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  1. I bet you're right. It feels appropriate that Arya would kill Ramsay. Ramsay thinks he has married (and tortured) Arya and GRRM likes irony. So the real Arya killing Ramsay would be good turnabout-is-fair-play. Also, Jon Snow thinks he has to intervene to save Arya, and it seems like something GRRM would do to show that the maiden in distress can save herself without a knight swooping in to rescue her. Ramsay is (from the reader's perspective) the "bad" Snow, while Jon is the "good" Snow. So there is something about the balance of forces that Arya would love one Snow and kill the other. One weird angle is that Jeyne Poole is sort of a twin to Sansa while Beth Cassel is a twin to Arya. I believe Jeyne represents the sacred pool in the gods wood while Beth represents the castle of Winterfell. So I wouldn't bet against Beth returning to the stage in some form to participate in the downfall of Ramsay. As for the hunting symbolism, we saw Roose Bolton go out and hunt down a pack of wolves when he was in residence at Harrenhal. He wanted the skins of the full-grown wolves made into a bed cover and the skins of two wolf pups made into gloves. This is intriguing symbolism because of the "Hand of the King" motif, Jaime's gold hand, lobstered gauntlets, Jorah giving gloves to the Widow of the Waterfront, etc. We might think Roose has been victorious over the wolves by killing them, but it may be that the wolves somehow gain power when they become gloves and cover (control?) his hands. (Is GRRM a fan of "The Red Shoes" by any chance? Or is it the kind of love-hate relationship between a skinchanger and the animal he targets?) Do the two pups made into gloves represent the youngest Starks, Bran and Rickon, who Ramsay claimed were killed by Theon? In actuality, the miller's boys were killed (possibly representing Ramsay, whose mother was a miller's wife). As I recall, Roose admits knowing that the two youngest Starks escaped, in spite of the story put forward by Theon. We know that the Bolton's have traditionally sought to flay Starks and turn their skins into cloaks. What happens when they succeed in doing so?
  2. Interesting as the boar is described as happily rooting in the litchyard. This is also interesting in the continuing "boar vs. hound" pairing of opposites. If The Hound has really been "reborn" as the Gravedigger on the Quiet Isle, he is (apparently) digging graves in order to bury bodies that wash up on the island. But here is a boar that digs up graves. Maybe two kinds of contrasting underworld gods? One that keeps bodies in their resting places and another that disinters them for . . . ?
  3. Here's an idea. The land and stones are the bones; the topsoil and plant growth are the flesh and blood. So Littlefinger has The Fingers but they are rocky and barren. The "other hand" may be represented by the magical Harrenhal: Maybe the dragon fire removed the "flesh" from the towers within Harrenhal. So, as Lord of both Harrenhal and The Fingers, Baelish controls both "hands" of Westeros. He just needs to put flesh on the bones - a reversal of Ramsay Snow's flaying process. Perhaps Ser Jorah gave us an example of how to put a covering back on boney hands when he gave gloves to the Widow of the Waterfront. (I have this strong suspicion that Ser Jorah is magical and he doesn't know it.) We also hear about both Jon Snow and Catelyn having hand injuries that have to heal over time. Perhaps supporting this notion is that Ser Gregor's men killed Lommy Greenhands just before Arya and her traveling companions entered Harrenhal. The symbolism is that the greenery was gone, the glove was removed. But then why did he Littlefinger condemn Marillion to die, part of our series of maimed singers? We don't see Marillion lose his fingers. If I'm right that the "-LION" syllable in Marillion's name hints at Lannister lion symbolism, maybe the point is to prevent Marillion / the lion from singing. I do think that song may be an ingredient in forging Valyrian Steel. Maybe Baelish is trying the "reforge" Westeros (or the two hands of Westeros) without a Lannister song being included in the process. Looking at Marillion in the search website, I just noticed a detail where Petyr Baelish tries to get Sansa to take off her gloves so he can warm her hands, but she refuses. ("Take off those gloves, give me your hands.") Maybe the hand covering is the seasons. It seems as if Sansa represents winter (at this point, anyway) and she has covered the hand or hands of Westeros with white. During her time at Harrenhal, Arya scrubs the steps in a tower. She also helps a Frey squire (her betrothed, unbeknownst to her) roll a barrel of sand across the lumpy courtyard to clean the rust off of Roose Bolton's armor. So there is a cleaning and repairing aspect to her work. Maybe this is part of restoring the "hands" so they can be rejuvenated. It's fitting that, when Arya masterminds the Weasel Soup release of prisoners from the dungeon, the first person leading the northern bannermen out of the prison is Robett Glover, whose sigil is a silver fist (presumably a lobstered gauntlet). Maybe there is a game within the larger Game of Thrones that involves covering a hand with the covering one prefers - moleskin gloves, fingerless gloves, a lobstered gauntlet, wolfskin gloves, green dye, a hand of gold.
