aryagonnakill#2

Only death can pay for life

18 posts in this topic

This is a very simple and straight forward theory.  I posted it once many years ago and it did not get any traction.  Then I posted it again a few years back and got some believers.  Since I don't like what if threads I figure I'll post it again.

We are told in every single book that only death can pay for life.  We are given numerous examples.  Stannis life force fades creating shadow babies, Thoros life force fades waking a slightly diminished Beric, Beric gives his life to raise Catlyn.  More pointedly, Dany sacrifices Drago for her Dragons, she sacrificed Rhaego for Drago, and arguably Viserys for both the aforementioned.  While we cannot know the exact details, a sacrifice was made.  I think the best example for this theory is that MMD sacrifices Rhaego to revive Drago, but he is catatonic, easily skinchanged.

So my question to all those who believe the mainstream theory, that Crastors and the other wildlings children are being turned into WW's, if only death can pay or life, what death is paying for the WW's ability to raise the dead?

To me it has always been apparent that the children must be sacrifices.  This phrase cannot be meaningless, and I do not think it only applies to dragons.  Only death can pay for life.  That is straight forward.  The WW's cannot raise the dead without sacrificing the babies.

There is to my knowledge only a single line in the text that can be used to support the mainstream idea.  One of Crastors daughter wives tells Sam to take Gilly before the Sons come, or that the sons are coming, something along those lines.  Most readers take that to imply that the sons of Crastor and the other wildlings who sacrifice their children are being turned into WW's.  Obviously I don't believe this to be true.  First I would point out that this woman can't possibly know what she is talking about.  This woman has never left Crastors keep, she knows what he told her, and the story he tells them is the most logical one for him to tell.  Your sons aren't being killed, their being turned into immortal godlike creatures.  If you are somehow keeping a few dozen women in line without any of them slitting your throat at night(ridiculous I'd argue) you would probably want to make them believe giving up their sons isn't all bad.  Why rub it in their faces that they are being killed, and that's if Crastor even has any idea what is being done.  If he doesn't, same thing.  If your going to tell them something it should be a story that won't piss them off any further, maybe he would even like to believe it.

Anyway I don't think there is any other evidence that the children are being turned, and would simply argue that everything we have seen and heard of magic implies that they are in fact sacrifices.  

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1 hour ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

This is a very simple and straight forward theory.  I posted it once many years ago and it did not get any traction.  Then I posted it again a few years back and got some believers.  Since I don't like what if threads I figure I'll post it again.

We are told in every single book that only death can pay for life.  We are given numerous examples.  Stannis life force fades creating shadow babies, Thoros life force fades waking a slightly diminished Beric, Beric gives his life to raise Catlyn.  More pointedly, Dany sacrifices Drago for her Dragons, she sacrificed Rhaego for Drago, and arguably Viserys for both the aforementioned.  While we cannot know the exact details, a sacrifice was made.  I think the best example for this theory is that MMD sacrifices Rhaego to revive Drago, but he is catatonic, easily skinchanged.

So my question to all those who believe the mainstream theory, that Crastors and the other wildlings children are being turned into WW's, if only death can pay or life, what death is paying for the WW's ability to raise the dead?

To me it has always been apparent that the children must be sacrifices.  This phrase cannot be meaningless, and I do not think it only applies to dragons.  Only death can pay for life.  That is straight forward.  The WW's cannot raise the dead without sacrificing the babies.

There is to my knowledge only a single line in the text that can be used to support the mainstream idea.  One of Crastors daughter wives tells Sam to take Gilly before the Sons come, or that the sons are coming, something along those lines.  Most readers take that to imply that the sons of Crastor and the other wildlings who sacrifice their children are being turned into WW's.  Obviously I don't believe this to be true.  First I would point out that this woman can't possibly know what she is talking about.  This woman has never left Crastors keep, she knows what he told her, and the story he tells them is the most logical one for him to tell.  Your sons aren't being killed, their being turned into immortal godlike creatures.  If you are somehow keeping a few dozen women in line without any of them slitting your throat at night(ridiculous I'd argue) you would probably want to make them believe giving up their sons isn't all bad.  Why rub it in their faces that they are being killed, and that's if Crastor even has any idea what is being done.  If he doesn't, same thing.  If your going to tell them something it should be a story that won't piss them off any further, maybe he would even like to believe it.

