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Everything posted by Seams

  1. I'm in awe of your discoveries. I keep meaning to collect my thoughts and try to make a coherent response, but then you dazzle me again and I'm off in another direction. I'll try to write back later today.
  2. I like this. These indigo characters may have both specialized vision and an "undying" quality. One of my half-baked notions is that the Shadow Tower, which is under the command of Denys Mallister, is the Night's Watch version of Valhalla - a place where Night's Watch brothers go after they die. When Qhorin Halfhand shows up to guide Jon Snow toward the Frostfangs, he comes from the Shadow Tower (along with Ebben, Dalbridge and Stonesnake). In some cases, it might be like the line from the movie: "I see dead people and sometimes they don't even know they're dead." In other cases, I think the person does know he is dead but the loyalty to the Night's Watch is so strong that they come back to help defend the Wall or otherwise serve the Lord Commander. Qhorin didn't mind Jon Snow cutting his throat because he was already dead. So the Shadow Tower would be a fitting seat for a Mallister to be in command, dispatching the "undead" brothers of the Night's Watch. I wonder whether being "undying" is a factor in Bowen Marsh's return from his skirmish with the wildling Weeper? He is "healed" at the Shadow Tower after the fight at the Bridge of Skulls. Regarding the special sight achieved through the eagle, it is through a Catelyn POV that we are told that ravens have the power to fly through the door between life and death. (Crones can peer through the door, but ravens can pass freely back and forth, apparently.) I wonder whether eagles also have something of that power? This would link back to the possible undying status of Denys Mallister, but also explain the importance of the eagle being able to fly above the wall - a power that was apparently not held by Queen Alysanne's dragon. Or maybe it's not just the eagle, but animals under the influence of skinchangers that can pass beyond the Wall? Maybe the mother direwolf was able to go south of the Wall while pregnant because she had been brought over by a skinchanger (Lyanna, I'm guessing). Maybe Catelyn seeing Mallister while he fails to recognize her is foreshadowing of her Lady Stoneheart fate. She can see him because she is about to be a crone and can see through the "door" between life and death. He doesn't see her because she is not going to "die": she is going to be brought back to life by the dark magic of the kiss from Beric Dondarrion, bypassing the normal cycle of death and rebirth experienced by most characters in ASOIAF.
  3. This is very interesting. My latest (not studied in depth) theory about the color black is that it represents the presence of all colors. So these characters could have special powers because of their all-color eyes. I am also interested in the notion of these chimera creatures - griffin, sphinx, harpy, etc. - as a different kind of skinchanger. Maybe the author wants us to think about the animals or sigils that have attacked or interacted with some of our key characters and to associate them with these hybrids. As a "griffin," Jon Connington would be associated with both lions and eagles. Because Orell's eagle attacked Jon Snow, maybe we are supposed to see Jon Connington as a foil for Jon Snow - this would make sense, because the boy he has raised as Young Griff is supposed to be Rhaegar's son, but Jon Snow is also believed by many readers to be Rhaegar's son. If only one can be king, there would be a natural rivalry here. The lion combination might imply Lannister symbolism or alliance except I think that lions may go further back than the Lannisters - just as House Baratheon took over the stag sigil when they married into the Durrandon family, I suspect that the Lannisters "usurped" the lion sigil for their own use. But Melisandre seemed to defeat the eagle, magically setting it on fire. This may bring us back to the Cressen confrontation, in the usual roundabout way. The poison Cressen brought to the feast at Dragonstone was in an indigo bottle. GRRM does not often use indigo but it is an eye color (there is "indigo murk" in the House of the Undying and I believe a man Dany encounters in one of her visions there - often presumed to be Rhaegar - has indigo eyes). Another place where the author uses indigo is in the sigil of House Mallister, which also includes an eagle. Perhaps Melisandre's ability to ingest the indigo poison without suffering harm is connected to her ability to destroy Orell's eagle. (Except that we are told that Orell lives on in Varamyr after the eagle is burned.) In the recent post where I finally realized that the two halves of the rainbow represent fire (red, orange, yellow) and ice/eyes (blue, indigo, violet), I could start to make sense of Renly's work to create a rainbow guard. He wore the green cloak at his wedding and his lover and bride (perhaps, like Sarella / Alleras, both male and female) are associated with green. So he was the uniter and fulcrum of the fire / eyes (ice) spectrum. But Renly did not have an indigo guard. He was trying to complete the set (and he had used up all of his cloaks when Brienne joined the team) but he didn't quite make it. This idea of the two "sides" of the rainbow might fit with Melisandre (definitely associated with fire and red) "defeating" both the eagle and Cressen's indigo poison. Stannis is not trying to achieve the balance of colors associated with Renly. He married a Florent (associated with green) but he is all-in for fire, allowing Melisandre to influence the religious beliefs of his followers and of the people he subjugates (wildlings). Even though Cressen was loyal to Stannis all his life, Stannis rejects him and replaces him with a different, younger maester. When Catelyn was trying to return to Winterfell, she saw the Mallisters on their way to the Hand's Tourney. Even though Jason Mallister had attended her wedding to Ned, he did not recognize her. Maybe this is another symbolic example of elusive indigo. For what it's worth, Denys Mallister is initially a strong candidate to replace Jeor Mormont as Lord Commander. He so dislikes Janos Slynt, however, that he joins with his enemy Cotter Pyke and is persuaded by Sam Tarly to support Jon Snow. This might mean that Jon Snow (and Sam Tarly?) do have indigo in their spectrum of supporters. Maybe surviving the eagle attack was a way of absorbing indigo into his system. (Jon Snow also survived the fire in Jeor Mormont's bedchamber.) [Note: GRRM tells us that Denys Mallister once defeated both of Sam Tarly's grandfathers - Florent and Tarly - in one tourney. So it is a major deal that Denys is now persuaded to back Sam's pal for Lord Commander. Something has happened to win over the indigo man, and I'm not sure what it is, other than Jon Snow surviving the eagle attack.] Regarding the three apples in the original post. Setting aside sigils for the moment, the characters I associated with apples are: Jon Snow. He eats an apple when he is planning to