  4. Should we be looking at this kind of "bore" along with "boar"? Ned's word choice here could be foreshadowing (because Robert will be killed by a boar) and/or a hint about how Lyanna died - did Robert send a "boar" after her the way a boar will play a key role in his own death? I can't reconcile House Crakehall with the idea that boars represent acquiring knowledge. Is anyone learned in the history of House Crakehall? I think Gatehouse Ami (Amerei Frey) really does play some kind of gatekeeper function. Tywin wanted Lancel to control that gate for House Lannister, but it appears that Ami is going to be a solo agent, heading her own household. She is manipulating Lyle Crakehall into hunting down the Hound - more pig / dog conflict. Is Ami the "rider" of the pig? If so, who will ride the dog? Crakehall also wants to hunt Ser Beric Dondarrion. This is interesting because Ser Beric is sworn to King Robert, even after Robert has been long dead. Is this a replay of the boar that killed Robert? Of course, Lyle appears to be too late. At the tourney at Lannisport, celebrating the victory of Robert over Balon Greyjoy, Lyle Crakehall was defeated by Jorah Mormont. Bear defeats boar.
  5. What do you make of the maiming of Vargo Hoat? Tywin orders Clegane to do it since Hoat's men severed Jaime's arm. Ser Gregor is one of my suspected "green" characters. One hint is the anagram "Gregor Clegane = Green Grace log" but he is also "The Mountain that Rides," the opposite of "The Stallion that Mounts the World" of Dothraki legend. Of course, Clegane's men kill the injured Lommy Greenhands. One of my old theories is that the killer (or eater of flesh) takes on characteristics of the victim. I suppose we also need to think about Lady Hornwood. Some time ago, I guessed that eating her own fingers was a way to prevent them from falling into the hands (so to speak) of Ramsay Snow.
  6. Just / Stooge A current discussion of the Blackwood / Bracken feud included a mention of Benedict I Justman, a bastard descendant of both Houses who became King of the Trident and briefly maintained peace between the rival families. I agreed that Justman might be a very helpful clue in sorting out the Blackwood / Bracken feud, but also in finding the lost "Just" portion of the sword "Ice." In exploring the wiki details about the Brackens, I was reminded that three Bracken men-at-arms are instrumental in responding to Catelyn's command that her father's bannermen help her to arrest Tyrion at the inn at the crossroads. Those bannermen are clearly intended to allude to the Three Stooges, a literary hint that enjoyed but never fully understood. Until I just now realized that "stooge" is probably wordplay on "just" - except scrambled and misspelled. Instead of a move toward justice, Catelyn taking Tyrion prisoner is a stooge move. Kurleket and Mohor are killed in the first skirmish with the mountain clans; Lharys dies in the second clash. We know that the mountain clans will eventually ally with Tyrion. Does that mean that Tyrion has justice on his side? Or that his cause is just?
