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  1. Could be Littlefinger's father or grandfather. I think Baelish is descended from Elaena Targaryen, the sister of King Baelor / Daeron I and cousin of Aegon IV. For three generations, House Targaryen's line was: Daeron II + Myriah Martell then Maekar I + Diana Dayne then Aegon V + Betha Blackwood Then the kings started marrying sisters again, and the Targaryen blood stopped being "watered down" by intermarriage with other families. I am guessing that we are going to see one or more people emerge who have "purer" Targaryen (or Valyrian) blood than do the claimants to the royal family. A lot of the matching would have to be speculation, unless GRRM reveals something at a later date. For instance: Eleana's oldest child was supposedly conceived as her first husband, Ossifer Plumm, died while bedding her on their wedding night. The historians hint that Aegon IV might have actually crawled into bed and impregnated his cousin Eleana, however, because it was important to an alliance that there be a "Plumm" heir from Eleana's marriage. Eleana's parents were Targaryen + Velaryon Let's use that as a Targaryen baseline since Eleana and Daeron I had the same parents. Then Eleana Targaryen + Aegon IV (mother was a Rogare) = Viserys Plumm (half Targ; 1/4 Velaryon; 1/4 Rogare) Eleana Targaryen + Velaryon = Waters and Longwaters (1/4 Targaryen; 3/4 Velaryon) Eleana Targaryen + Penrose = House Penrose (apparently the Penroses are Targ cousins, but GRRM has not made the relationship clear) My guess is that Baelish might be a descendant of Eleana's "Plumm" line. If her son, Viserys, married (or had issue with) a descendant of Aerion Brightflame, that would make their Targaryen/Velaryon inbreeding even closer to the family ideal. I suspect the Waters and Longwaters descendants are allies of Petyr Baelish, helping him behind the scenes. A Penrose was the castellan for Renly at Storm's End, protecting Robert's bastard son, Edric Storm. Edric could be a metaphor for the idea of a hidden (Targaryen) heir or descendant who would emerge to become a pretender to the throne.
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    Appropriate Punishment for Catelyn

    It occurred to me some time ago that GRRM wants us to compare Catelyn taking Tyrion prisoner at the inn at the crossroads to the Defiance of Duskendale, where Lord Darklyn lured King Aerys into a trap and then held him prisoner. There are major differences, to be sure, but enough similarities that I could see that the parallel was intentional. But it had not crossed my mind that the freeing of Jaime might also be part of the parallel. Tyrion is freed because of the trial by combat, won by Bronn over Ser Vardis Egen, who is crushed by a falling statue of Alyssa Arryn. In this scenario, Bronn fulfills the roll played by Ser Barristan Selmy in liberating King Aerys. Lysa says to him, "Ser Vardis Egen, you were ever my lord husband's good right hand. You shall be our champion." So there is the loss of a right hand involved in this combat. Jaime is freed because Catelyn decides it is worth taking the first step in a gesture of peace with the Lannisters. She trust's Tyrion's word that he would swap her daughters for Jaime's safe return. Brienne fulfills the roll of Ser Barristan, delivering Jaime back to King's Landing but he loses his right hand (his kingslayer hand) along the way. I think GRRM wants us to compare/contrast both Lysa and Catelyn to Lady Darklyn. She is one of those dark foreign beauties who is stereotyped in Westeros as an evil seductress: people blame her for influencing her husband in taking the king hostage. Her female organs are mutilated and she is drawn and quartered, as I recall. Lysa and Catelyn both suffer horrible "deaths" after tangling with the Lannister hostages: Lysa will be pushed out of the Moon Door by her first and only love. Major betrayal. There is a third "kidnapping" before Catelyn's death: she takes the Frey fool, Jinglebell (whose real name is Aegon) and slits his throat when the Freys kill Robb. This scenario is all about double-crosses, broken