Anyway I don't think there is any other evidence that the children are being turned, and would simply argue that everything we have seen and heard of magic implies that they are in fact sacrifices.  

Well, sorry, but I'm going to throw a curve at part of your theory by pointing out that we have yet to see a White Walker actually raising a wight, nor have we seen a WW controlling a wight in any way, and, in fact, we have not even seen walkers and human wights in the same place at the same time. The closest we get is the dead horse that Sam sees during the encounter in the Haunted Forest, but it's not like that horse had a maniacal compulsion to kill the living -- it just meanders off like any other horse. So it doesn't appear that the walker is controlling it any differently than a normal horse or that the horse would balk at carrying a living human rider.

But aside from that, all of the wights we have seen appear to be recently dead. They still have flesh, eyes, clothing, etc. So if only death can pay for life, then I think it stands to reason that their own deaths are what paid for their reanimations. And that is if this death-for-life thing is universal and that the wights can be considered "alive" just because they are walking around and killing things. They still appear to be technically dead, just that something is causing them to rise and become active.

Are Craster's sons being killed. Who knows? It seems to me, though, that the old woman who talks about the sons returning knows a thing or two about the cold gods and how they operate. And unless the death of one baby can pay for the lives of thousands of grown wights, then there must be thousands of Crasters all over north of the wall sacrificing babies every day by the score. 

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2 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

This is a very simple and straight forward theory.  I posted it once many years ago and it did not get any traction.  Then I posted it again a few years back and got some believers.  Since I don't like what if threads I figure I'll post it again.

We are told in every single book that only death can pay for life.  We are given numerous examples.  Stannis life force fades creating shadow babies, Thoros life force fades waking a slightly diminished Beric, Beric gives his life to raise Catlyn.  More pointedly, Dany sacrifices Drago for her Dragons, she sacrificed Rhaego for Drago, and arguably Viserys for both the aforementioned.  While we cannot know the exact details, a sacrifice was made.  I think the best example for this theory is that MMD sacrifices Rhaego to revive Drago, but he is catatonic, easily skinchanged.

Where does it say that Thoros is diminished? 

2 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

So my question to all those who believe the mainstream theory, that Crastors and the other wildlings children are being turned into WW's, if only death can pay or life, what death is paying for the WW's ability to raise the dead?

Wights aren't "technically" alive. They are animated dead. 

2 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

To me it has always been apparent that the children must be sacrifices.  This phrase cannot be meaningless, and I do not think it only applies to dragons.  Only death can pay for life.  That is straight forward.  The WW's cannot raise the dead without sacrificing the babies.

We do not know what becomes of craster's boys.  They may be made into WW? They may be killed to do as you say? There could also be something more sinister (eaten, frozen, catapulted over the wall?)
Since every single dead person rises north of the wall, regardless of how they died, I do not think there is a 1 to 1 sacrifice going on. More like a very powerful magical "field."  The wall is a barrier that prevents the WW magic from working, like the wards in the children's cave

2 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

There is to my knowledge only a single line in the text that can be used to support the mainstream idea.  One of Crastors daughter wives tells Sam to take Gilly before the Sons come, or that the sons are coming, something along those lines.  Most readers take that to imply that the sons of Crastor and the other wildlings who sacrifice their children are being turned into WW's.  Obviously I don't believe this to be true.  First I would point out that this woman can't possibly know what she is talking about.  This woman has never left Crastors keep, she knows what he told her, and the story he tells them is the most logical one for him to tell.  Your sons aren't being killed, their being turned into immortal godlike creatures.  If you are somehow keeping a few dozen women in line without any of them slitting your throat at night(ridiculous I'd argue) you would probably want to make them believe giving up their sons isn't all bad.  Why rub it in their faces that they are being killed, and that's if Crastor even has any idea what is being done.  If he doesn't, same thing.  If your going to tell them something it should be a story that won't piss them off any further, maybe he would even like to believe it.

Craster, and his score of uneducated wilding daughter/wives need some incentive to stay. Food in a long winter seems to be the thing. Gilly seems to know that something untoward happens to boys born to craster. The other women must know it too. Giving baby boys and knowing your dad/husband has sexs with his Granddaughter/daughter/wife/your daughter/granddaughter probably seems like a lesser issue than starving and freezing to death in a decade long winter 

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2 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

So my question to all those who believe the mainstream theory, that Crastors and the other wildlings children are being turned into WW's,

You're confusing books with the show. In the books there are the Others, and the white walkers. White walkers are a mere zombies. They are called white walkers, because nearly all their blood has went down into their limbs, while the rest of their bloodless bodies became snow white. And this is what the Others are like:

Quote

A horse’s head emerged from the darkness. Sam felt a moment’s relief, until he saw the horse. Hoarfrost covered it like a sheen of frozen sweat, and a nest of stiff black entrails dragged from its open belly. On its back was a rider pale as ice.