  7. I agree that there is a parallel or link between these characters, but I'm not persuaded that they are the same person. In keeping with our Blackwood focus in this thread, I think we need to figure out the clues surrounding Betha Blackwood, who ends up marrying Aegon V, the Egg of the Dunk & Egg stories. I think the other set of clues that might lead to insights are the "dark / bright" pair of contrasts that GRRM uses repeatedly in his symbolism. But I have other doubts about the "Old Nan = Tanselle" theory. We are not told so directly, but it sounds as if she is tiny. I think there is a link between "Old Nan = Olenna," and we know that Olenna is tiny. We also hear Old Nan say the word, "Mayhaps," and we know from the "Lord of the Crossing" game that this is supposed to be slipped into conversation casually, with the intention that the listener might miss it. Her grandson (Hodor) is named Walder. These are clues to a Frey family tree, which creates a lot of interesting possibilities. (One of my thoughts is that Old Nan is the Frey bride in The Mystery Knight story, brought to wed Lord Butterwell. When his role in the insurrection is exposed, his bride may run off to be a wet nurse at Winterfell, hiding her shame but feeding generations of Starks with Frey breast milk.) Luckily, GRRM seems to subscribe to what I would call the "Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast" approach to characters (a line from Alice Through the Looking Glass). If he wants an archetypal character to accomplish a lot of things, he splits that archetype into several characters that may overlap or share elements in common but who appear to be separate. For instance, Jaime, Joffrey, Lancel (possibly) and Moonboy. Jaime kills Aerys and immediately sits on the Iron Throne, which seems to make him the rightful king. But it is his son who is eventually crowned. Cersei was supposed to marry Rhaegar, who was supposed to be king, but she instead unites with Jaime and bears his children. I believe the line about Cersei sleeping with Moonboy is a hint about Cersei sleeping with Joffrey. I know: very icky. But it starts to make sense when you think in terms of these archetypes instead of thinking whether someone could be someone else in disguise. (I could go on and on with suspected examples of this - Gregor and Mance are Rhaegar; Dolorous Edd and Rattleshirt are Ned; Robb Stark and Robert Arryn are King Robert, etc.) Very nice catch on the shared story-teller role: an anagram of "Tanselle-too-tall" hints that she does tell tales a lot, no? One of my thoughts about why Aerion Brightflame attacked Tanselle is that her puppet show revealed that the dragon was full of red saw dust - symbolism that dragons have "tree blood." This was a secret that the flame guy wanted to hide. It could also tie into the "dead tree" symbol of the Blackwoods - burning down forests, the dead trees Tyrion encounters in the Rhoyne, swords and other things made out of wood - these are all significant in ASOIAF. The "Greens vs. Blacks" civil war may symbolize the dead, dark, winter season vs. the living, bright, summer season. Both winter and summer, dark and bright, life and death are needed for the planet to thrive, but they are engaged in constant combat with each other (like the Blackwoods and Brackens). I think Betha Blackwood is another of the parallels for Tanselle, if not Tanselle in disguise. We know that Duncan is attracted to Tanselle but we also hear Egg say that he likes the smooth way she handles the dragon. He is a big fan of the puppet shows and urgently seeks help from Dunk when Aerion attacks the young woman. There is pretty strong suspicion in this forum that Dunk is a Blackfyre; possibly the son of Daemon, the possessor of the ancestral Targaryen sword. On the level of literary analysis, there is something very tidy and satisfying about Dunk and Egg both being attracted to the same woman; a reuniting of, but also a conflict between, the Targaryen and Blackfyre branches of the royal family. Queen Black Betha (Blackwood) has a daughter name Shaera, which is similar to the name of one of the Great Bastards of Aegon IV: Shiera Seastar. Four of the five children of Aegon V and Betha, including Shaera, defy the betrothal arrangement made by their parents. She weds her brother Jaehaerys and becomes the next Targaryen queen. It is significant that Bloodraven and Bittersteel were both lovers of the earlier Shiera (GRRM has fun with the sound-alike "share a sister" name for that character) but she refused to marry either one. (There are hints that she preferred Bloodraven.) Who are the rejected spouses for the