break his oath to the Night's Watch at the end of AGoT and he steps on rotten apples at the old inn where Ygritte kills the old man; Littlefinger. He eats an apple when he leads Ned Stark down the secret path out of the Red Keep, including eating the seeds. Davos Seaworth. He eats an apple when he arrives at White Harbor. The seller asks to have the apple core back because the seeds are good. Boar / Robert / Robb. As Robert lies dying, he says the boar that killed him should be served at his funeral feast with an apple in its mouth. I think apples are part of this color rivalry. They can be red or green or rotten (brown). A number of the apples are withered or mealy, but I don't believe any of the characters eats a green apple. It may be very important that Alleras is shooting apples before Leo Tyrell arrives. Leo announces that he wasted his last stag - I think this is a symbolic way of saying that Robert (or possibly Joffrey) died. If the Tyrells always represent that green fulcrum for the rainbow, it is as if he is reporting back for duty to try to create another balanced rainbow. (BUT there are wine stains on his clothing and I usually assume that this is Bloodraven symbolism. Leo is also the name of the Tyrell who was in the Trial of Seven in The Hedge Knight, where the green apple Fossoways were created - by a Baratheon. I have also theorized that the Leo who joins the group at the tavern is the Alchemist in disguise. He promised Pate he would arrive at a certain time, and Leo arrives at that time although the Alchemist seems to arrive later. So this is all quite complex and interrelated.) So I think the three apples shot by Alleras go beyond representing dragon riders. I think they are part of the system of linked symbols of body parts, fruit and colors (as well as birds and insects) that are used throughout ASOIAF. One interesting thing I noticed while writing out this post is that there is a connection between apples and feet, which I had thought were usually associated with oranges. When Dunk sells his horse, Sweetfoot, in order to buy armor from Pate, he gives the buyer a penny and tells him to buy an apple for the horse. (He promises the horse that he will come back for her some day.) When Davos eats his apple at White Harbor, he is near a fountain with a merman statue called Fish Foot. Mollender has a club foot and the word "foot" comes up in other ways in the scene with Alleras. If Alleras is really a Sand Snake, she would have no feet of her own ... This is a really cool observation. I have suspected that the "mute appeal" GRRM uses in key moments in the books is a thinly-veiled allusion to his "apple" symbolism. You may have hit on the connection that makes sense of the "mute" appeal.
  4. There is a lot of guessing involved in the anagrams, especially when they have multiple solutions and Grrm uses several of them. If you would feel more comfortable sharing your idea among people who are interested in sorting out wordplay clues, this thread is miraculously still open for comments:
  5. Very nice catch. I had to look up the description of a wyvern when I was first trying to understand Cressen's role and I found that it was, essentially, a dragon without arms. So kind of a bird-like dragon. If the wyvern is bird-like, that makes if a fowl. The hound may represent a wolf, as you point out. And I believe that "maester" is wordplay around the word "stream," which is a kind of flow. So we may not be seeing three dragon riders here; we may be seeing wolf-flow-fowl, which is Stark symbolism (with Catelyn representing flow). I don't know if it departs from analysis of the three apples, but Cressen representing a symbolic "flow" would be interesting because the Cressen / Melisandre conflict then becomes a Catelyn / Melisandre conflict. In other threads, I have theorized that Catelyn and Melisandre are opposites because Catelyn's worship involves rainbows (refracted light) and Melisandre's religion involves shadows (images cast by fire light but also representing the absence of light). I do like your "half man" notion about Cressen here, though. So many possibilities! We know that Prince Doran has sent Quentyn to Dany with the hope of a revised marriage alliance with this surviving Targaryen. And Quentyn tries to ride a dragon when his marriage proposal is rejected. So the Martells don't want dragons to die out; they just want to ensure that they are partners with them. The "sand snake" symbolism suggests that they are already part of the dragon (wyrm, serpent) symbolism. So I'm guessing that Alleras wants to preserve the seed (dragon seed) and he/she would approve of allowing one child to live. Or is that not the question? Here's another way of, perhaps, deciphering the Martell motives in the Old Town / Citadel scenes: Arianne was called The Princess in the Tower when Prince Doran locked her up as punishment for her role in trying to steal Myrcella. In the Hightower of House Hightower, rumor says that the Lord and his magical daughter are locked away, casting spells or something along those lines. Is Arianne parallel to the magical Hightower daughter? If so, does that explain why Prince Doran allowed Sarella to continue her secret mission in the Citadel when all of her sisters were locked up? As a Martell "princess," is Sarella a parallel to, or extension of, both Arianne and the Hightower daughter? We know that House Hightower had big ambitions that were a factor in the Dance of the Dragons. Will we see a replay of that Dance as a result of the Martell ambitions in the current generation?
  6. This could be the "Rosebud" mystery of the entire series. I'm betting on that old "Lamentation = Attain Lemon" anagram as a key to the solution. House Royce, lost in the Dance of Dragons (possibly the dragon pit). We saw a Royce in the first prologue and we're seeing more at the Gates of the Moon, where Sweetrobin hopes to find abundant lemon cakes. Lemons are associated with dental health and teeth are associated with dragons. The Hardyng sigil (incorporated in the sigil of Harry the Heir) has diamonds in it, which are also associated with dragon teeth and with panes of glass (House Payne?). But fire is also associated with dragons. Maybe one kind of kiss represents dragon fire and the other represents dragon teeth? But the Ghost of High Heart specifically requests a bit of tongue with her lemony kiss. Maybe the lemony kiss is represented by both teeth and tongue? Ah, I bet the word "bit" in the "bit of tongue" phrase is a hint about a bite. Aerys took the tongue of Ser Ilyn, Craster took the tongue of Mance's messenger, Joffrey gave a singer a choice about losing a tongue or fingers. For some reason, the Ghost of High Heart wants a bite of the tongue of Lem Lemoncloak. The opposite of lemons seems to be sourleaf which may be symbolic of having a bloody mouth. Of course, red leaves are also associated with weirwoods. Hmm. It occurs to me that a person who chews redleaf is described as having a slimy mouth. I wonder whether there is "lime" wordplay in "slimy"? We see more lemons than limes in ASOIAF, but they do appear from time to time.
