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  1. Seams

    Jon a Fusion of Fire Magic and Ice Magic

    I'm not sure I can clarify except to say that I find him increasingly intriguing. The crossing of the wall at Pyke is significant to me because some major, important characters are given credit for being first over a wall - Ser Jorah, as mentioned, and Ser Loras at Dragonstone. At Pyke, Old Nan's grandson (maybe - his exact relationship to her and Hodor is left vague) is also among those who cross the wall. Why would GRRM throw in those details? What unique quality or future role in the story does Thoros embody? We know that he seems able to bring Ser Beric back to life and he doesn't even understand his own power to do this. Does it have something to do with crossing the wall at Pyke? Is the crossing of a wall combined with his red god faith to make a unique kind of magic? Is the crossing of the wall a form of immortality and Thoros has the power to confer it on others? He also brings Brienne "back" by feeding her after her attack by Rorge and Biter. So a more thorough analysis might involve a comparison of Thoros with Melisandre and Moqorro. Moqorro seems to have had a resurrection, emerging from the sea and being taken aboard Victarion's ship. He seems to cure Victarion's festering wound, although I'm not sure that is exactly the same thing as the ability to resurrect dead people. We haven't seen Melisandre resurrect anyone, but her ability to conjure shadow babies might fall into the same basket of magical powers. Some people suspect she will play a resurrection role in Jon Snow's arc. The thing that is most intriguing to me about Thoros is that he is a victor at a tournament. I have taken a closer look at the tournament at Ashford Meadow in recent months, and it seems as if victors at tournaments are really, really important. Major foreshadowing. It seems important that Sandor, Anguy and Thoros are the victors at the Hand's Tourney and that they then come together again in Sandor's trial by combat with Ser Beric. But this is getting far from the Jon Snow, fire/ice, great other/ red god focus of the OP. Maybe we need to explore Thoros elsewhere.
  2. I think @Curled Finger has hit the nail on the head, as is often the case with his/her insights. This is a preserved pocket of First Men and they are needed for reintroduction of some quality of culture or warfare or religion that will come into play later in the books. A couple of details are just beginning to come together in my head that might offer clues about the function of the mountain clans. One is a recent (brief) exchange about the death of Vargo Hoat, and how it might fit into a larger pattern of violent cannibalism among enemies or, more accurately, "frienemies." Vargo Hoat was supposedly an ally of Tywin Lannister until his men cut off Jaime's arm; Craster was a friend to the Night's Watch until some Night's Watch traitors killed him and Mormont, Manderly is supposedly pledging fealty and negotiating a betrothal with Roose and his Frey allies, etc. So the repeated refrain about feeding someone's manhood to the goats is part of this pattern, I think. It's almost a parody of the violence and might be a way that GRRM shows us that this urge to feast on human flesh goes back to the earliest, least "civilized" foundations of society yet it persists into the Frey pies at a lavish wedding feast for highborn lords and ladies. The Mountain Clans are a mirror of highborn Westeros and show that they have not evolved as much as they might think. The other detail that I am examining in a new way is the sharp / shaggy juxtaposition that GRRM has used throughout the books. In a long-ago discussion of the names of the direwolves, this forum noted that a "shaggy dog story" is an exaggerated, long, funny story - a type of folk tale, in a way, that can be repeated and modified through the oral tradition over many generations. Again, I haven't done a systematic analysis of the words with this new line of thinking in mind, but I wonder whether "shaggy" is a clue that a person or thing is "fuzzy" and subject to the whim of the storyteller (or POV); maybe it even signals something that is repeated and passed down over and over again. By contrast, something that is sharp could be something that is in focus. If the contrast with "shaggy" is deliberate, it might mean that something sharp is final and won't be repeated. Qhorin Halfhand checks and double-checks that Jon's sword is sharp and his last word is "Sharp." I wonder whether Qhorin was a kind of Coldhands figure, someone who had lived too long and who longed for a final death. He knew that Jon would finally be able to deliver him to his final rest, but only if his death was sharp. This comes back to the mountain clans because of Shagga. Maybe this character is a sign that the mountain clans are a repository of the "history repeating itself" aspect of Westeros civilization. The things most desired by the mountain clans are sharp weapons and Tyrion delivers. They use these weapons to end the "stories" of the Valyrian invaders. Another parting thought: Timett son of Timett strikes me as a Bloodraven parallel, with his destroyed eye. Instead of being part of the brother vs. brother violence in Bloodraven's arc, however, Timett took out his own eye. Timett also accompanies Tyrion to the alchemists' "cave" in King's Landing but declines to enter the cave. Is this another Coldhands allusion? For that visit to the alchemists, Tyrion wears the shadowcat cloak that came from a member of the mountain clans and passed through the hands of the singer Merillion before coming into Tyrion's possession. In this chapter, the cloak is described as a shadow cloak, no longer a shadowcat cloak. Qhorin said that, "Shadows are friends to men in black." We may understand more about the purpose of the mountain clans by looking at Qhorin, Coldhands and other guide characters such as Stonesnake and the Liddle in the cave encountered by Bran and Meera.
  3. Seams

