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  1. This is a really good insight. Your discovery might also help to get to the bottom of any Dayne / Payne / Reyne / Wayn wordplay that may be intended.
  2. I don't know that I have a lot to contribute but I may be able to list some related symbols. I associate "ragged" clothing with deserters and, through wordplay, with daggers. "Moth-eaten" is different, though. If there is wordplay involved, it seems like it might be related to "mothers." But that doesn't sound right as I read the moth excerpts in @Mourning Star's post. Unless. There might be a connection to "mother of dragons." So many of the moth images provided by Mourning Star are associated flames. An association that seems to be a better fit is the grey and pale grey moth coloring. Tucu is outlining common elements of the Greyjoys and the Stark grey sigil. It's complicated, but I think Rattleshirt is a symbolic Ned Stark (credit to Gloubie Boulga for this idea). So compare these moth excerpts: Not sure what to make of the moth being in Boros Blount's lantern but then being in Osmund Kettleblack's lantern. Two different moths? But the larger point may be that Cersei is rushing to the scene of her father's death (by crossbow) and Jon Snow is witnessing the death of Rattleshirt (symbolic Ned?) who will die by arrows shot when Jon gives the signal. The moth is symbolic of those deaths in a burning cage. (Perhaps interesting to note that Tyrion steps over a burning log when he uses the secret fireplace door to enter the chambers of the Tower of the Hand. The other person who used that secret entrance is Shae, whose hands are compared to butterflies when Tyrion strangles her.) But Tywin wasn't a grey guy - he was all about Lannister crimson. Maybe the moth(s) in Cersei's POV is/are symbolic of Ned again. Why won't he die and stop distracting her? That might mean that Tywin was more of a butterfly guy. Butterflies, by contrast with moths, are colorful. I believe that butterflies could be some kind of death or afterlife symbol because of their association with Naath, the island that is the homeland of Dany's servant, Missandei. On the other hand, they are also associated with the sigil of House Mullendore. Ponderous butterfly symbolism begins here. There is also quite a lot of bug imagery associated with Renly's Rainbow Guard. I don't believe moths and butterflies are directly cited, however. For what it's worth, the first mention of butterflies is Sansa mentioning that she feels butterflies in her tummy as she goes to plead for Ned's life while Joffrey sits the Iron Throne for the first time. When Sansa escapes King's Landing with Ser Dontos after Joffrey's death, the outfit she hides in a weirwood tree seems as if it is intended to be moth-eaten: it is wool and has seed pearls on it. The image really struck me as being like moth eggs on wool, implying that a hatching will occur and the moth larvae will eat the wool. (Sansa had carefully chosen a blue dress before going to court as she thought Joffrey would like the color. The dress in the weirwood is brown and green - colors of Sandor Clegane's personal sigil but also earth tones, associated with moths. And Sansa does not know it, but her escape with Ser Dontos will deliver her to Littlefinger, mentioned in Ned's dream as having moths emerge from his mouth.) Besides the color schemes, another difference between moths and butterflies is that moths are attracted to flames and to the moon. This could bring us back to all that moon door imagery discussed earlier.
  3. I like it! Could be. As you point out, saying something three times is a trait of Mormont's raven and may also be magical - like an incantation or spell. Of course, I always return to that central pun in the series: ice and eyes. Jon Snow really, really wants to own the ancestral Stark sword Ice. Maybe his repetition of the word "eyes" here is his way of taking possession (symbolically) of Ice. Othor's blue eyes sound like Roose Bolton's eyes like chips of ice, don't they? Although Roose's eyes are ice covered with dirt - grey. Maybe we will see the dirt washed from those eyes at some point and the blue ice underneath will become visible. I think the raven is a repository of the consciousness of past Lord Commanders. So Jeor Mormont will eventually be in the bird, still acting as a mentor for Jon Snow, along with other lord commanders from centuries past. Just as Jeor Mormont knew that he had to get Jon Snow to the Fist at a certain date and time when the moon would be full (so Ghost could lead Jon to the cache with the horn and the dragonglass) the raven contains all-knowing, magical insights about how to defeat the Others - things that have been forgotten or chewed by mice from the books and scrolls in the Castle Black library. Small Paul really, really wants to get Mormont's raven as part of the mutiny plot. Examining Small Paul might help us to understand more about the raven and what he represents.