  7. I feel there's not quite enough complexity and alternative interpretation here, so I'm going to throw in another possibility. Coins are heads. They usually have the image of a monarch on one side and a sigil on the other side - dragon, stag, etc. The Faceless Men are closely associated with coins because of the nearby (if not connected) Iron Bank. Arya also receives a coin from Jaqen and uses a coin as a murder weapon in her first contract killing. Also, the Faceless Men can wear another person's face and enter into that person's thoughts and memories - not too much different from wearing the person's head. What if the game of cyvasse requires the winner to acquire three heads? It's not just dragon heads that need to appear in triplicate, it's every winner of the game who needs three heads. Some years ago, there was an insightful post in this forum suggesting that Mollender is the son of Ser Dontos. I found it persuasive and have held onto that probability in subsequent visits to this preface. Ser Dontos represents several important lines of symbolism or archetypes from GRRM's pantheon. One of them is "the boy who lived" (yes, I know that phrase is associated with a different fantasy series). We see several examples where an entire family was wiped out except for one child - Last Lord Tarbeck, Rhaegar at Summerhall, Jon Snow of House Targaryen, maybe Lollys Stokeworth, and maybe Sweetrobin of House Arryn. Ser Barristan Selmy asks Aerys to spare Dontos Hollard so he is the sole survivor of, essentially, House Darklyn. That surviving child (or descendants of the child) may come back to avenge his family's enemies. The surviving child also goes to the fertility motif and may represent seeds being saved for the spring planting. Mollender is the one throwing the apples up to be shot - does this symbolize the revenge of House Darklyn? I think the third apple, that Alleras fails to hit, may represent the next "boy who lived." There will be one child left whole to serve as the seed for the next generation. But wait, there's more. The name "Pate" means head. That's one. Pate wanted a gold dragon. That would be two. The Alchemist had at least one face (of his own?). He also had the gold dragon and he (apparently) used it to kill Pate. He apparently took Pate's face. The Alchemist has three faces. He wins the key and moves on to the next round of the game. So look for which characters successfully collect three heads. The Martells recently collected Gregor Clegane's head. They also eat dessert out of sugar skulls. Lem Lemoncloak seems to have The Hound's helmet (head). Daario has his own head plus weapons with the heads of women. Joffrey mounted the heads of Ned Stark and Septa Mordane on the wall of the Red Keep. Ned said that Gared was the fourth deserter he had beheaded that year. (For anagram fans: "Citadel" is one of the words hidden in "Alchemists Guild." Two heads of the same coin?)
  8. You've done a great job of spotting the evidence and describing it. Hasty is the kind of "minor" character that GRRM uses to provide clues about motifs and linked characters. His symbolism is so wide and deep, however, that I'm not ready to say that all roads lead to Dany. We know that Dany is anxious to find a red door and a lemon tree. Sansa loves lemon cakes. So they each have lemon symbols. I don't think this means they will become allies, but I do think the author is telling us that there is a shared quality in lemons that is common to the characters. You are right to notice Hasty eating a pear. The other significant pear-eating scene is Sansa / Alayne's first breakfast with Petyr Baelish. Hasty's pear is withered (nice catch by you) and Sansa's pear is juicy. I do think this kind of symbolism shows an older generation passing along life and power to the next generation. Hasty isn't having breakfast with Sansa, but there is a Baelor Butthole / Baelish shared symbolism, perhaps telling us that Hasty is a father figure like Alayne's pretend father. I do think the purple/white sigil is significant (as are all sigils and their colors). But that is only one of Dany's many outfits. Granted, it is what she wears to ascend to her royal seat. To pin down the meaning, it might be helpful to look at other places where purple is used: Arya hangs around a lot in the Purple Harbor, for instance. I believe Purple Harbor is for elite people and boats, and that she kills the moneylender (insurance agent?) there with her poisoned coin. There is also a complicated bit of symbolism around a performing seal and an assistant with an injured hand. I think this may represent a royal seal and the theft of "purses" alludes to a usurper. Anyway. I've been looking to Purple Harbor to try to understand purple, but I'm sure there's much more to it. (Also, House Mallister is indigo and argent - argent represents either silver or white in heraldry, from what I gather. So the indigo isn't quite the same as purple, but could be a hint for us.) I do believe that Ser Bonifer was the sperm source for Rhaegar. If Young Griff / Aegon is truly Rhaegar's son, this might mean that Ser Bonifer would want to support Aegon's claim to the throne over Dany's claim. My guess is that we will see Dany and Aegon join in romance in one or both of the last two books. This would also fill the prediction for joining of the lines of Aerys and Rhaella. But it might be that the griffin symbolism is the key: eagle, lion and scorpion all in one beast. Jon Snow was attacked by an eagle, Dany was almost stung by a manticore and the Lannister lion symbolism could mean a lot of things. Creating and then killing the griffin might be the arc that lies in store for Aegon. To me, many of the symbols surrounding Ser Bonifer reinforce his role as The Father of the new gods. Jaime says he reminds him of Tywin and he nicknames him Baelor Butthole. Throughout ASOIAF, Tywin, Jaime and Tyrion are closely associated with piss and shit - Jaime has shit for honor, Tywin shits gold, Tyrion cleans the sewers at Casterly Rock and he is constantly peeing. So Jaime's nickname sounds like an insult but it might be a way of saying that Ser Bonifer is like a Lannister man. If Ser Bonifer is a symbolic Tywin, this would create the kind of ironic symmetry that I believe GRRM likes. This symbolic Tywin may be the father of Rhaegar and this forum loves to debate whether Aerys might be the father of Jaime and Cersei and whether Tyrion is a chimera with both Tywin and Aerys for a father. Ser Bonifer as a symbol for The Father would also explain why he is in charge of Harrenhal. Petyr Baelish is playing Sansa's father and he is the "true" Lord of Harrenhal. Tywin wanted a worthy ally in charge of Harrenhal, not Janos Slynt. Although Bonifer is just a castellan, he is part of the group of father figures that seem to cluster together in different ways (Bael symbolism, dispensing justice, fathering highborn children). I'm sure there are many other symbols we haven't discussed in depth - the gelded "wheeling" horses, gloved hands, the Merryweather connection. He has "carrot" hair, and that is both a "kissed by fire" symbol and a root vegetable symbol. As Evolett points out, his family name may imply a bonfire, which would be a great source of energy for Targaryens. Maybe his "kiss" for Rhaella helped to put a spark back in he family's DNA.
