snored, I would lick your sons off my face and fingers one by one, all those pale sticky princes. You claimed your rights, my lord, but in the darkness I would eat your heirs. Taena gave a shudder. She gasped some words in a foreign tongue, then shuddered again and arched her back and screamed. She sounds as if she is being gored, the queen thought. For a moment she let herself imagine that her fingers were a bore's tusks, ripping the Myrish woman apart from groin to throat.
It was still no good.
 
And again, I since I do not want to bogart your thread, I won't compare this to Old Nan's tales. Remind me again which side of the wall the "bad guys" are on because the giants we have on page are vegetarian??? :idea:
 

To stick with the theme, my threads are at least 50% spitball so bogart away. 

Not only is that just great mythic imagery with a grrm twist but it does raise questions. Such as:

Is there a shadow Citadel for women- namely the Silent Sisters?

Edited by hiemal

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On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 1:27 PM, hiemal said:

Menstrual magic! Given the above, why is there no magic in Queen's Blood (so to speak)?

There is. The message got flipped around (told in bizarre reverse) over the generations. The important thing lost in translation is that it's queensblood that holds the power (or at least held the initial power), shed during the blood betrayal. Just like the kingsmoot was originally a queensmoot (like Asha puts forth) and the Drowned God is really a Drowned Goddess(!) and the Old Way is really the Blood Betrayal/Usurpation pretty much point-by-point of the solar deity overthrowing the lunar deity (and is, therefore, ironically the "New" Way). Actually, the Ironborn have a very bizarre interpretation of that event, taking the slain goddess for their deity, but lauding and honoring the usurping slaughterer solar deity thereafter (and the "that which is dead cannot die, but rises again harder and stronger" is all about the green giant, her son, so naturally they loathe the "green lands" and "green land lords")!

When we see "black blood" or "night and blood," we're also getting a wink toward the power of queensblood at work. 

On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 1:27 PM, hiemal said:

6. Virgin birth! Women are definitely seen as the lesser sex but with no concept of original sin perhaps that is why the mother dying in childbirth replaces parthenogenesis as the preferred method of creating messiahs? Not sure but it feels like there is something important here.

Interesting thoughts! Perhaps the Blood Betrayal and the Usurpation of the rightful queen takes the place of Original Sin* (which may or may not have included rape--sometimes it appears to include forcible rape and sometimes rape by coercion/lie) which may be why the "bride"/queen/mother is not faulted for the deed. The female party can hardly be claimed more susceptible to temptation when it is the male party that first fell to sin and started the cycle of violence. Forgive my copypasta: 

Quote

The Bones and Beyond: Yi Ti, The World of Ice and Fire

This was not always so, we know. In ancient days, the god-emperors of Yi Ti were as powerful as any ruler on earth, with wealth that exceeded even that of Valyria at its height and armies of almost unimaginable size.

In the beginning, the priestly scribes of Yin declare, all the land between the Bones and the freezing desert called the Grey Waste, from the Shivering Sea to the Jade Sea (including even the great and holy isle of Leng), formed a single realm ruled by the God-on-Earth, the only begotten son of the Lion of Night and MaidenMade-of-Light, who traveled about his domains in a palanquin carved from a single pearl and carried by a hundred queens, his wives. For ten thousand years the Great Empire of the Dawn flourished in peace and plenty under the God-on-Earth, until at last he ascended to the stars to join his forebears.

Dominion over mankind then passed to his eldest son, who was known as the Pearl Emperor and ruled for a thousand years. The Jade Emperor, the Tourmaline Emperor, the Onyx Emperor, the Topaz Emperor, and the Opal Emperor followed in turn, each reigning for centuries...yet every reign was shorter and more troubled than the one preceding it, for wild men and baleful beasts pressed at the borders of the Great Empire, lesser kings grew prideful and rebellious, and the common people gave themselves over to avarice, envy, lust, murder, incest, gluttony, and sloth.

 

Here, Martin is telling us how it was meant to be, and also what went wrong. Remember, as above, so below. What is happening in the “dominion (of) mankind” is also happening in the heavens, with the gods themselves. Trouble and turmoil and tribulation. Deadly sins. Warring amongst themselves. And death. Death and death and death. Because violence always perpetuates itself. When you give in to it, the situation can only ever grow worse, never better.