promises and betrayal upon betrayal. You could make a case that Catelyn did suffer a punishment similar to the horrors inflicted on Lady Darklyn, even though Tyrion and Jaime were freed. It was only when Jinglebell died that she was put to death. After death, she continues to suffer the fate of Alyssa Arryn: mourning the deaths of her family forever and ever. Even the "Stoneheart" title is an allusion to the broken statue at the Eyrie. Follow-up thoughts: 1) I suspect there are things about Ser Barristan and about his successful rescue of Aerys that we have not been told. Just how was that fantastic rescue mission so successful? 2) Lysa is killed by Petyr Baelish; Catelyn is killed by Raymund Frey, a son of Lord Walder Frey through his Amarei Crakehall marriage. Are we supposed to compare Baelish and Raymund? I'm not sure what the parallel is, but I would guess there might be one. Right now, I think it is hidden in our lack of knowledge about the true motives of Petyr Baelish throughout this Game of Thrones saga. Maybe we will know more if and when those motives are revealed. Fwiw, the Crakehalls are Lannister bannermen, and descendants of this Frey marriage tend to ally with the Lannisters. (Raymund has children named Tywin, Cersei and Jaime; Gatehouse Ami will marry cousin Lancel.) So this could be a symbolic "revenge by the Lannisters" death for Catelyn. I guess we don't need Raymund's pedigree to reach that insight, except the link might underscore the motive as the hostage situations for Tyrion and Jaime, not Robb's crowning of himself. The Crakehall sigil is a boar, and a boar or boar meat are present at the deaths of kings: Robert and Robb, for sure. I believe boar meat may have been served at the tourney feast before Renly's death as well. Like Robert, Catelyn is killed by a "boar".
  3. Thank you for so graciously backing down from your initial "basically makes no sense" assertion and your subsequent "moot" ramblings with non-evidence that had nothing to do with the books. I am glad that my book-based examples persuaded you to trust the author's intentions. As you say, "GRRM can make his greenhouses work however he wants," which was the point you originally disputed. Thinking and learning isn't so hard, if you put your mind to it!
  4. I agree that the yellow/green and white/red combinations are meaningful. From the initial analysis I have attempted of GRRM's color codes, the ways that two colors are combined seem to carry meaning: we know that red and white refers to Bloodraven, Jon's direwolf and weirwood trees. How the three of those fit together, and why they have a common color scheme, is not yet clear. I would add that when red and white are mixed - not just paired together - they make pink. Pink is associated with House Bolton. The yellow and green in the Winterfell glass are both colors of the rainbow, so Renly's rainbow guard can offer some clues. Although Renly's green guard was Ser Guyard Morrigan, the color green is closely associated with House Tyrell (Ser Garlan Tyrell eventually slays Ser Guyard) and with Renly, who wears a Tyrell cloak at his wedding and who has green armor. I suspect that green is inherited by the "heir" of Garth Greenhand, and it represents nature and seasonal rebirth. (There are obviously complicating factors such as the Green Grace and The Greens and Blacks in the Dance of the Dragons.) The jousting victory of Ser Loras over Gregor Clegane (whose name offers some interesting "green" anagram possibilities) may foreshadow the eventual victory of seasonal rebirth in Westeros. [I may need to add here that a jousting victory, slaying in combat or - in the case of the Starks - the bite of a direwolf seems to cause the qualities of the defeated or slain or bitten person to adhere to the victor. Melisandre and Stannis were hoping that the death of Renly would help to clarify that Stannis is the rightful king but I suspect that Ser Garlan slaying Ser Guyard was GRRM's way of signalling that "green power" is retained by the Tyrell family in spite of the murder of Renly - the green that had been bestowed on Renly is