children of Aegon V and his Blackwood bride? Duncan was supposed to marry a Baratheon but instead married Jennie of Oldstones. Jaehaerys was suppose to marry Celia Tully and Shaera was supposed to marry Luthor Tyrell. Daeron was supposed to marry Olenna Redwyne but he instead becomes the lover of Jeremy Norridge. Only Rhaelle, the fifth child, followed her parents' wishes. She married Ormund Baratheon and was the grandmother of King Robert. So there is a lot of Garth Greenhands / Highgarden / summer / flowing river imagery here. Daeron met Jeremy when they were squires together at Highgarden. Luthor Tyrell ends up marrying Olenna Redwyne. The Baratheon stag could be an allusion to the horned lord, associated with fertility (appropriate for King Robert) and with Garth Greenhands. What is GRRM's point? I think this is all part of the unbalanced seasons of Westeros. Each generation thinks it has the solution for balancing winter, spring, summer and fall, but each generation fails, for one reason or another. (Love seems to be a factor.) Betha may represent the dead tree / winter season, but she and her husband want their children to marry into Houses representing summer and fertility. It seems they end up dying in a fire at Summerhall. Only Rhaelle follows their wishes and, don't you know, it is her line that displaces the Targaryen line, creating a new royal family. That Baratheon line is cut short, however, as Cersei and Tywin (Ice + Winter) undermine Robert, putting winter back on the throne. More Betha symbolism: the ship commanded by Ser Davos Seaworth is called Black Betha. I believe ships are symbolic eggs in ASOIAF, often even symbolic dragon eggs. Ser Davos has some initial success with Betha in the Battle of the Blackwater but she is eventually engulfed in flames and Davos drowns. Doh! Not really! Davos actually hatches from the "egg" of Black Betha. Is he the "sixth" child of Aegon V? Like Dunk, Ser Davos seems to be a low-born child from the streets of Flea Bottom. He has a bunch of sons, most of whom die at the Battle of the Blackwater. One (Devan?) becomes a cup-bearer for Melisandre. (Rhaelle became a cup-bearer for Lady Baratheon, before marrying Ormund.) Rhaelle was a kingmaker of sorts; perhaps Davos (or his son) will be a kingmaker for this generation. Davos has an important conversation with Salladhor Saan, the pirate who I believe is a parallel for Shiera Seastar. (There are further links within the linked post.) We know that Davos smuggled life (in the form of onions) and death (Melisandre) into Storm's End. Root vegetables and fire. When we last seem him, he is embarking on a mission to find Rickon Stark and one of the first things he does is - eat an apple. Really? This makes sense if this is part of the rebirth of life and summer. The apple is mealy but he eats it anyway and the apple vendor asks for the seeds back, saying they are valuable. The vendor is probably symbolic of the earth and Davos is planting seeds. (We also see Dany planting trees. We also see Littlefinger and Jon Snow eat apples. Ser Garlan Tyrell marries and impregnates a Fossoway.) In other words, I suspect that Davos is a key player in balancing the opposing forces in Westeros, just as the union of Dunk & Egg achieved this goal (or tried to) in an earlier generation. It remains to be seen if Dunk and Egg are opposing forces - we know that Aerion Brightflame and Dunk are. (The German word for "dark" is "dunkel.") The vibe I get from Egg is very creepy, even though he's just a little kid and he seems to care about Dunk living and thriving. (But he also stays safe while urging Dunk to engage in mortal combat that leads to repeated death and rebirth.) Davos smuggles roots - part of the growth and winter survival symbolism - and fire - deadly to trees - but then he gives back seeds. He seems like a fertility guy but he loses a lot of sons in battle. Is Melisandre his opposite? He wants to kill her, but they end up co-existing. Melisandre takes Davos' son to keep him safe but also to indoctrinate him into her religion. Tying things back to the story-teller function of Old Nan and Tanselle: Davos seeks Rickon, whose direwolf is named Shaggy Dog. A "shaggy dog story" is a kind of legend or far-fetched tale. The search for Rickon may be similar to Dunk (and Egg's) search for Tanselle. Anyway. That's why I think Betha Blackwood is a good source of breadcrumbs for us. A trail to follow in the Blackwood / Bracken feud. And also why I think we don't have to choose a favorite between the Blackwoods and Brackens: we need balanced summer and winter for the planet to function in a way that is healthy.