  9. Here's another scene with Lem in flowing water: Arya sees the red eyes of the Ghost of High Heart and compares them to the eyes of Jon Snow's wolf, who is a ghost, too. We know that "kisses" from Thoros are keeping Ser Beric alive. (And that Ser Beric's last kiss will reanimate Lady Stoneheart.) But the GofHH wants a kiss from Lem, who we believe to be the Knight of Skulls and Kisses: So being "kissed by fire" causes one kind of immortality, apparently, and a "kiss by lemon" may be another kind of rejuvenation technique. Since tongues and swords are symbolic equals (or closely related) in ASOIAF, the offer of a sword may be the same as agreeing to the kiss.
  10. I suspect we need to compare Brienne and Ser Barristan in order to find clues about each character. As you point out, Ser Barristan was caught between loyalty to Aerys (his oath) and his wish for honor. Brienne is caught between her bond with Jaime and her oath to Catelyn, who has turned into a monster. Maybe Jaime is another example of this kings guard archetype, as he has been caught between honor and glory (the names of his horses), his oath and his loves, his sense of decency and his Lannister swagger. If you suspect Brienne might kill Lady Stoneheart, that might offer clues about Ser Barristan and Dany's eventual denouement. I hope we will find out more about Ser Barristan's true origins in the last books. I think he was a highborn bastard and his pedigree was sanitized by sending him to be fostered or adopted by House Selmy. Seems a likely dragonseed to me.
  11. I think it's directly related to the pair of opposites GRRM uses here: It seems like a playful choice for the name of a pet, but I think there is "razor" wordplay in "Azor" Ahai, so it's probably pretty central to a major motif. We read Catelyn's last words about not cutting her hair, Arya getting a haircut from Yoren, and Sansa dying her hair to become Alayne. So the shaggy black hair of Rickon's direwolf must have some purpose. There is a lot of action around eating horse meat, so Rickon and Shaggydog are showing us a variation on a theme. Bran's direwolf eats horse flesh after Ramsay burns Winterfell - it might even be Theon's horse, Smiler, who was last seen on fire and fleeing in panic. Dany eats a stallion heart. At the urging of Qhorin, Jon Snow eats oats with the blood of a shaggy garron just before he joins the wildlings. Bran and his companions eat elk meat after Coldhands slaughters his loyal beast near the end of their journey to Bloodraven's cave. The fascinating difference here is the horn aka corn. The Lord Commander's chatty raven is constantly talking about corn and Bran fed corn to the crows before he had his fall from the Old Keep at Winterfell. We know that Mance has been searching for a magical horn that will bring down The Wall. So here we have Shaggydog (in Ghost and/or Jon's mind's eye) eating horse flesh PLUS corn PLUS horn all at once. (Edit: I suppose a unicorn is a "sharp" horse, while a garron is often described as "shaggy." If Shaggydog eats a unicorn and Jon Snow eats a shaggy garron, there may be symbolism here about become whole (howl) or taking on the characteristics of one's opposite.) In the ACoK quote, above, see the bit about waking the sleepers? It doesn't work for Summer, and he fails in his attempt to climb a tree to get over the wall at Winterfell. I would bet a nickel that this is foreshadowing to tell us that it will be Shaggydog and Rickon that get over The Wall or cause it to fall. We also see a reference to Shaggydog's black coat. Where have we seen a significant black coat? That would be in our introduction and goodbye to Waymar Royce, who wore a sable coat. He was a ranger but not a first ranger - except that I suspect GRRM has created wordplay around "fur stranger" that goes with the stranger/ranger characters. We see a sable coat associated with a couple other Night's Watch brothers until Jeor Mormont finally says that the title of Acting First Ranger will not be awarded to anyone. I suspect Rickon may reappear as the reborn "fur stranger," which seems like a good match for his creepy nature. At one point, Jon Snow told Tyrion that Rickon could have all of his stuff - Rickon is Jon's Snow's heir (hair) and Jon Snow was a stranger within the Stark household. A recent discussion about coin symbolism also causes me to note the references to "scent" and "copper" in Bran/Summer's observations about Shaggydog. A copper (s)cent suggests a penny, and pennies (in one of my convoluted theories) symbolize entrances to the Underworld. So Osha and Rickon might not need money to pay for a ship - they are hiding in the Underworld with Shaggydog as the magical opener of doors.
  12. In analyzing the Dunk and Egg stories, I had ventured to guess that "Pennytree" is an anagram of "neep entry," with "neep" being a Scottish or northern English word for a turnip. Along with Davos as the Onion Night, I was thinking that this helped to explain why root vegetables are mentioned in strategic moments of the series. But I just now googled, "Are turnips a cruciferous vegetable" and the reply came back affirmative. I had had these vague notions that members of the Kings' Guard had a special ability to transcend barriers, easily crossing from the known world to the Underworld or Otherworld. And the "neep entry" anagram had been a clue to me that turnips (associated with the camp follower Hildy as well as the dish Bran sends to the Walder wards at the Harvest Feast) and Pennytree were entrances to the Underworld. I couldn't explain either of these discoveries, but your insight into Criston Cole helps to carry the ball closer to the goal line. If Ser Criston Cole is a model member of the kings guard as well as the original Kingmaker, and he represents cruciferous vegetables, then turnips must be part of this special kingmaker power that may reside in members of the kings guard. Just before he stops for the night at Pennytree, Hildy flirts with Jaime, inviting him to come after her and her "turnips". Yet another line of wordplay thinking: "Ferrous" is a word meaning "containing or consisting of iron". What if "cruciferous" is one of GRRM's wordplay clues meaning "iron cross"? When swords clash, they create an iron cross. But the "Ser Criston Cole" anagram also may give us a hint that "cross loci" (cross locations) can create other kinds of entrances - enter cross loci. This would explain why jousting tourneys seem to symbolize clashes over succession to the throne, resolution of other power struggles or conferring of special powers. When "iron crosses" occur (crossed swords) the victors of those conflicts gain the power to enter the Otherworld. (In Celtic mythology, mortal heroes are often drawn into the Underworld to resolve conflicts among the gods.) Still so many good insights coming out of your great catch on Criston as a cabbage! Here is a link to my earlier "neep entry" analysis, if anyone wants to know more.