    Jon a Fusion of Fire Magic and Ice Magic

    In another thread, I was just noticing in Jon's dream that includes a weirwood tree, the eyes in the tree are described as "fierce." I haven't done a search on this word to see how it is used in other ways, or whether it is often associated with Jon, but it might be a clue if fire + ice = fierce. I've only just started to think about the R'hllor religion. I think it might be significant that Thoros of Myr was sent to try to convert Robert Baratheon but he failed. Thoros is one of the first over the wall at Pyke (with Ser Jorah) and he wins the melee at the Hand's Tourney. I think we need to figure out Thoros as a key to the Red God.
  4. Seams

    Let's congratulate GRRM on his 70th birthday, yay!

    Dear Mr. Martin, Thank you for giving us such an excellent set of books, characters, mysteries, adventures, themes. You have enriched my life. Long may you live unbowed, unbent, and unbroken. Sincerely, Seams P.S. Will there be a name day tournament? Who will be the master of the lists? Oh, I know already: your publisher. Screw him! Let's start with the feast.
  5. This is really getting away from the topic, so I will try to be brief. I suspect that the sword Dawn (or the idea of the sword Dawn) is similar to the comet. (And I use the name Dawn loosely here - I had been assuming that the obsidian was Lightbringer, but I'm going with the notion discussed earlier that the names may be interchangeable.) The mere presence of the comet may have made magic more effective; may have enabled the dragon-hatching; may have signaled the arrival of a promised prince. I am fascinated by the miasma theory, and I believe that there is a giant metaphor of The Others as an infection or - possibly - as white blood cells. The dragonglass is an antibody against the infection. (One possible wordplay clue: GRRM always gratuitously throws in the phrase, "the maesters call it obsidian" when referring to dragonglass. That phrase contains an anagram of "antibodies" along with other letters that may form relevant words in a larger hint.) So the obsidian is the medicine, if you will, that will slay the Others and/or the White Walkers. Maybe Dawn symbolizes the scientific method or enlightenment or the necessary Eureka moment of insight that allows scientists to zero in on a cure. Or maybe it is just the weapon that will eventually result in the hero's death, after the "disease" of the White Walkers has been cured.
  6. @AlaskanSandman I probably should have tried to include a tl;dr summary. My comment was intended to respond to Sly Wren's theory about a Dawn / Ice correspondence and to circle back to that possible Dayne / Payne clue that I think GRRM may have left for us. If I follow your post, you are branching off into a "Where is Ice?" or "What is Ice?" discussion in addition to explaining why you think the Dawn / Ice equivalence is not accurate. This really caught my interest. I believe that the obsidian dagger Jon made for himself, using dragon glass from the cache at the Fist, is Lightbringer. But the idea that the same weapon might have a different name is growing on me -- if the later version of Ice can be renamed Oathkeeper and Widow's Wail, and if human beings can have multiple names, why shouldn't a legendary sword have more than one name. I think there is significance in the fact that Jon made the handle for the obsidian dagger himself (making him something of a smith) and that the handle is rough, ugly wood. The wooden handle may address your idea that wood is somehow integrated into the magical blade. But I am also mindful that Jon dug up the bundle at the place where he jammed his torch in the ground. In that same chapter, he thinks about the red comet which has been nicknamed "Mormont's Torch" by the men of the Night's Watch. So we have a "star" falling to earth at the site where Jon finds the dagger, similar to the Dawn legend. The torch /comet also puts Mormont in the role of a symbolic guide, providing a torch to lead Jon to the spot in partnership with the direwolf, Ghost. This is a (tenuous) connection back to the earlier discussion of Alysanne and her possible out-of-wedlock child, if the Mormonts are part of that hushed-up history. Maybe the dragonglass cache can be found only when the hero is led to it by the combined direwolf (Stark) and comet (Dayne? Targ?) spirit guides? Who are part of his bloodline? I'm now comparing this in my head to the strange winding path to the Queenscrown tower. Most people would not be able to follow the path, but Meera scouts each step forward to lead the group, and Hodor carries Bran and then helps the others through the door. They don't find dragonglass at the tower, but Bran does skin change Hodor for the first time. We have hints that this was taboo, yet it saves the group's life as Bran is able to keep Hodor quiet by doing this. If the Tower of Joy / Queenscrown parallel is correct (and now we might have to take a close look at the Fist of the First Men), I wonder whether there will be similar elements of a secret path, uniquely qualified guides and a special weapon at the Tower of Joy? The weapon might be obvious: the sword Dawn, retrieved by Ned and delivered to Starfall. I wonder whether the guides