  8. I suspect the Blackwood / Bracken feud may be more elemental and central to the themes of ASOIAF than is the Blackfyre / Targaryen conflict. We know it is a much older conflict, certainly. It's possible that the Blackfyre / Targaryen conflict is actually a small subset of the older feud - a case where Andals have been subsumed into an Age of Heroes story without even realizing it. I believe the primacy of the Blackwood / Bracken conflict is reflected in the clues the author has incorporated in the books from fairly early chapters of AGoT. Elio and Linda have e-mails from GRRM saying that he did not work out the Blackfyre Rebellion backstory until after he finished writing ACOK. I hadn't seen their 2015 video but read it later in this forum somewhere. This shocked me, as I felt I was seeing a lot of the underpinnings for the Blackfyre conflict and the Bittersteel / Bloodraven rivalry in ACOK if not earlier. Once I connected with their news about the author's creative timeline, it took me awhile to realize that I had probably been seeing allusions to the Blackwood / Bracken conflict, and/or the bitter/sweet conflict or other paired opposites in GRRM's archetypes, not necessarily the Blackfyre Rebellion. I believe our first reference to the riverlands rivalry is in AGoT, Catelyn V: That was on her way to the inn at the crossroads with Ser Rodrik Cassel. Catelyn's inner thoughts include a resolve to avoid war yet this stop at the crossroads leads to Tyrion Lannister being taken at swordpoint (with the help of Bracken men-at-arms, among others), arguably igniting the War of the Five Kings. The name Blackwood is repeatedly linked to Brynden Tully in the books. I included the portcullis excerpt because we know that Uncle Brynden will eventually escape the Lannisters by swimming under that portcullis. Lord Tytos is described as being like a pike, which is wordplay referring to the weapon and a fish at the same time. It's not Bloodraven per se, but it is very clear that GRRM wants us to find the link between Brynden Rivers and Brynden Tully. ("HIghborn bachelor uncles of Westeros for $500, please, Alex.") GRRM may not have worked out the Blackwood or Blackfyre backstory for the elderly Targaryen that Bran would meet beyond the Wall, but I suspect he did know that the man would have the name Brynden. He may even have known that the man would possess the ancestral Targaryen sword known as Dark Sister. The Blackwoods are constantly linked to Edmure, House Tully and the fighting in the riverlands. The Brackens and Blackwoods continue to fight after the other Riverlands bannermen have given up and bent the knee to the Iron Throne. As the Blackfish, Brynden Tully seems to be part of the "black symbolism" that GRRM has set up for us: Blackwood, Blackfyre, Blackwater, Black Betha, Black Walder, Black Wind, Castle Black, The House of Black and White, take the black, the Greens vs. the Blacks, etc. The theory / guess needs more work, but I think black represent the presence of all colors - at the battle of the Blackwater, for instance, many colorful sigils are sunk into the water or captured and a whole new "spectrum" of noble houses emerges when the victors award titles and lands to the people who fought with them. White reflects colors, black absorbs. As a devout follower of the faith of the seven, Catelyn is associated with rainbows (including being the POV to describe Renly's Rainbow Guard to readers). She is also a mother figure in ASOIAF (as are Cersei and Dany) but she is also compared and contrasted with Melisandre. Melisandre is associated with shadows, which seem to be the opposite of rainbows in ASOIAF. Could Brynden Tully represent the "shadow" aspect of House Tully? Is a shadow something else that black symbolizes? When Lysa Tully marries Jon Arryn, the Blackfish departs Riverrun to act as commander of the Bloody Gate at the Vale. He resigns that post years later when Riverrun joins the supporters of Robb Stark. Similar to the way that Melisandre's shadow baby can infiltrate the impenetrable Storm's End, Brynden Blackfish miraculously escapes the heavily-guarded water gate at Riverrun. He is turned loose on the world as Catelyn is transformed into Lady Stoneheart, also after spending some time in a river. I have a hunch that Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers / Blackwood / Targaryen also has a shadow weapon. Like the keeper of the Bloody Gate, Bloodraven may also be a gatekeeper of sorts, keeping the Others from infiltrating the cave where Bran and his companions are holed up. I am confident that we can find many clues about Bloodraven in the parallel character of Brynden Tully, who is closely associated with mentions of the Blackwoods in ASOIAF. Note: I did not do an exhaustive search to find out whether the Blackfish is also associated with House Bracken. It may be that he manages to bridge the gap between those two feuding houses. The wiki tells me that Brynden does have two separate horses - a chestnut and a grey. The chestnut has obvious tree symbolism and the grey could refer to Stone Hedge, the seat of the Brackens. On the other hand, Lord Bracken's first name is Jonos. This may tell us that the Brackens have less of a connection to Brynden Tully and more