The Other slid gracefully from the saddle to stand upon the snow. Sword-slim it was, and milky white. Its armor rippled and shifted as it moved, and its feet did not break the crust of the new-fallen snow.

The Other’s sword gleamed with a faint blue glow.

So Craster's sons, if they indeed are turning into something, then they are becoming the Others, not white walkers. White walkers in the books are called wights in the show. And the Others there are called White Walkers. 

I'm very doubtfull that the human baby can grow up into a "sword-slim" Other.

Also Dany didn't killed Rhaego to hatch her dragons, or to save Drogo. Drogo's life was bought with death of his red stallion. Three dragon lives were bought with deaths of another stallion, Drogo, and Mirri.

And white walkers are not alive, not even like Lady Stone Heart or Berric. They can't talk, and they don't retain their identities/personalities. So raising them doesn't require any "payment".

3 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Anyway I don't think there is any other evidence that the children are being turned, and would simply argue that everything we have seen and heard of magic implies that they are in fact sacrifices.  

I think that the Others are creation of Old Gods and Children, and that the Others are feeding those babies, or at least their blood, to whitetrees. Those trees are some sort of parasites that feed on blood.

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3 hours ago, Megorova said:

You're confusing books with the show. In the books there are the Others, and the white walkers. White walkers are a mere zombies. They are called white walkers, because nearly all their blood has went down into their limbs, while the rest of their bloodless bodies became snow white. And this is what the Others are like:

So Craster's sons, if they indeed are turning into something, then they are becoming the Others, not white walkers. White walkers in the books are called wights in the show. And the Others there are called White Walkers. 

I'm very doubtfull that the human baby can grow up into a "sword-slim" Other.

Also Dany didn't killed Rhaego to hatch her dragons, or to save Drogo. Drogo's life was bought with death of his red stallion. Three dragon lives were bought with deaths of another stallion, Drogo, and Mirri.

And white walkers are not alive, not even like Lady Stone Heart or Berric. They can't talk, and they don't retain their identities/personalities. So raising them doesn't require any "payment".

I think that the Others are creation of Old Gods and Children, and that the Others are feeding those babies, or at least their blood, to whitetrees. Those trees are some sort of parasites that feed on blood.

No I'm not.  In the books, White Walkers and Others are the same.  Wights are the zombies.

Rhaego died when MMD did her work, and Drago lived.  When Dany says the stallion was the price MMD tells her she knew the real price, meaning Rhaego.

Mirri's death didn't pay for the dragons, it paid for Danys life when she walked into the flame.  Dany stops feeling the heat when MMD's screams stop.

Edited by aryagonnakill#2

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5 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Well, sorry, but I'm going to throw a curve at part of your theory by pointing out that we have yet to see a White Walker actually raising a wight, nor have we seen a WW controlling a wight in any way, and, in fact, we have not even seen walkers and human wights in the same place at the same time. The closest we get is the dead horse that Sam sees during the encounter in the Haunted Forest, but it's not like that horse had a maniacal compulsion to kill the living -- it just meanders off like any other horse. So it doesn't appear that the walker is controlling it any differently than a normal horse or that the horse would balk at carrying a living human rider.

But aside from that, all of the wights we have seen appear to be recently dead. They still have flesh, eyes, clothing, etc. So if only death can pay for life, then I think it stands to reason that their own deaths are what paid for their reanimations. And that is if this death-for-life thing is universal and that the wights can be considered "alive" just because they are walking around and killing things. They still appear to be technically dead, just that something is causing them to rise and become active.

Are Craster's sons being killed. Who knows? It seems to me, though, that the old woman who talks about the sons returning knows a thing or two about the cold gods and how they operate. And unless the death of one baby can pay for the lives of thousands of grown wights, then there must be thousands of Crasters all over north of the wall sacrificing babies every day by the score. 

I don't see gravity either... it's still there.