  4. I'm wondering whether Bloodraven's assumption about Bran's vision might be mistaken. GRRM has made a big point of telling us that POVs include unreliable narrators and we have seen instances (Sansa / Sandor's "unkiss," for instance) where characters remember the same incidents in ways that are incompatible. In his instruction for Bran, he may be drawing on his own experience of becoming a greenseer, but he doesn't understand the different nature of Bran's power. In spite of Bloodraven's characterization, I think it's possible that Bran was seeing something from the future when he saw the woman with the sickle, cutting the man's throat. The woman he saw sounds a lot like Lady Stoneheart to me. Since Catelyn's first POV in AGoT involves Ned sitting under that tree and cleaning his sword after executing a deserter, it feels right to me that GRRM would give us a glimpse of a future event that involves a blade, a blood sacrifice to that tree and a transformed Catelyn out for vengeance. For those who cling to Bloodraven as infallible, alternatively, Bran may have seen a past event that foreshadows something we will see with Lady Stoneheart in the future. We know that GRRM uses history and legend and even contemporary stories as parallels. Yet another possibility draws on Melifeather's metaphor about Bran dropping into the ocean of time: perhaps Bran sees a sort of Platonic Ideal of the sacrifice under the weirwood. This is an event that has been repeated over the centuries and it will continue to occur with variations on into the future. It's become clear to me that the metaphor for these "time loops" or "parallels from legends" have to do with circular stairways. But there are other interesting paths that require special characters to lead the way - Meera on the causeway to the Queenscrown, for instance. Ser Jorah, Ser Barristan and Strong Belwas together in the sewers at Meereen. Perhaps both Mya Stone and Miranda Royce on the path down from the Eyrie. From the get-go, Bran is unconstrained by the normal rules that seem to apply to paths. He climbs the outside of buildings. He finds a path between the walls of Winterfell that is unknown to others. Sansa remembers a game of chase through Winterfell where Bran ends up on top of a covered bridge looking down at Sansa and Arya. He almost gets his direwolf to climb a sentinel pine in order to get over the wall of the Winterfell gods wood. Jaime pushing Bran off the tower represents an evolution of Bran's ability to travel outside of normal paths. That old keep is a metaphor, of course. There's no reason for the Stark family to keep a vacant, useless ruin in the middle of their family compound, so it must have a literary purpose. My suspicion is that it represents these legends of the past or events that have happened in the past. Bran is able to climb all over these events - and isn't it interesting that Jaime and Cersei are also able to gain access to them, in their own way? Maybe Jaime is the three-eyed crow. He has taught Bran to fly by pushing him out the window. Hodor doesn't want to go down the winding stairway into the crypt. He seems ok with going up the same stairs and breaking down a door so Bran and his companions can emerge into the Winterfell courtyard. We have a lot more work to do to figure out which characters can and/or want to travel certain paths. It would also be good to understand how they can take other characters along through certain barriers. As others have noted on this thread, skin changing and warging seem to be limited by the barrier of the Wall. Are there other barriers that cannot be breached? Or can be breached only in very limited circumstances, by characters with special powers? Your point could still be valid in part, but there was not a swap of Bran for Arya, if this Catelyn POV is accurate: (Interesting that Ned sees Bran as a "bridge" here, or a bridge builder.) But I think there may be something to your H.G. Wells comparison: Arya's direwolf escapes execution for biting Joffrey but Sansa's wolf is sacrificed in place of Nymeria. As you point out, Jon escapes death by the hands of the wildlings at the ruined inn, but he is subsequently killed by the Night's Watch. I have long viewed the death of the old man at the ruined inn as analogous to the death of Aslan, the lion in the Chronicles of Narnia, on the stone table. The old man's white hair and his "mute appeal" to Jon indicate to me that he is a symbolic version of the direwolf Ghost. Ygritte kills him but his death allows Jon to escape and return to the Night's Watch. So I see the "death" at Queenscrown differently from your theory that Bran went back in time to save Jon, only to have Jon caught up in his fate at a later point. I think the old man / Ghost died to save Jon. Bran and Summer were part of the action, to be sure. I bet this will foreshadow later events surrounding the death of Jon Snow and of the direwolf Ghost. (I do suspect that both the wildlings and the Night's Watch wanted to sacrifice/kill Jon for their own purposes: Jeor Mormont talks about wanting Jon's unique blood and his direwolf to go on the ranging beyond the Wall. That unique blood and direwolf may be coveted by the free folk and the Bowne Marsh faction within the Night's Watch for other reasons. My suspicion is