  13. Yes, as discussed earlier in this thread. I'm still trying to sort out the details, though, and this is my latest thought about peaches: what if they represent the rising and setting sun, and the peach must be possessed by the person who is the rightful king or queen? But the King's Hand can also possess or manipulate peaches, with permission of the king. Robert has a box of peaches he says he brought for Ned, just as he asks Ned to become Hand of the King. Robert has a daughter named Bella, who works at the brothel called The Peach. The sign at the brothel shows a peach with one bite out of it. Renly offers a peach to Stannis but Stannis declines and then regrets it later. Renly eats the peach, however, which may represent sunset. Renly may become the night king because he has eaten the sun (caused sunset). In The Sworn Sword, Ser Eustace tells the story about the Little Lion preventing the Lannisters from taking a bite out of the Reach. In other words, House Osgrey defends the peach and House Lannister has not yet climbed the social ladder to the point of befriending a king and becoming the Hand of the King. Later, House Lannister marries into House Tyrell, assuring a peach supply for itself - if only one of the Lannister kings would bed his Tyrell bride. Jaime, I believe, represents the setting sun. He uses his kingslayer hand to push Bran, leading to Bran opening his third eye. Jaime is later teamed up with Ser Ilyn Payne, the old and mute kingmaker (if the coin sigil is a clue about this). Ser Ilyn was a fan of Tywin and may have spent all of his kingmaker mojo on Tywin. Conveniently, Jaime has empowered Brienne. Podrick Payne (the young, up-and-coming kingmaker) has teamed up with Brienne, who may personify Renly's peach. (Complicating things, Pod is actually loyal to Tyrion but follows Brienne in hopes of finding Jaime's brother.) Biter takes a bite out of Brienne's cheek, which probably represents a bite out of a peach. But who does Biter represent? I've written about the biter / bitter wordplay pair, but it doesn't seem as if Biter would be working for Bittersteel, although I may be wrong. Is there another, hidden sponsor behind Rorge and Biter? If Brienne represents Renly's peach, then Biter may represent Stannis. He finally gets his bite of the peach and then Gendry - who looks like Renly - kills him. Brienne is sworn to the service of Lady Stark, now Lady Stoneheart. Peaches have stone hearts (pits) so maybe that works out alright. As Evolett pointed out, Lady Stark tore the flesh of her own cheeks at the Red Wedding and soon became Lady Stoneheart. The flesh of the fruit came off the pit. We know that Brienne's quest is to find Catelyn's remaining daughter, Sansa. Bonus if Arya turns up alive, too. But symbolically, maybe the goal is to reunite the peach pit with its flesh. How is this done? In real life, by planting a pit and growing a tree that bears peaches. In ASOIAF, I think it may be done by receiving a "kissed by fire" kiss. Bran may be a pit planted in the ground in a cave, and he is growing into a tree. He says that the weirwood paste reminded him of his mother's last kiss. We know that Catelyn was given the last kiss of Ser Beric. If she has symbolically bestowed her last kiss on Bran via the weirwood paste, he may be a peach-in-the-making. Brienne's quest could be to provide some version of the peach reunion to Arya and Sansa. She lost a bite of her own cheek, but she can still help the Stark girls. She adopts the sigil of Ser Duncan the Tall, which is a tree. Maybe symbolic of the importance of growing a tree to bring new fruit into the world. Or maybe Sansa and Arya are the moons instead of the rising sun? In which case they may represent eggs, which can also be poached (in a process that is not exactly like poaching peaches, but similar). In addition to the "bite out of the Reach" comment, the clue in The Sworn Sword is that plant crops are raised on Osgrey land but sheep are raised on Webber land. Osgrey has water (used for poaching eggs) and Webber seems to have wine (used for poaching peaches). Osgrey has trees but Webber cuts down a couple of them to build a dam, taking the water. She then burns down the woods (she denies doing so). The burning woods awakens Dunk who thinks the sun is rising in the west. So this may be our hint about sunset preceding the new sunrise.
  14. I'm speechless. So. Good. Thank you for these amazing insights. I had started trying to keep track of people eating root vegetables. I guess I have to start keeping track of cabbage and cauliflower. Well done!
  15. Hi and welcome to the discussion. You can bet money that all of my threads are looking at literary symbolism and searching for deeper layers of meaning. For awhile, I warned people to skip my threads if they were not interested in literary analysis. Maybe I should start adding those warnings back in. If you are truly interested in exploring the meaning of kisses, then I will try to add more information. I do see GRRM's use of metaphor and literary clues as similar to a maester's chain or to a shirt of mail: interlocking links create a larger whole. So kiss symbolism is one piece in a larger set of linked symbols. I know that most people think Petyr Baelish is trying to set up Sansa / Alayne as a future bride for himself; a replacement for the Catelyn he was never able to possess. Alternatively, he might be trying to use her to consolidate power: a marriage to Harry the Heir would help to ensure a strong alliance of the Vale, the North and the Riverlands. My own thinking is that Littlefinger is using Sansa / Alayne as a game piece. He is trying to win the Game of Thrones, with Sansa as his pick for future monarch. Others playing the game are Prince Doran (Arianne is his game piece), The Kindly Man (Arya is his game piece), Tywin (Tyrion), Bloodraven (Bran) and possibly Ned or Jeor Mormont (Jon Snow). I'm sure there are others, but you get the gist. Sansa embodies the Maiden, in my opinion. I can't swear to it, but I suspect she will never physically consummate a marriage. (Margaery Tyrell and Brienne may be in the same category.) In the legends, the Maiden doesn't marry but she does give a wonderful sword to a true knight or to a fool/knight: Florian and Jonquil and Ser Galladon of Morne, the perfect knight. Could the maiden's kiss symbolize a magic sword? (See the mention of the Just Maid sword in the comment by @Craving Peaches, above.) Sansa / Alayne sees a broken sword over the mantle and the Baelish home in The Fingers. Maybe Petyr needs a new sword before he can advance in the game. There is something about Sansa's kiss that is desirable to many men who cross her path. As cited above, Tyrion considers getting a kiss from Sansa at Joffrey's wedding feast. Ser Dontos kisses her. Sweetrobin kisses her. And then we have the Petyr kisses: in the snow as Lysa looks on, and the AFfC kiss: I may be wrong, but that doesn't seem like a romantic or even sexy kiss to me. I don't think Petyr is trying to seduce her or even to just use her for his own physical pleasure. Maybe this kiss is like Arya trying