Notice "incest" (the solar deity's rape of his sister-"bride" lunar deity) is counted one of the seven deadly sins (taking the place of "pride" whilst "murder" takes the place of "wrath")!

*If "incest" is part of the Original Sin of the gods above, perhaps reaching for that godly power or knowledge--corresponding more accurately to eating of the forbidden fruit(s) of the Tree(s) of Knowledge (weirwoods) and Life (undying ebony/yronwood trees)--is part of the Original Sin of the gods below (which also includes in itself a Blood Betrayal and Usurpation--the slaughter of the First King, which is where the "three brothers" comes into play, with their many echoes, e.g., Robert, Stannis, and Renly). 

On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 2:04 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

I have always speculated that the "blood of the dragon" and the dragon blood magic (with possible cross-species breeding) is actually moon blood (Quartheen legend) and therefore we have the ability of even virgin females being able to "birth" dragons. This is one of the reasons for Targargyen incest, to control the "blood of the dragon" which is there women.

Or not? :dunno:

Interesting. I've been reading "blood of the dragon" as "blood of the Fisher Queens" (God-on-Earth "traveled about his domains in a palanquin carved by a single pearl and carried by a hundred queens, his wives") of late, they who were the first worshippers of the lunar deity and blessed with certain powers (e.g. greenseeing, skinchanging) as well as who were taken captive and forcibly wed by the GEoDs (who wanted to bond with the most fearsome and destructive beast ever, the dragon) to breed the first Dragonlords. "Blood of the dragon" in the heavens is, of course, the black blood of the moon, but as it must have a corresponding factor on earth, the Fisher Queens appear to be the starting point. (This is where the "holy" blood of the priests also comes in, that Euron is seeking for whatever abominable ritual he wants to perform, because the first queen, the moon, was also a goddess, and therefore her blood is holy blood.) As such, it makes perfect sense that any Dragonlords would want to hoard the "blood of the dragon" for themselves, driving them to commit incest, like the solar deity they worshipped (the man-wreathed-in-flame, man-and-mount-aflame), as means to keep their women--and mounts--close. Moon blood--queensblood--becomes the source of their power, then. 

 

On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 3:36 PM, hiemal said:

That is a great insight! I'll be thinking on that for a while.

I like it. I wonder if virginity (or its lack) has anything to do with the monstrous stillbirths? Virginal purity does seem to be important in Westeros.

An interesting thought, but I'm not certain how to tie virginity or its lack to the monstrous stillbirths. Dany was a virgin when she wed Drogo and conceived Rhaego (much to Viserys's chagrin), but Rhaenyra didn't give birth to a "monstrosity" until her second marriage, with Prince Daemon, and previously had three healthy children in her first marriage (the maybe-Strongs/maybe-Velaryons). Didn't she also proceed to have a healthy heir with Prince Daemon, too? (Can't recall.) Then there's Maegor the Cruel, who had "monstrosities" with some of his wives, some of whom had been married before and of proven fertility (in his desperation to have an heir). How can we tie Maegor's stillbirths to virginity or its lack at all, since he's the Targaryen/Dragonlord in the equation and some of his brides may not even have ties to the "First" First Men Dragonlords (GEoDs) like the Hightower bride (who may or may not be in that camp)? Virginal purity is important in Westeros for women, but not for men, so Maegor really seems to throw a spanner in the works here. :dunno:

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On ‎10‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 3:10 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

Are the maesters hoarding knowledge??? Most probably.

I don't want to bogart your thread with my rants... I won't do it... I won't ask how Cersei knows Robert's heirs are in his semen. I won't. I mean, it is easy to draw a distinction between a mans seed and a woman's coming together to make a baby, but the specifics of ten thousand of potentials being in there as opposed to the single (maybe twins) that comes out of one... errr, squirt.