reappropriated by the Tyrells. As Ser Loras was Renly's true love, I suspect that green power also stays with Ser Loras in spite of the marriage of Margaery to Joffrey and/or Tommen. The subsequent marriages are not accompanied by the "green power" that the Lannisters might hope to achieve.] Yellow in the rainbow guard is associated with Ser Emmon Cuy. I suspect there is an Emmon/lemon wordplay link. We all know that Dany wants to find a lemon tree and that Sansa cannot get enough lemon cakes. Yellow, combined with red, is also a component of orange, and that is a really key symbolic color for ASOIAF. (Ser Loras kills Renly's red and yellow knights and his orange knight is killed at the Blackwater.) For complicated reasons, I associate orange with Targaryens: among other reasons, red, yellow and orange are flame colors in ASOIAF. The effort to bring Sansa together with Harrold Hardyng may be an effort to start a new royal dynasty, uniting Sansa's lemon yellow with Hardyng's red diamonds. Green is not part of Littlefinger's ambition for a new dynasty. If you care to follow that rainbow guard analysis (linked above), there is a connection between colors and fruit as well as colors and gems. I haven't followed it to its conclusion, but I suspect there is a connection between garnets, pomegranates and the color red. Jon Snow is slain by an Old Pomegranate. The literal meaning of pomegranate is "apple garnet." Littlefinger tries to get Sansa to share a pomegranate with him, but she chooses a pear instead - yellow and green? There are notable scenes where key characters eat apples: Littlefinger while he waits for Ned to descend the hidden path from the Red Keep; Jon Snow when he attempts to desert the Night's Watch; Davos when he is sent to win the support of House Manderly. The Alleras character who is probably Sarella Sand, part of House Martell, shoots apples except the one that is allowed to fall into the river. Where I am going with this is that I suspect that granite is part of a wordplay group with garnets and pomegranates. It's not red, but the magic of wordplay could provide a link that tells us how GRRM is using it as a literary symbol. I stand corrected on the wording in the Fire & Blood story: "inside" and not "between" the walls.
  5. Ah. When you refer to your point as, "... it's kinda moot," if you mean that I'm right and you are wrong, then we agree!
  6. I enjoyed it! As I mentioned, the evidence is easily found in the search site. Here's some of my evidence about the nature of window glass in Westeros: Cool green light filtered down through the diamond-shaped panes of colored glass set in the sloping triangular walls... (ASoS, Dany III) The light streaming through the diamond-shaped panes of glass made the blade shimmer black and red as Lord Tywin turned it to inspect the edge, while the pommel and crossguard flamed gold. (ASoS, Tyrion IV) The small diamond-shaped panes of the window were obscured by frost. (AFfC, Alayne II) When Jon folded back the window with its thick diamond-shaped panes of yellow glass, the chill of the morning hit him in the face. (ADwD, Jon I) Still waiting to see your evidence.
  7. Silly me! I've been thinking all this time that ASOIAF is a series of novels with a rich underpinning of literary symbolism. Your insight helps to clarify that the books are, in fact, the published building code for Westeros building contractors. Engineering standards for (modern) glass roof construction is an important message in these books and I missed it! And silly me, too, for taking the time to use the search website, to look at the way the author describes glass panes. He was obviously trying to trick me, and I fell for it. I bow down to your unsubstantiated assertion, because you clearly know things the author does not want us to know. On the other hand, medieval glass-making methods (which I assume are roughly the state of the art in Westeros) relied on the combining of small panes to create large glass surfaces. So feel free to share book-based evidence that presents support for your "makes no sense" declaration about my book-based idea.