to get the worm from the Kindly Man's dead eye socket - that would certainly help us to understand the meaning of the paired skulls and kisses, if each sister is charged with mastering one aspect of these paired symbols. Sansa has Catelyn's hair, and we know there is a pun on hair and heir. The "auburn" hair that is unique to these Tully-related characters (and to Robb, Bran and Rickon, apparently) may be wordplay on gold - periodic table symbol Au - and burn - as in melt. If this wordplay interpretation is accurate, I suspect that Viserys is a clue for us, as he died when melted gold was poured over his head. That does seem to be one way of making a literal "kissed by fire" recipient. Maybe the kisses are intended to activate Sansa / Alayne, similar to the "wake the dragon" symbolism that occurred with the death of Viserys. This would fit with the resurrection symbolism mentioned earlier. I do think that Littlefinger is aware of the curse of Harrenhal and he believes he knows how to beat it: by installing Sansa / Alayne as the lady of the House. She is Catelyn's heir and Catelyn (through her mother) is the heir of House Whent, the last family that supposedly rightfully owned Harrenhal. When Arya was at Harrenhal, she thought to herself, "Is this my home now?" I suspect that Catelyn's daughters feel some kind of resonance with this old family home. Instead of looking at the False Spring and the Great Spring Sickness, maybe we should zero in on the "unkiss" from the Hound and Lem Lemoncloak / Richard Lonmouth / The Knight of Skulls and Kisses wearing the Hound's helm when he hangs Brienne. In GRRM's system of linking body parts with fruit, lemons and mouths are linked. Sansa loves lemon cakes. (Hmm. In addition to kiss / sick wordplay, I wonder whether there is kiss / cakes wordplay? This feels right to me - the cakes Sansa loves are sweet, even though lemons are sour. Brienne is from an island called Tarth, and I suspect there is wordplay on tart. Arya steals fruit tarts before the weasel soup incident at Harrenhal. So the kisses tie into the bitter / sweet symbolism that we know GRRM has scattered throughout the novels. Mouths are for both biting and kissing.) It's interesting to note that, when Renly's bannermen are placing bets on who will seduce Brienne, Ser Owen Inchfield forces a kiss on Brienne and she pushes him into a fire - another example of kissed by fire? But Inchfield is also the real name of Ser Lucas Longinch, the knight killed by Brienne's ancestor, Ser Duncan the Tall, in the trial by combat in The Sworn Sword. Literary clues tell us that Dunk is symbolically killing his father when he kills Longinch. Dunk had described him as cool-looking, as if he were on duty at The Wall. So it's interesting that Brienne pushes Owen into a fire. After Ser Lucas is dead, Dunk takes a kiss and a hank of red hair from Lady Rohanne (symbolically his mother). The Inchfield kiss appears to be the only kiss Brienne receives in ASOIAF. Ser Hyle Hunt says he wants to kiss her, but she tells him he will be a eunuch if he tries. As I mentioned in the A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms thread, I suspect that Ser Hyle may be a reborn version of Dick Crabbe. Dick wanted a sword from Brienne (and he gets it just before he dies). So far, Ser Hyle has not gotten a kiss from Brienne. (I suspect Dick and Hyle are both linked to Ser Bennis in the Dunk story line.) I realize I'm meandering a lot here. TL;DR: 1) Sansa's kisses carry some kind of magic, possibly similar to The Maiden's power to bestow a magic sword on a worthy recipient (fool or knight). 2) Petyr kissing Sansa may be part of his gameplay in the Game of Thrones, but does not necessarily involve romantic love or lust between Sansa and himself. It could be related to the "wake the dragon" magic associated with the "crown" presented to Viserys. 3) The Knight of Skulls and Kisses may represent the duality of sweet and bitter - kisses are sweet and skulls represent death. Arya is associated with skulls - in addition to the worm of the Kindly Man, Arya also steps through the dragon jaw of one of the larger skulls in the basement of the Red Keep. Sansa likes lemon cakes - bitter and sweet combined. Brienne may represent tart because of her Tarth origin. (Although she was also betrothed to a Beesbury, I believe, and there is queen bee symbolism around her overnight stay on the Quiet Isle. Maybe this represents the unification of bitter and sweet in her story line.)
  16. You know how readers have worked out that Bloodraven is probably disguised as Maynard Plumm and Plummer in the Dunk & Egg stories? I suspect he may be hidden behind other key characters as well. For kicks, I enrolled in an online class in creative writing. One of the assignments was this: I thought about Bloodraven's surreptitious appearances in the Dunk & Egg stories and imagined Bittersteel making a similar incognito appearance in the saga. As I've mentioned in the forum, I believe Dunk is a secret Blackfyre so I wrote a scene where Bittersteel (disguised as an innkeeper in my scene) would show favor and support for Dunk while showing hostility toward Egg. My story was my first and only attempt at fan fiction, I guess, but it got me thinking. What if GRRM has already inserted a disguised Bittersteel in the Dunk & Egg stories, just as he has given us two or more disguised versions of Bloodraven? It makes perfect sense to me that the author would set up a conflict between the rival Great Bastards, each moving a "pawn" across the game board - Bloodraven trying to advance the Targaryen Prince Aegon toward the throne and Bittersteel trying to win with (Prince) Duncan? I already worked out in this thread that the armorer, Pate, seems to be stringing Dunk as a puppet when he measures him for armor (grunts / strung wordplay and the use of a rawhide on all of Dunk's limbs). It also makes sense to me now that Pate just happened to have a suit of armor that would fit a seven-foot-tall warrior if Pate is Bittersteel and that tall warrior was the son of Daemon Blackfyre. We are told that Bittersteel took the sword Blackfyre that had belonged to Daemon, so maybe he had the armor, too. (This might also explain why Pate displays two lobstered gauntlets at his traveling armor shop. I suspect that the crab and lobster references are allusions to "pincers," which becomes a "princes" symbol through the magic of wordplay. Throwing down a gauntlet is an idiom that means someone is making a challenge. By showing us Pate's gauntlets, GRRM may be saying that there are two princes and that Bittersteel is either accepting Bloodraven's challenge or extending a challenge toward his half-brother. Let the games begin.) Now I want to try to figure out if there are additional potential Bittersteel characters in the other stories. Ser Eustace? Sam Stoops' wife? I have this sneaking suspicion that Septon Sefton might be a Bloodraven incarnation, because of the wine stain on his clothing. But I haven't figured out all of the details relating to Sefton, so I'm not sure. Any other characters strike you as possibilities?