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You know, arya, there may be something to this.  I read it twice and all the replies.   Though my first thought was to agree with @John Suburbs's inclination that the people who become wights are the death that allows them to be reanimated, wights are not Others.   When I 1st read the books I thought wights, white walkers and others were 3 distinct er races..at least categories of the far North dead.  But you pose a very interesting question as the sons Craster offers are indeed sacrifices.  Perhaps they aren't the protection from the Others' syndicate.  Perhaps their life force is that which feeds the Others.   I don't mean that the Others eat the children, but maybe absorb their vitality and innocence.   It's flat odd the sacrifices can only be sons and babies at that.   Now I don't know of any other Wildlings sacrificing to the Others specifically, but we do know that there are "strange gods" and "the gods" among the various tribes and families.   The Magnar of Thenn is considered a god.  This guy lives right next door to the Lands of Always Winter.  Curious.   Curiouser that Mormont actually knew what was going on and didn't explain it to anyone, but it's clear he understood the practice and that the baby boys were being sacrificed to the Others.  Don't give up on this.   There is something here.   We need just a little more information to determine what these tender young lives are paying for.   If not for the power to raise the dead, what else could The Others need or want these babies for?   

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It depends on who you ask.  Thoros of Myr had no need to kill anybody to bring Beric back to life.  But Beric is just Beric.  He's not the big deal that a dragon is.  Maybe the phrase only applies to dragons.  Yes, Drogo's death was the Nissa Nissa that brought the dragons back.  The picture fits perfectly.  Dragons were awakened from stone.  An undefeated Khal Drogo, Prince of Dragonstone Rhaego, and King Viserys 3rd of His Name were sacrificed for the dragons. 

I think the phrase is misunderstood within the story.  Getting back to Thoros and Beric, the sacrifice was not needed.  But the funny thing, the body has to be dead before you can bring it back to life.  Common sense, right?  Sometimes common sense is lost when it comes to deciphering a story told over a thousand years. 

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2 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

No I'm not.  In the books, White Walkers and Others are the same.  Wights are the zombies.

I knew that white walkers is used in the books but I started wondering why there are two terms for the same thing. 

I did a search and “white walker” looks like it’s used by Old Nan, Osha & the wildlings, Mormont, later Sam & Jon, and TWOIAF. Wonder if there’s something significant about the usage or it’s just supposed to highlight a regional difference. Old Nan being in the white walker usage group is interesting.

AGOT Tyrion III

Mormont was deaf to the edge in his voice. "The fisherfolk near Eastwatch have glimpsed white walkers on the shore."

AGOT Bran IV


"Oh, my sweet summer child," Old Nan said quietly, "what do you know of fear? Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods."

"You mean the Others," Bran said querulously.

"The Others," Old Nan agreed. "Thousands and thousands of years ago, a winter fell that was cold and hard and endless beyond all memory of man. There came a night that lasted a generation, and kings shivered and died in their castles even as the swineherds in their hovels. Women smothered their children rather than see them starve, and cried, and felt their tears freeze on their cheeks." Her voice and her needles fell silent, and she glanced up at Bran with pale, filmy eyes and asked, "So, child. This is the sort of story you like?"

 

AGOT Bran VI

"Giants and worse than giants, Lordling. I tried to tell your brother when he asked his questions, him and your maester and that smiley boy Greyjoy. The cold winds are rising, and men go out from their fires and never come back … or if they do, they're not men no more, but only wights, with blue eyes and cold black hands. Why do you think I run south with Stiv and Hali and the rest of them fools? Mance thinks he'll fight, the brave sweet stubborn man, like the white walkers were no more than rangers, but what does he know? He can call himself King-beyond-the-Wall all he likes, but he's still just another old black crow who flew down from the Shadow Tower. He's never tasted winter. I was born up there, child, like my mother and her mother before her and her mother before her, born of the Free Folk. We remember." Osha stood, her chains rattling together. "I tried to tell your lordling brother. Only yesterday, when I saw him in the yard. 'M'lord Stark,' I called to him, respectful as you please, but he looked through me, and that sweaty oaf Greatjon Umber shoves me out of the path. So be it. I'll wear my irons and hold my tongue. A man who won't listen can't hear."

---------------------------------------------

I think there’s some evidence for blood sacrifices of some sort in the books. Gared is executed on an ironwood stump. That they all meet there makes it seem like this a customary place to hold an execution meaning it may have seen quite a number of executions.