  8. If you go to the search website (A Search of Ice and Fire) and search on "diamonds," you will find a lot of references to diamond-shaped panes of glass. Diamonds are a complex symbol but I think the glass house at Winterfell is linked to the larger motif established by the diamond shaped panes. It's a long story, but the allegorical history of the gemstone emperors begins when the first emperor hooks up with the maiden made of light. I think the uniting of diamonds and light is the "Genesis" moment for GRRM's creation myth (and it is symbolically recreated through the use of the sunglass - a prism - to create a rainbow in the Faith of the Seven. The glass house at Winterfell cannot easily be rebuilt because it requires the uniting of the gemstone (emperor) with the (maiden made of) light. Remember when Sansa is building her snow castle? Baelish tells her that they can use twigs to make the framework that would hold the panes of glass in the model castle, but they can't make the panes of glass themselves. I believe this is a symbolic moment where Baelish admits that his powers extend only so far. And yet - For complicated reasons, Baelish is arranging a match between Sansa / Alayne and Harrold Hardyng whose sigil includes - red and white diamonds. I think the symbolic steps necessary for reconstruction of the glass house - where lemon trees grow and where a mysterious man gave Bran a blackberry to eat - is coming about through Sansa / Alayne's arc. I still haven't read Fire & Blood but I read the excerpt where the Stark lord tells Queen Alysanne that a dragon is not welcome between the walls of Winterfell. I think the double walls are significant. At some point, the Stark lord suggested to the Targaryen ruler that there could be a second wall built for the Night's Watch, as I recall. Perhaps that idea was related to the double wall at Winterfell. Sometimes the Winterfell wall is referred to as a curtain wall. What is between the walls of Winterfell? Flowing water. Which seems like a river allusion and, don't ya know, the current Lady Stark is Catelyn Tully who is from the Riverlands and Riverrun. So dragons are not welcome between the walls but flowing water is welcome. Catelyn's son, Bran, seems to be the only contemporary person who has found a passage between the walls where a person can move around the structure. Is this real, or is this a magic power, like warging? Did Bran skinchange Winterfell and he didn't know he was doing it? He loses this ability when he loses the ability to walk, unfortunately. I am only speculating about the possibility of Bran skinchanging Winterfell. I think it's much more likely related to the Gendel and Gorne story, and the tunnel from beyond the Wall to Winterfell. The spear wives question Theon closely to find out how he was able to invade Winterfell, and Osha may be looking for the mouth of the tunnel when she swims in the pool in the gods wood. Only certain people may be able to find the tunnel and to guide others. There are a couple of references (or maybe just one flashback?) to Sansa, Arya and Bran playing chase around Winterfell, with Bran ending up standing on a covered bridge and Sansa and Arya ending up wrestling in the snow (outside of the kitchen, I believe). I think the only other playing at Winterfell is done in the crypt (unless you count practicing sword fighting?). That scene with Bran on top of a covered bridge seems significant to me, but I can't yet put my finger on it. I'm sure it's foreshadowing, though.
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    Puns and Wordplay

    Elaena Targaryen, sister of King Baelor, was locked in the Maidenvault with her sisters so Baelor would not be tempted by her: Her hair was a platinum white with a bright golden streak down the middle, an unusual color even for the Targaryens. She wore it long, pulled back, and braided, and was always being told it was her crowning beauty. However, she cut off her braid to defy her brother Baelor for imprisoning her in the Maidenvault, and afterwards wore her hair short for years. (wiki) Elaena ends up having descendants through Plumm, Waters (Longwaters) and Penrose liaisons. She seems to be the most fecund Targaryen of her time, although her sister Daena and cousin Naerys are the matriarchs of the Blackfyre and Targaryen lines. The other character who loses her famously long braid is Rohanne Webber in the novella The Sworn Sword. We know that she will go on to have many, many heirs through her Lannister marriage. The plot conflict in The Sworn Sword begins with a feud over control of a stream which Lady Rohanne has dammed up in order to divert water to a defensive moat around her castle. The dammed stream and the "Longwaters" surname may offer us a wordplay clue that would bring us back to hair: long water describes a river. Rivers and streams flow and the long hair of women would also flow. (Except when braided - Elaena and Rohanne are freeing themselves from captivity when their braids are cut.) When Catelyn is a moment away from death, her last thought is, "Don't cut