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Evolett

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  • Birthday January 25

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    Magic in aSoIaF

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  1. Dany's dragons and the Stark direwolves must all die before the end of the story, imo. As familiar animals of the representatives of fire and ice, they also stand for the extremes of summer and winter, and as such are tied to the magic causing the asynchronous seasons. While it's easy to see how dragons symbolize long hot summers, burnt earth (Field of Fire), parched earth (drought) and unbearable heat, relating the direwolves to winter or to the Others is elusive beyond their northern habitat, natural nocturnal habits or link to the Starks. They are the key to becoming a greenseer and associated magic, which begins with being able to warg wolves before progressing through skinchanging other animals and finally merging with the trees. How this relates to winter or to the Others, we are yet to find out. Nymeria and her ravenous pack of wolves terrorizing the Riverlands are the closest parallel we have between the Others and the direwolves at the moment. I suspect she will be the last of the direwolves to die. Since their human counterparts are intrinsically tied to them and the mojo occurs as a result of this bond, one or both of a pair will have to bite the dust for the cycle of magic to end and the seasons be restored. GRRM is thorough in his writing so the order in which they die is probably important. Lady being the first to go is an indication of the trend away from magic towards having to deal with life without resorting to magical perks or bonded helpers (Joff wouldn't have dared mistreat Sansa had her direwolf been alive and at her side).
  2. The possibility that Theon may serve as a spokesman, prophet or otherwise be able to hear Bran is crystallizing out as per the pieces of evidence offered by contributors to this thread so far. How this might serve the story is the next question. I do like this suggestion put forward by @Seams: As mentioned above, Theon's squire Wex is mute. There may be a parallel to Jon and his direwolf Ghost here. Ghost is mute, yet Jon heard him, a sound that no one else could hear: It would be in Stannis' interest to find Bran who comes before Rickon as heir to Winterfell and no one need know that Theon is being guided by Bran. Northeners loyal to the Starks may want to pursue this course even if Stannis has suffered defeat at the hands of the Boltons. I think Barbery Dustin ordering Theon to show his disfigured hand means Theon has to take ownership of his own new identity, not Reek, but the new Theon that has survived Reek. Thinking about it, after enduring all that suffering under Ramsay, there's no way Theon will ever be the person he was before. "Remembering his true name" means coming to terms with his past, including his betrayal of Robb, his torture by Ramsay, the contempt with which he may be regarded in future. He'll have to integrate all that into a new "merged" personality and learn to accept himself, to truely own himself. Ungloving then represents: Unlike Theon who tries to hide his maimed hand when summoned by the northern bannermen, Davos accepts his finger stumps for what they represent right from the beginning - for him, justice. He goes as far as wearing his finger-bones in a pouch around his neck. Davos' status changes with his cut-off finger bones as well. He is elevated to Lord, is given lands and a keep and becomes hand to the king. Davos too has to integrate his new status, his lordly and political identity into his past low-born smuggler-self and often has internal conversations with himself about this. Theon needs a little help to achieve this integration and hopefully, he'll succeed.
  3. Whatever GRRM says about character building, my gut feeling is the that the book is important to events in the narrative, especially since it appears in the chapter Roose goes hunting wolves and later orders their skins to be made into a blanket for him. The book is thick, leather bound, the leather is dry, it has yellow pages suggesting it's ancient or at the very least, a very old book. He places it carefully in the fire and as he watches it burn, our attention is drawn to his eyes: I doubt this is just character building. Are we to view Roose as a man of learning? A seeker of ancient information for interest's sake? No. Whatever was in that book must have been important to him and dangerous enough to warrent its destruction to prevent others from reading it. Perhaps it contained information relevant to the intended betrayal and murder of Robb Stark. Taboos were broken at the Red Wedding - guest right and kingslaying. We may speculate - could the book have revealed how to placate the gods in the event of committing such crimes? Was the killing of the king and the massacre of thousands of men a massive sacrifice intended to fuel magic of great proportions? Was Patchface's prophecy not so much a prophecy as a recipe for a magical ritual? Roose reading the book and then carefully placing it in the fire to burn it contrasts Joffery's wild destruction of The Lives of Four Kings given to him by Tyrion. And speaking of kings, is Joffery's book the clue to Roose's book? Both Roose and Ramsay are said to have eyes like "chips of dirty ice" I don't recall "dirty ice" or "chips of dirty ice" used in describing eyes of the Starks, living or dead. Besides the reference to "ghost grey," Ramsay's eyes are obviously a point of discussion, as are Rooses eyes, which are mentioned and described in some detail by other characters. We are supposed to notice them and compare them to the eyes of the Starks, usually just "ice" without additional descriptive terms.
