The Fattest Leech

Re-read: Wildings are the Others

24 posts in this topic

On 4/5/2018 at 10:59 PM, Feather Crystal said:

Contrary to popular opinion. The reader is persuaded to sympathize with Jon, and Jon slowly changes his opinion of the wildlings based on his love for Ygritte. He catches glimpses of their side of the story, but he mistakenly believes he's made friends. When Ygritte says "you" built the Wall to keep the wildlings out, Jon says: “Did we?” Sometimes Jon forgot how wild she was, and then she would remind him. “How did that happen?” 

Jon forgets how "wild" Ygritte is, and then she says or does something that reminds him...but he keeps forgetting.

I disagree that Jon changed his mind because of his love for Ygritte. Jon changes his mind because of his experiences he has himself within these free folk people.

A Clash of Kings - Jon VII

A vast blue-white wall plugged one end of the vale, squeezing between the mountains as if it had shouldered them aside, and for a moment he thought he had dreamed himself back to Castle Black. Then he realized he was looking at a river of ice several thousand feet high. Under that glittering cold cliff was a great lake, its deep cobalt waters reflecting the snowcapped peaks that ringed it. There were men down in the valley, he saw now; many men, thousands, a huge host. Some were tearing great holes in the half-frozen ground, while others trained for war. He watched as a swarming mass of riders charged a shield wall, astride horses no larger than ants. The sound of their mock battle was a rustling of steel leaves, drifting faintly on the wind. Their encampment had no plan to it; he saw no ditches, no sharpened stakes, no neat rows of horse lines. Everywhere crude earthen shelters and hide tents sprouted haphazardly, like a pox on the face of the earth. He spied untidy mounds of hay, smelled goats and sheep, horses and pigs, dogs in great profusion. Tendrils of dark smoke rose from a thousand cookfires.
This is no army, no more than it is a town. This is a whole people come together.
 
This brings another question to mind. What are your thoughts on Osha taking care of Rickon and bringing him to Skagos? Each of the surviving Stark boys who have made it (sorry Robb :() have/will survive because they each have a 'spearwife' of sorts that goes along next to them almost as a familiar. And each of these spearwives are also connected to water in some way; Osha in the pond, Meera from the watery crannogs, Val and her Nymeria cosplay ;), Milkwater, watery walls, etc. Rickon has Osha, Bran has Meera, and Jon has Val. Actually, if we expand a little and look at Sansa's placement in the Vale, and her close connection once removed to the 'wildlings' there, Sansa looks to have her own spearperson in her future as well. Arya... not sure how literal hers will be because she seems to be the shieldmaiden herself.

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Posted (edited)

On 4/8/2018 at 3:52 PM, Feather Crystal said:

The wights are a manufactured threat created by the wildings

After Jon and Ygritte made it over the Wall:

  “The worst is behind us.” Jon tried to sound confident. “Don’t be frightened.” He tried to put an arm around her. 

  Ygritte slammed the heel of her hand into his chest, so hard it stung even through his layers of wool, mail, and boiled leather. “I wasn’t frightened. You know nothing, Jon Snow.” 

  “Why are you crying, then?” 

  “Not for fear!” She kicked savagely at the ice beneath her with a heel, chopping out a chunk. “I’m crying because we never found the Horn of Winter. We opened half a hundred graves and let all those shades loose in the world, and never found the Horn of Joramun to bring this cold thing down!”

 

Is it possible that Mance told the wildlings they were looking for a horn when his true intentions were to dig up the dead to raise as wights? My suspicions are born from the fact that the wildlings traditionally burn their dead, so in order to get wights he needed dead bodies.

 

Ironborn connection to wights:

“What is dead may never die,” his uncle echoed, “but rises again, harder and stronger..."

 

Jon found burned remains in the Whitetree weirwood:

  He knelt and reached a gloved hand down into the maw. The inside of the hollow was red with dried sap and blackened by fire. Beneath the skull he saw another, smaller, the jaw broken off. It was half-buried in ash and bits of bone. 

  When he brought the skull to Mormont, the Old Bear lifted it in both hands and stared into the empty sockets. “The wildlings burn their dead. We’ve always known that. Now I wished I’d asked them why, when there were still a few around to ask.”

 

This is an interesting one that has come up in other threads past. It seems that the free folk have not always burned their dead or there would not be graves to open.

A Storm of Swords - Jon VI

Maester Aemon paused, washcloth in hand. "The Horn of Winter is an ancient legend. Does the King-beyond-the-Wall truly believe that such a thing exists?"
"They all do," said Jon. "Ygritte said they opened a hundred graves . . . graves of kings and heroes, all over the valley of the Milkwater, but they never . . ."