my hair. Ned loves my hair." This is part of the hair/heir wordplay, but Catelyn's strong association with rivers - and her rebirth from the Green Fork of the Trident - may also tie into the comparison between rivers and hair. More wordplay: when a girl begins to menstruate in Westeros, she is said to have flowered. More of the flow symbolism. I think the shaving of Cersei's pubic hair is also part of this symbolism, although the tie is a little more tenuous. In a few places, GRRM refers to a person's crotch as a fork; I think there is an instance when someone riding an animal is "forking" it. Perhaps Cersei's shaved pubic area is symbolic of the Red Fork, where Robert killed Rhaegar. Cersei hoped to have babies with Rhaegar and did everything she could to avoid having babies with Robert. The lack of "hair" at her "red fork" might be an echo of the combat at the eponymous location along the river. The dyed hair of people in Tyrosh may also be part of the complex symbolism around the Trident River, with its Red, Blue and Green forks. Daario's beard has three prongs and is dyed blue. Dany is attracted to him like crazy. The "freeing from captivity" association with haircutting may also relate to locks and keys: we know that hair can be worn in "locks" and that one might give a lock of hair to someone after cutting it off. Remember Elaena's unusual gold streak in her silver Targaryen hair? I wonder whether there is a Goldilocks theme we need to analyze there, as well as a lock and key motif associated with the Maidenvault? I know I've written this somewhere before, but it's probably also relevant here: I think the Azor Ahai name is - at least in part - wordplay around the word "razor." There are so many references to sharp blades as well as shaggy animals or people. I think there may be an important theme around who gets to cut hair and who grows it out or refrains from getting their hair cut. Little Rickon Stark refuses to get his hair cut until his family returns to Winterfell. Of course, his direwolf is called Shaggydog. We are told that Bran cannot have sex because of his disability (ok as part of the symbolism in the books but not true of many physically disabled people irl). I think the contrast between hairy Rickon and celibate Bran will end up being significant in the books. Bran observes the difference between "shaggy" and "sharp" faces of the Stark kings and lords in the statues in the crypt when Rickon is down there with him. It's interesting that Bran eventually discovers the flowing water in Bloodraven's cave.
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    A Bittersweet ending?

    This is an excellent observation. It fits with an orange clue I thought I was seeing in the Dunk & Egg stories:
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    George and Maurice Druon

    I've been listening to the audio of Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel. It's historical fiction about the fall of Anne Boleyn, told from the point of view of the "Hand of the King," Thomas Cromwell. It's a 2012 book, so GRRM had laid out and published Cersei's plot against Margaery in ADwD long before Mantel's book was available, but I was struck by the similarities in Cersei's strategy (supported by Qyburn) and the approach taken by Cromwell in the Mantel book. There are other details that also mirror ASOIAF: one of Cromwell's informers against the Queen says that she slept with her brother because she thought a bastard child that looked like a Boleyn would be less suspicious than one who looked like another man of the court. It seems likely to me that GRRM was drawing on the same historical sources Mantel used when constructing her version of the plot to remove Anne Boleyn from the bed of Henry VIII. We know that GRRM took pieces from the War of the Roses, so it would not be surprising if he also borrowed from the Henry VIII story. In other words, GRRM may have been inspired by several different historical incidents and/or contemporary writers.
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    Wow, I never noticed that. Vol. 18

    Arya takes possession of Harrenhal, in a sense. Weese about Chiswyck's fall from the wallwalk: "... Some are saying it was Harren's ghost flung him down." It wasn't Harren, Arya wanted to say, it was me. She had killed Chiswyck with a whisper ... I'm the ghost in Harrenhal, she thought. And that night, there was one less name to hate. ACoK, Chap. 30, Arya VII If Winterfell is truly gone, is this my home now? Am I still Arya, or only Nan the serving girl, for forever and forever and forever? ACoK, Chap. 64, Arya X
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    A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Reread