that Bowen Marsh wants that blood spilled on the Wall to strengthen its magic as a barrier - he was the one who wanted to seal the gate at Castle Black. The wildlings want the blood spilled at the old ruined inn because inns are magical entrances to otherworlds and they want to find Gorne's Way under the Wall and into Winterfell. Spilling Jon's blood might be a way to open the entrance.) I agree that Theon has a special power to transcend certain barriers. I think it started before his torture by Ramsay and before Bran reached out to him through the heart tree, although those events strengthened and gave purpose to his power. That incident where Theon was coming down the steps two at a time and he ran into Old Nan, knocking her over, is an important clue for us about Theon's powers. Like Bran, he doesn't use stairs in a conventional way - he takes them two at a time. As the resident keeper and teller of myth and legend, knocking over Old Nan may be an important symbol of Theon's ability to break time loops. We see a lot of characters who are doomed to repeat events from history or legend, but Theon may have a unique power to end the repetition. I wonder whether his difficult shot with the arrow, killing the deserter who was going to kill Bran in the forest, represents one of those broken time loops?
  5. How exactly has Arya been marked? Her direwolf has eyes like gold coins. Isn't it Jaqen H'gar who marks her by giving her a gold coin? Is Jaqen Him of Many Faces? . I interpreted this in a different way. You seem to be interpreting this as the Kindly Man describing Arya as having been marked - perhaps the coin from Jaqen marking her as a qualified assassin. What I see in this passage is the Kindly Man telling Arya that the gods "mark" a target for assassination and that an individual assassin (such as Arya) does not have permission to target people for assassination using her own judgment or preferences. To "give the gift" is the phrase the Faceless Men use to indicate that someone has been assassinated. I hope that Arya has not been marked and targeted for assassination. There is a strong set of parallels between the Kindly Man and Bloodraven but there are also parallels between the Kindly Man and Littlefinger and possibly the Widow of the Waterfront, Ser Dontos and Roose Bolton. These are all mentors for Starks and for Tyrion. I don't think GRRM is slavishly following a Joseph Campbell "Hero's Journey" formula, but he may have created his own archetype for these mentors who help the young POV characters to navigate their ways through the pitfalls and challenges of war-torn Westeros and Essos. For instance, Jaqen and the Faceless Men use coins to signify admission to the mysteries of the House of Black and White. Littlefinger is a Master of Coin. Penny and Groat are named for coins and they help Tyrion on his journey aboard the Selaesori Qhoran. (By the way - the Selaesori Qhoran is a trading cog. The reference to a cog puts me in mind of clock work and may tie into the notion of time travel or elements of a timeline that can co-exist. See also Night's Watch.) The Widow of the Waterfront may be more of a parallel to Coldhands than to Bloodraven. As a former slave, she had a tear tattoo on her face that has been removed. Could this be a parallel for the salty tear that falls on Bran's face when he passes through the Black Gate? (And the drop on Arya's face when she escapes through a gate in the wall of Harrenhal?) Ser Jorah carefully selects gloves as a gift for her and she seems delighted by the prospect of covering her old, wrinkled hands with them. Roose employs Arya in the job of handling bloodsucking leeches. Perhaps he is preparing her for her encounter with the Kindly Man where she fearlessly attempts to ingest the worm from his eye socket. Dontos kisses Sansa in a way that may echo Arya's kiss for the Kindly Man. (Also, Dontos is naked from the waist down when Sansa first encounters him at Joffrey's name day tourney. His naked penis could be a parallel to the worm of the Kindly Man or to Roose's leeches.) Littlefinger also kisses Sansa (or insists that she kiss him) in a way that readers find inappropriate and disturbing. Consider, however, that one of these inappropriate kisses takes place at the snow castle scene, just before Lysa attempts to push Sansa through the moon door (but Lysa ends up going through the door at the instigation of Littlefinger) and at the bottom of the mountain / The Gates of the Moon below the Eyrie after Sansa descends. There should probably be a whole thread to analyze kisses but it seems as if they are often a part of the ritual for passing from one place (or time?) to another. Penny kisses Tyrion, Tyrion thinks about the kiss from the Shrouded Lord, Ser Beric revives Catelyn with a kiss, the Knight of Skulls and Kisses appears in Meera's story about the Knight of the Laughing Tree, Ser Jorah kisses Dany - these kissing incidents could be useful to understand in getting to the bottom of this time loop or ripple theory. I hope this isn't too far out on a tangent. Your good insight about the Bloodraven / Kindly Man parallel brought up these other parallels in my mind. They do seem to cluster around this idea of gatekeepers and guides (mentors) who may assist POV characters in their journeys.