There are no weirwoods around Craster's but there are a lot of Ironwoods and Ironwoods aren't mentioned often. What has a lot of iron? Blood. 

Jon notes while at Craster's that the women are trussing up pigs and that the pigs sound almost human. Later we see suckling pig associated with killing one's children (or children who are relatives) with Tywin & Tyrion and Illyrio & Tyrion. 

 

While at Craster's we have 2 Garths. One asks:

ASOS Sam II


"Hams," Garth of Oldtown said, in a reverent voice. "There were pigs, last time we come. I bet he's got hams hid someplace. Smoked and salted hams, and bacon too."

 

Interestingly, Garth of Oldtown asks for pigs in a reverent voice and given the link between pigs and human (kin?) sacrifice…

The World of Ice and Fire - The Reach: Garth Greenhand

A few of the very oldest tales of Garth Greenhand present us with a considerably darker deity, one who demanded blood sacrifice from his worshippers to ensure a bountiful harvest. In some stories the green god dies every autumn when the trees lose their leaves, only to be reborn with the coming of spring. This version of Garth is largely forgotten.

 

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11 hours ago, Lollygag said:

I knew that white walkers is used in the books but I started wondering why there are two terms for the same thing. 

I did a search and “white walker” looks like it’s used by Old Nan, Osha & the wildlings, Mormont, later Sam & Jon, and TWOIAF. Wonder if there’s something significant about the usage or it’s just supposed to highlight a regional difference. Old Nan being in the white walker usage group is interesting.

 

AGOT Tyrion III

 

Mormont was deaf to the edge in his voice. "The fisherfolk near Eastwatch have glimpsed white walkers on the shore."

 

AGOT Bran IV

 


"Oh, my sweet summer child," Old Nan said quietly, "what do you know of fear? Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods."

 

"You mean the Others," Bran said querulously.

 

"The Others," Old Nan agreed. "Thousands and thousands of years ago, a winter fell that was cold and hard and endless beyond all memory of man. There came a night that lasted a generation, and kings shivered and died in their castles even as the swineherds in their hovels. Women smothered their children rather than see them starve, and cried, and felt their tears freeze on their cheeks." Her voice and her needles fell silent, and she glanced up at Bran with pale, filmy eyes and asked, "So, child. This is the sort of story you like?"

 

 

 

AGOT Bran VI

 

"Giants and worse than giants, Lordling. I tried to tell your brother when he asked his questions, him and your maester and that smiley boy Greyjoy. The cold winds are rising, and men go out from their fires and never come back … or if they do, they're not men no more, but only wights, with blue eyes and cold black hands. Why do you think I run south with Stiv and Hali and the rest of them fools? Mance thinks he'll fight, the brave sweet stubborn man, like the white walkers were no more than rangers, but what does he know? He can call himself King-beyond-the-Wall all he likes, but he's still just another old black crow who flew down from the Shadow Tower. He's never tasted winter. I was born up there, child, like my mother and her mother before her and her mother before her, born of the Free Folk. We remember." Osha stood, her chains rattling together. "I tried to tell your lordling brother. Only yesterday, when I saw him in the yard. 'M'lord Stark,' I called to him, respectful as you please, but he looked through me, and that sweaty oaf Greatjon Umber shoves me out of the path. So be it. I'll wear my irons and hold my tongue. A man who won't listen can't hear."

 

---------------------------------------------

I think there’s some evidence for blood sacrifices of some sort in the books. Gared is executed on an ironwood stump. That they all meet there makes it seem like this a customary place to hold an execution meaning it may have seen quite a number of executions.

 

There are no weirwoods around Craster's but there are a lot of Ironwoods and Ironwoods aren't mentioned often. What has a lot of iron? Blood. 

Jon notes while at Craster's that the women are trussing up pigs and that the pigs sound almost human. Later we see suckling pig associated with killing one's children (or children who are relatives) with Tywin & Tyrion and Illyrio & Tyrion. 

 

While at Craster's we have 2 Garths. One asks:

ASOS Sam II


"Hams," Garth of Oldtown said, in a reverent voice. "There were pigs, last time we come. I bet he's got hams hid someplace. Smoked and salted hams, and bacon too."

 

Interestingly, Garth of Oldtown asks for pigs in a reverent voice and given the link between pigs and human (kin?) sacrifice…

The World of Ice and Fire - The Reach: Garth Greenhand

A few of the very oldest tales of Garth Greenhand present us with a considerably darker deity, one who demanded blood sacrifice from his worshippers to ensure a bountiful harvest. In some stories the green god dies every autumn when the trees lose their leaves, only to be reborn with the coming of spring. This version of Garth is largely forgotten.