  4. Or if you reach a certain state physically and mentally; you can hear the gods. Brilliant, what a great observation Theon has certainly spent a lot of time in both mental and physical darkness. Bloodraven lectures Bran on darkness as an aid to developing his psychic ability: Bran’s third eye opens while the children are hiding in the Crypts of Winterfell and prior to that, after his fall, he remained in a near-death experience for a long time before waking. Seeing through a cat’s eyes is an ability that manifests itself during Arya's period as Blind Beth, during her blind training. What Theon has experienced goes way beyond Bran's and Arya's trials, so yes, I very much agree with your assessment. Yes, Aeron is another good example. Patchface too. I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that skinchanging Theon will not be possible if he remembers his name and fully recovers his identity. My examination of breaking taboos suggests breaking the taboo of cannibalism facilitates skinchanging humans. Varamyr, a powerful skinchanger, failed at taking over Thistles body. She died in the attempt. Earlier in the prologue he admitted to breaking several of the taboos, but not that of cannibalism. From this discussion, it appears likely that it's possible to easily skinchange a person who has lost his identity, like Hodor. Patchface also lost his identity when he drowned. He obviously does not remember his real name and for all we know, skinchanging him might be simple for a skinchanger as powerful as Bran or Bloodraven to accomplish. Historically (or in mythology), knowing a person's true name gave a wizard or otherwise powerful person control over the victim whose name was known. Ancient Egyptians took great care not to reveal their true names, for instance. I think GRRM is subverting this trope. A character who does not remember his name loses his identity and becomes the pawn of another. In aSoiaF, knowing your name and making your name known means others cannot gain power over you. This is also demonstrated by the faceless men who make sure the intended victim is unknown to them before accepting a contract. It's also possible that eating human meat makes a man succeptible to being skinchanged. Theon did not eat of the Frey pies at the wedding feast, perhaps a good sign.
  5. Theon saying the two boys he killed were only miller's sons bothers me. I'm waiting for him to recognise his deed as an act of murder and not a justification for evading being mocked.
  6. Good question. My first instinct would be they must never find out, though I can only speculate on how that might be achieved. First hinderance to the idea of Bran speaking to Theon through the weirwoods is the fact that we don't have weirwoods waiting at every corner and none at the Wall. Long term, a different form of communication would be necessary. Short of Bran skinchaning Theon, there is the possibility of Theon perhaps enjoying some weirwood paste to heighten his extrasensory perception and make it possible for him to receive dreams.
  7. We know that Littlefinger's family sigil is the head of the Titan of Braavos. Sansa is disguised as Littlefinger's natural daughter. So this Titan's Daughter maiden with a bowl of fruit may somehow symbolize Sansa, even though Arya is the sister on board the ship. Why would Sansa be the "figurehead" that is taking Arya to her home that isn't really home? The Titan's Daughter and figurehead with a bowl of fruit reminds me of Sansa while also recalling the fertility theme, i.e. the Titan's Daughter brings fertility to stony, treeless Braavos. But Braavos is a sea-faring nation heavily associated with the sea itself, so it's interesting that Arya uses the alias "Salty" on this trip and spends a lot of time selling seafood, her oysters, cockles and clams. What we see here is Sansa's association with the fruits of the land while Arya is associated with the fruits of the sea. The Prince of Pentos who has to deflower a maiden of the sea and a maiden of the fields to ensure productivity comes to mind. And so do the Ironborn who take "salt wives" and "rock wives." "Salty" is thus perhaps "home," where she belongs as a maiden of the sea. Or Sansa taking her there could represent banishment to a place that becomes home, though it is not her home - like the "salt wives" taken by the Ironborn. They are carried off from their true homes to new homes on the Iron Islands. Arya too has lost her true home, partially through Sansa's meddling (revealing Ned's plans to the Queen). Nevertheless, the quote probably provides insights to the back story and ancient history of the Starks as a family and the missing link to the Ironborn. Theon and his namesake King of Winter, Theon as a ward of Winterfell, his capture of the castle described via Jojen's dream as the sea flowing into the castle, the Theon/fArya connection with Jeyne Poole sounding like "gene pool," all suggest the Greyjoys and Starks might be distantly related. Perhaps Theon taking on Abel Mance's role in rescuing fArja is a nod at a distant Greyjoy ancestor who once stole a Stark daughter and made her his "salt wife." Still examining the oranges
  8. Omg, I would hate for Theon to be skinchanged by Bran but the suppression of Theon's true identity by Ramsay kind of echoes Bran suppressing Hodor's identity while he's skinchanging him. Theon is also turned into a "dog." So your suggestion is a distinct possibility. I can only hope Theon will have recovered his own identity sufficiently enough to resist such an assault on his body and soul. I think remembering his real name (a symbolic clue that signifies one's identity) will be important in this context. Recall Hodor doesn't remember his own name - he was named Walder.