were the travel companions who accompanied Ned or the Kingsguard members encountered at the Tower? The tower is on a road called the Prince's Pass, and it is apparently a well-traveled trade route, not a winding, secret path that requires special guides. If a secret path is part of the parallel between the Queenscrown and the Tower of Joy stories, the lack of a difficult trail to the tower itself might provide support for the notion that there is a nearby structure that is more difficult to reach, and that Lyanna's bed of blood might have been at this separate location. After finding the cache and bringing it back to the ranging camp, Jon then distributes arrowheads and other blades, which might duplicate or parallel your thinking about the blade that can be shattered into shards. The good thing about all the parallels and echoes in ASOIAF is that this reading of the obsidian dagger can be true and your idea about the sword of the Others being Ice can also be true at the same time. GRRM may be giving us variations on a theme and showing how legends evolve from multiple sources or split to become different stories stemming from a single source. I am open to Dany as a Dayne heiress or as a Rhaegar descendant. Maybe GRRM will never make that 100% clear. But I don't see her wielding Dawn. She just doesn't seem like a sword-user to me. She has a named weapon called the Harpy's Fingers - a whip given to her when she bought the Unsullied. She also has dragons. I think a sword would be beside the point (so to speak). One more thought about the Dayne symbolism: one of Arthur's nicknames is The Sword of the Morning. It occurred to me the other day that Joffrey's sword is called "Widow's Wail," which would be an expression of mourning. Knowing GRRM's love of wordplay, I think he may be giving us an echo here in the form of "the sword of the morning" and "the sword of mourning". Margaery tells Joffrey that Widow's Wail was not made for slicing pies, whereupon Joffrey requisitions Ilyn Payne's sword and uses it to open the ceremonial pigeon pie. Is this another clue for us about Ser Ilyn's silver sword? Could it be the sword of the morning?
  7. Your points here are combining with other thoughts in my mind. Even though the ownership of Dawn is apparently recognized as exclusively Dayne in nature, it seems as if most named swords are associated with a single family. They aren't forfeited at tournaments, they are not sold (even to an important man like Tywin) and are known to be picked up by an heir from the same family or returned to the original family as a matter of honor after a battle. The exception is among the Ironborn, with their tradition of paying the iron price and taking spoils from battle fields. They have no reservations about taking named swords from their original owners and keeping them. Yet Ser Ilyn Payne used the Stark family sword Ice to behead Ned Stark. Of course Joffrey and GRRM love irony. Joffrey commented that Viserys dying from molten gold was like a dragon (gold coin) killing a Targaryen; he imagined wolves killing Robb Stark. So it probably amused him that Ned would die by his own sword. It wasn't just any executioner who used the Stark blade; the man who wielded the sword was Ser Ilyn Payne. My earlier musings linked him to Arthur Dayne because of the rhyming surnames but also the white / silver sword: the Dayne sigil includes a white sword (presumably Dawn) and Ser Ilyn carries a silver sword at Joffrey's wedding feast, providing it to Joffrey for the cutting of the pigeon pie. Ser Ilyn's title is The King's Justice. Long ago I speculated that the sword Ice was originally called Justice - perhaps a companion blade to the sword Truth. So there's something going on with the specific person of Ilyn Payne and the sword Ice but, at the same time, the silver sword (also distinctive because it is covered with runes). Is there any chance that Ser Ilyn's silver sword is Dawn? No one has mentioned that the Dayne sword was stolen or out of place, and its last known location was Starfall, after Ned left the Tower of Joy. If your speculation is correct, that the ancient, original sword Ice is the sword Dawn, then Joffrey would have used the sword Ice to slice the pie that killed him. (I realize the piece he ate came from a different pie and the one with the birds was symbolic.) As I said earlier, GRRM loves irony. But Payne is not the same as Dayne, in spite of the rhyme. I can't explain why Ser Ilyn would have the Dayne family sword. Ser Ilyn is, in some ways, Tywin Lannister's direwolf - very loyal and, like Jon Snow's direwolf, silent. When Tywin dies, Jaime liberates Ser Ilyn from his dungeon cell (the King's Justice and jailkeeper lived like a prisoner) and takes him to the Riverlands and a sparring partner and confidant. Originally, Ser Arthur Dayne had been a mentor to Jaime. Now Ser Ilyn is filling a similar role. Are we all 100% sure that Arthur died at the Tower of Joy? I know Ser Ilyn's tongue was cut out by King Aerys - or so we are told. Arthur Dayne could not have had a conversation with Ned at the Tower of Joy if he was the same person as Ser Ilyn and had already had his tongue cut out. Maybe they are just parallel, echo characters, not the same guy.
  8. Seams