of a connection to the Jon characters or even Janos Slynt. For reasons I do not understand, some people in this thread seem to think it enhances the discussion to militantly and repeatedly assert that ignorance is mandatory for all readers, and to insist that the author will eventually directly reveal and fully explain - in this set of ASOIAF books and not in related history books - any and all useful information about relationships and characters who appear in the books. Until then, the theory seems to be, no one should need or want to draw on information the author has given us in other contexts. Sort of a "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" image, except the assertion seems to be "see, hear and speak no widely-known, delightful and rich information" except what he deems is acceptable or official or properly laid out in the form he finds appropriate. My response it that it is not against the law to choose ignorance, but you can't impose it on others. I feel confident that GRRM wants and expects his readers to experience the delight of discovering connections on their own. The author has openly stated that he intends that the books can be enjoyed on many levels and yield new and delightful details on re-reads. He knows Bloodraven's backstory, he has shared it with us in histories, in literary clues and through the Dunk & Egg novellas. The Blackwood pedigree is laid out for us to savor and discuss. I am not an expert on fantasy literature, but I understand that complex world-building is part of the genre and part of the attraction for fans. We love that there are linked volumes that take place in other settings or timelines. Bloodraven has already introduced himself to Bran Stark. I would be very surprised if he author goes back to that interaction and inserts a scene where Bloodraven says, "Oh, by the way, I didn't spell it out earlier but I'm a fucking Blackwood, kid, on my mother's side. Go, ravens!" While there may be more Blackfyre Rebellion information, or even Blackwood / Bracken information (as I've written, Jaime's hostages hint at this), it just strikes me as lunacy to claim that the author has not provided us with information on Bloodraven's history or to maintain that it is irrelevant to this discussion. If you prefer to ignore widely-known and accepted information, feel free to do so but it's difficult to understand how or why a person who repeatedly announces a personal preference for ignorance chooses to continue participating in this forum. Seems like it would be easier to sit in a corner rocking back and forth instead of announcing dimwittedness for all to see.
  9. This seemed important, so I went looking for characters described as looking like pigs. Many people have pig's eyes (notably, Amory Lorch) and Todder, or Toad, Jon's brother in the Night's Watch. The search site yielded only Kurleket when I look for characters with a pig's face. (He is a Bracken man-at-arms and part of the Three Stooges group that helps Catelyn take Tyrion prisoner at the inn at the crossroads.) Clayton Suggs, a creepy R'hllor fanboy loyal to Stannis, has a winged pig sigil and we know House Crakehall has a boar sigil. Nothing really stood out to me in that group, so I had to come back to Ser Piggy (Sam Tarly) as well as Pate the Pig Boy. These characters seem to meet in the late chapters of ADwD. Are they parallel to Borroq and his boar? Both Pate and Sam Tarly have had responsibilities involving ravens. We know that ravens in the faith of the seven can fly back and forth through the door between life and death. Pate would like to travel around Westeros with Rosie and provide healing services. Sam is traveling around with Gilly (also a flower name) and he tried to restore the health of Maester Aemon but Aemon died. Sam has the broken horn Jon Snow found at the Fist. If it is the horn we suspect it might be, it has he power to bring down the Wall. We believe that Pate has been manipulated by a Faceless Man who calls himself the Alchemist. In return for a coin, he provides the man with an important key he has taken from an archmaester. Could Borroq hold some kind of "key" that will be important in TWoW? It may not be a literal key. As you point out, two of the people who don't like Borroq are Othell Yarwick and Tormund Giantsbane. There is door and horn symbolism around Tormund. Othell is the chief builder of the Night's Watch. Maybe they don't like Borroq because he is going to "open a door" that they prefer to keep closed. Or bring down the Wall?
  10. Ok you guys. I get it. Someone is taking bets on how many posts Seams will make in response to the "It's been too long since the last book" and "there is no deeper meaning" posts. How many people bet on three responses? I hate these animated emoji things but I can't think of another way to respond to this. I am shocked! Shocked! (Here's the game: if you provide an obvious explanation for something that was intended to be ironic, you lose.) Yawn. Like the size of a-Blue-Whale-sucking-down-krill yawn. Really? You're forewarning me? Or are you really post-warning me. I should forewarn you I'm thinking about making you a realistic Vargo Hoat costume for Halloween. In a psuedo-intellectual, vaguely symbolic sense, of course.