    GRRM is obviously setting up a guessing situation about the paternity of these key players in the Targaryen succession. Aside from the rumors about Aemon and Naerys, my best clue for Aemon as the father of Daeron is the anagram I provided: Knight of Tears = Father to Kings. I realize a lot of people don't like anagrams as clues and I sometimes go overboard, so you can disregard this if you like. GRRM went to some trouble to create this second nickname for Aemon the Dragonknight, so I think he wanted to put the clue in front of us. There are also references to tears shed on the night that Naerys was bedded by Aegon. I think that reference to tears alludes to Aemon again, the (k)night of tears. As for Aegon as the father of Daemon, I think Aegon believed it and we know that he was a prolific father. I can't prove anything, but the story is much better if Daeron and Daemon were both Targaryen heirs but both illegitimate. I think GRRM definitely wants to fool us with all of the (supposedly) strict formulas about how to recognize whether a child is legitimate or a genetic descendant or not. We know that nature and nurture both play a role, that genes can come from either parent - he even plays around with the possibility of Tyrion as a chimera. I think he is more interested in playing around with the idea of how two people with different strengths or weaknesses can come together to create a "whole" than he is in proving that sons always resemble fathers. In fact, I think he also likes to surprise us with irony. So a son who does not look like his father but instead seems more like his uncle would be exactly the kind of twist GRRM would use to surprise us. Sam Tarly is not like Randall Tarly (so far, at least). Quentyn and Arianne have the same parents but are not much alike. Arya doesn't look like Sansa, even though they (supposedly) have the same parents. A few examples where GRRM is telling us that we can't take physical similarities as definite evidence of close biological relationships. Again, I have only guesses and theories about Dunk's paternity (as explained earlier in this thread and including interesting points from Megorova). If he is a son of Daemon, it fits with other hints and themes I am seeing around the unified "whole" created when he teams up with Egg: Blackfyre + Targaryen, Big + Little, Strong + Smart, Diplomatic + Wicked (I think Egg is going to have a strong tendency toward dark magic, poisoning and subterfuge as the stories evolve). I doubt GRRM will ever retcon or clarify the Targaryen family tree, more than he already has. He likes to leave things ambiguous - on the surface, at least. If we can put together indirect clues that prove a theory, that is something else. Eleana's descendants are Plumms, Waters (and Longwaters) and Penroses. I suspect Littlefinger is also a descendant of Eleana. Are you saying you think Dunk married a daughter of Eleana? That would be very cool.
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    Sandor and Brienne Parallels

    The Gravedigger parallel struck me, in part, because of a scene I have been reading and re-reading in the Dunk & Egg story, The Sworn Sword. Because Brienne is supposedly a descendant of Dunk, I think we are supposed to compare them. Early in the story, Dunk sets off to figure out why the stream serving the Standfast lands and crops has suddenly gone dry. He comes upon a dam that has been put in place by a group of "diggers": men who are working for Lady Rohanne, using picks and shovels to dig canals across her land to channel the water to her pear trees and (it turns out) her moat. Dunk's fellow sworn sword, Ser Bennis, cuts one of the diggers on the cheek. Dunk objects but the offense has been given and the injury to the digger becomes a central part of the conflict between Lady Rohanne and Ser Eustace Osgrey. The "claret on the cheek" (as Ser Bennis describes the sword wound) is similar to The Hound's injured cheek. (Also similar, of course, to Bloodraven's wine stain birthmark on his cheek and, later, to the bite on Brienne's cheek.) In an attempt to defuse the conflict, Dunk will later cut himself on his own cheek while he treats with Lady Rohanne. The diggers in the Dunk & Egg novella are not burying bodies, but there is a message about letting go of the past and/or the end of an era and the reconciliation of old and young, dead and living, Blackfyre and Targaryen, in the story. The resolution occurs when Dunk "dies" (he gets better) and Lady Rohanne visits the grave in the blackberries (berry = bury) of her first love. If you haven't read the Dunk & Egg stories, I apologize for introducing a tangent to your main point. If you have read them, I think there is a lot of helpful information to me mined from the shared motifs. The novellas are helping me a lot to sort out symbolism in the main series.
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    Sandor and Brienne Parallels

    Brienne and Lady Stark escape from the scene of King Renly's death; The Hound and Arya escape from the scene of King Robb's death. If The Hound is now The Gravedigger on the Quiet Isle, there is a parallel to Brienne making Shagwell dig the grave for Nimble Dick at Crackclaw Point. There is another place, earlier, when Brienne wants to cut down the bodies of people who were hanged in order to give them a decent burial.
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