    Vargo's death.

    None of this is coincidental and it's all consistent with the consumption of Vargo Hoat's flesh. (Except your juvenile wiener joke, which GRRM would not make so explicit.) "I killed my first man at twelve. I've lost count of how many I've killed since then. High lords with old names, fat rich men dressed in velvets, knights puffed up like bladers with their honors, yes, and women and children too - they're all meat and I'm the butcher." (The Hound, somewhere in ACoK) GRRM is giving us a scenario from the endless cycle of war and bloodshed and the sacrifice of human lives. @sweetsunray made an interesting analysis of the sausage at Craster's keep, coveted by the hungry members of the Night's Watch who were camping there during their ranging. She saw the sausage as likely made out of the "meat" of the previous Night's Watch ranging group killed by the wildling, Craster. The new Night's Watch ranging group ends up killing Craster to get at the sausage. Those traitorous Night's Watch brothers end up "eaten" by Bran while he is in his direwolf. The cycle continued, each generation of hungry men victimizing the previous, as each new wave tries to survive.
  9. All those names are a way for GRRM to work in a lot of the symbolism and allusion he wants to include in certain character arcs. Readers are specifically told that the names might or might not be legit - that's also part of GRRM's "unreliable narrator" and legend vs. history style of plotting. For instance, there tends to be a Fossoway or an apple nearby or included in a detail whenever there is a king emerging. GRRM found a way to include a "brown apple Fossoway" among the sell swords, possibly indicating that there is a new branch on the Targaryen family tree - red is the oldest Fossoway House, green was started by a cousin during the Dunk & Egg era and this new guy is a bastard son. Does the brown apple symbolize future success for Young Griff / Aegon? For Tyrion? Or is it a rotten apple that has no future? Ser Garlan Tyrell is married to a Fossoway, and we have not been told whether she is green or red.
  10. Seams

    Vargo's death.