 

Thanks for the quotes and symbolism!  Very interesting.  In real life pig is very close to human meat.  I wonder if GRRM was keeping that going.

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On 2/12/2018 at 0:50 PM, aryagonnakill#2 said:

So my question to all those who believe the mainstream theory, that Crastors and the other wildlings children are being turned into WW's, if only death can pay or life, what death is paying for the WW's ability to raise the dead?

What children are being sacrificed when Beric is revived?

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18 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

I don't see gravity either... it's still there.

Uh, OK. But gravity can be observed and measured, whereas we have observed no raising of wights by Others, and the only interaction we see is a very brief moment where an Other is riding an already dead horse that does not seem to be controlled any differently from a live horse.

I'm not saying the Others are not the ones reanimating and controlling the wights, it's just odd that we are five books deep into a seven-book series and this basic assumption on the part of virtually the entire reading community has yet to be shown.

Also, for what it's worth, here is Melisendre's take on the wights:

Quote

SoS, Sam V

Necromancy animates these wights, yet they are still only dead flesh. Steel and fire will serve for them. The ones you call the Others are something more.

So death pays for life, but is death necessary to animate dead flesh?

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23 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Uh, OK. But gravity can be observed and measured, whereas we have observed no raising of wights by Others, and the only interaction we see is a very brief moment where an Other is riding an already dead horse that does not seem to be controlled any differently from a live horse.

I'm not saying the Others are not the ones reanimating and controlling the wights, it's just odd that we are five books deep into a seven-book series and this basic assumption on the part of virtually the entire reading community has yet to be shown.

Also, for what it's worth, here is Melisendre's take on the wights:

So death pays for life, but is death necessary to animate dead flesh?

That's a fair question.  To me it is question of acquiring magical power.  Are the others so much more magically powerful than everyone else that they don't need sacrifices?  That doesn't really seem fair to me, though I realize I don't get to set the rules.  The wights might not be alive, but they are moving and killing and something is providing the power for them to do this.

 

53 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

What children are being sacrificed when Beric is revived?

None, I am not suggesting they are.  I am suggesting that Thoros' diminished appearance, which seems similar in nature to Stannis' after the shadow babies, where Mel tells us a 3rd would kill him, is a result of him loosing a piece of himself when he revives Beric, that is the price he pays.  My point is that whenever we see these really powerful magical rituals, there seems to be a price.  Therefore I feel the WW's have to be paying a price to raise all those dead bodies, and the only price I can think of is the babies.

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36 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

None, I am not suggesting they are.  I am suggesting that Thoros' diminished appearance, which seems similar in nature to Stannis' after the shadow babies, where Mel tells us a 3rd would kill him, is a result of him loosing a piece of himself when he revives Beric, that is the price he pays.  My point is that whenever we see these really powerful magical rituals, there seems to be a price.  Therefore I feel the WW's have to be paying a price to raise all those dead bodies, and the only price I can think of is the babies.

Soooooooooo there is no real reason to include Beric and Thoros in this?

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40 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

My point is that whenever we see these really powerful magical rituals, there seems to be a price.  Therefore I feel the WW's have to be paying a price to raise all those dead bodies, and the only price I can think of is the babies.

I agree w/ this. And in reality if the WWs are just "turning" Craster's sons, isn't that a form of sacrifice as well? Wouldn't they be sacrificing the boys' humanity? 

At any rate, I find it more likely that the boys are really dying and not just being turned. 

And in the case of Stannis and Mel's shadowbabies, Thoros and Beric's resurrections etc, life force (for lack of a better word) is being sapped, yes... But maybe no actual sacrifice involving a life being taken is required because shadowbabies do their dirty work and vanish, and Beric is absolutely not being brought back to life. He's a dead reanimated corpse, same as LSH and, imo, the ice wights. 

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Just now, Universal Sword Donor said:

Soooooooooo there is no real reason to include Beric and Thoros in this?

I believe there is.  Clearly I'm not communicating myself well.

My theory is that whenever there is some kind of magical birth or reanimation there must be some sort of lifeforce sacrificed, hence the oft repeated line only death can pay for life.