A Feast for Crows - Cersei VII

But it was no good. She could not feel it, whatever Robert felt on the nights he took her. There was no pleasure in it, not for her. For Taena, yes. Her nipples were two black diamonds, her sex slick and steamy. Robert would have loved you, for an hour. The queen slid a finger into that Myrish swamp, then another, moving them in and out, but once he spent himself inside you, he would have been hard-pressed to recall your name.
She wanted to see if it would be as easy with a woman as it had always been with Robert. Ten thousand of your children perished in my palm, Your Grace, she thought, slipping a third finger into Myr. Whilst you snored, I would lick your sons off my face and fingers one by one, all those pale sticky princes. You claimed your rights, my lord, but in the darkness I would eat your heirs. Taena gave a shudder. She gasped some words in a foreign tongue, then shuddered again and arched her back and screamed. She sounds as if she is being gored, the queen thought. For a moment she let herself imagine that her fingers were a bore's tusks, ripping the Myrish woman apart from groin to throat.
It was still no good.
 

This always stood out to me as really bizarre. I always thought of it as Martin making an anachronistic flub in his eagerness to set a certain scene or make a certain point. 

You think the Maesters have this all figured out already? Interestingly, Taena (who Robert would have loved "for an hour" in his philandering, and who Cersei imagines she is raping, as Robert raped her) is from Myr, and the entire story did kick off with the "gift" of a Myrish Lens (tube/telescope) that eventually led to the discovery of the twincest bastards and treasons ("pale sticky princes") and culminated in the death of Robert ("let herself imagine that her fingers were a boar's tusks, ripping the Myrish woman apart from groin to throat.") to protect said bastards from the consequences of the twincest treasons. 

 

Quote
And again, I since I do not want to bogart your thread, I won't compare this to Old Nan's tales. Remind me again which side of the wall the "bad guys" are on because the giants we have on page are vegetarian??? :idea:

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VIII

"His name is Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, Leathers tells me. A lot to wrap a tongue around, I know. Leathers calls him Wun Wun, and that seems to serve." Wun Wun was very little like the giants in Old Nan's tales, those huge savage creatures who mixed blood into their morning porridge and devoured whole bulls, hair and hide and horns. This giant ate no meat at all, though he was a holy terror when served a basket of roots, crunching onions and turnips and even raw hard neeps between his big square teeth. "He's a willing worker, though getting him to understand what you want is not always easy. He speaks the Old Tongue after a fashion, but nothing of the Common. Tireless, though, and his strength is prodigious. He could do the work of a dozen men."
"I … my lord, the men would never … giants eat human flesh, I think … no, my lord, I thank you, but I do not have the men to watch over such a creature, he …"
 
So that's it. I won't say anything.

The green giant and the bones of the earth (the trees)! Notice they devoured bulls entire, "horns" and all. :) And who are the "Last of the Giants" that "ruled all the world" and whose "song" (in "the Old Tongue") is being overtaken by "silence" after being hunted to death with "dogs" (What kind of god let's a dog piss on him?) and "torches" by "smallfolk" who've "stolen [their] forests" and "rivers and hills?" Are the giants "gone from the earth" or "gone down into the earth," I wonder, and waiting to be once again "woke(n)... from the earth" at the sounding of the Horn of Joramun (the moonmaid's cry that "broke" the world)? One way or another, giants certainly are "a holy terror!" They may not be served a "basket of roots" for supper, but they have other uses for such. ;) 

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On 10/22/2017 at 3:10 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

Remind me again which side of the wall the "bad guys" are on because the giants we have on page are vegetarian?

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VIII

"His name is Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, Leathers tells me. A lot to wrap a tongue around, I know. Leathers calls him Wun Wun, and that seems to serve." Wun Wun was very little like the giants in Old Nan's tales, those huge savage creatures who mixed blood into their morning porridge and devoured whole bulls, hair and hide and horns.
They were scaling a low ridge between two snowcapped peaks when a shadowcat came snarling from its lair, not ten yards away. The beast was gaunt and half-starved, but the sight of it sent Stonesnake's mare into a panic; she reared and ran, and before the ranger could get her back under control she had stumbled on the steep slope and broken a leg.
Ghost ate well that day, and Qhorin insisted that the rangers mix some of the garron's blood with their oats, to give them strength. The taste of that foul porridge almost choked Jon, but he forced it down. They each cut a dozen strips of raw stringy meat from the carcass to chew on as they rode, and left the rest for the shadowcats. (ACoK, Jon VIII)