    I want to know how Hoat's death relates to this passage from Tyrion's thoughts about Penny and Groat's traveling show. She believes people enjoyed being entertained; Tyrion thinks people just liked looking at freaks: That’s because they have never seen a dwarf before, in their wretched pisspot towns, Tyrion thought. The bloody brats would follow around a two-headed goat if one turned up. Until they got bored with its bleating and slaughtered it for supper. But he had no wish to make her weep again, so instead he said, “Daenerys has a kind heart and a generous nature.” It was what she needed to hear. “She will find a place for you at her court, I don’t doubt. A safe place, beyond my sister’s reach.” Are "bloody brats" similar to "bloody mummers"? The meat from Hoat's severed limbs was fed to him and to others. And if you can figure out the goat connection, could someone please explain Shagga wanting to cut off body parts and feed them to the goats? Hoat wore a chain that included all kinds of coins from around the known world. So I wonder whether there is some foreshadowing in his arc that will apply to the outcomes for the Master of Coin, Baelish.
  11. This got me thinking and a couple more things clicked into place. From Joffrey's wedding feast, where we also see a maid sniffling because of a song: Grey-bearded Hamish the Harper announced that he would perform . . . "Lord Renly's Ride." His fingers moved across the strings of the high harp, filling the throne room with sweet sound. . . . Queen Margaery was teary-eyed by the end . . . At Harrenhal, the dragon prince played a sad song that made the wolf maid sniffle. At Joffrey's wedding feast, Margaery is teary because of a sad and romantic song about her dead husband, Renly. The song includes Renly's ghost making a final appearance for a last kiss for his lady wife, giving Renly a sort of ghostly presence at the feast. Also, Renly's armor was part of a sort of "mystery knight" appearance at the Battle of the Blackwater and the man who wore the armor at that battle is present at the wedding feast - Ser Garlan Tyrell. So there is a "mystery knight" at the purple wedding (MK2), just as there was a mystery knight at Harrenhal (MK1). My point is that this might support your idea that Mance is the Knight of the Laughing Tree: he is a singer and (if you are right about him being the black brother seeking recruits) part of the feast scene at Harrenhal. At Joffrey's wedding feast, the singer isn't the mystery knight but he sings about the mystery knight. Singers are truth-tellers in ASOIAF, and there is an important, indirect truth in the song about Renly's return. I also find it persuasive that the black brother / Mance / MK1 would have been in cahoots with Rhaegar. Returning to the "Ser Garlan = mystery knight 2" evidence: the Tyrell family is all about roses in their House sigil, personal sigils for each son, the Queen of Thorns, etc. As Sly Wren has pointed out, Ser Loras gave a rose to Sansa at the Hand's Tourney and no one had a problem with it. Rhaegar is associated with roses at the Harrenhal tournament. Could the Tyrells as a team be reliving a notable moment of Rhaegar's past? And maybe carrying forward his spirit into current events? I believe it is not coincidental that the name "Garlan Tyrell" can be anagrammed to make "Targaryen LLL" (although I'm not sure what the extra letters L represent, if anything). Many comments in this forum have explained the various motives of the Tyrell family for wanting to poison King Joffrey, but the Targaryens -- Rhaegar in particular -- would have a motive to beat all motives in bringing about the death of a young Lannister. If the Tyrells are intended to be "reborn" Targaryens, this echo of the Harrenhal feast is a big hint for the reader. You know, Mance is supposed to be the son of a black brother of the Night's Watch. Craster, too. What if they are sons of Bloodraven and/or Maester Aemon? Craster regards Mance with contempt and does not recognize him as King Beyond the Wall. To me, the implication is that Craster thinks of himself as the king. Certainly his incest tradition seems like a warped echo of Targaryen family practices. Back on the Queenscrown / Tower of Joy comparison: I was thinking again about Bran, Meera and the others in the Queenscrown, and how they might be an echo of the effort to save the Targaryen heirs. I remembered that Maester Luwin's dying admonition to Osha was that Robb's heirs, Bran and Rickon, should not travel into hiding together. Could this be a parallel for Ser Willem Darry taking Viserys and Dany to Essos, while Rhaegar's surviving children were taken in another direction? Or maybe Darry really did have only Viserys and Dany came across the narrow sea at a later date. The "splitting heirs" strategy might also fit with the more recent switch of Gilly's baby with Dalla and Mance's baby. I also recall that, when Osha and her traveling companions encountered Bran Stark alone in the woods near Winterfell, Osha wanted to kidnap Bran to take him to Mance, even though she must have just made a major effort to get below the Wall. Why doesn't she head straight for Mance with Rickon, once she has free reign to take him anywhere she wants to go? If Bran and/or his traveling companions represent the baby at or near the Tower of Joy, does Rickon represent Viserys? Or Young Griff / Aegon? Maybe we can puzzle out this Rhaegar / Lyanna or Rhaegar / Ashara mystery by examining Bran and Rickon more closely.
  12. Seams