  9. There are probably multiple layers of symbolism attached to the chimeric eyes, including the connection to kinslaying. The mismatched eyes also seem to point to a duality intrinsic to the character, especially so for Tyrion and Euron: Euron shows his "smiling eye" when he seeks to draw the Ironborn captains to his side or tasks Victarion with bringing him Daenerys. It is bright with amusement or mockery. Though his "smiling eye" hardly suggests positive attributes, his patched black eye is even darker. Tyrion is a dwarf who is sometimes a giant as well. Maester Aemon is quite serious about Tyrion being a "giant," referring presumably to his intelligence. Underscoring this duality is a dream he has of a battle in which he participates: The fact that the dream featuring a laughing and a weeping head is set in a battle scenario suggests two opposing natures or personalities warring within him (and involves kinslaying as well). His twin siblings, Cersei and Jamie could be part of this duality too - the unbending warlike Cersei versus the remorseful / reflective Jamie - two separate opposing personalities, yet twins to one another, that come together in Tyrion.
  10. Theon becoming Bran's prophet is new to me but now you mention it, I can see him becoming a mouthpiece for Bran rather than a Damphair style prophet. As I stated in the OP, the ravens cawing "tree" and "Theon" could indicate a summons to the weirwood to receive a message or some intelligence from Bran rather than be interpreted as a call for him to be sacrificed to the tree. Bloodraven and Bran are isolated from the rest of the world in their cave beyond the Wall. How are they to participate in affairs at the Wall or beyond without being able to communicate with actors beyond the cave? Theon has already heard Bran speak to him through the Winterfell weirwood, so that's a clear connection there. Previously, Mormont's raven imparted wisdom in crucial moments, such as giving Jon the hint to use fire against wighted Othor and readers believe the raven relayed Bloodraven's instructions (Bloodraven skinchanging the raven). I don't see any characters at the Wall who might fulfill this purpose. There's Boroq the skinchanger but he seems suspect because of Ghost's antagonism towards his boar. Patchface may be a likely subject as a recipient of messages via supernatural means but if he is capable of receiving dreams from a greenseer there's still the problem of interpretation. Readers are barely able to decipher his so called prophecies and characters in the books just think he's talking nonsense. Patchface's current presence at the Wall may be a hint to Theon taking up this role however - all that under the sea imagery, the drowning and returning to the living "what is dead can never die" vibe surrounding him suggesting a link to the Drowned God and his prophets. With Jon dead, who can fill this void at Castle Black? There's also no telling how long Jon will remain dead. Theon as a mouthpiece for Bran is a possible option.
  11. There are 190 mentions of "orange" in all five books (search in the ebook version), so many, it's daunting. I looked up the links and found some convoluted contributions I offered years ago, lol. Anyway, I searched the net for any interesting information on oranges that might be relevant and discovered the significance of the use of oranges in the film The Godfather. Though not confirmed by Francis Ford Coppola himself, analysts noted a correleation between oranges and impending doom or death in the film. An examination of many "orange" references in the narrative seems to confirm this to some extent. "Doom or death" isn't necessarily immediate but follows not long after an orange mention. Some examples: Tyrion kills Shae and his father after the bypassing the orange ember in the hearth. Arya's and Sansa's blood orange scene leads directly to Ned realizing the truth about Cersei's children, the knowledge of which sets off of events contributing to the downfall of House Stark. Great orange blazes that crackle with fury and spit embers at the sky burn during Mirri's magical ceremony to bring Drogo back from death's door. Orange flames also feature prominently during the burning of his remains in the pyre. Orange is a major color during Amory Lorch's attack on Yoren and his NW recruits. Arya also remembers the blood orange scene with Sansa during the attack. Lady Hornwood is accompanied by six guards wearing dusty orange cloaks when she arrives at Winterfell for the Harvest Feast. She will be kidnapped and forced into marriage by Ramsay, left to starve and eat her own fingers (this one is probably very important). Orange references before Jon finds the obsidian cache near the FotFM. Then the obsidian blade in the cache: The NW suffers the wight attack not too long afterwards. 