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21 minutes ago, Seams said:
They were scaling a low ridge between two snowcapped peaks when a shadowcat came snarling from its lair, not ten yards away. The beast was gaunt and half-starved, but the sight of it sent Stonesnake's mare into a panic; she reared and ran, and before the ranger could get her back under control she had stumbled on the steep slope and broken a leg.
Ghost ate well that day, and Qhorin insisted that the rangers mix some of the garron's blood with their oats, to give them strength. The taste of that foul porridge almost choked Jon, but he forced it down. They each cut a dozen strips of raw stringy meat from the carcass to chew on as they rode, and left the rest for the shadowcats. (ACoK, Jon VIII)

Nice! So we have literal and figurative "giants" in the game. And again this shows that the wall was not built to block men (free folk), but something else. The land is one.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon V

Not all the fighting men were broken, though. Half a dozen Thenns in bronze scale armor stood clustered round one cellar stair, watching sullenly and making no attempt to join the others. In the ruins of the old village smithy Jon spied a big bald slab of a man he recognized as Halleck, the brother of Harma Dogshead. Harma's pigs were gone, though. Eaten, no doubt. Those two in furs were Hornfoot men, as savage as they were scrawny, barefoot even in the snow. There are wolves amongst these sheep, still.
Val had reminded him of that, on his last visit with her. "Free folk and kneelers are more alike than not, Jon Snow. Men are men and women women, no matter which side of the Wall we were born on. Good men and bad, heroes and villains, men of honor, liars, cravens, brutes … we have plenty, as do you."
She was not wrong. The trick was telling one from the other, parting the sheep from the goats.

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13 hours ago, TheSeason said:

This always stood out to me as really bizarre. I always thought of it as Martin making an anachronistic flub in his eagerness to set a certain scene or make a certain point. 

You think the Maesters have this all figured out already?

To a large degree, yes. Not only do there seems to be clues in this series of the maesters either withholding, but possibly also desiring to control, certain and information and magics. The author loves his own themes and so far he is following his own theme in regards to the maesters as he has done in many of his past stories. I am sure the lower ranking household maesters are just doing what they were taught to a large degree, but the higher up maesters are another story.... and I hope we see Sam the Slayer slay some of these maester lies and coverups. :devil:

13 hours ago, TheSeason said:

Interestingly, Taena (who Robert would have loved "for an hour" in his philandering, and who Cersei imagines she is raping, as Robert raped her) is from Myr, and the entire story did kick off with the "gift" of a Myrish Lens (tube/telescope) that eventually led to the discovery of the twincest bastards and treasons ("pale sticky princes") and culminated in the death of Robert ("let herself imagine that her fingers were a boar's tusks, ripping the Myrish woman apart from groin to throat.") to protect said bastards from the consequences of the twincest treasons. 

There is definitely something strange about Myrish objects and people. None of them seem to be what they appear to be at first glance.
Almost like they distort the senses, or are in the room as weird distortions happen; ex: truths said in such a way that they = lies.

13 hours ago, TheSeason said:

The green giant and the bones of the earth (the trees)! Notice they devoured bulls entire, "horns" and all. :) And who are the "Last of the Giants" that "ruled all the world" and whose "song" (in "the Old Tongue") is being overtaken by "silence" after being hunted to death with "dogs" (What kind of god let's a dog piss on him?) and "torches" by "smallfolk" who've "stolen [their] forests" and "rivers and hills?" Are the giants "gone from the earth" or "gone down into the earth," I wonder, and waiting to be once again "woke(n)... from the earth" at the sounding of the Horn of Joramun (the moonmaid's cry that "broke" the world)? One way or another, giants certainly are "a holy terror!" They may not be served a "basket of roots" for supper, but they have other uses for such. ;) 

Agreed. I like the way you put this.