    Dark Sister

    Magic swords may seek out their wielders. I like that. I think we see something similar with horses - Jaime has horses named Honor and Glory; sometimes he rides one, sometimes the other. Sandor Clegane's horse, Stranger, won't let anyone else ride him. It also fits with the stories of the Iron Throne deciding who is eligible to sit in it, causing nicks and cuts on those rulers it finds somehow unworthy. But my slow re-read of the Dunk & Egg stories is telling me that Bloodraven has a unique role in not only identifying (selecting?) the next worthy king, but also in seeing to it that a king gets the experience and protection he needs to be a good monarch. So Dark Sister may have gone to Bloodraven while he figures out how to get Westeros back into the hands of someone who has the wisdom and insight and magic needed to be a good ruler. Is this similar to the role originally played by Visenya, who helped Aegon the Conqueror to be wiser and more effective? I would say that Visenya and Bloodraven were both willing to get their hands dirty and do some behind-the-scenes work on behalf of the nominal ruler in order to keep things running smoothly. This idea of Dark Sister in the hands of the behind-the-scenes "fixer" raises the interesting question of whether some monarchs make it through the screening process without Bloodraven's approval: didn't he prefer Prince Baelor over Prince Maekar? Maybe the ends justified the means, and Baelor had to die to help Aegon V reach the throne. By the time Aerys was ready to ascend, Bloodraven and Dark Sister were in exile. Now Bloodraven is probably close to the end of an already extraordinarily long life, and he will need to choose a new fixer who can keep the next good king or queen in power.
  13. Seams

    Ser Sandor Clegane?