  11. Well maybe this is all we need to know about your grasp of the books. I don't know what this means, but I'm too frightened to try to find out. If you find anyone doing this, please let us know and we will send him to the Wall. This is exactly what I do not concede. We will have to agree to disagree. I am so very chastened by your homily. This tired and unoriginal opinion has been expressed dozens or hundreds of times in the forum, but your stunningly banal articulation of this anti-intellectual and lazy point has finally broken through my thick skull and entirely persuaded me to abandon all literary analysis. From now on, I will just make baseless assertions like all the cool kids in your circle of pals. Or perhaps I'll join the silent sisters. Or I'll just keep rolling my eyes and wait for your insights to mature. I'm sure it will happen, if you invest time into thinking.
  12. Martin is the one picking sides, not the reader. Everything I am saying relies on an accurate interpretation of the evidence in the books. I concede, it would be at odds with the simplistic and flawed interpretation you prefer, but it would not be an alteration of the author's approach. It might be a refutation of your approach which, as I say, I find simplistic and flawed. I don't mind that there is a wait between books. I love a deep dive into the complex layers the author has built for us. I understand that many people enjoy only the plot and that is perfectly legitimate. I do not expect to be let down by the upcoming books because I know GRRM is adhering to the high standard he has set for himself in crafting and layering his narrative. So you don't need to condescend to me, little newbie pants. P.S. Do you know who Ran is? I'm sure we're all having a good LOL about you correcting his interpretation of the books.
  13. I'm looking for this citation. Can you tell me which chapter it's in? I was able to find where Tyrion says he is supposed to fall off the pig, and I can find where Penny says that the goal is to make people laugh, but I can't find anything about a plan for the pig and its rider to lose in the mummer jousting.
  14. I had a related thought: maybe Theon is Ned's "sea son". We have a central motif around seasons. Ned has a sea son. Edit: To see if there were other "sons" I hadn't recognized, I went to a website that provides all rhyming words for whatever word you plug in. I typed in "treason" and one of the possibilities identified was "Jack Gleeson." I know that GRRM is really deep with his rhyming wordplay, but I don't think even he anticipated that actor would be cast in the tv adaptation. On the other hand . . . .
  15. I've also been trying to work out the many-layered Rorge/Biter symbolism. It occurred to me recently that a little scrambling of letters could give us Borre / Tiger. I realize that "borre" is not a word (in English, anyway) but it's close enough to "boar" and "Robb" that it could be a clue for us and part of the "paired animals" set of clues. I think that "Ygritte" represents a "Ttyiger" so her conflict with the direwolf Ghost might be similar to her conflict with boars, if the "Rorge/Biter" symbolism is a guide for us. Or does the working relationship between Rorge and Biter tell us that Ygritte might have had a good rapport with Robb Stark or with Borroq? Thanks for bringing up the "crunch" on the man's head. I had been thinking that "crunch" might be associated with biting something, and that it would be part of the Rorge / Biter symbolism. The search website tells me there are many types of crunches in the books. In addition to the conflicting animal pairs and the wild vs. domestic animal symbolism, I think "silent" vs. "roaring" is also part of the animal motif. We see a silent direwolf but we are told that Aerys squealed like a pig when he realized Jaime was going to kill him. We know that the Lannisters once had a sword called Brightroar (also part of the Rorge/Biter anagram wordplay, I believe). The "little birds" who work for Varys are silent because their tongues have been cut out but Littlefinger jokes that opening a pie would cause the birds to sing and Varys wouldn't like that. I think it was @GloubieBoulga who first mentioned that she thought Rorge and Biter represented Ned and Robert. I didn't get what she meant at all and just decided we would have to agree to disagree. But now I think I see what she was getting at. It has to do with the two animals in conflict and one wins for awhile and the other wins later. It's so interesting that Robert and Ned were brought together under Jon Arryn. So what is his role? Is that like Jaqen H'ghar's relationship to Rorge and Biter? I'm also wondering whether there is anagram wordplay involving "Arryn" and "rainy". As in the death of the harvest king, maybe rain is needed to cycle from one king to the next. It would also create a parallel between Jon Rainy and Jon Snow. My strong impression of the dwarf jousting is that it's never clear who wins or loses. GRRM tells us that the riders seem to switch mounts during the performance; one guy who appears to be beheaded is actually fine. Tyrion tells us that the mummer shields have been painted and repainted many times with layers and layers of sigils under each new coat of paint. I know that Tyrion is supposed to fall, but does it really say he is supposed to lose? Does it play out the same way every time?
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