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5 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

To a large degree, yes. Not only do there seems to be clues in this series of the maesters either withholding, but possibly also desiring to control, certain and information and magics. The author loves his own themes and so far he is following his own theme in regards to the maesters as he has done in many of his past stories. I am sure the lower ranking household maesters are just doing what they were taught to a large degree, but the higher up maesters are another story.... and I hope we see Sam the Slayer slay some of these maester lies and coverups. :devil:

I see. I haven't read anything else by Martin, so I cannot comment on or analyze his re-usage of certain symbols and themes. 

The maesters definitely appear to suppress or outright deny magical information or practices/rituals--and even appear to maintain at least one magical ritual (the glass candles), perhaps expressly for the purpose of identifying maesters who are capable of lighting them, so they can isolate (like Maester Aemon Targaryen or Maester Marwyn) or outright kill them (Cressen kills Melisandre in exactly the manner Marwyn claims the (Arch)maesters-in-Collusion are said to operate, warning Sam that he might become a victim of this practice; of course, Cressen does this well prior to Marwyn explaining the practice, so many readers don't make this connection*). They also maintain their arcane knowledge course (the Valyrian Steel link), possibly to weed out maesters with magical potential and also to produce discouraged and disillusioned maesters (like Maester Luwin, Maester Coleman--Sweetrobin's master, and whoever was Maester when Euron was young, who counseled him that he couldn't "fly.") who went into the course eager to learn and exited abashed, conforming, and maybe even humiliated for their efforts.  

*Martin does this again with Dany's "waking dragons from stone" moment (fulfilling the first half of the prophecy dedicated to her--I think the prophecy is dedicated to three dragons, Dany, Aegon/Young Griff, and Jon Snow, and the perfumed seneschal/stinky steward, Tyrion, as most explicitly identified in Moqorro's vision, although that it only one iteration of this prophecy, which crops up over and over), which happens at the end of Game, prior to Melisandre giving voice to the prophecy in Clash (and misidentifying Stannis as the personage of the prophecy, as she sees--and again misinterprets--a vision of herself orchestrating the false Lightbringer ceremony with the ritual burning of the Seven at Dragonstone).

The problem with the maesters is that they're not scientists as we understand the term, more "collectors" or "archivists" of pre-existing knowledge. Generations of maesters learn the same knowledge but never contribute anything of significance to expanding that knowledge base for future generations. That's a huge problem, and helps to cripple Westerosi progress and advancement. The other half of the problem includes the feudal system itself, which gives the common man little-to-no right to the fruits of his labors, which means a lord can simply "take" a worthy new invention as part of his "tax," which gives the commoner no incentive to put in the effort to improve upon the current technology, since only his "lordly betters" will benefit from the work. The lord may throw the commoner a bone, if he's well-meaning enough, but he's not required to, so he will reap the primary rewards and the commoner will stew in his bitterness over being "gifted" the lord's leavings (out of the goodness of his lord's heart! :rolleyes:). 

The maesters are more concerned with maintaining and expanding their power base than their knowledge base (the "grey rats" becoming the "masters" rather than the servants, as Barbrey Dustin argues), with all the hang-ups that come along with this focus. Perhaps this has something to do with their unique bond or alliance with House Hightower. I'd really like to know what pigeon pies the council of Archmaesters really have their fingers in... but I believe the Grandmaester (Pycelle) is more their tool to control the crown than a major party to the conspiracy, because he is just another maester "servant" (just bound to the Red Keep/Iron Throne) and would require plausible deniability. The lower-level maester-servant types (like Luwin, Cressen, Pycelle) often demonstrate some affection for and loyalty to the lords they are bound to (Luwin-Stark kids/Bran and Rickon, Cressen-Stannis, Pycelle oddly bonds with Tywin Lannister, the King's Hand, rather than any of the kings he served, and goes above-and-beyond for House Lannister due to that loyalty), which could really put a damper on the conspiracy if they were in large part active and high-ranking members of it (though I do believe Cressen was an active member, and maybe Maesters Walys Flowers and Luwin--who, it seems, came from Riverrun with Cat, demonstrating loyalty to the "Tully" agenda and the Stark kids, but not necessarily to Jon Snow, although he may not have gone out of his way to be cold or cruel to Jon, unlike Cat; he does seem to want Jon Snow out of the house, though, perhaps for Cat's sake, or for her children's, as it's difficult to tell). 