The Beric Thoros situation is just 1 more example.  I believe that Thoros looks so diminished because he is literally having his life force diminished, just as Stannis did with the shadow babies.

The only example I give that actually includes babies is with MMD and Drago/Rhaego, and admittedly we don't even really know the details of that.  I am not saying that you have to kill a baby for power, just that you have to make some form of lifeforce sacrifice, even as small as giving some of your blood for a witch to tell your future.

So the examples I list where it appears to me someone has sacrificed a life, or part of their life are as follows.

AA killing Nissa Nissa for lightbringer

MMD killing the horse and or Rhaego for Drago

Dany killing Drago and or Rhaego Viserys whatever happened for the dragons

My opinion(Dany killing MMD to survive the fire)

Stannis loosing some lifeforce with shadow babies

Thoros life diminishing as he revives Beric

Beric dies reviving Catlyn

Less clear/ less severe examples also include

Cersei giving blood to hear her future

blood and guts and such being put in Weirwood trees in the north

Worldbook reference to a demon tree called Styg that eats flesh - seems to be the same as the above, sacrifices to weirwoods.

reference to huge numbers of lives sacrificed for hammer of waters

My conclusion is that the WW's should not be able to simply reanimate lots of dead bodies without paying a sacrifice.  Now I could be wrong on what the sacrifice is, but it seems like we have been presented with a clear possibility, in that we know they are being given babies, and we don't see anything happening with them.

 

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It's interesting that the Others apparently accept sheep and dogs in the absence of sons:

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"For the baby, not for me. If it's a girl, that's not so bad, she'll grow a few years and he'll marry her. But Nella says it's to be a boy, and she's had six and knows these things. He gives the boys to the gods. Come the white cold, he does, and of late it comes more often. That's why he started giving them sheep, even though he has a taste for mutton. Only now the sheep's gone too. Next it will be dogs, till . . ." She lowered her eyes and stroked her belly.  -- ACOK, Jon III

Craster pretty clearly considers that he is making sacrifices to gods basically as payment for leaving him and his wives/daughters/daughter-wives alone. The Others seem to agree. And maybe Craster really is just sacrificing to his gods, who seem sort of like Old Testament Old Gods, for protection from the Others, rather than actually giving his sons directly to the Others for recruitment or as a necessary component of whatever alchemy they use to animate themselves and/or the dead.

The whole only-death-pays-for-life thing kind of baffles me. As the Kindly Man noted, no one lives forever, so really every life is paid for with death anyway. Valar morghulis.

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"And many names," the kindly man had said. "In Qohor he is the Black Goat, in Yi Ti the Lion of Night, in Westeros the Stranger. All men must bow to him in the end, no matter if they worship the Seven or the Lord of Light, the Moon Mother or the Drowned God or the Great Shepherd. All mankind belongs to him . . . else somewhere in the world would be a folk who lived forever. Do you know of any folk who live forever?"
"No," she would answer. "All men must die."  --FFC, Cat of the Canals

 

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On ‎2‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 10:13 PM, Curled Finger said:

You know, arya, there may be something to this.  I read it twice and all the replies.   Though my first thought was to agree with @John Suburbs's inclination that the people who become wights are the death that allows them to be reanimated, wights are not Others.   When I 1st read the books I thought wights, white walkers and others were 3 distinct er races..at least categories of the far North dead.  But you pose a very interesting question as the sons Craster offers are indeed sacrifices.  Perhaps they aren't the protection from the Others' syndicate.  Perhaps their life force is that which feeds the Others.   I don't mean that the Others eat the children, but maybe absorb their vitality and innocence.   It's flat odd the sacrifices can only be sons and babies at that.   Now I don't know of any other Wildlings sacrificing to the Others specifically, but we do know that there are "strange gods" and "the gods" among the various tribes and families.   The Magnar of Thenn is considered a god.  This guy lives right next door to the Lands of Always Winter.  Curious.   Curiouser that Mormont actually knew what was going on and didn't explain it to anyone, but it's clear he understood the practice and that the baby boys were being sacrificed to the Others.  Don't give up on this.   There is something here.   We need just a little more information to determine what these tender young lives are paying for.   If not for the power to raise the dead, what else could The Others need or want these babies for?   

Hey Curled Finger, not sure how but I missed this post when I read through earlier.

My comment about other wildlings making sacrifices comes from an SSM where George says Crastor isn't the only one.  I don't think we actually see any of that in the book.

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