  17. This gets at something I finally realized in relation to Lady Barbary Dustin: Brandon Stark (the uncle) liked to get blood on his sword and he deflowered young Barbary Ryswell. This is an Azor Ahai / Nissa Nissa allusion, to my thinking. But Barbary does not die as a result of her Azor Ahai encounter, she seems to have been empowered by it. What if the metaphor is that Azor Ahai has impregnated Nissa Nissa, but she is fated to die in child birth as a result of the sword plunged into her heart? We do see (or hear about) many women dying in childbirth, including (we suspect) Lyanna's bed of blood. This goes back to Joffrey's wedding feast because Tyrion observes a pregnant Fossoway kissing her husband, and he imagines what it would be like to be kissed by Sansa. There also seems to be a link between kissing and singers. At the same feast, Leonette Fossoway (wife of Garlan Tyrell) tells Tyrion that maybe he should be a singer. So that really reinforces my deep admiration for your great catch: One of the mysterious motifs connected to Lysa is that she may have been fertile early in her life - was she impregnated by Petyr Baelish? Did her father administer tansy to cause an abortion? She married Jon Arryn because she was known to be fertile. BUT. Turns out she and Jon Arryn have great difficulty producing an heir. Maybe Jon is the problem, but we do see Lysa sitting on the throne that is a dead tree. Weirwood trees do not grow at the Eyrie. The replacement of Lysa with Sansa / Alayne may represent the cycle of seasons, with the young, fertile spring replacing the tired, old season. "The False and the Fair" song title may also allude to Falyse and Lollys Stokeworth, with Falyse symbolizing "false" and also being sacrificed (in Qyburn's recipe for reviving Gregor as Robert Strong). We know the Lollys' baby is fathered by half a hundred small folk - there's the fertility symbol of planting and raising crops. Of course, Lollys was raped during the Bread Riot and House Stokeworth is the bread basket of King's Landing, so the harvest wheat angle is fairly clear. Sansa was threatened with rape but was saved by Sandor at the time of the riot. The other song we know involving "Fair" is "The Bear and the Maiden Fair." And "fair" may involve wordplay with both "fire" and "hair," so this closes the circle with the "kissed by fire" magic. Now I think we also need to examine the False Spring and the Great Spring Sickness in relation to the sick / kiss and fertility / seasonal cycle associated with kiss symbolism.
  18. I'm already starting to pick apart my own theory. I suspect that Visenya might fit the category of Kingmaker, but here she is cutting Aegon's cheek. He is already a king, and he wouldn't fit the category of Kingmaker, so far as I can define the term. But this may be the earliest significant cheek-cutting incident in the histories. What could it mean?
  19. I've mentioned in a couple of recent threads that I think we need an in-depth discussion of kisses. At Joffrey's wedding feast, Tyrion wonders what it would be like to kiss Sansa. Sansa incorrectly recalls being kissed by Sandor Clegane (but she is kissed by Ser Dontos and she kisses Joffrey's sword, Heart Eater). There is a knight of Skulls and Kisses who may linger as a shadowy character (Lem Lemoncloak) in the story. More examples I just posted in another thread: So let's examine examples of kisses, the "unkiss" and imagined kisses, and see if we can figure out their purpose. Does Petyr Baelish insist that Alayne give him a serious kiss because he is seeking some kind of kiss magic? Maybe it's not about romantic love but about her red hair? (Although Alayne has dyed her hair.) Is there wordplay on "sick" and "kiss"? Is being kissed the opposite of being sick?
  20. Excellent catch. Thank you. I've long suspected that Ser Amory plays an important symbolic role. I'll have to take a closer look. Does this come from something GRRM said, or just the history of literary symbolism? Or an interpretation of something in the books? I haven't heard this before. I have found that there are many, many ways that characters can be reborn after dying, but I haven't associated peaches with those rebirths. For instance, I suspect Joffrey is "reborn" as Moonboy, Renly is Gendry, Rhaegar is Mance, and Ned is reborn as Dolorous Edd - they are not literally the same person in a new body, but aspects of their character or their function in the series are sustained in the new character. None of these involve peaches. But maybe I am conflating rebirth with immortality. They are not necessarily the same thing. If you can share supporting evidence from the books about peaches representing immortality, I would be grateful. I do embrace the notion of the sacrifice of the summer king as part of GRRM's thinking and part of the story behind the story. Here's an idea about peaches and immortality that may prove the case: Being "kissed by fire" seems to be an important symbolic moment that confers some magic on the recipient. It may function like the "Achilles heel" story, making the warrior immune to harm except the small area that was not exposed to fire. (Hmm. This may bring us back to the Lorch sigil with the scorpion, too.) We know the Ygritte is kissed by fire, and she kissed Jon Snow. I assume this means that he is kissed by fire, too. The Hound may be kissed by fire because his brother forces his face down into a fire, causing him to become disfigured. Ser Beric is kissed by fire because Thoros of Myr gives him the kiss of life, reanimating him after death. When Bran eats the weirwood paste, one of the flavors or sensations he describes is his mother's last kiss. If I'm right about the cheek / peach symbolism, this might mean that a kiss on the cheek is a way of conferring the "kissed by fire" magic, if it is done by the right person. The other part that is relevant to peaches is that, I suspect, peaches are important because they are colored like fire: red, orange, yellow. There is an important motif around colors in ASOIAF. One of the important sets of colors is the rainbow, with the fire colors on one "side" of green and the "BIV" colors on the other side (blue, indigo and violet). I think the non-fire colors are "eye" colors. Through wordplay, "eyes" and "ice" are paired. So the rainbow represents fire and eyes/ice, with green in the middle possibly acting as a sort of symbolic fulcrum. So maybe I've puttered around long enough that I've answered my own question. Peaches represent the kind of rebirth associated with "kissed by fire" magic. So your point may be well taken that peaches represent immortality. (One kind of immortality, anyway. Now we just have to figure out how or whether someone can be kissed by ice. My guess is that this balancing set of symbols will come back to interacting with snowflakes. I guess it's time to really start that thread I've been contemplating to discuss the symbolism of kisses.)