  6. I think the "who" repetition has to do with this scene: There's even a drop of water falling on Arya's face like the salty tear that falls on Bran's face when he passes through the Black Gate. Arya is figuring out how to pass through a gate here, too, but she uses Jaqen's coin to trick the guard. She will use the same coin to gain entry to the House of Black and White.
  7. Yes. But "dent" also means "tooth." I think it's not a coincidence that Arya throws Joffrey's sword "Lion's Tooth" into the Red Fork. I'm also intrigued that Meera's weapon is a three-pointed frog spear.
  8. Nice catch! Love this. The women who accompany the singer Abel into Winterfell are described as washerwomen. This is also an aspect of the Morrigan. In this notion of time ripples, I think Theon may play a key role. Bran is able to connect with him through the Winterfell weirwood, it seems. But I am also intrigued that Theon comes into conflict with Old Nan, the ageless storyteller. He remembers this collision just as he is leading the washerwomen to rescue Jeyne Poole from her bridal chamber: A couple or three years ago, someone in this forum identified the word "thousand" as a signal that a plot element was a replay of an ancient legend. I'll see if I can find that and provide a link. It had a lot of stuff that could be relevant to this thread. Edit: I think this may be the discussion of "a thousand years ago" and related phrases. The author was @Macgregor of the North, I'm pretty sure. Nope! My mistake. This is the discussion with the "a thousand years ago" phrase:
  9. The talk of holding the pass puts me in mind of a key moment in Tyrion's evolution: I've come back to this scene of Tyrion at the Green Fork a number of times lately. I suspect Gregor Clegane is a super important character in the subtext (he is a Green Grace, imho), and we hear him speak several times in this scene which seems significant since he rarely speaks. Other highlights may fit with some of the harbingers of the ripples in time that you have mentioned or that have come up in the excerpts: people who don't talk (the Burned Men as well as Tyrion in this excerpt), a character moving in a circle. Tyrion circling on his horse, here, and - I believe - navigating an oxbow aboard the Shy Maid in another example you cited. People descending spiral staircases. I believe that Jaime's horse make a circle when he attacks Ned outside of the brothel and kills Ned's guards. I have compared that Jaime/Ned scene to the attack on Tyrion by the stone man at the Bridge of Dream in the Sorrows. trees (Jon Snow in the forest) or no trees (Sansa in the courtyard at the Eyrie), crows / crow food.
  10. This is in ASoS, Bran I, indicating that Hodor habitually swings his sword for hours at a time. I believe the Queens Crown was in Bran III. This thread is bringing up some very interesting Lightning Lord imagery, evoking the storm king, which leads me to think that Ser Beric (who seems to be an heir of the Storm King, now that King Robert is out of the picture) is Hodor's nemesis. There was also a recent thread comparing Catelyn / Lady Stoneheart to a weirwood tree. I think the "rotted tree near the tumbled stones" could be a reference to Lady Stoneheart, as the Riverrun castle is located on the Tumblestone River. (Sansa also notes the statue of Alyssa broken in pieces just before her snow castle scene - broken statue, tree hacked to pieces.) I'm having another thought here, too. The catspaw was in the stable with Hodor before making his way up to Bran's room. What if Hodor played a role in the attack on Bran and Catelyn? Maybe trying to stop the future abomination of skinchanging by Bran into Hodor's mind?