Quote

There is definitely something strange about Myrish objects and people. None of them seem to be what they appear to be at first glance.
Almost like they distort the senses, or are in the room as weird distortions happen; ex: truths said in such a way that they = lies.

Very cool! I will have to keep an eye open (lol) for the Myrish distortions. Do you have any specific examples to point me to first? 

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Agreed. I like the way you put this.

Thanks! :-) 

 

Also @hiemal sorry if I've derailed the thread. I know none of this is really party to the scope of your OP. And about the eclipses... aren't they covered (but hidden) by the myriad references to the Gods Eye or the blinding of the God's Eye? Also covered with R'hllor (the fiery eye composed of the fiery dwarf moonmaid and the solar disc) and the Great Other (the black icy eye with pale corona composed of the large silver moonmaid and the solar disc) are deities corresponding to the two eyes of the god. The symbolic "mane" might be another allusion to it (being the corona), as well as the "crown" (fiery--burning eye--or crystal--icy eye), as well as "the curtain of light at the end of the world" (could be read either as the aurora borealis or foreshadowing of the coming eclipse event//allusion to the ancient eclipse event). 

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On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 1:27 PM, hiemal said:

Like Doyle's Dog barking there are some elements that are notable in the Song by their absence. I'd like to collect a few that bug me and invite you to add your own.

...

That's all I can think of now. Please post your own!

I've always wondered why we never hear Ned thinking, "If only my mother had lived to keep Lyanna in line . . . " or even, "Thank the gods my mother was dead and gone before Lyanna and Brandon were taken from us . . . ." Or even Catelyn thinking, "This was the place where Ned's mother had educated her children." Maybe the kids in the crypt saying, "Lord Rickard's bones had been laid to rest alongside those of his lady wife, who had died some years earlier." Something. Anything. That the Stark matriarch has zero presence in the lives of her descendants seems strange to me.

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39 minutes ago, Seams said:

I've always wondered why we never hear Ned thinking, "If only my mother had lived to keep Lyanna in line . . . " or even, "Thank the gods my mother was dead and gone before Lyanna and Brandon were taken from us . . . ." Or even Catelyn thinking, "This was the place where Ned's mother had educated her children." Maybe the kids in the crypt saying, "Lord Rickard's bones had been laid to rest alongside those of his lady wife, who had died some years earlier." Something. Anything. That the Stark matriarch has zero presence in the lives of her descendants seems strange to me.

It's not just her.  I think this is where we need to side eye the thing we love a bit.  I believe when George was asked about who Ned's mother was, he kinda blew it off and said "Lady Stark.  She died."  He's thought of names for characters that don't even really matter historically or to any plot for world building's sake, but he couldn't be bothered to name Ned's mother until he was pressed on it?  Joannalannister on tumblr dubbed this "pantheon" of women George couldn't be bothered to flesh out the "Dead Ladies Club."  They are often mothers who died in childbirth, but not always.  But it is like their sole purpose in the story is to die or be solely defined by their relationship to a man.  It's a heavily gendered slant.  We know many details about the lives, ambitions, fears, quirks of male historical figures, but almost nothing of their female counterparts that lived along side them.  It should be natural for a POV character to at some point think of these women and they just don't.  Catelyn and Ned never think of their mothers ever.  It's like they don't exist.  What do we know about the personality of Queen Rhaella?  We only know she was a battered wife.  Ashara Dayne is on a pedestal for her great beauty and mythologized for her suicide, but she's largely a blank slate for male characters and readers to project upon.  Joanna Lannister.  She's the only one who could make Tywin smile, but all we know about her is that she's an object of desire and she died in childbirth.  Do Cersei, Jaime, or Tywin ever mention anything specific about who she was?  Nope.  All we know of Elia is that she was gentle and frail, but what do we know of how she felt about her life with a crazy father-in-law that despised her and her marriage to a total douchebag?  She has no voice.  No POV recounts anything she said or did in response to any of these things.  The most detailed thing we know about her life is her gruesome death.  Not trying to derail the thread on this specific thing, but you aren't the only one who noticed the conspicuously absent thought or mention of female characters that should be by all logic important to the POVs or overall plot.                

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