  21. Criston Cole is the Kingmaker. I believe there are other kingmakers (and wannabee kingmakers) in the history of Westeros and that anagrams of Ser Criston's name can help us to spot them. I took another look at Ser Criston Cole to see if the "secret in colors" anagram could help to sort out the symbolism behind the Greens and the Blacks. But I decided to look at the other possible anagrams as well, and came to a new insight about "coin crest roles" that could be very helpful in the larger symbolism scheme. If "coin crest roles" is a deliberate hint for us, I was thinking this might explain why there are coins on the sigil of House Payne. Is House Payne the only house with coins in its sigil? Here's what I'm thinking. Half-baked, but helping to sort out some symbols that had been puzzling me. We know that GRRM has used a lot of game metaphors in the books, and this is a reason that the first book is called The Game of Thrones. One game that I haven't seen clearly played is checkers. But I suspected there was a wordplay connection between checkers, the "chequy" lion sigil (House Osgrey) and the Chequy Water as well as cheeks. Contemplating the "coin crest" anagram led me to realize that House Payne has something of a checkerboard sigil, with gold coins instead of checkers. This makes perfect sense to me as a metaphor for a game played by a kingmaker: coins usually feature pictures of monarchs and sigils. In checkers, if you survive a trip across the board, you can say, "King me" and acquire greater power in the game. So look to Ser Ilyn and Podrick to function as kingmakers. I have strongly suspected that Littlefinger is also a kingmaker. If the "coin crest" is a hint for us, then his longtime service as the Master of Coin probably confirms that he is a checker-playing kingmaker. By this logic, Tyrion would also be a kingmaker because he also served as Master of Coin. (I suspect that Tyrion is a master of all games, and this may be his destiny in the series.) Perhaps Penny, whose name is a coin name, is also a kingmaker. (There could be Payne / a penny wordplay.) This is part of the theory that needs more work, probably. Because of the wordplay on checkers, chequy and cheek, I think characters with distinctive cheeks may also be in this exclusive group of kingmakers. I'm thinking Brienne and The Hound, although we also see Ser Duncan the Tall cut his own cheek in The Sworn Sword. As I've stated elsewhere in the forum, I also believe that GRRM has a system of linked body parts and fruits: eyes / grapes, lemons / teeth, melons / heads, oranges / feet, etc. Cheeks are linked to peaches. So Renly offering Stannis a peach is a kingmaker gesture. Renly also tried to get Robert to marry Margaery but then Renly married her. Margaery is from the Reach and peaches come from the Reach. This doesn't quite work with Robert bringing peaches from the Reach for Ned (unless this is major foreshadowing involving something that hasn't yet happened in the books). Ser Jorah gives Dany a small peach and she finds it to be delicious. But wait, there's more. In The Sworn Sword, we know that Osgrey's forager (poacher), Lem / Dake, tried to take sheep from Lady Rohanne. Ser Bennis also wounds one of Lady Rohanne's ditch diggers on his cheek. We know that Lady Rohanne will eventually marry into House Lannister. In the story told by Ser Eustace, one of the Lannister's tried to "take a bit out of the Reach," but the Little Lion stopped him. (There are also "lion" anagram possibilities in Ser Criston Cole's name.) Dunk cuts his own cheek with his own sword and that seems to be a necessary step before his one-on-one duel (trial by combat) with Ser Lucas Longinch. What I'm getting at is that the poaching and peach / sheep wordplay and conflict is all about who will be the kingmaker. Osgrey needs sheep in order to become that kind of player. Lady Rohanne needs peaches ("chequy") in order to become a kingmaker. On a symbolic level, I suspect the resolution of The Sworn Sword gives Lady Rohanne the win she needs to become a kingmaker and she takes all of her mojo with her into the marriage with House Lannister, allowing them to become great kingmakers in ensuing generations. The chain of wordplay and fruit symbolism links "King me" to checkers to "chequy" to cheeks to peaches to sheep. GRRM has given us Ser Criston Cole as a hint about how to sort out the symbols and as the answer the the symbols: the kingmaker. I've been trying to work out peach / sheep wordplay and symbolism for quite awhile. So glad this finally came together in my tiny brain.
  22. I wonder whether GRRM wants us to examine Littlefinger's boast in the same light (or similar light) to Sansa's memory of the "unkiss"? We have read and re-read the chapter where The Hound comes to Sansa's bedchamber and we know there simply was no kiss. But Ser Dontos kissed her. And she kissed the sword Hearteater. Why does she have it in her head that she kissed (or was kissed by) Sandor Clegane? Perhaps we need to examine clues surrounding the boast from Baelish about deflowering the Tully daughters. Is it possible it didn't really happen exactly as he describes but that the character believes, like Sansa, that it did happen? Or is the ambiguity useful to the author on some level? Is Catelyn being obtuse when she remembers being a virgin on her wedding night with Ned?
  23. I've noticed a few "living" disembodied heads in ASOIAF and related materials: In that second example, I was thinking of Lord Ashford as the head but I see that Prince Baelor may also be a head. Of course, the various beheadings might also factor in to a listing of disembodied heads.
  24. My answer to the question of why Jaime went with Brienne is: Why did Lucy go into the wardrobe, and why did she follow Mr. Tumnus? Jaime is Lucy in this scenario. The Pennytree is a gate to the Underworld. Also, I strongly suspect that Ser Ilyn Payne will follow Jaime and help him to survive whatever trap may be ahead. Podrick Payne just saved Brienne when she went to The Whispers in search of Sansa; this quest by Jaime could be similar to the events in Brienne's quest. Ser Ilyn is also a symbolic Lannister direwolf - a silent one, like Ghost. Although Summer saved Jon at the Queenscrown, allowing him to escape the Free Folk. Ser Ilyn may play a similar role.
  25. 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?
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