    I'm away from my books but there are wordplay and foreshadowing hints that tell us that Sandor Clegane is "night," perhaps even "the long night." He will never be knighted, imho. As a kid, he wanted to play with Gregor's toy wooden knight because, "you could make him fight." He was punished for that attempt and now he hates knights. He is no one's puppet. Ser Alliser Thorne may hold some interesting hints for us about Sandor's future. He is a master at arms, so his job is to train young men at swordsmanship; to make them into warriors. Thorne makes the trip to King's Landing to ask for more men for the Night's Watch. Instead of taking him seriously, Tyrion jokes that the Night's Watch should be given shovels so they can effectively bury their dead and not have to worry about corpses coming back to life. Don't you know, Sandor's new job is all about burying corpses. People compare Baelish to Hades because of the pomegranate scene with Sansa, but it looks as if Sandor Clegane might be the better comparison for Lord of the Underworld. In Sansa's first encounter with him, he stands on one side of her while scary Ser Ilyn stands on the other side. As we know, Sansa likes Sandor better than Ser Ilyn, given a choice between the two.
  14. I get a vibe off of the Mormonts that tells me GRRM hasn't told us something important about their background. Maybe House Mormont is descended from the Targaryen / Stark union begun by Alysanne's love affair? This comes back to the Tower of Joy because of Ser Jorah's marriage to a Hightower. I suspect that House Hightower was looking to mix with a certain bloodline, which is why the lovely daughter was sent off to live on Bear Island with a rough-hewn, somewhat impoverished lordling. When the marriage did not result in children, the point of the marriage was moot and she took off. The name "Maege" Mormont tells me that the Mormonts are part of the "game" of thrones (along with Maegor, Margaery, etc.) But back to the Tower of Joy / Queenscrown comparison. I think it's significant that the roses Rhaegar gave to Lyanna were in the form of a crown (maybe it's a wreath, but the idea was to crown the Queen of Love and Beauty). The Starks gave up their crown (always referred to as The Ancient Crown of the Kings of Winter) to Aegon the Conqueror. Is there meaning in the crowning of a Stark queen that would alarm Brandon or other Starks? I think there is wordplay on crowning and drowning (Viserys with molten gold, Theon welcome back by Uncle Aeron with a symbolic seawater drowning, etc.). So maybe the giving of a crown was a symbolic threat to Lyanna, and Brandon was reacting to that. But Rhaegar puts the crown in Lyanna's lap, not on her head. Is he empowering her to crown herself? This fits with the Alysanne parallel, where Good Queen Alysanne says that women should be treated equally with men and even empowered to rule in their own right. Because of the Thenn with Jon Snow as part of the wildling group, we also have a link to Alysanne through the subsequent Alys Karstark wedding arranged by Jon Snow. The Thenn is the one who seems to tell Jon to go to the ruined inn (but Jon is instead drawn to the Queenscrown tower). What does it mean that Jon "unites" an Alysanne echo character with an ancient wildling king? Maybe the wildlings are descended from Queen Alysanne's bastard? More clues to pursue: there is specific description of the windows or other apertures on the Queenscrown. On one floor, there are only slits for arrows. The description of Queen Alysanne's temporary separation from Jaehaerys came about because of The Second Quarrel - the term is capitalized in the account in the world book (see my earlier post). To get to that floor, Bran and his companions have to climb through a murder hole. So I think we are being given a hint about someone being shot and killed with arrows or quarrels. Could it be Lyanna? My bet would be that each floor of the Queenscrown represents a rebirth. The top floor is the gold crown, of course. It also has a privy. I associate privies with Tywin and with Jaime (shit for honor). Hmm.
  15. I agree that it is worth comparing what we know of the Queenscrown with the Tower of Joy. I think there is reason to believe that Alysanne had a baby or two out of wedlock. Otherwise, why would GRRM bother to include these details in the World book? For forty-six years, the Old King (Jaehaerys I) and Good Queen Alysanne were wed, and for he most part it was a happy marriage, with children and grandchildren aplenty. Two estrangements are recorded, but they did not last more than a year or two before the pair resumed their customary friendship. The Second Quarrel, however, is of note, as it was due to Jaehaerys's decision in 92 AC to pass over his granddaughter Rhaenys - the daughter of his deceased eldest son and heir, Prince Aemon - in favor of bestowing Dragonstone and the place of heir apparent on his next eldest son, Baelon the Brave. Alysanne saw no reason why a man should be favored over a woman ... and if Jaehaerys thought women of less use, then he would have no need of her. They reconciled in time . . . [TWOIAF, p. 60, The Targaryen Kings, Jaehaerys I] So GRRM tells us that Alysanne was separated from Jaehaerys on two separate occasions for a year or two: long enough to have a baby. We also know that Alysanne had a special relationship with the Night's Watch and that she could fly up there on her dragon fairly easily. She spent time in the strangely well-guarded and secretive Queenscrown and the people around the tower loved her (we have evidence of this in the gold paint on the tower) and would probably be loyal in protecting her reputation (this is speculative but inferred from their affection for the queen). So she could have carried on a love affair in relative secret using the tower or some other hideaway. The youngest and favorite child of Alysanne, Gael, was nicknamed The Winter Child. I suspect that Gael was the child of Alysanne's lover, whoever he might have been, not of King Jaehaerys. (Although I have also wondered whether Alysanne had a baby while she was up north and left it to be raised by a noble family, ala Jon Snow.) Gael supposedly drowned herself after being seduced and abandoned by a traveling singer. To me, this sounds like an Ashara echo. There may also be a Bael allusion, as Gael rhymes with Bael. The next time we see the Queenscrown is when Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor spend a night there after deciding against sleeping in the ruined inn nearby. What if this is a clue about why the King's Guard members were at the Tower of Joy? Perhaps they could have stayed at a place nearby (another inn?) but decided it was too vulnerable. On a thread focused on the old man killed at that inn by Ygritte, I shared some ideas about the Queenscrown and the nearby inn. My later thought was that the silent old, white-haired man at the inn represents Jon's direwolf, Ghost, and that his death is a sort of Aslan-type sacrifice to the White Witch, Ygritte. If the old man represents Ghost, however, he is part of a chain of symbols because my reading of the AGoT scene where Jon is the only one to hear the white wolf pup is that the white pup is the rebirth of the dead mother wolf, the one with the antler in her throat. The Lyanna imagery seems pretty strong. I know this sounds tenuous to anyone who doesn't read the books for their hidden symbolic meanings, but I think the gist of this is that Ygritte is killing "Lyanna," but at a nearby building or ruin, not at the tower. "Lyanna" makes that sacrifice (although the old man does not seem entirely resigned to this fate) so that Jon can escape. If this is a correct interpretation, maybe Lyanna's bed of blood was not at the Tower of Joy, but was at a nearby ruin of some kind, maybe an inn. Jon's escape from the wildlings is also facilitated by Bran's wolf, Summer. Is there an equivalent for Bran's wolf in the Tower of Joy scenario? Maybe this is Ashara, taking Lyanna's baby to safety while Lyanna is dying. I admit, this is largely speculation: if Ghost is Lyanna, then Summer might be the other mysterious young woman connected to the Rhaegar arc. Does the fact that Bran and his traveling companions do not choose to sleep at the inn, thereby saving their own lives from a wildling attack, also become an echo for the Tower of Joy scene? There are four people in the Queenscrown tower - Bran and three people essentially assigned to guard him, as Robb's heir. Are Hodor, Jojen and Meera the equivalent of the three King's Guard members? There's still a lot to puzzle out in these scenarios but I think the Queenscrown could offer a very useful set of hints about the Tower of Joy.
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