A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

Ser Godry gave a pull on the rope. The King-Beyond-the-Wall had no choice but to stumble after him, the rope choking off his words. When he lost his feet, Godry dragged him the rest of the way. Mance was bloody when the queen's men half-shoved, half-carried him to the cage. A dozen men-at-arms heaved together to hoist him into the air.
Lady Melisandre watched him rise. "FREE FOLK! Here stands your king of lies. And here is the horn he promised would bring down the Wall." Two queen's men brought forth the Horn of Joramun, black and banded with old gold, eight feet long from end to end. Runes were carved into the golden bands, the writing of the First Men. Joramun had died thousands of years ago, but Mance had found his grave beneath a glacier, high up in the Frostfangs. And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth. Ygritte had told Jon that Mance never found the horn. She lied, or else Mance kept it secret even from his own.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XII

"Melisandre burned the Horn of Joramun."
"Did she?" Tormund slapped his thigh and hooted. "She burned that fine big horn, aye. A bloody sin, I call it. A thousand years old, that was. We found it in a giant's grave, and no man o' us had ever seen a horn so big. That must have been why Mance got the notion to tell you it were Joramun's. He wanted you crows to think he had it in his power to blow your bloody Wall down about your knees. But we never found the true horn, not for all our digging. If we had, every kneeler in your Seven Kingdoms would have chunks o' ice to cool his wine all summer."
  • “Not for fear!” She kicked savagely at the ice beneath her with a heel, chopping out a chunk. “I’m crying because we never found the Horn of Winter. We opened half a hundred graves and let all those shades loose in the world, and never found the Horn of Joramun to bring this cold thing down!”
  • When he brought the skull to Mormont, the Old Bear lifted it in both hands and stared into the empty sockets. “The wildlings burn their dead. We’ve always known that. Now I wished I’d asked them why, when there were still a few around to ask.”

The fact that the Night's Watch has forgotten its true purpose and has since shifted focus from Others to free folk, which in turn mistakes them for the false enemy, appears to mean a lot in this story. Mormont first gives us this clue, as Mormont sees the value in free folk knowledge and he even offers to escort Craster and his wives back south of the wall to help protect them. Jon then carries on this tradtion, as was passed to him symbolically when LC Mormont passed on his family sword that "skinchanged" from a bear to wolf.

And I don't think Ygritte knows what the horn of winter actually is. She is probably believing a tale of a tale that is old as time and brought back into "existence" as a task set by Mance. A bard's truth is a different sort of truth, and singers lie for a living.

Edited by The Fattest Leech
Always with the bad spelling, I am.

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Posted (edited)

I cannot deny the existence of graves, but the assertion that the wildlings burn their dead is also true. So which is it? Are graves a more ancient tradition as hinted by the fore said  “thousand” year old horn? It may be that burning is the newer and preferred means to deal with the dead, so as to not join the ranks of wights. Traditions aside, it doesn’t change the fact that they deliberately opened graves. If they wanted to prevent the “shades” from rising, they would have burned the remains.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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11 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I disagree that Jon changed his mind because of his love for Ygritte. Jon changes his mind because of his experiences he has himself within these free folk people.

A Clash of Kings - Jon VII

A vast blue-white wall plugged one end of the vale, squeezing between the mountains as if it had shouldered them aside, and for a moment he thought he had dreamed himself back to Castle Black. Then he realized he was looking at a river of ice several thousand feet high. Under that glittering cold cliff was a great lake, its deep cobalt waters reflecting the snowcapped peaks that ringed it. There were men down in the valley, he saw now; many men, thousands, a huge host. Some were tearing great holes in the half-frozen ground, while others trained for war. He watched as a swarming mass of riders charged a shield wall, astride horses no larger than ants. The sound of their mock battle was a rustling of steel leaves, drifting faintly on the wind. Their encampment had no plan to it; he saw no ditches, no sharpened stakes, no neat rows of horse lines. Everywhere crude earthen shelters and hide tents sprouted haphazardly, like a pox on the face of the earth. He spied untidy mounds of hay, smelled goats and sheep, horses and pigs, dogs in great profusion. Tendrils of dark smoke rose from a thousand cookfires.
This is no army, no more than it is a town. This is a whole people come together.
 
This brings another question to mind. What are your thoughts on Osha taking care of Rickon and bringing him to Skagos? Each of the surviving Stark boys who have made it (sorry Robb :() have/will survive because they each have a 'spearwife' of sorts that goes along next to them almost as a familiar. And each of these spearwives are also connected to water in some way; Osha in the pond, Meera from the watery crannogs, Val and her Nymeria cosplay ;), Milkwater, watery walls, etc. Rickon has Osha, Bran has Meera, and Jon has Val. Actually, if we expand a little and look at Sansa's placement in the Vale, and her close connection once removed to the 'wildlings' there, Sansa looks to have her own spearperson in her future as well. Arya... not sure how literal hers will be because she seems to be the shieldmaiden herself.

Yes, Jon has visions of deja vu, but I still believe Ygritte played the biggest role in changing Jon’s view, not just because of love, but due to their varied conversations where she would say, “you know nothing, Jon Snow”, and then educate him with her viewpoint.

i had not noticed the pairing of Stark to spear wife, so you’ll have to fill me in. What is the significance?

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