7. Firelight washes Ser Axel Florent's face like a monstrous orange tongue. He ends up in Mel's flames. There are many more such and perhaps not surprising since major orange scenes like the ones in the Water Gardens suggest the fruit has a dangerous quality to it, akin to Aery's ripe wildfire fruit. Other cases, like the orange reference before Quaithe approaches Dany in Qarth could signalize either danger or something positive in respect of Dany's relationship with Quaithe - not sure. I'm sure there's more to it, especially since the appearance of the orange can also mean good fortune for the person involved - like Sam who defeats Small Paul with the orange ember, perhaps linking to the daggers and swords with sharp edges glowing in orange, to Drogon's orange fire that saves Dany from the Undying, as well as to Rhaegal who sits atop a Meereen pyramid like " a fat woman bedecked with glowing orange jewels." Rhaegal in orange jewels at the top of a pyramid might associate orange with heights (like the ladder) and serve as a contrast to the "foot" which is at ground level. (Foot of a pyramid, foot of the ladder) - again reflecting the apparent antagonism you've noted between "oranges" and "feet." Thinking about these symbols...., the blood oranges are described as sharp and sweet, relating to the sharp edged orange glowing swords. Stannis new sigil is a stag enclosed within a red heart surrounded by orange flame. Perhaps the blood oranges in particular are a Nissa Nissa symbol. That would make the daggers and swords that glow orange Lightbringer symbols. Sharp and sweet would translate to agony and ecstasy. Does this mean Lightbringer is part of the "foot motif"? Perhaps it is.... Arya's blood orange scene really bothered me. I was looking for the "foot" in Sansa until it hit me like a rock that Arya herself is the "foot" - Arya Underfoot. So Arya is an example of a "foot" that can handle the lethal orange. She rips the skin off the orange and squeezes it so that it's bloody juice runs down her fingers before throwing it at Sansa. She "kills" the orange. That makes two "feet" that overcome an "orange." Arya is a symbolic sword. Speaking of Ser Philip Foote - have you noticed the "ice" or "eyes" in Bryce and Royce? One last thought on this: I've been associating garnets with "gardens." German "garten" = garden and is an anagram of "garnet." The garden at dismal Dragonstone is named "Aegon's Garden."
  12. Nice one. Would add another layer to Bran's weirwood vision of the past too.
  13. Dany's peach is from a tree growing near the western wall of the City of Bones, supporting your linking the peach with the colors of sunset. The peach at the Peach brothel has a bite taken out of it and the peach itself is heavily associated with sex as well as rejuvenation. Brienne is "grown and flowered" but still a maid and her virginity has come under threat only to be saved by Jamie. By taking a bite out her cheek, Biter could be symbolically taking her virginity. Maybe she has to symbolically give up her maidenhood to be able to accomplish some future task. Or to be revived. Speaking of maidenhood, I discovered another anagram today - it's an almost anagram of hooded man...
  14. I made the connection between the mismatched eyes and chimerism a while ago but hadn't noticed the correlation with kinslaying. Great catch and thanks for the detailed list you attach. Here's one more kinslayer to add to the list, though we have no information on the eyes: Bael the Bard was killed by his son, then Lord of Winterfell. I've been looking at breaking taboos as a means to acquiring greater magical powers or to becoming more proficient at a particular skill (consciously or not). Kinslaying appears to be associated with knowledge. I think it confers upon the perpetrator the desire and ability to gather secret knowledge. And your connection regarding the mismatched eyes supports the idea, at least in a number of the cases we have more detailed information about. Tyrion as a person with mismatched eyes and kinslayer is a knowledge seeker, particularly of knowledge lost or no longer readily available to the general public. Bloodraven was a spymaster and is a greenseer who obtains knowledge through the eyes of the weirwood, both connected to secret knowledge. Euron is less obvious because he drinks shade of the evening which grants visions as well. He may not be a reader but he undoubtedly learned a great many secrets on account of his trip to Valyria and the capture of the warlocks. I think kinslaying is the author's version of Odin's eye that the god sacrifices in exchange for a drink of the well of wisdom at the bottom of Yggdrasil.
  15. Despite being severly broken in body and mind to the extent that he had internalized "Reek," thinking to himself that he must pretend to be a prince again, Theon mastered the situation at Moat Cailin quite well. He was assertive enough to convince at least one man, making it easier for him to deliver the Ironborn to Ramsay. Same thing at the wedding of Jeyne to Ramsay - here he succeeds in propping Jeyne up too. And he was daring enough to go through with the escape. Beside his frequent worries as to what Ramsay would inflict on him next, I find him an excellent observer and assessor of the activities going on in the castle at Winterfell. There appears to potential there just waiting to be tapped. I take it you’re referring to the Theon means “godly” wordplay here. Yes, that’s another possible clue. And I have another one: in the OP I mention the combination of expert archer Anguy/Arya and Theon/fArya being a hint that Theon's archery skills might play a future role. Well, some more wordplay for those who enjoy it: Anguy / Un-guy. If Theon has been gelded, then he is an un-guy.
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