  11. You bring out another important motif with your post and the excerpts: underground vs. towers. Sansa is emerging from a tower when she goes out into the snow; Bran goes into a well and under the Wall and is eventually attacked by things coming from under the snow; Arya is often underground at the House of Black and White and she is interacting with canals throughout Braavos - learning to cross them, where they lead, throwing people and things into them. In light of your comment here, it makes sense to think about Arya throwing the singer Dareon into a canal: Dareon is a Crow, a deserter and a singer. I think Arya is not just discarding things when she throws them into the canals, she is making a stew. The stew may represent ingredients in the self she is becoming, so Dareon's death in the canal contributes an element of her being that - you demonstrate - she has longed for. In addition to the death of the singer, there also seems to be a set of symbols around loose or lost tongues or people (such as Hodor) who can't really speak. Maybe a silent character is a clue for us about which characters are affected by these time loop anomalies. The walls of Winterfell are described more than once, iirc, as curtain walls. This is a term usually associated with modern architecture, from what little I know of architecture, and indicates that the structural weight of a building is carried by steel beams instead of by its walls. But GRRM had a reason for using the term to describe Winterfell's stone walls, and I think it had to do with curtains being made of fabric and fabric being something that can be torn. A "fell" is another word for a seam in fabric that has been sewn in a certain way. Interesting that Jon Snow uses a burning curtain to subdue the attacking Othor. Or is it the burning curtain that injures Jon's hand? Or both? But I would also note here that Bran concludes by noting the burn on his cheek. This has to be a Sandor Clegane allusion. Sandor was burned as punishment for playing with his brother's marvelous wooden knight. Here we see Bran's cheek burned when he dares to look at the heart of winter. (I wonder whether this compares to Bran daring to look at Jaime and Cersei having sex? His hubris was punished in that instance as well.) I'm still thinking about a lot of the other great insights in the post and subsequent comments. This opens up a whole new set of clues for us to follow. Very nice work.
  12. This is really good stuff! Some time ago, using the A Search of Ice and Fire website, I did a search on the word "nail" throughout the series. I was surprised at the time to see how much effort GRRM had put into the evolution of this word - it starts out being mostly used to describe pleasurable sensations during consensual sex, as I recall. Then it is used in connection with the way the boards in a door are held together - a normal use of hardware. Then nails are connected with nailing antlers to human heads, the crucifixions you mention and nailing a tongue to a wall. I think the word then devolves again and the connection to violence begins to ebb. There is a pair of characters named Hammer and Nails in the Golden Company, I believe, so there may be a new symbolism coming up in Tyrion's arc if we see more of that pair. It does seem as if we need to examine Robert Baratheon's war hammer, hammers used by smiths and other hammers in the text to get another angle on nails and their underlying meaning. Nice work! I have been working again on interpreting The Sworn Sword. I think your analysis here may help to explain the burning of Wat's Wood. Thank you!
  13. My bad. I've been crazy sick this week. I should have done my due diligence on the whole thread before commenting.
  14. It's in The Hedge Knight: "Get him drunk and pour some boiling oil into it," someone suggested. "That's how the maesters do it." "Wine." the voice had a hollow metallic ring to it. "Not oil, that will kill him, boiling wine. I'll send Maester Yormwell to have a look at him when he's done tending my brother." Although your point may still be valid: maesters use boiling oil, according to the first speaker, which would be pretty harmful if things work the same way in Westeros as they do in this world. Only Prince Baelor seems to know that boiling wine is the better treatment, and he may take this information to his grave moments after recommending it. Further, the boiling wine may be a special "transfusion" from Prince Baelor to Dunk, who may be uniquely suited to receive Targaryen wine. I'm a fan of @Voice's miasma theory and believe it is an accurate metaphor that explains a major plot conflict. My own theory is that dragon glass is the answer to the miasma. The maesters call it obsidian.
  15. Robert may not have been the father of Strongboar, but there are links between Robert and boars. Worth keeping an eye on Strongboar. As for the Crakehall women, I think Gatehouse Amy is due to play a key role in the upcoming book. Walder's description may be apt for her, but she is a very canny player and has big ambitions.
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